6 Psychologically Damaging Things Parents Say To Their Kids Without Realizing It

Parents don’t set out to say hurtful or harmful things to their children, but it happens. You’re tired, they’re pushing your buttons, and you’re frustrated after asking them for the 600th time to clear their plates or get out the door on time. You could also be inadvertently repeating things you heard in your own childhood that your parents (and maybe even you) didn’t realize took an emotional toll.

We parents are trying our best, but sometimes — a lot of times — we fall short. That’s why it can be helpful to know some of the potentially damaging phrases parents often resort to without realizing their impact. It’s not about beating ourselves up. It’s about doing better by being a bit more conscious of our language.

So HuffPost Parents spoke with several experts who shared some harmful phrases you should try to erase from your vocabulary — and what to say instead.

1. “It’s not a big deal.”

Kids often cry or melt down over stuff that seems really silly. (Recall the delightful “reasons my kid is crying” meme that had a real moment a few years back.) But while kids’ crying and whining can definitely get under their parents’ skin — particularly when it’s over something you think they should be able to cope with — it’s harmful to diminish their very real feelings by basically telling them to buck up.

“These little problems — and the emotions that come with them — are actually huge to our kids,” said Amy McCready, a parenting educator, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the author of “If I Have to Tell You One More Time.” “When we discount their emotional responses to very real challenges, we tell them, ‘How you feel doesn’t matter,’ or ‘It’s silly to be afraid or disappointed.’”

Instead, try this:

Take a moment and try to understand things from their perspective. McCready recommended saying something like: “You seem really scared or frustrated or disappointed right now. Should we talk about it and figure out what to do?” Ultimately, you’re helping them label their emotions (an important part of developing emotional intelligence) and making it clear that you’re there for them.

2. “You never” or “You always do XYZ.”

Children have their patterns, but saying your kid “always” or “never” does something simply isn’t true. (That’s why marriage counselors advise clients to avoid the word “never” with their partners altogether.)

Using broad statements is a red flag that you’ve stopped being curious about what’s happening in this particular moment with your child, according to Robbin McManne, founder of Parenting for Connection.

“It misses opportunity for you to teach them what they should and what they can do next time,” McManne said.

Instead, try this:

Remind yourself to be curious about why your child is engaging in a particular behavior at a particular time. It really helps to connect by getting physically close to your child in that moment, McManne said, so that you’re not shouting at them from across the house, but you’re right there with them to make sure they’re not distracted by something else.

3. “You make me sad when you do that.”

Sure, it might really bum you out when your child doesn’t listen, but it is important to set (and hold) boundaries without throwing your emotions into the mix. Those feelings are yours, not theirs. Plus, you’re setting a precedent by potentially giving them a lot of negative power.

“When kids feel like they get to decide if you’re happy, sad or enraged, they may happily take the opportunity to continue to push your buttons down the road,” McCready said. “And even when they’re out of your house, this mindset can damage future relationships and set the stage for them to manipulate others to get what they want.”

Instead, try this:

Set whatever boundary you need to set, like, “It’s not OK to jump on couches,” McCready offered by way of example. Then, give some choices such as, “Would you rather play quietly in here or go outside?”

4. “You should know better.”

When you say something like “you should know better,” what you’re ultimately trying to do is guilt or shame your child into changing. But that puts kids on the defensive, which makes them even less likely to listen, McCready said. It also undermines their confidence.

“If we tell our kids they should know better — yet clearly they didn’t — we’re sending the message, ‘You’re too dumb/immature to make a good decision.’ Not exactly what we intended,” she added.

Instead, try this:

McCready suggested saying something like “Hmm, looks like we’ve got a situation here! What can we do to fix it?” The goal is to focus on solutions — not the problem — so children practice problem-solving and fixing their own mistakes, and think about ways to make better choices in the first place.

5. “Just let me do it.”

When you’re rushing out the door or waiting for your child to complete a simple task that is seemingly taking forever, your instinct might be to just take over. But try to avoid doing that if you can.

“You’re telling your child, ‘You’re not capable of this, so I need to get involved.’ This is both discouraging and really frustrating,” McCready said. “Imagine if you were super close to being able to do your own zipper and just needed a few more tries, but then Dad swoops in and stops you in your tracks.”

Instead, try this:

Slow down and give your child the time they need to complete their task. Or at the very least, be clearer about why you have to rush. Say something like, “I’ll help you just this once since we’re running so late, but let’s work on this together later!”

6. “You’re a [insert label here].”

One of the most valuable things parents can do for their children is simply avoid labeling them, McManne said. Labels hurt the parent-child relationship because they get in the way of parents seeing their children as struggling and needing help. Parents start to link certain behaviors with whatever label they’ve given to their child, rather than digging in and really trying to understand what’s happening developmentally.

“Labels take us further out of compassion and curiosity,” McManne said.

Labels also have the potential to become self-fulfilling. If children hear from parents that they’re a certain way, they might come to accept that as true — even if it doesn’t feel true to them.

Even labels that seem positive like “You’re smart!” can actually be harmful, McCready said.

“When we say ‘you’re smart’ or ‘you’re athletic,’ we’re telling our child, ‘The only reason you did well on that test is because you were born brainy,’ or, ‘You wouldn’t have made that goal if it weren’t for your natural ability.’ What’s more, if our child bombs the test next time, they’ll be left confused and discouraged, questioning their own ability. If they’re so smart, why did they fail?”

Instead, try this:

Notice and applaud effort, not outcomes. And do whatever you can to avoid labeling your kiddo as anything, good or bad.

Catherine Pearson - HuffPost

Source: 6 Psychologically Damaging Things Parents Say To Their Kids Without Realizing It | HuffPost UK Parenting

.

Critics:

A dysfunctional family is a family in which conflict, misbehavior, and often child neglect or abuse on the part of individual parents occur continuously and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such actions. Children sometimes grow up in such families with the understanding that such a situation is normal.

Dysfunctional families are primarily a result of two adults, one typically overtly abusive and the other codependent, and may also be affected by addictions (such as substance abuse, such drugs including alcohol), or sometimes by an untreated mental illness. Dysfunctional parents may emulate or over-correct from their own dysfunctional parents. In some cases, the dominant parent will abuse or neglect their children and the other parent will not object, misleading a child to assume blame.

Some features are common to most dysfunctional families:

  • Lack of empathy, understanding, and sensitivity towards certain family members, while expressing extreme empathy or appeasement towards one or more members who have real or perceived “special needs”. In other words, one family member continuously receives far more than they deserve, while another is marginalized.
  • Denial (refusal to acknowledge abusive behavior, possibly believing that the situation is normal or even beneficial; also known as the “elephant in the room“.)
  • Inadequate or missing boundaries for self (e.g. tolerating inappropriate treatment from others, failing to express what is acceptable and unacceptable treatment, tolerance of physical, emotional or sexual abuse.)
  • Disrespect of others’ boundaries (e.g. physical contact that other person dislikes; breaking important promises without just cause; purposefully violating a boundary another person has expressed.)
  • Extremes in conflict (either too much fighting or insufficient peaceful arguing between family members.)
  • Unequal or unfair treatment of one or more family members due to their birth order, gender, age, family role (mother, etc.), abilities, race, caste, etc. (may include frequent appeasement of one member at the expense of others, or an uneven/inconsistent enforcement of rules.)

References

Want to Raise Successful Kids? Science Says These 5 Habits Matter Most

I’ve been on a mission, collecting science-based parenting advice both here in my column on Inc.com and in my continuously updated free e-book How to Raise Successful Kids, which you can download here.

Here’s a short but detailed look at five of the most useful studies that I’ve found, and the habits they suggest for successful parents.

1. Be a role model (but not their only role model).

Let’s give the plot twist up front: Kids need great role models, but one of the most important roles you can model is how you deal with failure.

Deal with it honestly, openly, and transparently. Let them see that you do sometimes try and come up short. Because, of course, they will fail at things themselves, and you want to teach them two things:

  • Don’t be afraid or ashamed of failure, especially if they’ve given it their all.
  • Rebound from it the right way.

A few years ago, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ran experiments with children as young as 15 months old. The more their parents let them see that they struggled and failed at times, the more resilient the kids became.

“There’s some pressure on parents to make everything look easy,” one of the study’s leads said. “[T]his does at least suggest that it may not be a bad thing to show your children that you are working hard to achieve your goals.”

Beyond that? Make sure they have great role models, both in their lives and in literature.

2. Teach them to love the outdoors.

This advice seems especially timely as we emerge from the pandemic. But kids need to be outside.

Studies show that kids who spent a lot less time outdoors during the early days of the coronavirus crisis experienced a strikingly negative effect on their emotional well-being.

This almost seems like common sense, but we see it come up again and again in both children and adults.

These kinds of habits — and a lifelong appreciation for nature (or not) — can start young, and cost almost nothing.

Against this — and I’m no Luddite, and I know we live in a digital world, but — researchers have found that happiness and well-being among U.S. middle schoolers has declined steadily since 2012.

Hmmm, what happened in 2012? That’s when American kids largely started to get their own smartphones, combined with unlimited data plans.

3. Teach them to prioritize kindness.

A couple of years ago, psychologist and business school professor Adam Grant and his wife, Allison Sweet Grant, wrote a book about kids and kindness. In an article they wrote for The Atlantic around the same time, they made an interesting point:

  • More than 90 percent of U.S. parents say that “one of their top priorities is that their children be caring.”
  • But if you ask children what their parents’ top priorities are for them,  “81 percent say their parents value achievement and happiness over caring.”

There’s a disconnect. And it might stem from people not realizing one of the most fascinating paradoxes, which is that people who demonstrate kindness and caring for others are often more likely to achieve what they want as a result.

As the Grants put it:

Boys who are rated as helpful by their kindergarten teacher earn more money 30 years later. Middle-school students who help, cooperate, and share with their peers also excel–compared with unhelpful classmates, they get better grades and standardized-test scores.

The eighth graders with the greatest academic achievement, moreover, are not the ones who got the best marks five years earlier; they’re the ones who were rated most helpful by their third-grade classmates and teachers.

And middle schoolers who believe their parents value being helpful, respectful, and kind over excelling academically, attending a good college, and having a successful career perform better in school and are less likely to break rules.

We see this in negotiations, too: Develop empathy with the people you’re dealing with, care legitimately about what they want as well as what you want, and you’re more likely to reach a desirable resolution.

4. Praise them the right way.

There are at least three facets of praising kids well that I’ve found in my surveys of the research.

The first is to praise kids for their effort, not their gifts. I’ve gotten a bit of pushback on this idea recently, which I’ll address in a future column. But in short:

  • Good: I’m very proud of you. I saw how hard you studied for that test.
  • Not-so-good: I knew you’d do well on that test. You’re so smart and naturally good at math.

The second is to praise them authentically. Kids aren’t stupid (mostly). They know if you’re blowing smoke when you praise them for things that don’t really merit praise. But they also need reinforcement to know that you’re proud and think they’re doing the right things.

In one study of 300 kids, researchers found that:

When parents perceived that they over- or underpraised their children for schoolwork, children performed worse in school and experienced depression to a greater extent, as compared with children whose parents thought their praise accurately reflected reality.

Finally, however: Be generous with your praise in terms of quantity.

A three-year study out of Brigham Young University found that there’s no magic amount of praise, but it’s helpful to do so as often as possible. One trick might be to break down tasks and praise for each one specifically, as opposed to holding your positive reinforcement until the end of a task.

5. Be there for them, and then some.

This last bit of advice is perhaps the hardest because it flies in the face of one of the parenting clichés we all want to avoid: namely, becoming a helicopter parent.

That said, I’m going to combine studies here, and at least give you food for thought — if not a complete guide.

The bottom line up front is to be there, be vocal, and be involved, while still letting your kids do for themselves as much as they can.

  • Study No. 1: Researchers found that girls whose mothers “nagged the heck out of them” were less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, more likely to go to college, and less likely to have long periods of unemployment or get stuck in dead-end jobs.
  • Study No. 2: A series of studies, actually, found that parents who were quick to run to their children’s side when they faced big challenges or had setbacks — at almost any age — wound up raising kids who were more successful and had better relationships with their parents as they got older.

In short, you’re your child’s parent, and they need you to act like that: guiding them, pushing them, and showing that you’ll always be there for them. Do that much, and you’re doing quite a lot.

By: Bill Murphy Jr., http://www.billmurphyjr.com@BillMurphyJr

Source: Want to Raise Successful Kids? Science Says These 5 Habits Matter Most | Inc.com

.

Critics:

Parenting or child rearing promotes and supports the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the intricacies of raising a child and not exclusively for a biological relationship. The most common caretaker in parenting is the father or mother, or both, the biological parents of the child in question. However, a surrogate may be an older sibling, a step-parent, a grandparent, a legal guardian, aunt, uncle, other family members, or a family friend.

Governments and society may also have a role in child-rearing. In many cases, orphaned or abandoned children receive parental care from non-parent or non-blood relations. Others may be adopted, raised in foster care, or placed in an orphanage. Parenting skills vary, and a parent or surrogate with good parenting skills may be referred to as a good parent. Parenting styles vary by historical period, race/ethnicity, social class, preference, and a few other social features.

Additionally, research supports that parental history, both in terms of attachments of varying quality and parental psychopathology, particularly in the wake of adverse experiences, can strongly influence parental sensitivity and child outcomes.

Parenting does not usually end when a child turns 18. Support may be needed in a child’s life well beyond the adolescent years and continues into middle and later adulthood. Parenting can be a lifelong process.

Parents may provide financial support to their adult children, which can also include providing an inheritance after death. The life perspective and wisdom given by a parent can benefit their adult children in their own lives. Becoming a grandparent is another milestone and has many similarities with parenting.

See also

Damage Done By Emotionally Immature Parents Can Have a Long Term Impact on Children

Mandy* says her mother has always had a controlling streak. In something of a nightmare scenario for most kids, when Mandy was 10, her mum got a job at her school. “My mother was telling me who I was and I wasn’t allowed to be friends with. She was prohibiting most people I made friends with,” Mandy says.

“She would actually leave her post during my lunchtime to see who I was hanging out with and if I was following her orders.” Mandy is now in her late 20s. Until a few years ago, she says her mother was still trying to control what she wore — going as far as to pre-approve what she could buy.

“There was one day where I was wearing an outfit that she didn’t like the combination and she started freaking out to the point where she went up to the door and blocked my exit. She would not allow me to leave the house,” Mandy says.

Mandy says the control extended to what she ate, and she developed an eating disorder between the ages of 11 and 15. “She was always incredibly controlling of what I was eating, always watching every move.”

Mandy says as a child, she would make decisions to please her mother and prevent fights in the house, which left her stressed and insecure.  “Part of that insecurity led me to a period in my teens where I was suicidal for quite a long time, and I had a suicide attempt when I was 15,” she says.

She argues that her mother’s immature behaviours — controlling various aspects of her life and reacting angrily when Mandy didn’t follow the rules — has caused her significant problems as an adult.

Who are these emotionally immature parents?

Mandy’s experience isn’t uncommon. In her practice as a clinical psychologist, Lindsay Gibson has come across many people with similar stories. Ms Gibson was “astounded” at the emotional immaturity of parental behaviours reported by clients.

“As I’m listening to them I’m thinking, ‘oh my gosh, her father is acting like a four-year-old, or her mother sounds like a 14-year-old’.” Ms Gibson has seen a range of emotional immaturity – from parents who can be volatile and hysterical, through to those who are cold and rejecting. Many also exhibit controlling behaviours.

She’s encountered this problem so often, she wrote a book about it. These troubled relationships can have significant long-term impacts on children when they become adults themselves, she says. One of these impacts can be a disregard for their own feelings and instincts.

“They [the parent] teach you to doubt yourself and mistrust your emotional needs, and you can imagine how that plays out later when that person has to figure out what they want to do for a living or decide who to marry,” Ms Gibson says.

“All these things that have to come from an internal sense of guidance.” Mandy isn’t a client of Ms Gibson’s, but says what Ms Gibson describes is similar to the impacts her mother had on her. She finally moved out of her parents’ home last year and has since started seeing a therapist.

“Sometimes a trauma response isn’t just like having panic attacks, sometimes it’s also being a people pleaser because I just want to lessen the conflict.” Ms Gibson argues that emotionally immature parents grew up at a time when there was little emphasis on the emotional needs of children.

Instead, the focus was on the physical needs of children — things like reducing levels of child labour and malnutrition. That changed around the middle of the century. “Around about the 1950s, there was a paediatrician, Benjamin Spock, who began to push this idea that children had emotional needs and that meeting the child’s emotional needs had tremendous importance in their adult life. And so there was an awakening,” Ms Gibson says.

Going no contact

The main strategy advised by psychologists when it comes to parents who may be overbearing or manipulative is to set firm boundaries or guidelines around how other people can behave towards you. Examples of behaviours people might push back on include unwanted visits, or unwelcome advice about how a child is being raised, Ms Gibson says.

“And if you learn how to say no in whatever awkward, frightened, shy way that you want to say no, but you just continue to say what your limits are, that really works pretty well, because emotionally immature people are not prepared for repetition,” she says.

“That’s a very hard thing for an adult child to do, but it can be done and that’s the way to do it.” Boundaries are something Mandy says she tried to establish with her parents many times over, but for her it never quite worked. “And of course it all got worse when they realised that I was queer. I kept establishing boundaries around it where I was like, ‘look, my identity is not up for debate’. That was completely dismissed,” she says.

By 2020 she had finally saved enough money to move out of her parents’ home for good. She’s had no contact with them for the past six months. Mandy now helps run an online forum where adult children who have difficult relationships with their parents can swap survival stories, share encouragement and try to heal.

As for how to be a good parent? Ms Gibson says at its core, it’s simple.

“All you have to do is to not only love your child, but be able to see your child as a unique individual who has a real internal world of their own, where everything is just as important as it is to the adult, and there have always been parents who had that sensitivity, thank goodness,” she says.

By: Sana Qadar and James Bullen for All in the Mind

Source: Damage done by emotionally immature parents can have a long-term impact on children – ABC News

.

Related Stories:

Hannah’s secret daydreaming lasted two decades before she realised it was a real problem

Hong Kong censors now have the power to ban movies ‘endangering national security

Fog delays Morrison’s G7 arrival as Australia pledges 20m vaccine doses for developing countries

China dishes out punishments to dozens of officials over deadly cross-country marathon event

Devoutly religious Tasmanian woman fails in bid to stop autopsy of her mother

Hawks stun Sydney Swans to break losing streak

Christian Porter loses bid to reduce costs linked to defamation battle

.

Critics:

Melitta Schmideberg noted in 1948 how emotional deprivation could lead parents to treat their children (unconsciously) as substitute parent figures.”Spousification” and “parental child” (Minuchin) offered alternative concepts exploring the same phenomenon; while the theme of intergenerational continuity in such violations of personal boundaries was further examined.

Eric Berne touched on the dangers of parents and children having a symmetrical, rather than asymmetrical relationship, as when an absent spouse is replaced by the eldest child; and Virginia Satir wrote of “the role-function discrepancy…where the son gets into a head-of-the-family role, commonly that of the father”.

Object relations theory highlighted how the child’s false self is called into being when it is forced prematurely to take excessive care of the parental object; and John Bowlby looked at what he called “compulsive caregiving” among the anxiously attached, as a result of a parent inverting the normal relationship and pressuring the child to be an attachment figure for them.

All such aspects of disturbed and inverted parenting patterns have been drawn under the umbrella of the wider phenomenon of parentification – with the result (critics suggest) that on occasion “ironically the concept of parentification has…been as over-burdened as the child it often describes

.

References:

  • R. A. Gardner et al., The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome (2006) p. 200
  • Gregory J. Jurkovic, ‘Destructive Parentification in Families’ in Luciano L’Abate ed., Family Psychopathology (New York 1998) pp. 237–255
  • Jurkovic, p. 240
  • Jurkovic, in L’Abate ed., p. 240
  • Eric Berne, Sex in Human Loving (Penguin 1970) p. 249–53
  • Virginia Satir, Peoplemaking (1983) p. 167
  • Adam Phillips, On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored (1994) p. 31
  • John Bowlby, The Making and Breaking of Affectional Bonds (London 1979) p. 137–38
  • Karpel, quoted by Jurkovic, in L’Abate ed., p. 238
  • Satir, p. 167
  • Bryna Siegal, What about Me (2002) p. 131
  • Harold Bloom, Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie (2007) p. 142
  • Diana Brandt, Wild Mother Dancing (1993) p. 54
  • Jurkovic, in L’Abate, ed., p. 246-7
  • Otto Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of the Neuroses (London 1946) p. 510-11
  • R. K. Holway, Becoming Achilles (2011) Chapter Five ‘Fathers and Sons’; and notes p. 218–19
  • Siegal, p. 114
  • Jurkovic, p. 237
  • Paula M. Reeves, in Nancy D. Chase, Burdened Children (1999) p. 171
  • Katz, Petracca; J., Rabinowitz (2009). “A retrospective study of daughters’ emotional role reversal with parents, attachment anxiety, excessive reassurance seeking, and depressive symptoms”. The American Journal of Family Therapy. 37 (3): 185–195. doi:10.1080/01926180802405596. S2CID 145504807.
  • C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (London 1983) p. 69
  • Laurens van der Post, Jung and the Story of Our Times (Penguin 1978) p. 77
  • Patrick Casement, Further Learning from the Patient (1990) p. 174
  • Murasaki Shikiki, The Tale of Genji (London 1992) p. 790
  • Nina S. “Unwilling Angels: Charles Dickens, Agnes Wickfield, and the Effects of Parentification”. Dickens Blog.
  • E. D. Klonsky/A. Blas, The Psychology of Twilight (2011) Nancy R. Reagin ed., Twilight and History (2010) p. 184–85 and p. 258-9

Teaching Your Kids How to Resolve Conflict Without Fighting

You know how we have epiphanies as we grow older? One of the most profound ones for me has been the realization that just because someone doesn’t agree with what you’re saying at the moment doesn’t mean that they don’t agree with you all the time or that they don’t like you anymore.

This simple realization has had a huge impact on my life.

Just recently, my parents and brother were in town for my daughter’s birthday. We were at dinner the night before her party, and my brother hadn’t put his phone down the entire half hour we’d been seated. I made a comment on this – that it’s not pleasant to share a meal with someone that can’t take their eyes away from their smart phones – and he stormed off, refusing to engage in any conversation.

This isn’t the first time he’s had a violent outburst of anger over a small conflict. As his family member, it upsets me that this happens so frequently.

While I tried to make amends over text message (the only way he was willing to communicate), I noticed something in what he was saying – he thought that any criticism of his actions was a criticism of him. He thought that if I respected him, then I would not say anything negative to him. And worst of all, he thought that disagreeing meant we couldn’t be friends.

I started to wonder why this might be. Did we not have good examples of conflict resolution growing up? Did we witness violent outbursts of anger? When I think back on it, I can’t remember my parents ever arguing. And while that may seem like a good thing, I think that may be where the problem lies.

In order to know how to handle conflict in a productive and healthy manner, we need models of healthy conflict resolution. While on one hand fighting and inflamed emotions only create pain, on the other, never seeing adults disagree means our children don’t know how to deal with conflicts at all.

Productive arguments and even conflict are good, and can bring us closer when handled well. Among the many things we teach our kids, how to resolve conflict without resorting to either drama or fighting, or just simply sweeping it under the rug to fester, is very important.

Here are some ways we can teach our kids to argue in a way that builds connections, instead of destroying them –

1. Teach that disagreement and conflict do not mean that the relationship is damaged or in jeopardy

Our children need to know they are loved unconditionally. This is true in our homes, in school, and on the playground. It is far too common for individuals to view a disagreement as the undoing of a relationship. It is entirely possible to have opposing views and to still get along.

When your child comes home after a disagreement with a friend, listen to the grievances, and remind your child that their relationship with their friend remains intact.

Saying “I see, you didn’t like it that Mila wouldn’t share the swing with you” places the burden on the action; saying “it sounds like Mila was being mean today” places the burden on Mila.

This important distinction does two things:

  1. it helps your child understand that it was the action, not the friend, which was truly upsetting and
  2. it promotes a growth mindset.

Your child will learn that Mila’s actions do not define her completely. If the negative feelings are linked directly to your child’s friend instead of the action, your child may incorporate that image of Mila as always being mean. By linking the feelings to the action, your child will be more likely to understand that having one disagreement does not mean that Mila will always be “mean”.

You can also teach your child this truth by affirming it whenever the two of you disagree. Be careful and intentional with the language you choose.

Instead of criticizing your child (“you’re being disruptive”), make it clear that it is the behavior that you are unapproving of (“the way you are banging your silverware on the table is disrupting our family dinner”).

This can help your child take an outside perspective of the behavior or disagreement. Instead of aligning him or herself with the behavior in opposition to you, he or she can align with you in opposition to the behavior. Which makes it easier to teach kids how to resolve conflict in a healthy manner and brings us to our next strategy…

2. Instill in your child a sense of family and friends as teammates

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re outside of a group. Being ostracized in time out or left out of a game of tag can be debilitating for a child. We want to belong. And one of the things that can make us feel like we don’t belong is having a fight.

I noticed this in my communication with my brother. He felt rejected because of our disagreement, when in reality I only meant to point out a behavior that was hindering our ability to connect. I should have been more careful to make it clear that it wasn’t him that I had a problem with, but was the behavior instead.

One way we can do this with our children and other adults is reminding ourselves and each other that we are on the same team. When your child is disrupting dinner time, saying something like “we all want to have a meal together and spend time with each other” reminds him or her that you have the same goal.

Back to our example of Mila not sharing her swing – this is a good time to explain that individuals often have different ideas of the same goal. In this example, our goal on the playground is to have fun and play together. Mila is expressing this goal by swinging. How else can we meet this goal together? How can we cooperate, rather than compete, to find different options for reaching the same goal? Can we take turns with one on the swing and the other pushing her 10 times and then switch places so both of us can have fun?

This is the sort of conversation that may be difficult to have with young children, but if we are able to open our children’s minds to seeing different ways to get the same thing accomplished, and ultimately look for a win-win solution, we have done them a great service for their lives to come.

3. Encourage your child to recognize the emotions that come to the surface during a conflict

When we don’t view each other as teammates, we may come to assume that the other person has bad intentions or is trying to hurt us. Where does this come from?

Most often, it is a defense against the pain and fear of being rejected. These emotions are quick to come to the surface in any conflict – our stomach gets tight, we sweat, our heart pounds. We are afraid of what the other person – our partner, a friend, a coworker – might say.

In order to protect ourselves against these scary feelings, we often fight back. We lash out instead of taking a moment to recognize our own vulnerability.

We can help our children recognize this cascade of thoughts and feelings by verbalizing it for them and asking them how they feel.

When you see anger rising in your child, place a hand on their shoulder and ask them what they’re feeling. The touch will help them feel safe and grounded, and the answer to your question may help them step out of their escalating anger and fear.

If they have trouble finding the words to describe their emotions, help them out. Say “it seems like you’re feeling angry/scared/frustrated”. Giving them a variety of words to express their emotions and helping them understand the more complicated ones will give them tools of emotional intelligence that they can use throughout their lives to build healthy relationships. This primer from The Natural Child Project has suggestions on how to observe and verbalize the emotions that arise from a difficult situation.

Once the emotions are identified, help them dig deeper to explore the causes of these emotions: “you felt frustrated when Mila wouldn’t share the swing with you”, or “did you feel scared that she may not be your friend if she didn’t share?”

By now, your child will probably start to be more calm and able to think through a healthy solution for how to resolve conflict. This is a good time to use our first two strategies: reminding your child that the disagreement does not mean that the friendship is over, and that there may be other ways to view the situation so that you can reach your shared goal together.

4. Model these strategies every chance you get

There is no greater teacher than the world around us, and our children are sponges, absorbing all of our actions and words as the blueprint for their lives.

A lot of pressure? Maybe.

But that’s one of the beauties of parenthood – it pushes us to be our best selves.

I mentioned above that my brother and I never saw our parents disagreeing. How were we meant to learn how to disagree if we never saw it happening? It seemed to us that disagreeing was something so bad that it had be hidden, if it happened at all. But disagreements happen, and there’s no way to avoid them. What we can avoid is an inability to deal with conflict in a healthy manner.

For example, having a disagreement with your spouse is not a time to run to another room and argue in hushed tones. Instead, use it as a teaching moment for your child and for yourself.

Saying “when you forget to go to the grocery store, I feel disrespected” gets to the heart of the issue much more than angrily shouting “you’re so forgetful!”

It also helps your spouse recognize the impact of their actions on you – it is highly unlikely that he or she neglected to go to the store out of any disrespect for you – and it helps you recognize that you may be experiencing emotions that are more about your own reaction than about the actions of your partner. According to nonviolent communication pioneer Marshall Rosenberg, “what others do may be a stimulus of our feelings, but not the cause”.

Modeling this behavior is hugely instructional for our children. They get to see us being vulnerable, and they start to see this honest discussion of emotions as a normal and healthy part of our interactions with each other.

The 2-Minute Action Plan for Fine Parents

At the heart of teaching healthy conflict-resolution skills is a deep understanding of our own reactions to conflict. Just as we discussed helping your child recognize his or her emotions, we need to practice this ourselves.

The next time you disagree with your child, your spouse, your coworker, or your friend, notice how your body feels. Our bodies can often teach us a lot about our emotions. Do you hunch over, taking a protective stance out of a feeling of fear? Do you immediately cross your arms, unwilling to move forward hand-in-hand with the other person?

Identifying the tension in your body is the first step to letting it go. See if you can relax into your own vulnerability. Remind yourself that this is not a fight-or-flight situation, but rather an opportunity to understand each other more deeply and to forge an even stronger relationship.

The Ongoing Action Plan for Fine Parents

If you are inclined to write, you can take the 2-minute action plan a step further. Keeping a daily stream-of-consciousness journal can be a wonderful tool for unraveling our thoughts, feelings, actions, and the connections among the three.

Julia Cameron pioneered this idea in The Artist’s Way, calling the ritual “Morning Pages”. While it was originally meant to clear the mind to make room for creativity, the Morning Pages practice can also be used to clear your mind of any clutter or complicated thoughts, to make room for full, authentic engagement with the world and your family.

When it comes to conflict, a writing practice can help you understand your own reactions to difficult situations. This in turn helps us connect with and better understand our children. This high level of empathy is crucial for helping our children learn to understand their emotions related to conflict and disagreement, and one of the best ways to cultivate empathy is by being vulnerable ourselves. From that place of kindness and empathy, we can teach our children to deal with these moments in a way that fosters continued harmonious relationship at home, at school, and for the rest of their lives.

By: 

Tiffany Frye is the co-founder of nido durham (www.nidodurham.com), a coworking space with childcare in Durham, NC. She supports and mentors parents who want to craft a career that fits around their lives and honors their parent-self as well as their professional-self. You can connect with Tiffany at tiffanymfrye.com or on Twitter @nidodurham.

Source: Teaching Your Kids How to Resolve Conflict Without Fighting – A Fine Parent

.

References

  • UNICEF. 2010. The State of the World’s Children Report, Special Edition. New York, UNICEF.
  • Garrison, C. Z., Bryant, E. S., Addy, C. L., Spurrier, P. G., Freedy, J. R., and Kilpatrick, D. G. 1995. Posttraumatic stress disorder in adolescents after Hurricane Andrew. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 34, pp. 1193-1201.
  • Shannon, M. P., Lonigan, C. J., Finch, A. J. and Taylor, C. M. 1994. Children exposed to disaster: I. Epidemiology of post-traumatic symptoms and symptom profiles. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 33, pp. 80-93.
  • De Jong, J. T. V. M. 2002. Trauma, War, and Violence: Public Mental Health in Socio Cultural Context. New York, Kluwer.
  • Dyregrov, A.; Gjestad, R.; Raundalen, M. (2002). “Children exposed to warfare: a longitudinal study”. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 15 (1): 59–68. doi:10.1023/A:1014335312219. PMID 11936723.
  • Thabet, A.A.; Abed, Y.; Vostanis, P. (2002). “Emotional problems in Palestinian children living in a war zone: a cross-sectional study”. Lancet. 359 (9320): 1801–1804. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08709-3. PMID 12044374.
  • El-Khosondar, I. 2004. The Effect of Rational Behavior Therapy in Reducing the Effect of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among Palestinian Children. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
  • Hawajri, A. 2003. Effectiveness of a Suggested Counseling Program to Alleviate Trauma among the Students of Basic Stage in Gaza Governorate. Unpublished master dissertation, Islamic University, Gaza, Palestine.
  • Mohlen, H., Parzer, P., Resch, F. and Brunner, R. 2005. Psychosocial support for war traumatized child and adolescent refugees: Evaluation of a short-term treatment program. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 39 (1-2), pp. 81-87
  • Husain, S. (2005). “The experience of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Psychosocial consequences of war atrocities on children”. In Lopez-Ibor, J.; Christodoulou, G.; et al. (eds.). Disasters and Mental Health. New York: John Wiley and Sons. pp. 239–246.
  • Elbedour, S., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Ghannamc, J., Whitcomed, J. A., Abu, H. F. 2007. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety among Gaza Strip adolescents in the wake of the second Uprising (Intifada). Child Abuse Neglect, Vol. 31, pp. 719-729.
  • One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the free content work Marope, P.T.M.; Kaga, Y. (2015). Investing against Evidence: The Global State of Early Childhood Care and Education (PDF). Paris, UNESCO. pp. 118–125. ISBN 978-92-3-100113-0.
  • Das, R.; Hampton, D. D.; Jirtle, R.L. (2009). “Imprinting evolution and human health”. Mammalian Genome. 20 (10): 563–72. doi:10.1007/s00335-009-9229-y. PMID 19830403.
  • Walker, S. P., Wachs, T. D. et al. 2007. Child development: risk factors for adverse outcomes in developing countries. The Lancet, Vol. 369(9556), pp. 145-157.
  • Alaani, S., Adsfahani, M. S., Tafash, M., and Manduca, P. 2008. Four polygamous families with congenital birth defects from Fallujah, Iraq. In Save the Children, Protecting Children in a Time of Crisis. Annual Report.
  • Balakrishnan, B., Henare, K., Thorstensen, E. B., Ponnampalam, A. P., Mitchell DPhil, M. D. 2010. Transfer of bisphenol A across the human placenta. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 202, pp. 393-395.
  • Shonkoff, J. P., Boyce, W. T. and McEwen, B. S. 2009. Neuroscience, molecular biology, and the childhood roots of health disparities: Building a new framework for health promotion and disease prevention. JAMA, Vol. 301(21), pp. 2252-2259.
  • Engel, S.M.; Berkowitz, G.S.; Wolf, M.; Yehuda, R. (2005). “Psychological trauma associated with the World Trade Center attacks and its effect on pregnancy outcome”. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 19 (5): 334–341. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3016.2005.00676.x. PMID 16115284.
  • Zubenko, W. N. and Capozzoli, J. 2002. Children in Disasters: A Practical Guide to Healing and Recovery, New York, Oxford University Press.
  • UNESCO (2011). “EFA Global Monitoring Report: The Hidden Crisis – Armed Conflict and Education” (PDF). Paris: UNESCO.
  • Massad, S., Nieto, F. J., Palta, M., Smith, M., Clark, R., Thabet, A., 2009. Mental health of Palestinian children in kindergartens: Resilience and vulnerability. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Vol. 14(2), pp. 89-96, doi:10.1111/j.1475-3588.2009.00528.x.

Thabet, A. A., Vostanis, P. and Karim, K. 2005. Group crisis intervention for children during ongoing war conflict. Psychiatry, Vol.14, pp. 262-269.

Empathy Helps Explain How Parental Support Can Prevent Teen Delinquency

A new study of nearly 4,000 school children has found that youngsters who feel they have empathic support from their parents and caregivers are verging away from a wide range of delinquent behavior, such as committing crimes.

Published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Moral Education, the research, which drew on data surveying children over a four year period from when they were aged 12 to 17, also shows that those who received empathy were less likely to execute acts of serious delinquent behavior, compared to those who simply felt they had supportive parents.

In addition, the new findings — out today — demonstrate that parents/caregivers who display greater empathy enhance their teenagers’ own development of empathy, or the ability to acknowledge and understand the feelings of others.

The results follow an investigation of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children data source, which features a series of interviews with 3,865 boys and girls across Australia over the period when delinquent behavior first tends to appear.

Author of the paper, Professor Glenn Walters from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, USA, states his findings demonstrate that parental support, as perceived by the child, plays a “small but significant role” in the development of empathy in early adolescent youth.

The Associate Professor of Criminal Justice adds: “Empathy in youth also appears to have the power to mediate the negative association between perceived parental support and future juvenile delinquency.”

The study was launched to expand on results of several previous articles which investigated the relationship between parental support and delinquent behavior in teenagers. The proposition is that strong parental support reduces the propensity for such behavior. However, the results have been mixed.

Forensic psychologist Professor Walters wanted further clarification. Could parental support and delinquent behavior include an indirect relationship, rather than direct, and be mediated by another factor: high levels of empathy?

To find out, he first scrutinized two interview sessions where the children were asked about their level of parental support as they perceived it, and their development of empathy. To determine parental support, they were asked to rate statements such as “I trust my parents” and “I talk to my parents.” To assess empathy, they were asked to rate statements such as “I try to empathize with friends,” and “I try to make others feel better.”

In the final session, when they were 16 or 17, they were asked how often they had engaged in 17 delinquent acts in the past year. These acts varied in their seriousness, from drawing graffiti in a public place to purposely damaging or destroying property to using force or the threat of force to get money or things from someone.

Using a variety of statistical techniques, Professor Walters found that empathy did indeed appear to mediate the relationship between parental support and delinquent behavior. Children who reported more parental support tended to have higher levels of empathy, and these children were less likely to engage in delinquent behavior.

“What the current study adds to the literature on the parental support-delinquency relationship is a mechanism capable of further clarifying this relationship,” Walters says. “The mechanism, according to the results of the present study, is empathy.”

He does concede, however, that other factors such as social interest and self-esteem may also play a role in mediating the relationship between parental support and teenage delinquency, and says these factors should be explored in future research.

Walters also suggests, in future research, empathy should be measured from a younger age and that new criminalities such as cybercrime — not included in this data set — should be assessed.

By Taylor & Francis Group

Source: Empathy helps explain how parental support can prevent teen delinquency: Study on 4,000 children monitored over four years, finds children who felt their parents were empathic were less likely to commit serious crime — ScienceDaily

.

Journal Reference:

  1. Glenn D. Walters. In search of a mechanism: mediating the perceived parental support–delinquency relationship with child empathy. Journal of Moral Education, 2021; 1 DOI: 10.1080/03057240.2021.1872511
RELATED STORIES

How To Teach Children Empathy

Does your child have empathy? Or should I ask, do you have empathy? One of the best ways to teach empathy is by modeling it for your child. If you show your child how to be empathetic with your actions, they will learn from you. But teaching empathy goes beyond being a positive role model for your child.

What is Empathy and Why It’s Important

Empathy is such an important virtue to possess in life. When you have empathy, you are able to actively value another person’s perspective and respond with care and concern. Empathy is about having compassion and having the ability to envision how someone else is feeling in a particular situation and responding with understanding. It’s something that parents can nurture in their child’s lives as they grow and mature but it’s never too early to start! Some people are born empathetic and it comes naturally for them. But not all people have empathy and it can be a complex skill that some people need to mindfully learn and practice.

Who Struggles With Empathy

The more egocentric a person is, the harder it is for them to be empathetic. That being said, toddlers and teenagers will have the hardest time having and showing empathy to others. Also, if a child doesn’t know a multitude of emotions and or isn’t able to freely express emotions in their home, they may have a more difficult time being empathetic to others. Children on the Autism Spectrum, for example, also have a challenging time showing compassion, empathy, and effectively having perspective taking with others.

How Parents Can Cultivate Empathy With Their Children

Play it Out

Children love to play and play is necessary for them to learn and make sense of their world and various skills on how to function in their world. So I suggest, getting a box of bandages and have your child nurse their doll or stuffed animal and help them “feel better” by taking care of them. This will help children notice when friends are hurt and want to help them and take care of them. 

Practice and Define Emotions

Children need to know emotions before they can express them and understand how others are feeling. So I suggest playing an emotion game where you make a face and your child has to name the emotion you are feeling. Then, your child makes the same face and describes a time when they felt that emotion.

Model Empathy

If your child gets hurt or gets a bad grade, try not to invalidate them or dismiss them by just saying “it’s ok” but instead model what it’s like to show empathy. You can say, “How does this grade make you feel?” and “What can I do to help support you?” and “What can I do to help you feel better?” If your child is willing to listen, you can name them their strengths and encourage them to keep trying to get a better grade next time. 

Take Another Perspective

Talk about how someone feels in a particular situation that you see on television or in real life and ask your child,  “How must they feel?” Once you establish how the other person feels, you can talk about what that person can do the next time to act differently with more empathy. You can also teach your child to initiate asking others “how are you feeling today” or “how are you doing today” but if they have trouble initiating it, teach them to respond this way to someone asking them first, to show them that you care about them. A conversation between a family member or a friend is about giving and receiving, listening and responding.

Prioritize Kindness and Inclusion

Kindness goes a long way. Teach your child to choose kindness and inclusion. Teach your child that if they see a child playing or eating lunch by themselves, have them initiate a conversation with that child and invite them to play or eat with them. If they see that a friend is hurt physically or emotionally, teach your child to ask them how they are feeling and how they can help.

Practice Opportunities

Practice doing something nice for a friend who is sick, hurt, or had a bad day. Your child can draw them a picture or make them a card or a craft and deliver it to their doorstep. If your child is older, they can send a text, email, or call their friend to check on them. 

Volunteer and Give

Have your child practice giving to others. Maybe they can volunteer at a local food bank or animal shelter. Maybe they can gather outgrown toys and give them to Salvation Army or Goodwill. Maybe they can save allowance money and buy some new toys to give to a local Children’s Hospital or Toys for Tots around the holidays. Or maybe they can draw pictures to give to individuals at a retirement center.

Host a Family Meeting

Schedule a family meeting in your home once a week. At the meeting, let everyone in the family have a turn speaking and sharing. This will provide your child the opportunity to practice listening to others and their feelings as well as have the opportunity to express themselves and their needs.

Reflect and Listen

It is important to teach children to listen to how others are feeling and then to reflect on how they are feeling. It is just as important to listen to how other’s are feeling, if not more, as to reflect on how they are feeling. Listening is a very important skill to learn and practice. If you don’t listen carefully to someone, you may miss understanding how they are really feeling and how to respond and reflect properly.  

Make a Repair

When a conflict arises, you can have your child practice making a repair. If they take a toy away from another child or a sibling, you can have your child reflect on how that made the other child feel and then follow up with asking your child what they can do differently next time and how they can make it better this time. This might mean a verbal apology, a written apology letter, an apology drawing, and even a hug.

 

By: Dr. Kim

 

Source: How To Teach Children Empathy

.

.

.

More Contents:

Teach your children EMPATHY through these quotes!
http://www.youtube.com – February 20
N/A
Black-owned kids clothing and toy brands
http://www.reviewed.com – February 17
[…] We also want to teach our children empathy and compassion for others around them while encouraging them to embrace other marginalized cultures […]
2
How to Teach Compassion to Your Children – Cambridge School Noida
sites.google.com – February 16
[…] One of the top five schools in Noida teaches children empathy and compassion to deepen the understanding and ignite the children’s ability to empathize with on […] Here are some of the tips that you can use to teach your children empathy and compassion […]
0
How to develop compassion?
anandrao.wixsite.com – February 7
[…] The following figure highlights some key strategies for teaching children empathy. Figure 3: Key strategies to teach children empathy Developing compassion is important not just in your personal or social life, but is also becomin […] and Empathy – Are we doing it right? How to build empathy in marriage? Key strategies to teach children empathy […]
1
Children’s Mental Health Week 2021: therapist releases self-help book for kids in pandemic –
jonisjournalblog.home.blog – February 4
A mental health therapist is releasing a self-help book to teach children empathy in the pandemic […]
1
Vietnamese News Aggregator
[…]   ​ Everywhere, Vietnamese parents have always taught their children empathy, desire for higher education, and most importantly, the quest for justice […]
23
Eugenia Chu’s Blog – Multicultural Children’s Book Day – Review of In the Nick of Time by Deedee Cummings – January 27, 2021 16:17
http://www.goodreads.com – January 28
[…] These kinds of books teach children empathy towards those who look different and promote cross-cultural friendship while dispelling stereotypes […]
0
Multicultural Children’s Book Day – Review of In the Nick of Time by Deedee Cummings – EUGENIA CHU
eugeniachu.com – January 28
[…] These kinds of books teach children empathy towards those who look different and promote cross-cultural friendship while dispelling stereotypes […]
N/A
Can pets like cats and dogs think like humans?
http://www.smh.com.au – January 23
[…] Pets help teach children empathy, too […]
N/A
Shweta Verma on LinkedIn: #ADayonGinnysPlanet Meet Raadhika (Foodshaala Foundation) who is #
http://www.linkedin.com – January 14
[…] #grownups #empathymatters #diversityandinclusion #diversity #storytelling #inclusion #behaviour #children #empathy #empathymatters A Day on Ginny’s Planet | 17 Jan 2021| Sunday| 15 Events | All Ages | Art & Craft […] #grownups #empathymatters #diversityandinclusion #diversity #storytelling #inclusion #behaviour #children #empathy #empathymatters #socent #cooking #foodandnutrition #ADayonGinnysPlanet Meet Raadhika (Foodshaal […]
N/A
Is it normal to just burn yourself out trying to care for other people? Or like is it possible that at some point you just become to tired to give a damn about someone? : NoStupidQuestions
http://www.reddit.com – January 11
[…] They tell you, “put on your mask before helping others” including children. Empathy burnout happens when the person doesn’t put themselves first […]
N/A
Best Parenting Books: Top Picks for 2021
[…] In this book, she offers a step-by-step plan to increase empathy in your children. Empathy is a trait that can be taught and nurtured and Dr […]
57
Big Emotions- Yours and Theirs (Part 3)
learningathome.com – January 4
[…] is a gift that you give children that they will benefit from their entire life through:​ Showing children empathy and respect​ Demonstrating confidence in a child’s capabilities ​ Teaching them they have contro […]
0
Opinion | An Empathy Lesson for Teens Amid a Pandemic – The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com – January 3
[…] She writes about the need for “empathy” for her teenage children. Empathy, however, is not feeling sorry for bored teens temporarily denied […]
N/A
Co-Parenting with a Narcissist
talkingparents.com – January 2
[…]   Model emotional intelligence for your children – Empathy, compassion, and forgiveness are not emotions your children are going to learn from their othe […]
57
10 ways parents can teach their kids to be allies to the LGBTQ+ community •
gcn.ie – December 22, 2020
[…] Teaching your children empathy and how to look at the world from someone else’s shoes gives them emotional intelligence […]
3
What Parenting is About: 8 Tips For Success- Daycare Las Vegas –
infokidscampuslv.wordpress.com – December 21, 2020
[…] Teach Children Empathy and Respect When children are raised well, they have a remarkable capacity for compassion an […] If parents don’t take the time to teach their children empathy, it can make them impulsive and cruel […]
0
Children’s Books of 2020 | Nasher News
nasher-news.com – December 14, 2020
[…] might not all be best sellers or trending across social and digital media but each book teaches children empathy and acceptance, things not often found in children’s literature […]
0
Mom Punishes Daughter For Mocking Homeless Man: AITA
percolately.com – December 11, 2020
One of the successes of a parent is teaching your children empathy […]
91
Navigating Parenting Challenges – How Can I Get My Kids to Do Chores? | Oakes Public School District #41
http://www.oakes.k12.nd.us – December 10, 2020
[…] Pitching in teaches children empathy, responsibility, and the importance of belonging to a community […]
0
Leaving Facebook
m.facebook.com – December 6, 2020
We’re just checking that you want to follow a link to this website: https://washingtondc.momcollective.com/mom-life/co-parenting-navigating-the-grief-of-separation-while-teaching-children-empathy/ Go BackFollow Link
N/A
Stories of Our Volunteers: How Can Volunteering Change Your World
novakdjokovicfoundation.org – December 4, 2020
[…] The soul is healed by time spent with the children. Empathy is nurtured through volunteering […]
N/A
Co-Parenting: Navigating the Grief of Separation While Teaching Children Empathy
washingtondc.momcollective.com – December 2, 2020
[…] Teaching Children Empathy During a Separation I created an affectionate space for open communication about our feelings […]
1
Service Projects for Kids At Home: 10 Ways To Serve Your Community
nurtureandthriveblog.com – December 2, 2020
[…] Here is what you can do — you can teach your children empathy, compassion, and the joy of serving the community right in your own home […]
23
Charitable Christmas gift ideas in Singapore | HoneyKids Asiat
honeykidsasia.com – December 1, 2020
[…] families to being an animal benefactor, these meaningful and charitable presents will teach your children empathy and the value of helping others […]
1
Tour: The Empathy Advantage by LYNNE AZARCHI (Non-Fiction)
nanasbookreviews.wordpress.com – November 26, 2020
[…] Director of Kidsbridge Tolerance Center, has the answer to these growing problems:  teaching our children empathy […]
1
10 best Christmas decor items to spruce up your home this holiday | indy100
http://www.indy100.com – November 25, 2020
[…] The wheel is an excellent tool for teaching children empathy and introducing concepts of giving at a time when the “gimme-gimmes” can be high […]

Aging Parents And Holidays Safety Over Comfort

This is the strangest holiday season of a lifetime, isn’t it? We get warnings about not visiting during holidays of all kinds and the rates of infection keep going up. Given that it’s inarguable now that the rates of infection by Covid-19, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are worse that ever, we have to consider the painful question before us: is it worse to visit our elders this season or is it worse to stay away?

It’s individual, as situations vary. We see our aging parents, perhaps on Zoom, lonely and in need of company. We can talk on the phone with them, but there are many limitations. One 98 year old client of ours at AgingParents.com can speak on the phone but he’s quite hard of hearing. Calls tend to be brief. And he gets confused by Zoom. His company is his caregivers. At least they can come to his home and he can afford to pay for in-home care. Some seniors have little contact with others now in person. Technology is sometimes difficult enough for Boomers, and imagine how odd it feels for those Boomers’ parents, many of whom are in their 80s and 90s or older.

For those with dementia, it is even worse. Difficulty learning new information is a characteristic of dementia and learning how to be on a video call is definitely new information for many. Yet, the emotions aging parents with dementia or other conditions feel are just as real as they are for anyone else. No one likes to be lonely and cut off from whatever fun they used to enjoy before the pandemic.

When anyone asks me for advice about which is worse, possible exposure to Covid-19 from an asymptomatic person or serious depression and loneliness, I say possible exposure to disease. At least we have some ways we can address loneliness, as well as depression. We can make those phone calls to aging loved ones who are away from us, even if they’re very short because of hearing loss, confusion or anything else. We can try video calls when anyone in the house is capable of helping with logging on or using technology like FaceTime.

PROMOTED AWS Infrastructure Solutions BrandVoice | Paid Program Modernization Challenges Enterprise IT Faces And How To Solve Them Grads of Life BrandVoice | Paid Program Why Employers Should Connect To Opportunity Youth In 2021 Civic Nation BrandVoice | Paid Program My Experience Serving As An Election Judge

We can coordinate with our aging parents’ physician, in the event that they are looking so depressed you are very worried about it. Medication does work for most depressed folks and Medicare pays for standard medications to treat depression. Adult children may need to be advocates for their loved ones about this. It’s unlikely that an aging person is going to tell their family they’re depressed and need medication to get by during isolation. Family can step up and ask for an evaluation of depression symptoms from the doctor. It makes sense to take the edge off painful feelings when we can, even temporarily, as current isolation finally has an end in sight. Pharmaceuticals for treating depression are readily available and they work with medical supervision for kind, dosage and eventually getting off the medications.

What we know about Covid-19 now is what we knew early on when the disease ravaged nursing homes. Elders are by no means the only ones getting sick, but they have the worst mortality rate of any age group. Exposing them is not worth the risk of a holiday visit, painful as it is to forego it. They are just too vulnerable. MORE FOR YOUWhy Joe Biden Should Reform, Not Repeal, The Windfall Elimination ProvisionHow The Bidens Earned $16.7 Million After Leaving The White HouseiPhone 12 And 12 Pro Review: What’s Old Is New Again And More Accessible Than Ever

For families who can’t bear the thought of not seeing Mom, Dad, or a grandparent during times when families always try to be together, consider that you could be saving lives if you refrain from the visit you want to have with them.

I take comfort in knowing that apart from healthcare workers and those on the front lines of the fight against Covid-19, elders will be among the first to get the vaccine. That means that they have a better chance to get in front with protection and can avoid this life-threatening illness sooner than younger people can.

The takeaway is that this holiday season is the time to grit your teeth and stay away from your aging parents unless you already live with them. It will not be long before we can use the first vaccines to save them from getting Covid-19. Meanwhile, do the best you can with the phone, gifts sent in the mail, flowers, cards, letters, and possibly video calls with them. Importantly, contact your aging loved one’s doctor and ask for an evaluation if what you see looks like serious depression. Appropriate medications can lift the spirits, help people function better, and help them feel more inclined to participate in whatever is offered to keep them engaged.

And for all of us with elders in our lives, hang on a little longer. The vaccine will help us end this pandemic and enable us to look forward to a much better holiday season with aging parents next time around. You can feel good about staying away, as it is truly a responsible and loving act to protect those most vulnerable in our families. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website

Carolyn Rosenblatt

Carolyn Rosenblatt

I’m a California girl, born and raised here, with an abiding interest in health issues and particularly, healthy aging. I have always loved working with older people, probably because I had this amazing grandmother. She taught me so much about life, balance, how to be your own person, and how to savor the moment. She was a nurse and inspired me to be one, too. I evolved into a second career, practicing law, representing individuals. Now, I’m in the advice and conflict resolution field, focused on issues about aging and aging parents. This blog is dedicated to you, the one with the aging parent or aging loved one. Maybe it’s just about all of us middle aged folks getting older ourselves. My husband, Dr. Mikol Davis, a geriatric psychologist, and I put our efforts together at AgingParents.com & AgingInvestor.com. We’ve got 2, 30-something kids and an 94 year old mother in law.

Helping Mom is a big part of our lives. Lots of our friends are going through the same things we are: parents starting to decline in health or alertness, putting time in with all we can do to help out. The stresses affect you, and they affect me, too. I like to discuss these challenges and what you can do to meet them. Feel free to comment! Oh yes, I am the author of four books, “The Boomers Guide To Aging Parents,” “The Family Guide To Aging Parents,” “Working With Aging Clients: A Guide for Attorneys, Business and Financial Professionals,” and “Succeed With Senior Clients: A Financial Advisors Guide To Best Practice.” All books are available on Amazon.com

.

.

Sofia Amirpoor

Having guilt about elderly parents is almost a right of passage for adult children! But it doesn’t have to be that way! Whether you feel like you’re not a good caregiver, or your elderly mother puts a guilt trip on you, or you’re feeling guilty over putting your parent in an assisted living or nursing home, this video will help you to reduce your feelings of guilt so you can get on with providing care while maintaining your sanity! WATCH MY OTHER POPULAR VIDEOS 5 Strategies to counteract Anticipatory Grief https://youtu.be/vJk_t8yc3ts Aid & Attendance Benefit Process (My roller-coaster application process) https://youtu.be/asPa97F6cC4 Talking to your parents about Assisted Living https://youtu.be/AhI4AL15_jE GIVE THE PERFECT GIFT THIS YEAR! Great Gift Ideas for Older Parents https://youtu.be/ELkFpaYDnkw Paying for Senior Care (11 CREATIVE ways to fund care in 2019) https://youtu.be/u8SA2-E1hEo When should you stop being a caregiver? https://youtu.be/zDAaiGiXESM How to apply for VA Aid & Attendance Step by Step https://youtu.be/A8YXawD5Lys#SeniorCare#FamilyCaregiver#ElderCare#Dementia

Homeworking & Homeschooling in COVID-19

It appears that COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon. Most of us have reached that point where we at least know someone who has contracted it or has even become severely affected or died from it. I’ve even read predictions from experts that before we conquer it – if we ever do – at least 60-70% of the population will have contracted the coronavirus. 60-70%. And right now 1 in every 100 in the US has it or has had it. In the US, we are setting records nearly every day for new cases.

We aren’t back on “stay at home” lockdown yet. But businesses are closing back down. One thing that is still being heavily debated and is still in consideration is sending kids back to school next month for the 2020-21 school year. Is it a good idea? What’s the alternative? Online school from home, homeschooling, no schooling? Those are tough options – especially if both parents work outside the home. But one of those may be your reality, depending on how you feel about your 12 year old going back to school and possibly contracting the virus and bringing it home to your household. It’s a crazy world and we are worrying daily about things we never thought we would have to.

Let’s consider the homeschooling option… I’ve been home working and homeschooling for many years so it’s a familiar path for me and my family. First, I have 11 kids – 7 adopted, some with some health challenges and one with childhood leukemia that was only diagnosed 4 months ago and is not in remission and he happens to be in the hospital right now. With basically no immune system to speak of, leaving the house or allowing anyone in for absolutely non-essential things (like chemo clinic) is out of the question. It could kill him. There really is no plan B for us.

Let’s look at the home working and homeschooling reality and how we could pull it off. It’s not easy but it’s probably not as hard as you might think and certainly can help keep your family safe during this pandemic.

Organization is a must

You could just wing it and work it out along the way – and you may have to. But you have a month and you may already be working from home and I think most of us know that planning ahead greatly increases chances of success. So let’s organize… but how? First off, read and educate. Know the basics. Know something about what you’re getting into. Lean on others for info, tools and advice. Use your past experiences and knowledge and the experience and knowledge of others. There is a wealth of knowledge out there on both topics. Use it. But don’t start out completely disorganized and expect to succeed. It won’t work. You will struggle too much and likely fail. Not trying to scare you – it’s just fact.

You don’t have to be an expert at either

No one said you have to be an expert before you venture out into something new. I wasn’t an expert project manager when I first jumped into the profession. I was just a software developer and the person proposed in the position on a huge government IT project. Then we won the contract and that was that. My wife and I weren’t home schooling experts when our first child was born 33 years ago. But we thought it was the best choice for us and for our first child so we planned and prepared and when he was 3 we started with pre-school and it worked for us (mainly my wife). We always said we were taking it a year at a time… and 30 years later we are still at it and still succeeding… our kids are turning out ok and five have moved out and moved on to adulthood successfully – two are married and one of those is a parent. So we didn’t ruin their lives… they even have said so.

It’s ok to get help – not ok to struggle

You’re not alone. It’s actually ok to struggle to some degree… but not for too long. Projects, kids, families, lives may be depending on your success in these situations so don’t take them lightly. You can’t just try and fail and move on. You have to give it your all and have a plan B (see planning) which may be a completely different route or going back to the old norm. But you have a team, you have a family, you can use tools and groups and articles and social media and groups to get help and plan and gain knowledge and succeed.

Plan or fail

You don’t have to be the best or the greatest at either. And yes, you can “fake it till you make it” to some degree. Not for too long because you need to show you’re excelling at both at some early point or it isn’t worth it. But you can do it if you plan and map out a course and work at it. And, as pointed out above, you’re not alone… there is help out there in your team, your family, social media groups of experts and those going through the same struggles you may be experiencing. The key in project management, business, life and now homeschooling, is planning. Sometimes a lot of planning but always at least some productive planning – and revisiting and adjusting the plan along the way is ok – is a necessary ingredient to success in business and life.

Good health is a good thing but do what’s right for you

With COVID-19 numbers going out of control many are frustrated and some are panicking. Can you work remotely? Yes but it’s not for the disorganized or faint of heart. Can you homeschool? Yes. But it too is not for the disorganized and faint of heart. And this one can be scary. You fail and you’re really failing your children. But you really can’t put a price on being healthy and keeping your kids safe. So if numbers are high and you’re worried… it may be your gut and circumstances saying “try it.” If it doesn’t work out for you and your kids, you can go back to the old norm. But there’s a good chance that it will work out and it may serve you in the interim or it may become your new permanent normal. And you can stay healthy and safe at the same time.

Summary / call for input

The bottom line is 2020 is a new road for us. A scary road. Uncharted territory for many. There isn’t a single person in the world who hasn’t been affected in some way. Our success – and the success of many around us including our business colleagues, teams and family – depend to some degree on our own success. That can be a huge stressful burden. Or we can grab it by the horns and take it on. Go ahead, take it on. You can do it.

Readers – what are your thoughts? Are you working remotely? What advice do you have for others? Are you homeschooling or thinking about it as the potentially dangerous school year approaches? What are you planning to do? Comment and let’s discuss.

By: Calum Bateman

MindGenius Online The perfect Project Management & Mind Mapping Software collaboration tool for Remote Teams.

.

.

UC Davis Health 28.1K subscribers Working from home during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a new challenge for many, especially for parents whose kids are now learning from home. Dr. Megan Tudor, a clinical psychologist at the world-renowned UC Davis MIND Institute, answers questions about how to create a productive environment at home and offers tools to help parents educate their children, including those with autism.

Hosted by Pamela Wu, Director of News and Media Relations for UC Davis Health. For the latest information and resources on COVID-19, visit https://health.ucdavis.edu/coronavirus/ UC Davis Health Video Visits: https://health.ucdavis.edu/medicalcen… UC Davis MIND Institute: http://mindinstitute.ucdavis.edu MIND Institute STAAR Study: https://health.ucdavis.edu/mindinstit… Help Is In Your Hands Program: http://helpisinyourhands.org See the latest news from UC Davis Health: https://health.ucdavis.edu/newsroom#covid19#workfromhome#distancelearning#homeschool#ucdavis#autism#mindinstitute

Advertisement

4 Things Employers Can Do to Support Parents Working Remotely

Life is different now, particularly for working parents who were suddenly given a second full-time job when daycare and schools shut down and are still faced with uncertainty as summer comes to an end.

I won’t pretend to have any idea what the parents of school-aged kids I work with are dealing with right now. They are doing amazing work in a situation that’s far from ideal. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to make sure parents feel supported right now. Here are a few ways we’re doing that at Zapier. 

Be flexible about meetings.

Sometimes parents will be late to Zoom meetings. Kids are home instead of attending school or daycare. They’re bored, they’re frustrated, and they miss their friends. Parents are trying to keep their kids on track at school, making sure they eat their lunch, and hoping against hope that no one pours an entire gallon of milk on the carpet. Leaders need to be patient and understanding. 

Kids will barge into video calls too — a lot. Remember: Not everyone has a home office with a door that closes. Even if they do, kids are going to barge into rooms they’re not supposed to be in. Give parents a minute to see if they can get their kids back on track; if not, offer to postpone the meeting.

Avoid frustration. Instead say hi to the kid. It’s an opportunity for them to learn a bit about their parents’ work. Doing this helps put everyone at ease. 

You don’t always need a meeting.

Time is an increasingly scarce resource, particularly for parents. Not every decision needs a meeting. Many decisions can happen over email, chat, or in the comment section of a shared document. This is called working asynchronously, and it’s a huge part of what allows remote workplaces to function efficiently. It’s especially important now. 

Just keep in mind that sometimes decisions can get stuck while working asynchronously and when that happens you’ll likely need to escalate to a live meeting.

People’s working hours won’t be normal–and that’s okay.

One of the best things about remote work is flexibility. This is essential to working parents right now, who are juggling way more responsibilities than usual. It’s important that leaders don’t just tolerate the unpredictable schedules but actively embrace it.

Parents at Zapier take advantage of this flexibility even under normal circumstances–it’s even more important now. Some wake up early, work for a couple of hours, then use the rest of the morning to focus on their kids before getting back to work in the afternoon. This allows them to trade off parenting duties to their significant others, many of whom are also working full-time jobs while parenting. It doesn’t matter when work gets done, only that it gets done. 

Create a sense of community.

Every situation is different, but all parents are up against a massive challenge right now.

At Zapier, we have a channel on Slack specifically for parents, where folks share pictures, advice, and stories about lockdown parenting life. A bunch of grassroots activities started there. For example, there’s a virtual “take your kid to work day,” where kids of employees host a Zoom presentation for other Zapier kids. Highlights so far include “My Favorite Toys” and “Lego Show and Tell.” It’s one way parents can build community (and also keep the kids busy for a while). 

And it’s not just parents who can support each other. If you’re not a parent, ask the parents you work with what they need, and what their schedules are currently like. If they’re working on a high-priority project, offer to help. 

Don’t overlook the importance of community–it’s vital, now more than ever. 

By Wade Foster, CEO and co-founder, Zapier

%d bloggers like this: