Daily Life · Family · Relationships

5 Of The Best Relationship Tips

Everybody has trouble with relationships. Most of the best movies or books revolve around this fact – interpersonal relationships.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I haven’t had my share. I’m not perfect, I’ve failed miserably at times. I won’t lie to you – I’ve been divorced, in failed relationships, fights, remarried and still have battles.

Many people would say that this makes me inqualified to speak on relationships – why listen to someone who couldn’t do it right the first time? I’ll tell you something – something everyone knows but no one says aloud. The ones who failed the first times are the ones we listen to on a daily basis – they know what mistakes not to make.

Think about this – Humanity learned from people who made mistakes: 

Benjamin Franklin found electricity due to a failed attempt of putting a key to a kite.

Thomas Eddison – He had over 1000 unsuccessful tries at making a light bulb. He finally found one.

Amelia Earhart gave her life trying to fly across the atlantic and failed – other people learned, followed, and succeeded.

My point is – I may seem unqualified because of 1 unsuccessful attempt but learning and growing is part of my nature. It’s made me who I am. All this to say – I’ve learned what I’m about to share with you. 5 basic relationship tips to help you succeed.

  1. Not Every Battle is Worth Fighting –

Fighting takes a lot of energy. It drains you dry. I’ve learned that peace is better in my household. There are some battles that I will fight out right but most of them, if I sit quietly long enough, my husband will fight in his own mind. Sometimes it’s more worth it if I simply allow him to figure out he is wrong than blatently saying he is, please don’t misunderstand me – when he asks – I will honestly tell him what I think. This doesn’t mean that I need to vocalize it at every moment though. Save your energy – ask questions that prompt introspection from them and they will figure it out on their own.

2. Basic Respect – 

Everyone wants to be respected. Basic respect comes in several forms – some I’m still learning. Listening instead of talking over, not correcting in public, and following someone elses lead are great ways to show respect. Even when my husband is wrong and I know it – I try to listen and not talk over him. I try not to correct him in public – even in front of his own family, and when he directs me to something – I try to follow his lead (as long as it’s in a decent and correct direction). When he asks for my opinion in public I try to word it as politely as possible so that he can understand where I’m coming from and that I don’t agree with him.

3. Compromise – 

Life is compromise. Give and Take. Yin and Yang. Everything is about balance. When it comes to relationships – it’s important to compromise. Sometimes it’s about housework, sometimes it’s going out. For us it’s about purchases, items that we can enjoy outside of work. My husband encourages my good habits – blogging (I got my own domain last night!!!), I encourage his gaming or collecting of figurines. Everyone has their own hobbies and it’s important to find balance and make compromises so that each person gets to keep theirs.

4. They Only Get One Family-

This may seem strange but I’ve had two mother-in-laws in my life. The first, while I tried to be nice and respectful was a real trial for me. The second (My current mother-in-law) is a fair woman. She is my back up. Many times I don’t need to correct my husband because my MIL (Mother-in-law) does it for me. He listens to her far more avidly than he listens to me (not in a bad way) but she is his mother. Many times I can go to her with the problem I’m having with him and she will interceed and help him understand when I can’t. I try to encourage him to spend time with her and also with all his family. You only get one and then it’s over. Family is important and it’s important to keep those relationships up evern when you are married.

5. Stop Expecting…… – 

This is probably the best advice I can give to you – stop having expectations. Life isn’t built on them and you will only be disappointed. I had a revelation the other day when I was irritated with my hubby. I was mad but I was mad because he wasn’t acting the way I expected him to, he was acting the way he had always acted. At some point – you need to stop being irritated because the person is acting the way they always have and not conforming to what you want. It’s kind of freeing – they might grow and change but it won’t be through your expectations and when you stop expecting than you can start forgiving. Forgiving brings healing and healing brings you closer together.

Conclusion: 

I’m no expert. I have, however, found that these tips make all the difference. I have a happier, simpler marriage than some of the others I see. Following these steps and find a simpler form of living. Enjoy the relationships again and hey – if after practicing all these it still isn’t working – maybe it’s time to think about other things…. But that’s another post.

Have tips and tricks? Drop me a Note:

Children · Daily Life

Childhood Consequences

I don’t have children. Don’t let that stop you from reading thought.

I’ve heard many people say that those who don’t have children shouldn’t have an opinion about parenting and the techniques utilized. They say that those who have no children know nothing. Let me be clear why I’m qualified for this post. I have 7 nieces and nephews, I have nannied for several years, I have grown up watching other peoples children and their parenting styles and I choose not to have children at this point in my life. I also believe that I’m qualified to speak on this topic because I choose not to have children.

I choose not to have children not because I dislike children but it’s a huge investment of time and money. It’s an investment that I’m not ready to make. People always say that someone who didn’t do what they did or the way the did it shouldn’t speak on an issue but there are many ways to do one thing. And just because someone failed at something the first time shouldn’t disqualify them. No one is perfect.

Many parents no longer teach their child to behave. There is no discipline. The issue with this is that then the child becomes an unreasonable little monster. You know what’s super funny to me, everytime I am around a child who won’t listen to their parents (provided I know the child) I will set a boundary for them. They never cross it with me. I have looked at children and told them “You will not get Ice Cream whine one more time.” It’s incredible – they clam right up and pause before they say anything more. I’m not saying that parents need to use force or they need to start spanking. What I’m talking about is basic discipline – there are consequences and rewards for every action.

Here are some ideas to get them started:

  • Every action needs a CONSISTENT consequence.
  • Every consequence must be reachable no matter where you are located.
  • Every good deed needs to be noticed and praised or rewarded.
  • Every reward must be tangible no matter where you are located.

It’s really very simple when you think about it. It’s similar to when you have to work, you show up late – there is a consequence. You work hard and do your job properly – you have a reward (maybe not right away but you still have a job and that is a reward).

The consequences can be something as simple as standing in the corner, or be as much as taking away something. But you have to do it every time. Without consistency, you cannot have respect, from either your child or other people.

Here’s the basic memo – the lack of parenting in the world has lead to an increase in entitled little monsters. Don’t add to the burdens of the world, take time to be a parent and actually invest in something that will stay with your children forever. Teach them to have manners and discipline.

Children · Daily Life · Work

5 Tips for being a Successful Nanny

I have to admit that while I don’t currently desire to have any children of my own, I do enjoy being a nanny. I watch two boys Monday – Friday and while they have great days most of the time, occasionally we have bad ones too. I’ve picked up a few useful tips on how to deal with these days because at 6 years and 9 years old, I can’t cope with the behavior the way I would out of an 2 or 3-year-old. Both boys have different disabilities and it makes dealing with the behavior an interesting maze of actions and reactions.

  1. Listen – Sometimes all they really just need me to do is listen to what they are saying and sympathize with them about it. A lot of the time I don’t even have to say anything. Sometimes they talk about school or their dreams of becoming a motocross star or game system creator, but other times they talk about food they like or how rough their day was. No matter what they talk about, I try to listen and sympathize.
  2. Consistency People really underestimate how much children need consistency, especially kids with disabilities. It gives them something dependable in their life. I try to always have dinner ready at 5pm. We always do homework at a specific time. Things like this make it easier for them to anticipate what I’m going to ask them to do and it makes it easier for me when I have to tell them what to do.
  3. Discipline – I am never going to tell you to physically discipline someone elses child. I would never do that myself. When I talk about discipline I am referring to actions and consequences. Allowing children to grow up in a world without consequences does nothing for their moral compass or for their ability to learn about responsibility. Example: The 6-year-old that I nanny decided he would try to deceive me yesterday and not come do homework when I told him to. He likes to come home and watch Minecraft videos on YouTube. Normally, I let him finish his video before doing his homework – it’s annoying as an adult to be interrupted from a video, so I imagine as a child it’s harder to focus. Today, however, when I picked him up from school he came in and asked me where his Ipad was – I told him “You tried to decieve me and not be responsible yesterday. The consequence is that you lose the right to decide when we are going to do homework until I see responsibility again. We are going to do homework right now.” He was less than pleased to say the least. However, now he knows that he can’t do that.
  4. Find Something Special – As a nanny, you have to know when to have fun. You also need to know when to find something that can be special for you and the kids. While consistency is awesome and very necessary, on the really bad days (most of the time it’s because it was a bad day at school) I do something a bit different. We’ve made cookies, french toast for dinner, roasted s’mores over candles, and decided on a small party for christmas.
  5. Teach Independence – This doubles with discipline as they have to learn to do things on their own. The 9-year-old is my best example – each day I pick him up from school and we talk about what homework he has for the day and what is due for the week. He has 1 book report each week so he can have special privileges at school on Friday. I might ask him each day if he wants to do it but I tell him “It’s due on Thursday, so you decide what day you will do it and which works best for you.” I also tell him that he has to do his homework before dinner and shower after dinner. He has the capability of choosing what time he does those and by the time I leave each night – he has them done. This allows him moderate responsibility and teaches him to be independent and rely on me and his mother less. I find this to be very important especially when they are young because the world is not going to remind you of what you need to do when and your mom will not want to take care of her adult son. For the younger boy this might look like me telling him to take a shower and wash his hair – I choose the time but he does it himself.

Overall, I try to have fun as a nanny. We joke and laugh and have a good time, but at the end of the day – their parents are paying me to not only take care of the boys but also to give them life skills. I honestly believe that each of these tips helps me be a better nanny and helps the boys grow. Being a nanny can be like a dictatorship but most of the time it’s really more like a democracy and a bit of give and take.