Talking to Your Child

Originally, my goal was to write a blog weekly, but it is not realistic for two reasons. First, I want this blog to be meaningful. I do not want to write to just to write. This became evident as I sat in front of my computer trying to force something out. Second, I have a demanding schedule and finding time weekly is a lot. So my new commitment is to blog at least once a month and any over is just extra.

talking parent

So for February I want to focus on communicating with your child. From the #MeToo Movement to the Florida school shooting, children are being exposed to a lot via the media. First and foremost, as a parent you first have to use active listening. Most people listen long enough to react instead of waiting to hear the person out, and then form a response. This also means not engaging in another activity while they are talking. And using nonverbal signals to show that you are engaged in what they are saying.

Second, reflect back what they stated to make sure that you got a clear understanding of what they are trying to say. This gives your child an opportunity to correct any wrong perception prior to you potentially making a quick judgment.

Third, ask questions for clarification and shows that you really were paying attention. Not to mention it gives clarification, point two.

Fourth, give them the reasons behind your answer. I grew up in the era of “Because I said so!” Children will accept a negative response better if they first are heard, and second they can have some type of understanding of your reasoning.

Fifth, do not ignore their questions just because you are uncomfortable with the topic. You would rather your child get answers from you then from their friends or the internet. You are also able to control what they learn first. If you need advice on how to approach the topic, schedule a later time to talk and then research.

And sixth, if you find that your child needs more assistance understanding the subject, seek out a professional to help. There have been a number of times I see a client who states they have been asking for therapy for months/years. No child is going to ask for therapy just for fun.

I hope these suggestions are helpful for you talking with your children. Feel free to ask any questions.

Brick Crushers

This weekend I had the opportunity to go on a board retreat to work on planning for 2018 for a girl’s organization I am honored to be a part of. In between planning, I was able to interact and enjoy the company of two virtious and powerful women. As I reflect back over the weekend, I found a quote that sums up these two women:

Both of these women have amazing stories of how they have and continue to overcome the “bricks” that life has thrown their way. They are also both dedicated to helping others overcome their bricks. I believe that you have to surround yourself with people who inspire and these two women inspire me daily.

We all have “bricks” that are thrown at us. What makes you successful is how you deal with those bricks. I tell my clients “you can’t change the things that have happened to you, but you can choose how you allow those things to affect you today and in the future.” Each one of us has to make the decision to either let go of past hurts or use those hurts in a positive way. If we do not make one of these two choices, then we are doomed to live an unfilled life.

This weekend has reminded me that I am successful and I have crushed the bricks of my past. It has also given me confidence that I will continue to be successful crushing new bricks because I choose to handle them with wisdom, maturity, and class in the same manner I watch these two women.

#100HappyDays

100 days ago I decided to become apart of the social media phenomenon #100HappyDays! I am happy to report that today I have become apart of the 27% of people who completed this challenged. I became interested when I saw several friends on Facebook posting their happy days. I decided to research and find out what this was all about. I went to the website #100HappyDays where I found the information for the challenge to post something happy from your day for 100 days. The site reported:

“People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:

 – Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
 – Be in a better mood every day;
 – Start receiving more compliments from other people;
 – Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
 – Become more optimistic;
 – Fall in love during the challenge.”
 
So i figured why not! What do I have to lose?! I opened an Instagram account (DrShanWalks@Instagram) and started posting. (You can click on the link and go to my page to review my 100 days!)
 
I should also note that I began this quest shortly after getting out of the hospital, being demoted at work, and going on a mission trip a week later. A difficult period to say the least!
 
Today as I look back over the 99 pictures that I have posted, I relived some beautiful moments. I will be the first one to tell you that there were days when it took me 20 minutes to find something in my day to be happy about. But I found on the days when I did not do it, things just did not feel right! I would review the days I missed and post to catch up. I tried to make sure I never got behind more than two days.
 
Finding something to be happy about has carried me through my dark days. At a time when suicide has been pushed in the spotlight again (with the untimely death of comedian Robin Wiliams, RIP), I feel this is a tool that I will challenge clients, friends, and family to use as a coping skill to combat depression.
 
I will say everything on the list that the website developers stated would happen, happen except the falling in love. Darn it! LOL But you know it doesn’t matter that the last one on the list did not occur because I can honestly say that I have been blessed by this experiment. So much so that I think I will keep going. Who knows maybe falling in love is around the corner.
 
Some of my friends have been wondering what I would post for my 100th day. I have this a lot of thought and decided to post a collage of my favorite people and things collected from posts from the last 100 days. So here it is!
100th Day