Advice Gone Wild

“Do you have agendas for your children that are more important than the children themselves? Lost in the shuffle of uniforms, practices, games, recitals, and performances can be the creative and joyful soul of your child. Watch and listen carefully. Do they have time to daydream? From their dreams will emerge the practices and activities that will make self-discipline as natural as breathing.”        William Martin

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.” Henri Nouwen

“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.”    Viggo Mortensen

“I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn’t need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about.”    Henry Ford

There is so much going on around us constantly that we rarely have time to review what we are thinking saying or doing. There isn’t time anymore to worry about what we have concluded at any given moment. As a result we shoot off in various directions, buying items we likely don’t want or need and doing things not necessary.

I think we have become trapped in a bizarre notion of keeping up. Today we don’t fear so much our ability to have as much money as we doubt our ability to live up to perceptions of who we are and our abilities to accomplish great things. This understandably spills over into every asset of our lives. The result is a genuine misguided attitude of lack.So many people who are actually well educated, have good jobs, nice families still have a gloom and doom sense of not making it in the world. They are forever striving to check out the next invention or newest idea on the market. One would think they  were giving out prizes for being the first to buy and use the latest project or food product.

I suppose that is why  there is so much discussion about healthy food, lifestyle exercise programs and benefits to  meditating. Of course I would agree that all of this is worthy and should be looked into. I just have a problem with the way it is being promoted and the negativity  surrounding those who are slower to jump on the wagon.

Everyone wants healthy food for themselves and their family. We all enjoy exercising and keeping the weight down. The trouble is we don’t all have the same kind of stamina after work or before work to put in the effort. Yes we can be called lazy or worse but likely the truth is we have different stresses  placed on our shoulders and therefore various amounts of anxiety that eats away at our will power.

I am not searching for excuses but I won’t blatantly admonish those who render themselves to the couch upon arriving home. Needless to say that might be the comfort they require at that moment. Somehow without a doubt we all understand the positives of healthy foods and exercise.  It is just that sometimes a change in one’s schedule takes time and yes  some effort which perhaps we can’t muster just yet. So many people insult others with their tone of voice. They make statements like, “if you read the statistics you would jump on board right away”. They are likely correct but the effort is lacking at the moment.

The weight of bowing  to these folks is as strong as the compulsion to buy candy when you are hungry. You want to do it but don’t have the stamina. I suppose the crux is the strain and pressure that gets in the way. Even when things are good for us we still need time to adjust our schedule and our time. The more something appears to be a must do, the more we shut down to it. There is already too much on our plates.

I also see a  similar happening with observing others houses, kids, games, free time, recreational activities and more. Someone may be content with their habits and lifestyle until they observe another. Suddenly they sense they are doing everything wrong, right down to the way they are diapering the baby. They believe they might be changing the baby too often or not frequently enough. They judge their kids games as above their heads or too  easy. The puzzles appear to need more pieces because their kids have outgrown them. They must hurry to buy new ones before the damage is done.

Some people sense their homes are too dirty, too clean, too cluttered too busy or too dull and unattractive for learning. Even moms and dads who devote many hours towards interactions with their kids believe they might not be doing it in the correct way. Perhaps they don’t speak to their kids enough, play games with them enough, bring them outside, or spend time building to enhance their kids math skills. If this sounds familiar then maybe it is time to slow down not rev up your wheels.

As one says one or two things never make or brake a situation. Missing one or two things is not going to make the difference in your child becoming a superstar or failing. I would be the first to say new inventions and ideas are well worth looking into but leisurely and with caution. Just because it is new does not mean it is the end all be all. If anyone recalls hearing the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” they will understand that not everything new is necessarily a good or even better thing. Jumping on all that is entering the market is not the way to go. Listening to what others tell you to follow must be taken with a grain of salt.

Our own lives are sometimes speeding along filled with as much fullness as anyone could muster. Has anyone thought of the fact that the more we attempt to fix things that perhaps are not even broken, the more frustrated we become and the more doubt and worry we place on ourselves. of course our clear thinking is then suffering because all we notice is what we are doing wrong.  We lose faith in some of our own improvised tactics.

Money can be a strain when one wants to buy the items deemed useful. Probably kids get as much adventure and pleasure and learning out of using sheets and towels to make a fort. If we allowed some creativeness to enter without controlling the toys perhaps we would find our child’s own personality venture forward.

I am not concerned with anyone who chooses to follow anything new nor am I against buying the best toys on the market if that is what you can afford. I am opposed to those people who condemn themselves when they can’t afford to do the changes physically, mentally or monetarily and then they fret over it. We are making bigger deals out of situations than we need to.

I remember during my teaching years, telling parents to remember that any inner talents their kids possess will come out in due time.  You cannot squelch inner qualities. Yes you can aid them but still you can’t stop them. At a future date in time they emerge. Parents would be best to lighten their own minds.

The internet allows for us to have too many opinions and way too many ideas. Let’s face the facts. It is too much to incorporate. Who is the judge stating that some new idea was better than a previous idea. We get confused because we have too much input and we are on overload. We visit someone and believe they are doing it better right down to the way they have arranged the playroom for better access to the toys. I for one have seen many kids scramble over all kinds of objects to get to toys.  That shows their initiative. Maybe we should stop  reading everyone else’s suggestions and trust our own. Allow our own kids to lead.

There isn’t a wrong or right way. There never was. It is based on popularity, newness and time saving. You can still keep things earthbound and find you have successful children. The first inventions were made by those kids who had nothing more than their imaginations to work with. Have faith in yourself and what you are doing. Have confidence in you and your kids and most definitely love your kids. That is what I would emphasize. Love is like magic. It works every time without fail. That is the key to success at anything.

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
― Francis Bacon

“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”    William Martin

“In the end only kindness matters.”    Jewel

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