This article makes a great point about the importance of connection for kids AND parents. It also has great ideas for how to make that happen. http://www.ahaparenting.com/_blog/Parenting_Blog/post/10_Habits_To_Stay_Connected_To_Your_Child/
It's so hard sometimes! Someone tells you what they think, why they're struggling, or why they're upset with you and you know the answer!!! Why can't you just solve their problem? Why do you have to listen? This video is a great illustration of why it's so hard and what happens when you don't.
Sometimes the hardest part of improving your relationship is deciding WHERE TO START!! Prepare Enrich is a great tool for doing just that. This short video is a brief overview of Prepare Enrich http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbFIeFSmIoY
Spanking is a hot topic recently. There are strong arguments -- and research -- to back up both sides of the debate. I have seen very few cases where spanking was effective in the long term, but I've also seen only a few where it actually did harm.
I saw an article where parents' justification for spanking was "It worked for me" ergo, I'll spank my kids or won't spank my kids because that's what I experienced. Look at all the things that "worked fine" for you: No helmets, no seatbelts, mothers who smoked and drank when they were pregnant. No one's posting on Facebook in favor of those gems.
The problem with "it worked fine for me," is that parents made those choices because they literally didn't know better. They worked with the best knowledge they had at the time. But now we know. We have research and experience and the evening news to show us what happened to the old way of thinking. And thank goodness. Our children will know more than we do -- let's hope!
There is too much easily accessible information for us to claim ignorance or not even try to find out if the old way is still the best way. I think parents' greatest fear isn't in doing something new, it's in doing something imperfectly. If we haven't seen it done another way, how will we be effective? Luckily, parenting comes with a lot of leeway. It's OK to parent imperfectly as long as your intentions are good and you pay attention to whether what you're doing works and adjust accordingly. Our children will live through our imperfections -- after all, many of us of a certain age lived through lawn darts and secondhand smoke and we turned out just fine! Who knows what our children will look back on and shake their heads. "Hey," we'll say "We didn't know any better!"
Who It's For: People who want to eat less, exercise more, stop smoking -- anyone with a bad habit who wants to learn how to change it.
I am not a fan of diet books -- I've seen too many "diets-of-the-moment" come and go. But I love books that teach readers HOW to diet. This book does that and more. It's a book about habits: how they're formed and how you can change your habits to achieve your goals. Duhigg explains the neurology of habits in an easy-to-understand way, interwoven with true stories to illustrate the principles he's teaching. I found The Power of Habit to be, in theory at least, easy to apply in day-to-day life. Changing habits is really hard and Duhigg doesn't pretend otherwise. The combination of solid evidence with illustrative and inspirational stories made for an easy read.
WHO IT'S FOR: People looking for a perspective on meaning in life. People are interested in the "behind-the-scenes" working of therapy.
Several Internet sites rate The Road Less Traveled as the most read self-help book ever. Peck has wisdom and depth to spare on the topics of psychotherapy and human fulfillment. He offers a fundamental jumping-off point to anyone hoping to improve their life, whether through therapy or introspection. There are some cautions. Peck can by turns be loving then judgmental toward therapy patients. His language choice and lack of sympathy at times are cringe-worthy. He puts forth questionable opinions on boundaries as well, over-estimating (in my opinion) the degree of importance and control the therapist exercises in the patient's progress. He uses that importance to justify breaking well-established standards of professionalism and ethics in the counseling field. Finally, the last section, which addresses his spiritual beliefs, meanders. There are valuable nuggets to be mined, but they're buried within some bizarre musings. At the end of the day, I'm aware I'm standing on the shoulders of a giant. Peck wrote this book in the '70s. Therapy has evolved quite a bit since then. Professionals brave enough to put forth their theories and thoughts are to be commended -- they push us forward. And Peck, whatever his imperfections, clearly comes from a place of courage and love serving not only as teacher but example for us all.
Book Review: The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, And Distress Tolerance by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood, and Jeffrey Brantley
WHO IT'S FOR: Anyone who has a hard time tolerating discomfort -- often people who shut down, break down, or lash out when situations get tough -- and for the people who love them.
If you or someone you are close to has a hard time getting over unpleasant emotions OR shuts down when emotions show up, this book could be really helpful. The authors do a great job laying out the principles of DBT in clear, easy to understand language. The pacing of the book makes it practical. Explanations are interspersed with exercises to put new ideas/behaviors into practice. Examples are given throughout to illustrate the ideas. In particular, I appreciated the explanations and exercises targeting distress tolerance. The Interpersonal Effectiveness skills might be a little harder to implement on your own but this book would be a wonderful adjunct to therapy.
Book Review: The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz
WHO IT'S FOR: Anyone who works with and cares about children; people who know or suspect that they or a loved one suffers from a Sensory Processing Disorder.
The boy who punches a child who lightly bumped into him in line. A girl who constantly drops things. A child who hangs upside down every chance she gets. A kid who refuses to dress himself years after his peers have mastered that skill. These children probably frustrate parents and teachers, who might think they're difficult or disobedient. A more likely explanation -- certainly worth investigating -- is that they are displaying signs of a Sensory Processing Disorder. The Out-of-Sync Child is a must-read for anyone who cares for children with processing difficulties. Parents, teachers, medical staff, and therapists absolutely must understand the challenges people with SPD experience and strategies for helping them to adapt. So many times, children are thought to be bad or defiant when in fact they're unable to override their body's perception of threat or craving for input. The Out-of-Sync Child helps the reader recognize signs of a disorder and gives clear direction about adapting home and school environments to maximize success. Most importantly, it demonstrates why compassion and understanding -- not punishment or criticism-- are the only viable options for success.