Saturday, September 29, 2012


How easy it is to try to live out our dreams through our children!  We see our kids as a reflection or extension of ourselves, and this is true to a certain extent. We do carry the same genes after all!  However, sometimes our expectations for our kids are unrealistic.  We may expect them to take over the family business, to always be the top of the class, or to finish first in the race even though we never did.

   * Children should not be forced into interest/career roles that do not suit them. They need to be recognized for their own strengths, not other's expectations.

  * Even though it is good to set expectations for children, the goals need to be achievable and include things they personally excel in or enjoy.

  * Every child needs to be valued for who they are, with their own unique skills and abilities.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Children can be indulged in a number of ways:
a) Lots of “stuff”
b) Lack of discipline
c) Low expectations

Ø      “Things” can’t replace what a child really wants: Quality and quantity time with their parents.  This is FREE!

Ø      Children need to hear the word, “no”, sometimes. They need to treasure what they have and understand there is a cost involved in the things they are given. As the child grows older they need to learn about thinking of others, sharing, being part of a team, obeying the law, working for an employer etc. All of these activities require an appropriate response to the word "no." It involves giving of themselves for the good of others.

Ø      Children who are given few or no responsibilities may get the impression that the world revolves around them.  They need to feel part of a team that works together to reach an end goal.  When there are low expectations, children do not know or reach their true potential.  They do not excel.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


You might be surprised how much negative talk occurs in the home.  As part of training children we seem to say “Don’t” many more than we say “Great job.” Some homes feel like one never-ending war zone.  This kind of environment is very tiring and destructive for both parents and children. 

It is important for parents not to hammer their children on every little thing wrong. Children will learn much faster if we concentrate on one area of improvement at a time for correction, and at the same time praise liberally for things done right.  Once one area has been mastered, they can move onto the next one.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Parents are responsible for providing a safe, peaceful and loving environment for their family to grow and thrive.  Just as an employer establishes guidelines for their employees (and lays down consequences for poor performance), parents need to show clearly that they are in charge, and that a peaceful and happy environment results when every member is adhering to the family’s values and expectations.

It is a matter of
a) Knowing what your family values are
b) Agreeing to stand by them no matter what
c) Training your children to your expectations
d) Letting them practice - it is OK to make initial mistakes
e) Praising them for getting it right
f) Issuing agreed consequences for non-conformance

Friday, September 21, 2012


It has long been known that to be intelligent, gorgeous, wealthy or athletic is to have a distinct advantage in our society’s perception of “success.” When we think back to all the kids we looked up to or heroes we envied – what did they or their families have that we didn’t? Most likely, one or more of the above!

So, how do we encourage our kids to feel ‘successful’ when they are not the most good looking, most athletic, most brainy, or come from a monied family?

Ø      Parents need to change the definition of ‘success’ within their families.  Success is doing YOUR best, not having to be THE best.

Ø      Children should be encouraged to map their own improvement rather than constantly match themselves against others.

Ø      Children should not be made to feel that if they didn’t win, their effort was worthless.  Notice how, in the Olympic Games each medallist won their medal – be it gold, silver or bronze.

Ø      When parents set goals for themselves and their family, there is an immense of satisfaction gained from achieving those goals.  The reaching of goals has nothing to do with the traditional meaning of success mentioned above.   It is just a matter of dedication and hard work.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


In the midst of separation children are always affected, even though parents often think they are shielding the child from their adult problems.  It might be negative words said to them about the other parent or a conversation that a child is exposed to rather than adults talking their problems though with another adult.
Ø      Children are not mini adults.  Their minds do not have the ability to discern what they should or not hear, see, read, say or be expected to respond to.
Ø      When parents include their children in parental squabbles, the child may feel as though they are:
a)     in some way responsible
b)     required to take sides when they are unable to do so
c)      respond in some way to make their parent feel better
Parents should protect their children from age-inappropriate conversation by ensuring they relay their concerns and problems to another adult - preferably someone who can offer real help.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


When we do not know what the rules or boundaries are, it makes it very difficult to function within a family or society with any confidence or security.  Everyone wants to know what is expected of him/her.  Therefore parents need to know what they expect within their families as well as indicating their expectations to their children and to caregivers.
Ø      It is imperative that expectations are consistent between each caregiver.  A child will be confused until he/she works out who expects what type of behavior.  This can lead to insecurity and may teach him to manipulate the different parties.
Ø      It is important that boundaries and expectations are carefully explained, and even repeated over and over, until the child understands and complies.
Ø      It is important that caregivers respond consistently, so that learning takes place quickly and without confusion.  A team talk between caregivers will assist the child greatly in learning what his boundaries are.

Jagger turns 1 year old

Our youngest grandson has just turned one year old.  It has been quite a ride.  For the first few months he was troubled by colic and reflux but what a little charmer he is is now!  Here he is with his Grandy.
What a privilege it is to see our grandchildren grow up and what an opportunity to endorse great family values so they, in turn, become great parents.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


   1.      Take a close look at yourself. 
Are you happy with who you are - what you believe, your career path, your self esteem and your lifestyle?
If not, sort yourself out before you try hitching your wagon to someone else!

  1. Take a close look at the person you have your eye on.
    • Are they happy with who they are - their beliefs, their career, their lifestyle and self esteem? 
    • Do they have a passion and direction?  Are they energetic and hopeful for the future?
    • Do they have issues or baggage from previous relationships? 
    • Is this person fun to be with?  Is she/he generally positive and happy?    
 If there is a ‘NO’ to these questions, then RUN!!!


3. Find someone who

a.   Has similar Spiritual beliefs as you do.
b.        Is at a similar intellectual level as you (not necessarily the same career path or qualifications) but can communicate at the same level.
c.         Has similar interests as you or will be supportive of yours and vice versa.
4. Visit that person’s home and watch how:
a.      Their parents talk to one another.
b.      Their parents and your friend talk to one another.
c.      Your friend talks about and to their parents.
d.      The parents keep their home and how your friend keeps his/her room.

Note: If they are respectful, caring and positive around one another, then it is what you are likely to experience in your marriage.  If they are e.g. untidy and you don't want to live in a ship-wreck, then think again.  It is impossible to change other's habits but you can change yours.
5. Talk about kids:
a.      The number of kids you might want.
b.      The way you believe they should be disciplined

6. Talk about household responsibilities:
a.      Who will be responsible for what household and outdoor chores.
b.      Who will look after the bills and money management.
c.      Whether you will have one account only or each will have your own accounts as well.  This can be a major issue.

7. Talk about how you will deal with disagreements and conflicts

If all of the above line up, along with the moon, the stars and plenty of electricity - then you can be fairly sure you have a good one.  Don’t let them go!!!

                                                  - Sally Burgess Oct 2012 -


A friend posted this great message by Navaid Aziz on Face Book this morning.  

“We need to teach our daughters the difference between:

•  A man who flatters her - and a man who compliments her

•  A man who spends money on her - and a man who invests in her

•  A man who views her as property - and a man who views her properly

•  A man who lusts after her - and a man who loves her

•  A man who believes he is a gift to women - and a man who believes she is a gift to him

And then we need to teach our sons to be that kind of man.”