Self Esteem

Many parents are very concerned about their child’s self-esteem, and believe that a big part of their job as parents is to protect it.  But very often what happens instead is that children are protected from challenges and from the possibility of failure, and so they never have a chance to develop true self-esteem.

If every scribble is highly praised and put on the refrigerator, why work on drawing?  If Dad confronts the coach to get more playing time, why work on basketball?  If Mom argues with the teacher about grades, why study harder?

The message we’re really giving our kids when we do these things is that they aren’t good enough to make it on their own – that they need their parents to run interference for them.  It’s awfully hard to grow up if that’s what you believe.

We’re talking here about thinking for the long-term rather than the short-term: “What difference will it make when he’s thirty?”  Children develop true self-esteem when they meet challenges, master new skills, and earn appreciation from adults outside the family as well as from parents

When parents protect their children and give false or exaggerated praise, they think they’re building self-esteem, but actually they’re doing just the opposite.
Children have to have the opportunity to figure out what they’re good at and then develop those strengths, and they can only do that by facing challenges and even failing sometimes.

Kids really hate false praise anyway, and they can spot it a mile away.  It’s best to let your children learn about their strengths and weaknesses while you’re there to help them over the rough spots.  Your confidence that your children can solve problems and learn new skills is what allows them to develop self-esteem.

I can tell you that, as a parent, letting my children fight their own battles and overcome their own obstacles is something that is still very hard for me.  I want everything to be good and right for them, and I worry all the time that they’ll make a bad decision or miss an opportunity or not get what they deserve from life.  But when I interfere and keep life’s lessons at bay, I’m making it even more likely that they will make bad decisions and miss opportunities.  Children learn about life from living their life, and they earn self-esteem from the way they handle those lessons.

Parents do have an important role when it comes to self-esteem, other than providing opportunities and support.  Their role is to make sure that their children are rewarded for their progress as much as for their product.

In other words, hard work, determination, persistence, and a “personal best” should be celebrated as much as getting good grades, passing tests, and getting recognition.

So when you have a child who struggles in school, make sure that you reward his progress and his accomplishments – even the small stuff.  And when you have a child who is capable of high achievement in school, don’t reward him for anything less than that high achievement.  Schools measure all kids with one yardstick – whether or not they have learned the skills they’re supposed to learn at that grade level.  Parents can measure their children with a personal yardstick – they can reward a child’s individual progress and personal victories even if that child’s skills aren’t on grade level.

So we can’t give our children self-esteem – we can’t just hand it to them.  Rather, we have to give them as many opportunities to develop self-esteem as we can.  Our gifts to our children are the opportunities and the support, and those are gifts that will last a life-time.     

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What is the “Do It Now” Principle?

Now is the TimeHello FlyLady,

What is the “Do It Now Principle” please? I must have missed that somewhere in your website. Thank you so much for all you do!

FlyBaby M

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Dear FlyBaby M,

This is just plain old common sense. “Do It Now” means just that! Don’t wait and do it right that minute. No more procrastinating. Now, this doesn’t mean to get sidetracked from what you were doing. The rule is that the job can only take a couple of minutes. Instead of putting it off till later, do it now!

Here is an essay about Doing it now!

Procrastination Hurts You!

Dear Friends,

Today is Anti-Procrastination Day! What have you been putting off?

How many times a day do you allow your perfectionism to paralyze you! You know exactly what I am talking about. You hear that nasty little voice in your head all the time. I don’t have time right now. YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR WHAT? To do it RIGHT! To do it like your momma did!

We are not good judges of time! In our heads we think emptying the dishwasher will take hours when it only takes 3 minutes!

Our perfectionism/procrastination also hurts us in other ways. We keep putting off going to the doctor because we don’t have time! We don’t place an order for something we know will help us and then all of a sudden they are gone and we start to beat ourselves up over our procrastination again. Don’t wait to get your calendar. I know you have been trying to use a calendar with small boxes.

I live by the Do it Now Principle! When something needs to be done and if it is not done then you will feel bad; this is when I do it! Think about putting a fresh roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. We only think of it when we are in there. Guess who usually gets left with an empty roll. YOU! Your procrastination has hurt you again.

Our minds are going 90 miles an hour. We can think of more things to do in 5 minutes than we can do in a lifetime. Let’s channel some of that power into action by Doing It Now. When you find yourself using this principle more often you are going to surprise yourself! This is not getting sidetracked! It is staying focused and accomplishing something so we don’t have to beat ourselves up later!

Have you been putting something off: Paying bills, doing laundry, shining your sink or using our big calendar. One day we will run out of our calendars and there you will be begging for one and beating yourself up because of your procrastination. You do have time; if you will just do what needs to be done and don’t put it off another day! Just think, this will put an end to those nasty voices in your head!

There are many of you that are procrastinating about shining your sink! This is the habit that changed my life! Please give it a try! It won’t take that long! This month are new habit is making your bed. Every room has its own shiny sink. Your beautiful bed makes your room shine.

Set your timer and do something you have been putting off!

FlyLady

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I Renamed My Routines

Hi!

I’m a very new FlyBaby, but I had to write. I discovered your website when I bought a new planner a couple of weeks ago and began to watch YouTube videos on planner organization. A couple of the posters mentioned you, and I was instantly hooked!

I’m still working on building my routines, and taking Babysteps, but I’m starting to see progress. It’s like losing the first few pounds at the start of a diet: seeing a difference in my house is so encouraging!

What I wanted to share (other than my gratitude) was how I write my reminder note in my new planner to do my morning and before bed routines. I don’t call them that. I call them “First Flutter” and “Nightly Nesting”! It just makes me smile.

Thank you for making this seem manageable and reminding me that I CAN.

Thank You, A grateful Flybaby in Tennessee

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It’s Anti-Procrastination Day

Dear Friends,

Today is Anti-Procrastination Day! What have you been putting off?

How many times a day do you allow your perfectionism to paralyze you! You know exactly what I am talking about. You hear that nasty little voice in your head all the time. I don’t have time right now. YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR WHAT? To do it RIGHT! To do it like your momma did!

We are not good judges of time! In our heads we think emptying the dishwasher will take hours when it only takes 3 minutes!

Our perfectionism/procrastination also hurts us in other ways. We keep putting off going to the doctor because we don’t have time! We don’t place an order for something we know will help us and then all of a sudden it is gone and we start to beat ourselves up over our procrastination again.

I live by the Do it Now Principle! When something needs to be done and if it is not done then you will feel bad; this is when I do it! Think about putting a fresh roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. We only think of it when we are in there. Guess who usually gets left with an empty roll. YOU! Your procrastination has hurt you again.

Our minds are going 90 miles an hour. We can think of more things to do in 5 minutes than we can do in a lifetime. Let’s channel some of that power into action by Doing It Now. When you find yourself using this principle more often you are going to surprise yourself! This is not getting sidetracked! It is staying focused and accomplishing something so we don’t have to beat ourselves up later!

Have you been putting something off? One day soon we will run out of our calendars and there you will be begging for one and beating yourself up because of your procrastination. You do have time; if you will just do what needs to be done and don’t put it off another day!  Just think, this will put an end to those nasty voices in your head!

There are many of you that are procrastinating about shining your sink! This is the habit that changed my life! Please give it a try! It won’t take that long! I know you think I am crazy when your house is a mess and you have a to do list longer than your arm and I am telling you to shine your sink. Apply the Do It Now principle and see how good you will feel! Send me an email and tell me what you accomplished today in honor of Anti-Procrastination Day! It can something small or big, it does not matter! Don’t let perfectionism get in the way of Do It Now!

FlyLady

If you have been procrastinating about getting your Calendar; don’t wait another day. We will run out of them real soon.  I know you have been trying to make do with a small calendar. How’s that been working for you?

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February Habit #13 First Time Ever

I have been decluttering for 16 years now. My DH and I buy emotionally. I have found that the ONLY time I can declutter is when my DH is at work. And always anything not used by him for a year or more.

With my kids I do clothes as they come through the laundry. This week the 4 if them (4,6,7,&9 yrs old) went through their rooms and decluttered daily for the first time ever.

I now have books and toys to donate and no way to get it to the van. The snow has buried it and the shovel. Lol.  I have found decluttering to be a daily job but I know if i let it go for a time i get overwhelming.

Baby steps…everyday!

Flying in Wyoming

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February Habit #12 Empty Nest

Hello!

I have an empty nest now, and lots of Christmas decor that I need to sort out. Now I can “streamline” my Holiday things to just the things I love!

Sad to say, but a lot of the things I’ve saved thinking that my kids would like them are not as special to them.

Time to de-clutter my expectations also and bless someone with my excess!

Looking forward to help with my control journal!

Blue Mountain FlyBaby

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February Habit #11 Threw Me For a Loop

Dear FlyLady,

I have been following your rules and suggestions for years now and have most routines pretty well established and my living room always company ready. What a wonderful gift from you to me. What really threw me for a loop, though, was retiring one and a half years ago and having to incorporate overnight ten years’ accumulation from my work apartment into our permanent home. I had two of just about everything. And all of it loved and wanted, because I had pick it out myself. The furniture my husband and I distributed before the actual move took place, but the rest? Pots, dishes, garden equipment, linens – everything one needs and uses. A typical SHE, it all went into our home. And then I stood there and stared at it, immobilized. What in the world was I going to do with it all? Even the idea that “you can do anything for 15 minutes” felt numbing to the point of inactivity. FlyLady, oh FlyLady, I asked myself, how should I cope with this? And the answer came immediately: ANYTHING is better than nothing.

I made a compromise with myself: I would declutter just TWO items each day. It would be regardless of size or shape or purpose: two is two. I would take two pots of the same size, compare just the two of them, and one would go out. Do that twice and then I could stop. If, I told myself, I could really stick to this Baby Step, that’s 700 items in one year! Wow! 700 items! Today I look back and can see the difference. There were times when I asked myself if this was really doing any good, but instead of givng up I repeated FlyLady-Mantras to myself. I am not yet finished – I have now started looking at all the old stashes – but I feel so much freer. That in itself is an incentive to keep on going. It should be an incentive to all the other strugglers out there to put your faith in FlyLady’s system – it gets you where you need to go.

A retired FlyBaby

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February Habit #10 Taking FLYing Lessons

Dear Flylady,

I’ve been taking flying lessons for years; almost since you started your website. I would start and stop, over and over again. This time, about mid January, I actually read a post about January’s habit of shining your sink every day before bed. Sometimes I happily cleaned the kitchen and shined the sink after dinner, and sometimes it was quite a chore, but I did it. I love this habit and will continue to persevere! The wonderful feeling I get every morning when I make my coffee in a clean shining kitchen is priceless.

Today I was catching up on my email to discover what February’s habit is, and I happened upon an email of you describing your morning routine. To be exact, I was sitting in my pajamas, drinking coffee, and checking email on my computer. I decided that starting tomorrow, I would follow your morning routine. Oops… I then had a God breeze, I could hear your voice whispering “do it now.”

I am so proud of myself. Got up out of my chair, made the bed, showered, got dressed, cleaned up the breakfast dishes, dusted, decided to do my home blessing hour, and now I have time to thank you.

Sincerely,
Susan in California

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His New Office in a Bag

Dear FlyLady,

Last month I ordered your  black Office in a Bag for my husband, who, newly retired from the Air Force, needed a briefcase for work, but did not like the traditional box-type briefcases; he was used to carrying around a back-pack in which he carried all his stuff.

Your design is simple, yet ingenious.  He absolutely loves it.  At first he disliked the strap, because it seemed a bit less masculine than a regular handle, until he realized the strap enabled his Office in a Bag to lay flat when opened.

Your Office in a Bag really does have a place for everything.  He’s even been known to carry a pear or a coffee cup in it!  He fits his cell phone, calculator, the day’s mail, folders, and you-name-it, in this bag.  At work, if someone asks where he got it, he tells them about your site!

Is there a chance you could produce a thin wallet for the men?  I think he’d love your wallet as much as he loves your Office in a Bag, but I believe he’d prefer a blue or black liner, and maybe no insignia?

Anyway, I thought, if you didn’t know already, you’d like to know now that men like your stuff as much as we women do.

Love,
Fluttering Along
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Very Enjoyable And Motivating

January 29, 2014
By
Marian J. Hilton

It was an interesting story and had a little unexpected twist to it at the end. It is well written and easy reading and kept my attention throughout. It also was very helpful to me in that I have more motivation to organize my own life and have obtained many ideas on how to do it through this book.

January 29, 2014
By
Lisa Smith

I loved this book! I didn’t want to put it down and finished it in a couple days! It is good for the FlyBabies out there still struggling and also for those of you who don’t know the FlyLady.  If you are living in chaos, this book will be good for you, too. If we can just listen to FlyLady and do what she says, our homes , lives, and families will be forever changed for the better. Enjoy! (then pass it on!)
Lisa in NC

January 28, 2014
By
churchmouse (Amazon User)

This book “grabbed me” from the beginning. It was a success on two levels: as a novel, it held my interest and I was able to identify with the characters; as a self-help /organizational book, it was awesome. I would definitely recommend it!

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