Tag Archives: Challenged Children

Forget About Keeping Your Children Happy

Start with yourself first. If you are calm and in control of your feelings, your children will be better able to control their feelings. Here are six Emotional Fitness exercises to get you started.

Exercise number one: The One Minute Meditation (The OMM)

  1. Breathe in slowly to a count of five.
  2. Hold your breath for a count of five.
  3. Breathe out slowly to another count of five.
  4. Breathe normally and simply observe how it feels to breathe in and out.
  5. If thoughts make their presence known,  observe them and continue breathing; the same with feelings.
  6. At the end of a minute, sooner if you want, take a deep breathe in, hold it for a count of five.
  7. As you breathe out, say a silent “Ahhhhhh” or “Thank you” and smile softly.

Practice the OMM until you can do it comfortably and without having to read the exercise.  That takes as little as five times for some, twenty-five for others.

Here’s an added bonus: the OMM can be used to calm you when stress mounts. When you are aware of being stressed, OMM. To strengthen its effect as a calming tool, after the first breath, add a two or three-word calming mantra as you continue to slowly breathe in and out.  “Life goes on” works for some,   “Staying strong” for others, still others craft their own mantra.

Exercise two: Practice Gratitude.  Every time you say thank you , you are building your emotional fitness. Get in the habit of thanking not just people, but all the good things you encounter as you go about your day.  Moreover, when bad things happen, look for a lesson, and when you find it OMM and say “Thank You.”

Exercise three: Be With Beauty: Beauty is everywhere; as the sage Confucius  noted, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

One trick when beauty is not immediately visible is to narrow your focus. Find a picture in a museum unappealing? Focus on what you do find appealing. Perhaps that is a color, the way a line swirls or a form takes shape.

Surround yourself with what you find beautiful you can practice this exercise off and on throughout the day. Use pictures, beautiful music, flowers, seashells or even rocks to create beauty spots wherever you sit.

Point out beauty to your children.

Visit my Be With Beauty Pinterest Board. If you want to be a Be With Beauty photographer, let me know atemotfit@live.com and I will send you details about how to share your Being With Beauty pictures with others.

Exercise four: Remember what matters.

Some say buying the newest car, the latest fashions, the most up to date gadgets; others say how you look; still others think it is how smart you are or what school you went to, how much money you have, have many jewels you wear, or how fancy a car you drive and life’s important missions.  They are wrong.

Research shows these are less important than being kind and caring, forgiving others for their flaws, forgiving yourself for not being perfect, and working with others to make the world a better place.  The importance of caring is a long-recognized value. Across all ages, throughout all religions and all philosophies, it is believed the good life cannot be found unless it involves being caring and just.

Exercise five: Use rating scales to help you stay focused on what matters. Anything can be rated.

Exercise six: Set SMART GOALS:

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Practice kindness by liking, commenting or sharing this post. Liking encourages others to read. Commenting says you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: me, you, and those who benefit from your sharing.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness. 

 

 

 

 

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Punishment Is Not Abuse: Ten Discipline Tips

Punishment required. Cartoon

When it seems the little ones and not so little ones are out to get you the time has come to discipline and probably even punish. These tips might help.

Discipline Tips

First tip: You are the person responsible for teaching right from wrong. 

Matters not what others teach or how you are related to the child when you are interacting with the child you are the one responsible for teaching . Except when the parents are in charge which is in their house, but in my house, my rules.

Second tip: Keep the rules simple. Safety; respect for self, others, all living things, and property; obey reasonable laws. Respect means following both versions of the Golden Rule whether religious or not: treat others the way you want to be treated; do not do to others what you do not want done to you.

Third tip: Punishment is not a dirty word. Not punishing gives permission to do wrong and is almost as big a problem as too harsh punishments.

The official definition of punishment is something bad happens after doing something someone else does not like. This means withholding praise or a smile is a punishment. The trick is always to make the punishment fit the crime.

Fourth tip: Teaching right from wrong starts as soon as the child starts walking. The best source of parenting advice for this age is Thomas Phelan’s One, Two, Three Magic . One and two serve as warnings, three is punishment, usually a timeout.

Fifth tip: When your child enters adolescence, let go. Thomas Gordon’s Parent Effectiveness Training  focuses on letting go and letting life teach.

Learning to avoid Gotcha Wars and part of letting go. Here is a Wikihow I started on that subject

Sixth tip: Talk less. Both Phelan and Gordon say actions are more important than words. A good book for helping you talk less is The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard.

Seventh tip: Allow as much choice as possible. We all want to feel we choose our way. Choice empowers. Starting offering choices as soon as your child starts walking and talking, but choice should be on-going.

How do you offer choice? “This cookie or that one, your choice.”“Do you want to watch TV or go for a walk with me?” “Are you doing your chores or letting me keep your allowance? Your choice.” “Obey” or “Timeout.” “Homework or bad grades?”

Warning: make certain the choices are ones you can live with.

Eighth tip: Follow John Gottmean’s “Five to One Rule.” Gottman discovered that to overcome one negative encounter in a relationship five positives encounters were required. Why smiles, praise, thank yous, fun time, and sharing healthy laughs matter.

Ninth tip: Good enough beats perfection when it comes to living the good life.  Praise effort, honor good intentions, forgive mistakes – yours and your child’s.

Tenth tip: Remember what matters.  It might be time to buy and read my eBook Know Your Mission So You Can Reach Your Goals. 

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Practice kindness by liking, commenting or sharing this post. Liking encourages others to read. Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: me, you, and those who benefit from your sharing.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness. 

 

The STOP Plan – A Giant Tool for Eliminating A ChildBad Behavior

The Stop Plan

Parents need lots of tools when it comes to controlling negative behavior, for as Abraham Maslo noted, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

Sometimes, behavior is so unacceptable, it must be stopped immediately.  The STOP plan is designed for those times.  Use the STOP plan when someone is :

  • In danger or putting others in danger.
  • Hurting another including pets
  • Breaking the law
  • Destroying valuable property.
  • Bullying
  • Doing something others would find disgusting.
  • Stepping on your last nerve as a parent or care-giver.

Parents and care-givers have limits.  The experts talk a great deal about boundaries, but mostly in terms of parents not violating a child’s boundary.  Parental and care-giver boundaries also need protecting, and so “Stepping on someone’s last nerve” is included in the mix of unacceptable behaviors.

Here is how to use STOP:

  • S = Say the word stop. Say it loud, even angrily.
  • T = Tell the person what to stop.
  • O = Offer an alternative more positive behavior.
  • P = Physically forcing compliance if necessary, but add a positive even if obeying had to be forced.  Physically forcing compliance if the child does not comply with your command means using you hands.

More examples of the Stop Plan

  • STOP running toward the street, run to me instead.
  • STOP hurting your sister, go to your room and calm down.
  • STOP pulling the dog’s ears, pet her instead
  • STOP crossing the street when the light is red; obey the law.
  • STOP pounding the wall, go to your room and pound your pillow
  • STOP bullying your brother, apologize or go to your room.
  • STOP spitting on the ground, use a tissue instead.
  • STOP making me crazy with that noise,  go outside to play before I really flip out.

Stay In Control 

Behavior that makes it necessary to use the STOP plan usually finds a parent angry, afraid, or super stressed. Having strong self-soothing skills dampens those reactions, so you can enforce the STOP Plan more calmly and easily.

To strengthen your self-soothing skills: buy my eBook Creat Calm in Your Life. Costs  only $2.99 which is less than a latte.

Two Warnings

  1. Use physical force carefully. With the preschooler, just sweeping them up in your arms and giving a gentle hug works. With an older child, try a  hand on their shoulder. With a teen who is bigger and stronger, you may need a second person to help get compliance.
  2. Do not over use this plan. Lots of other tools work better and over use of any tool diminishes its effectiveness.

Thank you for all you do

Remember to share all you find of value on the internet.  All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness blesses you.

Katherine

Post Inspiration: This post inspired  by the  WordPress Daily  Prompt: Giant.

Go here to learn more about the Daily Prompts.

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.

Teach Your Children The Value of A Not-knowing Philosophy

Thank you

That should also read, “Every Mind…..”

Our minds get filled with lots of stuff as we grow from baby to adult. The beliefs we create are part of what forms our being.  Beliefs are based on our genetic heritage, what other’s tell us, and what we accept as fact based on our experiences.  Which explains why siblings can be alike or different and also why some twins raised in separate home turn out to have similar tastes and beliefs.

Fact:  There are what some call “Brute facts.” These, however, are not necessarily scientific truths. Think of the solid paths we walk across  without thought:  floors, cement, hard packed dirt, rocky cliffs. What seems solid enough to be called a Brute fact, might be anything but, and could in a second cast you down, cover you with lava, or pull you into a pit of sand.

Learning to accept a “Not Knowing  philosophy is the stepping stone to becoming  a critical thinker.  And critical thinking is the doorway to emotional intelligence.

Here’s a fact that is forgotten in today’s youth oriented world. While  young children have poetic moments, thinking that makes great thinkers could get them killed.  Why we make our small children hold our hands crossing the street or in parking lots and discourage playing with matches.

Another forgotten fact: Children and many adults think with their feelings and not their brains. Emotional Intelligence means thinking about what your feelings are suggesting and knowing when to act on those suggestions and when not to.

The good news? Studies show that Emotional Intelligence is more important in living the good life than intelligence in general and is more important than money, education or social class in getting ahead.

More good news: .Emotional Intelligence is learned, not gifted and can always be improved. That is best done by helping a child develop an inquiring mind. a mind that thinks “Maybe” not “For Sure.”

PARENTING TIPS

Tip one: Work on you first. Add the word “Maybe” to your vocabulary. Do not be afraid to say “I don’t know” or that is “Only my opinion”

Tip two: You need to keep age and stage in mind.

  1. Pre-school aged children cannot think beyond  the feeling of the moment.
  2. School aged child cannot think beyond what can be seen, heard, or touched.
  3. Starting with the preteens children  become more and more able to think about abstract things like possibilities and  varying points of view. This shift in thought explains why teens are often so critical of parents.
  4. As the child moves into adulthood, life experiences  improve judgement, something teens often lack; however, there is a comfort in holding to earlier beliefs.

Warning: The guidelines are general and some never become critical thinkers; others do it earlier than the above parameters.

Tip three: Do not worry  about a pre-schooler’s fantasies; at the same time, point out the make-believe stuff. Label play and make-believe as pretending or imaging. Do so in a calm matter of fact way.

Tip four:  Keep the fun in fantasy.  Saying “It is fun to believe in make-believe” when hanging up the Christmas stockings will not in any way diminish the child’s pleasure, but does pave the way for when s/he begins to understand what is real and what is not.

Tip five: Allow as much choice as possible, but label choices  “You have two choices” works well when  you can let the child pick one or the other.  Then label the child’s choices; “A wise choice.”  or ”Not the best choice.”  Also hold to safety and other major rules as “Not a choice.”

Tip six: Once the child stops believing in the Santa Claus or similar myths, start asking as you watch movies or media together “What’s real about that?” or “What’s fantasy about that?”

 Also be quicker to point out twisted thinking and label it as such.

12 Examples of twisted thinking aka #fallaciousarguments

Thank You For All You Do

Thank me by remembering sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting. Your caring keeps me going.

Also, if you did not find it helpful, comment and tell me what might have made it more useful.

Katherine

This post was inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt  Maybe  

Go here to learn more about the Daily Prompts.

LINKS OF INTEREST

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
Emotional Fitness Tips for Parents  (parentsarepeopletoo.com)
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(amazon.com)

Stay strong, diligent practice of my exercises will help.

Katherine

 

Too many expect too much. Life is a struggle and relationships difficult. Mad, sad, and bad feelings are inevitable. As novelist, Robertson Davies noted, “Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”
Stay strong, diligent practice of my exercises will help.
Katherine