Assignment Refresher

Home School coach

Mary Ann Johnson – Home School coach

Assignment Refresher

Here you will find a description of the assignment you received from me when we talked. As you can see there are assignments other than the ones I gave you. Feel free to do any of the exercises that you feel would be helpful for you but remember to do yours first.

Assignment #3 on your card is to journal your experiences. There is great clarity that comes from putting what we are experiencing and feeling on paper. You may journal in your own notebook or I welcome you to journal on our support page in the comments section. That way you can share with others and all will be edified and served. : )

Get your fourth assignment here.

1. Empty your Bucket

Sometimes we cannot control our emotions because there are so many of them stored in our bodies. Often we feel overwhelmed and think that it is about time. I can promise you that it isn’t. It is about too many stored emotions which are filling you up and leaving no room; feelings of discouragement, anger, frustration, fear, sorrow, grief, shame, etc.

One of the ways that you can deal with these feeling is to get them out and create space inside of yourself so that you can receive more joy, happiness and peace.

Take a notebook of any kind. Make a running list of everything that you can think of that has created negative emotion in you. Take as many lines as you need to express ALL of your feelings about any given situation. Some events may be expressed in a couple of lines. Others may take a few paragraphs or pages.

Do NOT share this list with anyone else. This is a place for you to unload your feelings. When you spill your negative emotions on another person then they carry it around, especially children. When you are yelling at children it just your negative feelings spilling out and usually has very little to do with anything the child has done.

As you do this work, if you are a praying person, pray about forgiving and being forgiven. Pray to have past and more recent events brought back to your memory that you need to clear out. Let things go. Make peace.

This process may take you a few days or many months. Work until everything that has come to your memory has been written about. Now burn or in some other way destroy what you have written. This is a beginning exercise in letting go of negative emotions and experiences.

2. Affirmations

Affirmations can be very powerful. They are a beginning exercise in reprogramming your subconscious to accept what you want to be true. The most powerful affirmations are the ones that cause you to feel some deep emotion. Usually these are written by you. However, sometimes we need help getting started. You received an affirmation at the event. Make a few copies. Hang one up in your bathroom, above the kitchen sink and in your car. Say your affirmation at least twice a day. Say it out loud with some volume and emotion. You want to begin internalizing this as true.

If you have misplaced your affirmation get it here.

3. Presence Exercise

Many issues with our children or others can be resolved when we learn to be present. Being present means we have gotten rid of the agenda in our heads and for a few moments we are fully focused on listening to and being with another person.

Presence is a simple concept but not always easy to do in our fast paced and multi-tasking world. Here is one way to practice. Be present for 3 minutes each day with one person. Do this for one full week.

Choose one child to begin with. Why not choose the one you have the most difficult relationship with. Come on, we all have one of those. : ) Next choose an event that occurs every day for that child, in which you can be involved. For example: bath time, tucking in, brushing teeth, homework, after school snack, etc.

Let’s say you have chosen home work time. You sit down by them and make a comment about anything. I usually begin with something like – “When I was a kid I” or “Guess what I saw today” or “you know what?” The comment should NOT be about school or the homework. These are usually topics of contention. Choose something interesting and newsie.

If you choose teeth brushing it would look something like this. You sit on the toilet and say “When I was a kid I” or “Guess what I saw today” or “you know what?” Then be quiet and see what they say. Listen. Respond to what they say and again listen.

Engage in a conversation for at least 3 minutes. Then give a quick squeeze or hug and head off to whatever you need to do. Here is what you are going to find. The more consistently and with real intent that you do this, the greater sensation of satisfaction you will feel. These feelings will build up each day. You will think of it as a bright and successful spot in your day when you go to bed at night. You will begin to want this feeling and you will begin to enjoy these moments with this child. Just practice!

4. Mini Conversations

Choose a different child. Throughout the day engage in mini conversations. These can last from 1-5 minutes. They can happen when you are folding laundry, driving, doing dishes or buying groceries. Do this for one full week. Here are some examples of actual mini conversations I have had with children.

Jack, aged 3

Me: Hey Jack, see that balloon floating up there? Jack: Yeah.

Me: Do you know why it is floating up like that?

Jack: No.

Me: Well it is filled with a really light gas called helium? Isn’t that neat? Jack: Yes!

Jack and I were standing side by side for about 1 minute staring up into the sky. My focus was fully on him. We were connected for those few moments. Then we looked at each other, smiled and went our way.

Austin aged 6 , a new friend of a few weeks

Me: Hi Austin.

Austin: Hey how did you remember my name?

Me: Well, I used a name remembering trick. Do you know what Texas is?

Austin: No.

Me: Well, it is a big piece of land in the United States and it has a big town in it called Austin. So when I see you, I think about Texas and then I remember your name is Austin. Austin: Cool.

Me: Austin, do you know my name?

Austin: No.

Me: Well, it’s Mary Ann. Lets see, how you could use the name trick to remember my name. Can you think of a poem about a Mary?

Austin: Oh yeah, Mary had a little lamb.

Me: Good job. Now you will never forget my name. Cool trick huh!

Austin: Laughing, “Yeah, cool!”

Austin and I became fast friends and had hundreds of mini conversations over the 18 months that he was in my life. When we parted ways he gave me this note:

Dear Mary Ann,

I love how you come over to my house every week. I love you.


When we are present, treat children with respect and interest it pays huge dividends in the relationship. Practice!

5. Who Am I Poster

Often, no matter how the difficulty is manifesting itself, what is getting in our way is ourselves. Often we just don’t trust, like, love or nurture ourselves. There are a myriad of reasons why this happens. The why isn’t nearly as important as just making a change in how we feel about and view ourselves. This is a simple exercise that has had a huge impact in my own life. I still use it.

See examples of what your poster might look like here. There are a number to choose from. You find one online, cut one out of cardboard or draw one.

Inside the body of your person write everything you would like to be. All those things that you believe you are not. When you have done that I want you to realize that what you have written is, in fact, who you are. You just have to begin to believe it to see it manifest in your life.

Put the poster on a wall. I have mine on the wall in my office but the bedroom works too. Every morning and evening stand in front of your poster and in a very happy, animated voice read everything you have written inside of yourself, out loud, with emotion.

I use this tool in another really powerful way too. When I have messed up in some way or feel that I have somehow failed in something, I march myself to my poster, smile and shout out what I have written there. By the time I am done I am feeling a whole lot better.

It prevents me from mentally whipping myself with negative thoughts.

6. Thought-emotion-action-result cycle

This is a concept that I want you to plant deep in your heart and allow to grow until you believe it, and then begin to do it. It might take a few days or weeks and for some, a few years. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to master this tool, what matters is that you plant the seed and let it grow. You will do that by reading the PDF for a few months.

Print off the handout here. Hang it where you can see it everyday and regularly. When you have a bad result because of an action you took, think back, what were you feeling that caused you to behave in that way. Then think back a bit father, what thought brought up the emotion.

May people will say “Well, I couldn’t help it. I just felt_________. They believe that the cycle begins with an emotion but it doesn’t. EVERYTHING begins with a thought first. So if you can begin to control your thoughts you can get better control of your emotions and results. This is how I overcame yelling. I began to control what I thought!!

At first you will spend a lot of time moving backwards, from a poor result, to find the thought. But eventually you will stop the cycle at the thought. It is all a matter of practice and intention.