Renew Fading Friendships

A function of maturing and making your way through life is that you’ll occasionally leave behind someone you really care about. It might be your best friend from high school, your old neighborhood buddy, a college dorm roommate, or even a past co-worker you connected with.

Over time, you may find yourself yearning for another conversation, a lunch out or evening spent with a long-lost friend. But after so much time has passed, how can you renew fading friendships before they disappear completely?

Consider these suggestions to re-connect with a friend from your past:

  1. Give your friend a call. You might freeze up at the thought of calling because, after all, it has been so long. However, the only way of renewing your friendship is to make contact. Just do it.
    • Tell her you’ve missed her. Mention you’ve been thinking about the fun you had shopping and playing tennis together and that you want to maintain your friendship. Listen to how she feels about the relationship. Inquire about what’s going on in her life.
  2. Persevere. If you don’t have your friend’s telephone number, call his parents or drive by the last residence where he lived. Knock on the door and inquire of the residents if they know what happened to him. Contact a mutual friend and ask where your old friend is living now or how you might get in contact.
  3. Set up a rotating commitment. Once you contact your friend and discover he wants to continue your friendship, suggest the two of you get together on an ongoing basis to keep your relationship going.
    • For example, meet for dinner every other Wednesday evening. Get together one Saturday a month for lunch. A standing appointment keeps you both looking forward to spending time with one another.
  4. Be willing to make the extra effort. If your friend lives 90 minutes away by car, when you call, say you’d love to drive over and spend some time with him. Show you’re willing to do what’s necessary to see your friend occasionally. Hopefully, your friend will eventually be willing to drive over to see you as well.
  5. Write a letter and send it by snail mail. A hand-written letter shows you put some time and thought into what you wanted to say. Plus, your friend will have a tangible representation of your attempt to contact him, which means he’ll notice your efforts to get in touch.
    • This method is particularly helpful when you don’t have the person’s telephone or cell numbers.
    • Send a letter every other month for 6 months or so and include all your contact information, such as your cell phone number, home phone number, e-mail address, and home address. Doing so will make it easier for your friend to contact you using whatever method he prefers.
  6. Once you’ve established initial contact, use technology to stay connected. Find out from your friend if he uses e-mail and texting. If so, send him an e-mail every few days. If your friend prefers a quick text, use texting to stay in touch.
  7. Consider Facebook. After you’ve made your initial contact, find out if your friend is on Facebook. If so, “friend” him and use Facebook to keep in touch.

It’s a great feeling to discover an old friend wants to renew your relationship. Go ahead and be the one who takes the first steps to rekindle an old friendship. Use these methods to re-connect with that wonderful friend from your past.

Determining What Motivates You

Being able to figure out what motivates you will be a real benefit throughout your life. Once you know what brings you inspiration, you can draw from this list to keep you going whenever you need a boost.

Explore this process to discover your own motivations:

1. Think about the most difficult situation you’ve ever experienced. Then record the answers to these questions:

• What did you think about the event?
• How did you feel about it?
• How did you arrive at how you were going to handle and resolve the situation?
• What was important to you at the time – was it how you felt, what you thought your parents would think, what you believed was “the right thing to do” or something else?
• Ultimately, what did you do to resolve the event?

2. Next, reflect on 2 or 3 of your biggest achievements. Maybe for you, graduating from college or moving out on your own was a big achievement. Continue writing down your answers to these additional questions. This process will help you to identify your own motivations.

• What did you do to achieve your success

• How did you meet your goals?
• What did you think about during the process?
• What motivated you – looking out for your future, wanting to make more money, hoping to make your parents proud, or something else?
• Did you visualize what your life would be like once you had achieved your goal?
• How much did you really want to achieve it?

3. Analyze your answers. After reflecting on the above questions, your mind will be more open to identifying what’s important to you. So far, what have you discovered that motivates you? Are you surprised at what you’ve found?
4. How do you feel about these concepts? What motivates one person might not motivate another. Still, it’s likely that you’ll feel inspired by the same one or two issues consistently throughout your life.

Ideas from this list may ring true to your feelings:

• You strive to feel like you’re doing “the right thing.”
• You want to increase your ability to earn more money.
• Pursuing your passion propels you forward to accomplish more.
• You hope to see the pride in your parents’ eyes.
• Maybe you seek recognition from other people – you hope to be noticed and admired.
• You want to make your or your children’s futures better.
• You feel the need to prove to yourself that you can achieve something.
• You like the idea of stepping up to a challenge in your life.
• Seeking variety in life motivates you to try new things.
• You strive to overcome a difficult childhood and emerge triumphant.
• Discovering and validating who you really are as an individual is important to you.
• You plan to dispute negative messages someone from your past instilled in you.
• You want to do something in life that “really matters.”
• Perhaps you enjoy the sheer entertainment value of doing something.
• Writing down your goals and making an action plan spurs you on to accomplishment.
• You like to see your list of achievements grow.

Whether you want to improve your life, make more money, or follow your passion, discover what motivates you. Then, apply your motivators to situations that really matter. Now, you’re ready to achieve whatever you seek in life.

Getting to Know Your Children as Individuals

Raising children is one of the most fulfilling experiences in life. As with most parents, you probably feel very close to your children, because after all, they’re a part of you. Parents tend to see their own children as extensions of themselves. Of course, this is true to a certain extent.

However, it’s also important to recognize that your children are also individuals. Regardless of their maturity levels, your children are “budding” adults, interesting and evocative in their own special ways. Even very young children have their own wants, preferences, and sense of self.

As children grow and thrive, they develop their own interests. For example, you might have a son who loves to finger-paint and a daughter who prefers drawing. One child takes particular pleasure in riding bikes while another would much rather sit and read a book.

To raise children with healthy self-esteem, it’s a good idea to allow children the emotional space to express themselves. If you encourage your children to be themselves, they’ll grow and bloom into fascinating, independent human beings.

Try these activities to get to know and appreciate your children as individuals:

1. Spend one-on-one time with them. Allow them to choose what activity to share or game to play. Observing your kids as you play together is a fun way to learn who your child really is.

2. Listen. Although you most likely do a fair amount of talking to your kids, the other side of it is to listen very carefully to what your children have to say. Children make concerted efforts to talk about what they like, and when they talk about what they like, they’re sharing what’s important to them.

* When you know what’s relevant to your kids, then you’re truly getting to know them.

* Establishing easy communication early will help make the teenage years go more smoothly.

3. Initiate conversations about their interests. Inquire what happened today on your child’s favorite television show. Again, listen intently to how your child conceptualizes what occurred.

* Take the time to engage with your kids each day, regardless of their age.

4. Invite your child to play “house” with you. Allow them to decide who will “be” the mom, dad, brother, sister, or other members of the family.

* Encourage them to set up the situation however they like. They might even act out something they’ve seen you do at home.

* Playing house with your children encourages them to express themselves, which helps you really get to know them while enhancing their self-esteem.

5. Give your child choices. When children are allowed to choose, their choices show something about them as people. You can learn about your children by noticing the choices they make.

* For younger children, set it up so they can choose from 2 activities: for example, take a walk to get ice cream or go play miniature golf.

One of the most enriching experiences you’ll ever have as a parent is getting to know your children as individuals. Try some of these strategies to draw out your child’s personality. As your children grow, you’ll learn more and more about who they are.

Help Your Pre-Schooler Make Good Choices: Lead by Example

Anyone who has a very young child knows that their little one often needs help making choices. They also need to see role models. To help young children make positive choices, lead by example.

Children are always watching and imitating what they see their parents and other caregivers do. No matter what you say to them or around them, what you do is more significant. To lead by example, remain aware of the way you act around your child every day.

What Are You Really Showing Your Child?

Getting angry, complaining, or making negative comments teaches your child that these are appropriate ways to behave. Instead, model good behavior and lead with your example.

Implement these tips into your daily life to model positive behavior to your pre-schooler:

1. Remember that acting out your anger doesn’t solve anything. There are certainly times when showing your displeasure is appropriate, but there are ways to handle those emotions that are more productive than others. Avoid hitting, yelling, or cursing. Those are behaviors that you want to avoid encouraging in your pre-schooler.
2. It’s okay to cry or be sad about something important. However, it’s usually better to tone it down around very young children so as not to upset them. Shedding a tear or two is fine, but sobbing uncontrollably over a minor problem isn’t the kind of behavior you want your little one to model.

• Children are very receptive to their parents’ emotions and may experience intense sadness if you share yours.

    3. How you live your life will shape how your child lives his. Even if you think your little one is too young to pay much attention, they notice all sorts of things. Whether you smoke or drink, what you weigh, how you eat, whether you sleep enough, and other choices become models for how to live life. Ensure your child is seeing positive behaviors to imitate.

    When You’re Not There

    It’s not possible to watch your child every single second. As he enters school, even pre-school, he’ll spend more time with friends. With that in mind, good examples are more important than ever. If you model good behavior, your pre-schooler will learn to make the right choices when he’s not around you – even if others do wrong.

    That good behavior when you’re not there to watch over him is what you’re really looking to create. You want your pre-schooler to explore his world and learn how to eventually live his own life. While he’s growing up, though, it’s important that you guide him and show him the right path. If you model this clearly and consistently, you’ll have less to fear as he grows up.

    Children who see their parents doing the right things grow up learning to do the right things. They make good choices – generally – even when their parents aren’t around to watch them. By leading by example, you also don’t put as many rules and restrictions on your child. You also avoid forcing them to do a lot of things that you can’t or won’t do, which can breed resentment.

    Children who grow up with too many restrictions often rebel, and that’s not what you want to see happen as your pre-schooler gets older. Instead, limit rules to ones that you both follow willingly. Your pre-schooler will be proud to emulate you, and you’ll raise a child who can safely find his own way in the world.

     

    Self–Esteem: Adults and Children

    Self-esteem in adults and childrenParents have a huge effect on their children’s self esteem. Studies have revealed that there is a huge correlation between self esteem between adults and children. Your outlook hugely effects your child’s perspective in life. For example: a parent being unsocial makes the child unsocial, etc. This relationship can affect many areas of a child’s life and future.

    Be conscious about things that may manifest in your child’s life. Role playing is the key in the growing years of children – you must role play the example for them. They see themselves in it. Self esteem is important because it makes a child proud of who they are and comfortable with who they are.

    Children must gain acceptance with friends and not be reclusive in nature. This is responsible for allowing respect for an individual. This need occurs in the beginning of growth – it is always present. The need for self esteem is huge. The ups and downs of life are trained and harnessed by self esteem and attitude; also it is the same with inner battles.

    As children get older they must take on the responsibility of developing there own self esteem. This happens by watching others. They especially watch parents. Humor is the BEST manifestation of self-esteem. It speaks of confidence and self acceptance. This also gauges how a person carries themselves in public.
    Self esteem helps children want more. They will crave more attention but also want to satisfy their needs to feel good about themselves. It makes kids see things in a whole new light – a positive light. It makes them want to do more and to achieve great things.

    Parents should always try to make a point to display a great showcase of self esteem and confidence. Don’t forget to spice it up with lots of positivity and humor. You will not be sorry you did. It is for your child’s future after all. You cannot let go enough in this area – really make a point of speaking of yourselves and others in a positive and confident way to set the example.