The problem of telling little white lies in front of your child

I’m busy that day.

I already donated to your organization.

The meal was delicious.

Thank you. I love it.

Many of us tell these little white lies without a thought believing these “harmless” fibs spare feelings. We say these things to make our lives easier and to avoid conflict.

_hurt-feelings-clipart-hurt-feelings-clipart_1152-648We tell them to avoid hurting someone’s feelings (I love this gift.) as well as excuse our own behavior (Sorry, I’m late. Traffic was terrible.) And many adults don’t even consider these little white lies to be lies at all. But they are. And how are young kids to understand the difference?

How do they differentiate a “fib” to grandma about liking a present and a lie to their parents about breaking a dish? In both instances they do not want to hurt someone’s feeling or have someone mad at them.

And research suggests that when kids hear adults lying, they are more likely to do it themselves. A study from the University of California found that 5 to 7 year olds who were told a lie by an adult were more likely to cheat and then lie about it afterward.

Research also shows that kids lie more as they get older. When you have a toddler, they are very honest (sometimes embarrassingly so). Preschools often lie to avoid getting in trouble. (I didn’t do it.) By the time they are 5, 72% of kids would tell a white lie. It is up to 80% for 8 year olds and up to 84% for 11 year olds.

We tell kids we want them to be honest but then they see us lying or we encourage them to lie to spare someone’s feelings, and they get confused on which one we want. They learn that honesty creates conflict while lying is an easy way to avoid that conflict.

So can you teach your kids to be kind and honest? I think you can. Much as we look at the drawing our kids bring us and not tell them it is horrible but point out something we like, we can teach our kids to do the same. So instead of saying they don’t like the sweater Grandma bought them, they can point out something positive (It is a pretty color, or it is so soft.)

The truth is this is not easy either and can still lead to conflict. Instead of the white lie, “Traffic was terrible,” you would have to admit you left late or misgauged your timing. And if you tell your friend that you don’t want to meet on Friday night (instead of telling them your busy) and suggest another date, you still risk the chance of hurting their feelings. But the truthfulness of your statement won’t be lost on your child. Instead of teaching them to lie, you will be teaching them to be honest. And that is after all what we want, isn’t it?

Today’s Featured Author – Natasa Pantovic Nuit

Alchemy of Love author Nataša Pantović Nuit is on my blog today discussing her books Mindful Being towards Mindful Living and Conscious Parenting. 

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

nuit-alchemy-of-love-300x300My name is Nataša Pantović Nuit. I am an author, trainer, yogi and spiritual researcher. I live in Malta. I am the author of 7 Mindfulness Books called Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training:

– Conscious Parenting Course

– Mindful Being towards Mindful Living Course

– Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes

– A Guide to Mindful Eating

– Art of 4 Elements; Discover Alchemy through Poetry

– A-Ma Alchemy of Love,

– Chanting Mantras with Best Chords

Where were you born and where do you call home? 

My soul is the one of a nomad and during my life-time I visited more than 50+ countries, set foot on all the continents, and lived in five: Serbia, Malta, UK, New Zealand, Holland. My friends are from all around the globe. My home is in Amsterdam, London, Belgrade, Sliema, Rome, Sydney, Lisbon wherever I find my heart beating the same rhythm.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

After helping Father George build a school in a remote area of Ethiopia, I entered the most amazing world of parenting adopting two angels from Ethiopia as a single mum. My kids are actively teaching me how to be a more loving, mindful and conscious parent. Ema and Andrej love and train basketball, play music, act within a Music Theater Group and were Chess Champions of Malta.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

My life story book has many pages within the world of Marketing and Management Consultancy and work as Trainer building courses in Communication, Leadership, Team-Building. Some of the most intriguing pages also talk about 25 years of Yoga and Meditation, and my spiritual exploration journey through Theosophy, Zen, Tantra, Antroposophy, Yoga and my yogic vegetarian life-style where I danced barefoot in the rain, meditated for hours in search of God and read 1,000s of spiritual & psychology books. I learned from many Leaders, Gurus and Sages of our past and present.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little about your next book? 

My latest project is Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents. Conscious Parenting is the Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Course designed for parents.

We use Transformation Tools and Spiritual Exercises to help parents get in touch with Soul, with Love, and with Patience when dealing with kids.

Please tell us about your current release.

mindful-being-course-title-page-_frontcoverMindful Being towards Mindful Living is a 12 module self-development course with 100s of Spiritual Transformation Tools that combine meditation, mindfulness exercises, soul’s diary, spiritual diary, relationship contracts, creativity exercises, left vs. right brain development tools, mindful eating exercises, and many other daily self-development transformation tools to help the reader live the highest potential. The Mindful Being Course help one look into the conscious and sub-conscious addictions, understand core beliefs, examine habits, enter the magic world of strengthening the willpower, and emotional patterns transforming various energies into inspiration, mindfulness, awareness, love.

How did you come up with the title?

alchemy-of-love-mindfulness-training-books-by-nuitAlways fascinated with energies of: Love, Divine, Power of Mind, Creativity, Tao, Living one’s Highest Potential, I explore topics of inner-development, esoteric or occult teachings, and New Consciousness. The main theme of my Mindfulness Training Books is our alchemy transformation, the alchemy of soul, our everlasting quest to find the gold within, discovering the stone that transforms metals into gold. My book series is called: Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training.

***

You can find more about Nataša and Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training on her website. Mindful Beings towards Mindful Living is available for purchase on Amazon. Conscious Parenting is also available on Amazon.

The importance of the setting in each scene

You have spent time considering the setting of your novel. It could be London, a small beach-side community in Florida, on a distant planet or in the Wild West. You have thought long and hard about this choice.

But now as you get ready to write the scenes that comprise your story, you also need to spend some time considering where these scenes will take place within your setting.

If you have decided to write a story set in a high school, every scene won’t take place in the hall. Just as your crime novel won’t have every scene at the police station. You need to consider where the scenes will take place and develop these places. Just as you develop or know your overall setting, you need to know these sub-settings. You need to know their location as well as a description.

If you are writing about a college, hospital or police station, you need to realize that they all have certain rituals and protocols – almost as if they are a world all their own. Research and a visit to such places can make these places come to life.

But it isn’t enough to pick out these places and know their description. Authors also need to choose the right setting for the story event. Many authors don’t spend a lot of time considering where best to have some of their scenes or go with an obvious choice. But a change of location can change the whole scene. And that change could have the power to make or break a story.

Your character can be driving in the car, eating in a restaurant or relaxing at home. And each of these settings can bring different situations and stressors for your character. The traffic is stop-and-go, their dinner gets burned or the neighbor is having a loud party.

But what if you decided to go with a different setting?

As an author, you need to think about the individual scenes in your novel, and decide the purpose of the setting. Is it to hint at the back story? Set the mood? Foreshadow? Provide tension?

Let’s say it is the beginning of the novel, and you want to establish some characteristics of the protagonist. There are many good personal settings that can reveal truths about your character – their house, their office, their car.

But if you want to add tension to the scene consider locations that might cause stress – the site of a traumatic past event, a location where they might run into their enemy, a place that triggers insecurities.

Also when deciding on locations for scenes, they need to not only fit your story, but they need to fit your character. Maybe your character needs to reflect on some news. Would a walk in the park, a ride on the bus or sitting in a noisy bar suit their personality more?

Many times, authors settle on the first idea that comes to mind. And while this may be a perfectly good, acceptable idea, if they brainstormed and did some “what if” type thinking, they might settle on something that will make their setting amazing.

Authors needed for Friday Featured Author spot

wantedAre you an author looking for some additional publicity for your latest book?

I host guest authors every Friday – any genre, both traditionally and self-published.

The post can take one of three formats: author interview, book excerpt or a guest post on any aspect of writing, publishing, or book marketing.

Sign up is on a first-come-first-served basis, though I do have a few Tuesday openings to accommodate special requests for dates related book tours, book releases or cover reveals. (Click the Featured Authors link to check out past authors.)

I have a few dates in April as well as all of May (and beyond) open.

If you are interested, send me a message along with any date requests, and we’ll take it from there.

Check out these past authors.

Guest Post – Candy Korman The Mary Shelley Game (thriller)

Excerpt – Louise Wise Eden (sci-fi romance)

Interview – Connie B. Dowell The Orchid Caper (humor/young adult)

 

Gearing up for the #AtoZchallenge again

2017-badgeThis will be my fourth year to do the A to Z blogging challenge.

For those of you who haven’t heard about it, the A to Z challenge is where bloggers post every day in April (except Sundays). Since there are usually 26 open days, they are matched with the letters of the alphabet.  So on the first day you choose a topic that begins with A, the next day B and so on.(This year there are only 25 open days so their is a letter assigned to the last Sunday.)

It is easier to stay on task and blog every day of the challenge when you come up with a theme. The first year I had no theme (but still blogged everyday). But the following year, I wrote about my normal topics on their assigned days (Monday – parenting, Wednesday – Quote of the Week, Thursday – Writing/Publishing) but picked a theme of TV shows for the other days.

Last year, I picked the theme of characters from movies, television or books. On my normal blogging days, I blogged about characteristics that fit the theme and topic. (For example on writing day, I wrote about lazy characters for the letter L)

And for this year, I am taking my theme ever a step further. I’ve gone from movies/books, to characters and now I am focusing on antagonists from books, movies and comic books. It should be fun. After all doesn’t everyone love to hate the bad guy?

You can look for my A to Z challenge posts beginning April 1st.

A Pokemon Birthday party for my 9-year-old daughter 

Though she may love pink and puppies and spends her time singing songs from Disney’s Moana, Lexie rarely chooses a “girly” theme for her birthday parties. Last year, she chose Minecraft. This year it was Pokemon.

Like last year, we decided to have this party at the house. A quick look at Pinterest brought a slew of ideas. But after a few years of going all out on the kids’ parties, we toned it back a little this year.

Invitation – I always design the kids’ invitations. Since Lexie loves pink and Pikachu, I combined them for this card. We printed them at Wal-Mart. She invited her whole class plus three other friends. Thankfully, everyone didn’t show up. We had eight kids (not counting Jase, who decided to introduce/explain all the games instead of participating.)

Decorations – We kept this pretty simple – mostly white and red crepe paper. This included hanging the crepe paper from the ceiling to make a giant Pokeball design. We also printed out some Pokeballs to affix to the walls.

Our Pokemon table covering was pretty easy. You just take one red tablecloth and one white tablecloth and attach them in the middle with black duct tape. Throw in a white plate in the middle (outlined with black tape) and ta da, you have a Pokemon tablecloth.

I used red plates for the cupcakes and then bought some Pokemon plates and napkins for the pizza. Our goodie bags were white Kraft bags with red and black paper glued on them to make them look like Pokeballs.

Food – We decided to keep it simple this year. We just served pizza, water and Rootbeer for lunch followed by cupcakes. Each cupcake had a different Pikachu on it.

Games/Activities – Again, we kept it pretty simple. The biggest challenge was that it rained on her birthday, and we had to move all outdoor activities inside.

Decorating Masks – I traced two different masks onto light yellow paper. The first was a Pikachu design, and then I did a generic mask for those kids who might not be into Pokemon. We put out different color markers for them to decorate them.

Pin the Fire on the Charizard – As a version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, I printed out a Charizard with the flame on its tail missing. The kids then had to land a cutout of the fire on the spot.

Water Balloon Target Practice – I printed out various Pokemon characters – assigning each a point value based on how big I printed the character. We originally were going to attach them to the fence, but since we had to move the game inside, we taped them to the inside of the garage door. The kids used water balloon to throw and accumulate points. Since this was a water game, I laminated the Pokemon cutouts.

Pokeball hunt – I saw this version of an Easter Egg hunt on Pinterest. You decorate ping-pong balls to look like Pokeballs and then hide them throughout the yard for the kids to find. This would have been great in our big backyard. Instead, I had to go hide them while the kids were doing the piñata in the garage. I hid them around the living and dining room. I missed seeing how well this game worked as I was out picking up the pizza while they played.

Pikachu Says – To fill in time while I was getting the pizza (it took longer than planned), the kids played this version of “Simon Says.” They liked it so much that they did it again after pizza and cupcakes.


Pinata –
The last few years I have made the piñata for the kids. But since Lexie didn’t want a Pokeball piñata which would have been easy to make, I bought a piñata at Wal-mart and simply added pictures of four different Pokemon to the outside.

Lexie declared the party was great. All of her friends seemed to have a good time too.