Miscellaneous, But Informative
Romantic relationships commonly become highlighted during the teenage years, and I can choose to embrace these as an important, essential, and intricate part of my child’s development. I can choose to be involved through discussions and sharing about the reasons for starting, having, and ending many romantic experiences now, if it is his or her wish, so that she will have plenty of relationship experiences before fully committing to another in adulthood.
Do you believe this statement? “School is the perfect garden to grow your child.” So much happens in the school garden that it can be overwhelming to a student and to parents, but even the weeds (unwanted people, events, and situations), storms (tidal waves of academic projects and work), soil erosion (thinning of friends), overcrowding (too many people in your child’s business), and connecting (friendship and romantic relationships) are all important and purposeful for the highest good of your son’s present moment and her future.
Romance and romantic relationships are vital pieces of the human experience education for it is a rare person who ignores or chooses to decline this essential part of life. School is the perfect place to play out, explore, and learn from the budding relationships that exist in this awkward developmental stage if it is your child’s interest to do so. Be ready, be accepting, be involved, be positive, be encouraging, and be proactive for this important developmental and parental opportunity.
Middle School romantic relationships generally are short-lived from a couple of hours to a couple of days to a couple of weeks. It is an abnormality that middle school students date for long periods of time such as a whole year or years. Middle school romance is a hodgepodge of short-lived attraction/withdrawal events with plenty of sideline curiosity seekers ready to spread the word in lightning middle school whisper fashion. Seemingly, any coupling of any type of students will send shockwaves throughout a school. No matter how hard one tries to keep things quiet, it is nearly impossible for it to remain so with the hundreds of middle school romance antennas all attuned to and on high alert for this kind of behavior. For this reason, parental guidance is the necessary grounding energy to shift the attention from the gossip to the relationship’s learning.
Romance in middle school is a powerful parental opportunity no matter if it is your child in the relationship or not. Much guiding can be done with others’ experiences. Open, non-judgmental discussion is essential. Establish a “all conversation topics are allowed” climate in your home now if not already for this is the beginning of all other conversations. This is the beginning of guiding your child toward healthy relationships in the future. This is your powerful, parental opportunity now.
Reaching the place when you and your child understand, “You’re an ugly pig! And, you smell like one, too!” and what is really going on with such statements is a wonderful level of empowerment.
You will be amazed just how powerful this understanding is when your child interacts with the multiple people in his or her life with an already accepted perspective as well as an all-ready perspective on any negative statement. When a person has the previously prepared thought process ready-to-go when interacting with others, it is high level living, indeed, because social slandering, gossiping, and negative statements are not about you or your child, but about the other people’s relationship with soul-level happiness.
With the convenience of mass communication options also comes instant feedback, posting, and commenting on just about anything that happens globally. We now know within minutes or even seconds what is happening anywhere. It’s a blessing and a challenge. The audience for more interactions and reactions broadened globally with the internet. There are benefits and drawbacks. Since we are not returning to a pre-internet age, it is well worth the time and effort to delve into what is really happening behind negative comments and training oneself with an already accepted perspective as well as an all-ready perspective on any negative statement.
Removing the attention on the comment to drawing back the curtain to see the person who typed it, wrote it, or said it is a big empowerment step because it is a step that is challenging to do when being attacked or even just feeling attacked. It is possible to train you and your child to have a positive, loving automatic response. An example of such a response that immediately says, “This is a person who doesn’t feel 100% about him or herself otherwise the comment would never have been made.” is positive and loving because now the next response is to send love to the person who typed it, wrote it, or said it.
Just by doing these two steps (realizing what is really happening and sending love), the attention is on healing and far away from feeling attacked. This is empowerment at its best. It is an intentional shift toward sidestepping the comment’s negative energy to helping the sender who obviously needs love sent to him or her.
The kindest and easiest way to train oneself for this automatic response is with real life situations that are happening to others. When you hear or read about someone attacking another, stop, realize what is happening, and send love to the sender. Then, when it happens to you, you’ll be ready to shoot back love.
Got gossiping issues? Who doesn’t? Gossiping is an ageless, societal issue that creates a range of far-reaching effect especially with school-aged children. This is the reason former middle school teacher, Lizabeth Jenkins-Dale, M.Ed., wrote and recently published, Gritty Gossipers And What To Do About Them.
This complete gossiping book for parents presents a step-by-step process that will allow both parent and child to enter the Land of Possibility with all gossiping situations. In addition, the book includes the psychology behind why people gossip, who gossipers are, how they think, why traditional punishment methods don’t work, benefits from being on the receiving end of gossiping, and how parents can bring their “turtling” or scared children to hope and then to empowerment.
Interested to know more? Register for this free talk about gossiping on February 13 at 1pm: https://demmelearning.com/event/empowering-students-to-understand-the-difference-between-conversation-and-gossip/.
Lizabeth Jenkins-Dale, M.Ed., aka The Middle School Mom Mentor and The Child Awakener, writes, speaks, and consults to help parents navigate the sometimes nail-biting pre-teen and teen years. After nearly 30 years in education including 10 years teaching in the gossiping-rich environment of middle schools, eight years being a school librarian, four years writing a weekly newspaper column called Purposeful Positive Parenting, conducting parent-child events, speaking at educational conferences, creating the Choose, Groove, Movedecision system for teens, and writing 15 books for both parents and teens focusing on a variety of topics such as gossiping, personal power, relationships, death, school, and happiness, her empowered parenting method for this age group is fueled by much experience as a parent and as an educator. Her approach begins with universal spiritual fundamentals of life and then spreads out to any subject highlighting her belief in the eternal goodness of life: “You are never stuck. Your child is never stuck. You always have options with everything.”
She offers opportunities for parents to hear her explain about an empowered parenting paradigm with such speaking titles as, “Grisly Gossipers and Bothersome Bullies And What To Do About Them,” “Who Is Your Child, Really?” “Tough Topics, Honest Responses,” “What Will Be Your Parental Legacy?” “The Problem Solver Solution That Works Every Time,” and “The Best Teen-Parent Communication For Modern Day Children.”
In addition to writing and speaking, Lizabeth has an online parental support group along with a parent rejuvenation program called The Multi-Dimensional Parenting Program, in which she explains the parenting perspectives and techniques she personally utilized and why they are successful for the older Earthlings to guide the younger Earthlings into empowered, positive, and cooperative living.
Additional information is located at www.middleschoolyearswithouttears.com.
What is the easiest way to release from your child that which you do not desire to experience from or with your child: love or hate?
What is the easiest way to release that which is unwanted in your life: love or hate?
What is the easiest way to release anything unwanted: love or hate?
You already know the answer to all of these questions. Love, of course! Right now in this moment of reading this blog, there is probably very little resistance to accepting that love is the way to release that what is unwanted. But, in the heat of the moment or when first hearing how a student physically hurt your child, the focus on love is challenging. It is your power right now to begin the energetic upload, storage, and escrow-building of love for all past, present, and future situations, events, and encounters. Otherwise, we default into reactionary responses that help no one.
This means sending love to any extra fat cells you may have accumulated, to anyone who has harmed you, and to any decision you made that resulted in less-than-favorable endings. Love is the only way to gain body balance, to release harmful people, and to let go of past decisions that resulted in adjustments or challenges in your life.
For example, I had to send love to the people I was previously married to and to myself for making those marital decisions in order for me to release them. If I had continued to hold the anger, I would have kept those two people attached to me in anger. They’d keep popping up in my life in a variety of ways…in angry form. Since I have released them by sending them love, I live a life free of negative entanglements with them. This freed me to be available to enjoying a wonderful marriage to my husband of 15 years!
As with the situation of a child when he or she has done the unforgivable (whatever it might be is different for every parent), sending love is the only way to release the grip of what has been done. If anger dominates, then anger will dominate with no chance of forgiveness. If love is sent, then love will dominate the nearly certain forgiveness.
This sending of love does not mean agreement of what was done. It means I’m sending you love anyway. It is sending love to heal the situation even if or because you can’t. See love as the ultimate negotiator or mediator of difficult situations. Let love do the healing. Let love be the communicator. Let love be the agent that awakens all hearts to what happened and the need to heal situations.
Here’s a technique to be able to send love when the anger is very real and seemingly impenetrable. Get in a quiet, meditative state. Say or think, I want to connect with love. Allow love to come to you. “See” love enveloping you. Visualize it entering all your cells and forming a sphere around you to at least 5′.
Next, visualize floating your spirit out of your body about 20′ above you in a space that you would think Heaven would be like. In this safe, heavenly space, meet the person you have a challenge with for this person also is lifting his or her spirit up out of the body. If needed, you can invite Archangel Michael to be present as well as other angels.
Send love to this person. See love energy flowing from your sphere to the other person. See love coming from the angels surrounding both of you. See the love envelope the person going into each of this person’s cells. This is the only focus – love. Stay here as long as you’d like.
Slowly return to down into your body with love all around you. For at least a few minutes, notice all the love in you and around you. Say or think, I keep this love connection going to heal this situation.
Open your eyes. Know that you can return to the heavenly spot again if needed. This technique allows love the opportunity to heal the situation or challenge in a safe place. Repeat as necessary.
What is happening in your life that could use some love?
You can send love to yourself, a person, an object, or place. Because we are all divinely connected, this is a very real activity with very real results.
Dormant trees. Flowerless gardens. Gray days. Colder weather. Wintertime can be tough. For some people, it is just a period of time to “get through” to reach the other seasons. But, is there a purpose for winter? What messages can it hold for all of us? I do believe all of Life is for us so there must be some reason the winter season exists…purposeful, positive reasons.
Time to reset ourselves. Nature is doing it, and perhaps, it is for us to do, too. The trees and plants are not using as much energy these days. Dormancy has its benefits. Winter can be a very relaxing season. Sitting by the fire. Enjoying hot meals such as soup. Why? For what purpose? Time to reset. January is the top of the new year. What do you want to achieve this year? What does 2024 hold for you? What are your goals? In this relaxed state of dormant winter, ponder the next 11 months. How do you want to spend them? What do you want to keep from 2023? What is new that you want to include in the new year. Just as the trees and plants are relaxing, yet preparing for spring, you can, too, relax as you make your 2024 plans.
Body, spirit, and mind rest. Shorter days provide the perfect excuse for rejuvenation both physically and mentally. Spiritually, it is a simpler time to connect with one’s divinity. The calming effect of gray skies with barren trees can allow us to go within during this time for where are the green leaves right now? They’re inside awaiting the perfect conditions to appear. Where are the flower buds? They are within the plant. If we mimic this behavior, there just might be blessings awaiting us.
Perspective. Less activity now provides the contrast of the spring, summer, and fall month in which activity is usually at an all time high. How would we know busy if we don’t know relaxation? How do we know our quiet selves unless we experience our busy selves? Both are needed for a life well lived. To know one is to know the other. Allowing this slower time of the year to provide the activity contrast provides the perspective of the need for activity and inactivity for a balanced life.
Too often, it is too easy to view a cold, gray day as depressing. When looking deeper, we find peace, calm, preparation, balance, and relaxation in this season. As a parent and author, I say this statement often, “Perspective is everything.” In the case of wintertime, perspective is, indeed, an ally. Enjoy this time with deep gratitude!
I’ve been through enough New Years transitions now to have a new perspective on them: no judgment. Just observation.
What I mean by this is to keep it real, personal, and loving. Judgment doesn’t work well for any subject for any of the 365 days of the year so why bring judgment into this topic now? Observing what was accomplished in 2023 to develop new goals for 2024 sounds real, personal, and loving. It’s an exciting time of the year so let’s utilize that excitement to move forward.
List all of your achievements of 2023. You’ll probably be surprised by what pops up. I was doing this with my husband earlier today, and he reminded me of many items on our list. It was thrilling to relive what we were able to to achieve together!
In that excitement, step up to the new year with, “What’s next?” energy. Create a new list for 2024. Don’t hold back. Dream. sense the ideas bubble up from within you.
By the way, in basic numerology, the year 2023 reduces to the number seven. Do your own search for the positive, spiritual meaning of our dear number seven. It may bring perspective to your 2023 year.
I know…not everything was peaches and cream in 2023. As with anything, you always have options.
- List the unwanted events and ceremonially burn the list while stating, “You are complete.”
- List the unwanted events and while looking at them state, “I am bigger than this. I am more than this.”
- List the unwanted events and have a good laugh because infusing laughter into each event lessens the intensity of them.
Don’t like lists? Don’t want to even think about what happened in 2023? You have options!
- Stand tall outside with hands on hips and state, “All negativity from 2023 and previous years is now complete and will not be brought forth into 2024.”
- Look in the mirror and state, “I only bring with me that what I need to grow in 2024 to my fullest potential.”
- Write in your personal journal as often as it feels good: 2024 is my year of complete freedom. 2024 is my year of complete potential realized.
In basic numerology, the year 2024 reduces to the number eight. Do some research for the spiritual meaning of our fantastic number eight. It’s going to be an exciting year, for sure!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The song definitely highlights the good parts of the holiday hustle, for sure. It IS a grand time, but much to do, yes? Can you see the big holiday picture while wrapping, gifting, singing, eating, receiving, and traveling? Can you see the holiday forest for the trees?
I recently traveled across the United States. I drove by myself for five days from Washington State to North Carolina. It was a huge personal achievement as I’ve done it several times with a person in the car, but never by myself. Needless to say, it was a different experience being the sole caretaker of myself. I loved it, actually.
While traveling for up to 14 hours a day with just me doing all the talking, I got the opportunity to think and think and think. One of those thoughts came from viewing my dirty windshield. (I’m making a point. I promise. It’ll all tie in together with the holidays and trees!) There was bird poop and smooshed bug guts on my windshield. But, I could still see. It depended on what I was looking at. It depended on my focused line of sight. It depended on what I wanted to see.
If I was super bored, I looked at the splattered bird poop. Mostly white. Some specks of I don’t know what in the middle. Sorta round, but part of it dripped down.
Then, the insect inners caught my attention. Greenish. Irregular spots that always seemed to go up the windshield. Some big spots. Some tiny.
The thought occurred to me: What I am choosing to see is what I am seeing. I have choice, and it’s like life! We can get distracted with the poop and guts of life right in front of us, or we can choose to see the big picture. I could easily shift my vision from the road to the windshield and back.
With all the items on our lists that need to be done at this time of the year and at other times, can we shift our vision easily from the big picture to the nitty-gritties of life? After all, bird poop and bug guts are quite interesting to ponder, indeed, especially when traveling several thousands of miles solo. The analyzing took me miles to do, fortunately!
Enjoy your holiday festivities right now in this moment. In a week, I’ll post a blog about ending 2023 and beginning 2024 ceremoniously so the two years don’t blur into each other. What needs to be left behind and stay put in 2023? Oh I love perspective. It truly is everything.
Ohhhhhhh! The childish love of the holidays always returns every year! It is the best time of the year, right?
The holidays can be wonderful…and stressful trying to create and match the holiday grandeur we have created in our minds. TV commercials, songs, and movies make us think of the perfect holiday experience which is impossible to bring into existence for who has real elves, reindeer, and an encounter with Santa in one’s own living room?
So we strive for the most we can do with what funds we have, the time we have, and the resources we have.
As our children age, their perfect holiday experience changes. Little ones seem to go with the flow much more easily than teens who are no doubt thinking of their friends and any special romantic interests. Family isn’t enough to fulfill the complete holiday experience created in a teen’s mind. It’s time to have an open discussion and to create a holiday plan with your teen to avoid:
- hurt feelings
- emotional outbursts
- withdrawn behaviors
- a sense that something was missing after the holidays are over
Think back to your holiday experience when you were a middle schooler or a high schooler. Was there someone you wanted to spend time with, but didn’t due to family obligations? Were there friends you wished you could see?
While family is sooooo important to the whole holiday experience, it’s not the whole experience to a teen. Just as we adults have fun with friends, it is important for teens to do the same. A plan is needed. A discussion (or two) is needed. Safety is priority. Agreement is mandatory.
- what would you like to experience this holiday season?
- are there any places you’d like to go?
- are there any different foods you’d like to eat?
- are there friends you’d like to include in your holiday season?
- do you have a special someone you’d like to include? Get a gift for?
- what is your favorite part of our past holiday experiences?
On the other side of this topic is the request for more help with holiday preparations. How can your teen help more? Play an important role? Be more involved since he/she is older?
Gather a couple of mugs and some cocoa and have a good discussion about your teen’s vision for the upcoming holiday experiences. This is honoring your teen and will establish a pattern of openness to discuss other topics as well.
PLEASE NOTE: this blog is for situations that are malleable and are deemed safe by you. If gossiping or bullying has reached unsafe levels, utilize community resources immediately: school authorities, police, mental health professionals, etc.
Gossiping. Bullying. Making others feel uncomfortable. Not allowing others to be fully authentic. Shaming others for being different.
It’s all the same subject: someone’s heart supply (love) is low. In fact, it is VERY low.
Let’s focus on telling “mean” things about someone to others aka gossiping, which is a form of bullying. In the spirit of keeping it simple, I’ll explain it this way: Gossiping is two subjects for two different sets of people: low heart supply vs. full heart supply and the person doing the gossiping vs. the person receiving the gossiping.
In one moment, a person feeling fine and having a good day, can become the receiver of gossiping and immediately be depleted of his or her heart supply. It’s a physical reaction as well. Fear takes over in a big way. Fear seemingly hits like a tall wall of cold energy. Not just for the receiver, but for all those surrounding the receiver, which could include family members, co-workers, and neighbors. It’s gripping. It can be terrifying.
Because of the intensity of the situation, let’s break it down into smaller, manageable parts so we can release the intense grip…because you always have options with everything. I mean this statement wholeheartedly. Even with gossiping or any form of bullying, we all have options with everything.
When someone is feeling good, feeling friendly, and feeling well, it is because they are filled with love, peace, joy, and wellbeing. All these state of being can all be lumped together in this category: high heart supply. When someone is feeling down, bad, angry, belligerent, and depressed, all these state of being can be lumped together in this category: low heart supply.
Knowing one’s heart supply is important personally and socially because when we feel peace, we give that out. When we feel angry, we give that out. When something triggers us, like a person cutting us off in traffic, our heart supply directly impacts how we respond to such a situation. IF we are able to stay in peace when someone cuts us off in traffic, we will simply notice the event without drama. If we are not able to stay in peace with our heart supply suddenly lowered or depleted, we will react to the impolite driving with profanity, finger gestures, or thoughts of revenge.
So, Life is all about listening to/being aware of our heart supply because there will never be a shortage of events that will trigger us into losing some of our heart supply. It takes training and a willingness to maintain a positive heart supply while Life happens around us.
In the case of gossiping with our children, they do not have as much Life experience and may not have the training and willingness to maintain a positive heart supply. This is when parents come in, who are hopefully NOT sucked into the gossiping drama, to stabilize the situation, remind of staying in positive heart supply, and provide solutions for the gossiping.
What about the gossiper? Remember this from the beginning of this blog: Gossiping is two subjects for two different sets of people: low heart supply vs. full heart supply and the person doing the gossiping vs. the person receiving the gossiping. So we have to discuss the gossiper with this topic. Who is helping him or her because it is obvious a very low heart supply is present, otherwise, the person would not be gossiping. Gossiping comes from a place of insecurity, lack of love, or low heart supply. Period.
Unless this lack/low supply level changes, the gossiping continues. Can a car low on fuel go very far? A car on empty stops. To resolve this situation, we must attend to the gossiper and raise his or her heart supply level. Period.
In all my Empowering Kids books, I explain a simple and very powerful parent-child strategy to solve any problem. It’s a co-creative style strategy. At the basic level, it is list creation of options. All of them. The longer the list of options, the better.
Then, together from the list, solutions that create a win-win effect are selected. There is much more to it. Especially in this book, Gritty Gossipers And What To Do About Them, I detail all the options available to address a gossiping situation.
So, parents…how full are your heart supplies? Do you have them full enough so that you can care for both the receiver of gossip and the gossiper? Do you have heart supplies full enough so that you can remain outside of the drama to assist both students into filling up their heart supplies? Do you have heart supplies full enough to live in the Land of Possibilities even when you see your child hurt?
I hope so because the only way to resolve a gossiping situation is to care for both students. Punishment doesn’t work. If someone is feeling off, weird, terrible, or angry inside (low heart supply), punishment, isolation, or shame won’t fix the problem at all, and has the potential to exacerbate it.
For a complete look at this subject, your empowering steps as the parent, and your possible solutions, read this book: Gritty Gossipers And What To Do About Them.
I love writing about competition! In its purest form, it is beautiful, useful, and beneficial. I explain below:
Through team cohesion, focused thought, and attention to skill, middle schoolers (could be any middle schoolers anywhere) achieved permission to complete at the State Science Olympiad Competition in April 2023. From the regional experience, they stretched themselves, believed in themselves, worked together, and won. They also expanded together. Expansion is the point of all competition.
So…what do you think these students and coaches are doing now? You guessed it. They are planning for more expansion! Each of them is saying, “If we did that, what else can we do? What can we experience next at the state level?”
Competition by itself is positive. It promotes the idea of opportunity. It emanates creation possibilities. It allows one’s mind to consider never-thought-of-before thoughts.
For example, if a college class creates a robot specific for Alzheimer patients, and they receive multiple awards and accolades for this creation plus large sums of money for the college, what happens next? Not only can these college students post such an achievement on their resumes, but they say, If we did that, what else can we do?”
In addition, this particular college’s rivalry just down the road two hours, says to itself, “If they did that, what can we do?” Within a short amount of time, funding becomes available, professors organize groups of students, a robotics lab is updated, and creation of an even better robot specific for Alzheimer patients begins. Ahhhh…perfect competition.
All will benefit as long as the competition remains in its purest form: expansion. The following quote is often associated with Mother Teresa: “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” As long as competition is observed and conducted in a “pro” fashion, it is a wonderful aspect of our Earthly living.
When competition becomes US vs. THEM with them being dishonored, demeaned, or damaged in some way, competition loses its helpfulness to society. Pep rallies that focus on humiliating the other team hurts both teams. Where is the team’s focus with so much effort being put into yelling negative chants about the opposition? It’s not on team cohesion, focused thought, and attention to skill. The focused thought is now fractured.
Competition of any type can be observed through a “We are going to annihilate them,” mentality or a, “We are going to give our best,” mentality. Personally, I believe it is time for all of us to embrace a new standard of competition and to observe sports, such as in football, as a thrilling opportunity to witness what expansion the players have been able to achieve since the last game – a display of humans demonstrating their best.
At any children’s competition event, what do you see? I see miles and miles of road traveled as parents take kids to practices. I see many dollars exchanged for sports equipment. I see parents waiting hours for practice’s end so they can grab something for dinner. I see parental dedication to providing their offspring the opportunity to develop their full potential with the aid of positive competition.
What do you see?