Father’s Day

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Father’s Day

Many will talk about their own father or absence of around Father’s Day. Today I want to talk about what it means to be a great father to my own children. As many of us do, we also have a blended family. My children know two fathers who are active in their lives, biological and a stepfather. I do not need to individualize them, as both have stepped up to the plate and are positive role models.  My children and I are very lucky to have them both in our lives. According to the National Center for Fathering, more than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father and 40% of these children have not seen their father in the last year. Of course we all know that mothers are very capable of raising children by themselves, but if we don’t have to, then why? I can’t stress enough how important the father/child relationship is.

jordan-mcqueen-1290Let’s take the activity of jumping on moms head or climbing and body-slamming me in the tummy as I’m trying to get out of bed. No Thank You. Please go jump on your dad! Here is a great video on the importance of roughhousing with your child.

CLICK HERE ON HOW TO BODY SLAM YOUR CHILD

Another key point in becoming a great father to my children is learning to love their mother. This doesn’t have to be flowers and kisses but it does have to show caring and respect when speaking to or about myself in front of our kids. When a child sees that their parents care and respect each other, then everything is right in the world. They also learn and mimic the relationship therefore preparing for their own marriage someday. Great father’s will keep trying no matter how many times they hear “I hate you”, “you never let me do anything” or “but mom said it was okay”.  Have fun with your kids, bring them up with thick skin but a gentle heart and above all, teach them how to love their mother.

I want to encourage everyone to give the fathers you know a break this Sunday. Everyday should be Father’s Day and if you ask me, it looks like hard work. Don’t believe me, just watch here

CLICK HERE ON FATHER’S WHO DOMINATE AT PARENTING

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-Alice

For more tips on Father’s and parenting, see these websites:

http://www.fathers.com

http://www.artofmanliness.com

http://www.positivecoach.org

http://www.thefatherhoodproject.org

 

 

My Brain Hurts

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My Brain Hurts!

Round three and the logical thoughts and emotional feelings have been puked onto your bedroom floor. Here we go again. Yes we are in our room looking at each other dumbfounded, trying to decipher what the other one is spewing out of their pie hole. Let’s be real for a moment. You know the scene. You have been trying to get your point across every which way possible and your significant other is piling up more bricks than Pink Floyd’s The Wall.  One of you is an emotional communicator, where you may cry, laugh, or yell. You try to convince by using your feelings. The other is a cognitive communicator. There must be fact, rational, and logic. Surly we can fix this disagreement right now.  You both wonder how long it will take to break down the wall by slamming your head against it. No wonder my brain hurts.

Before we can begin to understand each other, we must accept that we have different styles of communication and neither is right or wrong, it just is. Validation of one another is important within any relationship. Validation does not equal understanding or that you agree, but rather you recognize the point they are trying to make. You acknowledge that you are listening and not just thinking about what you are going to say next.  Easier said than done, right?

A common mistake is yelling at your partner. We feel misunderstood, and become passionate about what we are saying. If we raise our voice somehow they will understand me more. This concept is like me yelling at a blind person so I can make them see. I’m not a yeller, but I do find myself passive aggressive. Jabs of negativity can be just as damaging as yelling.  My tone of voice is also something to be desired, or at least I have been told.

And what about those who withdrawal and say nothing.  According to the authors of the book Fighting for Your Marriage, “withdrawal and avoidance are different manifestations of a pattern in which one partner shows an unwillingness to get into or stay in important discussions. Withdrawal is an indicator that helps researchers predicts divorce with surprising accuracy”. I have found that withdrawal cycle seems to occur when one partner pushes more for a result and the other climbs deeper into their safe place of silence.

So where do we go from here? By educating yourself you can be a step ahead of the next disagreement. Readers Digest has always been a great source of advised even in my parent’s time.  They have “Three Ways to Defuse a Runaway Argument”

These tension-tamers can short-circuit an argument that’s getting too hot to handle.

    1.Use anger as a red-alert sign to stop the discussion. Walk away and use meditation, exercise, or another pleasant activity to de-stress.

  1. Reconnect frequently during tough conversations. Use empathy and appreciation to stay close to your spouse. And be on the lookout for your spouse’s attempts to heal or avoid breaches.
  2. Soothe yourself and your spouse. Breathe deeply, slow down the conversation, and take a few minutes to review all the positive steps you’ve taken together to solve the problem already. Share your feelings. The more effectively you can soothe yourself and each other, the more productive your problem-solving session can be.

To read more from Readers Digest on communication, Click Here

-Alice