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Happy Child, Happy World! The Happy Dance

child-wedding-mainHappy child,  happy world!  Children are naturally happy.  Don’t rain on their parade.  Joking or teasing just to see how flustered and upset a child can get is as a certain toddler would say, “Not nice!”

Keeping children out of certain places just to please certain adults is also “not nice.”  The noise and the possible mess generated by children can be the price to play for their exuberant company.

Attitudes are contagious.  Bad attitudes are contagious in a bad way.  Some people are just “no fun” to be around and yet, we don’t necessarily bar themfrom joyous occassions.  Yet, they can be wet blankets.  When considering including children in the mix of social occassions, don’t let these adult wet blankets spoil your occassion if you are considering not including children only for this reason only.

Children are naturally happy and playful until they come in contact with some adults who don’t appreciate the natural spontinety of children.  These people often legislate to keep children out of places where they the adults congregate.  I agree with this when such a place is no fun for children.

However, maybe we should spread joy and happiness and encourage the presence of children at certain happy occasions like weddings.  I have seen children attending these joyous occasions getting into the spirit of what the day is all about.  This makes it truly a family occasion and the good spirits of children (not necessarily alcohol spirits) can be contagious.  Children love to dance; but it is usually not ballroom dancing;but it might   hip hop or break dancing.

Some of the best wedding receptions I have attended have been where children were present.  I am not crazy.  I know s sometimes babies are happier in quiet surroundings and can voice their displeasure loudly and disrupt things at a ceremony or reception.  Also children can reach their limit earlier than adults and can become cranky and not the life of the party.  This is true in all of life!  Children can be the natural seasoning of the mix of a good time and a family occasion.  A good time can be had by all.  .

Adults who don’t like children around them are no fun and when there are such people around, it is no fun for the children also.  Joy comes from inside you and when you depend on controlling the things that happen outside you to be happy, you are often no fun for yourself or others.  As the song says, “Let it be; let it be.”

Yes, it might stop adults from drinking as much and “ruining their good time”; but children are an example of how you can have a good time without alcohol.  No, I am not a tee totaler, but I have an occasional drink when I am not driving.  There is alcohol in my house when I want it (which is not often).  Just like I don’t drink and drive; I also don’t watch children and imbibe.  Why spoil your fun?  It is your decision if you are over twenty one and whichever decision you make, make it the right one.  Not all people like to be around children all the time.happy dance

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Your Own Bragging Rights

achievementself-loveDo you have your own bragging rights?  I’ve been afraid to have them.  The higher up you go, the farther you can fall.  That’s what I have always been told.  “The meek will inherit the earth,” is another one.  How about, “Be all you can be-in the Army.”  If we all live up to our God-given or inborn potential, will there be anything left for anybody else?  Potentially we can be or do almost everything if we want to.  We may not have the time in this lifetime to do it all.  But I would love to be able to pick and choose.  Parents say they want their children to do it better and have it better than they have.  But aren’t you the parent just a little bit jealous of your own child when this actually happens?

Sometimes the only bragging rights parents have are about their children and grandchildren.  Could it be like second hand smoke?  Everywhere around you and you can’t help breathing it in; but it does you no good.  Parents sometimes work themselves to death in order for their kids to have it better than they did and often the children do not appreciate what has been done for them.  Part of the problem has been that very rarely does the child want to do or have the exact same thing that the parent wants.  Do it yourself, don’t put everything off or postpone starting your life til after the children are gone.  Especially if you have done a lot for your kids, they may still be depending on you when they should be out on their own or worst yet, they expect you to do the exact same thing as you did for them for their kids.  Too much is too much and enough is enough.

Alright already.  Do your children make plans and share confidences that don’t include you?  You know they are having a good time; but you aren’t.  Are you missing out on something?  Create your own experiences, celebrate your own successes, develop your own tastes and appetite for adventure and success as you see it.  Develop your own bragging rights for things that you have or are doing that promote you.  Maybe it is not so bad to search for and find your own purpose in life or thrive on your own accomplishments.

Not only should you do something well, you should want to shine at it and you should try to do it better than even you expected.  Start now.  Don’t wait for an empty nest (or even to be widowed) or it may be too late then.  Exercise your bragging rights now especially to yourself by saying all those things you would like to hear.  Compliments are made, not born, and may not come easily when applied to oneself.  If we fear success and don’t even dare hope that we will do something spectacular, we leave room for others to do what we could do for ourselves.  Wives and mothers, do you wait til everyone else’s needs are to take any or do you not assert yourself because, it didn’t matter anyway and it keeps the peace.

Who are you?  Have you forgotten?  Have you discovered your hidden talents or have not done anything with them because you don’t think you are worth it? or don’t really have any talent as compared to other people you know who have done it?

The most highly defended is the greatest asset.  That’s why Rocket Risks (Motor Mouth Publishing) are worth it.
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Dampening The Joy of Children

JoyofchildrenChildren are a source of light, love, and joy; but we often unthinkingly dampen their enthusiasim.  Children can be blissfully happy or madder than a wet hen.  We often only orient to their screams and hysterical outbursts.  We are sensitive to that erie quietness that means they are up to something either naughty or dangerous.  We react with shock when they get hurt or are  in harm’s way.  But can we enjoy the everyday sounds of childish laughter or the intimate conversation between two toddlers?  Childhood emotions are often uncensored and in their purist form.  Even their very innocence in their quiet times can be rewarding.  Recently I enjoyed watching a two month old sleep quietly, so quietly, I almost didn’t notice she was there.

Why do we often use the term “childish” as a derogative descriptive term?   In the past, children were to be seen and not heard.  Children were highly scheduled and there was a certain time for everything.  Babies were fed every two hours or so and if they cried with hunger in between feedings they had to wait.  Bottles were preferred to breast feeding.  Breast feeding was too spontaneous and interrupted things.  They also could be given by someone else rather than the mother.  Being a child was often a frustrating experience.  The natural joys and highs of childhood were often ignored and depreciated.  Children were told to go out and play and get out of mom’s hair so she could get some work done.  Playpens were a standard household item when one had small children.

Having been a play therapist, I learned how to observe and participate in a child’s play which was their world.  I was not really another child so I was not a real playmate; but I could become part of the child’s world and participate in it. Hopefully in a helpful fashion.  This has been useful with my own grandchildren as I have some idea of how to interact with and make playing or reading a book to them an interactive experience.  I also get a lot of  enjoyment of it.  I don’t have as many rules as their parents do and generally the scheduling is looser.

Refresh your memory and relive the best parts of childhood.  Focus more on having a good time and enjoying yourself.  It is contagious.



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Interacting with Children

Children from a village in Bihar, India

Children from a village in Bihar, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The earlier you start interacting with the children, the better.  It is amazing what can happen if you just pay attention.  Little children are eager to learn and gobble up all the information that is presented to them.  It can not start too soon.  Babies should be out where the action is unless it is time for a nap.  When awake, they need to be stimulated and included in what is going on.  Give them a good start and avoid problems later on.

Children play games in which they interact with adults.  Children respond to the facial expressions and vocal inflections of adults.  They love to cuddle, wrestle, and be tickled.  Yes, sometimes they can be over stimulated but things can easily be toned down when this happens.  Children also play games with each other.  When certain patterns of behavior are repeated and shared with another child, it can be seen that they are stimulating each other.  Older children can interact with younger children by “teaching” them things.  Just don’t say things like, “Big boys don’t play with babies.”  Also they should be where a caregiver can watch them as sometimes older children can be too rough with younger children even when they aren’t being mean.

If you raise children this way and let them have a lot of interaction with other children and adults, they can develop self-confidence and also self-control.  Don’t have children if you don’t want to spend any time with them or if you plan to leave them for other adults to raise.


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