Parenting
The Beauty of Birthing Naturally
25Oct 2016
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Written By Lifebook Member Diana Shea

My mother has always said that the three most amazing days of her life were the days that I and my two sisters were each born. Every year, on our birthdays, she would tell us our birth stories. To this day, she still recounts the details. Among them was her determination to give birth naturally and the pure joy she felt in doing so. Year after year of this retelling was one of the most amazing gifts she could ever give to us. She set the premise in our minds that birthing is a beautiful, natural and extraordinary experience that we wouldn’t want to miss! She repeated to us, time and again, that we are lucky to be girls because we get to have the babies!

Likewise, from a very young age, I have held the conviction that birthing naturally is beautifully awesome! Our bodies are expertly designed to grow and birth our babies without intervention. The entire process is natural. Fast forward thirty years to becoming pregnant myself, and it was hard for me to imagine birthing in a hospital environment where medical interventions are the norm. How could I create the birth experience that I wanted? Everyone’s pregnancy and birthing journey is their own. There is no “right way”. For me, however, I knew that the best place for me to birth my babies was at home, so that it would be as unencumbered of institutional rules and policies as possible. My husband and I agreed that with a Certified Nurse Midwife, a top rated hospital close by, and doula support, we would feel safer staying home than going to the hospital for childbirth. And so that’s what we did. If you ask my girls where they were born, they’ll say, “in the dining room”!

Now, I know that home birth is not for everyone. And that is ok. We all have to decide what is best for ourselves and our families.   I do feel passionately, however, that our culture needs more examples of and strategies for pursuing natural childbirth in order for more of us to consider it a valid option. And so it is in that spirit that I share with you the following resources. Along the way, I’ve become a trained doula and prenatal yoga instructor, so these suggestions are favorites from my collection.

Want to learn more about natural childbirth and the reasons for pursuing it? Check out ‘Natural Childbirth Resources’ (below). Looking to build your toolkit of strategies for a healthy pregnancy and birth experience? Visit my website (www.DianaShea.com) for detailed Childbirth Preparation and Relaxation Techniques. Have a question or want to connect? Email me at info@dianashea.com. More…

15 Books That Elevated Our Parenting
06Sep 2016
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“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world.
Love of books is the best of all.”
– Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

What was the most profound book you ever read?

How has it changed your life?

We are incredibly lucky to live in a time when we can learn just about anything we want, simply by opening a book (or for that matter, a browser).

We have limitless information at our fingertips. And sometimes it can be hard to find the real gems in the midst of so many choices.

The truth is, every book ever written has the potential to change our lives for the better.

We just need to find the ones that speak to our souls.

This month, as we commit to expanding our potential as extraordinary parents, the Lifebook Team would like to share a list of books that have changed our lives and families in truly significant ways.

This list serves as a beautiful guide from conception to pregnancy, birthing and beyond (and is presented in the order we recommend reading).

These are books that have elevated our parenting, and permanently transformed our relationships with the little people we love most.

We hope you enjoy.

(And please do share your favorite parenting books with us in the comments!) More…

20 Reasons Sugar Is Bad For Children
26Jul 2016
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The world sure does LOVE sugar.

Look closely and you’ll find it in just about everything…

The average jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce has more sugar than a box of poptarts, and while you may be aware that your breakfast cereal is full of the sweet stuff, most people are surprised to discover that so, too, is the milk we pour into it (one serving of organic whole milk averages 11 grams of sugar).

That’s almost 3 teaspoons of sugar, dumped right into your kid’s glass of milk (4 grams = 1 teaspoon of sugar)!

This troubling topic is the focus of the latest food documentary, Fed Up, in which Katie Couric digs deep into the obesity epidemic, and discovers a surprising culprit…

Sugar – not fat – is making us fat.

Whether this shocking information is new to you, or you’re well versed in the sugar epidemic our society seems to be facing…

It’s time for us to take a long, hard look at the flood of sugar that’s sneaking its way into our bodies through just about everything we put in our mouths.  More…

How to find the perfect babysitter
18Aug 2015
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The single greatest barrier standing between couples and a regularly scheduled, totally blissed out date night is the lack of a quality babysitter.

Add to that the dread and stress that goes along with trying to find and keep a truly quality babysitter, and you’ve already got yourself a long list of reasons why date night probably just “isn’t worth the effort.”

Sure, it’s easier to stay in, put the kids to sleep, and binge watch a Netflix series while eating some chocolate. Just throw on your favorite pair of baggy sweatpants and leap onto the old, familiar couch, and voila – date night here we come.

But is comfort really what we’re trying to create more of in our love relationships? Are laziness, exhaustion, lack of ambition and untapped creativity really what we want to cultivate?

On some nights – maybe. We’ve all been there, for sure.

But it sure as heck doesn’t stir up any new energy, emotion or romance. These things require continual creativity and action. They require discipline and commitment.

Easy doesn’t translate into extraordinary in any area of life – but this is especially true when it comes to acts of love.

So what’s a family to do?

Get CREATIVE. More…

5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do
28Jul 2015
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In an age of overwhelming concern over child safety, Gever Tulley is breaking all the rules.

Nowadays, parents believe their child is so vulnerable — to injury, to teasing, to disease and disappointment — that they hover like a helicopter over their children, ready to swoop in if anything remotely “bad” happens.

Tulley, founder of San Francisco’s Tinkering School, finds this approach to interacting with our children to be disempowering, to say the least.

And in his recent TED Talk, he spells out 5 dangerous things you should actually encourage your kids to do.

Because, as we’re about to find out — a little danger is good for both kids and grownups. More…

Raising Kids to Be Entrepreneurs
12May 2015
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Lifebook VIP Members Missy Butcher, Jason Moore, and Damion Lupo team up to bring us a 3-part article about raising children to become entrepreneurs, from the perspective of both a parent and a child.

Discover inspiring strategies that will empower your children to become the creative, successful, and fulfilled people they were born to be with the articles below.

Teaching Kids About Value Creation
By:  Missy Butcher

This topic is one of my favorites. It’s deep and wide, incredibly rewarding, and tons of fun… so I decided to share some of the strategies Jon and I have used over the years to teach our kids about an incredibly fundamental piece of life… value creation.

Talking and Listening

The first and most important strategy is to simply communicate with them! No matter what their ages are, our kids have always LOVED to hear, talk, and learn about money.

We ask questions and then LISTEN to them. We pay attention to what they love to do. We discuss their talents with them deeply. We find out what they are truly interested in, enjoy doing and are really good at, and then we let the creative juices flow.

Creativity is key here. More…

Strengthening Self-Esteem In Kids, by Nathaniel Branden
05Dec 2014
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Written by Lifebook Member and world-renowned pioneer in the field of self-esteem, Dr. Nathaniel Branden. Visit him on the web at www.nathanielbranden.com, where you’ll find dozens of fantastic products and information to help you raise your own self-esteem and nurture it in your children.

Nathaniel writes:

If we are to consider how self-esteem is best nurtured in young people, we must first be clear on what we mean by “self-esteem.” So I shall begin with a definition.

Self-esteem is the disposition to experience oneself as being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life, and as being worthy of happiness. Thus, it consists of two components: More…

Dr. David Jackson on Parenting: Leverage and Legacy
21Oct 2014
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Meet our highest scoring Lifebook Member in the Parenting category, Dr. David Jackson, and find out how he uses this category as his highest leverage point to create and maintain his extraordinary life.

David was the first person in the world to create a Lifebook with Jon Butcher, and played an integral part in the creation of the Lifebook Program as we know it today. And this month, Jon interviews him on the subject of parenting (one of David’s greatest categories of strength).

This interview is sure to bring you laughter, tears, and enormous inspiration as you continue to create your own legacy for the young ones in your life.

Click here to listen now.

The Best Parents Have the Longest Time Horizon
24Jul 2013
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The Best Parents Have the Longest Time Horizon
By:  Lifebook VIP Members Joshua and Margie Boswell

The wise parent realizes that the average life span of a human being is currently pushing over 80 years, and we only get to closely parent our little ones for about 20 of those years.

Our greatest concern should be preparing them for those 60+ years that they are outside of our home and immediate influence.

So, the wise parent looks ahead and constantly asks things like…

* How will my choices today affect the life of my child when they are no longer with me?
* What can I do today to prepare them for a life of happiness, joy, and rejoicing?
* How will I empower and equip them to manage life’s stresses, challenges, and setbacks?
* What can I do today to help them feel comfortable with their own greatness and power? More…

Choice And Consequences
05Jul 2011
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By Anya Hanson Wendt

My daughter Ashlyn, age nine, is clear that she is responsible for her life – her happiness, her accomplishments AND her choices. She is also clear that all choices have consequences, and, as she makes choices for her life day-to-day, she is also choosing the consequences.

In our family, consequences are not necessarily negative – they are just the natural course of things; cause-effect. For example, if she studies hard for a test and is responsible for understanding what will be on it, the consequence is a grade of A – which pleasantly enough, has other consequences, such as money from her father. More…