Why is it so hard to talk to kids about sex?

So many parents WANT to talk to their kids about puberty, sexuality, love and intimacy. We want our kids to come to us with problems, concerns, and questions and to respond to them honestly about such an important topic. So why is it so hard?

It’s hard because it is REALLY important. It’s hard because we don’t want to screw it up. It’s hard because we don’t have the words to say what we really want to say. Talking to pre-teens about sex requires authenticity. It calls us to be our higher selves. We have to admit we don’t know everything and we can’t protect our child from everything. It’s switching from being the all-knowing-parent-in-charge to the cheerleading-mentor-sideline-coach. It’s admitting ignorance and embarrassment. It’s feeling awkward and vulnerable. It’s feeling the shame of your past mistakes. It’s realizing we, too, are susceptible to the messages the media sends around not being good enough. It’s being open to whatever your kid wants to ask. It’s hearing about the inappropriate video your innocent child saw on the Internet. It’s opening up discussions on other topics like abortion, rape, oral sex, and sexual abuse that send you right back into hiding. It’s scary and so we run from it.

Talking about sex with your child is a big deal and it’s easy to get caught up in the fear, worry, and loss of innocence.

But there is a good part.

When puberty starts, this is our chance to communicate to our children how special they really are. That their bodies can do amazing & magical things and are worthy of being respected. That developing the ability to MAKE HUMAN BEINGS is pretty darn AWESOME!That our kids are powerful and magical and creative and that it all comes from being able to LOVE in a deep and intimate way.That everyone all over the globe has the same magical power.It’s about realizing that we are just as important and wonderful as our parents, that annoying kid in math class, the soccer coach, the homeless man and the President.

When parents and kids talk openly and authentically about sex, it creates a significant bond. When we giggle together, get embarrassed together, feel awkward yet honest together, we feel connected on a deeper level. For kids, it’s about seeing your parent in a new light: a friend, an ally, vulnerable and perfectly imperfect. It forms a bond of friendship that will last a lifetime. For the parent, it’s about letting your child be who they are meant to be. It’s allowing them to grow, to trust and honor them in a whole new way.

Talking to your kids about sex is hard, but we have made it easy. Purchase our Time for The Talk online program to watch with your 9-13 year old today and create a bond that will last a lifetime.

On sale until Tuesday, July 1st

Life Lessons from Facebook

Summer is here and it’s time to give your kids room to explore their individual passions and follow their bliss. But what if all they want to do is play video games? Or it’s day two of vacation and they are already bored and missing their friends?

If your kids passions are inconvenient or unclear, try tuning into your own. Children learn by imitation so one of the best ways to teach your kids to be happy, successful and passionate is to focus on your own life.

No one can tell you what your calling is or who you are meant to be, but you can learn to listen to the whispers the Universe is sending you! Knowing we are here for a reason helps us feel connected to something bigger than ourselves, helps us feel excited and purposeful about our lives, and therefore, is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.

Before we can teach our kids how to listen, we have to trust it for ourselves. So often we think, “Competitive sports changed my life for the better and taught me so much, so my kids should be in competitive sports.” Or “My success came easily because I learned how to study, get straight A’s, and had lots of friends so I can’t imagine how my child will be successful with her negative attitude towards school.” When we assume our child’s path is the same as ours, it blocks us from seeing them clearly. We end up arguing with them, their teachers, peers, coaches, wishing their personalities were different, instead of remembering we are all perfect as we are.

Learn to listen to the whispers in your own life by doing these two exercises:

1- Start a list of “What I Want/What I don’t Want” and add to it every day. Go on FACEBOOK and notice any posts where you get jealous or annoyed. “I just passed the bar exam!” “Ran 10 miles today!” “Our view of Kailua Beach”. Jealousy isn’t bad, it’s just a sign that you are meant to have that, too. Anything you feel a physical or emotional response to, add it to your “What I want/What I don’t want” list. Whether it’s a vacation, a new job, or going back to school, your higher self knows what’s next for you and it’s always better to pay attention to the whispers instead of waiting for the Universe to knock you upside the head. For example: Shelly was annoyed by her friends tri-athalon posts and everytime they started talking about it, she rolled her eyes and walked away. Once she realized her gag-reflex was a sign from her higher self, she started playing tennis once a week, something she loved doing before her kids were born, and taking more bike rides with her kids. Now she is happy for her friends that they are doing what they love, because she is doing more of what she loves.

2- Look back into your childhood and make a list of your favorite movies, books, TV shows, school subjects, activities, trips, experiences, friends, games to play. Look for the common threads! For example: My favorite things to play were real life games (store, house, school, bank, etc.) and board games (The Game of Life).  My favorite books were Ginnie’s Babysitting Business, The Popularity Plan, and, of course, the Judy Blume collection. The TV shows I liked were Growing Pains and Family Ties (no Star Trek or Crossfire for me!) and when I was 13 I wanted to be “Dear Abby” and write an advice column. If I had known life coaching was a profession, for sure I would have found it sooner. All the signs were there.

Just like me, your kids might invent their own career, or the work they are best suited for, hasn’t been invented yet. To best help them, focus on the big picture and what lights you up, then talk about it out loud.  Recognize the signs the Universe is sending to help you listen to your higher self and theirs. Your kids may not listen to every word you say, but for sure they are watching every move you make!

Want to feel more connected with your purpose? Want to feel fully alive as you help your kids find passion and confidence? Join me for my three week telecourse: Cultivating Passion and Confidence. Sign up by Tuesday, June 17th and get a free life coaching session with me!

My secret trick to motivate yourself and your kids

Do you want to inspire your kids to work harder? Contribute more? Feel proud of themselves? Recognize their accomplishments? Be inspired? Feel motivated? Well I have a secret little motivational trick to share with you that works like a charm.

When I was in college I lived in a house with 5 girls. None of us really knew how to clean but every few months the filth grew to intolerable levels and we would start complaining. “She always leaves her stuff out” “I can’t walk barefoot or her breakfast residue sticks to my feet” Basically, “Someone ELSE needs to clean this house but it shouldn’t be me!”. We tried nagging, chore charts, team efforts, passive-aggressive maneuvers, but nothing worked as well as this magic trick: Permission to BRAG. We tacked up a piece of paper and every time you did something brag-worthy, you wrote it down. Everyone wanted recognition and to be viewed as a team player, and soon we were racing to take out the garbage so we could write it on our brag chart.

Bragging, done right, celebrates our accomplishments and inspires us to continue working hard to do good things for ourselves and the world. My partner and I (in TimeforTheTalk.com) start our weekly meetings with brags. I ask clients to email me their brags in between coaching calls. At dinner time, my family and I go around the table and brag about ourselves.

Bragging got a bad rap when it was tied with superiority. To imply “I am better than someone else” is not the energy to cultivate in your home. To brag with “I am amazing, beautiful, hard working, and so is everyone else” is the kind energy I want to be surrounded by.

What you see in others is a reflection of what you see in yourself so when you see the world as judgmental, it means you have a lot of judgment. When you see the world as a scary place, it means you have a lot of fear. You cannot view the world as beautiful and inspiring, if that doesn’t reside inside of you. In order to be surrounded by positivity, you must first learn to cultivate it in yourself.
In our busy, never good enough world, it’s easy to get bogged down by all we have yet to accomplish. Our to-do lists, shortcomings, and mistakes never seem to end. Switching your focus to what you ACCOMPLISHED and what you are PROUD of, motivates and inspires you to do more of the same.

Here’s some brags from my clients (whose names I’ve changed) so they will let me share:
Kayla thought she hated her job but didn’t know what other kind of work she wanted to do. After only a few weeks of coaching, she realized she actually liked her work, but hated her commute. She realized that if she could ride her bike every day, that’s all it would take to make her happy. Six months later, she has moved out of state, works at her kitchen table for the same company, and rides her bike everyday when she takes her kids to and from school.

Maya was an empty nester. With her kids off at college, her days seemed to drag on with not enough things to fill them. She had a job, friends, activities, but they all left her feeling dissatisfied. Even things she used to enjoy left her feeling empty and unfulfilled. After a few months of coaching, Maya has accepted her calling and living the life she was meant to live. I’ll let you hear it from her, “I feel excited about life again! Even though this journey is scary and my self-doubt follows me wherever I go, I am loving this new exciting adventure I am on. I even secretly couldn’t wait for the kids to leave again after winter break so I could get back to my new life (I can’t believe I admitted that). Now I find there just isn’t enough time in the day to do all the creative things I want to do, which is a huge change!”

Now it’s your turn! If you want to create a more positive, inspiring world, leave a brag below! When you acknowledge your goodness, you give permission for everyone else to do the same. And don’t you think our world needs more goodness?

Here’s a few of my brags:
I wrote my blog today and if you are reading this, it means I also got my newsletter out!

I had a wonderful weekend skiing with my family and instead of worrying about the expense of it (an old pattern of mine), I focused on how happy I was to financially contribute to the ski resorts in a difficult, drought year.

Despite strong temptation, I have not posted anything about my kids on facebook that would embarrass them. And they seem to be embarrassed by just about anything these days, even brags! 🙂

Now you go….I dare ya!

Are you overwhemled?

Keeping busy with a long to-do list is normal for Moms today but December can push our holiday cheer into chaos and crazy. Even if our schedule isn’t filled, our brains are busy with voices shouting, “I should be doing more, I should be better, there’s something I’m missing,” or we put it onto others “He should be helping me more, their expectation are too high, this is too much!”

Although I agree society expects Moms to be responsible for too many things, I don’t believe “worshipping busy” is a helpful place to dwell.  Feeling overwhelmed is not fun and just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean we should join in.

Overwhelm usually leads to one of two results:

You run away from the yucky feeling. Thinking about all your to-do’s drains your energy, leaving you mentally and physically exhausted. You feel unmotivated and you find yourself spinning in activities that seem productive but really aren’t (TV, surfing the web, reading, or if you’re like me, really slow housework while complaining). Running away from a negative emotion keeps us stuck. We aren’t getting things done and we aren’t fully resting.

You never stop working. Productivity is your middle name. You take pride in your accomplishments at the end of the day. But there’s a problem, humans aren’t meant to live with constant busy-ness. The little voice in your head that yearns for rest gets ignored. You judge others for their lack of drive while secretly yearning for a break. Physical illness or pain creeps in as your own personal life coach, trying to steer you towards a more balanced life.

Here are 5 ways to break free from overwhelm.

1. Pretend you are 90 years old and looking back on your life. What goals would you like to have accomplished? What will you regret? Use these answers to prioritize your list.

2. Learn to leave things un-done. It is impossible to do everything, let alone do it well. Pick a few things you really don’t care about and do a terrible job. Feed your kids cheetos for dinner. Take no photos this year. Drive your laundry to a dry cleaners. Eat off paper plates.  Post a Christmas Card on Facebook and be done.  Celebrate the freedom that comes with imperfection.

3. Pick 3 things. Trying to hold too many things in our brain leads to overwhelm. Choose 3 things you will be proud you accomplished at the end of the day and every time you hear yourself think, “I have so much to do!” remind yourself, “No, I have three things to do.” Notice how much calmer and focused you feel.

4. Take 5 minutes and fully engage your senses.  Eat or drink something and notice the temperature of it.  Pay attention to the texture, the complexity of taste, the smell, the feel of it.  Let it consume your attention and you’ll notice how it quiets your mind.

5. Give yourself permission to REST. Fully indulge in a movie. Sit over the heater vent and tell your family you are going to ignore them while you read for an hour. Schedule a day to yourself and let the wind carry you wherever you want to go. Banish all the “shoulds” and allow yourself to be YOU without guilt and pressure.

If you want more help managing overwhelm, schedule a free, 45 min. initial call to see if coaching is right for you.  If you live in the Walnut Creek area, join my Life Coaching Group this January where we’ll learn to make friends with time.Are there things you want to do with your life, but can’t figure out how to fit it in?

Do you have a hard time feeling motivated?

Are you too busy with too much to do?

Do you want to feel a sense of purpose and direction in your days?

Are you tired of feeling tired?

Click here to hold your spot in our Tuesday group 10am – 12pm starting January 7th.  $20. suggested donation.

Have you forgotten how to play?

My kiddo: “Mom, will you play a game with us?”

Me: “No thanks, honey, I’m enjoying reading my book.”

My kiddo: “What are you reading?”

Me: “Oh, it’s this great book on the importance of play by Dr. Stuart Brown, I just love it. It’s all about how Play shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul.”

My kiddo: “You’d rather read about play, than play a game with us?”

Me: “Oh, all right, I’ll play a game with you.” (But inside my head, I’m thinking YES! At times, I would rather read about play, than play a game with my kids.  Is something wrong with me?)

Have I forgotten how to play?

Janine is one of those Moms schools couldn’t live without. PTA volunteer, scout leader, car-pool coordinator, and room Mom. Everyone counts on her and she takes a lot of pride in her involvement. But she gets resentful of other Moms who say “no”. Why is she doing all the work? Secretly, she’s jealous of those Moms who put themselves first, but she can’t seem to figure out how.

Don is a good provider and father of two young children, yet he constantly feels like isn’t doing enough. At work, he feels like he should be at home, at home, he feels he should be working. He’s burning the candle at both ends and burning himself out.

Many of my clients fill their calendars and to-do lists, but still feel like they are missing something. We are taught to focus on goals, hard work and productivity, but we aren’t taught about the importance of play. (Or perhaps we spent too much time playing patty-cake and trains, that we’ve forgotten what feels like play to US). Grown ups need to play in order to feel like all our hard work is worth something. It gives us a sense of well-being, connection, and shifts us into a more relaxed brain state (and who doesn’t need that?). But what feels like play to one person, may not to another. If you or your kids need a break from stress, check out these play personalities, from Dr. Stuart Brown’s brilliant book.

Storyteller – Imagination is the key to the kingdom of play. Reading, writing, movies, performances, dance, etc. Storytelling can be brought to any activity. (If your child loves stories, make sure to give them lots of quiet time to be inside their own heads.)

Director – Enjoys planning and executing scenes and events. Born organizers, they love the power of being in charge and creating an experience for others. Center of the social world. (Discovering my daughter’s bossiness was her way of playing helped me accept it and find appropriate outlets for it.)

Kinesthete – Move in order to think. Like to push their bodies and feel the results. (School desks are torture for these kids. These kids need trampolines, chin up bars, balancing boards and roller blades, especially if they are trying to learn something new.)

Joker – A joker’s play revolves around nonsense. Silly jokes, behavior, foolishness, practical jokes, class clown. (Which means these kids need an audience, thank goodness for YouTube.)

Creator/Artist – Joy is found in making things: something beautiful, something functional, and something goofy. Or just to make something work. Take something apart, fix it, clean it, put it back together, and make it new. (Gardening, organizing, decorating, woodworking, blogging, detailing a car, there are many outlets, if this is you or your kids, make sure you have a creative outlet or you’ll never feel completely alive.)

Explorer – Exploration is a way of remaining creative & evoking the imagination. Can be going to new places, searching for new feelings or meanings. Discovering something new by going deeper or researching and discovering something new. (Now I understand why I love life coaching and reading non-fiction, it’s how I play!)

Competitor – Playing to win a game with specific rules. Keeping score and fighting to be number 1. Games may be social or alone, observed or participated in. Competitors like to be known for being on the top. (Who can be the first one to eat their veggies and clean their plate?)

Collector – Wants to have and hold the most, the best, the most interesting collection of objects and experiences. This may be a solitary activity or the focus of intense social connection. (This can apply to multiple activities, you can travel to collect souvenirs, play soccer to collect trophies, or collect subscribers on your YouTube channel).

Can you identify the play personalities of everyone in your family? Remember, the things that feel like play are the things your kids will make a career out of later. What’s your favorite way to play?