Monday, August 22, 2011

The Power of an Outside Voice for Parents

I subscribe to a weekly email newsletter published by motivational speaker Jon Gordon. Today's newsletter is especially relevant to parents so I'm republishing it here, thanks to I hope you enjoy it.

The Power of an Outside Voice
"Jon, never underestimate the power of an outside voice."

A CEO shared these words with me after I had just spoken to his company.

"We brought you here to reinforce our message," he said. "Our folks get tired of hearing us say it but when it comes from an outside voice it's new, fresh and exciting."

I knew exactly what he was talking about.

Even though I'm brought in to speak to some of the biggest names in sports and business my kids have little interest in hearing what I have to say. From what many parents tell me on my travels I know I'm not alone.

So, besides having my kids read my books and writing inspirational messages on whiteboards in their rooms, I've resorted to outside voices to reinforce the message and principles I want to share with them.

I have found coaches, tutors, youth pastors, mentors, experts, etc to encourage, coach, teach, push and bring out the best in my children. I bought my son a great video by Jim Loer on how to develop mental toughness during a tennis match and his tennis coach reinforces the importance of focus and practice. My friends Paul and Mindy McCord have given great advice to my daughter about being the best lacrosse player she can be.

I also give my children books to read, share inspiring Youtube videos, and we watch Joel Osteen as a family. Some of Joel's messages are similar to mine but when he says it, it's like they are hearing it for the first time. : )

There's something about the power of an outside voice and I want to encourage you to use outside voices to share and reinforce important principles and messages with your team at work and at home.
I will do all I can do to support you by continuing to write books, give talks and provide even more free resources to be an outside voice for you and others. I know its my purpose and I'm glad to be of help since no one will listen to me at my home. : )

But please know there are many outside voices out there and I encourage you to find the right people and resources to share with your work team and ask family members, neighbors, friends, teachers and mentors to encourage and teach your children and team at home.

There's the power of an outside voice and you can start tapping into one today!

... all politics aside, I have to agree with Hillary Clinton's "it takes a village to raise a child" concept. I feel like we have a wealth of great parents in our community who will watch out for my child, correct my child when needed and encourage her when possible. Looking for these "outside voices" is so important in our kids' development and I'm thankful for those special parents who continue to help us.

Do you count on other parents or adults to help positively influence your children?

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lessons in Childhood Friendships

Do you remember your first friends? How about your best friends from early elementary school? I do.
First grade brings new friends for many kids, myself included. It's amazing the lessons you learn about friendship as early as first grade. Luckily, I still keep in touch with a few of my best friends from first grade (Carrie & Cathy), although we don't chat nearly enough. Two of us still live in Houston so that makes it easier, I suppose. Many like my mom never lived long enough in one city to maintain those friendships.
C & K Prepare for Class
The situation is a bit different for the two girls pictured at left. They actually met when they were about 3 months old at nursery school. This week, they donned matching uniforms down to the white socks and white and navy saddle shoes. The grins almost match, too. First grade never felt so good.
It's interesting to watch your kids grow up, make friends, have their squabbles and then make up. It'll be a great ride watching K & C grow up. With one school that starts in nursery school and continues through middle school, it should be easier for these two to remain friends. While I encourage my daughter to make more friends and to be a good friend to everyone, I can't help but to appreciate the strong relationships she's already developed. Here's to looking back on photos like these in 20 years and talking about everything they've accomplished together.

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Theater District Open House in Houston, August 28 from noon - 4 pm

I just saw this opportunity today and only wish I had seen it earlier so I could have mentioned it in my newsletter. I suppose this gives readers one more reason to come to my blog. This looks like a fun family activity.

The 18th Capital One Bank Theater District Open House is a fun-filled way to experience dance, music and theater for FREE! Bring the whole family for a day in Houston's world-renowned Theater District as the Alley Theatre, Hobby Center, Jones Hall and Wortham Theater Center swing their doors wide open. Guests can expect live performances, meet-and-greets with costumed performers, Capital One Bank trolley rides & the best ticket deals of the year on season subscriptions!

Visits with Great Grandparents are Such a Treasure

Last Thursday, Little K returned from her trip with her Grand to see her great grandparents in Ohio. It was the day before her "Meet the Teacher Day" and we jam-packed her schedule as summer came to a close.

Little K was tired but filled with stories to tell -- much like the ones I remember from similar trips when I was her age. Her suitcase also came with some interesting items like the live cicada named Emma. (I don't know how that got through security. Nor do I think Houston needs a cicada from Ohio.) Pa Pa Don is still his humorous self.  Little K made the adults laugh until their sides hurt when she claimed that the cicada slobbered on her. Cicada slobber?

The trip had barely started when Grammy served homemade biscuits and gravy. Later Pa Pa Don fixed his now famous fluffy pancakes.

Little K and her extended family found time to go fishing and actually catch something besides grief. Little K discovered a new love for worms. She played with cousin Bentley, who is older and wiser by a few years. They went for a ride in Uncle Brad's tractor and ran in the green fields (a new idea since Houston has only brown grass due to the drought.) Aunt Kenny filled her up with another tasty meal.

They picked fresh vegetables from the garden like tomatoes, potatoes and beans. They relaxed in the hot tub so Pa Pa Don could "soak his bod". From the pictures that I've included you can see that there was even time for dress up.

The only missing piece was Mommy.

I'm so bummed I couldn't make this trip. Still, I am blessed that my mom (a.k.a. Grand) was willing to take Little K to visit her great grandparents. How many adults can recall such times with their great grandparents? Some of us didn't even get much time with our grandparents. The time allowed is never enough but we continue to make the most of what we are given.

It really makes me crave more time with our family members. I encourage you to treasure your time with yours, too.

At the end of the trip, Grand took Little K's picture with her great grandparents. Snap. Then Little K looked up at her Pa Pa Don and said, "Don't worry. I'll be back."

"That's what I'm afraid of," he said laughing. Yes, we will be back. Thanks for a great time and many more memories. We can't wait to see Grammy and Pa Pa Don in Houston this November. That gives me plenty of time to come up with some pranks to play on Pa Pa Don.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, August 05, 2011

When Your Kid Takes a Trip Without You

We dropped Little K off at my parents, kissed & hugged her, & drove away. Her lip was pouting as we drove away & so was mine. I threw her my hand signal for "I love you".

Tomorrow, Little K heads to Ohio with my mom (aka Grand) to see K's great grandparents, great aunts, great uncles & cousins. I don't feel great.

The only other time I've been away from my 6-year-old daughter was 2 years ago when Trent & I took a wedding anniversary trip for 5 days. My sister pointed out that that trip was easier for me because I had a trip to look forward to. This time the roles are reversed. I didn't expect this.

Oh boy! This could be a long week. Plus, in May, I had so many plans of fun things to do over the summer with my girl. Where did the summer go? K returns on Thursday night, only to head to "Meet the Teacher Day" on Friday. What?

I'll keep myself pre-occupied with a weekend trip to Austin but I already miss my girl. Here is a photo of K this morning, counting down the days until her super fun trip to Ohio. (We've taken a photo each day this week & emailed them to PaPa Don in Ohio.) At least she is excited.

Okay, enough of my sob story. AC/DC is on the car radio singing "It's a Long Way to the Top" & we are pulling into Austin. Here's to a fun, safe weekend to all parents & their kids -- no matter the age.

- Until the next nap time...