Tag Archives: children

Mother’s Day Pain

By Kim Olver (originally posted May 10, 2014)

Today I want to acknowledge the people who may be in pain on Mother’s Day and in all the days and hype leading up to it. Who may those people be?

  1. A mother whose child has died
  2. A person whose mother has passed away
  3. A mother who has put their child up for adoption
  4. A child whose been adopted
  5. A child living in foster care
  6. A woman with a regretted abortion
  7. A woman who has suffered a miscarriage
  8. A mother and child separated by pride and misunderstanding
  9. Anyone else I may have left out
  10. Couples who are infertile

canstockphoto6156088

Experiencing emotional pain is never easy but it is made even more difficult when the world around you is celebrating while you are feeling so sad. Those who have their mothers and their children to celebrate with will be happy and pampered on Mother’s Day. It is a special day set aside to honor the woman who gave birth to us.

If you are a mother without her child on Mother’s Day, you have some choices to make. You can embrace your feelings of grief and sadness and simply allow yourself to experience the loss. You can put a smile on your face, pretending everything is all right when inside you know it isn’t. You can use distraction to busy yourself so you are focused on other things. You can find a way to be grateful for the experience of motherhood, with all its ups and downs, and find the gifts, lessons and opportunities in the experience. Or you can create a new celebration of your own for this day . . . something meaningful to you.

If you are child without your mother on Mother’s Day, you have similar choices. You can embrace your feelings of grief, loss and sadness and just be in that space. You can pretend all is well when you know it isn’t. You can distract yourself with other things, trying not to think about her. You can find a way to be grateful for the mother you had, for better or for worse. She gave you life and taught you things . . . some you will embrace, others you will never repeat but all lessons nonetheless. Or you can find something else to celebrate on this day.

Whatever you do on Mother’s Day, recognize the choices you have and choose the one that serves you best. The world recognizes mothers on this day and your focus may need to be on how to take care of yourself today. You are just as valuable and important as all the mothers and children who will be happy today. Choose well.

Boundaries

By Paulette Murray, Post Grad Degree DCU, Ireland, OL Degree, Ucc Ireland

Boundaries are the way I know where I stop and you begin.
We need boundaries in every relationship.
To live in a relationship without boundaries is like trying
to drive down the freeway with your eyes closed in a snowstorm.
                                                            Marie Fortune

Years ago as an anxious parent of my young children I was afraid to have boundaries between myself and the people I loved most in the world. My fears were all about what ifs.

What if having boundaries meant that I didn’t protect my children? Did having boundaries mean that I wasn’t a good Mum? What if my children got hurt? What if  I neglected to know everything necessary to keep these precious children safe?

Until I learned how to meet my needs in an empowering way I felt as though I was driving down the freeway with my eyes closed in some very cold snowstorms.

Now, in the present as my fourth child is leaving the nest heading to University for the first time I’m glad I finally gained the courage and knowledge to create healthy boundaries between me and my children.

canstockphoto14163467How did I do it? It took a lot of self control and a lot of mindful breathing to control my anxieties.

I let them lead. I supported each as independent choices were made.

I listened to disappointments when one child didn’t get what he wanted, or when another was unhappy when someone behaved differently from how she believed he should have.

I let them learn. I allowed them to grow and become the truly mature young adults that they have chosen to become.

I learned to trust in me and them. As a result they in turn have learned to trust themselves.

Now our eyes are wide open.  Now we are driving down the freeway  of life gazing at the beautiful landscape that is our family and our family’s journey.

Mother’s Day Pain

By Kim Olver

Today I want to acknowledge the people who may be in pain on Mother’s Day and in all the days and hype leading up to it. Who may those people be?

  1. A mother whose child has died
  2. A person whose mother has passed away
  3. A mother who has put their child up for adoption
  4. A child whose been adopted
  5. A child living in foster care
  6. A woman with a regretted abortion
  7. A woman who has suffered a miscarriage
  8. A mother and child separated by pride and misunderstanding
  9. Anyone else I may have left out
  10. Couples who are infertile
Experiencing emotional pain is never easy but it is made even more difficult when the world around you is celebrating while you are feeling so sad. Those who have their mothers and their children to celebrate with will be happy and pampered on Mother’s Day. It is a special day set aside to honor the woman who gave birth to us.
If you are a mother without her child on Mother’s Day, you have some choices to make. You can embrace your feelings of grief and sadness and simply allow yourself to experience the loss. You can put a smile on your face, pretending everything is all right when inside you know it isn’t. You can use distraction to busy yourself so you are focused on other things. You can find a way to be grateful for the experience of motherhood, with all its ups and downs, and find the gifts, lessons and opportunities in the experience. Or you can create a new celebration of your own for this day . . . something meaningful to you.

pensivewoman

If you are child without your mother on Mother’s Day, you have similar choices. You can embrace your feelings of grief, loss and sadness and just be in that space. You can pretend all is well when you know it isn’t. You can distract yourself with other things, trying not to think about her. You can find a way to be grateful for the mother you had, for better or for worse. She gave you life and taught you things . . . some you will embrace, others you will never repeat but all lessons nonetheless. Or you can find something else to celebrate on this day.

Whatever you do on Mother’s Day, recognize the choices you have and choose the one that serves you best. The world recognizes mothers on this day and your focus may need to be on how to take care of yourself today. You are just as valuable and important as all the mothers and children who will be happy today. Choose well.

Spare the Rod; Will it spoil the child? (Part 1)

This is a website devoted to mental health & happiness. We believe there are many general things that can be done to increase your mental health & happiness and yet, sometimes, your compromised mental health & happiness may revolve around particular difficulty with specific relationships in your life. This next blog entry is going to talk with parents who may find their children or their particular parenting style at the center of their pursuit of mental health & happiness. We hope you enjoy it.

By Richard Primason, PhD

Of course not  — giving up the switch will not leave your child soft and unprepared for the “real world.”  Research and common experience tell us that the old “reward and punish” style actually does more harm than good. But we’re just so stuck in our ways. We keep on bribing, threatening and punishing our way out of child behavior challenges. Why can’t we give up that darn rod anyway?

Let’s break this down to two important questions:

1)    Why do parents cling to punishment as a fundamental tool when better options are available?

2)    What is an alternative strategy parents can rely on when their judgement tells them that they ought to intervene?

I’ll start with number one, and save the second for another blog soon to follow.

parentingThe plain truth is, punishment is downright satisfying! When things feel out of control, a swift proclamation of authority is a big relief to an overwhelmed parent.

Go to your room! ….. You’re grounded! ….. Hand that phone over, it’s mine now!

Feel better? Well, maybe for a little while anyway. At least you feel like a responsible parent who’s doing her job.

But are these punishments effective? — Well if your stick is big enough, its not very difficult to restore order to the kingdom. But the side effects are very costly:

  • Threats and sanctions create distance in the relationship with your child, ultimately undermining your real influence.
  • The compliance you gain may be an illusion, as your child learns to be a better sneak or liar.
  • Children develop tolerance to the power play, and you’ll need a bigger and bigger stick to get the same result in the future. You won’t like the angry parent you’re becoming.

Let’s face it, this kind of control parenting is not very good for your health and happiness.

But I haven’t even mentioned the biggest problem. With a punishing approach, the only upside is order and conformity and that’s a very low bar to aim for. Don’t you want your kids to become creative social problem solvers — to effectively manage the very real dilemmas in their lives?

Do I finish the math sheets, or play XBox with my friends?

Should I take money from my dad’s wallet? My allowance is just so tiny…

Do I tell my parents that there’s likely to be drinking at the party, and risk being told I can’t go?

Control parenting does nothing to teach our kids to creatively and effectively handle these situations. All it does is teach them to look for the power, and maneuver around it. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the kind of ability I’m hoping my kids will develop.

None of us are perfect, but we don’t have to be. An occasional angry scolding or arbitrary sanction will not damage your child’s character. But if that’s all you’ve got — if that’s your go-to strategy when things get messy, then you’re settling for a lot less than what you could be providing as a parent.

In the next entry, I’ll describe a better alternative.

Play your way to Mental Health & Happiness

By Dr. Nancy Buck

Not long ago I had the privilege of observing a mother and her two young children grocery shopping. One child was strapped into the carriage seat. The other looked to be age 5-years or so. This amazing mother walked down one aisle of the store, looking for her needed items. Then she paused, took the baby out of the seat standing him next to the carriage, and all three of them began to “boogie” to the piped in store muzak. The session didn’t last too long, but wasn’t just a moment either. It was amazing! I continued to follow them up and down a couple of more aisles just to watch. Their same practice continued. Sometime the Mom felt inspired for some twists and jig steps. Sometimes it was one or the other of the children. But whoever felt the urge and the beat got to call a “dance” time out to incorporate play into their chore. They were all in great joy and bliss. I’m only sorry now I didn’t go and join them. They were so happy in their own private dance party in the grocery store.

Recently I read about a new aerobic exercise created by a New Yorker. He was inspired observing another fellow. This guy was “plugged into” his music and danced along the streets of New York. Our inventor recognized the perfect kind of aerobic activity for him. He started practicing that very day, carrying a boom-box on his shoulder so others could hear his music and beat. Sometimes he met people walking along the same sidewalk with him and they would join him in the dance. Other times he was alone, happy to be dancing and singing! I’m ready to give this a try on the streets of Denver, Colorado!

Can you imagine your work day including breaks where dancing and singing, sitting on the floor and eating cookies and milk with your friends, and playing outside is the norm? Can you imagine how refreshed you would be to return to your work following any one of these breaks? Your productivity and creativity would grow exponentially, as long as you could avoid any feelings of embarrassment or inhibition about your playful behavior in front of your colleagues.

If you want to improve you Mental Health & Happiness play more. Your play does not have to include dancing only. You can sing. You can juggle. Ask a friend/colleague to play catch with you using a balloon, helium or no. Learn to ride a unicycle. Start singing like Elvis, or any other singing hero you desire to imitate.

Let a 4-year old be your guide. In fact, go visit a preschool and watch how they spend their days. We need to incorporate more dancing, singing, marching and snack time with friends into our daily routines too.

Is understanding the mind important for mental health and happiness?

Submitted by Dr. Ken Larsen

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. — Albert Einstein

Dr. Dan Siegel offers some of his insights in how “me is we”.  He talks about our interconnectedness and how essential it is that we foster our connections with others in relationships.   He focuses on our educational system and what we can do to help our most valuable resource, our children,  develop more fully by understanding more about the brain, mind, and relationships.   He talks about “mental hygiene” being as important as “dental hygiene.”