Tag Archives: parents

TIPS TO IMPROVE A CHILD’S EI- EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Pre-schoolers’ feelings control their thinking. A wish feels real; and is assumed to be real. Not so.  Intelligence is based on reality not wishes.

The younger the child, the more wishes and dreams seem real - a good example of tunnel vision.

This cartoon is  an example of wishful thinking. IMAGE BY abeerfortheshower.com

Wishing is fun, but also means being in a tunnel and not seeing all there is or could be. That can mean as the above cartoon suggests not understanding enough to choose the career that will work for you. But it also is a form of tunnel vision and tunnel vision limits options. 

 The ad people of today are playing up children’s wisdom, but children only seem wiser than adults, particular when script writers put words in their mouths. And yes, children do sometimes seem wiser than wise.  Most parents have moments when a child makes them stop and  marvel at something poetic the child says.

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

Pre-school aged children cannot think beyond  the feeling of the moment; school aged child cannot think beyond what can be seen, heard, or touched; starting with the preteens,  teens and adults become more and more able to think broadly and to see many options,  an essential  when it comes to solving many of life’s problems.  The ability to think about what might allows you to experiment and think about many possibilities, not just one or two.

Parenting tip one: Stay aware of age and stage.

Parenting tip two: 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. Do so in a calm matter of fact way.

Parenting 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.

Parenting 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. A good choice? Note, “A wise choice.” Not so good a choice label it”Not the best choice.”  Also hold to safety and other major rules as “Not a choice.”

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

Parenting tip six:  As the preteen or teens are entered continue the discussions suggested above, but go deeper.  When easy way to encourage deeper thought is to say “And” when the child or teen seems to have reached a limit in his thoughts.

Also, see this post on sneaky hypnotism for other ideas.

iMPROVE YOUR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

I do lots of puzzles to improve mine – I enjoy them.  But having fun is not enough to keeping my 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.

Another way I work on this one, is by visiting Word Press’ Daily Prompt and thinking about how the prompt applies to what I am posting

How does this post relates to this  Word Press Daily Post PromptFirst Light – Remember when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it.

The first thing I wrote this morning was on Facebook, trying to find out why my  friends  had not liked my first effort to put my 12 Emotional Fitness Exercises in a video format.  Only three had liked it. So I reposted the video and wrote “Only three of you liked my first video effort.  Hoping some will tell me what you did not like, so I can improve it.”

Last time I checked I was getting lots more likes. I had hoped people had just not seen the post; they do slip by.  However, I would also be happy to see some criticism.

Do you see how this opened my mind to other possibilities?

 BROWSE FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches used in a blog post are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.  As I am a Jill of All and have family life, some things take longer than others to get posted.  If a poster  isn’t up  yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises.

Following my Emotional Fitness Training blog provides support and  provides information about human development, mental distress and illness, counseling, and therapy.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

Advertisements

A SUKKAH STORY BY TSIVYA FRIEDER

Sharing a Jewish Holiday Story and Rituals and some Parenting tips.  Fun and loving holiday rituals increase emotional fitness aka Emotional Intelligence.

At The Sukkah and a story about it by Tsivya Frieder

We celebrate Sukkah with our Aish friends  Barry and Tsivya Frieder. Read on to hear her amusing and thoughtful tale about setting up their Sukkah.

The Sukkah Saga By Tsivya Frieder

 The day after Yom Kippur I unenthusiastically decided to deal with the sukkah challenges.  I knew I was supposed to run to begin working on the sukkah as soon as I broke the fast, but, oy! Iknew I would be dealing with “stuff.”That’s just the way it is, when you’ve got a structure, canvas walls, tools, strings of lights and 200 decorations.“Oy!”

The first year we had this sukkah we had four canvas walls.The second year we had three canvas walls.Now we have two canvas walls, two blankets and a couple of sheets.How could we possibly misplace two large pieces of canvas?

As the day unfolded, the sukkah challenges began. It took hours to find the two heavy-duty staplers, one of which had no staples and the other had only a few (the box of staples never turned up)–the colored lights had artfully hidden themselves under Chanukah material–a tree had quietly doubled in size and was now leaning over 95% of the sukkah, rendering it unkosher-a horizontal beam of the sukkah was two inches away from the vertical beam it was supposed to be flush with–every time I needed any item, it had sneakily crawled under something even if it had been in my hand two minutes earlier- -and, inexplicably, one of the small, domestic staplers fell apart in my hand, which in a house that has maybe a dozen staplers is not what you call an insurmountable obstacle, but in a house where the sukkah is a half-mile hike down the hill and into the gulch can represent an adjustment in the actual work time.  You know, “stuff.”

And I needed skach, and that meant getting out the old chopping tools and doing the pruning I had put off all summer, with the blithe expectation that I would actually have the time to do it so the boughs would be fresh for the start of the festival. (Last year I had efficiently gotten the skach to early that it was all dried and crumbly by the start of the holiday.For the initiated, crumbly skach means oddly flavored food.)

I stepped out of my house and found a hill of skach practically sitting in my front yard.

On the precise day I decided to bite the bullet and deal with skach, my next door neighbor decided to cut down his bushes, the very bushes that had been sitting there unmolested for several decades.

Not only that, but when he found out what I was up to after I was able to speak coherently, he helped me lug the sweet, piney branches down to the sukkah.

But it doesn’t end there. Little miracles occurred all day long.

Instead of dropping  wgat I was doing and running out to buy more heavy duty staples, I decided to use the few I had to hang up the walls and see how far I got.  And, unbelievably, the last staple I had was the last staple I needed to put up the walls!

Unexpectedly, a close friend of ours who removes tree stumps was able to come racing over and remove the offending branch that was looming over the sukkah, rendering it kosher again.He also fixed the problem of the separating beams and then raced off again.

HaShem may be hidden in the world, but at times He’s not very hidden.

And there was more. My plans for being in the eruv were just not working out for Sukkot yom tov. Although I had begun working on pulling things together weeks before, I found myself having to change neighborhoods just days before the holiday started. I had a choice: I could grump about the situation or I could choose to believe that HaShem wanted me on the East Side for some reason. He had some surprises in store for me and I could borch or I could find the gifts.

I decided to do both. I grumped for a while and then put a cheery face on things. Then grumped some more. Then waxed philosophical. And all the while I was wondering why does HaShem want me on the other side of town?

 In short order, it became obvious that the process of seeking out hospitality was putting me in touch with an entire community that I had very little to do with. I realized with a shock:I have grown comfortable and complacent, stuck in a rut!  My passion is building community, and here is large community I’m mostly out of touch with! And what an open-hearted community it is!  The people I reached out to had suggestions and invitations, and some took time out from their hectic pre-yom tov schedules to have long conversations with me and hosts, going over options and brainstorming possibilities.

 In the end we had so many invitations from this very hospitable community—from old friends, people I had known for years but hadn’t visited before, and people I had not met yet—that we ended up hopping from one sukkah to the next, and still ran out of time before we had visited everyone. We heard new devar torahs, participated in Torah discussions that were radically different from the crowd we normally hung out with, and played with totally adorable children and babies (one of whom nibbled her way down the challah I was holding for her and took a bite out of my finger).

Who ever thought that the dreaded Plan B could result in what felt like a three-day party? Hmmm.

Our sages tell us that we can’t know the reasons HaShem causes things to happen. However, we can catch glimpses of some of the effects.

One effect is the possibility that the next time my plans are not working out the way Iwant, I might remember to trust that HaShem knows exactly what He’s doing! Just a thought….

 emotional fitness thoughts

Religion gives  children a start in learning right from wrong. Rituals are fun ways to build a child’s understanding of his or her religion as well as to build a good memory book. Both are important Emotional Fitness Tools.

Setting up a Creche is a Christian family rite. Decorating the Sukkah a Jewish family rite.

The more we understand about each other’s religion the more we can create Peace on Earth.

PARENTING TIPS

Tip one:  Whatever your religion, spiritual, or philosphical beliefs, and the younger your child, the more s/he needs to have rituals and stories that teach him right from wrong.  The more s/he can take part in the ritual in a fun way, the better.

Tip two: Make sure the rituals are fun. The younger the child, the more important this is.

Tip three: As you child grows in greater understanding expect questioning. Being too dogmatic or fanatic may drive him or her away.  

Better than arguing is remembering no one does religion exactly the same way.  Pope Francis is not Pope John; The current Dalai Lama is not the last Dalai Lama, Hillel is not Akiba.

This allows you to take a critical view of your religion’s negative teachings and disavow what is not kind.  Being kind and caring is what all religions agree on. Where they disagree is who that applies to and how to treat those outside of the tribe, family, or religion.

FREE STUFF FROM EFTI

Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises.  Subscribe to be notified of new additions.

 PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps my ratings.  This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful. One star – Reinforced my knowledge. Two  Stars –  New  information.   Three stars – New useful information; Four stars- Very good.   Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and stay strong.

Katherine

Free 101 Emotional Fitness Course

I am offering  a free on-line 101 Emotional Fitness Course. Good for all and great for stressed out parents as well as a  great way to model emotional fitness for all.

eq-instagrom-intro-to-efti1

STAY STRONG

I believe with both my heart and my head that the more the above skills are promoted,  taught deliberately and as part of every school’s curriculum, the more likely emotional intelligence will rule emotions, and the more people so ruled, the greater hope for peace on earth.

Thank you for all you do, particularly if you liked, commented, or shared this post. Kindness and good manners to do so.

 Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

POST INSPIRATION: WORD PRESS DAILY POST CHALLENGE

Twenty-Five Seven Good news — another hour has just been added to every 24-hour day (don’t ask us how. We have powers). How do you use those extra sixty minutes?

My answer?  Nothing different. An extra hour would give me  more time to do as I want, but more importantly,  I am content with how I spend my days.  Are you?  If not you definitely need my course.

FREE STUFF FROM EFTI

Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.

 PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps my ratings.  This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful. One star – Reinforced my knowledge. Two  Stars –  New  information.   Three stars – New useful information; Four stars- Very good.   Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and stay strong.

WHEN HUGS DON’T WORK

One of my foster kids taught me that not all want hugs and that hugs can hurt. She was pretty, almost sixteen, and had been much abused. She hated hugs.

I think she had been made to have sex with men as part of a ring of child abusers. We were often not told  our kids histories.  something I  preferred, gave all of us a clean start.

The first time I spontaneously reached out to hug her, she froze.  I can still feel her pain.  That experience taught me to always ask, “Can I have a hug?” I also learned to be aware that some say “Yes” when they mean “No.”

I found this  article unclear on the promise of the title: How to Comfort a Family Member – Families Who Don’t Hug – Oprah.com. A daughter was seeking comfort but didn’t get what she wanted, which she said was just a hug.

The article was designed to get families to hug more often, but never made the point that hugs are not always wanted.

When I am upset, I don’t want hugs. If I am complaining about something, I usually don’t even want advice.  I want to be listened to and maybe a tiny bit of sympathy, but often the best thing to do when I am upset is listening and nodding your head.

Once my ranting is  winding down, an encouraging sentence  might help, but the best is to ask, “What do you need from me to help?”

Often the answer is “nothing.”

That generally means I want to be left alone to quiet myself.  When that is the case, a hug hurts, just as all hugs hurt my sexually abused foster child.  Why.  The body gets tense and edgy when strong feelings are aroused. A hug feels bad.

The other side of the coin came during my practice as a  therapist.  My boss commanded me not to hug.  I chose to disobey.  How when a kid is hurling themselves at you can you not hug?

There does come a time when most kids who loved hugs as a young child, no longer want to be hugged. Be attuned to this and don’t insist. The reasons are many and complex, mainly having to do with growing awareness of sexual feelings.

Parenting advice and tips

First parenting tip: If someone clearly wants a hug, do your best to be open to that.  If you aren’t, acknowledge that you aren’t a very good hugger.  “We didn’t do that in my family, so I am still trying to learn” might work.

Second parenting tip: When you want to give a hug, always ask first and make it clear you expect to honor their feelings.

Third parenting tip: Do not tell you children to hug or kiss someone even a grand parent.  Cannot get most parents to do that, even my own kids ask that of their kids. So I make a separate deal with my grandchildren as soon as they are able to talk. If I ask for a hug or a kiss or their parents insist I get one,they are free to say “No.”

I let them slap me five or  give them a quick kiss or a top of the head kiss. Doing so gives them control over their body and I think that matters.

STAY STRONG

Thank you for all you do, enjoy and be grateful for all you have been given, practice kindness, like, share or comment. Sharing is caring.

Katherine

WORD PRESS DAILY PROMPT

This post does not relate to this today Aug 6, 2014 DAILY PROMPT Writer’s Block Party. When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?

While I describe figuring out how to get and give hugs, the fact is that applies to just about everything.  You have to know when there is problem, sort out how it is a problem, develop strategies and persist.

Here’s how that applies to writing.  I rarely have trouble writing.  When I can’t more ahead on one thing I am working on, I move on to something else.  Happy about that.

But finishing something on my own, is a big problem.  They say re-writing is essential and I re-write and re-write and re-write and after a certain point stuff starts getting worse not better.  Partly this is related to having dysgraphia and every time I re-write I do catch mistakes. It is a problem because it keeps me from getting stuff out there.

But I do persist. I blog four times a week and do the Daily Prompts to force myself  to finish somethings, not when perfect, but when good enough.  But also because I doing something and finishing it gives me a boost.

LINKS OF INTEREST

 

image by defies