Tag Archives: relationships

Keeping love alive

Loving is only one part of a parent’s job. Nurturing, teaching, coaching  your child to move safely into the real world are the harder tasks.

Raise your children so the rest of the world can stand them.

Image by waiting4grace.wordpress.com

parenting advice

Apply the Five to One Rule as you teach and journey with your children and work to make them fit to live in the real world.  Don’t know about this rule.  It is  the Golden Rule of happy relationships.

Who says so?   John Gottman, relationship expert,  and his colleagues. Their research  found  that couples who maintained a ratio of five positive moments for  each negative moment had relationships that lasted. Marriages that fall below a one to one ratio failed.

It did not matter if the couple fought like cats and dogs never fought at all. As long as the ratio of good to bad was at five to one or above the relationship lasted. Applies to all relationships.

STAY STRONG

Practicing the following Emotional Fitness Exercises are easy ways to create positive moments: Laugh and Play, Be With Beauty,Being Grateful, Indulging in Healthy Pleasures, Practicing Kindness, and Remembering What Matters.

If you are new to the idea of emotional fitness exercises, visit this blog page: Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises to get started  improving your emotional intelligence.

Thank you all for all you do to care and share with others. Doing a little matters a lot.

Katherine

This blog post was inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt: That’s Amore   Think of your longest relationship: describe how your love has changed over time, did you go from the giddiness of infatuation, to mad passion, to deep respect, esteem, and friendship? Tell us about your love story.

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GRATEFUL I AM NOT A TURKEY

A humorous lead in, but also a reminder that being human probably is something to be grateful for.  Being a well-loved cat might be the best if you are into being petted, fed, and fully accepted even if aloof, cranky, or spitting mad.  A dog might do better for some.  As a child I wanted to be a deer living quietly in the forest.

In the long run, however, I am grateful I am human, and  grateful for all I have been given.  Some have so little gratitude is hard come by.

I am mostly grateful for having a loving family and that means a family that knows the power of  forgiveness and that it lies in the small gestures.

I had to shop a bit this morning, I am bringing a vegetable dish to the Thanksgiving Dinner another grandmother is cooking and needed to buy carrots.

As always I was bantering with the cashier.  She was dressed up a bit under her required Safeway jacket, so I assumed she was heading out to a festive dinner when she got off work.  Wrong.

“Only my mother lives near here,” she said, ” and we don’t get along, we barely talk for which I am grateful.”

Broke my heart.  And as I have been told by some, I probably was feeling more pain then she felt.  She seemed at peace.  But I wish I could have invited her to a Thanksgiving dinner with me.

Saddens me when I see family not talking to each other, not able to spend some time together. Saddens me more when I see how common that has become.

So I am grateful my kids and I have managed to keep our love going through some very tough times.

parent advice

You are the one who teaches a child forgiveness as a tool for keeping the love flowing.  But if you watch your children, most are born with the ability to forgive.  A two or three year old released from time out, rushing to his punisher’s arms for a hug.  Gradually, unless parents take care the easy  ability to forgive fades.

Keeping up a relationship means practicing  lots of forgiveness. Two of the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises  are about forgiveness.  Exercise Ten  is forgiving another; Exercise Eleven is  forgiving yourself.  Forgiveness lies in realizing we are all flawed, all human, all doing our best with what we have been given, all needing forgiveness.

Forgiveness also means  acting in the small ways described by Buscaglia.  The small things keep  love alive.

Stay strong

Life can be hurtful, and those we love often fail and hurt us the most.  When we can forgive, we will find we have much to be grateful for.  For those of you who are enjoying dinner with family, you are blessed, be very grateful.  I am.

As always thank you for following me. If you know someone else who will benefit from my thoughts, forward this to them. Liking, commenting, and sharing are other ways you can help me stay strong and spread some ideas others might find helpful.

Katherine

DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA. If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. Thanks for your understanding and reading my work.

GOOD KIDS AND THE CLOTHING WARS

Goth, saggy,  slutty, or grimy, teens dress to make a statement to parents, to self, to the world. Parents roar and war, but never win these battles.

IMAGE FROM  GOTHAM Resistance

When your teen begins to battle your dress code, you are to be congratulated and pitied. Congratulated as the battle announces that your child has become strong enough to flutter away from the nest and seek his or her place in  the real world.

Pitied, because for some leaving the nest means not just clothing wars but what feels like a never-ending Gotcha War in which no one wins.  To prove independence the child has to fight you and the crazier you can be made to feel, the more the child feels not obeying you is okay.

The clothing wars are often the first step to independence.  Like a fledgling bird must exchange the downy feathers for the adult coloring and feathers, so the teen has to flout new ways of appearing. Unfortunately, nature gives human children choice, baby birds have to dress as their parents dress.

Clothes are uniforms and announce your place in the world. Look across the pages of history and know that the crowns and jewels of kings and queens, and announced their place to the all around them. Only royals were allowed to wear certain colors or use certain fabrics.

It goes on today. Doctors don white lab coats and stethoscopes to announce their place within hospital walls. Business men get called suits because in many cases a business require employees to wear suits. The saggers–depicted above — are announcing their allegiance to a culture of rebellion against authority.

The uniforms your kid picks announce one of three possibilities:

  1. the group s/he actually belongs to;
  2. the group s/he aspires to belong to;  or
  3. that s/he is going along to get along.

Adults usually dress in accordance with the third possibility and that is how most parents want their child to dress, but with a bit of judgement about context and who s/he is trying to get along with.

The shooters at Columbine announced who they were with their long black coats.  Their rage was the rage of outsiders against those who had rejected them.  They were good kids doing evil. Fortunately, most good kids do not kill in their efforts to establish an identity.

When parents take the dress issue too seriously, however, the parents end up prisoners of their own needs.  So this is the first of two posts about how to deal with the Clothing Wars.  Today’s post is about adopting the right attitude. Wednesday’s post will deal with specific advice about clothing rules and how to enforce them.

PARENT ADVICE ABOUT THE DRESS WARS

Tip one: Benign amusement is the most effective attitude to adopt when your child begins brokering for a particular uniform. Attitude means facial expression, tone of voice, word choice. Depending on your attitude, the following can be mortal wounds, or irritating mosquito bits.

“Joining the saggers, huh? Tell me why they appeal to you.”
“Ahhh, jock wear. Tell me why wearing your sweats all the time works for you.”
“Going goth, I see. Tell me how that appeals to you.”
“Moving a bit to the slutty side with that. Tell me how you think that will win you love.”
“Not showering or wearing deodorant? Tell me who you are trying to chase away?”

You want the mosquito bite effect because you want your child to think, but you don’t want mortal wounds because the leave lasting scars, build resentment and harden your child’s will to fight.

Tip two: Learn soft face; it is key in projecting a benign caring. Soft face means  forehead relaxed, eyebrows not pulled together, eyes open, chin and jaw relaxed, mouth almost smiling.

Tip three: find a slogan or snatch of a song that reminds you this is your child,  who is moving through a phase and your love will strengthen her or him to make the right choices.

  • “Testing wings.”
  • “Just a phase.”
  • “Now is not forever.”

Tip four: Practice attitude messages in the mirror and with another adult, until you actually feel mostly loving and benign when thinking about the clothes you hate to see on your precious child.

Tip five: Use minimal response (see my various writing on the Gotcha Wars. These include using gentle non-verbal clue of concern. Raised eyebrows are useful. A brief painful “Are you kidding me” look is useful when clothes are reaching the “Can’t wear that” point.

Tip six: Figure out where your bottom line is and read Wednesday’s post about how to go about gaining cooperation for compliance.

STAY STRONG

I assume if you are reading this, you are somewhat concerned and may already be involved in a Gotcha War over clothes. I hope this post has been helpful.

Here is my thank you or welcome to the my blog gift – a quick introduction to The Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. Learning them will help you stay calmer so your can keep up a caring attitude.

For more details about staying strong as a parent buy any one of my E-books.

If you buy any of my books, please review it either where you bought it or on this through the comments on this blog.

DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA. If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. Thanks for your understanding and reading my work.

As always thank you for following me. If you know someone else who will benefit from my thoughts, forward this to them. Liking, commenting, and sharing are other ways you can help me stay strong and spread some ideas others might find helpful.

As I tell myself a thousand times a day, stay strong, and give lots of love, be grateful, live now, have lots of luck.

WIN THE GOTCHA WARS

Fingers of blame and shame point regularly at parents. When your kid is doing the blaming and shaming  you are dealing with a Gotcha War.

IMAGE FOUND ON AGENTS OF AWESOME
http://agentsofawesome.wordpress.com/

A Gotcha War is my term for a nasty tool used by Good Kids to shrug off their own mad, bad, or sad feelings.  Their goal is to make you act and look like an idiot, so they can play “Holier than thou.”

When you don’t react strongly enough to whatever provocation is hurled you way, your basically good kid starts pushing  other buttons to get you angry.  A skilled Gotcha Warrior can push buttons  you didn’t know existed.

I learned to become a Gotcha War negotiator during my years as a foster parent trying to live peacefully with an every changing group of teens.  All were sent to us by the Juvenile Justice System.  Some were juvenile delinquents, but a great many were what were called Status Offenders.  These had not committed a crime, but were considered beyond their parent’s ability to control and provided me with a major lesson:  Status Offenders were expert  Gotcha Warriors- good kids, not into law-breaking, but for a thousand different reasons out to put parents on a hot seat.

Quick mental health fact: The shrinks say extreme Gotcha Warriors suffer from a mental health disorder called  Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  Supposedly a disorder of childhood only, I bet you know a few adults who meet the criteria.

If you have not had all your buttons pushed by a Gotcha Warrior you have been blessed by all the benign forces of the universe.  Say a million and one “Thank you’s.”  For those of you who know the drill here is a bit of advice.

PARENTING ADVICE

Tip one:  Temporarily disown the kid.  When a kid flipped me the bird in public I had an easier time of it, because they were not my kids.  That became my advice to a parent engaged with a Gotcha Warrior who destroyed every diner out   by pushing her buttons during the meal.   I told her when he started shouting at her  to turn to the next table and say loudly,

“Not my kid.”

Not what the parent advisers would suggest, but it worked.  After twice stumping away from the table and missing out on two dinners, this Gotcha Warrior stayed at the table and ate in sullen silence.  Mother could handle sullen silence.

She used the same ploy at home, “When the kid I know and love can talk to me kindly I will listen, but for now I disown you.  I have better things to do then to let you abuse me.”

Tip two: Reframe the battle.  The kid doesn’t hate you.  You are not a failure as a parent. Quite the opposite, the kid feels safest with you; he knows in his heart you will not abandon him.  Understand the battle is mainly within him.  He is finding the real world painful.

Tip three:   Stay strong. Don’t let sympathy woo you back to trying to use comforting words when he or she is throwing spears at you.

Tip four:   If you do want to talk kindly, pick another time.  If you have been a Soft Love parent, you might even consider apologizing for not adequately preparing your teen for life in the real world.

One parent wrote a note of apology that also declared she was becoming tougher on how she let her precious one treat her.

Tip five:  Follow this blog, use its comments to tell me if my advice works or ask for advice. 

STAY STRONG

Life as a parent is probably the hardest job in the world.  Count your blessings for every good moment you can savor.

Here is my thank you or welcome to the my blog  gift – a quick introduction to The Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises.  For more details about staying strong as a parent buy any one of my books by going to my Amazon Author’s page.  Scroll down to see the ones available on kindle.

You don’t need a kindle to read ebooks from Amazon. You can download a free Kindle reader to your computer when you buy the book.  If you read one of my books please help me by reviewing it. Reviews matter and you will once again

DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA. If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. Thanks for your understanding and reading my work.

IMAGE BY Agents of awesome