Want to Make Big Changes? Start Small and Get Big Results

It’s Easier and More Effective

switch-bookThis remarkable book Switch: How to change things when change is hard, can be about you, a job, friends, or even family. Or in families like many of ours – a child.

“Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.

In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counter-intuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.” — Amazon

Here is one lesson, of many presented in the book, that you may find to be instrumental and inspiring in seeing how everyday opportunities can lead to big changes with exponential effects. — David Durovy


Change May Be Easier Than We Think

This is really the crux of what we as parents are dealing with, both in ourselves and in our children. Although this appears as a simple task, the complexity is often so overwhelming we either quit, or take on a method that “seems” time tested and viable (such as punishing our children in order to help them learn). In the end though, some experts see change not as “a” thing, but a series of things, often very small things by what they call “shrinking the change”.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath is a well researched book that shows us how to engineer change into our personal, business and family life. One example shows how one simple unplanned act can actually change things not only in one mom’s and dad’s life but also the lives of so many others in a loosely choreographed series of actions and reactions that at the end of the day, the children were better behaved.

Take a few moments to read through this scenario and consider the implications of small random acts of kindness that we have the opportunity numerous times everyday to take advantage of or pass by in our lives.

They write, “small targets led to small victories, and small victories can often trigger a positive spiral of behavior. Marriage therapist Michele Weiner-Davis wrote about her clients Paula and George, who’d been married for eight years but had been fighting consistently for the previous two.” She had been counseling them for awhile but made little progress. “Then came the breakthrough— a kiss.

One morning, George kissed Paula. The kiss surprised her, caught her off guard a little and made her happy. Being happy prompted her to do a little thing she hadn’t done in a while; She brewed a pot of coffee. They used to drink coffee together often, but lately the tradition has fallen by the wayside.

George smelled the coffee and came down for a cup. He and Paula had a pleasant conversation. Both of them said the morning made them feel more “relaxed and lighthearted”. (Who wouldn’t want more of this?) Paula reported that her coworkers noticed the difference in her attitude that day. Even George and Paula’s kids seemed affected by the halo of good feelings (my note: The Oxytocin Response)—they were more relaxed that evening, less argumentative. George’s kiss launched a positive spiral.”

What is a take home lesson here? The authors say it like this: “Don’t ask a couple to stop fighting; ask the husband to give his wife a simple good-morning kiss.”

How would we interpret this? First, never underestimate the power of simple actions of loving kindness expressed in actions and thoughtful words. The oxytocin response can be a healing balm for ourselves that can affect our children’s regulatory responses. This is brain science, but not difficult brain science. Anyone can do it anywhere, anytime. And, we don’t need a degree to use it.

Secondly, the way to influence or change the behaviors of our children is by, well, by changing our behaviors first. Why us? Because that is the only thing we can control. And that is not always a given but certainly a good place to start.

David_JournalAnother interesting take-home lesson is, we can never know just how far reaching our words and actions, helpful or hurting, may be. One word or action may generate many reactions down the line. We might want to think about that before we act or speak.

Where can you start today, right now— a simple, small, manageable and specific behavior change for you?

— David Durovy

What is the Age Our Parenting Approach is geared To?

Parents sometime ask us about age for a love based parenting approach. Although your approach will differ based on the age of your child (emotional age is most important here), the love part is always that same. But even at that, love is not always easy to define or practice and requires some deeper thinking. Jesus said "love your enemies and do good to those who hate you". Yikes! Talk about an out of the box approach ... I wonder how many of us are ready for that kind of love? Learn More...

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There Is a Better Way to Parent

Where in the World is Waldo is a Better Way?

A big problem is that we parents think we know how to parent. That it is a no-brainer. I mean, people haveOld-Way-Better-Way-Wood-s been doing this stuff for centuries. What is the big deal? True, but that does not mean there isn't a better way...

The Better Way:  Your paradigm is the way in which you see the world. It is the model by which you explain and understand all that is happening. It is metaphorically speaking the table cloth upon which all the table settings rest.

Most people are constantly re-arranging the "table settings" of their life in hopes of something better. Change the table cloth. Yes, just yank it out, then start rebuilding your assumptions about your life, your parenting and about everything. What we teach works best from an entirely different paradigm or model of how parenting works.

Sure, we can play around with this technique, that tip, or another approach or method. We can do this for years with few results. If it doesn't work, we do it louder, harder, more forcefully.

For a direct flight to love, keep in mind that both you and your child are completely innocent, both doing the best possible thing you know how to do. If either of you knew a better way, I guarantee you would do it in a heartbeat. If it doesn’t work, it is simply because there is a better way, not the “right way”. Think in terms of better, not right or wrong. There is always, always, always a better way.

Choose a better way,
— David

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Lovingest of Us All?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you are saying." The practical current scientific thought reflected here is the concept of Mirror Neurons.

Mirror-Girl-Unhappy "Many scientists have come to believe that we understand others not by thinking, but by feeling. For mirror neurons appear to let us “simulate” not just other people’s actions, but the intentions and emotions behind those actions. When you see someone smile, for example, your mirror neurons for smiling fire up, too, creating a sensation in your own mind of the feeling associated with smiling. You don’t have to think about what the other person intends by smiling. You experience the meaning immediately and effortlessly.

This serendipitous discovery of mirror neurons—a special class of brain cells that fire not only when an individual performs an action, but also when the individual observes someone else make the same movement—has radically altered the way we think about our brains and ourselves, particularly our social selves." *

Mirror-Girl-HappyThis underlying scientific principle called mirror neurons essentially, is that mirror neurons are just like a mirror. When you look in the mirror and you smile, the reflection smiles back at you. When you look in the mirror and you frown, the reflection frowns back at you. When you look in the mirror and you yell, the reflection yells back at you. We have mirror neurons in our brain, which mirror what we see.

In relationship to your child, if you’re approaching your child from a place of positive energy, your child is going to be reflecting that back to you. I want you to take this as an example. Just for today, when your child comes home, or whenever you get a chance, I just want you to walk by, happen to catch your child’s attention and I want you to smile at them and you will notice in most instances, they will smile back. Try it, see what happens and let me know.

Think of this old saying the next time you interact with your child or anyone...“when you smile, the whole world smiles with you”.

Choose Love.

— B

* Source: http://www.brainfacts.org/brain-basics/neuroanatomy/articles/2008/mirror-neurons/

Make ’em, Break ’em or Love ’em

When you can create regulation within yourself in the midst of your child’s dysregulation, you become the true essence of a parent — a positive influence on the growth and development of your child. This is true parenting - influencing your child and allowing their own development to proceed as God intended. It is not our job to make or force our child - but to nurture who they are and who they choose to be. When parents are calm and loving, wonderful things can take place with less effort, less work, less disappointment and just, well… less. whew! More time for play, for enjoyment and for love. It doesn’t get any better than this parents.

Normal vs Natural Parenting

fear-love-buttonThere is a world of difference between normal and natural. Traditional and typical parenting approaches and practices appear normal, as things usually done. Natural is how you at when you're not trying to be normal. Acting with love is the most natural thing you can do. Act with love and you will act naturally. Reacting from fear may appear normal, but it will never be natural.
Choose love.
B.

How to Rid Yourself of Fear

Sick and tired enough of being sick and tired of being fearful and helpless about your life with challenging children?

Fear_NoDo you ever really consider what fear is? Do you ever experience it? Do you know what it really feels like in your body? Where you experience it? If so, how do you deal with it?

Bryan talks about fear a lot as you know. Fear vs love for example is not the "horror/scary story" fear - although it can feel like that at times. Like when you know school has ended and it is about time for your child to be walking through the door and your reaction is one of "oh - no, here we go again". I used to feel this when driving home from work every single day.

You can feel it in your stomach — it is real, it is visceral and it is not fun. Fear that your child will never survive their teen years let alone adulthood. For many of us, it is not what university they might attend but what prison will they be in — and that is if they are not dead. I remember feeling glad when people asked about our RAD poster child son that he was neither dead nor in jail after he finally graduated from high school (four different high schools including two "special behavior" schools and numerous home schooling attempts later).
Yet for many of us, fear keeps on repeating itself day after day after ...

And these are just our fears as a parent. Not to mention our child's fears which may make ours look like a "walk in the park" if we really knew their experience.

Into the Silent LandSo it is with this in mind that we share something that offers an invitation few of us would accept, but just maybe we are just sick and tired enough of being sick and tired of being fearful and helpless about our lives with our challenging children!

“If you want to know the true nature of fear, look straight into it. Fear, anger, envy — any afflictive thought or feeling — cannot withstand a direct gaze. But if we look at the story and feed on the story we tell ourselves of our fear, anger, envy, etc., affliction thrives. Affliction feeds off the noise of the commenting chattering mind.”Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird.

What is the take home lesson? Parents, watch what you think and say to start with, then watch if any behaviors extend from these and just stop them. Yes, just like that. Any behavior that does not come from love comes from fear. So parents, just say "stop". You will find your child responding more like this the more you respond more like this. To read more about this interesting book and approach, click here.

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.

Love is. No Ifs or buts about it

Love-is-FreeA child does not feel loved because you say you love him. Love is an expression, an energy. It is not conveyed merely through saying the words. It is conveyed within the silence of space through vibration and rhythm. and feeling. Even actions may not convey love if they are not expressed with an energy of love. Have you ever received a hug or a kiss that had no energy behind it? Love is always present when we are open to it, but we must be open and willing to express and share it. When you say “I love you” INTEND it. When you hug, hug with energy and love. Make love come alive in your relationships. All else pales in comparison, if a child does not feel loved. It will do your child no good to talk about how much you love her if she does not experience your love through your actions. There are no "ifs" or "buts".  There are no conditions in love. That is why we call it "love".  Try to imagine a love so grand, so enormous that nothing could ever come between. What would that mean to you?