Tag Archives: fear

Hugs Reduce Stress

Toxic stress in early childhood can harm children for life, warns the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Don’t think your children have experienced toxic stress? All children do to differing degrees. Whoever said childhood is bliss didn’t know what he was talking about. Children experience stress just by being a child. From nightmares, worry about transitions, being afraid of the dark or thunder storms, social fears, children have a hard lot. And that doesn’t cover huge emotions and dysregulation that they cannot possibly understand when asked, “What’s wrong?” Then being punished, criticized, or threatened for behavior they can’t control…. You name it, a day rarely goes by when a child doesn’t experience stress.

Stress arises for a child when sensing a threat with no one to protect him from that threat. Children who experience this kind of stress in the early years, even prenatally through mother’s hormones, “…are more likely to suffer heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other physical ailments…also more likely to struggle in school, have short tempers and tangle with the law.”

Read more…
Dec. ’18 Q&A – Big Emotions, Angry Outbursts and a Must Read

Handling Big Emotions and Understanding the Behavior

Q. We had an episode with our 5 1/2 yr. old son. For the past 2 years, we have tried every approach. Our son is smart but immature. We feel he lacks confidence and tends to hold things in rather than talk. I tried to get to the root cause but he still won’t budge (one might say stubborn). Tonight he was off the wall jumping on chairs, interrupting when I had someone over and had to help them work. No matter how many times my husband or I ask him to stop jumping on chairs, he would say “no never”. He has a temper – will hit, throw, slam doors, spit and call us “stupid” or say “never” when we’re explaining how we want him to stop hitting and start listening. However, his tantrums have become less frequent and recovering has become quicker except tonight. Usually he’ll go through the tantrum and then start crying. If we try to challenge him and he’s in the mood, he’ll do it.  But most of

Read more…
Fear—It’s what anger is really about
Angry child
“If only I didn’t get so angry!” Parents know their anger causes all sorts of problems—but what do you do about it?

Fear is what provokes anger. And fear is where parents live a great deal of the time.

He’s so mean to his sister, how’s he going to treat his wife?

She never listens. How will she ever get through school?

He is so violent. He’ll be in jail by fifteen.

She’s so bossy. No one will ever like her.

He’s addicted to screens. How will he ever interact with anyone.

Other kids listen to their parents. Why won’t mine? What have I done wrong?

Handling the problem that faces you in the moment requires staying in that moment with your child. Let’s say your four year old is having a meltdown to end all meltdowns. You have told him to stop hitting his little brother. He falls apart, screams and stomps, tells you to go away, screams “no” at every attempt you make to calm him down. It’s easy to let fear take over. What kind of a

Read more…
5 Don’ts for Effective Careers (oh, and Parenting, too)

Instead of telling you what to add for the new year, I’m going to tell you what to avoid. I saw a Business Insider article about the 5 behaviors that may be killing your career. As I read them, I realized that the same holds true in parenting. These 5 behaviors may be making your parenting life way harder than it needs to be with little if any good results. I will translate them as we go.

1. Over-committing and under-delivering

In parenthood, fear and guilt tend to rule. Am I giving my children every opportunity there is? Do I spend enough time with them? Do I play with them enough or am I enabling their dependence? Should I start music lessons, soccer practice, tutoring? What’s the next big idea for my children’s birthdays? If we don’t have the money for all this, guilt takes us down and we fear our children will fail.

Who are we competing with? We over-commit our children in the hopes of giving them the advantage, being the best, excelling in everyway. But at what

Read more…
A Mother’s Day Gift

Being a mother is no piece of cake. From the beginning there is seemingly endless crying, sleepless nights, demands on your time and energy, exhaustion both physical and mental, putting your needs on indefinite hold—forgetting what your needs even are. Kids fight—with each other and with you. You know it’s your job to do something about it but seem to have no idea what to do. You need a break. But will you give it to yourself? Probably not.

This Mother’s Day I have a break for you. I find that in times of stress, when I’m full of indecision and don’t know which way to turn, when I know I want something but don’t know what it is, when I need to get something off my chest but don’t really want any advice—what always helps is an understanding ear and sharing with someone who knows just what I mean.

Katrina Kenison is that person who knows just what you mean and has been there in one form or another. Her books, The Gift of an Ordinary Day and Magical

Read more…