Tag: Happiness

What’s a Soul Mate?

What’s a Soul Mate?

As the American writer Richard Bach said, “A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are.”

Not just anyone can fulfill you the way your soulmate can. There’s a world of a difference between your soulmate, your heart’s other half and a life partner — a person who lacks the elements to mold perfectly to you. Your soulmate makes you feel entirely whole, healed and intact, like no piece is missing from the puzzle. A life partner, on the other hand, can be a great supporter and long-time companion, but is limited in his or her capacity to enrich your spirit.

Today Eric and I drove to the Mayo Clinic, on our way home I had one of my playlists on. Soulmate by Josh Turner came on.  As I listened to the words,  I turned to Eric and said “We’ve been through so much together haven’t we?”  He agreed and we decided through the good and the bad we have made it through. Has it always been easy?  I will have to insert here HELL NO. No relationship is perfect, and even soulmates will experience ups and downs. However, because of those time the bond will be much harder to break. I believe Soulmates seem to have an easier time accepting, even learning to love, each other’s imperfections.  It took me along time to realize we needed to accept and love each other for exactly the way we are, accepting both the great and awful tendencies we all have. This is so hard sometimes especially if we have expectations beyond what our soulmate can deliver.

After 37 years together Eric and I have learned those triggers that can sometimes have us jumping to conclusions. We usually know exactly what the other’s reactions or thoughts are when someone speaks or something happens.  A soulmate is not someone you can walk away from that easily. It is someone you can’t imagine being without, a person you believe is worth sticking with and fighting for.  Over the years we have seen each other through some pretty hard situations-some that last for years.


I can’t imagine my life without Frenchie-he truly knows my faults, weaknesses and fears yet still loves me through it all. Not a day goes by that he does say “I love you, You are Beautiful”

XOXO Monya


Why You Should Smile

Why You Should Smile

Chloe and Blake’s Wedding

There are people who love to star-gaze; I love to smile-gaze.  I miss my smile, it’s difficult to look back on pictures and see how vibrant my smile was, and how beautiful my teeth were when I smiled. Yesterday I was looking for the picture of Eric and I in Croatia and came across so many pictures of me smiling, some had me smiling as I reminisced  and some really made me sad. Knowing Dr. Lettieri was watching the World Cup I text him the picture and told him we were rooting for Croatia.  His reply back was “If Italy isn’t there who is watching?”  (smarty pants, he’s Italian)

Then he said “Nice photo of you and Eric.”

I text “Thank you, but I miss my smile”

Dr. Lettieri “Sorry”

Me “It’s not your fault”

Dr. Lettieri “I know but I can still feel bad for you”

Me: “I know you do, and I thank you for that”

Dr. Lettieri: (rainbow emoji)

Me: “If I hadn’t lost my smile I’d never appreciate it like I do, and I never would have met you. Things can always be worse.”

Dr. Lettieri: “There are turns in our lives that help to define us, it’s a Navajo belief, Seven Turns. I came across it because of an Allman Brother’s song; Seven Turns. In my studies I came loved the philosophy.”

Then he sent me a link: The Title refers to a Navajo belief that there are seven times in life that you must make a decision that determines your path. Taking a wrong path means you must either backtrack or stay on the road to ruin.

Me: “So did I take a wrong path, somewhere along the way?”

Dr. Lettieri: “You did not take the path, you are making the decisions based on what is brought before you.”

This is the YouTube video Dr. Lettieri sent me


You can see why I love him, he really has a great heart and an old soul. I imagine he see’s so much anguish in his profession as a trauma surgeon. I appreciate his candor with me, but I love his perspective on life because of what he has seen and experienced. In my opinion-there is no trauma surgeon that even comes close to his skill, cutting edge ‘never give up’ style he is always thinking of his patients and what he can do to make life easier for them.

I downloaded that song he recommended, did some research on the Navajo traditions and thought about the philosophy behind the words of the song, today when I got in my car to go home after work it synced from my phone to my car and I played it on repeat the entire drive.  It made me smile thinking about Dr. Lettieri and his way of explaining to me my place in life right now has nothing to do with the choices I made, but more about what I am learning while given; and after receiving the trial.

So….why do I think you should smile?  Well one reason is because I can’t, so next time you bust out a giggle or two, think of me.   Another reason is because we show an exuberant amount of joy when we smile and it may just help someone who needs it.

We have so much to smile about, be happy you are not the one who can’t, you have a choice so smile and don’t ever take it for granted. It is a blessing.


XOXO Monya Williams

Living With Autism

Living With Autism

My amazing daughter Kayla is our oldest, she and her husband Jeremy have three boys diagnosed with Autism. Recker is the oldest 8 and 1/2, Ezra is 5 and Theo just turned 2. We love these boys so much, our entire family is in love with them, but even being the ‘grandmother’ (Bonbon) I don’t see the day-to-day struggle, the melt downs and the emotional rollercoaster Autism creates in a home.  Kayla does such a great job creating awareness on social media and within the walls of our home, still I can’t imagine the 24 hour care she gives them individually.  Each one of these special spirits come with their own needs, Recker is amazingly sweet and kind but is non-verbal, still wears a diaper, has to be constantly watched and shows his frustration by taking it out on mom or dad with a fist once in a while. Recker also loves to be outside, swims like a fish, is intrigued with fire and loves Disney movies.

Ezra age 5

Ezra, boy oh boy, this guy is talking up a storm but deals with emotional break downs daily, he can be irrational and moody it’s a constant wining problem. Ezra loves to be around family, plays well with other’s and wants to be an ‘ar thist’ (artist) he’s also scared to death of creepy crawly things, spiders, bugs etc. He is probably the most literal child I have ever met, if I said to him “You are cute” his response most likely would be “No, I am Ezra” This sounds like typical                                                                        behavior and yes, it could be however you’d have to see how he reacts to understand the emotions behind his fears. When he leaves our home he always comes up to me and say’s “I sad” I already know what his response is but always say “Why are you sad?” He comes back with “I going to miss you, I not want to go home” but if his parents were to leave without him there would be a total meltdown. So we hug, say “I love you” and off he goes.

Theo age 2

Theodore, Theo, Teddy….those are his names.  No matter what we call him he comes running.  Theo is on the spectrum, at what level we don’t know.  Kayla say’s he shows signs just like Recker and Ezra did, so right now while he seems typical we enjoy every minute of his cuteness because we never know when or if regression will start.  This little guy is pretty content, he points and shows us things he wants, takes our hand to lead us to rooms to play and is just starting to say a few words.  Sunday night he took all the Disney magnets off my freezer one at a time and brought them to me saying “who that?” and as a typical child would do at age 2 he is constantly asking “what that?” while he points to something he wants us to explain.  If I ask him “Do you want a popsicle?” (or just about anything I ask if he wants) his answer is “uh huh” while shaking his head “yes”  He also loves the outdoors, but does not like to swim in the pool like Recker and Ezra do.

Kayla and Jeremy are absolutely involved in these boys lives, caring and loving for them no matter the circumstances.  I know they have their moments when they need space to cry, I also know they sometimes just laugh because what else can they do? Even as Kayla’s mother I will never understand the constant emotions they endure. I’m not sure I could do what they have and will continue to do, but I am eternally grateful for Kayla’s openness and honesty when teaching me about ASD. She is the mom who constantly researches and studies, wanting to know everything she can to help her boys process and deal with their diagnosis.

This is something she recently posted, it broke my heart but it is the reality of any parent who has children with Autism, oh and let me interject here one of the things Kayla kindly taught me–people with Autism are diagnosed it is not ‘who they are’ saying a child or person is Autistic is defining them.

and my personal favorite post, I don’t live in ‘judgement’ so this does not offend me, if it does offend you I’m sorry but it is the real life of so many families dealing with Autism. I’d like to also insert at this moment children with or people who are diagnosed with Autism are not defined by the disease, it is something they ‘have’ not ‘who they are’ Autistic defines them, being labeled as a person who is  Autistic is hurtful and not politite

This was her post and her comment was “We are literally getting our asses kicked over here.”


XOXO Monya Bonbon



My Way

My Way

So there is something to be said about Frank Sinatra’s famous song “My Way” I’ve lived a life that most people might raise an eyebrow to. I have definitely bit off more than I could chew at times.  I’ve had my share of tears and heartache but more than that I handled it my way.  One thing I can say that is much different from Frank’s is I live with no regrets.

I have stood tall at times and felt insignificant at other times. I’m glad life hasn’t been an easy road, because through the twists and turns of life I’ve had opportunity to learn I love my life. I celebrate little things, I see somethings that may seem insignificant to other people and find the beauty in them.

I am true to myself and no longer need acceptance from other people. I am always imagining new ways of making life better through my interactions with other people. It only seems natural if I have lived and learned from my mistakes, aches and pains I would want to teach other people what ‘not’ to do…right? Or be teachable enough to learn from theirs. Boy I wish it was that easy, unfortunately we all have a path or journey in life we should be learning from, we own those experiences. I’ve  been taught so much about behaviors of the ‘human’ race; we all process trial, error and successes differently.

Through life’s inevitable up’s and downs I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and build a legacy business through network marketing.  In the beginning the purpose for joining was to expand my circle of friends. When we became empty nester’s I needed the interaction with other people. I soon found out not all companies are created equal. After four years with a company I thought I knew, loved and trusted the direction of they chose to take was not in alignment with my personal beliefs….remember I live with no regrets? I could not continue to recruit friends, family or strangers into an institution I no longer believed was going in the direction I wanted for my journey in life.

I have now aligned myself with some wonderful people who have taught me more in a couple of months about business, staying congruent and the best part…..I have seen my blood work change for the good. Bottom line…….I did this all My way, even when it wasn’t a popular thing to do, or friends and family rolled their eyes at me. Staying consistent with who you are, being true to yourself and listening to the inner voice that tells you ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is essential for living a happy and productive life. Do it your way.

Monya Bonbon





I love this picture of Frenchie (Papa) with 5 of the 7 grandchildren–the joy on his face was priceless.  Most of you have probably heard this “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” I think this is a true statement My birth father was not around when I was a child, but I believe if he could do it all over again, he would have been an incredible dad. I have been blessed with some very good examples in my life of strong courageous men who didn’t have much to offer financially to their children, but provided them with love, and kindness. They taught their son’s to work hard and play hard, and taught their daughter’s to be bold, brave and to go after their dreams.

I have three son in-laws and a son who I’m proud of, they teach their children to go forth in faith-learn to laugh and enjoy life; but also give them the discipline they need to grow to be righteous and live with  integrity. Children have a respectful amount of fear for their father’s because they don’t want to let them down, their father’s are the super hero’s who they strive to become; a healthy amount of respectful fear is ok. I was a stay at home mom; I remember when my children were little they were so sick of me they’d run to the door to greet Eric yelling “Daddy is home” by the time they were teens it was a different story when the garage door opened and they knew he was home they scattered like mice to make sure they had homework done, rooms cleaned etc.  This is not to say Eric was a bad father or that they didn’t love him he told them everyday how much he loved them and still does but it’s that ‘respectful fear’ I’m talking about.

My oldest daughter Kayla and her husband Jeremy are  amazing, as I watch them raise their children with Autism I am in awe at times and wish I would have lowered my voice and softened my heart more. Blake, my only son has a good mixture of myself and his father in him. I’ve never seen a daddy more interested in his little daughter as he is, if I am watching little Weslie, Blake calls for me to do a Facetime or asks me to send pictures. His wife Chloe is a doll, I love her so much and am eternally grateful she is part of our family; very funny, smart and knows how to communicate, something I struggled with at her age. Kaitlyn, will forever be Phoenix’s and Archie’s mom….they love her and I love watching her, she is the most like me. When I watch how well she is with her boy’s I once again wish I’d done somethings different. Apparently it is true dad’s are their son’s super hero’s just ask Phoenix, he’d rather be with his dad than anyone else in the world. In his eyes’s Brian can make no mistakes and can do anything.  Haleigh is our youngest daughter, she has a son with her husband Scott they are such patient, soft spoken parents. Of course I understand little Ellis is only 8 months old but I’ve never seen them upset or filled with anxiety like I was with my first child. I look forward to seeing the personalities of all my grandchildren grow as they watch their parents and learn from example.

The truth is, I have no regrets every moment of motherhood I’ve loved.  Did I make mistakes? Ummm…YES I did, many, but right now at this moment I am in love with being a grandparent. I can’t have a ‘do over’ so I go from here, I still make mistakes, say too much, react too quickly then say “I’m sorry” Parenting is hard, according to the handbook I received when they were born I did everything wrong; but all my children are perfect to me, they found their way I did much better than my mother did and they will do even better….it’s the circle of life.

Monya Bonbon


His Grace

His Grace


So Much To See

I remember taking this picture in 2015, just a year after being diagnosed with facial paralysis. Frenchie took me on a trip between surgeries; funny I can’t remember where we were. We’ve been on so many trips together trying hard to mark everything off of my bucket list. I do recall looking out of the window far above the clouds and seeing this breath-taking view; it was at this moment I realized I have taken so much for granted; our world is beautiful so many nooks and crannies we will never explore, but just knowing they are out there gives me hope and a sense of a spirit much larger than my soul can imagine.

There is so much to see in this beautiful world of ours; but my favorite place to be is with my family, there is no other joy and peace I feel watching my children grow into happy, healthy adults who cherish one another and understand the importance of time, time together making memories to last for eternity.

I started back to work yesterday, it was physically painful however I’ll take the pain over depression any day any time. There is something about being through so many surgeries, procedures, pokes and tests that make me wonder once again what I am supposed to be learning.  I am well aware of all my weaknesses-I say damn and hell every once in a while, I judge people when I should be reaching out to them, I’m simply not perfect and not ready to die. I try daily to be better than I was the day before and so often fail in my attempt; but one thing I never do is leave my Heavenly Father out of my daily routine. He guides me and helps me to become the woman I strive to be.

This was me on May 1st, 2014 I thought I was so happy, look at my smile, my beautiful teeth. Oh how I loved to smile.  I’d finished chemo, radiation and several surgeries and was well on my way to being ‘ok’ with living with cancer. I see some wrinkles, but mostly I see joy in my eyes for the happiness I felt being alive. Then life came to a screeching halt and I was once again faced with an unfortunate life altering transfiguration.

On May 15, 2014 this was me lying in the Mayo Clinic hospital fighting for my life.  There was a sadness I had never experienced. My life would never be the same, my face would show the sadness and sorrow. There was simply no one on earth who could possibly understand what it felt like to hear my surgeon tell me “I’m sorry to tell you, your face will never be the same again, you need to get used to the new you”

That task seemed daunting and unachievable I didn’t know how I could face a world where physical beauty had become the main focus for so many people. I never realized I was one of those people, I was vain I wanted my smile back I wanted to be normal, heck I’d even take typical. With help from Dr.Lettieri teaching me grace comes from within, I have been able to somewhat come to accept who I am, what I am meant to do here on earth; and it is definitely not to be a fashion model. My Heavenly Father has so much more in store for me and I’ve come to understand true authenticity and absolute beauty comes from knowing who you are and where you are going, it comes from first loving yourself no matter the circumstances life throws at us.  It certainly sounds easier than it actually is to do, I have spent 3 years working on myself, studying and trying to teach our  youth to love their life. If all of us could see ourselves through our Father in Heaven’s eyes I think we would be surprised to know what He sees in each of us; I believe He knows my heart, He feels my pain but mostly He understands I am trying everyday to become a worthy woman of infinite worth in His eyes.

This was me just a few days ago at Shane Wright’s luncheon after his funeral; I love this picture with Archer, still bruised and swollen looking at this picture I realize my grandchildren will never know the face or person I used to be they only know Bonbon exactly how I am today, and they love me unconditionally as I do them. The woman in this picture has come a long way with still so much to learn about herself and other’s. There is no better Hope than knowing I have many years to learn and teach other’s how to cope with unforeseen circumstances and to accept to love themselves in away no one on earth can understand. I am truly blessed and Amazed at the grace He so fully offers all of us.

Monya Bonbon

See You Later

See You Later

To say it’s been a whirlwind of emotions the past 6 weeks would be an understatement. This is Shane Wright, his son Brian is married to my daughter Kaitlyn. Shane celebrated his birthday on May 24th with his wife children and nine grandchildren; two of which we share grand parenting with. Kaitlyn said his birthday was so fun, they played and danced together ate pizza had ice cream and cake. Shane sat watching his children and grandchildren laugh and play together from his own words “We’re told by Heavenly Father we may have joy in our posterity. Nothing compares to the joy that I feel when our family is all together. It’s the purest joy a parent can have. My heart is full” On Wednesday May 30th this giant of a man left this life to live with his Heavenly Father.

Shane’s posterity, such a beautiful family.

The first time I met Brian I knew he was a special man; most parents think their daughters are too good for most men but Eric and I are were so impressed with Brian we were afraid Kaitlyn would scare him off. When Brian asked Eric for Kaitlyn’s hand in marriage, he actually told him no twice. Poor Brian was living in Utah and chose to drive to Arizona twice to get Eric’s approval. I explained to Eric it is always hard on father’s to finally hand their daughter’s over to another man for them to care and love for, but it was time. We had the opportunity to meet Shane and Dee Dee Wright before they were married and immediately our hearts were bonded to them. Kaitlyn and Brian were married and had their wedding reception in our backyard in November of 2009.  I was diagnosed with cancer during their engagement and started chemo therapy just two days after their wedding; I will never forget Shane and Dee Dee’s constant prayer’s on my behalf.

Shane (grandad) Phoenix and Dee Dee (Mimi)

Over the years and two grandchildren later we grew to love this man and were so proud to have the opportunity to co-grandparent with he and Dee Dee.  Shane was a stone mason, he had an eye for perfection when it came to his profession. He also raised his children to have respect for other’s and to share the knowledge they had of the Gospel of Christ. The last time I spoke to Shane he was visiting in Arizona and had helped pick out stone for a fireplace in Haleigh and Scott’s home. We stood outside next to his truck while Phoenix played and ate snacks from his granddad’s truck.

He asked me how I was doing and told me he never misses a day of praying for me. Then he looked at me and said “Perspectives change when you know you are not going to be on earth forever, we have truly been blessed.”  Shane knew he had some time left but was also realistic enough to know what he was diagnosed with was incurable and unless he was struck by lightning or hit by a car, he would definitely die from his diagnosis.

It was evident when I sat in the Chapel at his funeral and watched over 300 people sit and listened to his family speak of Shane and his incredible accomplishments in life; and when I say accomplishments it had nothing to do with money. Shane helped youth, many young boys grow and become fine men, husbands and fathers. They testified of Shane’s undying sacrifice’s as he served others unconditionally.  I don’t believe Shane had an enemy’s, everyone loved him. His smile and attention to details lit up any room he entered. Each and every time Eric and I saw him he looked at us in the eyes and asked about us, how we were doing, how each of our children and grandchildren were–simply put he cared genuinely for people.

When Brian spoke at the funeral, he was speaking about his father but was describing himself in every way. I love Brian, I love everything about him we are blessed to have him in our family and know he will miss his father deeply but will carry on the traditions of his father and pass down his work ethic and compassion for other people to his own children.

I will miss Shane and still have a hard time believing he is gone from our lives for now; so until we meet again I will do my best to be a good person, share memories with Phoenix, Archer and their future children about the amazing grandad they had.  I never say good-bye so see you later Shane

Monya Bonbon

Memorial Day 2018

Memorial Day 2018

I’m late posting this, but better late than never I love keeping these memories close. One day my grandchildren will look back on this blog and love reading about the silly things their Bonbon does.

Kaitlyn and Brian are in Utah visiting Brian’s family, Blake, Chloe and little Weslie are in Mexico and I get to play with Kayla, Jeremy, Recker, Ezra, Theodore, Haleigh, Scott and last but not least Ellis. Memorial Day is always fun in the pool, Bar-b-Que, games and fun. I was not feeling up to sitting by the pool today, but loved the grands loving on me. Zola is Haleigh and Scott’s dog–I’m not a dog person but she’s allowed at the house. 🙂 My face say’s everything.

Ezra came and laid next to me, he is the cutest little boy ever, he hugged me and said “I love you Bonbon…..I miss you too” with raspy lisp…how could anyone not love that?

And this…..this is Theodore, Theo or commonly known around here as Teddy. It’s hard to believe in just a couple of days we will have 3 two year old’s in the family…..and it is so fun, sometimes loud, but always fun. Theo has these BIG eyes, they pierce my heart, and when he smiles oh my…even better. I have truly been blessed with some amazing grandchildren.

Today was a good day with these sweeties.

Monya Bonbon

There is an upside to feeling Down

There is an upside to feeling Down

Positive emotions always feel good but experts say the negative ones are just as important.
I think social media has so many good features and the idea of seeing into other’s lives can be used for good. Scroll through your social media outlets chances are you will see smiling faces and stories of perfect children. Couples holding hands walking at sunset on the beach. friends toasting over celebrations and promotions. There are some who post about somber moments or topics, but overall, positivity outshines negativity.

The problem with this, real life isn’t always roses and candy. Live is full of disappointments, both small and large. We are all thrown curveballs, form lay offs to losing a loved one. The problem with this is we live in an age when people put only their most perfect moments on display, it therefore would be easy to feel as if you’re the only one who ever goes through tough times.

Surprise, you are not alone, and the hard parts are just as important for a life full of happiness as positive experiences.It is irrational to think we can rid our lives of all negative experiences. I’ve always said “It’s less about what happens and more about how you deal with it”

Despite what articles, books and social media suggest, human beings are not designed to feel happy every second of everyday. Negative emotions do serve a purpose, both evolutionarily and emotionally. When we think of emotions such as sadness, stress and anxiety as red flags that your mind wants you to pay attention to, sadness and other negative feelings indicate that we nee to make some changes. When we are angry usually it is because we feel we have been wrongly accused of and feel the need to correct. If you feel anxious there may be a threat you need to address. When you are sad it means you care about a situation so deeply that it’s causing you distress. In my life negative situations have always leg me to something better like a job or new relationships. I never beat myself up when I have these feelings because it has been proven repressing negative moods can actually make you feel worse.People who are able to accept their emotions both the light and the dark-without judgement are better able to cope with stress and feel better in the long run. We need to remember Happiness is not static-it’s more about moving towards your goals. I’ve said before, when I am having a difficult day or given a not so positive diagnosis I go into my closet shut the door and either scream, yell, cry or pray. When I’m done throwing my tissy fit I go out the door and it’s over, I’ve trained my brain to deal with disappointments by doing this.

I’ve learned there are a lot of strategies to get past the difficult times. I learned from David Byrd to be present and focus on the good you have in your life right now. If you are able to use your senses to help you snap back into the present it helps. For example if you are sitting you car, feel the back of your leg touching the seat. Feel the air-conditioning blowing on you. This helps remind your brain in sensations that everything is going to be ok- you can find some peace in whatever is going on. Another good old fashion way to remove problems is to have some distractions, my grandchildren are my favorite distractions. Go to a movie, go get a manicure or pedicure maybe even a massage.

Not everything in life is black and white, some people try to sort things that happen into these neat little categories; either good or bad. I am not one of those people I live in the gray area. I think when we focus on either end of the spectrum it ignores the in-between part, the area where I usually live, the gray part. I think the gray area is an exciting are to live in, it shows that you are transitioning, and signals you’re brain that things are finally falling into place. The happiest people I know wouldn’t feel that way if they didn’t experience hard times. We grow and become who we are supposed to be when we experience all of the areas on the spectrum. Most of the people I know who have been through really tough things come out better people because of it–was it fun? Ummmm….No but the strange thing about going through the worst possible scenarios in life is that eventually they become the best things that could have happened to us.

XOXO Monya Bonbon

Happy Children

Happy Children

There are actually steps you can take to make sure you are raising children who will always look on the sunny side of things.

How many of you know happiness can be learned? Happiness is a skill trait rather than an inborn personality trait. We were all born with the natural ability to feel sadness, anger, and frustration. However, if we teach our children at a young age the language of happiness they will naturally gravitate to it first.

So many times children focus on their own needs rather than on helping others. When a child see’s their parents giving and helping other’s they are raised in an environment of intentionally looking for service to give. It’s interesting; children who are raised thinking when they ‘have’ material things they are happy vs. children who are raised to give usually end up being the one’s who get more.

When parents teach a child that making caring for other’s a priority by stressing kindness over happiness and provide opportunities for their children to actually practice caring and gratitude
it expands the child’s circle of concern to more than just a ‘me’ or ‘mine’ thinking.

This all starts with parents and grandparents attitudes. Children watched and hear everything we do and say. I recently attended a conference with Martin Seligman, director of the positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. One thing I wrote in my notes was him giving this advice as an example for parents to use rather than complaining that the line in the grocery store is too long, try saying “This line is moving so fast, we’ll be out of here in no time at all.” Optimism needs to be directed by the adults and the children will follow.

I also do not think parents should focus on perfection. Children need to hear that they should do the best they can. Psychologist say it’s more important to praise children for their effort and hard work than for their intelligence or skills. We need to teach our children that it is totally ok to make mistakes–teach them that most of life’s lessons are learned from mistakes that have been made. I was not a very great student and had a hard time focusing, I think a B+ is cause for a celebration. Perfection will and never has been achieved by anyone I know.

Some Do’s and Don’ts from my perspective:
Do: Allow your children some downtime–less stress equals happier children
Don’t: Be the mom who pushes her children to succeed at all costs

Do: Make some “me” time a happy mom leads to happy children
Don’t: Devote every second you have to your children, no matter how much they want you to

Do: Encourage quality time with their dad. Feeling loved by dad is more important than feeling loved by mom.
Don’t: Think you’re doing your children’s father a favor by handling all child-rearing responsibilities, we don’t live in the 50’s

Do: Customize your parenting approach to your child’s personality. Some children need structure, while other’s may flourish with authority. Every child is different
Don’t: Use a one size fits all approach to parenting or discipline

Do: Draw boundaries. Children thrive on routine, so stick to your guns and enforce bedtime.
Don’t: Try to be your child’s best friend

Do: Relish the messes. Too often I missed moments of joy because I was worried about small insignificant things like the dishes in the sink
Don’t: Be a neat freak, forgetting to have fun and quality time for a bunch of chores.

XOXO Monya Bonbon