Sunday, June 23, 2024

Lead by Example ~ They are Paying Attention!

 Originally published 02/08/2014 
at Reflections Beneath the Poetz Tree
by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez

This week I have had several opportunities to read parenting insights, articles of interest, and various postings through social media. I have been astounded at the number of self-deprecating comments that are made - mostly by women. Why is it so hard for us to acknowledge our accomplishments and celebrate our successes?  Do we not feel deserving of the compliments we receive?  I have at times acquiesced to this behavior as well.  Historically women have allowed themselves to feel that they must be the support system, cheering section, and behind the scenes pit crew for the work force rat race.  Is that really what we want to demonstrate for our children?
Children will absorb the lessons they observe from us as their adult role models. When we downplay our achievements, brush off compliments, or minimize our roles, we send a clear message that we are not worthy of our successes. If humility has a place in our lives, then so should accomplishments.  We may not even realize how important it is to demonstrate confidence in our abilities and skills.  Children need to see that we can solve problems, cope with emergencies, and demonstrate self-sufficiency when things do not go as planned. 
So the next time you receive a compliment on something you worked to achieve or on a personal attribute with which you are gifted, it's OK to smile and say, "Thank You."  Recently I received a compliment regarding my parenting skills from a school counselor.  I replied with, "Wow. I feel really humbled."  She responded with a firm tone, "There's no need for humility."  That was an eye opener.  I am grateful she was so candid with me. Women need to remind each other that it's more than OK to acknowledge our awesomeness. 
How wonderful it would be if we all felt supported and willing to surround ourselves with positive and uplifting advice, compliments, and encouragement. Likewise, it would be soul rewarding to accept advice on how we can rethink our perceptions so that we can continue to learn and grow.  I have been the recipient of such wisdom.  It was not always easy to hear, but when I thought about the implications, I chose to take the advice to heart.  Women can either chose to sabotage each other's efforts or they can choose to mentor and inspire each other.  How will you choose to develop your legacy?
Have a Wonderful Week filled with positive and uplifting interactions. If that becomes a challenge, maybe it's time to rethink who inspires you and brings out the best in you. I will continue to do the same.  Thank You to all my fellow writers, friends, and family who are my inspirations.  I will make an effort to provide compliments, referrals, support, and loving reminders.

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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Summertime Reminder: More Mess = More Fun (Mostly)

This article first appeared on the following site on July 5, 2016
Reprinted here with revisions.
Monkey Bars, Mud Pies, and Movement
by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


It's O.K. to let the kiddos enjoy a water play fountain or mud puddle once in a while.  One of the best memories I have from childhood is when my younger brother and I played in a huge mud puddle outside our home.  We were covered in mud and totally soaked in dirty water.  My parents, unbeknownst to us, were filming our antics.  They have the evidence that I encouraged my brother to dip his hair into the filthy muck and we both laughed as the muddy water trickled down his face when he lifted his head.  We had a blast and I'm still amazed that my parents actually let us do that.  My mother said that she never could get all that mud out of our clothing no matter how many times she washed them. But that memory is priceless. Documenting memories is an investment in your family's history!  

Don't worry, my brother got me back many times over. He could tell me a story with a straight face, and I always believed him. I kinda still do. His jokes are legendary, and I love it when he sends me my favorite "Far Side" cartoons. But the amount of fun we had as kids often involved getting as much mud, dirt, and water on ourselves as possible before the streetlights came on at night.

   Let's paint, create with play dough, cook in the kitchen, 
and make blanket tents! 

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom
Kids need lots of opportunities to explore, play, and get messy.  I remember a day when I took my three children to a park right after it rained.  I had not anticipated the play area would be so flooded.  The kids were restless and didn't care that the ground beneath the swing set was muddy.  They had been in the house all day and needed to play.  I hadn't planned for it but went ahead and let them get messy.  They laughed, had fun, and even made-up stories to go along with their muddy adventure.  I couldn't help but laugh with them as I recalled my own muddy memories.  We finally decided to go home when it became too chilly, and the wind picked up.  I didn't even mind the clean-up of both car and kids following our visit to the park. 

Here are a few things to remember if it's hard for you 
to get on board with the tremendous messes 
that come with childhood:

Summertime Reminders

1. Kids are washable. A bit of bath water and some soap and most of them clean up well.

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

2.  Messy memories are some of the best ones. We also loved lots of finger painting that
     often reached beyond their fingertips, play dough, cookie creations with lots of flour
     everywhere, and bubbles. All of these required clean up.

3.  Dirt, sand, and grass stains were the result of many creative play adventures. Kids learn
     through play. Let them have opportunities to explore and get messy! Then take them to
     the laundry mat for a whole new adventure! (Lol)

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

4.  Don't worry too much about the clothes. They outgrow them pretty fast anyways. Also,
     shop at thrift stores like Good Will and The ARC to save on clothing costs. Then you
     won't feel as bad when the clothes get messed up. Save other clothes for special
     occasions if you'd like but be prepared to take pictures right after putting them on the
     kiddos. Chances are, that adorable outfit won't stay clean very long. 

5.  Kids LOVE projects! When my siblings and I were growing up, my mother signed up to
     receive craft kits once a month. This kept us occupied and allowed our family to create
     some incredibly fun things: Candle making, Macrame plant hangers, Decoupage
     decorations for the wall, Cross stitch Christmas ornaments, and so many more! 

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Inside Secrets of a Former Child Development Teacher

TIP:  If your child attends a full day childcare program/school, please expect that at some point those clothes will become dirty. Please do NOT send them in their best outfits and expect them to look the same way at the end of the day. They need to have fun, and the teachers need to worry about other things besides keeping clothes clean.
I have to remind myself on a daily basis that messes comes with childhood.  Now that my three children are much older, I do have expectations that they pick up their room and try to keep the house clean.  (And that battle is for another blog.)

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

As I write this, their rooms reflect a disaster of epic proportions, and I am trying to breathe through the trauma that occurs when I walk past their I try to keep closed. But for now, I'll smile at the messy memories as we work toward that next stage in their development. 

Happy Monday everyone!

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Wishing everyone a wonderful week filled 

with challenges, adventures, &
plenty of resources to tackle your goals!

Speaking engagements & Advocacy Coaching

 Contact me at for information to schedule
a presentation, inspirational speech, or coaching session
to advocate for your personal cause or concern.
I can also assist with written communication needs.
Rates are negotiable.