We believe as a child grows, the way they view themselves and the ones around them, have a huge impact for growth and self-development.  Harry Pierre & PeTunia encourages children not only to believe in the power of the imagination, but also encourages them to believe in themselves.

All parents know that some children can be malicious in their manners and respect towards other children.  When your child is sad as they arrive home from school because another child called them a name, or ostracized them for the way unique ways – it breaks not only their heart, but yours as well.  Because you are not always going to able to fight their battles for them, nor should you, you have to shift gears and build-up that self-esteem!

Quotes Geena

Learn certain phrases, quotes and short inspirational stories to share with you children, never forgetting that what quotes may work for one child, may not work for the other.  We have to remember as parents, we are our children’s first teachers.  They look at us to learn, so we all must watch what we’re saying and how we’re saying it.  And that is not always easy!

My oldest daughter was such a serious child.  She spoke early, was very aware of feelings earlier, she just understood her surroundings and people earlier than average.  This left her being, at times, a very intense little girl.  So, to relax her before dropping her off for school from Preschool through First Grade, I would have to turn on some upbeat, happy music right before leaving for school, and dance with her.  Most days she just stood there and watched me dance, but either way, she usually smiled.  Today, she is a relaxed, carefree, artistic young lady with a great sense of humor.  Of course, I say it was the dancing that helped!

In my opinion, feeling sad is just as important as feeling happy.  We don’t want to stay sad, but at times it helps children appreciate and understand that they are responsible for changing their attitudes to have a great day. It encourages them to differentiate between good and bad – and to feel gratitude when having a super day.

Here are a few things to say to your child, even if you do not feel them yourself:

  • “Today is going to be a great day!”
  • “I feel fabulous!”
  • “Let’s dance and wash away the frowns!”
  • “Oh, it’s raining today – well, that means tomorrow we will love and appreciate the sunny day even more!”
  • “Oh, he/she wasn’t nice to you today? I’m sorry.  What are we going to say to ourselves right now, that will make US happy?”

After a child slips out of that ‘sad zone’ it seems easier to talk to them to find out what happened and figure out solutions that may help.

As Geena Puddlesworth, Harry Pierre & PeTunia’s human sister says, encourage children to appreciate and love themselves, just the way they are!  You never know, you may end up loving yourself a little more on this parenting journey, too!

–Debbie Caldwell

DATE NIGHT… WITH YOUR CHILD? spending quality one-on-one time with your child

Fsun smallor most families, the hours slip by so fast during the week before you’ve had the chance to ask yourself, “How many one-on-one, face-to-face, hours did I spend with my children this week?”

Life can be hectic, whether you are a working parent – in or out of the home – or a domestic-engineer, aka a stay-at-home-parent.  The biggest misconception of all is when others hear that you are a stay-at-home-parent which means in their eyes that you have all the leisure time in the world.  If you have been a stay-at-home-parent then you know, that’s just not true.

I came up with the idea for “Date Night” with our two daughters when they were quite young, after I realized that my husband was not quite spending enough one-on-one ALONE time with them.  I had the opportunity to spend hours with them every day, but he did not, and even though he did not, that did not mean he “should not.”

It did not take long to realize as well, that our daughters would open up and talk more when we were “outside.” Regardless if it was in the backyard having a picnic, at the park, the lake – they were twice as chatty about sharing when we were outdoors compared to indoors.  I noticed the same openness when we were sitting at the dinner table, or at a restaurant table.

So the answer was simple – we would start having regular Date-Nights with them.  He would take one daughter, I would take the other, and we would go out on a date and the daughters could choose wherever they wanted to go.  Maybe it was just for a long drive, a walk around a lake, dinner and walking around the mall, or walking around the bookstore and then hot cocoa.  Because I spent so much time with them I flattered myself in thinking it would not make a big difference – what else could they possibly tell me that they had not told me throughout our day?  I thought I was hearing it all from teachers to playmates – boy, was I wrong! They would share even more information with me on our Date Nights!   

Looking back, I believe, regardless of them having many choices at home, the success of it was letting them choose where they wanted to go, and, them knowing they had our undivided attention.  They seemed to love it and look forward to doing it, whether it was weekly or monthly.

Having the ability to mold and shape another human being is both frightening and exhilarating I say, buckle your seat belts, you’re in for a great ride! It may be bumpy at times, but overall, find what works for your family, use your imagination, and then stand back and smile at the rewards of them growing into healthy and happy, kind and compassionate, young adults.

Please share your family time ideas, and if you’re not a parent, we would still like to hear what ideas your parents had for their children!

–Debbie Caldwell