Sunday, December 21, 2014

Giving Your Child Wings and A Great Life

Birds have a great system for teaching their offspring how to fly: they push them onto the ledge and then out of the nest.  While it is inevitable that some do not make it to adulthood for various reasons, i.e. predators, disease, or premature flight, most young chicks do learn how to fly with this method to become parents themselves someday.  Humans can learn a lot from birds' parenting style.
After observing some parenting methods, I have noticed that many parents hold their children back from making it to the nest's ledge, often impeding them from making any headway towards independence.  What these parents don't understand is children's habits slowly turn into adolescent's habits, and eventually adult's habits.  It is healthy as a parent to slowly push their children onto the ledge of the nest in preparation for their eventual flight out of the nest.  The alternative is a 40 year old virgin living in their parents' basement, or even worse, the 40 year old child with their hodgepodge family living in their parents' basement.  Don't laugh, I have known several people who still live under their parents' or significant-other's parents' roof until their mid 40's.
Here's an eye opener, an underdeveloped child is less likely to succeed in life.  They are less likely to make a sufficient income to live on their own, less likely to make necessary social connections needed for interpersonal relationship health, and less likely to learn life-skills, i.e. budgeting, job interviews, driving, shopping, meal preparation, etc.  If your children lack the ability to succeed in life, then they are more apt to fail once their primary caretaker, you, are unable to take care of them.
Another possible outcome of holding children back is an absolute rebellion during adolescence.  In this case, the child takes everything for granted, simply because life is too easy and everything has been handed to them/done for them.  Therefore, they acquire an unhealthy sense of self-entitlement that real life can't satiate.  In other words, this child has become a spoiled teenager with an attitude!  These children often become familiar with the law around the age of 16, possibly younger, become sexually promiscuous, and develop an "I don't care/you owe me" attitude.  At this age, the child is hard to deal with and will need intervention which can be quite emotional to all parties involved.
Knowing how detrimental holding children back can be, it is now time to analyze your parenting style and if it needs to be modified.  Answer the following questions:

Do you do your child's homework if it is too hard for them?
Do you tie your child's (age 5 and older) shoes for them?
Do you dress your child (age 4 and older), zipping and buttoning clothing for them?
Do you give your child money when they ask for it?
Do you sell or "get rid of" their pets they promised to take care of only to get another one shortly after?
Do you cook separate meals for your child/children so they will at least eat?
Do you lead your child (age 4 and older) to go play with other children?
Does your child (age 5 and older) still wet the bed without any medical reasoning?
Does your child refuse to try new things?
Does your child need you to help them with their daily hygiene routine?
Does your child need you to micromanage their routine?

This list might get some parents' feathers ruffled, and it should!  If you said "Yes" to more than two of these questions, you are what's been dubbed by psychologists as a helicopter parent and are impeding proper growth and development of your child.  If you said "Yes, but.." to more than one of these questions, then you are fearful of letting your child approach the ledge of the nest and you need help with the process of letting go.
It is very important to self-actualize where the helicopter behavior is coming from and then start the process of pushing your child slowly to the ledge.  You don't have to push them out of the nest until both of you are ready, but pushing them to the ledge helps them learn the life skills they will need as an adult.  It is your job to raise your child/children to become responsible, independent, self-sufficient, respectful, and capable members of society.  What you don't want is to see your child struggle as an adult because you didn't allow them to struggle as a child.  The behaviors you see now are the behaviors they will have as an adult if you continue to enable them.  Your goal is simple; continually push your child/children onto the ledge of the nest and give them wings when they are ready to fly.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Little Shaky

It has been awhile since I posted and, quite frankly, blogging has been the last thing on my mind.  I have had a difficult couple of months and I might have to file for bankruptcy.  The rental property I own has not been maintenance by HOA since 2006 and the wear and tear is finally starting to show.  The whole complex is literally sinking and collapsing, forcing the city to condemn it unless it is fixed.  A few other HOAs have stepped in and left throwing up a white flag.  Finally the decision that the complex's repairs will have to financially fall onto the owners, a sum of $7,000,000 divided amongst the owners. An amount I cannot afford.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I offered some "friends" a temporary place to live so they could get back on their feet.  I was doing a good turn.  At first I figured it would be a few weeks, which turned into months, and even more months than I anticipated.  Before long, however, it was evident that they grew roots and planted themselves firmly into the carpet.  It wouldn't have been so terrible if it weren't for the fact that they were the opposite of healthy.  The female was addicted to pop and cigarettes, and her husband was addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, painkillers, and marijuana. He tried passing the marijuana off as a medical need, which I could understand being in the Holistic Health field.  But shortly after he "moved" in it was clear to me that his marijuana addiction was merely for recreational purposes.  The difference being that he often lit up before work and during work and driving back to my house blitzed completely out of his mind (true marijuana medication for pain should be ingested); I had asked him on several occasions to "medicate" elsewhere and he still lit up while lying in bed watching TV.  The addiction became obvious when things in my household started disappearing, first little stuff and then the bigger items like my snow tires and power tools. 
Along with all of that mess, both ate the most disgusting, unhealthiest foods you could possibly imagine.  They bought the manager special meat, 8 cases of pop per month, processed foods, kids' cereal, Koolade  crap, and boxed meals were their staples.  In their eyes, food was just something to stop the tummy from grumbling, nothing more.  But here was the kicker, they would help themselves to whatever was in the fridge or pantry, as long as it wasn't healthy of course, so I found myself buying more food than what I should have.  I began eating the unhealthy foods too, eventually gaining 15lbs which I am still trying to burn off.  The electric bill, the water bill, and the other costs in the household went up substantially.  On top of that, they used my consumable items as well (as long as it wasn't my natural cleaners because they didn't know how to clean.  They didn't even wash their hands after using the bathroom!).  And since I don't allow nasty chemicals into my house, I used my sol-u-products and natural cleaners to clean up after them, which they scoffed at (apparently only bleach is an acceptable cleaner to them).  I began to notice their messy habits getting worse and worse until they wouldn't even pick up the dishes laying on the floor in their room.  They were so inconsiderate and so lazy that any dishes he took to work never made it back home with him.  At the end, we had no more forks or Tupperware left, and I was down to my last blender bottle and spoon: almost every eating utensil and dish was missing.  It finally dawned on me that my home was a free bed & breakfast for them and I became their maid.  They fully took advantage of me and my generosity.  Never again will I let anyone stay in my house.  If a person is hard up, they got themselves there because of bad decisions they made and I have learned the hard way that it is not my problem. 
I normally do not splatter my personal life all over the web but I have been dealing with humility and feelings of despair for a bit now.  As a Holistic Health professional, I am almost embarrassed that I let my lack of personal and financial health consume every facet of my well-being.  I am trying to hold it together as best I can, and hopefully pull myself together with help; which if I can do it, anyone can.
So here are a few things I have learned over the past year:
1) Do not amalgamate your lifestyle with unhealthy people.  Unhealthy people have bad habits which are easily incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.  Letting unhealthy people into your life without boundaries is allowing for their influences to change your good habits which will be detrimental for your safety and well-being.  This goes for friends, family, and even lovers.  Unhealthy people have a way of infiltrating a healthy person's lifestyle.  Stick to your guns and don't veer off course.
2) Stick to the mantra, "it is not my problem."  I am the type of person who cares a lot for people.  I listen to people's problems and try to help, often times taking the shirt off my back to give to them, no matter the weather I have to face.  But I finally learned that when you give and give and give, people take the free handouts as an opportunity to get free stuff.  Believe it or not, there are people out there who look for these nice people to take advantage of. Other people do the bare minimum to get by in life and take free handouts as they come because they don't have to lift a hand to get something free. I look back to a boyfriend I had given just about all I had to, even my last couple of dollars one day so that he could get himself lunch, but we had our falling out because of his infidelity; ungratefully, to this day he blames me for becoming homeless.  In most cases, as I learned, putting other people first is not healthy.  If I had realized that a year ago, I would have said no to the squatters and I wouldn't be recovering from the expensive catastrophe which ensued.
3)  A healthy lifestyle stems from a healthy environment.  Before I let those unhealthy people into my life, my home environment was very organized, clean, and healthy.  I don't allow toxic chemicals like bleach or Lysol into my house and my fridge and pantry was stocked full of healthy food.  When that all changed, so did my health.  Slowly the house began to get filthy and disorganized while bacteria (like e. coli and salmonella) swarmed on every surface imaginable.  Just a few little changes within  my environment had devastating affects on my overall health and well-being.   To become healthy, a person must have a healthy environment.

While these tips seem like no-brainers to most, I realized how easy it is to become a total mess when boundaries are allowed to be trampled over. My life is not the way it was last year due to some poor decisions I had made trying to help those in need. I have been told on many occasions that I am too nice, and finally, after putting myself into a situation I cannot recover from, I know exactly what that means.