Why Teaching Your Children to Do the Chores will Save Your Sanity

Dad hack #4— Train the kids early to help clean 🧼 🧽 around the house (it gives me time to post more #dadhacks 🙂)

Avila and a broom

The Muffin Miscreant doing community service to atone for her shenanigans.

This summer my wife and I taught our kids how to:

🧺 Fold the laundry

🗑 Take out the garbage

🧽 Load the dishwasher

😜 Battle the shenanigans of their 18 month old sister

It took a lot of time, patience, modeling good behaviors, and reteaching but I’m glad we did.

Teaching kids chores result in:

Teamwork

Learning a mop was not something you hit your brother in the head with (my daughter may or may not have done this)

 More gratitude

Instill a good work ethic

Play/work balance

How did chores play a role in your childhood and later professional work?

What was your favorite chore (mine was drying the dishes— my brother and I usually made my sister wash 🙂)?

Thank you for sharing!

The Power of Listening

Listen

Listen to understand not to reply. 🤯

It’s not a mind blowing truth.

But the way some companies treat customers and employees it would be information to shatter their worldview.

Silence is something dearly missed in regular routine.

Here are a few tips to improve your ability to listen and limit ‘noise’

🔶Set aside one day of the week to rest.

Sunday is a great day to pause from work.

Go to church or use it for family time.

🔷 Take micro-breaks during the work day

Strategic 2-3 minute breaks to get water or step away from a stressful situation will do wonders for your perspective.

🔶 Be intentional with regular prayer or meditation

My family started praying one decade of the Rosary a night.

It only takes 5-7 minutes but I find myself much calmer (and who doesn’t want to have more peace before going to sleep).

Silent time leads to an improved ability to listen.

❓What would be a fourth tip to add to create more silence in your day?

Share your thoughts 👇

Related Links

The Importance of Listening, and Ways to Improve Your Own Skills

5 Ways To Improve Your Listening Skills

Thank you for sharing!

3 Incredibly Simple Tactics Guaranteed to Defeat Stress Daily


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 19, 2019.


“Ow, ow. My pants are wet! My pants are wet!” I woke up to this sound of my three year old crying in the basement. Remembering the constant thunder and lightning that boomed and flashed throughout the night, I jumped up and rushed down the stairs. Immediately, my fears were confirmed. Water. Pouring. Through. The. Window.

 

 

 

 

I wish I was more composed initially. I want to say I remained calm and did not curse. Sadly, that is not true. Frustration seared through my veins. I quickly brought my son upstairs and had my wife attend to him. Next, I zoomed outside to start vacuuming up the raising water with the wet-dry vacuum. A full moon +a teething baby +flash flood= a bad start to the day!

According to author Margaret J. Wheatley, “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way.” If I did not reflection on my situation, I would have meandered aimlessly for the rest of the day. I want to share three incredibly simple words to remember when stress slams you down.

Pause

Pause gif

 

 

 

 

Stop. Wait. Halt. Either way you describe it does not matter. Just make sure you pause. Stressful situations keep us moving and moving. Faster and faster until our emotions blow up! Pausing to stop the seething sea of stress coursing through my body and mind definitely helped. I took a short break to compose myself.

Perspective

The second key word to think about during stressful times is perspective. According to American psychologist William James, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

Perspective allows us to pick a different thought over the negative ones that flood your mind during stressful times. The natural result from pausing during a stressful situation is the ability to develop a perspective. Perspective actually derives from the Latin perspectus meaning “of sight, optical” or perspectiva, “science of optics.”

Perspective

 

 

 

 

Perspective also relates to being able to view things from a different point of view. Setting a moment or even a couple minutes of time aside to take a break or simply closing your eyes to reset your mind helps in developing perspective. For instance, I started to develop negativity at work today. When I sensed negativity gnawing at me, I left my desk and took a short bathroom and water break. That small break gave me the opportunity to reset my attitude—shifting my perspective.

Plan

The third simple word to remember to help overcome stressful situations is plan. Unlike pausing and taking time for changing your perspective, planning does not always occur instantly or at the same time anxiety hits you. Pause and perspective are offensive tactics to fight stress. Planning is more of a long-term and defensive in nature.

Be Flexible with Plan

Planning takes time  a bit on effort on your part. There is no one size fits all shield of a plan to combat anxiety. I am reminded of Captain Cold’s quip in the CW’s The Flash, “Make the plan. Execute the plan. Expect the plan to go off the rails. Throw away the plan!”

You cannot throw away every plan— that would defeat the purpose of this third tactic against stress. The parka clothed anti-hero words do point to the importance of being flexible and having a backup plan in case Plans A or B fail. Here is an article https://thesimplecatholic.blog/2019/04/10/7-ways-to-shield-yourself-against-anxiety/ on a variety of effective safeguards to ward off stress.

Pause. Perspective. Plan. Two weapons and a guard to battle anxiety. While these are incredibly simple tools you need to utilize these daily. Life does not take a day off. Neither can you! I guarantee that if you consistently use these tactics your mentality will change. You will gain more stamina to stave off negativity. You will be more hopeful, confident, and grateful. I hope you found value in this article. If you have any additional thoughts, tips, or tactics to battle stress please share in the comments section!

Related Links

7 Ways to Shield Yourself against Anxiety!

30 Easy Ways To Beat Stress Quickly

Tips for Reducing Stress

Thank you for sharing!

True Diversity Unites

💡 Truth is like a beam of light—singular, illuminating and focused.

But when you shine light through a prism different colors appear—a rainbow.

❤️We should celebrate our differences in our home and in the workplace.

🧡We should celebrate our differences in our home and in the workplace.

Again.

💛We should celebrate our differences in our home and in the workplace.

💚Embracing differences does not mean that you have to abandon your principles in the things that make you unique.

💙 But willingness to look at things differently does lead to the most value 21st century skill—empathy.

💜 I can’t imagine what people that are marginalized due to racial prejudice go through on a daily basis.

🖤 That doesn’t have to stop me though from reaching out to others and trying to learn from their point of view.

🤍 I will never fully understand but I can always get 1% better than I was yesterday.

True Diversity unites.

What are some ways that you have helped to develop empathy at home and in the workplace?

#Diversity #empathy #perspective #writing

Thank you for sharing!

How Tetherball is Like the Catholic Church

best game ever

 

 

 

 

 

 


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 1, 2015.


I will begin today’s post by comparing the structure of the Catholic Church to a somewhat “elementary” thing. Let me give you some word clues. Hopscotch. Foursquare. Kickball. Red Rover. Before I confuse you anymore please let me briefly explain the context to why I am talking about children’s playground games and religion in the same paragraph.

During this past year I worked at a Catholic high school and taught Old and New Testament. On the day we discussed the epic first century saints Peter and Paul, I gave my students a simple analogy. A healthy Catholic Church is likened to a game of tetherball. To better help you understand what I mean precisely with that example please let us first discuss why Peter and Paul are important to Christianity.

Stability of the Rock

Matthew 16:16-19 has Peter clearly stating the identity of Jesus Christ and thereafter he is entrusted with the “keys to the kingdom of Heaven”. Catholics interpret this passage as hard and fast proof for the papacy. To cite Fr. Robert Barron in his book Catholicism [referring to Peter’s special insight], “And this knowledge did not come from Peter’s native intelligence or from an extraordinary education…It came as a gift from God, a special charism of the Holy Spirit.” (p. 121). Thus, God chose a pope from the very beginning to be that stability upon we, as Catholics, can rely on. If the Church had multiple heads its teachings would devolve into something ugly–like the multi-head monster in Greek myth– the hydra. In a similar way, the center-post in a tetherball game provides stability for the game to happen.

Creativity of a Theologian

creativity

Now let’s turn our attention to St. Paul. While the popes enjoy the office of St. Peter and provide stability to the Catholic Church, having this Petrine element alone would make Her teachings dry and rocky. Thus, to balance out the papacy there is a need for theology to make the Church healthy.

 After Paul’s conversion in Acts 9 until the end of the book, the saint is literally always on the move. As I told my students, “Paul does not have biblical ADD, but rather he was the spark of life that started the early Christian churches”. Citing from Fr. Barron again, “Paul stands for mission, the engagement of the culture and proclamation. Every missionary, teacher, preacher, and theologian, is, in this sense, a son or daughter of Paul.” (p. 141). Paul represents an archetype within the Catholic Church to adapt to different times and cultures. He represents the spunk that enlivens the Church. Going back to the tetherball analogy the rope and ball provide the excitement for the playground game.

always on the move

Structure + Flexibility= Healthy Church

A healthy Church needs both structure (papacy) and flexibility (theology). So too does a tetherball game needs the center-post= [representing the papacy/Petrine element] and the rope and ball= [representing theology/Pauline element]. 
 
The schoolyard game would be pointless if a center-post did not exist to keep the ball close for the players to bat around. At the same time a game consisting of only a metal pole would be stagnant and boring. Similarly, the Catholic Church without the dynamic element St. Paul brought in the first century and whose memory represents today.
tetherball

Which playground game is God’s favorite? I would imagine that God has all the time in the world to try them all and find them equally enjoyable, but if I had to venture a guess I would pick tetherball! 🙂

Thank you for sharing!

How to Use ‘Yes’ to Reframe Your Mindset

❓How many times have you said ‘no’ (or anything phrased in the negative) today?
Thinking about this question forced me to reframe my perspective and interactions with others.
❌ Saying ‘no’ is easy (as a dad I feel like I am telling my kids no a thousand times a day).
no meme
🤔 But think about it.
It truly is easier to say no and move on.
“Stop running!”
“Quit arguing!”
“I don’t want feedback.”
“I won’t listen to my boss.”
Each of these statements focus on the short term (and frankly are selfish).
❗️Our default setting is “no”.
In the words of my parents, “The Can’t Man is out.”
I have been reading ‘Questions are the Answer’ by Hal Gregerson. He talks about the importance of asking questions to reframe your mindset.
❌ Stop saying ‘no’.
Wait. I did it again. Let me try again.
✅ Start saying ‘yes’.
Reframe your mindset.
Begin a new habit of using words of affirmation instead of negative commands.
You will see immediate results:
🔷 Productivity increase
🔶 Happiness increase
🔷 Relationships improve
🔶 Frustration decrease
Do you have any tips to shift your mindset?
Let me know in the comments ⤵️
Thank you for sharing!