Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

Monday, September 28, 2009
"Touch is important in our role as parents to our kids. When we touch, we may communicate warmth, compassion, understanding, support, a sense of being heard; our touch can also communicate disdain, rejection, disappointment, and a great deal more that can hurt and harm."

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Friday, September 25, 2009

An excerpt fro Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

September 25, 2009

Do I excessively protect my kids?

Virtually all of the experiences and relationships we have had during the course of our lifetime have an influence on our outlook, our behaviors, and our attitudes—
and ultimately, on our role as parents. So it is natural for a parent who as a child may have experienced any form of traumatic experience, to err in the direction of being an overprotective parent to their own kids.

It is also understandable, since childhood patterns have a way of
following us into our adult lives, that if our parents were overprotective,
we will be more likely to be the same. It is important however, to remember that we can make new decisions in spite of our past experiences.

In order to avoid becoming an overprotective parent, it is helpful to
understand our past experiences and relationships. Otherwise we run the risk of robbing our children of the opportunity to live life to its fullest. As is so often the case, all of this is easier said than done, but it is nonetheless an important
goal for all parents to strive for. If it is our goal to raise healthy kids, then
we must not hold them back because of our irrational and displaced fears.

Discussion questions

1. Were your parents overprotective with you as a child?

2. If they were, how did their overprotective behavior affect you
as a child?

3. What affect might their overprotection be having on you

4. As a parent, are you overprotective with your kids, or do you
provide them with appropriate and necessary safety?

5. How would the friends who know you best answer that

6. If you are an overprotective parent, what possible fears might
lie behind your behavior?

7. If you are an overprotective parent, is unrealistic fear or a lack
of self-confidence showing up in your kids?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

September 21, 2009
“Our kids will be shaped and influenced more by how we respond after we have made a mistake with them, than by the actual mistakes we make.”
Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Healthy marriage characteristic #6

September 17, 2009

There is little-if any-competition for, “the good times”; each is happy for the other’s
fun, fame and free time.

A common earmark of an unhealthy marriage relationship is a pattern of keeping track of and competing for, the “positive life experiences” that come to the other person. In an unhealthy relationship there is almost always jealousy, resentment, and the tendency to hold a grudge when good things happen to the other.

The common reaction of a jealous spouse who wonders when it will finally be their turn for a bit of fun, fame, or good fortune is often subtle and can even be imperceptible by others at first. Nonetheless, the one holding the grudge over the good time had by the other usually knows. And it is more often than not just a matter of time until others begin to notice the subtle signs of tension developing over keeping track of whose turn it is for a little fun, free time, or 15 minutes of fame.

On the other hand, we have all been the admiring observer of the genuine happiness and enthusiasm experienced by a spouse when good fortune has come their partner’s way. Rather than resenting the good time experienced by the other, there even seems to be a vicarious pleasure when the other is on the receiving end of something good.

Compare the following conversations:

1. “Well, it looks like YOU had a very carefree and relaxing day around here while I was out slaving to make a living.”
“I’m glad you were able to take a breather today. Don’t worry about what you didn’t get done. You deserve a relaxing, care free day.”

2. “Wait a minute. Do you mean to tell me that you’re taking another day trip with your girl friends? When’s it MY turn?”
Yeah, I know you were gone not too long ago, but I’ll catch up with you one of these days. Go and have a great time”.

3. “I get a little tired of hearing from others what a nice guy you are. You know, you’re not exactly perfect, and they don’t have to live with you.”
“I am very proud of the fact that I’m married to a person who is liked by so many people. Yeah I know, you do have your faults, but I’m one of your fans too”.

4. “You seem to get so many comments about what a great mom you are. Don’t they know it takes two to parent?”
“I’m very proud and grateful that you are such a great mom, and that your efforts don’t go unnoticed by others. Our kids are lucky to have you for a mom.”

5. “Okay, so you got yet another achievement award at work this year. Don’t forget that I gave up a good career of my own to stay home with the kids.”
“Your company knows a great human asset when they see one! I’m proud and thankful that you provide so I can be a stay at home Mom to our kids.”

6. "You mean to tell me you're going to lunch with a friend AGAIN!? Do you have any idea how long it has been since I was able to take time out for a leisurely lunch?"
"I'm glad you can find regular time in your schedule to conne ct with friends. Have a great time."

Certainly not an exhaustive list of the every day conversations that take place in our marriages today, but these examples do provide a glimpse into one of the key differences between healthy and unhealthy marriages when it comes to competing for the good times.

It is easy for the best of us to fall into the pattern of competing for positive life experiences and even resenting our spouse when they seem to be getting what we think is a little more than their fair share. But if it is our goal to have a healthy and more satisfying relationship, then it is important that we learn to experience a bit of vicarious pleasure when our spouse reaps some of the rewards and benefits of life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

September 14, 2009
“Holding a grudge when our kids have disappointed us sends the message that our love and acceptance are both conditional, and that they must somehow earn back the privilege of being loved by us again”.
Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

An excerpt from Parenting with an Attitude...21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Sept 10, 2009
Raising angry-free kids who are confident and independent
Raising confident kids who are free of chronic anger requires parenting
skills that instill an appropriate sense of independence and
self-reliance. From the very moment our children are able to walk,
we must begin allowing and encouraging them to do for themselves.
To do so does not mean that we are lazy, nor that we do not
love them. It does not mean we are unavailable when our input is
needed. In fact, it usually takes more time and energy to help, assist,
and guide children than it does to simply do things for them.
The goal is not to raise kids who are so self-sufficient that they
do not need others. Certainly having an appropriate need for others
is the basis for healthy relationships, and it is true that “no
man is an island.” But it is essential to their health and well-being
that they grow up to be adults who are capable of taking care of
When we consistently do for them what they should be able to
do for themselves, the final outcome will be kids—and eventually
adults—who are not only angry at us, but at the world as well,
because they are unable to do for themselves.
Discussion Questions:
1. When you were growing up did your parents encourage you to
remain dependent upon them?

2. How did their attitudes regarding independence/dependence
affect you as a kid? In what ways are you still affected?

3. Do you agree/disagree with the idea that parents must avoid
allowing kids to remain dependent upon them?

4. How would you assess the issue of dependence/independence
in your relationship with your kids?

5. If your kids are excessively dependent on you, what might
possibly motivate you to encourage them to be?

6. Do you see any unwanted side effects developing as a result of
their dependence?

7. If there is excessive or inappropriate dependence on you, what
are some ways you could change the pattern?

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

September 7, 2009

Focusing on the positive
“As we focus more on the positive in our kids, many of their negative and unacceptable behaviors may begin to fade."

Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting With An Attitude....21 Questions Sucessful Parents Ask Themselves

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Healthy marriage Characteristic #5

September 3, 2009

Both are willing to take the risk of being vulnerable with each other.

Vulnerability defined: “Allowing yourself to be in a position with another person who if they chose to, could hurt you; when they don’t, then the result is an increase and improvement in relational and emotional intimacy”.

Improving intimacy by increasing vulnerability

The desire for vulnerability seems to be a basic need that all of us human beings were born with. If you doubt this, just spend a little time observing a toddler over the course of several months of his or her early years. As he learns to navigate both physically as well as relationally, he seems to be fearless; he isn’t afraid of falling, doesn’t seem to fear water, dogs, hot stoves or criticism from others. And-much to the chagrin of Mom and Dad-that little kid doesn’t at first seem to fear strangers either.

But ever so slowly, and as a result of imperfect relationships and life experiences, he begins to conclude that, “this vulnerability thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be! I just got hurt! I’d better start protecting myself from any further hurt in the future”.

Just like that toddler, all of us have learned over the course of our lives to trust less and to guard ourselves more from being hurt by others. And for many of us, it becomes easier and safer to simply settle in to a life of self-protection, rather than to pursue a life that involves taking risks in the relationships we value most. And needless to say, it is easy to bring this baggage of guarding ourselves from being hurt into our marriages. When we do, we miss out on the benefits of greater intimacy that being vulnerable can bring. And this self-protection and fear of being vulnerable can prevent the development of deeper relationships-something I believe we all want and value, but don’t always attain to a satisfactory degree.

The key (in a nut shell) then, to overcoming your fear of being hurt, disappointed, let down, (or whatever your specific fear might be) is to step outside what you have grown to feel safe with-your comfort zone-and to call the bluff of any “catastrophic expectations” that you fear might come along with being vulnerable. Doing this will go a long way to weaken any life long patterns and fear-based behaviors that are negatively affecting your current relationship.

Needless to say, all of this is easier said than done, but it IS possible. And your efforts are bound to bring significant changes for the better to the most important and potentially most satisfying relationship you will ever have. Step outside your comfort zone with each other, take risks, allow yourselves to be in a position with each other where you could be hurt. If you are hurt, then address it and use it as a vehicle for growth; when you are not hurt-even though you could have been-then the intimacy between you will grow, and your relationship is bound to grow as well.

Ed Wimberly, Ph.D., author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Monday morning thought for good parents who want to be better parents

August 31, 2009
Am I available to my kids?
"Just because we are physically present does not necessarily mean that we are available to our kids when they need us”.
Ed Wimberly, author of Parenting with an Attitude....21 Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves