Wednesday, February 19, 2014
"Responsible people accept control over their own emotions, and thus their happiness. They choose positive attitudes like cheerfulness, enthusiasm and generosity. ...everyone has the power to choose between positive and negative attitudes and to make positive and negative choices. ...Bad things do happen, but the happiest and most successful people in life learn to put tragedies, failures and hurt feelings behind them." www.parenting.org RESPONSIBILITY Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV. Boys Town Press.
Bethany Hamilton is a successful person, despite the tragedies, failures and hurts she has encountered in her life. You may like to read her autobiography or watch the movie of her story - "Soul Surfer".
The quote above is part of an article that presents 12 points children need to be taught by parents so they will become responsible individuals. Here is another excerpt from the introduction.
"One of the most important character traits a parent can install in his or her child is responsibility. Responsibility is marked by how well we make choices in life and how we deal with the results. Responsible people purposefully choose their attitudes, words and actions, and accept responsibility for the consequences of their choices. Responsibility is a complex virtue, requiring much time, patience and practice to acquire. ...responsibility is a key element in leading a happy and productive adult life..."
One of the 12 concepts Parenting.org presents in their article is CHOOSING POSITIVE ATTITUDES. They give several great bullet points, three of which I want to elaborate on.
1. FEELINGS FUEL ATTITUDES ~
I know this to be true. Days when I feel strong, courageous and loving, I am forgiving, kind and generous in my thoughts and attitude to awkward, unfair and difficult situations. Days when I am fearful, anxious, panicky or full of sorrow, leave me with very different attitudes when living in difficulties. My feelings drive my attitude.
Children are even more ruled by their feelings because of their immaturity.
2. CHOOSING TO CHANGE OUR PERSPECTIVE ~
Immediately an unexpected trouble occurs we naturally respond by getting angry, feeling sad or thinking everything is hopeless. But after some space or time to think things through, we can choose to change our perspective or attitude. Some people call this process reflection or contemplating the situation.
Even children can learn this process, and they depend on parents to show them, lead and teach them how this is done.
Charlotte Mason in here book Home Education, says, "The child is born doubtless, with the tendencies which should shape their future; but every tendency has its branch roads, its good and evil outcome; and to put the child on the right track for the fulfilment of the possibilities inherent in him, is the vocation of the parent." p.109.
Or again, "Let her (meaning the parent) change the child's thoughts before even the bad temper has had time to develop into conscious feelings, much less act: take them out of doors, send them to fetch or carry, tell them or show them something interesting, - in a word, give them something else to think about; but all in a natural way, and without letting the child perceive that they are being treated..." p.167.
3. NEGATIVE ATTITUDES AFFECT OUR PERCEPTION OF FACTS AND OTHERS' INTENTIONS ~
Suspicion, mistrust, one's condescending view of others, one's low view of self, fear or anxiety, can all affect the receiving of facts or the study of others' intentions and motives, resulting in a faulty and inaccurate evaluation of a situation. This is a profound point. So many people are living inconsequential or stalled lives simply because their evaluations of life happenings around them, is faulty due to their negative attitudes. This is not a criticism.
* the young professional man who won't allow his workmate to get too close, fearing that it may jeopardise his future career.
* the teenage girl who dropped out of school and won't apply for any job because she's convinced she would be turned down.
* the office worker who won't accept the help of a colleague, believing they only want to out-do them and show them to be incompetent.
* the man who always proudly talks up the achievements of his own children, believes the neighbour's son has pulled strings to be awarded Master Chief New Zealand.
* the woman who permanently lives in dishevelment in all areas of her life, thinking she can't get organised as she wouldn't be able to maintain that orderliness afterwards.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ "... and in the early days, when a child's face is an open book to their parents, the habit of sweet thoughts must be kept up, and every selfish, resentful, unamiable movement of children's minds observed in the countenance must be changed before consciousness sets in." Charlotte Mason School Education. p.136.
AGAIN THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO TALK ABOUT HERE - THIS IS WHY I AM WORKING ON SETTING UP MY BUSINESS TO MEET PARENTS ONE-ON-ONE AND DISCUSS ISSUES SO THEY HAVE A PLAN TO WORK WITH IN THEIR FAMILY.
Monday, February 10, 2014
nhsstaywell.org"Having trouble sleeping? Check for a glow, inches from the pillow.
Using a smartphone, tablet or laptop at bedtime may be staving off sleep, according to Harvard Medical School scientists, who have found specific wavelengths of light can suppress the slumber-inducing hormone melatonin in the brain.
... The Australian New Zealand Journal of Public Health says roughly one in four Kiwis suffer from a chronic sleep problem leading to compromised alertness, reaction time, efficiency, productivity and mood, according to Australia's Sleep Health Foundation.
...'Sleep is in a battle for our time with work life, social life and family life,' said sleep specialist David Hillman, who is chairman of the Sleep Health Foundation. 'For a lot of us, it comes a poor fourth in that battle.'"
JASON GALE : TECH IN BED? YOU'LL NEVER DROP OFFLINE. Gadgets and gizmos ruin any chance of a good night's rest. Sunday Star Times. Focus Health. February 2. 2014. p. A12.
The 4am phone call from India this morning in our house, was a sleep waker for me. I verbally fumbled through a brisk conversation with the heavily accented man, telling him that we were all asleep and he needed to phone back in four hours. This happens at times at our place. Even though I then went to the toilet and had a sip of water before I climbed back into bed, it still took ages to drift off again. When my phone alarm went off two hours later I woke with the affects of an interrupted night's sleep. But Jason Gale's article suggests that it is not phone calls alone that destroy the possibility of a 'good night's sleep'!
We all know that parents need sufficient sleep to be able to think straight, make well informed decisions, be positive role models, love and care for their family and be the type of parent they wish to be.
We all know that parents are time-poor people and that the last paragraph in the quote above is completely true.
What we don't know, is how to prevent becoming mummies who have lost their memory or zombie-faced fathers, because we have few ideas about what needs to change in our lives in the sleep department.
In this post I want to firstly list some effects of sleep deprivation, and secondly comment on some habits, that if changed, could assist parents to get the sleep they need and become better people in innumerable ways. Jason Gale's terrific article fuelled virtually all that follows.
SOME EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION ~
LESS SLEEP = insufficient time for our body to daily rest and recover.
= "compromised alertness"
= "compromised reaction time"
= "compromised efficiency"
= "compromised productivity"
= "compromised mood"
= increased likelihood of accidents and injuries.
= "association with obesity"
= "association with diabetes"
= "association with heart disease"
= "association with cancer"
SOME HABITS, THAT IF CHANGED, COULD ASSIST PARENTS TO GET THE SLEEP THEY NEED ~
+ Don't use a computer, laptop or tablet in the hour leading up to going to sleep - PROOF SOURCE - The United States National Sleep Foundation's, International Bedroom Poll 2013.
+ Don't watch television the hour before going to sleep - PROOF SOURCE - The United States National Sleep Foundation's, International Bedroom Poll 2013.
+ Don't have a computer, laptop, tablet or television in the bedroom - PROOF SOURCE - Sleep researcher, Sarah Loughran, University of Woolongong, Australia.
+ Don't look at phone screens or artificial light late at night - PROOF SOURCE - Charles Czeisler, Professor of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School.
+ Don't choose LED lighting at home, rather use "yellow-based lighting in the evening" - PROOF SOURCE - Charles Czeisler, Professor of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School.
+ Don't just turn off house lights all at once at the end of the night, rather "gradually lower" or dim them. - PROOF SOURCE - Charles Czeisler, Professor of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School.
+ If computers MUST be used at night, reduce "the screen's blue wavelength light." - PROOF SOURCE - Charles Czeisler, Professor of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School. You can download Michael Herf's free software program, "f.lux", which "automatically alters the intensity and spectrum of light emitted by the display according to the time of day."
Dr Charles Czeisler of the Harvard Medical School has been involved in sleep research for over 40 years and "has written about 200 scientific papers and review articles on the subject.", so he is worth listening to.
Maybe it is worth digging out the old alarm clock once again, for the purpose of getting a good night's sleep and waking up on time.
PS. On another subject - for those who knew we were away travelling in Italy, we had a GREAT time! So many beautiful places, surprising conversations, a mind-full of memories, and a lot of photos to deal with now. But it is very good to be home.