Tag Archives: The Family Program

Personal Safety While Living a Public Life…

Personal Safety While Living a Public Life…

 

I am a Realtor, a therapist, a teacher, a writer, and a consultant. I work with charitable organizations, I support causes that are near and dear to me, and I am a patron of the arts. I have a worldwide network of friends, colleagues, associates, and acquaintances that overwhelmingly make it a joy to be a committed citizen of the world. I take full responsibility for the information and content that is available to the public, but at the same time I reserve the right to shut down any negative activity, association, or harm directed at me by others.  Don’t even get me started if that negativity is directed at my family or friends. I am blessed with the people I have in my life because of the way I value, care about, and protect them. It makes no difference to me what your station is in life – if you are in my circle you are valued, as is your privacy and safety.

 

I also have a very large circle of friends, associates, colleagues & acquaintances in the social media community. If I have not accepted your friend request, or deleted your friend status, it is for a reason. If I don’t follow you it is for a reason. Primarily I do this when I feel your intent toward me, or those I am connected with, is questionable at best. If I see that I have no logical association with you, if you have a sketchy profile, or if I know you in real life to an extent that I do not want the energy you put out in my life in any way shape or form I will not accept you into my virtual life.

 

Don’t ever mistake my kindness with stupidity, my professionalism with vulnerability, or my choice to let most things go with my inability to act when necessary. My resources to secure my own safety, as well as those I care about, are all in place. My contact list would astound you, and my ability to track you down if necessary is pretty awesome. I am smart, I am responsible, I take precautions to make sure that everything possible is in place so that I can live the life I live focusing on the positive adventure of it all.

 

As I review my lesson plan for The Family Program regarding safety concerns for kids, parents, and families my focus is proactive. Have your safety parameters in place, talk about potential risks and develop plans to avoid and or deal with them, be educated as to how social media works and know that everything you put out there on line is out there forever – and is traceable.

 

Personal safety as a Realtor, both in person and on line, is also a very topical subject. We have always been aware of precautions that should be in place, but recent news headlines have shown that we are perhaps not cautious enough.  We become complacent, and are all only human in subscribing in the belief that it will never happen to us. At the same time the nature of our business is such that our image and our contact information is readily accessible on a global scale. A good friend and professional safety instructor, Thomas Grimes of New York’s Finest Speakers, said something that solidified the need for Realtors to be proactive – “Realtors make their living meeting strangers in empty houses.”   That sobering thought is always top of mind when making sure that I have steps in place to conduct my business in a way that does not put me at risk.

 

In the past month I have experienced harassment in person, online, and via text message. My ability to judge “threat level”, as well as my sense to call my professional personal safety resource to make sure I have put all appropriate precautions into place makes me feel that I have taken all necessary steps. Adult bullies, cowards that hide behind technology, or someone with true nefarious intent – I do not want to be the person that did not take the time to make a good judgment call in this arena. Know that when these things happen I have a plan – go to the place of my cold black heart, gather resources, and put an end to it. Having this plan in place allows me to continue living the adventure of my life feeling secure, happy, and positive as quickly as possible. I choose to live my life in a spirit of kindness, compassion, and service and will not allow anyone to take that away from me.

 

When my kids would push the line a little more than they should, my response was always “if you think that is happening here you picked the wrong mother”.  To those that make the mistake of pushing the line with me now – you picked the wrong woman.

 

black heart

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The Family Program: Parenting With Kindness, Compassion & Structure

The Family Program: Parenting With Kindness, Compassion & Structure

Full disclosure – there is no book, class, movie or study that will prepare you for parenting. There are suggestions, ideas, outlines and blogs – ultimately this is a hands on job. Each and every child is born with their own unique personalities, needs & wants, and that is why every experience of parenting is a new frontier.

The best advice we received from our Lamaze instructor was applicable as each visit to the hospital began – take a good look around before you leave because life as you know it will never be the same. As a planner extraordinaire, each of my three children have taught me that there is no planning that will ever make parenting a follow the dots proposition. In fact my experience as a parent with each one of them was in essence them laughing in my face and challenging me to up my game. I assure you my husband felt the same way.

What I have found is that there are some concrete ideas that form the foundation for a family, once in place being consistent allows the room for all the creativity to flourish. Once your family has structure in place, you are all more confident in pushing boundaries a bit without fear. The most important part of parenting, starting out, is that you realize it is a lifetime commitment. If you don’t understand this before starting out you are like the bride who is all about the wedding, and didn’t give much thought to the marriage. Parenting is not for wimps, it is hard, it will kick your ass in ways you cannot imagine. It also has the miraculous ability to make every second of even the depths worth it when you get it right.

I think the reason I am ready to share this parenting book now is that I have three children I can now consider “fully baked”. They are all ready to head out on their own, and we are ready to let them do so. Along the way we have been told how “lucky” we were to have such “easy” kids. The Family Program will share just how much hard work, dedication, heartache and consistency went into making it look that easy. Most importantly, I am happy to share when I got it wrong. I think the unkindest thing you can do to a parent is to make them feel that everyone has it figured out except them. We are so tied into making sure that by all appearances we have it under control that we are afraid to admit that at times we have absolutely no idea what we are doing!

I want this book to serve as the kitchen table, the front stoop, the place where sharing happens and advice is given as it would be between family and friends. I want this book/blog/page to be a place to learn, to feel good about yourself and to raise kids who will grow up to make the world we live in a better place.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure!!! xo

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Diversity, Families & Crayola

Diversity, Families & Crayola

When I am teaching The Family Program,  I am often asked what is the best age to start teaching about acceptance, at what grade should you introduce the concept of others in the world that are different from us. In actuality we all begin learning these values as soon as we start understanding communication, as we are taken out into the world, as we are introduced to the world around us.

The amount of information babies take in in their first year is astounding: the basics of who to trust, understanding what you need and how to get it, learning what makes you happy. The drive for information as children become verbal is like a thirst that cannot be quenched. We all start out like this – how we choose to continue, at what level we strive to learn more is directly affected by the response to our needs at this developmental time in our lives. A child that is listened to, has their questions answered and is engaged in activities at home and out in the world around them will thrive.

If you are wondering when to “start to teach” understanding about those different from ourselves, you have already missed many valuable opportunities. There may also be an underlying construct that “different” applies only to traits such as race, creed or sexual orientation. Children learn compassion and empathy when they understand that we are all different in many ways aside from the obvious – we have different feelings, gifts, talents and personalities. Learning to respect these differences in our homes sets the tone for a person who goes out into the world with an accepting attitude for all.

Every color in the world! Plus a built in sharpener!

Every color in the world! Plus a built in sharpener!

I remember clearly when our oldest daughter first asked about why people have different skin color. We were not in the city, or on vacation or watching something on tv – we were coloring together with the amazing box of Crayola 64s (with the sharpener built in!). Drawing a picture of our family – Mom, Dad & Jackie. She was about two and a half and wanted to know why she and Mommy were “peach” and Daddy was “sepia”.  My first reaction was confusion, then laughter. How perceptive that she knew that to make our family picture look like real life she needed to change crayons.  I remember sharing that the world is full of so many amazing colors that sixty four was just the beginning. That people, animals, flowers, the sky, water and so on and so on came in so many different colors that no one could name them all.

That lesson that the world contained more possible colors than even the Crayola 64 was huge for a little girl, and one we talk about to this day. It’s family lore!  On vacation I have been known to go from “peach” to “carnation” with too much sun, “apricot” with the right amount of sunscreen. Dad is “sepia” and can tan to “brown”.  Was that the moment she became aware that there was so much more to discover, who knows? I do know that a child growing up seeing the world as a wonderful canvas of color, rich with opportunity, is a good thing for all of us.

Limitless possibilities!

Limitless possibilities!

 

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