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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What’s Your Mantra?


The men in my family seem fond of alliterative aphorisms (and maybe I am, too?) and advice for life. One of my father’s favorite mantras is “The Six P’s”: Prior Planning Prevents P*ss Poor Performance.  My husband emphasizes “The Two C’s”: Curiosity and Communication, as general health guidelines.

The procrastinator in me knows that the Six P’s—or Five to be family-friendly—can eliminate...
...stress, especially for those of us with young children. The Girl Scout motto “Be Prepared” rings true. A few minutes of packing for a family outing can salvage an entire day. Grab healthful drinks and yummy snacks from home to keep up energy, nip tantrums in the bud, and save money. ALWAYS bring jackets, hats, sunscreen, wipes, and BandAids.

Curiosity about our world—nature, geography, different cultures, music, art, science, hobbies and interests, why we’re here, and more--begets participation in a variety of physical, mental/intellectual, and spiritual activities. We want our girls [seen is the photo above] to be exposed to different perspectives and lots of experiences so they will ask questions, become confident, relate to other people, find what they love, and be active. We travel, read, regularly visit local places such as the Zoo, Bernheim Forest, the Science Center, and art museums and galleries, attend church and social justice events, watch sporting events, and exercise with them.

We encourage them to ask questions and try to provide appropriate, fair answers and encourage discussion, which brings me to the second C.

Good communication within a family and with others is vital to mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and there are physical ramifications when the other areas suffer. It's all connected (hey…a Third C for Connectivity!). Being honest about how you feel and being a respectful listener can be difficult. We try our best to set a good example for our girls. Sometimes it seems easier to yell or to storm off, but when you do, the bad feelings don’t always go away. Getting it out in the open can lift a tremendous weight, and often prevent negative consequences and future choices.

Contributed by Angela Stallings Hagan, PhD, parent-writer for Today’s Family magazine.





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