"You may become flooded by feelings such as fear, sadness or rage. These intense emotions can lead you to have a knee-jerk reaction instead of thoughtful responses. When emotional reactions replace mindfulness, you're on the low road and it is very unlikely that you will be able to maintain nurturing communication and connection with your child." -- Dan Siegel
You know what the high road is. When you’re feeling really good, nothing fazes you. You respond to your child’s foibles with patience, understanding, and a sense of humor.
You know what the low road is, too. It’s when you’re stressed, exhausted, resentful. When you insist on being right or wringing an apology out of your child. When your fuse is so short that you feel justified in having your own little tantrum. When you're in the grip of fight or flight emotions and your child looks like the enemy. READ POST
"Dr Laura....I only found Aha! Parenting a month ago. Already things have improved so much with my kids and I no longer act like a crazy person when I get frustrated with them. But I keep wondering if I have messed my children up forever...."
"Understanding alone cannot prevent disrupted connections from occurring. Some will inevitably happen. The challenge we all share is to embrace our humanity with humor and patience so that we can in turn relate to our children with openness and kindness. To continually chastise ourselves for our "errors" with our children keeps us involved in our own emotional issues and out of relationship with our children.." -- Daniel J. Siegel
Have you made mistakes as a parent? Join the club. The bad news is that you're human, like all parents. So we all fall short. READ POST
stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom
and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and
freedom." -- Victor Frankl
"Where there is great love, there are always miracles." – Willa Cather
I know, you never actually stop loving your child, even when she acts like a monster and you can't stand being with her another minute. But unfortunately, the love you feel isn't the most important factor in your child's emotional development. READ POST
"Try to see your child
as a seed that came in a packet without a label. Your job is to
provide the right environment and nutrients and to pull the weeds. You
can’t decide what kind of flower you’ll get or in which season it will
bloom." - Anonymous
Unconditional love isn't just what we feel. It's what the object of our love feels: love without strings attached. That means our child doesn't have to be, or do, anything in particular to earn our love. We love her exactly as she is. READ POST
"What can you do if the people in your life, in particular family, continue to inflict wounds although you keep forgiving? Isn't it better to keep them at arms length ?" - Ruby
“Healing comes when we meet our wounded places with compassion." -- Stephen Levine
Last week, Step 4 in our series Ten Steps to Unconditional Love was Are You Drinking Rat Poison? The Secret of Forgiveness Many readers thought I was saying that forgiveness means you make up with anyone who has hurt you and give them access to your heart again. NOT. You don't want people in your life who inflict wounds. Arms length? Toss them out of your life altogether! READ POST
"Dr. Laura, How do you set loving limits, when you do not give consequences? For example, my son's bouncing a soccer ball inside the house. I try to give him a choice: "You remember balls are for bouncing outside. You may take it in front of the house or into the backyard. The choice is yours." Sometimes it works...sometimes he ignores me and continues to bounce the ball...I repeat again, and he does not listen. Should I take the ball away? He did not listen and there should be a consequence, no?"
Mom sees behavior that is against the family rules. She sets a limit, in this case by giving her son a choice of two alternate, acceptable, options. He ignores her. She repeats herself. He ignores her. Shouldn't there be a "consequence"?
Let's take this a step at a time.
1. Your son is bouncing the ball in the house, which he knows is against the family rules. You're worried about the walls getting scuffed. You need to set a limit. READ POST