eo Insights

Life starts with what you believe

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Unlocking Your Child’s Potential

Did you know that your child’s brain can store up to 100 trillion bits of information?  Did you know that your child’s sense of touch can detect a particle as small as 1/25,000th of an inch in height?  And, did you realize that your child has the olfatic ability to smell as many as 10,000 different odors.  Your child (and mine) is literally a bundle of limitless potential!  As parents, our job is to help unlock that positive potential!   

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being perfect potential, how would you rate your own personal potential?  If you’re like most people you would likely rate yourself lower than a 10.  Possibly much lower. 

Failure to fully recognize our potential is one of the greatest tragedies of our society today.  Even sadder still is that our assessment of ourselves often spills over to what we think about our children, ultimately reflecting in how we parent them.   As parents, we have the responsibility to look for the potential inside each of our children and encourage and equip them to achieve it. Our children are happiest when they can fully express who God made them to be. This type of training requires insight, faith and wisdom.

I love the historical story of a woman who possessed these insightful, faithful and wise characteristics.  Her name was Jochabed; her son’s name was Moses.  Her story simply states that as she looked on her infant child she ‘saw that he was beautiful.’   Now, I doubt she was merely looking at his outward physical features. (Most newborn babies aren’t usually that attractive!)  I believe what Jochabed was envisioning, was the beautiful potential of her child.

As the story goes, the king of the day was very nervous about future rulers overthrowing his dynasty.  The grape-vine suggested that one such child was recently born.   So, out of fear, the king ordered all the baby boys to be murdered.  With a heart to preserve her child’s potential, Jochabed carefully concealed Moses in a basket and courageously sent him down the Nile River.  Eventually, the basket found its way into the hands of the kings’ own daughter who hired a woman to hide the child and secretly raise him for a few years.  Without realizing, she hired the child’s own mother!

After sending her baby down the Nile River, Jochabed got her baby back!  Why? I can only imagine that Moses was divinely returned to his own mother because she had the insight, wisdom and faith necessary to unlock her sons’ potential! 

Like Jochabed, we have our children for a few brief years to cultivate their potential.   We can start by expecting the best from them.

I once found this story in Family Times Magazine (I apologize for not having the complete footnote on this source).

‘You can have a brighter child, it all depends on your expectations. Let me tell you about Harvard social psychologist Robert Rosenthal’s classic study. All the children in one San Francisco grade school were given a standard I.Q. test at the beginning of the school year. The teachers were told the test could predict which students could be expected to be high academic achievers. The researchers then secretly drew names out of a hat, telling the teachers that these were the children who had a higher potential. Naturally, the teachers thought they had been selected because of their test performance and began treating these children as extra special.

Months later, another standard IQ test was taken. The most amazing thing happened. The children treated as “special” averaged four more I.Q. points on the second test than the other group of students. However, the gains were most dramatic in the lowest grades. First graders whose teachers expected them to advance intellectually jumped 27.4 points, and second graders increased on the average 16.5 points more than their peers. One little Latin-American child who had been classified as mentally retarded with an I.Q. of 61, scored 106 on the second test.

You see, how a child is treated has a lot to do with how that child sees herself and ultimately behaves. So, what’s the message for parents? Every child benefits from someone who believes in him, and the younger the child, the more important it is to have high expectations. You may not have an Einstein, but your child has potential! Expect the best and chances are, that’s exactly what you’ll get.’ 

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Communication Killers – Note to Parents

Parents often ask me, ‘Why won’t my teenager talk to me? Whenever my kids come in the house, they simply go to their room and immediately text or message their friends.  Even if I ask them ‘What did you do today?’ their reply is typically, ‘nothing’.  It’s frustrating!  What can I do the improve the communication in our home?’

It is frustrating when our own kids won’t talk to us.  I’ve been there personally, and still have to work diligently to keep the lines of communication open with my three young adult daughters.  To start, here’s five common Communication Killers that creep into our homes to rob us of our parent/child relationships!  Take a quick inventory….these are fairly easy improvement to make.  Hope it helps!

Communication Killer #1 – Not taking time.

  • If you’re not with someone….you can’t communicate.

  • Relationships need time.

  • Examine your schedules.

Communication Killer #2 – TV/Computer.

  • Steals opportunities for meaningful interaction/conversation.

  • If your students come home for an hour or so…….turn it off!
  • Give them undivided attention whenever they want to talk.

Communication Killer #3 – Never admitting fault.

  • Most people repel ‘know-it-alls’…..your kids included!

  • Humility and the ability to admit when you’ve made a mistake is endearing.

Communication Killer #4 – Failing to Invite Your Teens into Your Private World

  • Transparency about what you’re doing cultivates openness in what they’re doing.

Communication Killer #5 – Conditional Love

  • Using performance as the litmus test for love……big killer.
  • Learn to express love even when performance isn’t at it’s peak.


Things that make me ask ‘What the Heck??’

As I entered my Canadian national financial institution this morning, where my family has banked for generations, I was perplexed to see a large, bright, corporately designed poster, complete with bank logo and congratulations from all the staff, saying ‘Happy Diwali’ with Hindi script translated underneath.

‘What’s a Diwali?’ I asked the teller. He wasn’t too sure, suggesting it to be a Hindu celebration starting next week.

In fact, it is one of the most important Indian festivals. A deeply religious one. During the celebrations, lamps are lit to signify the triumph of good over evil. The God Lakshmi is worshiped and the demon Naraka is defeated. For Hindu’s this festival has meaning beyond the lights and celebrations, as it recognizes the inner light that each individual possesses and reflects upon the truths that exist within each soul.

(I must apologize for my ignorance on this subject. Most likely, my blog readers with school age children have heard of this celebration before, since many public schools have been observing Diwali in their classrooms for a few years now. Another ‘What the Heck?’ question for another time.)

I’m sure you can guess what question I next posed to the unfortunate teller…..’Do you think the bank’s corporate head office will design a beautiful poster for all their branches to display, saying ‘Merry Christmas’ congratulating Christians on the celebration of their religious holiday?

‘Likely not’ he replied.

Likely not? To that I must ask ‘What the Heck’????

Wasn’t my esteemed Canadian bank instituted in Canada in 1864 nearly 40 years before the first Hindu immigrants ever landed on our shores in 1903? Isn’t my Canadian bank offering services on the same soil as our Parliamentary Peace Tower which holds the inscription ‘He shall have dominion from sea to sea’ relating to the God of the Bible found in Psalm 72:8? Doesn’t my Canadian bank serve Canadians of whom 77% reported in the national census that they are Christian [Statistics Canada, 2001 Census], verses 1% that reported to be of the Hindu faith.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for anyone’s Diwali to be unhappy, nor are my comments intended to start a holy war. I’m just wondering, (for a Canadian institution that touts fairness, equality and objectivity within it’s corporate code of conduct, operating in a country that stands out in the modern world for it’s tolerance, respect and religious harmony) what the heck???

And maybe I’m just not that smart, because……. I simply, don’t get it.


Butcher, Baker Candlestick Maker?

With the carefree days of summer firmly behind us and family life resuming its normal hectic pace, I often get asked by my female clients ‘How do I strike the balance between wife, mother, lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker?’  To that, my usual reply is ‘balance externally starts with balance internally’. Being at peace in our world, in our relationships and with our responsibilities, comes from being at peace with ourselves. Think about this. Beliefs produce thoughts, which stimulate feelings which eventually result in behaviours. All activity starts with a belief and imbalanced activity typically starts with a negative belief.

For example. If somewhere deep down inside I believe that people will reject me if I make a mistake (negative belief), I will think I need to be perfect, feel guilty until I get things just right, all the while placing unrealistic demands on myself and others in my attempt at perfection.  Or, if I believe people with outstanding careers, social status, wealth or fame are the happiest people on earth (another negative belief), I might work longer hours, place community involvement ahead of family time which may result in an unbalanced home life complete with under supervised and unsupported children.

These are self-defeating negative beliefs that have the power to pull our world out of balance.

So, at this time of year, before you sign the kids up for another program or feel you should preserve a few hundred jars of salsa for the winter, evaluate the belief behind your activity. Maybe the role of wife and mother (ok…..and lover) is all you need this time around.