Nanny to the Rescue
America's nanny offers a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced babies and toddlers.
Babies don't come with instructions. And since today's parents are so overwhelmed with schedules and demands, they have little time to bone up on their parenting skills. Often removed from grandparents and relatives who in times past lived next door or just down the street, they have no one to guide them through the disorienting world of raising children. Enter Nanny to the Rescue! Michelle LaRowe, 2004 International Nanny Association "Nanny of the Year," gives her tried and true solutions to childcare. Her expertise with chapters titled "Who's the boss?" and "Discipline is not a four letter word" gives confidence to parents who need specific ideas for real day-to-day problems. A proud member of Christian Nannies, Michelle offers foundational truths sure to help encourage moms and dads.
Nanny To the Rescue Again
Faced with multiple choices regarding school, friends, and activities coupled with the ever-widening influence of the outside world, parents of 6-12 year olds need help. America's nanny is back to offer a large dose of healthy parenting advice with secrets for raising happy, secure, and well-balanced children.
|Parenting Books That Work! By Sharon Scott |
Hearing Our Seriously Distressed Children
How do we deal with our seriously distressed children and adolescents?
Adolescents are in a period of seeking autonomy and self-determination. These qualities can aid them in becoming agents of active transformation in their own lives. For one to recover from distress they are in need of being able to regain hope and to have an effective exercise of their free will. (Breggin, 1996). Adolescents based on their experiences formulate thoughts and feelings and begin to create values and meanings for themselves.
Those adolescents who are suffering from serious emotional distress have become lost on this path to finding meaning in their lives. Once this occurs, they begin to develop anguish and self-defeating responses to life. This creates in them anxiety and despair leading towards what some would call 'madness' (Breggin, 1991). These adolescents must learn to feel empowered once again, and not to feel labeled as an 'it', not to be viewed through the lens of their particular diagnosis and categorization they have been ascribed. These adolescents need coaches and individuals who will aid them compassionately and empathetically in navigating and negotiating through life's stresses.
The therapist and others must look upon the distressed adolescent with dignity. To look upon the adolescent through 'scientific' or 'objective' means leads us to the tendency to diagnosis and control the person, to impose our own abstract and potentially oppressive category upon them and to manipulate the outcome.
Physical interventions, such as psychotropic drugs, restraints, and enforced confinement to mental hospitals or residential treatment facilities are a part of this desire to control rather than truly aid and come to an understanding of the distress the adolescent is experiencing (Breggin and Breggin, 1993, a&b). Psychotropic medications with these seriously distressed individuals only deal with symptoms, they blunt certain functions to make the person more tolerable and amenable to societal expectations. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, focuses on the subjective changes in patient's feelings and on actual changes in lifestyle or conduct of life (Fisher & Greenberg, 1989).
Based on the viewpoints of biopsychiatry, adolescents who are medicated and placed in mental hospitals are labeled as improved when they conform to hospital demands or receive discharge. However, what is not examined is, how do the patients themselves actually feel? An estimated 180,000 to 300,000 young people a year are placed in private psychiatric facilities. These children and adolescents often feel powerless in these placements. But as mentioned above, it is the need for feelings of empowerment and hope that will lead to a genuine recovery from distress. Psychologist D.L. Rosenhan lead a study where 'pseudopatients' had themselves admitted to psychiatric hospitals to experience them first hand and report on this experience. Rosenhan reported in an article appearing in the January 19, 1973 issue of Science, "Powerlessness was evident everywhere?He is shorn of credibility by virtue of his psychiatric label.
His freedom of movement is restricted. He cannot initiate contact with staff, but may only respond to overtures as they make. Personal privacy is minimal?" With children and adolescents it is easier to rationalize away their rights and control becomes more arbitrary and complete (Breggin, 1991). Psychiatrist Peter Breggin states that in such an environment 'it is hard for a child to resist feeling spiritually crushed, abandoned, and worthless under such conditions. With a less formed sense of self than an adult has, a child is less able to resist the shame attached to being diagnosed and labeled a 'mental patient'. Children may also find it much harder to conform to institutional life.
They are naturally energetic, rambunctious, at times strident, often noisy, and resistant to control. If a boy doesn't conform, he is considered 'ill' and can be subjected to physical restraints, solitary confinement, and toxic drugs. (Breggin, 1991). It should be mentioned that the drugs commonly used for severely distressed adolescents are the same as those used for adults, most frequently the neuroleptics. These medications are reported to cause lack of energy, painful emotions, motor impairment, cognitive dysfunction and tend to 'blunt; the personality of the treated patients as well as having a risk for the development of tardive dyskinesia, a permanent and debilitating neurological problem (Gualteri and Barnhill, 1988).
These drugs subdue the adolescent into conformity by blunting the brain, but never do they teach the child how to develop meaning, how to cope, nor do they allow the adolescent to express his pain and emotional distress that is within. The adolescent is merely sedated to make his behaviors more manageable to adults. The adolescent learns nothing. The adolescents who are suffering from severe emotional distress are in conflict. They have internalized feelings of guilt, shame, anger, anxiety, and numbing. These adolescents instead of coercive and intrusive 'treatments' need the ability to find a safe place where coercive power is replaced by reason, love, and mutual attempts to satisfy their basic needs. These adolescents because of their distress have broken away from the accepted realities, they have sought to recreate their existence, for some a more primitive existence (Schilder, 1952). The feelings of anxiety that an adolescent may experience are linked to a fear of being and belonging (Stern, 1996, pg. 12) Depression, mania, and anxiety are all linked together and are indicative of trauma.
The adolescent being a shattered person seeks an escape by altered perception. We must begin to realize that all behaviors and experiences have meaning, even those things that may appear the most 'odd' to us. The symptoms labeled to be schizophrenic exhibited by certain adolescents in distress 'may be understood as manifestations of chronic terror or defense against the terror (Karon, 1996). This is often expressed as anger, loneliness, and humiliation. The therapist and others must convey to the adolescent that he wants to understand, that the client is helpable, but it will take hard work (Karon, 1996). The therapist must forge an alliance with the adolescent, aiding them to understand the real dangers and to be able to develop appropriate coping mechanisms. These adolescents are often viewed as dangerous themselves but the majority are not. They need to be hard, and forging this alliance will give them the needed voice leading to their recovery.
Hallucinations that are experienced by the seriously distressed adolescent are actually repressed thoughts and feelings coming outward, the unconscious into the conscious. Delusions are the adolescent transferring experiences from their past without having the awareness that it is past (Karon, 1996, pg. 36). The therapist can guide in interpreting the meaning of these hallucinations and delusions and once the adolescent is gently approached with their underlying meaning, these events can dissipate. Delusions are also connected with an attempt to find a systematic explanation of our world, to find meaning. A person who has experienced severe distress has lost this meaning and thus develops unusual ways of seeking to make sense of their experiences and the world around them (Karon, 1996, pg. 38).
The therapist can gently call the adolescent's attention to inconsistencies but at the same time respect their vision. The results of a psychosocial approach to those with severe emotional distress has been proven to be more effective than the current biopsychiatric methods as evidenced by a study by Loren Mosher, MD where he took schizophrenic adults who were on either very low doses or no medication, and offered them a 'safe place' with non professional staff residing with them and sharing in their daily experiences.
A 2 year follow up of these patients noted higher levels of success and progress than their counterparts who were subjected to neuroleptics and psychiatric hospitalization (Mosher, 1996, pg. 53) The model known as the Soteria project was based on principles of growth, development, and learning. All facets of the distressed person's experience were treated by the staff as 'real' (Mosher, 1996, pg. 49)
Limits were set and mutual agreements made with the patients if they presented as a danger to themselves or others. Such a model could be adapted to use with adolescents, offering them the need for compassion, empathy, and finding that 'safe' place, restoring within themselves a feeling of worth and dignity, that will lead to their ability to address the issues of their distress and traverse towards recovery.
Dan L. Edmunds is a graduate of the University of Florida. he completed his graduate studies at the University of Scranton. He is currently pursuing Doctoral level studies at Argosy University with concentration in Pastoral Community Counseling. Dan is employed as a Behavioral Specialist Consultant and Mobile Therapist for a private agency in Northeastern Pennsylvania and is President of the Rose Garden Children's Foundation, a non profit 501 (c)(3) organization.
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Missing The Bus
As a step daughter and step grand daughter, I followed the examples that were set for me years before when I became a step parent. The way my stepson finally came to love and respect me as his step mother, was through all of the "trying" experiences we had. Excuse the pun, but raising kids is a very trying experience!
Lets Not Hurry Children Through Childhood
Have you ever experienced one of those days when you wanted to return to the carefree days of childhood when your biggest worry was how you could con your parents into staying up a little longer at night. Have you ever thought that you would like to be a child once more when the biggest decision for the day was choosing which topping put on your ice cream?
Mom, Dad and the Big Brother
Software for parental control is a useful tool, if applied right. Millions of parents in the USA alone do check their kids' online behavior. In November 2004 a telephone survey made by the Pew Internet and American Life Project showed that:
Hearing Our Seriously Distressed Children
How do we deal with our seriously distressed children and adolescents?
The Symtoms Of Meningitis And Septicaemia
Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by either a virus or bacteria.
How To Be A Bad Mother
As I sit here and reflect on the past two days and really the past two months, I am flooded with memories of the past and present. All of these thoughts run through my head and I feel so angry and resentful. Let me say I have been mad in the past few years but in complete honesty I haven't been quite this angry and at this point I don't know how to begin the healing process. I am back down that road of self- awareness and concern. See this is the thing, I become angry about my raw deal and the way I have been treated but then it doesn't end there, this is what people don't get about me. I get angry at those who hurt me but then I also turn around and become more angry with myself for not knowing better. I refuse to listen to that inner voice that usually carries me through every hardship in life, I push it to the side and then I think there is no way you can have all this anger and a relationship with God. That will usually get me through every thing I have to go through but this time I feel it penetrating to my soul.
Teenagers in America Today
"Family Matters" was the headline that caught my attention in the newspaper. That's the name of my radio program here in California's central valley. It was interesting enough for me to buy the paper and read the story. The article was about a recent study called The National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health, a survey of about 90,000 teenagers (age 12-18). The sub-headline was "Study debunks belief nothing works with teens."
A Place For Everything: Its Childs Play
What parent hasn't gone into a son's or daughter's room and wondered, "Where did I go wrong? How could I have created someone who creates such a mess?"
How To Foster An Environment For Successful Communications With Your Child
As parents, we strive to address all of the questions asked by our children. If we don't have the answer, or don't like the question, we would never think of ignoring the child. We do not accept improper communication as acceptable behavior. Most parents, however, are quick to excuse or overlook the behavior of their child when he / she reacts the same way and are often left wondering when the lines of communication broke.
Grandparents! Help Your Grandkids Do Math!
This may come as a surprise.
What Do Chinese Water Torture and Arguing with Children Have in Common?
Imagine yourself lying flat on your back, totally strapped down onto a cold, hard table, unable to move any part of your body. You can't see anything around you because your eyes are covered. You find yourself imprisoned by the enemy and you have no where to go for help. The room is silent except for the slow, steady, drops of water that fall on your forehead.
Parenting Your Teenager: 6 Tips for Effective Discipline and Consequences
A parent writes in, ``We are having a hard time in our family deciding on appropriate punishments when our teen-ager breaks family rules. We can't tell if we are too strict or too lenient. What can we do?''
Back to School Success: The Parents Job and the Students Job
Q. With another school year starting, we are not sure how to handle things with our teen-ager. Last year turned into such a battle, and we fear another year just like last year. Is there anything we can do to help make this a successful year?
10 Reasons Why You Need to Ditch the Super Mom Syndrome
For any of you Moms out there that are doing it all, attempting to gain Super Mom status, let me give you my own personal opinion?It's not worth it!!!
The pursuit of the Super Mom is an endless search that will be of great cost to you in the end. Here are 10 reasons why you need to put an immediate halt to this pursuit.
# 1-There is no such thing as a Mom who can do everything perfect because as far as I am concerned, perfection comes at a very high price. Seemingly perfect to other people, is often not the way things really are for the perfectionist.
#2-The Super Mom Syndrome is literally killing women. Stress related diseases are on the rise and the demands that women place on themselves today directly contribute to the stress in their life. This stress is often all consuming.
#3-There are far too many roles in our life today. Trying to keep up with the different hats we wear on a daily basis is sometimes impossible. Feeling the need to be perfect in them all is exhausting.
#4- Our children miss out on some precious experiences with us that they can't get back. We are frequently so wrapped up in our to-do list that we forget to put the really important things on the list at all.
#5-It's exhausting!!! Having to do everything that you feel society expects of you, as a mother is overwhelming.
#6-It's no fun. How much fun has anyone really had attempting to do everything perfect???
#7- Your friends will like you more when you can laugh at your imperfections along with theirs.
#8-Your quality of life will immediately improve. When you make the decision to give yourself a break and do your own personal best instead of 100% perfect, a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. Anxiety and depression can be an end result of unrealistic standards that you consistently place on yourself.
#9-The Super Mom never enjoys the moment. She is always multitasking and thinking of what needs to be done next. Life will pass you by before you know it.
#10-Continuing to admire women who can do it all will continue to place unrealistic demands on mothers to do it all. Let's start to admire the mothers who take time to nurture themselves. Let's admire the women who can enjoy the time with the kids at the playground and be really present when they are reading to their children. Let's toast the Moms who admit they can't do it all, all the time. Let's congratulate women on their honesty and ability to ask for help. Let's start to celebrate our imperfections instead of beating ourselves up over them. Let's stop judging each other and offer support instead.
We are not perfect creatures nor were we meant to be. So why are we trying to be??? Wouldn't Motherhood be a lot more fun if it didn't have to be perfect?
If you want to start taking better care of yourself as a mother and a woman, you can pick up your copy of YumMe MumMe Makeover- How to Balance Womanhood and Motherhood by Nurturing the Me in MumMe. It is full of tips and advice on how to bring more fun, balance and happiness in to your life. It is available on my web site at http://www.seekingbalance.ca
Finding A Caregiver You Can Trust
Choosing to leave your child with a caregiver is one of the most important decisions you will make. When hiring a caregiver or nanny for your child, there are several important steps you need to take to minimize potential risks of hiring someone who will not be a good fit for your child and family.
On Raising a Child with Disabilities: Sara & the Nail Salon
Sara loves pampering. Haircuts, facials, manicures, and makeup bring smiles, giggles, raised eyebrows and kisses. Sara communicates "yes" by raising her eyebrows; blowing kisses signifies a very excited yes, please, and thank you very much.
His Toy, Her Toy
I remember when my daughter was born. Visions of her and I dressed in pinks and purples sitting in her lacy pink room playing dolls danced threw my head. A year later my son was born ;My husbands vision of sports and trucks revved around like mad men threw his manly mind.
Raising Teenagers? Stay C.A.L.M.
Parents of teenagers frequently ask what can be done to improve their relationship with their kids. This can be a challenging time, and a time when parents sometimes feel rejected, out of touch, and unclear about what to do. Here's a simple strategy that can help set you up for a smoother ride.
Celebrating Life with Children in September
Here are ten simple pleasures you can enjoy with your children this month.
Get Down (On The Floor!) And Play With Your Children
When was the last time you and your kids rolled around on the floor together laughing yourselves silly? If you're like me, it may have been a while! Sometimes I get caught up in household chores, give errands a priority or answer the phone when I know I should let it ring, instead of making time for my two daughters. It's not that I don't play with them; just the opposite is true. It simply seems as if I'm trying to fit them into my daily schedule when in fact I should be scheduling my day around them. I used to be a planner. I would try to organize activities that I thought my girls would learn something from. I'm now much more free and spontaneous with them and I've discovered that at their respective ages of four and 20 months that this is the type of play they prefer. Here are some suggestions on how you can be more spontaneous with your children: