How to Get Unstuck

How to Get Unstuck - Serious parents who are committed to making personal changes in their lives, but need some help, here is a very special resource, a weekend intensive called Taking It Lightly. One of our parents has been involved for a few years with this program and has written to all parents particularly those with traumatized children of her exhilarating experience. I am familiar with this as my previous wife, Patricia Clason created it and has been running it for over 20 years -- impacting the lives of thousands of families.

Although based in Milwaukee Wisconsin, she does offer the course in other cities as well. Take a few moments to read this expression of how this parent's life has been empowered due to this experience.

Taking It Lightly made it possible for me to (finally!) do what Bryan Post had been urging me to do all along--be fully present to my children in deep love without judgment or criticism.  It's very simple:  I CANNOT be compassionate to my children when I am beating up on myself.  They know this--they are always watching me to see how safe I am for them emotionally.  Since Taking It Lightly, it is much easier for me to love myself just as I am, so it is easier for me to love my children just as they are.  I'm more fun now, too, which is all they ever wanted me to be.

In addition to taking the course in 2012 and reviewing it in 2015, I also volunteer to staff as many Taking It Lightly weekends as I can.  The difference in my relationship with my children when I come home in the evenings is amazing!  They are cuddly, so much less afraid, letting me hug them and even offering to hug me!  They can tell I've been bathing in an environment of unconditional love.  I now experience profound moments with my daughter when she looks warily into my eyes, searching for traces of judgment and criticism, and finds none, only love and acceptance.  Then she relaxes.  This would never have happened before Taking It Lightly. --  Love, Lia

If this touches you in a way that says, "I want that too!" contact Patricia to see how you can accomplish this. I can pretty much guarantee that you will never be the same - and your family will love you all the more for it.

Have a calm and peaceful day!

David

Why Kids Lie and How to End It Now! Bryan Post – Live

Bryan Post presents his uniquely different truly love-based Family Centered approach to helping children with challenging behaviors. When you don't understand your child, the behaviors are abnormal, unpredictable and uncontrollable. Once understood, their behaviors are not only normal, but also predictable and changeable. The plasticity of the brain allows for interruptions in neural pathways that will promote visible changes in behaviors. With love all things are possible.

What was your upbringing like as a child?

Bad Behavior CartoonParents may have difficult time in being empathetic to a crying child because as children themselves, they were told that expressing feelings, crying, or being angry was not acceptable. What was your upbringing like?

Our ability to accept and tolerate emotional expression sets a benchmark for our children’s ability to accept their own emotions and those of others. For example, if the crying of a small child is agitating to the parent, the parent will attempt to curtail the crying rather than soothing the child. In this manner the emotional expression itself becomes the threat and the soothing of the child is merely a means to an end. The breakdown occurs in that the child senses that the demand to stop the cry or efforts to comfort the child to stop the crying are just that, efforts to end the crying. In this manner the child is still being energetically conveyed that their emotional expression is not okay and is not acceptable to the parent. Such subtle and common approaches towards dealing with emotion cause us to identify our emotions as shameful, rather than as merely energetic attempts to make adjustments and transitions. Freedom of emotional expression frees up the mind, body, and soul. It naturally fosters more open, flexible, and creative children.

6 Minutes That Can Change Your Child’s Life (and Yours!)

6 Minutes That Can Change Your Child's Life
Are you struggling with a child whose difficult or disturbing behaviors make you feel completely out of control?

Spending hours trying to pacify a child whose lost it, or walking on eggshells just to avoid the next meltdown can leave you feeling utterly without hope.

Whether your child has a diagnosis of reactive attachment disorder, Oppositional Defiance, Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, or Hyperactivity...

...you are not to blame.

Watch the video below to find out why, and what you can do to take control back and restore peace and happiness to your family.

How To “Un-See” Negative Behaviors in Children

NoseWhile standing in line at the USPS office today, I noticed a woman with a big nose come in. Then I noticed myself commenting to myself about her nose (thinking… Wow! What a big nose!). After a short go-round with my thoughts and judgements, I began to wonder why I was judging her nose? It is not like I have never seen a big nose before, in fact I have one of those schnaz’s myself, along with a couple of ears that were always too big for my head. Yet it was instantly clear that my big nose was better than her big nose.

So I began to wonder what it would take for me to see her nose (or mine for that matter) as just a “nose” without the judgment attached. And where does that judgement arise from?

After a bit of back and forth, I came to the conclusion that it was my culture that somehow defined big from little or normal along with many other judgements about physical appearances along the way. And, not to blame anyone, but in an effort to “be who I really want to be” (a person without judgement – who accepts people as people equally (and noses as just noses), I had to admit that I bought it – hook, line and sinker as we use to say. I bought the judgement and made it my own. I bought the lie that big nose’s are bad and normal size noses are good. Just like for many years, ashamed as I am now to admit, I “thought that tattoos are bad, earrings in one’s face are bad, in fact earings anywhere but in your ear are bad” etc. etc. etc.

The issue here, is not whether noses are good or bad, not about tattoos or body piercings, but how do we go about changing things once we decide that something no longer serves us and where we want to go with our lives. How to do a better job of parenting where we are not so consumed with judging our children’s behaviors, ourselves or others parenting styles. How do we break out of our old parenting paradigm that Bryan often talks about so that we can move into a truly love based parenting approach – which is not what tradition has taught us as THE BEST WAY to parent?

Big-Dipper_v2The Big Dipper Challenge: So here is a challenge. Look at the Big Dipper but don’t see the Big Dipper. Can you see simply stars. Not easy is it? Because of our upbringing, we “see” what is not there – a big dipper. And we believe it. Or perhaps we believe it and then see it. That is what changing our paradigm is all about. A paradigm is the way in which you see the world. The lens through which you view all people and things and all events. It is greatly reinforced by society, culture, upbringing etc. In order to change your paradigm you must be willing to challenge your beliefs. You must ask questions rather than taking for face value what has been said because many others have said it or believe it to be true. You must question in order to challenge your belief system, in order to lead to a change in your thinking, and then in your behavior. When this occurs then you will be changing your paradigm. It is in some ways really very simple. All we have to work with are 3 basic tools – thought, word, deed (or action). We can catch these patterns anywhere along the way, but the most effective way is to catch it at the thought level. That way we can choose to change it before we say it and long before we act it out. If we are mindful, we can see it at any one of the 3 expressions.

Take a look at the Big Dipper from the side view, which doesn’t at all resemble a dipper, and in fact the distance between those stars is big-dipper side viewenormous in terms of light years apart. Yet when we view them from our earthly perspective, and that is all it is – a perspective, (not right, not wrong, just is) projected on a two dimensional back drop of the dark sky, it is easy to “see” a dipper.

In terms of behaviors in our selves and our children, what we are really seeing are neural patterns firing often as habitual reactionary expressions of thought, word and actions on an unconscious level. For most of the time, this means we exhibit very little control, choice or free will as we would like to think. We must be willing to stop, look and listen not only every time we cross the street, but with every thought, word or action we take and ask, “will this thought, word or action serve me as I really want to be?”.

So how do we un-see our children’s negative behaviors? Bryan has a simple answer, look past the anger/behavior and see the fear. The judgement we place on the behavior is just one perspective – mostly tradition, culture and upbringing – like looking at the Big Dipper which isn’t really there. In other words, our paradigm. Oh, there’s something there of course. Just different. We have to see “past” things, or to be more accurate, we have to “look at” things mindfully, just as they are, non-judgementally with present moment awareness both at our own behaviors, thoughts and words and of our children’s. Dr. Daniel Siegel likes to say, “what you can look at disappears”. What disappears is the perspective, judgement, conclusion, feeling states such as fear etc. or other reaction you might experience. What you are left with the the ability to simple “respond” based on what works, might work, or any other new or novel approach that would not be considered in a typical habit reaction that allows us no time to intercede due to the speed of neural connections.

IMG_04231Why is this so important? Because as Bryan puts it…
“the way in which we parent stems from our paradigm. It is dominated by traditional thought at every level, engrained into our unconscious, our psyche, essentially defining who we are and how we relate. Go to a grocery store and ask your child to yell at you or mis-behave in some way. Some of you may not have to ask! And then rather than smacking the child, shaming, or yelling back, stop and breathe. Calm your inner self and observe those around you, feel their energy. You will be shocked by the negativity that is generated from the traditional paradigm. They don’t know you yet they will judge you harshly. This intensity of negativity permeates our society and our relationships. There is love here, but often we have to work to find it.”

See the Fear, Not the Anger

We have been so intent on believing that children are angry, that we have failed to see the true emotions driving their behavior. The most focused on feeling of all is anger. This is an indication in itself that we are fearful beings. We are always looking to see anger because it is a threatening feeling that drives threatening behaviors. If we are intent upon seeing something most assuredly it will appear. In this manner anger is no different from fear or from love for that matter. What we focus on the most is what we see. See fear, not anger and you will find the way home for your child.

What is the #1 thing parents can do today?

What is the #1 thing parents can do today, so their kids grow up to be happy, well-adjusted adults? ... This is a great question yet at the same time IMG_04231it is one that requires a very different answer. The answer to what is the #1 thing parents can do today, so their kids grow up to be happy, well-adjusted adults, is to stop trying to “do anything” so your child will be a happy, well-adjusted adult! The renowned philosopher and physician, Deepak Chopra informs us that, “We cannot prevent the future from happening, but we can influence the future from the present.”

In other words, stop trying to do anything so your child will be a certain way in the future but rather focusing on being patient, understanding, love-full, relationship focused, attuned, and nurturing in the present because those are the seeds that are sewn for tomorrow’s harvest. See your child today, in this moment only. Love in this moment only and do not let fears of the future dictate how you should interact with your child today.

How do I restore relationship with My Child?

QHow do I restore relationship with my 19 year old son no longer living in the home?”

AIt seems challenging to think of rebuilding a lost relationship, especially with ones child. We fail to remember that they are in fact, our child. For a number of years all of the security, nurturing and guidance known was derived from the parents. After spending that much time together you have literally become a part of one another. In this manner the relationship is never truly lost, the pathway always remains. Unfortunately, like an unused back country road it has become grown over and littered with breaks and cracks. Repair must start at the most basic level or simply slowing down and making the time to reach out with a simple phone call, kind gesture, or word of apology. We are constantly on the go. When we are not working we are cleaning, cooking, or engaged in some other activity. In between these things we ask how each other’s day has been, argue about the television channel, spend frivolous moments engaged in meaningless talk, and scold our children for their misbehaviors and laziness. Relationship starts with relating - as in, "Hey, I can relate to that!" In order to relate we must slow down and look at things from the other's perspective in order to truly relate. One good way is to think back to your own youth. If your growing up was anything like mine, compassion and relating should come easily.

ADHD Not a Real Disease, Says Leading Neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Perry

Alex Pietrowski, Waking Times | One of the world’s leading pediatric neuroscientists, Dr. Bruce D. Perry, RitalinM.D., Ph.D, recently stated publicly that Attention Deficit/Hyper-Activity Disorder (ADHD) is not ‘a real disease,’ and warned of the dangers of giving psycho-stimulant medications to children.

Speaking to the Observer, Dr. Perry noted that the disorder known as ADHD should be considered a description of a wide range of symptoms that many children and adults exhibit, most of which are factors that everyone of us displays at some point during our lives.

“It is best thought of as a description. If you look at how you end up with that label, it is remarkable because any one of us at any given time would fit at least a couple of those criteria,” he said.

Dr. Perry is a senior fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas, a highly respected member of the pediatric community, and author of several books on child psychology including, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook–What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing, and, Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential–and Endangered.

His comments are quite refreshing at a time when diagnoses for ADHD in the UK and the US are sky-rocketing and prescriptions of stimulant medications to children are also rising rapidly, with many parents and concerned activists growing suspicious of the pharmaceutical industry’s motivations in promoting drugs to children. Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse and other mind-altering stimulant medications are increasingly prescribed to children between the ages of 4 and 17.

Dr. Perry noted that the use of medications like these may be dangerous to the overall physical and mental development of the child, remarking on studies where these medications were given to animals and were proven detrimental to health.

Pills“If you give psychostimulants to animals when they are young, their rewards systems change. They require much more stimulation to get the same level of pleasure.

“So on a very concrete level they need to eat more food to get the same sensation of satiation. They need to do more high-risk things to get that little buzz from doing something. It is not a benign phenomenon.

“Taking a medication influences systems in ways we don’t always understand. I tend to be pretty cautious about this stuff, particularly when the research shows you that other interventions are equally effective and over time more effective and have none of the adverse effects. For me it’s a no-brainer.”

Given that the problem of ADHD is complex and the term is more of a blanket term used to describe a wide range of behavioral symptoms, it is important to consider what the root causes of many of the symptoms may be before pharmaceutical intervention should be considered. Citing potential remedies, Dr. Perry suggested an approach that focuses attention on the parents and the child’s environment, while also recommending natural remedies like Yoga, and improved diet.

“There are number of non-pharmacological therapies which have been pretty effective. A lot of them involve helping the adults that are around children,” he said.

“Part of what happens is if you have an anxious, overwhelmed parent, that is contagious. When a child is struggling, the adults around them are easily disregulated too. This negative feedback process between the frustrated teacher or parent and dis-regulated child can escalate out of control.

“You can teach the adults how to regulate themselves, how to have realistic expectations of the children, how to give them opportunities that are achievable and have success and coach them through the process of helping children who are struggling.

“There are a lot of therapeutic approaches. Some would use somato-sensory therapies like yoga, some use motor activity like drumming.

“All have some efficacy. If you can put together a package of those things: keep the adults more mannered, give the children achievable goals, give them opportunities to regulate themselves, then you are going to minimise a huge percentage of the problems I have seen with children who have the problem labelled as ADHD.”

Many people may disagree with the assertion that ADD/ADHD should not be considered a disease, however, the fact remains that the myriad symptoms that are associated with these increasingly common ‘disorders’ can often be addressed and relieved without creating an addiction and dependency on pharmaceutical medications, which disrupt the mind and body in ways that are not fully understood or even researched.

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and an avid student of Yoga and life.

Resources:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/30/children-hyperactivity-not-real-disease-neuroscientist-adhd
http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/03/07/diagnoses-fictitional-illness-add-adhd-jump-dramatically/
http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/tc/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-medications

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

How to Stop Doing What Doesn’t Work

Q&AQ: How do I stop doing the things that do not help me or my child?

A: Stop doing that

Q: But how?

A: You stop doing that by stopping doing that.

Q: Could it really be that simple?.

A: It is that simple. If I were to pay you $1 million to stop doing that, whatever that is, do you think you could stop doing that? Or at the least, would you not pay much, much more attention to the issue and thereby make much quicker progress? Is your life and the life of your child not worth much more than that? It is all a matter of priority and perspective. Some things are more important than others. When we discover what we are making more important, and then evaluate if it is indeed more important, then we choose to make that change. That is why, when I say, choose love, although it appears simple, for so many of us it is so far in the background of our lives it almost appears as if impossible to live. Yet if we live as though we were being paid $1 million to choose love, I suspect the choice, the opportunity and the will to do so would be so much more accessible to us. So the real question is, is it important enough to stop? And if not, why not?