Friday, November 1, 2013

Mesothelioma, there's a word you don't hear a lot! I think I've only heard it in occasional commercials on the television regarding lawsuits. Then a couple of days ago, I received an e-mail from a woman named Heather Von St. James who is a mesothelioma survivor and watched her video. 

In this video, she talks about her exposure to asbestos as a child and her eventual cancer diagnosis. I was amazed to find out from Heather that asbestos is not banned, and in further reading that in some industrial or automobile materials it is still used legally!

I think the thing that struck me most while watching her video is that she received her diagnosis when her daughter was only 3-1/2 months old. Wow, struggling to be a new mom and a cancer survivor. I also appreciate the fact that she mentions that they are honest with their daughter, Lilly, about her Mom's diagnosis; and as a family, they chose to be positive about their future. That may be the thing that has kept Heather a survivor for 15 years.

For further information on mesothelioma, check out this link

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Changing Negative Behaviors Takes Time!!/NonviolentParenting

Sometimes children's behavior make take a while to change. They must unlearn the negative behavior and learn what to do instead...that's discipline.

The following is from a page on Facebook called Nonviolent Parenting:

Setting a positive example is the best way to teach.

If you're feeling frustrated with your efforts in positive (non-punitive) parenting and think it's not working, consider this:

1. It’s too soon. You’re expecting immediate results. You were in a “dance” with your child…you had moves, she had counter moves. If you’re changing your moves, the two of you will have to learn a new dance. That’s why things might actually look worse before they look better. Your child needs time to get accustomed to a new dance and be able to respond in sync.

Tip: Keep going. Keep practicing your new “dance moves.” With consistency, your child will come to understand the kinds of supportive, trustworthy responses she can depend on and relax into.

2. Your child doesn’t feel connected to you. If there are frequent behavior struggles, there is also most likely a disconnection in the relationship between you and your child. Due to interactions based on control, punishment, shame, or physical or emotional isolation your child has perhaps put up a wall to protect from vulnerability. Work at bringing this wall down and coming closer together, emotionally. Once it does, the tools of positive parenting will be much more effective.

Tip: Special time. Make time every day for 10-15 minutes of one-on-one time with your child. The only focus is on staying open to his temperament and personality and getting to know what makes him tick.

3. You’re still focused on the behavior. Nothing about parenting is perfect and nothing is foolproof. Remember that your child is maturing–physically forming new connections in the brain that will help with self-regulation in adulthood. That process of development will never look perfect. Every example of imperfect behavior you see along the way is an opportunity to come alongside your child with help and support.

Tip: Reframe your perspective. Successful parenting is not about controlling a child’s behavior. It is about teaching children to control their own behavior.

Monday, July 8, 2013

E+R=O or Event + Response (Yours) = Outcome. The only thing that you have control over is your response to events; so if you want a different outcome, you have to change your response. For example, if the event is whining and your response is to constantly remind them to stop, you might want to change your response to ignoring. However, it’s the behavior that you are ignoring and not the child. As soon as their behavior becomes appropriate, notice get more of the behavior that you notice and encourage.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A few weeks ago, I read an article in The Washington Post about Elizabeth Smart, the Utah teen who was kidnapped and held captive for 9 months. She was speaking to an audience at Johns Hopkins about issues of human trafficking and sexual violence and offered an answer to the question, “Why didn’t she just run away?” She explained that being raised in a conservative culture that emphasizes sexual purity left her feeling "so dirty and so filthy" after her rape. She felt as if no one would want her anymore and so why run away. She also mentions a presentation on abstinence that she attended where the presenter compared sex outside of marriage to becoming like a chewed up piece of gum. "Who would want you then?" the presenter asked.

Social psychologists and sexual abuse counselors agree that comprehensive sex education can help prevent sexual crimes. Teaching children about their bodies gives them the tools to describe acts of abuse without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable, and it also helps elevate their self-confidence and sense of bodily autonomy. A shame-based approach to genitalia and sexuality, on the other hand, sends kids the message that they can’t discuss or ask questions about any of those issues.

1. Teach your child, at an early age, the correct names for all of their body parts.

2. Keep the lines of communication open, especially during difficult conversations, by practicing active listening and managing your emotional responses. If your child recognizes "the look" on your face that says your uncomfortable, they will be too and communication may stop right there.

3. Practice being non-judgmental by using reflective listening, "It sounds like you're angry at me right now because I won't let you go to the party." This form of communication helps children to feel heard and understood without judgment.

4. Be honest...if you don't know the answer to their question, tell them and commit to let them know you will get back to them when you've found the answer.

As parents we may not be able to control all aspects of our children's lives but we can help them to be educated and have positive personal power over their lives and difficult situations. This honest information may give them the tools they need to cope with difficult situations and avoid becoming another victim.