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Practicing What I preach
In the interests of practicing what I preach, I decided to ride my bike to the library near my house to write this newsletter.
When I arrived I went into a panic because I realized the key to my bike lock was not on my key chain. I took several deep breaths and decided that on a day as beautiful as this, I might as well write outside anyway.
So, I grabbed the book I wanted to return and went inside, grabbed the book I wanted, checked out the window for the bike. Yep, still there. Then I checked out the book and started back outside. I breathed in the warm fragrant autumn air and suddenly I had a thought. My key is in the bottom of my purse. Sure enough, there it was!
So I locked up, but decided with weather like this, I’d be crazy to go inside. So I’m sitting on a park bench, next to a pond with a waterfall, smelling the freshly spread bark dust, amongst birches, elms and firs.
I will be feeling filled up and ready for my kids tonight!
How Kids Can Act as a Thermometer
For the Health of Your Marriage.
One of the things that I noticed when my children were quite a bit younger and I was still married to their dad, is that whenever I was exhausted and feeling stressed from dealing with the problems in my marriage, my children would begin to act up. They would be more whiny, demanding, or even defiant or aggressive.
An Aggressive Baby?
Once, when my son was only 18 months old, I had a very bad argument with his dad which left me feeling completely desolate. I decided to go to the health club to try and wor k out my pain. I put Sam into the Health Club baby room. After about 20 minutes, they called me and said that he had been hitting other babies! I was so embarrassed I didn’t know what to say. I never realized how the arguing between his father and me affected him as well as his big sisters.
What I eventually learned is that my kids were not trying to drive me crazy, but they were acting li ke little thermometers for the health of my marriage. The more heated the arguments, the more challenging the behavior from my children would drive that mercury right up! They were acting out all the feelings that they could not express any other way. Ugh!
What you can do
So, if you suspect something like this situation is cropping up in your family, there are several ways that you can begin to work on your relationship depending on what you have already tried and how bad things have gotten. Here are some ideas:
- Spend time with your partner away from the children to discuss your relationship and have some fun together. Having a regular date night is a wonderful way to communicate with each other on a regular basis as well as keep the flames alive.
- Read or listen to a book on tape regarding relationships that fits your particular situation. Some good choices are: “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman or for blended families try “Stepcoupling” by Susan Wisdom. By working with these books you may be able to shift some difficult patterns and begin to relate to each other differently.
- If things are really past the point of self-help, then seek the help of a professional counselor who will take the whole family system into account. Sometimes you need an objective observer to help you to find that spark again.
Don’t wait. Your little thermometers will thank you.
Calm the Chaos Parent Coaching
Are you wishing for a peaceful home for the holidays? Sometimes the chaos gets to be overwhelming, and you want to get some relief. Calm the Chaos Parent Coaching will help you work through challenges with your marriage, with parenting, or your child’s school and will help you to have happy, successful children and a peaceful home life.
Earning the fun?
A friend of mine recently said, “I feel li ke I have to earn the right to have fun.” Now I know this woman does a TON for everyone in her life—her child, her husband, her clients, and even her friends. She’s a dynamo all day then crashes into bed wondering why there’s so little fun in her life.
She got some great advice from two grandmothers who have both been there done that and have the faded, worn out T-Shirt to prove it. I think these ideas are great for all of us moms in the trenches. Here is what they recommended:
- Notice all the time that you spend doing things to help the world. This could be something as simple as than king the grocery cler k to complimenting your child on his homewor k project or donating time to a charity. There’s a wide range of things moms do each day for the world. Trac k them and write them down at the end of the day.
- Notice when good things—fun things--happen during the day. There is fun happening in small ways all the time. Draw your attention to those fleeting smiles or moments of laughter. Fun is happening in small ways all the time if only you would ta ke note and celebrate it.
Wise words indeed. Thank God for grandmothers!
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Calm the Chaos Newsletter
This Newsletter is copyright (c)2007 Karen DeBolt, all rights reserved. You may freely reprint in any newsletter, website, or print journal. Please send me a copy and include the following attribution:
"Calm the Chaos Newsletter article (c)2007 Karen DeBolt, MA.
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission. Helping families
Struggling with Chaos at home to have happy, successful children. Sign up for the newsletter at http://www.counselingformoms.com and receive a copy of the free report, ‘Conquering Bad Behavior Without Stress.’"
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Karen DeBolt, MA. Parent Coach and Family Therapist
Struggling with Chaos at home and want happy successful children? Download our free report, “How to conquer bad behavior without stress.” http://www.counselingformoms.com/docs/specificpraise.pdf
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