Posts Tagged ‘help children’

As a parent what do you choose to reflect?

April 5th, 2012

Every moment in connection with another is a moment where we can choose to uplift or negate another’s experience. Think about this for a minute. Each encounter with a child, partner, friend, community member, and even moments by yourself, are moments when you are given a choice. You can understand, validate, hear, honor, regard, witness, listen, or you can disregard, threaten, punish, negate, challenge, shame or diminish (of course there are many more choices too).

Yes, life is stressful and at times our tempers are short, we don’t have the desire to hear things, we are super busy and frankly just want things to be taken care of without having to ask another 100 times. Oh how human we are!

Here’s a valuable insight to help you navigate these moments- you are reflecting to others what is inside of you. You may ask your partner to listen, beg your child to do what you’ve asked, felt frustrated that you are not heard or respected, and at the core the question to ask yourself is are you respecting, listening to and honoring yourself?

We cannot ask others to give to us, what we do not give to ourselves. Now before your mind jumps ahead to reasons why this is not possible, or if you catch yourself moving into critical, blaming or shaming thoughts, take a deep breath-EXHALE.

How can you choose to honor, respect, listen to, validate yourself? In every moment when you desire to be critical or negative towards yourself or others, pause and exhale. Ask yourself what you choose to reflect.

CQ Playful Creative Activity:

Take out a piece of paper, collage materials, markers, pastels, or paint. Find a quiet place to work. Take a deep breath, and ask yourself, what is it that I need to hear right now? Allow yourself the space to explore with the art materials. Hold whatever you create with loving kindness and allow any judgments or negative thoughts to be released.

When you take the time to honor and witness your thoughts and feelings (both good and bad) you’ll likely feel re-energized, nourished, and ready to reflect your inner calm to those around you.

Want lots more empowering creative tools? Join our NEW Supportive, Non-Judgmental & Downright Awesome Community of Parents & Professionals committed to lovingly transforming the lives of children across the globe.

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10 Phrases That Every Child Needs to Hear From the Adults in Their Lives

March 19th, 2012

What would happen if …your child embodied these 10 phrases? Imagine the difference it would make in your child’s life.

I call these the 10 commitments, the words your child needs to hear from you:

You are lovable:

No matter what, you are lovable. You do not have to do anything or be anything more than what you are to be loved and to be lovable. In this moment I recognize you and love you just as you are.

Sometimes it hurts:

At moments life is painful and there is nothing you can do to make it any better. It just feels bad and I am here to be with you in these difficult moments.

You are safe:

Although I can’t protect you when things go wrong or you are scared, know that you have within you tremendous courage. Even when things feel dark and hopeless, take a deep breath and know that you are in this moment okay.

Let me try and understand:

I may not know what it is like to be you, I don’t know what happens in your heart and in your mind, I don’t know why you act the way that you do sometimes, so please help me understand. I am willing to listen and respect what you have to say.

I respect you:

You have different ideas, and see the world differently than I do. Sometimes we struggle to

meet eye to eye, but who you are as a person is good and kind and there are moments when I look at you and have such deep respect for the person that you are.

Teach me:

At times I forget to be patient, sometime I snap at you, at times I want things done quickly, and done “my way”. Please continue to teach me patience, remind me to be flexible, show me the gifts that you have in your heart about love and kindness. I can learn so much from you when I am willing to slow down and just be with you.

You are good enough and you are whole:

Please remember that nothing anyone says or does, or nothing that you can do or say, will make you less that whole. You are loveable and there is nothing that you can have, do, or be that will make you more loveable that who you already are.

You are worthy:

You are worthy of happiness, love, and kindness, and all goodness, no more and no less than any other being. Sometime I struggle to remember this in my own life and I thank you for reminding me.

Let your uniqueness shine:

I know at times it feels like things would be better if you just fit in and you were like everyone else, it feels isolating to be different and stand out. I honor and celebrate what makes you uniquely you, no one else on this planet can take your place, and that’s truly remarkable.

I am sorry:

I try to help you grow into being a happy and kind child, and sometimes I try too hard and I forget what an amazing gift you are. You are funny, kind, you have such a generous heart, and love to laugh and play. I’m sorry for those times when I forget to look at you with the love and compassion you deserve.

Thank you,

Your parent

If you are in the Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton, Venice Florida area and you are looking for child therapy, we can help. Schedule a Support Consultation here.

If you don’t live in the area, don’t worry. I created parenting resources to help children and teens you can immediately download  to help your child.

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Art Therapy: Using Art as A Tool to Help Your Child

June 9th, 2011

Sarah was an unforgettable girl. She was a tall lanky teenager with as many piercings on her face as freckles. She was a student in an alternative high school where I worked. I can still picture Sarah today in her baggy pants, ripped clothes and colored hair. She was one of those students who wore her anger and sadness like a badge.

Everyone knew Sarah had a rough time. She had even threatened to kill herself a year earlier. The clothes and the personal history made it easy for Sarah to be left alone, and she said that’s what she wanted.

A natural artist and freethinker, Sarah was recommended for art therapy by a concerned teacher. She strolled into our first session, unloaded her books and grabbed some clay. Quietly she molded the clay. For the first month we sat mostly in silence as she formed the clay into angry mask-like faces. I accepted what she gave me unconditionally, knowing there was more to Sarah than angry masks. I waited for weeks until the time was right. I asked Sarah, “What’s behind the mask?…If you took away the angry mask what would there be?” Sarah sat quietly looking at her clay. A long pause, a sigh, her brown eyes rimmed with tears, “ I don’t know”. Our journey together had begun.

Sarah, like many kids I’ve worked with over the years, embraced art. Even with so many let downs and mixed emotions, she was able to let go and risk show who she was through her artistic creations. I witnessed Sarah bloom from lost teen to graduating Senior. Her artwork changed too. From dark pictures and angry masks to bright colored painting she proudly gave to friends and family. She had finally found a way to give of herself and to be accepted.

Years later I got a phone call. Sarah wanted to meet for lunch. That day I walked in to see the butterfly Sarah had become. Her face was glowing. She looked so happy and healthy. Her pink outfit mirrored her wonderful transformation from anger to acceptance.

We ate, laughed, listened, and knew silently that we were part of a journey that had brought us to this place. I felt grateful to have witnessed Sarah’s transformations.

Art Therapists working with children share the hopes of all parents. Our goal is to help children discover their inner beauty and potential. For many people, this journey to self-acceptance requires special support.

I saw Sarah again several years later. She was visiting home briefly and had changed schools. She was going to study counseling. She told me she was going to make a difference in somebody’s life. I nodded and smiled, knowing that she already had.

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