Gift cards 


They’re a good and bad thing. I love getting them, but I can never seem to use the entire amount. For example, there are two gift cards on the table next to me, each with $5 on them, an amount I can only use at that particular store.


Things changed


I’m weird; messages or signs are always a precursor to the next wave of learning in my life. I lost 60 lbs. during 2020. Now my shoes are too big, so, like it or not, it was time to order some new tennis shoes. First-world problems, I know.


Today, I decided to use the last of my birthday gift cards for this purchase. And as usual, the card with almost the exact amount was remaining, but it wouldn’t go through. So I called the company, and a lovely man explained what was going on, and then there was a brief pause.

He was waiting to see how I reacted. 
As I began responding, I heard the tiniest bit of irritation in my voice, and then I relaxed and said, “What can be done?”
He said in a calm, reassuring voice, “Let me adjust the amount, so this card works with the .53 that’s left on your gift card.”
I stopped and simply said, “Thank you, how kind.”

Then it hit me
This lightbulb moment was an exercise in waiting for a response.
This life lesson showed me how demanding or reacting can create an unwillingness to cooperate or cause an argument. However, waiting to see how the other person responds is one of the keys to responding instead of reacting.

What about you? 


How often do you assume you know what will happen next and react based on that assumption? How often do you assume you know someone better than they know themselves, including your kids and/or husband?!

Think about it.
Communication habits can be changed, and once changed, relationships tend to grow rapidly. Trust and safety are reestablished, cooperation increases and behavior begins to change. These things can take time. When I feel frustrated, I use this reminder, “Life is not instant pudding.”

Life is not instant pudding
The last 15 months have taught us that it’s up to us to find our inner peace. One way to do that is to take things a bit slower. The next time you feel an automatic reaction about to leave your lips, take a breath, pull back the automatic need to react, and wait a few seconds to see what happens next. Nine times out of ten, as the other person is processing your silence (s)he begins sharing or apologizing. If nothing else, you’ll experience being calmer before speaking!

Relaunch
Last year kicked everyone’s butt; it illuminated the absolute necessity for so many changes. 
Now we hunger for authenticity, honesty, and the truth within our lives and family relationships.

That’s what Proactive Parenting has always been about—your needs plus your authentic self.
As I ramp up, I will as always, be in your inbox. I’ll be in FB’s Real Talk Parent Lounge; I’ll be on FB, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn again soon.
So, what’s new about that???

Truth-bomb
This year, someone called me “Freebie Fran.” Someone who gives away her work everywhere she goes. That has changed. 

Proactive Parenting is our family business, and we almost lost it last year.
The relaunch positions Proactive Parenting more like an invitation to parents. An invitation to take an honest look at yourself, your kids, and the truth about family life.

You need to know that I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT COURSES.
If that’s not what you’re looking for, then please opt-out. The offers will highlight where to find the solutions for the topics I’ll be talking about. There will be several levels for parents to choose from. Some are mini-courses, some are one-topic courses, and one is a masterclass for a deeper dive if you prefer. I just wanted to give you a heads up on what’s next.

I hope you and your kids are blossoming these days.
Now, go hug your kids!
Sharon