Friday, January 27, 2012

Calling All Moms! This Spring, Clean up Your Mind, Body and Soul with Group Life Coaching

Image: Michal Marcol /
Spring is just around the corner. That means it’s time to wake from our slumber, shake off those winter blues and refresh and revive ourselves.

If you are ready to do some spring cleaning with your mind, body and soul, join Certified Master Life Coach Tina Haisman as she leads a group of moms on an 8-week journey into a season of living a more healthy and balanced life.

What Will be Covered? In the safety of a supportive environment, moms will learn tools and techniques for handling the many ups and downs of mothering young children and keeping their family happy and healthy. They will pick one area of life to work on and make better – it can be health, finances, spirituality, relationships or career. Moms will learn how to achieve their goals and become the mother and woman they want to be.

What are the Top 3 Benefits of a Group Coaching Program?
• You surround yourself with other women facing similar challenges.
• You learn new techniques for goal-setting, action planning, stress management and more.
• You gain motivation from the coach AND the group!

When is it? This program consists of 8 one-hour sessions – one per week, starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22

What is the Cost? Program cost is $20 to YMCA members, $40 for non-members. (Materials cost is $14 that will be paid to the instructor at the first class.)

How do I register? Call the Y at 847.296.3376

Where will it be held? Lattof YMCA Meeting Rooms

What do I Need to Bring? Physically, you will need a writing journal and a pen. Mentally, you will need an open mind. Emotionally, you will need the desire to make your life even better than it already is!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What do You Need to Hear to Believe an Apology is Sincere?

In November I wrote about my discovery of the book The Five Languages of Apology. Today I want to share a recent experience that illustrates how the languages work and how they can help you achieve more healing in the relationships in your life.

We had a play date at our house with a couple of Tyler and Alyssa's friends. One child came to me to tell me that another child said something that really hurt his feelings. The offender responded with, "I said I was sorry."

Image: Arvind Balaraman /
So, with my knowledge of the five languages of apology, I asked the offended child, "Your friend said he was sorry, but it seems like that is not enough to make you feel better. What do you need to hear?"

The offended child replied, "That he will never do it again."

Oh my gosh! Out of the mouths of babes comes this profound, but basic language! This language is straight out of the book -- and it was spoken by a nine-year-old who has never read the book. That's how spot on this concept is! I didn't need it, but I've got to say, this whole experience was further proof to me that this five languages of apology stuff really works!

What the offended child communicated was that he needed to hear the offending party genuinely repent for the offense. That is language number four according to the book. Genuinely repenting means saying, "I'll try not to do that again."

I asked the offender if he could make that promise, which he easily did ... and off they went!

I can't say enough about this concept. How many times has someone apologized to you, but the apology didn't make you feel better? If that was the case, it could be a simple language barrier. If we could all be more aware of these five languages of apology, we could be experiencing much more healing and joy in our lives on a daily basis!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Teaching Children About Setting Healthy Boundaries

It appears this is the week of teaching my children about setting healthy boundaries. So interesting.

As Tyler was packing his snack for school one morning he said, "I didn't have enough snack yesterday, I was still hungry afterward." To which I replied, "Tyler, I saw you pack your snack -- you put quite a bit in there. What happened?"

He said, "Everyone keeps asking if they can have some of my snack." Ahhhhh. My sweet, sharing son is giving away so much of his snack to his friends that he is left hungry. So, I said, "Well, Tyler what can we do about this?"

He suggested packing more food, to which I replied, "It is awesome that you are sharing, but when you share too much, there is not enough left for you, so we need to set some healthy boundaries here. What do you think of suggesting a trade when a friend asks for some of your snack?"

He thought that could work, but said sometimes they don't seem to have anything to trade, so he packed a little extra anyway. :)

After school that day, I asked how it went, and he said, "fine," and that he worked out trades instead of just giving it all away. Cool! Hopefully that one is solved! Although, I have no idea what he ate for a snack, now!

Then, there's Alyssa. She complained to me that sometimes when she has friends over, they don't respect her wishes not to play with certain toys that are very special to her. Specifically, she was speaking about a care bear she got from her great-grandma for Christmas. If you pull the bear's arm, it says, "I love you." She uses the bear at night to sleep with and desperately wants to save the batteries for when she is really scared and needs to hear, "I love you" from the bear. She won't even let me or Paul pull the bear's arm.

She said her friends still pull the arm -- even when she asks them not to. So, I asked her what we could do about that. She didn't really know what options could be, so I suggested a couple -- either for her to come to me when this problem arises in the future and that I would help her try to communicate her wishes, or for us to put the bear for a nap in another room where he could have some privacy.

Ideally, of course, Alyssa would handle this on her own by explaining just how special this bear is, and her friends would respect and honor that. But, she's only six and still learning to communicate, so I think I'm OK with intervening in a positive, teaching manner if the situation arises again. I'm not crazy about the idea of "hiding" the bear, because it takes away the opportunity for Alyssa to practice her boundary setting. Plus, I don't think we should have to hide items from our friends. This option may solve the problem temporarily, but not long-term.

So, this morning at breakfast we had a little talk about healthy boundaries. They both looked at me like I was crazy. Healthy boundaries? Those words are not exactly in the vocabulary of kindergarten or third graders. Heck, most adults have trouble setting healthy boundaries!

In Tyler's case, I thought it was important to teach him that sharing his snack is a nice thing to do, but if he shares too much, he is left with not enough. I certainly don't want to tell him not to share -- that doesn't send the right message! So, I tried to teach him to look for other alternatives to solving the problem.

In Alyssa's case, she really needs to learn how to stand up for herself. I can see it, and I know where she gets it from. It is something I have been working on for quite a while now!

So, although these challenging parenting situations were presented to me this week, I am grateful for the opportunity they provided for me to talk to Tyler and Alyssa about important issues that will serve them well for the rest of their lives!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The New Thank You Card Tradition?

Image: digitalart /
This has happened to us twice now. The first time, I just thought, "curious." But the second time, it lit a fire inside me, so I thought I'd blog about it and see what other people think.

Twice now, we have attended a kids birthday party and left the party with a pre-written thank you note in hand. The note says something like, "thank you for coming to my birthday party." It has, obviously, no mention of a gift, because it was written before the party -- before they knew what gift they received. Before they could even tell us why they enjoyed the gift or how much they enjoyed the gift.

I just have to say I hope this is not a new tradition. I think there is a huge amount of value in teaching children it is important to sincerely say "thank you" when you receive a gift.

The reason we have a birthday party is to celebrate another year of life, which is truly something to be grateful for. We give gifts to each other to show our love for each other. I think those gifts deserve thank you's.

I know times are changing and people are busier than ever before, but I think we still need to be teaching our children the value and importance of properly thanking people for their generosity. What do you think? Please post your comments below.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Experiences Kids Give Us Make Life So Rich

Zach, the praying mantis!
Over the Christmas break, we drove to Nashville to visit family. Before the trip the discussions began about what to do about our pet Zach -- Tyler's praying mantis. He found him at school a few months ago and has been taking care of him ever since.

We considered leaving Zach with a friend, but Tyler was having a hard time with this. He was also worried about how Zach would do on a nine-hour drive in the cold.

Mostly, it turned out, Tyler did not want to leave Zach behind. So, the day before the trip, he called his Aunt Laura to ask if it would be OK to bring Zach with us to her house. Luckily for Tyler, she said yes.

So, off went the Haisman family with a praying mantis in tow on a nine-hour drive to Nashville. I found myself enjoying the oddity of the experience a couple of times during the trip as we snuck him into a restaurant and our hotel.

The craziest part was the morning we were leaving our hotel to finish our trip to Nashville. Tyler noticed Zach (or shall we say Zacherella) was laying an egg sack. That was quite a surprise, considering we thought she was a he. All four of us were jubilant over it, though! How exciting and unexpected! And the timing -- while on a road trip -- incredible!

We hated to disrupt this maternal moment, but we also wanted to get on the road. So, we very gently put the praying mantis cage in a re-usable shopping bag and carried it carefully down the elevator and past the front desk in the lobby -- hoping not to disrupt the egg-laying process. I was the lucky one who got to carry the cage.

As we were leaving the hotel, Tyler sent Aunt Laura a text message to see if there would be room for about 400 more praying mantises. I was trying to be so delicate with Zacherella, when Laura responded back with a message that had me laughing so hard it freaked Tyler out. She made a hilarious reference to the baby cow we saw being born at a farm during last year's Nashville trip. (I guess our family has a knack for finding themselves in these amazing moments only Mother Nature could provide!)

While it was funny to me, Tyler about died as he saw me laughing so hard while holding the poor praying mantis who was trying to lay her eggs. He kept trying to take the cage away from me, but I wouldn't let him for fear it would end up in the cage lying on the ground!

Anyway, it all worked out. Zacherella is fine. The egg sack is in the garage in the cold to preserve it for spring. We have no idea what to expect with that -- if anything at all.

But, I just had to laugh as I thought about how rich this experience was for our entire family. Kids add so much fun and spice to life. Before having children, I never would have imagined sneaking a praying mantis into a restaurant or hotel -- or even having one for a pet for that matter. Fun times! I just love my kids!