Parents: Need Help With Your ROUTINES?

When I was growing up, getting ready for my new school year was a BIG deal! We didn’t have school uniforms to worry about, but getting first day outfits and our routines in place was top on my mother’s list of To-dos. My mom was the queen of organization and routines,! Everything was a well-organized process. 

As a kid, her routines were a pain in the neck. But what I didn’t know was that each routine she established for us, made it easier to run the household and manage my brother, sister and I. She rarely got rattled, unless of course we didn’t follow the routine. And it wasn’t good when we didn’t follow Mom’s routines. Her processes and routines were like growing up in a well-run manufacturing plant. Everything had a place (organization) and there was a routine for mornings (before school), afternoons (after school) and evenings.

As I got older, my mother explained her rationale behind her fanatical routines and why it was so important to get us involved at an early age. For example, she had a rule that we couldn’t take our afternoon naps until we had put away our toys. This is important for those of you with young children who hate to take naps (like I did). She had me convinced that I couldn’t go to sleep UNTIL my toys were put in the toy box. I didn’t think to say – “Hey Mom, I don’t want to take a nap at all!” All I knew what that I couldn’t put my toys away fast enough to take my nap. The key here is that you start teaching your children at two & three years old to pick up their toys. It’s much easier to get their cooperation at this age, rather than wait until they are five & six to teach this concept.

As much as I joke about my mother and her routines, they worked well for me when I became a mom. I have an entire list of practical tips to help you establish routines whether your children are in preschool, elementary or high school. For today’s blog however, I will share 5 tips with you.

  • Tip 1: Give yourself 45-60 minutes before you wake up your child(ren).
    This time without little people talking to you is golden. Pray/meditate/exercise and take your shower. If you are leaving the house for work, put on your make-up. This is important especially to do before your preschool aged children (who are not used to doing tasks without your help and may not be morning people) get up.
  • Tip 2: Wake up your child (ren) an hour before they have to leave home.
    This tip goes hand in hand with Tip 1, if you have children who don’t like getting up in the mornings. It’s nothing like rushing a cranky kid out of the house. An hour may not be enough time (you be the judge), but it gives your son or daughter time to get acclimated to being awake, talking with you and their siblings and getting ready for school
  • Tip 3: Establish a bedtime for ALL school aged children (even high schoolers) preferably by 8:30 pm.
    I know I know! The teen can’t believe you’re making him or her go to bed at a specific time (without their phone and iPad). Surely the world is going to end! I had an 8:30 pm bedtime throughout my high schools years and I hated it. I also hated getting up at 5 am to make it to my 8 am classes way across town. As an educator, if my students got sleepy in class, we would talk about their bedtime and often they were allowed to talk on their cell phones throughout the night. AMAZING! How do you function with raging hormones, lots of class work, extracurricular and no sleep?
  • Tip 4: Look in their backpack (daily).
    When our children start pre-school, it’s a given that you will check their backpacks daily. It’s important because you may be putting in a change of clothes daily and who wants to leave soiled clothes in a backpack overnight? Yuck! But once your child starts elementary school, a daily backpack check is just as important to keep up with notes and homework assignments that are being sent home by their teacher. It not only keeps you up to speed on what’s going on in class, it helps your child with organization.
  • Tip 5: Connect with your middle & high schoolers every day.
    This is near and dear to my heart for two reasons. One: bullying is rampant in middle school and high school. I ran home from school every day in fifth grade because of a school bully and it was a nightmare. My mom helped me get to the point where I wasn’t afraid of the school bully, but it was a process. Since I share a room with my sister, there was no retreating to my room and closing the door. My folks wouldn’t hear of it. Fast forward to today with social media and instant communications, I would have probably tried to hide what was going on by retreating to my room and silently burying my shame. Two: Middle and high schoolers have LOTS of secrets. Taking time to have a real conversation daily is important. You never know what they will tell you. BTW – ask open ended questions like “tell me about your day”.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me to receive information about my inspirational & practical parenting programs. Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker
www.clynnwilliams.com

 

August 13, 2017 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

Parenting: Good cop Bad cop!

I was listening to a commercial and the mother was saying she didn't understand why the kids never listen to her, and then the father yells "who wants ice cream?"

Is that how parenting goes in your household? One of you sets the guidelines or rules, and the other has fun with the kids!?

In a household with two parents, there is generally one parent who tends to be the disciplinarian, and the other one who the kids go to because that parent usually says yes. When that happens doesn't it feel like good cop bad cop?

I remember feeling like the bad cop, because I consistently enforced our rules. My ex was more flexible than I was, and was known to change his mind and agree with the kids! 😡 We had to talk privately to make sure that we agreed, so that the good cop bad cop episodes didn't happen a lot!

As a single divorced mom I had to balance being the bad and good cop. I never really thought about it that way until during one of family talks, the kids explained that their dad listened more than I did and was 'nicer'. 😟 While I wasn't trying to win the Nice Parent award, I wanted my children to be comfortable and talk easily around me. I've written about this dynamic in my Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen book.

It's a little easier if you think of it as there are times when you like your kids to follow your rules and behave a certain way, and then there are also times when you want to concentrate on having fun: The having fun part is challenging for you if you are a strict disciplinarian. It may be a little difficult in the beginning relaxing your rules a bit, but you'll get used to it. Your kids will enjoy your flexibility too.

Here's one example of a good cop parenting scenario: Instead of having your dinner in the traditional way – meat, potatoes, salad and vegetables. Eat the dessert first! Make a big deal about it too, so your kids understand that you're making an exception. It's fun and a great conversation starter.

If your delightful child is moving into moody preteenville, pick up a copy of my book – Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen and read about how to navigate the impending hormones. Purchase Here

C. Lynn Williams #MsParentguru

www.clynnwilliams.com

July 28, 2017 at 5:27 pm Leave a comment

What Happens When You Make Time for Conversations…

If you ever wondered how in the world it is, that you and your mother could get along so well most of the time, and then all of a sudden something happens and your communications come to a dead halt! 

Mother-daughter relationships are one of the most rewarding and challenging relationships in the family structure. It’s a complex relationship because of the range of emotions that are shared between you and your mother. You could be best friends, mortal enemies or somewhere in between.

Motherhood is one of the toughest jobs on the planet, as well as the most rewarding. Raising a daughter is really CHALLENGING! Daughters are opinionated, bossy and emotional creatures. When they are happy, their community of friends knows about it, and when they are unhappy, the whole world knows about it. However, having a close, warm, wonderful relationship with your daughter is a priceless, lifelong experience! According to SixWise.com, 88 percent of adults say that their mother has had a positive influence on them.

When I was a teen, I remember thinking how little my mom knew about me. I had secrets because … well because I didn’t think she would approve of them. It was hard to gain her approval, and I believe that had she not tried to hold down two jobs to support my sister, brother and I, she and I may have had a different relationship.

The first time I shared how I felt, was when I wanted to wear pants to high school. It was a brand new dress code policy and my mom was completely against it! “You’ll sit with your legs open like a boy!” It took my best friend and I a good hour to wear down her defenses, and I learned that she wasn’t completely unreasonable. I just had to have a great argument. She taught me not to give up so easily.

The more I talked with my mother, the more I grew to trust her judgement. We were entirely different people, but I believe I taught her lessons too. After having raised my own daughter and spent time with my bonus daughter, I know for a fact that time means everything to this complex relationship between mothers & daughters. Daughters may listen to you while they are adolescents (7 years and younger), but once they start interacting with their peers, they will quickly develop opinions of their own and tell them to you. Spending quality time with them, allows the defenses to come down, and for love to permeate your conversations – even the difficult ones. Each daughter requires her own time with you to create the warmth and love that you want in your relationship. Invest time in her and nurture her like a beautiful bed of roses. You won’t be disappointed in how your relationship blossoms.

Our next live mother-daughter time is important webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, July 18th at 12 pm (CDT) and it’s titledWhy Mother & Daughter Time is Important?” Here’s the link to register: Click

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Coach & Author

www.clynnwilliams.com

July 14, 2017 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

5 Tips to Managing Your Time

Have you ever said I’ll do that later, only to find that there were at least 3 more things waiting for you to complete…later? For the next 2 ½ minutes, read this carefully and take notes. I am giving you five free tips for mastering your time management. Truly these tips will transform your chaotic day into a calm experience. For years, I had an issue with time. It’s not that I couldn’t arrive on time; it’s making sure that what I was leaving had been completed. For example, I hate leaving the house with tasks undone like cleaning up the kitchen, putting a load of clothes in the wash or finishing one of my tasks as an entrepreneur.

Here’s the secret. I suffered from that syndrome that many working mothers experience in their everyday lives. Perfectionism! I don’t know about you, but I was taught that having a clean, orderly house was my responsibility. Nobody told me to go out and be successful, and by the way, don’t worry about your house. It’ll take care of itself! I also was not taught how to manage household activities as a successful entrepreneur.  I did learn it and offer it as one of the lessons in my Kick the Chaos coaching program.

Managing your time is a skill that you want to develop into a habit. Being successful in business may mean you won’t have a clean house. Look at your guy friends or your spouse. When they have appointments or meetings, they are out the door. I know this is true for my husband. It doesn’t matter what’s not operating perfectly (or imperfectly in our home), he practices good time management. ALWAYS!

Clearly in business, timeliness is next to godliness and having a reputation that you can’t make it to meetings or events on time can discredit your credibility. If you have children at home, getting them out of the house (on time) can also impact your schedule. You’re ready for success, aren’t you?

Try these simple tips:

  • Set your intention to manage your time today.

 Decide today that you are going to manage your time. I learned a long time ago that thoughts are things and if you want to attract specific      things into your life, you have to change your thoughts. (It works!)

  • Do it now or set a reasonable date for later.

Don’t obsess over what needs to be done. Decide what your most urgent tasks are and do them. If time does not permit this, schedule the tasks on your calendar.

  • Make a list of what you want to complete.

I am a big proponent of creating lists, because my dominant learning style is visual and seeing a picture of my daily to dos, keeps it fresh on my mind. Depending on how urgent they are or how many I have, I schedule them in my phone.

  • Give yourself time to be on time.

I learned this habit before my kids were born. Take your shower and put on your make-up when you first get up in the morning. For health enthusiasts and meditation gurus like me, pray and work out, then take your shower and put on your make-up. I find that giving myself time to be on time, means I have to work smartly.

  • Stop Rushing!

Successful entrepreneurs and business women give themselves time to get to their places of business or meetings. Speeding down the highway and honking your horn before the light turns green is not going to help you make that meeting in a timely fashion. Giving yourself 15 extra minutes allows for unexpected delays.

Become a master by practicing these five time management tips daily. You are on your way to a transformed life.

Imagine what it’s like have great time management and work-life balance!

If you are struggling to make this happen, click Here and schedule a complimentary discovery session with me. Want to be a part of something big? Click Here to join my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, creator of Finding Superwoman™

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker
www.clynnwilliams.com

June 17, 2017 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

Manners Matter

Have you ever seen something and wondered – ‘Did I just see that!’ 

I was driving on the expressway and traffic was really congested. In broad daylight a man pulled over to the side of the road and proceeded to pull out his genitals and use the bathroom! WHAT?!? Seriously!?! I thought what kind of home training did he have?

In another situation, a woman begins to talk on her phone. You can hear the voice on the other end of the phone because she has her caller on speakerphone. Why?

I met with one of my clients last week, at a public playroom for kids, since she had her kiddos with her. The playroom reminded me of when my kids were invited to places to play with each other while parents got to know each other. The biggest difference between then and now is that a few of the parents were on their phones while their child played.

What she did next got my attention. Before allowing her son to play with the other kids, she reminded him of the ‘house rules‘. The house rules were her expectations of his behavior. “Play nice.” “Hitting is not a way to resolve a problem.” Her little guy was only 4 1/2 years old, but he was being taught how to handle conflict and remain mannerable! She said that she noticed that when he and another child had conflict, he would hit. She wanted to teach him other ways to resolve conflict besides hitting (or taking what he wanted). Manners do matter, maybe not to adults who urinate on the side of expressways or when talking on speakerphone in public places. 

Manners are behaviors that are taught either by how you are raised or what you see at home. If kids are taught to be mannerable by adults who are mannerable, then that’s what they are. If the environment where you live, permits misbehavior like disrespect, littering, fighting, road rage, temper tantrums, things like that; then manners don’t matter to you.

But we live in a global society, where people from many cultures are expected to get along with each other. Manners matter because how we live our everyday lives spills over into how we treat each other and our neighbors. Respecting each other, protecting our environment and raising our children to do the same is what matters.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting relationship programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons or Fathers and Daughters.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

May 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

The Problem with Procrastination

Have you ever decided that you were going to complete a task – not a big deal, yet you found yourself thinking about it and thinking about it and thinking about it until the time for you to complete it was over?

I have that problem when it comes to catalogs that come in the mail. I see something I want, but I think about it over and over and over again until it is no longer of interest to me.

That my friend is called PROCRASTINATION!

Procrastination occurs for me when I have a decision to make and I’m not quite sure if I should move forward with it or not. Perhaps procrastination occurs for you too in your business or in personal decisions that you need to make. Let me share a couple of tips with you when you feel like you’re stuck and can’t move forward.

One: If it’s a really big decision, I create a pros and cons sheet. Pros and cons allow me to look at the positives and negatives of moving forward with my decision, and it gives me an opportunity to let my higher spirit weigh in for things I hadn’t considered.

Two: I think about lost opportunity. Lost opportunity is important whether it’s in my business or when it comes to my family. The lost opportunity is what is the consequence for me not moving forward; what do I have to lose if I don’t move forward, and what do I gain by moving forward. You would be surprised at how powerful it is to look at lost opportunity.

Take a moment and think about where you would be if procrastination had not gotten your attention. Some decisions you don’t get to think over and over. Just like some opportunities don’t re-present themselves. Procrastination is just another form of fear, and I urge you to draw a line in the sand and move forward. You have more regrets from something you did not accomplish than something you tried and it did not work.

  • Take a chance!
  • Make a decision.
  • No regrets!

This is your time to shine. Your best days are ahead of you.

Interested in gaining more balance in your life? Contact me – MsParentGuru to receive information about my inspiring parenting and coaching programs.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

May 18, 2017 at 2:24 pm Leave a comment

Focus: A Necessity for Working Mothers

Focus 3…2…1 

How many times have you taken a picture and it was either blurry or unfocused? If the picture was on your phone and the object that you wanted to photograph was still available, you could retake the picture. Besides a daily dose of sanity and a refillable cup of faith, the one resource that I need as a working mother is Focus!

But what if the blurriness occurs every time you took a photo? You would either have the camera repaired or you replace it. Imagine if the blurriness is something that is taking place in your life day after day? As my mom used to tell me – “You’re stretched too thin.” I never felt like I was stretched too thin, however I learned to prioritize the things I needed (or wanted) to do. Some things had to be taken care of immediately and others could be completed at a later time. Through those times when I let everything build up and overwhelm me, was when I learned the  importance of focus.

As a working mother, you already have a full plate of busy because you work and raise children. If you are also married, your plate is even fuller. Add civic or social responsibilities and now your plate is completely running over. Whether you’re a mother in a two-parent household, a single parent household or you’re co-parenting; staying focused is a necessity to ensure a smoothly running work and family life along with a sane mind.

There are a many ways to stay focused. Here are two tools that I use daily:

Planning and To-Do Lists

Planning is my first tool of choice. Early in my first marriage, I realized that my parents and in-laws wanted us to share our holidays with them. Since they lived far apart from each other, I started talking about Thanksgiving plans no later than Labor Day weekend. Our kids’ summer break was usually solidified by Clean Up Week (spring break). As a divorced mom, my ex and I shared joint custody. Joint custody meant every other weekend, my kids spent the weekend with their father. Early in our marriage, as my husband and I blended our children into a blended family, we continued to share joint custody. Planning dates and time together was essential for our family, us (as a couple) and my peace of mind. Planning the kids’ schedules meant weekly conversations with the refrigerator calendar jotting down dates like band concerts, track meets, teacher conferences and school project supplies. Putting them on the calendar saved me from getting notes on my pillow starting with “Mom, I need…”Planning didn’t stop all surprises, but gave me peace and less tasks to juggle.

My other tool of choice is my To-Do list. While I don’t have the daily pleasure of raising children anymore, our youngest is 26. I am writing, speaking and coaching and my schedule is busier than ever. Between my entrepreneurial pursuits, community commitments and events that my husband has, we are busy. I no longer write things down on paper, because the pad of paper is never with me when I want to add another task. I now use the notepad in my phone. It works perfectly and I always have it with me. Writing things down at least reminds me of what I need to do and yes I prioritize the tasks so that I complete the most important ones first.

Is my life perfect? Hell no! But it keeps this busy working mom from tearing her hair out.

I would love to share more helpful tips with you or help you make calm out of chaos. I offer a complimentary discovery consultation to explore some of those areas you’d like to handle differently. Click here to schedule time with me.

C. Lynn Williams, #Ms. Parent Guru

www.clynnwilliams.com

May 11, 2017 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

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