Teaching respect

Family Concept 2, photo by Lynne Lancaster, UKChildren can get bored easily unless there are games to occupy them or they have the full attention of those they are with. However, it is important that they learn how to participate politely so that they get the attention of everyone instead of monopolising the attention of one person, usually a parent. In this way teaching respect helps them to learn how to entertain themselves. It’s a socialisation skill they need to learn as early as possible.

usually when her mother becomes involved
in a conversation with a friend? then
6 year old Angela would whisper in her ear
it was her first attempt at holding her mother’s attention
but Julie knew the dance well and she would
look at Angela in her eyes and remind her
that if she had something important to say she
would need to say excuse me and wait
otherwise she could do something else until
her mother was free to talk to her
I could see that Julie’s parenting skills
were teaching respect and in the long run
would help Angela develop good life strategies
instead of demanding that others make her happy

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Dysfunctional behaviour in the media

Girl 3, photo by ophelia cherry, Soresina,ItalyHow many times have we seen inappropriate behaviour in the media. Which comes first dysfunctional behaviour in real life and then depicted in the media, or behaviour role modelled in the media which we copy in real life? It is commonly thought that what happens in real life comes first. But how many times have we seen adult friends slapping each other around in real life as has been on TV? I haven’t once seen any such behaviour in real life that has not caused major emotional and physical hurt. I remember the Dynasty arch enemies, Linda Evans and Joan Collins, wrestling in their diamonds and designer clothes whilst falling into the swimming pool, making people laugh. Surely we must be more responsible for what behaviour examples we support in the media because ‘monkey see, monkey do’ and people can repeat dysfunctionality just because it appears popular in the media.

a client came to see me about her violent partner
she had a black eye and it was not the first time
I asked her what was she going to do about it
and she laughed nervously saying that he was
really sorry and promised not to do it again
and she would trust him once more
because he professed his love for her
eventually she realised how dangerous it got
and started a new life without him
just in time, I thought

Girl 3, photo by ophelia cherry, Soresina,Italy, http://www.nelshael.com/ophelia

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Alone – revisited

Self portrait, photo by Marcelo Terraza, Brasilia, Brazil, me myselfI was contacted by a reporter, from Melbourne Age, who found posts on my site about living alone and I was interviewed. The interview covered my personal experience of living alone, those of clients I have seen who live alone, and what I would say as a Life Coach about this lifestyle. The most important points are that it is a rewarding lifestyle when it is by choice, it provides a unique feeling of freedom to do whatever I want when I want (within reason) and as I have been in the wife and mother role before, now my priorities are different. That doesn’t mean I will stay alone, as someone may come along who fits in with my current lifestyle and then I will be willing to share it. However, for now I am enjoying my aloneness.

Kenneth White from Palm Springs California made a comment on one of my posts on living alone and I thought it would be beneficial to show it here.

Bravo!!
Great site.
Very open and informative. Especially on
living alone and relationship checklist!
Congratulations.

Thanks, Kenneth.

Self portrait, photo by Marcelo Terraza, Brasilia, Brazil, me myself

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Music, flowers and incense

Romantic, photo by Meliha Gojak, Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina,  romantic symbolsWhen you want to lift your spirits then put on music and use some flowers to decorate the room. Then light some incense, there are different ones that please different people. These items will please three of your senses and whether you have a massage and a special something to eat of drink for the other senses depends on how much cheering you need. These are guaranteed to lift your spirits and make you feel special. Mind you, getting someone to share this with you is excellent but not essential, because on your own you prove that this experience has its merits.

It was Melbourne Cup Day and I had to
go to hydrotherapy instead of the usual
Fancy Hat Luncheon and Cup Sweep
my children phoned to say they had got me
Cup Sweep tickets at their workplaces
so I turned on the TV and for ambiance I
prepared the incense and some music
put on my huge black beach hat
and with half a glass of wine I sat
to enjoy my horses coming first
at that point my black cat Midnight flew out
obviously scared of my black hat but
returned immediately and spent the afternoon
poised opposite me on the lounge, staring
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and
one of my horses came third
that was a first for me
in more ways than one
and my spirits were lifted

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Role models

Dad's Shoulder, photo by Joseph Zlomek, Pottstown, United States, loving parentSome people have had abusive parents as role models. Others have had one parent functional and the other dysfunctional. Unfortunately, there are those who have been abused and become abusers, mainly because they experienced how powerful induced fear was. The promising thing is that as we grow most of us learn to appreciate the healthy role models and mimic them in adulthood.

Nina was surprised that her mother’s abusive behaviour
hadn’t made her an emotional cripple, but remembered
that her father was a gentle, loving parent and
whenever she was tempted by her mother’s words
to believe that she was ugly and worthless
Nina would recall her father’s unconditional love
which gave her the confidence to make healthy choices
at times it took a lot of work to raise her self esteem
because her mother’s words would creep into
Nina’s thoughts unexpectedly, however
that was short lived as she developed the skills
to diffuse such thoughts by sending them
off into the universe in imaginary balloons

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Soulmate

Amor junto al río, photo by Hernan Herrero, Capital Federal, Argentina, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/364492, loving relationshipSuccessful relationships can take place between people who are not soulmates. This is because soulmates can sometimes be just good friends. Nevertheless, when a loving relationship involves a lover who is also a soulmate then it is considered by some to be ideal. So if you’re searching for the ideal partner make a list of all the pros and cons of such a person – it is important to show both what you want and what you don’t want in a relationship. In doing that you raise your awareness of the type of person that will suit you best. Everything in life needs a blueprint and likewise relationships do too. Make sure that you are meticulous in making your list and then affirm it by thinking positive about finding your soulmate and life partner.

he had been unlucky in his choice of partners
someone who had appeared to be a soulmate
turned out to be codependent hell
he wanted to stop repeating this mistake
his life coach suggested he make a written list
of the likes and dislikes he had about
a future loving relationship
she said it was a phenomenon that worked
but she stressed that he make sure he
does not leave anything out from the list
he laughed because he thought it stupid
but he did it because she’d been right before
about some important things
not long after he found his wife and soulmate
and ten years later they have a life
he wouldn’t have believed was possible
children, security, love, fun and
above all sanity and serenity

Amor junto al río, photo by Hernan Herrero, Capital Federal, Argentina

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Dedicated parents

Empty Nest, photo by Luis Alves, Barreiro, Portugal, adult childrenThose people who are dedicated parents provide a nurturing, caring environment for their children. They teach how to live a full life by being responsible and yet funloving.? ? Such parents are also aware of the need for their children to be independent and some day move away from home to make their own way in life.? Although the ’empty nest’ syndrome is known by the majority of society, we do not fully understand the extent of that experience. It’s not just your children leaving home and experiencing the loss of their presence, it is more than that. It is a case of truly letting go as you watch your adult children take care of business the way they wish and sometimes that can mean that parents disapprove of the choices their offspring make and/or feel somewhat abandoned by them. It is far better for parents to remember how they behaved at the same life stages as their adult children and then it is easier to understand.

I loved my cousin Chris very much, he was my mentor
after my dear father died I became engaged at 18
life was so full of fun and happiness
so when I experience empty nest with my adult children
I remember that whenever we visited Chris, we would
enjoy ourselves as he was ever so wise
and he would ask us to visit more often
which we never did because we were too busy
some years later Chris died and I miss him too
by then I was married and had two children
to this day I wonder if he knew that the
only reason we didn’t see him more often
was because life was so jam packed and
not that we didn’t love him and his family?

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Nothing is as it appears

Jaguar, photo by Kristof Degreef, Nieuwerkerken, Belgium, feline fancyThe jaguar is popular and as people admire its beauty they forget how dangerous it can be. Nothing is as it appears. Within seconds it’s capable of ripping its prey apart, as many animals can do. To a certain degree the same can be said of the human animal. Usually humans try to present a persona which is attractive, lovable, and successful so that they can get what they want. Some though are dangerous because they can easily become violent, either emotionally or physically or both. Prevention is best – we need to go gently into a new relationship until we are sure of the other person’s temperament. We also need to be prepared to get out of the relationship fast if it proves inappropriate and not wait until it’s so dangerous that we can get hurt.

they came to see me and by the end of the session
it became apparent that he was not willing to change
even though he had violent tendencies
and she was not ready to leave him
when they came back to see me I made it clear
that I could not see them together any more
because it was as though I was holding her hand
while he continued to be violent with her
I recommended that she contact the Helpline
for this type of dangerous behaviour and
stressed that her life depended on
her taking urgent action, my words annoyed him
she came back months later and wanted
to undergo therapy on her own as
she had legally removed him from her life
she had a pattern of attracting similar types
and she wanted to stop, so we began the work
today she lives the life she’s always wanted

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Searching for the high

Party Balloons, photo by Julie Elliott, Wichita Falls, United States,  never enoughAddiction can be described as searching for the high. We are all prone to addictive behaviours but people who are afflicted with addiction are more susceptible to compulsive repetitive behaviours. Many of these addictions are life threatening, especially when the person is driven to excess in order to get the high or bliss. This level of compulsion drives the person to becoming careless and overlooks safety issues.

he chuckled as he spoke about
the party he went to
cocaine and ecstasy were plentiful
and alcohol too
they partied on till the early morning
he had avoided using drugs until this party
and in a moment of weakness
he said it got the better of him
life had been better without the drugs
but at the party he was searching for the high
and then the next day the misery followed
so I suggested that he just compare
how it was for him to have life without drugs
as against the madness he had due to using
and then choose the best option for having
the life he wants
he admitted that the road with drugs
is a downhill one full of problems

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Codependence and addiction

ashamed 1, photo by Georgios M.W., Herley, Denmark,  misery, sacrificeCodepedence, sometimes a relief to admit and sometimes people resent the term. It is very simple in definition – when you totally sacrifice your needs for those of another and when you believe that your happiness can only come from outside of you (from people, places, and things) then your are in the clutches of codependence. You can commit yourself to being of service to another person, or a project, which can be worthwhile to everyone concerned. However, in such a case you need to be true to yourself first and then you can be useful in the service you give. Codependence is the undercurrent of addictions.

she sacrificed her talents and happiness
for the sake of her disabled son
saying he needed her love more than
the rest of the family did
as though there was insufficient for all
but in her dedication to caring for her son
she took away his independence and
he could not do anything without her
but this did not bring her happiness
for she often complained about the martyr
she had become and how miserable she was!
jealousy of her daughter’s achievements and
her own severe codependence caused
irreparable harm and loneliness to her

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