Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Lenawee Great Start Collaborative Articles..



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Never has this been truer than today. Literally. As another Monday approached I spent my morning doing what I normally do: Walking the dog,making breakfast and taking my son to school. But it was on the way home from dropping my son off that my “everyday” changed it’s direction. As I was taking my normal route home I had recalled an ad I had seen on-line for position available at a local company. It sparked my interest because it was in the mental health field,that of which I have a strong background. But what was peculiar about this position was that the company was only accepting offers through personally delivered resumes,nothing online or email. Most any other time I would have thought it too much work and too out of my way but on this morning I couldn’t get it out of my head. Two stops from my home while sitting at the light a debate began in my mind,”Turn left to visit the company and drop off a resume or go straight and leave it for someone else to contend with.” Back and forth,back and forth. My eyes watching the light to change,thinking Left or straight? Left or straight? To heck with it,I turned left. Thinking to myself well you’ve made your decision might as well go all in,I stopped in,grabbed my resumes out of the car and waited along with some other job seekers patiently for my turn. While I was waiting an older women caught my eye. She was maybe late 40’s,black long hair pulled back,regularly dressed,jeans and a sweater,nothing fancy just a simple older woman who put off an aura that maybe she was new to the area. I must have observed her so much that she spoke to me. “Hables espanol?” she quietly asked. Do I speak Spanish? Being of Mexican heritage it’s certainly not the first time I’ve been asked and I replied with my normal ” Poquito,no mas.”-” A little.” Instantly she smiled and I noticed what a beautiful smile she had,such a kind face. One that I couldn’t possibly turn away from no matter how poor my Spanish-speaking skills were. In our language she began to unravel to me a story of how she had come from the neighboring state and had heard of “Trabajos-jobs” here in Michigan and since she had just gotten her High school diploma,she wanted to take her chances. She asked me about “Emails” and “Resumes?” things she seemed to be a little unfamiliar with. She began to tell me that she had been living in a migrant camp picking tomatoes but now of course that the seasons were changing she was looking for a factory job to help support her family. “I want to work!” she insisted. “I don’t want the unemployment,I rather work.” It was as if, had I of walked away from her, she wanted me to know that one thing about her. I asked her how long she had waited for someone to help her and she relayed she had been there since it opened but no one had said anything to her. She said she just wanted to know how she could get an email and make a résumé,since now she was a graduate. I made a couple of phone calls to some of my more fluent Spanish-speaking friends that gave her some connections on who to talk to and places she could go that were hiring. I stayed with her,made her an email and built her a strong resume as best I could. After about an hour I left her own her own to work on learning the computer and other things she was eager to know. I walked out,got in my car and left. Not till I got in the car and notice the stack of resumes I had never dropped off. It didn’t matter. As I sat in my car feeling very grateful for the opportunities I have had,I was most grateful for one thing: That I had turned Left. It wasn’t for me but was for someone else who needed me to come her way today.

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Blood is thicker than water.
Says who?
The saying “Blood is thicker than water ” can leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone who has had a clash with a family member. At the turn of the century, the connotation of the family unit drastically changed. And so did it’s values. The iconic given that family should always have your back and be there through thick and thin has been reduced for some to a mere,”yea,we’re related.”

What do you do if you find that not a river,but an ocean, has sprung up between you and a family member?
Are family “break ups” easier or harder to repair?

A friend of mine *Mary(names have been changed to protect the innocent and NOT so innocent) had went through a nasty divorced a few years back. After 20 some years of marriage and 3 children,she had snuggled into the daily routine of working part time and raising her family full time while her husbands’ job provided the family with all their needs. So when she found out that her husband was not just working 9-5 but putting in overtime with a co worker, she was about to find herself ,”In the thick” of things.

Of course Mary had support from everyone around her: Friends,family,even her newly found social network comforted and eased her pain through the dark times. But what stung Mary the hardest was how some members of her family were not only comforting her but comforting her husband as well. It was unimaginable. The pain and embarrassment was enough to deal with but to feel that anyone who cared,who truly loved her,could feel sympathy for the man that had turned her world upside down was a smack in the face. And cut like a knife,right in the back.

Now granted,time has gone by and both *Mary and *Jack have remarried and have managed to repair their torn relationships with the adaption of *Co-parenting,and the kids have grown and have accepted having weekends at dads and every other holiday with mom as the norm. But rips and tears still remain for the family of Mary who found themselves instead of straddled on the fence,pushed right over.

Now I can’t say if  Mary can ever forgive her family for what she feels was the ultimate betrayal. But what I can say is that there are times in our lives when either being an outsider looking in or being the center of a dramatic fallout we need to have a solid support team. We may need to expect now and again that we can’t assume that family will always stand on ourside. And quite honestly,it may even be unfair to ask. But the one thing that is without a doubt is that no matter what unexpected turn of events come our way our greatest advocate comes from within. If you build yourselves up,take responsibility for your self image and believe strongly in your truth,you won’t need to be reminded of the fact that not everyone has your back.

For tips on *Co-parenting

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One of the worst thing a parent can do is compare themselves to another parent, especially a celebrity parent. We see it more than ever now, celebrities toting their children—some biological, some adopted—as their latest accessory. It can be very easy for us ‘everyday’ parents to find ourselves wondering  just how they manage to have the glamorous lifestyle and still have the kids in bed by nine.

blogs.babble.com/famecrawler/tag/angelina-jolie-brad-pitt-and-kids/Let’s stop fooling ourselves. Many of these parents have way more help then we do. It’s unfair to compare ourselves with the rich and famous. They have round-the-clocknannies and the best that money can buy. Surely the pictures we see of them at the park strolling hand-in-hand with their well-behaved children are a far cry from the pictures we never see of them: frustrated, tearing their hair out with up-all-night babies and crazed teenagers. Even still, if we’re not peering into the lives of the onscreen June Cleavers we still may find ourselves a little curious as to how other parents handle the odds-and-ends of parenthood.

The truth:  It’s such a waste of time and effort to constantly try and follow the latest parenting trends. What works for one family doesn’t always work for another. Each family is different. Each child is different, and each parent—mom or dad—has a different idea of what’s best for their child. I remember feeling a little uncomfortable when other parents would talk about the awards their child was receiving at school when my child was struggling. I felt the heartache and self doubt when my methods of parenting wasn’t giving the results I was hoping for. I felt that pain. I felt as if I had let my child down and myself down. So I stopped and “got back to scratch” (i.e., made a fresh start). I developed these simple rules for “Getting Back to Scratch:”

  • Trust – Self doubt is a parent’s worst enemy. You have to trust in yourself and keep in mind you will make mistakes.
  • Keep an open mind – Holding on to generational parenting ideas can sometimes hinder a parent. Instilling culture is a must but it’s okay to accept some of today’s new modern approaches.
  • Forgive – When I say forgive I’m talking about forgiving YOURSELF. It’s easy to become overcritical of ourselves especially if we’re too busy comparing.
  • Stick to what works – Like I mentioned before, doing what works for your family is the essence ofgood parenting. Maybe you do homework right after school, maybe you do homework after everyone’s had dinner and settled down. Either way is right as long as it works for you.
  • Share – Don’t be a hero. Share the responsibility of parenting with trusted family or even friends. When you need a break, ask for one. Create a blog or web page where you can share ideas with other parents around the world, explore your similarities and just vent if you have to.
  • Divide and Conquer – If the problem is the kids won’t listen, the rooms aren’t getting clean, homework’s not getting done, etc., pick one thing and focus on that first. Then move on to the next issue.

There’s nothing glamorous about being up all night changing diapers and telling a teen twenty times to clean their room. But there is something to be said about a parent who listens to his/her family’s needs and creates a custom template for raising her/his child. In fact, it makes for a fabulous parent!

View original post @http://lenaweegreatstart.org/blog/2012/09/12/how-do-you-measure-up/

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Too young for stories.

I think my son is a writer. He’s definitely a storyteller. Last night while getting ready for bed he asked me for a story. And after unfolding the classic Golden book fairy-tales as best as I could, he chimed in with “I can tell a story. ”
Relieved and a bit curious I encouraged him to tell his story. “Once upon a time, there was a boy, he was 5 years old, his name was Feather.” Feather? I said questioning his choice. “Yea, Feather.” He went on. “Feather lived in a house in the woods with his brother.” Of course by now I’m thinking the obvious, where is this going? And Where is he getting this from? I felt the pull of his story from the ones I had recited, Red riding hood and Goldilocks were all forest based stories, at least the way I had retold them.
“What’s his brothers name?”
“Leaf” he answered almost upset I interrupted him.
“Leaf!” I laughed,
“Feather and Leaf.”
“Mom, you tell it.” He said. I was starting to make him feel insecure about his story and since I had felt this before, I surely didn’t want to put him through it. “No, you do it, what happened to Leaf and Feather?”
“They went in the woods and they we’re looking for their cat. But they didn’t know it was scary, the woods was scary.”
Ok, I thought, perfect place for a start off tomorrow night so once again I cut him off and at his disappointment he agreed we’d finished tomorrow. I have to admit I was/am a proud of my little storyteller. Who knows? Feather and Leaf may be on bookshelves one day.

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These children need our prayers.Through out the month of September I will be bringing you heartfelt stories all dedicated to these children. Click the link below to see how you can make a difference,send a prayer or even sponsor a child through Compassion Bloggers.
Thank You


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