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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Autopilot Parents, Materialism, and Parental Outsourcing

I look at some kids today and I wonder, "How on Earth did these kids become so savage and spoiled?"    Then I look at the parents and it becomes pretty evident.  Really, some parents have no business having kids. The stuff today's youth gets away with would have justified much more than your typical butt whoopin' (hey, we came out fine, after all)!  Perhaps that is mean to say but I am not alone on this.

When you have parents trying to outsource parental jobs and put their duties on autopilot (that DVD player is not a babysitter, BTW), you can't help but feel it's a proverbial big slap to the face for those of us that really take a personal interest in families and molding the future: our youth.  Mind you, our blog focuses on the issues revolving around the delicate work-life balance so we can appreciate that some parents are too busy to put in that extra effort.  Still, you have to wonder if some parents are just plain lazy and irresponsible.

I discussed these ideas recently with a few parents and our very own Mommie (note the capital "M") felt compelled to write about it so I'll let her take the stage...  --Yomar

Do you put your child at risk by going into autopilot mode?  [ Courtesy: ]

Ok so over the weekend I ran into some people that I don't usually talk to, never really did, never really wanted to but over the years have had to and some things they said/did really REALLY irritated me.  I admit this is a bit of a rant but I feel that some of you out there may identify with this so here goes...

Let me begin with a bit of a disclaimer: if I offend you I am sorry but some people, like the ones I will be discussing, should not be parents.

Now, some background on me is I'm a FTM (first time mom) to a beautiful baby girl, but dont let that fool you, I have a big family so I have learned a lot of things, and I have seen my fair share of situations.  I hope that gives you some perspective on where I'm coming from.  I am not pretending to be an expert or even an authority here but I feel I have enough experience to speak to this topic here...

Paradigm Shift: Move Away From Right-Wrong Contention

A few days ago I reviewed The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a masterful work that I'd say should be in everyone's book collection.  This is the book even people that "don't read" should check out.  It'll change your life!  Sounds cliche, I know, but if you read the book and really let it soak in, you'll see!

But I digress...

Stephen R. Covey touches upon so many powerful concepts but the foundation of The 7 Habits resides in understanding paradigm shifts.  Without a proper appreciation of paradigm shifts, no amount of hard work and personal development will help us because we will essentially be running in place..  or at least running in the wrong direction.  As Mr. Covey says, it's a matter of having a map to maintain a deliberate direction in life.

Well, apparently, Michael from must have read my mind because this little piece here speaks to what really is the core of The 7 Habits:

Fish don’t know they’re in water
Jun 20, 2011 12:30 pm | Skim That Writer
"People don’t realize that the values they think are universal are really part of their culture, the same way fish don’t realize what water is because they live in it. Derek Sivers visited Singapore and found that most people aren’t interested in forming startups because failure would be an embarrassment to them and their families. Singaporeans also live with their parents well into their thirties and even after getting married. To leave home is an insult to the families instead of a rite of passage as it is in America. Culture’s aren’t right or wrong, but just different ways of doing things."  [ Original Source: ]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hunting Dall Sheep & Learning Social Media: How They Relate

Editor's Notes:  In Alaska Chick's piece "Hunting Dall Sheep and Learning Social Media, How They Relate", we see an interesting analogy that actually works.  Quite honestly, I did not think she would bring it home but she did!  Here's an excerpt that shows her quick wit and delightful insight:
Social Media is similar. Most folks that find you on line, want to like you. They want to know more about what they found you for. They want to believe they can trust you...(oh wait...ok, that's not where I'm going! No, I'm not out to hunt and kill contacts!)
...Well, I'm sure there are plenty of times when we want to kill contacts but that's not very socially-acceptable.  This is very true, though: folks on social media are predisposed to like people, unless they're simply too self-absorbed to notice anyone else.

In any social context, I find that any sort of inconsistency is what usually kills a first impression.  After all, we're looking to really connect with people and, to do this, you need honest interaction and genuine people.  This is especially important when communicating our primary focus and interests!

Success with social media is all about authenticity and warmth - which starts with caring about people! 

[Full Text] Hunting Dall Sheep and Learning Social Media, How They Relate

Monday, June 20, 2011

Book Review: Stephen R Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"

Today, I'd like to discuss a book that many of you out there may have already heard of, if not read:  "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", by Stephen R. Covey (BTW, he's something of a big deal).

Most of my reading focuses on personal development.  I am a life-long learner and I stand humbled by the fact that, no matter how much I learn and strengthen my character, there's still so much more I can do to be a better person for others.  There's so much great content out there yet there is some junk as well.  No worries: this book is truly a must-read for everyone!

Here's why... 

Stephen Covey's works speak to the soul more than the mind and I like that.  He's about shaping the person so that the curse of knowledge can become a blessing.  This is something I've believed in long before I read any of his books.  As always, it's refreshing to know that we are not alone, even if we are severely outnumbered!

What Happened To The Wind Up Swings?

Some background on me: I am a FTM (first time mom) to a baby girl. I come from a big family so I have some help when I need it :)

So when it came time for us to start looking at things to get for my little girl I wanted to get a wind up swing, however, they no longer make them. That got me thinking about the "New and Improved" baby swings. There are some perks to the new battery/electricity baby swings like some play music and have lights and mobiles, and that they turn so that the baby can be swung horizontally or vertically. However there are some down sides like the fact that the average price for one of these swings is anywhere from $130 to $200 dollars (and if people have the budget for it some of them go for more), yet the baby is only going to be in the swing for a few months. The weight limit on most swings is 25lbs, however some people say until the baby can pull themselves forward. So that's about five or six months. So someone is going to pay $100 or more just to use it for six months? 


Father's Day Is Really About The Kids

While Father's Day may be over for those of us on the East coast, I'm sure many of us dads are still pondering the day's events, while dads on the West coast may very well still be enjoying some family festivities.  Whether you're a father, a mother, a mother that's also a father, or just a curious soul, I'd like to share some thoughts about the future of our world: our youth and the role of fathers.

For Father's Day, I got the neatest little time piece.  Admittedly, this gift was quite compelling and I had to choke back some tears.  As the man of the house, I try to stay strong for the family, even when I may be breaking down inside.  That's what we REAL men do, right?

This gift was truly touching and I hope I really expressed my gratitude (sometimes we forget to really be sincere and let loose, be a little vulnerable, when it really counts).  I sometimes feel that my family does not appreciate my work or even listen to me.  Being a creative engineer, as I like to call it, it's hard to explain the urgency of your life's work (as Stephen R Covey would say, First Things First) and get others to buy into it.

"You'd be surprised to find out who has been listening when you finally stop to listen yourself." 

Apparently, someone was paying attention.  I'm an organizational nut, sometimes to a fault, so things like notepads, writing/drawing utensils, organizers, whiteboards, reference books, etcetera, etcetera..  These are the things that truly excite me (I'm a geek, after all).  The time piece came with a simple inscription stating "The Greatest Dad".  Wow..  Did THAT tug on my heart strings.