book cover

Celebrating 5 Years of Pro-Active Parent Coaching

book coverIt’s incredibly hard to believe  5 years has passed since this work of the heart was published.  A lot of water has gone under the proverbial bridge.  I’m humbled to think of what God can bring out of a small town in Nova Scotia.

We’ve been graciously given the opportunity to connect with people, church family’s, and coaches around the world to communicate the message of hope for families.  The workshops and book is currently in or in process of being translated and presented in 4 languages.  This in itself is very humbling for us as a family.

As our children have matured, they have taken on a greater role in offering their insight at our Parent Coaching Workshops.  This has given participants the perspective of children/teens growing up in a coaching culture.  It does my heart good to see that what we began promoting so many years ago, is being lived out all around us.

Today we celebrate five years from the release of Pro-Active Parent Coaching and we are deeply thankful for the opportunity we’ve been given to serve you.

We look forward with great anticipation as what lies ahead.

Thank you
Your friends and Pro-Active Parent Coaches
Greg, Lynn, Katelyn, Hannah, and Joshua Bland

A Tribute to Mom by Hannah Bland

lynn-blandAnother year has passed by filled with fun and memories, and Mother’s Day has arrived once again. This is a day to recognize all that our mother’s do for us, and the huge role they play in each of our lives. Our Mom’s deserve a day like today. A day that celebrates the amazing women they are .The kind of women who sacrifice out of love for us, the kind of women who care for us when we’re in pain, the kind of women who stay strong when we’re afraid, the kind of women who love unconditionally, the kind of women who want to know who we are inside, the kind of women who are our best friend’s. My mom is a woman just like I described. She’s constantly sacrificing her own wants and needs to provide for me, and she never complains about it but does it because she wants to. She’s always there when I need to talk to someone or when I’m going through a hard time. She’s funny, kind, soft hearted to the needs and pain of others, and tender towards God’s will for her life. She’s a Mom who loves unconditionally, who supports my dreams and ideas, and who is beautiful inside and out. Something I love about her is that she wants to spend time with me whether shopping together or talking. Or when we don’t feel like socializing, and decide to talk to each other instead. Laughing as we make up hypothetical reactions, in case someone ever did try socializing, or glancing into our introverted bubble. I love my Mom so much, and can’t wait for all the fun memories to come. I hope today is a special day for both you and your mom, and I challenge you to do something special that will be a thank you to all the years your mom has done things for you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hannah Bland

Acknowledging Mom by Gregory Bland

mothers-day-gregory-bland

Acknowledging MOM’s value should take place each and every day. However,  Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to highlight the Mom’s in our lives.

Finding ways to show respect, appreciation, and express love for Mom not only impacts her positively, but helps our children and teens develop an attitude of gratitude for their Mom that can last a lifetime.

Communicating love and respect daily, or on Mother’s Day, isn’t simply a matter taking mom out to an expensive restaurant.  That may be nice, but more often than not, that isn’t really what she’s looking for.

Taking time to be mindful of what would be most meaningful for Mom will make the most powerful impact upon her.

As you think about Mother’s Day and honouring the Mom in your life consider what would make ‘her’ day memorable.

Some things to consider . . .
What are her hobbies and interests?
Time carved out to include an activity that involves her interests or hobbies communicates your love while providing an opportunity to disconnect from other activities / or devices and intentionally connect with her.

What is Mom’s personality?  How does her unique personality impact the way you will show appreciation?  Should you encourage a large crowd or would she prefer a more intimate smaller gathering?  Will she enjoy something loud and boisterous or more quiet and reflective?  Let Mom’s personality help you in shaping how you will communicate your love to her.

What’s Mom’s  “love language” and how can you tie your gifts to it?
(If you’re familiar with 5 Love Languages it may be more natural to think in these terms.  If you’re not familiar, the 5 Love Languages  are, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch)

Practical Ideas for Expressing Love to Mom:
Words of Affirmation: In our family we have taken time to write notes/letters to mom which have proven to be very meaningful for her.  Our letters and notes will revolve around these three topics . . .
a. What do I most appreciate about Mom?
b. What character strengths do I recognize and affirm?
c. This is why I love you . . .

Acts of Service:
Taking the opportunity to give mom a break and take on specific chores or work that Mom normally cares for is a wonderful gift idea.  See Coupon Book idea at end of article for more information.

Receiving Gifts:
If Mom’s love language is receiving gifts, by all means buy a gift, but ensure it is something meaningful for her.

Quality Time:
Quality time cannot be fabricated, however, there are some key ingredients to ensure you have quality time.

  • Quality time often happens within the context of quantity time.  In light of this, I’d encourage scheduling regular times together, without distraction, as a normal part of your week.  You will soon discover that your time together becomes more meaningful and the quality, depth of conversation, and connection improves.
  • Set aside personal desires and preferences in honour of Mom.  It’s does your relationship well to set aside personal desires and honour one another by ‘doing’ something that Mom enjoys.  You will discover over time that this is often reciprocated. In short, resist the temptation to only do what you want to do.
  • Add variety. Sitting in the living room and having a deep conversation is great, once in a while. But don’t expect that every-time.  Add variety and keep the relationship alive and fresh.

Physical Touch:
In our age of electronics and disconnection physical touch is increasingly powerful and seemingly rare.  Encourage your children to give hugs (it’s good for them too), back massages, and if they are brave foot rubs are ok too.

Giving to Mom.
To foster this kind of giving to Mom you could encourage your children to create a coupon book that focuses on the love languages specific to her.

Creating a “coupon” book of things that children and teens can give back to mom has been a great Mother’s Day gift for a reason. It is a creative way kids can ‘give back’ to mom with no expectation of anything in return. Also this gift keeps giving long after Mother’s Day has ended.

They could offer a . . .

“Free Hug. Just Because.”
“Massage. After a long day on your feet.”
“Back rub on a particularly stressful day.”
“Grocery Shop.”
“Various chores.”
“Drive a younger sibling to baseball practice.”
“Clean out and detail Mom’s vehicle.”
“An evening together doing whatever “YOU” desire”
etc . . .

Mom does so much. Let’s show her how much we care, not only today, but each and every day.

Remember. If you don’t live with Mom any more and distance makes it impossible to be present as much as you’d like.  A phone call, or video conversation still goes a long way to keep the relationship alive and thriving.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

 

 

Until Next time let’s treat Mom well
Your friend and Pro-Active Parent Coach
Gregory Bland
Pro-Active Parent Coaching
The Legacy Centre

Single and Hate Valentine’s Day? by Hannah Bland

single-on-valentines-gregory-bland
Single and hate Valentine’s day? Have you had a friend tell you how much they dislike Valentine’s Day because they are ‘alone?’

We often get the idea that Valentine’s Day is only about writing love letters to, or buying chocolate and flowers for, our significant others.

If we stick this narrow idea of Valentine’s Day we’ll miss an opportunity to show the love we have for our parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends. All important people within our lives. There are many other ways to enjoy and show love on Valentine’s Day.

In Ruth 1:16 we read one of the greatest stories of love. Naomi upon deciding to return home asked both Orpah and Ruth to remain in their own country. Orpah listened to Naomi’s plea and returned home, where she could get married, and have children.

Ruth, however, had a plea of her own ” where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay….” She loved Naomi so much that she was willing to give up all that Orpah could have, in order to live with Naomi the rest of her life.

As we look at Ruth we see that love isn’t all about getting married, being swept off our feet, or even dreaming and hoping about what our future can hold. Love is right in front of us. It’s in the people we surround ourselves with, those who really care about us. We see the greatest act of love in the Bible, Jesus offering His life for us as an act of love.

When you celebrate Valentine’s Day today, could I challenge you to shift your focus from the ‘love’ you don’t have while celebrating and expressing love to those who are right with you. The family and friends you do have who love you, and of course to God who loves you more than anyone on earth ever could.

From me to you Happy Valentine’s Day!

With Love extended
Hannah Bland

*Photo #75713290 dollarphotoclub

A Simple Question: Understanding of What our Child Needs from Us in the Moment. By Gregory Bland

checkers-gregory-blandThe heavy footsteps, sigh, and loud thump as my son sat upon the stairs by my desk clearly indicated something was up. I looked up to see a disappointed look upon my sons face. He stared into my eyes and said,
“Dad, the girls are being mean to me again!”
“What’s going on?”
“Well, they won’t let me in their room, they keep pushing on the door and holding it shut so I can’t get in.”
“Did they give any explanation to you?”
“Yeah! No boys allowed!! What should I do now?”
“Josh, this is an interesting situation. There are several possibilities here. What do you think you should do?”

Looking away from me, he sat silent for a few moments thinking. Placing his elbows on his knees and leaning forward until his chin nestled into his hands, he scrunched his little face up and replied.

“Dad, you have to remember, I’m littler than my sisters, and I don’t know as much as they do. Sometimes you just need to tell me what to do.”

In that moment, as I looked into my son’s eyes, my mind was quickly carried back to a conversation I had with another parent not too long ago.

“Our role in parenting will naturally shift according to our children’s need in the moment.  In some cases we will teach, imparting knowledge, at other times we will mentor, allowing them to glean from our experience, and often we will coach, guiding our children to discovery. The key is discerning what they need in the moment.”

My natural desire to turn this into a learning experience and coach in the moment I took that posture. I was hoping to stimulate thought about how he could engage his sisters, what he needed was something different.

In my desire to help him in this way, I had forgotten to ask one simple question, which would have helped me better understand the role he needed me to play at this particular moment.

“What do you need most from me right now?”

Looking up the stairs my heart was gripped by how sad he looked. I invited him to come closer and sit upon my lap. He stood and somberly sauntered down the remaining stairs, rounded my desk and crawled into my lap.

As he nestled in tightly to my chest, I firmly placed my arms around him and apologized for being ‘insensitive’ and asked, “What do you need most from Daddy right now?”

Quietly he lifted his head and once again looking into my eyes he said softly, “I just want someone to play with. Could we play a game of checkers together?”

What a revealing response to that simple question! He didn’t want to be mentored, taught or coached, rather what he needed the most was simply someone to spend time with.

The truth is we can easily focus upon what we believe is best for our child in the moment and easily miss what they need the most from us. Instead of pushing my own agenda, and tuning into his needs it opened the door to a great time of relational connection.

Have there been times in your parenting where asking a simple question like this may have catalyzed a different outcome with your child? As we conclude, take a moment and think of two variations of the question, “What do you need most from me right now?” that you could ask your child. In this way you will be prepared to ask what your child needs most from you and make the most of that opportunity when it presents itself.

To get you started I’ll offer one more.

a. How can I best help you?
b.
c.

Until next time, continue enjoying the rich relationship parent coaching can add to your family relationships but remember: be flexible.

Your friend and pro-active parent coach.
Greg

Pro-Active Parenting Workshop January 16th, 2016

Bridgewater Open Bible church hosts Pro-Active Parent Coaching Workshop Saturday January 16th, 2016 at 3PM

Details:

$8.00 / person  $15.00 / couple
Childcare and supper meal provided.
Sessions begin at 3pm

To register or for more information please call
Bridgewater Open Bible

310 Jubilee Rd. Bridgewater, N.S. B4V 2A8
Phone: 902-543-3383
Fax: 902-543-0065
openbiblechurch(at)ns.sympatico.ca

Why we ask our kids to make 3 Christmas lists not just one.

With everything our kids could ask for at Christmas, one list isn’t enough, let’s add two more.

Equipping Parents to Connect with and Empower their Children.

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