Category Archives: kids

How to Create More Mind-Blowing Moments and Memories

A great article…..

How to Create More Mind-Blowing Moments and Memories

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Kids: Strategies and Ideas to move them?

AE5 AE4 AE3 AE2 AE1 AE6 A smile What do you say to your children? What self-talk do you use that they observe?

What kind of example do you set for your children? What other reminders, helpful hints, tools, strategies can you provide for your children?

These are just some questions I’ve been asking myself in recent years. My daughters were just 6 and 7 years old yesterday (or so it seemed), now they are 12 and 13. They still think that I am funny and semi-cool but I can tell that may be fading.

So how do I use this time to help them learn, experience, and integrate some good strategies and tools for life? How do I help them be more independent? How do I help them be better people?

I was at a client’s conference room a few years ago. Around the top of the wall, almost like a decorative border all around the room, they had all sorts of positive sayings. Some were about serving their clients, some were about personal success, some were about life. That was one of my actions – to put things around my daughters’s rooms, bathroom, etc. so maybe they’ll see it, think about it, etc. Likewise I would try to talk about it and discuss it with them so they integrate some of it.

These photos that you see here are many of them. We try to change them to keep it fresh. You can see that the girls made many of them (suggested). Look at the large mirror – my oldest daughter decided to write a bunch of inspiration quotes on the mirror all on her own. One day I walked in the bathroom and saw writing. I thought it was dribble about OneDirection or something and then I saw what she wrote. Inspirational and motivational stuff.

Some was from what we discussed, other items she found/learned on her own. I was deeply moved.

What are some ideas that you can share/suggest for helping our kids be a step ahead on ‘life strategies’, wise ideas, and inspirational thoughts?

The 2 pound dog with really big angel wings

Besides onewebstrategy.com, this blog, I also sometimes write – or have my daughters contribute to, another blog about our dog (http://yorkiebichon.wordpress.com/) – it was originally created to be a fun, upbeat, simple little blog about how little things can make a big difference. It was created to entertain, enlighten and help us all remember the importance of laughter, family, friends, and fun. It was something that my daughters could read, that they could write about and contribute to, and they could have a little fun with – and I could have a little fun with… This blog posting is a little bit of a downer, sorry, but needs to be said…..

Hi, this is Daisy’s male human. I am the only male human in her home. Daisy and I wrestle and play more than the others at home.

Heck, I’m a Forty-something male, married with children, and here I am writing about a 2 pound dog named Daisy. Real manly. Are you serious? Yep.

If you have followed the blog for a while, or read the ABOUT page, you’ll know that the blog is based on how (and I realize that it may sound silly) Daisy made a big difference in my family’s life, in my life, during a tough year. Like many Americans, I became unemployed for the first time ever in 2009. I was making some nice money and it went away. Then my wife’s sweet grandmother passed away. Then my dad passed away. 5 weeks later my mother passed away. We lost my wife’s uncle and her other grandmother that year too. We bought Daisy that summer. A little, feisty, fun Yorkie-Bichon.

Daisy brought the family some much needed joy, fun, and distraction that year, and continued to do so.

She often wanted to play, and for 2 pounds, she got into it. Like many dogs, she would always greet you with all sorts of enthusiasm when you came home. She did silly things that made us laugh. She would offer a lick almost anytime you wanted it. More that anything, she loved to cuddle. Being only 2 pounds, should could cuddle in an armpit, on your lap, in one arm, on your shoulder (like a parrot?), and other small places. She had spunk. She always thought that she could jump up anywhere, and would try and try. I think that she believed she could do anything – or that she was bigger and badder than she really was.

One thing that she did for me, and I hardly told anyone, was kinda sweet. I was really depressed one day. I was thinking about the loss of my parents, my unemployment, and my responsibilities as a husband and dad. A tear came down my cheek. Daisy was across the room in her bed but suddenly came running over, jumped up on the couch, and up to my face, and licked the tear off, wagging her tail, and then licking me all over. This happened another tough day too when she was in a completely different room. Somehow she must have sensed it or whatever. She came running in and cheered me up.

She cheered us all up that year, and ever since. In some ways, Daisy represents recovery and renewal for us. She helped us remember that life goes on. Through her unconditional love, we were reminded how we share that love with one another; our family and our friends. We admired her style, her spunk and her enthusiasm – she had a big heart for a little dog. Most dogs help us to be more aware and ‘in the moment’ – to enjoy the present.

We remembered that sometimes the most important thing is a roof over your head, a nice warm bed, food, and people that love you. Those fancy toys don’t really mean that much…..

As you may have noticed, I am speaking of Daisy in the past tense.

This week, Daisy awoke one morning, energetic, wagging her tail, licking us, and full of excitement as usual. Later in the day she became lethargic and slowly went down hill. One Wednesday, Daisy, approx. 2 pounds and 3 years old passed away peacefully.

My first thought was that we, as a family, (or me) still need Daisy to cheer us up….that we still needed her excitement in the morning and when we got home…her presence around the house, in our arms and on our laps.

Then I immediately felt something else. Daisy came to us when we needed cheering up. She did a great job and showed lots of love to the family. We laughed a lot because of her entertainment. Now Daisy is gone and I feel like maybe someone or something is telling us we don’t need her anymore, that we’re ok on our own now – and maybe some other family needs Daisy to cheer them up. Maybe she’s with them now. I may sound weird to some but her passing helped me finally conclude my grief for the sudden loss of both of my parents years ago.

I never thought I’d write a blog about a dog when I was over 40. It sounds kind of silly, actually. Then again, I am consistently, pleasantly surprised by people, life, the universe and all things that come my way lately. I think this blog is not really about just a dog, its about the love and laughter of a family, the playfulness and fund we find in life, of our hopes and happiness –  our pets can represent that sometimes. We personalize them and sometimes ‘impose’ human traits that really aren’t there sure. I am grateful for all of the people in my life. I am grateful for Daisy and all of the pets I’ve had through life.

UPDATE: I posted the above about one day after Daisy passed. In that short of time, we have received some much support from friends, and even some strangers. We received 2 handmade posters, multiple cards from our friends and from classmates of both daughters, our daughters received so much support from their school, we all received supportive texts and Skypes, my wife received many supportive Facebook messages, and people gave us brownies, chocolates, scones and a potted Gerber Daisy plant. School teachers gave hugs. The world is pretty cool. There are some really nice people out there. We have some really great friends. Thanks for all of the nice thoughts. Right back at ya!

Cabinet doors and piles of paper…

Cabinet doors and piles of paper…

I realize it seems like a strange title. Bear with me.

I helped moved, or I actually did move my parents three times throughout my life.

We moved from Pittsburgh to Ligonier when I was 9. Even though I was only 9, trust me, they worked me. Then years after I moved out and my wife and I were married, my parents downsized from the Ligonier house to their final Latrobe home (not far from Arnold Palmer himself). I helped them move from Ligonier to Latrobe. If you read my posts, you may recall that my parents both passed away in 2009. With the help of my one sister, I again “moved” my parents things one final time. In some cases we took the items, we gave to others, we sold at auction, and we put in a dumpster. It was sad, tough, draining, yet there were things I found, things I read and experiences I had going through their possessions for which I am grateful. My parents saved lots of my cards, my dad saved so many things from my career and notes about my accomplishments.

I digress. Years and years ago my father was a cabinet maker. He started small in a chicken coop as a one man gang. He grew and grew it until he had about 30 employees. At 45 years old, he had his first heart attack and soon sold that business and became an independent sales rep in the kitchen cabinet industry. He sold to other cabinet shops and kitchen dealers.

Well, as you can imagine, after having a large cabinet manufacturing business for years, after being a cabinet door and component rep for years, one does collect a lot of cabinet doors and parts. In our double car garage there were shelves, bags, suitcases, and piles of cabinet doors , front frames, plywood sides, and all sorts of parts. We had a metal pole building (like a barn) and at least half of it was filled with even more! There were cherry doors with stain, maple with paint, oak unfinished, and all other combinations. There were metal bread boxes that he bought in bulk and didn’t sell. There were bundles of mismatched, incorrect wooden spindle rail that some supplier paid him in lieu of the commission he owed to my father (for years he tried to sell pieces to recover some of the funds but couldn’t). There were laminated Formica doors from the 1970’s, cheap plywood doors for the projects, and fancy handmade custom walnut doors. In many cases there were just one or two doors of each. Sometimes there was a whole set (kitchen) of the doors.

Let me make a claim; my father didn’t throw anything away! He was born during the Depression and started from nothing and made something, something great. He accumulated possessions, shall we say?

I can tell you that the doors and parts that were moved from Pittsburgh to Ligonier were definitely still there when I cleaned out the home in Latrobe years later. And yes, he added more and more new ones! There were long, heavy, dusty, mouse-infested tubes of mold-covered plastic track. There were piles and piles of moldings that went out of style in 1979. There were countless damaged pieces, warped doors, water-stained parts that were beyond repair.

Why did he keep all of these parts? Part of me still gets sad talking about it even years later. He kept these parts in hopes that, when he retired, he could build things for he and my mother, for his kids, for his grandkids, for the church, for friends, etc. etc. Through the years I recall him holding up a specific piece or pointing at a pile of items and describing how he intended to make a table, a dresser, or a desk for someone.

Don’t get me wrong, he did build things for people. He made me a printer stand, computer desk, a workbench and I know he made things for church, for friends, and for his toughest customer, my mom.He helped build things for the church, helped with the kitchen renovation there too.

But, when he passed, he had years and years of pieces left. I recall standing in there barn, looking at the piles of things left behind, being overwhelmed by the work ahead, overwhelmed by the feelings of loss, and suddenly realizing that my dad will never be able to build all of those pieces for his loved ones. In that sad state I thought of it as some kind of ‘barn of broken dreams’. We had 4 of those large, full sized dumpsters filled and removed.

Throwing out most of the pieces was so difficult for me in many ways. Like my dad, I don’t like to throw away anything but I knew I had to get rid of some things. There was a sentimental nature to each item. There was the sadness, emptiness, and loss tied to the action. There was the feeling that my dad didn’t fulfill his dream of using up all of these potential gifts. He enjoyed making the gifts, giving them and seeing people enjoy the pieces. I felt that he would never be able to see that joy and I felt bad.

Over time, my state of mind improved and I reconciled the items left behind. Like anything, when I calmed down a bit, I was able to see in my mind all the things that my dad was able to accomplish and that these additional pieces would have been ‘bonus’ pieces for his life. I truly believe that.

So what’s the title about – piles of paper? My home office is sometimes messy. I have piles that are organized on my desks but they don’t look neat. From time to time I go in and clean it up, purge extra stuff, and I organize it.

The other day I walked in my office and was going through some piles of information, articles, books, CDs. I was aware of my own thinking at that moment and noticed that, over years and years, I had been collecting these articles, books, CDs, and other information so that ‘some day’ I would start to write a novel, a non-fiction book, a blog, articles, and other products to share with friends and maybe with the world. I was collecting all this ‘good stuff’ so that I could creatively do my thing to it and share with the masses. Sound familiar?

It struck me that, like other instances, I was just like my father here – but instead of cabinet doors and parts waiting for stain and assembly, my piles of information were sitting there waiting for my creative input, processing and articulation.

After a breather, after a bit of a shock, I knew that I had to take action today. I had to start a book, blog, anything. It didn’t have to be perfect. But it had to be. This blog that you’re reading is not the first attempt or iteration. So far I believe that it is the best one I’ve produced and I hope you can gain value from it.

I guess I just want to use up those piles of information sooner rather than later so I can see others benefit. Maybe my father was sent to teach me that lesson. Regardless why or how, it was something valuable for me to realize.

Here’s to hoping that you start using up your cabinet doors. You have a dream, a talent, information, gifts, or something that you want to do, right? Don’t let your children uncover it after you’re gone. I heard Wayne Dyer say once, “Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul.”

Show your kids and others around you that you value your talents and that you want to contribute to the world. Set an example for others. Be brave. It will never be perfect. Just go ahead. Just do it. Be yourself.

9 Things You Should Never Tell Your Kids

Here are some good reminders for us parents…most are obvious or should be. Some seem obvious but many can benefit.

Good to refresh though…

FROM: 9 Things You Should Never Tell Your Kids By Woman’s Day

I know you can try harder. Frustrated by a daughter who you know is capable of much more in school, sports, music, etc.? Any comment that makes it seem as though you’re not satisfied with her efforts can not only be discouraging to your child, but can also do the opposite of motivating her to try harder, says Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time… If your “try harder” has to do with tasks or chores, then be clear about what you expect: “When you have your room cleaned up, then you can go out and play.”

You always… or You never… “At the heart of these statements are labels that can stick for life,” says Jenn Berman, Ph.D. and author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids. “Telling your child that he ‘always’ forgets to call makes him more likely to be the kid who, you guessed it, never calls.” Instead, ask your child how you can help him or her change: “I notice you seem to have trouble remembering to bring home your textbooks. What can we do to try to help?

Because I said so! This phrase puts all the control in your hands, and dismisses your child’s growing sense of autonomy and ability to figure things out, says Berman. It also leaves out a potential teaching moment. Let’s say your kids don’t want to visit their aging great-aunt on a sunny day when they’d rather play. Instead of “Because I said so” try, “I know you’d rather ride your bike, but Aunt Clara really loves seeing you, and we try our best to honor our family.”

I told you waiting until the last minute was a mistake! You’ve repeatedly told your son that if he played video games all afternoon, then he’d have less time to study for the math test. And guess what? Unprepared, he didn’t do well on the exam. But saying “I told you so” tells your child that you’re always right and that, by contrast, he’s wrong, says McCready. Instead, point out positive outcomes when he follows through, says McCready. If he cleans his room when asked, say, “Isn’t it easier to find all your stuff when your room’s tidy?” This puts the control and the credit with him.

You’re the best at soccer! “Say you always tell your child how smart she is. She may, over time, become scared of trying new things or more challenging work, for fear she won’t be ‘smart’ anymore if she gets a B instead of an A,” says McCready. It can also backfire if your child is struggling with work and you say, “But you’re so smart!” She may only feel worse for not living up to the label you’ve given her. Focus instead on her hard work: “You show up to every practice and try your best” or “What a fantastic job you did on this science project!”

Don’t worry—the first day of school will be fine. What’s wrong with trying to soothe an anxious kid out of worry? “If you tell your child not to worry, then you’re dismissing her feelings,” says Berman. “So now she’s still worried about the first day of school, and she’s worried that she’s worried, or that you’re upset over her worry.” Same goes for “Don’t cry” and “Don’t be angry.” Instead, say, “I can see you’re worried. Can you tell me what you’re most concerned about, so we can talk about it?”

I wish you didn’t hang out with Jack; I don’t like that kid. Yeah, a lot of parents don’t like “that kid,” for whatever reason, but “the moment you tell your child that ‘that kid’ is not your favorite, he becomes more appealing,” says Berman. Keep the lines of communication open between you two to hopefully spark discussion about values, right and wrong, and so on. “Ask your child some open-ended questions,” says Berman. “Such as, ‘What do you like about hanging out with Jack?’ ‘What do you guys do?'”

That’s not how you do it! Here, let me. You asked your child to help you with a task—but then she does a not-so-great job. It can be tough to hold yourself back from just jumping in and taking the task back, “but that’s a mistake, because then she never learns how, and is less likely to try anything else you ask down the line,” says Berman. If you must, then you can step in—but in a collaborative rather than dismissive way: “Here, let me show you a neat trick my mom taught me about folding towels!” Let the child do it!

Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother? Siblings and rivalry go hand in hand—and anything you say that sets up comparisons only fuels that natural flame, says McCready. “Comparisons slot siblings into categories—the smart one, the athlete—and discourage kids from trying the thing their sibling is ‘good’ at.” Try instead to encourage each child in whatever pursuits are “his” or “hers,” while avoiding comparisons.

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