Monday, October 20, 2014

Family First - Always!

Author Tom├ís Melendo gave the opening speech at the "Family as a Social Paradigm"Congress in Europe back in 2008. In his speech entitled "Family, Primordial Place of Happiness" he, very interestingly, rejected the idea that the family is the cell of the society.  His argument was that the cell is a part of an organism and is subordinated to it, so the wellness of the organism is above the priorities of the cell and the the family then, by that logic, is subordinated to society. 

For Mr. Melendo, the family has its own sovereignty and it can't be subordinated to any other association;  it is the other way around: society should be subordinated to the well-being of the family. He also posed the idea that if each person is not considered as an absolute value, then there is no reason to prevent its extinction. If the dignity of each person does not come first, then he could care less if the society turns into a chaos.

The family is fundamental and it has to be defended and supported because it provides happiness. If a family approaches what it is supposed to be, something that depends 99.9% on each member of the family - each one of us-  then it will always provide happiness to its members.  Think about it, the change begins within me, within my family, acting responsibly, improving myself with education, instilling good virtues and values to provoke a change in the world.  Family first!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Choose to be Happy!

Joy and happiness:  like all the other virtues, you have to work on acquiring it. Thankfully, we have the freedom to be owners of our state of mind.  We can choose to be the kind of person whose emotions are directly related to Wall Street gains and losses, or to the performance of our favorite team, or not.  

When you see clouds, you might think that they have the freedom to float up there in the sky, but they don't, they go wherever the wind sends them. We are not like that, we have determination, we can choose where we go, or how can we approach any situation. We can seize the moment and take control of what is going on. We most also recognize the fact that we are God's children, and God is almighty, so with a strong faith and Him on our side, nothing can defeat us.

We need certain qualities to be able to find happiness:
  • We must be strong to look at life facing the facts. 
  • We must optimistic, but have our feet firmly planted in reality; achieving balance between illusions and capacities to get to the point of maturity. 
  • We must know ourselves and how things are, objectively. 
When something is not perfect and it doesn't provoke joy in me, I must stop and think: "is this really that important?" Some "tragedies" are not necessarily tragedies because we learn from them, they take us to a different place and if manage ourselves, to greater things.

Serve others, make yourself useful without exhibitionism, without showing off, make someone happy directly because you care. Choose to be happy!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The 6 Things You Need to Tell Your Children Participating in Sports

Experts that studied college athletes and asked them what their parents said that made them feel great and brought them joy while playing sports, have made things incredibly simple for us parents with kids that participate in sports.

Based on psychological research, the three healthiest statements moms and dads can make as kids perform are:

Before the Competition:  
Have fun.
Play hard.
I love you.

After the competition:
Did you have fun?
I’m proud of you.
I love you.

And, get ready for this, the six words that our kids want to hear us say the most:

"I love to watch you play"

This is genius! Memorize this for their next game!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Curfews Dos and Don'ts

Don't allow them to just walk out the door and say I'll see you at such and such a time. They still should tell you where they are going and call in if their plans change.
Do allow some lead way on special occasions such as proms
Don't allow them to call half an hour before they are to be in to ask if they can sleep over at a friends. This is generally a red flag saying 'something is up'.
Do set a reasonable time for all involved. If you would like to get some sleep before midnight on a Friday evening, then set the time for 11 pm.
Don't get sucked into the 'what everyone else is allowed to do' conversation.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prayer of a Teenager's Parent

Our daughter's Catholic high school posted this prayer today and we just had to share it with our readers. Really well done!

Dear God,
Help me remember the strongest influence
I have on my teenager's way of life,
Is the example I set with my life.

Help me enjoy these years as they question everything,
Explore their growing independence, 
and discover themselves.

Help me focus on the person my teenager is on the inside,
not on the outside appearance.

Help me give attention to the "little things" 
so they will come to me with the "big things"

Help me teach them accountability
and resist the temptation to protect them 
from the natural consequences of their actions.

Help me whisper 
when I feel like yelling
and hug when I feel like pushing them away.

Help me show them that,
even when I don't agree with what they think or do,
I will always love and accept them.

Help me know when a problem
 is too big to be handled within our home,
and not be afraid to reach outside for help.

Help me allow my teenagers the room to expand 
their experiences while still providing them the security
of well defined boundaries.

Help me truly listen by focusing on their priorities
and how they see the world. 

Help me remember that when I was a teenager,
I made mistakes and had to find my own way.

Lord, help me remember the best gifts
I can give my teenager are 
my time, my love, my attention
and my approval. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Take Photos of Your Kids Before Heading Into Crowds

No parent wants to think about losing track of their kids in a crowd, but it's best to be prepared just in case.

Reddit user Ozstriker has a simple and excellent idea: use your iPhone or Android phone to take a picture of your children before heading to the beach or amusement park.  If you get separated, you'll be able to show good samaritans a very recent photo of your kid wearing that day's outfit. 

This is one of those tips you hope you'll never have to use, but it can make a huge difference if you do.

Friday, June 14, 2013

What Do We Want To Accomplish As Parents?

I always say it... it is a miracle that we made it to adulthood in one piece!

Show this excellent video to your children and try to help them grasp how the world was before they where born just a few decades ago. Use it to help them understand why we want them to go out and play, to explore, to take risks (according to their age, of course).

We have to always remind ourselves that we are not raising children, we are raising confident, centered and independent adults that,  in just a few years, will have to fend for themselves in this complicated world.  We can only hope and pray that we do a good enough job, so they can lead a fulfilling and joyful rest of their lives.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

20 Thoughts To Live a Better Life

1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5 * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can't push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
 17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.


20 *Save the earth..... It's the only planet with chocolate!