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Sibling Rivalry Solutions

I’ve been blessed to be the mother of children with strong personalities.  I know many moms can relate!  Some days the kids get along great, but other times it seems like they argue almost constantly!  And it drives me cRaZy.  If I only knew what fighting children did to a mother, I would have been a much better child.  But deep down, I’m grateful they’re so strong.  Strong-willed children can turn into leaders with steadfast convictions if we help them learn to channel their strength for good.

Why the contention?

Sibling rivalry is natural for kids.  We believe children are innocent through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, but “when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts”.  It’s true that children can be delightful, loving, and sweet, but they can also be petty, selfish, and demanding.  And it’s up to us as adults to teach them a better way.

I am so passionate about this.  My greatest desire right now is to have peace in our home.  In fact, for every Christmas or Birthday or Mother’s Day gift- when the kids ask me what I want, each time I say, “PEACE.”  My 4-year old misunderstood me, he recently said, “Mommy, for mudders day, “I’m gonna give yew peas.”  So cute.  But that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind!

When we allow contention in our homes, it negates everything we try to do as mothers.  We work so hard to create a warm and loving atmosphere.  We try to keep our homes clean and orderly and pleasant for those we love.  We try to teach our children good values and principles.  But if the spirit of the Lord is not present- what’s the point of any of it?  Without the spirit, our teaching does very little.  The Holy Spirit is the great teacher.  The Holy Spirit carries truth to their hearts.  The Holy Spirit is what helps them develop their own testimony, the very thing they will need most as we send them off into the world.

What to do about it?  

Thankfully we’ve been blessed with the ultimate parent how-to guide.  The scriptures have the answers to all our parenting questions.  The Lord created our children.  He knows them better than we do and He knows how to help us reach them.  But it’s up to us to turn to Him and ask for guidance, and recognize we can’t do this alone.  He will lead us to the answers that He’s already given us in His word.  There are thousands of parenting books out there- and many are wonderful.  But the information often seems to change based on the latest study and contradicts itself.  Thankfully, we have access to a timeless parenting manual… and the author is God, Himself.  What a tremendous blessing!

I’d like to offer a few suggestions here based on the scriptures and experience (usually learned the hard way ;))

 

This does not work:

Lecturing/Nagging–  It belittles our children, sends the message that they can’t think for themselves, and it rarely reaches their hearts.  Basically- it’s ineffective.
And, ye afathersbprovoke not your cchildren to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

This can also provoke children to feelings of anger and defensiveness.  But when we nurture them in the ways of the Lord and gently teach them- it allows the spirit to speak the truth to their hearts.

Yelling– The scriptures teach that a soft answer turneth away wrath.  (Proverbs 15:1)  It’s hard to supress our own anger and frustration with our children- especially when they are disobedient and bickering.  But we are the adults, right?  They are looking to us to be the example.  I find that I must prepare myself each day spiritually- and take the time to be at peace within before my kids wake up.  That might include prayer and scripture study, uplifting music, exercise, or whatever I need to do to be the stable and calm mother my kids deserve.

Stepping in/ Being the judge–  As we try to determine who was the offender and who was right during an argument, it only seems to create jealousy and blaming and more rivalry among our children.  I think it’s best to allow them the opportunity to work things out.  If we step in every time to solve all their problems, they’ll never learn how to get along without us.

Punishments– only causes more friction in the home and often resentment toward the parent.

 

These methods WORK:  (Kids still have their choice, but these principles will set them up for the best chance of success:)

Example– As much as I’d love to leave this one off the list, I know how important this is.  When I’m stressed out or have a short temper, my children feel the tension and they often react accordingly.  It’s actually a little intimidating to realize how much influence our attitude can have on them.  But we can choose to be a role model of positivity and love, despite our moods or circumstances.

Prevention:  When our family is consistently praying together, studying scriptures, and holding regular FHE (family home evening) there is much more peace in our home and our kids are much more likely to get along.  I know these practices foster unity among us, and increase the spirit of reverence in our home.

Another practical tip about prevention- We need to be aware of when and what our kids argue about, and try to find ways around it.  For example, we used to have plates for the kids in all different colors.  For some reason everyone wanted the green one.  (Don’t ask me why)  And they would argue over it almost every time we had dinner.  I got sick of it, so I gave those away and bought all white bowls.  Also each kid has an assigned seats, and their own day to say the prayer, etc.  We can look for simple solutions to prevent contention in our homes before it happens.

Look for the Good!-  It’s so important to catch our kids getting along with each other.  Notice it- and reinforce that behavior with praise, affection, and other forms of positive reinforcement.

Teach them to apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ-   This is not the same as preaching.  We can help them understand the effect of their behavior on others.  We can teach them about Christ and His life of love and sacrifice.  We can teach them about repentance, and the importance of prayer.  One idea is to pray with our children- individually.  Recently, the kids were fighting over a toy, and one of them lashed out and was really upset.  So I took him to another room to pray.  Just him and me.  I asked him to offer the prayer- he didn’t want to, but I waited on my knees until he offered it.  Finally, his heart softened, he repented, and love and unity was restored in our home.

Love and Serve one another-

But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. (Mosiah 4:15.)

One idea to break up an argument- a friend told me when they started quarreling, their parents made them hold hands and sing a song about love and family.  She said they couldn’t help but laugh- and it immediately dispelled the negativity and helped them feel close again.  Love that!  Here’s another idea- Give them all cut-out hearts and have them do a chore, or write a note, or any kind act of service for someone in the family and leave the heart behind as a token of their love.

Since no success in life can compensate for failure in the home, this cause is noble and of greatest importance.  There will be times we mess it all up.  There will be moments we feel like failures.  But thankfully we know that we only truly fail when we stop trying.  So mommas, keep on trying.  Keep on striving for peace and harmony in the home.  It will be worth our every effort.

 

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Healthy Recipes: Chicken and a Treat

I love finding yummy, healthy recipes, that my 4 kids and husband all love and I approve of. I search a lot of paleo and gluten free sites since that’s what agrees with our bodies- I have a highly gluten sensitive child, 2 moderate gluten sensitive kids and I try to stay away from gluten, lactose and refined sugar as much as possible. I thought I would share a couple of my favorite recipes with you to try! Chicken and a treat is on the menu today.

This comes from the paleomg blog. I use it often and have found some meals and desserts that are DELISH!

Crispy Chicken Dippers  or as I call them Chicken Nuggets:

Prep time:  20 mins     Cook time:  10 mins   Total time:  30 mins
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips (your choice is size)
1 egg, whisked
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup almond flour
pinch of salt
coconut oil, for greasing pan
Maple Mustard Paleo Chef Sauce (for dipping)
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut chicken into strips.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together egg. In another shallow bowl, mix together coconut, almond flour and salt.
Dredge chicken strips in the whisked egg, then straight to the coconut mixture. Coat on all sides then place on a plate. Repeat with all chicken strips.
Place a large pan over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two to the pan. Once the pan is super hot, add the strips to the pan without crowding it. Cook for about 1 minute on both sides. You may need to do this in 2-3 batches depending how big the strips are.
Place the strips on a cooling rack that has been placed on top of a baking sheet. This will help the chicken strips cook on both sides without getting soggy. If you don’t have a cooling sheet, you will just have to flip them half way through the baking.
Place baking sheet in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes or until no pink remains inside the chicken.
Let cool on baking sheet before serving. Dip them into maple mustard sauce!

Chicken Cashew Lettuce Wraps

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1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 c finely diced yellow or white onion

1 c finely diced (or shredded) carrots

3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs cut into small pieces.

3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (or I use Tamari)

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/2 c chopped raw cashews (lightly toasted if desired)

Bibb or green leaf lettuce leaves for wrapping

Chopped cucumbers and tomatoes for serving (if desired).

1- In large 12″ non stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat- add onion and carrots.  Add garlic, salt, pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes until veggies soften.

2- Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper and add to skillet.  Cook until no longer pink, 4-5 min.

3- Stir in soy sauce and maple syrup and ooh over medium heat 2-3 minutes (simmering and bubbling).

4- Stir in cashews, cooking until they are heated through.  Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed.

5- Seve in lettuce leaves topped with tomato and cucumber.  ENJOY!

 

Our favorite treat that is simple and as healthy as you want to make it is what my kids call “granola”, which is really called PB Protein Snack and you make it as healthy as you’d like.

PB Protein Snack

1/3 c raw honey/agave

1 c Oatmeal (I use gluten free oats)

1/2 c Peanut Butter (I use Adams Natural PB)

1 tsp. Vanilla

chocolate chips, cocoa chips, Karob chips- whichever you prefer.

I also add flax seed for more nutrition.

Add all ingredients together in a bowl and mix.

 

Let me know if you try these and how you like it and please feel free to share your favorites with me!

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This 1 thing will change your life: Hour of Power

Have you been feeling like something in life is missing and you just aren’t sure what? I know I have! Last year for my New Years’ resolution—and for the first time in my life—I only had 1 thing on my list—to have a real relationship with God! No more unrealistic expectations and no more guilt or shame for not having reached those goals!

Bright Sun Coming over the mountains near the lake

Let Spiritual Struggles Bring You Closer to God

But let’s back up a little…you might be wondering why it was so important to me to just do one simple resolution…and why I chose what I chose. Let’s just say, 2013 and 2014 were the most spiritually challenging years of my life! Mostly because of stupid choices I made, but also because I was feeling lost in my heart and even though I went through the motions of praying, reading the Word, and going to church—I was mostly checking the boxes and not truly soaking in the love and life that He offers. I was physically spent trying to be there for our then 6 kids, emotionally exhausted supporting my stressed out husband, and honestly—I was just plain unhappy with life. I went to a lot of counselling—I even dragged my hubby along! HA! I read lots of books! I learned some helpful things during that time, but after pondering, doing some real praying, and knowing everything I’d already tried still left me wanting, I realized there had been times when I felt so complete and satisfied with my life. During those times, I was leaning upon the Lord for everything. I had been consistently close to God in the past and knew getting back there would do the trick.

 3 simple ways to Draw Nearer unto God; Hour of Power

Fast Forward to 2015: Once I was super clear on what I wanted, it all came together beautifully! I got up early at the same time every day (that I got up—which was fairly consistent) and I practiced doing the same 3 things:

  1. Sincerely Pray
  2. Read Scriptures with purpose
  3. Journal about It

The Most Important Hour of Your Day

I call it my hour of power! I have to admit, for the first few months I struggled! I would fall asleep while praying, get distracted, have to refocus my thoughts, reread passages, and I felt like it wasn’t working. I really, really wanted to do this though and I stuck with it. I began to see that when I took the time to spiritually create my day, I could handle the physical part of it so much easier. My heart began to heal and I began to start my mornings with a feeling of peaceful ambition. On the days I slept in, I missed having that great start and the lack of sticking to my goal showed in the quality of my day. It was good motivation for me to get back to it. After about 4 months of doing this, something finally clicked! I began to feel a deep connection with God. I had a greater desire to feel His love every day. I started to see my life as one that needed to become spiritually self-reliant by becoming completely reliant upon God. David O. McKay once said, “Spirituality is the highest acquisition of the soul, the divine in man; the supreme, crowning gift that makes him King of all created things. It is the consciousness of victory over self and of communion with the infinite. It is spirituality alone which gives one the best in life.” Doesn’t he just put it so well? I truly feel this way! My life is exponentially better since starting my mornings with God and they just keep getting better!

Bring more power to your day by taking the 30 Day Challenge!
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Simplify Your Life: A 30 Day Challenge

Simplify Your Life: A 30 Day Challenge

Simplify Your Life Text written on notebook pageThis challenge is all about getting yourself to the next level spiritually by slowing down, taking a look at what is most important and focusing on organizing our lives for 30 days so we can truly enjoy and do what we really want to do! I’m excited to share something I learned in the last couple weeks because it is AMAZING!! I have always been a little too unrealistic when it comes to setting and reaching goals. I’d have all these great ideas of how I wanted to change and what I wanted to accomplish. I’d comb the internet, ask others for tips and tools, try to get my goals organized and implement them, but undoubtedly, I’d find too many great things to fill my time with, waaay more tips than I could digest, and afterwards, my calendar would be so ambitious and full that just looking at my monthly plans was overwhelming! I felt like I needed to do all these great things to be a wonderful Mother, but at the same time didn’t know how I possibly could! Mind you, every gal needs to have direction and things that stretch us to reach for something greater, but at what cost? Dallin H. Oaks, teaches, “We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.” So, be mindful of what goes on your calendar—make sure those things are truly worthy of your time and are the BEST things for you and yours right now.

Now for the amazing new (to me) way of thinking about your goals!! A mentor of mine, Carolyn Cooper, asked back in December what word(s) I would choose for 2016. I’d never thought of doing that, but instantly two words popped into my mind—“peace” and “empowerment”. That surprised me! I usually have to think and think and go back and forth finding just the right ones…but this time I was blessed to just have that clarity. After that, I decided I truly wanted to see how those words show up for me this year. The more I thought of my goals, the more I realized; my goals really do fit with these two words! Then I had a flood of information and motivation and my plans for taking action for the month just came together so easily. It felt a little unreal and I am super grateful!

I hope you find this Challenge to be of as much value as I do and that you can find a balance between what is most important and what is best for you and your family. Just remember, we are ever growing, rising, and becoming. So keep at it! After 30 days, you’ll be amazed at how just by simplifying, your life will be so much more full.

  1. Take some time to be still: Find a quiet spot with minimal distractions (What’s a quiet spot, right? ha-ha) and just take some time to breathe, listen, feel gratitude, say a prayer if you like, and then ask the question, “What is/are my word(s)for this year?”
  2. Once you get your word(s) grab a pen and get going on the worksheet! It’ll help you identify the things you most want right now and help you figure out how to get that organized! It’s simple and I know that as you truly strive to put the pieces together, they will come! Have faith and be open to those around you that can lend support or be hired to help you make things happen!
  3. Comment on our Facebook or Instagram! We’d love to know what words come up for you and how your experience with using the worksheet goes!

 

Background Words Worksheet

Woo-Hoo! You’ve figured out your background words! Congrats for being open and willing to try something a little different! So I’ve put this handy little worksheet together using my own goals and thought process as examples. You gals can help me stay accountable now! 😉 Okay, time to start filling this thing out! Just remember, “To innovate does not necessarily mean to expand; very often it means to simplify.” –Russell M Ballard

My background word(s) is/are________________________________________________________________________________.

Examples:

  • Peace
  • Empowerment

1. What is/are my goal(s)?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Examples:

  • Keep my priorities in order.
  • Go out with the Hubbs once a week/learn to ask better questions! (Can I get an Amen?!)
  • Complete certification for Simply Healed.)

2. What does that feel like to you?

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Examples:

  • I feel peace and empowerment when I diligently get up early so I can spend time with God through prayer, studying His word, and journaling about it.
  • I feel empowered when I take time to learn about what my husband likes so I can ask about it later. (and not feel like a fool!) 😉
  • I feel empowered when I make time and block it out for my personal development goals.

Okay, so now you’ve identified your words, your goals, and how those words relate to how you feel about your goals. Pretty cool, right?! Doesn’t it take on a whole new level of importance to accomplish these goals now that we can see how they would actually create the feelings of our inspired words and affect us for the better? So NOW WHAT???

3. GRAB your CALENDAR!!!!

Here’s a clean and empty one for ya! Now it’s time to take the opportunity to plan and implement your goals!

Ask yourself about your goals and figure out what times and days they need to be on the calendar.

Examples:

  • How am I going to keep my priorities in order? For me that means getting up earlier than the rest of my clan for a certain amt. of time so it will be ideally quiet and I can focus on taking time with God. So, on my calendar I put “Priorities” at 4:30 am. (Seriously, I am a recovering night owl! This is a HUGE sacrifice for me!! But SO very worth it!
  • My husband and I figured we could take turns planning our dates and we’d go the same night and time each week. Once I planned these out for 3 months I emailed our sitter with the days and times to get a confirmation that she would be available.
  • I have classwork and phone calls and energy work sessions that all need time to happen. So I blocked off certain days and times, the same every week, to support that and labeled it “Simply Healed”.

I have to say, doing this has seriously changed how smoothly the last couple weeks have run! My mornings start fresh on a serene and motivated note, I look forward to Fridays with new excitement because I KNOW I’ll be going out with my handsome hubby and he’ll be dazzled with my sudden interest in politics, and I am excited and confident I will reach my deadlines for my certification because the time is blocked and ready for me to work! I am SO grateful for this way of planning. It works for me and I hope it works for you too!!


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15 powerful books that will change your life forever

15 POWERFUL BOOKS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER

  1. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
  2. The Emotion Code by Bradley Nelson
  3. Remembering Wholeness by Carol Tuttle
  4. Man’s Search for Happiness by Elbert Hubbard
  5. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
  6. Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz & Janet Mills
  7. The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz & Janet Mills
  8. Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology  That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor
  9. Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  10. Spiritual Roots of Human Relations by Stephen R. Covey
  11. The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews
  12. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
  13. The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown
  14. How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen
  15. The Presence Process: A Healing Journal Into Present Moment Awareness by Michael Brown

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Transform Your Body Happy Mom

 

 

 

 

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