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Parenting & Family Tools by Ron Huxley, LMFT

Are you the type of parent you thought you would be? Has your family turned out like you dreamed? If not, let Ron Huxley and the resources of the Parenting Toolbox help you heal and restore that dream family today.

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Check out some other blogs by Ron:

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Inner Healing

Laughter Therapy
DIY Parent

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Being your child’s emotional tutor and role model is the most powerful thing a parent can ever do.
Ron Huxley
Transracial Adoption
One of the many challenges for transracial adoptees is that “they are, but they aren’t.” They are Asian or African or Russian but they aren’t. They are American but they aren’t. They are a son or daughter but they aren’t… There are people who look like be but I have nothing in common with them. There are people here who don’t look like me that I do have things in common. Often the adoptee must adapt to the new culture. Rarely does the family adapt to the cultural needs of the child. A level of ignorance occurs in order to function happily. Who champions the child’s cultural issues and needs? What messages are communicated to the transracial adoptee? You must change to our way of thinking and living or we change toward each other? 

Transracial Adoption

One of the many challenges for transracial adoptees is that “they are, but they aren’t.” They are Asian or African or Russian but they aren’t. They are American but they aren’t. They are a son or daughter but they aren’t… There are people who look like be but I have nothing in common with them. There are people here who don’t look like me that I do have things in common. Often the adoptee must adapt to the new culture. Rarely does the family adapt to the cultural needs of the child. A level of ignorance occurs in order to function happily. Who champions the child’s cultural issues and needs? What messages are communicated to the transracial adoptee? You must change to our way of thinking and living or we change toward each other? 

inner-healing:

By Ron Huxley, LMFT

Anger Makes You Stupid:

I know this sounds rude but it is a fact of science. When we get angry our “thinking brain” is literally hijacked by our “emotional brain.” This is nature’s way of forcing us to react instantly to a danger or threat. You don’t want to stop and contemplate the dynamics of your situation when a car is speeding right at you! You need to move NOW! That is what the emotional brain does to protect you.

Unfortunately, the “emotional brain” doesn’t worry if the danger is real or not. It just acts. In our hectic, high tech, modern society many things can trigger our “emotional brain” into action. For some of us, we are being hijacked continually throughout the day due to repeat stressors as the “emotional brain” considers any stress to be a danger.

To illustrate how anger makes us stupid (suspends reasoning), remember a time when you got really angry. Did you say things you wish you hadn’t said or do things you wish you hadn’t done? That is the “emotional brain” at work. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a victim to your own emotions. You can learn to manage them instead of letting them manage (or mismanage) you!

Problem Experts:

You are already an expert on your problems. You know what anger and aggression has done to you and your family. Has this knowledge helped you control it? I didn’t think so. Focusing on your problems will only help you understand where you’ve been. It can never tell you where you need to go or how to change it. What you need are solutions to your problems!

Now I don’t want to invalidate the painful experiences you might have suffered in your life that have led you to be angry. Those were very real experiences. I also don’t want to pretend you haven’t hurt other people in your life with your anger. We have to take responsibility for our actions. I simply want to help you focus on what works, instead of doesn’t work, when it comes to anger.

One way to help you focus on solutions instead of problems is to think of a time when anger did not control your life! Remember a time when anger was not the main character in your life story. What was different about this time versus times when anger was present? How were you different? How do other people in your life act? Be specific. If someone walked in and observed you without anger what would he or she see you saying or doing?

More of the same:

When you don’t have the right solution-focused tools to control anger and aggression, you end up doing “more of the same.” What you have been doing hasn’t worked but since you don’t know what else to do, you just keep on doing it. Out of desperation, you try variations of what hasn’t worked hoping that this time it might. IT WON’T! Instead of doing “more of the same,” try something new — anything new!

Science calls this the Habituation Response. It simply means that you get stuck in your old ways of doing things. Without new ideas or insights you can’t get unstuck. Husbands and wives fight constantly on the same old issues. Parents and children power struggle about the same subjects. Employers and employees cycle around the same problems. Are you seeing repeat patterns in your life! Getting more and more frustrated because nothing changes for long? You are doing more of the same. Do something different!

Myths of Anger Management:

There are lot of myths in our society about how to control anger and aggression. The biggest myth is that “if you let it out, it goes away!” This is called the “volcano myth” because on the venting that occurs and the destruction that results from just letting it all out.

It is true that when you let off a little steam you feel a little better. But where did the problem go? Is it gone? NO. In fact, letting it out may have caused a bigger problem to develop. If you got mad and stormed off in your car you may have gotten into an accident or received a ticket. Now you have something else to be mad about. If you punched a hole in the wall you will have to repair the wall…and maybe your hand. How did that help you? If you threw a tantrum and yelled at a loved one, friend, or boss what did that do to your relationship? Now both of you are angry and looking for revenge! “Letting it out” may feel good in the short-term but it doesn’t help you in the long-term.

Anger is Power:

Ben Franklin once said: “Anger has a purpose, but seldom a good one!” What he meant is that anger is not inherently a bad thing but people have LEARNED that anger and aggression give them power over others. A child learns that a tantrum will get them a toy even when mom said no. Parents learn that yelling gets their child’s attention even though no one is happy afterwards. Employers know that they can get results, in the short-term, by intimidating or harassing others. Spouses use anger to control one another. And so the sad story goes…

With power comes responsibility. What is the negative result of your anger? Is it really worth it in the long run? How have anger and aggression affected your relationships, health, and career? It is time to take responsibility for yourself before you lose/hurt all the important people and things in your life.

Stop YELLING at your kids to get them to cooperate!

Stop NAGGING your spouse to help a little!

Stop FRUSTRATION from ruining your work day!

Contact Ron Huxley today for more information on how to get the right anger tools to better manage your anger. Online coaching and consultations are available for court-ordered anger management requirements. Email Ron now at rehuxley@gmail.com

Teenbrain

By Ron Huxley, LMFT

Recently, I was doing some research on the latest trends in neuroscience in preparation for a training for social workers and mental health professionals on how to work with children that have been traumatized. A particular area of interest for me is the teenage brain. It is one of the most rapidy changing period of brain development. This is no surprise to parents who are trying to understand the rapidly changing personality of the teenager.

Perhaps the most dramatic area of development is the area called the prefrontal orbital brain. It is called this because it sits directly behind our eyeballs and it is responsible for abstract thought, moral reasoning, self-control, planning, judgement and so many other areas commonly associated with adults. This area is in constant flux, causing radical shifts in mood and attitude. This formation and reformation of the brain continues into young adulthood (mid 20′s). I often joke with parents that while their child has the hardware upgrade, the software has not yet been installed. This is why the teen is capable of getting pregnant, driving a car or doing alegebra but they doesn’t mean that they are completely ready for the adult world of intense responsibilty or raising a family.

This poses significant challenges to parents who want to navigate the raging waters of adolescence, therefore, I am going to list four basic reminders to help parents stay sane when their child actions appear insane. I am using the acronym WORK to guide parents:

W = Remember that your child is still “wondering” about how the world works. He or she might try to convince you that they already know how it does but they don’t. They haven’t had enough experience yet for this to be possible. They need you to help them by asking “what if” questions that will explain some cause and effect relationship and assist them in planning out their day and making better judgements. Because their brain is still developing they use their “will” to fight you and cover up their inexperience. Don’t shame them. Train the “will” to find positive rewards in daily interactions. “Wait” for them to get it. It will take them longer than you as they haven’t traveled some of this morally sticky situations in life yet. Allow them a little more time to “wake” up to a new world of responsibilities and schedules.

O = Be “open” to “opportunities” with your teenage child to share some wisdom about the world and how to survive in it. Don’t preach at them as this will shut them down completely. “Occupy” the same space and look for openings when you are both in a good mood. The relational approach will be more effective and allow more “objective” conversation between you. Remember that “obedieance” at this age is really about natural consequences or trial and error for the teenager. The will learn more about doing then lecturing. Being a good role model will help them understand how to use the “operators” manual called their brain more than lots of words at this time of life. 

R = “Relationship” is one of the toughest things to have with the teen but one of the most important tasks a parent can do for their child. You may only have a split-second when the door is open wide enough to have that former intimacy but use it when you can. It will pay huge ‘rewards” for both of you later in life. “Recognize” that the teen is in process. They are still not fully cooked and need more time in the oven of life before they can be expected to make better decisions. They will “reflect” their peers and “respond” more from other unexperienced teenagers over their own, more experience parents. This is not a true sign of dis”respect” or “rejection.” The teen is just trying to find their own way. Don’t take this personal. “Rebelliousness” is the other side of the “readiness” coin of maturity.

K = Be “kind” to your teen as they develop mentally, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Turn the proverbial other cheek and smile when they growl. Reach out again when they slap away your hand. The “key” to relating to the teenager is long term vision. This isn’t just about today. It is about the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years of your life together. The cold response you get from the teen child today will “kindle” into a stronger fire of connection later in life. Work with that end in mind. Keep in mind this is your “kin.” They may be more like you than you care to admit. They share your nature and your nurture and need your “kudo’s” for every positive effort and end result you can give.  

(via Amazon.com: 101 Parenting Tools: Building the Family of Your Dreams eBook: Ronald Huxley: Kindle Store)

Tired of time-out? Yelling and counting to three no working for you? Parents can have a whole toolbox of parenting ideas with this power packed ebook.

Parents need the right tools for the job. Get 101 Parenting Tools from family therapist Ron Huxley and his popular ParentingToolbox.com website. This 53 page ebook gives an A-Z guide on how manage the toughest parenting problems. In addition, each tool lists the age of the child and parenting style (balance of love and limits) it is best suited for…get it and start taking back control of your home today!

parentsmagazine:

Have you #smiled yet today? How to maximize fun family time this weekend.  #positiveparenting #children #happiness #quote

It’s a common trap for parents to believe that they have to define themselves by the many struggles and problems they experience. Those are not the only plots lines in their personal stories. There are many things about them and their children that are positive and just need nurturing to see more growth. Never trust negative characteristics to define or guide you as a parent. Ignore them as much as you can and concentrate on what makes you amazing, awesome, powerful, adorable, tender, kind, sweet, creative, trustworthy, fun-loving, colorful, and possible wild! 

It’s a common trap for parents to believe that they have to define themselves by the many struggles and problems they experience. Those are not the only plots lines in their personal stories. There are many things about them and their children that are positive and just need nurturing to see more growth. Never trust negative characteristics to define or guide you as a parent. Ignore them as much as you can and concentrate on what makes you amazing, awesome, powerful, adorable, tender, kind, sweet, creative, trustworthy, fun-loving, colorful, and possible wild! 

drrandycale:


(Image Source: parenting.com)

By Colleen Lanin

What you need to pack when vacationing with a baby or toddler …

»Read More at parenting.com

The essence of parenting doesn’t occur in the schedules, checklists, and daily chores. It occurs in the moment by moment encounters that happen between family members. These tiny experiences that repeat a thousand times a day offer parents a change (or a redo) to install values, model behaviors, and equip children with emotional tools for successful living. The ultimate goal of parenting is to create prosocial, proactive human beings, not compliance driven, homework completing robots.