What better way to help a child find Strength than to start within? Like six-year-old Chloe who described how she ran from the playground and hid in the bushes. She hated herself for having no friends. Other girls had formed a close group in soccer practice, while Chloe’s forte was swimming. Chloe felt excluded and rejected. She felt weak and didn't know what to do.
With the holidays approaching, expectations of peace, love, giving, receiving, and forgiving abound. My mind and heart naturally wander to thoughts of compassion and self-compassion and where these very critical values stand in our consciousness. Especially at this time of year when many feel they are supposed to be joyful yet are not.
Recently there was a fabulous video touting the accolades of imagery and mental visualization. Not surprisingly, the feature was with Michael Phelps. The lessons from the Olympics live on - and the skills of visualization and the power of imagination can be adapted to many areas of life.
I love New Year's. "Regular" New Year's, Chinese New Year's, Jewish New Year's, Indian New Year's, whatever New Year tradition there is, count me in. Any reason to start fresh and be given a second chance.
With the holidays upon us, there's likely going to be a lot of family gatherings - meals included. It brings up the question of how essential these rituals are to you - not just holiday time, but all the time.
As school starts, so does stress. Not only for kids, but for the parents that watch over them. It’s easy to let our worry turn into irritation and nagging and yelling. Yet there is also an antidote: coming from an open heart.
Ten-year-old Ethan described his headaches as either "pounding cannonballs" on the top of his head or "humungous pliers" gripping his temples. He created a character for them: a muscular hard-hat construction worker holding an enormous drill in each hand, opening up the top of his head and drilling directly into his brain. The intense pain made Ethan weep.
Eleven-year-old Grace had always been a challenge, but the last two years everything had become a struggle with her parents. Grace wanted more freedom; Mom needed to keep a watchful eye. Grace thought Dad was overbearing; Dad found Grace inconsiderate. Explosions erupted constantly and no one knew how to turn the tide.
One tense teen asked, “Haven’t we evolved and learned war is not an answer?” In his mind, it’s hard to fight someone who doesn’t want to fight you back, so if everyone would decide not to fight, war could end.
I'm getting a lot of flack about friends lately. Kids are complaining that they don't have any. Parents are concerned that their children don't have enough, or have too many disagreements with the ones they do have. Everyone is asking for help.
What better way to help a child find happiness than to start within... being her own best friend. When your child has a best friend inside, she can be happy no matter what storms of life are outside.
It's winter, it's cold, the weather drives us indoors and can also drive us a bit batty. So it's not surprising that it's a time that kids can easily lose their tempers. How to manage an over-the-top temper in wintertime... and any time?
Many years ago I happened upon a magical island in the Mediterranean where families from all parts of Europe took their holidays. The beaches have the warmest, clearest aqua waters, there are fascinating prehistoric “taula” ruins, a bit like Stonehenge, sprinkled about, and the old towns take me back to a charming other time.
It’s summertime and the kids are out of school. No more stress – no more homework, no more tests, no more pressure. Kids and families should have a super summer. Yes? Well, not exactly. The pressures of the academic year are over, and initially there’s a big relief and often everyone is happy and carefree. But with lots more time on kids’ hands, even with camp and other sports activities, there’s lots more time to spend with family, and that can mean lots more chances to annoy one’s younger brother or sister, get on each others nerves, push buttons, and generally drive each other crazy. However, summertime can also be a time to heal from the year’s stresses, rejuvenate and relax, and develop closer family bonds.
May has just begun and Mother's Day is already next weekend! What a great opportunity to "check in" with the kids in your life – whether you work with them or have them – and enjoy some creative play together. There's an immediate advantage to spending quality time with your child. It helps you understand "where he or she is at" and gives you a chance to have fun together – a very important aspect of child development. Here are 4 creative activities to do with kids this Mother's Day.
Spring is a time of new beginnings: flowers blooming and seeds blossoming into lush plants that we've nurtured and cultivated earlier. Spring can also be a time of renewal for our children - to open their hearts, to share their hopes, and to expand their dreams. We can guide our children toward their right path by helping them connect with their own inner seeds - of peace - of joy - of love. We can teach them how to heal hurts of their personal dark winter - in the present, and from the past. And, we can support our children in developing their potential.
How would you like to help your child feel as successful as an Olympic athlete? Your child’s love of a sport can motivate him to learn the same positive visualization techniques that Olympic athletes have used for decades. If you want to support your child to reach for the gold yet celebrate the bonze—or if your once happy child that used to love skating or basketball has been replaced by one who no longer wants to participate—here are 9 imagination tools that can help.
Do you have a bright teenage child who is nevertheless struggling at school or having difficulty socially? EQ—or emotional intelligence—has much more influence on your child's success, now and in the future.
The emotional effects on children of a large-scale catastrophe or disaster, such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, can be tremendous. Even though this tragedy was not on our home turf, our children can feel especially helpless when they see images of homeless and injured Haitian children and orphans on the news. Kids also absorb worry and sadness from their parents, or from classmates who have family ties in Haiti. Here are some ideas about how to help kids comprehend and deal with such a catastrophe.
A mom and her 17-year-old son hugged and couldn’t let go. Tears were streaming down both their faces. They had been estranged from each other the past two years and wanted to reconnect.
Although holiday time means presents and no school for most American kids, it can also be a stressful time—particularly in families facing financial challenges, in split or blended families, and in families where a loved one has recently passed away. Here are 7 simple holiday stress-reducing strategies that can make a difference.
Since the first cave paintings, we humans have found creative ways to express ourselves with art. We naturally draw, paint, and doodle to capture thoughts and feelings. Art has also been used throughout history for healing. Studies show that it creates brain wave patterns that enhance the autonomic nervous system, hormonal balance, and brain neurotransmitters. While doing artistic expressive art, the body's physiology shifts from stressed to serene. It's the same for children.
Whenever Edward started up the stairs to his pediatrician’s office, he would panic. He’d fall down and refuse to move. Even though his doctor was the kindest, caring doc around, Edward was terrified of “the shot.” He had to be carried in and held down for any immunization. Now that it’s flu season, another “shot” is coming up. What’s a parent, nurse, or MD to do?
Eight-year-old Alice suffered from horrible stomach pain. In my office she closed her eyes, breathed slowing into her belly, and asked inside what was the cause. Stress appeared as a large square black block in the middle of her brain. What to do? Her inner voice said Calmness was the antidote. Pictured as a swirling lavender ball, she breathed Calm feelings into hands, belly, neck, and head. Stress melted and her tummy stopped hurting.
Do you know someone who wets the bed at night? You probably do, but they’re not talking about it. Bedwetting is common (up to 20 percent of five-year-olds, 10 percent of seven-year-olds, and 3 percent of ten-year-olds do it). Five to seven million kids in the U.S. are affected. The guilt, shame, embarrassment anxiety, anger, and poor self-concept that may develop can create havoc in a youth’s life.
It's just the beginning of the school year, already the test grades are pouring in - and not always with the best results. Does your child have a learning style that sometimes gets in the way of his success at school? Is he often labeled slow, lazy, or disruptive?
It's the end of the day. You're tired. You've worked hard. The children have finally gone to bed. You're looking forward to some peace and quiet by yourself. All of a sudden you hear the cries of your normally loving youngster: "I can't sleep!"