Why it’s Easier to Write Than to Say… Especially With People Close to You

 

“Why the hell did I say that?”

How often did we ask ourselves this question after having a fiery argument with a family member or close friend? How many times did we regret saying something bad in the heat of a moment to our parents or to our children?

easier to write

Sometimes we say things at the wrong place and the wrong time when someone really strikes a nerve. And there’s no way to hit “Delete” or tear up a piece of paper. Consequently, a poorly chosen phrasing, excessive emotions, or weariness – all this can cause misunderstandings, conflicts and even bad blood between you and your loved ones.

On the other hand, we feel uncomfortable giving compliments, praising someone, or admitting how we feel. Sometimes it’s impossibly hard to say “I love you”, isn’t it?

In important conversations like this, one wrong word, and you end up forever explaining yourself, and what you were really trying to say. In better cases, after hours or days explaining oneself to each other, people come to an agreement. However, sometimes misunderstood words can become scars on one’s heart that never heal.

sorry

Parents of tweens and teens have yet another problem to deal with when it comes to difficult and emotional conversations. Not every situation can be explained on the go, and sometimes kids just don’t have the necessary life experience to grasp the true meaning of a conversation.

 

In situations when we can’t say something out loud, we write emails, letters, and notes. So why is it easier to put your feelings on paper, than saying it in person? The process of writing a message or a letter of 100+ words is entirely different from an eye-to-eye talk.

Why it’s Easier to Write Than to Say
  • The other person doesn’t influence your thinking (by speaking or even by his or her presence), and doesn’t interrupt you.
  • Writing allows you to take your time and organize your thoughts.

writing

  • You can make bullet points to bring up the most important issues and leave out secondary information.
  • You can choose the right time to write the letter, being in the right emotional state.
  • You can build the right logical structure of your message, find the right arguments.
  • The fear of an immediate reaction or response doesn’t interfere with your thinking, especially if the possible reaction is anger or disappointment.
  • When trying to figure out their emotions and thoughts, people often are advised to write in a diary. Conveying your thoughts on paper can help you getting out of the labyrinth, and maybe just by writing that letter you will figure out the problem you had, without even sending it.
  • Sometimes, it just so happens that for the other person, for the one who will read this letter or note, it’s also easier to read it in peace and quiet, without being expected to give an immediate response, or without anyone seeing his or her reaction.

read letter

Apart from these reasons, which are fairly common for the most of us, it just may happen that some people were either brought up that way. It could be that it’s part of their character that they don’t feel confident enough to speak to others, or even simply express their emotions in words.

 

Also, a conversation can be forgotten or remembered incorrectly. In this case there’s basically no way to prove someone as right or wrong. Conversations may take unexpected twists that will distract you from what you wanted to say in the first place. A possible misunderstanding is very hard to resolve.

scars on heart

However, a written text can be kept for a very long time. The handwriting of a loved one can bring up many memories. If today your addressee is too overcome with emotions and not yet ready to understand your message, it makes it possible to return to it the next day, or in a week, or maybe even several years later and try to understand your point.

 

This is why we put all our efforts in storytelling for parents. Because every word matters, and what we say to our children may stay with them forever. Some say, modern technology makes us distant and tears children and parents away, but we use modern technology to make you a better parent.  

5 ways to Leave Parent Mode in 2017

Before my daughter was born, it was a mystery to me as to how parents managed to make their children listen to them and respect the fact that parents are authority figures and know better. I couldn’t even figure out how my parents managed to maintain a big and active household and raise 3 extremely chaotic and creative children in an atmosphere of peace and mutual respect.

parent mode

Later on, I realized that it was most probably because we lived not just as a family, but as a real community, and had fun things going on. Parents need to show their children that they’re not just a walking set of rules, but they’re real human beings with feelings, thoughts, morals, habits, and emotions, just like anyone else. This helps children have a better understanding of their parents, their rules and actions, and, consequently, make the communication flow smoothly.

Here are some simple tricks that will help you show your kid that under the hard shell of a parent, there’s a real person underneath. More importantly, the child will not only learn about you, but also some social and self-presentation skills.

Prove Your Authority

force autority

After the era of the all-knowing parent and the trusting child comes to be the rebellious one, where we often get the “Only just because you’re my parents, I shouldn’t listen to you”, and similar speeches. Let your child see you at work, or with friends or colleagues, giving advice that really helps, handling difficult work situations. This will show your kid that you’re the boss not just because parents are allowed to be, but also because you know what you’re talking about. A lot of other people trust you and seek your advice.

Show How You Communicate

6 meeting

If it’s not too distracting, bring your child when running errands or to some meetings that are informal. Let your child experience the diversity of different types of communication and give them some practice – at the dry cleaner’s, with your boss, or with elders. This way, they will see that everything you teach them about talking to peers or to people of authority is for real.

Be Fun

parent dance

Yes, of course you have to maintain your parental persona, but you should be able to have fun too. Especially, have fun with your kids, get loose a little bit. No one wants strict and boring parents. Of course, parents and children have different ideas of fun, especially as kids get older. What would help is showing your kids your kind of fun, and in return, asking them about theirs. This way, you will have more common topics for conversation, and not just “Did you finish your homework?”, or “Wash the dishes and clean up”.

Tell Your Child How You Feel

Children do a lot of things that upset their parents. Refusing to do homework, staying out too late, getting tattoos, choosing careers their parents didn’t really want for their children. But a wordless disapproval won’t work any good for parent-child communication. Tell them how you really feel as a person, and why. You can use short moral stories to explain your point of view.

Admit to being Tired/Annoyed/Unhappy

tired parent

Also admit to having made a mistake. When you’re constantly in parent mode, you’re trying to do your best and keep your head up high. Staying strong for your kids, being positive. To be the one always coming to the rescue. But once in a while, you have to admit to your child that even an amazing parent like you can be tired, or you did something wrong. Show your children that it’s okay to take a break sometimes, to not be energized all the time, and to be wrong sometimes. It’s important to be able to admit to that, and to learn to from your mistakes. Psychologists believe that teaching a child to be at the top of their game all of the time may cause them a lot of stress. It could even lead to depression in their 20s, as they will feel disappointed, as soon as they don’t get that perfect result at work, in relationships, or in any other important matter.

 

Society gave us so many standards that we believe we have to meet. Being a good parent is one of them. However, being a genuine person is as important. Children need to see us out in the real world, see who we are, and how we exist. They need to see that everything we teach them is important and applicable in real life. Leave parent mode from time to time.

 

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5 Rules for Telling Moral Stories to Children

I have a son. Val is 8. Sometimes it’s very difficult to explain to him the simple things. One day I realized that parables and various short moral stories produce magic.

Magic in storytelling

He listens. His brain engages, he asks questions for clarification. The part I like most – Val repeats my stories a few month later at the most unexpected of times.

Bingo! Now the seed of wisdom is inside his head.

I started to focus on parables. I connected friends and colleagues with children in this process. There are numerous guides on storytelling for marketing, sales, copywriters, screenwriter, etc. Yet nothing for parents and children is out there, despite this being very important and can hugely affect the development of their personalities.

By trial and error, we came to a set of rules. They’re simple and tremendously effective for the teaching of values.

Rule 1. Keep the story really short

100-150 words are more than enough to pass on your morals. With a longer story, you increase your odds of losing focus..

Rule 2. No explanations

Most importantly – do not rush to explain the meaning of the parable immediately after the story. Stay quiet for 1 minute or so. Let the child consider it for himself.

Answer only the child’s questions on the parable. A question is the best indicator that he was imbued with history, and it was deposited in his mind.

Rule 3. One at a time

In no case ever tell more than one parable a day. It will be a convoluted  mess in the child’s head.

This is all ideally done before bedtime.

Rule 4. Story setting

Set the scenery of a common parable with the child’s favorite heroes:

  • from favorite movies/cartoons
  • from his favorite games – Minecraft, Star Wars
  • from the toys he plays with – Lego, Cowboys, train drivers

Your story will shine through vividly with new colors and definitely attract and keep his attention.

Rule 5. One on one

Movies GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

Tell stories from a personal perspective.

The only exception – a business trip and the urgent need to put out the fire right now. Then you can send a suitable parable to your child’s tablet or phone.

That’s all! Try these tips and pretty soon you’ll sense noticeable results.

10 Best Practices to Get Your Child to Listen to You, Not Their Phones

In the modern world, you can’t escape the grips of technology, it’s invaded our lives and isn’t leaving, barring the occurrence of a Mad Max style apocalyptic event. Basically, every child already has access to a phone or a tablet at the age of 2. When my girl was little, I showed her cartoons on my phone, and it was okay, but as she grew older (she’s 11 now), she and the phone became inseparable.

child listen to parent

At first I didn’t think anything of it, I figured she could use some learning apps for school, and she also loves taking pictures so much. However, as time flew by, I noticed how hard it was to catch her attention. It became her favorite toy. Still, I couldn’t just take it back – it’s a useful tool for learning and communication. I decided that I had to become more interesting and more fun than the phone.

 

One thing that every book on parenting repeats is that parents have to express their love through effective and nurturing communication. This way children become happier and more well-adjusted. Such as: I want my daughter to be happy, I want more live communication with her, I want us to have fun together.

So I started my little research on getting kids to ditch their phones and getting them to listen to their parents without a confrontation. Here’s what I got, and bit by bit I’m having some progress:

1. Rules

Set understandable and meaningful rules about screen use. Let your children know that it’s okay to use their phones or tablets for learning for a certain amount of time. Guide their online experience. Playing with the phone shouldn’t replace communication. By limiting the time your child spends with his or her gadget, you win more time for some old-fashioned personal communication.

2. Set the right example

Set the right example for your children. As parents, use your gadgets the same way you want your children to use them. Show them that communication within a family is more important than their phones, and that you are always present for them to talk to. Listen to what they have to say without staring at the phone yourself.

3. Take an interest

When your kids show you what they did – be it a picture they drew or a dance they learned. Children what us to care about the things they feel excited about. Even if it’s not a big deal for you, it is a big deal to them. Share this excitement with your children, and the next time they do or learn something exciting, they will come to you first, instead of grabbing their phones and posting about it on social media.

4. Be a good teacher

We already discussed benefits of storytelling for parents. A parent is the most important teacher a child will ever have. While trying our best to prepare our kids for the real world, we have to remember that they still will make mistakes, and we have to learn to accept the imperfections. What does this have to do with the topic, you ask? I’ve come to realize that often times children would rather play with phones than with their parents, if they are too afraid to be criticized by their parents. So let’s just be patient, make our children feel safe and comfortable when talking to us, as we have to maintain healthy parent-child bonds.

parent child communication

5. Be flexible and show more love.

One major misconception is that we should parent the way our parents did. But the world has changed so much since we were kids, so this strategy will never work. In order to keep up with the changing world, with its new rules, technology, etc., we as parents have to be flexible. But above all, this is the love we give to our kids. Showing love is easy – though kind words, hugs, asking about the children’s interests, non-judgement, communication, expressed kindness to your spouse. A child that feels loved and understood by its parents won’t choose a phone over its loving and understanding parents.

6. Change methods of communication

Always say what you want your child to do, and not what you don’t. Communication is always better with as little negative talk as possible. Phrases like ‘Don’t leave your room in a mess’ or ‘Did you have to leave your toys lying around?’ will only cause your child to shut down. ‘Let’s leave the kitchen nice and tidy’ will work a lot better, and you will have even more time to talk while you clean up together.

7. Create the illusion of choice

Instead of telling the child to eat those much hated veggies, ask ‘Do you want tomatoes or cucumbers?’, which will presuppose that the child has already agreed to eat it and overcomes the impasse.

8. Add a ‘Thank you’

If you can’t get your kids to leave their phones and listen to you, try adding a ‘Thank you’ to your request, recommends Alicia Eaton, hypnotherapist and neuro-linguistic programming expert, “Once they’ve been thanked, they feel obligated to perform the task”.

9. Provide reasoning

One other piece of advice she gives: always provide your reasoning. Remember, ‘Because I said so’ is not a reason, and may lead to more confrontation.

10. Attract attention

Make sure your kids really hear you. Also, realize that they may not be ignoring you on purpose – kids under age of 14 are easily distracted. Distracted by a game, they lack what is called ‘peripheral awareness’.

We have to communicate with our children, no matter what. There may be distractions on their way, even on our ways as parents. In the end, we’re nothing without our families, and I want my daughter to understand this sooner rather than later.

The Best Words of Encouragement for Kids in 2017

 

“You’re a good boy!”

 

That simple phrase that I use everytime my son does something good. Wait. Does he even need this sort of encouragement?

words of encouragement kids

I’ve been paying attention to my friends’ son growing up. He was a pretty smart kid with a lot of great options and everyone around him reminds him. Everytime he did something right in school, or came up with some slick idea, his parents, grandparents and teachers gave him a big shout out. For a man who grew up in a strict family,  like I did, such an approach was way off base. But whatever, I never said nothin’.

 

Now, this boy is a man and 15 years older than my 8-years old son and he’s a narcissistic guy, who still lives with his parents and expects their full support and adoring words of appreciation. He’s still as smart as he ever was, but that doesn’t seem to factor into being a better person, or will it?

applause for kid

This example, along with a whole lot of others, has convinced me that too much praising is poison pill for your kid’s future. On the other hand, I don’t want to be that cold stone kind of dad my son will avoid when he’s older. So with that in mind, I started writing down some words of encouragement, which I believe can protect my son from these unforeseen consequences, which I foresee.

Here are some pieces I slapped together for encouragement. I feel like they really work, but what do I know?

My list of words of encouragement in 2017
It’s within your power

Four words that can motivate my son to accomplish something on his own. I support the idea that children should deal with some challenges by themselves, but while feeling safe to ask for help. These words are perfect to emphasize that your child has potential.  

within your power

You’re worth it

It’s easy to overuse these words, but with the right timing, they help to build those type of relationships with your child you may have seen from 1980s sitcoms. I say it to my kid when he gets a present or a good grades at school.

You’re not alone

It seems like it’s only a girl thing, but it’s really not. Loneliness can happen to any kid due to a lack of friends or parent’s attention. I say it to my boy to let him know that I’ll always be there for him.

You’re not alone

I love your creativity

This is a great motivator to get your kid to create something and develop his talent. My son always gets it, no matter what his creation is: pasta castle, a watercolor dogs, or crayon drawings on mirror.

Yeah, me too

Taking your kid’s side is a perfect way to encourage him to do whatever he’s feeling up, or feel down. I always share in my boy’s mood, offering him my own experiences.     

 

A quick note! When you’re using some uncommon phrases, it’s better to stop and explain them. The same way if you’re watching cartoons or movies with your kids – you should explain what’s wrong or right, and why some characters are behaving in such a way.

My list of encouraging words is still not as long as it could be, but I’m doing my best. That’s all of any of us can do, right? I would really appreciate if you’d share some of your thoughts in the comments, and after a while I’ll make a whole dictionary. I really believe that our words are important for our kids, and we need to work on every phrase we use to make the lives of our kids not just appreciated, but solid gold.

5 Reasons Why I Decided to Be a Snapchat Friend With My Daughter

 

“If I should have a daughter, instead of “Mom”,

she’s gonna call me “Point B”,

because that way she knows that no matter what happens,

at least she can always find her way to me.”

I ran upon this almost 5 years ago in a TED Talks. These words belong to Sarah Kay, a beautiful spoken artist, who built her speech on some allusions to having a daughter. I didn’t get it completely, as my daughter was just 6 at that point. I didn’t understand it because everything was based on rational decisions and basic emotional connection. At first, you try just not to kill this small and fragile human being, then you’re eager to teach and share all your treasures. Then you stop understanding what you’re doing.

confused mother

I often imagine myself being quite a bit older, but it’s not about wrinkles and elderly disappointments. All my thoughts are completely focused on my daughter. How will we communicate with one another when she’s adult? How to be that Point B so she can always find her way to me?

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How to Be Remembered by Your Children

Modern inventions make us lazy.

Our phones hold all the contact information for whoever we want to stay in touch with, their birthdays and addresses. Our calendars have all the info on our plans, meetings, and holidays. Siri answers all our questions, including time (sometimes it seems likely that we will even forget how to read a clock!), and some companies are already testing cars that drive on auto pilot.

distracted world

Being born before all this happened, adults tend to be more resistant to the new technology, maybe even hostile to it. Wait. What about the kids? They’re born into a world where remembering becomes obsolete. Socrates even worried that simply writing down things would damage the kids’ ability to remember. If only he could see what was going on in the 21st century.

What happened to us? Firstly, there used to be less distractions, less types of entertainment, which now are overflowing. Secondly, improved technology, cars, airplanes, and the Internet have made our lives faster and more intense, which leads to the necessity to multitask to manage everything at once. Naturally, we don’t have to properly remember and process information.

Children Lose Half of the Memories About Family Members Who Passed Within 6 Month

Imagine, what effect it has on the children. The neurons simply don’t get enough time to connect. Children forget places, events, the family’s history. In a couple of years, they forget some of the family members whom they haven’t seen in a long time, or those who passed away. There aren’t even traditional photo albums anymore to remind them.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

We used to go to my grandfather’s bee farm out in the country. We’d travel out there on a bike with an extra seat, pedalling real quick. Grandma would feed us on a gallon of milk and home-made bread. When we arrived, we put leave milk in jars in the mountain river, so it would stay cool and wouldn’t go off. We ate freshly harvested honey with bread and drank milk. It was unforgettable.

When I was five, I was always convinced that my dad, when he came back from work in the evening, got bored while watching TV. That’s why I would always go to my room, grab some toys and deliberately break them. Then I’d bring them to my dad so he could fix him. I thought it made him happier…

Children will always have their family DNA, but what about family legacy? How can technology help us give our children your family history, how can it help preserve memories? We need to find ways to use all that technology for our own good and for the good of the next generations.

 

One of the reasons why children forget something is that they are not emotionally engaged with the object or the person. Written down stories, videos, photographs, and music associated with people or events can revive these memories.

So, here’s what you, as a parent, can do:

Start an online diary for your children, and give them access when they grow older. Write down funny and touching stories from when they were babies, add photographs with different family members, as well as scans of your children’s drawings, for example. Upload music that was memorable for your children at different times in their lives.

 

Use specialized apps like eye2eye or StoryWorth. Share your real self with your children. Those who build walls around their hearts and souls are not remembered – because nobody knows them. Tell the stories. How can we be remembered if we won’t allow ourselves to be known? These apps not only have all the necessary instruments to write down stories and record video and audio, they also help choosing the right theme and creating truly thrilling content to be remembered.

eye2eye storytelling for parents

Alternatively, you can start a Facebook account in your children’s names. Add memorable dates to the timeline, and tag your kids in family photographs. This way they can look through these albums later and see all the wonderful events and people that surrounded them throughout life.

 

Record videos of your kids, randomly or at special events at school or at family gatherings, and upload them on YouTube. You can make them both private, or public, and let your children watch and rewatch them on their birthdays for instance, share them with friends and family. To make it more interactive, have your kids record video messages for their future selves or distant family!

Stories for Kids They Will Want To Listen To

 

In the past couple of years, my wife and I noticed how many parents at our son’s school, neighbors and even some of our relatives with kids were complaining about their youngsters not wanting to read books. Some of them, however, wasn’t planning on changing the situation. For me it was sheer surprise, I remember myself being a bookworm, and was thinking our son inherited this love for stories and books too (thank God!).

stories for kids

Ever since he was a baby, we were reading him stories, simply just to spend another minute with our child. Now he’s 8, and he loves his books! I happily indulge him with new adventure books about pirates, treasures and such. After finishing a story before going to bed, he tells me all about it the next day at breakfast.

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List of family films to watch in 2017

For our list of family films we have chosen movies Rated G and PG worth seeing. Don’t waste your time on browsing and scrolling. Everything you need is right here!

A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Our list of family films begins with a dog who is trying to figure out why he exists. He goes through 4 different reincarnated “lives” of various types of dogs, until he ends up finding the boy (now a man) who he was with in his first ‘life’, thus ending with his analysis on what his purpose is. It is seriously the most incredible, heartwarming, lovely movie and all the dog’s are beautiful. This movie will have you crying at least 4 different times, laughing, happy and remembering all of YOUR dogs/pets you’ve ever owned.

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