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Merry Christmas 2012

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all in a warm, cozy house enjoying the day right now. For some, Christmas is over. Some don’t celebrate it. Whatever the day is for you, I hope it’s an enjoyable one.

I made a Christmas vlog but I’ll post text below it.

Merry Christmas 2012 from Tiffany Dow

I’m sitting here waiting for my baby boy to get home. (My oldest). He went with his dad to visit their side of the family today but it’s starting to turn into sundown and those streets will freeze and I want him HOME. Read the rest of this entry »

If You Care About Your Kids, You’ll Snoop

Hi everyone! I’m a snooper. I told my kids early on to expect me to snoop – on their social media, in their rooms, on their phone. I’m digging. If they don’t want something found out, then they’d better not do it.

It’s important to me that parents adopt a snooping habit and be up front with your kids about it. Trust me, they’ll mess up anyway and forget that you’re being nosy.

Why snoop?

Back when we were growing up, there wasn’t the social aspect of life like there is now. The Twitter, the YouTube, the Facebook, the text messages, the sexting, the bullying – and all that. Yes we had bullying, but not like this. Not 24/7/365 where you can’t get away from it and it spreads in such a violent viral manner it’s global in an instant.

Kids do NOT want to get parents involved if there’s a problem. They’re worried that you’ll cause a scene and make it worse. And you shouldn’t do that if you do find something out, unless it’s warranted.

I’ve discovered several things snooping on my kids. I’ve learned some things they did against my wishes. I talked to them about it – nipped some things in the bud – put things in place so it wouldn’t happen again. I’ve discovered bullying going on and instead of interfering, I armed my kids with a plan that worked.

Kids are learning. They are pushing boundaries. It’s normal. I did it! And I look back now as an adult and wish my parents had snooped on me, had known what to watch out for. They NEED someone there to stop them from going over a cliff that they may not realize could be very harmful – whether immediate or just a regret they have later in life.

I don’t care if you disagree with me or not. I’m saying snooping is good, period. No one will convince me it’s not.

I’m tired of seeing suicides from kids who have been bullied and the parents on TV crying, saying, “She was smiling at dinner, and went into her room and hung herself. We had no idea.”

Well maybe if you were snooping on her Facebook, on her cell phone, you would have seen the evidence and protected her. I’m TIRED of parents not protecting their kids. That’s what it all boils down to – protecting your kids from their own mistakes or from abuse of others.

Tiff

Today and Tomorrow – Laughs and Nerves

Hi everyone! My kids had a great first day at school yesterday, but what happened on the way home wasn’t so wonderful. We stopped off at the store so I could grab a few things and my 12 year old son (who is already taller than me) decides to use my front windshield to help him push his shoe onto his foot (I was already out of the car).

A big spiderweb of cracks broke out onto the windshield and he was so sad and worried when he told me. I couldn’t even get mad I felt so bad for him. So today they came out to put another windshield in to the tune of $340. Secretly, I’m kind of glad – my old one always had some sort of cloudy appearance and it whistled in the rain. LOL!

My sneaky little Scarlett scolded her big brother and said, “Why did you TELL her?” As if I wouldn’t notice the big spiderweb of cracks right in front of me. LOL! She cracks me up. She told me who she felt would be a problem child in her class yesterday and she was very annoyed because he rudely interrupted the teacher who, in her words, “studied for like 10 years to learn how to teach us!” She hates for the teacher to feel unloved and that’s what talkers do (she would have hated me in class – I couldn’t shut up).

Yesterday, in addition to not getting all my cleaning and Me stuff done, I also didn’t get my Branding or Fiction tasks done. But otherwise, I accomplished a lot. What I did today is start with the stuff I didn’t get done yesterday and then moved through the calendar sheets as normal.

I’m a little distracted. Tomorrow is my doctor’s appointment and now I want to be like an ostrich and stick my head in the sand and not find out any bad news.  Something’s definitely not right, but I pray it’s something minor. Of course what’s worse is I found a link to a young man aged 28 who posted his final farewell yesterday after a long battle with cancer. UGH why did I have to see that? It was on a news website so of course I click.

Immediately, I begin the movie reel in my head of what my “final farewell” video blog would say. I start planning to do a whole series of vlogs for my children if I get bad news tomorrow – see how I work myself into a frenzy? At least it’s early in the day (10 AM) so I’ll get it over with fast. I hate not knowing if tomorrow will be a relief, devastating, or more “wait and see the unknown” stuff.

Oh good gosh I had to come update this post because it’s  6 PM and I am getting everything prepared for the doctor’s tomorrow and I brought out my last 2 years’ lab sheets from my doctor’s and I see something that says >59 and a note about CKD etc. I go Googling while on the phone with my sister Jeni – she tries to BEAT me to Google. I’m telling her LESS than 59.

She says, “Send me a pic of the lab sheet.” So being the teacher that she is, she corrects me and says, “Tiffany! That’s GREATER than! Remember the PacMan!” LOL! So she walks me off THAT ledge. I laughed and told her I’d already diagnosed myself in 5 seconds flat thanks to Dr. Google with Chronic Kidney Disease. She laughed and said, “I know you had!!”

One good thing to come of all this is my intake of Cokes has dropped drastically. I’m at like 1/2 a Coke every OTHER day. I was living on them previously. I’m all about water and 1 cup of milk now. Just used to it. So that’s good.

Well, I’m sure I’ll blog tomorrow about what I find out. Pray for me – and if you don’t pray, cross your fingers and toes at 10:15 AM Central Standard time for me. LOL! Maybe if we all speak at once it’ll work, you think? 🙂

Tiff

Raising Entrepreneurs

I’m curious how many of you have kids or grandkids who want you to show them the ropes about marketing? Many of you long timers on my list might remember when my 16 year old son Dylan wanted an air soft rifle that cost $300 – so he created 3 Squidoo lenses and sold them for $100 each to get it.

Well now my 12 year old son Shawn has been bitten by the marketing bug. He wants an Alienware computer for gaming and the very base model is $700+. So he asked me to help him figure out a way to earn it online.

I bought him a domain on a topic he’s an expert in – Minecraft (it’s a game). And I set up a blog. He made his own header and he had me show him ONCE how to post a blog entry and he’s got it down perfectly – adding images, spacing it, and even scheduling posts for days later.

Here’s his site:

Minecraft Gaming

I’m so proud! I just did this with him 2 days ago. I was amazed at how fast he picked it all up. So for monetization, I put his AdSense ads up, added one Amazon item he said was popular, and an ad for a ClickBank product.

I plan to buy him that CB product and let him review it. He said, “So I say all good stuff about it, right?” I said, “No – you tell the truth. You want people to trust you and if that means you have to ding the product because it’s not perfect, then so be it.” I love teachable moments!

I told him about you guys – how the REASON you do buy stuff I recommend (and marketers tell me my conversion rate outranks the big dogs percentage-wise) is because when I review something, I’m honest – and I protect y’all. I told him he wants to be a leader like that. He agreed.

He had already gotten all worked up telling me how he didn’t want to use ANY keyword phrases with “free download” in it because he thinks that is SO scummy that people are ripping off the product owners who worked so hard to create Minecraft. He wants to only link to the real paid version of the game.

Proud moment!

I showed Shawn how we’ll search for ways to monetize his site, including:

  • Having him write his own guide with video tutorials using Camstudio
  • Looking for affiliate programs (ie: one keyword is Minecraft Servers and there are sites with affiliate programs he can earn from that).
  • Promoting CB products.
  • Promoting Amazon products
  • Getting traffic going for AdSense revenue.

He’s VERY excited. I am also showing him how to create Squidoo lenses. And of course, I love his writing style.

How many of you are teaching younger people to pursue online marketing? I’ve told my kids they ought to start now and have a cushion to build on. Shawn’s even going to advise me (for pay) when I create a Minecraft PLR pack for my own store. I told him he could walk me through it as I write and I’d give him a fee for advisory and I think I’ll also give him the sales from the pack too – why not?

I love that my kids are growing up in the age of technology. They’re so at ease with it. Scarlett had computer class in Kindergarten and they used them constantly in the classroom. Shawn, too. It’s wonderful!

Tiff 😉

 

Prioritizing Family or Business Tasks

Hi everyone! I released that Confidence Newsletter this past week and I got several emails and comments about the guilt syndrome that occurs when you have to choose to do a business task over spending time with loved ones – or vice versa.

Everyone goes through this. I did just this weekend. I had HUGE plans to get all sorts of work done. I was well organized, finally feeling better from that respiratory infection…

Then Friday night I had my son Shawn (age 12) type up his history final exam answers from his study guide. He was up until 1 AM doing it. I had no clue it would take him that long but it was a HUGE packet.

Saturday morning, as I’m sipping coffee and getting ready to work, I tell Shawn to print it out so he can start studying. He gets on his computer and looks like he’s about to pass out.

“Mom?” he says…

“Yeah….?” I answer cautiously.

“I forgot to  hit Save.” he replies. Oh. My. God. All that work gone because he forgot to hit save. And today he was supposed to study that and his other classes.

Well life throws us curveballs all the time, right? I’ve been kicked and beaten by this upper respiratory infection which set me WAY back in what I had planned workwise. That’s why I was ecstatic that I was feeling better and could work all weekend catching up some.

Then this? Well I don’t even have to weigh it in my head – my son’s needs trump everything else. So for the rest of the day Saturday and ALL day Sunday I sat here on my couch, Texas History book on my lap, making 3×5 index cards for him to study while he went ahead and studied his other exam reviews for other classes.

I will do anything for my kids – especially for their educational well being. He was grateful and I was grateful that I COULD do it for him. But it didn’t mean I didn’t feel let down about work.

Still, I don’t dwell on it. Yes, I could have gotten caught up. But I hope someday my son, when he’s a dad, remembers how his Mom spent her whole weekend helping him prepare for finals – and I hope he does that for my grandkids and doesn’t yell at them, but gently understands they made a mistake and now need help.

And sometimes I have to put my kids’ needs on hold (like if they want me to play) for a bit while I DO focus on work. But I only do that if it’s something that’s not a necessity. Barbie can wait a bit. But not forever.

My thumb hurts from hand writing all of the notes out on index cards. I’m further behind than I was before on work stuff. But by God my son feels loved – and isn’t that all that matters when our lives come to an end someday?

It is for me…

Tiff 😉

A Child’s Gratitude Journal Shows Our Faults

Hi everyone! About a week ago, right before we got sick, I went to Barnes and Noble with my Mom and while I was there I picked up a gratitude journal for me and my little girl (Scarlett, age 7) to do every night before bed.

I chose to get her in this habit early on, because I’d noticed that when she got into the car after school, when I asked how school went, she focused on everything that went wrong.

I don’t want her to be a doom and gloomer. I want her focused on all the good her day held. She was very excited about the Journal – it’s pink and it says, “Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake.” (Because isn’t that what life’s really all about?)

So every night before bed, we each take up half the page. I write what I’m thankful for and she writes what she’s thankful for.

Last night, I read her entry. It said, “I’m thankful that I have a Mommy who isn’t grumpy – even when she’s sick.”

My little girl is just like me. Other people’s moods greatly affect her. I’m the same. If you email me short and snippy…well I might bite you (figuratively speaking) or break down in tears, depending on how strong or broken I am at that very moment.

I always try to be mindful of how my mood is so that it doesn’t affect others. My family talks about how I get over things fast. It can be a problem in some ways – because I can end an argument and smile and laugh immediately after. That’s not the problem – the problem is that I get annoyed when others can’t “get over it” quickly, too.

I feel like, “Why waste time in a pissy mood?” I’d much rather spend as many seconds here on this Earth as HAPPY as possible. If something’s over, it’s over! Celebrate.

My kids LOVE this quality in me. They never have a day where Mom’s in a bad mood. Mom’s never in a bad mood…except for maybe a few minutes while she gets onto them about something. Then it’s over!

I might scold Scarlett (that’s her to the right on Circus day – the same day Mommy dressed up as a clown) for spilling a drink and leaving it there not wiped up, for example. But as soon as she gets it up, it’s over! I then call her over to sit in my lap and get a big hug. I don’t want any precious moments with her spent in a way that leaves her with bad memories of me.

I just called out to my son as I was writing this and asked, “Shawn, do I ever have days when I’m in a bad mood?” He said, “No – just moments and then it’s over.”

So I don’t care if you have kids or not. Try to spend a day “getting over it.” Keep calm and have a cupcake.

I am NOT saying you shouldn’t get irritated, mad or even Honey Badger over stuff. But do it, and be done with it. Practice this and see if you have a happier mindset.

It’s sad to think that our grumpy moods affect those around us. I see it in the grocery store when someone takes their mood out on a cashier. Or in traffic when people drive crazy because they’re irritated about whatever else in their lives.

Calm down. Have a cupcake.

Tiff 😉

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