Loneliness is a complex problem of epidemic proportions, affecting millions from all walks of life.
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How to raise self-disciplined, connected, happy humans
Laura Markham Ph.D.
Remember, your child may be triggering them, but these are your emotions.
Observing what your child and other people are feeling, and commenting on it in a nonjudgmental way, teaches children to identify emotions in themselves and others.
Our fantasy of the perfect family holiday can drive us to do more, more, more – but more of what we didn't need to begin with can't fill those deep longings. There's a better way.
When your emotions are "triggered," your child looks like the enemy. You can't be the parent your child deserves at those times.
When kids feel understood, they're more likely to do what we ask, even if they don't see any benefit for themselves. So EMPATHY is your magic wand.
When we stuff our feelings down rather than acknowledging them, we carry them around like a boiling pot. We make ourselves sick and tired.
When kids express irritability towards us, often called "back talk," they're trying to tell us something and if we don't listen, they just escalate.
Most of the time, when kids (and adults) feel their emotions are understood and accepted, the feelings lose their charge and begin to dissipate.
The only way to keep your cup full in the constant vortex of parenting is to tend to yourself even while you tend to your child.
The truth is, what you say is not nearly as important as your attitude. Your child feels your warmth and love even when you don't say a word.
We all need to learn to stay grounded in our own dignity and compassion as we cope with the unhappy people who will inevitably come our way.
That doesn't mean you don't set limits. And sometimes children do have to do what adults say. But children also need to learn they have a right to say no sometimes.
What we can do is make the commitment to increase our ratio of good parenting moments, and keep working at it, day after day.
Limits give children essential practice in shifting gears between what they want, and something they want more--which is to cooperate and contribute.
Here's the key. Don't just decide to act differently next time. Instead, reprogram your subconscious, and give yourself a new script for how you want to respond.
But Sam isn't laughing because he's enjoying her pain. He's so upset that he can't cry. His laugh is letting off the tension of his upset feelings.
Our children learn self-control from the limits we set. But -- and this is critical -- only if we set those limits with empathy.
Cooperation is too complicated to be shaped by a simple habit, since it's driven by emotions and how connected your child feels to you at the moment.
Every interaction all day long is an opportunity to connect. Slow down and share the moment with your child: let him smell the strawberries before you put them in the smoothie.
Sometimes that means we just have to say no and stick to it. Even when our limit is greeted with tears. But remember, there's no reason to be mean about it.
Throughout your day, stop, breathe deeply and express gratitude for life having brought you to this moment. Notice that this doesn't take any extra time at all out of your day.
As children develop, they naturally want to explore the world and learn for themselves. But they need to know that their parents are available, providing a safe base for them.
Apologizing for your own off-track behavior doesn't mean you don't correct your child when necessary. He'll still know who's boss.
How do siblings build up a reservoir of good feelings to draw on? Mostly by having a good time together.
It's not that peaceful parents aren't "in charge." In fact, they're more in charge than most parents--of their own reactions, and therefore of the mood in their house.
It is possible to say "No" in a way that honors your own truth, while still staying in positive contact with your child.
Before we can experience unconditional love from outside, or give it to our children, we need to give it to ourselves.
The more empathic you are as you set the limit, the more your child will accept the limit, and WANT to shift gears to channel his impulses into more acceptable behavior.
Children develop emotional intelligence when we teach them that all their feelings are okay, but they always have a choice about how they act.
Punishment drives the feelings underground and makes the bad behavior worse. Healing the feelings that are driving the behavior is what prevents a repeat of the misbehavior.
Laura Markham, Ph.D., is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.