Thoughts: 10 Ways Kids Can Turn Positive Thinking into Actions

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Combining Positive Thoughts and Deeds

Thoughts are powerful but is there something stronger? Our parenting skills expert and author of the book, The Good, The Bad, and the Difference, Michael Sabbeth, is here to shed some light.

 

First, we'll describe a talk Michael Sabbeth had with third graders to show why a positive thought may not be enough. Then we'll share how two experiments deepened the children's wisdom. Finally, I'll end with 10 simple things children can do when they combine good thinking with acting.

A Lawyer's Discussion with Kids:

One chilly fall morning, Michael began a discussion with 8-year-olds about friendship. Specifically, he asked the class about caring and its relationship to doing. His eyebrows arched when some children said caring and helping were the same thing. He remembers Julie saying, "Because, with both, you are doing something good and you feel better."

Two Challenging Experiments about Thinking and Acting:

Michael brought up the topic of homeless children and devised two tests.

1. "Close your eyes," he told the class. "Concentrate for 15 seconds on caring about homeless children and improving their lives. Imagine giving them books and clothing and shelter."

When the kids opened their eyes, Michael asked if they had any evidence that the kids' lives improved. They said, "No." Then Michael added the second experiment and tripled the time.

2. "Close your eyes for 45 seconds and really care. Don't hold back."

Some youngsters clenched their fists. Others bit their lips to think their most generous thoughts.

When they opened their eyes, Jordan blurted out, "It takes no work to care." Samantha shared that she was a volunteer at a homeless shelter. Morgan, in talking about caring and doing said, "They're not equal at all! Doing is better.

Michael encourages parents to have these kinds of dialogues with their children because they quickly lead to deeper levels of thinking. (From pages 214-215)

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10 Ways Kids Can Turn Positive Thoughts into Helpful Actions:

1.  "I hope Johnny gets over his cold."  Call Johnny and tell him you hope he gets better.

2.  "I bet Suzy would like one of my chocolates." Offer Suzy a chocolate.

3. "I'm glad Jimmy likes my new bike." Ask Jimmy if he'd like to ride it.

4. "I wish Sally had a friend." Ask Sally to play.

5. "Somebody should be nice to the new kid in class." Introduce the new kid to your friends.

6. "Kirsten gave a great book report." Tell Kirsten what you liked about her book report."

7. "Too bad the teacher punished Alvin for something he didn't do." Tell the teacher the truth.

8. "Jonathon looks hungry." Share your snack with him.

9. "Tina has to finish her yard work before she can play." Help Tina finish her work.

10. "I'm sorry Peter has a bloody knee." Help Peter wash it and give him a band aid.

When good ideas are followed through with helpful activities, they create superior outcomes. Consider brainstorming kind actions toward others with your children. Then ask, "What can you do to make it happen?" By getting kids to add actions to thoughts you are teaching them to be kind now and preparing them to be leaders tomorrow.

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Let's THANK Michael Sabbeth for sharing his class discussions, his experiments, and his wisdom.

Michael Sabbeth best

 Michael Sabbeth

Pick up your copy of The Good The Bad & The Difference: How To Talk With Children About Values and watch your children grow when you use his ideas for your creative discussions.

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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Which Values Must Children Learn from Their Parents?

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   Learning Values from Parents

When you teach your children values, which ones would you like them to repeat at your funeral? Our parenting expert and author, Katherine Gordy Levine, has researched some of the wisest sages of our time and is here to share them from her book, Parents Are People Too. She'll even tell us what she said at her mother's funeral.

Eulogy from Your Children

Which would you rather have your children say at your funeral?

  1. Mom taught us how to love.
  2. Dad pushed me into achieving the Eagle Scout Award.
  3. Mom showed by example how to help others.
  4. Dad read us bedtime stories.
  5. Mom made us succeed by hitting and yelling.

In Her Chapter on 'Goals and Missions - Knowing What's Important,' Katherine shares 4 common core beliefs. She calls them one-liner templates for guiding your child's life. Which one of these would you want your children to adopt?

  • "To thine own self be true."
  • "Winning is everything."
  • "The one with the most toys wins."
  • "What will the neighbors think?"

Did you pick number one?

Katherine goes farther by naming these 3 common core beliefs across cultures:

1. Help those in need; be caring.

2. Treat others fairly.

3. Only some people are worthy of caring and fairness.

How did you feel about the third one?

3 Authors Katherine Recommended for Teaching Values:

1. Victor Frankl, who wrote about surviving a concentration camp in his book, Man's Search for Meaning, said that those who survived best believed in the service of others.

2. Robert Fulghum's book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, cleverly puts forth the ideals of caring and justice.

3. Dalai Lama shared his core belief by saying, "My religion is kindness."

Three Values Katherine Shared at Her Mother's Funeral:

1." She gave us the gift of loving life's, small pleasures. She taught us to love the first snowfall, a shooting star, a piece of sea glass, the sunset."

2. "She always knew exactly how to comfort the hurting child, how to make all children feel special."

3. "She often bought and sent to you small reminders of her love." (From pages 117-124)

Katherine ends with the question, "What do you hope your children will say about you?"

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I find such wisdom, practical advice, and solid research from Katherine. One of her gifts is how she writes. It's as if she's having a kind caring conversation with you.

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Pick up, Parents Are People Too: An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents so you can instill the best values in your children.

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Let's APPLAUD Katherine Gordy Levine for sharing her beliefs on how to be our best and pass them on to our children too.

Katherine Gordy Levine
Katherine Gordy Levine, MSS

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Advice for Parents in Love: Never Compromise Your Values!

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Couples in Love Respect Each Other

If you're a parent in love and feel uncomfortable about your partner's values, keep reading. Our expert author of Love Like a Black Belt,  Dr. Jackie Black, is here to discuss 5 basic rules of conduct. Let's find out what they are and why you should not violate them.

 

1. Effort

2. Etiquette

3. Sincerity

4. Character

5. Self-Control

The fact is that everyone identifies with core values that give life direction, meaning and purpose. Without these core values, you're a rudderless boat with no way to steer through rough weather.

When two people enter a relationship, whether it's an intimate relationship, friendship or a business relationship, the word "compromise" often enters the discussion. Should you make compromises to foster a stronger relationship?

Be very careful about compromise. It is one thing to accommodate another person's schedule or lay aside personal preference when picking the color of a set of drapes. It's quite another when the relationship challenges your core values and beliefs.

Each of them is intimately linked to the value and ideal of respect.

1. Effort: This is quality of your expression of life.

Putting in a great effort certainly shows respect (caring) for yourself, but ultimately demonstrates respect and appreciation for the people who teach, mentor and coach you to the highest levels of performance.

2. Etiquette: This is how we demonstrate respect for one another.

Just think about the lack of etiquette and formal protocol in today's society and you'll understand what happens when we let this value slip. In a relationship, this is how you show tangibly that you respect your partner.

3. Sincerity: Deeper than honesty, though you can certainly apply that word as well.

Sincerity is being honest to you. This is the most authentic expression of self-respect and is essential if you are to have the capability of expressing respect to others.

4. Character: Character is who you are and how you project yourself to others.

Character shows respect for your community and the people you live and work with. If you are of good character, you are a leader by example. People of character are a valuable resource for others.

5. Self-Control: Most of all, self-control is a demonstration of respect for your place in nature.

Acting with reasonable restraint is an expression of caring for your environment and shows appreciation for the abundance you have access to. In a relationship, self-control is a vital expression of respect for one's partner when there is conflict, and there will be conflict.

Some of these values may resonate with you; you may have others. The important thing to recognize is: Under what circumstances, if any, would you be willing to compromise your core values? (From pages 11-12)

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Dr. Jackie Black has highlighted respect as the value flowing through all 5 core values. Without respect it's difficult to value oneself or one's partner. She grounds us in what's important for our relationships that thrive.

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Pick up Love Like a Black Belt: Cracking the Code to Being a Happy Couple

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Let's THANK Dr. Jackie Black for helping us lay the groundwork of values for becoming parents in love. Her book is full of treasures for deepening love.

Author Dr. Jackie
Dr. Jackie Black

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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8 Parenting Tips: Survey Shows How Religion Helps Teens!

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Find Out How Religion Can Help Families

Can parents who raise teens with religion help kids make good life choices? Our parenting expert and author has research to prove it. Dr. Parnell Donahue shares an excerpt from his popular book, Messengers in Denim. Let's find out what he's learned and his 8 parenting tips regarding religion.

 

Religion News Service recently reported on the National Study of Youth and Religion, which has been described as the most comprehensive research ever done on faith and adolescence. Four of five teens in this survey of 3,000 teens and their parents said that religion is important in their lives.

And among parents who said religion was very important in their lives, two-thirds of their children said the same. Most importantly, the survey said that teens with strong religious convictions are more likely to:

. Do better in school

. Feel better about themselves

. Shun alcohol, drugs, and sex

. Care about the poor

. Make moral choices based on what is right rather than what would make them happy (From page 91)

Dr. Donahue's Recommendations and Parenting Tips

1. Belong to an organized religion and attend services regularly.

2. Insist that your kids attend with you and are attentive to the service.

3. Observe your religion's tenets in your home. Read religious books and view religious programs on television.

4. Make sure your teens attend youth group or other structured high school religious education programs.

5. Make use of those teachable moments to express your thoughts and your religion's views.

6. Respect others' religions.

7. Bless your children, your family, and your friends. It shows them you believe what you preach. Blessing even those who dislike you is even more telling.

8. Make religion a habit. (From page 95)

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I like Dr. Donahue's straightforward approach to the importance of religion. Religion offers the values and group support that can help teens make good choices and experience spiritual love. Many popular writers shy away from discussing religion and therefore avoid a powerful force for good.When you read Dr. Donahue's chapter on religion, you'll enjoy true teenage stories.

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Pick up Messengers in Denim: The Amazing Things Parents Can Learn from Teens

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Let's give Dr. Donahue the PRAISE he deserves for sharing the powerful tool of religion and what it can do for our teenagers. You'll love the true stories he shares about teens in his chapter on religion too.

Blog Optimistic Dr. Parnell Donahue

Dr. Donahue

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You Can Have Fun Building Character in Your Children

 

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Fun Discussions Build Character!

If you could have fun building character in your children, would you do it? Now you can! Pick up my kindle book  today on Amazon.com for FREE.

Character Building: Problem Stories for Family Discussions will help you instill solid values in your kids. Your children, in turn, will love the attention, approval, and appreciation you give them for their thoughts.

Gone are the unpleasant days of lecturing, nagging, and yelling. With this FREE e-book, you will help your children access their own wisdom in solving the problem stories about topics like:

1. Fighting in the car

2. Bullying

3. Bragging

4. Put downs

5. Chores and many more

Your children will help decide the listening and speaking skills they need. They'll practice empathy, social awareness, and problem solving too.

Your family discussions can be held at the dinner table, before bedtime, and on long car rides.

Why not create an unbeatable family bond, build character, and have fun doing it?

In Addition to This Free E-Book, You'll Receive These Bonuses:

15 car topics

18 ways to create family conversations

51 subjects for discussion starters

This promo only runs until midnight PST September 26 and 27, 2012.! Pick it up now for FREE at:

Character Building: Problem Stories for Family Discussions

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If you don't have a kindle, no problem! Download the FREE Kindle App and read my kindle book on your computer. Get you kindle app at Kindle for PC

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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