Thursday, November 29, 2012
1. Stop idealizing your ex.
As perfect as you remember them to be, they weren't. Take them off of your pedestal and try to be realistic about them.
2. Do not allow yourself to fantasize about what life would be like if you were with them.
It's not likely what you are imagining is true and even if it is true, it's not helpful to torture yourself with those thoughts. They will lead to nothing productive. Change the subject in your mind if you catch yourself doing this.
3. Provide yourself with closure.
Write a letter to them, that you never send, telling them all you need to say. In that letter also say goodbye. Even if you never send this letter it can still provide closure in your mind. You can also set a chair out and pretend they are sitting in it, and say goodbye this way.
4. Do not keep things that remind you of them.
It's not helpful to look at their picture every day, wear their sweatshirt and sleep with their pillow every night. Get rid of that stuff. Start new routines. Even buy new stuff if you have to.
5. Look for good things that have happened because you are not with them.
Did you meet someone else, have a child, get a new job or some other positive thing since you broke up? Find something you value about your current life, that you can be grateful for.
6. Put hope in the future.
Take steps toward making your future more satisfying than your time was with them. Find ways to make your happiness independent of that person. You don't need them to be happy or fulfilled.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Are you sick of your kids not listening to you? It can be maddening when you tell your child to do something and they completely ignore you! Well I have simple trick that can work in a lot of scenarios.
This trick is called, First... Then. What this means is, if your child wants cookies they first have to have their carrots. If they want to watch a movie they first have to clean up their toys. You will give them what they want but they have to first do what you ask. This is a very effective tool in motivating children.
Remember you will sabotage yourself if you give in before they do what you ask. Stick to your guns and do not give them the "then" until they have done the "first".
To help people fully understand the concept I am going to list some examples for you.
- First take a bite of chicken then have you can have an m&m. (this trick is very useful with the picky eaters)
- First brush your teeth then you can watch one more show.
- First clean your room then you can have a friend over.
- First do your chores then you can have dessert.
- First take a shower then you can have your phone back.
- First do your homework then you can go on facebook.
*For younger children or non verbal children doing first then with pictures can be effective.
Parenting is one of the trickier things a person can sign up for. Children are always requiring us to stretch and be creative to teach them what they need to learn. I hope this tool is useful for you as it has been for me.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Are holidays hard for you? A tremendous amount of people answer yes to that question. Holidays can be miserable because of family conflict, no family, deaths, divorce or other related heart ache. Many people dread the holidays and count the days until it's over. Today I am writing a list for you of five ideas on how to make the holidays more enjoyable.
1. Make it not about you.
Find a place to volunteer. Many abuse shelters, homeless shelters and churches have volunteer opportunities on holidays. When we serve others in need it can make our problems and pain seem smaller.
2. Start a new tradition.
Perhaps the holidays are depressing for you and there is nothing in it to look forward to. If that is the case for you, find something to look forward to. Start a new tradition like having a hot coco party with friends, cutting down a christmas tree, finding someone to help, making do it yourself gifts for people, baking cookies, finding something silly to do, or whatever other creative idea you can come up with.
3. Find resources.
If you are depressed or anxious get counseling. If you have financial problems talk to community helpers about what resources are available to you. Often times there are more options around the holidays to help with problems like that. Whatever your problem is, seek help. There are countless resources out there for every kind of problem.
4. Use the holidays as a way to motivate yourself.
If you have always wanted to start running, start schooling, or start playing chess use the holidays as an excuse to make it happen. Maybe now is the time to get a new pet. Make a positive change that will distract you from your holiday stress.
5. Set good boundaries for yourself.
Be prepared to say no if you need to. Make the holiday manageable by only agreeing to what you can handle. Also don't forget to meet your basic needs.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
At risk youth can get out of their trouble if they are willing to work hard and have someone to guide them. Here is a questionnaire to help guide you through that process. Common goals include: Anger management, Respecting Authority, Utilizing Self-Calming Strategies, and Improving School Performance.
How did you do on goal 1?
How did you do on goal 2?
How did you do on goal 3?
What obstacles made it hard for you to achieve your goals this week?
What areas did you see progress in or are you most proud of for this week?
What do you need to do differently next week?
What should you repeat next week?
Are there any problems needing to be solved this week?
How high were your stress levels this week?
What coping skills were most effective this week?
Saturday, November 3, 2012
1. Make a plan as soon as possible and stick to it.
a. It is a major adjustment when parents split up. The sooner they have a set schedule the sooner they will have a “new normal”.
b. Transitions are especially difficult for children so reducing the number of transitions can be helpful.
2. If possible keep routines and rules the same at both houses.
a. It is less to adjust to if environments are not drastically different. Behavior problems can occur when there is too big of a gap between environments. There are times when it’s not possible to make both environments the same. When that happens just do your best to be consistent on your end.
3. Make a visual calendar for your child to see when he/she will be where.
a. A visual tool to help children understand when they will see their parents next can help with anxiety and missing the other parent.
4. Allow your child to have an item to take with them for when they miss you.
a. Having a picture book of mom or dad, a blanket, or stuffed animal that reminds them of mom and dad can help them when they are feeling lonely.
5. Don’t talk bad about your ex.
a. It’s hurtful to children to hear negative things about their parents. It could hurt their relationship with you and your ex. It is not in the best interest of anyone. *This also includes not talking bad about your ex’s boyfriend or girlfriend.
6. Do NOT encourage your child to take sides.
a. That will only hurt the entire family. Do your best to help your child stay positive about both parents. (even if one is a dirt bag)
7. Allow your child to talk about their feelings.
a. Allow your child to open up and don’t take it personal if they are struggling. Part of how they will heal is getting those emotions out.
8. When talking about why you split up keep it simple.
a. Don’t go into whose fault it is or what either of you did wrong. This is not an opportunity to bad talk your spouse.
9. Consider counseling if you and your ex cannot communicate effectively about the child.
a. Having a third party to discuss schedules, rules, and boundaries can be very helpful when emotions are too high post-divorce.
Remember children of all ages can sense tension. It is in your children's best interest if you can get along. You don't have to like each other but being civil and working together goes a long way for your child's mental health.
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