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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mind frame opener

I'm in the process of making all our children their own life albums. I take a lot of pictures. The organizing of these pictures is a chore in itself. At some point in their future, they will receive a beautifully designed photo album with their life memories. Memories is what they'll be. I have tons of albums from my childhood and it's interesting to look back once in awhile, smile, perhaps laugh, maybe even cry reminiscing remembering my past. Everything I used to do, who I was, hugging and cuddling my parents, sitting with my sister with bell bottom ripped jeans with a Fred Flintstone t-shirt and red socks (seen above) was and still remains important to me. This is why developing albums for each of our children is important. My sister and I fought. We also enjoyed each others company when there was no others. The green painted wood siding behind us even brings back memories of the house I grew up in. My hair was clearly the 1970's and finally just now I can manage it! lol Time moves quickly. The photograph above is just that.......only a memory. A minute after taken that moment disappeared. That picture will never change but we did. This is why I keep reminding our children that all our moments together should be cherished. We should treat each other with respect, love and to hold onto what we have (each other) because eventually time passes, life changes, we change and soon enough we pass on. We can't stop the cycle of life but we can enhance the cycle while we're alive together. Creating positive memories. I know I'm clearly like a broken record constantly writing about enhancing our lives but isn't that why we're here? I was in deep thought about how to communicate with pre-teens/teenagers/young adults that aren't communicating back. Recently someone was asking on a FASD (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder) support page on how to get her daughter out of her room. Obviously there is more to this story but it brought me to would I deal with this situation? First I suggested turning off her power to her room, that would force her out to have a conversation before the power is restored. Unfortunately in their situation, she doesn't need power. Their situation has recovered itself for the positive but it left me questioning......if it didn't and it was my child, what would I do? This is where the good ole memories of my own come into action. I would go into my isolated child's darkened room, lay on their bed and start talking. I might even bring in some munchies. I find teenagers don't want to be pressured into answering questions. SO no pressure. I would just babble on about my past. Yes - the negatives. One story at a time. Of course he/she would "pretend" that they're not listening. BUT AH - they are! I would then leave. I would continue to do this until it drove him/her crazy. Eventually A - he/she will come out of their room into the light to get away from me or B - they will stay in the darkness thinking about my stories and maybe think about the relation of my past to their own problems. It gives them their own decisions to share what's going on and the opportunity to open up when it's comfortable for them. Basically the pressure is off and it's all about me. lol Building trust is the number one factor. Giving space. Having patience. It could be the same day, a few days, a week, a month later but usually you will be approached with either more questions on your own experiences or an opening to theirs. Believe me....I haven't had the opportunity to lay in a darkened room (yet) but I have had opportunities to share my past while being semi-glared at, possibly ignored but they came to me eventually wanting to either hear more or talk about their situation. Memories. We all have had our positive highlights and we all have had our negatives. It's good to share. It's good for our children to know that I've had some rough times. I find children usually isolate themselves because they feel that they're alone within a situation, embarrassed and afraid. I might have changed from that little girl wearing a Flintstone shirt but I do have some memories good and bad that I can share, possibly relate in hopes that it isn't just a picture but a mind frame opener. Funny, I often hear, "AGH, I heard this story before! YOUR mom would have to go find you for dinner because you played outside all day in the forest waiting for your mud pies to cook in the sun" Prime example and confirmation for me that they're listening even when they claim they're not! Too conclude, pictures are important not only to capture that memory that changed minutes after, they are memories to share and pictures to bring back memories that are lost and was once there. And to help us as parents to confirm that we were once children too, not perfect, awkwardly struggling at times, feeling lonely, afraid, bullied, confused and yes feeling not understood. I remember those days. So as I write about making positive memories, filling albums full of positive moments in time - it also is "Ok" to have and remember those negatives. A picture is more then a picture, more then a memory - it can be a mind frame opener to help us (me) with our children, to help our children with theirs. And yes, to enhance our cycle of life with each other in a darkened room. (If that makes any sense at all)

"Confidence thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live" - Franklin Roosevelt

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