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The Forgiveness List

Published in Parent



This year was incredible to say the least. The realities owning, building, and trying to grow your own business in America can be a dream killer. Especially, when it's a business that you love and a field that you feel called to with a genuine purpose and a plan that's bigger than anyone has even envisioned.


In short, this is no get rich quick scheme. This is an opportunity to us to forgo what we thought were careers to live our faith and empower everyday people- just like you and me.

Yet, good intentions does not protect from money hungry sharks, broken hearts, or innocent children who do not know why they need to give mommy and daddy some space to quickly problem solve.

This year, the Urban Parenting family has been sued, endured divorce, and met wonderful moms and dads all over the world that encourage us to keep going. So this, in essence, is for you. Our faithful readers, our crazy supporters, our home team! Thank you! We would not be here without you and we do this for you. Each of you matter to us.

So what was 2014 like for us? 2014 was a time for change, a chance to choke down the pain of the past, and open the door to welcome new beginnings. From parent to parent, the best way to walk into your destiny is to let go and forgive. So instead of wasting hours on a New Year's resolution list, we invite you to create an annual New Year's Forgiveness List.

The concept for the New Year's Forgiveness List was created by our former Editor-in-Chief and co-founder, Debbie Matters.  Debbie is an Infant Mental Health Advocate, the mother of two wicked smart preschoolers, and recently survived a divorce. It was during this time that she just felt like the new year needed to come in with cleansing, instead of crying. So in place of setting the traditional annual goals for herself, she decided to first forgive herself, flaws and all, and then forgive or seek forgiveness of others.

As she closed an amazing chapter of her life in hopes of a new narrative; other names and faces began to pop up in her head. She started to think of other untold stories and chapters that have been undone in her life. So she went back to the beginning so to speak. She took time to meditate, reflect, and then reached out to people in her past that she had not talked to in years and just said, "Sorry. Please forgive me". In some cases, she sent private Facebook messages, while others she just said a little prayer for, or let the universe know that she forgives them and is finally free to move on. Needless to say, it was embarrassing, vulnerable, scary, and ultimately, the most life settling. It helped her to be at peace with her life. It helped her to see that not only does she matter, but that we all matter. We all have lives that crash into and burn each other from time to time. Yet a new day is on the horizon... What a simply freeing ideal- to stop, look back, and forgive. It was sincerely one of the hardest and most authentic things she has ever done in her life. She overcame her fears of what others may think of her and just did what she felt right in her heart.  Now, what about you- are you up for the challenge? Do you remember an old friend, family member, or love that you need to forgive or seek forgiveness from? Tweet us your Forgiveness List journey @UrbanParentMag

There's no time better than now. Make this your best year yet. Forgive.





Simple Parenting Resolutions 2014: Raise Happy Kids

Published in Parent


Forget the long list's and "easy" 3 step plans to raising your kids; for the new year, start on your terms with a stress free foundation.

For 2014, we hope to empower you and make your life simple by helping you to discover your strengths and just reminding you of the core qualities that will help you be the best parent you can be.

Let's get real. Everywhere you look, you will find advice on how best to raise children. From your parents' opinions to your Facebook friends' statements, you may be overwhelmed by all of the contradictory information out there. However, if you truly want happy kids, you need to look no further than science; there are actually research based strategies that can help ensure your little ones have a great childhood:

Teach compassion While it is important to help children learn empathy for others, there is more to compassion that just that; you also have to help your children understand how to deal with their own emotions in an appropriate way and become mindful of the world around them. The best way to teach compassion is to model it yourself. You may not think your children are watching, but they are very perceptive little people, and they will pick up on what you are doing.

Spend time building your relationship with your partner

As a parent, it is easy to focus your attention on your children; after all, they need you. Unfortunately, though, many parents forget to nurture their adult relationships in the same way they nurture their young children. If your marriage is in trouble, your children will suffer. Studies link marital discord to sleep issues in toddlers. Many scientists believe that the stress the family is experiencing is what causes the problems at night.

Don't set the Bar too High


While you should aspire to be the best parent you can be, no one is perfect. If you want to always get everything right, you are only going to be disappointed. Research has shown that parents that try to be perfect feel more stress and are more unsure about the job they are doing as a parent. Instead, simply try to do the best you can each day. Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Learn from them, and move forward with your children.

Treat your children as Unique Individuals

There is so much information out there on parenting, and there are a number of people that profess to know the secrets to raising children. However, each child is different. What works with one child (even in the same family) won't necessary work with another. If you adjust the way you parent to suit your child's unique needs, you will feel better about your relationship and the job you are doing. In general, a child that can't control themselves as well will need your support more than a child that is able to handle their anger or sadness in an effective way. Consequently, a child that is doing well may be inhibited from further growth if you try to coddle them too much. Evaluate each child, and figure out what they need from you and then act on it.

There is no clear cut "right" or "wrong" way to parent. However, the tips included above were based on a number of different studies and can help you figure out a parenting style that works best for you and your children.

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