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Archive for the tag “parents”

Thanking Mom

Thanking Mom Smaller FB

Moms are special, aren’t they? Perhaps we have that special relationship with them since we started as alien like invaders of their bodies that they carried around for some time. It does not get closer than that. There were moments for sure when they wished they could shoot us to the moon because we such a pain in the romp. We grew to love them though, as they did help us through thick and thin.

It conjures up vivid memories of my mom. I thank her for being such an incredible role model for me and my sister. Thinking of you often and wished you could still be here with us:

  • She always offered an open ear for my trouble. She gave freely of everything and it did not matter if it was family or not.
  • The spiritual side never came in short either. We said our prayers every night and attended church on Sundays. Moreover, she practiced true compassion and empathy every day.
  • Her cooking was awesome. It filled our stomachs and soothed our souls.
  • She made so much of so little. Even when we were deep in debt there was always a present around for special days.
  • Recycling, up-cycling, and re-purposing was something she did at expert level and back then those words were not even used.
  • Even with little resources our house was always clean and presentable. The front and backyards were immaculately cared for.
  • Her courage was unbelievable. Back in the ‘70s she was amongst very few women in the village who went to work. She did this even totally against the will of my dad. The little money she made working her bum off, she spent on us kids and the dog.
  • Her wit and dry humor rubbed off on me. She could find humor in even the darkest moments.
  • Most of all she was humble. She would not ever think of her own needs first. She saw her purpose to be of service to others.

Is that how you feel about your mom? Does your mom know how much she means to you? Get on the phone, or better make a personal appearance. Give her a great big hug. Think of her on this special day if she has passed on. Happy Mother’s Day!


When and how do you get back in touch with relatives that you have been angry with in the past?

When and how do you get back in touch with relatives that you have been angry with in the past?  Smaller FB

Which family doesn’t have some form of issues causing anger and not communicating with each other for at least a little while? Because we are related we try harder keeping the communication channels open. There are times though when boundaries are broken and we are really angry at each other. Angry enough not to speak or pay attention for years to come.

Now comes the interesting part. How long should this radio silence last and what kind or under what conditions do we try reestablishing contact again?

It’s a riddle that has very personal roots. Pretty soon it will be 25 years since seeing and talking to my dad. He did a couple of really stupid and hurtful things to mom, my sister, and I, but forgave him in the mid-nineties (I needed to get my life back). Based on what I have heard he has not changed his ways. Should I get in touch anyway?

Why am I thinking about this now? Truth be told my motivation are our kids who have been wondering what their granddad is like. Its part of their history and heritage, but why subjecting our short ones to potentially the same hurtful things of yesteryear? When is enough enough?

Unfortunately, there are no guidelines to solving issues like this. Each of our journeys is very different. Each of our reasons for not being in contact anymore may be different. There are only a few questions worth sharing though, that may lead to making a better decision:

  • Am I at peace with myself if nothing changed?
  • Am I ok with the status quo even we never saw each other again?
  • Am I ready to forgive (forgiveness does not need to be carried out in person)
  • Am I the reason for the problem(s)?
  • What do I really want from a future relationship?
  • What am I willing to give or compromise for having a better relationship?
  • Why do I want for the relationship to improve again?
  • Am I willing to take the first steps getting in touch again?
  • Is there enough common ground and enough neutral ground to have a non-confrontational conversation?

Honestly, I do not yet know if and how we will decide to potentially getting back in touch with my old man. How about you though? Do you have a family member or a friend with whom you are not speaking right now? Hopefully, some of the questions above may help you make a really good decision. Good luck and happy pondering.


1 sure fire way to know what is going on in your children’s lives

1 sure fire way to know what is going on in your children’s lives Ralf a

Wouldn’t you want for your children confiding in you what is really bothering them instead of them just going to their rooms in silence once they come home from school? That is one of many challenges facing parents, but this one can really hurt. There is a powerful antidote to this phenomenon that is as effective as it is simple, at least on a conceptual level: You keep earning their trust.

Yes, I know. This is easier said than done, but there are a few strategies that can help get you positioned in a sweet spot where you keep getting enough information so you know what is on their minds.

  • Keep yelling to a minimum. Once you go overboard there is enough distrust for them to no longer see an incentive to telling you the truth if they get yelled at for revealing something that may get them into further trouble. Push too hard and you push the good information below surface.
  • Spend the evening dinner together with no TV on. A shared meal with no distractions can sometimes reveal troublesome information from your short ones.
  • Bedtime, make it count: What was really fun today? What wasn’t? Two really important questions to ask your young folks. The older they get, the tougher it is getting the answers, but their replies will most likely take your breath away.
  • Time to trust them. Yup, this is another tough one. Letting go as a parent is just as tough as for e.g. teenagers trying to find their own identity. Make sure to let them do stuff totally on their own. This is really important as your children are evaluating whether or not they can trust you – just as well as you are reviewing their activities.
  • Start early. The sooner you start you trusting and encouraging them, the longer and the more they will trust and confide in you. Trying making a change when they are already teenagers may be a little too late to have a really close relationship. It may not be impossible, but ultimately it is very difficult to regain trust.
  • Be consistent. Do not be surprised if your children do not trust you with their information, when you are nice and trustworthy only when you want to be. Trust is about being consistent and thus predictable.

If you want for your children to change and keep/ start trusting you, you first must make the effort to change yourself. Does this take some extra time? Sure thing. That is why we are calling this parenting though and not baby-sitting.


What are the most precious moments of your life?

Max’s new school intro that he wrote for his class mates and the teacher. Photo credit: Dale Weiser 

How about kids? Little ones provide us with the biggest presents (Tweet this). No matter if you have some of your own, or you know them from family and friends, I bet you either teared up or laughed at some of the stuff they can come with.

The two photos in this post shows my son’s examples how he has managed to take our breath away.

Why do they manage to provide us with such precious moments? Please find below 8 good reasons.

  1. Most of their actions are unprovoked. They happen in the spur of the moment.
  2. They want to please their best friends – yes, you too.
  3. Their actions are sincere. They are so young that their thoughts have not been tainted yet by adult type thoughts.
  4. They have no hidden agenda. They are just departing on their life’s journey.
  5. Their minds know no limits. Only as they grow older and they bump into their physical and psychological boundaries. The will be more careful.
  6. They are your mirror. Well, you had something to do with them. No wonder that they look like you and also behave like you. It’s mesmerizing and scary at the same time.
  7. They look at things that you have not looked at in a while. The older you get, the less you truly observe life’s little nuances. They are the spice of life though.
  8. They give you a sense of discovery. They are at the beginning of figuring things out. Remember how you wanted to explore the world or space?

Next time you are around children take a really close look what and how they do things. They will provide a smorgasbord of opportunities and breath taking moments. Do not let them go to waste. Enjoy them to the fullest and share them with family and friends.


Max’s top things to do with dad. Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

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