Friday, October 30, 2015

A Tad Bit Too Shy: When Parents Needs to Help Emotionally Withdrawn Children

Parents may not be fully aware of what is happening to their children's and their everyday activities. After coming home from work, parents usually do some household chores and prepare themselves for dinner, while their kids do their homework after arriving from school. Conversations would usually begin at dinner time, asking them questions about how their day at school was. Kids may share their quirky experiences to their parents, but teenagers would seldom do the same.

Adolescents would rather keep the details to themselves, and just share random events from their school.  Many parents may be unaware but high school life may be found by their children to be quite a challenge.  Peer acceptance is critical for most teenagers.  In campus, they have opportunities to build new friendships.  For some teens, school is also about facing up to the difficulties of bullying. Other students from school or even their so called “friends” could tease and bully them by saying negative things about them in front of many people. Sadly, this scenario is considered as normal for people their age.  At this stage, your children may be emotionally sensitive and choose to remain secretive about the  issues and situations that they face in school.

In case one of your children is having difficulty sharing stories, opening up, or is showing symptoms of  depression --- that child may be having problems with self-esteem. It is not uncommon for teenagers to experience a form of inferiority complex since the adolescent years are really about establishing self-identity and building their own sense of self-worth. They may also have feelings of resentment, alienation, and unhappiness.  These are only some of the reasons why children hesitate to share their experiences to their parents and other adults.

For parents who think that their children might be suffering from an inferiority complex, it is best to see and know the signs that your child may be experiencing. Your child knows what they are capable of, as well as their shortcomings. Bullying tends to point such negativity into the young adult, and perceives any form of criticism as a personal attack. Feeling bad about themselves, they usually have trouble feeling good with anyone else. They look hard for possible flaws and shortcomings of other people to try to convince themselves that they are not so bad after all.  Response to flattery can come in two ways: desperate in fishing for compliments, while others may refuse to listen to anything positive since it would be in contrast with their own feelings. Another sign is how they project their weaknesses unto others in order to lessen the pain of feeling inferior. If blaming is carried to the extreme, they might think that others are actively seeking to ruin them. People who feel inferior likes to win games, but tend to avoid such situations because deep down, they believe they cannot win. They have beliefs that they themselves are not as interesting as others, and would think that other people would feel the same way about them. These are the most common signs of having inferiority complex, and parents should really take the time to help their children deal with it.  Guiding children and teenagers in terms of their  emotional and psychological growth is critical to the quality of their life.

In order to overcome such inferiority complex, these young adults should develop a strong sense of determination to change their present mentality. Initially, they would require a little initiative, be daring and should give up their inhibition. Parents should remind them that they do not need to be afraid of any body. Try to develop their positive thinking and make them express their views, in case they do not like anything. Always remember that everyone is unique in this world, and individuality is best in leading a good and happy life.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Are You Letting Your Children Manipulate You?

Rachael is the young mother of Nathan, who just turned two. Rachael is a stay-at-home mother who works part-time at home and has the help of a housekeeper five days a week. Rachael consulted with me because of her problems with Nathan.

“When Nathan is with David (her husband), he’s fine. He adores David and listens well to him. When he’s with Amalia (her housekeeper), he’s fine. He loves her and plays calmly with her. But when he’s with me, he’s impossible. He throws temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. He goes to sleep easily at night for David but not for me. I want so much to be a good mother and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I never get angry with him but sometimes I feel like throwing him across the room! I need help!”

“Rachael, when you are with Nathan, what do you think is more important to you – to get him to love you or to be loving to yourself?”

Rachael replied instantly. “To get him to love me. I never think about loving myself. I just want him to love me. If he loves me, then I know that I’m a good mother.”

“And what does it say about you if you are a good mother?”

“It means that I’m okay,”

“So you have handed to Nathan the job of defining your worth. He has to love you for you to be okay. What do you think is most important to David?”

“Oh, David takes good care of himself. He really doesn’t seem concerned about whether or not Nathan loves him. He’s very loving to Nathan, but if David wants to eat dinner when Nathan want to play with him, he just eat dinner and Nathan seems to accept it. If I want to have my breakfast when Nathan wants to play, Nathan has a tantrum.”

“Rachael, Nathan has learned that he can manipulate you because you are so concerned with how he feels about you. As long as his loving you is more important to you than taking loving care of yourself, he will be able to manipulate you. This is not good for him or for you. It is too big a burden on him to have the responsibility of defining your worth. As long as your worth is attached to being a good mother, Nathan will be able to manipulate you.”

“I can see that. Amalia is like David. If she has work to do, she just expects Nathan to play by himself, and he does. She loves him, but she is firm about what she needs to do. I can see that I give in all the time because I don’t want him to be upset with me. What can I do now to change this?”

“First of all, you need to consciously detach your worth from being a good mother. You need to do some inner work on defining your worth separately from being a mother. Your sense of worth needs to be attached to who you are – your kindness, compassion, empathy, warmth, aliveness. You need to take responsibility for defining your own worth rather than making Nathan, David, or anyone else responsible.

“Second, you need to care about taking care of yourself as much as you care about taking care of Nathan. Nathan is a brat with you because you don’t care about yourself when you are with him, so he has learned to not care about you. You are teaching him not to care about you when you do not care about yourself.”

“Okay, I think I get this. I’m really going to try to do it differently.”

Next week when we spoke in our phone session, Rachael reported that things had already dramatically changed. Nathan was listening to her, going right to sleep when she put him down, and seemed happier in general. His tantrums had not yet completely stopped, but they were far fewer. Rachael, too, felt happier because she was finally taking care of herself and her own needs. For the first time since giving birth to Nathan, she was having some time to herself.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

As Fall has set in - an indoor garden for children

If you have young children around an indoor garden is the perfect project to teach them
about nature.  It is also an avenue to teach children about the responsibility needed to care
for something on an ongoing basis.  Simple is best, even for older children – as they
prove themselves and their garden thrives they can expand the plants that they grow.

To enrich the learning opportunity purchase clear containers to grow the plants in.  If you
can not find a traditional pot that is clear make sure the container you use either has a
drainage hole in the bottom or layer gravel on the bottom before adding the soil.  Once
the plant starts to grow more the roots will become visible in the pot.

Children will love to grow their own vegetables and maybe even eat them once they are
ready.  Buy each child a large container that is theirs to take care of and let them pick the
type of vegetable they want to grow.  The easiest vegetables to grow indoors are carrots,
tomatoes, and radishes.  There are a wide variety of tomatoes that you can grow from
beefsteak to cherry tomato.

The next time you eat an orange, save the seeds.  Children can plant the seeds in small
containers about 1 inch down into the soil.  By giving the plant watered and in the
sunlight, in two to three weeks they will have their own citrus tree growing.  They can
choose to keep it indoors or plant it outside in the summer when the small plant has
become bigger and stronger.  Try the same with other fruit seeds too from watermelon to
apple seeds.

Getting children to help with your houseplants is a good idea too.  Children love to help
out with adult chores and it gives you a break at the same time.

Monday, October 5, 2015

It's Time to plan ahead for Halloween -The Top 10 Halloween Party Requirments you Forgot

Planning a Halloween party can be a very fun thing to do.  Whether you will be hosting adults, children, or a mix of both, Halloween parties are fun and exciting to have and to attend.

To help plan your Halloween party, and have it be the event of the year, here are some ideas to get you started in your planning:

Halloween Party Reminder #1 – The first thing you need to do is to decide on a budget for your party and if you will be having adults, children, or both in attendance.  Once you have made these decisions then it is time to start planning your event. Send invites to the parents - I speak for us all it is confusing coming from you child!

Halloween Party Reminder  #2 – Food and drinks are always a big part of any Halloween party.  Here you can be very creative with items such as “scabs” other wise known as dried cranberries.  Items such as bleeding cupcakes or things which look like eyeballs are generally a hit.  Or you can go with a more traditional fare of cookies and candy.

Halloween Party Reminder #3 – For beverages for your party you can make a great slimy punch out of lemonade, sugar, meringue powder, and seltzer water.  To this add some green food coloring and stir.  The mix will be slimy and frothy.

Halloween Party Reminder  #4 – Always a fun idea at Halloween parties is the addition of dry ice to beverages.  This will make them send off fog and is always a hit with both adults and children.
You may need to call a few places to find dry ice but it is worth it. Order you dry ice at least a week in advance or you will be out of luck.

Halloween Party Reminder #5 – Decoration for Halloween is fun.  You can make tombstones in the yard with simple Styrofoam cutouts and even hang lights and ghosts in your trees.  Inside your home you can decorate with spider webs and other spooky items which you can purchase at any local store during the Halloween season.

Halloween Party Reminder #6 – For a Halloween party you want your home to be dimly lit but not too dark so that people are tripping over things.  Also a fog machine or cauldrons with dry ice in them can give a great effect. Once again right now is the time to hunt for the good stuff at a good price - this includes the candy!

Halloween Party Reminder #7 – Music is always nice for a Halloween party, Pandora is the only way to fly here.  However, rather than have it playing in the room your guests will be in, try setting your tunes in a near-by room so that people can still talk and enjoy themselves.  If you have a adult party use scarier music than if you are hosting children.

Halloween Party Reminder  #8 - Playing games is always a hit at any party.  A fun game for adults is charades using scary movies and themes.  For children, bobbing for apples can be fun if the weather and space allow for it.  Also, contests for the best costume always go over well.  (Let your guests know this on your invitations.

Halloween Party Reminder #9 – If you want to amaze your friends, you can write secret messages on your drinking glasses.  To do this, take a mixture of dish soap and water and write messages with it, using your finger, on the outside of some drinking glasses.  Once you are finished place them in the freezer to frost over.  As your guests drink, and the glasses warm, your messages will come into view.  This is always something people will be amazed at and talk about for a long time to come.

Halloween Party Reminder #10 – One of the best things you can do while you are planning any party, especially one for Halloween, is to go online and search for creative ideas.  You will find a wealth of creativity to help you make the most of your party experience. Order it early and stick it in a closet for a few weeks.

Planning ahead right now can save you a huge headache and make for an awesome kids party.