Ask Auntie Artichoke

Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Ask Auntie Artichoke - Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Low Self Esteem? Build Confidence

Hello from beautiful Montana:

Are you or someone you love overcome with low self esteem? A belief system which implies that you are less than others and not deserving of happiness is not serving you well.  Each one of us is born with a gift or destiny. It is important that you find ways and means to build confidence and raise your self-esteem.

Build Confidence With Positive Affirmations

Our thoughts and belief systems are continually running through our minds.  Are your thoughts mostly positive or negative?  Thoughts are like plants in a garden, when you plant a bean (or positive thought) you get multiples of beans. You will want to plant a series of hope, success, happiness and enthusiasm seeds of positive affirmations.

Affirmations are statements of belief.  Your subconscious does not grade or evaluate them.  It just tries to make the actions of the individual (you) make them come true. The more you repeat a statement, the more the mind will hear the message and  encourage your physical body to follow the encouragement.

Affirmations For High Self-Esteem

  • I am a worthy person who treats others and myself with respect.
  • I am a successful problem solver and find creative solutions.
  • I draw others to me who are kind, thoughtful and helpful.
  • I  take care of my body and mind so I can appreciate all my talents.
  • I am brave, courageous, and unafraid to change ways and thoughts that are not working for my highest good.

Negative Thoughts and Low Self-Esteem Unwelcome

I have confidence in your ability to encourage a positive attitude and high self-esteem. You can do it.  You are worthy of the respect of your peers, family and friends. Just keep planting positive affirmations in your mind and acting in a confident manner.

If you need assistance, please go to:

You will be glad you did.

In gratitude,

Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and motivational speaker

Plant Positive Thoughts With Affirmations

Do you know why it is so much easier to harvest negative thoughts

Plant positive thoughts and actions with affirmations. Just as you choose to put good food in your body, put good thoughts in your mind.

Plant positive thoughts and actions with affirmations. Just as you choose to put good food in your body, put good thoughts in your mind.

and beliefs from our minds and actions? Do you know how to plant positive thoughts with affirmations? We are what we think about, so it is in our best interest to think positive thoughts.

Law of Attraction – Thoughts equal Actions

When we begin search for great self knowledge, in any recovery program or just in the inner soul examinations we may feel that all we are seeing are character flaws. One reason the negative thoughts come up so easily is because parents, siblings, teachers and religious leaders were so eager to tell us what we were doing was wrong.

If those messages came from someone we trusted, we probably believed what they were saying. and then the thoughts became belief systems and we acted according to them.

Minds Are Like Gardens

When you plant a bean seed, you not only get a bean but multiples of beans. It is a law of nature, that what you plant multiplies in gestation. It is the same thing with thoughts. When you plant, or have planted negative thoughts into your sub-consious mind, you will have many, many more negative thoughts and thus actions.

Plant Positive Thoughts With Affirmations

In psychology, an affirmation is a positive thought or statement declaring (or affirming) that a desired goal has been reached or is within reach. When using affirmations, think of them as planting positive flowers or seeds. You can expect to see more as they grow and develop and spread to other areas of your life.

Repeat Affirmations Many Times  Daily

  • I am a kind and loving person.
  • I am strong and healthy.
  • I am a problem solver and look for new solutions to old problems.
  • It is easy for me to learn new methods of doing things.
  • I smile at people because I am glad to be alive and to share my life with them.
  • I will list 3 things I am grateful for tonight before I go to sleep. I have many to choose from.
  • I am a fortunate person and good things happen to me.

I have confidence in your ability to change your negative thoughts to positive actions with the use of affirmations.

You are invited to go to this website for great ideas for you.

Are You Well Liked – Power of Likeability

Hello from beautiful Montana;

How do you manage social situations?  Do you know what to say when networking in the work place? Would your co-workers say you are well liked?  There is a power of likability that some have naturally, but most need to work on.

Friendship Foundation

The root and base of every relationship is friendship.This springboard of friendship with self and then others takes us to love and trust.  How we communicate and interact with others is indicative of how we treat those we live with as well as complete strangers.

If we give only surface attention to the needs of others, it will reflect on our friendships but also on our bottom line.

Respect, Kindness and Understanding

If we treat ourselves and others with respect, kindness and understanding, friendship will grow and develop naturally. Our body language is the communication of relationships, so stand tall and look people in the eye. Smile often and really listen to what others have to say.

People Like To Do Business With People They Know, Like and Trust

In the world of business, if all things are equal, people will do business with a friend.  If things are unequal, they will still do business with a friend.  Those who are giving you their money want to know that you know what you are doing and they want to trust you.

Your likability is the critical factor in  helping customers make a buying decision.  If they like you, they are more likely to trust you.  If you have indicated that you like them and want to help them solve their problems they will believe you more readily. If you show confidence in yourself and products, your customers will want to do business with you.

Be Confident to Be Well Liked

Building Confidence is a skill and just like any other skill, it can be learned. It takes a guide or mentor, basic directions, practicing on a consistent basis and  WOW, there you are.

You will send out positive vibrations which will tell others that you are a likable person and they will be drawn to your power of likability.

The power of likability cannot be underestimated. It is the connection between you and others.

I have confidence in your ability to find solutions to situations that are not working in your life right now.  Please let me be your guide and mentor in this journey of life. is a wonderful program that can assist you in your goal of being more likeable and successful in your life.

Your friend,

Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and speaker

Tips for Long Distance Parenting

Tips for Long Distance Parenting

This following guest article was written by Richard Hemby who regularly writes about social science degrees and college related topics for Online College Guru, an online college degree guide.

Whether it is a divorce or a job commitment (such as the military) which has taken you away from your child, parenting from a long distance can be very difficult for you and your child. There are some things that you can do however that will ease this anxiety and keep you as an active parent in their life. The most important thing for a long distance parent to do is to maintain communication with your child.

Communicate Regularly

Today’s technology allows us to communicate rather easily. Besides using the phone, text messaging, email, facebook, as well as online video and picture sharing are all easily accessible to both the parent and the child. Make a commitment to communicate with your child daily, whether it is a text message, an email or a phone call, regular communication is important. Start right away, call your child when you get to your new location, let them know you are okay. This will start things off on a good note.

Establish a routine with your child. Send them an email every morning; call them every Tuesday and Thursday evening after dinner, whatever works best for both of you. A child likes a routine, it reassures them. They will not be sitting around wondering when they will here from you, they know when they will. This takes away everyone’s anxiety.

Keep up with Their Life

Long distance parenting can easily make you feel disconnected with your child. Do everything that you can to stay current on their life. When you talk with them, don’t just make small talk; ask them detailed questions about what they are doing now. This may take some practice on both of your parts. You will have to get skilled at asking the right questions without appearing to be meddling, and it will take the child some time to open up with you over the phone or through email. Just be persistent. You can use other avenues to learn about their life. Keep up with their facebook page; you would be surprised how much they open up in that forum. Keep a line of communication open with their school, find out how your child is doing and what school activities are coming up. Also it is best if you have maintained communication with the other parent. This is the best source of knowledge of what is going on in your child’s life. Use this information to ask your child relevant questions about his/her life.

Also, you should reciprocate by sharing the new things in your life with them. Keep a running list of things you would like to share with your child, so you don’t forget. When you call them, bring these things up in the conversation. If you are open with them, they will more likely be open with you. This also helps them stay connected with you.

Let them know you are always thinking about them, and that they are special to you. If they have a big test, or a big event coming up that they may be worried or even just excited about, send them a postcard letting them know that you are thinking of him/her. Children really like getting mail, and this will make them feel special.
Long distance parenting is a difficult adjustment for the parent and the child, but by committing to regular communication with the child, a lot of anxiety will be alleviated.

Step-Dad or Stepped On Dad?

Stepdad, hmmm, Does that mean that you are available to be stepped on or walked over?  No, you are not a stepped on dad.  You are an important part of your children’s and step children’s lives, even if they don’t always respect you or your position as the dad in this house.

You will never be their stepkids’ birth parent and you never will be.  Even if the other parent is deceased the children may refer to him as “my real dad.”  That is okay. That is reality.  But it is also reality that you are not necessarily worthless or inferior to the birth parent.  You are each unique and provide different aspects to parenting.

Dad of This House

Most stepparents want more than respect. We hold the dream that we will also be loved and honored by them as we hope we can build a new family unit.  Many therapists tell me that young children are very black and white and cannot deal in abstract thinking.

What this means is that when children begin to transfer affection to a step parent, they feel guilty and disloyal to the birth parent.  They need to be told that it is okay to love many people and that it is good to have a number of adults who care and support them.

Don’t Expect Instant Love

You may feel irritated or resentful of your stepchildren.  You don’t have to automatically love them, but you do have to act in a loving and respectful way towards them and their mother.

As you give and demand respect and kindness, you will create a shared life filled with memories. Love and affection take time to grow in any relationship.  Many times, just looking at what the child might be feeling and having an honest and open communication will pave the road for a mutually respectful relationship.

Step dad or stepped on dad?  How about being a part of the village it takes to raise a child.  We are all in this together.

Thanks for joining our community of caring parents, family members,coaches, teachers and mentors who want to help raise a generation of responsible adults who respect others.

Artichoke Press is the home site of Judy H. Wright, family relationship coach and author of over 20 books and many articles on family relationships. If your organization would like to schedule Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer, for a workshop please call 406.549.9813.

(c) Judy H. Wright You have permission to reprint this article in your blog, ezine or offline magazine as long as you keep the content and contact information intact. Thank You.

PS: If your family is having problems with disrespectful and rude children and you need ideas on how to deal with out of control kids; check it out. You will be glad you did and so will your family.

Building Strong Family Relationships

Hello from beautiful Montana:

As caring adults(either by DNA or friendship) we want to create a safe and nurturing space in order to build strong family relationships.  We also want the kind of  family relationship  where each child is a connected child within the family.

Here are a few ideas we have used in our family and have been suggested by other close families in my parenting classes.  Use these ideas as springboards to decide what can enhance the relationships and build a strong family.

  1. Create an  home environment where feelings can be shared This means that we give names to our emotions and not just feel mad, sad and glad.  Even anger is an appropriate emotion at times.  We need to continually be learning methods of expressing feelings without hurting others.
  2. Spend Time with the Kids The idea of quality time is over used.  What kids want is just your time. They want you there completely when you are there. If you can only spare 15 minutes to play Candy Land, then be present for the whole time.  Be involved in their activities with them.
  3. Be Open and Approachable With All Members of the Family Make an effort to be nonjudgmental and to listen to all sides of the story.  Many parents just want to be “right.”  For every situation there are at least five solutions so listen to your kids, they may teach you something.
  4. Let The Family Know That Love is Unconditional You may be disappointed at what they did, but are never disappointed with them as individuals.  Make sure everyone knows that your emotional support and love are not tied to accomplishments, looks or achievements.  We love each other in spite of…not because of.

Good luck in building strong family relationships.  Trust me it is worth the effort to bind your tribe, family and group into a solid foundation of love and support.

I have confidence in you.  If you would like more information on raising responsible children please go to:

Fondly,  Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker