The FEEL GOOD Challenge – status update

14 01 2014

 

challenge noun

: a difficult task or problem : something that is hard to do

: an action, statement, etc., that is against something : a refusal to accept something as true, correct, or legal

: an invitation to compete in a game, fight, etc.[1]

Well folks the FEEL GOOD  Challenge was accepted the morning after the proposal was forwarded.  Both girls wanted to take part and shared their tracking system for the “FEEL GOOD” success rate.  It’s been about a week since we started and no surprise that it has been an enlightening journey thus far!  My precocious daughters continue to keep me on my toes with their insights, observations and manifestation of their truth.  When I repeated to the girls how the reward for taking part in the challenge was to be revealed in 2 weeks time, my younger daughter, to my absolute delight, declared that she did not think a reward was necessary at all given that the “real” reward was going to be in just feeling good about herself and making her sister feel good…(pause for effect here – now start the fire works )

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After this little exchange, I had already declared a premature victory, patted myself on the back and was almost ready to declare the mission complete; well, not so fast.  Despite the  wisdom expressed by my profoundly astute 9 year old, I also noticed that there wasn’t a huge change in the girls’ behaviour toward each other.  Not only has the bickering continued, but I also noticed that the brilliant “FEEL GOOD” challenge was bringing up feelings of injustice and hurt.  The girls were complaining that they did not have equal opportunities to make each other feel good.  They also felt that they weren’t setting each other up to succeed when they made attempts at showing a kind gesture to the other, since neither was acknowledging efforts made by the other.  After a family meeting to clarify the intent of the challenge once again (see above definition), we decided to forge ahead but from a different perspective.

Thanks to the keen insights of a veteran parent who read the previous blog post and took interest in this “FEEL GOOD” challenge, I realized that the frustration I feel when the girls argue is much more about me than it is about them.  My deeply held beliefs taught me that sisters are supposed to be best friends and they should support each other, not hurt each other.  Having had a tumultuous relationship with my own sister growing-up (whom I now love and respect for the woman she is), I’m ultra sensitive to this dynamic between my own girls.  But what if the bickering and fighting serves a greater purpose, as my wise elder suggested?  What if the fighting between the girls, although it hurts me, is actually creating a stronger bond that will stand the test of time for their relationship and the relationships they will forge with other important people in their lives?  I can still own the truth of my experience, without holding the girls to judgement about how they are choosing to interact with each other.

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So it is from this new perspective that the “FEEL GOOD” challenge continues AND has expanded to include my husband and I.  We decided it would do us good to practice what we preach and now my focus has inadvertently shifted from the girls to my own efforts to make my husband feel good 🙂 and it already has become much more fun!  More to come on this as the challenge continues….

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The FEEL GOOD challenge

7 01 2014

As the girls are getting older I’m noticing that their exchanges and more specifically their bickering are becoming more intense.  Honestly, it drives me nuts!  I’m the first to admit that my parenting skills are a continuous work in progress and I have to work hard at remaining calm, open and objective when the girls get into it.

I’m also very curious by nature and tend to ask a lot of questions to myself, my kids and fellow guardians of tomorrow’s visionary leaders:

  • How do we encourage our kids to focus on the good in themselves and others?
  • What do we do to stay positive and keep an affirmative perspective?
  • How do the words we choose serve us?
  • What does it take to remain authentic to ourselves and preserve our integrity?
  • How do we teach our children to do the same?

My husband and I often feel like broken records, as we coach the girls to maintain a positive perspective on life in general and in particularly challenging situations, not just between themselves but others too as they arise.  Focusing on the positive has become an unofficial mantra in our house and we do our best to live it.

After another testy night of what I’ll refer to as catty teasing, I had enough.   As we were driving to TKD practice, and tempers began to flare up in the back seat I decided to launch the girls a challenge.

The Challenge: For one month, the two sisters are to track how often they can make each other feel good! Of course, in the heat of the moment I hadn’t really thought this through and will have to follow up on the results of this little anthropological experiment if the girls buy in.

The parameters were set that the girls had 24 hours to decide whether or not they would take on the challenge (they always have a choice).  Should they accept, they are to confirm with mom and/or dad by telling us how they were going to keep track of the “feel good success rate”.  To make it interesting, I told the girls that the rewards

for both challengers would be revealed within 2 weeks from the start of the challenge (I needed to buy myself sometime to think this through more carefully…).  My ultimate goal is that we all end up winners in this challenge by the shear virtue of consciously noting and sharing when we make each other feel good.  Stay tuned as the FEEL GOOD Challenge continues!








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