Archive for December, 2006

Congratulations – Person of the Year!

Congratulations! You are the Time Magazine Person of the Year 2006

Why you? According to Time Magazine, you now control the information age. To show you how important you are a mirror graces the cover of Time, December 25, 2006.

We could change the nature of the question to be more (pardon the pun) reflective. What have you done to become the Person of the Year?
The start of the New Year is often about looking back, while at the same time, looking ahead. One might ask, are you proud of your accomplishments? Have you made a difference?

This poem might help us to think about the opinion that counts more than others.

The Guy in the Glass By: Dale Wimbrow
When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.
For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.
He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.
You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass

In the end, your life is about the dash which separates the beginning and end of your life. What you do in the time the dash spans is entirely up to you.

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The Day After….

The day after Christmas the house is an awful mess. But it is the kind of mess that brings a smile to your face. Bits of wrapping and ribbon paper peek out from under the couch. Leftover desserts covered in plastic wrap on the dining room table, and gifts yet to be delivered tower in designated areas around the house.

But like most, we spent way too much money on gifts. This Christmas season, Americans spent over $150 billion, which is equivalent to $500 for every man, woman and child. The joy that you remember has everything to do with the time you spent with the people you love, and much less on the gifts you exchanged.

Here is my favorite question, but it isn’t one you can ask right now, while the presents are new; wait a few weeks, and then ask your children to share their best memory. It is unlikely the memory will ever be something you bought, but rather time you spent with them.

Luckily, we are right around the corner of the New Year, where our resolutions can give us a fresh start and an opportunity to make positive changes.

What your children really need are parents.

Parenting Rules to Live By

• Be the parent.
• Ask the right questions, and really listen to the answers.
• Don’t follow the crowd. Best practices work only if they are your best practices.
• Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
• Mistakes are valuable learning experiences, if you’re smart enough to learn from them.
• The less time and money you have, the more carefully you spend what you do have.
• Model the behavior you want to see.
• Do you really need rules to do the right thing?
• Everyone likes attention, especially the good kind.
• Nobody likes a whiner.
• If you want to understand someone else’s position, put yourself in her shoes.
• Always find time to play.

To get your copy of these rules click here

Adapted from:
Because Kids Don’t Come With Manuals®

Good Parenting Publishing ISBN 0-9776040-0-4

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Is Parenting More Difficult Today?

Let’s step back in time. It’s Sunday evening, September 9th, 1956. 60 million viewers representing 82.6% of the television viewing audience, the largest in history is tuned into watch the very young, very handsome, Elvis Presley gyrate across the small screen.

I would imagine that the topic of discussion over the back fences of America that next day were largely centered around a great concern that the nation’s teenagers were headed down the road of moral decay. What were these parents going to do? What I wouldn’t give to have that as my biggest problem today!

Every generation of parents believes that they have a more difficult time that the generation of parents that went before them. If perception is reality, than this is true. But to be fair, I’d like to share a quote.

“Children today love luxury too much. They have terrible manners, flaunt authority, and have no respect for their elders. They no longer rise when their parents or teachers enter the room. What kind of awful creatures will they become when they grow up?” – – Socrates 400 BC

Perhaps the more things change, the more they stay the same, such as our readiness to become parents. You have to think about what qualifies us for this job? Think about parenting in comparison to other jobs. There is a tremendous amount of time, effort and money spent on putting the right person in a job, training them and continuing to evaluate their progress. But here we are as parents, with the most important job in the world – to shape the minds and hearts of our children and none of that training exists. There is no manual, strategy or playbook you can rely on, and there is no license, but most important events require one, like driving, fishing, hunting, boating, and marriage, even selling liquor and buying software. And the responsibilities associated to parenting changes all the time.

But we could summarize our job to one title. When we become parents, we also become bus drivers, and we take our children on a journey from infancy to adulthood. Just like a bus, there will be stops along the way in the form of outside influences such as family, friends, teachers, coaches, the media, our children’s friends, the list is endless. There is a lot of noise out there, a lot of influences, which actually makes our job harder. But if you see yourself as a bus driver, you know the bus will go where the bus driver steers it. Be the parent that thinks for yourself and not put your ‘bus’ in cruise control.

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