It’s so tempting to write someone off, to dismiss them as “less than.” They’re too young or too old to be taken seriously. They speak a different language or have a different skin color. They may be poor, uneducated, disabled or just simply unattractive. RESIST that temptation. Remember that every human being is God’s creation, a masterpiece cloaked in dignity. No matter what they look like or even what they’ve done, everyone you meet is deserving (and in need) of respect. To be humble is to remember this. (Start lesson young, phrased age-appropriately, and reticket yearly. Look for opportunities to discuss.)
It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. ____ In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. ____ If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”
— Haim G. Ginott, Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers
(Re-ticket this every year.)
They’re very teachable at this age. When behavior is bad, send to their room for a brief “time-out.”
Then go get them by sitting and putting him/her on your lap. Talk (1-3 sentences) about why we don’t behave that way and how I expect you to behave instead. Then hugs and kisses.
If the offense is really bad, introduce consequences (which have to be immediate, they wont understand missing out on something hours from now, won’t make the connection.)
Connect with people however you can, in whatever way feels natural to you: Talk, listen, perform, compete, create, laugh, pray, explore, share your truth, acknowledge the divine in yourself and in everyone you meet.
Avoid bird seed or pet food near your home. It attracts mice, rats, ticks, etc. keep bird feeders that use seed a good distance from the house. Try liquid feeders near windows. Or use a feed tray or hulled seeds (little waste.)
Letting go hurts. There's no two ways about it. You just gotta feel it and get through it. Cry. Sweat it out. Sing, run, write, or just scrub floors. You will get through it, and you will be stronger and more compassionate.
"Surround yourself with people who trust and get YOU." - Josh Groban, High Point University 2018 commencement address.
Note, I love that quote because it speaks to having a tribe, a close group of friends. But it's also important to surround yourself with people who challenge you, who may not agree with you or have the same perspective as you do.
Drills (Writing pages of lines, grammar games,etc) Contractions, pronouns, commonly misspelled words, homophones like their and they’re, etc.) Drill drill drill! Written communication is so important and a simple mistake could cost big points at work.)
Born To Dance has lessons and also does birthday parties. A dance class is a good way to get up and out of the house on Saturday mornings during the winter months. It'll be fun at this age - while he's still young enough to enjoy it without being self-conscious. Also a good way to get exercise before he's ready for organized sports.
On marriage: Your spouse will change. You will change. Some for the better, some parts for the worse.
Tastes, plans, health, body shape, education, needs, beliefs... all change throughout our lives. It’s growth. (It’s also decay!)
Support each other through both.
Encourage each other to be true to yourselves. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be kind. Pray for each other. Have fun together. Keep learning about each other. Be your partner’s biggest fan.
One of the best doctors I ever worked with started his day by walking through the office and saying “good morning” to everyone. He’d do the same before he left at the end of the day, just making sure everyone was ok, to call him if they needed anything, etc.
I don’t know what your career will be but if you’re in a position to do so, I hope you’ll adopt this habit.