Thursday, July 29, 2010


again Drama is only one m. missing an m. no m & m's when drama is concerned. who's drama? mine or theirs? my drama is suffocating. Their drama is fun, entertaining? frustrating. when drama continues and cycles and repeats, it becomes boring, irritating, a problem. sometimes we like a little drama. like a soap opera or reality show. we want to see what will happen next and how they will respond. Are we living vicariously through their lives? Do we learn from their mistakes or do we secretly feel better about ourselves that it is THEIR drama and not ours? I think as we mature we finally begin to tire of all of this drama. We realize that we want to live in our lives not next to our lives. we don't have time to think about it over and over and text about it and call about it and be angry and gossipy about it. I think the more we live the more we enjoy living and realizing that people that carry drama with them, need to grow up. If you aren't happy with a situation then be the change that you want to see. If someone is gossiping then end the gossip. If someone hasn't called to say Hi, then call them. If someone is creating a dramatic production then leave. In Mother Theresa's poem Do It Anyways, she says:

People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If we as individuals can practice altruistic behavior then we can put out some drama fires. We then become the example for others to learn from. The more we put our free time to good use, the more we make the world a better place. Again, its not our circumstances, its our attitude. the drama queens will tell you that you don't know how hard life is on their end but really you do. Mother Theresa CHOSE, CHOSE to live in the slums of Calcutta India. She didn't have to. She wasn't Indian. She wasn't poor. She was healthy. She CHOSE to live in the slums of India to sacrifice her time and resources to change other's lives. no drama involved. just action. As a famous sign states in the office of a homeless shelter: preach the gospel and when necessary use words. carry a bag of m & m's to share with that unsuspecting receiver. you never know the smile you might suddenly put on someone's face. no drama required.


Sunday, July 25, 2010


You notice how tomorrow is spelled with only one m? not m & m just plain m. I had to retype tomorrow a few times with spell check to make sure I got it right. whether tomorrow contains m & m's or not it is up to us decide what tomorrow may bring. You never know what the day may surprise you with or disappoint you with but what you do know is how you plan to respond to it. My husband reminded me the other night that he hadn't changed it was the rose colored spectacles that I chose to wear that night that had changed. I made a point to thank him for helping me clean up the dinner dishes. I tend to get tired and frustrated and notice what he doesn't do instead of what he does do. we take turns with each other being the pessimist in the family. As I write this, my youngest daughter is playing with a helium balloon that we have hung onto since May. There is just enough helium left in it that she can toss it up in the air and it will slowly float back down to her when the energy that was put into the throw is slowly released again. She has the patience to wait for the balloon to return to her during this flight in the air because she knows it will return and because she through it. I think part of her patience too is the wonder of the amazement of this balloon supposedly drifting off to the ceiling to suddenly stop and come back to her. It's easier to stay optimistic in a situation when we feel we are in control of it. Even if there is some surprise in the situation, we are still ultimately patient in the end result if we feel confident in what the result will be. But what would happen if that balloon suddenly floated by the open door and sailed off to eternity? My other daughter experienced this fate when she was confident that holding the balloon string one day was sufficient to tying the string around her wrist. As soon as she walked outside, the string slipped from her fingers and off the balloon went. She was so devastated that she wanted to make balloon wanted signs to post in the neighborhood. Sometimes we think we are in control of our situation and confident of its results and then we find out we aren't. So what do we do then? This is when you must practice with your rose colored glasses in advance. so that when the balloon drifts off unplanned you can be thankful for the time that you had with the balloon or trust that it will enjoy its journey and land in someone else's excited hands. Tomorrow may not hold m & m's but maybe someone will surprise you with a bag of them in the mail instead. and then you can be thankful that you stayed optimistic. It's all about rose colored m & m's.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's all about m & m's and marshmallows...

This is what I return to when I think of parenting. There are so many parenting theories and controversies but the reality is; what works for you. I have potty trained successfully using m & m's as a reward when tinkles finally happened. Then I progressed to m & m's for staying dry for a good amount of time and eventually through the night. The one day I was having trouble getting my 2 year old twins to stay put at the dinner table. Then I remembered the m & m's. If it works for potty training, why not other behavior therapies? When one child stayed at the table and politely took a bite of food. I placed an m & m next to his plate and said "Great job, staying put and showing good table manners." Then his sister observed the reward for good behavior and quickly imitated the good behavior too. I waited a few minutes and then rewarded her with the m & m too with the same phrase "Great job, staying put and showing good table manners." They quickly learned that it was smart to stay put and eat their food. Some people see this as bribing but not when it is a reward. I didn't promise m & m's for sitting still. I just reward good behavior. When I was teaching, we did the same with tickets or happy faces. My aide and I would catch the troublemakers or unmotivated students, doing something right and reward them with a raffle ticket. It's amazing how a little piece of paper can encourage good behavior. Instead of lecturing on good behavior or discipline, just a little piece of paper. It's all behavior management. Just like Pavlov's dog. Behavior that produces a good reward will be repeated. You could spank for undesired behavior but aren't m & m's just more fun? What about the marshmallows you ask? well when we ran out of m & m's we tore open a bag of marshmallows. and now when he stays in his bed all night, he awakes with a reward of a marshmallow. Like I said. It's all about m & m's and marshmallows. no manuals required.