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Mindful Tips For Better Parenting

Tara Christie



Mindful Tips For Better Parenting

My son was fussing around at the counter where we sit to eat breakfast and spilled all his juice everywhere—onto his plate, on the seat, and the floor. I yelled, “How many times do I have to tell you to stop messing around when we’re eating?” I yelled so loudly that I noticed it startled him. Suddenly, I looked at him in dismay and realized I had just frightened my son. After working all day, cooking. and cleaning, the last thing I wanted to do was clean up yet another mess that in my mind could have been avoided. But, against my better judgment, I continued on with my rant as I was quite frustrated. What he said next is what slapped me back into reality. He turned to me with his big, teary, beautiful brown eyes and said very softly, “Mom, but you said that sometimes accidents happen, and it’s OK,” which totally melted my heart and broke it simultaneously. I realized I needed to be more mindful. Mindful in the way I reacted, mindful in the way I approached things, mindful in being really present with my son when I am with him.

So what was it that had me so frustrated anyway?

Was it the point that I told him what seemed to be like a millionth time to stop playing around? Was it that I had other things on my mind at the time? Perhaps my workday didn’t go as planned or I didn’t get enough errands sorted out as I had wanted. I had a sudden realization; it was like everything was presented right before my eyes: I watched and saw my son’s reactions to things that happen daily and it was like watching myself. He was being hard on himself. He wasn’t giving himself enough time to explain things or get his thoughts cleared, he was rushing. He would be utterly disappointed and sad with himself if something didn’t work out or if he spilled chocolate on his shirt. And I thought, OMG, he’s me. My 5-year-old is victimizing himself. He’s feeling less than, not good enough, and all over what? He’s me. I knew instantly that my behavior had to change if I wanted to be a better parent to my son. I knew right then I needed to be more mindful as a parent.

It’s scary to live in the present.

It seems scary when you think about it, to have to be in the now, in the present. Our minds are always fixated on something other than the now. Who wants to face their own reality—their own truth? It’s a hard thing to wrap your mind around, I know. I’m not a perfect parent, and I’m not a perfect human, but I do know I have choices and can make decisions. I know that I can either positively affect my child or negatively affect him. We as parents don’t want to make mistakes, we don’t want to see how we may be failing, but it’s OK to see and realize these things that we can change about ourselves to make these positive changes. The same way we learn from trying, failing, making mistakes—is the same way our kids will learn. I think it’s safe to say we all want them to give life a try. So what we have to do is evolve and grow, which we can only do by facing our truths and dealing with them in healthy, mindful ways.

Read More: Avoid Stress During Pregnancy


Awareness is our friend, like fear.

Fear can either make us courageous or shut us down completely. Awareness can either prompt us to make changes or push us back into denial. But just by being aware, you notice change is needed, and I truly believe that makes all the difference. Think back to a time when you were completely oblivious to the situation. Looking back you’d have done so much differently, right? Once you’re aware, there’s no going back. You will make better choices, you will handle things differently, you will take care of and view things through the eyes of love. Especially when we are trying to raise good people to attribute to the loving nature of this world so we can minimize all the wrong parts of it.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children

Here’s what I do now to stay mindful with myself, son, husband, and even my dog. Hopefully after reading these you can think about how they apply to you, too.

Mindful Tips For Better Parenting

1. Teach your kids how to take deep breaths.

Taking breathing breaks together to collect your thoughts and ground yourselves will be fundamental in helping kids learn how to cope and have understanding of their feelings. Kids love doing this especially when you tell them they’re grounding themselves strong just like a tree! You can take five minutes to sit on the floor with your child/children. Have them close their eyes, palms down on their legs, and show them how to inhale deeply. The younger ones may keep getting up, but keep practicing, and you’ll see them soon sitting for the full five or even doing it on their own.

Boost your Energy Course at Wise Life Lessons

2. Don’t interrupt your kids while they’re talking (even if it’s taking them a long time to get it out).

If my son is having trouble getting the words out, I’ll remind him to take a deep breath. This helps him with his thought process, and he knows he can take a break and think about it for a few minutes because we’re in no rush. I’ve been really mindful about not brushing my son off when he wants to tell me something. A lot of the time as parents we can get so busy with work or other things if our kids come to us, we say, “Give me two minutes,” or “Tell me later.” I stop what I’m doing and give him my full attention. In turn, he does the same for me when I’m speaking to him.

3. Practice active listening.

When your children are talking to you, make eye contact, smile, be welcoming. Sometimes we don’t have to say anything at all for our kids to know we are listening. Children do love to talk and tell stories, and it pulls at your heart strings to watch them speak of things we often can take for granted.

4. Keep the radio off and talk about their day on the car ride home.

If you can, walk to pick them up (weather permitting), so you can have a nice stroll together. Go to the park, kick a ball around, ride your bikes, or go inline skating. My son likes to ride his scooter everywhere, so I’ll bring that along.

Mindful Tips For Better Parenting

5. Leave work at work and unplug from technology.

For example: We make the dinner table a no phone/tablet zone. Spend that time as a family talking and really connecting. Tell funny jokes. Ask what was the best part of the day for each family member.

6. Pay attention to how you react to situations.

Because, ultimately, your kids will mimic it in their own lives. Don’t become aggravated or annoyed right away, tempting as it is. So if they spill something on the counter, don’t go into an immediate rage; remember, accidents do happen, and spills are not the end of the world—annoying, yes, but not debilitating. If you do find your blood boiling for any reason, remove yourself from the room for a few minutes to cool down.

Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do

7. Ask engaging questions.

My son recently had a farmer bring in chicks to the class to hatch, so I asked him for that whole week how he took care of the chicks, how chicks are kept warm, what they ate, etc. I like to pinpoint specifics, so he doesn’t feel like I’m just being repetitive with my questions and knows that I’m really interested.

See Also: Ways To Connect With Your Children

8. Allow them to express their emotions.

You are where they feel the most safe, and kids just like us will have not so good days and need to know it’s OK and that you’re there for them. If your son or daughter comes home from school grumpy, tell him/her that you’re there to help or talk whenever they are ready. It’s hard to get information out of my son when he gets out of school, but eventually, I can’t keep him quiet about the day. I ask questions such as, “What did you do at school today that was different? Did you go outside for recess? Who did you play with today?” These questions will then lead you to why they may be grumped out, or they may just be tired, which is totally normal (raise your hand if you haven’t felt tired after a long day at work or school)—see?

Mindful Tips For Better Parenting

9. Communication is key.

Be honest but not aggressive in your approach. Say things like “I understand you’re frustrated” or ask “What is making you upset?” or “How can Mommy (or Daddy) help you?” Alternatively, be excited for them when they’ve reached a goal for themselves or moved up in rank in karate or dance class. Always tell your kids how much you love them. Tell them you love them no matter what—even when you’re upset with them. It’s crucial they know this.

Children are extremely mindful by nature. I watch how my son lives in the moment. He’s not worried about what’s going to happen tomorrow, and he doesn’t stress about yesterday. Mindful parenting isn’t something that we can download or buy. It’s something we have to learn all over again, and it will take practice. Will we be mindful every single minute of the day? Probably not, as life happens and situations take hold of us emotionally. I had such a huge realization by just watching my son spill his food. Watching him is like watching myself through a mirror: It’s fascinating yet frightening at the same time. Awareness is profound. It’s like turning on a switch that we’ll never be able to shut off again because once you know something, it never leaves you. Since practicing these methods of mindfulness, I’ve become a little less neurotic and don’t sweat the small stuff. I perceive things differently, with a different perspective—a lot less stress and a lot more appreciation. Since I’m mindful of this, it makes me grateful.


Source: MindBodyGreen

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8 Types Of Love & How To Know Which One You’re Feeling

Polly Stevens



Here are 8 types of love we need to learn…

It goes without saying that the love you feel for a friend, family member, or romantic partner are all distinctly different things. In fact, there are so many variants that make “love” what it is, the word itself almost doesn’t cut it.

That’s why the Greeks came up with eight different words for the many types of love we commonly experience throughout our lifetime. Here’s what they’re all about, plus how to know which one(s) you’re feeling.

What does love really mean?

According to clinical psychologist Kristina Hallett, Ph.D., research has defined two major types of interpersonal love: passionate love (which is what we think of as romantic love, involving attraction and sexual desire) and attachment (also known as compassionate love, which can be between caregivers and children, between long-term romantic partners, and other deeply bonded relationships).

Nevertheless, she adds, “We can certainly love people in a multitude of ways, and often do. When we think about the different Greek words for love, it’s possible to see how these connect to the greater categories of passionate and compassionate love.”

The question of what it means to love someone has been the inspiration behind so many songs for a reason: It’s a very complicated emotion that we all experience differently. Take the five love languages, for example. Everyone has their own way of giving and receiving love, especially with different people.

Below are the 8 types of love described in the Greek language and how to navigate each one:


8 Types Of Love & How To Know Which One You're Feeling


1. Eros (passionate love)

Eros is all about romance, passion, and attraction. It describes the intoxicating and thrilling emotions that the initial stages of a relationship can induce.

“Relationships often begin with passion, including infatuation and attraction,” marriage therapist Jason B. Whiting, Ph.D., LMFT, tells mbg. “As exciting as this is, it is mostly a fusion element, designed to draw people together.”

Hallett adds, “Sexual interest, lust, or passion don’t necessarily evolve into lasting compassionate love.”

A tip for eros:

Enjoy each other’s company and the attraction you feel for each other while it is fresh and new. Over time, this type of love will often transition into another type—or simply fade away.

2. Pragma (enduring love)

Pragma is sometimes translated to practical love, referencing the kind of love grounded in duty, commitment, and practicality. While this might apply well to the type of love that blossoms in an arranged marriage, this is also the love you see in long-standing relationships and life partnerships—like when you see an old couple that’s been together for decades and decades.

These are couples who find a way to make it work over time.

Pragma requires a commitment to each other and might be thought of as a conscious choice or perhaps as the type of love that takes years to develop through bonding and shared experiences. Whiting notes: “The brain’s response to a cherished long-term partner looks like contentment, caring, and nurturing.”

Hallett adds that eros can develop into pragma, and, in fact, many romantic relationships involve both: “Strong romantic relationships involve a combination of passionate love and compassionate love, which promotes an enduring and positive relationship.”

A tip for pragma:

The initial rush of attraction when you first meet someone, according to Hallett, “frequently stabilizes over time, which may lead people to feel that their partner ‘doesn’t love’ them as much. To counter this, partners can work together to communicate honestly, to recognize the deeper feelings of connection and compassionate love.”

3. Ludus (playful love)

Ludus is very flirtatious and fun, without the strings that come with eros or pragma. It can be seen in the very early stages of relationships, when two people are flirting, courting each other, and crushing on each other. It often involves laughing, teasing, and feeling giddy around a person. It’s very childlike in that way, though it can certainly evolve.

A tip for ludus:

Remember that all your crushes don’t need to “get serious” or pan out into full-blown relationships. Sometimes there’s great joy and pleasure in just enjoying the flirtation and the will-we-or-won’t-we game.

4. Agape (universal love)

Agape is selfless love, like the kind you might associate with saintly figures like Mother Teresa or activists like Malala. Hallett describes this love as a compassionate love for everyone, also known as universal loving-kindness. It’s the love you feel for all living things without question, that you extend knowingly without expectations for anything in return. It’s a very pure and conscious love. It’s similar to what we sometimes refer to as unconditional love.

A tip for agape:

Feeling that agape flowing through your veins? Practice a loving-kindness meditation, and lean into work that allows you to give back and help others.

5. Philia (deep friendship)

Philia is the love that develops over a deep, long-lasting friendship. It’s platonic, but nevertheless, you feel very close to those you have philia toward and can confide in them, trust them, and respect them on a very personal level.

And according to Hallett, these friendships can be just as impactful as romantic relationships. “People may be surprised by the depth of pain and loss related to a long-standing friendship,” she says. “Often the loss or ‘breakup’ of a friendship is as painful and challenging as the loss of a romantic relationship.”

A tip for philia:

Spend quality time with your closest friends, and get vulnerable in a way you might not usually, by letting them know how much they mean to you.


8 Types Of Love & How To Know Which One You're Feeling


6. Philautia (self-love)

Philautia has actually been having a bit of a moment lately—and rightly so! This love is all about self-love and self-compassion. It may seem obvious, but the relationship we have with ourselves is very important, and yes, it needs to be nurtured.

Philautia is important for our own confidence and self-esteem, and it will also influence how we interact with the world. More love of self equals more love to offer. You can’t pour from an empty cup, after all.

A tip for philautia:

Pamper yourself with your favorite self-care activities, create a self-love ritual—literally anything you can give to yourself that makes you feel good, do it! (Here are 10 tangible ways to practice self-love.)

7. Storge (familial love)

Storge is the love shared between family members (typically immediate family), and sometimes close family friends or friends from childhood. It differs from philia in the way that it’s reinforced by blood, early memories, and familiarity.

There’s a reason people say “friends are the family you choose.” You don’t choose your family, and whether they actually like your family members or not, many people often do love them instinctually. Storge is compassionate, protective, and deeply rooted in memory.

A tip for storge:

Work to strengthen your relationship with family members and forgive any past grievances.

8. Mania (obsessive love)

While some might argue this isn’t really “love,” the Greeks did have a word for “obsessive” love, and that’s mania. This is what we would describe as a toxic relationship or codependent relationship, where there’s usually some imbalance of affection causing one person to become overly attached. It can be hard to come back from mania, but if you can, there will need to be a healthier balance of affection.

A tip for mania:

Notice any patterns of possessive or codependent behavior and ask yourself what’s causing these feelings of insecurity and clinging. Let your partner know you’re struggling with it and try to pinpoint what needs to change. (Here’s more on how to stop being codependent.)

How can I tell which type of love I have?

Knowing what type of love you’re experiencing usually involves some level of self-awareness about the nature of your feelings toward a person.

Be honest with yourself: Is it romantic, selfless, friendly, or playful? Another way to tell which kind of love you’re experiencing is to consider how long you’ve known each other.

“Generally speaking,” Hallett says, “when we feel a strong, positive connection to someone and find ourselves caring about their well-being and supporting them through our actions, this is compassionate love, and likely involving elements the Greeks referred to as philialudus, and agape.”

Importantly, you can absolutely feel a combination of different loves for different people. These combos come from the 8 types of love. Some common combos are:

  • Eros and pragma
  • Ludus and eros
  • Philia and agape
  • Philautia and agape
  • Mania and eros

8 Types Of Love & How To Know Which One You're Feeling


The bottom line.

There’s no shortage of definitions and versions of love, with everyone experiencing their own combination of types with all their loved ones.

“There are many versions of attraction that draw people together, especially in intimate relationships, but for a long-lasting relationship, it is important to have both passion and friendship,” Whiting noting. “In the brain, these two states light up in different but overlapping areas.”

No matter who or how you’re loving, giving and receiving love is one of life’s greatest joys, and understanding what we’re feeling for the people in our lives can help us nurture our relationships to be the most fulfilling they can be.

Find the right meaning of love from these 8 types of love. There are different levels and these 8 types of love are all we need to learn. The love we feel comes from these 8 types of love. These 8 types of love will help you determine where you are in love right now. You’ll find the meaning of each from these 8 types of love here.

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7 Things Mindful Families Do Differently At Home

Sheila J. Highland



7 Things Mindful Families Do Differently At Home

Each family is different. There are happy ones and sad ones. But there are also mindful families. Let’s all learn what these mindful families do differently at home.

Here are 7 Things Mindful Families Do Differently at Home:


7 Things Mindful Families Do Differently At Home


1. Embrace Imperfection

Even in the best of times, none of us are perfect parents: We get triggered, overreact, and say and do things that we wished we hadn’t. During this strange time in the world, parenting probably feels different, and harder than ever before.

Let’s be clear—you are going to make mistakes, you are going to hurt your children’s feelings, and you are not going to be able to show up in all the ways you want to or the ways your children want you to, but NONE of that makes you a bad parent—it only makes you a human one.

When we beat ourselves up over our mistakes and imperfections we create more pain, fear, and disconnection.

Maybe your kids are watching more TV than usual, or not eating as healthy as they used to. Rather than being hard on yourself, embrace this imperfection. Remind yourself: there is no book written on how to parent during a pandemic.

When you can move into a place of acceptance, you are able to shift into a greater ease and grace within yourself. When we beat ourselves up over our mistakes and imperfections we create more pain, fear, and disconnection.

2. Listen with Curiosity

How many times have you been reading an email or checking your phone while your child or partner speaks to you, nodding your head along to what they’re saying—only to suddenly realize you haven’t listened to a single word of their conversation?

We are often distracted, and with many of us working—or, in our children’s case, attending school—from home, it can be even more difficult to practice active listening.

By listening with curiosity, we decrease the chances of misunderstanding and increase the opportunity for greater connection and growth as a family.

3. Communicate Courageously

Let’s be honest, being vulnerable is hard and at times even scary, which is why we sometimes find ourselves avoiding tough conversations with each other. Now that we’re at home more often, the chances of getting into an argument with a partner or family member are even higher than before.

Part of communicating means reflecting on your own inner thoughts and feelings. For example, if you feel upset with your partner, ask yourself—what do you need from them going forward?

While in the moment it might feel easier to sidestep talking about something painful or uncomfortable, what is left unspoken and unresolved can turn into a slow poison. The truth is, being clear and honest with each other about what you need and how you feel is ultimately an act of kindness that lays the foundation for better things to come in the future.

4. Practice Appreciation and Gratitude

It may feel impossible, given the current climate, to concentrate on anything other than the bad things around us. However, finding small things to feel gratitude and appreciation for—sunshine, warm meals, flowers in the garden—can boost your mood.

There are so many opportunities for appreciation with one another, like acknowledging our kids or our partner for emptying the dishwasher or being ready on time.

Making appreciation and gratitude part of your regular routine can help your entire household become more optimistic and relaxed during this trying time.

5. Forgive Ourselves and Each Other

Every family has its hard moments. There are times when we don’t feel listened to, appreciated, or seen and there are other times when people are cranky or “hangry” and say things they don’t mean or wish they could take back.

As Lily Tomlin once said, “forgiveness means letting go of any hope for a better past.”

The following three steps can help you forgive yourself and others:

Forgive—If we have transgressed, we can set the intention to “forgive” ourselves for this wrongdoing, understanding that we can’t change the past, remembering that we aren’t perfect, and realizing that we often make mistakes out of ignorance, confusion, or upset feelings.

Investigate—Practice self-reflection and communication to investigate and discover how you would respond differently next time.

Invite—Invite yourself to begin again, drawing on the lessons learned from this process.

6. Practice Support and Generosity

You may not be in a position to give financially, and physical distancing makes it more difficult to volunteer at a local food bank or fundraiser. But there are still ways to practice support and generosity in your community.

Maybe this looks like reaching out to a friend who is living alone, and asking how they’re doing. Or offering to go grocery shopping for someone you know who is immuno-compromised. Or putting a sign up in your window supporting and thanking essential workers.

There are so many different ways to express generosity and compassion. These small or large acts are the essential healing agent within the family system, our culture, and the world. Ultimately, connection is the cornerstone of well-being and it starts in the family.


7 Things Mindful Families Do Differently At Home


7. Have Fun and Play

This is a serious time, but if we don’t take a break from news updates, Twitter feeds, and work emails, we risk burning out. Give yourself moments throughout the week to be present and playful.

Game nights, walks around the block, baking together, or watching funny YouTube videos can bring moments of light and joy into your day and connect your family.


A family is important. It is essential for your growth and development. There are so many things a family can do. These are ways for mindful families to grow together. Mindful families are closer to each other. Mindful families learn to grow together. Let these tips here remind you that you too can be a better person in a mindful family.


Get additional reading here:

4 Tips to Make Conscious Relationships Work In Our Daily Lives


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The Love of Family is the Most Precious Blessing

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9 Everyday Things To Do To Help Kids In Managing Emotions At All Times

Tara Christie



9 Everyday Things To Do To Help Kids In Managing Emotions At All Times

It’s natural for parents to be concerned about their children’s academic prowess and “IQ,” but these days, more are seeing the importance of developing emotional intelligence, or “EQ.” Parents are getting more and more concern about how kids learn in managing emotions.

“Being emotionally intelligent helps kids manage their feelings in constructive ways, resolve conflict, and solve problems,” said Donna Housman, a clinical psychologist with 30 years of experience in early childhood development. “The ability to manage one’s own emotions, and cope with the emotions of others, along with an increased sensitivity to how others feel, is key to developing empathy, compassion, understanding and acceptance of differences between and among us.”

Research also suggests that emotional intelligence is linked to greater success in school, stronger communication skills, better relationships, self-awareness, resilience, improved mental health, and other positive outcomes. The good news is parents can help lay the foundation for this success early in their children’s lives.

“A parent’s role is integral to the development of children’s emotional intelligence,” Housman noted. “Given that children develop within the context of relationships, parents’ responsiveness, support and reassurance is vital in helping children learn to effectively manage and cope with the vast array of emotions they experience on a daily basis.”

To that end, HuffPost asked Housman and other experts to share some simple, everyday ways caregivers can foster emotional intelligence in their children. Read on for nine suggestions.


9 Everyday Things To Do To Help Kids In Managing Emotions At All Times


“To help build a child’s emotional intelligence, parents can and should help their kids identify their emotions daily, and give them permission to have and experience those emotions,” advised Housman.

The more kids practice identifying and discussing their emotions, the more comfortable they will be managing them. Parents can make this part of their family’s everyday ritual.

“A simple tool is to ask the question, ‘What emotion or emotions are you feeling today?‘” said Ravi Rao, a pediatric neurosurgeon turned children’s show host. “We’ve been too conditioned to respond to ‘How are you?’ with an automatic ‘fine’ even when we’re not fine. A more specific question eliciting the child to talk about their emotional state builds self-awareness and confidence.”

“Model the skills that you want your child to learn. Kids are paying attention to what we’re doing, and we’re role models, whether we’re being intentional about it or not.”


Parents can help kids practice identifying emotions in the characters they observe in books, movies or TV shows by asking questions like “Do you think that lady looks happy or sad?” Housman also suggested creating or printing out “emotions charts” to help kids recognize different emotions in themselves and others ― and understand that feelings are natural and constantly changing.

Set Aside Drawing Or Journaling Time

“Activities like journaling together can also help,” said Jean Paul Paulynice, creator of an 11-part social-emotional learning curriculum called Empowering Confident Youth. “At the end of every day, parents should sit down with their children and have them write down what happened to them, how they felt and how they dealt with their emotions.”

He suggested that parents periodically ask their kids to look back over their journal entries, note any behavioral trends and reflect on times when they might have overreacted to a situation or acted in a manner that they came to regret later. Younger kids can do this with art by drawing pictures of how they’re feeling and explaining the art to their parents.

Talk About Your Own Feelings

As with other fundamental lessons, kids often learn more from what their parents do when it comes to emotions than from what their parents tell them to do.

“Model the skills that you want your child to learn,” said Kathy Kinsner, senior manager of parenting resources at the infant-toddler development nonprofit Zero To Three. “Kids are paying attention to what we’re doing, and we’re role models, whether we’re being intentional about it or not. For example, if you’re having trouble placing an online order, you can say aloud, ‘I’m so frustrated. I’m going to get up and take a break and then start fresh.’”

If parents want their children to feel comfortable talking about their feelings, they should openly discuss their own emotions with their kids as well. On any given day, parents can describe how they’re feeling, label that emotion and demonstrate how to express it in a healthy way or use problem-solving to cope with it. For parents who struggle with their feelings, this may take some extra work, but it’s worth the effort.


“The more parents authentically and effectively deal with their own emotions and those of others, the more successful the children will be in developing healthier relationships, and achieving greater success at school, work, and in their personal relationships,” Housman explained. “When parents are more aware of their own emotions, sensitive and empathic to the emotions of others, both children and parents will feel better, relate better, and live better!”

Normalize Negative Emotions

Although it’s natural for parents to want to shelter their children from negative experiences or emotions, this actually does a disservice to their emotional development. Instead, parents should help their kids understand that all feelings are natural and normal, and it’s how we deal with them that matters most.

“You can make emotional intelligence a priority in your children’s development by doing what I call ‘Don’t Save Your Kids,’” said clinical psychologist John Mayer. “That means don’t overprotect your kids from life’s stressors. Don’t run interference between kids and life ― school, activities, teachers ― instead of letting them learn how to handle the emotional state this brings and the responsibility of it.”

Additionally, parents shouldn’t avoid talking about negative emotions, sweep them under the rug or let them bubble up, which can lead to unhealthy outbursts. Sometimes the fear of a negative emotion is worse than the actual experience of the emotion. When you’re having a tough day, you don’t have to go into detail if it’s not age-appropriate, but you should still be honest about what you’re feeling.

“The crucial steps to fully developing emotional intelligence include noticing the emotion, labeling it, and asking what to do about it.”


“We want to teach our kids how to honor uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety and frustration in a healthy way, so they don’t feel they have to suppress these powerful feelings,” said Maggie Craddock, a family therapist and executive coach.

Discuss Appropriate Ways To Expressing And Managing Emotions

“One crucial element of emotional intelligence is problem solving,” said Kerry Goyette, author of “The Non-Obvious Guide to Emotional Intelligence.” “Often, when we think about developing a child’s EQ, we think only about empathy. If a child is sad, we believe all we have to do is notice their feeling and commiserate.

But we can’t stop there. The crucial steps to fully developing emotional intelligence include noticing the emotion, labeling it, and asking what to do about it.”

Once parents have created a positive feedback loop by helping their kids to recognize, label and discuss their feelings, they can move onto the next step of coaching them through how to deal with their emotions, if negative. The key is to do a lot of listening and question-asking to guide them toward ways of constructively expressing and managing the intensity of their feelings.

“If they’re angry, ask what are you going to do,” Goyette suggested. “Is there something they can change? Many parents step in and solve the child’s problem themselves, but that signals to the child that they aren’t capable of doing it themself. Instead, try coaching. You might ask pointed questions, and they might not figure it out all by themselves at first, but it helps them develop their sense of self-reliance.”

Parents can include kids in the healthy things they do to process intense emotions, like taking a walk or playing games in the backyard to blow off steam at the end of a stressful day. Let kids learn the art of managing emotions.

Own Up To Your Mistakes

As imperfect humans, we all inevitably make mistakes, even if we’re trying our best. When it comes to  managing emotions, parents should own up to the moments when they unintentionally blow up in front of their kids or otherwise fail to cope with stress in healthy ways.

“We want to consistently practice admitting our mistakes and taking action to correct behavior that may inadvertently hurt others feelings,” Craddock noted. “For example, when our spouse brings up a topic that triggers us in front of the kids, we may want to defuse the situation as kindly as possible and avoid power struggles when possible. Remember, you are always modeling relational skills in front of your kids, and you want them to internalize ways to deal with conflict that fortify their personal integrity rather than diminishing it.”

Admitting when you messed up and taking action to correct it shows kids that emotional intelligence is a lifelong skill that everyone can continue to cultivate over time. This also encourages kids to own up when they make mistakes as well, though sometimes you have to wait until the heat of the moment has passed.

“Revisit other ways to behave once everybody has had a chance to calm down,” advised Kinsner. “Say, ‘You were upset because you wanted to play with the truck. But hitting is not OK. What could you do next time? You can ask mom for help. You can ask for a turn. You can find something else to play with.’”

On the flip side, parents should also offer positive reinforcement when their kids do display emotional intelligence by recognizing their good behavior and maybe even offering a reward in some instances.

Expose Them To New Experiences And People

“Parents should seek to involve their children in new activities and experiences whenever possible, including daily opportunities for new learning experiences,” said Paulynice.

“This can include something as simple as reading a book or watching a documentary together or trying a new hobby. The idea is to expose the child to new experiences that will expand their horizons,” he continued. “Volunteering in the community, such as at a homeless shelter or a senior living center, will also help to build empathy and compassion, which is a critical aspect of emotional intelligence.”

As kids experience new places, people and activities, their minds broaden to understand other experiences and perspectives.

“Encourage your kids to be able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes,” suggested psychotherapist Noel McDermott. “Encourage conversations that allow each other to express feelings in a nonjudgmental way.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic may limit certain kinds of opportunities right now, parents can also make plans for future activities, turn to digital options, and get creative at home. It’s important to show kids that people can make a difference in others’ lives through their own efforts and displays of support.

“Make empathy a verb in your family,” advised Craig A. Knippenberg, a therapist and author of “Wired and Connected: Brain-Based Solutions To Ensure Your Child’s Social and Emotional Success.

“What’s the point of having emotional intelligence without putting it to use to help others?” he added. “When parents demonstrate kindness to those in their world, that kindness becomes contagious to their children. Teach empathy.”


9 Everyday Things To Do To Help Kids In Managing Emotions At All Times


Have Fun With Emotions

Knippenberg also recommended making emotional learning experiences fun for kids throughout their development.

“Feeling charades is a great time for your preschool child,” he said. “Watch a Disney movie with the sound off and analyze what is occurring. Include a study of your animal companions and the many ways animals demonstrate emotional and social intelligence.”

“Reading stories together and talking about the emotions the characters are experiencing not only normalizes emotion by acknowledging others have the same kinds of feelings as us, but also helps children better understand cause and effect, and helps build empathy.”


“For middle and elementary school students, watch ‘The Princess Diaries’ to see how the main character develops her emotional intelligence,” he added. “For young teens, when in a restaurant, try figuring out what other diners are feeling or talking about.”

He noted that unsupervised, unguided play also gives kids the chance to practice emotional and social skills, like how to support a friend in need or creative negotiate a conflict, on their own without adult guidance.

Read Books About Feelings

There are many excellent children’s books that specifically deal with feelings and emotional intelligence, but parents can use pretty much any story to teach these lessons as well.

“Reading stories together and talking about the emotions the characters are experiencing not only normalizes emotion by acknowledging others have the same kinds of feelings as us, but also helps children better understand cause and effect, and helps build empathy,” Housman explained.

Scotty Iseri, who created an emotional learning-focused podcast called “The Imagine Neighborhood,” recommended that parents ask kids to discuss the emotions they observe in the media they consume.

“When reading a book, or listening to a podcast, asking questions like, ‘Why do you think she is crying right now?’ or ‘Why do you think he felt that way?’, are ways to show children that you’re interested in and concerned with the emotions of other people,” he said.

Parents should also consider sharing personal stories that illustrate lessons about emotional intelligence, said author Siamak Taghaddos, whose children’s book, “The Mountain and The Goat,” focuses on cultivating a resourceful mindset.

“Share stories of how the little things matter,” he suggested. “Talk to kids not about EQ itself, but about how they, as parents, used examples of it that kids can learn from.

Whether it’s how they dealt with a tough situation they faced, or how they helped someone with a problem by putting themselves in their shoes, or why they chose a certain color for a design to help improve a product, anything that shows kids how the little things matter. Stories that show caring about others are fundamental.”

Kids must learn that managing emotions are important. it is as important as learning to read and write. Managing emotions must be taught at home. Parents should know how to teach managing emotions to their kids. As early as the kids are young, They must know that managing emotions are key to long term relationships. Managing emotions are key to understanding better in life.

As an example, parents must also be experts in managing emotions. When teaching kids, parents must live by example. Managing emotions should be a priority. It helps a lot in the kid’s development.  Teach empathy as a way of managing emotions. Let children enjoy the good things in life as means off managing emotions.

Original article by Caroline Bologna.


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4 Tips to Make Conscious Relationships Work In Our Daily Lives

Polly Stevens



4 Tips to Make Conscious Relationships Work In Our Daily Lives

Let’s find out how conscious relationships thrive these days. Find out how these work in our daily lives…

How do we “beat the odds” in a time where separation and divorce are talked about more than successful partnerships? How did this happen? How did we get to this point?

Over the past decade, it seems like if you haven’t gone through a separation or been on the brink of one, then you are in the minority.

Relationships are shifting. People are busy. And there is not enough time to invest in one another with how busy our schedules have become. We live in a society where it is almost expected that we overextend ourselves, whether it be going to the office early and staying late, or having our kids in more activities than time allows for.

We need to take a break, a serious break. We need to give ourselves more time to be with ourselves, with our partners, and with our families. We need time to talk and reconnect.

Remember when there were no cell phones to endlessly scroll on at night before bed? No internet to surf? When we had to watch commercials on TV? These used to be some of the times when we would connect and check in with each other.

We’ve lost the art of connection.

Doing relationship work is hard, and taking the time to invest in working through issues takes time and dedication. It’s not an easy road, and this is often when couples decide to either separate instead of doing the hard work, or stay together and live miserably ever after.

A conscious relationship is when we treat others with respect, are fully present for the other person, communicate in a respectful manner, and are fully open and honest with our partner.

Want to know how to keep that connection and the conscious aspect alive in your partnership? Here are four tips to do just that:


4 Tips to Make Conscious Relationships Work In Our Daily Lives


1. Communication is Key for Conscious Relationships

We often confuse communication for talking or making conversation. Communication is about connecting, and hearing what your partner is saying. It’s about active listening and respective dialogue. The next time you talk with one another, try this: after each of you is finished speaking, repeat all of the points you each touched on to see how good your active listening skills are.

2. Conscious Relationships Need Trust

Although love is an obvious, key element in a relationship, without trust, a relationship is unable to grow. Having a strong, solid trust in your partner is what will help you survive the storms. If there is no trust, ask yourself, was there ever trust to begin with? If there was, how was it lost? Work through this reason with one another in an active listening, respectful way.

3. Honesty is Essential for Conscious Relationships to Work

Honesty is a way of life, not just a behaviour. When we have full faith in our partner, it allows for the freedom we need to be at ease, and lets our relationships move forward in the healthiest way. Can you be honest with your partner? If not, why?


4 Tips to Make Conscious Relationships Work In Our Daily Lives


4. Make Conscious Relationships Survive Daily with Respect

Respect in a relationship is not about controlling the other person, it is about allowing you and your partner to be yourselves and fully accepted for who you are. Everyone deserves equal respect, and if you are not giving it or receiving, why is that?

Taking a deeper dive into some of these questions and getting real with yourself and your partner can spark discussions deeper than just your busy day, the weather, or what bills need to get paid.

Having deep, meaningful discussions about things that are bothering us is a way to clear air, reconnect, and strengthen our relational skills and bonds with one another.


Original article by Meg Casten.

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10 Tips To Heal From A Narcissistic Relationship & Avoid Lifelong Trauma

Polly Stevens




Leaving a narcissistic relationship doesn’t end with simply physically leaving, packing up your belongings, and building a new life. Women, for instance, go back to their abuser an average of seven times, even if she was the one who initiated the termination. During one of these times, she may lose her life.

Even after a person has permanently ended their relationship with the narcissist, oftentimes they can find themselves still shackled by the trauma of what happened. As a psychologist who works with survivors of narcissistic abuse regularly, I’ve seen the way a past relationship with a narcissist can continue to haunt someone and hold them back considerably even years down the line.

Leaving is the first step; it’s staying gone that’s the real legwork of healing from a narcissistic relationship. Gone from them in your head, body, and soul.

How to heal from your experience with a narcissist.

Let’s use an analogy we all understand. There is a wound, and we cannot merely slap on Band-Aids. We have to go deep and clean it and harness our natural ability to heal and rejuvenate. At the same time, we’ll ensure that the surface of the skin strengthens and beautifies. In other words, we work on both the roots and symptoms at the same time.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to heal from a narcissistic relationship:


10 Tips To Heal From A Narcissistic Relationship & Avoid Lifelong Trauma


1. Don’t do this alone.

You can pick up books and articles about breaking up with a narcissist, but chances are, you’ll be fumbling with the DIY process and losing heart. When it comes to this type of trauma, working with a professional who can help guide you through is extremely important.

2. No or minimal contact.

If you do not have any more entanglements with them, keep it that way. Do not even dream of staying friends. Keep accountable to someone you can contact when you want to communicate with the narcissist. If you have joined responsibilities and assets, engage professionals and intermediaries.

This applies even to going to your previously shared property to collect your belongings.

Co-parenting with a narcissist can be more difficult than parenting on your own; they’ll use your children as puppets to hurt you further and undo the parenting you do. If you are fighting legal battles with your narcissistic ex, they’ll use the court as their new playground for abuse.

Remember, they know which buttons to push to discredit you; so do your part by engaging trusted lawyers and therapists who truly understand narcissistic abuse, have your back, and support you to be in an emotionally stable place. It takes a village to reclaim true freedom.

3. Don’t bypass the healing process.

One thing that infuriates me is the myth that trauma and mental health problems can at best be managed your entire life. That is not true.

Make sure that the professional you engage is trauma-trained and understands the specific struggles you are experiencing and knows all the traps to look out for and the way the human brain can sabotage your healing. For instance, panic attacks are common when you’ve been with an abuser, so your professional must know how to treat them.

It’s not enough to simply talk and bypass the pain intellectually or spiritually; trauma is stored in your body, and you have to actively rewire the fear center and timekeeper in your brain.

Nor is it enough to simply “work on the future” or tell yourself mantras you don’t believe. You cannot bypass processing what you’ve gone through. Otherwise your past will haunt you with a vengeance eventually

And remember, your job isn’t to forgive your narcissist; it’s to forgive yourself.


10 Tips To Heal From A Narcissistic Relationship & Avoid Lifelong Trauma


4. Build strong foundations.

You’ll need to have a present and future to look forward to. You’ll need to learn to reclaim the things you loved and the parts of you that were wrestled away from you during the relationship.

Your goals must sync with creating strong foundations in who you are and across different aspects of your life—such as your body and health, mind, relationships, money, and career. Bad things happen in life, but they don’t last forever. When you build strong foundations, you actively grow and practice resilience. You become unshakable and learn to ride the waves of life.

5. Keep practicing boundaries, and know you have permission to have them.

We didn’t go to school and learn how to identify dark personality types or what boundaries are, so it’s not your fault. What you do with this experience henceforth, however, is your responsibility.

There are likely relationships in your life where your boundaries are eroded or poor, mirroring your relationship with the narcissist. Start by creating a list of your personal boundaries—the Hell No’s—in your life.

Take boundaries as your litmus test—respectful people who’ve unwittingly violated your boundaries will be apologetic and not do it again, whereas toxic people won’t. Write scripts for what you’ll say in certain situations. You’ll sound awkward at first. Just as it’s painful when you start training your muscles, you’ll get stronger and feel so proud of yourself.

6. Don’t tell everyone.

You don’t have to explain to everyone about what’s going on in your life, what you’re doing, and why you ended up in a toxic relationship. People will pry, some out of concern, others out of nosiness, and then a few because they want to signal superiority because they never landed in your predicament.

Difficult people will force their opinions and prescriptions for your future down your throat. Not everyone is on your side—take this as an opportunity to streamline your relationships.

For those who have your back who you don’t want to talk to about this, you can simply say, “I’m working on this with a trained professional, so let’s keep our time to what we can both enjoy.”

7. Stop bullying yourself.

You may be physically removed from the narcissist, but they can often live in your head. Abuse trains us to blame ourselves. You may realize that you’re angry with yourself for everything—not recognizing the abuse, falling in love, staying too long, or for even leaving. You’ll blame yourself for many things you continue to do.

To truly exorcise the narcissist, you have to commit to growing the muscles of forgiving yourself and taking good care of yourself. That means whenever you catch yourself lapsing into self-blame, you notice it without judging yourself and then do something to break that vicious cycle. Never go back to a narcissist relationship.

8. Make new memories.

Perhaps you’ve had tons of memories in a place you used to frequent with your ex. And you really enjoy that place. You don’t need to taint that solely with the past. Make new memories in activities and places with yourself or people you trust. Do not go back to any narcissistic relationship.

This may seem overwhelming at first. In psychology, we call this a behavioral experiment—we practice experiencing that our nervous system can regulate itself, and then we know we can prevail. And then these things you once held dear to you start becoming a part of your life again.

9. Make empathy your superpower.

Many clients I work with despise their empathy because they believe it got them into trouble. That’s not necessarily true. Empathy may be your Achilles heel because you aren’t selective of who you give that precious resource to; it’s also part of your identity, and you don’t want to be cynical and jaded.

You can practice discerningly diverting this empathy to yourself and those who deserve it. This way, it works for you rather than against you. Be mindful of any narcissistic relationship.


10 Tips To Heal From A Narcissistic Relationship & Avoid Lifelong Trauma


10. Know that we believe you.

The intricacies of a narcissistic relationship are such that it’s hard for someone who’s never been in one to truly understand. There’ll be a lot of doubt cast on you, making you wonder if you are truly silly for having fallen for one.

You’ll also doubt yourself if your narcissist was “that bad,” or if you’re being dramatic, because gaslighting erodes your sense of reality. Moreover, no relationship is 100% bad. There were good times, whether or not the narcissist’s intentions were real.

You don’t need everyone to believe you. Know that I believe you. There’s a whole bunch of us out there who believe you.

The bottom line.

Truly healing from a narcissist takes effort, as with anything. But the steps you can slowly gain proficiency in are fundamentally simple. What you have to watch out for is how we’ll always talk ourselves out of it.

Ask yourself: How do you want to see your future self—do you want to respect this person, or would you like to see them calcified into a worse version of what they are today? And then ask yourself: What legacy would you like to leave behind?

By healing, you inspire the people around you, your future generations, and other survivors of narcissistic abuse to believe that they have a future.

We can choose to whitewash our past by pretending it doesn’t exist, but secrets make us sick. Instead, I choose to live by this—I want my past to pay dividends, and I want my demons to work for me.

Writing from the other side, it is my deepest prayer for you that you’ll get there too.

These tips are helpful to avoid any narcissistic relationship in the future. Once you are in a narcissistic relationship, always be aware of the signs that it is abusive. Be ready to heal and get out of a narcissistic relationship. Once you get out of a narcissistic relationship, you’ll find peace in your heart.

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6 Secrets for A Long Term Relationship & Successful Couples

Polly Stevens



6 Secrets for A Long Term Relationship & Successful Couples

We all want a long term relationship with our partners. Here are some tips on how to keep a long term relationship and why couples succeed…

When happiness disappears from a relationship, it’s easy to lose sight of all the wonderful things that drew you to love the person you’re with in the first place. While relationship experts often cite a number of common factors responsible for relationship fatigue (lack of communication, trust issues, lack of respect, etc.), one of the biggest and most underestimated factors is lack of happiness in the relationship.

When you’ve been with someone for a long time, it’s easy to get caught up in your daily relationship routine and lose sight of the little things. The truth is, the little things are just as important. So how do you have a highly successful relationship and keep it that way? Here are six secrets.

Switch Things Up

It’s important that you switch things up from time to time so things don’t get boring in the relationship. Keep the relationship alive by doing things you haven’t normally been doing. If you both have been in the house a lot, take your significant other out somewhere special. If things have gotten a bit stagnant romantically, send your loved one sweet messages so they can smile when they’re at work. Keeping the passion alive is a key part of every relationship and will continue to keep the one you love happy in the relationship.


6 Secrets for A Long Term Relationship & Successful Couples


Support Each Other For A Long Term Relationship

Support is everything in a relationship. When you feel like the person your with doesn’t have your back or isn’t showing you support, many begin to crave or seek that attention and support from others. One of the biggest turn ons for in a relationship is a supportive loved one.

People love to know that they have someone special by their side when they want to try something new and that they’re loved one supports them in their pursuits. Be his or her number one cheerleader. Whether he or she is dealing with a big project at work, or searching for their calling, let them know that you’re there for them and show them that you will support them in every way.

Actively Show Your Love

If you want to keep your partner happy, it’s important that you not only tell them you love them, but also show them you love him so they know they don’t have to search for that love elsewhere. So many of us are insecure about things that have happened in our past and it’s easy for those insecurities to show up in the relationship.

Show your partner that they are important, valued and loved by doing little things to make them smile throughout the day. This could be anything from preparing a surprise, home-cooked meal to shooting them a short but sweet text message acknowledging him for the wonderful things they. Acknowledge them as the king or queen that they are.

Random Acts and Gifts

Let go of the relationship routine and surprise your loved one by doing something out of the box. Is there something they’ve had their eye on, a place they’ve been dying to go or even something they’ve been nagging you to do? Surprise them by showing them that you heard her cries, listened to them and were willing to follow-through. This not only shows them that you have the wonderful ability to follow-through with their desires and concerns but also how special they are to you.


Keep Confidence High in the Relationship

Remember, secure people are attracted to other secure people. Keep your confidence up. When you find yourself eating fast-food three times a day, falling out of your gym routine and lethargic, this not only has an impact on your confidence, but also your relationship confidence.

When you start letting yourself go in the relationship for whatever reason, it’s time to make a change, not for them but for you. It’s easy to get comfortable in a relationship and lose sight of you, but it’s important that you keep your confidence up, and are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually well as a reminder to your partner that they have something special right in front of him.


6 Secrets for A Long Term Relationship & Successful Couples


Keep Trust High To Make A Long Term Relationship

Many men and women bring insecurities around trust from previous relationships into their current relationships, and these insecurities can really pick at your relationship. While there are times when your trust may be challenged in your relationship, especially if you have confronted issues of infidelity, if your significant other hasn’t given you reason to not trust them, trust them!

No person who treats the one they love with respect wants to feel disrespected. If he or she isn’t doing things that normally raise red flags, don’t make them feel like everything they are doing is being tracked. Trust them and let them know that you know he’s yours.

Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve sometimes and let your loved one know how much you love them, not only in word but in action. While we all speak different love languages, there are few people who don’t want to feel like they are loved by the one they care deeply about and told that they are loved in return.

If you can’t remember the last time you told your special someone you loved them, do it now. You can never tell or show a person you love them too much.

Keep these secrets to help you in a long term relationship. Having a long term relationship is a blessing. Some couples do not make it because of differences. These secrets stated here are the ones used for successful couples in getting a long term relationship.

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