One parenting chore we face at this time of year if getting the children out the door and to school without the chaos. Is this possible? Yes indeed. School mornings could be a good plan gone asunder, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Everyone in the household can give both to the problem and to the solution, and it takes a collective effort to create a relaxed and efficient environment in which the household starts the school day. Parenting stress doesn’t have to be a side effect either.
Timing is the most relevant reason for preparing to start a school day.
. If timing is off, parenting becomes stressful. The household has to work like a well-tuned orchestra, whereby every instrument is tuned, everyone is in his or her place, and the maestro is on the stand.
The following parenting tips are gentle reminders to prepare and enjoy your day!
Organize and develop a morning and evening plan. Let children offer their comments and have a trial run to test it. The plan should include such things as:
Preparing the breakfast table as much as possible i.e. set out cereal bowls and cereal boxes.
4. Plan to complete some morning activities before school. Morning activities and duties should include:
Breakfast together as often as possible
Hygiene/bathroom time for each person as previously planned
Review of the daily calendar, and confirm any activities scheduled for the day
Being in a good mood where everyone is happy and determined to have a great day
5. Parents must set the morning mood and control the chaos.
Organize your routine to support the family plan.
Be ready for surprises, such as a forgotten backpack.
Stay in touch with your child’s obligations by reviewing daily activity and homework schedules.
Keep calm and muster a positive attitude. If you get rattled, everyone else will follow suit.
Take enough time to talk about any afternoon or evening activities that the child can look forward to such as a special meal or extra free time.
Preventing chaos in the morning is a family affair. By investing parenting time in planning routines and enforcing the rules that come with it, everyone gets his or her day off to a better start. Failing to invest that time leaves the door open to disaster - and it will come! Try implementing some of the above suggestions and keep that door closed.
By changing parenting responses to sickness, we can support healthier children. My daughter had three bouts of strep throat in first grade. In second grade, she was starting on her second round of throat infections when we sat quietly in the doctor’s office and held hands. My daughter looked up at me with tears in her long lashes and said, “I’m sorry I’m sick, Mommy. I promise I’ll get better.”
Her words hit me hard in the gut. I wonder how she thought her illness was an inconvenience to me – another problem in my day. Her words made me review what I had said, as well as my non-verbal language and my actions about being healthier. How was my parenting a message to feel guilty about being sick?
Reduce Parenting Tensions
The evidence of my stressed parenting was easy to find: the scowls about missing another day at work; the rush to find a babysitter; the trip to the drug store. My daughter soaked up these tensions and words. Certainly, my parenting worry made her feel worse, and it led me to understand how I could help my daughter be healthier.
I could reverse her feeling needlessly guilty while also helping her reduce the likelihood of being more stressed.
1. Smile - I realized that when I approached my daughter when she was ill I looked worried or concerned. This contributed much to her feeling worried. By simply smiling at her, I eased her tension and created an attitude of healthier instead of sicker
2. Use Positive Phrases - You already know how your sick child feels. Rather than repeatedly asking the obvious, try saying, “You look good,” or “You’re doing better.”
Asking “What’s wrong?” forces a child to think about that. Asking “What’s good?” or “What’s right?” or “What’s feeling better?” or “What’s improves?” encourages positive thoughts about feeling healthier.
3. Touching and cuddling - Yes, we’re all busy and yes it is easy just to park a sick child in front of the television. But that does nothing to lessen the child’s awareness of what a burden he or she is for you when sick. Children feel safer when we can touch, bond, and hold them when their world seems dreary. Studies show touching and bonding strengthen the immune system, literally. Sit and hold your sick child for some of that TV time. Put him or her on your lap and read a story together.
4. Do quiet time activities together - Undertaking quiet time activities together helps make both your child and you feel better. When my daughter was ill we drew pictures, colored designs, played card games, and watched the birds at the feeder through her window. These joint activities, rather than her illnesses, are times that she still remembers when we speak of childhood memories
5. Envision healthier children – Another quiet activity that we enjoyed was closing our eyes and pretending that our eyes had x-ray vision like Superman. My daughter would scan her body with her x-ray vision and tell me what parts felt better, what the tummy would like to eat, and how she was improving. It may sound like a silly activity, but recent studies have shown that for patients with serious illnesses, including cancer and immune system disorders, very similar healing imagery has a positive effect. Thinking about being healthy can actually help our bodies be healthier, and that’s exactly what we want for our healthier children.
6. Listen - Stress weakens the immune system, and yet the things causing stress in our children’s lives often go unnoticed until they erupt into tummy aches, headaches, an accident, and more. Simply asking, “What’s happening at school?” or “How are your friends?” or “What seems hard in your life right now?” can make a difference. As parents, we don’t have to fix it or make it better. Often, listening is enough!
There’s no avoiding exposure to the viruses and bacteria that can lead to the common childhood illnesses. But we can protect against them. Giving our kids a healthy diet and making sure they get plenty of rest are some ways to do that. As important is providing a loving environment and minimizing stress. And if illness should strike, letting your child understand that your main desire is his or her good health, and not simply ending the inconvenience of having a sick child, can help make the process of getting well easier and quicker.
Intuitive Parenting involves wanting to follow our natural, hardwired knowing about what our children need compared to the schedules, parent-speak, and strategies we learn when searching for parenting tools and philosophies. The intuitive parenting types are usually empathic, heart-oriented, creative, and highly influential. We feel what our children feel and we can soothe them. Our basic tendency is to follow our inner GPS and sometimes that is hard.hen
“Discovering my temperaments was a precious gift for understanding that it was okay to be me, the intuitive parent.“
Can’t Deny Intuitive Parent Traits
Honestly, in our rushing about or focusing on work-related projects, we spend much time in the logical part of our brains. Yet, intuitive intelligence can speak louder if necessary.
An intuitive parent’s knowing when centered on a child, has rarely not identified the needs, situations, or conversation that need attention.
We HAVE TO understand how our intuitive parent nature presents for our children & how to apply it to real life. Christopher, a dad to Jason, 16 years old, had an intuitive sense about Jason when first held him after birth.
Christopher explains: “I was holding my newborn son when my just broke open with torrents of love. Along with rush of feelings, I saw images of my when he was older. The scenes were a car accident at age 5, training for football at the high school, Jason on the swim team, and several other imagesas Jason moved through his teen years. I held these images close, and they were always in my consciousness. For example, when Jason turned five years old, I remembered the scene of a car accident. I wasn’t afraid of the scene, but I was aware of my caution when driving with Jason in the car. On satuday afternoon I was driving home with Jason. My body sped up to get through an intersection with a yellow light, and my gut felt turned upside down. Talk about really feeling intuition! It was so odd. I drove the car through the intersection at just below the speed limit, and immediately parked the car on the right side of the street in front of a restaurant. Within seconds a large garbage truck sped through the intersection and ran a red light in the process. The truck hit a spot of gravel in the intersection and swerved sideways before moving straight ahead again. I have no doubt that the huge trick would have hit my car and Jason and I might not have survived based upon the spped and weight of the huge truck.
“What I like about being intuitive is that I just know some things to be true. If my instinct was to get through the yellow light turning to red and park the car, I don’t have to think about it. The primal instinct of survival is in all of us. I don’t want to know why I had that instinct to act.”
One of our most influential tools for parenting is the power of our intuition, our inner sense sometimes called inner voice or wisdom. Much has been said about a mother’s intuition, and we thought you would enjoy these brief stories.
One of our most influential tools for parenting is the power of our intuition, our inner sense sometimes called inner voice or wisdom. Kathy explained that she was an intuitive mom. She often enjoyed her end-of-the-day routine after putting her three children to bed. She liked to sit alone at night, read a good book and enjoy the solitude. One night, she felt something touch the back of her neck. She turned to see what it was when a voice in her head told her to check her infant son. She got up immediately and went to his room to see that as he lay in his crib he was not breathing. Later at a symposium, she learned that her son was a prime candidate for SIDS. Sudden Infant Death would have claimed another life if she hadn’t trusted the voice she heard and taken action. The intuitive traits that Kathy showed were
Being self-aware of feelings and perceptions,
Trusting instinctive feeling–even when the outcome was unknown by the logical mind,
Feeling connected to the feelings of others.
“Intuition is more than knowledge, and truth comes pure from the heart.” ~ Don Bradley (Angels in a Harsh World)
A Mom’s Intuition
Jenna’s daughter, Liz, was only seventeen when she graduated from high school earlier than her peers in order to take a summer and fall internship at a language institute. Jenna used her mother’s intuition to advise Liz on courses or the big decisions that Jenn had to make about her future at college and work. Right now, Liz was on a fast track to a prestigious interpreter’s position with a large company, and she had to attain specific training hours. The morning of her departure arrived. Jenna and Liz shared a quiet breakfast together before loading up her car and driving off. Jenna realized how long she had waited for her time to graduate and leave home. She felt enthusiastic and also sad. Her route through the desert to get North was awesome as far as beauty, but also the road was empty. Where were the other cars?
No worries Jenna thought. Relax and enjoy the ride. About two hours down the road, Jenna heard a pop and the car swerved slightly. A flat tire? Jenna got out of the car and did see a bad blowout. She made attempts to change the tire herself, but she didnt’ quite have the strength to ensure the lugs were tight.
Well, there was no one to call with no cell phone signal. She would wait for another car. Surely, one would come. Liz felt comfortable for the first hot hour in the afternoon. But lack of traffic and a way to communicate with any one left her confused. Should she stay with the car? Should she start walking to get some help? Would she find someone’s home so she could use their phone?
Mom Felt Her Fear
Jenna felt her daughter’s anguish, and if she felt it out of the blue, that meant that Jenna must be overly tired or frustrated. Out of the anguish she felt in Jenna, Liz called the state highway patrol. She apprised the officer on desk of the situation and asked that a patrol car in the area find her daughter’s car and please report back.
The officer on patrol did find Jenna and had her car towed back to a local gas station for service and a new tire. Liz had sent her mom a mental S.O.S. out of desperation, but was only a little hopeful her mom might sense her situation. Thanks heavens she had.
Learn More About Becoming an Coach for Intuitive Parents
Coaching intuitive intelligence in an empathic child is about recognizing the child’s heart intelligence. Empathic children have supportive temperaments. They intuit how others feel and can decode the emotional atmosphere of a classroom, home, or on the playground. The following article in Bella Spark magazine shares more about these sensitive children.
Empathy is what makes other people matter to us and reminds us to acknowledge the people around us as we understand and share their feelings. Empathy exists in early mother-infant bonding. Even before birth, a baby in the womb is sensitive to the mother’s feelings, whether positive, neutral or negative. Once born, a baby shows receptivity to parents’ anger, tension, and depression, as well as to their caring, responsiveness and love. You’ve probably noticed how they imitate your facial expressions and smile in response to your smile. They also may cry if they hear another baby cry. This type of response is a step in the development of empathy and the ability to share the feelings of another person. Read More
Sharing Empathy Is One Way To Coach Intuitive Intelligence
Sometimes empathic children tend to stand apart. They could feel shy. They could sense negativity and they watch for how that unfolds on a playground or in a group of children. Bringing children into activities like drumming, singing, and dancing raises children’s energy and lifts their hearts. Coaching strength in intuitive intelligence is to bring empathic children together and celebrate. In one study, music increased children’s concern….Read more here
How Children Develop Empathy
Can empathy be learned? Could an empathic child by nature learn to subdue or turn off the sensitive heart if punished and abused? Dr. Lawrence Kutner discusses this topic in his article How Children Develop Sympathy…
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Everyday your life is filled with goodness through kind gestures and through kindness from your family. This family coach tool is a gentle reminder…everyday there is an opportunity to see the uniqueness of one family member and to show how you appreciate his or her affect on your life. Often I tell my children how I appreciate a specific strength or how I noticed a kind act. Showing appreciation is truly a heart-connector.
The following 4 tips offer suggestions to help you demonstrate appreciation for that special person.
Count your blessings. After you awaken each morning, count your blessings of the one family member you are appreciating. Write a small “appreciation note”or verbally offer your appreciation with a hug and a smile.
What a kind way for both of you to start your day. The Institute of Heartmath® demonstrated that love and positive feelings stay in the cells of the heart, muscles and organs for up to 7 hours.
Create a Gratitude or Appreciation Corner. Thisfamily coach tipis so appreciated by our children. This corner could be your creation or created and used by the whole family. The gratitude corner is stocked with different colored pens, sticky notes, and index cards. You write whom you are grateful for that day and why. Invite other family members to do the same. Even a selfie can be used. Post on a poster board or cork board as reminders.
Say “thank you” every time is an important family coach tip for modeling gratitude for other family members, whose kind act or gesture is shared with you. Even better, using positive I-statements reassures a child, partner, or parent that you noticed and do not take their actions for granted.
I like what you did so much.
I feel so loved.
I appreciate you too.
I am going to do that for you one day as a surprise.
I think you are so thoughtful.
Leave “Thank You” notes. Few people give thank-you notes anymore, yet this family coach tip is such a well-received token of appreciation. We forget how nice it is to get a handwritten note, knowing that someone who cares for you took the time to personalize their thoughts and thank you for something that was special to them.
As you can see, there are many ways to show gratitude and appreciation to the people who are important in your life. Not only will they be grateful, but these acts of kindness make you feel good too. Putting a smile on someone’s face and some joy in their heart is the best family coach tip yet!
In our culture, we have few role models for healthy relationships. A relationship is capable of bringing into your life both joy and sadness, delight and suffering. Indeed, healthy human relationships are very odd things. But you can change that.
Human relationships are strange psychological entities. They are very much like a tennis match. You can’t create a match alone. You never directly experience the quality of a match. Rather, its quality is based on your interpretation of how each of you play the game. You contribute only 50 percent to the nature and quality of the match. You have 100 percent of the power to stop it, merely by leaving the
court and not interacting anymore. You have to remain on your side of the net in order for the match to continue. You can control only how you play, never how the other plays. Healthy relationships are capable of bringing into your life both joy and sadness, delight and suffering.
Indeed, human relationships are very odd things.
Few Healthy Relationships Role Models
In our culture, we have relatively few positive models for healthy relationships. We see, and often experience, people interacting in unhealthy ways. Self-abuse, abuse of partners, ignorance of healthy interactions, violence and hurt, and fear and distrust all seem to be what is highlighted in our lives. The news is rarely about healthy actions and relationships. Even our chosen leaders demonstrate few healthy interpersonal skills when relating to their perceived adversaries.
People break up relationships and leave the relationship court for many reasons. Some keep grudges and resentment over past events. Some fear the consequences of a continued relationship. Some simply stop talking to one another and the healthy relationship withers. Some are focused only on themselves and ignore their impact on the relationship. Some fear commitment to any relationship. It would seem that we have little education on what elements make up a healthy relationships. We seem to have even less knowledge about how to behave in ways that create healthy and satisfying relationships. I know many people who go through life feeling alone, empty, and lonely because they were never taught effective relationship skills, or
choose not to use those they were taught.
Relationships are born, grow, thrive, and end. They pass through phases of development. Some are brief in time. Some last a lifetime. Some are still-born. Some are destroyed intentionally. Some slowly fade due to neglect. Some thrive and deepen. Some enrich our existence. Some drain us of energy. Some fulfill our needs. Some remain barely noticeable.
8 Action Steps to Healthier Relationships
Here are a few suggestions for developing satisfying, healthy relationships to your fellow human beings.
Let relationships grow slowly. Permanent healthy relationships
aren’t based on emergency need fulfillment. They must be nurtured and
attended to over time.
Accept yourself as you are and share that with another. Accept that
others are never exactly like you. Differences are not bad or wrong.
They are the elements that enrich relationships.
Choose to trust yourself and your partner. Trust is a choice you
make. It is never “earned” or “deserved.” It is a free choice only
you can make. You set the criteria for choosing to trust.
Develop “intellectual intimacy” with each other. Share your
thoughts, ideas and opinions spontaneously and without fear. Talk
with one another. Have discussions, even if the content is
Risk emotional closeness. Sharing feelings are perceived as more risky than sharing ideas and thoughts. To have emotional closeness, we must reveal to each other what we feel. Emotional revelation invites emotional closeness and is the foundation for building healthy relationships.
Forgive one another. Forgive yourself. Blame, criticism, resentment, fear, cynicism and negative memories cripple relationships. Letting go of these qualities through forgiveness refreshes and invigorates relationships. Become comfortable with the words, “I’m sorry.”
Make no assumptions and keep no secret expectations. Assumptions are rarely accurate. Unspoken expectations are more rarely fulfilled. No one can read your mind or heart.
Hug and touch. No relationship, indeed no individual, can survive without physical contact. Everyone needs physical expressions of affection and caring. Make a distinction in your mind between physical expressions of affection and sexuality.Heathy Relationships! We can’t survive without them. We all need to know how to create, contribute to, and enjoy them.
Dr. Thomas is a licensed psychologist, author, speaker, and life coach. He serves on the faculty of the International University of Professional Studies. He recently co-authored (with Patrick Williams) the book: “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills and Techniques for Enhancing Your Practice…and Your Life!” (W.W. Norton 2005) It is available at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com.
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Intuitive intelligence – a system of processing information from a gestalt that arrives spontaneously, beyond intellectually known information or evident thought. Every human has an intuitive processing system. Like any intelligence, different people will have varying degrees of strength.
Intuition - a talent or ability to grasp or understand spontaneous perception, feeling or information. This talent would be a strength of the intuitive intelligence range.
Childrens intuitive intelligence, like other traits, manifests in different ways along a continuum of normal skills to gifted talents:
Children who have intuitive episodes like dreams or a flash of creative insight. (Deep insight, premonition)
Children who are psychic. (Awareness of energy, and non-physical worlds through all senses or a specific sense.)
Intuition is the common denominator of these talents and, all children have the same intuitive capacities. Like musical prodigies and math geniuses, children display their talents in intuition differently.
Childrens intuitive intelligence is like a highly tuned sensory perceptions, and they display their gifts in what different cultures might think are unconventional ways. For example, how many parents are ready to believe that their children see ghosts ,or who, at a young age, have an entrepreneurial idea that could be successful?
Education, parenting and psychology professionals recognize that children have multiple intelligences, and intuitive intelligence has been the new kid on the block for a decade.. All intelligences exist on a continuum of normal to gifted. There are math prodigies, musical geniuses and intuitive psychics. The traits for intuitive intelligence cluster into several groups:
John always remembers hearing music in his head. “He has been a creative, inspired artist with internal music from an early age,” reported his parents.
This music playing was his “normal.” He constantly hummed, which irritated his teachers and classmates. From the time John was seven-years-old, he experienced interruptions in his musical pursuits. His parents divorced when he was seven. At age nine, he developed food allergies, which left his mind fuzzy, schoolwork difficult and his body fatigued. Yet, John’s intuition continued to be curious about this music. In his tough times, he turned to his creativity, and it motivated him to work with his music.
He learned to read music. His mother taught him the basics of the piano, and then John went on to learn the guitar. By age eleven, he was playing the music hr heard in his head when he wasn’t in school. Music absorbed his attention and poured from his soul. When others worried about his social skills and his lack of other interests, he stuck to his creativity. As a college graduate, John took menial jobs and played in a band until he was discovered and offered a recording contract. He is now an internationally known musician.
A recent question from a family coach asked if ACPI Coaches use positive self-talk as a tool. I thought all of us would enjoy knowing more about self-talk, because how I have seen coaches use it (including myself) is not always the best way.
“Positive self-talk” refers to the voice in one’s head. We can observe in a child what the inner voice might say if a child makes comments to him or herself when playing, when disappointed, when exuberant.
In reviewing some of the research on positive self-talk summaries showed good evidence for how the strategy works, but mostly through association and when paired with an activity.
Recently, my six-year-old grandson decided his summer activity would be soccer. Last Saturday was his first game, and he was nervous. I started singing affirming statements, a strategy we started together since he was about two and went through a hearty “no” stage. Basically for Calvin, he just needs a reason to do things. He never asked why? very often, just said no. A little explanation brought the light of reason and “Oh, okay, let’s go.”
Eating lunch before the game, we sang, “I am eating all my lunch. I will have a bunch… of ENERGY for my soccer game.” On that note, singing or rhyming works much better with children than just saying the words.
It has to be realistic. For example, Calvin was never a kid who could just say, “I play soccer well.” His rhetorical question at age five was, “But I don’t. So why say that?” The “fake it til you make it” way of using positive self-talk simply doesn’t register in the emotions or the mind. In fact, it can be detrimental if a positive parent pushes this point, “If you do it enough you will feel better.” Well we now know that is not true.
It has to be associated with an event, a task, or a behavior so it sets like concrete in a child’s brain, or in adult’s brain for that matter.
A study published by the American Psychological Association shows that if there is a disconnect between one’s positive self-talk and one’s actual behavior (e.g., telling yourself you did a great job when, in fact, you didn’t), then one is more likely to feel depressed and dejected, not upbeat.
Coaches can introduce the POWERFUL tool of self-talk, but in a specific way…otherwise it is NOT EFFECTIVE.
Positive self-talk has a more positive effect during a performance. This becomes more evident when associating positive self-talk and a sports skill. The child who models the positive self talk as taught to him or her during a soccer skill of dribbling with feet, is talking and practicing at the same time. This enhances learning and retention, and consequently BELIEF IN SELF! This example is exactly like asking a child to read out loud so more sensory cues receive and process information.
For tasks like completing homework or chores, learning a new skill like riding a bike, or for a smooth transition to going to bed, positive self-talk can keep the child moving forward and eventually gain enthusiasm when seeing how an adult can do the same in modeling for them Here are a few that I use:
For a child who is grumpy in the mornings: I am moving out of my bed. I sit up and stretch my arms and head. My feet are on the floor. I love a new day. I can learn and I can play.
For a child picking up toys…provide an incentive: I pick up my doll, and place it against the wall (or on a shelf or in a closet) so the dog won’t chew on my toy. Oh boy. I feel great. I love to pick up toys and make my doll happy too.
For a child who hates going to school: Today is Monday, a great day, a glad day, a happy day. I like Mondays.
Positive self-talk is especially helpful when starting a new project or job, meeting a new date, or learning a new skill, as if you inner parent voice was your best coach!