Conversations about Kindness

Leave a comment

Kindness is just love with its workboots on. ~Author Unknown

Do you think traits such as kindness and compassion can be taught or are some people endowed with these traits from the start (innately)?

Many educators feel character education is the only way to reduce bullyng in schools.

YouAreNeverAloneFoundation.org has found a way to involve children in their program “I Matter, You Matter: Let’s Start the Conversation.”

In fact, school kids put their most pressing questions down on paper hoping to help improve their relationships with schoolmates, their families and friends. Through practicing empathy and understanding other’s points of view, the goal of this program is to advance listening and compromising skills and provide help in identifying one’s own feelings, too.events_kindmatter_overview_logo Teachers, your school can become involved, and the questionnaire that is being used in schools to begin the dialogue between children can be downloaded on-line. 

Caring coins are also available with this program, which is an easy way to pass a message from person to person. More than 176,000 of these wooden coins have been shared around the world as a part of the YANAF mission. It started at the grassroots level to inspire caring connections in our community and the greater world by providing hands on opportunities to be kind.”

If you are concerned about our future generation of children, please spread the word about this program.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.

Advertisements

Bringing Cheer over the Holidays

Leave a comment

Let’s state something up front! There is no perfect life. There just isn’t. Postings on social media might lead us to believe otherwise but, remember, we are often only seeing the good parts. During the holidays people ramp up their efforts to create images of having perfect lives and Christmases.

Everyone has struggles and things to overcome in life. But as they say, what you do with those challenges is what counts. That is why it’s important that for those who have inspirational stories to tell and feel they could write a book about it, to do so. The reason I penned a memoir in the first place was to help others who struggle with health issues understand that our attitudes profoundly affect our well-being.

I’m very proud to say that this past Christmas, thanks to the Mickey Barrows Memorial Endowed Fund which “benefits children who are confined to the hospital during the holidays,” copies of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected found their way to families through the Childrens Colorado Foundation in the Denver area. The hope for the initiative is that the book brought some smiles and cheer to faces and encouragement to teen cardiac patients who were hospitalized during the holidays. The book has won the Harvest Book Award in the young adult category and two EVVY awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

So, for anyone who is considering writing a narrative that will bring light and love to others, here is my message: Help others to know you are never alone.

Your story matters!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul and the EVVY award-winning anthology Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

See you back here on Monday!

 

 

Elemental Truths

Leave a comment

When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story’s voice makes everything its own.”  ~ Unknown

In the Oven, a chapter in the award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is one family’s Christmas story. The anthology shares an elemental truth about many life lessons which are shared in a unique voice. Adults and children can enjoy the memoir together.

The real treasure lies in the audio book. For your reading pleasure, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected is also available in paperback and e-book. Pictures in both of these formats greatly enhance the reading pleasure.

Here is what other readers say about Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

I enjoyed Gift of a Lifetime so much I read it three times. What a character was Fanny. So much devotion to God and the family. ~ Leonie, from Brisbane, Australia

Such a heartwarming and inspiring story. The author did an amazing job and it was a very easy read! Once I started I did not want to put it down. I will definitely pass this one on to my friends and family. ~ Pam

Fanny and her winsome ways are a must read! Can’t wait to also listen to the audio version of this inspirational book. ~ Grace

cookiesI really loved this book because it is so well written. It is personalized story of how the “help” (Fanny) had such a positive influence on the young children in the Batton family. This is a story of love and wisdom sprinkled with humor to get through adversity. ~ Carol

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. Do return to All Things Fulfilling.

 

Up the “Awe” Factor for Kids

Leave a comment

Your deepest roots are in nature.  No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation. ~  Charles Cook

In a world where there is tremendous focus on material things, how do we increase children’s “awe” factor about the natural world?

milkweed

Skip the frequent trips to the mall, and head to the great outdoors for fun and activities instead. Insist upon it as the parent. Teach your child to take notice of the spectrum of colors in the flames of an autumn bonfire. Next spring sit quietly with your family and listen to the crickets tone. Do it again  as spring moves into summer and as that fades into fall. You will notice there is a difference in the tones of one of nature’s creatures.

Point out the milkweed pods in a field and the fluff that blows through the air when it dries and opens. Let your child experience the difference in taste between a just-picked tomato off the vine and a refrigerated one.

vintage harvest

Visit the local farm to see where hens lay eggs, or to observe newborn lambs in the spring.  

Take a group of children on a hike and bring along a wildflower guide or a bird book – see how many species you can identify.

hiking

Go on a scenic family bike ride or watch a fishing boat as it unloads the catch of the day.

biking

Play outside on a snowy day with your family. Watch each crystal formation land on your gloves and examine how two snowflakes are alike – just like people.

Substitute digital playmates with neighborhood friends. Host baseball games at your place or invite kids to join in for some jump rope fun.

softball

kids-jumping-rope

You may be met with rolls of the eyes and bored “uh-huhs” as you point out the beauty in nature, but with time your child will grow to appreciate the outings. As kids mature they begin to “get it” and share the wonders of the world with others who appreciate and value the same kinds of things.

kids-beach

Your family will also benefit from times of special togetherness. With the holidays coming up it is a good time to start changing habits and initiating new traditions and living through the process of discovery.

There is an eye-opening documentary film that addresses children’s nature deficit disorder. The value of outdoor play for children is significant, especially in the digital age when children spend far too much time indoors.

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Tinctures and Hues

1 Comment

Innocence tinctures all things with the brightest hues.” ~Edward Counsel

Last summer my sister and I returned to our childhood community.

In our travels we discussed how things aren’t always how they seem to be. In our youthful minds two hills that were in our neighborhood, which we climbed to go to the bus stop and to visit our friends up the street, seemed to be ginourmous. Oh how they added to the burdens we beared as we headed off to school with our backpacks feeling unprepared – homework not completed, reading assignments ignored and mounting peer pressure as we matured.

As adults we saw for ourselves that the many challenges we faced were merely molehills rather then mountains. With age, everything comes into real perspective.

In my memoir, I mention childhood illness, and how fortunate I was to go through the most difficult times of my life unaware of the seriousness of my condition and my pioneering heart surgery.

For the Sake of OthersGiving children tools for resilience in life is a lifelong gift that you can bestow upon your children. Dr. John Townsend’s book, which I posted a blog about last week, talks about how entitlement for people of any age is not always the best way to go through life because we learn from our hardships. If you would like to read more about the importance of teaching children to be resilient, I’d also suggest this website.

Look forward to your return tomorrow. The importance of friendships will be our topic on All Things Fulfilling.

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard.

 

 

Pairing Health, Humor and Children

Leave a comment

Were you paying attention? Sometimes it is the little things that count. Did you see the reference between the medical school mentioned on the August 25th  blog posting on www.allthingsfulfilling.com and a highly treasured author of children’s literature? Go to Celebrate Aging  and play I SPY and see if you can figure it out.

The beginnings of the creative talent of “the doctor” who has brought millions of children joy became clear to me when I read an article in the September/October 2015 issue of Yankee Magazine. Here is an article that explains it even more.

Now, there is a new generation of books from the Cat in the Hat Learning Library that teach youth the basics of healthy living. They are part of the Healthy America program for Children.

Since future generations of children will benefit from the knowledge aspiring physicians acquire through this famed health institution and its research facility, it seems only logical that the medical school carries the name of an alumni. He has brought smiles to faces of children in many countries through his 47 books. Check it out!

Cat in hat healthier America

Cat in the Hat healthier America book 2

Print

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

All it Takes is a Picture

Leave a comment

Isn’t it funny how all it takes is a picture to stir memories up?

Highlights for Children Puzzle

I am posting this blog especially for my mother this morning on All Things Fulfilling, I hope she sees it.

Mom,

Do you remember the hours you and I sat in doctor’s waiting rooms looking at Highlight’s for Children Magazine passing the time away waiting for my cardiology appointments. When I came across this image, I thought of you. Now that I am a mother, I can relate just a little to what you went through with a critically sick child. I am sure as you waited with me, your anxiety was by far much greater than mine, even though I was the patient.

Anyway, Mom, those days of Johns Hopkins, Sinai  and all the other doctors we visited are long past us. Thankfully I came out on the all better side. I know you don’t need any reminders of those days because they are etched in your mind forever. But this image reminded me of how we found something fulfilling in even the tough stuff. We enjoyed being together and solved these kinds of puzzles. It was our alone time. You probably thought it didn’t mean much to me but it did. So much so that seeing this image stirred all the memories up some six decades later. Thanks for being by my side and I look forward to a visit with you and Dad soon! Can’t believe it has been a year since I’ve seen you! Love, Sue

This blog is brought to you by the author of the award winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.