Raising Respectful Children
By Charity Adams MA LPC
Most of the parents I come into contact with say the biggest, and often most challenging aspect to parenting, is teaching respect. Unfortunately, when I ask them how they teach respectfulness they rarely have a solid answer. Mostly, it is just something parents assume children will pick up on, rather than conscious tactics they implement to teach this very important characteristic. So what can you do to consciously teach respectfulness in your home? Here are some ideas:
Surprisingly many parents I speak to have difficulty defining what respect is and what it means to them. Without a concrete definition parents will never achieve their goal of raising respectful children, so first, you need to define what respect is and what it means to you. Write it down, and share it with your children. Give specific examples of how what a respectful action or response would be. One great way to do this is to imagine yourself in a business setting. What behaviors do you exhibit during your work day when you are dealing with your boss or coworkers? How can those behaviors be translated into your (and your children’s) home life?
Role Model Respectfulness
You are your child’s best and most accessible teacher. At every age and every stage of their lives, your children are watching you. They consciously mimic your behavior and unconsciously learn how to react to situations. If you are kind and respectful to them, they learn that they are valuable enough to be treated with respect, as well as how to treat a person respectfully. Children acquire your value systems through everyday life. Thus, it is important that if you want them to have a quality (such as punctuality), you make that characteristic a priority in your life (such as striving to be on time).
Create Opportunities For Respectfulness
Establishing routine chores for children (even very young children) is one great way to give them opportunities to show respect. Setting the table, dusting, folding laundry, loading the dish washer, all of these are ways your child can show you they have a vested interest in their family. Their completion of these tasks creates a great opportunity for YOU to express how you felt their behavior is respectful and that is the biggest and most effective way for them to learn about respect. These opportunities for you to reinforce positive behaviors will help them continue such actions as well as raise their confidence in themselves.
Teach More Than Discipline
While discipline is an important and necessary part of parenting, parents have to know the difference between a teaching moment and a discipline moment. When your child is acting in a disrespectful manner teach first, then discipline. There is no room for anger when we teach. If your child has pushed one of your hot buttons (teens are GREAT at this), give yourself time to cool down. Let them know that is what you are doing. Phrases such as “I am very angry at what I just saw/heard. Go to another room while I cool down” are great for showing children that a) you do not agree with what is happening and b) you are able to control your own behavior. Flying off the handle and yelling or punishing an upsetting behavior is a missed teaching opportunity. Once you have regained your calm, you will be much more effective at discussing what you were feeling, why you were feeling it, and what changes need to be made in the future. Again, these messages teach children how to handle situations when they are disrespected. The message here is “just because someone disrespects you does not give you permission to be disrespectful back.” If the situation warrants punishment, doing so in a calm and direct way is much better than angrily yelling where miscommunication is more likely.
Set realistic expectations for respectfulness. I believe all children should have high expectations in their life. However, be realistic about what you expect from your child. Do not compare your child, and what you believe they are capable of to someone else’s child. Your child is unique. They have an individualized set of strengths and weaknesses. As parents, you must be mindful of such individuation. Some children take to new environments, such as schools or churches, easily and are able to fit in almost immediately. Other children require more time and assistance for such events. They may misbehave or act out at first. Understanding that this is more of an emotional response than purposely being disrespectful is paramount to getting your child to behave appropriately. So when I say, “set realistic expectations,” what I really means is, “set unique and realist expectations according to your individual child.”
Choose those areas of respectfulness that are most important and focus on those. Don’t overwhelm children with rules and requirements all at once. Slowly and repeatedly add new ways for them to show respectfulness.
Remember that raising a respectful child is, like all other parenting duties, a life long process. Even adult children look to their parents for guidance and role modeling. Show your kids respect and kindness every day. Reinforce those positive behaviors repeatedly. Keep your family on a routine of compassion. In doing these things, your children will have an amazing foundation to build their individual lives on. As a parent you will make many mistakes. As a child they will make even more, but forgiveness and personal responsibility are qualities that can bond families and raise the bar for future generations.
By Charity Adams MA, LPC
Each new year brings new opportunity, new plans, and new goals. Many of us sit over a bowl of black eyed peas constructing resolutions that we strive to achieve in the coming months. For some, this ritual is daunting. Filled with memories of years that our dreams went unrealized, we can often feel overwhelmed with doubt that this year will be any different. Thankfully, there is hope. This year can be a new beginning and those goals can be achieved. Fear and self admonishment don’t have to be a part of this fresh start. Here are a few simple tips to help you on your journey towards an accomplished 2013.
Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t expect that on January 1st a magical wind will blow in and make this day any different than the previous 365. If you struggle with maintaining a healthy diet this will likely still be difficult. For example, there is no need to make a sweeping declaration of “I will never eat sweets again!” You will likely eat sweets again, and that is okay. Making large changes to your daily diet that are hard to stick with can cause negative feelings that won’t help you achieve your goal. A realistic expectation might be “I will only have sweets once a week.” This is a much more manageable goal and one you will probably be able to accomplish. Making small changes, celebrating your successful days, and cutting yourself a break on less successful days will help you feel a greater sense of positive achievement and keep you focused.
Start Small and Build
You may have a number of life changes you would like to make this year. While we would all love to meet those goals as soon as possible, that is usually not the way lasting change takes place. If your goal is to exercise more, don’t set a goal of working out 5 days a week or running 5 miles a day. Start with 1 day and half a mile. The next week add another day and so on. This will help prevent burn out and keep you on track with your overall goal of becoming more fit.
Give Yourself Monthly Themes
Set a monthly theme for your goals. Write this theme down and make it the focus of your mental and physical energy. For example, “January: Focus on Self-Care.” This can range from weekly massages, to daily meditation, to any activity that helps you feel more centered and positive about yourself. Try to incorporate this theme by making it a priority in your day.
Give Yourself Daily Reminders
We are all more likely to achieve our goals when we have a visual daily reminder of them. Write your goals on a piece of paper and place it somewhere you will see it everyday. Good spots are the mirror, refrigerator, or (if your a caffeine junkie like me) the coffee maker. Read your goal while you brush your teeth, prepare dinner, or wait for the coffee to brew. The phrase “If you can say it, you can do it” plays a major role here, because as you read and reread your goals they unconsciously become more achievable.
Don’t be afraid to rewrite your goals. If you find that you have set an unrealistic expectation or you simply don’t have the same motivation for that particular goal, change it. Change is good. Experience can’t be defined as a success or a failure. It is knowledge and insight, and even unpleasant experiences have value. Working towards a goal can be just as meaningful as achieving that goal. Acknowledge your journey, not just the destination.
This year can be the year for you. With a broader definition of success and the pursuit of positivity in your daily life, you can make every aspiration a reality. Remember to celebrate, enjoy, and be gracious every day and this will be an amazing 2013!
Rimes vs. Glanville
By Charity Adams MA, LPC
Blended families face many struggles as they work to become one cohesive unit. Amongst the various difficulties that must be overcome is the interaction between biological parents and step-parents. Recently, we witnessed the struggle (via Twitter) of singer Leigh-Ann Rimes and her husband’s ex-wife, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reality star, Brandi Glanville.
Rimes and husband, Eddie Cibrian, were married last April at which time she became the step-mother of two boys from Eddie’s previous marriage to Brandi Glanville. This family had more than their share of difficulties to overcome, and I don’t believe any one expects these two women to ever be friends. However, they do share in a common goal: see the boys grow into healthy, happy adults. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the two women have publicly aired their dislike for one another. It shows how complicated relationships between biological parents and step-parents can be.
For those who are in duel household situations and are struggling to create a healthy, loving environment for your children or your step children, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Focus on the priority
It is natural for all parties involved to have strong feelings towards former or new spouses. While you may not like the other person, it is important to remember where your priorities lye. Is it more important for you to be right, or seen as more valuable and most loved? OR is more important for your children to feel secure, confident, and happy? In some situations, you can not have both. You can’t create a stable, loving environment while simultaneously instigating conflict with the other parent.
Don’t let your insecurities overshadow the child’s needs
At times, we all feel insecure in our parenting. Post-divorce worries can increase when those insecurities expand to include being “replaced” by a step-parent. Most parents feel proprietary over their children. In a blended family, some biological parents may exaggerate this concern into an unhealthy feeling of ownership. They may feel a sense of panic that their children are “slipping away” from them. In truth, no one can replace a biological parent for any child. Your children are, and will always be, your children. That will not change. Your relationship with them is what is important. They want and need your time, attention, and love. Arguing with or worrying over their new step-parent takes away from the energy and positivity you have to give to your children.
Really, don’t let insecurities overshadow the child’s needs
Biological parents aren’t the only ones that feel insecurity. New step-parents often feel concern over what their relationship should or will be with their new step-children. They fear the biological parent will stand in the way of them developing a healthy, loving relationship with their step-children. They often worry about rejection or that the children won’t accept them into their family. All of these are normal concerns. However, when you allow these worries to stand in the way of initiating that relationship, everyone loses.
Keep it to yourself
As I said earlier, it is more than likely that you will have strong emotions or opinions concerning former or new spouses. Not only is it likely, it is normal. The key is not to focus your positive energy on punishing, outdoing, or angering the other person. To that end, it is a good idea to keep your strong opinions to yourself, or at least away from your children/step-children. As we saw over the weekend, publicly bashing other people never ends in any positive resolution. While we may not all be celebrities such as Rimes or Glanville, with the invention and increase in popularity of social media, we are all more publicized than ever before. Publicly posting negative statements, rallying support for your negativity, or venting your hostility in a forum where your children may glean the information is inappropriate.
Undermining another parent who is a part of your child’s life, even in a passive-aggressive forum, will not make your children feel good. This behavior will cause them confusion and worry. They will likely feel torn between parents, anxious about the stability of their family and uncertain where the hostility will lead and what it will mean for them. No parent strives to create these feelings in their child, but that is what can happen when parents focus on their own emotions and forget their ultimate priority…their children or step-children.
All the benefits of Acupuncture – None of the Needles!
Krashada Acupressure Massage
By Michele Love
Krashada is a system of advanced bodywork that helps to keep one aligned energetically. Specific minor chakra points are stimulated by a trained practitioner to help clear and infuse them with pure positive energy.
A classical session will be a comprehensive experience of refined acupressure from “head to toe” coupled with massage techniques. The focus is to treat and balance the network of minor chakras on the meridians, or energy pathways, that connect throughout the body.
The uniqueness of Krashada not only works with the physical body. It also addresses nonphysical aspects, such as our emotions, mental state, and spiritual outlook, which can effect our physical health.
Within our beings, which are an extensive network of energy, we can be subject to blocks due to problems, stress, or trauma. Our bodies can store these “negative types” of energy, thus Krashada works to clear those and create a flow of essential energy.
The energetic technique of Krashada produces a way to maintain balance in the elemental and the vital systems. It also specializes in keeping the vertebral, joint, and nerve fluids properly flowing. On the mental level, it works to stimulate connections and proper use of the right/left brain, memory, and other faculties.
Krashada acupressure is an opportunity to experience the divine within through using the amazing network of energy lines to uncover your true self; the self you have worked so hard to achieve.
The essence of Krashada helps to unfold the bodies true evolution by detoxification and improvement of energy circulation so that one can be more balanced and energized.
The mind/body connection is a strong and powerful force that can either hold us back or propel us forward. To learn more about Krashada Acupressure, Traditional Acupuncture, or how Holistic Treatments can help you on your journey to a balanced, healthy, and fulfilling life, schedule your free 20 minute phone consultation today (214)706-0619.