Are we OVER parenting our kids?

admin : May 19, 2014 7:59 pm : Noble Blog, Uncategorized

Seems like these days we are bombarded with all of the “Shoulds” of parenting. We SHOULD feed our children a health diet, We SHOULD vaccinate, We SHOULD not allow them to watch too much television or play video games…..the list goes on and on. While I agree with many of the SHOULDS that are out there regarding parenting I wonder….. Are we so busy trying to be the best parents possible that we are missing critical opportunities to help our kids develop the ability to self sooth and emotionally regulate themselves. Are we in a sense doing too much? Emotional regulation is a critical piece of child development. When we step in for every little cry, every little need and every little desire we are actually stunting our childrens’ growth. In my practice I work with parents to manage their parenting not necessarily differently but more efficiently based on the needs of their child. I work with parents to feel more comfortable with not responding to every little thing their child needs, (obviously within reason). Helping a child to learn to wait for things helps them to understand delayed gratification and will be a very valuable life skill in the future. I encourage parents to read about emotional self regulation in children and self soothing. Thanks to the internet there is a lot of really good stuff out there. I also encourage parents to call me for a seesion to discuss their child and any concerns they have. Here are some signs you may need to seek professional help:
1)Your child struggles daily with minor changes to their schedule.
2)Their response is out of the ordinary from what we might expect from a child their age.
3)Overall family life is affected by your child’s behavior.
4)Your GUT is telling you that there is something wrong.
In closing, children and parents who are struggling with emotional self regulation are not “bad” or “wrong” or at fault. They simply need to learn new ways to cope. Call me today!

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You might be talking to your kids but are you listening???

admin : March 20, 2013 10:20 am : Noble Blog

So much is said in public service announcements about talking to your kids about drugs, alcohol, driving under the influence and unprotected sex.
But with all this TALK when are we carving out time to LISTEN? Kids, especially teens take in so much auditory stimuli on a daily basis. Everything from ipods to cell phones to the good ol’ television set is TALKING to them all day long. And let’s not forget about school. Kids sit and listen to someone talking for 6-7 hours each day.

At some point the brain has to put a limit to the endless amounts of stimuli. I keep thinking of the teacher in the Peanuts comic strip where the kids hear the teachers words as “WHAH, WA, WHAH, WA”. At some point this is what kids in the real world hear.

So at the risk of TALKING at you I will finally make a point. Start LISTENING to your kids. Allow for those moments of silence, which can sometimes be uncomfortable with teens, allow kids and teens to offer a comment or share something about their day no matter how trivial. If they feel like they can talk to someone they will go from sharing the little trivial things to sharing the big stuff.

Once you are prepared to listen you must also prepare to respond

Often times we get caught up in the need to be the constant parent. We need to teach, give advice, be the authority figure. Don’t get me wrong all of those things are important. However, we have tendency to be driven by our fears of hearing what our children are saying that we often cut them off, interrupt them and launch into a lecture. Let your children tell you everything, make mental notes of your concerns. When they have finished talking ask them, ” is there anything else you want to say?”. This let’s them know you are listening. THEN start talking. Engage them in a conversation where each of you are doing as much talking as listening. Creating a safe environment for your children to process their thoughts is vital to open communication between parent and child.

In conclusion, I want to emphasize that if you have a tendency to lecture to or TALK at your child you are in no way a bad parent. The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness in order to create happy and healthy relationships between parents and their children. Just remember the more we listen to them the more they will listen to us……..

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