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Archive for December, 2009

As you wrap yourself in the spirit of giving this season don’t forget to include yourself as a recipient of your own generosity.  While you’re at it, include your kids and teach them the art of prioritizing oneself.  Too often we unwittingly give our children the message that everyone else should come first.  We over-commit, over-dedicate and generally over-do.  Our children see this and follow our lead of rushing and putting other first even if at the expense of our own mental or emotional well-being.

This holiday season help your kids learn to make time for themselves.  Try one of our suggestions for giving back to yourself or let us know what you do with your children to teach them this important skill.

1.  Have a mandatory quiet time.  Turn off the house phones, the cell phones, the computers and have everyone pick their favorite place to hang out in the house.  Every person does something they enjoy for at least 30 minutes; read, color, journal, listen to music on an mp3 player, bird watch or anything else that feels self-serving.

2.  Have a “Pamper Me Party” with the kids.  Help the kids pick out lotions, nail polish, bubble bath ect.  Turn on some soothing music and join the kids in a little at home spa indulgence..  Help younger children learn the art of self-care by helping them with the pampering or just let them soak in a bath while you sit close by relaxing to the scent of a lavender scented candle.

3.  Do some yoga with your child.  It strengthens and relaxes.  There is an excellent child friendly version of yoga on Self-Esteem the DVD by Little Soul Productions. (www.littlesoulproductions.com)

4.  Make a cut out of your child and provide glue and embellishments.  Encourage them to make the doll in a way that expresses what their own beauty and love looks like.

5.  Snuggle with your child and watch their favorite TV show or movie. Turn off all distractions and hold off on any chores until the show during this “down-time.”

6.  Sit for 10 minutes and just practice breathing.  Deep breaths with closed eyes.  Inhale and exhale evenly.  You can play soothing music or light incense if you wish.  This time can eventually turn into a family meditation time.

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We believe so strongly in setting our kids and family up for a good start to the year that we are offering a phenomenal deal on our Self-Esteem DVD.  Buy a copy for yourself from our website:  www.littlesoulproductions.com, and we’ll give you another copy FREE.  We will even ship the additional copy to the friend of your choice at no additional charge to you*!  Hurry, this offer expires  at 12 noon PT on Saturday, December 19, 2009.  Happy New Year to your family and another!

Here are the steps to get your FREE copy.

1.  Purchase your copy of Self-Esteem for $19.95 plus tax, shipping and handling from our website:  www.littlesoulproductions.com (offer only valid for purchases made through this site). No limit on the number of copies you can order.  We will provide you with one free copy for every 1 DVD that you purchase.

2.  When we get your order we will contact you at the email address you provide during payment. 

3.  You will email us back telling us where to send the additional copy.  If we do not hear from you within 24 hours of sending our email we will ship the additional copy directly to you.

4.  Share the gift of emotional and inner empowerment with all the children in your life.

Remember, time is limited!

*Little Soul Productions will only ship to addresses within the continental United States.  If you wish to ship outside of this area, please indicate that we should send the free DVD to you.

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I love to listen to the children this time of year.  They don’t have the same constraints on creating their heart’s desires that adults do, so kids make their wish lists with reckless abandon anticipating surprises that delight.  This year, the current economy has caused many families to curb or quash children’s anticipations.  Where is the balance?

I am a firm believer in charity work, reaching out and the spirit of community that gets fostered during the holidays, but the creative energy that ignites in children this time of year really makes me excited.  This is one time of year when kids can create what they want and almost instantly see the fruits of their creations. What great validation.  Trouble comes when  well-intentioned parents try to thwart the creative process to avoid disappointment.

Balance in this process comes from teaching our children to dream, create and imagine, while having gratitude for whatever the universe delivers; for it is always perfect and timely.  As your children make their holiday, or even birthday wish lists, try to avoid comments like, “That’s really expensive” or “Only put a couple of things on your list” or “It’s going to be a tight birthday this year.”  All of these statements, while well-meaning, are designed to lower expectations and ward off disappointment.  It doesn’t usually occur to us that we are creating the very disappointed we were trying to avoid.  Kids want to dream and create — let them.  That hydrogen fueled car may be something you cannot imagine being able to afford or have the space to play with, but the unexpected happens everyday.

It is appropriate to help your child be comfortable with the perfection and timing of the Universe.  As they make their list try some of these techniques that will empower them and your whole family to create. Then sit back and watch as things you never thought possible come into your life.

As your child makes their list have them prioritize the items, moving to the top 3-5 things they want most.  It’s easier to create when we know what we most desire.  Let them change the list a few times — children live very present moment and their desires can change quickly.  If we give them opportunity they manifest quickly too.  Ward off entitlement by saying things like, “I’m sure that you will get the gifts that are perfect for you right now.”  Set them up to be grateful.  Sit with your child and imagine being happy on the big day(s).  Talk about how much fun the family will have, how festive the party will be or how it will feel to see your creation(s) come true.

This all may seem out of reach to you, so let me share a quick story.  A friend of mine is struggling financially this year and her son’s handheld electronic device is old and fading.  In her mind she just couldn’t  figure out how she could replace that loved item this year, but still let her son put it on his Christmas list.  She empowered him to prioritize and create and so did she.  She knew that if it was in alignment she would find a way.  She was in a thrift shop a recently and a brand new device was there along with a few new games.  She was able to pick them up for prices that fit her budget.  She didn’t let her awareness of tight finances get in the way of the creation.  She held on to the desire with her son and they anticipated a good holiday no matter what.  Those are the keys to creative success.

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Rush here, Rush there….buy a gift, make a dish….dress up nice, please don’t fight!

For so many of us, this beautiful time of year is filled with chaos, errands, parties, gifts, family, friends and an array of festivities.  While we often complain about how thinly we are stretched, most parents will also tell you that this is one of their favorite times of year.  This is also the time of year that I typically hear clients say things like, “The kids are ruining my holiday,” or “I love this time of year but my kids fight and bicker more in December than any other month.”

We all like to feel safe, and kids are the best reminders that a lack of feeling safe ushers in unsavory results.  Here are a few tips for keeping your household sane this holiday season.

1.  Remember that kids thrive on routine.  Keep as much routine in the schedule as possible. 

2.  Kids are sensitive to energy.  The chaos of malls, the negativity of the shoppers who are spending money they don’t have for people they barely see effects kids greatly.  Try to shop at less crowded times if you have to take the kids with you, or consider hiring a babysitter while you shop.

3.  Play upbeat music at home – it will help keep everyone in a good mood.

4.  Grumpy or demanding relatives, no matter how much you love them, are a drain on a child’s energy.  Take the kids outside to play whenever possible if your kids seem irritable when particular relatives or friends stay.  They will burn off energy and nature provides an automatic re-set button.

5.  Children do not yet have the on/off switches or wisdom that come with growth and experience.  They are going to get excited about EVERYTHING.  Set boundaries, but as much as possible, see the magic through their eyes instead of always trying to keep it under control.

6.  Enjoy yourself.  Your children react to your mood.  If you are stressed and cranky they will be irritable and disagreeable.  If you are happy and full of joy they will be also.

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