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Archive for the category “social media”

Great relationships with your kids do take a bit of time and work


Great relationships with your kids do take a bit of time and work 

Just this last week I went to a public event at school and my daughter gave me a big hug. One of the school’s administrators saw this and commented that he would give money for his daughter to do this with him in high school and that this may not happen. Public display of affection is just not all that cool when you are in school – definitely not for high school folks.

I commend my daughter for not caring enough about her peer’s opinions. Yet great relationships with your kids do not come easy and they are not the norm (perhaps they have never been the norm?). Once the teenage years come around hormones set in, parents are no longer cool. It will not take much longer and they are out of the house and they want to spend less and less time with you.

Some of this is totally natural. You need to provide the solid roots for them to have a good footing in life. On the other hand, you also should want to let them grow wings such that they can fly away eventually. Finding yourself in today’s world is tough and I am glad that I do not have to do that again.

You hope that you have a solid relationship with them that they feel they can come back anytime – eventually. They should of course not feel like that they are being shamed into seeing you regularly. Wouldn’t it feel great if they felt compelled to ask you for advice later in life?

You put the odds in your favor by always maintaining a great relationship. There are some really quick and simple ways how to initiate for this to happen.

  1. Start early. Children are like batteries – you charge them up early in life and they will not run out of power for quite some time. Make sure to teach them great habits from the day they are born. Some say it starts as early as when babies are still in the womb. I have seen this so many times that parents imposing rules when children are 3 to 4 years old. Guess what: the train has left the station.

 

  1. See the world through their eyes. Literally and figuratively get down to their level. See the world through their eyes.

 

  1. Spend time not money: The best and most expensive baubles, trinkets, clothes, shows, etc never make for long term sustainable relationships. They get to know whom they can pump for the money and what they need to do or say in order to get it. All it takes is to ask them what they want to do. Be amazed how little it takes for them to be totally happy spending time with you.

 

  1. Instill intrinsic motivation. Punishment and rewards for tasks performed do not work well when they leave the house. I call it the sugar and whip routine. Intrinsic motivation comes from within your child; it cannot be forced from the external world. Your short ones look for your approval, and genuine appreciation. Share with them – often – why you are happy about what they do and who they are.

 

  1. Let them fail. Hover over them all you want, ultimately you will not be around forever. Let them fail, otherwise they will not know what to do when you are not around to save them. Easier said then done, I know. It is heartbreaking to watch too. It is the circle of life. Suck it up, or get used to the idea of the mental picture of you becoming the crutches that hold up your kids.

 

  1. Do not be too critical. Yell often and you will no longer be afforded the truth. Period. If you are berating them for every little bit, then what is the point for telling the truth anyway? They would get yelled at either way. Telling you a half-truth is their way to get yelled at less. Pick your battles wisely.

 

  1. Provide responsibility with With any responsibility there is always also authority. Be prepared to get inundated with the question “what do you want me to do now?, if you only provide rules, but no wiggle room for how your little critters will make it happen.

 

  1. Foster spirituality. Be a role model here. In the evening say a prayer with them appreciating the great things that happened. Reflect on the lessons learned. Pray for people in need. In the event you can coax them out of bed early enough, say a prayer with them in the morning. Appreciate what you have and be thankful for it. When they are ready, ask what God means to them (prepare for shedding tears of laughter and deep emotions).

Life is tricky a friend recently shared with me. She is definitely correct about the relationship part with your kids. Good news is that you have it in your hand as to what kind of a relationship you will have. Choose wisely.

Ralf

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Breaking news – But who is putting them back together again?


Breaking news – But who is putting them back together again? pablo-5

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Isn’t it amazing how fast we get news now? Social media made it possible. Wherever we go we get to know tons of information about anything ranging from gossip to disasters. Difficult part is that we consume this like fast food: Snag it, bag it, consume it, and move on. The more we hear the same stuff it becomes “fact”. But is that the Truth?

There are multiple issues with how we get news and how they are being prepared. For one, most events are oriented towards local and national acts of violence, only the most significant national and international events, and not to forget sports.

Then the reporting very rarely spends any significant time to review issues in depth. It tailors to ever so short attention spans. That is why I compare it to getting spoon fed with fast food: A brief rush that lasts about only as long as we get our next dose of it. Unfortunately, there seems to never be a shortage of rather useless news that TV and other print and online news sources jump on for our next dose.

What is especially sad is that it takes only a little effort to go after more useful information. Nothing new here – it is not impossible to get to better quality news. It is too bad that it does take a little more effort though. Are you willing though to make that little extra effort? In highly politicized times like this it is easier than ever to lose our bearing. What is really bad is that we no longer congregate in small or larger communities like we used to just 20 years ago.

I can only recommend a small habit change with a pretty big impact: Check out a few online and / or print resources every day that you that are quite a bit different from your usual sources. Give this a try at least once a week. Really cool are online sources like Deutsche Welle – DW, BBC or similar sources. Not only do you get a more international look at news, but you typically get a more in depth look at things that our media here do not take a close look at. It is all about getting a better – meaning broader – perspective.

Remember that just consuming raw news (I am including our social media updates here as well) is one thing, but allowing time for folks to better prepare them for you and for you taking the time to digest it properly is really where you should make the difference. Nothing is worse than to be un- or under informed; wait, perhaps outright incorrect information can be worse.

For printed resources perhaps Time, Wall Street Journal etc are best (even these guys have online presences too).

Bottom line is that you owe yourself a greater variety of news. The more you know, the better the decision you can make because of it. We have been given the most powerful tools on this planet by being human: We have the power of choice and the knowledge what is the right (or better) thing to do. Let’s put this to good use by starting with solid and correct information. Otherwise, we will fall victim to yet another case of garbage in-garbage out symptom. That can lead for you to become the next breaking news.

Ralf

The truth makes for short sentences


The truth makes for short sentences

Sharing this vital nugget with someone I consider a key mentor caused for him to mention how profound this is. To me it is a reality that I have aspired living to at work as well as in any social setting. Just look at any toxic work place and you will see that openness, transparency, and integrity are not easy to come by. Hidden agendas, jockeying for positions, everything is always portrayed to be a success, and so many other alarm signals should tell you to get out and away from an organization like it. Have you ever noticed that correspondence telling you why stuff went wrong is typically long and verbose?

Now look at examples in work and social settings are based on honest feedback and everyone has the courage to speak their truth no matter how inconvenient it may be. Makes for short conversations, right? Compare that to the #dieselgate nonsense that Volkswagen is going through right now. Explanations as to how this could have happened are long and complex. Remember the movie “A few good men” from which the above movie clip is from? Bottom line is that life is too short to get tangled up in stuff like this. It is stressful and no one comes out a true winner. Stick to the honest truth letting you meet every person at eye level. Enjoy the experience of creativity to just start flowing out of everyone.

Ralf

Would you give up YOUR gift? Have Kleenex handy


Would you give up YOUR gift? Have Kleenex handy Smaller FB

Christmas may be just over, but we are very lucky here as the next special days and further holidays are just around the corner. More gifts should be headed our way. Imagine you were asked what gift your heart desires and you would be presented with it. Then you are given the choice to either accept your gift or to give it up in favor of a present to someone of your family you dearly love. How would you decide?

Now grab a box of Kleenex (just to be on the safe side) and watch this recent 3-minute YouTube film (discover the film here). You will find yourself in good company with young children who faced the above tough decision: “Should I choose a present for myself? Should I pick a present for a loved one?” The results are heart warming.

It’s also a lesson in leadership. How so? It is one thing to give up something nice for a loved one. It is yet another thing to give it up for someone you do not like. Would you still decide the same way? This is where we can all grow: Do we have enough unconditional love for everyone whom we serve?

Ralf

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