Week 1: A Change for the Better – Teaching Correct Behavior
Kids misbehave for lots of reasons – fear, immaturity, fatigue, etc. No matter why children misbehave, parents can take four steps that will stop the problem behavior and teach kids better, alternative ways to behave.
Week 2: Getting Kids to Do What You Want
Learn strength-based, goal orientated ways to get kids to do what their supposed to – and what you want.
Week 3: Decisions! Decisions!
Parents will discuss how to build decision making skills in their children and identify techniques they will use to help their children make good decisions.
Week 4: Family…It’s All About Time
Participants will be able to identify challenges to spending time together in building family relationships, learn the importance of positive family time to developing a strong family, list at least five specific ways they plan to omit to family time in their own life, and plan a family meeting to discuss the family’s ideas for sharing family time.
Week 5: Disciplining Without Screaming
Learning alternatives to discipline other than screaming.
Week 6: You Want ME to Help With Housework? No Way!
Clear step-by-step procedure to use to get children to do household chores. Demonstrates how to avoid nagging and threats and how to follow through on consequences.
There are four million live births each year in the USA. Nearly 800,000 – 20% - of these mothers will experience an episode of major or minor depression within the first 3 months postpartum. Although Postpartum Depression (PPD) is such a prevalent condition, it is extremely undertreated. Mothers tend to feel shame because of the societal norms that say this is supposed to be the most joyful time of their lives. This means that mothers who need help aren’t seeking it out because of the fear of societal response. Mothers aren’t alone in how they are feeling. A little-known fact is that men themselves often experience depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period, with estimated prevalence rates of, respectively 8.4% and 10.4%. Male depression is particularly high when women are experiencing PPD, ranging from 24 to 50%. Women tend to be at a greater risk for PPD when they experience past depression, stressful life events, poor marital relationship, or have poor social support. Studies have shown that women with a history of postpartum depressive symptoms are more prone to have subsequent depressive symptoms and experience illness.
Not only does this condition greatly affect the mother in these ways, but it may also have serious consequences on relational, parenting and infant outcomes. The offspring of mothers who experience PPD are at risk for disturbances in development. Cognitive and behavioral problems have been observed among children to post-natal depressed mothers. Behavior in children of mothers four years post-partum were reported to be more problematic. There have also been findings of effects on child cognitive development such as language and IQ.
There are many ways to address the issues associated with PPD. Step one is seeking help from a trained professional. Psychotherapy can give mothers the tools to increase parenting efficacy which will result in a diminishment of negative self-attributions. The clinician will also be able to work on an improved sense of social support though sessions, find ways to get better maternal sleep, and develop more effective parenting skills leading to a more responsive and rewarding baby, and increased attachment to infant. There is also evidence that couple-related treatment may be protective against the development of perinatal depressive and anxiety symptoms as well as be an effective way to treat women’s PPD. Ask your clinician if they feel this would be an effective and appropriate way to help treat your symptoms.
What is mindfulness?
In simplest terms, mindfulness is the state of mind in which we can choose to either be fully aware of ourselves, our thoughts and our surroundings at once, or to focus our awareness on any one of these at a given time.
Parents tend to have a lot going on throughout a given day and as a result, have a lot of thoughts running through your mind. If you’re honest with yourself, a good amount of the time, you tend to let these thoughts to have a great deal of control over emotions, words, and actions.
When we cultivate a state of mindfulness, this helps up to notice these un-useful thoughts, turn off the negative thoughts, and turn our attention back to what is most important.
In a clinical setting, most mindfulness meditation–based interventions have been used to treat stress, anxiety, and numerous mental health diagnoses.
Does it work?
Mindfulness based interventions are a popular way of attempting to improve the mental and physical health outcomes of children, adolescents, and adults. Many studies advocate the use of mindfulness for improving mental health people. Evidence supports that mindfulness meditation may improve functioning in positive and negative affective systems, including increased emotion awareness, altered emotional reactivity, exposure and extinction, and facilitation of cognitive reappraisal.
Properly designed and delivered mindfulness meditation can perform comparably to established treatments for symptoms of depression, anxiety, pain, substance use, posttraumatic stress, and serious mental illness. Studies have found a vast improvement in executive functioning, attention, and negative behaviors following mindfulness meditation.
A recent study investigated whether mindfulness moderated the relationship between fatigue and depressive symptoms in mothers of young children. Results showed that mindfulness did in fact lower fatigue and depressive symptoms. These studies reinforce the promise of using mindfulness-based interventions for improving the mental health and wellbeing of youth and adults alike.
Contact me for a free copy of a mindfulness meditation. Interested in exploring mindfulness meditation and finding out how it can help you? Send me an email or give me a call!
Most parents don’t think they have the time or energy for self-care. Let me stop you there. If you have time to take care of your children, then you have time for self-care. It’s is important to take care of yourself, as a parent, just as important it is for you to take care of your children. You can’t care for someone else if you are not caring for yourself. Rather, you can care for someone else, but how effectively?
Why is self-care so important?
Any parent who has gone a few days in a row without the proper amount of sleep will be able to tell you that everything seems more difficult and our fuses are much shorter when sleep deprived. Parents often give so much of themselves to their children, they forget about themselves, or perhaps feel guilty for taking the necessary time to do things to care for themselves. When any person neglects themselves, it leads to stress on the mind and body.
This could have two major impacts on children:
1. Modeling unhealthy behavior – Children see everything. They know when you don’t have time to shower all day or aren’t eating right because you were grabbing food on the go. They see the fights you and your significant other get into when you don’t get enough sleep. This can teach them that it’s ok to neglect things in their own lives and these relationships – or whatever it is that is being neglected- are not as important and take a back seat. Take a moment now to reflect on your life and actions. Are you showing your children how to care for themselves and nurture the relationship with your significant other?
2. Parenting becomes a great challenge when you don’t care for yourself. Lack of self-care can cause parents to be stressed, irritable, exhausted or even depressed. Parenting takes a lot of energy! In order to implement positive, proactive parenting, we need patience, energy and optimism. On top of not caring for yourself, you are not able to care for children in the way you normally would. The bottom line: Lack of self-care can lead to reactive parenting, with a lot of yelling and missing opportunities to reward positive behavior.
What is self-care?
When parents hear the word self-care, often it gives images of manicures and spa days, taking vacations, or abandoning all of life’s responsibilities in order to rejuvenate. The idea of having to make time for self-care in itself is enough to cause a substantial increase in anxiety for parents everywhere.
I am here to tell you that self -care doesn’t mean dropping the kids at Grandma’s house and running for the hills. Think about the things you do for your children every day – feed, play, change endless amounts of diapers, bathe, and put them to bed. Maybe reading books or playing sports is on the agenda. These basic things you do to care for your children day in and day out are the simple self-care tasks you to do for yourself.
Where do I start?
Implementing self-care isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. It takes time to make small changes. Start by thinking about something you really enjoy doing but haven’t had the time. Make it a priority to incorporate that into your day for 15 to 30 minutes. There are three different types of self-care; physical, emotional/social, and creative/spiritual.
Physical self-care includes things like eating healthy meals regularly, exercise, getting enough sleep, unplugging from your phone, computer and TV, and getting fresh air. Try going to bed 30 minutes early to get more sleep or using the time you would normally be on electronics to go for a walk outside.
Emotional/social self-care includes, spending time with people that make you feel happy, expressing yourself (yes, this includes allowing yourself to cry), reading, working on your relationship with your significant other, and reducing stress.
Creative/spiritual self-care can include, taking quiet time, practicing your religious affiliation, journaling, spending time in nature, and enjoying a hobby.
Implementing these changes may require you to ask for help at first. I’m here to tell you – It is OK to ask for help. The benefits will shine through for yourself, your children, and those around you. Taking time for yourself is not selfish and it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to provide care for your children. It in fact, means the opposite; you can be the best you to provide the best care for your children
Whether confidence is a day to day struggle for you or you are just looking for simple ways to feel more confident, we all could use ways to give our confidence a little boost. The good news is that there are a lot of small changes you can make in your every day life to boost your confidence. Check out these five easy changes you can make today:
Stop being so hard on yourself – We are our own toughest critics. We hear this time and time again. What do we do about it? When you look at yourself in the mirror, try saying some affirming words, such as, “I am beautiful,” or “My hair looks great today.” You will be surprised at the small difference this can make. When you catch yourself getting hung up about that wrinkle or blemish, try turning your thinking around. Don’t analyze your faults, instead try focusing on your good qualities.
Stop comparing yourself to others – In today’s world, with social media at our finger tips, it can be hard to not compare ourselves to others. Keep in mind that social media only gives you a snapshot of one moment in another person’s life. Take a moment to remind yourself of all of the great things you have done over the last week and all the things you are grateful for in your life.
Treat yourself – Be good to yourself. In order to boost your confidence, you need to treat your whole self. Do things you love. Eat healthy foods that make your body feel good. Get enough rest. Buy yourself that cute pair of jeans. Exercise your body and keep it moving. Exercise releases endorphins, which is what makes you feel happy!
Recognize your strengths – Find something your love or are good at and do it! Capitalize on your strengths and work to remind yourself of those strengths. Take some time to think about all the things you love about yourself, all of those strengths, and write them down. Refer to them on days when you need them.
Set goals – Take some time to sit down and make yourself small, short-term goals. Small things like, put ten extra dollars into savings this month. Write them down. It’s important to write them down to both hold yourself accountable and to be able to see them on paper once you accomplished them.