Common Mistakes Parents Make When Kids Join A Sports Club

As of now, parents let their kids enjoy life. They allow their kids to experience numerous activities. Not to mention, some parents even enroll their kids in extracurricular courses to help them hone their skills and improve their knowledge. Apart from training courses, some parents also allow kids to join a sports club.

By letting kids join in a sports club, you can provide them with a lot of benefits such as improving their skills, enhancing their knowledge, and strengthening their body. But, there are cases when parents make mistakes when they let their kids join in sports clubs. To avoid these, below are some of the most common mistakes parents commit.

Taking away the game from kids

One of the most common mistakes parents make is they take away the game from kids. As a parent, you wish to make sure your kids are safe and happy in what they do. Therefore, there are cases when parents make certain decisions. For instance, when kids are not given sufficient play time, some parents argue with coaches, which can lead to legal proceedings. Instead of doing this, it is better to let the kids enjoy their game.

Not allowing kids to make their own decisions

Another mistake parents make when kids join in clubs is they do not allow their child to make their own decision. As mentioned above, joining a sports club allow kids to improve their skills and knowledge. By restricting kids to make decisions, you are also limiting their opportunity to learn. Thus, parents need to act as parents and let their kids learn from their own decisions.

Opting for sports clubs where coaches fail to respect the kids and the sport

When letting kids join in a club, it is the job of parents to look for sports club that have reliable coaches. This is essential since coaches who fail to respect the kids and the sport can certainly affect your kids mentally and physically. Before this happens, you must ensure that the club your kids want to join in can provide them with the benefits that can help them improve their lifestyle.

Choosing a sports club that focuses on adults not kids

Finally, parents also need to make sure that the club focuses on kids and not on adults. There are instances when clubs focus on adults in order to obtain profits. So, parents need to be aware of such sports clubs to provide their kids the best.

Is Your Kid Being Bullied? Arm Him With These 5 Techniques

Is your child being bullied at school? As a parent, it can be really hard to know what to tell your child to do about that. Teachers and administrators will do what they can, but most bullies are sneaky, so at the end of the day, it is your kid alone against the bully. The biggest difference you can make is in teaching your child concrete skills for how to respond when bullied.

For conflicts at school, I find using children’s picture books a great place for ideas. One of my favorites is Simon’s Hook; A Story About Teases and Put-downs by Karen Gedig Burnett, illustrated by Laurie Barrows. In Simon’s Hook, Simon’s grandmother tells him a tale about a bunch of fish who learn to “Swim Free” rather than “taking the bait,” ie the insults, being thrown at them. Armed with his new skills, Simon is able to rejoin the kids at the playground who have been making fun of his bad haircut.

Simon learns five “Rules for Being a FREE Fish” from his grandmother’s story.

Rule 1: DO little or nothing! Don’t react!

Interestingly, when I have taught these rules in class, this is the one the kids choose the most. We practice having kids give a blank stare back. Practice this one with your kids over and over. Start by having them insult you and you showing them no reaction. With little kids, you are likely to hear something like, “You’re a poopy face!” Don’t laugh at them. Just look at them as if you didn’t even hear them. Then ask permission to tease them. Ask them for examples of what kinds of hurtful things they have heard and then repeat those things in an exaggeratedly bratty voice, coaching them to do little or nothing. Praise them for how neutral they can keep their face. Have them practice in front of the mirror. You pretend to insult them; they practice staring right through you.

Rule 2: Agree with the hook!

What? Agree with what a bully says? Yes! This one actually works surprisingly well as it completely disarms the kid who is being mean or insensitive. Let’s look at some examples:

Juan: You can’t be my friend!

Rogelio: Okay! I’ll go play with someone else then.

Do you see how Juan was gearing up for a fight and Rogelio just took the wind right out of his sails? If Rogelio really does want to be friends with Juan, he might add, “Maybe we can be friends tomorrow.” Often-even though they don’t say it out loud-younger kids don’t mean, “You can’t be my friend EVER.” They just don’t know how to say that they are mad or that they want to play with someone else that day. Help your kids understand that sometimes other kids don’t mean to be hurtful. They just don’t know how to express their emotions and their needs.

Here’s another example of agreeing with the hook:

Britta: You’re shoes are ugly!

Michelle: I know! I told my mom they are so ugly they should win an ugly prize.

How can you argue with someone who is cheerfully agreeing with you? Note how reference to a disagreement with Mom subtly puts Britta and Michelle on the same team of Kids Whose Moms Just Don’t Get It. Very disarming indeed! Invite your kids to use you as an excuse.

Rule 3: Distract or Change the Subject.

What’s funny about this technique is that it is often kids who might otherwise be socially challenged who are the best at it. Distraction works by just pointing out something that is going on in the environment like, “Hey, wasn’t that the bell?” or “Isn’t that Mr. Jones in the Giant’s hat over there? I wonder if the Giants won their game last night.”

Changing the subject works like this:

Rakesh: Your writing is terrible!

Hiren: Did you know that the heaviest dinosaur was the Brachiosaurus? It weighted around 80 tons. That’s like 17 Elephants. And it was as tall as an 8-story building! That’s way higher than my apartment. My building is only five floors high. I live on the third floor, though. Did you know that…

You can see how by the time Hiren runs out of steam, Rakesh is going to wish he had never said anything!

Kids like the idea of this technique but I have found they actually need to brainstorm a list of possible topics for what to talk about. Here are some ideas a recent class came up with. Help your own kids add to this list:

• the weather

• what happened on a favorite t.v. show this week

• a book they have read recently

• anything that involves a list (kinds of cars, kinds of cereal, what they ate for breakfast this morning, the state capitals, etc.)

• a question (Do you think Mr. Jones is going to give us a pop quiz today?)

• what they did over break or on their last vacation

• anything they happen be obsessed with at the time

The trick to Changing the Subject is to add enough detail that the kid doing the insulting totally forgets what he said in the first place.

Rule 4: Laugh at the hook or make a joke!

Most kids can just laugh. Again, practice it with your kid. First demonstrate: Have them insult you and then just laugh at what they have said. I had one kid who was really good at laughing and then following up with a blank stare. It left the other kids completely nonplussed. They really had no idea how to proceed from there.

Making a joke can be hard because it requires kids to think on their feet, but if you have a very verbal or punny kid, it could be just the tool:

Maria: You’re not a good dancer!

Mira: How did you know Ms. Kltuz was my middle name?

Or

Kevin: You can’t play with us. Go away.

Howard: I can’t? Really? Oh, that’s right! I put on two left feet this morning. That’s okay. Just put me on the left side of the field and I’ll be fine.

This works because kids don’t know how to deal with this kind of answer, and they will let the joker play rather than try to outwit him.

Rule 5: Stay away! Swim in another part of the sea!

Stay away or swim away works well in two circumstances.

One, the kid being mean is truly physical or out of control. Some kids are just not safe. They arrive at school with behavior challenges that are too big for our kids to deal with (chances are the school is struggling, too, to find enough manpower to help that kid). It may mean not getting to do what you want that day, but recess is too short to try to argue with that kind of kid. Help your children to brainstorm a variety of fun things to do so that they have some choices away from the bully. If the bully has picked them as a target, help your kid find some space away-maybe the library or a lunchtime club or helping a teacher out in her classroom.

Yes, I recognize that this is not fair. Your child should be able to play whatever he wants at recess. I am sorry to say, though, that teachers’ eyes cannot be everywhere and yard duty help is usually spread way too thin. Usually the out of sight, out of mind principle comes into play, here: Disappear for a few days, and the bully will direct his attention elsewhere.

Two, sometimes kids just need a break from each other! Help your child understand that we all go through rhythms of how much closeness and how much distance we need at any given time. Often the person being insulting is really just looking for some space. So give it to them! They’ll come around another day. If you have the kind of child who forms very intense, deep attachments to one person, spend some time explaining that that is not everyone’s friendship style. Some people like being friends with a lot of different people. One day they will want to play with you, and another day, they will want to play with someone else. This is not personal: It is just a different personality. Reassure your child that if they can just walk away today, chances are the other child will seek them out again soon.

Kids like these techniques. Having tools in their tool belt, empowers them and allows them to deal with situations quickly and to move on. Furthermore, it very often allows the kid being mean to move on, too, so the whole day gets better for everyone.

Just learning about the skills will not be enough. You will need to provide lots of support and suggestions. You can practice them after the fact, helping your child to imagine the conversation he might have had. If he climbs into the car complaining that So and So did something mean today, ask him if he took the bait. If he did, help him figure out how he might have used each of these techniques to redirect the bully or defuse the situation.

It might feel unfair that your child has to “not take the bait.” No one should be baiting him in the first place, right? But you know and I know the world does not work that way. Surely, you have listened to a friend tell a story about someone being annoying or mean and have counseled, “That’s the kind of person you just have to ignore” or “Why do you let him rile you so?” What you are saying is Why take the bait? Children will feel more in control if they know it is in their power to not take the bait.

If your child is worried about going to school, ask what he thinks might happen and practice over and over lots of different ways he might handle it. Emphasize that deflecting conflict is a skill. He will get better and better and it and it will be easier and easier to know what to do in the moment.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Achieve Great Success With Kids Party Food for Your Kids Theme Party

I think one of the most daunting things for parents when it comes to planning and organising their kids theme party, is the party food.

Firstly, the most important thing to remember when planning and organising your kids party food, is to not stress out as you need not be an amazing cook. You will find on the party day that food is not the focus, because kids are much more interested in just having fun and playing the party games and activities.

However, to make your kids party food a huge success, there are a few things to consider.

1) Deciding the Kids Party Menu

The time of day your kids party is being held and your party guests, can help determine the type and quantity of kids party food you serve. Lunch and dinner parties will require more substantial food menus, but snacks will be fine if the party is at other times of the day. If guests’ parents are invited to stay at the party, it’s a good idea to have some suitable food for the adult guests as well as some extra food stored away just in case.

Do not forget to check with parents whether any of your little guests have food allergies, that way you can cater your child’s party accordingly and avoid anything bad happening on the party day.

Remember to also ask your child what food and drinks he/she would like served at the party, as it makes your child feel very special that they are actually helping you plan their party.

To make life easier for you, plan a simple kids party menu that your party guests will still be able to enjoy. Try to have a variety of savoury food and sweet treats, and include in your menu familiar party favourites that are child friendly, quick and easy to prepare.

Some examples of popular kids party food include chicken nuggets, fish fingers, hot dogs, mini hamburgers, pizzas, wraps, sandwiches, fairy bread, chicken wings, pigs in a blanket, lasagna, spaghetti Bolognese, mini pies and sausage rolls, nachos, French fries, potato wedges, popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, jelly etc.

Children also enjoy other healthy food such as strips of carrot, cucumber and celery, cherry tomatoes, cocktail franks, cheese cubes, crackers and creamy cheese dips, as well as fresh fruits. Many kids are fussy eaters so they’ll probably like these more than any gourmet food that you may have to slave for hours in the kitchen to make.

All kids love sweet treats but try not to overdo it otherwise you will have some very hyperactive children running around at your kids theme party! Favourites such as cupcakes, cake-pops, biscuits, lollipops, chocolates and lollies are highly sought after by kids, but something that both adults and children really look forward to at a party is the cake. You can either bake or buy your kids party cake. Whichever options you choose try to match the cake to your kids party theme. Go online to find some inspirational ideas for cake decorations.

If you plan to bake the cake or make your own cupcakes, cake-pops, biscuits etc., make them a day or two before the party so that you have plenty of time to bake and decorate to your heart’s content, creating a masterpiece for your child’s party! Get your child to help out for added fun and it’s fantastic to have a few friends or family members over to help as well. Remember to store them properly though so that they will remain fresh for the party day.

When ordering a cake from a bakery, most places usually like at least 2 weeks notice. Lately though quite a few popular specialist cake places actually request a few months notice, hence make an early booking so as to not miss out. Also, order the cake to be picked up the day before the party so that you have one less thing to do on the party day. When you pick the cake up, ask the bakery for proper storage instructions, again so that it will remain fresh for the day of the party.

For kids party drinks you can serve juices, cordial, soft drinks, water, milkshakes, fruit smoothies etc. You can even make fruit punch a few days in advance and freeze them as ice-cubes. Then on the party day all you need to do is add some fresh fruits to the gradually melting ice-cubes of punch in a punch bowl.

2) Keep the Kids Party Food and Its Presentation Related to Your Kids Party Theme

When planning the kids party menu try to incorporate the party theme you have chosen, so that everything fits in perfectly with the theme. Decorate cupcakes, cake-pops and biscuits according to the theme. Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches, fairy bread, pizza etc. into fun shapes that match the theme eg. Dinosaur shapes for a Dinosaur Theme Party, Tiaras for a Princess Theme Party etc.

Also, set out the kids party food on serving ware that matches the party theme and put a theme twist to the food name when labelling each of your dishes eg. place chicken nuggets in a treasure chest and call them “Golden Nuggets” for a Pirate Theme Party, use toothpicks (remember to break off the sharp ends to make them more blunt) to pin four round slices of either carrot or cucumber to the sides of hotdogs to turn them into “Hot Rods” for a Cars Theme Party etc.

In addition, set up a cake and present table with your kids party theme in mind, and this will be the focal point of your child’s party. Balloons, tablecloths, pom poms, lanterns etc. are fantastic when it comes to helping you set the theme.

3) How to Save Money and/or Time With Your Kids Party Food

Think about what kids party food you can make from scratch quickly and easily yourself. This is because anything that can be home made, will save you a lot of money.

If you decide to make all or most of the party food yourself, what ever you are able to prepare prior to the day of the party, do so. Freeze, refrigerate or store appropriately whatever you’ve prepared in advance, so that on the party day all you need to do is quickly cook, re-heat or simply just serve. The less you have to do on the party day, means less stress and more time for you to relax, enjoy and have fun with your child and guests.

However, if you are short of time, you can also purchase ready made and/or frozen party food from the supermarkets, bakeries, restaurants etc. that you can quickly whip up or just serve on the day of the party. Place your orders at bakeries and restaurants in advance so that you can either organise pick up or home delivery for the party day (ask a friend or family member to help you with the pick ups).

If you have no time whatsoever, you can even get the whole party catered and even have waiters and waitresses serve the food and drinks for you. I was so surprised when I found out how really affordable this option is. Just go online and search your local area for caterers and wait staff, and get a few quotes. You will probably be as surprised as I was. This option definitely takes all the hassles and stress out of the food aspect of your kids theme party. You can also ask them the cost of clearing up during and after the party. You will then have lots of time to relax and enjoy before, during and after the party, as there won’t be much cleaning up leftover for you to do.

In conclusion, if you decide on the kids party menu early, work out a shopping list, get all that you need and prepare as much as you can in advance, then planning and organising the kids party food for your kids theme party will be a total breeze and a lot of fun too.

Maria (Hoang) Tran is a mother of two beautiful children and her passion is Planning and Organising Kids Theme Party. She is the owner and author of [http://www.ChildrensThemePartySupplies.com], where you can get everything you need for your Kids Theme Party.

To help make planning and organising your Kids Theme Party a breeze, grab the FREE 7 Day Mini Email Course [http://childrensthemepartysupplies.com/childrens-theme-party-supplies-free-7-day-mini-email-course/] and “Discover the 7 BEST Steps to How to Plan and Organise Children’s Theme Party.”

Whilst visiting ChildrensThemePartySupplies.com website, please check out their Blogs for more great Kids Party Food and inspiring Kids Party Tips, Ideas and Guidelines.

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Destination Weddings With Kids: You Can Have The Best of Both Worlds

A Destination Wedding for the Whole Family: How to Give the Adults a Great Time, While Keeping The Kids Happy

You can keep everyone happy:

Never fear, there is an answer! There are many locations and places that you can have a destination wedding and cater to the adults, but still keep the kids happy. There are few steps you should take to help pick out the perfect location and destination for both the adults and children

Pick A Destination That Makes Sense:

Let’s face it; the most important thing about a destination wedding is the location! That is why you have a destination wedding! It is important to think about a location that will be somewhat easy to get to. A location that has a lot of direct flight options is ideal, and a destination that requires more than one connection, I don’t recommend if you are traveling with children. You also want to pick a location that is safe and has easy access to get to all of the events and activities that your group will be doing. For grandparents and small children, it is important to have easy transportation to the locations you will need for the rehearsal dinner, or welcome party, the wedding, and the after party, as well as any special events you will be asking your guests to attend.

Pick a Resort that meets both needs:

Once you think you have narrowed down a destination, then it will be time to figure out where should you and your guests stay. There are some important things to look for when you are trying to find a good resort to have your wedding at and involve children at the same time.

Find a Resort:

That has a great reputation for giving incredible adult amenities, as well as, specializing in what children want. Look for resorts that offer kid zones or kids clubs.

You should look for great “adult options”, Great restaurants, fitness centers, spa treatments, large pool areas, and a great beach

Try to book a resort In a location that allows some easy and safe excursions that are good for all ages and fitness levels. Some of your guests may want to just sit back on the beach and not go anywhere and that is OK too. Make sure the resort is large enough to handle all of your guests and has a good variety of kid and adult areas.

Look for the resorts that has great perks like a good variety of a la carte restaurants, 24hr room service, nightly entertainment, spa service, and, as I mentioned above, kids clubs or daily activities for the kids.

Some Activities Can Be Kid Free

Even with the kids at the resort, you can have certain parts of your wedding be without kids. Some brides prefer to have the ceremony and reception to be adult only, while the kids are in a kids club, or with a sitter. Some resorts, that do cater to children and adults, have their own child care system, professional nannies, or a child care service that the resort would recommend. It is good to let people know ahead of time, what you are requiring and how much it may cost, if you are going to request something like this. This will give your guests with children time to either save up the extra it may cost, or make arrangements to possibly bring a sitter with them. You are not obligated to pay for your guests child care, but if you can help, you will be a superhero to your friends.

Kids Party

Some resorts can set up a separate party for the children, while the adults are having their fun at the wedding reception. A kids party will include adult supervision from the resort, possibly some video game systems, movies, crafts, a pinata, a Dj for the kids music, and possibly even a clown. A Kids party is usually close to the adult reception, so that parents can quickly check on their kids if needed. Of course these are extra costs, and if you are requiring that kids go to the kids’ party, then you may need to pay for that. Most parents will love the idea of having the kids at a separate party. They know that the kids are having fun and are safe, while they can relax and enjoy adult fun. Most parents will help chip in for a tip for the staff, and may even offer to help pay for it, just let them know in advance.

Including The Kids

It may be very important to you to include the kids in as much as possible. Obviously, if you are picking a destination wedding resort that includes kids, you do want the kids included in some of the activities. There are many different ways to include the kids in a destination wedding. You can:

Let some be in charge of throwing flower petals during the ceremony

Have some blowing bubbles during the ceremony

Have some read a special passage

Let some pass out wedding favors

Greeting your attendees

Taking photos (if old enough to do a decent job)

Let some remind your guests to sign the guest book.

There are many other roles and jobs you could include the kids in the ceremony with. Ask your wedding planner at the resort for help to find roles that will help the kids fit in the destination wedding ceremony. If kids are at the reception, you can set up some arts and crafts for them to help keep them engaged. You can also have a separate kids buffet set up with kid friendly foods, like hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and macaroni and cheese.

Blended Families

When getting married with each of your own children, you should definitely include them in the ceremony. When you are blending families, it is imperative that you have a time in the ceremony where the two families are coming together as one. I have seen some kids help fill a sand jar, where Mom and Dad, and all the kids help fill the Sand Jar together. It is also a nice touch to include the kids in your vows to each other.

Go With The Flow
The most important thing to remember is that when dealing with kids, you need to expect the unexpected. If you are the type that can’t handle anything not going according to plan, than having kids a part of your ceremony may not be a good idea. Kids can be unpredictable, and you should think about your “plan B” in case the ring bearer is throwing a fit, or the flower girl is pouting and having a meltdown, just do your best to go with the flow. You may have to make some last minute changes based on how things are going. Remember, most people think kids are precious, especially when they may be acting on the fiesty side, or have fallen asleep during an important moment. You will be more bothered with it, than your guests will.

Still Not Sure?
Maybe you are on the fence about having children at your wedding, maybe you’re okay with it. In the end, this is your wedding day and as the bride and groom, you will be setting the tone for the entire experience. Having a destination wedding designer guide you in choosing a locale that will be a reflection of who you are as a couple, plus give consideration to those with children, will ultimately allow you to have the wedding of your dreams. So, it is possible to have the best of both worlds, you just have to dig a little deeper!

Tami is the lead Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Designer for Paradise Getaways. Tami is continually updating her knowledge of resorts and destinations, so that she can give the most accurate advice to her clients. Her travels have taken her to Antigua, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, St. Lucia, & Turks & Caicos. She is a Preferred Sandals & Beaches Specialist, Sandal’s Star Awards agent, Master Agent for AM Resorts, & Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant for Karisma Resorts.

When Kids Make “Bad” Friends

One of the major worries parents have as their kids get older is whether or not their kids will make good friends. From their own experience, parents recognize that friends can have such a powerful influence over their kids – for good or for bad. Because of that influence, some parents enter into the trap of trying to control who their kids can have as friends. Once parents enter into a control battle over who they will allow their kids to be friends with, the parents have waged an unwinnable war that usually creates casualties on both sides and leaves the parent-child relationship strained if not broken.

Many of us know parents who have waged this war only to find that it fuels their kids’ desire to spend time with the kids who worry the parents the most. These parents say to their kids, “I don’t want you to hang out with that kid. I don’t think he is a good influence on you,” or, “why don’t you make better friends; those kids will only get you into trouble.”

When parents question or criticize their kids’ ability to choose good friends, the message they send their kids is, “You have poor judgment and faulty thinking if you choose those kids as your friends” or, “you can’t make good decisions on your own so you will probably just follow what everyone else is doing and get into trouble.”

Why do good, healthy kids from stable homes make friends with wild kids? Kids sometimes choose to make friends with those who walk on the wild side because they want adventure and excitement and wild kids create adventure and excitement. Just because our kids make friends with kids who walk the wild side, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will become like them; especially if we have given them opportunities to make plenty of mistakes and, with sadness and empathy, allowed them to feel the consequences for those mistakes.

Even though parents may feel a lot of anxiety over the choice of friends their children make, parents can do a lot to help their kids learn to make good decisions regarding friends and what they will do with those friends. As parents use opportunities to teach their kids, rather than restrain them, their children will be better prepared for when they push off and sail into the real world.

Here are some tips that parents can consider if they feel their kids are starting to make “the wrong kind of friends”:

– Parents can refrain from calling their kids’ friends “bad.” Since most people are not all bad, parents tend to lose credibility with their kids by calling their child’s friend “bad,” especially if that friend has ever done anything good for their kid.

– Parents can ask their kids what they like about that specific friend. Not only will this show their child that they are interested in him or her and in their friends, but it will also give the parent information about what need the relationship with that friend is fulfilling for their child. Then parents might do things in order to help see that need gets met in positive ways. Open, and non-judgmental, communication with kids about their friends can strengthen parent-child relationships and provide support for their kids as their kids learn to take responsibility for their own choices.

– Parents can send messages to their kids that show confidence and leadership by saying things like, “That kid looks like he could use some good friends. I hope a lot of you rubs off on him. He is lucky to have a friend like you. I think it would be helpful if I got to know him; why don’t you bring him around the house more.”

– Finally, parents can wrap their arms around the concerning kid and help that kid feel included and a sense of belonging. Many of the kids who concern parents may not come from stable homes or feel a sense of belonging or connectedness. Healthy adults have a great opportunity to reach out to these kids and help them feel that they do matter and they do belong. They can do so by inviting these kids to participate in family events or by simply inviting them to eat with the family. Good food can have a powerful and comforting effect on kids who lack stability.

In summary, even though parents may not effectively be able to control who their kids choose as friends, parents do have a lot of influence over building good relationships with their children’s friends (even the scary ones). As parents show confidence in their children’s ability to make good choices in friends, and then bring their friends within the arms of the family, parents can have a great deal of influence over the relationships and situations in which their kids get involved.

Adolescent Independence: 10 Things Your Kids Should Be Able to Do on Their Own by Middle School

It used to be that kids were treated as mini adults, and now the pendulum has swung the other way and young adults are being treated (and acting) as overgrown kids. You have probably heard about the damage of being a too intense parent–whether that means tiger mom or helicopter parent. Now you may be wondering what should you be expecting of your child? The early childhood markers of independence–sitting, walking, potty training, etc.–get talked about a lot, but what is reasonable to expect of our older children is not as clear. Just what should our early adolescent/middle school kids be able to do on their own?

I started thinking about this from the kids’ point of view. That made me remember the children’s literature I grew up on. Many of my favorite books were about young people taking charge independently–often away from their parents. Let’s start with Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five series. Beginning with Five on a Treasure Island, five cousins spend the summer having one adventure after the next. There is home base where meals are offered and the children check in, but the assumption of the adults seems to be that as long as they are out in the fresh air, together, that they are generally fine no matter what they are getting up to. In the Swallows and Amazon books by Arthur Ransome, six children are given permission to camp on an island in the middle of a lake. They cook over open fires and deal with the local “natives” (as the children refer to the adults) to procure supplies. Another popular example of kids on a mission is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. It is about two children who run away from the suburbs to New York City and who handle themselves very well. In all these books, the children are supported by friends, cousins or siblings and range in age between around 9 and 13. For me the common themes are that a) children are generally seen as very capable and b) they relish in the opportunity to show how able they are to take care of themselves.

When kids are very little we are aware of teaching them what they need to take care of themselves. We do not expect infants to learn to sit, to walk, to talk, to use the potty by themselves. Day after day, month after month, we train them and encourage them to take things one level further. We also give a lot of enthusiastic reinforcement for each new thing they learn. These days, however, as soon as kids hit school–whether that is preschool or Kindergarten–we tend to focus solely on their academic and extra curricular progress. Once they learn to tie their own shoes, it is like they get frozen in childhood where we are still taking care of everything else for them. The result is that we leave them to do a lot of learning on their own when they get to college or out into the world. Doesn’t it make more sense to bring them along a continuum of self care and autonomy right from the start?

Based on twelve years as a seventh grade teacher, I have a good idea of what 11-14 year olds are capable of if it has been expected of them and their parents have taken the time to teach it to them in stages. Here are my Top Ten Responsibilities Kids Should Be Taking by Middle School.

1. Get up, dressed and washed on their own

Do you still wake your child up for school? Stop! It should be their job to set their own alarm, to pick out appropriate clothes, and to have good routines for washing and brushing themselves. Your only job should be to introduce deodorant when the need for it arises and to support the school’s dress code.

2. Make their own breakfasts

Kids are certainly capable of getting their own cereal, toast, frozen waffles, etc. If your family manages a hot breakfast, that’s fantastic. Kids can also learn to make pancakes and eggs and the like with practice. Starting around eight or nine, have them work alongside you. Model the steps. I hear you saying, they don’t have time to get ready. It is easier if I just do it for them. Of course it is easier and faster not to take time to give kids the skills they need in the short run. In the long run, it doesn’t pay off. (And while I’m talking about food, teach your five and six year olds to cut their meat with a knife. With care and attention, they will not hurt themselves).

3. Make their own lunches

Are you under the illusion that your child is eating her lunch? I spent years–years!–lecturing students about not throwing away perfectly good food. You know what their answer was? My mom doesn’t like it when I come home without eating what she packs me. So, rather than deal with the conversation about why they didn’t eat what was provided, kids throw away the evidence. Children who pack their own lunches pack food they know they’ll eat. They know what to pack and how much to pack.

4. Get to school on their own

Okay, you may balk at this one. I know that lots of kids no longer go to their neighborhood schools and few school districts provide busses. There are still ways to give kids their independence. For one, stop being in charge of checking if they have remembered everything they are going to need for the day. They are big enough to keep track of that on their own–and if they are not, suffering the natural consequences of not remembering will be a much faster teacher than your nagging and reminders. Even if you are driving your kids to school, give them the anonymity of dropping them off three or four blocks away. This ten minute walk will allow them at least a little taste of freedom–and you will make the school happy by improving the drop off/pick up congestion.

5. Do homework on their own

The sooner you let your kids manage homework on their own the better. So how do you scaffold that? Help them set up a place and a routine for doing their work. When they ask for help, encourage them to attack it on their own by asking supportive questions: How could you approach this? What is the assignment asking for? How does this assignment look like other assignments you have done? What strategy could you use here? Ask–and then back off. Give your child a chance to do it on his own. Offer a lot a reassurance that he will figure it out. If he has worked on it a reasonable amount of time (ten minutes per grade level total is a good overall recommendation–but that’s a whole other blog), let it be okay for him to go to school without it done. Help him set up a method like a folder for homework to turn in. Initially you can check that it gets into the folder and the folder into the backpack, but by third or fourth grade, if kids do not have the system down, they have not been taking responsibility for their own learning. (That is not to say that as each new school year begins it might not be necessary to check in with your child’s system again.)

6. Do some cooking and some cleaning

It used to be that kids had to help out with chores just to keep the family alive. In fact, the need for extra hands was one of the reasons for having large families. Then for a long time, that was not true. Modernization meant that machines started taking over some of the work and there was less to do. Many mothers were able to stay home to take care of their households and their families. Now that the pendulum has shifted back and 70% of mothers are in the workforce, families where everyone pitches in are much happier. Children may groan about doing chores, but they hate having stressed out parents even more. Get your kids involved in the daily tasks of cooking and cleaning, and they will have the pride of knowing that they have contributed positively to the family. Being needed means that you are important, that your family couldn’t get by without you. That gives children a tremendous sense of security. Knowing you can take care of yourself also reinforces your own self worth.

7. Choose their own electives and extra-curricular activities

Parents have a tough job finding the fine balance between encouraging kids to try new things and at the same time to stick with activities long enough that they have the satisfaction of feeling truly accomplished. At the end of it all, though, don’t you want to know that your kids have found something they really love? Not something that will look good on their college apps or will help them as adults–or even something that they are really good at–but just something that has them fully engaged and alive. I had a sad conversation with a teen this summer who started off playing two sports: Her mom loved one; her dad loved the other. When she needed to choose just one do just one because of time constraints, she felt like she was choosing between making one parent happy or the other. I asked if she is just crazy about this sport. She said she liked hanging out with her friends on the team but that no, she doesn’t just love it. Imagine, she has spent hours and hours of her life pursuing something she only likes.

8. Talk to teachers to get clarification on assignments, to ask for help, to ask questions about comments and grades received

Your child’s teacher is his first boss. There is no academic lesson your child will learn that is more important than learning to negotiate his relationship with his teacher. Learning to communicate with people in more powerful positions than you is an essential life skill, and practicing with one’s teacher is the perfect opportunity: The teacher may have power, but she is highly motivated for your child to be successful (after all, his success is her success). Support your child in this relationship by role playing and rehearsing what he might say when he needs something from his teacher. The more he can interact with his teacher, the easier it will become. Only step in on your child’s behalf if your child has tried a few interactions and hasn’t gotten anywhere. Again, the goal is not to swoop in and rescue your child from any feelings of discomfort. Rather it is to support him through an uncomfortable situation so that he will be more at ease next time.

9. Be able to handle money

Personal finance is not my area of expertise, so for this one, I’m going to connect you to Bill Dwight, CEO of a nifty website/product called FamZoo ( FamZoo.com ). Read his blog here on 7 Practical Tips for Raising Money Smart Kids ( http://blog.famzoo.com/2014/09/7-tips-for-raising-money-smart-kids.html ). This was the area I failed to scaffold and had to scramble to fill in the gaps as my daughter went off to college. How I wish I had been developing her independence in this area all along.

10. Get around by themselves

These days it seems like kids sit in the back seat of a car glued to an electronic device, oblivious to where they are, trusting their parent will get them to where they want to go. When my stepson was learning to drive, my husband and he went to a store they often had gone to before in the next town north. When they got back into the car, my husband said I want you to take us home without any help. The ten minute trip took forty-five minutes because even though he had made the drive north, my stepson hadn’t really paid attention to where he was beyond the step-by-step instructions my husband had given him. Meanwhile, my daughter, two years away from being eligible for her driver’s permit, was able to describe perfectly how to get home. I chalk this up to the fact that because she and I had taken public transportation–and she had taken it on her own once I had done it with her–she had learned the major streets and landmarks near by. Knowing she could find her way home–whether driving or on foot or using public transportation gave her enormous confidence.

Teaching your kids these lessons and setting these expectations for them for middle school means they will have time to master them by the time they hit high school. Armed with self sufficiency and self efficacy, your teenager will be able to focus on expanding into the world–for jobs, for internships, for summer travel programs, to be leaders on school teams and in school clubs. Most importantly, they will be ready to go off to college as the 18-year-old adults the state considers them to be. They will have skills to handle roommates, a large campus with lots of buildings, clean clothes, getting themselves fed, handling their money, talking to professors, deans and resident assistances, etc. etc. They will not find the need to text their parents every day just to stay on track. Can you imagine checking in with your parents every day when you were in college? No way! To set your kids free, train them up bit by bit.

The Perfect Network Marketing System!

Network marketing is hard. Don’t kid yourself and truthfully don’t even attempt a network marketing venture unless you either have or plan to put into place a highly potent and highly duplicatable network marketing system
geared for 2005 and beyond.

Before I tell you what a perfect network
marketing system
should look like let’s talk about what doesn’t
work for most
network marketers. As I’m sure you probably
know, network
marketing is notorious for having a 95% failure
rate. Let’s
talk about why.

Have you ever heard of Occam’s razor?

Basically it states that the simplest
explanation for a
phenomenon is usually the best. We’ll use this
theory to
explain why more than 95% of network marketers
fail.

Ready?

Most network marketers fail because the
marketing methods
that they are taught don’t work 95% of the time.
Pretty
simple right?

So we’re led to ask the logical next question,
what are most
fledgling network marketers taught?

Well, I can only speak from my experience, but
what I was
taught was to buy and cold call leads.

Now, I’m not going to say this doesn’t work, but
I will say
is that after six months of cold calling leads
for 3 hours a
day with very little success this tactic doesn’t
work for
me. Don’t get me wrong some people are very good
at cold
calling leads, but most people aren’t.

What happens to most people after they’ve spend
thousands of
dollars on leads with very little success after
months of
effort?

They give up.

Another factor contributing to why most network
marketers
fail is the type of leads they use. Why does the
type of
leads make a difference?

Business opportunity leads, the leads most new
network
marketers are told to use, are generic. These
leads answer
an ad that just asks them if they want to be
financially
free, or make money from home or something like
that.

Well . . . of course they do!

But that doesn’t mean they want anything to do
with YOUR
network marketing program. When the average
network marketer
calls these generic bizz opp leads the leads
don’t know
anything about the network marketer’s business
and for the
most part honestly don’t care. This leads to
the fledgling
network marketer hearing a lot of “NOs”.

Hearing NO all the time leads to quite a bit of
self doubt,
both about the network marketers own ability and
the
validity of their association with their network
marketing
company. Negative feelings begin to harbor and
as I said
before eventually the network marketer gives up,
usually
with 3-6 months.

The fledgling network marketer’s perception of
their
business goes from one of opportunity to one of
complete
doubt and negativity. Reality follows
perception, so because
the fledgling network marketer believes both
themselves and
their business as having little hope this
becomes TRUE.

That’s basically why 95% of network marketers
fail if you
asked me.

So how do we change this paradigm?

We build a Perfect Network Marketing System!

Now we get to the good stuff! What does a
perfect network
marketing system look like?

For the average home based network marketer to
be successful
certain thing MUST be in place. I will list them
here:

o Lead capture page designed specifically for
specific
Network Marketing Company:

This page must contain strong sales copy that
tells the
prospect why he wants to opt in for more
information. The
best way to do this is to offer a High Value
Free Report in
exchange for there contact information.

o Free Report specifically designed for Network
Marketing
Companies Opportunity:

The free report must be highly informative. It
must explain
all of the features and benefits of joining the
network
marketing organization as an independent
distributor and
must focus on the support and resources
available to the new
recruit should they choose to purchase a
distributorship.
The company’s products and compensation plan
must be clearly
explained here as well. If possible,
testimonials should be
used, as they are extremely powerful sales
conversion tools
in this portion of the sale process.

o Follow up Email System:

Attached to the Free Report there must also be a
follow up
system that continually markets through email
the program to
the lead. Most leads don’t act immediately and
must be
marketed to at least 7 times before they take
action. The
email follow up system must have strongly worded
sales copy
and must have a system for getting through spam
filters.

o A Continual Feed Back System that uses the
Fear of Loss:

Along the with email follow up system there must
be a
feedback system that will alert the prospect by
email when
new prospects opt into the system and invoke the
fear of
loss during this process by telling the prospect
that if the
next prospect in line upgrades to a paid
position before he
does then he will forever loose commission on
that prospect.
This is an extremely powerful psychological tool.

o Strong Support:

It’s one thing to get someone to buy a
distributorship, but
it’s a totally different thing get them to work
the business
effectively. There must be an email follow up
system once a
new distributor signs on to ensure that he
receive adequate
training on how to market successfully. There
must also be
human support at this point. So, there must be
strong
relationships built between upline and new
distributors.

o A Good Product or Service:

In order for this entire marketing process to
work, the
system must be back by a strong and ethical
network
marketing organization that sells a high demand
product that
people need and would purchase even if there
were no
compensation plans attached to it.

o You:

You must be an active part of your business. You
must be
willing and open to learn new ideas and tactics
at all
times. You must have a passion for your business
and truly
believe in the product that you plan to build your
organization around.

In Conclusion:

I’ve listed the basic component’s a of a perfect
network
marketing system. This system will involve NO
cold calling
because the prospect will opt in to request more
information
specifically about your business before you even
talk to
them.

Cold calling generic bizz opp leads and hearing
a lot of
NO’s is what causes most network marketers to
fail. We want
to avoid this at all cost. This is what this
system is
designed to do!

By having your prospects opt in specifically for
more
information about your product and business plan
and then by
giving them a detailed report explaining all of
the above
before you even speak to them your chances of a
successful
sales conversion will greatly be increased. The
email
follow-up and fear of loss systems will increase
your
chances successful sales conversion even
further. These
factors will cut down on the number of NO’s that
the you
must endure before success. This will increase
your home
business’s duplicability vastly.

Further, having uniform training and exceptional
support are
the basics and must be present.

So,

Before you spend another dollar on your network
marketing
efforts ask yourself if you’re using a perfect
network
marketing system. If your answer is no and you
aren’t having
any success then ask yourself what you can do to
change your
system to one that will work for you and your
future
distributors using the principles that I have
detailed
above.

I struggled with network marketing myself using
the old
fashion methods, but as soon as I studied
internet marketing
and how to apply it to network marketing things
got a lot
easier. I was able to spot network marketing
organizations
that were specifically positioned for internet
marketing and
earmark what I thought to be the best of the
bunch. After
that, it was simple a matter of choosing the one
that with
what I though had the “best product”.

You can view my choice here:
http://www.the1andonly.biz. As
a result of making this choice I recruited new
members my
very first day without having to call anyone or
hear
thousands of NOs. All I do is get traffic to my
website and
I make money.

Network marketing can certainly make you rich,
that is… if
you have the perfect system in place!

Soldiers of Prosperity

Unified Mastermind

Forget big brother. He no longer cares.

Once upon a time, you spent $25,000 to $100,000 and went to college to learn and to be trained on how to be employed. Then you signed on the dotted line, slung the chain with your ID card pinched to it around your neck, your new employer trained you, nurtured you, paid for your car and your babies being born and they then showed you a ladder leaning up against the wall and cried, “go climb!”

As long as you didn’t drop the ball and make too many mistakes, you were safe and you could retire in glory. You didn’t have to worry about your career and the notion of having numerous transitional career changes, back then—would have sounded like a bad joke.

Remembering IBM

Back in the day, the company would take care of you, justice and hard work would prevail and loyalty—-going both ways—were the highest of corporate values.

That was yesterday. No, erase that. That was a generation ago!

In today’s business climate all we have— is each other.

Literally. It’s us buzz mates against big business. Now the network rules (yours) and intangibles like your network, your reputation and how well you can serve others, within your own network, is the commodity of the new economy and the Soldiers of Prosperity who champion this crusade of capitalists to other fringe dwellers.

It’s about being unified, “as one,” not separatists, working alone, next to each other, in office cubicles, for the greater good of the boss.

Did the business climate change? Huh buddy, you bet it did.

In today’s world of intense competition, restructuring, and corporate takeovers, lets not even go into the splats and “tanks” so many of the behemoths are experiencing.

Ever hear of World/Com or Toys-R-Us? What happened?

The key today is THE NETWORK! Not the corporation.

It Used To Be About Who You Knew
Today, It’s More About Who Did You Help

The key today and the new commodity is everyone’s own individual network, a network of capital, a network of trust and integrity and a network of cohesive profit margins—working for the good of all, equally, for the strong, who demand to be THE FOOD CHAIN instead of the paid pencil pusher.

You are either the hunter or the hunted. People who provide the most food always eat the best, right? But it’s a decision. Therefore the mandate leads towards unification, not DIFFERENT “levels’ of potential income.

—Side Bar—
Did you ever notice on in the world of “Big Blue” everyone is paid in relation to what their LEVEL (think pyramid) pays?

CEO: $2.1 Million

President: $900,000

COO: $610,000

Chief Executive: $350,000

Chief of Sales: $178,000

Top Salesman: $125,000

His Secretary: $34,000

Not good. Not bad. But if given a choice, would you want to control your income or have it controlled by a system that ONLY dishes out an income that the prescribed “level” pays?

Here in America, some of is prefer to BE THE FOOD CHAIN instead of working for the those that control the food chain.

It’s as I said, being the Hunter or the Hunted. U-Pick.

So many of us in the earlier days cried, “but I need the benefits!”

Here’s an idea. Why don’t you create income streams so deep that you can pay your OWN families benefits with [just] the interest from one of your savings accounts!

Or, with the “side” two or three thousand a month you earn from say, income stream # 23!

It’s a choice. Just a choice.

Today’s network is a resource of people, ideas, profit streams and a buzz about soldiering each other to prosperity. One that simply will not go away, Unlike any other time ever—–in history, more people have decided to work——as one—to manifest the greater good of themselves, of each other and their personal rights, as Americans to get filthy stinking rich.

In fact, if you are not soldering your own mastermind and serving a network around you and pushing other people ahead of you, you better start. Because that is today’s link to the new economy.

People helping people.

Why bother even thinking that the company can take care of you if the company isn’t even sure if it can take care if itself?

So where is Big Brother these days? He’s looking out for #1 and
pulling his hair out because of the constant and never ending list of new competitors that keep hurling spit balls at him. And not from across the street either. Now the competition is “global” for Pete sake!

(read that last paragraph again if you can)

RICH DAD, POOR DAD

What is making people successful today is sharing resources and networks with each other and “love is the killer app” (incredible book by Tim Sanders)! Just look at the networking books that have been become best sellers by Robert Kiosaki

Personal networks have become “bank” and that is the new economy.

As marketing fans—think Jay Abraham on crack!—we have read the marketing books, learned the psychological triggers and now we all know what impulses people to buy, we went to the motivation seminars and we even own the t-shirt to prove it!

POSITIVE THINKING

However, trying harder, chanting louder, believing in yourself more and thinking positively, while useful, if you are new, are no longer your short stack of things to get ahead with anymore.

As a matter of fact, it’s not even about you anymore. It’s about what you can do for others and how well you can attract and mange your own network of people. The guy who said (his name is Dale Calvert), “build other people and the people will build your business” was right. So right!

Some call it Affiliate Networking. That’s what this is and that’s the buzz word and the bizz stream of the people now in the know and the people of today who are taking back what the CEO’s and the office cube patrol monkeys took from us. Our security. Our pride and the fun of being on the hunt to get ahead.

So who are we?

Soldiers of prosperity.

We are “as one” and unified.

That’s who we are

Sound strange? Maybe new? Forget it. It’s an old formula that corporate types told you didn’t work.

The little guy thinks that success is something that he has to look for inside of himself. Not true. Success is all around each of us and walking by us all of the time. The key then, as a Master-Mind, is to be open to it and the sub-set to that clearly, is to be open to everyone, not to some, but to everyone around you.

Norman Vincent Peale started the crusade of “me” and if you believe the people of this world who sold you on positive thinking and that believing in yourself is the key to caviar wishes and lottery winning dreams, I’d debate that.

Start Here:

BELIEVE in me.

BELIEVE IN OTHER PEOPLE.

Yes self-image is key. But where does self-image come from?

It starts with a vision FIRST of other people.

Applaud those around you.

Build up those around you.

Give it away. For….

What you give away you get to keep.

That is a Soldier of Prosperity

Do you work where you are tolerated?

The rich work where they are CELEBRATED.

Small people can’t BUILD other people.

Be a BUILDER of others.

NEW INFORMATION

Here is new information. It’s hard to get someone who is near bankruptcy to start chanting, “I can do it. I can do it.”

It’s hard to take the employee MIND and teach them over night to start getting pumped up about their potential to start earning $25,000 per month. That’s not something we can easily.

So start here and teach people this.

Step 1: BELIEVE in other people FIRST

Step 2: Start to DO and SEE things as they see them.

Step 3: Little by little, your own belief, in yourself, will start to grow.

But most people never even thought of having a mentor or a coach. Except for Millionaires like Michael Jordan and Tom Cruise. They have coaches, stylists, fitness trainers and assistants. Helpers.

Do you have a coach? Do you have a life-style coach? Why not.

UNIFIED MASTER-MIND:

Where I started and how I climbed from small to bigger was by believing first in other people. Back then, when I was scraping to pay bills and all of that “I used to be poor and now I am rich” rhetoric, but back then, even when I thought of myself as a squished little jobber, I drew GREAT vision and tremendous HOPE by running next to other people who were undeniably ringing the bell and making a killing by building up other people and helping other people create and build their own personal affiliate networks.

Terrible Odds
If you focus on yourself you are the only game in town. Terrible odds by anyone’s measure However, if you focus on other great people you just can’t help but advance your own thermostat, raise your own expectations of possibility, balloon your own earning potential, build a richer network of fellow Soldiers–you can’t help but grow large.

My first two steps out of the gate where (a) in my gut, believing in everyone around me even more than I believed in little ole me (b) believing in our free enterprise system with so much zeal that short of success simply wasn’t an option to me.

THE MASTER-MIND: Your Greatest Resource!

If you are new and the idea of masterminding, (people sharing business resources collectively as a network) and of all of a sudden having hundreds of new friends and cool new biz-mates at your simplest of whims, if that notion seems foreign to you right now, only because you are new, guess what and good news, we have been here and doing this, really, since the middle fifties.

Remember Glenn W. Turners network, “DARE TO BE GREAT!”

What we do and what we will explore with you is not anything new. The difference though, is now networking has become a national obsession for some and even a priority for many, whereas years ago, this form of networking, as a business, was only a by product of a larger business model.

Today? The network IS the business!

The old adage, “Time is money” is way old century and very Machiavellian (urrrr! ruff-ruff!) thinking.

The Network is The Model

The Master-Mind is Where The Money Begins

The “now think” is this, the network is revenue. Not [just] money. Revenue. Equity. Residual income.

Stuff big brother always knew about but kept away from the cogs in the wheel. The employees worked for a wage while the big hairs and the people who dined in the corporate cafeteria worked for equity and residual slam dunks.

In the last century we worked to make money. Now here in the new economy of people, we work for a loving instead.

Now “loverage” rules (see “Conversations with Millionaires” by Michael Litman and Jason Oman!) and the little guys aren’t so small anymore!

Our collective ability to SHARE THIS ALTERNATIVE THINKING with others and buying power creams any other market share that anyone wants to waste time penciling on paper and apparently, we are the new world order.

Did Bill Gates just buy-up Lotus (March 2005)? You bet. That’s because POWER begets power. That’s because the more tools Microsoft can offer people the larger their monopoly is.

POWER. Shared power. That’s what we do and that’s what we sell at Unified Master-Mind. We share our rolodexes and we share various income streams. We share our coaching and we chair the power.

No upline. No downline. No managers. It’s unified. As one.

In the streets and outside of our own network here at Master-Mind you can beat each up and claw your way up through various competitors who you destroy.

Competition and democracy is a good thing. So play hard and pray even harder. Outside. Under the red, white and blue.

Brother In Freedom

Here though, amongst your brothers and sisters of Freedom, amongst each other here, within our master-mind, it’s bringing up each other. There is not competition; call it a “safe house” if you will.

ON THE STREETS

Oh sure, the hipsters and the kids with baggy jeans may be what television (and McDonalds) prays to, but it is we boomers who cripple those CD burners in size and it is we who have the most money to purchase.

It is we who rock and never forget that.

Plus the BIG BRANDS (yawn) are begging for our trade and what you will dig up in chapter one will be worth two Martini’s–not one.

Integrity and Being Likable are Intangibles
The difference between working for money and building a network is that when you work on a level that is higher than simply money, your equity becomes residual.

Which points back to each of our own individual intangibles, i.e., your network, your reputation and your ability to serve the network and for the good of all within the Master-Mind

What We Do

As I said, our lineage dates back to the middle fifties and all that is old is new again. What UNIFIED MASTER-MIND is, more than anything else, is a celebration of business in and of the way it used to be and never should have stopped.

We are in the people business and the product that we sell is business consulting and business ideas that only work when you add other people and BUILD other people as hard as you build yourself.

That is why we call this UNIFIED MASTER-MIND.

Our Mantra

Use money and love people. Not vice versa. This isn’t about “them” against us. Although to know thy enemy is good business so say’s Sun Zui in the classic, “The Art of War.”

Instead, this is about us and how there is far greater security, for all of us, if we join together instead of independently being scattered under the umbrella of Big Brother.

I salute you and I salute your own network,

What You Can Learn From My Summer Vacation

‘Remember in our youth the standard return-to-school “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay? This summer has given me several lessons that have value for you today.

The story begins with a local police officer knocking on my door at 9:00 one night, asking me about my brother, Billy. Of course, you know what happens next–I find out that Billy died in a motorcycle accident a few hours earlier. He was 57, divorced, with no children. He was a floor layer, a regular ordinary guy. Like you and your team members.

First lesson: we are in a business of relationships. Don’t let corporate purchasing and hard bid tactics make you forget this. While price is part of the purchase consideration, the quality of your work and the relationships you foster with your clients, customers, and co-workers are paramount. I first realized this as word about Billy spread through the grapevine and I received numerous calls, emails, and cards of condolence from across the country. These were unexpected and much appreciated.

I saw it again at his wake. Having worked his trade in the New York area for over 30 years, my brother was well-known. On that Memorial Day weekend, we were visited by many of his associates. Not just tile guys, but the Foreman from the Laborers, and a superintendent from a General Contractor, to name a few. There were even guys who had worked with our father in the business-and some even remembered when I had helped out on a few jobs, way back when! Connections between people-that’s what it’s about.

Next lesson: how is your health? Construction is hard work, yeah. But it isn’t a substitute for quality exercise and eating. Billy wasn’t in bad shape, but he wasn’t in good shape, either. He loved to eat; cooking was his hobby. He didn’t exercise. And he had coronary artery disease. In fact, he may have had a health crisis that triggered the crash. We don’t know for sure. But we do know that he was not taking care of himself and now, he’s gone. Are you taking care of yourself? (If not for yourself, then for those who love you.)

“Divorced with no kids” sounds like an easy estate to deal with, right? Well, it would be if

  1. there had been a will (there wasn’t)
  2. there had been up-to-date beneficiaries on his life insurance policy (his ex-wife is still listed, although that wasn’t his wish; he just “never got around to” changing beneficiaries even though they’d been divorced for several years), and
  3. all his records had been kept in one place (not even close).

Looking through files and folders is never easy, but having to weed through pay stubs from 1986 makes the process even harder. I realized that my finances and directives are in a similar state of disorganization. I am currently creating what I call the Red Envelope, where all of that information is being placed to make the process easier for whoever needs to deal with it. We need to do this for the benefit of those around us. If you are a business owner or the head of a household, this becomes even more important.

By now, you may be fed up with my personal ramblings. But remember what my brother did for a living. He was a regular guy, he was just like you and the guys who work for you and with you. I am hoping you can learn from him so your team is better off.

What to Remember When Choosing Office Chairs

Posture is very important because it allows our spine to be aligned properly. When there is a problem with our posture a lot of things can happen. Poor posture may cause misalignment of the spinal cord which in turn can lead to several problems like osteoporosis, headache, stiff neck, back pains, and it can even lower down confidence. This is why it is important to carefully practice good posture and use tools that will allow you to have continuous good posture. For instance, choice of seat is important to ensure you maintain good posture practice.

If you work in an office, you’ll most probably be seated the whole day except for the occasional bathroom break or during your lunch break. If this is the case, you need to ensure you have a good seat so you are seated comfortably all throughout the day. An orthopaedic office chair will definitely help your back during the long hours in the office as it is specially designed to meet your postural needs. This chair has the right measurement to ensure you are not just maintaining the right posture but you are comfortable at work as well.

Good orthopaedic office chairs are usually 16 to 21 inches from the floor. Making sure of this height is essential because this allows your feet to be planted firmly flat on the floor. There should be 2 to 4 inches space between your knees and the back of your chair when you sit down. This allows free movement and comfort. It is essential to always be comfortable while sitting down the whole day so you will not experience any body pains and you can complete your tasks without discomfort.

The most important thing to ensure when choosing and orthopaedic chair is its lumbar support quality. This will allow not only comfort but ensure you lumbar area will not be stressed since it will be supporting your upper body weight the whole day while you are seated. Adding support and comfort to lumbar area will prevent any postural problems and discomfort. Strain on your spinal cord may also cause slipped disk or dislocation which can be very painful and will cause greater problems when it impedes veins in the spinal column. It helps if there is good cushion on the chair for maximum comfort. Foams too soft are not ideal. Having a firm padding made up of breathable cloth can be comfortable at the same time while ensuring good postural alignment.