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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Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's Day, photo by Michal Koralewski, Gniezno, Poland, day of loveToday is the day of love. Some people criticise the practise because they believe it is too commercialised. Other people enjoy the romantic and sensual mood of the day. It was once the role of the male to send flowers, chocolates and poetry to the female, often it was an anonymous gesture, creating intrigue. Nowadays it is something both men and women do for each other. It is a ritual that enhances relationships. Unless both partners dislike celebrating the day of love, then it is worthwhile to participate in the celebration.

Bruce felt that it was ridiculous to
celebrate Valentine’s Day
Vicki was looking forward to
receiving some show of affection
on the day of love from her new partner
somehow he had managed to avoid it
on previous occasions but she had
made it clear that it was important to her
Bruce ordered the works
flowers, perfume, choice words in the card
and dinner for two at a romantic restaurant
why? because he is a smart bloke and
values the relationship enough to
do the right thing when he is made aware
just as Vicki has done with his wishes
such as fishing with the mates on the
first Sunday of the month and the
regular card night at their place
with her playing the hostess
this exchange of favours to satisfy
each others desires is what makes
their relationship special

Happy Valentine’s Day, photo by Michal Koralewski, Gniezno, Poland, day of love

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Timing is vital

Clock, photo by Henning Buchholz, Bremen, Germany, high priorityWhen good intentions become failures, then our timing could be out of sinc. Timing is vital in any plan of action, even for simple discussions. How often do we begin to say something, feeling confident and enthusiastic, and then the whole situation deteriorates into struggling in emotional quicksand? The more we struggle the worst it becomes and we wonder how it happened? Perhaps we didn’t consider whether it was appropriate to bring the matter up, no matter how simple it seemed. Perhaps we didn’t consider whether the other person was in the mood to deal with the matter. Perhaps we didn’t consider how capable we were at that point to express the matter appropriately. Or a combination of all of these things. When we pause and plan how to express ourselves, especially taking into consideration how right the timing is, then the interaction has more of a chance of being successful.

Stephanie had learnt from a young age
not to jump into the emotional deep end!
her father had a volatile personality
whether he was drunk or not, and so
before she spoke about anything delicate to anyone
she’d ask “are you free to speak for a moment?”
this usually prepared the other person
and it spared her unnecessary hurt!
how easy would it be if it were protocol for us
to first ask this question, just as we
automatically say “please” and “thank you”,
checking that the timing is right, could
protect us from abusive personalities
whilst respecting each others availability to
be fully present in a discussion

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Special touch

Wedding Invitation 2, photo by Stan-Lee T.P., Petaling Jaya, Malaysia,  finishing touchHaving invitations, no matter how simple, gives a wedding that special touch. Let’s think about inexpensive ones that can be created on your computer nowadays.? The colour of the paper can match your colour scheme. You can even have two sheets of paper, a hard one and a thin one on which the majority of the information is printed. You can become quite creative in your efforts or keep it simple yet sophisticated. As a celebrant I have seen many wonderful examples of creative wedding invitations.

they planned a simple wedding in
a cave on the river, with a few guests
but it mattered to them that
there would be invitations
that was the special touch needed
so they got textured paper in a
deep red colour and printed
the information on these invitations
it certainly did provide the finishing touch
to an amazing experience

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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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Loneliness and despair

lonesome photo by Dawn Allynn Tijerus USA www.dawnallynn.com despair painQuite often we overlook the pain men go through when their relationships go sour. This happens in the same way it does for women. However, women are more likely to share their distress whereas usually men are not so transparent. Some turn to drugs and give up on happiness. Loneliness and despair set in. They? isolate to deal with the loss and hurt. Nevertheless, the majority are survivers and in time they get to stand up and face Life again.

how bewildered he was when his partner left
what had gone wrong? He thought they were happy
was he not listening, should he have noticed more?
why didn’t anyone tell him? Maybe he could have
done something to save their love before it was too late
the alcohol and drugs ease the pain but
he still wakes up to the loneliness and despair
as he realises it’s over his mind plays tricks on him
is it really over? holding on to that empty wish
he reaches for the bottle!

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Misunderstood messages cause anger

anger  photo by EMiN OZKAN Izmir, Turkey http://www.sxc.hu/photo/492238 frustration conflictHave you noticed how sometimes a message is not received as intended? When misunderstood messages happen then it’s the shared responsibility of the originator and the recipient. The recipient needs to check out what they hear if it causes frustration and anger, then the originator needs to communicate their intended message differently in the second or third attempts. The initial feelings are to lash out in anger when conflict occurs. In an effort to resolve the conflict all parties have the responsibility to put the effort into transforming that conflict to agreement or at least an understanding of the interaction intended.

woke up from my afternoon nap very rested
I needed to share something with you by phone
much to my amazement it annoyed you
and your voice sounded harsh as you
expressed your frustration!
it felt like a slap across the face to me
we did this unpleasant verbal dance for a while
then I remembered that misunderstood messages are
communication gone wrong
so I let go of my anger otherwise it could get nasty
and instead took responsibility for not expressing
the intended message accurately
a calmness overcame me and
our conversation ended amicably

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