Many parents and children experience anxiety. Sometimes it’s mild, but other times it can get in the way of fun or meaningful activities. Does your child avoid field trips because he is afraid he’ll throw up on the bus? Do you say no to an invitation to go to a party because you are worried you won’t know anyone, or that you don’t have a new outfit for the event? Research shows that as parents, we often pass on our anxieties to our kids, and in some families there is a genetic component as well.
Here is a good story from NPR about a family who reached out for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to reduce anxiety. Don’t be ashamed if you or your child needs help. Life is a lot easier when anxiety doesn’t rule.
This self-Compassion meditation came to me when I was writing Is That Me Yelling? and feelings of self-criticism were popping up.
I continue to learn how essential it is for me to develop compassion towards myself and to let go of feelings of guilt and shame about my mistakes as a parent. It’s an ongoing process, and my wish is that this meditation will be of help to you. You can read it below or listen to it by clicking this link:
Sit down in a comfortable place, in a chair or cushion, or lie on the floor. Gently close your eyes.
Become aware of your breath. Notice your breath…breathing in, and breathing out. There is no need to change your breath…just notice it with each inhalation and exhalation. Become aware of your body, sense your body, and scan for any places that have tension. Notice these places, like your neck, or shoulders, or jaw or hands. Keep your awareness on your body and on your breath.
Now imagine yourself as a baby. You were once an innocent beautiful baby. Notice your size. Look at your hands, at your feet, at your face—and become aware of your babies expression. Babies show their emotions without hesitation.
Is your baby looking Content? Curious? Sad? Afraid? Joyful? Sleepy? Take your time and notice your babies face. Are you aware of your baby without judgment? With full acceptance? You may want to pick up your baby and rock him or her gently in your arms. How does your baby respond to your gentle touch? You may want to bring your baby close to your chest patting him or her gently. (more…)
A terrific story by Steve Henn, at NPR’s all tech considered, about his kids calling him on his distractions due to his constant phone use. His 12-year-old daughter said, “Sometimes at night you’ll just stand around and … you’ll have your phone out and you’ll just type and you’ll just stand there.”
How often is your child is trying to get your attention? And how many times an hour do you say, “Just a minute, I just have to send this message or make this call?” Sure, sometimes you really do need to, but other times you just might be lost in the good feelings you get from being connected to the world. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be connected….but ask yourself if you are also connected to the little beings who so much want your attention and delight. And are you connected to the world around you.
Setting limits on screen time is not just for kids. It’s for us adults as well. Try it, you may like it.
Friends suggested I listen to the NPR show (March 2014), This American Life, to see what I think about parents who suffered while raising really challenging children.
The one I want to comment on is Act Four. Producer Sean Cole tells the story of a former foster kid who was finally adopted in his mid-30’s, and the reason he was taken away from the foster family he loved more than 20 years ago.
The story is about Lisa and Charles Harris who had biological children and decided to become foster parents. They wanted to adopt a boy named Maurice, but something happened that caused great suffering for all of them.
Lisa and Charles valued spanking as a form of discipline for their children, but couldn’t spank Maurice since it’s against California Law for foster parents to spank. Maurice wanted to be spanked so that he could be like the other boys in the family. Both parents felt strongly that it was important to spank children (especially boys) to help him make it in the world. (more…)
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 email@example.com.
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.