Tag Archives: advice

How to Deal with Negative People

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cropped-fifty-shades-black-stock-2.jpgSometimes you have to accept that those closest to you will not value you or see your worth. They will only see what it is that they have envisioned for you and how you are not living up to it. They will only see the negative and any positive will not be recognized. This may be a result of many different factors but none of them matter. It is not necessary to find out why they treat you the way that they do, if their treatment is not impeding your progress but just upsetting you emotionally then let go. These people may be your colleagues, supervisors, friends, or even family. In most situations it is someone that you cannot easily rid yourself of but that’s okay. It’s okay because you have a few options to remedy the situation.

Option #1: You can return their rude remarks with kindness and pray for them.

Option #2: You can let them know in a direct way that their words are mean, rude, and unwelcome.

Option #3: You live one life, cut them off.

Now, the last option is hard to do for most of us, which is why we are presently in these situations.   If the person is your boss and you need your job, then you are operating about of a place of fear. If the person is part of your family, especially immediate family, you are operating out of loyalty and attachments. This is the same with friends. You may feel that you need these connections so you stay tied to them and miserable. When that misery starts affecting your mood, making you doubt yourself, and hindering you because you are feeding into their perception of you then it is time to stop operating out fear, loyalty, and attachments and cut cords. This doesn’t have to happen in a malicious way but once you have done this, you may be able to access your true feelings more clearly. You may either see that you now feel relieved and more self-assured or maybe they weren’t the problem to begin with and you have to work on yourself.

Either way, make a plan and get to living your best life since you only have one opportunity to do so.

7 Steps for Dating Online

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With sites like POF, Tinder, and OkCupid, and living at such a fast pace, a lot of people have turned to online dating to find a friend, partner, or spouse.  But, as I have seen recently with some of my own friends, this can be murky territory.  People can present themselves one way online and be totally different once you meet them.  It is important as single parents (which this site caters to) to be even more careful since there are children involved.  Here are seven steps to help you navigate this terrain:

  1. Post a clear pic of yourself that is current (within a year) and without location markers in the background.  This is important if you meet a future stalker, you don’t want this person to be able to look at your pic and figure out where you and your family lives.
  2. Cross-reference.  Once you have found someone who interests you online, do a little digging on the Internet.  Check them out using a Google search, LinkedIn, etc.  See if they are being as transparent as they can online and truthful.
  3. Keep it online initially.  The reason I say this is so that you can learn more about the person while you are still in the safe zone.  Some feel the opposite and want to meet in person as soon as possible but, if the said individual is not safe, you have averted a possible dangerous situation.
  4. Believe what they say.  While corresponding with them, they immediately mention that they are not looking for anything serious believe them.  If after chatting with them numerous times and they are always making sexual innuendo but you want something deeper, let go and move on.  Do not waste time living in la la land.  Do not look at the pic or see them in person and let the physical override your common sense.  Remember there are children involved.
  5. Initially meet them in public place. Do not have them pick you up at your home or even relatives house.  Great first dates can happen during brunch time and early evening hours.
  6. Try hard to take it slow in the beginning.  Sometimes people can put on a show for 3-6 months but usually it quickly unravels after that.  If you move too fast, you risk the chance of becoming attached to a person and feel conflicted because you want to leave but comfort and emotions and overpower reason.
  7. Do not immediately have them around your child(ren).  This one is self-explanatory.

Of course, there are other precautionary measures to take but, I thought these were the biggies.  I would love to tell you, just have fun and throw caution to the wind but as single parents that may not be the smartest thing to do.  I, myself, have been toying with the idea of getting on one of these sites in the future when my life settles down but in the interim I have seen through my friends and even colleagues, that serious consequences can occur. So, I’m sorry but not sorry for the heaviness of this post.  Everything should be alright if we use our heads.

Really Great Advice

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I am not sure if anyone is in the same predicament as me but with two jobs and grad school, it has become quite hard to spend as much time with my children as I would like.  I spoke with my pastor about this and she had some really great advice.  My main issue was that I needed to spend more time with my teenage daughter and as anyone knows teenagers can turn their backs on parents and shut them out; mine hasn’t done this and instead has been trying to connect with me more often.  My son is a handful and usually takes up most of my time when I am at home and not grading papers or writing papers.

So, I was told to send my four-year-old to bed an hour early. Simple but great advice! Why didn’t I think of that?  Well, that is why I am sharing.  I probably didn’t think of that because I am running on autopilot and didn’t step outside of the situation to take a closer look.  Within that hour my daughter gets 30 minutes to herself to relax without having to help with her little brother and the last 30 minutes are for us to share and do whatever it is that SHE wants to do.

When I told her about the idea she was excited.  She even helps me get her little brother in the bed earlier for his storytime and kiss goodnight.  So far we have played monopoly (her favorite game) and 8 ball (a game that uses our cell phones).  We even answered questions from our “Coke or Pepsi” book (great book to get for girls middle school and up).  She loves our time together and so do I.

 

The Binder

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The Binder

Hey!  This is the first real week of the new year and I am overly excited about my journey this year to publishing my first children’s book and creating the life that I deserve.  I have listened in on a lot of motivational conference calls and come across free goal strategy sessions and resources.  There is a wealth of information out there and all of it is accessible and most of it is affordable.  Of course, my idea of affordable at this moment is free.

Anyway, the best idea I came across obviously came from trolling Pinterest.  If you have been following me you already know how much I love Pinterest.  A couple of weeks back I found a lot of free templates for creating personal mission statements, budgeting and getting your finances together, goal setting sheets, health and spirituality templates.  Then the mother of all ideas of which I had never thought about before was creating a “Vision Binder” or “Life Binder”.  I even created one for my friend.

I am all about living purposefully and achieving my dreams so I want to be intentional in my strategy and how I use my time each day to work towards my goals and vision for my life.  What I learned is that when you right it down and constantly come back and review and make it a priority in your day, you will most likely achieve your goals.  I have this poster in my classroom that reads “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.  That quote is accurate.  How many times have we made goals or resolutions and never stuck to them because we did not create a detailed plan and constantly go back and review it throughout the year?

Check out my Pinterest board Boss Behavior and download some of the free templates, read some of the articles, and comment on whether or not it was helpful.  I would love to hear from you.  Also, I created a vision board for 2016 and I posted above my new desk in my room (I had my teenage daughter create one also and this is a great bonding activity.  Have them present their vision board and explain).

I am so proud of this board because I have a gut feeling that 2016 is going to be My Year! Let’s make it the best year so far together!

Happy New Year!

 

Be A Warrior in Your Relationships

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Well, I have moved back to my old neighborhood and I am glad because the kids are happy, their schools are closer, and it’s beautiful here.  Along with this move came a reconnection to their dad.  Our past is somewhat intense.  We met in high school and knew then that we wanted to be together “forever” but as we all know, when kids get involved and only one parent matures, it makes for some heavy situations.  Fast forward 14 years and we are both a lot more mature and it is time to act as such.

I have come to the realization that it is important for our daughter to finally see her parents interact in a positive way and our 3.5 year old son to have his dad around on a consistent basis (also in a positive way).  So, I extended the olive branch and offered for him to spend time with the kids and then when they went to bed we could watch the first game of the NBA finals.  Both of us are going for Golden State!

Anyways, he was surprised because I never wanted to watch sports with him when we were together in the past nor did I really want him watching sports alone.  I’d rather have him watch a good Lifetime Movie with me. So, he accepted the offer and was pleasantly surprised when he saw that I had brought two different types of wings, chips and dip, and beer and wine for the game.Go Warriors

We watched it and celebrated the ups and downs of the game.  As we sat there glued to the screen and the food, it suddenly hit me that there was a clear power struggle between him and me. I didn’t want to give up control and he didn’t either.  We also weren’t keeping the kids and each other partner first.  We were young and selfish.  All he wanted was my presence sharing an experience that he enjoyed.  Crazily I used to be so mad at him for other actions that I tied it to anything that he wanted to do and “didn’t do it”.

Needless to say it was a great experience sharing a positive night with their dad and since then he has come over more often to spend time with the kids, talk about our daughters grades and our sons progress in a new preschool, and just relax.

What I want to end with is the fact that there shouldn’t be a power struggle because those types of struggles don’t account for the children.  We need to focus on healthy relationships, which sometimes mean sacrifice, for our kids.

Small Feats

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Today I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations when I heard the term “Get it Done”.  I usually use a more inappropriate variation of the same term but it all means the same thing.  So many times I make lists of things that I want to accomplish and months later, I can check some things off but not enough.  I want to accomplish all of my dreams, especially my big one’s but I seem to lose stamina because they are so big.  I know some will say that motivation is the issue but, I am not sure if it’s motivation or persistence.  I have bought so many calendars and journals to write down my plans but they were never specific enough.  I just ended up wasting money on another journal full of dreams.  What I realize as I get older and as I monitor myself for online graduate studies is that if I break things down into smaller tasks that are day by day or week by week, I accomplish more and I accomplish more on time!  The feeling of completing something small in relation to a bigger dream feels really good.  So, of course I have come up with a way to organize my small feats that tackle my bigger than life dreams.

I can use one of the many calendars or notebooks that I have already purchased and map out a week at a time.  If you are like me, you have many goals that you want to accomplish which is why it is important to color code them.  I love, love, love my Staedtler pens.  They help me clearly see that I am accomplishing multiple tasks a day in regards to each of my goals.  Use a different color for each dream/goal.  Darken your lines when you are nearing the completion of goals. If it is a huge project, you may want to do weekly or monthly checklists.  If it is not that sizable, you may benefit from a daily checklist.  Check them off when you complete them and or revise and shift things around as necessary. Each day we should all be doing something that emphasizes our talents and pushes us closer to our goals. Otherwise, we will go crazy or get depressed because we have surrendered to a dream deferred.  Look for more posts on this topic to come.

P.S.= Do whatever works for you, but just make sure to get it done!

Passion and Purpose

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PurposeToday I just want to vent a little.  For the past several years I have been trying to do big things and open doors for myself to new opportunities.  I have gone to trainings, received degrees, taken on more responsibility, let others know what I want and everything else positive that would set me up for success.  The issue is that every door that has been closed has stayed closed.  I have received so many rejection emails (none in regards to my writing) that it would make the average person give up.  But, now it is year six and still no bite.  I am getting antsy because bills are piling up, I have children to take care of, and the income is not meeting the demand.  I am working multiple jobs where I am so tired that I just cannot bring myself to write.

Well, no longer!  What I have been doing is following an agenda that is not aligned with my passion and purpose.  As a single parent, I am thinking about affording college, daycare, rent, utilities, groceries, car, etc.  The epiphany has come to me many times before but has rung more clear today than it ever has.  Follow my passion.  Follow my purpose.  And at least if I still continue to struggle, I will be a lot happier knowing that I tried and did something I loved.

I am by no means a quitter.  But, I am wearing myself thin.  I rarely have time with my children trying to make enough to support them and I am still coming up short.  I am writer and motivator.  I want to help other single parents and write for a living.  I want to help society as a whole by those means.  Whether or not it becomes lucrative is of no concern to me.  I want to live with no regrets.

I regret the amount of time that I have already lost away from my children.  I regret running myself into the ground and not focusing on my health and multiple sclerosis trying to take on extra assignments that aren’t recognized nor appreciated.  It is time to live for me and my family.

I hear a lot of my friends questioning their purpose and current situations.  I hear a lot of regret.  I guess the question we end up asking ourselves or should ask ourselves is “what legacy do I want to leave behind?”

Then, go for it!

The iPhone 6

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Yesterday, a thought passed through my mind that I should get the new iPhone 6.  Of course a marketing email sent by Apple spurred this thought.  But, that’s neither here nor there.  I usually try to educate myself before making big purchases and as I have already mentioned in previous posts, I’m really focused on owning my own home.  Saving money is challenging when not enough of it is coming in so, I have to be really careful what I spend my money on.

I called T-Mobile and spoke to one of their sales representatives and she explained that I could turn my iPhone 5s in and switch out for the new phone.  It sounded easy enough until I started asking other questions like:  how much money do I still owe on my current phone, how much would my bill increase, what is the difference in original price between the two phones, and what was so much better about the iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5s.  save-money1

What it came down to would be starting all over on a new, more expensive (by $50) payment plan, adding about $3 to my monthly bill for a phone that really only has a faster processing system.

After knowing this, I went into the store and spoke with a salesman who showed me how big the new iPhone was.  Wow!  Too big for me.  After more probing, he finally said that he didn’t think it was worth it and to save my money.  That’s just what I did and I am so proud of myself.Lesson to all who read this: Dig a little deeper and keep your cash in your pocket.

Breaking Generational Strongholds

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Break free!!

When I think of my mother, I think of a strong woman whom worked hard all of her life until she retired on disability. This is the same woman who had two children early in life and then was surprised by another (myself) in her late thirties. Needless to say there was a lot of adjusting that needed to take place. With an 18 year gap between myself and my sister and a 20 year gap between myself and my brother, my mother and I have always struggled to bond as she wasn’t used to children any longer.

Now don’t get me wrong, she was the best mother she could be but, she, herself had grown up with a mother whom did not show love in the emotional sense, but through her ability to provide for and take care of her kids. The emotional piece had been missing for generations. I’m sure the fact that my grandmother growing up in the south and experiencing racism to an extent that I never had probably contributed to the hard demeanor that she presented. I am also sure that that was passed on to my own mother.

Now, as a parent myself I find it easy to show affection to my children while they are young but not so much as they get older; please do not beat me up for saying this. I currently have a 13 year old whom is going through her own hormonal changes and in need of emotional support of which I am not familiar except by the examples set forth in the family sitcoms I watched growing up.

I am thankful that I noticed my waning emotional support immediately (thanks to being a teacher and experiencing it firsthand with my students and their parents) because I was able to dig deep and surface the source and then research ways to remedy it.

I am happy to say that it is possible to break generational strongholds. I believe in purposeful parenting because you can never get back the years lost with your children but you can make a significant change for the better at any stage that will positively impact their lives. I am constantly searching for opportunities and creating opportunities to provide that emotional support to my daughter. I can’t say that I am an expert or that I am doing it correctly, but I am trying.

I have:

  • Purchased Groupons to brunch in the city for just her and I
  • We read a good book together or talk about whatever she wants to freely
  • We have created traditions that are unique to us and will be different for myself and her brother once he gets older
  • I purchased a devotional geared towards mothers and daughters to read with her every night
  • I do not allow electronics at the breakfast/dinner table to allow for conversation between her and myself
  • I have recently looked up more volunteer opportunities that we can do together

I am constantly looking for ways to create the emotional support that she needs as it is vital to her self-esteem and self-awareness. Recently, I read a book called How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and my goal is to fill her bucket daily with positivity. I recommend reading this book and also StrengthsFinder 2.0. Just because something has been a certain way in your family for generations doesn’t mean that it can’t stop with you (and I am referring to something negative). You must proclaim that it will be different for you and yours. Purposefully parent!

Learning in the Sun

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We have all heard of the infamous “Summer Slide” and if you haven’t, it is the loss of knowledge that occurs during the summer months.  Children are usually outside playing, babysitting siblings, or inside playing video games or on social media–all of which are not promoting learning throughout the summer.  So, in turn, they lose what they have learned throughout the school year and the brain becomes lazy.  As a teacher, it is always interesting to hear a student say “Mr. or Mrs. So and So didn’t teach us that last year.  This is mostly 90% incorrect.  They were in fact taught the concepts but failed to retain them throughout the summer and the brain placed the information into the deep recesses of their mind.  They just don’t remember. This leads to a reteaching of concepts that have already been taught and a waste of classroom time that could be spent on “going deeper” with those same concepts.

Every summer, I have my daughter read a book and tell me about it.  If it is a book that I haven’t read myself, I pull a copy of the chapter by chapter summary from online (to make sure she is not bluffing).  Most times, she has a summer reading assignment for her teacher for the upcoming year but, I also give her assignments myself.  The web is a great tool.  I can create crossword puzzles to test her knowledge of the book.  There may even be some already created.  My new passion is Prezi, so this summer, I am having her use this platform to summarize the story (plot events), conflict, theme, and main characters.  She is currently reading ” The Fault in Our Stars”.

Another tool I use is my local bookstore.  There is an entire teacher/education section where I pick up material for her to study math concepts (this is her hardest subject).  It is important, especially with subjects that children find challenging, to keep them immersed in the material all year-long.  Finally, the local library usually runs a summer reading contest or club catering to the different age groups.  There are so many resources out there and if you need any other ideas, feel free to drop me a line.  I have also added my Pinterest board “No More Summer Slide,” that provides a wealth of resources and I will continue to add to it as I come across great links.  Remember, you are not stealing the fun away from your child.  They can still go out and play.  But, what you are doing is preparing them to be successful academically and later on in life.