Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fill Yourself Up! (The Oxygen Mask Rule)

April 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

It is insidious, how, little by little we give up doing things for ourselves, because we believe that we should be spending more time with out child. Until finally we realize that we are doing nothing for our own pure enjoyment anymore. Everything is a compromise, or hinged on that love we have for our child. We end up having no 1:1 time with ourselves, and instead we snatch stolen moments at the computer while we yell to the other room “just a moment honey…”

The Good Enough Motherhood Process

April 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

“Dear Riviera,
What do you do for a teen who picked a major clearly not suited for them? Do you let them take the classes or do you talk them out of it and advise them to sign up for the classes that better suit them? Especially if you are worried that it was your biases that influenced that wrong decision in the first place….?”

Raising Entitled Children

January 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

Several of the schools Kian attended over the last 5 years gave us both the feeling that he was being programmed to “fit in.” The implication there is that something about his authentic self was somehow in need of repair or renovation. Attention to “fitting in” can make a person learn the “eggshell walk” at an early age.

What do Birds Know that We Don’t?

November 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

Just yesterday I just had a wake-up call about my relationship with my 4 year old son. It began as I held another child for 40 minutes while he cried for no reason apparent to me, or to any of the other teachers. There was nothing obvious to “fix,” so I did what I could: I simply held him and allowed him to cry. I didn’t try to jiggle him out of it. I didn’t try to joke with him, or cheer him up, or even reassure him about some fears I could imagine he might be having. I had absolutely no idea why he was crying, so I just let him cry. While he was crying, I periodically checked in with him: “Would you like to call your Mom?”

When a Parent’s ‘I Love You’ Means ‘Do as I Say’

August 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

When a Parent’s ‘I Love You’ Means ‘Do as I Say’

Men Should Not Cry (What are You Living Toward?)

May 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

You see a 5 year old child who is crying and screaming, sobbing about something. His parents are sitting with him, trying to sooth him. You might think “That child cannot control his emotions. He is emotionally immature. He needs to learn how to control his emotions.”

Everything Can Be Play!

April 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

Most children, and some talented adults, can take practical life (getting dressed, for example) and turn it into a magical adventure.   Everything is play, and everything becomes play. Have you ever tried to hurry a little boy into his clothing and out the door?  It is usually to no avail — the shirt becomes a […]

How do we reach a point where we can comfortably allow our children to endure their own pain?

March 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

My son Kian has always been good at conjuring up plans… but bringing them to life is another matter entirely. The pieces wouldn’t fit, the parts would fall off, or the wheels would not turn. His grand visions just needed his building expertise to catch up a little more…. and his ensuing frustration would start to leak out sideways, screaming like steam from a kettle. It was impossible for me to ignore: his loud keening was a veritable curse to the gods. It penetrated me. I could feel his chafing frustration in my heart, seeping in like hot oil. It would sit and simmer then, until something would finally snap. There was no turning back! I would lose all control, and spring into “Fix It Mode!”

Empathy vs Sympathy: Do you care more about your child’s feelings or your own?

November 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

There is a fine line between sympathy and empathy. Learning the difference can make huge changes in your relationship with your child. My mother was a professional worrier. Whenever I expressed having a problem with anything, she sympathized, “Oh my poor dear. That’s so awful. Do you really have to do that?” Her sympathy was not helpful. As a matter of fact, I stopped sharing my problems with her because then I had her feelings and worry to deal with as well as my own problem.

Compassionate Listening = Listening to Ourselves with Compassion

November 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

The reason why I created a non violent preschool for my son, and the reason why I am on the hunt for a humanitarian school (or at the very least a compassionate teacher) for his elementary school experience, is completely selfish: I was a troubled child. I was the hard one. I had BIG emotions, and they were usually not understood. (OK, I admit it…I am STILL the troubled child, and I STILL have BIG emotions!)

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