Tag Archive for schedule

Parenting “Down to the T”

Ever see those parents who seem to have the whole parenting thing “down to the T.” They just seem to have it all together. Their efforts seem to flow so smoothly. I’m pretty sure it’s not always as it appears.  But, it does get me thinking about to parent effectively, how to make parenting run smoothly, how to get our parenting efforts “down to the T.” If you want to parent “down to the T,” include these three “t’s” in your parenting repertoire.

  1. Touch Touch is one of our first connections to family. Gentle, peaceful, careful touch makes infants feel secure. Rough, impatient, nervous handling creates insecurity. Touch is not just important for infants. It remains important throughout life. One study demonstrated that harsh, aggressive touch from parents increased anxiety and somatic complaints in children while response and nurturing touch reduced withdrawal, decreased depressive symptoms, and decreased somatic complaints. Once again, healthy touch promoted a sense of security and positive emotional health. Even the NBA knows positive touch increases comradery and teamwork (Read A Page from the NBA Playbook for Your Family for more).
  2. Talk Keep the lines of communication open with your children from the time they are born until…well, never stop talking to your children. Tell them your plans before you start an activity. Talk over what will happen and the expectations. Then, when things happen as you said, your children learn they can trust your word. Talking about activities also lets your children feel included and respected. Tell your children what you admire about them and talk to them about areas of growth. Talking about strengths and areas of growth communicates how much you value your children and trust their ability to grow. Speak in a loving voice as often as possible. Even in the midst of anger you can speak with firmness and remain polite and respectful.
  3. Take it slow. Children move quickly, but they need more time to process information. They need time to transition from one activity to another. So slow down. Take your time. Talk about the transition and what to expect. You children will have more time to process what’s happening and they will transition more smoothly. Taking it slow also teaches your children the importance of pacing and resting. It builds a lifestyle of calm rather than a frenetic lifestyle of constant rush. A calm family life creates opportunities to connect and bond with one another. It will also reduce behavior problems (Read Managing Your Child’s Schedule for more).

Practice these three ideas and you will have parenting “down to the T.” Who knows, people may watch you and think, “Wow. They seem to have this parenting thing all together…right ‘down to the T.'”

The Family Conundrum We All Face

The Journal of Consumer Research recently published a series of studies exploring the connection between leisure time, busyness, and status (Lack of Leisure: Is Busyness the New Status Symbol). The authors found busyness associated with a perception of high status in the United States. In other words, the busier a person’s life, the more important his he is in the eyes of his peers. In addition, using products and services that “showcase one’s busyness” (like online shopping and grocery deliver) made people appear more important, more in demand, and thus of higher status. So, if you want people to see you as important, keep busy.

The World Leisure Journal, on the other hand, published a study suggesting leisure time spent with family at home was a significant “predictor of happiness for families” (Pleasant Family Leisure at Home May Satisfy Families More Than Fun Together Elsewhere, Study Finds). Taken together, these two studies raise an interesting conundrum for many families. Success and status are associated with busyness; but family joy and intimacy is associated with leisure time spent as a family. And, if you haven’t noticed, our families are caught right in the middle of this dilemma. Children and teens live busy lives. They rush from one activity to another, participating in one program after another program so they can build a resume with enough “status” to impress any university of their choosing. They become so busy that parents rush through the drive-thru to order dinner on their way to the next activity. Parents are not immune from their own busyness either. They not only rush the children around; they also take on more assignments at work to increase their status and reputation in hopes of getting the promotion and the raise that will fund their family’s hectic lifestyle. Status for children pursued through involvement in multiple activities. Status for parents rests on busy children and is further pursued through busyness at work and community involvement. The whole family achieves the status of importance and “in demand” but forfeits family joy and intimacy. Family joy and intimacy requires leisure time spent together as a family. Family happiness grows slowly in the soil of leisure time spent talking, laughing, and sharing together.

These two studies really do present a conundrum for the average family. Finding the balance is not simple. I guess we have to ask ourselves a question: “What is more important to me and my family, status or family happiness?” Then choose your lifestyle accordingly…for “what does it profit a man if he gains reputation and status but loses his own family along the way.”

Prime Your Children for a Good School Day

School has begun. That means getting our children up in the morning and off to school on time. If that isn’t hard enough, we want to get them off in the morning while everyone stays in a good mood. Not an easy task. However, there are steps we can take to make the morning go smoother and prime our children for a better day, a day that starts with a good mood. Here are six suggestions to help.

  • Two Boys Going into SchoolA smooth morning routine begins with an effective bedtime routine. Help your children get to bed early enough to get a good night’s rest. This may mean turning all devices off and relaxing together for an hour before bedtime. Read a book together. Talk about the day. Snuggle. Keep your children’s bedroom conducive for sleep as well. This may mean no TV, video games, or cell phones in the bedroom.
  • Prepare what you can the night before. Lay out the clothes. Pack the lunches. Put homework, books, and school supplies into backpacks before going to bed. Teaching your children to pack for school the night before also teaches them to think ahead and prepare for life in general.
  • Get your older children their own alarm clock. Help your children think about how much time they need to get ready. Teach them to set their alarm on their own. Then, allow them to accept the responsibility of getting up on their own.
  • If they struggle to complete their morning routine, use something they find interesting to set up a “challenge” for them. For instance, our daughter liked Dragon Tales. We printed a picture of one of her favorite dragons and turned it into a simple puzzle. We gave her one puzzle piece for each part of the routine she completed—brushing her teeth, getting dressed, eating breakfast, etc. When she finished her morning routine, she had completed a picture of her favorite dragon. This helped motivate her to keep working her way through the routine. Use whatever interests your children to motivate them through the morning routine.
  • Let them suffer their own consequences…especially as they get older. If they run late, don’t rush to make up their lost time. Let them suffer the consequences of arriving at school late. Let them experience the discomfort of getting up late and rushing through the morning routine, possibly missing their shower or having to eat as they run out the door. Don’t rescue them if, in their rush, they forget to take something to school. We all learn from the consequences of our mistakes. Give your child the opportunity and the dignity to do the same.
  • Establishing a good morning routine sets the pace for the rest of the day. It primes our day and our children’s day. If you’re grumpy, they’ll be grumpy too. Act in a way that will encourage your children toward a positive day. Be kind. Encourage. Share a loving hug as they leave for the day.

 

These six simple steps can help your children’s morning routine go more smoothly. They will also help you build a more positive relationship with your children and prime them for a better day.

Boost Your Memory & Have Fun Doing It!

School time has returned. Morning routines need adjusted to accommodate school’s early start. Afternoon schedules get adjusted to fit in homework and extracurricular activities. In the midst of these adjustments, I recommend one additional change to your routine. ClimbTreeYour children will likely enjoy this small change. In fact, my daughter used to make this change because she thought it was fun. She climbed a tree, sat down in a nook between branches, and read her book.  Why would I suggest you make climbing a tree part of your children’s daily routine? Because this kind of activity can boost your children’s memory and potentially increase learning. It’s true! A recent study conducted by researchers in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Florida found activities like climbing trees, walking or crawling on a three inch wide beam, running through an obstacle course barefoot, or lifting and carrying awkwardly weighted objects can boost a person’s memory by 50%! Why do these activities boost memory? Well, these activities require at least two things: 1) an awareness of where your body is without stopping to look at it and 2) planning some route of movement. That skill combination enhances working memory… boosts your memory and potentially enhances learning. If that sounds like recess, I agree. It also sounds like we need to encourage our kids to climb a tree or run through an obstacle course after school. It might make their homework go faster…and improve the quality of work they complete. And, if you participate in these activities with them you will boost your memory too! So, rather than sitting back to watch your children climb a tree, get out there and join in—climb a tree, race through the obstacle course, boost your working memory and your children’s working memory while having fun with your children. How can you beat that?!

Managing Your Child’s Schedule…or, Seeking Balance in the Devil’s Playground

“Idle hands are the devil’s playground.” I have heard that statement many times…and, I know the truth in it. Laziness, the habit of doing nothing, leads to trouble! However, in our culture Cute Teenage Girl with Serious Expressionwe have swung to the opposite extreme with our children’s schedule. Rather than having “idle hands,” our children are overscheduled, pressured to be involved, and pushed to achieve. In an effort to give our children “every opportunity,” we fill their schedule with multiple activities. Because we fear they might miss out on future opportunities and successes, we pack every evening with at least one children’s activity…and two to four activities on the weekends. We rush from one activity to another, handing our children a protein bar or a happy meal between activities and letting them veg-out with a game on their IPad during the car ride between events. Slow down for a second and consider: What are we really accomplishing with this frenetic, child-focused lifestyle? What are our children learning? What will the long-term impact be?

 

When our children are overscheduled they become exhausted, agitated, and irritable. They snap at their friends and us more often.  They have a difficult time settling down and even getting to sleep at night. They become more easily upset and exhibit a more difficult time managing their emotions. We seem them grow moody, hyperactive, and impulsive…all resulting from a hectic schedule with little to no rest.

 

Filling our children’s schedule with activities may actually backfire, too. WebMD (Read article here) reports that the number of children involved in youth sports has doubled over the last 20 years while the number of teens involved in high school sports has dropped to an all-time low. Three out of four youth who start sports before the first grade drop out by the age of 13. Many experts suggest this has occurred because our children are getting burned out. The constant pressure to succeed and the constant drive to participate leaves them burned out and in need of rest.

 

In addition, with no unstructured down-time, our children never learn how to entertain themselves. They need outside sources to constantly entertainment them and motivate them. They do not learn how to manage their own schedule. Even more, the implicit messages heard by our overscheduled child include “You need constant self-improvement to please your family and be a person of worth” and “Unstructured time is wasted time; relaxation produces guilt.” In overscheduling our children we have not planted seeds of success but seeds of a stressed-out workaholic with few coping skills and a great potential for strained relationships in the future.

Happy family playing

We need to replace the “idle hands is the devil’s playground” with another saying…like, “Take rest, a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop” or “It takes a little work and a little play to teach a man to live.” Let me make a recommendation based on several sources.

  • Allow your child to have some unstructured down-time every day–no scheduled activity, no TV, no video game; just time to relax and figure out what they like to do.
  • Engage your child in an activity of their choice for at least 20-30 minutes each day. Play catch, play checkers, run to the store, or simply sit on the porch and talk. The activity really does not matter. The most important thing is to enjoy time with your child.
  • Consider the impact of your child’s schedule on your whole family. Remember travel time, impact on siblings not involved in that particular activity, impact on meal time, impact on finances, impact on homework, etc.
  • Limit your elementary school age child’s involvement in structured adult organized activities to no more than 3-4 hours per week. That means no more than one sport activity and one church/social/community activity per week. I realize this sounds limiting, but the benefits for your child and your family will be well worth the challenge. And, as your child moves into middle school and high school involvement time will change.

Our children need us to manage their schedule. They need us to help them find balance in the devil’s playground.

Oh Man…Over-Scheduled Again?!

Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” That may have rung true for Bess in Porgy and Bess, but summertime is anything but “livin’ easy” today. We have a constant rush of activity, even in the”long, lazy days of summer.” Children have swim practice, soccer practice, hockey conditioning, baseball practice, band camp, dance class, football conditioning, etc., etc. etc. They may also have church activities like Sunday school, church camp, youth group, mission trips… Then you add in special camps like piano camp, football camp, wrestling camp…the list goes on.  Of course this does not include your usual family activities of cooking, eating, cleaning, yard work, shopping, traveling to and from the myriad of activities…. I am growing tired just thinking about it. No, “livin’ ain’t easy” today; it is rushed, busy, hectic, and even chaotic. Unfortunately, all this busy-ness means we find little time to enjoy one another’s company in the family. The busy-ness robs us of the opportunity to sit down and talk, to learn about each other, and to grow more intimate. It keeps us from the spontaneous tickle match or the leisurely sharing of intimate conversation about relationships over an ice cream cone. Family intimacy suffers in this busy-ness; and family separation grows. Family members begin to live parallel lives. Or, we share functions rather than relationships. For instance, parents serve the function of taxi-driver or cleaning service rather than the role of parent, intimate mentor, and loving disciplinarian. The children are kept busy, but never get the opportunity to learn how to manage their time, involve themselves in family life, or relate in casual, unstructured conversation. Somehow, we have to get back to some “easy livin'” but it will not happen unless we make an intentional effort to “slow it down.” One way to “slow it down” is to become more conscious about the activities in which each family member becomes involved. To become more conscious about the impact of one activity on the whole family, consider these questions:

·         How many hours does the activity require?

·         How much time will you need for preparation and practice of this activity?

·         How much time will it take to drive to and from this activity?

·         What is the parental commitment to this activity? Do you have to attend all practices? Games? Recitals? Can you car pool?

·         How will this activity and the activity’s schedule impact your meal times?

·         Will this activity impact vacation time?

·         Will this activity impact any holiday plans?

·         How does this activity impact your children’s down time or hang out time? Your down time?

·         How will this activity impact your other children’s schedules? For instance, will little Suzie have to attend all of her big brother’s games? How much “passive involvement” time will that mean for her? Or, will you have to hire a babysitter?

·         What is the goal of involvement in this activity? What character trait or virtue do you hope to develop through this activity? Perseverance? Teamwork? Sportsmanship? Focus? Fun?

Reviewing these questions for activities under consideration can help you make a more conscious choice about balancing involvement in activities with family life and development. Hope it is helpful.

Avoid Pushing 5 of Your Children’s Buttons

I hate it when people “push my buttons.” Don’t you?  Our children do not like to have their buttons pushed either.  Effective parents learn to identify those buttons and avoid pushing them. I must admit, I still push a few buttons on accident; and, when I do, disaster ensues. So, I decided to look into what pushes my children’s buttons and share my results with you. Perhaps knowing these buttons can help you avoid some of the meltdowns I have endured. So, for the sake of more effective parenting, here are 5 buttons our children hate…and how to avoid pushing them!

     1.      Unexpected changes. Children love predictability. They need predictability. Predictability provides a sense of security for our children. So, a sudden change in their daily routine can produce an upset child…a meltdown…a tantrum. Avoid pushing this button by simply giving warnings about upcoming changes in routines. Warn them as soon as you know of the change. Warn them several times if possible. Along with the warning, assure them that everything will work out. Let them know of all the people who will remain support and available in spite of this change in routine.


2.      Overloaded schedules. Children need time to process what they learn. They need time to rest. The stress of constantly “being on the go” leaves them “running on empty,” emotionally and physically. With depleted emotional resources, your child becomes cranky and well…may blow their stack at a simple request. Avoid pushing this button by allowing daily down time—time when your child has nothing to do, time when your child can “veg out” and get “bored.”  Schedule free time for your children every day.  


3.      Limits. No surprise here, right? Children get upset with their own limits and the limits placed on them by others. When children cannot keep up with their older siblings or when they find themselves unable to do something they think they should, they become upset. Children are growing more independent every day. So, when you place a limit on them, they will push the limit—maybe even freak out a bit. Still, a parent has to set limits. Reduce pushing this button by making sure limits are necessary, clear, and concise. Let them know the limit ahead of time and explain the reason behind the limits in a way they can understand.


4.      Comparisons. Children gain the ability to categorize and compare during elementary school…and with that skill they become sensitive to comparisons. Comparing your child’s actions to a sibling’s cooperation, a cousin’s achievement, or a peer’s ability will not only push their buttons but make them feel less valued, less loved, and more likely to act out. Avoid pushing the button of comparison. Simply accept your children. Love them for who they are. Acknowledge their talents, achievements, and abilities without comparison.    


5.      Embarrassing moments. As children move toward their teen years, they become easily embarrassed by their parents, especially in front of their peers. They voice embarrassment when Mom yells from the stands during a baseball game or Dad gives a good-bye kiss and hug in front of the guys. Moments they find embarrassing are sure to produce an eye-roll, a “Dad, you’re embarrassing me,” or some other backlash. Avoid pushing this button by honoring your children’s budding sense of social awareness. Do not embarrass them in front of their peers. Give them a kiss before you leave home, not when you drop them off. Remain quiet in the stands at sporting events. When your children begin to get red-faced with embarrassment, change your response to make them feel more at ease.

 A wise elder once wrote, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger” (Ephesians 6:4a). One way to follow this advice is to remain aware of these five buttons…and avoid pushing them! 

Family Rest: A Lost Family Art

Whew, what a blur this month has become! My children have activity after activity, some out of state and some next door. Some mark major life transitions (such as graduation from high school) and some are great opportunities (such as participating in state level academic programs). Then, there is the typical run-around involved in keeping house and home–things like shopping, spring cleaning, working, etc. Even the world around us seems rushed and distracted. Music plays everywhere you go. Cars crowd the roads, weaving and swerving in and out of fellow travelers. Even in the “quietness” of home, computers buzz, lights flicker, cell phones glow, ice makers drop ice. At a recent school concert I watched the dancing shadows produced by the glowing lights of younger siblings playing video games on cell phones, I-Pads, or I-Pods. I encounter a constant barrage of lights, sounds, busy-ness and rush everywhere I go. In the midst of all this, you know what I miss? Do you know what I think our families need? Family rest!
 
Family rest—a long forgotten art in our fast-paced world. When I speak of a family rest I’m not talking about times in which the whole family takes a nap together…although that’s not a bad idea. Nor do I mean those times in which everyone sits around complaining that they have nothing to do; and, in response, everyone literally “veg-out” in front of the TV. Family rest is not sitting in a restaurant because everyone is too tired to cook, although I enjoy this as well.
 
So, what do I mean by a family rest? I mean those times when the whole family gathers together in one area and spends time together…playing, talking, reading, whatever. Turn off the TV, the cell phones, and the computer; forget the deadlines, the “honey-do” lists, and the planning for upcoming days; don’t worry about the world news or the menu for next week. Forget it all and intentionally engage one another in the moment–a relaxed, enjoyable moment of togetherness. You can do this in so many different ways, but here are a few.
     ·         You might enjoy games like Apples to Apples, The Game of Things, or Uno–games that encourage fun, interaction, and verbal exchanges. Don’t be surprised if these playful interactions lead to real eye to eye contact and times of engaging in uproarious laughter together. 

·         Maybe you prefer a more outdoor, active style of family rest. If so, perhaps you would enjoy a family walk or hike, a fishing trip, or a “[semi-] leisurely” bike ride along the rails to trails. During such an activity you can enjoy simple conversation. Once again, you may find this conversation becoming more intimate and meaningful as you proceed. Don’t be afraid to walk right into the more meaningful content of the conversation when it arises and enjoy the intimacy you find.

·         Perhaps you have a creative family that would enjoy creating together. You could sing together, play music together, make art together, or write a story together. Let the music entrain your family rhythms. Allow the art to give integrity, beauty, and flow to your interaction. Listen to the story line as it twists and turns through metaphors and similes as your family writes an evening of fun and intimacy into your family rest.

·         Take a vacation. Vacations don’t have to be long or expensive. You can even have a short “family rest vacation” in your backyard. Enjoy a back-yard picnic and a game of badminton. Set up camp in the back yard, equipped with a camp fire and s’mores. Put out a blanket on a warm night; then lay down as a family and point out the constellations.
 
I’m sure you have more ideas about how to create a family rest. Make it a point to enjoy that rest together. Relax, forget the deadlines for a little while, turn off the electronics, and enjoy the opportunity to resync your individual rhythms with the rhythm of family life.

Get Your Own Life! Leave Me Alone!

Have you ever felt like your child just wanted you out of their life? You want to be a good parent and remain involved with them, but they just seem to want to do things independently…on their own. Let’s face it: they want to do things without you! I know one of the main goals of parenting is to raise a child so they can live on their own…without me. Still, we may feel hurt or even jealous when our children start to choose friends over us, “light up” for their peers but look like a curmudgeon old scrooge around us, or proudly inform us, “No, I don’t want you to go…I want to go by myself.” Here are a few tips to help you think about and prepare for those times when you feel your child say, “Get out of my life!”

·         Children of all ages need their own life. They need a life independent from their parent’s life. When a child becomes the sole focus of their parent’s life, they feel too much pressure to perform. They may fear disappointing their parents by not doing “good enough.” This fear of falling short of a parent’s expectation while always under the parent’s watchful eye will limit their exploration and, as a result, their growth. So, parents do their children a great favor by allowing their children to have a life independent of them. In their independent life, children can try different activities and perhaps even fail without feeling as though they have disappointed the watchful eye of their parent. In practical terms, this means letting your children become involved in some activities without you.

·         Parents need a life independent of their children. Let’s face it: our children only live with us for 18-25 years before they move out and start their own families. Hopefully, we will become involved in their new family, but probably not on a daily basis. We need a life of our own—a life that will continue after our children leave for college. We may raise children for even 25 years, but we hope our marriage lasts well beyond that; so we need to maintain our connection with our spouse. Go on date nights and spend romantic weekends together without your children. Keep your connection with your spouse strong. Also, maintain connections with friends and coworkers. Remember to get together with the “guys” or the “ladies” for a night out. Have friends over to your home for a night of games. Go out for dinner with another couple. Whatever you choose to do, keep the connection with your adult friends and family strong. Strive to become the couple in this commercial (with or without the car).

·         Finally, balance your children’s need for increasing independence with your need to know they’re safe. This can prove a difficult balance to attain. We do not want to over-control or micromanage our children’s lives. Helicopter parents interfere with their children’s growing independence. We really are not our children’s best friend—they generally pick a peer to fill that role. At the same time, we don’t want to throw our children to the wolves either. We have to find a balance…a way to maintain a parent-child connection that allows them to grow independent while we increasingly trust God to keep them safe. We teach them safety skills and trust they have learned those lessons.
 
With these three patterns firmly in place, we can navigate our changing parent-child relationship as our children grow into independent adults. Together, we will learn to negotiate the balance between intruding and participating, nagging and advising, suffocating and remaining involved.

Nourish the Snow White in Your Life

I love the Disney animation “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”—a classic story of jealousy turned to hatred, the love that battle against that hatred, and the final victory of “true love’s kiss.” Although this classic, an adaptation of an even older Grimm fairy tale, was released in 1937, it is still reenacted every day in our marriages and families. Every day we nourish our family members with a “poison apple” or “love’s true kiss.” Our words and actions either result in an inviting, beautiful red apple filled with poison or the life-giving nourishment of true love. Some words and actions are poison disguised within an inviting red apple. Those beautiful, yet poisonous, red apples cast a spell on family members, making it impossible for them to change, grow, and mature. Through the poison apples of words and actions we control the lives of our children and our spouse. We lull them to sleep. How might we use what appears beautiful and inviting on the outside to limit our family’s life and keep them from living out their authentic beauty? Here are a few ways:
     ·         Controlling what our children can or cannot feel—“you have no reason to be upset about that, now stop pouting.”
     ·         Limiting our spouse’s opportunities to develop friendships.
     ·         Limiting our family member’s opportunities to develop interests and hobbies that we do not like.
     ·         Demanding that our teens and/or spouse dress the way we tell them to.
     ·         Demanding that our family watch only the TV shows we want to watch or listen only to the music we want them to listen to.
     ·         Structuring and scheduling every moment of every day for our family, implying that they cannot manage their life independent of us.
     ·         Sending the subtle message that your family members are not competent (and cannot become competent) by putting in “the final touches” on a job or stepping in to redo a job they did poorly.
     ·         Punishing family members for mistakes such as spilling a drink.
     ·         Name-calling, constant criticism, or expressions of dissatisfaction about jobs they put in the effort to complete.
     ·         Making negative predictions such as “you’ll never amount to anything” (even if said in the heat of anger).
     ·         Threatening unrealistic punishments.
     ·         Abandoning a family member in the midst of an argument or heated discussion.
 
Hopefully, you do not nourish with poison apples but with “love’s true kiss,” like Prince (or Princess) Charming. Prince Charming wanted to bring life to the Snow White. He desired to bring out her best. His “kiss of true love” animated Snow White, filled her life with love and admiration, and brought her true self to life. He nourished her with a love that brought out her best. Here are some ways you can nourish your family like Prince Charming nourished Snow White:
     ·         Help each family member identify their dream and then achieve that dream.
     ·         Find and openly admire characteristics you admire about each family member.
     ·         Offers thanks and gratitude for things your family members do.
     ·         Learn about your children’s day and your spouse’s day. Show a genuine interest in their lives. Find out what they like and don’t like. Build a map of their activities, interests, fears, and dreams.
     ·         Share time with your children and spouse.
     ·         Discover what brings your spouse happiness and help bring those things into her life.
     ·         Promote your family’s welfare. This may mean offering loving discipline to your children.
     ·         Accept your spouse’s influence.
     ·         Allow family members to explore interests, even if those interests differ from your own.
     ·         Give up what you want in order to let your family enjoy something they want.
     ·         Encourage your children and your spouse. Look for reasons to praise them.
     ·         Share lots of loving hugs and playful interactions.
 
So, are you more like the Wicked Queen or Prince Charming in your words and actions? Do you carry a basket of beautiful red apples filled with poison or a basket of “true love’s kisses”? It’s your choice. You can choose which basket you use to nourish your family. One leads to pain. The other leads to joy and fulfillment. To me, the choice seems obvious…so, let’s all choose wisely.
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