Heart-to-Heart Connection

To inspire and be inspired!

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Firm Foundation. Don’t Rescue. Get A Life. (10/10)

It’s natural for parents to become overly involved in their children.  Family is important; however, when parents look for their identity needs to be met in their children — meaning, purpose, challenge, and joy — family friction and codependency take over healthy family dynamics.  (Dr. Randy Reynolds, Child Psychologist)

In other words, parents, don’t live through your child.  Get a life.  Work on issues, challenges, dreams, goals . . . Hmm . . . Much easier said than done. 

Taking risks, changing, (possible) failure . . . they CAN be scary.  It’s easier to blame someone else (e.g., a strong-willed child) for life’s difficulties than own up to our deficiencies.

But life’s lessons we choose to ignore will resurface until we learn.  Do we learn now, later, or never?

Healthy parents, healthy kids — happiness!

I want to LIVE my life; my goals.  I want my family, too! 

Gonna get ’em all! 

CHARGE!!!  🙂

 

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November 15, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Freedom, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marketing, Marriage, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Building Positive Dynamics (9/10)

How would you describe your family dynamics?  Critical, achievement-oriented, efficient?  Warm, secure, caring, stimulating?

Which would you prefer?  Which would you strive towards?

The latter, most likely.  We all thrive in warm and caring environment — children, especially.

So, how do we get there?

  • Meet Needs—Give attention, security, a sense of belonging, touch, affection, and stimulation.
  • Know Your Child—Play!  Be a good listener.  Spend deep, quality time.  Enjoy your child(ren).
  • Believe in Your Child—By doing so, parents provide opportunity and courage for her to fulfill your new, positive expectations.
  • Allow Independence—Teach your child to think and take personal responsibility.
  • Remain Calm and Detached—Empty ourselves of anger, resentment, fear, and guilt.

Here are concepts in action:

Child:    I got a bad evaluation from the teacher today.  If she was any good, I’d ace this class! (Negative invitation)

Parent: So she’s good at preventing her students from learning?

Child:    Well, she doesn’t help me learn!

Parent: So what would help you learn and do well in her class?  (Positive invitation/Problem-solve)

Child:    I don’t know, maybe a tutor.  (Response)

Parent: We could find a tutor for that class, but what about missed assignments?

Child:    Yeah, I’ve missed some.  I’ll finish them.

As always, thanks Dr. Reynolds!  🙂

 

November 14, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Achieving Emotional Stability (8/10)

“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie.”  (Robert Ebert)

Do you agree or disagree?

We can’t take our emotions for granted.  They govern our behavior, even when we don’t realize it.  Immature families, especially when under stress, communicate that feelings are wrong.  Family members react to each other.  The overriding message is, “You shouldn’t feel what you’re feeling.”  (Dr. Randy Reynolds, child psychologist)

I hear ya!  Emotions—especially strong ones—intensify and magnify issues.  Emotions, at times, finger point—”It’s your fault, not mine!”  

“Emotions, however, when handled appropriately, can promote positive change.”  (Dr. Reynolds)

Really?  How?

  • Empathize.  Validate your child’s feelings but stand firm on your decision: “It sounds like you’re frustrated because I won’t let you wear jeans today.  I know that’s hard for you, but I’m not going to change my mind.”
  • Discipline, don’t punish.  Discipline is patient and goal-oriented; punishment is motivated by anger or reactivity.

 What else?

  • Affirm, acknowledge, respect, create a sense of belonging, and appreciate each other.  Full emotional tanks give members room to express themselves.  Relax.  Enjoy simple pleasures.
  • As families mature, they shame each other less; respond to each other more.  They listen to others without reacting.  They assert without antagonizing.  Families set realistic expectations.  They know they’re interdependent, and flex with the normal stresses of life.

“Learn to own your feelings.  Don’t blame others when you communicate.  Begin sentences with ‘I’ messages, not ‘you’.” . . . “‘I feel . . . when . . .’

Empathize, affirm, discipline, “I” messages—Thanks Dr. Reynolds! 🙂

 

November 13, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Gaining Respect (7/10)

Which would you honor — obedience or respect?

  • Obedience – “Do it!  I said so!”
  • Respect – good listening + trust + give children two choices you can live with

Respect, bar none!  I can’t make anyone do anything willingly.  You can’t make me, either.

Yet, when under intense stress, I find myself demanding unconditional obedience from my children, not respect.

It’s time to change — to recognize and minimize counterproductive behaviors. 

How, Dr. Reynolds?

  • Respect grows when parents listen instead of just hear.  Value what your child says and attempt to understand his reality and his feelings.  Reflect (“So what you’re saying is …,” “I see you’re …”).
  • Respect requires trust.  A child cannot trust the parent who does not listen.  Personal responsibility and interdependence — each person doing his part to keep the relationship healthy — is essential for building trust.  Hold children accountable.  Communicate with conviction, “You can do it!”                                                                     

Okay, but I need concrete tools.  How do I continue building trust and earning my children’s respect?

  • Talk directly with the person — child or adult — who upsets you rather than to someone else.
  • Too overwhelmed to talk?  Find a neutral third-party to coach you.
  • Child/Parent conflict?  Encourage your child to talk directly to your spouse; not through you.
  • Do not rescue or interfere with your spouse’s parenting, even if you disagree.  Discuss differences privately.  Form a united front.
  • When you discipline, spend one-on-one time with your child.  Secure your bond with him. 

THANK YOU, sir! 

We humans — regardless of education level, status, wealth, or lack thereof — are all equal; messed up emotional creatures! 

Save face.  Discipline with dignity. 

Can’t wait to enjoy my family today! 🙂

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, Freedom, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Journalism, Leadership, Love, Marketing, Marriage, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News About Your Strong-Willed Child: Raising the Healthy Individual (6/10)

Which types of parents raised you — the overprotective Rescuer who assumes too much responsibility, or the Reactor; critical, under-involved, and the distant?

Child psychologist, Dr. Randy Reynolds states, “Both Rescuers and Reactors present strategies for failed parenting.”  No wonder I’m screwed!  My mother was a Rescuer, my father, a Reactor.  I was raised by both!

So how did I learn (and continue to learn) what my parents failed to teach me? 

SOCIETY — the school of hard knocks!

I want more for my two sons — way more.  With my husband, I want to work on creating healthy family dynamics and healthy individuals.

When parents succeed in creating individuals, their children will be:

  • Cooperative
  • Compassionate
  • Maintain relationships even during tough times
  • Take care of themselves without imposing on others
  • Live with convictions
  • Willing to suffer discomfort to accomplish personal goals
  • Define who they are without succumbing to peer pressure                       (Dr. Reynolds)

Compassionate, hardworking, problem-solver/life-long learners . . . the character traits I wish for my kids.

SO, what are my husband and I to do? . . .

Dr. Reynolds to the rescue!

  • Communicate clear expectations.  Help children reach their potential.
  • Allow children to take risks.  
  • Set realistic but challenging expectations for your children.  Help them push through their doubts as they move from incompetence to competence.
  • Hold children accountable for their responsibilities.  Empower them to grow.
  • Validate your children.  Make them feel important.
  • Parents ought to focus on their own goals, well-being, and self-definition.  Don’t live through your child.  Children are not extensions of their parents.
  • Pray for your children.

Whew!  So much to understand, internalize, and apply . . . for me, anyway. 

Better late than never!  One step, one moment, one day at a time! 

Enjoy parenting!  Enjoy life!  🙂

November 7, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Education, God, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recipe for Healthy Brownies

Oxymoron?  Nope!

Replace butter with butternut squash.  Get the same gooey texture, flavor, plus vegetables AND cut calories by half (only 291 cal. per serving)!  INDULGE!

Chocolate Brownie with Raspberries and White Chocolate Chips

Want to try a simple, healthy, mid-day snack for less than a buck a piece?

How about cookbooks? Cook Yourself THIN has 234 pages of fast, easy, delicious recipes!

Drop a dress size in six weeks — without sacrificing taste and portion size!

Happy eating! 🙂

July 20, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Body, Change, Education, Food, Health and Wellness, Heart, Mind, Purpose, Self Help, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment