Archive for May, 2007

Healthy Eating


The Journal of the American Dietetics Association talks about the 72% healthy eating solution.

They claim that meal-servers control 72% of what families eat. Think of yourself as the nutritional gatekeeper – the one who buys, prepares, and serves the meals controls 72% of what their family eats inside and outside of the home.

The family chef shouldn’t worry so much about pleasing picky palates because unlike what most people think, hungry family members are almost always going to eat what is prepared for them.

What we feed our children and the behavior we model is too important to leave to chance.

Plan your weekly menu even inviting every family member to request their favorite meal. This stops us from getting the blame about preparing the same old stuff all the time.

Leave healthy cookbooks and magazines like Cooking Light around the kitchen to encourage new food choices. Make your children part of the food shopping experience which is a great way to discuss healthy food choices, reading packages and weighing items (great math activity).

Watch cooking shows on the Food Network together.

I found a great way to manage family favorites. You will need MS Excel and your family favorites. To see how to create your own simple spreadsheet, visit Parental Wisdom Free Reports and print out a copy of Family Favorite Recipes. You will find a example and instructions how to create your own.

Turn the battle about food into something positive.


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A well known story about goals


Here is a well-known story about goals.

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village where a small boat with just one fisherman was docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied “only a little while”

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish.

The Mexican said, “I had enough to support my family’s immediate needs.”

The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time? “

The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard M.B.A. and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat with the proceeds. From the bigger boat you could buy several boats and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

Fisherman – “But what then, senor? “

The American laughed and said “that’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions. “

Fisherman “Millions, senor? Then what? “

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.“

How are you doing on your goals?

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Encouraging Mistakes

Is it my imagination or are children today afraid of making mistakes? That is so disappointing because making mistakes is the best way to learn. Us older folks know that life isn’t about perfection, but persistence.

Sarah Blakely is the young woman who invented Spanks, which are now a household word and enjoy sales in the 100 million dollar range. For those of you not familiar with Spanks it is the modern equivalent of the girdle and a lot more effective.

In Sarah’s story about how she got to be successful, she credits her father who encouraged her to make mistakes. She would come home from school and say, “Dad, I tried out for Student Council and I lost.” He would give her a high five for trying, not winning.

His response encouraged her to continue trying at lots of things. So when she kept hearing no in response to her revolutionary new design – she kept trying.

It’s simple – reward the effort, not the outcome and eventually the outcome will be the reward.

Let’s teach our kids that you don’t drown by falling in water, you drown by staying there.

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Do you want your child to be a plumber or philosopher?


With the carefree days of summer approaching, we have a great opportunity to help our children figure out what they might want to be when they grow up. It doesn’t matter how young they are, exploring possibilities is always a good idea.

There are a number of reasons it makes sense to investigate careers early:

Children that see a potentially bright future are less likely to follow bad influences because they realize mistakes could jeopardize their future.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
Explore…Dream…Discover. – Mark Twain

It gives parents a way to build relationships with children, which puts both in a “learning mode” since neither may be an expert in a
new field.

I am still learning. -Michelangelo’s motto

Discovery is as much about figuring out what you don’t want to do. How frustrating it must be to get accepted to medical school only to learn that you faint at the sight of blood.

It’s not your blue blood, your pedigree or your college degree. It’s what you do with your life that counts. -Millard Fuller

We can’t live vicariously through our children. It is their career, not ours. All the great commencement speeches talk about doing something you are passionate about. Help your children to find out what that means to them.

An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society, which scorns excellence in
plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will
have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor theories will hold water. -John Gardner

For more inspiration, visit Parental Wisdom Free Reports and print a copy of Project Imagine!

Or read the chapter on Project Imagine in Because Kids Don’t Come With Manuals.

For daily inspiration, call the Parental Wisdom Daily Inspirational Call line
(641) 985-5999 ext. 24290#

It’s like a vitamin for parents

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Do What Matters Most


You may have heard the story of the old professor of the School of Public Management in France. He was invited to lecture on the topic of “Efficient Time Management” in front of a group of 15 executive managers representing the largest, most successful companies in America. The lecture was one in a series of five lectures conducted in one day, and the old professor was given one hour to lecture. Standing in front of this group of elite managers—who were willing to write down every word that would come out of the famous professor’s mouth—the professor slowly met eyes with each manager, one by one, and finally said, “We are going to conduct an experiment”.

From under the table that stood between the professor and the listeners, the professor pulled out a big glass jar and gently placed it in front of him. Next, he pulled out from under the table a bag of stones, each the size of a tennis ball, and placed the stones one by one in the jar. He did so until there was no room to add another stone in the jar. Lifting his gaze to the managers, the professor asked, “Is the jar full?” The managers replied, “Yes.” The professor paused for a moment, and replied, “Really?”

Then once again, he reached under the table and pulled out a bag full of pebbles. Carefully, the professor poured the pebbles in and slightly rattled the jar, allowing the pebbles to slip through the larger stones until they settled at the bottom. Again, the professor lifted his gaze to his audience and asked, “Is the jar full?” At this point, the managers began to understand his intentions. One replied, “Apparently not!” “Correct,” replied the old professor, pulling out a bag of sand from under the table. Cautiously, the professor poured the sand into the jar. The sand filled up the spaces between the stones and the pebbles. Yet again, the professor asked, “Is the jar full?” Without hesitation, the entire group of students replied in unison, “No!” “Correct,” replied the professor. As was expected by the students, the professor reached for the pitcher of water that was on the table and poured water in the jar until it was absolutely full. The professor now lifted his gaze once again and asked, “What great truth can we surmise from this experiment?” With his thoughts on the lecture topic, one manager quickly replied, “We learn that as full as our schedules may appear, if we only increase our effort, it is always possible to add more meetings and tasks.” “No,” replied the professor. “The great truth that we can conclude from this experiment is, if we don’t put all the larger stones in the jar first, we will never be able to fit all of them later.”

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The Right Person


It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.
Deng Xiaoping

62 million people voted in the 2004 presidential election. As you might suspect the number of people that voted for American Idol was larger; it was 74 million.

Just imagine for a moment what life would be like if it wasn’t a popularity contest. Imagine that you could count on the right person being in the right job.

Think about it – you visit a store and the clerk is knowledgeable about the product he is selling.
You visit a doctor, and the diagnosis and treatment are exactly what they should be.
Your mechanic can quickly identify the troubling sound of your car.
Your local politician would put the interest of his constituents above his own.
Life would be good.

Well guess what parents. You can make that happen. How? By not insisting that your child is the right person when he is not, like being placed in honors classes if he doesn’t belong there. By not demanding that your daughter gets the lead in the play. By not bullying your way to the dugout so your little leaguer gets more playing time.

Where do you think it starts? Isn’t it time to stop it?

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The Present

In the movie Click, Adam Sandler plays a workaholic who gets a universal remote and tries to fast forward through the less than perfect parts of his life. He eventually realizes that he missed most of it, but has the opportunity to go back and fix it.

Most of us don’t get that chance. The spring is a tough time of the year on parents, with school, sports and music events that keep us running from one thing to the next. What we don’t realize is that our perception of the situation is a choice we get to make. Like Adam Sandler, we can rush through it, or realize that it is a moment in time we can enjoy.

For any of us that ever wished for time to pass more quickly whether it was wishing for naptime, or wishing for a baby to start walking, or for a little league game to finally end, we learn they always do.

Funny how when raising the children the hours go so slowly but the years fly by.

Don’t rush through life, because you will get exactly what you wish for. The question is – is that what you really want? I heard a story recently that had me really heartbroken. This past mother’s day, a number of the nursery and pre-schools host morning teas to honor the moms. One mom arrived along with all the other moms and told her little 5-year-old girl that she had to take a quick call and would be right back. She spent the hour in the car on a business conference call, while her daughter cried in the hall the whole time waiting for her to come back in.

Don’t miss it – you only get one chance. The thing to keep in mind is if you see these events as stressful, they will be. If you see these moments in time as gifts – they will be that too. There is a great saying:

The past is history
The future a mystery
Today is a gift – that’s why they call it the Present.

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