Holiday Family Survival 101

photo above courtesy of bing

Okay, so Christmas is a little over a week away and I’m sure if you’re like me and millions of other people, you’re going to be getting your bags packed to travel to the parents and/or in-laws house and depending on your relationship with either – it could be a dreaded day of pretending to like the current situation but in your mind, you’re on some deserted island with a margarita, a TV and your feet up (or maybe that’s my wish..lol), but anyways wherever your mind is taking you, I know it’s far far far away from where you want to be.

And, I get it because all families aren’t created equal, however it’s the holidays and you have to deal with the shenanigans and get through it especially when you have nosy or “busy” I guess I should say, family members whom ask you the same ole questions every year such as “So when are you going to get married?” or “When are you going to settle down?” or how about this one “So what happened to your last relationship?” andddddd…..”When are you going to get a real job, why did you quit the last one?” “You know you’re getting older right, so when are you going to give me a grand-baby” and the list of questions go on and on and on and on and on and, well you get my drift.

So, while I can’t provide you a magic wand ….magic-wandto make you disappear when that annoying uncle comes to you with another sob story of why he wants to borrow money, knowing good and well he’s not EVER going to pay you back…I provided a couple of tips that hopefully will help you sail through the day until you get back to your “normal” life.

1. Get Those Positive Vibes Cooking Before You Head Out!

You know the environments we encounter can really be changed, if we change our outlook on the environment. When you have what I call “stinking thinking” it causes everything around you to stink! Suddenly, instead of looking at the situation with a positive view, the only thing we allow ourselves to see is the negativity of everything and soon everything everyone does begins to get on your nerves and while the situation may not be the best one, we can only control our actions within it; for our actions are the only ones we have control over. If you change your outlook, you just may see things differently than what you’ve seen before.

2. Don’t Be Rude

Yes, I know you’re saying “That’s easier said than done” and while I truly understand; you have to understand that people will be people (family or not) and you have to take them with a grain of salt, It’s nothing wrong with speaking and holding a light conversation, if you have busy bodies for family members (as we all do) and if a conversation turns south or makes you feel uncomfortable, just let them know “Hey, you know what?, I’d rather not talk about that right now but what I do want to talk about is Aunt Rubies sweet potato pie, she put her foot in that pie” this way you’ve dodged them getting into your business and turned the conversation onto something else. Hey, they may be family but your life is your life and no one needs access to that unless you give them a ticket to sit in the front row of it.

3. Be A Team Player

Ever heard the saying “There’s no “I” in T.E.A.M” well that statement is very true, if your family is anything like mine, usually (it hasn’t always been) but it’s the time of year where people put old feelings to the back-burner for the day and everyone “pretends” to get along so well. Whether it’s just a show or not, take glory in the fact that for one day your family is actually deciding to get along. Join in on the conversations, games, laughs or whatever is going on – don’t just sit on the couch with your mouth poked out looking at people as if to say “If you say one word to me, I’m going to go off” Remember, someone out there wishes they had a family and our minor situations could always be worse off than what it really is. Enjoy your family for this special time, because we never know whom will or won’t be with us the following year. Life is short, enjoy the small moments even if they are only for a second….

4. Shift your Focus

It’s so easy to recognize the faults in people, we can pick those characteristics out like popcorn but when it comes to seeing a positive attribute, we struggle because in our minds we only want to see the worse. Each of our family members, including us are not perfect – someone may have said something to you that really scarred you, so much so until you don’t think you can forgive them. We’ve all suffered “family scars and hurt” unfortunately it’s more common than need be. My family is dysfunctional, they all have issues and I’ve had times in which I’ve said “They’re Crazy, I ain’t got time for that” and have distanced myself from them and while that little grudge lasted a little while, if they were to call me now, I would talk to them as if nothing happened. Every one of us have a little crazy in us, but someone still puts up with us regardless; someone took a chance on us, knowing we weren’t lovable or easy to get along with. Your family members may not be perfect but each of them have a special quality about them, choose to find and see that quality in them, instead of the worse side of them.

This will personally be my last blog post until January 2018. I pray your holiday season is filled with love, joy, happiness and PEACE!  Spend time with your family, you never know how special they are until you lose them.

Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas & a Very Happy, Prosperous New Year!

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Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Until Next Year!

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire More & Love Harder!

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How We Can Instill An Attitude of Gratitude In Our Children

Stop Sign Hold On a Minute

Okay, so before you give me a “You don’t tell me what to do with my kids look” – I just want to say, HOLD UP! this post is not about how you should raise your kids. That’s totally your business and your prerogative however; this post is about my experience or should I say “on-going” experience with making sure I instill this in my own children, which has it’s many ups, downs, curve-balls and catch 22 throws – given the day.

So, if you’re struggling with getting your kids to appreciate what they have already as opposed to having their hands out waiting on every new gadget that comes out on the market, then maybe some of the tips I have will help – then again, you may have some pointers that can help me out, so please feel free to leave any helpful tips in the comment section, they will be greatly appreciated –

When I had my kids or I guess I should say “before” I had my two kids, my goal was to give them everything in the world, including the things that I felt like my own mom couldn’t afford to give me – I was determined, when I grew up,  I was going to make sure I made up for my loss through my kids. Let me just say, that was a fantasy world filled with rainbows and unicorns that never came to fruition because “after” I had my kids, reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t count on going through a divorce, foreclosure, repossessions, dead-end jobs that didn’t pay enough money, let alone having to raise them all alone. So the glitz and glamour life I dreamed of for them soon became a fire that seemed to never go out.

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My mom used to always tell us growing up, “If you appreciate what you have now, God will bless you to what you want later.” that talk usually came during the time when we had to eat brown beans and cornbread for 3 or 4 days in a row. As a child, I didn’t understand why we didn’t have what other kids had or why we always had to get our clothes from the thrift store and when mama worked in the cafeteria at a local high school, why did the leftovers that nobody touched or wanted had to be our dinner for the night. While I didn’t understand those times and hardships or why mama worked so hard to seemingly bring home nothing in terms of money, she was so right “God definitely did bless us to get what we wanted to eat, when those food stamps came the following week…lol

We learned to be grateful for little and when we received a lot – we knew how to handle it. Now that I’m older with children of my own – although the jobs offer more and we have a little more than back then – the principal of “being grateful” still exists. But when you live in a world where everyone wants “MORE” it can be a strain sometimes on a parent to fulfill that thirst with our own kids; especially when they’re coming out with a new phone every two months or new sneakers every single day and when your kids see that?, the only thing they know is “They want It” and as a parent, we try our best to make sure they get it – but is that really good behavior? I mean, what are we telling them, that life works that way? You see it, You want it, and it will be given to you?

UNFORTUNATELY – NOT IN THIS LIFE!!!

Listed below are a couple of things that I do to get my kids to be more grateful or appreciative of what they have.

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photo courtesy of bing

Let them Know Life Requires Work

As a Mom I have to remind my kids that if they want anything in life, they have to work for it and that doesn’t mean when they get in their 20’s, No – the act of working for what you want starts now! If I let them get away with not doing the dishes but still reward them anyway, then that’s setting them up for failure because they’ll get older and think that life is supposed to work that way and unfortunately it doesn’t.

Saying No, Will Not Hurt Their Feelings in the Future!

Okay, I admit – I hate saying No to my kids but at the same time, I can’t always say yes either because they’re not going to always receive a YES in life, I wish that were true but again, unfortunately it’s not. Saying No to your child now teaches them early about disappointment. As parents we have to teach them how to deal with disappointment when they get a NO because their attitude will determine what the outcome will be.

Give Them Real Talk About Your Situation

I know most parents hate telling their children when they have hit hard times or maybe dad or mom just got laid off of work in which will bring major changes to the household. But I say, talk to your kids about what’s going on – (Use your discretion) but I feel like when things are hidden its a setup for disappointment, anger and resentment – now while you still may get that type of behavior once you reveal your truth, at least they know what’s going on – and then again, you just may be surprised at how they respond or take it. I talk to my children about our hardships and I have been very surprised at how they handled it and what suggestions they have come up with to help out.

Teach Them To Be More Givers instead of Receivers

We live in a world where children no longer want or feel as though they have to work for anything, as parents, they feel as though we’re made of money. An ATM in which they can come, push a button and get what they want – but not so! The act of giving more than receiving has to be taught to them, as it’s not something that they will grab a hold of themselves – it has to be shown through you. My mother was a huge giver of her money, time and resources and because of seeing her be that type of person my whole life, it stuck with me and it’s something that I try to teach my kids to do and that’s to be selfless.

Unfortunate Situations – Show Them, Don’t Tell Them

Another great lesson in which I ‘m trying to instill in my kids is that everyone is not as fortunate as them. My daughter complained one night because she had to eat green beans with her dinner and because she didn’t want to do it, she decided that she wasn’t going to eat at all due to the fact of it not being what she wanted. I had to tell and show her that every child is not so fortunate to have a meal or a mom to come home and cook for them. There are children whom would eat those green beans and anything else you put on their plate, because they know at one point they didn’t have anything to eat and are just grateful to get anything. In most countries children are not even given choices as to what they want to eat – so showing our kids unfortunate situations could help them be a little more grateful for what they have, even though it’s not what they want.

Raising kids is hard-work as we have a limited time to teach them everything we feel they may need to know in the world. Teaching them to have an attitude of gratitude may not be one of the lessons that seem to be with them now but if we keep teaching – hopefully the seeds being planted will yield a good harvest, and maybe just maybe – They’ll thank us for it later.

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photo courtesy of bing

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire Often & Love Hard!

 

Sunday’s Thought: Will You Please Listen To Me??

Image above is courtesy of blog site by: Moïcani – L’Odéonie

Early last week, I became annoyingly frustrated at my 13yr old daughter. Ever since she’s crossed over into “TEEN-VILLE” I’ve noticed her attitude has changed tremendously, every time I tell her what she’s going to do, the first thing that comes out of her mouth is “I Can’t Do That” or “Why??” or “That’s not for Me” or “Mama, but I” I mean don’t get me wrong, I understand when the crossover happens, everything goes haywire in their minds. Their bodies are changing, their attitudes are unbearable and their mindsets are totally different.

What happened to that 5Ib little cute baby I brought home from the hospital, the one that would stay seated when I said too and when I talked, she listened. The girl that once used to smile brightly and be grateful for everything she got, has now become the teenager whom gives me such looks as this one….

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As mama used to say, “When children are young, they’re on your lap but when they get older, they’re on your heart.” and she couldn’t have been more right. So, while I gather my heart strings together, let’s move on shall we to what I really want to convey. Every parent glories in the fact when their child comes to them and asks for advice, at that particular time, that’s our moment to shine. It’s our moment to give our kids the good, solid knowledge and wisdom that we obtained over the years. However; once we give that information to them, it hurts when they don’t take the advice and decide to do it the way they had planned in their head all along.

This was the dilemma I faced with my daughter. She came telling me about the lockers at school and how they were hard to get into. The teacher showed them how to unlock them, but they only showed them one time. My daughter went on to explain how she has been having the hardest time getting into her locker, last year was easy because they had to bring their own locks but now the 8th grade halls are filled with lockers that already have pre-set locks on them. So, she was complaining about how she didn’t have anyone to help her with her combination. “Mom to the Rescue” I said – Why not ask your friends? “They’re all busy and I don’t want to bother them” (puzzled) but they’re your friends…., okay, well what about asking your teacher for help again and so forth and so on, each time I came up with a possible solution – she kept coming up with excuses as to why my plan wouldn’t work. The more scenarios I came up with the more she debunked them…

Finally she said, “I’m just going to carry my stuff around, It’s really no big deal” By this time I had gotten a little frustrated and just told her to do what she wanted to do. But at the same time, I thought – Okay, so why did you come to me again?

As I walked on the treadmill that morning – I began to think about the situation with my daughter and how it related to God. I began to wonder how God must feel when we come to him with an issue and he gives us a solution but we make excuses as to why his way wouldn’t work and why our way is better. And I’m sure like me, he wants to say – But, Would you just listen to me?

Shunning my daughter away after a failed success of listening etiquette, is exactly how God does us. When we refuse to listen to his way, he let’s us go to do it our way and when our way fails?, unlike our so-called friends whom shame us by saying such lines as “I told you so” or “See, you should have listened to me” or “You feel crazy now, don’t you” and in most cases, they wash their hands of you altogether – All because you didn’t “listen” to their instructions. But if you’ve suffered or paid the price for not listening to God (and I believe we all have) Get ready to be celebrated because God in all his mercy and grace doesn’t do us like that, he’s not the God that’s going to make you feel badder than what you already feel, instead he accepts us back with forgiving arms.

And that’s how I did my daughter when she came back to me that same day to apologize. Just as a good parent would do, God is available to give you his wisdom and instructions for you to have a good life, what seems like the right choice in our head at the moment; may not be the same way in which God would like for us to handle the situation. I promise and it’s not always popular – But getting advice from God is the best way, it may take you longer to get through it, but you can rest assured that the end result will be a “sweet success”

While I continue to work on my patience with my daughters up and down ways, God wants to know from you today “Would you just listen to Me?” – Are you listening?…

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Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

All other images used were courtesy of Bing ~