Sophrosyne

How do you want to live your life?

Parenting status

There’s something about parenting that I am learning: “It doesn’t get easier, you just get better”

Parents with older children will attest to this fact. I used to tell my friends with younger children; ‘it will get easier’. Hang on… I am not contradicting myself; all I’m saying is that some parts of it get easier but the emotional part of it never does.

As the children grow older; they become more self sufficient. They are able to do more and more things for themselves (this is the part I am referring to that gets easier), but the worrying does not lessen. Fortunately, as parents we get better at dealing with tempers and non-compliance. We learn to allow our children more room to grow; we ‘get better’ at not hovering around them.

Perhaps a more appropriate example would be this; parents with more than 2 children will confirm that the second child is much easier to handle than the first one. You already had experience from the first one, so when the second one comes along, it is a more like a breeze than a storm. But is the second child really easier? Not really, they still have the same demands. The only thing that is different is the parents. They have gotten better.

But no matter how much experience you have; I am sure it is still takes a lot of control to not run to them when they fall or for that matter allowing them to fall so that they might learn the lesson themselves. I believe that I will still continue to worry about my children no matter how old they are.

This is the reason why I now choose to say “it doesn’t get easier, but you will get better.”

 

 

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Choose your battles

As parents, we hope and want our children to be the best that they can be. So, how do we achieve that? Through constant reminders or more accurately; nagging. That doesn’t really work because after a while they don’t hear you anymore. Worse still, your ‘reminders’ can be misread as criticism. Think about it this way; how would you like it if you get told “NO” or “Don’t do that” all the time!! Frustrated right? That’s it. Don’t pick on everything; choose the important ones for the day and just correct on those. They cannot be expected to remember everything anyway.

By only voicing out the key points; your children will learn that if it is not important to you, you won’t say it. Then they know when to take note; rather than them tuning out every time you speak.

I have chosen to put this post into 2 categories today because I am also applying it to the other parts of life. Do not nit-pick. In any situations, choose your battle. How exhausting will it be if you were to partake in everything that needs ‘fixing’?? So instead of living your life; you are busying finding and fixing faults all the time. Where is the joy in that?? The only thing eventually that you will end up achieving is upsetting yourself; because you are constantly unhappy about something. Learn to let some things go. The smaller ones that is an eyesore but does not really affect the overall outcome.

Try it sometimes, you will find that people tend to accede to your requests more because they are less frequent and you feel much happy because you stoppped banging your head against the brick wall.

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They grow up really fast…

I can totally understand that parents with young children cannot appreciate this statement; but I would still like to stress it strongly. I know how hard it is because I have been there and I remember my friends who have older children telling me that the children grow really fast. Ermmm… I used to say:”I wish they would grow up already! I’m so tired!” Sounds familiar? Yes, they are hard work when they are little, but trust me before you know it, they are all grown up already! My two boys are 7 and 10 years old. Lucky for me, I realised it early. There are many parents out there who missed the opportunity to truly enjoy their children. Soon, they will become teenagers; have their own friends…..

You know how it’s like, you were there once. You do not need your parents as much because you are older and would rather spent time with your friends. Then you meet your life partner, get married, have your own family…

What I am driving at is this: I know that it is really tough to even be patient with them when they are screaming and behaving like little brats. But they will grow up. This toughest period of time is also the only time that they need you and most importantly WANT to be with you. As much as you want them to grow up quickly; rest assured that it WILL happen, try; I’m saying just try to see this time as a period that once passed can never be repeated again. Time progress in one direction; once it’s passed, it’s passed.

Therefore I urge you to enjoy them as much as you can. It is challenging for me as well and I struggle with it. But my reminder is stronger as I can see them grow bigger everyday. Scares me that they will outgrow me soon…. But that is life. The only thing I can do now is to enjoy them while I still have the opportunity to.

 

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Female riddle talk

Men often complain that women do not communicate their intentions clearly; and women insist that men are not attentive enough. They are both right. Men need to have the request put across as frankly and as clear as possible. However, female sensibilities prevent them from being so outright about requests; that would be unladylike and crude. Thus the resulting confusion.

I found the following snippet very humourous but at the same time very true. I read it from somewhere; but unfortunately the author is unknown. Whoever it is; has probably learnt these wisdom the hard way.

5 deadly terms used by a woman

1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when she knows she is right and you need to shut-up.

2) Nothing: Means something & you need to be worried.

3) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission, do not do it.

4) Whatever: A woman’s way of saying screw you.

5) That’s Okay: She is thinking long and hard on how and when you are going to pay for your mistake.

Bonus Word: WOW!

This is not a compliment. She is amazed that one person could be so stupid.

There you go, this is women’s secret code. I can safely assume it is culturally transferable.

Now you have no reason to complain that you do not understand why you keep getting it wrong. Follow this code, you will not go wrong!

 

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Make things happen now

If you have not seen the move ‘up’ (Children’s animation); I suggest that you make the time to do so. You don’t even have to sit through the whole movie to reap the rewards. Before the 20 minute mark, you will be taught one of life’s greatest lesson!

The story is about a boy but he is not the learning point. The other key character was an old man; in the beginning of the movie, it was about how he met his wife and how they have a glass jar where they saved money to finally go for the trip of their lifetime. But along the way; things happen, or rather life happens. They needed cash to buy a new fridge… just life stuff. So, that money was always used for ‘useful things’. And the trip was always put off til the next time. Then one day when they were both old, he decided that it is time for that holiday. So, he took out the cash in the jar and paid for the holiday. He went home happily to show his wife the surprise but found out that she was too old and sick to travel any more. She passed away before they had the chance to take the trip.

So, what have you learnt from this story? I did not do it justice because I am trying to give you all the information with minimal fuss and words. If you have the time; please at least watch the first 20 minutes. It changed my life, it made me more aware that time is slipping away quietly. I have always tried to live as mindfully as possible. I have seen regret as well as experienced it. The feeling of knowing that the opportunity was once available to you but it is now lost forever is beyond awful. Imagine that you were given the chance to say something or do something; but for whatever reason you did not. But time had passed, and it is something we cannot chase back.

I am not saying; “Clear out your savings and go to Vegas!” I am merely suggesting that if there is something that you always wanted to do, then you should do it. Many people want to save enough money to travel in grandeur and comfort. But would you rather stay in a 4 star hotel but have the fitness to sightsee on foot or you stay in a 5/6 star hotel but what you see is limited to wheelchair access?

Different people have different perspectives about what is important to them; I am not saying my way is better. I am saying life happens no matter; take the time to do what you can today. Doesn’t need to be that trip around the world. I am saying; enjoy life within your means. Of course save for that rainy day; but don’t wait too long to do the things you want to. Life is too unpredictable. Live now!

 

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Know who is important

Today’s post was inspired by a picture that a friend shared on facebook – “Life is too short to wake up with regrets, so love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don’t”

When people read this statement; they automatically assume that it is talking about friends. It could be because many people hold on to certain friends who are undeserving of their friendship. But the aim of this site is to open your heart to different views and opinions…..

This is how I view this statement: if I have to choose between a good friend who has always stood by me and a family member who had abandoned me. I will always choose my friend. Over the years more friends have come through for me than my own family. If not for them, I will not be here today. I have learnt that the only thing you share with your family is DNA; that’s all. People always say ‘family first’, ‘blood is thicker than water’. One should never assume that blood ties means that you are on their priority list.

It does not matter whether you are related or not. What truly counts is how important you are to that person. I know that this is a controversial post, but I urge you to look beyond DNA and examine the quality of the relationship instead.

When the time comes for you to choose, be courageous and choose the ones who have always chosen you; regardless of their DNA.

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Honesty or Hurtful?

A friend made a ‘certain’ comment to me a couple of days ago, and I have been meaning to post on this topic. Ask yourself if you know the difference between being honest or hurtful. It is a very fine line and many people cross it unknowingly. I have been known among friends to be ‘straight’; meaning, I tend to say things as I see it without frills. However, I do know when to say what. I have mentioned in a previous post regarding when to voice one’s opinion. There are of course times when we really feel that our friends know us so well that we can dish out ‘well-meaning’ advice or observations whenever we deem appropriate. We feel that it is best that these comments come from us; a friend rather than from a stranger. Somehow, it may ‘soften’ the blow because afterall, our intention is to ‘help’.

Ummm…. NO! You are not helping at all.

But before I proceed; I need to clarify that these situations that I am referring to is not life threatening. If your friend is in an abusive relationship or life threatening situation; please talk to him/her privately and do all that you can to help them.

Now where was I again? Oh yes, if your friend wants your input on something, they will ask you for it. No matter how strongly you feel about something; ask yourself whether are you actually helping your friend or hurting him/her. And again I say, no matter how well you know someone or how well your reputation precedes you as a brutally honest person. A sure-fire way of losing friends is to keep dishing out honest suggestions. Nobody likes to hear how ‘imperfect‘ they are, and that you think they are not living up to your standard or in your opinion ‘their full potential’ Trust me, if someone really wants to change, they will and they can but at their own timing. Not yours!

If you have not come across the older post that I mentioned before; you become friends with someone for the joy and fun that you can have together. You do not become friends with someone because you see the potential of how great they can be after you help change them. Don’t be someone’s friend just so that you can fix them. If they are happy the way they are; it is not your place to comment otherwise. How would you like it if all that your friend does is to keep telling you what is wrong with you although they claim that their intention is only to help you better yourself? Not nice right; to be criticised all the time? Friends support one another through hard times, but you don’t create the hard time! Life has already prepared lots of challenges for us all.

So the next time you feel an advise coming up; ask yourself, in the big scheme of things does it really matter? And how would I feel if someone whom I thought liked me didn’t think I was good enough anyway?

Take a piss out of your friends (means: to play a trick) but don’t take away a piece of them.

 

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When is the end?

To support world suicide prevention day; today’s post will be based on this quote:

“In the end, everything will be okay; if it is not okay, it is not the end yet.”

Feeling that one is falling into an endless pit of hopelessness and helplessness is an awful place to be. Without going into too much details; it would suffice to say that I have been to that side and fortunately back again. At some point in everyone’s life; one would experience depression. How one copes with it is the key. Depression cripples you because you do not want to see anyone or do anything; which in the end exacabates the feeling that life is meaningless, there is nothing to live for, and nobody cares. But, how can anyone care for you if you are hiding yourself away?

In my humble opinion, what the depressed/suicidal person need most is social support. Do not give up on them! Not if they mean something to you! And provide them with distraction. One of the symptoms of depression is Anhedonia; which means loss of ability to enjoy. Try doing new things instead of going back to activities that they used to enjoy. Do not allow them to be alone; this is a tough one because all they want to do is mope around or sleep. The role of supportive friends are not easy. I was lucky to have great friends who saw me through my most difficult times.

In the end, your friend who is depressed or suicidal must want to climb out of the hole themselves; it will be difficult to understand what they are going through. Having someone next to them who is there for support does make a difference. At the very least, they cannot say nobody cares. Judging and giving your two cents worth of reasoning will fall on deaf ears. I suggest you don’t bother. They are not looking for advice; just love and support.

Dedicated to Audrey and Doris – Thank you for not giving up on me.

 

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Children learn what they live

Today’s post might seem rhetorical, but it is something that I have experienced too many times. As parents, we are aware of our impact on our children’s future; we know that what we do today will affect them in the future. Yet, many forget the impact. Perhaps, it is because they are trying to look into the future through their children’s eyes, and because the ‘slate’ in front of them is still fairly clean, they are unable to visualise how it will look like when it is fully coloured in.

Allow me to give you a different perspective. How about looking at your own past. Was there any thing that your parents have done that made you who you are today? Be it a current habit? Or a way of thinking? Got the picture?

When we try and imagine how our actions will affect our children, it is often difficult. But if we are able to reflect on our personal history; you will find evidence of your parents impact.  Parents do play a very huge role in their children’s lives, and it is never too late to become the role model they need you to be. You don’t have to be perfect, (I am far from it!! ) but you owe it to them to at least try.

With that, I leave you with this beautiful poem which I am sure you have encountered at some point. But this time, read it, ponder on it, digest it, and finally act on it.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.

If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval. they learn to like themselves.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith with themselves.

If children live with friendliness, they learn to find love in the world.

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Things our mothers taught us

Not everyday need to have a serious, deep and meaningful message. Decided on some humour that I dug out. I had a great laugh; hope you will enjoy it as well.

Dedicated to everyone! Enjoy!

Things our mothers taught us:

1. My mother taught me to appreciate a job well done; “If you are going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me religion; “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me about time travel; “If you do not straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. My mother taught me logic; “Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My mother taught me more logic; “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

6. My mother taught me foresight; “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7. My mother taught me Irony; “Keep crying and I will give you something to cry about.”

8. My mother taught me the science of osmosis; “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9. My mother taught me contortionism; “Will you look at the dirt at the back of your neck!”

10. My mother taught me about stamina; “You will sit there til all the spinach is gone.”

11. My mother taught me about the weather; “Your room looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. My mother taught me about anticipation; “Just wait til we get home.”

13. My mother taught me about receiving; “You are going to get it when you get home!”

14. My mother taught me about ESP; “Put your sweater on, don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

15. My mother taught me humour; “When the lawn mover cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

16. My mother taught me how to become an adult; “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

17. My mother taught me genetics; “You are just like your father.”

18. My mother taught me wisdom; “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

19. And my favourite: my mother taught me about justice: “One day you’ll have kids and I hope they turn out just like you!”

Before you get overly worried that I might be drying up…running out of stuff to write…I haven’t. Just thought that a light day once in a while is good for our souls. Don’t have to get deep and meaningful everyday. It is friday! TGIF!! Relax, let your hair down. Today, let’s give thanks to our wonderful mothers!! In their own way, they have tried to do their best for us!

And just for today, let’s not be serious; have a laugh!

 

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