Many parents and teachers use Time Out as a way to discipline children. Are you certain that you are using it correctly?
I have been thinking about the time I spend with couples as their therapist. It is compelling to sit in a couple’s therapy session and witness how love can make a lot of us feel completely out of control. I see couples fight furiously and notice how each partner is completely oblivious to the fact that it’s not the money or the child that’s the issue. What they are really fighting about involves three very simple questions, Do you love me? Will you stay with me? How can I be sure that you won’t hurt me? When I witness this in a session I have the wonderful and sometimes energizing opportunity of letting them know that they are fighting for love.
The first two months of the year are always interesting to be a therapist. It is the time when everyone is taking a look at themselves and attempting to see things in a new way and/or trying to change something about themselves, which is what I do with others on a year round basis. My twitter feed was chock full of articles and messages about new this, resolve that, change now, and it fills me with both joy and frustration. The joy comes from feeling that everyone is out trying to get closer to their authenticity, which is my goal as a therapist, to assist others in finding their truest self. I also feel frustration because come February most of those hopeful souls will have already gotten back to old patterns and away from the stream of change and resolution. In the spirit of lasting change, here are my three steps on how you can make sure to stick to keeping those resolutions.
Here is a quick list of ways to improve your parenting to enjoy success with those whom mean most to you, your children.
Understand your past and how it affects your present.
Every December at my center parents ask me how to not spoil their children and how to manage the gift giving frenzy of the holidays. The follow are the answers to the most popular parent questions during the holiday:
How many gifts should we give our kids?
Many parents have questions about how their kids can learn to socialize. The following questions come up frequently at our center:
Q: WHY DOES MY CHILD HIDE AND SHOW FEAR WHEN ADULTS ENTER HER CLASSROOM?
A parent member of our online parenting support asked:
We are doing the Elf on the Shelf this year for my daughter (4-years-old). I think that the elf watching for good behavior is a good incentive. Any thought or experiences?
What is the best method for disciplining our kids?
- Always focus first on their goal/objective and their emotional state before establishing a boundary. It is best to lower yourself to the child’s level and in the most tranquil form possible describe what the child is feeling, what you expect of them and express that you are certain that next time, they will do it properly.
Time and again when I ask parents what they wish for their children they respond with “I just want them to be happy”. But how exactly does one do that? The truth is that happiness is a way of being but not a constant. To be happy you must also experience sadness and sometimes as parents we have a hard time tolerating that fact. In any case let’s take some time and see what the research tell us about how to be happy.
I was embarrassed that I had welled up to the point where my nose and my eyes could no longer function properly. I attempted not to take a huge breath or blink since tears were going to pour. From the stage I listened to Heather C. McGhee tell all of us that we needed to listen and understand one another, to meet in our humanity if there was to be true change. I began to cry because I know that this is the answer. As a psychotherapist to families and children, I sit and listen to others' humanity daily, and it always works when we listen, understand, and meet in that place of "yes, me too." However, in this moment at the We Won’t Wait Summit my tears were a mixture of McGhee stating what I believe to my soul and knowing how difficult it is for people to sit, speak, and listen to one another's experiences and feelings.