Loving Your Imperfect Body


Big Business

In our society today, body image has become not only big business, but a big issue as well. Clothing, beauty products, anti-aging products, fitness products and services…we like to look good! And that’s a great thing, when it’s healthy confidence we’re after.

All too often, though, our own body image becomes skewed, and we find we’re not comfortable in our own skin. This is when unhealthy – and even harmful – habits can crop up and become a problem.

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Unhappy Self Image

Did you know that studies have shown that children as young as five years old have expressed unhappiness with how their bodies look? Half of all little girls, and one-third of little boys, between the ages of six and eight think they are too heavy and that they should weigh less. Five-to-eight year olds who view their mothers as unhappy with their bodies are more likely to be unhappy with their own.

These study results prove that there is a definite issue with body image that only gets worse as children reach puberty and young adulthood where there is more pressure to look a certain way, to be “cool” and accepted.


What can we do about it?

First, if you’re a parent, have confidence in your own unique look and shape. Strive to become healthier, and let your children see and hear that – not that you’re trying to “lose weight” or “get skinnier”. Project a positive body image yourself, and support your kids in being the healthiest they can be, while being confident in their own skin.

If you’re not a parent, but have an unhealthy body image yourself, practice looking in the mirror and saying, “I am perfect in my imperfection.” There is only one you – and that is a unique and beautiful person who is full of greatness! Positive affirmations will reach your brain on a subconscious level, and make it easier for you to take the action you need in order to make those positive affirmations reality.


Be comfortable and confident in how you look

Learn to recognize negative thought patterns. When you do have a negative thought, stop and recognize it, then turn it around so that it has a positive spin. This one skill will translate into many different areas of your life – not just your body image! You’ll be surprised at how many negative thoughts you have every day – and this gives you plenty of chances to practice positive thinking!

Be comfortable and confident in how you look, and strive to achieve a healthy body, and state of mind!

Lessons Children Learn From Parents : Integrity



Integrity, defined by Webster is, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” Integrity is born in every person’s mind and heart. It is also a mind-set you needed to continue to develop.  Integrity demonstrates who you really and what you really believe about right and wrong, good and evil. Integrity is seen not in just one act of goodness, but in your entire character.

So, how do we as parents teach integrity to our children? First, you must ask yourself if you are actually modeling a life of integrity that your children can follow. Integrity is taught by what we say, how we say it, what we do and how we do it.  Let’s take a closer look at each of these methods.


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What We Say: My father always told me that my word is my bond. All he meant was when you speak with people they need to be able to trust that you will be true to your word.  When you understand and demonstrate this concept, you will find that you’ll be much more likely to speak truth and follow through with what you’ve said and people will trust your words.  In other words, (no pun intended) make sure that your “yes” mean yes and your “no” mean no.


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How We Say It: If occasionally you find yourself speaking to your children in a sarcastic or condescending tone of voice, stop it.  Patience is indeed a virtue and it can be hard sometimes to maintain. However as parents we need to be mindful of our tones and attitudes. You have to replace this attitude with a patient demeanor.  Holding on to your integrity by honoring your family in the way you talk to them on a daily basis strengthens your integrity and becomes a great example of what integrity sounds like.


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What We Do:  This one is probably the most obvious, and is the most important way to teach your kids integrity. You have to lead by example.  If you tell your kids that smoking is bad for them and that they shouldn’t smoke, yet you smoke everyday…what do you think the message is that you are conveying to the kids? Kids often imitate what we do more so that what we say. Start being a model for your kids and live a life of integrity that they can follow.


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How We Do It:  We were washing cars at a car wash for charity when this lady pulled up and asked to have her car washed. She paid the $5 for her car wash, but when putting her wallet in her purse she dropped a 20 dollar bill. My son picked it up and instantly returned to the lady. That’s integrity in action. When you teach kids to do their best in everything with excellence, even when no one is watching, integrity will show up.


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Integrity includes the important trait of honesty, keeping one’s word and being dependable. Integrity is a quality that becomes a way in which you are known as a person. An individual with integrity is someone who can be trusted always, whose word is never questioned, and who is known as someone with a high code of moral conduct. Even children who display integrity are known for having this quality, and children who don’t show this quality find it difficult to convince anyone to trust them. When your child becomes an adult, he (or she) will find integrity to be a key value that will unlock doors in the business sector and in his personal life, as people treasure this quality that he holds. A way that you can show your child how to live with integrity is to live with integrity yourself. Keep your promises, and do what you say you will do. Be honest, and never make your child feel that they need to doubt what you have told them.


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Coach Beverly Jones-DurrBeverly Jones-Durr is founder of Every Child Has a Story which is home to The Writer’s Vibe and  Speech Crafters Club – The Only Public Speaking Club for Kids and Teens in Alabama!”  Beverly empowers young people to command their voice, feelings, ideals, energy and intellect and use all of that to boost their communication skills. Speech Crafters Club is a safe place for members age 8 and up to explore creativity and enhance their communication skills all while enhancing self-esteem and confidence. The Writer’s Vibe empowers kids to use words to write stories only they can write and become stellar wordsmiths whose talents will no doubt someday change the world. The Writers Vibe program launches in 2017. Check us out and prepare to be amazed!  You can also follow Beverly 0n Twitter, FaceBook and Pinterest



Lessons Children Learn From Parents





There are certain lessons that will serve every child well to have learned by the time they are an adult. The younger your child learns these lessons, the better prepared they will be for life and all it brings their way. There are so many qualities that a child must learn to become a mature adult, so take each opportunity to help your child learn whatever they can from any situation in their life. Situations present themselves often, and these lessons are there to help us grow to become more well-rounded and useful individuals. As a parent you can use these as opportunities to guide your child in their personal journey to become responsible and respectful adults.  I am sure you’ve learned these lessons already, but it is worth mentioning here because parents have often asked me “How do I guide my children in these areas?” During the month of November, I will be addressing these lessons in my weekly posts. Make sure that you are on the list so that you can receive each one.  Let’s dive right in and talk about RESPECT…









This is one of life’s most important lessons. Respect is basically treating others as you would like to be treated. Without this quality, a child will find life to be very difficult. Respect will assist your child now because adults will view your child more favorably if your child displays this quality.

As adults we forget that children aren’t born with a built-in sense of respect for others. All children regardless of their unique personalities have to be taught to be respectful. Think about how babies are able to manipulate us in order to get their needs met… this is natural for them. But it’s our job as parents to teach them respectful ways of doing this as they grow.

It’s important to remember that your child is not your friend—your child is your child. Your job is to teach them to be able to function in the world. This means teaching him to behave respectfully to others and not just you.

Whether  you are a Baby Boomer or Generation X, it is a different world right now than the one we grew up. Today we wonder why kids have gotten so much more disrespectful these days—we see children and teens arguing with or ignoring adults, using foul language, copping an attitude and not using manners or respecting those in authority. This just means that we have our work cut out for us and will have to work harder as parents to teach our kids to be respectful. Added to this already exhausting situation is the fact that parents are also busier than ever before, which makes it much harder to respond immediately to our kids. Let’s face it, it’s easier to let things slide when you’re worn out and stressed from working countless hours to feed, clothe and provide a home for them. Here are a few reminders to guide you as you begin to change the culture in your own house if disrespectful behavior lives with you.





Your Child Doesn’t Need Another BFF


 It’s not about your child liking you or even thanking you for what you do. It might not seem like it, but your child needs you to set boundaries, teach the hard lessons and protect them. They don’t know what they don’t know…but you do. Your job is to coach them to be able to function in the world. This means teaching them to behave respectfully towards others, and especially you. When you think your child might be crossing the line, ask yourself, “Would I let the neighbor say these things to me? Would I let a stranger?” If the answer is no, don’t let your child do it, either. Some day when your child becomes an adult, your relationship may become more of a friendship, but for now, it’s your job to be parent: teacher, coach and limit setter…not the BFF who lets them get away with things and do whatever they want to do.  Remember, your child can make many friends, but has been given one set of parents.











Address Disrespect Early


This can be a little difficult but it’s always a good thing to catch disrespectful behavior as early if possible. If your child is rude or disrespectful, don’t turn a blind eye. Intervene and say, “We don’t talk to each other that way in this family.”  Giving consequences when your kids are younger is going to pay off in the long run. It’s really important as a parent if you see your child being disrespectful to admit it and then address it. I love it when Iyanla Vanzant says, “Let’s call a thing a thing!” Don’t be afraid to address disrespect. Plan your contingency in advance, don’t wait until it shows up.  If you have young kids…they will eventually move into the potentially difficult phase…Teens! Trust me when I say these can be challenging years. Lay the groundwork now and fine-tune your skills to be prepared for their interactions at a later time. This will be very beneficial to you as a parent moving forward together as a family.







Make Sure You and Your Mate are on The Same Page


It’s so important for you and your mate to be on the same page when it comes to your child’s behavior. Make sure one of you isn’t allowing the disrespectful behavior while the other is trying to intercede. Children are truly brilliant when it comes to parental divide and conquer. If you both are not on the same page when dealing with disrespectful behavior…They Will Know. Sit down together and talk about what your bottom lines are and come up with a plan of action you both can agree on that lists of consequences you might give if your child breaks the rules.





Teach Your Child Basic Social Mannerisms


This one may sound old fashioned, but it’s very important to teach your child basic manners. Coming up I was taught to address adults with “please” and “thank you.” Today, I have to admit I don’t hear much of that. When your child deals with teachers in school or gets that first job interview and has these skills to fall back on, it will really be beneficial. Understand that using manners, just a simple “excuse me” or “thank you” is also a form of empathy. A dose of empathy teaches your kids to respect others and acknowledges their impact on other people.

Although adults should live in a way that commands instead of demands respect, many also expect it to be shown by children. Your child will be given more opportunities if they are viewed to be a respectful child. As an adult, your child will flourish in their personal and business relationships. The best way a parent can teach their child this crucial quality is to live in this manner themselves. Respect the people around you and don’t talk down about other individuals. Respect your child, which gives them the self-acceptance needed to grow in this quality, and lets them experience being on the receiving end of respect. Remember, your children imitate what they see you do,  so if respect is important to you your actions must indicate it.  Don’t miss next weeks posts. Join the Every Child Has a Story community. Our mission is to build self-esteem and confidence in today’s youth!


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Every Child Has a Story | Beverly Jones-Durr



  bev-artisto  Beverly Jones-Durr is an Author, Dynamic Speaker, Certified Life Purpose Coach and Educational Facilitator. She is founder of Every Child Has a Story which houses Speech Crafters Club and The Writer’s Vibe. As Director at Speech Crafters Club, “The Only Public Speaking Club for Kids and Teens in Alabama”, Beverly empowers young people to command their voice, feelings, ideals, energy and intellect and use all of that to boost their communication skills. Speech Crafters Club is a safe place for members age 8 and up to explore creativity and enhance their communication skills all while enhancing self-esteem and confidence. The Writer’s Vibe is a program that empowers youth to use words to write stories only they can write and become stellar wordsmiths whose talents will no doubt someday change the world. The Writers Vibe program launches in 2017.  Check us out and prepare to be amazed! You can also follow Beverly 0n Twitter, FaceBook and Pinterest ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Image (2)175 x 175 imagepurposecert-key-1b3980f36280ed163bc048aaf47b819fcedc3bb9



What’s In Your Tool Box?

Do you have memories of being read to as a child?  I grew up around books.  They weren’t in my house actually…I got my love of books from the library but my love of stories came from my Dad.  He would gather us girls together at night before bed and tell us a story.  My Dad went as far as the sixth grade…so needless to say his reading skills were limited.  But that didn’t stop him from using his vivid imagination to create the most amazing stories.  His stories seemed like they were his own adventures…riding a wild horse on his sister’s farm; climbing a mountain covered by snow,  even flying a kite on a windy March afternoon.  The point is…he took the time to engage us in fantasy, make believe and adventurous journeys.  My Dad made me feel safe and loved and inspired me to dream and envision myself far beyond the poverty he had known most of his life to an endlessly awesome existance.

What makes a child feel as if they can do anything?  Well, for me it only took one look into my Dad’s eyes as he told his stories.  It was as if he could see pass any obstacle straight into amazing!  We will need to inspire our children in ways unlike anyone else.  When you are close to a child and the child feels that connection with you inspiration is shared and fed to maturity.  Children are thinking, talented, intelligent, listening beings.  They hear us loud and clear…especially when we think they are not listening.  Take time to spend with a child and share with them YOUR story.  Oh, you didn’t realize you have a story?  Everybody has a story…lot’s of stories even.  Open up your heart’s door.  Close your eyes and settle your thoughts and you will hear the voice of your inner child begin to tell YOUR story.

So, here’s another tool:  Look deep inside and find the story that inspired you.

In order to engage a child in the creation of his or her own story…you need a story of your own.    Why is this so important?  Our story is our identity.  It contains everything that shapes our vision, goals, purpose and even our fears.  We are positioning ourselves to become architects in the building of something amazing!  It’s a process…won’t happen overnight.  But, happen it will!

Great News!

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I am always amazed when the curve of the road on my life journey brings me face to face with an awesome opportunity.  It all started with an invitation to join a Facebook group, Alabama General Store.  This group is sponsored by Inspire Arts Charitable Foundation whose mission is to promote inclusion in the arts.   At Every Child Has A Story our mission is the enhance self esteem in children ages 5 and up through writing, speech making and creative arts.  It did not take me long to notice a very distinct parallel and kinship developing before my eyes!  This is that curve in the road I was referring to earlier.  It is through inclusion that our coming together is so awesome.  This is not just any group on Facebook.  The Alabama General Store is the “Premier Online Virtual Department Store” on Facebook.  Through the expert mentoring and care of Inspire Arts this group sports over 29 individual departments and has members in excess of 7500 and we are just over three months old!  Each department is filled with Artisans from across the south whose amazing works are the top of the handcrafted line!

So, you might be asking why is this great news for Every Child Has A Story?  Every Child Has A Story gets its funding from my small business, Gifted Genie.   That’s right!  100% of all proceeds from items purchased by you go to fund my organization.  Because of the marketing amazement of Inspire Arts the Gifted Genie is making increased sales…which means more funds available to support our mission and the children.  We were able to host three writing workshops this summer!  That’s right three!  Eighteen children participated and created wonderful stories and poetry.  These awesome new writers ranged in age from 5 to 14.  It was sometimes challenging but so rewarding….we want to do more and reach more children.

I am developing an online module of our writing workshop so we can reach beyond the Tennessee Valley.  I expect we will be ready to go live by first of next year!  The speech making begins next week.  We have four members so far!

How can you help?  The holiday season is coming.  Check out the Alabama General Store.  Gifted Genie has lots of items listed in the Fine Arts Department and the Books & Handcrafted Stationery Department for sale.  When it’s time to do your shopping this holiday season, please consider purchasing from the Gifted Genie.  You will be participating in the proverbial village it takes to raise a child and helping Every Child Has A Story provide self esteem enhancement to children who need it the most.  You will also be getting “Great Gifts” as well as supporting the local merchants.

Your continued patronage is greatly appreciated!

Beverly Jones-Durr – Executive Director, Every Child Has A Story