Understanding self harm: Why young people self harm and how they can recover.

More and more the world is becoming a difficult place for young people to live in. This is so as youths are confronted with pressure to perform highly on school examinations, deal with complex relationships, experience body changes, bullying and general uncertainties which come with entering adulthood. In some communities there are increases in the number of young person’s engaging in self harm/self injurious behaviors. It is important therefore, that these children be given the opportunity to learn more positive coping mechanisms as they combat feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem and mental health issues.

All parents should be informed: Do You Know What’s Going on in Your Student’s Classroom?

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

When an Educational Assistant gets injured, odds are it was witnessed by multiple students. What are students seeing and experiencing in today’s classroom? Beyond the violence, what else is affecting students in the classroom? Here is what EAs want all parents to know:

Unbeknownst to the public, Educational Assistants (EAs) suffer the greatest number of lost time injuries (LTIs) out of the top ten occupations were injuries are sustained. An LTI is a workplace injury that results in a loss of time from the workplace. As you can imagine that means the injury has to be significant enough so as to take the worker out of the workplace. The length of time out of the workplace can be as little as a day up to including those persons who would qualify for long term disability. In other words, these are not simple bruises or scrapes.

Picture1

In addition to LTIs, Educations…

View original post 1,376 more words

Uncomfortable sacrifices

Finding solutions to problems are not always easy.  In the process of digging and searching for answers you will learn.  You will learn about what it takes to chase after a passion or path to your goals.  You will become better.

To become better at what you are doing or intend to do, you will have to make some uncomfortable sacrifices.   Rest assured that whatever pain you are going through, it will not last forever.  The pain will one day go away.  This is all part of the process of making you a stronger individual at the end.  This idea reminds me of a body builder I saw training.  The stretching and compressing of muscles; breaking down muscle fibres has a purpose to it.  The athletes do this, with the ultimate goal of making their muscles bigger and stronger.

Now, that is an uncomfortable sacrifice the athletes put themselves through.  I said uncomfortable sacrifices and not just sacrifices.

Why?

This is so, as some persons may be able to make a sacrifice, to do without something or to go for long periods of time without being involved with something they like.

Why is this so?

Because they can simply do without.  They can go through an experience with little to no stress on themselves as such, what they sacrificed, they did not really need for their survival.  And so, not really benefitting from the process.  It is as though what they gave was out of their surplus, and not from a need to become greater or to expand themselves.  What they did took little energy.

Why?

Because they had that surplus energy anyway.

Or possibly it was time they sacrificed.  But that was not uncomfortable for them, because time is not an issue, they had time.  For them, they were going to use time on something anyway and it just happened to be this activity.

For you to grow to your fullest capacity, there are times that your sacrifices will be uncomfortable.

 

NOTE: It should be noted that each person must evaluate their actions and see what is in the best interest for themselves and the people who depend on them.  It will therefore be unwise to give up time and energy on a pursuit, that in the end will rob you of having good family relations, be endangering to your physical and mental health, and for some, moral wellbeing.

5 Compelling Reasons to Learn How to Manage Yourself

Time-Management-and-Leadership

We have all made the statement at one time or another, “I just don’t have enough time!”. But we all have all the time there is. Time can’t be managed, we can only manage ourselves. In this article, I share 5 compelling reasons to learn how to manage yourself.

It doesn’t matter if you are Bill Gates or a waitress at the diner down the street, God gave us all the same great equalizer – twenty-four hours in a day. What most people lack is not time – but rather, the skills to manage themselves to make good use of the time they have available to them.

Time is much like money. When you decide to spend an hour watching TV, you have decided to not to spend an hour doing everything else. Productive people don’t spend time, they invest it. They expect a return on every hour they invest. Whether time is invested in their business, their family or their own well-being.

“Your time is more valuable than money. Your time is your life!”

When you give away your money, you are giving away something that can be replaced. When you give away your time, you are giving them a part of your life. Waste your time and you are wasting your life.

There are many renewable resources, but time is not one of them.

Control your time and you are controlling your life. Controlling your time really means controlling the events in your life. People in control of the events in their life are confident, happy, and powerful. They possess one thing above all: inner peace.

“Productivity” is not a new issue. There has been an entire industry built to serve the person who just can’t seem to get organized. Everything from Things-To-Do-Today pads, to time management software are available to plan and track personal time usage. Why is then productivity or, shall we say life management, such a challenge?

As human beings, we tend to blame others for our shortage of time. There are many readily available scapegoats: drop-in visitors, meetings, inadequate equipment, telephone interruptions and one crisis after another. However, the only one to blame is ourselves – for letting our time be wasted. Once again, we cannot manage time; we can only manage ourselves!

There is another reason time management is such a challenge: conditioning. We’ve been conditioned to believe that certain things about ourselves and our surroundings are the truth. As a result of conditioning, many people have adopted myths about their lives as being the truth.

Visit a circus, and you will see what I mean about conditioning. Take a look at the elephants tied to little stakes that they could easily pull out, yet those little stakes keep the huge elephants tethered.

When the elephants are young, they are chained by the leg to immovable stakes. However, little by little, over the period of a month, the elephants are conditioned to think they can’t move about as long as they are tied by the right rear leg. From the moment this conditioning takes effect, you could tie these elephants with a string and they wouldn’t move. They don’t move about because they believe they can’t. The tethers in their minds are stronger than any chains.

5 GOOD REASONS TO LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR LIFE

The value of time management is not to control time, since time cannot be controlled, but to use time to improve our lives. Time management will not give us more hours in a day, but it will give us a better balanced life:

1. Getting organized reduces stress

Deadlines are a major contributing factor in stress. It is impossible to manage stress without learning to manage our time. In fact, by learning to manage our time, we are learning to prevent stress.

The better we learn to manage our time, the more we avoid unnecessary stress and the less we need coping techniques. Why learn to cope with stress if we can learn to prevent the stress that time shortages inflict on us?

If time management equals stress prevention, then time management also prevents illness. Stress is now linked directly to some of our most serious health concerns, heart attacks and strokes being the most common.

In the business world, this means two things: the loss of some of the brightest and most promising managers, and the rising cost of company-paid health care plans. Stress-induced disability claims are becoming a major headache, not only for insurance companies, but also for employers who are sued for causing the disability.

2. Setting priorities helps achieve balance

Most entrepreneurs are self-motivated people, driven by an unseen force from within to achieve the goals they have set for their lives. Usually, that means the goals they have set for their business.

Hence, they see little value in helping their employees achieve a balance in their lives. However, it’s not only entrepreneurs who are addicted to work.

A new set of values must accompany new productivity skills in order to bring a balance to the life of the workaholic.

3. Scheduling eliminates procrastination

Procrastination is the most common self-inflicted time robber. For the salesperson, it’s putting off that phone call. For some, it’s putting off the beginning of an exercise program.

“Putting things off” has probably caused more time management problems than all the other causes put together. We have a natural tendency to do the things we like and put off the things we don’t. We need to develop a sense of urgency for each task and remember that time is of the essence.

4. Life management increases productivity

A good time management system will certainly improve our productivity. The more productive we are, the greater our advantage over our competition.

The reason that today there is so much “downsizing,” “restructuring,” and “rightsizing” going on in companies really comes down to the issue of productivity. The only way a company or a country can regain its competitive edge is to improve productivity.

What’s productivity anyway? Productivity refers to the relationship between results and resources. In other words, productivity equals output divided by input. This formula demonstrates that there are two ways to improve productivity: to hold output constant while reducing input and to increase output without increasing input.

How much can we improve our productivity? While very little research has been done in this area, there is some data available that would indicate that the average manager is only 30% effective. Returning phone calls several at a time can reduce the average time spent per call by 50%. Closing your office door and working without interruption for two hours a day will enable you to accomplish what would have taken you three hours before.

5. Increased focus results in goals achieved

All goals must have a deadline. Without a goal, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to arrive.

That reminds me of the story of the little boy who asks his father as he arrives home from work one day, “Daddy, what did you do at work today?’ “Oh, not much, son.” replies his Dad. “Well then,” replies the boy “how did you know when you were finished?”

There are many times when one activity can be taking you towards two or more goals at the same time.

For instance, if three of your goals were to spend a half an hour a day exercising, half an hour a day in solitude, half an hour a day in prayer, you could achieve all three at once by praying as you jogged or walked alone for a half an hour…………………………………………………………………..

Origin: http://knowgogrow.com/5-compelling-reasons-to-learn-how-to-manage-yourself

Child Behavior: When nothing else works, consider these 7 strategies:

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

Parents are saying discipline, consequences, time out and stickers don’t work. Parents are presenting as more and more defeated when it comes to managing the behavior of their children. They have a long list of tried that – didn’t work scenarios including many of the more popular parenting programs. What’s up with that? Why does it seem near impossible to get kids to listen? What can parents do differently?

To know what to do differently, we first need to appreciate what’s at play creating challenges out of children’s behavior and undermining parental authority. This brief history of the world is needed – or at least a brief history of the past 70 years. It goes like this:

  • 1950’s: Intact two parent families with a primary breadwinner and a primary homemaker;
  • 1960’s: Women’s Movement begins and gender equality begins to be examined publicly;
  • 1970’s: No-fault divorce appears in many jurisdictions, divorce…

View original post 1,351 more words

Encouraging Better Behavior When Your Child Acts Out

Encouraging Better Behavior When Your Child Acts Out

by

How to help a child who is acting out by setting clear, kind limits and offering positive guidance.

Walking out of school, I noticed my son had an envelope in his hand. As he handed it to me with a shy but determined smile he said: “Mom, this is for you. I wrote you an an apology letter. I was so angry and I am really, really sorry for what I said this morning.”

Just a few hours earlier we had had an unusually challenging morning. Where normally everyone follows a routine, we chat over breakfast and get ready for school and work without much fuss, this morning was so different. It was tense and so very trying. There was eye rolling, frowns and demands. It all culminated in an ugly, disconnected argument.

Emotions ran high.
Anger showed up big time for my son.
Words rattled many feelings.

Growing up and parenting principles clashed.
Staying calm and accepting the emotional storm was tough.

Acting Out Can Be Seen as Request for Guidance

When children act out it can be hard to recognize it as a request for connection and guidance. But underneath the tears, the defiance, the pulling away is a child that needs love, validation and guidance. What helps a child stop acting out and choose different behaviors is a sense of safety, understanding and our connection with them.

Children are more likely to act out when they are feeling:

  • Frightened
  • Frustrated
  • Worried
  • Powerless
  • Isolated
  • Miss-understood

It is our kindness and faith in the child’s ability to do better that can draw them out of the powerlessness, worry or frustrations that is fueling the acting out behavior.

The process is not always easy, I recognize that. On that morning, to be honest, I struggled.  I even imagined myself shouting “HOW DARE YOU!!!” I remember feeling so much frustration burning in my hands and throat.  It took everything I had to breathe deeply, and to search for all the calm I could ever possibly offer my son. He was acting out and It would be pointless to join him.

I searched for anything that would help me stay present. Words from Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids popped up in my mind:

 “It’s not an emergency….Let’s all stay calm here.” 

And then words from Jane Nelsen, D.Ed. author of the Positive Discipline did as well:

 “Have faith in your child so they can have faith in themselves.”

So as hard as it was, I stayed calm. I kept my limits clear. I chose to have faith in my child. To trust that this would pass and that everything we had experienced together on up to this moment from making amends, to learning responsibility, to understanding emotions and repairing relationships would show up when the time was right.

Setting calm, clear, helpful limits with kindness on this morning went something like this:

“You are not liking what I am saying to you at all, I get that. Speaking to me like this doesn’t help you. I love you and I am willing to hear you out after school to discuss this calmly. Now, It’s time to get ready for school.”

“Yes mom, I really don’t like what you are saying. It makes no sense to me. Ok, let’s talk later.” was his answer and soon he was ready for school.

Children really need a model for self-regulation to learn how to confront life’s frustrations and disappointments without blowing up. When emotions get jumbled, children need someone to help them. To guide them into a space where it’s OKAY to be angry, without being hurtful. A space where whatever they feel is accepted, and how they behave is met with not only limits and corrections, but also with empathy.

When children are acting out, it also helps to remember that resisting limits and testing boundaries is part of growing up: The instinct to resist and oppose is in all of us and has important work to do in making sure we stay close to those we are attached to.  – Deborah MacNamara, PhD author of  Rest Play Grow.

When children act out, are defiant, annoying, hurtful they are in need of connection and guidance.  While they may ask for what they need in mistaken or negative ways, the need is legitimate and we can help.

 When a child acts out,  reach out:

  1. Listen to the feelings: Children act out when they have pent up emotions, being willing to stay present and listen to them can help them calm again.It’s not always straight forward, sometimes children will have a big tantrum, a meltdown or become angry before calming down. Listening does not spoil the child or reward bad behavior. Instead,  it helps them feel understood, valued and cared for. As we model self-regulation the child will learn to do this as they grow.
  2. Limit the behavior: State your limits clearly and kindly. Aim to stop behaviors and create a safe space for the child.  “I will not let you hit” or “I will not let you throw things.” “I am keeping you safe by keeping you here, close to me.” or “Please find a way to be mad without being mean.” “You asked, I answered. We are not going to keep going in circles.”
  3. Offer guidance: Depending on the circumstances you will need to adjust the kind of guidance you offer your child. Some children like to calm down on their own in a calming corner. Toddlers and preschoolers tend to do well with a Time in. Older children may like to know that you are available to talk when they are calmer “We can discuss after we all take a 5 minute break.”  If the acting out is about lack of cooperation, try to find ways to break the task into smaller, more actionable requests, offer limited choices or a way to work together.
  4. Make time to reconnect: Sometimes acting out can pass quickly with attentive limits and guidance. Other times the child will need time to settle, reflect and only then be ready to choose better behavior. Regardless of how the situation plays out, making time to check in with each other and reconnect and reflect is always helpful. This might sound like: “This was tough for you, but you got through it. I appreciate your apology” or “You were really upset, I’m glad we could talk about it.”

Sticking to this positive approach has an initial time investment, but it means that over time, children can learn to recognize their emotions and needs and can express them more clearly. It also means that you remain in a position to offer trusted guidance and safety, even when things are not going so well.

Back to the school exit, as I took the envelope, I felt a sense of gratitude. Because I had trusted my son and I had set clear limits without taking away his right to feel angry. This emotional space combined with sending him off to school without a punitive consequence for his words allowed him to process and regulate his own choices. He calmed down. He realized his mistake. He chose to move on with the morning routine. Later, he wrote a letter of apology, completely unprompted. With kind, sweet, respectful, sincere words. We had an honest conversation that afternoon that helped us understand each other’s point of view better.

There is incredible power in choosing to parent with the intent to connect and guide. Children make mistakes, loads of them. We do as well. The aim of parenting doesn’t have to be to control behaviors (it doesn’t work anyways.) We do hold tremendous potential to influence our children, to pave the way for them to understand themselves and their choices better.

Strive to teach and guide when the moments present themselves.

Help your child feel better even when they are at their very worst.

If your child is acting out, reach out: Listen, Love. Guide.

Original Post: http://www.positiveparentingconnection.net/encouraging-better-behavior-when-your-child-acts-out/