5 Ways to Prevent Your Kid from Becoming a Back-to-School Tyrant

By Sean Grover

 

 

 

Back to school anxiety can cause some kids to relieve emotional tension by bullying their parents. Here are five ways to reduce that risk.

 

If you have a kid that’s prone to bullying or bossing you around, fasten your seat belts. The end of summer is here, and so are those bedazzling three little words: back-to-school.

Is there another phrase that produces more excitement, dread and mass hysteria in kids? What’s beneath these over-the-top reactions?

Any social situation chockfull of mystery makes kids feel uneasy. The first day of school is teeming with unknowns: “What class will I be in? Will I make new friends? What if everyone hates me?”

When anxiety spikes, many kids start to discharge emotional tension by bullying their parents. As the worrisome day approaches, they may even morph into tiny tyrants. The more vulnerable and self-doubting children and teenagers feel, the more erratic and unstable they can become.

Kids who bully their parents are usually suffering from high levels of emotional stress. As insecurities grow, they have a corrosive effect on their mood, leaving them psychologically fatigued and incapable of self-soothing or controlling their aggressive impulses.

When the first day of school approaches and tension proliferates, kids often look for somewhere to dump their stress. And who is their favorite target? You guessed it, it’s you.

Consider these five steps to preempt back-to-school bullying:

1. Increase exercise

Studies have shown that a cardio workout three times a week reduces anxiety up to 70 percent. If your kid has had a sloth-like summer, get him moving ASAP. The more tension he discharges through exercise, the less he’ll discharge by bullying you.

2. Stabilize sleep schedule

Vampire-like sleep schedules are not uncommon for kids during summer. Your creature of the night will have a serious case of the grumpies when her waking hours have to shift back to the daytime. Do whatever it takes to get your kid back on a consistent sleep schedule a week or two before school starts to avoid the sleep-deprived crazes.

3. Organize the calendar

Structure soothes anxiety. As much as you can, get everything ready: review the class schedule (hanging it in the bedroom is a good idea), take a trip to school, help your kid reconnect with friends and formulate a plan together for the first week—when you’ll eat breakfast, when you’ll head to bed, etc. This kind of scheduling may seem mundane, but creating a framework together will help your kid chill-out when anxiety strikes.

4. Validate concerns

As the first day of school approaches, expect some moodiness and irritability. Maintain your leadership, and don’t become over-reactive or escalate conflicts. Validate your kids concerns by listening and staying positive. Craft your communications to sooth anxieties rather than amplify them.

5. Prepare yourself

You’ve prepared your kid, now prepare yourself. Good childcare requires a heavy dose of self-care. Make sure you’re not suffering from parent burnout. Get enough sleep, see friends that energize you, step out of your parent role and have some fun with your partner. You’ll have more patience, more humor and more flexibility. And remember, with your kids heading back to school, soon you’ll have your life back, too!

Sean Grover, LCSW, author of “When Kids Call the Shots,” is a psychotherapist with more than 20 years experience working with adults and children. To learn what to do when you think your kids are calling the shots, check out Sean’s other article for Parenting: “Do Your Kids Rule the Roost? Here’s How to Regain Control.” You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

©2015 Sean Grover, author of “When Kids Call the Shots: How to Seize Control from Your Darling Bully—and Enjoy Being a Parent Again.”

 

 

Click here for the original article: http://www.parenting.com/child/behavior/5-ways-to-prevent-your-kid-becoming-back-to-school-tyrant?socsrc=ptgfb1508311

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Study The Top Leader’s Style Before Signing On

Graphic image with the words, It's Your Career and other related professional development words

 

The “It’s Your Career” series at Management Excellence is dedicated to offering ideas, guidance and inspiration for your professional pursuits. Use the ideas in great career health!

If you’re interested in gaining critical insights into how things work in a prospective employer, look to the style, values and priorities of a firm’s top leader.

When I meet senior leaders, I listen and look for indicators on clues to what makes them tick. I want to know what they stand for…what makes them breathe…what makes them do what they do.

As a prospective employee, it’s essential to know what you’re signing up for in terms of culture and values and environment. I’ve learned how important it is to go to work for leaders whose values and approaches align closely with my preferences. Get this right and you’ll flourish. Get it wrong and you’ll suffer. Like everything else I’ve ever learned, I had to screw this up once to figure out how to get it right.

Most leaders are fairly transparent about what they stand for, although they vary in depth a great deal.

Some are wired to drive results. They want to move the numbers in the right direction and they focus almost exclusively on the issues of growth. This focus predominates all decisions and metrics and rewards and sets the tone for your daily work.

Some are wired for innovation. Their emphasis is on new and different and they place a premium on surrounding themselves with the best and brightest and creating environments (from gentle to raucous) that they believe promote idea generation. Bring your big ideas, and if don’t love the creative game, you might just get run over.

And still others are simply wired for power. They like being in charge, they’re good at it and for them the focus is on calling the plays and surrounding themselves with people who are good at execution. The environment is command and control and your role is that of soldier. If you struggle to take orders, run the other way.

And then there are the leaders I personally prefer. They have depth. These are the ones who are on a mission to transform lives and firms and the world with their efforts. To them, growth and innovation are outcomes of bringing in other mission-driven professionals and letting them do what they’re great at.

These leaders are driven to transform something for someone and they project this mission in every encounter. You cannot help but understand what they stand for and as a result, what their organizations stand for. The mission is core to who they are and their leader’s soul is always on display. Their organizations run on the energy generated by passion for the mission. It helps to be a dreamer who believes in achieving the impossible in this environment.

There’s no one style that defines these mission-driven energizing leaders. Some of them are servant leaders. They propel people and teams to do their best in pursuit of something remarkable by elevating their team members and focusing all of their energies on enabling them to succeed. Others are visionaries who drive their organizations to remarkable heights almost by sheer force of will. Think Steve Jobs. For the people in these firms, the drive from the leader is rocket fuel.

I get the leaders above…the growth, innovation and power leaders. I love the mission and visionary leaders, but those are personal preferences. I’m most at home in a change-the-world situation. None of them are perfect and not all of them are right for you as a contributor.

The leaders I struggle and will caution you against are what I term the “plain vanilla” leaders. They’re not confident enough to show you their leadership soul, or, worse yet, they haven’t take the time to develop one. They have no discernible mission. They operate at the transaction level, flitting from issue to issue but never breathing life into anything beyond the next few minutes. There’s no substance or depth to these leaders, and to me, they are dull and uninteresting. Be cautious of these characters. Life is too short to spend time in their chaotic and plain environment.

The Bottom-Line for Now:

The firm always reflects the leader(s). They establish the cadence and their styles define the environment during their tenure. Strive to understand what makes a firm’s senior leader tick and you’ll have great insight into what life is like this firm. Choose carefully, because a mismatch between your values and style preferences and those of the leader you go to work for is almost always a formula for trouble.

Your Story is Your No. 1 Marketing Tool

story telling marketing tool
Human beings have been telling stories since the dawn of our ability to communicate through spoken words, and even before that if you consider petroglyphs and pictographs. When it comes to business, many companies and marketing professionals tend to forget this fact, and push for more data, less story and above all, dry PowerPoint presentations with lackluster pie charts.

But recent research suggests that storytelling isn’t just an interesting habit we have developed over time, it’s actually the ultimate marketing tool for businesses in every industry.

You’ve probably heard before that storytelling is a great way to sell a product or persuade during a business deal. Chances are you’ve heard stories about why storytelling is so compelling in the marketing world, and you’ve seen it first hand in native advertising, well-branded websites and captivating blog articles.

Well, it’s no longer just a good story. Psychology is giving us scientific evidence that shows our emotions, hopes, fears, morals and beliefs are strongly influenced by the power of stories. Interestingly enough, fiction seems to be a better fit for changing people’s minds than persuasive writing that is meant to convince through argument and evidence.

So, how did this come about? And should we as marketers really forsake our spreadsheets for stories?

Data will always have its place in the business world, but storytelling is every brand’s most powerful marketing tool – period.

The Power of a Great Story

Why is it that fiction is better at changing minds than anything else? In a world where we are relentlessly data driven, results-oriented, key performance indicator-tracking and split tested every step of the way, what is it about stories that push our minds to forget logic and focus on the imagination?

It all comes down to human nature. Psychologists who’ve done recent research on the subject report that imagining a fictional world within a story (as we often can’t help but do when we are told a story) changes the way the information being delivered is processed. The more the listeners or readers become wrapped up in a story, the more the story changes how they feel, and potentially what they think.

In addition, those who become very absorbed in a story tend to find less fault with it, despite discrepancies or mistakes. Furthermore, it’s not just that people become so wrapped up in given stories that they don’t mind the mistakes, on the contrary: mistakes don’t seem to register in the first place.

The most crucial insight here is that when we are exposed to stories, we let our guards down, we forget about the little details and we focus on the big picture – how the story makes us feel. We don’t need logic to feel our feelings and that seems to be the key to crafting the winning tale.

That is exactly why stories are so powerful: they force us to forget the numbers despite ourselves and encourage us to return to our basic, natural existence as emotional creatures, or as Jonathon Gotschall puts it, “storytelling animals”.

How to Use Storytelling to Boost Your Brand   

We’ve talked about the power of stories and storytelling, but how exactly do we spin that within our branded content and marketing collateral? Good question. There are many ways to boost your marketing through storytelling, and below you’ll find a list that shows you where to start.

  1. Develop your brand voice if you haven’t already done so. You’ll have a very hard time telling a story or getting a good response from your brand’s story without a unified and unique voice behind it doing the talking and writing. That doesn’t mean it’s up to one person to tell all the stories, but rather, your company needs a coherent way to tell them.
  2. Cut through the clutter of dry subjects and marketing fluff with honest and authentic storytelling. Instead of trying to be formal and align your brand voice with other, more lackluster corporations, infuse your brand’s story with life and stand out by being different.
  3. Be descriptive and helpful to your customers instead of focusing on the sale. Great storytelling shows readers that your company gets it. Instead of merely claiming to understand their problems, you’re applying real world examples so show the solutions you offer.
  4. Use multimedia to deliver the message. Think about the vastly different ways people absorb information, be it by reading, listening, or through visual aids like pictures and videos. Leave out any one of those, and you’re abandoning a significant portion of your potential target market when it comes to helping them understand your story.
  5. Stick to your content strategy and measure results. Even when you stay focused on storytelling, you still need a stellar content strategy to move forward with creating content. Measuring results allows you to see what works and what doesn’t.

Once you’ve gotten your story out there, you can track the results to see how it performs on various channels and in different formats. Use this data to inform your ongoing content strategy and be ready to evolve your story based on what packs the most punch for the most viewers or readers.

Just remember, if your brand’s story doesn’t start with “Once upon a time…” it might not be that compelling.

 

Obtained from: http://www.linawang.org/story-no-1-marketing-tool/

 

Take 10 Actions to Make This Your Best Day Ever

Don’t stumble through the week in a slump. Here’s how to turn it around, starting with today.

By Tom Hopkins

 
Are you recovering from the Monday blues, or just one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days? Less-than-good days happen, but they’re not mandatory. You can have a good day—hey, even a perfect one—anytime you want. But how?

Pay attention to what you’re doing and thinking. Here are 10 positive habits to start today:

1. I will try to live and delight in the reality of being alive. My past is forever gone, my future an uncertainty, so I will be happy and thankful for each moment.

2. I will not allow negative input into my mind. Happiness is a choice, and I choose to be happy.

3. I will be thankful for my health, my loved ones, my business and my country. I will also be thankful for any pain in crisis that helps me grow personally and professionally.

4. I will take care of my body, realizing the importance of the words moderation and balance—and how much easier it will be to control my will and my actions once I’m conscious of this.

5. I will treat everyone I meet today the way I would like to be treated. I want people to like themselves more when they’re with me.

6. I will avoid gossip, jealousy and negative thinking. Most people don’t think about what they think about. But today I will make a conscious effort to hold positive thoughts in my mind.

7. I will write down my priorities, thinking of my loved ones and my responsibilities. I might not get everything done, but I will do the most productive thing possible at every given moment.

8. I will strive to humble myself around others, controlling my ego and making other people feel important.

9. I will learnhow to better serve people. I know my growth in all areas is in direct proportion to how I help, how I give back.

10. I will not take rejection personally. I realize they can only reject my ideas and not me. I will keep on keepin’ on.

 

Obtained from: http://www.success.com/article/take-10-actions-to-make-this-your-best-day-ever

Jim Rohn

“We all know a variety of ways to make a living. What’s even more fascinating is figuring out ways to make a fortune.” — Jim Rohn

How is Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) diagnosed?

Original article: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/treatments/#.Vd9SZn0jnm4

 

If you are concerned that you have OCD, and you want to seek professional help, the first step would normally be to visit your GP.

Your GP can provide an assessment and diagnosis, and help you access appropriate treatment.

If you visit a doctor to talk about OCD, they are likely to ask you direct questions about possible symptoms. For example:

  • Do you wash or clean a lot?
  • Do you check things a lot?
  • Is there any thought that keeps bothering you that you’d like to get rid of but can’t?
  • Do your daily activities take a long time to finish?
  • Are you concerned about putting things in a special order or do you find mess very upsetting?
  • Do these issues trouble you?
  • How are they affecting your everyday life?

A doctor will then consider your answers against a list of medical criteria in order to make a diagnosis. If you receive a diagnosis of OCD, it should also say how severe your OCD is; for example, if you have mild, moderate or severe OCD.

It can be extremely difficult to discuss your experiences with a doctor, particularly if you experience distressing thoughts about issues such as religion, sex or violence. However, it is important to try and talk as honestly as you can, so your GP can suggest the right type of help for you.

If you find it difficult talking about your OCD, you may find it useful to prepare beforehand. You could think about how you would answer the questions above and write down the answers to take with you. Then if you start to feel embarrassed or overwhelmed when you are with your GP, you can refer to your notes – or even hand them to the doctor.

What treatments are available?

Before you have any treatment, your doctor should discuss all your
treatment options with you, and your views and wishes should be taken
into account.

NICE’s ‘stepped’ model

If you access help on the NHS, your treatment should be in line with
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines.
NICE recommends ‘stepped’ treatment for OCD. This means that you
should receive different types of treatment depending on how severe
your symptoms are and how you responded to any previous treatment.

The diagram below is adapted from NICE’s guidelines.

OCD Pg11

However, the treatments recommended in the NICE guidelines are not appropriate for everyone. There are a number of options available to treat OCD and different things work for different people. You may find that a combination of approaches is most helpful for you, and different approaches may help you at different times.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT techniques helped me to see the intrusive thoughts for what they are, and put  them in their place. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking treatment which aims to identify connections between your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It aims to help you develop practical skills to manage any negative patterns of thinking or behaviour that may be causing you difficulties. It can be done one-to-one, or in a group. There is considerable evidence to suggest that this therapy is especially effective in dealing with OCD.

The behavioural element (also known as Exposure Response Prevention – ERP) is strongly recommended for treating OCD. ERP works by helping you to confront your obsessions and resist the urge to carry out compulsions. The aim is to help  you feel less anxious about obsessive thoughts over time, and make you less likely to engage in compulsive behaviour. For example, if you fear that you will harm someone and avoid sharp objects as a result, you might build up to a therapy session where you hold a knife while sitting in a room with other people. This technique needs to be carefully managed to avoid causing distress and anxiety, so it is important that you understand the treatment fully and feel comfortable with your therapist.

“It’s hugely frustrating and exhausting trying to break out of patterns that you know aren’t helpful or healthy. It can feel hopeless. But by challenging the behaviours, thoughts or compulsion you can eventually achieve fresh change that seemed impossible.”

You are entitled to receive free CBT on the NHS, and your GP should be able to  refer you to a local practitioner. However, waiting times for talking treatments on the NHS can be long. If you feel that you don’t want to wait or that you would like more support than is being offered, you may choose to see a therapist privately. The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies maintains a register of accredited CBT therapists.

Medication

Some people find drug treatment helpful for OCD, either alone or combined with talking treatments, such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

“I’ve been on meds for the last three years and my OCD is so much more controllable. Before taking any medication, it is important to read the patient information leaflet (that comes with the medicine) and discuss possible benefits and side effects with your doctor.”

Antidepressants

The drugs prescribed most commonly are SSRI antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Faverin), paroxetine (Seroxat), citalopram (Cipramil) and sertraline (Lustral). These drugs are all recommended by NICE for the treatment of OCD. These drugs may have side effects, including nausea, headache, sleep disturbance, gastric upsets and increased anxiety. They may also cause sexual problems. The tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine (Anafranil) is also licensed for the treatment of obsessional states in adults. This should  normally only be prescribed if an SSRI antidepressant has already been tried and not been effective. The side effects of clomipramine can include a dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, drowsiness and dizziness.

Tranquillisers

If you are experiencing very severe anxiety as a result of OCD, you may be offered tranquillising drugs, such as diazepam (Valium). This type of medication should only be used for short periods of treatment because of the risk of addiction. The side effects of tranquillisers can include drowsiness, confusion, unsteadiness and nausea.

Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers are occasionally given to people to treat the immediate symptoms of severe anxiety. They don’t treat the anxiety itself, but act on the heart and blood pressure to reduce physical symptoms, such as palpitations. The beta-blocker  most commonly used for anxiety is propranolol (Inderal). The main side effects include a slow heartbeat, diarrhoea and nausea, cold fingers, tiredness and sleep problems.

Neurosurgery for mental disorder

Neurosurgery (previously known as psychosurgery) is surgery on the brain. It is not recommended for treating OCD, but is very occasionally offered in severe cases, when other treatments have been unsuccessful. Neurosurgery is strictly regulated under the Mental Health Act, and can’t be given without consent.

Community mental health and social care

If your OCD is severe or complex, your GP may refer you to a community mental health team (CMHT). A CMHT is usually made up of range of professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists. The team can offer medication, basic counselling or other mental health treatments like cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). They should also be able to help with you with wider issues you have as a result of your OCD, such as difficulties around housing, benefits or everyday living. Even if you are not referred to a CMHT, or if you feel you are not receiving the support you need, you may be entitled to have a social care assessment to see if you are eligible for social care support.

Specialist OCD services

If you require more intensive support, it is recommended that you are referred to a specialist OCD service in your area. However, in reality, access to specialist  services across the country is patchy and you may need to travel outside your  local area.

If you feel you are not getting access to the treatment you require, you may find it useful to have an advocate. This is someone who can support you and speak up for you, so you can get the help you need. You can find an advocate by contacting your local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) via NHS Choices. Some local Minds also run advocacy services.

What is Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Original article: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/about-obsessive-compulsive-disorder/#.Vd9PBX0jnm4

 

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is described as an anxiety disorder. The condition has two main parts: obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions

Obsessions are unwelcome thoughts, images, urges or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind; for example, thinking that you have been contaminated by dirt and germs, or experiencing a sudden urge to hurt someone.

These obsessions are often frightening or seem so horrible that you can’t share them with others. The obsession interrupts your other thoughts and makes you feel very anxious.

I get unwanted thoughts all through the day, which is very distressing and affects my ability to interact with others and concentrate on my studies and work.

Compulsions

Compulsions are repetitive activities that you feel you have to do. This could be something like repeatedly checking a door to make sure it is locked or repeating a specific phrase in your head to prevent harm coming to a loved one.

The aim of a compulsion is to try and deal with the distress caused by the obsessive thoughts and relieve the anxiety you are feeling. However, the process of repeating these compulsions is often distressing and any relief you feel is often short-lived.

Getting ready for each day involves so much hand washing, mental rituals, and doing things in the same order everyday… Sometimes, I feel like staying in bed and avoiding the day.

The OCD cycle

The diagram below shows how obsessions and compulsions are connected
in an OCD cycle.

OCD Pg5

Living with OCD

Although many people experience minor obsessions (e.g. worrying about leaving the gas on, or if the door is locked) and compulsions (e.g. rituals, like avoiding the cracks in the pavement), these don’t significantly interfere with their daily lives, or are short-lived.

If you experience OCD, your obsessions and compulsions will cause you considerable fear and distress. They will also take up a significant amount of time, and disrupt your ability to carry on with your day-to-day to life, including doing daily chores, going to work, or maintaining relationships with friends and family.

Many people with OCD experience feelings of shame and loneliness which often stop them from seeking help, particularly if they experience distressing thoughts about subjects such as religion, sex or violence.

This means that many people try to cope with OCD alone, until the symptoms are so severe they can’t hide them anymore.

OCD is also known to have a close association with depression, and some people find obsessions appear or get worse when they are depressed.

What’s it like living with OCD?

Watch James, Pat and Nicola talk about what living with OCD is like, and ways they have learned to cope.

What are the common signs of OCD?

Although everyone will have their own experiences, there are several
common obsessions and compulsions that occur as part of OCD.

Common obsessions

The three most common themes are:

  • unwanted thoughts about harm or aggression
  • unwanted sexual thoughts
  • unwanted blasphemous thoughts

Obsessions often appear closely linked to your individual situation. For example, if you are a loving parent, you may fear doing harm to a child and if you are religious, you may have blasphemous thoughts.

I have OCD harming thoughts and the compulsion to carry them out, which is absolutely terrifying to say the least.

Some examples of obsessions include:

• a fear of failing to prevent harm – e.g. worrying that you have left
the cooker on and might cause a fire
• imagining doing harm – e.g. thinking that you are going to push
someone in front of a train
• intrusive sexual thoughts – e.g. worrying about abusing a child
• religious or blasphemous thoughts – e.g. having thoughts that are
against your religious beliefs
• fear of contamination – e.g. from dirt and germs in a toilet
• an excessive concern with order or symmetry – e.g. worrying if objects
are not in order
• illness or physical symptoms – e.g. thinking that you have cancer
when you have no symptoms.

Common compulsions

Common compulsions include physical compulsions, e.g. washing or checking, or mental compulsions, e.g. repeating a specific word or phrase.

I have to keep checking things three times and have to have certain items on me to help me feel safe.

Some examples might be:

  • repeating actions – e.g. touching every light switch in the house every time you leave or enter the house
  • touching – e.g. only buying things in the supermarket that you have touched with both hands
  • focusing on a number – e.g. having to buy three of everything
  • washing or cleaning – e.g. having to wash your hands very frequently in  order to feel clean
  • checking – e.g. reading through an email ten times before sending it
  • ordering or arranging – e.g. keeping food organised by colour in the fridge
  • repeating a specific word or phrase – e.g. repeating someone’s name in order to prevent something bad happening to them
  • praying – e.g. repeating a prayer again and again whenever you hear about an accident
  • counteracting or neutralising a negative thought with a positive one – e.g. replacing a bad word with a good one.

Avoidance

You might find that some objects or experiences make your obsessions or
compulsions worse, and you try to avoid them as a result. For example,
if you fear contamination, you might avoid eating and drinking anywhere
except in your own home. Avoiding things can have a major impact on
your life.

OCD means that I miss out on things because I [stay in] to try to protect myself from the stress. It’s sunny outside and I want to go out, but I know I probably won’t.