Memory For Mommies

... Cutting through the Fog of Motherhood

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

What You Focus on Can Improve You and Your Family's Inner Strength & Stability

E-mail Print PDF
decisions by impact hub global network
The end of the year is a time for self reflection and a focus on the future.  It can also be a time for celebrations, gratitude, regret, changes, beginnings, and endings. New goals are often made for ourselves and our families. We often overlook a simple goal, which is to change the way that we respond to situations, people, and the world. A “response” rather than a “reaction” keeps the ownership, or power, with the responder rather than with the circumstance. This power provides incredible mental strength and stability for you and your family! 
We juggle with and adjust to so many evolving tasks, situations, joys, challenges, and people every day. It is a never-ending process of re-prioritization, ultimately guided by our inner sense of what matters most to us and our families in any given moment. While we know intuitively that we can’t control everything, we often forget that that we can control how we respond to any given situation. That moment of pause and reflection before responding, however brief, is a key element to having a powerful grounded prosperity outlook (glass is half full) vs. a powerless, unstable, lack or victim mentality (glass is half empty). It’s a choice, a decision… in each moment. 
Focusing on the things that we can control, such as our response, helps in three areas:
1) It gets us centered and in control of who we are being in any given situation before responding.
2) It sets an example for our loved ones of emotional intelligence, ownership, inner strength and stability. 
3) We take ownership of a positive outlook in integrity, and move away from the powerless, negative, victim mindset.
What are some of the things that we can control? 
Pausing before we respond. Pausing allows us to collect our thoughts before we respond. Some people have a saying or carry a physical item to remind them to pause.  For instance, when my child does something surprising, I have trained myself to say: “Oh My Goodness!” just to pause myself before responding. That brief pause allows me to ask myself the following questions: 1) How do I feel? 2) What is most important to me? 3) What can I do? 4) What need is trying to be met here and how can it be met in another way?
Thinking about what the needs are. All humans, including our kids, have needs, and all actions are designed to fulfill these developmental needs. Are we acknowledging or honoring their needs in the moment before choosing to respond? Once we acknowledge their needs, we can redirect them to something that will satisfy their needs in a more productive and/or positive way without the shame, power struggles, and reactive aggression. For instance, if they’re hitting a baseball in the house, then reminding them that if they want to hit the baseball they can do it outside (“That’s an outside activity” instead of: “Don’t hit the ball in the house!”).  
Stating the desired positive behavior. Imagine the message you are sending to your family through your purposeful response. For example, when we tell our children, “Don’t run!” all they hear is, “Run!” Instead, we could state the behavior that we want to see, “Please walk!” or “Thank you for walking!” 
In this coming year, I wish you many moments where you and your family experience the power, integrity, and incredible mental strength and stability of responding rather than reacting! Remember to focus on the thing that you can control, your response.  It will reduce stress, strengthen your relationships, and deliver you a memorable year.
joy thompson head shot

Joy Thompson, MBA, M.Ed. is a dedicated mother, wife, and the founder of CanDo Productions (, a company that helps organizations and people increase personal, professional, and global value. She is passionate about creating learning environments within organizations that are challenging, effective, and fun. Joy’s coaching, teaching, design, and consulting programs empower innovation, productivity, and a balanced business/ life. She has been a featured speaker at many different conferences and an active participant in Habitat for Humanity.

Dedicated Cloud Hosting for your business with Joomla ready to go. Launch your online home with