by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Need some inspiration? Look no further than your own kids. If you're a parent, you most likely already know this. Kids can give us insight we can get nowhere else. Sometimes they do it in the funniest ways - ways you couldn't have imagined if you tried.
Fear - Simple things frighten a child and they react in interesting ways. At times, fear can lead to children motivating or inspiring their parents. One such instance happened to me several months ago. My son has been afraid of swings ever since he was old enough to use them. The only exception to that was his baby swing. One afternoon at the park, he sits on the swing. I thought maybe this would be the day he'd let me push him. I'm a freelance writer, so naturally I had the laptop and a paper notebook in my tote bag. Just as I start to push him, he exclaims "Don't push me, Ma! You really need to write that article!" Since he was so persistent, I did just that.
Nonchalant Attitude - Kids don't care if they get messy and they don't care who's watching when they do it. Of course, there are times when they'll need to be neat anyway. But us adults actually need to take lessons from them sometimes. The other day I was walking along a trail with my kids. It's one we frequent often. They wanted to run down the path that was muddy. Before they could hear me refuse, they took off full speed. Of course, one ended up down for the count. And yes, wouldn't you know it was the one with a new outfit on. I could have panicked, but her cheerful nature was inspiration to me instead. She was perfectly happy, despite being covered in mud. Taking her to a nearby store (we were not close to home) for a replacement outfit with her covered in mud was another lesson. That day she inspired me to keep my humble attitude and also remember that getting dirty was no big deal. In fact, it can be quite fun.
Expectations - Instead of expecting things to go wrong, most kids expect good to come from life. Adults can often forget that all things are possible. When adults apply for a promotion or a position with a new company, they worry if they'll get accepted. When kids try something new, most of them will just give it their all. They expect it to go how it should. Take for instance, the other day with three of my kids. There is a long walking trail that we always would pass by and have never taken it. This is a separate one from the one mentioned above. Yesterday when we came across it, my oldest says "Let's just take the path, Mom." I almost said "No."
I did not know where it led nor where it ended. I only knew that it looked very long and led away from our destination. Thoughts flashed through my head that it was a bad idea. But, instead of listening to those negative expectations, I took inspiration from my daughter. Yes, it did end up leading far from our destination. But the kids and I had an excellent day enjoying nature. The path was eight miles long, but ended up in an area I was very familiar with. The way back ended up being much shorter than the distance of the path. Sometimes the long path that may seem rough is the one you should expect the best from.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Shine
Green parenting has definitely become a trend. But, as a parent who has been committed to living green for quite some time, I'm here to tell you it's much more than just a trend. At least that's true for our family. I started down the path of living green not because of a trend, but because of a commitment to making the Earth a great place for my kids to be in the future and for generations to come.
I don't know the exact date I started our family on this journey and don't really recall there being any sort of epiphany. It seems that I've always instilled at least some green habits. As we discover new things, I add more and more to our lifestyle. I don't base our green living habits on what so-and-so is doing or on the latest fad green products. Instead, I make conscious choices on what's good for the environment and what is not. I consider the impact each time I make a purchase or commit an action. Being a green parent is less about special products and more about minimalism and reducing waste and chemical usage.
Believe it or not, everyday activities, like visiting the park with the kids, can make a huge negative impact on the environment. This is especially true if they are regular activities or a parent is not thinking green at the time. Of course, no one is perfect. Even I participate in activities that are not Earth-friendly. We all do both consciously and subconsciously. But if we can be green as much as possible, this beautiful planet will stay pretty even longer. Just because we may not be around to see its demise doesn't mean we should be careless. Our kids and their kids and so on need a healthy place to grow.
Try cleaning the house with homemade solutions that are both cost-effective and better for the environment. A bonus is that the kids can also help you clean and they and your pets will be safer. Use homemade shampoos and natural haircare alternatives for the family. Kids like to be messy, so let them join in making some of these items.
Teach kids to be green with lessons that will last a lifetime. Teach them by doing, but also explain what you are doing and why. Be creative in instilling the lessons. Play games, incorporate it into the chores, and just have fun! Green parenting is important, but it certainly does not need to be boring.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Shine
A few weekends ago, the kids had some good friends over and being a holiday (though, not one we celebrate in the most popular way), I had promised I wouldn't work too much. I never promise a whole day off because I'm a workaholic and a single mother. I also work at home so my work is readily available, but I digress. An opportunity presented itself to wing it, so I did.
Forming A Brilliant Idea
Because we had nothing better to do, I get this brilliant beyond brilliant idea to take all of my kids, both of our dogs, plus some of their friends and an extra dog to the park. I don't have a vehicle, so of course the plan was to walk on the trail that led us to the intended park. Our nature trails can take us to several parks, depending on which way we choose to go. We chose the largest park and headed that way. Yes, I am insane enough to take a walk with six kids and three dogs with only me as the sole adult. Us single parents know how to work it whatever it may be.
Learning the Many Ways To Wing It
The kids wanted to play on the way, of course. So who was going to walk the dogs? Why me, of course. Yep, winging it because I had never walked the extra dog before, nor had she been walked with our dogs and here I was about to hold all three of their leashes together. Thankfully, it worked out well. They had been introduced briefly a few times and apparently that was enough to satisfy them all. In some situations, you just have to go with the flow and let the chips fall as they may.
The restroom and drinking fountain were closed and of course the kids needed both so we made use of a nearby store for both purposes and went right back to playing. The dogs wanted to run around and the kids wanted to use the playground so I found a spot in the field that was next to the playground so I could run with the dogs while watching the kids.
Life Lessons In Winging It For Everyone
Throughout this walk and park visit, many interesting situations came up where I had to wing it. But that's life. No matter how much you plan things, sometimes you just have to wing it and in the end, you may find out that winging it is the both the best lesson and the best fun you've had in quite a long time. It's quite fine to plan things. You have to have goals. But it's also good to just let it go and let it flow.
All of these scenarios could have been stressful and some may not have gotten involved in the whole thing, to begin with. But I've quickly learned in many experiences that if you have an open mind and are aware of your surroundings (and all the many ways you can use them to your advantage), life can lead to some fun adventures.
Just wing it! Your life is waiting for you!
Bible Park has baseball fields, plenty of open space, several trails to explore, a playground, a basketball court, and more.
Our personal favorite area is the creek because there are areas where we can rest on the rocks or climb across.
Or maybe it's the trees. The kids seem to enjoy climbing them (and scaring me in the process, no matter how skilled they are).
Hey, don't cal me weak for being nervous when they do that. All you other moms do the same thing.
I think our dog Buddy has the right idea when he relaxes in the grass.
After chasing him and the kids around, I think that might be my favorite spot of the moment.
Have you been to Bible Park in Denver? What's your favorite spot?
<-- Ugh, I am getting worn out just looking at the picture of her running around like that.
We had a long day at the park yesterday.
And I'm crazy enough that we're sure to be doing it again soon.