Do you think about the difference between a blip-bump and problem? This is a useful thought process to consider when determining if it is time to reach out for some tools and support from a mental health professional. A blip: occurs once or twice, is an anomaly, may be disruptive to child/family/routine but then disappears. A bump occurs several times over a few weeks and may be a developmentally appropriate behavior that requires some attention and emotional support, but does not disrupt individual and family functioning-much. A problem is a behavior or emotion that interferes with functioning for more than a month and the child begins avoiding activities or scenarios, and family members begin adapting their functioning to accommodate the child. When this happens- reach out and get some help- solutions are always available.
In talking about the importance of helping children be brave, a wise parent suggested to me that in order to
be brave, one also needs to feel the opposite emotions of either fear or worry. What a wonderful thought-
and a great conversation to have with children struggling with anxiety. What do you think?
Almost winter! My colleague Dr. Dan Shapiro has written a great book: Parent-Child Journey:An Individualized Approach to Raising Your Challenging Child, available on Amazon. He is a wonderful and pragmatic clinician, sensitive to parents and children alike. Please check it out!
AND.. if you are struggling with a complicated kiddo and are needing some support for your child, your family or you as parents..circle in with me!
Many families have been seeking support with reigning in their children's behavior, including talk back and refusal. It is useful for parents to have consistent rules and consequences in place, while still recognizing the importance of emotional coaching. This is a tough balance! For consistency, consider 1-2-3 Magic, a powerful and super simple discipline tool created by Thomas Phelan. For strategies around emotion based coaching...contact me!
So many kiddos with sensory disregulation are heading my way, and so many parents are overwhelmed by parenting these explosive children. . For all you facebookers- I am recommending a wonderful parenting tool- Please join this group: Support for Sensory Needs. For those parents trying to determine the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown (and how to respond differently depending on which it is..), reach out to me, I can help!
I have been thinking lots about oxygen! Not just about the kind we breathe, but what I call "emotional oxygen" . Kids really understand this idea, the value of sufficient emotional resources . Children seem to appreciate that while it is easier to rely on their parents for taking care of emotional angst, that there is also value in learning how to handle complicated feelings.
In our parenting, we are so eager to keep our children from even one moment of upset, that we disempower them from developing their own skill and coping tools. The next time you make yourself emotionally indispensible to your child, pause and consider the value for them in learning that emotional struggle is part of growing up. They can handle this with your support., and you can learn to trust their abilities to cope.
Want help with this technique? Make an appointment- let's talk!
I have been browsing an interesting parenting book : How to Raise an Adult Kid: Break free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims.
The author does a wonderful job of presenting scary stats and comforting suggestions. It is so easy to nurture children and protect them from the risky experiences of the world. At the same time, hyper-caution does little to prepare our next generation to be confident, resilient and skilled. The author suggests the important components involved in creating a resilient child include:
- providing unstructured time to play
- teaching life skills
- teach them how to think
- prepare them for hard work
- let them chart their own path
- normalize struggle
What do you think? How are you balancing safety and risk taking in the same breath? What do you model for your children? Think about it- and contact me if you would like to work on this aspect of your parenting!
I have been working with many parents recently around maintaining boundaries and structure in their families, and navigating conflict without compromising the parent child relationship. How do you balance this in your family? Do you have a vision of how you want your family to function? How do you reboot when your good plans take a different route? Thinking about and designing a parenting plan is an effective tool. Set up an appointment- let's talk!