Senin, 28 Agustus 2017

How Do Parents Stay Informed and Inspired in a Counterfeit Culture?

How do parents obtain relevant information about how to meet their children's developmental needs and stay the course within a counterfeit culture that uses mass media and screen technologies to amplify misleading information? How do parents get accurate information about their children's real developmental needs within a popular culture that amplifies trivial desires? How do moms and dads stay inspired to live from their core values and teach their children from their inner wisdom in a society that glorifies consumerism and beatifies things?

In 1998, having spent over a decade traveling the country speaking to educators and parents and writing books and manuals on this subject, I asked this question, along with several others:

• What are the most effective ways to change human behavior in positive directions?
• How do parents, feeling overwhelmed and devalued, and often hopeless, find the energy to make positive changes?
• How do stressed parents find the will and determination within the complex daily demands of their lives to counter larger, cultural messages and to teach their children to do the same?
• How can parents attend to their children's real cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual needs if they don't know what those needs are?
• How can parents be convinced that those real needs are indeed real and that they and their children will suffer if those needs do not get met during the course of childhood and adolescence?
• How do we help parents have more joy in parenting and stop seeing their children as problems or burdens, which happens so easily when children's developmental needs do not get met?
• How do we help parents implement what we know from the research are the best parenting practices?
• How do we help parents slow down, spend time with their children and enjoy the "small things" that make children feel loved and appreciated when the industry-generated culture keeps shouting messages that buying for children, that new toys, and the latest gadget are the important things?
• How can parents learn to trust their internal guidance, relying more on their own inner wisdom and less on an industry-generated culture's notion of what they should do for their children?

In pondering these and other questions and doing extensive research for over the next three years, I decided that a coaching model was a most effective way to proactively address these issues, for two important reasons.

First, we often best examine our perceptions of ourselves and others, our attitudes and behaviors, when in relationship with another person. It seems that the more intimate our relationships, the more opportunities they provide for us to grow in new ways and discover important things about our lives and priorities. Friends, spouses, relatives, a caring involved teacher-we all can name specific individuals in our lives that had a significant impact.

Coaching, over time, allows parents the opportunity of a relationship with a professionally trained coach who walks "shoulder-to-shoulder" with them, looking and reaching in the same direction together. Compassionate understanding, non-judgmental listening, and open curiosity are integral to an inquiry process that over time, can have a profound effect on parents. Coaching not only can provide context-specific practical strategies in a timely way, but also an opportunity for parents to reflect upon what is important, choose ideas and applications to try out, and explore what works best in his or her own situation.

A relationship model invites deep change without blame or judgment. When people feel coerced by outside influences they often adopt practices that they did not freely choose in order to be accepted by the group. A personal relationship with a trusting person who asks careful questions can encourage them to courageously live by their convictions, freeing them to act upon those convictions and not follow group consensus mindlessly. The story of John Woolman, an American Quaker who lived in the middle years of the eighteenth century sets a striking example of this process. Robert Greenleaf in his book, Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, tells this story:

"...John Woolman, set his goal to rid his beloved Society of this terrible practice....he accomplished his mission by foot or horseback visiting slaveholders-over many years....He raised questions: What does the owning of slaves do to you as a moral person? What kind of an institution are you binding over to your children? persistently...revisiting...the scourge of slavery was eliminated from this Society."

While we cannot eliminate the media/digital age and we wouldn't want to, we can eliminate our children's enslavement to screen machines when family professionals return consistently to ask moms and dads important question. It is critical that modern-day parents have many opportunities to consider such important questions as:

• Would you be willing to observe your child's behavior after he watches television and then after he plays outside and look at what is different? We can track his behaviors over time and see which ones are supporting his optimal development. Would that seem useful to you?

• Would you be willing to take the television set out of your daughter's bedroom and replace it with a reading corner instead? I'd like you to consider some of the advantages of doing so...

• I know all his friends are playing that violent video game and he wants one. How does buying that game for him help him develop into the man you want him to become?

• Are you afraid to set boundaries with your teen about text messaging? What value is texting during the dinner hour? What would it take from you to set criteria for your teen's texting during time at home?

These types of questions are rare for a parent to hear. Sometimes, grandparents or aunts and uncles may ask such questions. The advantages of an objective, professional parent coach asking these questions is that the parent on the receiving end may not become defensive or upset, a situation that can occur if feeling judged by a relative.

The second reason I chose a coaching model was that it is being used in the business world with great success. Executive coaching is considered a normal part of day-to-day operations throughout many companies. Indeed, it is now vogue for companies to assert: "The workshop model is dead." A lot of forward-thinking businesses no longer provide stand-alone workshops for their mangers or executives and then expect them to implement the ideas from those workshops. Rather, they follow-up the workshops with one-on-one or group coaching to ensure that what was learned in the workshop, is used in daily activities, thus supporting the "bottom line" more effectively. I thought, "If coaching was so successful for busy executives, and parents are the CEO's of their families, doesn't it seem reasonable that coaching would also be effective for parents?"

In 2000 I began the Parent Coaching Institute to offer parents relevant information within the context of non-judgment, compassion, and affirmation. Between 2000 and 2003, much planning occurred and I wrote a comprehensive year-long, graduate-level curriculum to train and certify professionals such as teachers, counselors, and social workers who wanted Parent Coach Certification® to work with parents in this specific model. The training program is overseen by Seattle Pacific University, a leader in quality distance learning education. The training takes place through four training manuals and audio learning tools that the participants receive to read and study. They write papers and provide written responses to questions, with instructors giving written and oral feedback and assessment. Trainees also read supplemental materials and several books. They attend four on-site workshops over the course of the year and participate in weekly phone discussion with colleagues from all over the world to discuss the course content with university instructors and to practice the parent coaching conversations. They log at least 100 hours of parent coaching practice under the guidance of mentors and instructors. As of today PCI trained parent coaches can be found throughout the United States including Alaska and Hawaii, and in Australia and Great Britain.

We have researched the PCI coaching model with school districts and social service agencies and it has been found to be effective, not only in supporting parents to navigate the industry-generated culture, but also to equip them to deal proactively with common parenting challenges, so that they can meet their children's developmental needs more effectively and with more joy and satisfaction. For instance, in our research studies, we have helped new mothers bond with their babies and reduce sibling rivalry. PCI trained parent coaches have assisted inner-city parents to communicate more effectively with their teens, set clearer boundaries, and better support their school success. The Parent Coaching Institute continues to conduct on-going joint research projects with organizations that want to use PCI parent coaching within their family support activities. Currently we are collaborating with an agency that supports parents of special-needs children, helping the parents adapt to the new skills needed to parent the youngsters and support the moms and dads with their own self-care as well.

The professionals who enter our program are carefully screened through an extensive application process that always includes receiving personal and professional references, along with conducting a teleconference interview with each candidate, enabling me and PCI graduates to talk with everyone seeking entrance into the program. The Parent Coaching Institute is the only parent coach training program that has an application process. The parent-child relationship is a sacred one. That is why we carefully select those to work as trained PCI parent coaches.

Parent coaching is often inaccurately portrayed in the American media. In many cases it is discussed as a way "to outsource" parenting, deriding parents for choosing to be coached. This attitude is narrow-minded and vindictive. In reality, parent coaching is about helping good parents become better and affirming parents for all that they do on behalf of their children. Putting down parents seems to be a favorite past time of many media outlets. I find it ironic and somewhat sad that coaching is acceptable and understood as a support system for the businessman or woman. No one questions their commitment to their work or their skill sets for the job if they choose executive coaching. In fact, they are often praised for making a wise choice. On the other hand, parents who seek coaching are often considered ineffectual and in need of rescue. It is very important to understand that PCI parent coaching does not seek to rescue parents or to assume that they are broken and must be fixed. Rather, coaching is a fresh way to catalyze change, enhance energy, and provide opportunities for parent reflection on what is truly important to them in a respectful and honorable way. In essence a powerful way to inform and inspire parents.

Jumat, 11 Agustus 2017

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Sabtu, 05 Agustus 2017

Insensitive Parenting Advice From a Leading Radio Talk Show Host

Recently, a well-known, national, conservative, radio talk show host had a discussion about parenting coaches. (A parenting coach is a consultant who is hired to discuss and advise parents about how to deal with the many challenges that parents face as they guide their children through childhood.)

Far from being supportive, this radio talk show host suggested that parents were resorting to using parenting coaches because they did not want to spend enough time with their children. She hypothesized that parents wanted a parenting shortcut so that their children could take a back seat to their careers. "Back in the day," she stated, parents just raised their children and their children listened and developed into great people. It was clear from her disparaging comments and her insensitive insights that she is not a mother facing today's challenges.

This commentator, although not particularly sensitive to the feelings of parents, did make one interesting point. Parenting coaches and other supports are a new phenomenon that past generations of parents did not have as a resource.

Why do parents today feel the need for outside assistance?

In an informal survey completed by parents, mothers and fathers expressed great concern about making parenting mistakes.

- "If I don't parent correctly I will cause irreparable damage to my children."

- "If I make the wrong parenting decisions my child will end up on drugs."

- "If I lose my temper my child will never forget it, and hate me forever."

- "If I discipline too harshly I will damage my child psychologically."

Today, with the huge amount of information available to parents, even discussing pediatric health concerns before conception, parents feel an overwhelming responsibility that parents of yesteryear were not burdened with. With access to the internet parents are bombarded with data. From ADHD to potty training, parents are overly informed about all of the issues of parenting. Any small symptom that a child exhibits can be dissected and attributed to a terrible malady.

The massive amount of information that parents take in, much of it contradictory, undermines parent confidence and causes them to second guess their decisions. Parents can feel an undo amount of stress and anxiety resulting from the vast amount of research they now do on parenting issues. Far from looking for shortcuts as the talk show host surmised, parents are hyper-vigilant about getting the parenting job done perfectly and raising happy and successful children. Every decision made is a crucial one that will have a lasting effect on their child.

One mother wrote about how frightened she was for her unborn baby when the ultrasound showed a "low normal" reading of her amniotic fluid. Another mother-to-be was told that one of her baby's kidneys was (although within normal range) slightly larger than the other. Both babies were born completely normal but their mothers started their parenting journeys "on-alert". Before their babies were even born, these poor moms spent countless hours on the internet researching all of the potential problems that their babies could face.

Parents choose to use parenting tools, parenting aids, parenting coaches, family counselors and parenting books because they feel enormously committed to and responsible for raising the next generation of adults and fearful that they could make a terrible mistake and hurt the precious life to whom they are responsible.

With the advent of the informational-technology age, parents have been barraged with parenting content. Many well informed parents, parent self-consciously and without confidence, worried that any slip-up will do irrevocable damage to their kids. One mother in the survey, apologized repeatedly to her child after yelling at him to stop hitting the dog with a toy, she wrote that she was very worried that she had broken her son's trust in her.

Do parents have cause for alarm? If a kind and caring parent makes some parenting missteps will the child suffer irreparable harm?

One father answers with insight, "As parents we have to have faith that our child rearing instincts are right on. Will we make parenting mistakes? Of course, but our children are resilient and will be fine."

Contrary to what the radio personality believes, it is not a bad thing for parents to use the resources that are available to them. From behavioral products and parenting aids, to parenting coaches and parenting websites, there are terrific resources available to support parents in their goal to raise great people.

Parents should not let the large amounts of parenting information intimidate them. While some information can be helpful and empowering, too much information can be scary and can take the joy out of parenting.

Resources like parenting coaches should be used as a support not a crutch that usurps their own ideas and parenting styles. Similarly parents should remember that these resources are aids and should not be used to replace time parenting. Parents should listen to their internal voice and be confident that the decisions that they make will most likely be good ones and that parenting with love and intellect will help them in their quest to raise kind and caring adults.

Rabu, 26 Juli 2017

Are Child Support Laws Equitable and Fair For Both Parents?

I know that this article as well as this subject is going to touch the chord of so many people both positive and negative, both mothers and fathers. I recently posed a question to both men and women and to my astonishment; both favored and concurred with it. So, what is it? Child support! Did you know that child support is determined on the income of the noncustodial parent? Yes, I'm sure most of you know that. However, do most of you agree that child support laws are antiquated and biased and needs to be changed?

If support payment is based on a noncustodial parent income, then what happens to the excess of the money that is received by the custodial parent once the child's needs are taken care of? Most noncustodial parents want accountability for the payments received. I concur. During the divorce process, both parties are required to present a financial affidavit outlining all their expenses, assets and their income. Why then shouldn't custodial parents outline the monthly expenses of the child or children and present that to establish support payment? If it takes only $500 for a child's monthly expenses and the custodial parent receives $1200, then the remaining $700 is custodial support. Doesn't seem fair does it? The question that was presented to both men and women was should custodial parents be accountable for the child support payment they receive?

Child support laws have changed in many states to include the income of both parents, however, it needs to be changed nationwide for child support to be based on the expenses of each child. Most noncustodial parents would then stop evading child support and those that are reluctant to pay child support will pay child support because it will be based on the expenses and needs of the child. In order to make child support fair to both parents, this small change can be easily implemented when establishing the child support order.

Christy is pregnant by her ex-boyfriend and she came to my office for advice on how to proceed with her relationship with the father of her child. She was initially quite angry and disappointed but elated that she was having a baby. She did not want the father involved with the unborn baby and wanted to do it all by herself. I thought how selfish, but I explained to her that her baby would benefit by having both parents involved in his/her life. In another session, we discuss how much child support she should receive. I asked her to write down all the expenses she would incur from having the baby as well as the budget monthly for caring for the baby. She brought the expenses during a follow-up session and I suggested that is the amount you ask for child support and present the father with the budget. When she came back, her relationship with the father had taken a positive turn. Christy informed me that he was relieved that she was fair and equitable in deciding on the financial responsibility of raising their child.

However, the face of child support is changing. Statistic shows that 85% of custodial parents are mothers and 15% are fathers. The fasting growing segment/population of parents are fathers. More and more fathers are fighting for custody and in today's changing world; more fathers are getting custody of their children.

This is the perfect place to introduce Denise. Denise contacted me last year when her husband, of whom she was separated from, kept her two children when they visited him for the summer. She wanted to know her rights and the rights of her husband. What I told her shocked her. No parent actually has custody of their children unless it is outlined and determined in a divorce decree or in other documentation signed by both parents. I suggested to Denise that when the children come back for the Christmas holiday she could keep the children with her. However, I also suggested that she should have a candid conversation with her children to see where they prefer to live, with mommy or daddy.

At Christmas her two children came to visit, however, Denise did not take my advice. The children went back after the holiday to their father. During her divorce hearing in the following spring, and when the issue of custody was presented, the judge asked, "if you wanted the children with you, why didn't you keep them when they came to visit?" He continued to say, "if you didn't think the father was doing a good job with the children, why did you allow them to stay with him for so long." Denise called me after the hearing and informed me that the father was awarded custody and she should have listened to me.

Denise is not the only mother I know that doesn't have custody of their children and is the noncustodial parent. I have several mothers that I consult that are noncustodial parents. What happens when mothers are noncustodial parents? Do they have to pay the percentage outlined in child support laws? The answer is yes. What I've seen when mothers are noncustodial parents are fathers are more lenient to mothers paying child support and seldom demand that they pay the amount outlined in child support laws. This is the case for Denise. She only pays a small amount per month to the father for the care of her two children.

After seeing a trend in the way fathers who are custodial parents allow the mothers who are noncustodial parents to pay a smaller amount from the norm, it got me to thinking, why are so many mothers, who are custodial parents demanding noncustodial parents to pay a percentage of their income when in most cases that amount greatly exceed the need of the child or children.

I'm hoping that the laws will change in the future to allow custodial parents to outline the monthly expenses of their child or children when faced with child support. More noncustodial parents will stop evading paying child support and more will spend quality time with their children. Since 1975, over $100 billion is owed in unpaid child support. Of the amount owed, 70% of the noncustodial parents make less than $10,000 annually. The figure continues to grow because of the economy and the high number unemployment rate because of the amount of people being laid off. However, if both parents are working together for the same goals, and those goals are to love, provide, protect, be their physically, emotionally, and spiritually for our children, we are providing the best for our children.

When noncustodial parents pay child support, they are more likely to be involved and spend quality time with their children. Statistic shows that when both mother and father are actively involved in their children' lives, the children do better in school, more likely to go to college, less likely to be involved in drugs, less likely to get pregnant, and less likely to be involved in gangs and violence. It starts with noncustodial parents being treated fairly when it comes to child support. After all it is "child support" not "custodial parent" support. Let's work together to change the laws as it pertains to the monthly amount noncustodial parents pay for child support. You can start by contacting and writing your Senator or State Representative asking them to change the laws and make child support based on the monthly financial needs and expenses of the child or children. We can make a difference and we can strengthen families.

A child needs both parents involved in their life. When one parent abuses or misuses the other parent, a great amount of strain is placed on the relationship. The parent who is absent from the home, the noncustodial parent, will feel resentment and most likely stay away, even at the sacrifice of not seeing his/her child or children. I hear it time and time again from noncustodial parent and in most of my sessions with custodial parents; I communicate the frustrations and desires of noncustodial parents. Some times my message is positively received and other times the emotions of the custodial parents and noncustodial parents perpetuate a great division between both parents. I strongly believe that if most custodial parents appreciated and respected noncustodial parents many dilemmas between the two parents could be greatly avoided. Also, by no means am I taking away the responsibilities of noncustodial parents, what I see daily are the opportunities being taken away from noncustodial parents.

When one parent is no longer living in the same household with the other parent and children, a child support battle ensues. It can be made easier with less emotion and with both parents satisfied with the process if the actual expenses of the child or children are taken into consideration. All noncustodial parents will know exactly where the money is being spent and that child support payments are being accounted for. Parenthood is an opportunity and responsibility. So many times one parent takes that away from the other parent. We as parents can make a difference in the lives of our children by providing the best for them. The best for them is both parents actively participating and involved in our children lives and both parents wanting and providing the best for our children. What a wonderful world this would be.

Here are some suggestions to move more towards an amicable relationship with the other parent.

o Decide that your child's or children' best interest is the most important aspect of the relationship with both parents.

o Write a budget for each child. Make a list of all the expenses that is involved with the monthly care and needs of each child.

o Start appreciating the other parent and realize that they make a world of difference in the lives of their children.

o Get past the emotional upsets that caused the relationship to go awry. Parenting without the emotional upsets toward the other parent will open up a new relationship between both parents that will ultimately benefit your children.

o Contact your child support office and let them know that the budgeted amount calculated in as mentioned above in the second point is what you want to receive monthly for child support.

o Contact your Senator or State Representative and let them know that child support law need to be based on the expenses of each child and abolish the percentage of income of the noncustodial parent based laws.

o Watch and see the noncustodial parent playing a more important and bigger role in their child's or children' lives.

o Watch and see the difference in your child or children.

o Better yet, watch and see how your life will ultimately change because of letting go of all the hurt, pain, anger, disappointment, frustrations and whatever other emotional baggage that festered inside of you. Your family will completely change for the better.

I hope that these suggestions are received and are acted upon and that overnight your life, your children' lives and the noncustodial life will change for the better. However, we are all human and it make take some longer than others. The most important aspect of change is wanting to change and wanting what's best for not only ourselves, but for those we love. Start with one suggestion and keep adding each day, each week and whenever you're able to move on.

Sabtu, 08 Juli 2017

Parenting Tips For Healthy, Effective Parenting

Many parents are hungry for healthy parenting tips and effective parenting advice. The Responsible Kids Network offers parenting tips to encourage and support authoritative parenting.

I did not expect parenting to be so hard

New parents may be unprepared for the exhilarating, yet exhausting, journey that lies ahead in parenting. It's important for all parents to realize that just because a person is able to procreate, doesn't naturally provide the patience and knowledge needed to be an effective and healthy parent. Gaining knowledge about the nature of children and healthy and effective parenting styles, will help parents to be calmer and empower parents to be more effective in raising responsible kids.

I am hoping to parent differently than I was parented

Many times a parent may be aware of times that didn't go so smoothly in his or her own childhood and wish to parent differently once he or she has children. At all ages and stages of our children's lives, we may remember back to how our parents may have reacted in similar situations. Prior generations did not have the information that we now have available about healthy parenting. But family loyalties and legacies in each of our families has shown to significantly impact our parenting.

I am nice to my child but then he misbehaves

Parents and other caregivers sometimes hope that if they act nicely to a child, the child will act nicely in return. This is referred to as the "strings attached" approach. Adults (and some older children) can relate to the concept of fair giving and receiving, but most children are not mature enough to respond this way. By expecting this level of maturity, a parent is being unfair to a child. The executive role of parenting cannot be done through love and understanding alone. Effective discipline promotes self esteem, self-respect, self-control and preserves a positive parent-child relationship.

Am I a bad parent when I get angry with my child?

Anger is a natural and inevitable emotion and it's okay to feel angry with a child. The key is for parents to learn healthy ways to express angry feelings to a child. Anger is usually a secondary emotion, so figuring out what the underlying feelings may be (frustration, disappointment, embarrassment, etc.) can be helpful in managing how to express anger. At these emotionally charged times, parents are role-modeling for a child how to handle anger.

My child and I are so different and we're always clashing

The make-up of who a child is consists of ages and stages of development, uniqueness, maturity level, and situational factors. The uniqueness of a child (or any person)includes the individual nature of temperament, intelligences, brain dominance, giftedness, and learning styles. If these unique traits of a child do not "match" the unique traits of a parent, then there may not be "goodness to fit" and power struggles and miscommunication may result. When a parent is able to better understand these unique traits in a child, and how it may differ (i.e. conflict) with his or her own unique traits, the parent becomes calmer and more confident in parenting.

Is it okay to spank my child?

Spanking, and other forms of corporal punishment, is not a healthy or effective way to discipline children. The goal of discipline is to teach children proper behavior and self-control. Spanking may teach children to stop doing something out of fear. Despite some underlying attitudes and beliefs that spanking is an effective way to discipline children, extensive research strongly indicates any form of corporal punishment will negatively impact a child's self esteem and the relationship between parent and child.

My spouse and I don't have the same style of parenting

Reconciling different parenting styles may be a challenge for many spouses. Consistent messages from parents to children is a key element of healthy and effective parenting. Many times when we court and marry our spouse, we have not even thought about parenting styles, and then we have children and parenting style differences may suddenly surface. Parents should take time when children are not present to work on a consistent "parenting philosophy" that can accept and even honor different parenting styles. Working together, rather than against each other, will help support and nurture responsible kids.

How can I be a good parent?

A healthy and effective parent is an intentional parent, who understands a child's needs. There are no "perfect parents" just as there are no "perfect children." Striving for perfection in all areas of parenting can only cause frustration and stress. Parents are given numerous chances each and every day to provide healthy authoritative parenting for their kids.

Show your love. Tell your kids you love them every day by sending messages of "I believe in you, I trust you, I know you can handle life situations, you are listened to, you are cared for, and you are very important to me."

Be consistent. Your rules don't have to be the same ones other parents have, but they do need to be clear and consistent. (Consistent means the rules are the same all the time, and followed by all family members.) Establish a "parenting philosophy" with your spouse.

Prioritize your relationship with your child. Building a strong relationship with your child should be top priority, and when communicating with a child, it's most effective to remember to preserve the strength of the bond. The importance of strong, healthy bonds between parent and child cannot be overstated, because these bonds serve as the foundation upon which all other life relationships are formed.

Listen to your child. Active listening is the greatest gift to a child. Learn to accept, although not necessarily agree with, what your child is saying. Temporarily put aside your own thoughts and values and show empathy when listening to a child, trying diligently to see things from his or her perspective.

Strive for an emotional connection with your child. Understanding your child's emotions will help you understand what motivates his or her behavior. Emotions are the real fuel of power struggles with your kids. When you identify those emotions, you can choose strategies to teach your child what he or she may be feeling and how to respond to those feelings in a more appropriate way.

Evaluate the behavior, not the child. Be intentional about self-esteem building and address misbehavior directly, rather than through evaluating the child. It's better to say "I see you're having trouble sharing with your friend," rather than "Don't be selfish, you need to share.

Rabu, 28 Juni 2017

Parental Alienation Syndrome and How to Counter Its Three Levels of Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation; the programming of a child by a parent to turn the child against the other parent has three levels of alienation mild, moderate, and severe. As the alienation increases the negative behavior of the children towards the targeted parent also increases. The percentage of children having access and parenting time (visitation) with the alienated parent decreases.

In a case study of thirty highly conflicted divorce and custody cases, submitted by the courts involving fifty nine children was evaluated to determine the existence of Parental Alienation Syndrome. This is when the child aligns with the alienating parent, adopts their views, joins in the defaming of the target parent and rejects that parent citing frivolous and irrational reasoning. Countering Parental Alienation Syndrome will take the knowledge of Parental Alienation and finesse.

This must be confronted to increase the chances for the target parent in reuniting and maintaining a meaningful relationship with their children. Janelle Burrill compiled, analyzed and evaluated the data for one year (2000-2001) from the cases that were submitted from a two year period (1998-2000). In the study twenty two children were listed under the mild alienation category, seventeen in the moderate category, and twenty in the severe.

The children listed under the mild alienation category show that eighty two percent of them expressed affection for the targeted parent. None of them had any anger towards or denigrated (disrespect and reject) the parent. Ninety five percent had parenting-time with the target. With mild alienation there is some cynicism of the target parent. This generally arises from a persons lack of restraint in making negative remarks about the target. They tend to react in this manner when they are hurt, angry, and feel personally attacked. For example, when parents first separate mom is feeling anxious and will implicitly convey to the children that their father is a bad person suggesting that it is not safe to be with him. She may say something to the effect of, "If you get scared or are not having fun call me right away and I will come and get you and bring you home."

Dad may say something like, "Remember to tell your mother that you want to spend more time with me," Suggesting that their mom is trying to separate them from each other. Generally, this behavior from the parents is done so they can look like they are the better parent to be with and that something is wrong with the other one.

In the scenario with mom the children start to question if they are safe to be with their father. With dad they can start to believe their mother is trying to estrange them from their dad. Usually when you point out the alienation to the alienating parent they feel ashamed that their behavior is negatively affecting the children and that they did not have enough self-control to refrain from distributing alienation.

Parents and children in this category normally have a good relationship. The parents who hands out the alienation usually are unaware they are doing it. It is a behavior that has not been addressed so it can be corrected. These parents are usually willing to modify their behavior to benefit the children. The recognizable denigration traits in mild alienation are sighing in disapproval, rolling the eyes in contempt, ignoring, disrespect, snide or sarcastic remarks, and defaming the target parent. To defuse the alienation explain to the children why people will make those kinds of gestures and bad-mouth another person. Let them know it comes from when they feel disrespected, rejected, hurt by a person, and that they lack self-control and respond in undesirable ways to validate themselves.

In the moderate alienation category the percentage of children who had parenting-time with the target parent drops significantly from ninety five percent down to sixty five percent. The same percentage of children also expressed affection for the target parent with fifty nine percent of them expressing anger towards the target and joining in the denigration of that parent.

With moderate alienation the alienating parents have difficulty keeping their composer when thing do not go their way or feel threatened. Like the belief their counterpart is trying to take the children away from them. They will increase the alienation when their anxiety escalates in an effort to keep what they perceive is rightfully theirs. When they lose control they go ballistic disregarding appropriate boundaries, including the fear their behavior produces in the children.

When, they calm down the alienating parent has a hard time taking responsibility for their actions. But, there is hope. Some of these parents in this category can be persuaded to develop their self-control with anger management, therapy, and parenting classes. These parents love their children and want to be a good parent and be viewed as one. But rarely will they volunteer to get help. They blame the other parent for their problems and believe the other parent is the problem.

If they do not modify their behavior then the only remedy is to get a court order for therapy and treatment. With moderately alienated children are hesitant to spend time with the target parent. They have some fear of the target parent due to the alienating parents repeatedly defaming the target in an effort to get the children to get to accept their views about the target parent and to align with them.

To remedy this level of alienation with the children there needs to be an environment where they feel safe and comfortable with the target parent. A therapist can arrange to provide for this. The parent then need to listen to the children without being judgmental, empathize with their feeling, acknowledge their concerns, and let them know the conflict is between the parents and they do not have to choose either parents side. They should not have to reject one parent to please the other parent. They should be able to love both without having a loyalty conflict.

Bring to the attention of the alienating parent the harmful effects the alienation is having on the children because they are conflicted on how to please both parents without displeasing either one of them. Moderate alienation ascends from emotional charged events. The parent feels they have been wronged and react destructively. Afterwards they are embarrassed of their behavior and might be willing to work on not involving the children to even the score for the wrong they believe was done to them. If there is unsatisfactory improvement and willingness on the part of the alienating parent in correcting their behavior, which is often the case, the target will need to get a court order for family counseling and treatment.

In the severe alienation category forty five percent of the children expressed affection for the target parent, ninety percent had anger towards the target, and sixty percent join in the denigration of the parent. Only fifteen percent of the children had any parenting-time with the target parent. With severe alienation there are no-holds-barred attacks on the targets character and the alienator is obsessed with destroying the relationship the children has with the target parent to inflict emotional pain on the target. Because they have deep-rooted distorted beliefs about the target parent and operate from a delusional system of thinking they are hindered from listening to reason.

There is no effective way for treating severe alienation. To minimize the influence of the alienating parent and harm the alienation causes the children is to reduce or remove them from the care of the alienating parent which will take legal intervention. At this level of alienation the children aligns with the alienating parent, adopt their distorted views about the target, and join in the campaign to severe the relationship they have with the target parent. This is where Parental Alienation is transformed into Parental Alienation Syndrome.

A couple of signs of severe alienation are the childrens refusal to participate in parenting-time with the target parent even if it is court order, an automatic alliance with the alienating parent when conflict arises between the parents, and they join in rejecting and defaming the target parent. They back up their claims with weak, frivolous and illogical explanations, and insist that their views are their own and are not influenced by the alienating parent.

The way to counter severe alienation is to obtain a court order for a parenting plan, therapy, and participation in treatment. It is necessary to get the order so the therapist can work with the family to resolve, reduce, or at the very least stymie the alienation. At this level of alienation the alienating parent objective is to hurt the target parent by any means including using the children.

The children need to be shown that they have been exposed to the alienation, participated in the denigration, and how it negatively affects the relationship they have with the target parent. Once the cause of the children's alienation from a parent is identified then an expert mental health professional can provide an appropriate treatment plan to reunite the parent and children.

Jumat, 09 Juni 2017

Parenting Essentials AKA The 30 Commandments For Parents

Whether we are soon to be parents, new parents or have been parents, we want to do the best job possible at raising our children. Children don't come with instruction manuals and parenting doesn't come with a manual or infallible guide. Every situation and family is unique. We as individuals are different. There are different parenting styles and variations. There is varied parenting education and knowledge which we utilize and process differently. We basically parent with instinct, knowledge and wisdom. At first, we usually parent with instinct and our personal experiences. This is usually what we learned (consciously and subconsciously) from our parents, family members or others. We also parent around our beliefs, morals and values. Many new parents and even seasoned parents undergo parenting training and education. This knowledge is a very valuable tool, as it teaches parents how to be effective parents and helps them cultivate their parenting skills. Parenting is a very extensive subject with a vast abundance of information and opinions. Even with proper parenting education, we need to be naturally adaptive, resourceful and I provisional. Good parenting will produce good individuals, who will continue a positive cycle when they are parents.

So what does it take to be a good parent? From what I have experienced and learned so far as a child, person and a parent, I created a list of things which I believe to be essential for being a good parent.

Be dedicated and passionate. Good parenting definitely takes dedication. Dedication and passion comes from the love for our children and drive to put their well being first. Being dedicated takes a lot of sacrifice. As parents, we need to sacrifice a lot of our time and personal lives.

When I am dedicated to my child's life, I know that the sacrifices are priceless investments and for an extremely important cause. I have known many parents who could not sacrifice their pleasures for their purpose. Children tend to view that as selfishness or weakness. These characteristics are learned and absorbed. With this said, it's important to be our best as individuals and to be good examples as parents.

Practice self discipline. We teach our children to be well behaved and disciplined. We teach them to be honest and trustworthy. We teach them many things to help them be healthy, happy and productive now, and into the future. We use discipline to ensure all of these things and more for our children. If we want our children to be well disciplined, we must be self disciplined. In addition, we should expect the same from ourselves, if not more.

We must remember that we can (and often do) lead more by our example than by what we say or instruct. We must practice what we are teaching. I know that when I am peaceful and positive, calm and strong, I am at my best. My children see this. I know that when I am frustrated and negative, out of control and careless, I am at my worst. My children see this. This is how I know self discipline is extremely important in parenting. It is best to control your emotions (especially anger) and learn how to deal with stress.

Discipline your children. Discipline does not only mean punish. Discipline means to teach. It is important to teach them to learn from natural consequences. They will also learn this naturally. I personally prefer to use the word consequence instead of punishment. I found it very important to set fair and logical consequences (punishments). This will keep the child focused on the lesson and make it less likely that they will be distracted or focused on their emotions, anger and resentment.

It is also important to set guidelines and expectations enforced by a rewards and consequences system. This can consist of simply rewards and incentives for good behavior, and consequences and corrective action for bad behavior. Make sure to be consistent in your parenting.

Be a good and positive example to your children. Children have many influences. We can be responsible and be an icon of positive influence to our children. It's important to understand that it is not only what we say that influences. Our vocalization is not the only message we send. Relaying our intended messages can be difficult. Most of the time, people need to make personal changes when they become a parent. They find themselves changing how they react to things or express opinions and feelings.

Always use communication. Be an active listener. This will enable you to be more effective and productive at being a parent and solving problems. This is when children learn and also when parents learn. It's very reciprocal. I found that my children teach me a lot about my parenting. It should be assertive and constructive communication. You shouldn't use criticism, contempt, aggressiveness or defensiveness. Passive-aggressiveness is also very counterproductive. Communication should be used for conflict resolution and problem solving. During communication, everyone should express their feelings openly.

Show you children respect and teach them to respect others. Just you showing them respect will automatically teach them to have respect for others. I know that when children are shown disrespect, they can learn to not respect themselves. If they don't have respect for themselves, it is likely that they will not have respect for others. I'm sure that we can all recall a situation where we were disrespected and lashed out at others because of it. It's the same for children and they can form habits (good and bad) very easily and quickly.

Respect your children as individuals. They have their own minds and lives. The will have their own personalities, ideas, and feelings about the world. Always remind yourself that they are individuals, and they are their own person. They are not you and may have different thoughts and actions. Always respect their dignity. We must be very careful not to oppress our children. We should treat them how we would like or expect to be treated.

Instill happiness and self worth in your children. Show them positivity, not negativity. Be careful and thoughtful of your children's feelings and needs. It's terrible when parents inflict damage on their children's psyches. It's not fair to children. Oppression is wrong. Many children carry these emotional damages well into their adult lives and even spread it to their own children.

We need to make our children feel loved, wanted, needed and useful. This will give them a sense of importance and self worth. We equally need to encourage them and teach them to be confident and love themselves. We should always want to lift them up when they are down. We need to be an inspiration to our children.

Do not humiliate your children. We want our children to be proud of themselves. At time, children make mistakes or do things that are not good or shameful. We should still treat them with dignity as we teach them right from wrong. Humiliation and shame are painful emotions for children to deal with. Our main focus in our disciplinary tactics should not be to make them feel ashamed of themselves. This can permanently damage their confidence and self esteem. I like to use privacy and confidentiality when disciplining a shameful act.

Give your children praise. Compliment them. This will encourage them and let them know when they are doing the right thing. It is also important to receive praise well. This will show them how to react to praise. This is simple because we all like to make our children feel good. It makes us feel good. It's wonderful when all family members are happy together.

Teach your children good values and morals. This goes along with teaching them right from wrong. Teach them the importance of honesty and fairness. These traits can stay with them for life.

Teach your children self control. It's important that they can express their emotions, but there should be limits and a level of control. This is especially critical to children who act on their emotions. In essence, you are teaching them to control their actions. Teaching them self control will greatly benefit them throughout life. Teaching patience and control of anger are popular lessons for young children.

Teach your children to be kind, gentle and empathetic. Teach them to be understanding, patient, accepting and tolerant. Teach them about social awareness, social injustice, differences and diversity. Teach them about giving and taking (reciprocation) and the rule of action and reaction. Teach them that what they do as an impact on other people or things.

Instill a sense of purpose, duty and citizenship in your children. This will help them be, and feel like a good member of society. All their lives they will be around other people and have to properly function in a society. We like to see our children to grow up to be helpful and prolific people. It is good to teach children to get along with others and to work as a team at an early age. Recreational and community activities can be great ways to learn these values.

Teach your children responsibility and a good work ethic. Most parents do this by assigning chores to their children. It's good to hold them accountable for their actions and to make them responsible for things in their life. As children grow, we should give them more responsibility and further their understanding of the importance of having a good work ethic. My children may groan about a certain responsibility they have, but when they complete it, they feel happy and proud. Chores and responsibilities will give them a sense of duty and usefulness.

Teach your children the importance of education and learning. Starting at an early age is ideal. Implement a study time for them, as well as times to read. I started reading to my children regularly when they were very young. It as proven to be very effective in helping them develop a love and an interest for reading and learning. I also set up reading and study times for myself, as this provides a good example. It is also pinnacle to monitor and be aware of what your children are learning and being taught. A quality education is essential and is something every child should have access to.

Teach your children about finances. This goes along with lessons about how the world works. Children are born into a world that has systems already in place. One of the most important and powerful systems is the economic system. Most civilizations were built on money and are controlled by money. I feel that it is very important to educate children about economics and finances. We want our children to know how to control their money and lives so they won't be controlled by money or those with money and power. I have read many studies regarding children whose parents did not teach them these skills. The studies showed that those children had significantly higher odds of having financial difficulties as adults. When lecturing about basic survival skills, it is necessary to include modern day survival skills.

Teach your children to be skilled decision makers and problem solvers. I encourage my children to make decisions and solve problems on their own. I even use simulation to enhance their skills. If they are unable to solve a problem or need guidance, then I step in and help.

Teach your children to be independent and self sufficient individuals. Most children love to do things by themselves. They are full of zeal to learn and experience. We should always encourage them to do things on their own, as long as it's safe and within their capability. We should also instruct them on how to do things on their own. As long as it's reasonable and completely safe, I tell my children, "Think about it and figure it out" or "Try to do it yourself." This challenges them and very rewarding when they acknowledge that they did it themselves. It also shows them that you trust them and have faith in them. Children and people alike need to feel that others believe in them. Encourage your children to be free thinkers, think for themselves and not just always believe and think how others think or tell them to think. Encourage them to question things, research for answers, investigate, seek the truth, stay true to themselves and to their beliefs and morals. Also encourage them to always defend and stand up for the truth as well as their beliefs. Individual autonomy is something that should be taught. They should also be encouraged and warned to think about things rationally, realistically, and carefully. This will help them make better choices and decisions in life.

Guide your children well. Give them good guidance to help them live and think in a positive and constructive way. Be careful not to misguide them or misinform them. I always encourage my children to research and investigate to figure things out for themselves. I also encourage them to ask a lot of questions and even question a lot of information. I encourage them to be autonomous (a free thinker).
We teach our children to walk, talk and think. We then teach them to restrict movement, words and thoughts. We need to be careful not to prevent or stop our children from developing their minds, curiosities, creativity and passions. Of course we should be reasonable, but we should let them explore and experiment to learn about the world around them. We should let them ask many questions. When we answer, we should answer well and let them form and cultivate their own thoughts and understanding. It's unfair to deprive them of that.

Encourage your children's interests, talents and skills. Encourage them to follow their hopes and dreams. Support them in their activities and ambitions. Support them throughout their development and phases, as they are finding their sense of self. Encourage them to set goals and strive to achieve them. Motivate them and help them keep their momentum. I find myself lecturing with what I learned from not doing something more than what I learned from trying something or achieving something.

Be a dependable and reliable parent. Be there for your children no matter what. Help them when they need it. Never abandon or forsake them. Be in their corner and at their defense. Our children will face a lot of adversity and learn disappointment and disgust from disloyalty and mistrust. It shouldn't come from us too.
Show them stability, as this is greatly needed in their lives.

Spend time (quality and quantity) with your children. Play with them and have fun with them often. Fun parents make happy children. Create fun activities and traditions. We are parents, teachers and authority figures, but we can also be fun friends. Cherish the times that are spent together. This will create memories that will last in the hearts and minds of them and you for life.

Be attentive, vigilant and observant to your child's life. If you see problems or potential problems early, they can be more easily corrected. Teach them those skills to use in their own life. Prevention is usually easier than resistance or correction.

Keep your children safe. Provide them a safe environment. Protect them at al costs. There are many dangers and threats, especially when they are young. Be observant and aware of your children's surroundings. When my children were young, I was often referred to as worrisome. But I always believed in being passionate about my children's survival and well being. Like the old saying goes, "It's better to be safe than sorry."

Teach your children about self preservation. Children develop natural survival instincts, but it is important to explain to them the physical dangers in the world. It's also important to teach them about the limits and vulnerabilities of their bodies. I taught my children at a young age about their anatomy. I also taught them about unnecessary risks and dangers. Examples of unnecessary risks would be: Riding on motorcycles and all terrain vehicles, and other dangerous/risky activities for thrill only.

When children get older, then it's important to teach self preservation in many forms from keeping themselves alive and healthy to maintaining all aspects of their lives.

Take your children's health seriously. Keep a healthy environment for them. Be an advocate for health. Be weary about what your children eat and drink. Healthy habits are learned as children.

Be extra attentive to your children's physical and mental health. I have had many experiences with physicians and health care professionals either overlooking or misdiagnosing health problems or disorders. We often need to be proactive and research and examine things ourselves.

If a health problem is discovered, have it treated with the best course of action. Take it seriously and work diligently to solve and correct the problem. Be thorough and comprehensive. Seek the best health care possible and never procrastinate. With serious health problems, time is of the essence.

Teach your children to love and enjoy life. Teach them to be happy and positive throughout various circumstances. Help them learn to be resilient and persevere through difficult situations. Help them learn how precious life is. Help them learn that it is best to make the most out of life and to enjoy life to the fullest. Teach them to be grateful and appreciative. Help them to possess peace of mind and know how to find and keep happiness and comfort in their own mind.

Learn from your experiences and the mistakes you make as a parent. Also, learn from the mistakes of others. You can learn the right way to do something from someone who did it wrong. Learning from other people's experiences and examples can be a great teacher and help you cultivate your parenting skills and ideas. Your children can also be great teachers. Listen to their words and think about their reactions. Be observant and receptive. I once wrote a questionnaire for my children to answer. It pertained to my parenting and how I was doing as a parent in their minds. Some answers were funny and unrealistic. Other answers were very interesting and gave me some good insight. Over all, it was very informative and beneficial.

If we are making parenting mistakes, we can make changes now. When we realize a mistake, we should change that way of parenting immediately. We must be assertive while making sure not to make the same mistakes again. We need to take the most important job of parenting seriously, while having a lot of fun at the same time.

Love your children unconditionally. Love them regardless of the mistakes they make or who they become. This comes naturally, but children really need to know it. The first sentence in this paragraph could then be; show your children unconditional love.

Tell your children that you love them on a regular basis. Children need to feel love. Tell them that you are proud of them. Make them feel loved and proud of themselves. Tell them that they are great children and people. Make them feel important and needed. Give them lots of hugs and kisses. Make them feel safe and comforted. Let them know that you will always be there for them and that you will always love them.

The order in which I listed these attributes has no significance.

Most of us are already doing these things and striving to be the best parents possible. I hope that I provided some good insight into what it takes to be a good parent. I also hope that I provided helpful information to those seeking good parenting advice.