Alfred Adler (1870-1937), was a philosopher and psychiatrist who believed that humans have two basic needs: to belong and to feel significant. In the early 1900’s he started addressing the issue of quality parenting and the importance of parent education. If you are reading this blog and realize that we focus on empowering parents, we want you to know that Adler did this over 100 years ago.
Adler developed a theory that was very holistic at its core. He believed that when we are encouraged, we feel capable and appreciated. This contributes to a feeling of connectedness and we are more likely to be cooperative. When we are discouraged, we withdraw, give up and feel depressed.
Adler’s theory was very much relevant to parenting because he believed that our lifelong coping strategies depend on how connected we were to our parents and how significant we felt in our family. Based on Adler’s theory, every person is an individual who was created in early childhood, by his or her early life experiences, which are made up of his or her relationships within the family. Adler thought that a misbehaving child is a discouraged child. Instead of trying to put pressure on the child to change their undesired behavior, you should help them feel valued, competent and special.
Clingy kids can be very exhausting. We love them very much but we want to be able to do things without them from time to time. I have met many parents who are fighting this clinginess and they express a lot of frustration. I think the exhausting thing not necessary the clinginess itself. It is more from the fight, the feeling of failure and the expectation that it should be different.
This week, I received a question on my blog from a mother of a 9 year old boy. Mel wanted to know what I would suggest for dealing with a clingy child.
Here is what I wrote Mel. I hope you will find it encouraging. Most importantly, it is not as bad as it looks.
I was born in a poor family and I think the people in my family had poor beliefs about money. I made it my goal to raise my kids with rich and wealthy beliefs about money. I think I did. You see, poor people adopt beliefs to justify the fact that they do not have money. Because of their beliefs, they do not take certain opportunities to gain money and their situation remains the same. My job as a mother is to keep my kids away from those thoughts.
Most people think that in order to have money, you need to make, earn or win it. I think that in order to have money, we have to have good thoughts and beliefs about money, about making money, about finances and wealthy people. If you have these thoughts, the money will come to you rather than you trying to chase it.
The best way to become wealthy is to examine your beliefs about money, get rid of the bad ones and adopt good beliefs. My strategy of getting rid of negative beliefs is to find just one example where it is not true. For example, if I believe money only comes when I work hard, I think of a time when I sat on my butt doing nothing and still got paid.
Media is one of the major contributors to the damaged body images we have in our society. Once, it was only girls, but now we have more and more boys suffering from low body image.
Movies and magazines show celebrities who look tall and slim, with smooth skin at every pose. It is no wonder people spend money on products to try to “fix” themselves. What they do not know is that the photos they see are heavily photo-shopped and that the person they see in the magazine never looked like that.
It seems fitting that we should use the media to fix the damage done by the media. That way, our daughters and sons can see it. Yes, the photo-shopped images are beautiful, but they are not normal.
If you ever see my key chain, you will probably be very shocked by the enormous number of keys on it. It looks very similar to this photo. I have so many keys on there, it has become a little ridiculous. I have 3 keys for my house (two for the door, and one for the screen door), two sets of car keys (one for each car), and the garage door key. When I worked a day job, I also had a collection of work keys, which were even less easy to identify.
While I manage to find which key is used for what (most of the time), I find that kids struggle a bit with it. I came up with a few solutions to make it a bit easier. I have used all of them at some point or another and hope you will find them as helpful as I did.
The tip for today is a very simple way to feel good, instantly – smiling.
The good thing about smiling is that it a two way street – smiling creates a happy feeling, and feeling happy makes you smile. It does not matter where you start – the feeling or the smile. When we experience joy, the muscles in our brain contract and start a positive loop of feeling even more joy. This is not a new science. As early as the 1870s, Charles Darwin first suggested that facial expressions did not just express emotions, but could actually induce them.
Smiling has been studied for years. In 1989, psychologist Robert Zajonc compared the mood of participants asked to make the long “eee” sound (which involves the same muscles as smiling) and those who were asked to make a long “ooo” sound (which involves the same muscles as frowning). Zajonc found that the people who made the “eee” sound felt much better.
My dad always said that the process of anything in life depends highly on how your start it. A good start will set us up for a nice and easy process, while challenging starts will set the tone for struggle. I think happiness is a lifelong quest. I chose to adopt my dad’s philosophy and tried to instill this belief in my children.
Here are my A to Z rules for having good starts and continuing the happiness journey. I hope you will find them successful and encouraging.
Act on your goals rather than waiting for things to happen to you. If you want to start feeling happy, make it happen. Act on it. Waiting for that “one day” when your life will be they way you want it to be will only reinforce the fact that you are far away from it. Moving slowly, by taking action, towards your goal, will make you feel like you are just that tiny bit closer.
Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. Judgment robs us of our happiness. Forgiveness restores it.
I love Byron Katie. I think reading her book “Love What Is” helped me a lot as a person, as a mother, a partner and as a life coach. In my coaching, I cover many aspects of Byron Katie’s techniques and I have been asked by my clients to share it here on my blog, so they can teach it to their families.
Think of your mind as a house, prime real estate. The different qualities of your house include tenants knocking at your door, asking to rent some space there. As a property manager, you want to rent the space to very good tenants and avoid the trouble makers. Judgment is like a very important tenant. As much as you think you do not want it residing in your mind, it is very important and no house can survive without it. We all have to have some definition of the world so that we can navigate through life efficiently. Still, it is important not to give judgment the biggest room when we talk about judging others. Forgiveness on the other hand is a very important tenant. If you have a few trouble tenants, it can help you manage them and bring peace in your mind.
Self esteem is a very important ingredient for success. I have written a lot about what parents can do to support their kids’ self esteem. Unfortunately, many parents do the exact opposite and do not recognize how damaging their words can be.
Generally, there are four main attitudes that destroy self esteem:
1. Telling kids they are wrong.
2. Expressing disappointment.
3. Expressing shame.
4. Expressing doubt in the kids’ attempts.
Kids can handle a lot of pain from their parents without carrying it into adulthood. However, the four attitudes mentioned above will be carved into their hearts and determine their self esteem and attitude towards themselves.
Below is a list of 60 phrases parents say that can harm their kid’s self esteem. If you use any of these sentences, try to replace them with positive sentences instead
This week, at the end of one of my presentations, someone asked me to share some tips for feeling good during the question and answer section.
The request made me think of a few of things:
1. Be happy in life is all about feeling good.
2. I am a “feel good” coach. This is what I do for living – I teach people how to feel good.
3. I have thousands of tips to share. This blog alone has more than 1,000 posts so far and many of the posts contain more than one feel good tip.
This made me think that maybe presenting a topic in the form of tips might be easier for people to read and implement. So here goes. I am starting the Feel Good Tips series. I hope you can make good use of it.