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Quiet Parenting Stopping the Cycle of Yelling

Posted by spirit1taekwondo on April 13, 2021 at 4:35 PM

Parenting can be one of the most rewarding responsibilities we ever take on. With that, however, comes the ups and downs of getting children to comply with what we say while being pulled in a thousand different directions. It’s no wonder why parents often resort to yelling when begging and threats are no longer effective. And while yelling is generally the result of needing things done urgently or when the parent feels disrespected, it is unproductive. This approach scares children and makes the parent feel guilty. To more effectively get children to comply, parents should first know their triggers and then plan to parent more calmly.


It’s often difficult for parents to stop and think about the long-term damage yelling may be causing in the heat of the moment. Not only does it model an ineffective conflict resolution strategy to the child, but it also makes everyone feel bad and rarely reduces the behavior. Because children have sensitive nervous systems, yelling can create more anxiety and lead to more difficulty developing healthy coping skills. And yes, yelling may work initially, but gradually children begin to tune it out, and it may even cause the unwanted behavior to continue or even worsen. What parents must remember is that yelling isn’t a form of communication. As parenting book, author L.R. Knost stated, “Yelling silences your message. Speak quietly so your children can hear your words instead of just your voice.”


For parents to take a calm parenting approach all the time, it’s essential to have specific knowledge about themselves and their children and then implement a plan.


1) Understand Normal Behavior: As children go through different stages of development, some behaviors are more typical at certain ages. Knowing these can help parents feel that the behavior is less personal and just part of the age.


2) Know Your Triggers: Parents go through a lot each day and can get overwhelmed. Being mindful of your “triggers,” such as being tired, can help you mindfully prepare. As you monitor how often you raise your voice, you will become more aware of stopping it.


3) Implement a Plan: The best approach is to plan for days that may be more challenging. But the days that are still a struggle show yourself some compassion while also alerting your children and even taking a timeout for yourself.


The calm approach to parenting requires a lot of practice, and the awareness of our triggers can be painful at first, especially when they come from unresolved issues from our past. However, the ability to exhibit self-control during tense parenting moments can model more appropriate coping mechanisms, send a more effective message to the child, and create healthier communication between parent and child.

Childhood Fears

Posted by spirit1taekwondo on March 20, 2021 at 10:35 AM

Children of all ages have fears, from babies to teens. And whether these fears are from real or imaginary places, they are nonetheless scary. Since our brains are wired to protect us, fears are a normal part of a child's development. Children will eventually outgrow fears but being knowledgeable about what fears are more common at certain ages will help parents navigate their children through them in the healthiest and most successful way. Having a plan to help children build bravery regarding their fears will help them learn to self-regulate and face other anxiety-producing events straight on.


When we think of fear, we generally consider it to be a bad thing. However, some fear is okay and can help children be cautious and set limits for themselves. But when fear begins to limit a child's ability to participate in normal daily activities and is persistent or overly intense, intervention with a professional may be needed. Normal developmental fears for infants are things such as loud noises and strangers. Toddlers are generally afraid of being separated from their parents. Young children usually fear things such as monsters in the closet and the dark. For older children, fears become more real-life and include things such as bad people and natural disasters. Teens begin fearing failure in school, social situations, and more significant worldly problems such as war.


When parents see their child scared, they generally want to fix the problem. However, often the comforting is excessive and can be counterproductive to the child learning to self-regulate. Instead, Dr. Rachel Busman says that parents should provide their child with "the scaffolding they need to stand on their own." To do this, parents must be uncomfortable with their child being uncomfortable. Validating feelings initially is essential, but then it's time to move on and help them become braver through practice.


How we comfort a child through their fears depends on their age. For babies and toddlers, parents should soothe them with hugs and soothing words. As children get older, asking them questions about their fear and verbalizing it will create an open dialogue for putting a plan into place for facing their fears. A stepladder approach is the best way to go about this. Slowly increasing exposure to events they are fearful of will help children practice while also having a parent's support. And some children will need a little more support than others due to their temperament.


The SKILLZ Child Development program was created after years of research in the areas of science and psychology. Understanding how children grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially lays the groundwork for helping parents address all areas of their child's development. The Certified Pediatric Ninjas Specialists that implement the program have insight into a child's mind and can assist parents with methods to use at home to overcome fears and other developmental matters. The Parent SKILLZ supplemental curriculum supports parents in the bond with their child, which ultimately creates a more open space and supportive relationship.


Fear is a normal part of development, and as children grow, their fears change. Being knowledgeable of what fears are consistent with certain ages can help parents better support their children. Understanding this also helps parents balance the right amount of nurturing with a healthy push to face fears. By intervening this way, parents can prevent reinforcing the fear and help children learn to self-regulate.


Filling Your Emotional Cup

Posted by spirit1taekwondo on March 13, 2021 at 8:35 AM

Over the years, healthy connection levels between parents and children have decreased, leading to more challenging behaviors from children. Today's modern lifestyle has interfered with the opportunity for the parent-child bond to grow. This vital aspect of a child's life is essential for their emotional cup to be full, giving them healthy self-worth and self-esteem. To fill their cup, children need quality connection time with their parents every day. When they receive this, children will develop healthy self-worth and self-esteem and, therefore, approach the world with more kindness and compassion.


The "emotional cup" metaphor created by Upbility, publishers of therapy resources, asks that you imagine children have a cup that needs to be filled with attention, affection, and security. When this cup doesn't get filled, misbehaviors, arguments, and aggressive behaviors may be exhibited. The cup can also be emptied by stress, loneliness, and punishments. Children need positive emotional fuel to get through their day in the most successful way possible. But when their emotional needs aren't met, they will misbehave to get the attention they are seeking from their parents. Implementing ways to keep their cup full will lead to more positive behaviors because children feel secure.


One of the easiest ways to connect to a child and fill their emotional cup is through play. As Lawrence J. Cohen, author of "Playful Parenting," stated, "The single most important skill parents can acquire is playing." When children are babies, parents do just about anything silly to get them to laugh. But as children get older and can occupy themselves, playtime with parents is rare, if at all. Since play is the language of children, parents must learn to play again. Hide and seek, roughhouse and chase are just a few of the types of playtime connection children seek the most. The laughter that comes with this fills their emotional cup and reduces the chances for unwanted behaviors.


To help parents fill their children's emotional cups, the SKILLZ Child Development Centers created the Parent SKILLZ curriculum. In this program, eight skills were developed based on research in the areas of science and psychology. The first skill in the 8-part series involves connection. This quality time is easily implemented and nurtures the parent-child bond. Since a connection is a biological and emotional need that all humans have, being proactive in the approach to fulfilling it will benefit everyone. The release of endorphins and oxytocin during playful connection fills the emotional cup, optimizes brain development, and creates positive neural connections.


As children grow and develop, parents need to continue nurturing the bond they have with their children even as they get older. This continual filling of the emotional cup will help children learn that they are loved, and they will learn to love others. Providing children with quality playtime connection is a proactive approach to parenting that will not only reduce negative, attachment-seeking behaviors but will foster healthy self-worth


The Power of Predictability

Posted by spirit1taekwondo on March 10, 2021 at 11:20 AM

As hectic as life is most days, parents are often more concerned with getting everything done instead of strategically planning out their day so that it is predictable for their children. Knowing what activities to expect each day and knowing how parents will respond at the moment is critical in helping children feel safe. The consistency in this will ease children's moods and minimize the chances of a meltdown. Therefore, parents should establish predictability in their daily routines to ensure children have the best chances of a successful day.


When children are unsure of what to expect daily, they often become more anxious and, therefore, demanding their parents' time. Stress goes up, self-regulation goes down, and meltdowns ensue. This leads to more reactive parenting, which feeds into an already difficult situation in which no one comes out happy. When this is a typical daily pattern, children develop more insecurities as the unknown of what the day will bring or how their parents will react is uncertain. Children's temperament also contributes to how they handle things, their attachment to their parents, and the parenting style. The combination of these things can either make or break the day.


Predictability involves repeating patterns to create a consistent environment that fosters self-regulation and growth. The developing brain thrives on repetition, so when a child experiences a positive and predictable environment, they are less stressed, are better able to regulate their emotions, and are more open to learning. It makes parenting more effortless in the long run but only when parents are consistent in their responses to situations that arise. This ultimately takes away the guessing game for children and leaves them feeling more secure. Therefore, consistency and predictability in place benefit children and parents as well.


To begin, parents must implement strategies at home that are predictable. By doing this, children will feel calmer and safer and like they can conquer the outside world with confidence.


1) Morning Routines: Mornings can be one of the most challenging times for families. The rush to get everyone ready for work and school and leave on time is often a challenge. Creating a morning routine that is quiet and consistent provides children with a clear mind, which leads to a better ability to retain new information they learn in school.


2) Midday Routines: After a long day of being away from their parents, children need time to reconnect. Taking just 10 minutes of dedicated time together can relieve any stress from the day and help them prepare for any evening activities.


3) Nighttime Routines: At night, children need time to calm down from the day's busyness and relax. Having predictable routines in place will help quiet their minds, so they feel secure will fall asleep easier.


Again, the key to creating an environment for any of these things is the predictability of it. When children can trust that these things will happen every day, they will feel more secure and self-regulate. However, if there is an expected change to a routine, parents must prepare children ahead of time. This will alleviate any unneeded stress and allow children to prepare.


The SKILLZ Child Development Centers created their classroom structure based on predictability. The class layout is the same each day, so children know what to expect. Children also feel secure with the Certified Pediatric Ninja Specialists who run each class because they are consistent in implementing reinforcement and expectations in the classroom setting. The Parent SKILLZ supplemental curriculum also provides parents with ways to strengthen the parent-child bond through consistency and connection, which is vital in creating a predictable environment.


Appreciation for a predictable routine is vital to creating an environment in which children feel safe and secure. By doing this, children's self-regulation skills increase, and stress is minimized. The calmness that comes with this gives children the best opportunity to more confidently take on life's challenge

Teens Need Structure Too

Posted by spirit1taekwondo on March 3, 2021 at 11:20 AM

Teens Need Structure Too



Most often, when we think of implementing structure into our children’s lives, it is because we have a newborn that needs a feeding schedule, a toddler that needs a nap schedule, or a child that needs an activity schedule. When children become teens, they are often left to implement their schedules. And yes, they are on the verge of asserting their independence so that it can be a challenge. However, not implementing structure for them can be counterintuitive and leave them “real world unready.” Therefore, parents must establish boundaries, rules, and structure for their teens to create life-long success habits.


Adolescence is a period of massive changes in all areas of development. During this time, puberty triggers the neural systems, and the hypothalamus sends signals to the body to produce certain hormones. This, along with an underdeveloped pre-frontal cortex, makes way for intense emotions and impulsive behaviors. Not to mention how wacky sleep patterns become, all contributing to testing limits and parental frustration. However, leaving teens to their own devices will most likely lead to more impulsive decisions and, ultimately, trouble. Parents must remember that teens don’t have the cognitive control to resist temptations, and it’s better to steer them towards healthy, positive risks than to do nothing at all.


Believe it or not, teens need and want structure. Since they are already dealing with multiple changes in their bodies and minds, having boundaries in place gives them a sense of security. Clear limits and structure can keep riskier behaviors at bay, especially when parents take the time to discuss these things ahead of time with their teens. And although we may experience some pushback, the life lessons of time management, self-control, and responsibility will ultimately win out. And to top it off, when everyone is on board, confusion and frustration are reduced making relationships stronger while trust is cultivated. So as teens have rules imposed on them, they learn to set boundaries for themselves, thereby increasing their self-control.

As teens travel the pathway to becoming responsible young adults, parents can rest assure that routines and boundaries are powerful, positive influences. And while teens may resist some, they ultimately understand that their route to more freedom comes from the development of trust, responsibility, and accountability. When parents enforce structure on their teens, they eventually learn to manage a 24-hour day independently, which leads to lifelong habits of success.



Quick Ways to Calm an Emotional Flood

Posted by spirit1taekwondo on February 2, 2021 at 1:15 PM

Have you observed your child loose control of their emotions and unplanned breakdowns? Then we react in counterproductive ways not realizing the anxiety can look like defiance. The brain is triggered by “flight or fight” response when our children our stressed. This makes it hard for them to comprehend conversation resulting is disruptive behaviour. We are going to discuss rapid resets that help calm and get their brains back “online.”

Children have a natural reset button in the parasympathetic nervous system called the vagus nerve. Stimulating this ends a message to the brain that it can relax and the body clams down. Activating this will get the child back into a teachable mindset. At that time, we can engage them in logical, age-appropriate discussion of the situation and plan for next time.

So how do we get children back to a place of reasoning? Try using these effective methods to hack the parasympathetic nervous system.

1) Deep breathing – this calms the body. Dr. Lucy Norclliffe-Kaufmann, an associate professor of neurology at NYU, suggest long, deep breaths burst making the exhale longer than the inhale. When we exhale, the vagal activity is at it’s highest and the heart rate is lowest. This creates a quicker calming effect. For younger children, this can be more easily done by blowing bubbles or a pinwheel or whistling.

2) Humming/singing – the vagus nerve runs along both side of the voice box, engaging children to hum/sing when they are in an emotional flood will calm them. This is used much like the way yoga incorporates “ooms” during a session. It brings calmness by activating the vocal cords, in which the vibration sparks the vagus nerve.

3) Physical Movement - any movement will essentially take the mind away from the intense feeling and increase endorphins. A specific movement can expedite calmness. Cat-cow pose works through the digestive system and spine where the vagus nerve resides. Activities that involve crossing the mid-line activate both sides of the brain to work together, so thinking becomes more balanced.

Teaching our children how to reset in stressful times will encourage more self regulated behaviour and promote greater emotional resilience. This will counteract the dangerous effects of stress and arming them with tools for happiness and improved overall health.