Parenting News You Can Use! March 4, 2014

Parenting News You Can Use!
March 4, 2014
Volume 8, Issue 8
E-Mail: docdebfry@earthlink.net
www.deborah-fry.com or www.incaf.com
www.thesleeplady.com
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IN THIS ISSUE:
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Welcome!
1. How Movies Teach Manhood
2. To the Ticket Agent at the Delta Counter
3. Your #1 Job as a Parent
4. One Thing that Will Strengthen Your Family

Welcome!

Countless parents have said something along these lines to their children, “How many times do I have to tell you [you fill in the blank].” We may actually need to tell children hundreds or thousands of times. The big news is that our children learn what we model rather than what we say. They learn from what we do much more than from our words. In this issue of Parenting News, we explore what our children are learning about life from the films they watch, how a parent modelled a loving ‘do over’ after he blew it in front of his children, and how to make a simple shift that will not only strengthen your family but also teach your children how to be encouraging at the same time. In addition, Dr. Laura Markham addresses how mindfulness is the key to modeling your best selves for your children.

Enjoy and read on!

1. How Movies Teach Manhood

The director of communications for the non-profit Citizen Schools, Colin Stokes thinks deeply about the media he shares with his two young children. When Colin’s 3-year-old son caught a glimpse of Star Wars, he was instantly obsessed. But what messages did he absorb from the sci-fi classic? Stokes asks for more movies that send positive messages to boys: that cooperation is heroic, and respecting women is as manly as defeating the villain. Watch Colin’s inspiring TEDx talk here.

2. To the Ticket Agent at the Delta Counter

Josh Misner, Ph. D., an award winning communication and leadership professor and mindfulness researcher, was having a bad day and took it out on the ticket agent at the Delta counter. What he did in response – while his children observed – was amazing. Read all about it here.

3. Your #1 Job as a Parent

By Dr. Laura Markham

Your child is fairly certain to act like a child, which means someone who is still learning, has different priorities than you do, and can’t always manage her feelings or actions. Her childish behavior is guaranteed, at times, to push your buttons. The problem is when we begin acting like a child, too. Someone has to act like a grown-up, if we want our child to learn how! If, instead, we can stay mindful – meaning we notice our emotions and let them pass without acting on them – we model emotional regulation, and our children learn from watching us.

It’s your job to help your child with his emotions, which is what helps him with his behavior. Unfortunately, when you’re stressed out, exhausted, and running on empty, you can’t be there constructively for your child. That’s why your first responsibility in parenting is being mindful of your own inner state. Mindfulness is the opposite of “losing” your temper. Don’t get me wrong — mindfulness doesn’t mean you don’t feel anger. Being mindful means that you pay attention to what you’re feeling, but don’t act on it. Anger is part of all relationships. It’s acting on it mindlessly – with words or actions – that compromises our parenting (and other partnerships).

Emotions are useful, like indicator lights on a dashboard. If you saw a blinking red light in your car, you wouldn’t cover it up or tear out the wiring that caused it, right? You would listen to the information and act on it, for instance, by taking your car in for an oil change. The challenge with human emotions is that so often we’re confused about what to do when we feel them. We’re hard-wired to respond to all “negative” emotions (those blinking red lights in your psyche that light up throughout your day) in one of three ways: fight, flight or freeze. Those strategies work well in most emergencies. But parenting – despite our fears – is not usually an emergency. Usually, in parenting and in life, the best response to upsetting emotions is not to take action while we’re triggered.

You can count on finding yourself triggered at times, but if you can train yourself to notice when you start to lose it, you have the choice to return yourself back to a state of equilibrium. That peaceful place inside insures that our actions are wise and loving.

4. One Thing that Will Strengthen Your Family

Davina Fear’s blog, A Year at the Yellow House: An Adventure in Familyness, is all about family. In this recent post, she shares a very simple practice that can strengthen your family and model for your children how to be encouraging. Read her article here.

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