What Mother Really Wants

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Mother’s Day is just a few days away, and before you scramble to the local chocolatiers and florist, listen to what 50 random moms had to share when asked, "What do you want for Mother's Day." The responses were humourous to tear-filled. That's a mom for you! Out of those unique answers rose a more thoughtful inquiry, 'What do you need as a mom?" I believe every single woman repeated that question with a tone of surprise and serious contemplation. I enjoyed hearing their stories because a woman rarely gives one word answers. I was humbled and honored at the transparency some chose to reveal, detailing long-held traditions, deep hurts, expectations and their general feelings surrounding that day. Here are just a few of their thoughts.

What I want is a steak and what I need is respect.
What I want is a gift and what I need is some support.
What I want is nothing and what I need is to not be a side-bar to my husband's mother.
I don't know what I want but I need some help.
I want for nothing, I need to forgive my own mother.
I want and need to enjoy the day with my kids.
I want a day to not do what I do every single day. I guess, I need a break.
I need to keep my expectations tapered.
I don't know. I need to know that I am accomplishing something in my childrens' lives at the end of the day.
I want some sleep. Seriously, I need sleep!
I don't know what I want but I need to ditch the mommy guilt.
I want nothing and need nothing. I have 2 healthy kids and a wonderful husband. I am blessed!
I want some peace. I need cooperation.
I just want to see my grand-baby.
What I don't want is breakfast in bed. I need time.
I want some quiet space. I need energy.
I want my mother to come down from heaven and spend one day with my daughter to catch up and I just want to ask her if I'm doing this right.

The most common responses were, “I don’t know” and “I need help, assistance, a second set of hands.” I wish I could wrap this Mother's Day blog up neatly with some profound advice or some convincing statistics that draw a common theme, but that is not happening! Aside from having children we are as different and unique as snowflakes. Our wants and needs are specific to the seasons we weather as mothers. But, I guarantee you this, if you take a moment to reflect upon the distinction between needs and wants, and focus on giving mom what she needs — you will indeed give her what she wants!

Pass this along to the wonderful women in your life to let them know you are thinking about them on this special occasion and have a Happy Mother’s Day!

For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com
~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice

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Hypnotic Screens – Alternative Choices for Children

Wide 16:9 LCD television set (with screen and clipping path)

A typical work week had me digging through homework folders, reviewing random papers and discovering an article from Time Kids, detailing the average American child’s time usage of electronics, not including cell phones. I was blown away by the staggering hours, with the record high for 11-15 year olds clocking 10 hours a day. That is a full-time job, plus overtime! Intrigued over the possible implications for what can only be described as addictive behavior, I continued investigating. I found some even more startling facts. I like to think, I’m somewhat savvy when it comes to screen time in our home, but, I felt dumb as a brick when my general thought of – TV and video games are just bad for you– needed some major upgrading!
Excessive screen time, excessive being above the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of 1-2 hours of daily screen time, places our children at risk for*
• Obesity – a 20% increase
• Cardiovascular Disease – a 20% increase
• Irregular Sleep Habits
• Behavior Problems – ADD
• Violence -A child will witness 200,000 violent acts on screens by age 18
• Impaired eyesight
• Impaired academic performance

To keep that list in perspective, a study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded, for every hour of television watching we do, our life span is reduced by 22 minutes! Aside from curb-siding our televisions, smashing our computers and pitching our iphones out the window (not happening here!), how do we limit usage in this digital age to a healthy level, when screens are in the classroom, at home, at the grocery store and even on the side of a highway?

The heavy burden is primarily in the home where students are entertaining themselves to…death. Intentional choices must be made to limit usage and replace that full time job with a healthy lifestyle. Here are five alternative choices to screen time for our children.

Be bored – Out of boredom springs forth creative processes.
Go outside– Hunt for bugs or rocks, juggle a ball, walk to a friend’s house
Call a relative – Have an actual conversation, no FB, no Tweet, no Text
Help make a meal– Yum!
Read a book with paper pages…oooohhhh

I know the list can go on and on. Please share your alternative choices to screen time with our TSC family. Your expertise as an educator and parent can foster future, empowering choices for all of our children. Looking forward to your suggestions!

Sammy@TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com

* Facts from kidshealth.org, Mayo clinic and National Institue of Health

Dear Boston

Boston, may your hearts be filled with peace and comfort in this time of distress. Know– you are not alone, we are with you. We are those who have experienced your moment, those who share in title, not only fellow American, but fellow human being. May the loved ones mourning the loss of family and friends somehow experience solace. May the parents who’s worst nightmare is upon them, have joy instead of deep sorrow, when remembering sweet times with their precious boy. May those with life changing injuries be healed and fully live each day.
Why someone would methodically choose to cause such devastation on a day filled with so much cheer, we shall never understand the mindset that is bent on seeking and destroying. Feeble answers may linger in the air, but, will never be justified. May we keep an unfathomable sense of this tragedy, in doing so, we keep our humanity alive. May we maintain the spirit of the Boston Marathon–embody an unfaltering human will to overcome.
Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the victims and families of the Boston Marathon attack.
Sammy@TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com

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Wake- Up Call!

Wake- Up Call!

A major obstacle children face with making positive choices is lack of exercise and nutrition. Our children are our future and we need to teach them the importance of healthy exercise and nutrition to help build positive choice making skills and an overall healthy lifestyle. The benefits to exercise and healthy nutrition outweigh the negatives. Their ability to overcome their obstacles to make healthier choices improves while building confidence and promoting self-esteem. Healthy eating provides more energy, better brain function and memory and allows children’s concentration to increase. By living a healthy lifestyle children can gain a positive feeling about them and decrease anxiety, reduce depression, and improve quality of sleep. Parents and educators your efforts to encourage our children to exercise regularly and instill the value of healthy nutrition is crucial. Let’s work together and give our children, of the future, this precious gift that will last a lifetime.

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An Awesome Read for Kids

An Awesome Read for Kids

TSC just did a lesson to 1st & 3rd graders in a Camden Charter School using the book, “Cool Down and Work Through Anger.” This wonderfully written book is by Cheri J. Meiners. It is a fantastic book for showing children how to help deal with anger. There are many reasons for getting angry but how one chooses to deal with the feeling of anger is the key. This book gives the reader wonderful scenarios, discusses the feelings/emotions of anger, and discusses the choices we are faced with when dealing with the emotion of anger. The best part are the tips offered to children to help manage their anger. This book is highly recommended to any parent or educator of young children. A great choice for children learning how to deal with anger.

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How to Guide Children to Deal with Anger and Learn to Resolve Conflicts

How to Guide Children to Deal with Anger and Learn to Resolve Conflicts

Anger is a normal human emotion we all have and dealing with angry children is the most challenging job of a parent or teacher. Anger is sometimes a child’s way of declaring independence. You can help children in the heat of the moment by recognizing the emotion of anger: “I can see that you are angry right now.” Help children recognize the triggers that set off the feeling of anger— what situations make them want to scream, shout, and stomp their feet with a pounding heart and heavy breathing.

Try these tips with your child when anger takes hold:

• Stop and take a moment to breathe—stop whatever you are doing , take a deep breath and step away from the situation
• Know your triggers— if there are certain things that you can’t accept take steps to avoid them
• Exercise regularly— exercise is a great way to de-stress your mind and body
• Diffuse the situation— try inter-acting to the situation versus reacting (think or talk rather than act when anger takes hold)

Learning how to deal with anger is a skill that can take a lifetime to develop. The tips above will help children master their feelings of anger. It is never too soon to teach children how to control anger so the anger doesn’t control them. These strategies may be difficult; however, with guidance and lots of practice, these tips can help children acknowledge anger and resolve conflicts peacefully.