Ron Huxley's Parenting Toolbox

May 07

A new spin on “Parents Day”?

Quick survey: What if we turned the tables on our kids for Mothers and Fathers Day and sent them a card or gave them a gift sharing our positive hopes for their lives and speak INTO them the gifting and destinies we see in them. I know, this sounds very “spiritual” and perhaps, to a few, just stupid. Perhaps it is both and I am not wanting to deny anyone their breakfast in bed or super cute hand drawn mothers/fathers day card. You still deserve those.

Over the years, however, as I look at parenting and family relationship I see the amount of entitlement we have around these days. Do they really have to be performed in the way that American culture dictates they should be on the Hallmark commercials? Can we use our parenting powers for good and take this day as an open door into our children’s hearts and characters? 

What would this look like and what are some creative ways to execute this in our parent/child relationships? 

Share your thoughts here by leaving a comment or post on http://www.facebook.com/parentingtoolbox

May 05

How Does Multitasking Change the Way Kids Learn? | MindShift -

Do you know what your child is really doing in class?

(Source: thelearningbrain)

May 03

Child Abuse Pediatricians Recommend Basic Parenting Classes to Reduce Maltreatment and Neglect | TIME.com:
Child abuse is a persistent problem in this country. Research published in February in Pediatrics found that child abuse kills 300 kids under 18 each year and accounts for 58.2 hospitalizations of babies per 100,000 births — more than the annual rate of SIDS. Another recent study made the case that child abuse sets the stage for future mental illness.
For a pediatrician, it can be dicey sussing out whether a child came by a broken bone or a bruise naturally or whether the injury was inflicted by an adult. As of 2009, there is an entirely new specialty devoted to making those types of assessments: the board-certified child abuse pediatrician, who focuses on identifying child maltreatment and neglect.
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/04/04/child-abuse-pediatricians-recommend-basic-parenting-classes-to-reduce-maltreatment-and-neglect/

Child Abuse Pediatricians Recommend Basic Parenting Classes to Reduce Maltreatment and Neglect | TIME.com:

Child abuse is a persistent problem in this country. Research published in February in Pediatrics found that child abuse kills 300 kids under 18 each year and accounts for 58.2 hospitalizations of babies per 100,000 births — more than the annual rate of SIDS. Another recent study made the case that child abuse sets the stage for future mental illness.

For a pediatrician, it can be dicey sussing out whether a child came by a broken bone or a bruise naturally or whether the injury was inflicted by an adult. As of 2009, there is an entirely new specialty devoted to making those types of assessments: the board-certified child abuse pediatrician, who focuses on identifying child maltreatment and neglect.



Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/04/04/child-abuse-pediatricians-recommend-basic-parenting-classes-to-reduce-maltreatment-and-neglect/


May 02

May is National Mental Health Month

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Presidential Proclamation — National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2013

NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH, 2013

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Today, tens of millions of Americans are living with the burden of a mental health problem. They shoulder conditions like depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress and bipolar disorder — debilitating illnesses that can strain every part of a person’s life. And even though help is out there, less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive treatment. During National Mental Health Awareness Month, we shine a light on these issues, stand with men and women in need, and redouble our efforts to address mental health problems in America.

For many, getting help starts with a conversation. People who believe they may be suffering from a mental health condition should talk about it with someone they trust and consult a health care provider. As a Nation, it is up to all of us to know the signs of mental health issues and lend a hand to those who are struggling. Shame and stigma too often leave people feeling like there is no place to turn. We need to make sure they know that asking for help is not a sign of weakness — it is a sign of strength. To find treatment services nearby, call 1-800-662-HELP. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers immediate assistance for all Americans, including service members and veterans, at 1-800-273-TALK.

Our commitment cannot end there. We must ensure people have access to the care they need — which is why the Affordable Care Act will expand mental health and substance use disorder benefits and Federal parity protections for 62 million Americans. For the first time, the health care law will prevent insurers from denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition. The Act already requires new health plans to cover recommended preventive services like depression screening and behavioral assessments for children at no extra cost to patients.

My Administration will keep building on those achievements. Earlier this year, I was proud to launch the BRAIN Initiative — a new partnership between government, scientists, and leaders in the private sector to invest in research that could unlock new treatments for mental illness and drive growth throughout our economy. We have made unprecedented commitments to improving mental health care for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. And we have proposed new funding for mental health programs that will help teachers and other adults recognize the signs of mental illness in children, improve mental health outcomes for young people, and train 5,000 more mental health professionals to serve our youth.

Mental health problems remain a serious public health concern, but together, our Nation is making progress. This month, I encourage all Americans to advance this important work by raising awareness about mental health and lending strength to all who need it.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2013 as National Mental Health Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/30/presidential-proclamation-national-mental-health-awareness-month-2013?utm_source=Obama%27s+Proclamation+Announcement&utm_campaign=Pres+Proclamation&utm_medium=email

Apr 27

Why do kids refuse to do their homework?

I get a lot of these type of questions from parents very distressed with the fact that their child refuses to do their homework. Many times, the children will lie about the homework’s completion, stating they turned it in when they didn’t. These lies can be very creative too :)

Most of the time, the parents REALLY are doing everything to stay on top of the situation. Teachers blame them for the child’s behavior but the parent feels helpless to do anything more to motivate the child. That’s when they come to me for answers. They don’t always like the one’s I have to give them and honestly, there are times, I really don’t know why. Fortunately, that isn’t too often. 

Why do the kids act this way and how can you correct it? I can only answer this question for the foster and adoptive children that I work with and not in more general terms. Most kids will get on track with their homework and be more compliant with a little extra vigilance on the part of the parent and a couple consequences put in place for some leverage. All kids test the limits at home and school and once they realize the limits are going to be firm and all the adults in their lives are working as a team to help the child, all is well…

But not for more traumatized children with huge losses in their lives. Unfortunately, these losses become part of the child’s Internal Working Model (John Bowlby) and color how they see the world, their caregivers/parents, and themselves. Self-defeating beliefs in a persons Internal Working Model are extremely hard to change. Not impossible, but their is a lot of work involved. 

The reason parents of these kids don’t like my answers is that I don’t focus on the homework at all. Remember, the issue is the child’s negative IWM, not the homework. That is just the expression of the negative belief system, not the cause. I want to address what is under the behavior and focus on the beliefs. Letting go of the need for the child to get good grades or have perfect behavior in the classroom is difficult for parents. When parents do get this concept and are willing to follow my suggestions to address the “roots” of the problem and partner with me and the child against the problem, the situation dramatically changes. 

Now I will give a quick disclaimer here. In some instances, the behavior never changes but what does improve is the relationship (read: Attachment) between the parent and child when mom and dad can keep the big picture in mind. I tell parents that it is more important to win the battle for the relationship versus the battle of the homework. School will come and go but the relationship is for ever! 

Of course, 80% of the behaviors will improve with a little psychoeducation on study skills, scheduling, communication with the teacher, better reinforcement systems, etc. It is the other 20% that I am focusing on in this post. 

The bottom line for this 20% of children who refuse to do their homework is control. Given their negative IWM about themselves, they haven’t experienced much control in their lives and this is one area that the adults can’t force them into compliance. They might improve for a time but fall back into the same control patterns. Even more reason to work on the roots of all this, improve the relationship/attachment, build more internal strength over grade point averages. 

Share your struggles and thoughts on this topic by leaving a comment or sharing with us over on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/parentingtoolbox.

Take our Parents 10 Day Challenge, located in the right-hand side navigation bar for some extra help on contact me for an email consult (this is coming soon). 

Apr 24

White Sugar, Brown Sugar Blog shares some balance views of open adoption options…
We have a range of open adoption experiences and of birth parents.    In one case, both birth parents are involved in an ongoing relationship.  In one case, it’s a biological brother and his adoptive family, with occasional contact with birth mom.  In one case, we have contact with birth mom and some extended birth family.   No one-size-fits-all.My motto in adoption is this:   don’t make choices out of fear; make them out of education.   I have gobs of resources listed on this blog and in my book.  I hope you’ll check them out.When we are asked why we chose open adoption, I often share these things:1:  Who are we to keep our children from their biological family members when these individuals pose no harm to our children?2:  Why shouldn’t our children have access to as much information as they will want/need in the future, information we, as their adoptive parents, cannot provide them?3:  Why should we not have access to family health history which can help us better meet our children’s needs?4:  Why should our kids’ birth families not have access to updated information and photos of the children they gave life to and love?Also, something to consider, is that if you, as an adoptive parent, are insecure in your position in your child’s life, that is unhealthy for your child and unhealthy for your emotional health.    Your child will eventually understand that you were the gatekeeper in his/her life, either fostering or diminishing the access the child could have to his/her biological family.So ask yourself:1:  Will the birth parents cause harm to the child?   2:  Are the birth parents supportive of you as the adoptive parent (meaning, they respect your role as the child’s primary parents)?3:  What is going on with me, emotionally, that I’m holding back from open adoption (and anything, really, adoption related)?   Where can I seek help for these issues?4:  Does the child want a relationship with his/her biological parent?   Or, if my child is very young, would the birth parent knowing information/seeing the child bring the birth parent joy, peace, and assurance?Open adoption is not an easy option.  In fact, it can be quite uncomfortable for everyone involved at times, or even for many seasons.  But …

White Sugar, Brown Sugar Blog shares some balance views of open adoption options…

We have a range of open adoption experiences and of birth parents.    In one case, both birth parents are involved in an ongoing relationship.  In one case, it’s a biological brother and his adoptive family, with occasional contact with birth mom.  In one case, we have contact with birth mom and some extended birth family.   

No one-size-fits-all.

My motto in adoption is this:   don’t make choices out of fear; make them out of education.   

I have gobs of resources listed on this blog and in my book.  I hope you’ll check them out.

When we are asked why we chose open adoption, I often share these things:

1:  Who are we to keep our children from their biological family members when these individuals pose no harm to our children?

2:  Why shouldn’t our children have access to as much information as they will want/need in the future, information we, as their adoptive parents, cannot provide them?

3:  Why should we not have access to family health history which can help us better meet our children’s needs?

4:  Why should our kids’ birth families not have access to updated information and photos of the children they gave life to and love?

Also, something to consider, is that if you, as an adoptive parent, are insecure in your position in your child’s life, that is unhealthy for your child and unhealthy for your emotional health.    Your child will eventually understand that you were the gatekeeper in his/her life, either fostering or diminishing the access the child could have to his/her biological family.

So ask yourself:

1:  Will the birth parents cause harm to the child?   

2:  Are the birth parents supportive of you as the adoptive parent (meaning, they respect your role as the child’s primary parents)?

3:  What is going on with me, emotionally, that I’m holding back from open adoption (and anything, really, adoption related)?   Where can I seek help for these issues?

4:  Does the child want a relationship with his/her biological parent?   Or, if my child is very young, would the birth parent knowing information/seeing the child bring the birth parent joy, peace, and assurance?

Open adoption is not an easy option.  In fact, it can be quite uncomfortable for everyone involved at times, or even for many seasons.  But …

Apr 20

Great Kids Have Parents Who Seem To Do This Well -

Secretly (until now), I’ve noticed a common theme amongst well-adjusted kids. The theme seems to be this: Great kids come from families in which parents are real about their shortcomings. They come from families who live and believe in grace.


Apr 16

[video]

Apr 15

Quote of the Day, from Mr. Rogers

adulting:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

― Fred Rogers

(via bringingupbaby)

Apr 14

How do you become a better parent? Play more with your children. Learn more parenting tools for by taking our 10 Day Challenge.

How do you become a better parent? Play more with your children. Learn more parenting tools for by taking our 10 Day Challenge.