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Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

7 Ways To Teach Kids Self-Awareness

April 8, 2014

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Courtesy of Sherrie Campbell, PhD:

 

1. Be a good role model.
In order to parent self-awareness, you have to have it yourself. This means that you demonstrate through your own behaviors that you can calm your anxieties and frustrations and not act out in a negative way. If you start to act out, demonstrate that you can call a time-out on yourself and get centered again.

2. Accept and recognize your child’s feelings.
Emotions are emotions. They are temporary energies meant to pass through. If we accept and acknowledge what our children are feeling, the emotions pass through much more quickly and with more understanding. Taking this time to sit with their feelings helps them to not act emotions out in a negative way. Accept the feelings from their viewpoint, and then, if possible, spin them in a positive light.

3. When in doubt, empathize.
Your empathy teaches children their emotional life is not threatening, abnormal or scary. Their emotions are not shameful or defective. They are human and manageable. In this way, you teach your children they are not alone. This helps them see that even the less-than-perfect parts of themselves are acceptable, which helps them to accept themselves and others more wholly.

4. Do not encourage the avoidance of emotions.
Emotions may be uncomfortable, but never minimize them to your children or tell your kids to “move on.” Refrain from telling them what they are feeling is wrong. They may not be ready to move on, and it is important for children to learn to navigate the uncomfortable. This is how they learn and grow. We must teach them that whatever they avoid will return in the form of a similar and harder lesson, so they may as well do their learning now.

5. Encourage communication.
Repressing feelings doesn’t work. Repressed sadness turns into depression; repressed anger turns into rage; repressed envy turns into jealousy; repressed love turns into possession; and repressed fear turns into anxiety/panic. When we reject or ignore our children’s emotions, this causes them to repress, which leads to more severe and chronic emotional problems all throughout life. Let them express freely.

6. Time, attention and listening.
Actively listen to your children. You do not have to agree with what they say or feel, but to argue against it doesn’t allow them to hear or know who they are as unique people. Accept their feelings, repeat them back to them for understanding, and listen. Show that you care and can see their point of view.

7. Teach problem solving.
Most of the time, when children experience that their emotions are understood and accepted, the emotions lose their charge and begin to dissipate. This leaves an opening for problem solving. Sometimes, kids can do this themselves. Ask them how they want or think they should handle the situation which is upsetting them. This helps them to hear themselves out, and to learn to make good decisions from within. Sometimes, they need your help to brainstorm, but resist the urge to handle the problem for them; that gives them the message that you don’t have confidence in their ability to handle the problem on their own.

 

Click on the link to read Kids Explain the Meaning of Happiness

Click on the link to read 5 Reasons Why It’s Healthy to Encourage Children to Play

Click on the link to read Allowing Children to Stand Out From the Pack

Click on the link to read Hilarious Examples of Kids Telling It As It Is

Click on the link to read Kids Can Operate an iPad but Can’t Tie their Shoelaces

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Teaching Children to be Honest Yet Respectful

June 11, 2013

I have a regular guest over for dinner who, until last week, has made a point of being elaborate in praise over the way I cook my meat. Last week when I invited this guest to join us for dinner, she asked me whether it would be possible to add some flavour to my chicken as she felt it was a bit bland.

Many people would be quite angry at the request, but in truth, the request itself didn’t bother me at all. What bothered me was that she had previously lauded something which she never really liked in the first place. She obviously did it to make me feel better about my cooking. But I don’t want false praise, I want the truth. I am happy she was finally truthful with me about my seasoning skills, because had she not, I wouldn’t have realised.

There is a habit among many of us to avoid conflict by not being candid and up front with others. Many hide their true feelings, let resentments simmer under the surface and fail to address hurt feelings so as to avoid a major scene and a war of words. This isn’t a healthy practice. In fact, it is being disingenuous.

There is a way to be truthful and constructive whilst at the same time considering the feelings of others. There is a way to be honest and communicate important issues without causing acrimony. We must teach our children to say what they mean and mean what they say within such a context. That way, relationships will be based on trust, people will know where they stand, apologies can be offered and accepted for indiscretions and communication can proceed without intrusive boundaries.

Yes, it is crucial that matters are raised in a respectful and courteous manner. Yes, judgements must be withheld when they are petty and without purpose. But the last thing we should teach our children is to be phoney in order to avoid conflict.

Click on the link to read The Children of Today Show a Lack of Respect For Authority

Click on the link to read Is There Anything Better than an Inspirational Child? (Video)

Click on the link to read Instead of Teaching a Baby to Read, Teach it to Smile

If We Accept Dishonesty From Adults, What Hope is There for Our Kids?

August 31, 2012

It bothers me that society has given up on honesty and is now happy to settle for the occasional deceit:

Most women will forgive their partners for cheating once or even twice, but would dump them if they tried it three times, according to a study.

The research found that more than six in ten women would forgive two relationship ‘errors’ – which include infidelity, excessive flirtatious behaviour or romantic neglect. They would, however, dump their man after three.

A full 53 per cent say they would be likely to give their partner another chance even if they found out they had cheated on them, as long as that cheating was a one-off and didn’t involve a pro-longed affair, according to a poll of 2,000 British men and women for laundry specialists Dr. Beckmann.

An incredible 38 per cent of all current British relationships have endured infidelity of some kind, according to the study.
I believe this study represents a negative worldview which is sure to affect the next generations. We must expect nothing less than honesty and loyalty from each other. Forgiveness is a personal choice, but even so, there must be an expectation of trust in every genuine relationship.
Otherwise, what’s the point?

Research Suggests That There’s no Such Thing as a Good Divorce

December 19, 2011

I feel very sorry for children of divorced parents who find themelves the center of a tug-of-war act between duelling parents on Christmas Day.

At Christmas time, like no other, family relationships are put to the test.

This time of year seems to bring not only a rise in domestic violence, but family tension and relationship breakdown.

So much for the season of peace and goodwill.

Fights over who will get the kids on Christmas Day are common, and children are often forced to spend Christmas traipsing across town to keep both parents happy.

Many argue that since divorce is so rampant, children are able to adapt with the change extremely well. This is simply not the case.

Research suggests that there’s no such thing as a good divorce: All you can do is have a breakup that is not as bad as it might be.

A US study of 994 families identified three types of post-divorce parents: Those who were co-operatively continuing to parent together, those who were parallel parenting with little communication, and those who were effectively single parents.

Children from the first group – the good divorce group – had the smallest number of behavioural problems and the closest ties to their fathers.

However, the differences were only minor, and the children in this group didn’t score any better than others on 10 additional measures, such as self-esteem, school grades, early sexual activity and closeness to their mothers.

 

The Lost Art of Conversation

August 22, 2011

Remember when quality time with another involved talking?  Remember when a family dinner was a daily not twice yearly occasion?  Well, times have changed and some think that the lack of real conversation between family and friends is quite acceptable and just a new feature in the era we live in.

That may be so, but it just doesn’t feel right.  The notion that smartphones and video games are bringing families closer together doesn’t sit at all well with me:

Four in five parents described playing video games with their children as “quality time”, while 32 per cent of parents play computer games with their kids every day.

Many grandparents revealed that they play video games with their tech-savvy grandchildren, in a bid to get closer to them.

Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Reader in Psychology at Goldsmiths said: “These findings are important because they highlight the social benefits of playing videogames.

“Previous research has tended to look only at the individual effects of video games, but in the era of social networking games appear to play a vital role in enhancing social relationships. The fact that both parents and grandparents are using games to connect with their children and grandchildren, and quite successfully, suggests that video games can improve social skills and make a key contribution to both effective parenting and child development.

The social benefits of playing video games?  Are you a doctor of psychology or a rep for Nintendo?  Just because parents are resorting to these lengths in a bid to connect with their kids doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to communicate with them.  You can spend hours every night playing Mario Bros. with your child and never begin to understand how they are feeling, what their troubles are and what excites them etc.

Imagine if dates consisted of smartphone operations and video game playing instead of dinner and romantic walks?  How would that work?  The answer is it wouldn’t, because people need to actually converse in order to connect.

Why should it be any different with kids?


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