Thursday, April 20, 2017

Parenting Tip - Teaching Children to Feel the Spirit

There are so many things to teach our children, it can be overwhelming at times.
We may ask, "What are the most important things to teach?  How can I fit one more thing into my schedule?"

Read this article:  Learning the Language of the Spirit: 7 Teaching Tips for Parents and see how you can dovetail this type of learning with your everyday living that you already do with your children.

Thanks for reading,

Cathy
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Parenting Tip - The Paradigm Test

Text from my daughter to me:
        "So I've been trying not to feel like a failure by choosing to run the half marathon instead of the full [this coming weekend] in AZ.  I just haven't been able to get the training in.  I'm disciplined in lots of other areas, but this one hasn't been able to be a priority right now.  I was feeling kinda low until I had a new thought - Oh my gosh Mom!  I passed the test!!!!!!!
    I chose sacrificing time running this school year for doing homeschooling and being with  my kids instead of out running for myself!  It's not a failure at all!  It's a giant victory!!!!!  How would my kids be right now if I was completely ready for the full [marathon]??That's a scary thought.  My relationship with A [her 11 year daughter] definitely wouldn't have been strengthened through this year.  She would probably resent me for all the time spent babysitting M [the preschooler].  M would be a screen junkie.
     Dang.  Paradigm shift!  So grateful!!!"

Text from me to my daughter:

     "Sigh of relief!!  You chose the good part!!!  You DID pass the test!!!!  I'm so proud of you and love you so much!! (Wow, I just had a thought - this text could be from Heavenly Father just as much as it is from me.)"


So what have you been sacrificing, that with a paradigm shift, looks more like a blessing instead?
Are you a stay-at-home Mom with a college degree and inner desire to be out in the workforce? What are you trading for and what benefits can you see if you look close enough?  Are you developing other talents such as gardening, cooking, love of children's literature, home repair skills, or beautifying your home with recycling items?

Do you have a child with autism, ADD, speech problems or other issues?  But are you gaining knowledge, insight and gifts that you wouldn't otherwise have?

Do you have to pinch every penny and long to have your husband out of school?  But are you becoming adept at finding sales, learning to sew, and acquiring skills to refurbish used furniture?

I've had to give piano lessons in my home my whole married life to supplement our family income. For years I felt frustrated and pitied myself.  Then one day I had a paradigm shift and was shocked at what I saw.  What I saw were blessings everywhere.  Blessed that my husband worked from 5:30 am to 3:00 pm and could be home with our children when they came home from school.  Blessed that my husband enjoyed cooking and cooked dinner while I taught piano.  Blessed that I never had to advertise and always had lots of students to teach.  Blessed that I could teach my own children and share my love of music with them. The more I looked, the more blessings I saw.  I immediately fell to my knees and poured out my gratitude to my Heavenly Father.  I asked Him to forgive me for my thoughtlessness and past complaining.  Over the years I have realized what a blessing teaching piano has been in my life and how much I have grown as a teacher and a musician.

Paradigm Shift: an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.

Look at your life, look at your problems.  Have a paradigm shift and enjoy the blessings you see.

Thanks for reading,
Cathy
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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Parenting Tip - Be Nice to your Future Self

I'm basically a lazy person.  If a recipe calls for cutting an onion and garlic, I'll either skip that recipe or just use onion and garlic salt instead.  If the weeds are over running my flower bed, I'll try spraying them rather than take the time to pull them out. But sometimes I'll amaze myself by talking myself out of being lazy.  Like if I'm too tired to take a shower at night but have to leave early the next morning, I'll tell myself, "just take a shower, you'll love yourself tomorrow."  And I do.  I thank myself over and over the next morning for taking my shower last night.

A listener on Gretchen Rubin's podcast mentioned "doing something kind for your future self" when she read a blog entry from Wil Wheaton.  This idea of doing something nice for your future self really resonated with me, since that is a tactic I use to get myself to do something hard.  Gretchen's sister mentioned on the podcast that she uses that idea to make herself lift weights, telling herself that when she is 70 years old and not feeble, she will thank herself.

You can use this idea in so many ways---getting yourself to fold and put away the laundry so your future self will enjoy seeing your family function more happily.  Doing the dishes at night so the kitchen is clean in the morning.  Ah, thank you, self!

Gretchen says this is a great strategy for obligers to use to help them do something just for themselves.  Obligers are people  who can meet outer expectations--they can do what others ask them to do, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves.  

Why is it so hard to do something just for yourself?  I think it is because we feel selfish.  We feel like we should be using our time to help our children, or our husband or doing our Church calling or whatever. We are told over and over again to serve others-- that is the key to happiness, but I think we forget that serving ourselves will give us more energy to serve others.


Another reason might be that life goes by so quickly.  We are so busy taking care of life in the present, that we don't have time to worry and take care of life in the future.   The "squeaky wheel gets the grease" and life squeaks really loud in the present.


So how can you and I take this idea and help our future selves?  I can tell my present self, "No, don't buy that cute blouse.  Remember you are saving your money for __________.  You'll thank me in 6 months."


I can tell my present self, "Don't eat that _______.  Go drink a glass of water instead.  You'll love me tomorrow."


I can tell my present self, "Yes, it's okay to stop and play with my kids (grandkids).  I'm bonding and will love myself when they come to me with problems when they're older."


Be nice to your future self--she'll thank you profusely!





Thanks for reading,

Cathy

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Parenting Tip - Modeling

I was babysitting Bromley, my 2 year old grandson, when he found a book lying on the floor.  It was a thick book with lots of pages and no pictures in it.  He opened the book, turned some pages, then closed the book and folded his arms and bowed his head and say, “prayer”.  He waited for me to say a short prayer, repeating some of the words, then he opened the book again, turned some pages, then closed the book again and folded his arms and bowed his head and say, “prayer” .  We went through this whole scenario 5 times in a row!

When my daughter came home I told her about it and wondered what was going on.  She exclaimed, “He was reading the scriptures!”   She said for the past several weeks they had consistently been reading the scriptures, then saying their family prayer afterwards.

Wow, what a great model my daughter and her husband were giving for their son to follow.  It got me thinking about modeling and how that can affect our own actions.  A friend of mine from childhood moved back in with her parents, who lived down the street from me, when her parents became ill and unable to care for themselves.  She modeled great love for her parents and the importance of taking care of them in their older years.  When my mother in law became sick and unable to live by herself, my husband and I invited her to come live with us.  We had seen great examples of children caring for their aging parents modeled to us and we followed and wanted to do the same.

What kind of modeling are we doing in our homes with our children?  We usually don't even think about what our actions are saying, but we know that actions are like a picture-- worth a thousand words. 

How do we model unconditional love with a rebellious teenager while a younger sibling is watching?
How do we model patience when potty training a three year old with the five year old watching?
How do we model forgiveness when our two year colors with crayons on the newly painted wall?
How do we model longsuffering when everyone in the house is sick, including you?
How do we model respecting others when your daughter rants about her _________ math teacher?
How do we model honesty when we find we weren't charged for the french fries we bought with our hamburger?

Many years ago I made a photograph book for my son illustrating when he liked to wear his Daddy's shoes around the house.   Each page shows 
him wearing one of his Dad's shoes, like his work boots, Sunday shoes, fishing shoes, etc.  These are the last two pages: 
I know it's hard for me to walk and keep these shoes on right.
So I'll follow Daddy's footsteps as he guides me in the light.
Choose who you look to for a model carefully, and remember who is watching YOU.

Thanks for reading,

Cathy
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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Music Tip - Mom/tot classes starting up


To all of you who live in Mesa, AZ, I'm starting up my Mom/tot music classes for this semester.  They will be on Tuesday mornings and will alternate between two different retirement/nursing homes.  You can choose which weeks you want to come (1st/3rd or 2nd/4th or all).  Here's the scoop:

Music classes held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the following months at Symphony Rehabilitation (Broadway between Lindsay/Val Vista).  Classes are 10:45-11:30
Feb 7 and 21
March 7 and 21
April 4 and 18

Classes on the 2nd and 4th Tues of the following months will be held at The Courtyard Towers 22 N Robson, across from The Idea Museum .  Classes are 10:00-10:45

Jan 24, 2017
Feb 14 and 28
March 28
April 11 and 25

All music classes are Free!!  This is my service to the community.  However, this semester I am asking for a $20 donation per family that I will give to a children's charity.  If you want to come to all the classes every week, it is still just a $20 donation. Grandmas, use this as a play date with your grandchildren!!

There is something magical about combining 2 different generations with music.  Your heart will swell with love and pure joy as you watch your children wave scarves to music with the "grandmas and grandpas" or play the jingles or egg shakers with them.

Space is limited, so please email me early to register:  playsmusic@hotmail.com
I'm a past Kindermusik teacher for ASU's community ed classes.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Music Tip - Learn to play the ukulele!

Come learn to play the ukulele--adults and children---lots of fun!!
Plus, a service opportunity as we perform for the "older generation" at nursing homes/retirement centers.


UKULELE MUSIC CLASS & SERVICE OPPORTUNITY: 12 week class (10 weeks learning and 2 weeks performing at Retirement Centers).  Returning students will learn more advanced songs. 
DATES: 4th week in Jan for next 12 weeks *see info below
TIME: one hour classes. 
LOCATION: west Mesa, Main St/Alma School  (tell your friends so you can carpool!)
COST: $65 per student or $100 for a family with 2+ children
AGES: age 8 and up
CONTACT:  Text or email me:  Cathy Shepherd - playsmusic@hotmail.com     480-332-8379
FAQ:  Don't own a ukulele?  Borrow one of mine (register early to reserve one)Four different classes offered, register for the day and time that works for your children:  Monday 1pm , Monday 4pm, Wed 1 pm or Fri 1pm   (performances will be scheduled during your class time.  Ex. If you register for Wed at 1 pm, you come Wed, Jan 25 at 1 pm and every Wed until April 19.) 
*All classes begin week of Jan 23nd -  no classes March 13-17.



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