In all my years as a parent educator, I have never met parents who earnestly wanted to hurt their children. Most parents sincerely want to encourage and empower their children to lead strong, successful lives. However, it is their lack of mindfulness that defaults into old patterns and belief systems that teach their children harmful messages rather accidently.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that ALL of their ideas are good ones. In fact, many are silly, impossible or end up setting a bad precedent. Donuts and chocolate cake for breakfast? Drawing with permanent markers while sitting on your new couch? Of course not. However, many of the things they complain about when it comes to their parents are right on the money.
Adults love to give kids warnings when a rule is broken and would love to believe warnings are a highly compassionate method of parenting, a reflection of our loving and kind humanity. But guess what? Warnings may be the farthest thing from true compassion. Though almost always well-intentioned, warnings will routinely backfire. Here are the main reasons why:
Happy New Year! I know you’ve had plenty of people tell you about goal setting, so I am not going to bore you with how to set goals or resolutions today. Today, I am telling you another true story. A client of mine, we’ll call her Jane, called me the other day with a burning question for me, and it took on an interesting twist. She started off by telling me about a guy friend of hers that she had worked with in the past. Steve, as we’ll call him, lives in another city. They talk via phone every now and then and text frequently.
When I was a child, it seemed like every adult in my zip code had an uncanny skill for making a “mountain out of a molehill.” In other words, of taking the smallest shred of negativity and amplifying all the tyranny and rottenness that shred of negativity may have implied. Before I go any further, let me give credit where credit is due. Exaggeration—the ability to weave a grand story out of next to nothing—is a very creative endeavor. It takes a keen eye, creative determination, and a lofty ability to wax poetic on all that is wrong.
My heart goes out to the victims and families of those who died during this most recent senseless tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Being a parent and professional counselor myself, I felt a guttural pain imagining how I would feel if my child had been shot. My grief can only be a miniscule fraction of what the parents whose children were shot are feeling. My hope is that we respond to all of the victims with compassion and caring.
Hanukkah (or Chanukah or one of many other spellings) is a Jewish festival that comes around the time of Christmas. Many people know it for the progressive lighting of the candles on its nine branched menorah, for latkes or potato pancakes, for gift giving, for singing and for dreidels.
It's important to recognize that kids are not reliable reporters and should not be put in the position of "telling on" one parent and witnessing the other parent's major reaction. Parents must communicate directly with each other on the adult level.
On one level, this is just one more tragedy in a series of tragedies that have occurred in our country. On another level, the victims here were considerably younger. Additionally, Newton, CT was also severely affected by Superstorm Sandy. However, the impact of a tragedy this large ripples across the country and beyond.
Failed time-outs can be a huge source of frustration for parents and teachers, making them question their skills and abilities, and leading to the belief that they need to escalate severity to get consequences to work. This can easily result in stronger and stronger reprimands, lectures, and even yelling, along with more and more drastic and punitive consequences. This is typically a recipe for disaster. There is a much better way. Really understanding why time-outs don’t work is the place to begin.
So many kind and thoughtful parents are trying so hard to simply have a lovingly positive impact on their child, only to see the child slip further and further into the realm of being “challenging.” This is so prevalent, even among the best and brightest parents. Difficult child behavior comprises a quiet epidemic – the kind that brings so many to their knees.
By Dr. Stacey MacKinnon, Psychologist, FindYourPlusOne.com We all know it is exciting when everything in a relationship is new, developing, and growing into something larger and more meaningful then we initially imagined. But even exciting new beginnings require some thought, especially when one or both people in the relationship have children.
There is a quiet despair among so many loving, smart, and deeply caring parents. They so desire to see their children manifest their greatness, to use their intensity well instead of having it go awry, and too often they see their best efforts to inspire respectful and responsible choices slip away to further levels of frustration.
I used to think that if something didn’t turn out right (cake batter or laundering a stained blouse, say) the way to apply a fix was to add something. More flour to the batter. An applique over the stain. I’d like to say those solutions worked, but we both know better. So why do we seek to add a BIG COMPLICATION to an already-complicated situation? I’m not talking returning a dog to the pound because he digs under the fence. Or changing your mind about that four grand worth of furniture.
Pregnancy has an effect on a woman's body. It's almost impossible for a woman to immediately bounce back to her prepregnancy body after giving birth. However, working your way back towards your prepregnancy figure isn't impossible. After pregnancy, you must adjust your gym routine to your new motherhood lifestyle.