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Hi everyone! I am so excited to share some of the amazing things I learned at the Uplift Families Parenting Conference that was this past Saturday evening. Paula, Angela, and I were all able to go to the conference and I think I can easily speak for us all when I say we’re so glad we did.
We’ve talked a bit about this conference over the past month and hope you’ll stick with us as we continue to talk a bit about it in the future and share some of the awesomeness.
One of the greatest things about the conference is that they share everything with everyone. All the talks from the past conference (TIPS talks) are on their site and soon the videos from this year’s conference will be up too and we’ll be sure to share them as soon as they are (you can find past talks here).
So if you’re following us over on periscope (if you aren’t you can by clicking here) after the conference we did a *scope* (is that what we’re calling it when we do a video on periscope?..no clue but I’m going with it for today) and shared our thoughts. If you haven’t joined periscope yet you really should, I love it, I love the instant feedback and it’s a great way to learn more about the people behind the sites. Anyway enough about periscope (for now…) except to tell you that I’m including a copy of the scope here but I don’t know how to make periscope and youtube be friends yet so we’re sideways, so you don’t really need to watch the video but you can listen to it and hear our thoughts straight from our mouths about this wonderful conference and the speakers.
If you don’t want to listen to video here are a few highlights from me (Jenn). These are things I wrote down that really jumped out at me during the talks. I didn’t write down a ton because I knew I’d have the opportunity to rewatch the talks as I wanted so if I wrote it down it really spoke to me. I won’t cover everything right now because I would love to share my thoughts on some of the specific speakers thoughts when I can share the talk with you too!
1. First Lady Jeanette Herbert spoke about having meals together as a family. She said a couple of things that I really liked, one being that we want family meals to be a positive time so don’t use that time to bring up things like a bad grade on an assignment or to tell your spouse something a child did that needs correcting, there are other times for those items use meal time for positive bonding. She also said “What else can a family do that creates such a positive impact?” and she’s right, there are plenty of studies out there that tell us all the good that comes from having a meal together as a family, it doesn’t have to be a 2 hour affair, 30 minutes of real communication and bonding will make a difference. She said we need to use the word parent as a verb, it’s not something we are, it’s something we do. I really believe and agree with all of those things. Because of our schedules dinner isn’t something we get to do together much during the week so I’ve tried to make breakfast our family meal, we’re not perfect at it but I feel a definite difference in everyone when we’re doing it more often than not.
2. Brad Barton was the second speaker and while I knew nothing about him before he spoke I am now looking forward to reading anything I can find that he’s said. He is truly inspiring and in so many ways his thinking aligned perfectly with mine. I wanted to stand up cheer when he said that it was OK to not give every child a trophy just for participating, that it is OK to congratulate a child for winning and encouraging another child to keep trying if they lost. He said we need to allow our children to experience the pain in life and I loved this “Life is like a battery. There is a positive and there is a negative. It takes both to charge our lives.” – how true is that, if all we ever had was positives we wouldn’t even know how to appreciate them.
He also gave us all a very important reminder, especially with the current issues with bullying and the uprise in suicide rates in children/teens. We need to stop telling kids that high school days are the best days of their lives. Personally while I enjoyed high school and while I want my children to enjoy high school it is not a time I look back on with longing…ever, but I know people who do, I know people who love to relive those glory days and who look back on high school as their *prime*. That can be fine and good maybe for them but if a child isn’t loving their school experience and we’re telling them that this should be the best time of their life then what on Earth are we giving them to look forward to? If school is awful for them each and every day and it’s taking everything they have to just get up and go what do they have to look forward to if we’re telling them this is it…the very best it’ll ever be. Brad Paisley has a song titled Letter to Me (if you haven’t heard it you should listen, you can find it here) and in the song he says:
You’ve got so much up ahead
you’ll make new friends
you should see your kids and wife
and I’d end by saying have no fear
these are nowhere near the best years of your life
I’ve listened to that song hundreds of times since it came out and every time that part rings so true to me, let’s give our children something to look forward to. Let’s help them see that they control so much of what happens to them simply by how they handle situations that come their way and that they can have better, and better, and better in their future. Brad Barton also said “If it was easy it would have already been done before”. Let us keep reminding our children (and ourselves) that we can do hard things and that if we want to succeed most of the time it is going to take some hard hard hard work on our end.
You can download this free 8×10 printable here.
There is so much more I could share from the Uplift Families Parenting Conference but then this post would be even longer so I’ll leave it here for now but I hope you’ll share some of your favorite parenting tips with us. What are some things you do to help keep your family your center when schedules get busy and children get older?
Also, be on the lookout because we’ve got an awesome giveaway coming your way tomorrow!