Tag Archives: parents

Helping a Child Know Their Worth

Helping a Child Know Their Worth

Please read this, especially if you have children. This morning I saw this quote graphic on Todd Lohenry’s blog. Although we can all learn something from this quote, I really thought about how we can apply this to children and teens. This can be a great teaching tool!!!

Teens are trying to find their identity. Social relationships are especially important at this age. According to Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development, adolescence experience a stage of development called identity vs. role confusion. In this stage, teens are trying to develop a sense of personal identity. If they are successful, they will be able to stay true to themselves.

Teens who develop a healthy sense of self are… Continue reading

10 Tips for Parents of Young Children

My blogging friend, Shannon at Dirtnkids.wordpress.com, recently reached out to me and let me know how much she liked this post. I originally posted it last year. Thank you, Shannon. Here it is again.

10 Tips for Parents of Young Children

Your children will thank you later.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Although I may not be able to verbalize my feelings just yet, and may not even know what it is that I really want and need from you at this young age, I am going to tell you what I will say to you when I am all grown up.

I will say:

Thank you for being my parent rather than my friend.  I didn’t want to know all about your adult problems.  When I was young, I needed you there for me and not the other way around.  Thank you for leaning on your friends for support and not me.  Thank you for being the adult and allowing me to be a child.  Now that I am an adult, we can be friends.

Thank you for providing me with structure and discipline and for holding me accountable for my actions.  It has helped make me the responsible person that I am today.

Thank you for always believing in me.  Because you believed in me, I now believe in myself.

Thank you for spending quality time with me.  The time we spent together was better than any monetary gift you could have ever given me.

Thank you for giving me positive attention. I now know that children want attention from their parents more than anything else in the world.  Children that do not receive positive attention act up in order to get negative attention.  Believe it or not, a child will opt for a parent’s yelling and screaming over no attention at all.  Thank you for making me feel important in your world.

Thank you for allowing me to get mad at you.  I will never forget the time that I told you that I did not like you and that I wanted to run away.  You did not get angry.  You simply replied, “I really hope that you don’t leave.  I love you and would miss you terribly.” Although I was still mad at you, I felt really loved.  By doing that, you taught me how to express my anger without reacting to it.

Thank you for helping me with my homework and being involved in my school.  I never doubted the importance of school or how much you cared about my present and future well-being.

Thank you for recognizing my unique strengths and talents.  You always saw me as my own special person different from yourself.  Thank you for appreciating my individuality.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my opinions, even when you disagreed.  You taught me that what I had to say was important.

Thank you for living with integrity.  You didn’t just tell me to be honest, you modeled it. Thank you.

Letting Go of Harsh Self-Judgments: The Eight Steps to Change. Step 4.

kbceightstepsfourSo you’ve acknowledged what you want to change, become deeply aware of your self-critical habits, and started to catch yourself in the act when you beat yourself up. Now it’s time to become your own self-parent and stop yourself from making harsh self-judgments. It may sound a little odd, the idea of parenting yourself, but believe me, this is exactly the attitude you need to take! Continue reading

A Repost From Dona Matthews of Parent-Space: “Successful Parenting After Divorce: Ten Tips for Helping Children Thrive”

Hello! Today’s post comes from Dona Matthews of Parent-Space. In the article, she offers valuable advice on making sure children flourish in the midst of a divorce.

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“It’s not unusual for children to experience anxiety, anger, or sadness in the first two years after their parents’ divorce. Most will go on to thrive, but some (about 25%) are at risk for serious long-term problems. Successful parenting after divorce—along the lines of the suggestions listed here—increases children’s chances of finding long-term happiness and fulfilling relationships as adults.

These ten tips for successful parenting after divorce come from the research on outcomes for kids of divorce. They’re also informed by my experience as a counsellor, and as a divorced mother of two girls, now in their mid-thirties and doing well in their lives. As with so much else, I’ve learned a lot about successful parenting after divorce from the mistakes I made along the way.

  1. Reassure your children of your love and strength. Be as supportive as you know how to be. Listen with patience and compassion. Don’t push your children to talk about their feelings, but be present and available. Cook the meals you know they love. Reassure them you will always love them. Show them you’ll take care of them, no matter what. Let them know the divorce is not their fault.
  2. Create an atmosphere of calm, stability, and security. Establish and maintain dependable routines for mealtimes, bedtimes, and other daily and weekly activities.
  3. Take good care of yourself. Attend to your own needs for sleep, nutritious diet, exercise, and support. Do what you need to do to regulate your emotions, so you can respond thoughtfully and thoroughly to your children’s needs. Focus on breathing evenly and deeply—especially when you’re feeling stressed. Practice other techniques for mindfulness and relaxation, as needed. Successful parenting after divorce means showing your kids how adults cope well with problems.
  4. Don’t badmouth your ex to your kids, or try to restrict access. Negative feelings about your ex are normal and predictable during divorce. Talk openly to your friends, family members, or therapist. However, you’ll increase your children’s feelings of insecurity if you undermine their other parent. Similarly, you are damaging your kids if you try to restrict their access (assuming there are no concerns about safety or abuse).
  5. Don’t use your kids as messengers. When you have something to tell your ex, get in touch yourself. If you have questions about what’s happening when your kids spend time with your ex, ask your ex about it. Don’t put your children in the center of your conflicts. And don’t ask them to act as mediators or go-betweens.
  6. Be respectful in your communications with your ex. Keep the focus of your communications on your children’s well-being. Listen respectfully to your ex’s concerns about the kids. Phrase your requests as questions rather than accusations. ‘Should we set a later time for the pick-up?’ Not, ‘You’re always late! Do you know how that makes the kids feel?!’
  7. Try for a flexible consistency across households. Rules don’t have to be exactly the same at your ex’s home and yours, but it will help you achieve successful parenting after divorce if you agree on some basics. It’s best for children when they experience a flexible consistency about schedules, homework, curfews, and disciplinary consequences.
  8. Don’t argue in front of the kids, or pull them into your arguments with your ex. If you can’t agree about important issues (school choice, medical procedures) you may need to find a therapist or other mediator. When it comes to smaller items (bedtime being 7:30 or 8, the importance of flossing, whether ice cream is okay), be flexible. Look for ways to compromise (‘I can agree to an 8 pm bedtime if you make sure Sarah flosses every night’).
  9. Minimize your children’s feelings of homelessness. Make sure your children feel totally 100% welcome in your home, whether it’s their designated time with you or not. My ex-husband and I were good examples of successful parenting after divorce in lots of ways. Both of us worked hard to give our kids a good life in our respective homes, and communicated productively with each other. It wasn’t until much later that I realized our children had felt homeless all those years, as they went back and forth between our homes.
  10. Get help if needed. Successful parenting after divorce doesn’t happen all at once, and you can expect several months of disturbance and distress as the family changes. But if you observe serious coping problems in your kids—sleeping or eating disorders, trouble at school, drug or alcohol abuse, self-injury, frequent or violent outbursts, or withdrawal, it’s time to think about professional help.”
image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Emotional Regulation for Toddlers

A toddler girl crying

A toddler girl crying (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You are  in the check out aisle at the grocery store and your little sweet pea sees a lollipop that looks like zebra. You know instantly that you are in BIG trouble. Little Sally not only loves lollipops, she is crazy about zebras.

“Zebra!” she says with bright eyes. You know that this is not going to go well. You do not want her to have the lollipop, and she has already spotted it. Gotta just love those aisles filled with candy, especially if you have a toddler.

“Yes, it is a zebra,” you say.

“I wanna have the zebra,” Sally says,  just a little louder.

“No, we are not getting the zebra today,” you say.

Sally then begins to cry, “I want the zebra!”

You have been here before. Sally is getting ready to enter an emotional hurricane. In several seconds, your little sweet pea will resemble a cyclone in full force. Continue reading