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Parenting

Blog posts with a category of Parenting.

Proactive Parenting

mom-teenPro-active parenting is essential in raising healthy children. Fundamentally supportive, planned-action parenting empowers the child and the entire family unit. Pro-active parents “respond” instead of “react” to the child and his/her behavior. Quite simply, responding means there is forethought to one’s immediate and ongoing actions with the child. Pro-active parents are dedicated to their child’s growth and learning. Reactive parents that act on impulse for immediate control are doing a disservice to all involved.

Parenting is tough and takes skill. It requires maturity, learned skills and work. Pro-active parents learn to set boundaries and avoid power struggles and over-emotionalism. The hard work and “tough love” foster autonomy and decision making skills in their children. Teaching a child how to plan, set goals, better prioritize, follow through and accept the results is what good parenting is all about. When children learn how to compromise, decline politely and delay their wants and needs, a parent can then feel a deep sense of pride in a job well done.

To avoid being a “Reactive” parent, set pre-determined rules and consequences. The way that parents talk to their child to create this platform is very important. Respect begets respect. Phrasing comments with minimal criticism or complaint takes education, effort and practice. One of many examples may be, “You usually do a very good job… is there a reason it’s different for you today”? Pro-active parenting is the first step to healthy children, parents and families.

The best ways to deal with teenagers

IMG_0150By Lisa Kalinski, Director, Therapist, New Oakland

Teenagers. The word alone conjures up frightening images. Like, a parent recoiling in horror to a tattooed, pierced, or pink haired 15-year-old rebel saying, “Mom I hate you!”

OK, that’s extreme, but not so far-fetched.

The nearly 100 therapists at New Oakland are first and foremost, parents, and, like everyone, we want our kids to be as physically and psychologically teens 2strong as they can possibly be. No doubt, they will rebel at some things at some point – that’s normal. But before, during and after, you want to ride it out with them. And a new study tells that the only way to do that is to understand how their child’s day went. It may sound simple enough, but a lot goes into successfully pulling it off.

The October issue of Psychosomatic Medicine says that having parents who understand how their day went may even affect teens’ cellular response to stress, providing a possible link to improved physical health also.

According to a study by Lauren J. Human, PhD, of University of California, San Francisco, “These results provide preliminary evidence that parental accuracy regarding their adolescent’s daily experiences may be one specific daily parent factor that plays a role in adolescent health and well-being.” Continue reading

Spare the child? Then throw away the rod!

IMG_1342By Martha Adair, New Oakland Therapist, Director

Proverbs 13:24 says, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” The  bible defines “rod” as a thin stick or GetAttachment

switch that can be used to give a small amount of physical pain with no lasting physical injury.

The Bible also warns that parents should never abuse the power and authority they have over their young children because it “provokes the children to righteous anger.”

Perhaps if the bible had “spared” us the word “rod” and gave a more nuanced explanation of discipline we might be having a very different conversation in America today.

Instead, we’ve come face to face with the fact that physical abuse masquerading as discipline has been a scourge of children throughout history, and brought into harsh light recently with the case of Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson.

Peterson, by all accounts, is a pretty decent guy, aside from beating the daylights out of his small children with a switch. A Texas grand jury indicted him on child abuse charges after a doctor saw his son’s badly bruised and cut body. He and his mom call it “love,” quoting right from the good book.

Evidence as brought forth by the Global Initiative to End All Corporate Punishment of Children, flies in the face of  the conventional concept of not sparing the rod. Their research has revealed the following in regards children subjected to corporal punishment:

  • Increased aggression in children is a reflective response to experiencing pain
  • The subsequent increase in antisocial behavior makes them less likely to learn the lessons adults want them to learn
  • Increased bullying, lying, cheating, truancy and crime
  • Reduced empathy and moral regulation rather than developing the desire to behave on their own accord
  • Decrease in mental health including anxiety, depression and hopelessness
  • Impaired cognitive development like lower IQ scores and smaller vocabularies

And in reference to the other recently publicized NFL abuse cases, corporal punishment makes children more likely to commit domestic violence as adults.

New Oakland deals with many cases of mental trauma and dysfunction brought on by physical abuse. We advise setting well-defined boundaries to discourage your children from testing you, and that you follow through with positive and negative consequences that you outline. And give clear instructions with eye contact or a hand on the shoulder and ask the child to repeat back to ensure understanding. Continue reading