You and Your Mate – How to Work Together

It takes two to tangle, but the emotional tangle can be even harder to unravel when you and your mate each bring your own struggle with fear to your relationship. Sex should deepen and reaffirm a couple's bond. But it may not work that way.

If you've suffered sexual abuse, physical intimacy may trigger unconscious fear -- fear that you try to work out by avoiding deep emotional intimacy. If you grew up in a home with a depressed or angry parent, or parents who were emotionally absent, you probably didn't get enough opportunities to develop a strong oxytocin response. Your emotional thermostat may be turned up too high -- your fear response is too strong. Your love response may not be strong enough to overcome your fear of others.

As an adult, you may be able to fall in love and get into a relationship, because nature gave us lots of dopamine, the chemical of reward-seeking and pleasure, to get us over our fear of strangers so that we could find a mate. But once the excitement of dopamine wears off, we need the oxytocin response to keep us together.

If we're not pumping out lots of oxytocin -- sex, cuddling, sleeping side by side, eating together -- it may be a struggle to keep our fear in check. When you first get into relationship, you're experiencing all this oxytocin and dopamine, and it feels great. But what used to feel good doesn't feel so good anymore. Now, intimacy feels uncomfortable or threatening, while conflict escalates. If this is a pattern you fall into with your mate, you can see how it would complicate your parenting. When both regress emotionally, how can you act as a stable parent to your child?

I’m not saying that you won't be able to employ the oxytocin parenting strategies successfully until and unless you have no fear. I am  saying is that you may need to use the same strategies to help each other move out of the place of fear and into a place where you can calmly connect with each other again and help your child regulate.

Emotional Weather – How to Raise a Happy Child

Want to know how to raise a happy child? - Edward Tronick, an associate professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Children's Hospital Boston, says that, very early, babies develop a predominant mood. That is, one baby becomes more likely to be content while another one develops the habit of being anxious. While every baby is capable of a wide range of emotions and moods, the tendency to develop a habitual mood is shaped both by her internal state and her parents' emotional input.
According to Tronick's theory, your baby normally cycles through different states in which she's more or less receptive to being in a certain mood. You can encourage that mood or not. For example, in some parts of the cycle, she's more receptive to positive emotions. If you play with her while she's in this part of the cycle, she'll react with joy and fall into a positive mood. After that first bit of play, it will take even less to make her smile and laugh.
On the other hand, if she's not in the part of the cycle when she's receptive to joy, she may not respond to your tickles and giggles. She will also naturally be more susceptible to negative emotions at different times. When she's in a cranky mood, it doesn't take much to get her crying, while it's harder to please her. Tronick thinks that the intensity of the emotion you show to your baby combined with how long you interact that way influences how deep into that mood the baby will sink and how long it will last. Quite simply, a happy mother will be more likely to raise a happy baby, while a grouchy mom can increase the susceptibility to bad moods. This is not to say that your baby should never be fussy and always happy. Remember that it's natural for her to cycle through these moods.  Excerpt from Oxytocin Parenting by Bryan Post & Chemistry of Connection author Susan Kutchinskas

Oxytocin Parenting - Great for any age child (or spouse, boss, friend and more) Available in Kindle format still as of this date, introductory price is only .99 Cents!!!

Let’s Talk Mom Radio Show with Bianca and Philip and Guest Bryan Post

Bryan Post has mostly only two, maybe three things (four at the most) things to say or talk about, but says them very well, often and with inspiring clarity: Parenting, Love, Oxytocin and I love books - (and an occasional "cerveza por favor".)

Lets Talk Radio Show Life, Love & Parenting with Bianca and Philip had Bryan talking about Loving Relationships on their June 14th AM 1490 WGCH Radio Show. Bryan Post, a frequent guest on the Let's Talk Mom Radio Show June 14th discussed Couples Relationships - not parenting but Loving Relationships. You may want to fast forward as he is the second guest on the show that day. Look for the image "On Air" with a date of June 14. http://theletstalkmom.com/the-radio-show/

Peace or Stress? Mindfulness Tips for the Holidays #6 – Don’t Stop, Just..Slow…Down

Speed Bump Ahead - Slow Down: For many of us, this is a great place to start.  My way of taking two steps at a time going up and down all day long becomes "one-step-at-a-time".  I simply notice my feet when they hit the ground, trying to eliminate the elephant like sound of my feet on the floor and try to sound more like ninja when I walk.  Immediately my gait slows, I become more aware of where I am going and what I am doing. This means less of ...."I know I came in this room for a purpose, but what was it?" Another aid to lessening the clumsy, the things slipping from hand, the whoops kinda things that sometimes happen. Not only is this its own benefit, but helps with the rewiring of our brain as we referenced in Tip #5. We have included links to the articles below in case you missed the last post.

Slow Down - As our lives get busier, we tend to live them faster and faster. This practice tells you to consciously reduce the speed of things. Notice the rate at which you move, work and exist - then, deliberately slow down whatever you're doing, even for just a minute. When you reduce the speed you allow yourself to arrive in the moment.  -- Frederick Burggraf, The Mindfulness Wheel

The steps that Mr. Burggraf offers in his approach can be used with a different focus each day for living in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness through attending to tasks, we not only begin to pay attention to our actions,  but it also eliminate the clumsy, whoops dropped it, oh darn it type of events as we become more of what we are doing in the moment. How many times have we dropped, kicked, bumped, bit our tongue etc in those moments of non-attention?  Wouldn't it be interesting if there were none of those moments ...

Frederick Burggraf created a wonderful little tool called The Mindfulness Wheel (www.dayonepublishing.com). We will be sharing some of his quick and easy lessons along with other mindfulness  tips over the Holiday Season to help us all stay regulated, calmer, patient and more loving with our special children. Use them; let us know how they work and what you learn from them.

A recent article in the Huffington Post states, “One of the major reasons that corporate America is grabbing onto mindfulness is because the science is there that backs it up. We have evidence that intentionally paying attention with mindfulness is connected to areas of the brain responsible for attention, memory, learning, awareness, empathy and compassion. We’ve seen reduction in activities in areas of the brain associated with stress and fear.”   Wow! This is BIG news and dovetails perfectly with the teachings of the Stress Model developed by Bryan Post. So by practicing mindfulness, we become less fearful, more loving (means more Oxytocin) and can parent our very challenging attachment challenged children more effectively – what a great Christmas gift that is!

Choose to Slow Down.

-- David Durovy
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Last Chance! It’s not too late to still get and read the short FREE download e-Book 
Holiday Peace: Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time  by Bryan Post.  Help the Holidays Be Happy Times rather than Stressful Times with Bryan’s 4 Point Plan!“Classic” Bryan Post delivers tips, hints, wisdom and what not to do to help your family have a better holiday with his 4 Point Plan. Don’t let the holidays “just happen”. The Holidays should not come as a surprise. Plan ahead on how best to help your challenging child – and yourself, stayed regulated. Don’t let your anger and frustration or your children’s behaviors ruin your holidays. Use the Stress Model to bring Joy to the World, Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward All!

Make sure you stop by our Facebook page often as we are giving away books, DVDs, CDs and more each week for a full year. This is a chance to learn, play and interact with other committed parents and professionals and WIN! http://www.facebook.com/postinstitute
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For more of Bryan Post’s unique truly love based family centered approach for managing children with challenging behaviors, visit his websites:

  • www.postinstitute.com – A Radical New Understanding of Difficult Children resource site. Lots of free stuff and training materials.
  • www.reactiveattachmentdisorderparenting.com – A Parenting “Hands-On” Home Study Course for parents & professionals with RAD kids and many other challenging behaviors and diagnoses.
  • www.oxytocincentral.com – Resource site for the latest info and research on Oxytocin, the hormone responsible for attachment and bonding.
  • www.postinnercircle.comWhere Desperate Parents Come for Solutions and Support. You Are Not Alone. If there were a way to personally interact with Bryan Post on a regular basis, would you be interested? If there were a community of other parents and professionals who wanted peace and harmony in their families as much as you, and you could learn from them, would you be interested in joining them?Also free parenting videos by Bryan Post on YouTube, and up to date information, discounts, weekly contests Like our Facebook page.

10 Reasons To Have Sex Tonight

10 Reasons to Have Sex Tonight by David Durovy

Well, to get all the actual science you will have to go to a 2008 CBS News HealthWatch article to get all the facts that support the many reasons for most of us parents to make "date night" a regular event - not just for Valentines Day or our Anniversary.  Since it is not my article, I will just list the 10 reasons and with a few quotes that dovetail with our oxytocin thinking. Why all this talk about sex? This gift from God provides many things that help us - and for most of us with challenging kids, we can certainly use all the help we can get. One of the better ways to get our Oxytocin Response going. The more Oxytocin, the more we are better able to self-regulate and love. Who could ask for anything more?

1. Sex Relieves Stress - Need I say anymore here? Once you read the science, parents of our special kids may want date night 7 nights a week! "Lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction. Other research found a link between partner hugs and lower blood pressure in women." A simple hug could work wonders. Amazing yes?

2. Sex Boosts Immunity "Good sexual health may mean better physical health". Who wants less health?

3. Sex Burns Calories "Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more." Do I see the Biggest Looser changing its training venue?

4. Sex Improves Cardiovascular Health "Researchers found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half for the men". Gee, wonder what that is worth in health care savings?

5. Sex Boosts Self-Esteem

6. Sex Improves Intimacy "Having sex and orgasms increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps us bond and build trust. They found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels. Oxytocin allows us to feel the urge to nurture and to bond". Oxytocin allow us to feel the urge to nurture. People sometimes ask, "how to love my child again?" Or, how can I feel more loving when I am so angry?" Maybe we should tell them to have more sex...

7. Sex Reduces Pain "As the hormone oxytocin surges, endorphins increase, and pain declines. In a study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 48 volunteers who inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked lowered their pain threshold by more than half." I have felt the pain of raising my RAD kid more than once. And I have seen it in many others. Karyn Purvis, the renown researcher and author of The Connected Child (we highly recommend this) says that they found reduced hormonal levels in the parents they work with who have children who come from "hard places", foster and adoption homes.

8. Sex Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk Again, healthcare savings plus a fun cure?

9. Sex Strengthens Pelvic Floor Muscles

10. Sex Helps You Sleep Better "The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep". Warning: do not have sex before work or at work as sleeping is not conducive to a productive workday.

If you are not a fan of Oxytocin yet, this may help you better understand and appreciate this free, easily accessible and powerful natural chemical in the body. And if you are not a fan of sex yet either, this may help you better understand and appreciate this wonderful God-given experience in a whole new way.

-- David Durovy

Susan Kutchinskas' The Chemistry of Connection. Want to learn more about Oxytocin, visit our store and purchase this ground breaking book - This is the Oxytocin Book that Bryan Post fell in love with!

Full of fascinating information about the biology of attachment, it uses the newest data from psychology, neuroscience and molecular biology to explain how we love, why we sometimes can't, and how to develop this deep human capacity by understanding oxytocin. It shows how to nurture lasting love between ourselves, our mates and our children. Kuchinskas gives reader essential information about connection and bonding and helps readers understand the brain chemistry behind who we are. Anyone who wants to understand and improve their relationships should read it.

For current information and research on Oxytocin, visit www.oxytocincentral.com