Tag Archives: children

Two Phrases that Disarm Negativity – Parenting Advice

The joy of parenthood seriously diminishes the joy of marriage. Surprised? Then you probably do not have children.

Crying baby and upset parents.

Babies add stress and lots of work, so no surprise that 68% of marriages deteriorate when baby comes home. The crying, the lack of sleep, the jangled nerves are real, but for many unexpected. This rude awakening  starts when baby’s cries cannot be soothed.

Did you know that nature designed a baby’s crying to torture adults.  Studies show that adults react to crying babies with raised stress levels that can reach painful levels.

Why? Because the adults so tortured are motivated to  stop the crying. Most do so by tending to the baby. Most also experience great relief when baby can be comforted. When the crying cannot be comforted the parental stress keeps growing.

Here is an interested fact: how the adults think about (interpret) the baby’s crying is a reason in baby beatings. A crying baby that cannot be comforted makes all parents feel out of control. Stress grows is you need to feel in control. Most such baby beatings are done by men and by men who think the baby is crying on purpose and just to “get” the man in one other way.

The correct interpretation, of course, is baby is in pain. If hunger satisfies the pain, all is good, if it doesn’t, then the adults need to be able to tolerate the on going crying without blaming themselves. They need to do what they can to comfort the baby and then accept children are not controlled by parents.

To reduce their stress, parents need to put baby down in his or her crib, shut the door and leaving the sound of the crying.  The experts suggest checking the baby every ten or fifteen minutes.

That bit of advice, did not work for my youngest son. He needed to cry for thirty or forty minutes in order to fall asleep. checking only added to crying time.

The frustrations of parenthood do not end when baby outgrows crying and starts to walk and talk. Very soon comes the terrible twos which can extend into the terrible threes, fours, and eventually the terrible teens.  What to do? Read on.

PARENTING Thoughts and tips

Parents reduce negativity  as their child moves toward adulthood by the constant use of two phrases: “Please” and “Thank you.”

Properly invoked those words reduce parental stress in two ways. “Please” recognizes the limitations of the ability to control and for many is the heart of prayer – a plea to God, the Force, or the Universe to help. For the child, it provides carries the message  that s/he does have a choice when it comes to behavior.

“Thank you” essentially does the same.

The CARE plan sets out the proper use of these words, but particularly the use of “Thank You.”

The CARE Plan

Making amends after losing control.

As noted in the Poster Coach, the “Please ” can be said angrily. Angry words are a warning signal and much better than pretending you are cool, calm, and collected when you are seething.

Think back to your childhood for a minute. When did you know you had to toe the line. Your parents probably had a standard signal. It might be a raised voice, a lowered voice, a raised hand, or a pointing to the closet were the  switch were kept.

Until the kids know you really mean what you are saying, it is all a game to see how long they can keep doing what they want to do.

A bit of anger as an “I’ve had it” signal is not evil. Tom Phelon’s One, Two, Three Magic works better however.

But as I note in my book Parents Are People Too, parents are not always calm, cool, and collected.  So when you start seething, see that as a signal you might need to take a time out and if that is not possible to start praying to the God of your understanding until the child gets the message and does what is asked.

Then comes the  “Thank you.”   That, however, needs to be said without anger. It needs to be a generous recognition of the child’s better behavior. Mostly it can be part of ending on a positive note, but  it can also be said as the child begins to behave.

How does this reduce negatively in children?

John Gottman, the guru of relationships and a recognized researcher, is most famous for his five to one rule.  Lasting relationships have five pleasant exchanges for every negative one.

Negative interactions include: criticism, defensiveness, contempt, stonewalling, detachment, withdrawal of affection, and punishments.

Positive interactions include laughing, playing, and creating things together along with  rewards, forgiveness,  and making amends.

The balance is what matters and because children have to be kept safe and civilized and prepared for life in the real world, the balance can be toward the negative. The younger your child, the more you say “Please” and “Thank you,” the more you empower and make amends and correct the balance.

There is a bonus. Kids model you and your words become their words, your behaviors, their behavior.

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting.

Thank you for all you do., Work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult and parenting a struggle.

Katherine

This post was not inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt:    Third Rate Romance: Tell us your funniest relationship disaster story.

It does relate however as for many new parents the betrayal of the joy of marriage by parenthood is ironic and in truth not so funny. But with humor snd effort, it can be overcome. Stay strong.

Links of Interest

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CRITICAL THINKING MATTERS – PARENTING TIPS

When did you stop believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or the like? When that happened , you were thinking critically and more realistically.

critical thinking quotes

Being able to think realistically improves the odds you will have a safer,  and more content journey through life. All parents want that for their kids.

George V. Coelho, developmental theorist lists three things as necessary for successfully coping with life’s ups and downs:

  1. Coding reality – see what is, not what you want to see.
  2. Comforting yourself when reality is not to your liking.
  3. Feeling you have choice.

Those three attributes are also part of what is called Emotional Intelligence (EI) EI is defined as  a set of abilities related to the understanding, use and management of emotion as it relates to one’s self and others.

Parents play an important role in fostering a child’s EI including the ability to code reality.

Reality check:  Young children do have poetic moments, but 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.

All humans start their lives caught in tunnel vision. As we age hopefully we see wider vistas. However, Thomas Phenlon, a parenting guru I admire, notes that one of the biggest ways parents harm children is by treating them like miniature adults. That means thinking children are critical thinkers.  Not true, critical thinking, what some call intelligent thinking develops as children age.

Here is some good news for all. Intelligence is limited by our genes.  Not a politically correct notion, but wishing won’t change that we are not all equally endowed with intelligence.  Part of intelligence is Emotional Intelligence meaning thinking about what your feelings are suggesting and knowing when to act on those suggestions and when not to.

The good news? Emotional Intelligence is learned, not gifted and can always be improved.

More 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.

PARENTING TIPS

Tip one: . 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.

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

Tip two: 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 three:  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 four: 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 five: 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.   The following are  fairly easy to spot when you hone your critical thinking skills.

12 Examples of twisted thinking aka #fallaciousarguments

Tip six:  As the preteen or teens are entered upon continue the discussions suggested above, but go deeper.  The easiest  way to encourage deeper thought is to say “And” when the child or teen seems to have reached a limit in thinking critically.

See this post on sneaky hypnotism for other ideas.

Tip seven: As always your child models you. So you need to hone your critical thinking skills.   Parenting tips five and six, done with your child strengthens your EI as well as your child’s.

 There are other ways. Any activity that involves you in debates about differing view points  works.

Playing games of logic and doing puzzles.  My six-year-old grandson has just discovered UNO which combines luck and logic. It is also a game that can be fun for children and adults. And there is always chess. Many of our foster children liked to play chess with David.

 I do lots of puzzles.  I enjoy them and do them as one of my Daily Emotional Fitness Exercise “Laugh, Play, and Create.

But having fun is not enough to keep critical thinking abilities  improving.  The experts say, such puzzles only improve you thinking skills if they are challenging, so push yourself. I always do those that are above my level and “cheat” by getting help from the answers, only I do not call it cheating, but learning.

Now is also time to talk a bit about computers, TV and social media. I advocate the use of all three, but with an eye to moderation and safety.

My grandchildren love videos. Early on they have been exposed to  a number of the Baby Einstein series and  Signing Time  which teaches sign language being their favorite. They watch them during quiet time, so I can sneak in a quick power nap.

I know some parents ban all such things, but that only adds to their glamour. One of our neighbors why back when my kids were growing up. Banned TV. All three of their sons now work in Hollywood, producing movies and televisiou shows. Moderation is always a better choice than fanaticism.

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting.

Thank you for all you do., Work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult and parenting a struggle.

Katherine

This post was not inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt:  Pick Your GadgetYour local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?

However, it does have some relatedness. Right now my gadget of choice would be an electronic keyboard. Why? My grandkids love making music and are ready for an upgrade.  Surfing Goodwill. Wish me luck.

Safety Proof Your Child Against The Admen

Our media driven society pushes us to be perfect and is a sales ploy by those trying to sell you something. Not at all helpful: harmful to  children and parents.

quotes about advertising

PARENting ADVICE

Safety proof your child against the siren calls  of the advertisers. These tips show you how:

Tip one: Educate yourself in the art of detecting efforts to get you to buy what you don’t need.

I get very cranky when my favorite food store reorganizes its shelves so I have to wander around to find things. The  hope  is that I will stumble on something I don’t need but might buy impulsively. The more you wander a store, the more you buy.

I have also given up buying magazines. Why? Even the articles are advertisements urging you to buy this or that.

In addition to the usual ads hawked before, during, and after tv shows, talk and reality shows, including  my favorite cooking shows. have become advertisements for celebrities as well as other products.

Tip Two: Improve your all  critical thinking skills. Here are  the major ways our thoughts get twisted.

12 Examples of twisted thinking aka #fallaciousarguments

Tip Three: Teach the difference between wants and needs. We need food and water; we do not need junk food or flavored water.

Tip Four Teach your child to think critically. The younger your child the more s/he  needs your help sorting out what is real and what is not.

Do not worry  about a pre-preschooler’s fantasies; at the same time, point out the make-believe stuff. Label play and make-believe as pretending or imaging.

Saying “It is fun to believe in dream of being a major league star, but not all dreams come true will not seriously diminish the child’s pleasure, while paving the way for when s/he begins to understand what is real and what is not.

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?”

As the teens are entered upon, continue the discussions suggested above, but go deeper.  One easy way to encourage deeper thought is to say “And” when the teen seems to have reached a limit in his thoughts.

Tip five: Teach about advertising. This can also start when you child is young. Just saying, “Than’s an ad, trying to get you to buy something.”

Tip six: Let your child struggle a bit  when it comes to wants. It is your job to supply needs, not wants. Do not reward too quickly. Encourage earning wants.

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting.

Thank you for all you do., Work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult and parenting a struggle.

Katherine

This post was not inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt however it relates a bit.

The Outsiders:Tell us about the experience of being outside, looking in — however you’d like to interpret that.

Window shopping is what came to mind and the advertizers use window displays to encourage buying.

LINKS OF INTEREST

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

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

 

 

Start as soon as your child begins watching videos or television to improve his or her critical thinking.  

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting.

Thank you for all you do., Work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult and parenting a struggle.

Katherine

This post was not inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt

By the Dots: We all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!

However, when writing a Memory Book there is no need to try to please the grammar kings when creating a memory book. Just do it.

LINKS OF INTEREST

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

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

 

Smell Smoke? Don’t Panic, Have a Plan – 3 Parenting Tips

Senses warn of danger. However, smelling smoke in the middle of the night  should activate a plan, not panic.  A laugh first:

Savage Chicken CartoonWhy this post? Because the WordPress Daily Prompt suggested this: Smell You Later – Humans have very strong scent memory. Tell us about a smell that transports you.

If you remember my recent post on Four Rules to the Good Life? Respect for self, others, and property headed the list. The First Commandment related to respect? Safety.

The smell of smoke in the middle of the night should transport you and yours to safety. The best chances of that happening? Thinking ahead and doing the following.

Parenting tip one:  Actively teach your kids to respect fire.  Know of at least one first in a house started by a five year old playing with matches in a closet.  His parents had just said “Danger” when lighting a fire. Not enough.  Our kids started helping light candles at the age of three, helping build and light camp fires at the same age. Learning to cook on a gas stove helped a bit.

Parenting tip two: Have fire drills.  Here is a Kids Health article all about fire safety.  The down and dirty – teach kids not to open a closed door when the fire alarm goes off or they smell smoke.  The fire  might rush in after them. The younger the child the more likely s/he will want to run to you.   Establish where the child is to wait for you to come to his or her room. By the age of six or seven, children can  be taught to use an alternative exit if smoke starts to come into their room and you have not come to them. Then drill all of the above into their little heads.

Parenting tips: You and your child need strong self-soothing skills to stay calm in any emergency. So yes, here’s a call to buy my eBook Self Soothing to Create Calm in Your Life. 

As I always note, my eBooks cost less than a latte and last longer and are healthier.

Emotional intelligence aka emotional fitness is about staying calm so you can think wisely.  Her’s  a quick introduction to the 12 Daily Easy exercises. 

Here is a video  by Daniel Goleman about teaching children to self-sooth.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Didn’t like it?  Comment and tell me why and how to improve.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

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