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ADHD, Aspergers, Parenting

Parenting that works: Positive Parenting

I want you to take a moment to imagine home without tantrums, or screaming, without complaining, or fighting. What are the sounds you might notice? What are the feelings you might have?

It might feel that the above is IMPOSSIBLE. And it might be, if you use what I call ‘natural parenting.’

Natural parenting is exactly that- it is what comes natural as a parent. It is based off of either how we were raised, or some vision we created on how we wanted to parent. And it works great! But not for your kid. That is why you are here. What you thought would work and what you wanted to work are different than what you are finding works. Or maybe you have yet to find something that does work.

What do I mean?

Natural parenting is fantastic parenting for many kids, but it is typically not the right type of parenting for kids who have ADHD, Aspergers, anxiety, Sensory Processing Disorder, or are strong-willed. So, another way of looking at it is natural parenting only works for a small percentage of children.

To me, that is frightening. All of the books, the wisdom, the knowledge, the recommendations do not align with your needs. So you are a fish out of water, and have already tried so much.

So, what do I do?

Positive parenting is a pseudo child-led approach and because of this, it works. It uses reward-based incentives, motivations, rewards and reminders that are specific, consistent, and easy for follow through. In fact, positive parenting will feel so much more natural, once you give it a try.

To break it down:

Each morning your child will wake up with ‘nothing.’ No immediate access to television, video games, ipad, (or as I call it- anything with a plug or a battery).

Each morning they start with nothing and they EARN the access to those items.

This parenting technique is designed for children OVER 5 years old.

Children ages 5-8 have time blocks no more than 4 hours.

Children ages 9-12 have time blocks no more than 6 hours.

Teens ages 12-17 have time blocks no more than 8 hours.

Then it resets. I will explain why later.

In each time block, they must accomplish specific tasks chosen by the parent for that day to be completed before they gain access to their ‘favorites.’

Side note: This may be TV, video games, LEGO’s, barbies… whatever is your child’s item that you frequently find yourself threatening to take way.

So, for example: Your 9-year-old must complete their morning chores (to parent standards), go outside for 1 hour (or complete indoor energy releasing activity if it is rainy/cold), contact one friend to play (and play if they are available), read or do arts/crafts for 30 minutes, and complete 30 minutes of free play. After ALL of these have been completed, how much time is left? Let’s say the chores take 30 minutes… that means they have used up approximately 2 ½ hours of their 6 hour block-and that is if their friend is not available to play! So you get, chores completed, physical activity, brain stimulation, imaginative stimulation and NOW they can choose to play video games etc. Yes, they still will have a lot of hours to play, but it is after they have completed family requirements. Then you repeat the cycle until the day is over.

Why does that help?

Parents get frustrated that their child only wants to play video games, and won’t stop to do chores.

Consider this: When is the last time you excitedly stopped a fun task, to complete a necessary but boring one? Their response is normal! But, what happens next. Natural parenting comes in. We start bargaining, begging, pleading, and threatening! When is the last time you threatened to take their iPad away if they did not listen?

Positive parenting removes that exchange. It encourages children to complete boring tasks first so they can be rewarded by fun ones! Isn’t that more logical?

Going further:

With positive parenting, we do not focus on consequences or punishments. For many children and teens these threats no longer work.

Positive parenting is the thought that children must earn access to items that their peers may feel entitled to. In a sense, positive parenting enables the parent as it allows the power to remain with the parent. So- each morning a child has gained access to no ‘wants/extras’ (such as technology). They earn access to those ‘wants/extras’ as they complete chores, exhibit good behavior, receive appropriate grades at school etc. The child/teen learns that in order to gain access to what they want, they must follow the parent expectations. Thus, the ‘wants/extras’ are viewed as a reward for follow through. This naturally prepares a child for the workforce in that society is already based off of a reward theory. If you work hard, you may have additional opportunities.

What would be different for you with this change? It will not happen over night, but give me a call if you are interested in dramatically changing your home life..to one without tantrums, pleading and threats.

Need more ideas for Parenting a child with Aspergers?

Why the time blocks?

Time blocks focus on ‘resetting’ in case they had a difficult time, so that they have the ability to restart towards their goals. Time blocks also allow for flexibility- for those chores you forgot, the unexpected plans, and to break up the video game time into multiple segments. Time blocks are also developmentally (age appropriate) based to achieve the most success.

But what if they refuse at night time?

This can take some practice and some patience. Do not threaten to take anything away the next day. If your child is fighting and resisting transitioning to bed, that is more about a need to communicate something. This might be difficulty with transitions in general, or it might be something else. I recommend you giving me a call so we can problem solve what is causing that resistance. It is always something- behavior is communication. So what does it mean?

The psychology of positive parenting

Positive parenting can increase self-esteem and develop positive self-image as your child is able to feel accomplished on a daily basis for what they have achieved. Their only set backs are due to their own lack of follow through. This is why I referenced it as pseudo child led. They are in control of whether or not they earn their reward. Be mindful that your expectations are achievable and realistic, as that will undermine your efforts for change and progress.

I don’t think this will work for me

That is okay! Positive parenting is not right for every family, but it is a great thing to explore. You might be surprised how the natural consequences of not completing expectations truly help many kids learn and grow. I recommend giving it a try and remember you can always schedule an appointment to tweak the process for your family.


Aspergers, Parenting

Building trust with your Aspergers child or teen

Developing trust is essential. Truth is, traditional modes of correction and discipline will not work. If it does not seem logical, it will not work. You cannot remove video games as a consequence for lying, there must be a direct correlation. You can however state, due to the F you received in English, you will only be allowed to play video games in the evening after all homework has been completed until you have a B. This is a direct correlation (consequence of low grade is limited video game play).

But why would I recommend they can still play video games?

That might seem like a reward but it is about developing trust. Removing a ‘reward’ may be logical for some children and teens, but for someone with Aspergers, you are removing their gateway to the community. You remove their dialogue, their interaction and technically, even discouraging their future! Would you take away crayons from an inspiring artist as a consequence for their low grades? Probably not. It is actually more effective to limit when they are allowed to draw than to remove it completely.

In fact, video games, just like art supplies are actually a coping mechanism, it is how that person reduces anxiety and stress.

Trust is about consistency, predictability, and logical correlations.

An Aspergers child has a tendency to see the world in a black and white setting. Meaning, things are right or wrong, overwhelming or not, they are interested or not, they want to do it or they may not see the purpose in doing it. If your child is resistant, it is our responsibility to determine why.

Are they overwhelmed?

Are they not interested?

Do they not see the purpose?

If the answer is yes to any of those questions, we may have determined the source of resistance.

So ask yourself, how important is it for them to do the task. Will it be integral in them meeting their full potential? If yes, find another way to introduce it. If not, move on to bigger and greater things and ask yourself, why is it important to me? Does it bring up my frustrations? Insecurities? Fears? If so, consider consulting with a friend or a professional about the emotions you feel when your child resists. I am here to help, just give me a call.

Developing trust with your Aspergers child does not need to be a daunting task, but it can certainly feel overwhelming. As we learn to work with the resistance, I hope that you will find new ways of parenting your child that allows for improved communication and interactions.

The special gift of those with Aspergers

Diane M. Kennedy, with the ADHD – Autism Connection stated: “People with Asperger’s Syndrome have extraordinary qualities that make them essential to our culture and to God’s plan. Their unique genius should be celebrated.” So what would happen if you did just that- celebrate your child.

Think about it, what if we as a society learned to connect with the very persons that have the innate skillset to progress our society.

Have you ever stopped to consider where we would be without Bill Gates III, Sir Isaac Newton FRS, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Charles Darwin? According to http://www.asperger-syndrome.me.uk/people.htm, these geniuses all met criteria for Aspergers.

What if your child does not meet their full potential? Is our society at risk of missing the opportunity to benefit from your child? This is why we must learn to connect, not correct the Asperger child or teen.

Learning to connect, not correct

So what does it mean to ‘connect.’ The majority of parents I consult with say and do ‘all the right things,’ forgetting that all the right things, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right things for an Aspergers child.

I frequently notice parents struggling to positively affirm when they are met with resistance. It can feel illogical. Why would I want to tell my child they are doing a good job when they are being defiant!

What if we change the word ‘defiant’ to ‘exploring.’ Do we get upset with an infant or toddler exploring by touching their surroundings? We typically think it’s cute, so when did this change?

For many parents, it is about the time the child learns the word ‘NO!’ But, aren’t we typically the ones that taught them that word to begin with? Let’s consider this: If we had never introduced the word ‘no’ and instead we praised the positive (or safe) behaviors, and ignored the negative (or not safe) behaviors what would be different.

We might have a child that would explore their surroundings based off of your response.

Wait- that’s exactly what happens with the word no, that is affirmation (also known as attention).

So, let’s consider present day, your resistant Asperger child or teen. We naturally learn and explore through interactions with our surrounding. A resistant child is frequently a child that feels ‘shut down’ or disconnected from their surroundings.

Need more ideas on parenting a child or teen with Aspergers?

My challenge to you

What if I were to challenge you for the next 7 days to affirm your child. Affirm everything they do positive, even the baby steps, even the microscopic ones.

What if I were to then challenge you to also ignore the negative behaviors (except for those that have true life consequences).

What would happen.

Could it be possible that your resistant child might look at you in a different way?

Could it be possible that you would change your own thinking patterns of how you connect with your child?

Society has trained us to fixate on the negatives and ignore the positives. From birth, our children are told what they do wrong, but frequently we forgot to appropriately praise them. Yes, some parents are fantastic at praise, those parents are also less likely to have a resistant teen! See the correlation? Your child feels that correlation.

So let’s connect.

Positive affirmations are removing resistance.

The next step in our journey of improving your relationship with your Asperger child or teen is learning to relate, meaning truly entering into their world.

One of the most frequent phone calls I receive is “My Asperger child will not stop playing video games!” My response: Great! They must truly love video games! Step two of learning to connect is learning to accept their passion. If their passion was building cars, would you discourage it? If their passion was trading stocks, would you criticize it? Most likely not- you would join them or find a mentor to support them! Why do we experience video games differently? One could say it is the number of hours they devote to playing them, or the lack of interest they have in interacting with family or friends while doing it. But what if we look at it through their eyes. You might find they feel that their family does not support their passion. You might experience the rejection and the isolation they might feel when you criticize something they love. So, join them!

The number one complaint I hear from my Asperger teens is that parents do not understand why they play their games. Today, video games frequently have chat interfaces. That translates to friends for someone with social difficulties. What if you were to sit down with your child today and ask, ‘Can you teach me how to play (their favorite video game)?’ Typically speaking, Aspergers children love to teach. You might just find a type of spark you’ve never noticed. That disinterested child, might become interested. That avoidant of family child might ask you to stay. They might get frustrated that you can’t ‘get it right,’ but let this remind us that we might be frustrated at them for the same reason.

What would happen if you learned to connect?

By entering their world, would you learn what they enjoy? Would you learn to inspire them and break their resistance? Maybe something more, would you help them meet their full potential? Maybe this is something worth working towards.


 

Aspergers, Parenting

Parenting that works: Your Asperger child or teen

There is no denying it. Your Asperger kid is smart. Really smart. But do they really need to know every single detail about space? Or car engines? Or whatever this month’s focus is. They think they do and it might prevent them from focusing on anything else.

As Albert Einstein once said ‘It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” This is key for those with Aspergers. They can fixate like no one else! (Did you know it is believed that Einstein also had Aspergers?)

So, if your child or teen is overly focused, what can we do to make parenting easier and effective?

Do you find yourself asking these questions?

Why won’t my child/teen listen?

Why won’t they focus on anything else?

Do I really need to listen to them for the umpteenth time?

How do I get them interested in something new?
Why do they bounce from obsession to obsession?

How do I discipline and avoid the meltdown?

How do I even discipline?

If you have ever wondered any of the above questions then continue reading below for some ideas and tips to improve communication at home.

Are you a rigid parent, a flexible parent or a parent who gives in too often?

A rigid parent – These parents are frequently Type A personalities whom might have their own need for control, stability, or predictability in the home. These parents frequently are more rigid because they truly need that environment and may truly enjoy the predictability that rigid parenting can create. Rigid parents might use any range of consequences but they focus on rules being rules and are unlikely to waver or give in to special circumstances.

A flexible parent – These parents can be any personality type. These parents may be flexible for many reasons- they may prefer flexibility in their own life, or they may prefer not living by ‘the rules.’ They may feel overwhelmed and find flexibility an easier and more effective route, or they may have a spouse whom they feel is too rigid. Flexible parents may be compensating for someone else, or because they truly prefer this style and may be more likely to give in or adapt consequences in special circumstances.

A parent who gives in too often – These parents can be any personality type but are almost always overwhelmed. These parents may experience their own anxiety or feel that nothing has worked and feel as if they have given up (or possibly even failed). These parents may also be compensating for an overly rigid spouse or out of guilt. A parent who gives in too often are likely to give in to avoid a meltdown, the tears, the battle and may truly feel it is the best route in the moment.

The problems with rigid parenting

Rigid parenting is great for some kids! Especially those with ADHD who truly need that type of structure and predictability. But what about for those children and teens with Aspergers?

The problem with rigid parenting is that it is counterproductive for those with Aspergers. Your logic will not be their logic. And if it is not logical to them- they are going to resist.

Why I recommend flexible thinking

Flexible thinking works when parenting those with Aspergers because it is about connecting and adjusting.

Those with Aspergers experience a flood of emotions and experiences every day. Flexible thinking allows a parent to adjust to the overwhelm, the sensitivities, the changes in routine; anything that may affect a child or teen with Aspergers. When we are able to easily adjust to what they might be experiencing, it opens an opportunity for them to excel in our world.

The parenting approach that works

Flexible thinking works because we do not expect what worked yesterday to work today. We are flexible in understanding that today might require more structure, or less, more mental breaks, or more time running off energy. When we allow our child or teen to lead us in what they need most, we are most likely to have a child or teen that is relaxed and ready to learn.


Developing trust

Flexible thinking allows for increasing trust. When we are flexible and adapt to their needs, we show that we truly care and we are doing our best to understand.

Trust develops when we take the time to see how our actions impact them, versus focusing on how they are impacting us. Yes, there are times when trust is broken, but it is all part of the process of raising a child.

Want to learn more about building trust?

Developing natural consequences

Flexible thinking automatically creates natural consequences! Natural consequences are when we lose something we want due to our own actions and behaviors. An example is throwing an iPad and now it is broken. That is a natural consequence. These consequences work great for those with Aspegers because they are black and white (meaning logical)!

Flexible thinking and natural consequences work together because the consequence will be adjusted dependent on the action or reaction of the child. 

Letting your child try AND fail

Flexible thinking encourages a child to try, to succeed, and to fail. The failing part is really important. Flexible thinking enables a child to be more open to practicing multiple times. This encouragement works because they are likely to try and fail several times without focusing on the attempts. Instead, they may focus on the success they have at the end.

Rigid thinking encourages anxiety or fear based attempts because if they do not succeed there may be a consequence. Rigid thinking tends to be punishment and consequence based which may heighten anxiety for many with Aspergers. Those with Aspergers can also be very pessimistic- they may generalize that because they have failed, they will fail again. This will discourage them from trying. 

Making Flexible thinking work for you

Are you a parent who is either rigid or gives in too often and are ready for a change?

Are you a parent who thought they were flexible, and just realized you are not?

Are you a parent whom is flexible, but could benefit from a dose of confidence?

Make flexible thinking work for you. Let me encourage and support you as we create a plan that works at home, for you. 

Are you ready to invest in you?

 

Parenting

Does your child or teen have low self esteem?

Sometimes low self esteem is obvious. Your child might make comments about their appearance or how they act. young teen low self esteem

Sometimes low self esteem is not. Your child might laugh and act ‘fine.’

When your child’s self esteem is low it can affect all aspects of life. For children with ADHD or Aspergers it can be extra difficult to know how or when to help.

What is healthy or positive self esteem

Healthy or positive self esteem is when we can accept who we are. We do not necessarily have to ‘like’ every part, but we can accept those parts if they cannot be changed. Healthy self esteem is the thoughts, experiences and friendships that we surround ourselves to promote happier living. It is the opinion we have about yourself, and it is a good one!

What is low self esteem

Low self esteem is when we do not value ourselves. We may talk down about ourselves, avoid fun things, have anxiety, and overly focus on how we look and act. Low self-esteem is frequently recognized by lacking self-confidence and can be a short-term or a long-term issue.

What causes low self esteem

There are a lot of potential causes of low self esteem. Common causes include: undiagnosed learning disabilities, undiagnosed or untreated ADHD or other diagnosis, parental conflict, peer rejection, mimicking others (frequently parents or best friends whom have low self-esteem) and many other possibilities. 

Symptoms of low self esteem

  • Avoiding friends
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-confidence
  • Difficulty talking to friends or low social skills
  • Acts ‘different’ than peers
  • Eating disorders
  • Cannot accept compliments or gets upset when complimented
  • Focusing on negatives
  • Cannot name 3 things they like about themselves
  • Avoiding hygiene, or excessive focus on appearance
  • Excessive worry about hurting someone else’s feelings
  • Excessive worry about others’ opinions
  • Does not trust their own opinion


What do they hear?

  • Is your child or teen told no multiple times a day?
  • Do they frequently get in trouble?
  • Is your child picked on by a teacher?
  • By peers?
  • Is your child or teen bullied?
  • Or you suspect it?

What do they say?

  • Does your child make comments about making mistakes or not being good enough?
  • Would your child say they feel accepted and wanted?
  • Does your teen frequently say they can’t do something?
  • Do you notice they won’t talk about their friends?
  • Or school?
  • Do they always say ‘everything is fine’?
  • Or deny anything is wrong?

How do they act?

  • Does your child or teen avoid peers?
  • Do they hide in their room?
  • Do you notice they are smiling less?
  • Does your child or teen spend a lot of time picking out an outfit?
  • Or doing their hair / makeup?
  • Do you notice they act different around some friends versus others?
  • Are they super-sensitive to criticism or critique?
  • Are they a perfectionist?

Does low self esteem cause anxiety?

It can! They frequently occur together. Low self-esteem can cause anxiety and anxiety can cause low self-esteem.

Does low self esteem cause depression?

It can! When we have low self-esteem we frequently feel sad which can turn into depression. 

Does low self esteem cause anger?

Yes! When we have low self-esteem we may be more likely to react emotionally, which for many people is shown as anger.

Does low self esteem affect friendships?

Yes! When we have low self-esteem we may be more likely to either avoid friends, or give into peer pressure to feel ‘liked.’

Ways to help improve self esteem

  • Focus on what your child CAN do! What are they great at? Good at? Working at? Making improvements on? Share these things frequently with your child or teen.
  • Have your family and child’s teachers, coaches etc. focus on what they CAN do as well!
  • Focus on affirming your child. Do you naturally point out what you are proud of or thankful for? Many parents are great at doing this sometimes. Let’s do this all the time. Try to affirm your child 10 times a day. Or maybe 20 times a day. Focus on everything positive.
  • Create an accomplishments board. Have a wall or a board that lists all the awesome things your child has done. Hang that school award. Post that higher than normal grade. How about ribbons? Write the praise you give or have heard and post it. This accomplishments board is great for self-esteem!
  • Minimize focus on negatives and mistakes. If your child focuses on the negatives and what they have done wrong, does anyone else in the family do that? Maybe you can correct how you handle your own frustrations!
  • Give your child or teen choices when possible. This helps them feel empowered.
  • Do not do everything for them- let them try to help, even if it might take longer or it would be easier if you did it.
  • Avoid using the word ‘perfect’ to describe accomplishments and goals.
  • Do not be insincere- children and teens will know if you are praising them and do not mean it.
  • Do not compare your children, or your child to peers.
  • Spend one on one time with your child
  • Do not use sarcasm – children may have trouble understanding it as sarcasm.
  • Consider counseling! I would love to support you more!

How counseling can help

In counseling, we focus on teaching new skills to ‘love yourself.’ We learn why your child or teen has low self esteem and correct the bad habits that promote it. I will help your child explore their feelings, find healthy ways to express themselves and create new positive habits.

In counseling, we will support you as the parents to understand why your child has low self esteem, what you can do to help at home and at school, and areas that could promote healthy self esteem. It is a team effort that creates a better, healthy home dynamic where most families report a calmer, happier household.

If you think your child or teen could benefit from healthier self esteem, please do not hesitate to reach out!


ADHD

Organizing an ADHD child

Is your child’s bedroom a battlefield? Organizing an ADHD child does not have to be a battle. Here are some ‘simple’ tips for a smoother, calmer and cleaner household.

Why can’t my child just stay organized!

Convincing a child to clean can be difficult, especially if they have ADHD. Staying organized requires good executive functioning. Most children and teens with ADHD are delayed in this area!

What is Executive Functioning?

  • The ability to visualize what needs to be done
  • The ability to create a plan on how to do it
  • The ability to organize how you will follow through on the plan
  • The ability to have effective time management
  • The ability to adjust if any of the above does not work the first time
  • The ability to complete the task or project

Why does Executive Functioning matter?

Executive functioning is the brain’s ability to use time management skills, organizational skills, and common sense skills and wrap them all up into a neat little package. That package is what allows them to complete tasks. Children and teens with ADHD do not naturally do this. But they can be taught!

Determine why they are disorganized

organizing an adhd child familyChildren and teens with ADHD might have a parent with ADHD. This parent may have never been diagnosed, or may only display some ADHD traits. The parents may have learned through the years to ‘cope and adjust.’ It is common for these parents to become increasingly frustrated when their children and teens are unable to do the same.

But, children learn through observation. If a parent is disorganized, cluttered, or scattered it makes it incredibly difficult for a child to be organized. On the other hand, if organization is natural for you (or something you learned), your child may not have yet developed the skill. In fact, many well organized parents will over-organize, and do it for their child, instead of the child learning the skill. Lastly, some parents may have an unrealistic expectation of their child’s age-appropriate ability to be organized. Regardless, the upcoming tips may support your family in creating organization regardless of what has and has not worked before.

Want to learn more about ADHD?

Are they a visual organizer?

Many with ADHD are visual organizers. This means if it is not ‘in their face’, it does not exist. Here are some ideas on supporting a visual organizer.

  • Use specific storage containers that are easily accessible and placed in logical locations. For example: Place a laundry hamper in the spot your child most often tosses their clothing. If you place the laundry hamper in the closet, it may not be used. This could be a future goal but not an immediate goal.
  • Utilize clear plastic containers for toys that are specifically labeled. For example: superheroes, markers, animals. I like clear plastic shoe box containers which can be bought at Michaels, the dollar store, target, etc. I use these same containers in my office to organize toys for play therapy! It is ideal to allow your child to organize their toys into the individual boxes. Once again, their idea for logical will be different than your idea for logical.
  • Small clear containers are more likely to be used than large ones. I have experimented with various sizes and colors. If working with a teenager, it is best to allow them to pick the containers they are most likely to use. If it is ‘ugly’ they might avoid it. For children, standard clear containers are ideal.
  • Out of sight is absolutely out of mind. Ensure that all storage containers are visual and easily accessible. Necessary school supplies should be organized on their desk. Bathroom supplies on the bathroom counter. Toys where they are played with. Any other locations may not be used, remember it must be logical to your child.
  • Minimize lids in the beginning– if it is inconvenient an ADHD child or teen is less likely to use them. Hold onto those lids though! This can be a goal down the road, for now keep it simple.

Is it clutter?

Children and teens with ADHD may hold onto everything- purely because it is overwhelming to throw things out.

Break down the de-cluttering process into multiple settings- think bite-size pieces.

  • For example, today we are going to organize your desk. Make no mention of other things that will be done tomorrow, or they should have / could have done. Once this section has been completely organized by your child or teen, wait a few days and assist them in organizing the next section. If you are met with resistance, this could be for many reasons. Are they overwhelmed by what you chose? Something else?
  • Start with the areas that are simplest to organize to maximize success. Simplest might mean least number of items, or your child has cleaned or organized before. If you notice this area become re-cluttered, your organization system is not effective.
  • To determine clutter, have your child or teen assign an appropriate spot for each item. If it does not have a spot, ask whether or not it can be thrown out or donated. If they are not ready to make this decision, find a plastic container to be labeled ‘Looking for a home.’

Create a system

Create a new system that benefits them. In the process of de-cluttering and organizing was your child or teen resistant? It may be due to them feeling overwhelmed by the process (too much at one time). It might also be that you implemented visual organization systems that work for you, but not for them.

It is important that your ADHD child or teen is involved in the entire process of purchasing the system as they will be using it on a daily basis. Again, due to them being a visual organizer, if they do not like the visual look of the system they will continue to avoid it. If it benefits them, and keeps their likes and dislikes in mind, they are more likely to be successful.

This is the point many parents may feel overwhelmed or frustrated. Truthfully, creating a system is a lot of hard work and will not be flawless! Keep working at it, and if needed reach out and let’s get started together.

Create a routine

Create a routine that keeps their brain in mind. Create a visual written routine that breaks down the process of keeping their room clean. Again, remember if their room becomes cluttered again, their system is not as effective as it could be. Take a moment to consider what needs to be changed and then readjust as necessary.

Less stress parenting solutions

Sometimes parenting brings up a lot of emotions. It can be stressful, overwhelming and exhausting. If you find this happening for you, schedule an appointment and we will find solutions that work for your home.


Parenting

Raising Emotional Intelligence of children in a Technology driven world

Have you ever thought about emotional intelligence?Emotional Intelligence sign

What words might your child use to describe their gratitude? Their excitement? Or frustration?

What words do you use?

I want you to take a moment – Do these adjectives correctly describe your reactions?

Thanksgiving is a time where may families share what they are thankful for. We sit together, share food and stories, and enjoy each other’s company. For many families, this may be a distant memory. Today, we have phones, less talking, and more complaining. As a result, we have become disconnected.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is your ability to notice and accurately identify and express your emotions. It is also the ability to be aware of others’ emotions. These are words beyond ‘happy, mad, angry, sad.’ Emotional intelligence is the adjectives that describe how we feel and relate to others.

How technology affects emotional intelligence

As phones and other devices consume our everyday living, talking face to face has become less common. Families might text ‘dinner is ready’ instead of walking up to their teens room. Children might ‘like a photo’ rather than call their friend to ask how the theme park was. We become less and less involved in each other’s lives. As a result, we are less aware. As we become less emotionally aware, we disengage and we lose touch with our friends and family.

Potential Downfalls of not raising Emotionally Intelligent children

So, what is the potential downfall of not raising an emotional intelligent child? Your child might be unable to share how they truly feel. They may feel trapped in a mind that feels these emotions, but cannot name them. This can affect social relationships, English writing skills, the ability to get a job, and many areas that relate to what you might define as success.

Emotional intelligence is the emotional vocabulary that enables our children to communicate their thoughts, feelings and reactions. Without emotional intelligence, our children are disadvantaged. They are disadvantaged because emotions are key to happiness and success.

How you can help improve emotional intelligence

You can begin developing emotional intelligence by increasing your own emotional language at home. Instead of thinking your thoughts or verbalizing the same words over and over- Expand! Use a larger vocabulary that challenges your child’s thinking. Try using words such as perplexed, apathetic, insignificant, betrayed, appalled, powerless, inquisitive, valued and joyful.

How I can help improve emotional intelligence

In my office, I work with the family to improve emotional intelligence. This is a family experience because we all need to expand our vocabulary. We expand not only our 4 known words, but also synonyms for disgusted, fearful, bad and surprised. We become optimistic that our vulnerable children who feel betrayed and withdrawn might feel secure, proud and trusting. Parents might be relieved they no longer feel overwhelmed, helpless and frightened. We are no longer anxious, humiliated or critical. These feelings might be replaced with inspired, hopeful and respected. These words are key to emotional intelligence. We practice these words, using specific activities, to improve communication and emotional naming within the home.

Emotional intelligence may not feel natural for some families. Truthfully, our emotional intelligence diminishes anytime we have felt inadequate for any period of time. I am guessing by you reading this, you might be ready to feel confident and proud. You deserve this and so does your child!