Monthly Archives: August 2013

Helping Your Child Through Transitions | Part 5

2013-08-29T13:09:24+00:00

The Ultimate Transition Is Leaving Home

While seemingly a more painful transition for the parent the ultimate transition of childhood is leaving home.  We must as parents remember that this is what we are training for.  When I left for college my freshman year was awesome! I had no homesickness and being an extreme extrovert made friends easily. My sophomore year, however, was very different.  There were several circumstances that happened my first few weeks back on campus that made me feel very removed from what was going on at home and lonely.  All I wanted was to come home. My mom spent many hours on the phone with me those first few weeks back and I know consistently prayed for me.  My dad wrote me letters every day, he had done this the entire previous year as well,  but this second year those became a lifeline as I struggled emotionally those first few weeks.  The funk that I was in passed quickly but I know that it did because of the support of my parents.

It is important to continue to communicate your support especially through this transition of leaving home.  You may never know the impact that support has on your child!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Helping Your Child Through Transitions | Part 5 2013-08-29T13:09:24+00:00

Helping Your Child Through Transitions | Part 4

2013-08-29T13:03:37+00:00

Family Transitions

The transitions within a family can be difficult for any of us but can be devastating to a child. There are major transitions such as a divorce or death that obviously have to be worked through by all.  (click here for more on helping your child through a divorce) There are also good transitions that may be an adjustment for a child such as the birth of a sibling, a sibling leaving for college or moving out. The remarriage of a parent can be a major change for children as well.  (click here for our series on blending families)

Like we have stated earlier this week the thing that must be done through any transition but is especially important through big ones is communicate.  Pursue relationship with your child so you can observe where they are at emotionally. Family transitions can be busy times for the whole family so it is especially important that we are intentional to spend time simply listening to each other.

 

For more on this topic listen to today’s podcast.

Helping Your Child Through Transitions | Part 4 2013-08-29T13:03:37+00:00

Maintenance

2013-08-29T13:44:29+00:00

We apologize for the duplicate emails you may have recently received while we were updating a few features.

Thank you for your patience and continued support.

Maintenance 2013-08-29T13:44:29+00:00

Helping Your Child Through Transitions | Part 3

2013-08-26T22:15:20+00:00

Social Transitions (new school, friends or church)

The social transition for a child may vary depending on their personality.  An extrovert may miss their old friend but the prospect of making new ones may be an exciting challenge.  Your introverted child however may really struggle with a social transition.  We have to know this as parents and pay attention to what each child may need individually.  Like we discussed previously one of our jobs through the transitions is to be available to listen as our children emote and work through the transition emotionally.  We have to be careful not to belittle what they are feeling or compare them to one another.  We have to keep in perspective that the challenge of a new school may not seem significant to us but it is our child’s whole world.  So statements like “This isn’t that big a deal” or “your sister…” can be crushing and alienate your child.  We must take the time to understand and help them through the big deal this is to them.  Another thing we can do as parents is to make sure that we create time for fun.  This is especially important for those times of transition in the social arena.  Finally, in a new social setting we can direct our child and help them process through making wise friend choices. We may have more input in these choices as friendships are budding rather then established.  But again this takes not only hearing about your child’s day but really listening.

 

For more on this topic listen to today’s podcast.

Helping Your Child Through Transitions | Part 3 2013-08-26T22:15:20+00:00

Helping Your Child Through Transitions | Part 2

2013-08-26T22:13:32+00:00

The Key Is Listening

Like we discussed yesterday most of us don’t like change, but for a child transitions in life may be difficult. They may include a move, the birth of a sibling, a new school, a new family configuration or a loss.  Watching our child work through a difficult situation can be even more difficult for the parent.  It is very tempting for us to attempt to rescue the child from the situation or “hover” as it’s happening.

We must realize that this training process begins with the parent.  First, we need to consciously let go and realize that this is a training process.  We need to allow any insecurity of the “new” and “different” work itself out.  What we can do actively is be there to “debrief” the situation.  Children and teens need to be consistently trained to communicate about what they are dealing with.  The age of the child will determine the type of communication role we take as parent.  With a young child we need to ask leading questions to help them understand the connection between their emotions and the situation.  With a teen we can be there and pursue relationship to give them a chance to open up about what they are feeling.

It is our job to always be there for our children as their support system and cheering section, but we are to ultimately point them to the One who will always be there to comfort and direct their path!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Helping Your Child Through Transitions | Part 2 2013-08-26T22:13:32+00:00

Helping Your Child Through Transitions | Part 1

2013-08-29T13:04:39+00:00

 No One Likes Change

For many of us change is a very scary prospect.  We are comfortable with the way things are and to adjust to change takes effort.  How much more difficult is change for our children?  Children spend their lives adjusting to transitions.; transition from womb to world, mom to nursery or daycare, first school experience and every new school year after that.  If you think about it our children have to constantly adapt to change and transitions.  It is our job as parents to first acknowledge that these transitions are happening in our children’s lives.  Next we can use these transition times as training tools.

In order to utilize these times for training, we need to first answer why learning how to deal with big transitions is important. First big transitions are a reality of life; we will always have to cope with change.  Secondly, transition is part of the developmental/maturation process.  All steps from dependence to independence come with a transition process.  Thirdly, transitions can be utilized in a child’s life for spiritual growth.  They can be training in trust. Moving from faith in my parent to faith in God.

 

Check back for the rest of this week as we continue our discussion on transitions.

 

As always listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Helping Your Child Through Transitions | Part 1 2013-08-29T13:04:39+00:00

The Value of Fun | Part 5

2013-08-06T20:50:09+00:00

Fun Can Be Physical

In our house growing up we tended to take game night to extremes.  It was usually because dad would make things ridiculous to keep us laughing. Some how one night a game of spoons, which is a relatively quiet and calm game, became a game we from then on dubbed “body spoons.” So instead of the spoons being in the middle of the table and each person quietly and secretly taking one when they had gotten the allotted number of cards; the cards were placed across the room.  It ended up being “dog pile the first person to the spoons”.  We would all end up strewn across the floor dying laughing, as dad could be found lying face down faking the need for resuscitation.

The point of this ridiculousness is that children need a physical outlet for family fun.  It doesn’t have to be as extreme as our spoons game.  Maybe it is something as simple as bike rides, walking to a picnic, or throwing a ball together.  Positive physical fun makes for great memories as well as bonding times.  Take the time to plan in a physical outlet for fun into family time!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.

The Value of Fun | Part 5 2013-08-06T20:50:09+00:00

The Value of Fun | Part 4

2013-08-06T20:26:31+00:00

Fun Doesn’t Need to Cost Money, But It Does Cost Time

Today’s society has such a warped view of what fun is.  For many of us fun is wrapped around getting something new or paying someone/something to entertain us.  Many of us pay to take our children places for them to be entertained.  We need to teach our children what it means to have fun with out spending.  This doesn’t mean sitting your children down and lecturing them how when you were a child you could spend the day entertaining yourself out side with only a stick or a rock.  This means setting the example.  Play with your children, don’t just set them in front of the TV or videogame as a babysitter.

Another thing that we can do is encourage our children to develop their imagination.  Spend time reading to your children or making time for them to read.  Loose your inhibitions and spend time in the back yard pretending to fight the dragon or sailing across the ocean with your young children.  Take the time to kick/throw/ hit a ball with your older children.  Show them that fun doesn’t have to cost anything. There is also something to be said for the value of knowing how to entertain yourself and not have to be entertained.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.

The Value of Fun | Part 4 2013-08-06T20:26:31+00:00

The Value of Fun | Part 3

2013-08-06T20:35:16+00:00

Family Fun Night

With the explosion of social media there is an overwhelming amount of information on how to have fun and create fun family memories. From blogs, like this one, to pinterest we have no excuse to not have creative family time.  We just have to make the time.

There are two types of fun that need to take place because they serve two different purposes.  The first is spontaneous fun, this is the type of fun that breaks routine.  It can be something like having a themed dinner, picnic on the floor, dinner at the beach or the park on a weeknight, or even as simple as stopping for an ice-cream off the dollar menu to celebrate a Tuesday.

The other type of fun is scheduled fun.  This is setting aside time to have fun together as a family.  A great example of this is a family game night.  Family game night can do a lot more then just fun. It can help to teach a child how to have fun with competition and how to win/loose appropriately.

Make it a habit to have moments of spontaneous and scheduled fun at least once a week.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

The Value of Fun | Part 3 2013-08-06T20:35:16+00:00

The Value of Fun | Part 2

2013-08-06T20:23:22+00:00

Laughter Is Therapeutic

Laughter for all ages is therapeutic.  You can even feel it physically after you have laughed really hard.  Psychology Today cites that the average four year old laughs 300 times a day and the average 40 year old only 4! What a difference!  According to the same article, “research shows that laughter reduces stress hormone levels, increases endorphins, neurotransmitters and infections-fighting antibodies; and improves blood flow to the heart- which results in greater relaxation and resistance to disease, as well as improved mood and positive outlook. “

If you have noticed laughter is “catching”.  Sometimes all it takes is simply watching others laugh.  There was a commercial out recently which followed people of all ages laughing, so apparently, laughter is even powerful enough to sell products.

Laughter somehow binds us together.  When you share an experience of deep laughter with someone it seems to break down walls and almost makes you feel closer to that person.  If this is the case what can it do for a family?  Take the time to be silly and laugh with your family, even if it is at your own expense. Truly enjoy each other!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.

The Value of Fun | Part 2 2013-08-06T20:23:22+00:00