Friday, June 28, 2013


Honesty is one of man's most admired qualities and, therefore, a core ingredient for a successful life.  Yet from the beginning of time, lying has caused the downfall of individuals, organizations, kings, presidents and empires. 

Why is it such a big deal to always tell the truth?  The first thing that comes to my mind is self-preservation.  We do something wrong and we know there will be consequences, so we try to cover it up by not telling the truth about what happened.  It starts from infancy and, if not stopped, makes life very complicated.

Truthfulness leads to respect and trust.  Truthfulness is also the basis of integrity which means doing the right thing whether anyone is looking or not.

If we want our kids to have these qualities then we have to tell them why truth matters.  We also need to model exactly what we want from them.  A clear conscience is worth more than anything.

We also have to prepare our kids for the real world.  Dishonesty is everywhere and we need our kids to learn to resist the temptation to take the easy way out.  We want our family's and our children's reputations to be, and to remain, impeccable.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Seventh grader, Misty, was an A grade student. She loved school and she loved to learn. Then, quite suddenly, her whole demeanor changed. She became impossible to live with and her schoolwork deteriorated. Her parents couldn’t believe the change in Misty, but could not get her to tell them what was wrong. Years went by and Misty continued to be moody and obnoxious at home. Her parents despaired, wondering what they could do to get their ‘real’ happy daughter back.

After five years, Misty told her mother what had transpired at school one fateful day. As a result of the conversation with her mother, she wrote the following letter to her 7th Grade teacher. [This is a true story. Names are changed]

Dear Miss Jenkins,

I have decided to write this letter so I can move on with my life, regain my confidence and return to my old self that was lost five years ago.  

 In my early years I was a very happy, enthusiastic, optimistic person and was not afraid to voice my opinion. When I was 12 years-old you came into our class to teach us how to give impromptu speeches. A topic was randomly chosen for each of us, and you picked me to be the first one to make a speech. 

I will never forget that day. I walked up to the front of the class and started to voice my opinion on the topic. Then I froze. I couldn’t think of anything else to say, as I was unfamiliar with the subject. I wracked my brain to try and think of something else but nothing came. I will never forget the look on your face. You yelled and pointed at me. After lecturing me at the back of the class where everyone could hear, you ordered me up the front to do it again. I said one sentence and broke down. “Sit down!” you said and then I heard you mutter, “Pathetic!”

You broke an innocent 12 year-old girl that day. 

After that day I shut down. Your words haunted me every day. My impeccable reputation was ruined. After that I never spoke unless I was spoken to. I lost my voice and my quirky personality. I became a social outcast at school and became depressed. I started to become violent at home. I cried every night and I started hating myself.

Five years later I finally told my Mom. All of those bottled-up emotions came tumbling out. It has only been two weeks since I told Mom and already I feel like my old self again. I am just letting you know that the student you scolded and made feel ‘dumb’ those years ago is now in the gifted class working a year above my level.

I forgive you, Miss Jenkins.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Does telling your daughter how beautiful she looks or how handsome your son is send the message that looks are the most important thing for success in life? UK's women's minister, Jo Swinson, says yes and warns that placing too much emphasis on appearance can lead to body confidence issues later on. Read the story here: was interested to read this article in - and I thought it was well worth adding as a blog.
Does telling your daughter how beautiful she looks or how handsome your son is send the message that looks are the most important thing for success in life? UK's women's minister, Jo Swinson, says yes and warns that placing too much emphasis on appearance can lead to body confidence issues later on. Read the story here:
It has long been dictated (particularly by the media) that the recipe for success is one of four things - to be pretty or handsome, to be athletic, brainy or come from a wealthy family.  Unfortunately, probably 80% of us do not fall into any of those categories.  The 80% people are not the most popular amongst their peers, are not automatically picked for the best teams, are not the 'ideal' shape or do not own the coolest stuff.  
As parents we need to discourage this 'success' myth and inform our kids about their real worth.  What really matters is not skin deep, but what comes from the inside - kindness, integrity, honesty, commitment, reliability, a positive attitude and thinking of others.  Real success is not so much in being THE BEST but being THE BEST WE CAN BE.
Sally Burgess

Monday, June 17, 2013


"I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career, lost almost 300 games, 26 times I have been trusted to take the game's winning shot and missed.  I have failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.

If you are trying to succeed there will be roadblocks.  I have had them.  Everybody has had them, but obstacles don't have to stop you.  If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up.  Figure out how to climb it, go through it or get around it.

I can accept failure.  Everyone fails at something.  But, I cant accept not trying."

-Michael Jordan

This is the kind of hero we need and our kids need.  We need to recognize that everyone fails, to learn how our heroes successfully deal with their failures and, from that, gather the strength and determination to do the same.

Sally Burgess

Saturday, June 15, 2013


You only have to walk down any toy aisle and you will find the latest and greatest action figure kids are clambering for.  It could be Superman, Spiderman, Bat Man, Buzz Lightyear, the Ninja Turtles, Ben Ten or others.

All of these 'heroes' have one thing in common.  They stick up for the goodies and eliminate the baddies.  They usually have super powers and are certainly larger than life itself.

Fictitious heroes have always been around.  Back in the day it was Robin Hood and his merry men who enthralled kids with his 'rob the rich to give to the poor'  adventures.

Fantasy only goes so far.  In the real world kids need real heroes.  If you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, they will not say they want to be Harry Potter because such characters are not real.  They are much more likely to say a fireman, a policeman, a deep sea diver, a fighter pilot, an explorer, a great athlete, a teacher, a doctor or a nurse.  They are drawn by the great or exciting things they see real people do.

As kids grow into their teens they become more personally influenced by adults they admire most and often try emulating what they do.  Because of this factor, we need to make sure our kids choose positive role models as their heroes.  Ultimately, we need to be our kids' heroes.

Sally Burgess

Sunday, June 9, 2013


1. Your body is a gift from God.  Save it for the one you commit your life to.

2. The less you wear, the less there is to know.  Dress like you would in front of me, your Dad!

3. Work hard at school and get all the education you can before marriage and kids come.  Your kids will 
      take care of all your spare time until at least year 11!!!

4. Pick positive friends who are out there doing great things.  Be that kind of friend to others.

5. Be kind to your Mom and Dad.  We are the ones who are on 'first call' for everything!

6. Remember the Trace Adkins song 'You're gonna miss this'?  You will, so enjoy every minute of the 
     different phases of your life.

7. Spend time with your Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters.  They are the ones who know you best and have 
     your back.

8. Treat your husband with respect as you would your very best friend.  After all, he should be that 

9. Share your home and child responsibilities equally with your husband/partner and stand united in all 
     the important decisions.

10. Help each other to be the greatest you can be.

11. Treat your kids with respect and kindness.  They are the ones who will decide your nursing home!!!!


A friend posted this comment on Facebook the other day, and it was so encouraging I thought I would pass it on as a true example of unselfishness.

Here is the post -

"I had the most deeply satisfying game of Monopoly recently. It was a family game between my wife, our 6 year old son Max and me.  After a good-natured yet competitive beginning to the game, son Max decided to start reducing or even forgiving rent when (we) the adults couldn't afford to pay it. Soon we followed his example. We ended up by just helping each other buy complete sets (of properties) and evenly shared suitable housing and hotels between the players.  To end the game, we decided that the last two un-bought properties should be set aside as city-owned parks!"

This is great parenting when a young child demonstrates this level of compassion even in a simple game?  Well done parents for teaching your son the important principle of sharing.  Congratulations to you Max for displaying an important principle that many of us overlook in our efforts to succeed.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


A  young father told me once that because his parents were so hard on him, he intended to spoil his kid rotten and not discipline him until he was at least 7 years old.

What is the likely outcome of a kid that has been spoiled rotten?  You may produce 'A ROTTEN KID' who:
  • Believes they are the center of the universe - they feel entitled.
  • Defies authority and disrepects others.
  • Throws tantrums when they can't get their own way.
  • Refuses to be a team player.
  • Does not respect their stuff.
  • Is a nightmare at home, in the classroom or staying with friends.
You can spoil your kids in several ways -
1. Giving them unlimited stuff.
2. Setting no boundaries or consequences.
3. Giving in.
4. Siding with your children no matter what the circumstance.

  • They don't want wishy-washiness or anything goes. 
  • They want clear expectations.  
  • They want you to set rules and stick to them.  
  • They feel safe and secure when they know you will keep your word.
  • They want you to be firm and fair.  
  • If you are not a strong leader in the home, THEY WILL TAKE OVER.  They don't want to, but they will.

Kids don't want stuff. They want you. (Your time, your guidance and your love)