Children can be the mirror of their parents’ behaviour

Life has its ups and downs and we manage this to the best of our ability – sometimes successfully and sometimes not so. Whichever the outcome, it is important to remember that children can be the mirror of their parents’ behaviour and therefore not be too surprised when their behaviour is somewhat dysfunctional. Instead we need to lovingly redirect them to use more effective methods of relating and especially role model this whenever possible.

As I watched my children’s unpleasant behaviour
I was shocked at these changes forgetting that we had all
recently experienced some hard times in our family
but now that things were settling down the time had come for
the consequences of our friction to show in our children
for children can be the mirror of their parents’ behaviour!
that awareness helped me to relax and then approach the
whole situation more sensibly, gently guiding
them to improved behaviour
it’s odd how it is easier to see
another’s inappropriate behaviour
than to notice our own


Even though we are tempted to fix things when people tell us their problems the best way to help them is to listen carefully, feeding back to them what we have heard and then we get their permission to make any suggestions from our perspective. Sometimes this is well-received and other times it is not needed. Nevertheless if we follow that formula we will be of more help and then feel more useful in the end.

You asked for my opinion
I was tempted to jump in and tell you what to do
before you even got the chance to finish your story!
then I remembered to listen first – I’m glad I did
because the story took another turn and I realised that
you just needed to have someone hear your story
as you had already dealt with the solution and
just needed someone to confirm that you did the right thing
indeed I thought you had and as I said so
I saw the relief in your eyes!
But I asked if you would be open for any suggestions
and you said that you were not prepared to
do any more just yet
I could see your point and felt
sure that what I had to add could wait


When we are feeling happy we sometimes overlook our good mood, it’s easier to notice unhappiness. The important thing is to enjoy our happiness and become aware of how it feels. In this way when we feel low remembering our happy moments can be a lifesaver.

Today I feel happy
such a lovely sensation
like my inner world is celebrating!
everything I do feels good
I am enjoying this so much
for as long as it lasts
because inevitably it will pass
just as the unhappy times do
nevertheless writing about it reminds me
that indeed I am capable of such happiness
and I will store it away for a rainy day

Tools of Serenity

We underestimate the benefit of the tools of serenity. That is, reading literature that promotes self awareness; writing about our feelings and innermost thoughts; meeting with like-minded people who are determined to live healthy; eating and drinking healthy; gentle exercise; and regular affirmations.

My six year old granddaughter
asked me for paper and pen to
pass the time away while her sister
was training for basketball
so I stopped my writing after a while
and handed her some paper and the pen
she wrote and wrote mesmerised
and I asked her what she was saying
she replied that she was writing about what had
happened at school and at home that made her unhappy
after a while she said there was nothing more to write
so I mentioned that perhaps she could write about how
she feels now that she has written all this
so she wrote that she felt happy
four small pages – one example of the tools of serenity

An Attitude of Gratitude

When we adopt an attitude of gratitude it helps us to free ourselves of resentful feelings and self-pity. It is so easy to get stuck in negativity unless we become grateful for what is positive in our lives. Then reality becomes more balanced and we enjoy a state of relative happiness.

I was grumpy about not being able to achieve
the ultimate goal I had made for losing weight
which is necessary for my health
then I thought hard about what I did achieve
and remembered that I no longer had
uncontrollable cravings
I had attended a self-help program regularly
and also checked in with my mentor often
indeed I had made much improvement
and what’s more had lost weight
an attitude of gratitude filled me then and
happiness moved in to soothe my pain


When we are feeling resentful or insecure, quite often we use sarcasm to communicate, thinking that we are being witty in our interactions and hoping that the recipient will nurture us in our time of need. Then when they respond with disrespect we are surprised and the resentment festers. We need to always be aware that sarcasm can only bring us unhappiness in one way or another.

as I quipped back at you in what I thought was a humorous manner
because I felt rejected and unloved by you
I certainly did not realise that I was using sarcasm
until someone pointed that out to me and then
I understood why you answered in an equally sarcastic way
I guess I would do better to say to you in future
“I am disappointed that you cannot join me today, better luck next time”
rather than carrying on the way I have done, to ease my hurt
this awareness now makes me feel empowered!


Some of the most misunderstood states are surrender, defencelessness and admitting powerlessness over a compulsion (addiction). These states are the vital steps to reaching heights of personal enlightenment. In achieving such states we gain the fulfilment we crave, giving us the serenity to deal with internal and external conflicts.

Surrender means accepting that I am who I am and
need not fight to control challenging behaviour
instead I get smart about how to handle the situation!
defencelessness similarly means I am prepared to
be open to seeing things in a different perspective and
does not mean I have to abandon myself but rather
negotiate for meeting my needs!
admitting powerlessness over my compulsion to do
self sabotaging actions gives me
the ability to hand over my will to experienced others so
that I find recovery and serenity!

And above all friendship

In a loving relationship there are several important elements that maintain its existence. These elements are passion, honesty, respect, communication, security, and above all friendship. Because familiarity breeds contempt, before we respond to our lover or family member we need to get the same attitude we have when we are communicating with a friend. Even when we don’t agree with a friend’s thoughts or behaviour we use our best interpersonal skills trying to resolve the conflict harmoniously. When we clash with a lover or family member, it helps to remember that and do the same.

you are my true love yet there are times that I loathe how
your behaviour annoys me to desperation
and in such cases, sadly, I either fight with you or run away within
holding a visible grudge
if only I could harness the anger and send it
to a more positive place so that it gives me
more passion to achieve my dreams
especially in harmony with you
I certainly stay patient in friendship
otherwise I wouldn’t have friends!
I don’t want to lose you
and we love each other deeply
so, let’s work it out

Affirmations – self hypnosis

When we need to change our own behaviour, to undo negative learning patterns, the most effective way to do it is by affirmations – self hypnosis. Repeating positive messages reprograms the negative tapes which compel us to behave in a certain way.

Affirmations are really another way of carrying out self hypnosis
in other words, repeating over and over the positive message
we wish to achieve in our behaviour
I can do it, I can do it, I can do it!
means I begin to feel as though I truly can
for some the same happens when praying
both methods involve positive repetitive messages
with a lot of faith thrown in

Exercise is vital

Some of us find it anxiety provoking to consider any form of exercise and studies have confirmed that such people are those who are overweight, whether it is hormonal or psychological it matters not. Studies have also proven that sick people have improved with exercise. So exercise is vital for healthy living and can become a positive addiction when we persist.

when we want to be healthy and fit
exercise is vital
it can be walking, dancing, swimming
to name a few, all useful
and need not be daunting nor bewildering
studies have shown that people with illnesses
such as diabetes and heart problems have
shown remarkable improvement with exercise
tomorrow I will start with a little till it becomes a habit
and then I will not be able to do without it