Category Archives for "Family and Parenting"
When you need a child to listen and they won’t, it gets very frustrating. Fortunately, there are a ton of techniques geared towards how to get children to listen to you that you can easily use to get their attention, get their answers or agreement, and get them to follow through with what you are saying to them.
The biggest thing to remember is that getting mad is not going to work for how to get children to listen to you. As frustrating as it is, children are either listening to you and not responding for a particular reason, or they are not hearing you at all. Getting upset and yelling at them is not going to help you get the results you want. It may scare them a little on occasion, but for the most part it is just going to encourage them to keep behaving the way they are – or worse, the way you are!
Following are 11 techniques that you may have heard before and some that you may not have. Try each one. Use what works. And, life will become so much easier.
1. Listen To Them
As parents, it’s easy to get caught up in lecturing your children and trying to make them listen, but it’s not as easy to take the time to really listen to your children and what they are saying. There are a couple of problems with this.
First, when you are always talking and trying to get children to hear your message, they start to tune you out. Your important words become more like ‘blah, blah, blah’.
Second, children are more willing to listen to you AFTER you listen to them. When you ask them what they are trying to say or accomplish, and then give them the time to answer and let you know, they will be more willing to find out what you have to say about what they said and partake in a real conversation about something. They will feel more important and they will follow through with the intention of the conversation more willingly.
2. Ask Questions Instead Of Giving Commands
Children will respond to questions much better than they will respond to commands. Commands are telling them what to do, which is not something they want to tune into. But, questions are usually followed by getting something they want, going somewhere new, or ensuring you understand how they really feel about a situation, all of which is important to them.
Pay attention to how much you tell them to do something. For instance, you may always tell them to wash their hands before they eat and soon that command becomes a nuisance to them and they start to tune it out. So, instead of telling them, ask them what they need to do before they eat. They will listen, consider it, let you know that they need to wash their hands, and be more willing to follow through on what you want.
The bottom line is that when you ask questions, children will be listening to see if there is something they really want to hear in the question. In other words, they will fully pay attention.
3. Change Your Tone
It doesn’t matter how great you think your family is, problems can arise. They can happen gradually or they can happen suddenly. I’ve see brothers and sisters have family problems that gradually ruin their relationship to the point that they never talk again. I’ve also seen some of the closest families get ripped apart when something happens that takes them by surprise. I’ve also seen family problems that cause one person to bear so much pain throughout their life that it is amazing they can live through it.
No family is safe from family problems. Even with the best intentions, they can happen. Relationships require work, and because being in a family involves having a few different relationships, issues can easily arise. This article will take a lot at how to solve family problems that often occur.
How To Solve Family Problems resulting From Money Issues
There are two main issues that occur with money in a family situation.
1. Too Much Money
A wealthy family doesn’t seem like it would have any issues, but the truth is that many kids and other family members become spoiled when there is too much money in the family and then become dependent and incapable of looking after themselves. This type of dependency on other people’s money can create so many problems, not just in their life but in their entire family’s life.
For instance, when the parents both die, and there is more than one child set to receive the inheritance, this dependency to money, and being taken care of, can literally cause siblings to be aggressive towards each other in a way that tears the family apart after the death.
The solution is to teach and practice independence in the family. It doesn’t matter if you have billions of dollars, both the adults and the kids need to bring their own money into their life through services they provide to the world. Kids need to earn their money from their parents, and when they are old enough they need to earn their money from the world. This helps create kids who contribute to the world in a positive way, and keeps the adults level-headed as they go through life.
2. Too Little Money
Issues can also happen when there is too little in the family. A family that has too little money can adopt values that money needs to be viewed in an unhealthy way, which ends up creating a household where money being scarce is the norm. I’m sure you know someone who grew up with the mentality that money is scarce and the most valuable thing around, as well as the most evil!
A lack of money can put a family in a very stressful situation where kids need to take on more than they should. They may need to babysit, work, or take on adult chores in order to maintain a family balance. And, again, this mentality causes family members to fight excessively to receive any bit of the inheritance that they can when someone passes away.
The solution to this is to instill practical values towards money, and that starts with the parents. They also need to instill a sense of fun and happiness despite not having all the latest toys or going on vacation.
– They may need to downsize to a smaller place.
– They may need to eat in more often than eating out.
– They may need to take on a second job where the entire family can be involved.
Thinking outside of the box as a family can help bring in extra income through ways they had never thought of before, and it can teach children an entrepreneurial spirit that carries them forward to a career that may earn them more than enough money. For instance, try thinking about online ventures you can take to earn money as a family or ways you can earn money in your community.
How To Solve Family Problems Resulting From Sickness In The Family
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have someone sick in the family. There are different extents of this family problem, so let’s talk about how to handle each one.
My friend’s grandfather was in an accident when he was a young miner. He was confined to a wheelchair and his wife had to suddenly take on much more than she bargained for with 5 kids and a husband to take care of. She took care of him until he died 10 years later.
I have another friend who has a brother that was born with a rare genetic defect. This caused him to lose his speech, comprehension, and ability to walk by the time he was 5, and her parents were put in a position where they had to take on a disabled child along with their busy lives. They are still taking care of him to this day, and he is now 45 and living in a long-term care home.
Disability is often a sudden thing, and families need to discuss concerns, talk about what needs to be done, and have an open table for discussion when things are not working out for one person. You can’t expect kids to take on big issues, such as looking after someone with a disability and their personal needs; however, you can expect them to help around the house and contribute to the overall cleanliness and functionality of the house. Moreover, any questions they have need to be answered so they can deal with the issue rather than struggle with it.
2. Chronic Illness
This is tough for a family to adapt to. I have someone in the family who was diagnosed with Lupus years ago. I was younger, and I observed other people in the family to see how I should deal with the diagnosis. I thought he was going to die quickly because that was our family’s general opinion, but he has managed to live much longer than anyone expected, and he seems to be able to work through any issues he has from the Lupus and carry on.
You never know how a chronic illness is going to play itself out, but the family has to be supportive and understanding of the person to avoid hurt feelings and grudges. The person with the chronic illness may develop a very unhealthy way of approaching the illness, which can cause other family members to be hurt and excluded from their life, but besides communicating your concerns to that person, there is not much you can do. Acceptance of what is happening and how your family member feels can help you deal with what is happening.
A bad temper in children is perhaps one of the most annoying things for non-parents and frustrating things for parents. Yelling, screaming, acting bad, kicking feet, crying, stomping, and being downright disrespectful are all part of a bad temper in children, and they are enough to make anyone want to leave the room with their hands in the air.
Unfortunately, many adults who are not parents try to deal with a bad temper in children in a way that helps it go away as quickly as possible. This means ignoring bad behavior, letting kids get away with what they want, and giving them treats for acting inappropriately. This is unhelpful to the child and to the parent.
If you are around a child who is exhibiting a bad temper, then there are a few things that you need to know. These things will help you deal with stranger’s kids in a way that is acceptable to the parents and helpful for the kid, and when you are looking after the kid, and you make the conscious decision to take on the responsibility that comes with that, the following tips will help you deal with them in a reasonable manner that the parents will appreciate.
1. We Are All Responsible For Demonstrating Proper Behavior
A lot of kids choose to behave in a way that they are exposed to. Parents are definitely guilty of exposing their children to bad behavior, but so are other adults that they come across, both in real life and on TV. If kids learn that blowing up is normal, then they will blow up. They won’t feel like it’s a big deal because everyone else does it, so as far as they are concerned it’s normal.
Therefore, people need to act like a rational human being when kids are around. Don’t exhibit the bad temper that you don’t want them to have. Demonstrate how to deal with issues in a calm and mature way and give kids the example they need to understand what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior in real life.
2. Don’t Reward Bad Behavior
A lot of kids exhibit bad behavior to get what they want, and because the screaming and tantrum becomes too much for everyone to take, they end up getting their way. However, all this does is teach them that a bad temper gets them what they want. For parent’s it is important to stick with not rewarding your children when they throw a tantrum; however, it is also important for everyone else.
One grandmother I know always rewards her grandchild for a bad temper. When the young kid starts to cry and sulk and hurt her sibling, the grandmother will cuddle her and give her food and give her what she wants. This undoes all the work the mom is trying to do towards making bad behavior unacceptable.
If you are not the parent, then don’t give in to what they want and reward the child for their bad temper. In addition, if you are just a bystander while the mother is around, don’t tell the mother what she should do. Lastly, don’t give the child something they want so that you can look like the good person in their eyes. Always follow the lead of the mother.
3. A Bad Temper In Children Is Not Cute
Change can be a scary time for kids. They can feel like they did something wrong and want things to back to the way they were. During change, they need assurance that everything is going to be OK. They need to know that the change is not because of them. They need to be free from guilt, blame, shame, or any other negative emotion during the change. Following are three of the biggest changes a child can experience and how you can help them deal with them.
Helping Children Deal With Change Of Family Dynamics
For the most part, there are three different changes that can happen in a family. A parental divorce, an introduction of a new parental figure along with new brothers and sisters, and a parental death.
1. Divorce: The Need To Keep Things Stable And Structured With No Blame Or Extra Responsibility
When a child loses a constant authority figure from the home, things can feel quite topsy-turvy. The need for stability and structure are very important so that a child can feel confident and understand what they need to do during this time.
This means that both parents need to stay calm, mature, and confident around the child. Rules and boundaries still need to remain in place, co-parenting still needs to happen to as big as an extent that it can, and the main guardian needs to keep routine as familiar as possible. All of this will help to lessen the stress of the change in the home and help the child understand what is expected of them and what they should expect from their parents.
Removing blame is also important. According to experts, children tend to take a lot of the blame when a marriage ends. They feel like their parents are splitting up because of something they did and that they are being punished for their actions. Children need lots of assurance that this is not the case and that the breakup is simply something that the parents decided was best for the family.
Lastly, kids should not have to shoulder any part of the missing spouse’s duties. They should not be expected to comfort their parents through the divorce. They should not be a shoulder to cry on or complain to. In fact, complaining to your children about the other parent can affect how they feel about you and the other parent. All of those things are completely out of a child’s control, but they will try to control it if you ask them to, and that’s not fair. They don’t have the emotional capacity to deal with those issues, so they shouldn’t be asked to deal with them.
2. A New Parental Figure: Keeping Mom And Dad In Charge
If a new parental figure has entered the picture, then it may be tempting to give him or her a parental role right off the bat, but experts warn against that unless the children are very young. If they are young, then they will adapt to the new person much easier, depending on how well the divorce was handled. However, if they are older, they may be very resistant of the new person in their life, and if other children are involved, then this can even make it harder on them.
Both familiar parents should help the child understand that this new addition to the family is OK and that they are allowed to like them and get along with them. The new parental figure shouldn’t be the one to give out direct discipline in the beginning, but they should be able to create their own boundaries and have the children respect those boundaries. Moreover, they should stand behind the parents and their personal choices for discipline in the family.
The new parental figure should also actively support the child’s relationship with both parents. There should be no jealousy or fighting amongst the parental figures in the child’s life so that they can maintain a sense of peace and normalcy.
When other children are involved, Dr. Phil recommends not playing favorites when the family is brought together. Even though the new parent may have stronger feelings for their own children – discipline, rules, and love shown should be the same for all the children from both parents. This will ensure one child does not feel like they are less than the other children, and it will keep everyone’s confidence and esteem up while minimizing problems.
3. Death In The Family: Keep Things In Their Scope Of Reference
Do you think ‘toxic’ is too harsh of a word for negative family members? The definition of toxic is that something is harmful to your health or lethal if consumed in sufficient quantities. When you understand how negative family members affect your health, this word makes total sense.
Toxic family members cause a lot of stress on you. Their manipulation, drama, neediness, criticism, jealousy, and other negative traits can drain you emotionally and make you feel bad about yourself. All of these things affect your health both directly and indirectly. The stress and anxiety affect your health directly, and your negative state of mind causes you to make decisions that negatively affect your health in a big way.
10 Signs You Are Dealing With Toxic Family Members
Not sure if you are actually dealing with toxic family members? Think that maybe it is all just in your head and you are overreacting to their antics? Following is a list of very real signs that your family members are toxic to you.
1. You Feel Sad And Down Around Them
No matter what you do, they say things that make you feel bad about yourself and your relationship with them. For instance, if you say ‘no’ to doing something for them, they will make you feel guilty and say things like, “After everything I’ve done for you!” or “You are a horrible person!”
A lot of times these comments won’t attack you directly, but they are meant to make you feel bad anyway. Comments like “I wish I could get out of this house!” doesn’t directly blame you for not helping them get out of the house, but it does imply that no one is helping them, especially you.
The bottom line is that you will often feel bad about yourself after talking to a toxic family member. They find a way to make you feel guilty, ashamed, hurt, regretful, or just plain depressed.
2. You Feel Angry Around Them
If you feel like your head is about to pop up when you are around them (and sometimes even when you are not around them) because of how they act, talk, or behave, then they are toxic to your health. They may not even be doing things to directly make you upset. They may just be behaving in their normal manner. But their behavior is one of a victim or jerk, and dealing with it becomes so stressful that you have a hard time keeping your cool around them and you find yourself leaving them feeling extremely angry.
3. You Don’t Want To Go See Them
Did you know that is a period during the day that is called family hour? It’s the time that TV uses to broadcast programs of general interest to the whole family. This is also called ‘family time’, which seems to me to be a ploy to get families to park themselves in front of the TV and drift away from each other for three hours. That doesn’t really sound like time spent with the family. Does it? But, because the people behind the TV shows know the importance of family time, they try to sway you to believe that it is.
When I picture family time, I don’t picture people zoning out in front of a TV. I picture a family laughing and doing stuff together. I picture quality over quantity. I picture a time where kids can feel loved and parents can feel connected to their kids and each other on a deeper level. And I picture a time when the whole family can come together, despite their differences, and share in an activity that actively engages them.
Putting The Emphasis On Real Life
Because of TV and the Internet, more and more people are disconnecting from their lives and plugging into other people’s lives. This is not only a waste of time, but it can detract from happiness in many ways.
– It can cause you to compare yourself to fictional characters.
– It can cause you to spend time away from your family members and spend time with other people’s family members.
– It can influence how you feel about life in a negative way, because many TV shows are created with controversy and stupidity in mind.
It’s about time that we made real life family time more important than spending time with fictional characters or people we don’t know. And, that starts with the adults in the family.
The Importance Of Family Time
If you are not convinced to carve out a portion of your week for family time, then you may have more cons in your head than pros. It’s important to understand how much family time actually works in our favor. Following are the reasons that you need to make family time a priority.
1. There Will Be A Time When You Can’t Spend Time Together Anymore
This needs to mentioned and mentioned again, because this is something many of us have learned the hard way. When your grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, sibling, or child dies, you can’t make the choice to spend quality time with them anymore. That choice is taken away from you. But, worse, you regret all the time you spent on useless things when you could have been spending quality family time with your loved one. Hindsight makes this so clear, and we never think we are going to lose the people closest to us, but it happens all the time.
For instance, a young 13-year-old boy on YouTube died suddenly not long ago. Caleb Bratayley was fine one day and died of a heart condition during the night. His parents and siblings didn’t expect not to have another chance to kiss him or spend time with him, but it happened. And, it could happen to you.
2. It Helps You Get To Know Each Other Better
Your family is always changing and growing. Most of their thoughts and new beliefs will not even come into your radar if you don’t have some quality family time together. But, during family time, talks about goals, dreams, and important things can come to life, which makes this a unique way to get to know the people in your family.
3. It Helps You Practice Acceptance And Compassion
Your family is going to express some different views and opinions during family time, and this is a great way to practice acceptance and compassion towards others. Developing these skills will help you when you are having struggles in your relationships. It will help your loved ones feel more valued as the person they are. And, it will strengthen your family bonds even more.
Whether you want to keep your stress down and your sanity intact, or just provide your child with the best possible parenting experience you can provide them with, it’s important to have some very consistent ways of doing things. Some parenting principles are going to provide less stress for you and your kids while making sure they are safe, loved, and on track towards a healthy and happy life. Following are some effective parenting tips straight from parents who have been there and done that.
1. Create Consistent Routines For Less Stress
Kids need routines in their life to feel secure and motivated. This means routines for sleep, learning, eating, and free time. If you let kids create their own routine, they will always choose to do what requires the least amount of effort, and usually what is least beneficial for their life, such as playing video games, sleeping, or spending time on the Internet or, if they have it, their phone.
You also need routines in your life to feel sane. It will help you remove a lot of the stress from your day-to-day activities because both you and your kids will know exactly what is going on in the day, and your kids will put up less argument about it. Moreover, if your kids are home alone for a few minutes before you get home or after you leave for work, a routine will help them do what needs to be done while you are away.
2. Use Calendars That Your Kids Can Clearly See And Use
It’s highly recommended that you get a few separate calendars for your house. Every parent I talked to swore by calendars and their ability to lessen stress and keep kids on track. There’s something powerful about calendars that make everything feel more organized. And kids are more inclined to stick with calendars that are in their line of view in the appropriate places.
You can use one to clearly display what the chores are for the day. One that helps kids see what the menu is for the day. One that lists out rules for the house. And one that has all the activities listed out for the month. You can pretty much use them for anything that needs more organization and structure. They help everyone stay on the same page and make it easy to show kids what needs to be done before anything else can happen.
3. Do Not Reward Bad Behavior
As I’ve grown up, I’ve viewed my mom in very different ways. Talking to my niece this weekend, I asked her about her mom and what she thought was special about her. She said, “My mom is special because…” and then she followed it was some really cute reasons that I have long forgotten. I realized that her viewpoint of her mom was very serious to her, and she had some extremely different opinions of why her mother was special than I did.
Her responses made me think that as we grow up we view our mom in very different ways, but she always remains special to us. I went online and read a lot of ‘my mom is special because’ posts and found that as children, teenagers, and adults, there are some common threads in each category on why our mom is so special. So, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why moms are so special throughout our lives.
As Children – My Mom Is Special Because…
She Loves Me: Kid’s need love, and they recognize that their mother is a consistent place to get it from. Their mother loves them despite the ups and down that happen throughout the day. Their mom loves them enough to cuddle them, tickle them, hold hands, and kiss them. Kids are very touchy little beings, and they find comfort in a good hug or snuggle, which moms are notorious for.
She tucks me in at night: This is a statement I see consistently from children. Getting tucked in is a symbol of love. It is the perfect way for a kid to get comfortable before going to sleep and feel protected and cared about. It offers a connection with the people they love the most (kind of like sitting around the dinner table does). There are very few moments in the day where you can spend some quality time together, look into each other’s eyes, and say ‘I love you’ without any interruptions. Kids appreciate this one-on-one time with their mom.
She buys me things: I love hearing this from kids. It’s very interesting how dependable they are on other people, yet still so independent in how they think and what they say. You often hear kids saying, “Mom, can I have this PLEASE!” and then listen to the mother saying no followed by a kid who stomps their feet and starts to cry. If it’s that upsetting when they don’t get what they want, I imagine it feels amazing to actually get what they want. The awesome thing is that it doesn’t matter if it is a gumball or a new, expensive toy. Getting something from mom always feels amazing.
She teaches me things: Kids love to learn. In fact, if you’ve been around kids, then you know that their favorite word is ‘why’. Research has shown that children learn the quickest during their early years, and they need to learn in order to discover their world and how to interact in it. It’s no wonder children would find their mother’s special for teaching them everything they need to know. Even the simple act of tying shoes is important, and moms are always there with patience and love to help them understand
She feeds me: Oh, man, this is important! If mom didn’t feed them, they wouldn’t eat! I see a lot of kids talk about the different foods they like, such as macaroni or soup, and how they love that their mom makes them that food. I’ve seen kids talk about how their mom pack them a lunch. My niece thinks her mom is special because she gets her little donuts when she goes through the local coffee shop drive thru. The truth is that we all need and love food, especially food that tastes good, so mom is an important source of this vital need.
There is a reason that we get so angry when someone makes fun of our mothers. They are special, and regardless of the relationship we’ve had with them, they hold a special place in our heart. Following are just a few of the reasons that mothers are special people.
1. They Put Their Life On Hold For You
In the beginning of their children’s life, and even sometimes for the entirety of their life, mothers put their own personal desires and needs on hold for their children. Their children’s needs come first. While some people think that times have changed and fathers shoulder more of the responsibility for their children, the truth is that traditional values still hold true in many households.
For example, while many mothers do go back to work quickly after having a child, a recent Pew study found that 41% of working mothers believe their career advancement was negatively impacted by being a parent. [Source: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/11/04/raising-kids-and-running-a-household-how-working-parents-share-the-load/] I know my mother has reminded me about how much time she lost in her professional life and how it affected her overall status and advancement!
2. They Keep You Decent
None of us want our mothers to see us doing something bad, and when we are caught doing something bad by someone else, we are often reminded of what our mothers would think about the situation.
No matter what they have done in their life, they expect better for us and try to instill the best values they can in us. They shape us into who we are at the core. While this can be annoying at times, it is definitely one of the reasons that mothers are so special for our happiness and overall well-being.
3. They Are Always There For You
I want to make it clear that when I say mother and child, I’m talking about all mother and child relationships, including relationships where the mother did not give birth to the child but, instead, adopted the child. It doesn’t matter how they came together, the mother and child bond is an extremely special one. Most children will do anything for their mothers, and most mothers will do anything for their children. So, why is it so special?
Whether it is an instinctual or stereotypical issue, mothers are more likely to provide comfort to their children and help guide them into the person they become. Mothers are more willing to show their love and give hugs and cuddles when things have gone wrong. We tend to be drawn to people who are comforting towards us, and mothers have that softer, comforting quality that we crave.
In one study done by Harry Harlow on young monkeys, the theory that children require the comfort of their mother proved to be very true. The baby monkeys were deprived of food until they were desperately hungry and then given a choice of two mother figures to turn towards. One was a mother made of wire who had a bottle of milk that would take away the need for food, while the other was a mother made of cloth that would provide contact comfort. The monkeys would quickly run to the wire mothers and fill up on milk, and then just as quickly move to the comfort providing mother and snuggle for up to 18 hours. In fact, the infant monkeys would sometimes not go back to the wire monkey until they were close to starvation again.