Archive for conscious parenting

Over 12,000 Kids Publicly Shamed This Year at Dick’s Last Resort

15 06 16 end shame dicksDick’s Last Resort- A restaurant chain where gruff staffers serve a Southern-style menu in a rowdy roadhouse environment.

According to a Star Tribune article Ralph McCrackin, the company’s president said, “We’re colorful, but not off-color. We’re irreverent, but not rude.” You decide.

Public Shaming of a Child at Dick’s Last Resort on June 14, 2015:

A waitress runs out to the middle of the restaurant with a roll of Saran Wrap and grabs a boy, probably about 6, who had been standing on his chair.  She pulls his chair out to the middle of the aisle for everyone to see.  She then starts Saran Wrapping him to the chair, with the help of his mom who is holding him down so he can’t get away.  He is struggling to break free.  Is this supposed to be funny?

The Shaming Continues

Around and around she goes.  My heart is beating in my chest.  I want to get up and push the waitress out-of-the-way and rip off the Saran Wrap.  I’m ashamed to say I sat still in my chair stunned by this entire scene.

His arms are fighting against the wrap which gets thicker and more impossible with each loop the waitress makes.  He’s heaving his chest to try to get out, his face turning red.  Finally realizing he’s not getting he makes a mental shift.  I can see it.

Just like the kid at school who has been labeled with a hurtful nickname often chooses to disguise his pain with laughter, this boy decides if he can’t get out he might as well show he doesn’t care.

All the adults around are laughing.  The mom is taking pictures.  His sister, probably 8, looks distressed.  She runs up to try to help him and thinks better of it.  She doesn’t want to be the next one.  She runs back to her chair.

It doesn’t stop there.  The waitress then tips his chair backwards once he is securely strapped to the chair. His back is now lying on the floor feet upwards to the ceiling.  The waiters come by and start covering him up with piles of paper napkins which were lying on the floor after being thrown just moments before to celebrate someone’s birthday.

Finally the waitress, with a nod of approval from the boy’s mother, takes an orange sharpie marker and draws a mustache on his little face and brings his chair back to an upright position.  The ‘fun’ is over.  For now.  Until they do it to another kid.

In 2013 I was here too. The same thing happened and the boy didn’t laugh.  He cried.  I found another video posted back in 2010 with over 73K views titled Dick’s Child Abuse.  Scroll through to about 8 minutes in and you’ll see the same thing.  That was over 5 years ago!

 

Standing Up and Speaking Up

After the boy was released, I got up from my chair and walked over to his table.  I bent down and gave him a hug and said, “Are you okay? My girls were scared for you.”  I spoke briefly to his mother and as we were leaving asked to speak to the manager, Mikey.

As Mikey and I stepped outside to get away from the noise, the words that came out were calm and confident.  This is a brief summary of our talk.

“Thanks for your time.  I wanted to let you know that as a professional who works with families, the Saran Wrapping of a child, which I’ve seen happen twice now, is totally unacceptable and upset not just me but my children as well.  Is this endorsed by your corporate offices?”

“Yes.  A parent has to approve of it.  We allow for a pie to be thrown in their child’s face or to have them Saran Wrapped.”

“Oh.  So the parent said this was okay?”

“Yes.  We asked her first.”

“Well does the child also have to agree to it?  I’m assuming they do.”

“No.  It’s done with the parent’s approval.”

“I’m not sure if you noticed but that boy was not having fun.  He clearly was trying to break free while everyone else stood by laughing.  Is that entertainment? I’m sure he didn’t’ think so.”

“Again it is the mother who agreed to have it done.”

“Did you know that would be considered public shaming?”

“I didn’t.”

“There is a movement I’m involved with right now to end public shaming of children.  That’s why I felt it was so important to talk with you.  Every week children are harming and even killing themselves due to treatment like this.  In fact I just wrote about a girl named Izabel Laxamana whose father cut off her hair as discipline. Video-taped it, and uploaded it to YouTube.  A few days later she committed suicide.”

“I had no idea.”

“Well I am working with people like Dr. Shefali Tsabary to help end this type of acceptance of public shaming of children and I wanted to be sure you knew how this affected me personally as a patron of your restaurant, how damaging it is to the child and how it is perpetuating this idea that publicly shaming a child is okay.”

I handed her my business card.  She said she’d write it up in her nightly review.  It’s been a few days and I still haven’t heard back.  I bet we will soon if we ban together!

It’s time to #endshame @DickSez. Over 12,000 kids a year shamed at your restaurant says @uofmoms! http://bit.ly/endshame <===Click to Tweet

The Shaming In Numbers

I looked up Dick’s Last Resort and there are 17 locations.  Let’s assume they Saran Wrap two kids a day every day of the year.  That would be 2 kids a day x 17 location x 365 days a year = 12,410 kids a year they are publicly shaming with the permission of the parent.  I’m guessing it’s more than that.

Let’s go one step further.  12,410 kids a year being shamed and let’s say there are 100 people in the restaurant at the time this occurs that would be 12,410 kids x 100 patrons viewing per wrap = 1,241,000 onlookers who are doing nothing but laughing, maybe feeling uncomfortable and then walking right back out the door.

OVER A MILLION PEOPLE!

That’s crazy.  One million people a year who are witnessing public shaming of kids in a restaurant where they are paying for food.  I am choosing to be one in a million people who will speak up.  Will you?

Public Shaming Epidemic as Seen at Dick’s Last Stand:

PROBLEM 1.  Dick’s Last Stand corporate office endorses the shaming of children in their restaurants.

PROBLEM 2.  Parents are agreeing to the public shaming of their children.

PROBLEM 3.  Over one million onlookers a year for the past 30 years have done nothing to stop this.

We as a society need to ban together to educate ourselves and empower our children. Join us to raise awareness of public shaming and put an end to it.

Be a Powerful Parent who Chooses Solutions to End Public Shaming:

SOLUTION 1.  Refuse to speak or post negatively of your child online.  Choose private conversations and support as your tools of building a more connected and conscious family environment.  Sign up for our free Conscious Parent Mini-Series if you need help.

SOLUTION 2. Stand up and speak up.  When you see public shaming online or in person be proactive.  It’s our responsibility to advocate for children.  If not you, then who?

SOLUTION 3. Join our #endshame movement by tweeting in support of ending the public shaming of children.  Share inspiring quotes.  Share statistics and facts as you learn them.  Share positive pictures of parenting.  This is where our collective education will start.  Check back often to retweet and reply.

It’s time to #endshame @DickSez. Over 12,000 kids a year shamed at your restaurant says @uofmoms! http://bit.ly/endshame <===Click to Tweet

SOLUTION 4.  Watch this very important video message from Dr. Shefali Tsabary.

As Dr. Seuss says so profoundly, “The time has come, the time is now, just go #endshame, I don’t care how!”  Or something like that.

Please comment below and let’s start talking about this.  Share this article on your Facebook page.  Let’s do our part to end the public shaming of kids.

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Each Child is Different, meet them where they are…

Each Child is Different, meet them where they are

Photo Credit: Victor Cristian Mitroi, Flickr.com

The oldest of my five children, Nick, who is twenty-seven, and my second son, Allen-Michael, twenty-one, could not be more different from one another. Because they were raised by the same mother I just assumed the boys would be more alike. Though it makes no sense to expect this since I now understand each child arrives in the world with his own temperament, sets of challenges, and lessons for us, and a unique destiny to pursue as well.

Over the past few years, having made the shift from thinking and “do-ing” my parenting from a place where I was in charge of the teaching of my children, to the daily practice of the concept of their teaching me has been the wildest, yet most enlightening/rewarding journey of my life.

When I let go of my expectations (even those I would not have verbally acknowledged) and simply met my sons where they were, my world opened up.

For instance, Nick has been challenged with addiction to alcohol. He has battled this disease (some days more so than others) since he was fifteen years old. Almost five years sober at this point, he doesn’t attribute his recovery to faith in God or any other Higher Power. If you ask Nick he will say his fear of going back to jail is what keeps him away from any bottle. Nick does believe in God, but doesn’t actively pursue a relationship through church attendance or in his everyday life. He was raised Catholic (I will admit, inconsistently), but doesn’t care to make time for spirituality or religion today.

Allen-Michael, on the other hand, who was also raised “inconsistently Catholic” has had an increasingly close relationship with God since his teen years. Calm and easy-going from the day he arrived in the world, he avidly pursues daily mass, mission work, feeding the homeless, and even contemplating the priesthood. Allen-Michael feels very strongly about the gospel and looks to the lives of Catholic saints as inspiration for his own.

It appears to be too early to tell what role faith and religion will play the lives of my youngest three children, but they continue to be raised in the same way by a mother who often verbally and through her actions places more value in the intuition of a higher calling and a purpose greater then oneself than on the structure of any denomination or book.

What I love most about the different ways in which my children approach life is their ability to show respect for, and tolerance of one another choices to take a path different from their own. Knowing, above all else, I have helped create an environment for that to happen in is very gratifying.

What do you say and do to foster a sense of individuality in your children?

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Conscious Parenting: Raising the next generation to new heights!

Photo Credit:  Matt, Flickr.com

Photo Credit: Matt, Flickr.com

Like so many other people, I have a dream.  This dream of mine began small…under my own roof in fact.  But, the more I learn and invest myself into the process and potential of this concept, the greater my desire to be an instrumental part of seeing the dream become a reality not only for my home,  but for homes throughout THE WORLD.  I firmly believe it can be done, I just wonder if it will be a reality during my lifetime…

What is this dream you ask?

My dream, along with a growing number of others, is the ability to experience what the world would be like to live in if the next generation of children were raised by parents determined to do so consciously.

How can those of us who are working toward conscious parenting build the momentum of this dream?

For starters it means regularly sharing the idea with other parents.  For example, I recently knew three babies born so I bought a copy of The Conscious Parent for each family as a gift.  The recipients will need to be open to take a risk and an  initiative to evaluate their parenting with an open mind.  They would ideally begin to understand much of our child rearing skill comes from what we have experienced in our own upbringing.  While our parents may have loved us very, very much, they were not raised in a way that honored their authentic being, therefore they were unable to raise us in a way that honored our inner self.

Instead, previous generations of people have been raised to believe it is the parent who carries the power, deserves all of the respect, and whom should be honored and obeyed without question.  As a result of many generations raised with those ideals in mind, there have been untold amounts of emotional wounds passed down.  If we choose to continue to ignore,  or to approach parenting the same way our elders did, those emotions will be given to our own children.  When we neglect to tend to our own emotional baggage and uncover, layer by layer, our own authentic life we are doing not only ourselves, but the next generation, a disservice.

And the emotional burden and unauthentic living will never end.

Our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and all parents before them did what they knew to do to raise children.  We now have a more enlightened answer and path.  

When we know better, we must do better.  Therein lies the hope in the conscious parenting movement.

Having the courage to look at the relationship we have with ourselves, and with our children.  To look in the past long enough to recognize where we need to change in the present to positively affect future outcome. Easy, no.  Worthwhile, yes!

Because when we can look at our child as a teacher, rather than as our student, and we comprehend they were brought into the world to serve a purpose which can only be revealed through our attuned presence with them in tandem our encouragement, support, and unconditional love.  The power and practice of this idea will help make the dream of conscious parenting a reality!

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How Fear Can Paralyze You If You Let It

Photo Credit: BK, Flickr.com

Photo Credit: BK, Flickr.com

I stayed in a career for 20 years because of my fear of changing & doing what I love doing which I had lost sight of plenty of times but it never lost touch in me. However, after my daughter turned one, I consciously left my six-figure career 3 years ago with fear of so much (fear of what if, fear of money, fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of not having control, fear of not being accepted for my decision). But you know what I knew for sure, I trusted my decision at the core of my being. I knew that being a stay-at-home-mom was where I needed my energies to be most. And ultimately through my daughter’s birth & all she has taught me, I was brought full circle, through The Universe, supporting my decision to do my life’s work both as a mom & life / parent coach & now blogging & serving others through my journey and helping them grow through theirs.

Rewind to the year my daughter was born (2011), I knew from that moment I was going to create and invite the opportunity for greater self -evolution. I was no longer going to allow the battle of the minds (so-speak) but instead I was going to manifest and put out into The Universe my desire to be at home with my daughter – pay heed and receive it in its due time. That September, my husband and I had a “meeting of the minds” (Labor Day weekend) to be exact and we discussed the “how to” plan so I could be a SAHM. Bottom line, we looked at everything from our finances, to our current situation to aligning our values (which we were already very much on the same page) and our understanding of what was going to need to change in order to make this happen. We literally created a “power-point” action plan. Then that December, just three months after I let go and let God, I had a call with my boss at the time and within that conversation when she shared much of what was going to “need” to happen the following year (from a sales perspective, travel requirements, etc) and I knew that this was my official sign from The Universe and my moment for departure. I was no longer going to serve a career that did not fulfill my inner being. I was not going to be “that mom” who came home from work – bitter, frustrated, worn-out all because it paid great. The cost was TOO HIGH for me to stay as opposed for me to leave.

After my call with my then boss, I called my husband and told him today is the day that I am giving my notice this week. Over the next five days, I called everyone one of our bill payers (reduced our bills where I could) and ended up saving us $500 per month (which although this was minimal compared to what I was making, it was a good determined start). Three years later, and through my conscious parenting journey, blogging, coaching, etc , God is providing me with many ways to earn an income again and doing the work I love and was called here to do.

So if this resonates with you in some capacity, I encourage you to take the steps, think through the process, lay out the plan, garner the support, be honest with yourself and follow your life’s path. You, your family and your children will all be better for it. I truly and whole-heartedly believe that God always provides. It may not be in the immediate way we perceive it or fantasize about but He provides in many others ways (money is the bonus) including our spiritual and emotional health being at the helm of the true value with bring into our lives and our children’s.

The transformation I’ve personally made plowing through fears & still plowing through them has been liberating & I think “what if” I never embarked upon my journey because of fear, I would not be here in this moment & what a disservice that would have been to myself, my daughter / family & others. This path & process to consciousness has allowed me to truly tap in, honor & trust my voice. I accept that as part of this ever-evolving journey, have a lot of self-talks and move through it. I look back at some of the fears I’ve come through & let them empower me for those that continue to arise.

What fears are holding you back from stepping into your true essence? 

How can you create more space to allow the organic flow for what is naturally ready to bare fruit in your light?

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The Essence of Conscious Parenting

Photo Credit:  ann_jutatip, Flickr.com

Photo Credit: ann_jutatip, Flickr.com

When we desire the thought of having children and then the Universe fulfills our wishes, most of us don’t realize the full commitment it takes in raising them after they are brought into this world. We talk about our desires so freely, scripting the play-by-play on how it will look and be once we have them. We have already planned out all of their years and framed them accordingly to meet our standards. They will do this and be that, they will do as I say (not as I do), they will know who’s boss and know their place, they will listen when I speak, they will not talk back, they will not be like the next door neighbor’s child, they will be better, more and the list goes on.

Anyone with a child (whether a parent, care-taker, guardian), knows these egoic patterned thoughts and beliefs all too well if they are willing to admit it. Yet, most don’t – for fear of shame, guilt, lack of acceptance, judgment and caring what other people think.

What I absolutely love, admire and respect about the brilliant work of Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of The Conscious Parent, is her matter-of-fact yet authentic, truthful and insightful approach to how parents have been doing it all along from the conventional parental hierarchy mindset to a more conscious-minded parental approach – and how with just a shift in consciousness and more inner connectivity to ourselves, we have the power and the ability to recognize and to transform these patterned beliefs into empowering and life-changing ones, both for ourselves and ultimately for the benefit of our children.

So when our children are brought to us, we need to raise our level of consciousness to new heights to meet them where they are and what they have come here to teach us. We must release the grip on our ego and embrace our child’s essence, all while tapping into our own. It’s no longer about the wish but now about truly facing the raw reality and messages that our children have come to deliver.

Through our full on presence, daily connection – emotionally, physically and spiritually, our children’s presence awakens us to the core of our being (if we so let them) and to the point that we experience our own re-birthing, attending to the inner child within that was left behind for so many years. The inner child that needed the attention, validation, acceptance, love, connection – yet through life’s peaks and valleys – that child was no longer nurtured, covering its head and heart so it didn’t have to bare the pain any longer. That pain can remain sedentary for years and manifest through ones actions, behaviors, emotions, thoughts until one day it cries for help. It is through the practice of conscious parenting that we are given a gift to nurture and connect to our inner child so we heal those wounds and in turn what we ultimately project outwardly to our children is that of wholeness and abundance – allowing them to lead an authentic life that is true to their own essence and being.

So with each day, each new sunrise, and through the daily awareness of your own self, you will come to see your children not as an extension of you but as their own being?

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My Conscious Parenting Journey

Photo May 18, 7 20 07 PM

My Parenting Journey:

From 2001-2009 I was that parent I swore I would never be.  I was a yeller.  I was frustrated.  I was overwhelmed.  I wanted to be better but frankly I didn’t know how.  I’d look at my kids as they were sleeping with those peaceful angelic faces and say, “Tomorrow…yes tomorrow…I will enjoy each moment.  Tomorrow, I won’t rush so much.  Tomorrow I won’t lose my patience.”

Then tomorrow came and you know the story.

So after I ended up running myself into such a rut, I finally got help.  First for myself.  Then, well, for myself again.  It went something like this, if I could simplify it to such a degree.

STAGE 1- The Misery:

1) I was a tired SAHM of 3 girls under the age of 5.

2) I was overwhelmed and frequently took it out on my girls.

3) I felt lost in my life, had an affair and almost ended up divorced.

This led to some awesome stuff.

STAGE 2- The Awakening:

1) I learned that it’s okay to take care of myself, first.

2) I learned how to let go of guilt and stop focusing on perfection.

3) I learned how to stop being a people-pleaser and a victim and started focusing on creating a life I wanted to live.

This led to some more awesome stuff:

STAGE 3- The Application

1) I realized that change was up to me, not anyone else.

2) I decided that I wanted to be a better woman, wife and mother and that I wanted others to join this journey with me, so I became a life coach.

3) I started working with others to help them through the Awakening stage and also found The Conscious Parent in 2010.

Now I’ll be the first to tell you I am NOT a parenting expert.  I am a parent and educator.  

I am always open to learning and growing.  One day as I was dreaming about publishing companies, I came across Namaste Publishing.  By a matter of chance (if you believe in that…I don’t) I found this book, The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary and was so intrigued by it, I pre-ordered it.

Once I received it, I devoured it, and devoured it again.  I started practicing the principles in my home and watched in awe as the environment changed.

My home was more peaceful.  My girls were more communicative. I was more patient and relaxed.  I stop focusing on perfectionism and instead focused on building healthy relationships based on mutual respect.  I learned how to set boundaries with love and also to allow for natural consequence.

You see, this was all a result of Conscious Parenting, and it was the healing balm my family needed.

I reached out to Dr. Shefali and introduced myself.  I asked her question after question.  I was using her book to coach clients in my office.  I was so passionate about her work that I wrote a workbook as a companion to her book, which Constance, the founder of Namaste, approved for use in the courses I began teaching in my area.

I did this to help others see what I saw.  

So if this sounds like something you’d like to learn, if this sounds like an approach to parenting that might just trump a traditional top down parenting-style you might like to explore Conscious Parenting and see if it can do for you what I did for me, and my family.

I am forever grateful for the work of Dr. Shefali Tsabary.  I am grateful that she was able to verbalize this in a way that we can use.  I am grateful that she is willing to be a pioneer in the very opinionated and rocky world of parenting experts.  Her work is a huge part of the shift we all are making on this road to greater self-awareness.

Join us for this 4-week Conscious Parenting Course.

Take it one step at a time.  Go at your own pace.  The course starts when you’re ready and will be delivered to you by email once a week for 4 weeks.  You will need your own copy of The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali.  You will receive a complimentary workbook, which you can only receive by joining this course.

Plus we are over on Facebook in a group that is open for discussion of the Conscious Parent approach.  We are a warm and welcoming group of parents who want to do what is best for our children and for ourselves too.  We want to transform ourselves through our parenting and we are supportive of you as you transform too.  No judgment here.

It all starts with you making a choice to do something different and be the parent you really, deep down, know you can be.  

We love you and hope to see you in the group!  Once you join make sure you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you and your child and we’ll be happy to help you.

Register Now Ticket

 

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