It seems as though the more I connect to the passion of inspiring and empowering myself and others to be the best role models or for that matter human beings that we can be, the more experiences I seem to attract into my life to support it, and last month was one of the busiest yet most reflective I have had in a very long time!

I was taking a break one day from writing my book and caught an Oprah show. I tuned in as Dr. Christiane Northrup was addressing the audience of mostly menopausal women on the topic of happiness. I thoroughly enjoyed what she had to say and chuckled at the simplicity of the three things she suggested that we need in order to be happy. 1) Exercise 2) Have sex 3) Meditate. I don’t know about you but I certainly would love to be as consistent as I can possibly be in all three of these areas!

Although they are all important ingredients, the reflection of the latter in my parenting experience is key not only to being happy, but necessary to cultivate peace and harmony in our families.

Later in the month I followed my intuition that was urging me to go and listen to a talk
to be given by his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. With having moved several months ago, I now found myself in a townhouse complex where the children didn’t come door to door for their treats, but went to the recreation centre instead, so even though it was Halloween, circumstances were that I was free that afternoon to go. I believe that everything happens for a reason and it was no accident that I was part of this amazing experience.

It was such a privilege to be in the energy of this most amazingly compassionate and peaceful human being…not to mention funny too! He spoke on a variety of threads all leading to a more compassionate and peaceful world which he indicated can only happen through inner peace - the inner disarmament of negativity, anger, fear, jealousy, resentment and alike.

He also reflected on another mutual message…to focus on our children, the leaders of tomorrow…the ones who will broaden the shift of the world towards peace. He further highlighted the importance of affection and warm-heartedness, especially between mothers and their children, and how these are the key factors for families.

My head seemed to nod incessantly to every word he spoke and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be in his presence, now twice in my lifetime.

This theme kept on as I listened to one of my favourite comedians, Bill Cosby! Again, one of those ‘non’ coincidences showed up having caught the Oprah show with Dr. Northrup, as this is where they advertised his upcoming appearance. As he talked about his new book, I caught myself clapping and chanting at the TV, “Go Bill!” as he fervently spoke about our common passion.

The book he has co-authored is called, Come on People. I absolutely loved the title and I’m sure you can just imagine the tone and intonation that it was delivered with...Cosby style! He had the stage imploring us to take responsibility as parents – to see how we are treating and what we are teaching our children – the disempowerment – the abuse – to take a good look at the role models we are…his words so powerful!

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I whole heartedly agree with his statement, “Our children are trying to tell us something and we’re not listening!” After watching the show, I knew that it was further confirmation that I am on the right track being a passionate voice for kids; yet not only for the demographic that he was addressing. It’s very clear that this is a global issue spanning most families and neighbourhoods regardless of income brackets or ethnicity!

I’m looking forward to reading his book and although on some levels it can be a fairly heavy topic, I’m pretty sure that the trajectory of humour will be in the mix somewhere as it has a way of making the truth a little easier to see.

My original intention had been to share with you some of my own comical experiences on the journey to taking responsibility, as so many seem to share their common frustrations with the lack of it from their kids. But I’ll have to leave my meandering and excessive words for my book in the chapter entitled, How I created the monster! However, I will leave you with a few inspiring thoughts as to how to reduce this overwhelming stress and frustration.

Try to let the natural flow of consequences be carried out! Resist the urge to wake them up after their alarm clock fails to do it and be compassionate as they complain about the detentions or suspensions that ensue.

Resist the urge to admonish them for grades they may receive if they choose not to do their assigned homework or perhaps fail a test that we didn’t remind them to study for!

Lock up the dirty dish and clothes fairy that swoops in and magically cleans up the messes we’ve asked to be tidied that we can’t stand to look at any longer!

And most importantly remember to breathe…breathe…breathe…as they may very well get mad and blame us for the consequences that have flowed naturally to them. We have to take a step back and allow our kids to take responsibility…they will if we let them!

I hope you can laugh at yourself as much as I did! Kids are smart; they get it…sometimes better than we do!

Author's Bio: 

A reaction, a look or a phrase, and we catch ourselves, “I’ve turned into my mom/dad!” Jo-Anne Cutler is no exception. Once she became aware of this and the impact her words and reactions had on her kids, she made a conscious choice to change. She knew that if she could do it, anyone could! Using her passionate voice, Jo-Anne now builds awareness for others as an author, speaker and coach, offering everything from free newsletters, interviews and articles to audio programs and workshops creating awareness and inspiring others to start breaking the unconscious cycles of dysfunction they are modelling for their children. For more information or to contact Jo-Anne directly, please call 905-569-8334, e-mail or visit