As the year comes to an end we can all reflect on our level of stress, fatigue, mood, and overall health. Do you make your good health a priority, or do you find it gets put on the back burner because of all the other things you have to do? Join us to discover some simple ways to replenish your energy and reduce your stress.
Dr. Amy Day is a doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. She is the founder of The Women’s Vitality Center in Berkeley, CA and specializes in helping busy professional women with stress, fatigue, and hormonal issues. After helping 1,000s of women in her private practice, Dr. Amy now also offers online group programs and virtual health coaching to support women outside of the Bay Area. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Endometriosis Association and is a past board member of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association.While in medical school, struggles with her own women’s health issues fueled Dr. Amy’s passion to work with and empower other women. She now provides experienced and compassionate care to help get to the bottom of complex hormone issues including adrenal/thyroid health, perimenopause/menopause, PMS, PCOS and endometriosis. She uses an integrated approach combining diet, exercise, lifestyle counseling, stress management, nutritional supplements, botanical medicines and bioidentical hormones as she guides women on the journey to optimal wellness.
“When we do our best to treat our children, others, and ourselves with kindness and respect—even with our imperfections–there is a ripple effect. A shift takes place in ourselves, in our children, in the people we interact with every day. When we heal our wounds with courage and honesty, we can use our energy for our benefit and the benefit of others. One person—like you or me—can have a significant impact on the violence, greed, suffering, and lack of compassion around us all. If more parents model respectful communication and empathy, then the next generation will have a better chance to create a more peaceful world.
Consider these questions every day:
What will I discover today that brings meaning to my life?
What will I learn from my children, and what will they learn from me?
How can I offer love, comfort, or peace to someone?”
When I hear the word curiosity, I can’t help but think of Curious George. But there are other meanings worth considering.
Curiosity is a strong desire to know or learn something. When you are curious you are interested in discovering something new or understanding something that’s puzzling. This attitude can come in handy when raising children because they surprise and perplex us on a regular basis.
“Why is he waking up at night all of a sudden? He’s always been a good sleeper.”
“How did she figure out what the password is on my computer? She’s only eight years old.”
If you’re stressed and rushed, your first reaction to some of your child’s behavior may be to yell. If you slow down and calm yourself, you may develop an attitude of curiosity and discover more about what makes your child tick.
Take the time to approach a new situation, disagreement, or challenge from a place of curiosity!
When you are able to notice and then manage your strong reactions of frustration, anger, fear, or disappointment, you have an opportunity to connect and engage with a child. This is a powerful step in resolving problems and preventing power struggles.
Here is an example. Jada, a 6 year old who likes to take her time in the morning, frequently fusses when it’s time to walk to school. She wants to play one more game, or she searches for that special object, like a pencil or toy that she must have to take to school. Her mother Marla is usually in a rush, and gets easily frustrated when Jada isn’t ready on time. Marla is in the habit of yelling, and the more she yells the more Jada insists that she needs, “One more thing.”
When Marla tries the curiosity approach, she finds that it takes less time than she feared. As Jada stalls and says she can’t go to school without that special pencil Marla asks her to sit down with her for a minute. In a calm manner she asks her daughter a few questions, and then she listens. “Honey, do you have anything important going on at school today? When Jada says no, mom asks, “Tell me a little bit about your pencil. What makes it so special?” Jada says, without hesitation, “When I have to write my numbers I get scared that I’ll make the 3 and 5 backwards. With my special pencil I’m less worried cause the eraser is really good.”
Marla gives Jada a hug and reminds her that many children write numbers backwards, and that’s part of learning. She tells her daughter how she used to do the same thing. Marla makes a mental note to work with Jada on her numbers to help build her confidence. She also reminds her daughter that today is art day, something Jada loves.
Taking time to connect and find out more about what your child is feeling and thinking will often provide a clearer picture of your child’s experience. When you don’t have time for a morning sit down, remember to connect with curiosity later in the day.
To learn more about how to lower your intensity and calm yourself so you can respond instead of react, check out my book, Is That Me Yelling?
With gratitude and curiosity about how things are working for you.
I'm thrilled to offer my book to parents, teachers, therapists, and anyone who cares for and about children. If you would like to set up a presentation or training for your child's school, or your work place, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is That Me Yelling? is available in most bookstores and at Amazon
"Engaging and practical, humorous and evidence-based, prescriptive but not preachy, authoritative yet never stuffy, Is That Me Yelling? quickly rises to the top of the many parenting books I've ever read. Rona Renner provides thoughtful and achievable solutions. If you're a parent who has ever yelled at your kid and wished you hadn't, this book is for you." —Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD, professor in the department of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley; and vice-chair of psychology at the University of California, S.F.
"Is That Me Yelling? is a complete and compassionate companion for every parent and educator. With excellent examples from her extensive professional and personal experience, nurse Rona illustrates fundamental psychological principles and functional parenting practices with empathy and enthusiasm." —Marisol Muñoz-Kiehne, PhD, clinical psychologist, parent educator, radio host, and author.