Thursday, November 18, 2010

Healthy Family Rules

Healthy Family Rules – session 3

To survive in a family you have to follow the rules. But, you must also let people know when you are upset by those rules, and suggest what might help you feel less upset. Communicating with your family may not always be easy. Here are some examples of rules for healthy family communication.

  1. Ask for help.
  2. Talk about your hopes and dreams.
  3. Express anger at your parents.
  4. Seek acknowledgement or recognition for work.
  5. Ask for emotional support.
  6. Show that you have been hurt.
  7. Show your emotional pain.
  8. Talk about your sexual needs or feelings.
  9. Notice or comment on mistakes or problems.
  10. Voice disagreement or bring conflicts into the open.
  11. Directly express your anger at other family members.
  12. Express fears and anxieties.
  13. Show affection.
  14. Ask for attention.

    If it is okay to do any or all of these, you and your family will have a greater degree of success in communicating.

Tips for Giving Praise and Dealing with Criticism

Tips for Giving Praise and Dealing with Criticism – Session 2

The most powerful tool parents can use to increase their children’s self-worth is PRAISE - warmth. We also call them "warm fuzzies". Warm fuzzies is the feeling we get inside when we receive praise.

Saying something nice we call PRAISE. There are times that we praise others because we like them and they are our friends and other times we praise others because they do thinks we like. We should try not to use the two together, praising the goodness of a person’s being with their efforts. Keep the two separate.

Praise for being:

  • I like you.
  • You are a nice friend.
  • I like to be with you.

Praise for doing:

  • I like the way you play.
  • You cleaned your room well.
  • I like the way you talk with indoor voices.

Praise is using personal power in a positive way. Parents can help children to recognize how they feel when someone praises them. Praise feels good, warm, happy, etc.

  • How do you feel when you are praised?
  • How do others feel when they are praised?
  • When was the last time someone praised you?

When was the last time you praised someone?

When someone gives us praise, what should we say? "Thank you"

Giving praise is the most important skill for families to learn.

Dealing with Criticism.

It’s not easy to take criticism. Also called "cold prickly's". The empty cold feeling inside we get when we hear criticism. The part inside that doesn't feel good. But everyone receives criticism from time to time. Expect it when you start working. You may receive criticism from your boss, your customers, teachers, child care providers or your co – workers. Sometimes you will even be criticized for things that you didn’t do. Here are some tips for dealing with criticism and ways to teach our children how to deal with criticism.

Saying something mean we call CRITICISM – the prickley’s .

1. Breathe - Don’t respond immediately. Compose yourself, take a deep breath, and think about what has been said.
2. Is it only me? - Don’t take criticism personally. You may not even be personally responsible. And, even if you are responsible, that doesn’t make you a bad person. We all make mistakes sometimes.
3. Yes, I Goofed! – If the critic is right, admit it. But don’t make excuses. You don’t have to explain yourself.
4. Good Point. – If the critic is not right or is intentionally trying to upset you, try to find something in what s/he said that you can agree with. Agreeing with the critic makes it harder for him/her to criticize.
5. Would You Explain? – If you don’t understand the criticism, ask for more information.

Responding to the Critic.

Write responses in each criticism below. Prepare responses that either agree with the critic, partially agree, or that ask for more information.

1. Your partner says to you, “You’ve got to do everything just right. It takes you twice as long as anyone else to finish a job.”
2. A co-worker says to you. “You’re doing that all wrong! Didn’t anyone teach you new guys the right way to do things?’
3. Your boss says to you, “You’re giving out too many packages of ketchup with each order of French fries. Those things cost me money. I’ve told you before one package per customer!
4. Your customer says to you, “That’s the second time that I’ve had to ask for two packages of ketchup. Are you cheap or something!”
5. Your co-worker says, “You must be trying to make points with the boss. You’re always asking his opinion, asking him to check your work and volunteering to take new assignments.

Food for thought: Think about our own communication style when we are parenting our children. Is it direct, clear, truthful, and supportive? Do you express what you see, what you are thinking, what you are feeling, or/and what you want to have happen? What is the message being communicated? How do our children, spouse, family and friends (receiver) respond when parents (sender) send a good message. One that is direct, clear, truthful and supportive?

Here are some more examples of "warm fuzzies" (praise) and cold prickly's (criticism).

These are from actual phraises I've heard from parents talking with their children. As you read these, think about how you feel as a parent and as a child hearing these phraises and think about other ways that you may have communicated or what you have heard others say and what would you do differently that would help create self - esteem in others.

Praise Me!! - Warm Fuzzies

  • "Thank you for your help!"
  • "Wow! Great Job!"
  • "You are an awesome kid!"
  • "You are such a good friend!"
  • "I like how you did that!"
  • "You are terrific at that!"

Criticism. - Cold Prickly's"

  • "You're acting like: _______ "

How about instead. " I don't like the behavior I'm seeing right now? What is going on?"

  • "You're mean!!"

Reframe. "Your choices aren't working. Can you make a different choice?"

  • "You're a punk!"

How about. " I don't like the behavior I'm seeing right now? What is going on?"

  • "Knock It Off!"

Instead try. " I need your to try this differently... What can we do instead?"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Basics of Communication

The Basics of Communication – Session 1

Communicating with your family may not always be easy. Today we will start by discussing the basics of communication. By the end of our communication series, you will have had many opportunities to get to know yourself and your peers better. We hope that you’ll know your family and your community better too. Practicing these skills should help you become more capable of handling some of life’s tough problems and decisions.

Every time you communicate, there must be a sender, a receiver, and a message.


Is it possible to communicate by reading the information on this page?

Who is the sender? ___________________________________
Who is the receiver? __________________________________
What is the message? _________________________________

Is it possible to send a message without using words? _______

If there are no words, what is the message? _________________________________________________

How is the message sent? _______________________________________


Good messages should be:
· Direct
· Clear
· Truthful
· Supportive

Good Messages Express:
· What you see
· What you are thinking
· What you are feeling
· What you want to have happen

Practicing Messages
When we are angry, hurt or up-tight, we sometimes say things we don’t really mean or wish we hadn’t said. Look at the following situations. What else could you say in each situation? Think about what it takes to send a good message.

Situation 1

Your boss tells you that you have to work overtime. You had planned to got to your child’s choral concert at school. Now it looks like you will be lucky if you get there in time for the reception. Your boss asks you how you felt bout being asked to work overtime.

You say, “Look, I’m here, aren’t I.”

What else could you say? __________________________________________________

Situation 2

You have company coming in 10 minutes. You’re feeling anxious because you want everything to be just right. You sister or spouse is trying to help by sweeping the floor but she is taking forever.

You snatch the broom out of her hands and say, “Move out of the way. Let me do that.”

What else could you say? _________________________________________________

Situation 3

You have been waiting for your boy/girlfriend/spouse for 30 minutes. Now you are late for the movie. You’ll either miss seeing the first part of the movie or not be able to get a ticket at all.

You say impatiently, “You’re never on time.”

What else could you say? _____________________________

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Healthy from the Start - Healthy eating strategies for young children

How feeding nurtures your young child's body, heart and mind.

Feeding is one of a parent's most important jobs. It is how we help our children grow strong. But mealtimes are about much more than food. Meals and snack times give you a chance to help your baby or toddler:
  • Learn healthy eating habits
  • Feel important and loved
  • Feel understood and respected
  • Trust that others will care for her
  • Feel good about her body

Here are some ways to help your child become a healthier eater:

1. Remember: Meals are about more than food. They are a time to connect with your child and to support her overall development. Talk with your child during meals and don't let her eat alone. This helps build strong family relationships.

2. Create routines around mealtimes. Routines make children feel loved and secure. Establish regular meal and snack times beginning when your child is 9-12 months old. Routines help children look forward to each meal.

3. Offer 3 to 4 healthy food choices (that your child likes) at each meal. Research shows that children will choose a healthy diet when they are offered a selection of different healthy foods.

4. Don't force your baby or toddler to eat. This often results in children refusing the food and eating less.

5. Don't give up on new foods! Patience is the key. YOu may have to offer your child a new food 10 or 15 times before he will eat it.

6. Turn off the TV (computers, etc) at mealtime. The television can distract children from eating. It also takes time away from talking as a family.

7. Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand. So make active play a part of everyday family life.

8. If you are concerned about your child's weight or activity level, talk to your child's health care provider.

Monday, March 15, 2010

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