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Top 10 Tips for Raising Great Kids

As parents we all desire that our kids will grow up to be happy, healthy responsible adults, don’t we?

I know I do! I want for mine to do more good than harm in this world. And, I am going to do everything in my power to make it happen.

It is important to make a conscientious effort to encourage our children to develop independence and strong character, which empowers them to successfully navigate through life. If we are waiting until the teen years to start preparing them, then we are setting them up for failure. Character development of children starts on day one.

However, our job as parents is not to tell our children how to live their life. Our job is simply to encourage them to develop sufficient strength of character and independence to figure it things out for themselves. In doing so, they have what it takes to avoid the costly mistakes that so many others make in life. The sooner that they learn the skills means less hand-holding by the adults.

Here are 10 tips to guide them toward the proverbial, straight and narrow.

  1. Lead by example. All children are strongly influenced by their parents’ example. Therefore, it is important to teach what we want to see by ensuring that the example you set is worthy of following.

    • You cannot expect them to learn and grow just from being told what they should do. You have to do it yourself. Kids always tend to do what you do and not just blindly follow what you say.

  2. Get your children out into nature. Let them see how the world works. Take them to the mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Encourage them to have an interest in their natural environment and in wildlife.

    • Show them how food is grown and how it gets from the field to the table. Let them try growing some simple vegetables themselves so they can appreciate the time and energy that nature puts into food production.

  1. Give them as much interaction with animals as possible, especially those in the wild. Cultivate their interest in all living beings, their environment, and the fine balance of the ecosystem that supports them.

  2. Teach your children about negotiation and consequences. Use their daily routine as a platform.

    • For example, if they have to do chores to earn a trip to the movies, discuss the consequences of not getting the chores done beforehand. Then, there will never be any surprises for them if things don’t work out.

    • If you are consistent, your kids will soon come to you to negotiate, with their own terms and conditions about everything that’s important for them.

    • They can learn and understand value, truth, punctuality, and reward just by applying the principles to regular household chores or pocket money.

  1. Encourage them to speak up about things that are important to them. Better yet, encourage them to think through an issue and write out a statement expressing their opinion on the matter. If they need to address an issue with them, have them talk it through and practice it with you.

  2. Encourage them to question everything. We live in a world where profit, power, and control seem to dominate every topic and every world leaders’ agenda. Teach your children to think critically rather than just believing whatever they see or hear. It is not hard to look around us, and see the hive mind operating at full strength.

    • If your child can develop the habit of receiving information, questioning it, forming their own opinion based on the facts presented, and then challenging the status quo, you will be well on the road to developing a young leader yourself! The world needs more critical thinkers.

  3. Teach them about peer pressure and how to resist it before they ever get subjected to the consequences of it. Just because a majority of individuals engage in the same thought or action, it doesn’t make it right. Help them that fitting in is not always the best option.

    • Likewise, if you stand alone against the majority, it doesn’t make you wrong. Resisting following the crowd for all the right reasons is a powerful learning process.

  4. Encourage them to explore everything that interests them, fascinates them or causes an emotional reaction in them. Sadly, this is lacking in most school curriculums where the dominant methodology is to make all children dress the same, learn the same, and be the same.

    • The education system is designed to strip the uniqueness out of young people. What we really need is more unique individuals in society, who follow their passion, whether or not it may be on the school agenda.

  1. Ensure that they understand what social media really is: a mild form of entertainment with very little value in the real world. Explain where it came from, what it does, and how you can have fun with it, but ensure that they also know that what they see there usually isn’t reality.

  2. Enroll them in some form of self-defense. The world seems to be becoming an ever more violent place. The chances of your child being in the wrong place at the wrong time is much greater today than when you were a child. Martial arts provides children with the necessary skills for protection; as well as, teaches them important values to build on their independence and character.

    • It’s important for them to understand how to evaluate any given situation they may find themselves caught up in and how to remove themselves from it as rapidly as possible.

    • They also need to learn what they can do if they are forced to engage with an assailant, and then remove themselves from that situation as rapidly as possible.

It’s the school’s job to teach your children about learning, and it’s your job as a parent to teach them about life. If you teach them well, they will grow up to be of strong character and become independent thinkers.

With that as a foundation, they can set out on their life journey with confidence, courage, and inspiration to create a successful and fulfilling life.

Eight Simple (& Powerful) Affirmations from Dads to their Children

A few weeks ago, I posed this question online: “When you look back at your childhood, what did you need to hear from your father?” The 100+ responses from men and women, let me know that these adults placed a certain amount of value, whether it was high or low, upon what their fathers said and didn’t say to them as they were growing up with or without the presence of their father.

Based upon the response, I heard the pain and anguish associated with not receiving positive words from their father or I heard the strength and resolve connected to uplifting words. It’s not uncommon knowledge that children want the approval of their parents; and specifically, approval of their fathers. There’s plenty of data to suggest the magnitude of a father’s presence.

When a father understands his worth, he conducts himself differently for his children’s livelihood in an effort to build self worth in his children. It extends further than making sure that food is on the table, clothes are on the back, and a roof is over the head. The lens through which our children see the world is, directly, tied to the deposits of a lifetime overflowing with praise or criticism.

He recognizes the lie of “Sticks and stones may break my bones. But, names will never hurt me.” He understands that “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” according to Proverbs 15:1. He remembers the connection between his legacy and his behavior are interwoven.

What he says matters!

How he says it matters!

When he says it matters!

Why he says it matters!

When the what, how, when, and why are in alignment, trust his child’s world is better off for it! As an adult, when his child answers a random question online, positive memories bring tears of joy. Well done, Dad! Well done!

Build Better Websites & Funnels

In this day and age, any business that wants to thrive must go online.

With so many things going on around the world, and global changes that will forever impact the way people live and do business, going online is no longer just an option.

Not only to maintain their success, but even just to survive.

Sure, there are tools that are already available that any business can use to run their entire company and processes digitally.

However, any minimum amount of research will tell you that most of these products are expensive, complicated and limited in customization.

In other words, not very user-friendly, and definitely not suitable for all business owners, especially those who are less tech-savvy and might even be on a budget.

I mean, who can afford to invest thousands of dollars a month into a bunch of complicated tools, and on top of that, hire employees to manage the systems, right?

Well, if this sounds familiar in any way, I have some good news for you.

As an online marketer and blogger myself, I am always looking for new solutions for these everyday challenges we face as business owners.

Today, I am very excited to introduce you to my latest discovery.

GrooveFunnels is, by far, the best way I have found to be able to build websites, sales funnels and sell digital products online.

The best part? It’s FREE.

But the free value does not end there…

You see, GrooveFunnels is not just a website and sales funnel builder.

The co-founder of GrooveFunnels, Mike Filsaime, is actually a veteran in the Internet marketing space, and has put all his experience and expertise into one of the best suite of marketing tools I have ever seen.

I’ve also signed myself up for an account (it’s free), and for the past few days, I’ve had the chance to play around with it.

And you know what?

I can definitely tell you that this 100% free tool is perfectly capable of running your entire business, maybe even better than some of the expensive complicated tools out there.

I’m not exaggerating by any means…

From what I’ve seen so far, GrooveFunnels includes everything that I need to run my online business, all for absolutely free.

Here’s just a quick list of what I’ve gathered so far:

  • FREE sales, page and funnel building platform
  • Possible to build my own branded websites with full navigation
  • Can integrate with my own custom domain name
  • Able to sell my products with what they call a 1-click upsell
  • Capability to integrate upsells, downsells, and order bumps
  • Even has a way to create my own powerful affiliate program for my products!

And that’s just for starters, because there is so much more for me to explore!

I’m not even joking when I say that I am planning to change my ENTIRE online business over to GrooveFunnels!

I mean, why wouldn’t I?

It’s FREE, and it’s probably the BEST suite of marketing tools I have ever seen in my life.

By the way, there’s more…

I didn’t even mention some of my favorite benefits of GrooveFunnels.

As a member, I’ve also received a TON of community benefits.

I’ve been able to join their private Facebook group, connect with marketing experts inside, get help with all my problems, access private training within their own academy, ask questions through their helpdesk, and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs just like me to make the best use of these tools.

So, if you’re like me… Striving to grow your business, looking to learn more about marketing and getting to know some of the best in the industry at a more personal level, then you won’t want to miss out on this opportunity.

Sounds great, right?

But you might be asking… what’s the catch?

The catch is that GrooveFunnels is free, but for a limited time only.

GrooveFunnels is in its pre-launch phase, which means that many of the products have still yet to fully launch.

When they do, and as the products continue to get upgraded, GrooveFunnels may no longer be free anymore.

This means that now is the time to sign up for your free account, which would also qualify you for the additional software upgrades that they make as time goes on.

Awesome deal, right?

It’s called being at the right place, at the right time.

And that’s where we’re at right now 🙂

Don’t wait any longer, because I’m honestly not sure when this free offer is going to go away.

Do yourself a favor and sign up for your free GrooveFunnels account right now, and I will see you inside of the Facebook group.

Find Your Ikigai

Earlier this year, my co-workers and I flew out to Los Angeles to attend a 4-day conference addressing ways to support fathers and families. During our time on the West Coast, we participated in an Advanced Fatherhood Practitioners course for those of us working with fathers across the country.

The course, by far, exceeded my expectations. In this session, we discussed engaging fathers and families in ways that are culturally sensitive. We discussed incorporating mindfulness into individual sessions with fathers. The course teachers provide a good amount of information into a few days, which spilled over into several months of post-class work to fulfill the required needs for the accreditation.

One concept that stood out to me, from the class, is the idea of ikigai. It’s a Japanese word that, literally, means “value of being alive” according to my research. In the class, we learned it as “that thing for which you wake up”. The assignment given to us required reflecting on this very concept.

I had to ask myself “what gets me out of the bed every morning?” It’s that thing that brings me joy or produces life in me. I don’t dread getting it done. It’s that thing that I can get lost in for hours at a a time. Hopefully, you’re getting the idea of what the word means.

It’s not something to put off, continuously, It’s not something that you easily pass over in life.. The more you put it off, the more you fill unfulfilled in your life. It’s there calling your name.

Some times, silently! Other times, loud enough to make you feel the pressure to get up and do something about it.

When you start or discover it, you won’t stop until it’s complete.

What is that thing for you?

For me, it’s what I’m doing at this very moment. It comes naturally. I don’t have to stress about making it happen. I sit down and press keys on the laptop to complete an article or talk into a microphone to finish a podcast. Then, I’m done. If my ikigai wasn’t happening in the form of writing or speaking, it’s visible in how I express life. At the end of the day, the thing that I wake up for is making a positive impact in the lives of those entrusted to me.

It’s my wife, my children, my family, and countless others experiencing a man, who chooses to operate from a place of love. Without expressing and receiving love, it’s hard to find value in life. During this pandemic, people are struggling with their purpose in life. If that’s you, trust that it’s waiting for unearthing. If you haven’t quite found your ikigai, take time to get alone for a moment of silence.

In your silence, reflect on your life. What are your passions, skills, and interests? I promise you that if you’re still and quiet enough, you’ll find the switch. Once you do, my prayers is that you never turn it off!

What’s Really Going On?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself this question “what’s, really, going on?” More often than not, I find myself affording perception the opportunity to become reality. When in all actuality, reality is perception until the lens changes.

I like words. They possess the capacity to provide richness and depth to a conversation. However, chaos and division might ensue when word choice and usage lead to misunderstandings. My goal is create a clear picture. In order to have the same lens, we’ll use Merriam-Webster as a point of reference for perception and reality

Perception often breathes life into our reality based on our attitudes, beliefs, and experiences. These are our points of reference for approaching our lives. In this instance, I included Dictionary.com in the second set of words.

Why?

Variance exists between how these organizations define these words; even though, they are the same. I have no idea why. Nor, will I take the time to find out. The lenses lead to their selection.

Back to attitudes, beliefs, and experiences. Although these three are truth for us in many instances, it doesn’t mean that they are truth for others. Case in point. Stop signs are red; unless, an individual with color blindness is the one looking at it. The stop sign is no longer red from that person’s perception; even though, the reality is stop signs are red. But, only to sighted individuals.

Let’s take a closer look. Shall we?

If my reality is based on my perception and your reality is based on your perception, that sounds like a recipe for disaster in a world where we believe that our reality is the absolute truth. I’m sure you’ll have seen this play out time and time again in this virtual world. Take for instance, social media algorithms place a tint over our lenses. Now a commonly viewed situation is causing chaos in an individual’s reality without disturbing the harmony of another. The next thing you know, Facebook drama and Twitter wars abound. Instead of viewing the world through someone else’s lens, there’s a tendency to dig in our heels to not yield space or fortify our walls to avoid a collapse.

In doing so, seeking first to understand then to be understood (as suggested in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is left null and void. Imagine a society of people, who seek to understand and who challenge their attitudes, beliefs, and experiences.

Can you see it as clearly as I see it through my lens?

I hope so.

It’s a peaceful place that’s bright enough for all of us to rock our lenses.