Tag Archives: communication

Friday Poem – A Poison Tree

poison treeThis is quite a poignant poem by the English poet William Blake (1757-1827), and to me seems to reflect the world we live in today.

The poem is like football, a poem of two halves – albeit the first half is only the first 2 lines.

In the first half the writer says that when he is angry with his friend he tells him and the anger is forgotten –  oh, how the power of communication works so well!!!

The rest of the poem deals with what happens when we are angry with someone we actually don’t like so well. We don’t say anything, we suppress the feeling and what happens? The feeling doesn’t go away, instead it grows and grows inside of us, fed by all that negative energy and hatred until it explodes as a mighty and destructive force.

I think the underlying theme behind the poem is that communication is always a good thing. Always keep the lines open!

A Poison Tree

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

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Top 5 Tips for New Parents

Royalist or not, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (along with millions of other parents around the world), welcome their new bundle of joy into the world (and yes, I have a bet on the name!) I thought I would rake my brains to come up with a top 5 tip list.

When I had SC (just over 6 years now) there was all the build-up for 9 months and then there he was this tiny little human being that I was in charge of looking after and nurturing. It was very emotional – before they arrive you have absolutely no idea how much a child completely and utterly takes over your life. I was very much, before I had him, “Oh, I’ll be back working within a fortnight.” In reality the moment I held him against my chest a few seconds after he had been born I never wanted to leave him for one second, he was, and is so precious. I never wanted to miss a minute of him.

Children are a precious gift and from the moment they are born, we, as parents have a responsibility to raise them to becomes good, kind, thoughtful and responsible adults.

Parenthood doesn’t come from instruction manuals – no matter how many you read (and I read quite a few) – it’s a massive learning curve, especially with your first-born and we all make mistakes (I’ve made plenty) but if we do our best everything will turn out all right.

So here are my personal top 5 tips for new parents:

5.  They don’t break!

I remember when I first held SC how incredibly clumsy I felt. I was holding this tiny wriggling baby and it just felt as if every time I went to pick him up my hands had suddenly morphed into clown hands – you know where the hands are five times the size, just like those false ‘pointy finger’ hands people wear at Baseball games – and that if I picked him up wrongly he would somehow break like a china doll. It did take my midwife and my mum to reassure me that this wasn’t the case, and it really was just a case of practice makes perfect. Like changing a nappy and lifting up the legs to pop the clean one underneath the baby’s bottom – you are not going to do any harm lifting the feet up together in one hand…Oh yes, you do learn how to do many things one-handed – chopping vegetables is a positive art form one-handed!!

4.  Work Together

I was not fortunate enough to have a ‘hands on dad’, someone who would do his share of getting up early in the morning, or even just taking the baby out for a walk whilst I did a normal thing like take a shower! If you are that fortunate, you need to work together to find a routine that works for everyone – so that dad gets his fair share of changing nappies, and the early morning shift, but that he also gets to help out with the fun stuff like bath time and bed time routines. The early days are very testing for any new parents, mothers get very emotional around day 4/5 after the birth – the baby blue period – and the lack of sleep in the early days doesn’t help with tempers which is why being supportive and there for each other is vitally important in my opinion.

3.  Talk to your Baby

This might sound completely crazy, after all it’s a new-born baby, but read to your baby, talk to it, sing to it, make silly noises – it all helps with the bonding process. I started reading stories to SC the day he was born – I know he didn’t understand the stories (it was one of my favourite childhood books “The Tales of Blackberry Farm”) – but its the sound of your voice and the closeness that reading together creates. Even now, at the grand old age of 6 he will climb onto my lap with a book (we have progressed to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn) and snuggle into my arms whilst I read, and he still has a story before he goes to bed. The other thing I used to do was have him facing me in his buggy, and talk to him whilst going round the shops about what I needed to buy – I swear everyone in the supermarket thought I was completely nuts, but all interaction is good interaction! And I used to sing to him, anytime! I would pop him lying on his back on my legs and sing nursery rhymes to him and then I would pop on my musical CDs and belt out showtunes…no wonder he has a penchant for them now (and ABBA and rock music!)

2.  Cuddles

Everyone loves cuddles and there’s no need to wait for an excuse to cuddle your baby! Cuddles are fab! Cuddles are part of the bonding process. I think I spent the first 2 years cuddling SC. Literally! If we weren’t playing, he would be in my arms whilst I was doing chores. He fell asleep being cuddled. And now, we have a morning cuddle routine where I sit on the floor and he rushes from one end of the room to me and jumps onto my lap and we give each other the biggest cuddles ever, and a night-time cuddle routine, and then after-school cuddles and plain old ‘jus cos’ cuddles. Children will grow out of cuddling parents all to soon so you need to get a lifetimes worth into a short space!

1.  Trust Your Instincts

My top tip is to trust your instincts. You know your baby better than anyone. Everyone will be all too happy to give their own opinion and advice. You will read far too many text books. But trust me, no two babies are the same. Use advice, opinions and parenting books as a guideline only. Trust yourself. New parents feel under so much pressure to get things right, they feel a failure if their baby doesn’t sleep through the night within 8 weeks (it can take longer believe me! My empathy kicks in at a year, sympathy at 3, mine didn’t sleep through the night til he was 4!) You are made to feel a failure if you don’t breastfeed, if you don’t employ the ‘crying technique’, if you wean too soon, or too late, or you don’t take them to every single toddler group under the sun! Every child is different and you are the best judge of what is right for your child. Trust your instincts, they won’t fail you!

 

I lay no claim to be an expert. I am not a perfect mum. I make mistakes – I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. But I do the best job I can. I love SC more than anything and can’t imagine life without him now.

It is a hard job, the hardest job you will ever do voluntarily! You will get stressed, anxious, cross, vexated, tired, emotionally spent, I could go one, but ultimately it is the one thing that will give you the most joy and happiness in the world!

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The A-Z of Life – Communication

In all areas of life communication is key!

Fact.

But communication is not just what you say.

In fact of everything we say, 93% of the meaning is conveyed through how we say it and what our bodies do whilst we are saying it.

Only  7% of the meaning are the actual words!

Think of the expression “say one thing but mean another” – it is so true.

In a business meeting, for example, you can have the brash, Jack-the-lad who speaks complete garbage yet everyone listens and hangs on every word he utters, and the mild-mannered, shy, intellect who knows what they are talking about, yet no-one listens. Why?

And in relationships, this unspoken body language and how we say things come more into play. How you hold someone, how you talk to them, how you treat them. And those three little words, that cause such misery and turmoil, if they are said, or not, sometimes mean so much more, like, I miss you when we’re apart, I respect you, I value you, I’m a better person because I have you in my life, the thought of you makes me happy, I’m glad you found me, etc.

But with so many forms of communication these days it can seem like a minefield.

The main thing is to keep communicating at all costs.

If you stop communicating in any walk of life then people can get hurt, confused, angry, worried, etc and can be left constantly wondering.

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How Men & Women Think!

I got sent this and thought it very amusing 😉

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WOMAN’S DIARY

28 July 2007 Saturday

Saw him in the evening and he was acting really strangely.

I’d been shopping in the afternoon with the girls and was a bit late meeting him. I thought it might be that.
The bar was really crowded and loud, so I suggested we go somewhere quieter to talk.
He was still very subdued and distracted so I suggested we went somewhere nice to eat.
All through dinner he just didn’t seem himself – he hardly laughed and didn’t seem to be paying any attention to me or to what I was saying, I just knew that something was wrong.
He dropped me back home and I wondered if he was going to come in. He hesitated but followed.
I asked him what was wrong, but he just half shook his head and turned the television on.
After about ten minutes of silence I said that I was going upstairs to bed. I put my arms around him and told him that I loved him deeply. He just gave a sigh and a sad sort of smile.
He didn’t follow me up immediately but came up later and, to my surprise, we made love – but he still seemed distant and a bit cold.
I cried myself to sleep. I think he’s planning to leave me. Maybe he’s found someone else.

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MAN’S DIARY

Saturday 28 July

United lost.

Gutted.

Got a shag though!

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Goodness! No wonder research has discovered that women use many more words, and talk more than men 😉

Although she does sound a bit needy to me!

I would have thought he’d had a bad day at the office and will tell me as and when he decides to come out of his cave, if he wants to – doesn’t mean I wouldn’t care that he was sad. I certainly wouldn’t think he was planning to leave though!

I firmly believe that a trouble shared is a trouble halved, and sometimes when we get stressed about anything, it can help to have someone to talk too. Even if they can’t help with the problem, at least you don’t feel as if you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.

That’s why communication with partners is, in my opinion, vital for a healthy relationship.

We all need our own “cave time” occasionally, but if both sides knows that the other is there and will always listen with an open mind and heart should it be necessary, then silly little things will never get blown up out of all proportions.

 

 

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Glossing over Information

You know when you’re chatting to someone and they say something, that is incredibly significant, or important to them, and you register it, but then there’s a sense of awkwardness – should you pick up on it and ask questions? After all, they may not want to talk about it, or it may not appropriate for you to ask questions.

Then a few hours later, you wish you had, because you don’t want them to think that the information had not been received and you don’t care.

That!

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How far would you go to make a point?

Would you tell someone and hope they take notice?

Would you just leave it at debating – where both parties end up agreeing to disagree and walk away even more convinced of their own argument?

Would you get annoyed, start shouting the odds and then walk away – with still no agreement reached?

Would you act out a scenario – to put your point across visually?

Would you chain yourself to fencing in order to bring attention to your cause?

Would you deliberately set up a situation to ruin a business and leave many people out of work?

Just to prove a point!

What would you do?

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Are men and women the same?

Someone once asked me if I thought men and women were the same.men-women

I said that I thought they were, fundamentally, which they didn’t, and I still stand firm in my opinion.

Despite the obvious physical differences, I still believe in a nutshell that deep-down men, like women, feel the same emotions, have the same needs and want the same things.

After all, we are essentially made from the same genetic material, so why would we differ psychologically, so to speak?

It’s just that somewhere along the lines of human development from caveman to present-day the lines have become somewhat muddled, and men have been programmed to suppress their emotions.

The advancement of feminism has also thrown a spanner in the works. Men now longer know whether or not to try to be chivalrous by opening doors, etc., as they don’t know which camp a woman is in – they will either be met with a thank you, or a torrent of feministic rhetoric about how we can open our own doors, thank you!

The key to fulfilling our emotions, wants and needs whether you are a man or a woman is communication.

Without communication we just end up making assumptions about the other person – for example, how many women reading this have thought that because a man doesn’t call that he isn’t interested in them? Maybe the man is sitting at home unsure whether to call, because he is assuming you are not interested in him?

Men are just as afraid of being rejected as women are.

It’s this reading between the lines, adding 2 and 2 together and coming up with 17 that means we tend to get everything screwed up.

Honest communication is vital in any relationship in life – be it business or pleasure – and sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, we just have to screw “The Rules” and open the door first, take a chance.

What’s the worst that can happen?

We get laughed at, rejected, etc.

But surely that’s not as bad as spending a lifetime wondering … what if?

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