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Storytime March 5, 2008

Posted by coachtonya in From Coach Tonya, Lessons from a child.
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I think that one of my favorite part of Logan’s bedtime routine is after I read him a story, he tells one to me. He either gets a book and tells me what is happening in the pictures or he makes one up from his day.

“Once-upon-a-time” he will say as he taps his chin with his finger, he looks up to the ceiling … you can practically see the wheels in his head spinning. And then I get a story filled with sound effects, voices, and animal noises.

It makes me smile just thinking about it.

Share something special with your child, let them tell you a story, you will get the chance to get a glimpse into their world!!

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Christmas All Year Long?? Sure..Why Not? January 16, 2008

Posted by coachtonya in Lessons from a child.
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My three year old was so disappointed that we finally had to take down the Christmas decorations.  He had so much fun helping us set out the decorations and hanging the bulbs on the tree.  After the tree was up he sat mesmerized by the lights. It was the first year that he really started to understand the true magic of the whole season and he love every second of it.

In fact as we left from the visiting at my brothers house tonight he said Merry Christmas, everyone! with a wave of his hand before we stepped out the door.  In the car on the way home he asked me again why the Christmas trees had to go away.

I again told him that the Christmas trees were only for Christmas time.  Then he started talking about Santa landing on our house when he was asleep, and all the other things we did during Christmas, including listing his favorite presents.

I smiled as I listened to him chatter away, Wow! this is a kid that loves Christmas, and to him the presents were just a bonus, its the lights and the pretties, the fun and the mystery that he loved.

Why cant we have Christmas all year long?

Why cant we see the love, kindness, and laughter that we give and receive from our family as daily presents?  Maybe they aren’t wrapped in a glittery bow, but they are more priceless than any present from under the tree that we unwrapped.

Why cant we share that special time with our children decorating and looking at the beauty and magic of all seasons?

The answer of course, is that we CAN have Christmas all year long, we can take that magic, that feeling of togetherness and carry it throughout the rest of the year as well.  It doesn’t have to end when we take down the Christmas tree and put away the seasonal decorations.

I love the fact that my son is not ready to let go of Christmas, that he can keep it alive in his little boy heart.

And I am proud to learn this lesson from him.

Did curiosity really kill the cat? July 16, 2007

Posted by coachtonya in Lessons from a child.
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I watch Logan embrace everything new with gusto. Like most two-year-olds, he is curious. He wants to know every noise, how every toy works; he dives into every new experience headfirst.

His newest fascination is with bugs…all kinds of “buggies”, he wants to know everything. “Where is buggie’s home, Momma?” he wants to know if there are “momma buggies and daddy buggies?”, he gets so excited when he sees one; he will watch it crawl not taking his eyes off it for a minute, until one of us scoops it up and puts it outside.

I admire his healthy curiosity.

In our lives we settled in the status quo, becoming complacent with our lives. We stop asking questions and stop searching for the answers. We stop being curious.

When was the last time you searched out the answer to the questions in your life?

We just take what comes our way at face value instead of burrowing deeper. There are so many answers that we could find within ourselves that could prove helpful in our lives.

Curiosity is the art of wanting to know.

Who am I?

Why do I let my inner critic stop me?

What am I holding on to that I need to release?

Take time to find the answers, especially the ones that point inward. Let your curiosity lead you to learning new something new about yourself. When we stifle our curiosity, we deny ourselves growth.

Celebrate! July 3, 2007

Posted by coachtonya in Lessons from a child.
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I took Logan over to my brothers to play with the kids, last week. As the grown-ups where socializing, Logan came down with a stuffed puppy cradled in his arms, with a mini bottles of water.

“Look, momma!!! Look!” he exclaimed as he put the bottle to the puppy’s lips, “I am feeding the puppy!! Look momma!” It was so obvious that he was so proud of himself. I praised him and he gave me a hug before he toddled off to play with the kids again.

One of the best things about being a mother is being able to celebrate those moments with your kids, to help them feel proud of themselves. Fueling that self-respect in themselves is important to their developing sense of self. Even the smallest pat on the back or “Way to go!”, goes a long way to helping them feel good about who they are.

As adults do we not practice celebrating all our successes, even the small ones as we see and encourage in our children.

When was the last time you patted yourself on the back?

It can be a devastating to your self-esteem, when you consistently do not recognize that you are responsible for your successes. Allowing yourself to feel pride in your accomplishments is part of sustaining your relationship with yourself, which is the cornerstone to prosperity.

How many times to you deny yourself the opportunity to celebrate a success, because we did not believe that we deserved it?

Women have a hard time allowing themselves to celebrate a success. There was a time in my life, when I would come up with every excuse not to credit myself with a good job. “It’s not perfect”, “It was nothing”, I would pull away from praise, because I did not feel I was deserving of a pat on the back for such little things. Because I was not able to accept positive feedback from others, I not able to give it to myself either.

There is nothing wrong in letting ourselves be proud of our accomplishments. Give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate the fact that YOU accomplished it!

I often tell myself that I am fabulous, like after I figured out how to do something new. I take pride in the fact that I did not give up when I did not know how to do it.  Celebrating my newly acquired knowledge.

Take time to celebrate that you got one more thing done off your “To-do list”; that you did not lose your temper, or when you had a productive day. Be proud in the fact that you made time for yourself and your family…celebrate anything and everything.

I am so grateful that I can share in celebrating Logan’s new accomplishments, helping him feel good about being who he is, and I am grateful that he reminds me how do this for myself too.

Precious Moments June 22, 2007

Posted by coachtonya in From Coach Tonya, Lessons from a child.
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We all have those priceless moments that live in our hearts forever, that will always be one of those memories that is the clearest and the brightest. I had one of those moments tonight…

Bedtime was drawing close and Logan came to me with a request. “Momma, play shake it” he said as he put both of his arms up in the air. Of course I knew what he was talking about…a couple of days ago, I had downloaded two of our newest favorite songs from the Curious George Soundtrack on to my computer. And they happened to be great for “shaking it” as Logan puts it.

I couldn’t resist, I put on the first song, “Shake it, momma” Logan said as he pulled me out of my chair into the middle of the room. I followed his lead as he danced in a circle, his little arms and legs keeping up with the jungle-like beat of the music. I too, was dancing, as the saying says, like no one was looking…letting the sheer joy take over. Then Logan took my hands and we danced together in a circle. I twirled him around and as his blue eyes sparkled, he threw his head back letting the sweet sound of little boy laughter fill the room.

“Sing! Momma” he said between giggles. He didn’t care, if the singing was out of key or if the words weren’t right, he just knew somewhere in his little heart, the simple uncomplicated joy of singing…so we started to sing as we danced.

As the music from the first song faded into the second song, Logan found some empty plastic pop bottles, which he promptly started tapping together to the rhythm of next song. We sang and danced around…without missing a beat I transformed a nearby stool into a drum. Logan joined me, even giving me one of the bottles to use a a drumstick.

No matter how much time passes, I will hold the memory of tonight forever. It was a chance for us both to let ourselves be free. A time of bonding and connecting, of laughing and letting ourselves be silly. There will probably be many more times like this, but tonight will stand out in my memories, it was a flawless flow of energy, love, and joy.

I let go of all the adulthood hang ups and was a child again, no worry, no doubt…just fun.

Although life may get in the way, we need to let more of these pure moments into our lives. More importantly, we need to be willing to let any unexpected moment be a chance to free ourselves from the ordinary and let our spirit run free. Whether its dancing with your two-year-old, or singing your favorite song loud and proud, let your inner child play…the adult in you will be grateful for the break!

It’s Me! June 20, 2007

Posted by coachtonya in From Coach Tonya, Lessons from a child.
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This morning as I went to wake Logan up, our dog, Desirrae (pronounced how it is spelled Des-ir-rae) followed me into his room. After my little one told me good morning, he turned around to the dog and said, “Hi Desrae, It’s me…Logan”

“It’s me…” is Logan’s newest little catch phrase. You have to admire the lack of shyness that some toddler’s have and the way that they announce their presence to the whole world. It is before they start caring about what others think.

I think that a toddler’s struggle to be heard in the world, to discover who they are. It is not unlike the struggle that we go through later in life when we start looking for our path, our life’s purpose.

When in our life do we stop being who we are and start worrying about what other’s think?

When do we stop announcing ourselves to the world with a, “It’s me…” ?

We can all learn a lesson from toddlers, look at how much they go through to just become their own little person, a struggle that we repeat throughout our lives.

Remember who you are and don’t change it or hide it to please others!!

Announce proudly, allowing it to echo off the far corners of the universe, “IT’S ME!”