Dealing with Anger in Your Home

Keep Calm Anger Graphic

While we may wish to protect our children from all situations of danger or stress, in reality they will have to work to have control of their own lives. Anger is a common response to such a situation and can be a frightening and yet inevitable emotion.  The important part is knowing how to react when we feel overwhelmed with he emotion of anger. It is easy to go from “zero to sixty” when we get angry. Sometimes we get angry after a hard day, siblings screaming over a game, stepping on a toy left on the floor, etc. As children are incredible imitators, they often emulate the response to stress that they witness.  Consequently, we must model appropriate behavior for our children while discussing with them alternatives to losing their temper.  We must understand the value of preserving our self-esteem in even the most difficult situations.

Responding to an Angry Child

  • stay calm
  • don’t give in
  • help instill problem solving skills
  • time -outs
  • praise appropriate behavior
  • avoid triggers

While we work to control our own anger, we must help our children understand the value of controlling theirs.  Parents are often surprised by how easily their children may become frustrated about minor incidents.  Often children learn much about their reactions from their environment. Whether in your home, school, or television, they are sponges that learn how to deal with situations through mirroring. It is important to discuss openly with them what their trigger is and how to deal with difficult situations.

~ TURNING STONEchoice

Teaching Choice

dad and son talking image

One way to assist you in communicating to your children is to emphasize their ability to control their own living. When you frame conversations by helping them understand the impact of their choices, children are willing to interact with you.  For example, rather than saying, “Sit down and study for that test you have tomorrow,” interact to help them understand the ramifications of not studying: How they may receive a poor grade: How it can create an unfortunate habit for them. Being reminded that they have a choice whether to do their homework or not but should understand the rationale for not doing it and the subsequent ramifications.

Common Miscommunication:

  • making ultimatums
  • making threats
  • making assumptions
  • name calling
  • accusing
  • limiting their power

The language that you use with your children can limit your effectiveness for parenting.  Your tone and mannerism also impacts how they “hear” you.  Children want to be validated by having their parent hear them and show them respect.

~ Learn more at TURNING STONEchoice

Empowering by Choice

It's Your Choice Image

One of the frustrations of daily living with children is the little “spats” that arise over every day routines such as getting ready for bed, putting on a coat in cold weather, putting shoes away, putting away bikes, etc. Many times children are given “demands” to do something and the result is balking, procrastination, stamping of feet, and loud words.

A better way, rather than making demands, is to allow the child to choose between two related choices. For example, when it is time for bed, say, “Do you want to wear your doggy PJs or your cat PJs? You decide.” For putting away shoes, you could ask, “Do you want to put your shoes under your bed or in the closet? You choose.” For putting away the bike, say, “Do you want to put your bike on the porch or in the garage? You decide.” Either way the purpose is accomplished.

If the child comes up with a third alternative, listen respectfully. If it is doable, validate that is good thinking. If the alternative is not doable, indicate you have given two choices from which to decide.

By allowing children to make choices, they become empowered and learn they do have some control in their lives.

~TURNING STONEchoice

Open Communication With Your Child

If you want your child to communicate more openly with you, then let them talk, no matter how shocking. It sounds so simple and yet it is so hard for many parents to accomplish. Just let them talk. Consider these tips on keeping communication lines open with your children:

  • Ask your child what they think instead of telling them what you think.
  • Avoid interrogating your child.
  • Tell stories about yourself growing up.
  • Share quality family time.
  • Respect your differences – Although you may not always agree with your child’s decisions or views, it is important to understand and appreciate his/her perspective and reasoning.

Many parents aren’t consciously aware that they are their child’s first teacher. Parenting goes beyond just being a role model and provider.  Our children have to be taught continually and reinforced that they are worthwhile and loved. We strive for our children to be happy in their choices and feel good about themselves.

 

Holiday Greetings

winter scene

This holiday season is a wonderful time of year when we celebrate faith, family and the tradition of giving.

…Take time to slow down and relish the simple things.

…Take time during the rush of the holidays to enjoy the things in life that really matter.

…Take time to savor the quiet moments spent with friends and loved ones.

We at TURNING STONEchoice hope that the true meaning of the holiday season fills everyone’s heart and home with many blessings.

Remember:

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
Maya Angelou

Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a New Year filled with peace and happiness!

Season’s Greetings,

~TURNING STONEchoice

Parenting Begins with You!

mom_and_little_boy

One of the most important characteristics of teaching children is to show respect for their views and to let them have some say in their choices that surround them.  Many parents take the word “discipline” to mean punishment.  Discipline doesn’t have to hurt.  As parents, if we can see the word discipline to mean teaching instead of punishment we can help teach our children to become better human beings.

Here are some tips to teach children to respect.

Love – Children need lots of love and approval.

Communicate  – Take time to listen and consider their point of view.

Set Clear Limits – Telling children in advance what is expected and what the rules are helps prevent conflicts before they happen.

Be Consistent – This is the key to effective consequences.  Don’t say you will do something unless you are prepared to carry it through.

Check Yourself – If you are angry or frustrated take a time out for yourself.  Take a deep breath, count to ten and calm down.  Once you are in a calm state of mind then address the situation.

Parenting is one of the best and most rewarding jobs in the world.  It is also a tough, 24-hours a day job.  The most important key to successful parenting is knowledge, knowing what your children need, knowing how to deal with them in different situations, and knowing how to take care of their needs.

Learning more about parenting and child development can make a world of difference.  To learn more check out Skills to Build a Secure Child workshop series.

~ TURNING STONEchoice

Gone Too Soon!

i_love_me

Ending a life is incredibly, incredibly tragic. It represents a lost battle with mental illness. Where it is different is that suicide is a choice. Suicide is a terrible decision made by someone whose pain is so great that they can no longer hold it, and feel they have no other option in life but to end it. They forget all the wonderful things in their lives because they are so consumed by the depression and by the feelings of not being worthy. It’s a decision you can’t take back, and a decision that will affect your friends and family forever. It is not taken lightly.

Losing a person to suicide may feel like a waste. For someone looking in, it does seem like a waste—especially in the case of Williams, who was a brilliantly funny man and a talented actor. People who are severely depressed can’t see past their failures, even if they’ve been successful. Life, however, is never wasted. Williams did things in his life that touched people to their core.

About 90% of people who commit suicide have some kind of mental illness that goes untreated or undertreated.

The national suicide prevention lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 or http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Depression and Suicide Resources

American Foundation for Suicide

About Teen Depression

Depression Fact Sheet

Youth Depression

Talking with Kids About the News

~ TURNING STONEchoice

CHILDREN NEED HELP UNDERSTANDING THEIR EMOTIONS

What do you do to help children develop the ability to understand their emotions and others around them? It’s never too late to use your emotions in a positive way. Here are tips to help children develop emotionally:

1. Accept children’s emotions – “Are you OK…you look upset?” “Did something happen?” ” Are you angry? Let’s talk about it.”

2. Identify their emotions – “You look sad.” “That must have hurt your feelings.” “You sound upset.”

3. Encourage children to talk about what they are feeling – “Do you want to talk about what’s bothering you?” “How are you feeling?”

4. Help children identify how others may be feeling – “How do you think that made your friends feel?” “How would you feel if you were in your friend’s shoes?” “Everyone makes mistakes.”

5. Teach children how to calm down – “Take deep breaths.” “Count to ten.” “Remove yourself from the situation so you can cool off and think in a positive manner.”

6. Help children maintain self control – “I was impressed when you used your words to tel, how you were feeling.” “You handled yourself really well even though you were frustrated.”
Troubled_teen

Having Difficult Conversations

there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-perfect-parent-quote

“Why do I have a penis?” Nicky asks, perfectly timed with my first gulp of coffee of the morning. Of course, big brother is cracking up, food shooting out of the sides of his mouth, while I’m trying to breathe and not make the news as the first person to choke to death on a sip of coffee. It’s not that I’m shocked by his question–rather, just caught off guard. Nicky asks all sorts of questions that his older brothers never even thought to ask. He is a natural investigator, never accepting trite answers such as “Because,” or “That is the way it is.” He stretches me in so many ways and beyond any other person on this planet. I love that about him!

Engaging regularly in the arena of “difficult conversations,” we have chatted about drugs, alcohol, death, racism, sexual anatomy (obviously), why the neighbor’s dog was humping his leg, diabetes, God, why friends will sometimes be mean, and everything else in between. Did I mention Nicky is seven? Nicky has broken the barrier of awkward, uncomfortable conversations and has morphed them into one continuous, casual conversation. By sheer volume, I have become less surprised and uncomfortable with the topics that pop up. Perhaps this is the foundation for significant conversations during the teen years.

Questions from our children about drugs, sex, death, and life in general often elicit prickly responses from parents and teachers: “Just say no,” or, “The stork dropped you off.” But why is it so difficult to talk with our kids about these topics? We may be dealing with our own fear, ignorance, or guilt. Maybe we do not feel we can provide the best answers and redirect inquires. Maybe there has been a battle with an addiction, and residual guilt or shame blocks the avenue to open communication. A few generations ago, people feared that conversations about sex would open the door to children having sex, and some still feel that way; however, fear, guilt, and shame should be overcome, because these conversations or a lack of dialogue shape the way our children make choices.

There are a few reasons why I encourage difficult conversations. First, the “difficulty” is usually all mine, not my child’s, and I need to get out of my own way, because, if I don’t show up for those conversations, someone else or something else will. In a time when kids have mega exposure to all kinds of information and images at the swipe of a finger, it is beyond important to lean into those challenging conversations and be the forerunner of information. Second, I want to be the safe person that my children trust, giving them the freedom to talk freely without fear of rejection in an open, yet age-appropriate, dialogue.
At the end of the day, the goal of difficult conversations should be to answer questions honestly: Don’t lie; keep them age appropriate; impart knowledge; and–most importantly–build a secure relationship with our kids. Never easy, but totally worth it!

Join TURNING STONEchoice this Friday, February 21 for a FREE Parent Workshop at Mathnasium in Cherry Hill @ 6:30-8:30. For additional information please follow this link for more details.
http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e8u594mmbf4cd55f&llr=4hspbwlab&showPage=true

~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com

NFL Investigation – Reviewing the fumble w/ Martin & Incognito

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I’m glued to Sports Center to figure out what makes a 300+ pound NFL lineman (Martin) cry, “Bully!” I believe it goes beyond the actions of another 300+ pound professional football player (Incognito) and that the NFL is on the cusp of addressing the culture of intimidation in the workplace. I’m sure, on the books, the NFL has established its code-of-conduct for workplace behavior, but when we talk “culture,” we address more of what is acceptable among the players, themselves. What is the “understanding” between rookies and veterans? If an extended history of long-suffering macho-ism is the tone from high school all the way to the pros then it will take more than written policy to break down the cultural norms. Norms that dictate that hazing is to be accepted, intimidation is to be tolerated, financial coercion is allowed, and players with less-than- combat- soldier attitudes need to conform. The facts are just beginning to slowly surface, and speculation is just that. The “fumble” in this review would point to an epic failure in communication with everyone accountable for his part. Failure from management to communicate effectively what a positive environment looks like, sounds like, feels like, a failure from veteran players to communicate and create a legacy of trust without the rookie trials of fire. If you made it to the pros then you have already proved yourself and have to continue to prove yourself on the field. And, sadly, if Martin had communicated immediately and consistently to others on how he would like to be treated, spoken to and encouraged, perhaps the dynamic between he and the team would look very different. The NFL investigation will undoubtedly churn some additional controversies to deliberate when it comes to not just individuals but the overall history of the NFL workplace environment. Having recently improved the safety of the players on the field, the League will now have to turn its attention to equal protection off the field.

~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com

Relevant Book for student-athletes to consider reading is Angst by Christopher Avery. Follow link for review at http://www.amazon.com/Angst-Christopher-Avery/dp/0984002200/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385140013&sr=8-1&keywords=angst+christopher+avery