24 posts categorized "PARENTING"

December 07, 2009

SUCCESSFUL PARENTING 101: THE MUST HAVE INGREDIENTS (PART I)

Parenting is the most difficult job in the world to do well.  It requires love, guidance, limits, patience, acceptance, amazing boundaries and healthy self esteem.  Yikes!  How many people in the world have all of the above?  Below is a cheat sheet of what I have found to be the most important aspects of good parenting:
1.    CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF:  It is vital that you see yourself as a competent, able individual.  If you don’t, your children will see right through your insecurities and be forever testing you.  You need to remember that your children are much younger and less experienced in life than you are.  Have faith in yourself and your ability to guide them.  Know that some of your decisions are not going to be liked and that is okay.  Also know that sometimes you will not know what the right decision is.  Not knowing the right move just makes you human, so don’t fret.  Get help -- ask other parents for advice, read parenting books or talk to professionals.  No one knows everything.
2.    WILLINGNESS TO SET LIMITS:  Know that kids need limits.  When they don’t have them, they feel out of control…and begin to act out of control.  Be clear about what is and is not okay in your home and explicitly state those rules to your children.  Also, clearly state in advance what the consequences will be should they choose to disobey the rules.

Continue reading "SUCCESSFUL PARENTING 101: THE MUST HAVE INGREDIENTS (PART I)" »

October 24, 2008

DO NOT ASK MORE OF YOUR KIDS THAN YOU DO YOURSELF: DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO…DOESN’T WORK

Mr. Smith was so angry at his son Scott that he could barely look at him.  Apparently Scott had been punching walls, swearing, and generally getting out of control, more times than not, when he was angry.  Mr. Smith had had it.  Mrs. Smith had had it.  Scott was annoyed that he actually had to sit there with his parents and this stupid therapist discussing his anger.  He thought it was ironic that all eyes were on him when he certainly was not the only one in this house who had anger issues.

 

You cannot imagine the look on Scott’s face when he heard this “stupid” therapist (yes the stupid therapist was me) ask: “So who else in this family has a hard time handling their anger?”

 

 You could have heard a pin drop.  Mr. Smith became indignant, Mrs. Smith shrunk in her seat, and Scott…he enjoyed every second, and of course did not hesitate to rat his father out. 

 

My response: “You can’t ask your son to do something that you, as an adult, are unable to do yourself”.

Continue reading "DO NOT ASK MORE OF YOUR KIDS THAN YOU DO YOURSELF: DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO…DOESN’T WORK" »

January 02, 2008

CALLING ALL PARENTS...AN AMAZING WORKSHOP THAT GETS TO THE HEART OF REAL CHANGE IN YOUR PARENTING

This past summer four of us, including myself and Terry Real, sat in a room together for several days and created an incredibly powerful workshop for parents. We then piloted the workshop in various cities, listened to feedback from participants, and subsequently fine tuned an already spectacular workshop.

The Legacy Workshop has been launched and I couldn’t recommend it enough for all parents. I wish I had this workshop ten years ago. This workshop has been changing families…

Below are unsolicited testimonials from participants:

“This workshop was a true blessing to our family. We have been faithfully using the tools we learned and it has made an amazing difference in our children as well as ourselves. We treat each other in a much healthier way and it has helped us establish a happier, more content home. What a difference it has made in our lives!” Kim C - Atlanta

This was some of the most profound work I have ever done—and I have done some pretty profound things! For the first time in my life, I left your workshop feeling like a healthy, happy, fully-functioning adult. Giving back to my parents the legacy they left me was deeply liberating work. I feel that I can now create whatever life I want to live without the weight of my past. Everyone should experience this workshop if they want to change their world! Mary R - Los Angeles

“I am no stranger to ‘recovery’ and ‘self-improvement’ therapy work. I have been fortunate enough to have associated with some excellent mental health professionals who have helped me improve the quality of my life and the life of those in contact with me. While the improvements I’ve made have certainly made a positive difference to my family, I still wanted more. I want my children to grow up without the emotional shackles and chains that I and my progenitors carried, either intentionally or unknowingly. Terry’s work with the ‘legacy’ and the specific format of this workshop were a tool of liberation for me…taking me to a new, higher level of recovery and understanding of who I am, who I want to be, and how to be that person. It’s no magic ‘pill’, and it’s not easy, but Terry and his colleagues are as good as it gets in facilitating a learning experience that has helped change my life for the better. Now my children don’t have to carry the same emotional burdens I have. I can end the vicious cycle of a negative legacy and pass on to them a better, happier life. If you struggle with having the type of relationship you want with your wife and children, I can’t urge you enough to experience this for yourself….it’s never to late to be a better father, husband, and person.”Joe. C - Atlanta

Below is the flier for the next Legacy Workshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The workshop will also be coming soon to Los Angeles and New York. For more information please visit www.realrelational.com.


The Relational Life Institute Presents:Best Selling Author & Nationally Renowned Therapist, Terry Real’s
Legacy Workshop™
January 28-29, 2008 • 38 Cameron • Cambridge, Massachusetts

Workshop Overview

Parents traditionally do their best to “learn on the job,” but end up repeating losing strategies they learned from their own families.
The Legacy Workshop™ is designed to provide parents of all ages with both an intellectual understanding and also a profound emotional experience of:
• The emotional and relational legacy that was handed to you as a child in your family growing up,
• The positive and negative aspects of that legacy and the ways in which you may be passing negative aspects of the legacy on to your children,
• How to put into practice specific changes in the way you treat your children, your co-parent, and yourself – changes powerful enough to immediately and permanently transform your family, and
• How to manage your legitimate differences and “hot buttons” to become a highly functioning co-parenting team with your partner and anyone else in a parental role.

“Terry and his colleagues are as good as it gets. If you struggle with having the type of relationship you want with your wife and children, I can’t urge you enough to experience this for yourself. It’s never too late to be a better father, husband, and person.” Joe. C – Atlanta

About Terry Real
Terry Real is the bestselling author of I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression, How Can I Get Through to You?: Reconnecting Men and Women, and most recently, The New Rules of Marriage: a Breakthrough Program for 21st Century Relationships. Real developed Relational Life Therapy™, which is practiced globally by thousands of therapists and coaches, and founded The Relational Life Institute, which offers workshops and products aimed at helping people live connected, satisfying lives. His work has been featured on NBC Nightly News, 20/20, Today, Good Morning America, and Oprah, as well as in The New York Times, Psychology Today, Esquire, Real Simple, and numerous academic publications.

Cost
$800 per person; $1500 per couple
Schedule
DAY ONE, 8:30 – 6:30; DAY TWO 8:30 - 5:00

To Register or Learn More
Visit www.realrelational.com or contact Lisa Sullivan at 617-763-7797 or at lsullivan@relationallife.com
754 Massachusetts Ave. • Arlington MA, 02474

December 21, 2007

THE POWER OF WORDS: WATCHING THEIR IMPACT ON THE FACE OF A CHILD (There’s Nothing like A Little Tenderness in Relationships)

This past week my daughter Rylee got to choose a Tender Coupon from the Kids Power Pack. She looked through the pile several times and narrowed her choice down to three cards: Have a friend over within the next seven days, Choice of family restaurant or movie, or One day filled with compliments and positive comments.

I was sure she would pick the friend… Imagine my surprise when she picked the compliments!!!

She held the coupon for a couple days and then came up to me this morning and turned in her Tender Coupon for: ONE DAY FILLED WITH COMPLIMENTS AND POSITIVE COMMENTS.

I gave her a great big hug and showered her with compliments…the grin on her face was priceless.

Continue reading "THE POWER OF WORDS: WATCHING THEIR IMPACT ON THE FACE OF A CHILD (There’s Nothing like A Little Tenderness in Relationships)" »

November 28, 2007

RELATIONAL PARENTING AND…SPANKING??? The debate goes on…

Recently a proposal was made to make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to outlaw corporal punishment/spanking, in the home as well as out of the home. Although this is a recent proposal, people have been arguing this point for decades.

Personally, I’ve always found the concept of spanking to be an interesting one. As a child, I thought it was hypocritical for parents to say they loved you one minute and hit you with the belt or paddle the next. It never made sense that the ones who were supposed to be protecting kids were the ones the kids needed protection from. But what did I know? I was just a child.

As I got older and had my own children, this same thinking stuck with me…only stronger. I’ve watched parents go crazy on their children and grab them by the arm, yank them towards them, and WHACK them. I’ve worked with clients whose parents would hit them with a belt, and even have them “choose” a branch from the tree to be used as a whip to hit them with. I’ve heard parents say they chased their child through the house with a belt because s/he wouldn’t listen, all the while screaming, threatening, and calling the child names.

Continue reading "RELATIONAL PARENTING AND…SPANKING??? The debate goes on…" »

November 18, 2007

RELATIONSHIP SKILL: HEALTHY SELF-ESTEEM FROM THE EYES OF A CHILD

Pia Mellody stresses the importance of healthy self-esteem in all relationships; without it we are often relationally lost. I also have learned, through both personal and professional experience, the power of healthy self-esteem. Subsequently, I’m continually trying to teach my children how to practice healthy self-esteem.

So, in my effort to teach my children about this all important skill, I asked them if I could run some work stuff by them and if they would help me put it in kid language. They were too happy to oblige.

I explained the concept of inherent worth and stressed that everyone in the world is equal to everyone else...no matter what. I was clear to point out that Tom Brady is no more worthy than my son, daughter, or anyone else; nor is the President of the United States, Maya Angelou, or John Mayer.

I further explained that there is nothing anyone has to do to earn his/her worth; we are all worthy just because we are alive and breathing. Girls are equal to boys; boys are equal to girls; adults are equal to kids and kids are equal to adults…period.

Continue reading "RELATIONSHIP SKILL: HEALTHY SELF-ESTEEM FROM THE EYES OF A CHILD" »

August 27, 2007

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS START YOUNG: Teaching our boys to be relational, respectful, and connected.

I recently was at a U12 boy’s championship soccer game. All boys on the team were either eleven or twelve years of age. At the end of the game, the winning team took a victory jog across the field toward the parents. The parents looked upon their boys with pride.

The boys were psyched and came across the field chanting something in unison. As the boys got closer I swore I heard…No, I’m sure I must’ve been mistaken. They said it again??? Am I hearing things? I asked one of the fathers if they said what I thought they said. “Yep. You heard them right.”

I looked around to see the response of the other parents…nothing.

As the boys gathered together to take a team picture, they said it again—“TITTIES”!

Continue reading "HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS START YOUNG: Teaching our boys to be relational, respectful, and connected." »

August 23, 2007

HEALTHY PARENTING IS NOT ONLY ABOUT HOW YOU TREAT YOUR CHILDREN

HEALTHY PARENTING IS NOT ONLY ABOUT HOW YOU TREAT YOUR CHILDREN

Children learn from their parents, how to be in this world, in three ways:
1. By how their parents treat them
2. By how their parents treat others
3. By how their parents treat themselves

Many parents are smart enough to know that if they scream at their children, call them names (i.e., stupid, dumb, brat, etc.), hit them, or otherwise shame them, this behavior will negatively impact their child and is likely to cause long-term problems. As a result, many parents work hard to not do any of the above behaviors--to their child.

They often forget, however, to not do these behaviors toward others.

Our children learn by what they see. Treating our children respectfully is only one component of what they see. They also watch how we treat our partners, our friends, the grocery store clerk, the neighbor, etc. And, they watch how we treat ourselves.

Continue reading "HEALTHY PARENTING IS NOT ONLY ABOUT HOW YOU TREAT YOUR CHILDREN" »

May 23, 2007

HEALTHY PARENTING: Are you giving your children what they need?

As I hear stories of raging fathers, cold mothers, and emotionally shut down families, I find myself wondering if we, as parents, have any idea how precious our children are? It's so easy to allow the every day stressors of life to get in the way of treating our children as precious.

Our own histories also get in the way.

We deserved to be treated as precious by our parents. We deserved to be loved unconditionally, cherished with all our imperfections, and guided with moderate, healthy limits. If we didn't get this, chances are we will struggle to give it to our own children...and they deserve this just as we did.

We owe it to ourselves and our families to be healthy enough to love, nurture, and cherish our children--even if we never recieved this kind of parenting ourselves. Children are curious, authentic, precious gifts; it's our job to treat them as such.

Challenge: Take a moment to assess your parenting. Children need love, nurturing and guidance; how are you doing in these areas? If you struggle with cherishing your children, then give them the biggest gift possible--seek help and get healthier yourself. You will feel better and so will your family.

May 03, 2007

PARENTING THROUGH ANGER: IS IT NORMAL FOR PARENTS TO LOSE THEIR TEMPER WITH CHILDREN…AND BE VERBALLY ABUSIVE AS A RESULT? (The Alec Baldwin debate)

I just had someone send me a link to an open forum regarding the Alec Balwin/Kim Bassinger fiasco. For those interested, the link is:
http://www.convinceme.net/viewOpenDebate.php?dib=1245
After reading many of the comments I thought I’d weigh in from the standpoint of a relationship expert. So here it goes…

My belief is that relationally, Alec’s behavior was out of line, abusive, and irresponsible—regardless of his reasoning. As parents we are responsible for teaching our children how to be in this world. It’s our job to teach our children how to handle their: emotions (including anger), disagreements, everyday pressures of life, etc. We provide them with love, guidance, and limits, and we do that, not only through our words, but also through our actions. We are here to teach them how to create healthy relationships, including how to stand up for themselves--without stomping on others. We can’t do that if we are stomping on them.

The moment Alec said he didn’t care if his daughter was eleven years old and then went on to verbally abuse her, he made the choice to put the best interest of his daughter aside so he could carelessly vent and let off steam. He went further by calling her a pig, and in the end used intimidation and threats to try to get her to do what he wanted her to do. It seems to me the parent and child roles got mixed up, to say the least, in this call.

If we as parents cannot control ourselves, our children are not going to want to be around us (along with many other consequences). In addition, if we cannot control our own emotions then we have no right to even begin to expect our children to control theirs. Children live what they know; they know what they SEE.

Continue reading "PARENTING THROUGH ANGER: IS IT NORMAL FOR PARENTS TO LOSE THEIR TEMPER WITH CHILDREN…AND BE VERBALLY ABUSIVE AS A RESULT? (The Alec Baldwin debate)" »

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