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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Why some parents and their children have great friendships ~ Phil Watt via Elephant Journal

"There are many reasons why some adults get along with their kids better than others.

In this article I will provide a short overview of the common explanations which have emerged whilst professionally mediating the relationship between parents and their children, as well as observations in my personal life and society in general.

There are some physiological factors, such genetic dispositions, and psychological factors, such as mental illness, which might be influential in developing a poor friendship between a child and their parent. But this is the exception and not the rule.

Often a true friendship just hasn’t been established between a parent and their child. A true friendship includes the qualities of respect, equality, trust, honesty, listening and open communication, among many others, but sometimes the standard disciplinary approaches have inhibited these and other characteristics from maturing in the relationship.

At some point along a child’s development, the parenting role must establish an element of friendship. The earlier the better. Many parents feel this shouldn’t occur with their child until they are an adult—but I wholeheartedly disagree.

A friendship can go hand in hand with a type of guidance which has positive and constructive results. Just because a parent wants to inspire the growth of their child, it doesn’t mean that the rules must be drilled into them like a sergeant does for his new army recruits.

Discipline is obviously necessary in a child’s early years because it is the parent’s mandate to ensure the child is kept safe and their well being is looked after. But once they get the basics of safety—don’t run out on the road unless you want to get hit by a car and touching the hotplate ends in a serious burn—-they are able to manage these aspects of their life themselves. This is when a true friendship can begin to properly develop.

But if a parent employs authoritarian disciplinary tactics throughout their entire upbringing, then it simply creates a robotic response and emotionless engagement. There is no room for a friendship here, which is why it isn’t a healthy or holistic approach to parenting.

Once a child is older, if they feel that there is not enough trust in the relationship to discuss the most important issues which arise in their life, then a true friendship has not been formed.

For example, we all know that the teenage years are notorious for a massive split eventuating in the relationship. But this isn’t always the case, so how are some parents able to still maintain a strong relationship with their child during this time?

It usually comes down to communication, acceptance, respect and realistic expectations.

If a parent has been yelling and screaming at their child for years—then the child will not have much respect for them or their views. Even if it is the most genius bit of information that a parent could provide—if the delivery is poor, then it won’t be acknowledged and will not achieve its intended aim.

True friendship has communication which is respectful, fair and balanced. If a child feels that their views are disregarded and their feelings aren’t validated—even if they’re wrong or acting childish—then in return they disregard the views and feelings of their parents.

It is therefore the adult’s responsibility to ensure they create harmony in the relationship because the child is simply still a child.

Acceptance is also integral to creating a true friendship.

This doesn’t mean that the parent has to like or condone everything about who they are, but if they accept them for who and what they are in that moment and embrace them in a manner which doesn’t threaten or push them away, then their bond with the child is stronger and they’ll more likely have a productive influence in their growth.

Ultimately, the goal is to make a child feel respected even if they know that the parent doesn’t agree with them.

In addition, if a parent always expects their child to behave and follow their strict rules—then that is an unrealistic way of operating in the relationship. Kids rebel, it’s in their nature, because it’s how they develop their independence and capacity to make their own free decisions.

So the less they have to rebel against the more connected both parties will be.

Now this doesn’t mean that the parent shouldn’t have rules—they are of course important in maintaining harmony and respect in the home and developing the child in a productive manner. But the rules should be chosen wisely and implemented flexibly so that the child feels safe, comfortable and welcome to face the parent to discuss disagreements they have or the mistakes they have made.

Essentially, an open dialogue might just be what the child needs to efficiently learn the lesson.

A parent should also be above their child’s behaviors and not get sucked into the drama of their life. They should embrace them for the fact that they are children.

Because they are still underdeveloped, such as with their lack of knowledge and behavioral shortcomings, a parent shouldn’t expect their child to be perfect or “get it” immediately. After all, sometimes it takes years to learn a moral or behavioral quality, so if a parent takes issue that they don’t learn it straight away, then it is going to create conflict and divide in the relationship.

Yet if the child feels respected and listened to, the guidance that their parent is offering is more likely to be warmly received. This is even more powerful if they have developed a strong friendship with them in their early years because a child wants to hear their advice.

On the other hand, a strict household creates lies and distrust. If the child knows that they are going to get into serious trouble for something they have done—even though most children in the history of children have done something similar—then of course they’re not going to be honest about it. It makes perfect sense to lie to protect oneself, especially if they disagree with the rule in the first place.

But if they feel close enough to their parent that they want to listen to the advice they give, they are going to be more truthful in their communication. If they feel like an equal party, like their opinion is respected, then they will engage in a more open and responsive way.

Another source of conflict are the different eras we grow up in.

Kids think they know everything and of course we know that isn't true, but sometimes they are actually aware of something that their parents are not.

All parents want to distill proper values in their children and they want them to believe things that they also believe. But this is unlikely to comprehensively happen—every person is different and although there may be similarities, there are always going to areas where they disagree.

For example, the world is changing and with that so does social values, beliefs and practices. There is always going to be a generation gap if the parent doesn’t evolve with the changing times. So the old saying “respect your elders” won’t be well received by a child who doesn’t agree with the way an elder expects their fundamental principles and practices to be adhered to.

In this case, it is important to “agree to disagree” so that the respect of the friendship can be maintained. We do this with our friends all the time—we don’t force them to think and act the way we do, so why should we expect our kids to, especially when they are growing into their independent adult selves.

If the learning strategies we employ with our children don’t work and create a poor friendship, then we’re doing it wrong. We should aim to build a true friendship where our guidance is sought after and respected, not disregarded and disrespected.

Some great news is that it’s never too late for a parent to create a true friendship with their child. All it takes is some mutual respect, open communication, active listening, fair judgement and pure love. The parent should embrace their child for all their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the ways in which they agree and disagree.

The key is to simply treat them exactly like we would want to be treated."

New Moon in Leo!

"The new moon in Leo is exact at 3:42 pm, commencing a new lunar cycle today (yet the first part of the day we are deep in the dark moon energies - a great time to turn within, reflect, introspect, and retreat). 

New moons are times to plant seeds and set intentions - and this new moon is definitely one for the books! We have the sun/moon conjunction aligned with benevolent, expansive Jupiter planting the seed for all the gifts and opportunities that Jupiter in Leo has in store for us... 

We have a very positive energy putting new things into motion in our lives. With the new moon in Leo we are supported in beginning new things/new paths that relate to creativity, leadership, passion, romance, children... and being confident in our lives. 

Take time to set your intentions today as what you intend can really take root and manifest in the coming year as Jupiter navigates the sign of Leo!"

~ Divine Harmony 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Quotes of the day... 7/25/14

You can never be free of their criticism 
until you no longer seek their praise.
     ~ Dennis Ruane 

I've learned so much from my mistakes... 
I'm thinking of making some more. 
     ~ Cheryl Cole 

We are the vehicle through which
conflict and resolution dance.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quotes of the day... 7/24/14

Time cools, time clarifies; 
no mood can be maintained 
quite unaltered through the course of hours. 
     ~ Mark Twain

Why not learn to enjoy the little things.
There are so many of them.
     ~ Author Unknown 

Ask yourself what makes you come alive, 
and go do that, because what the world needs 
is people who have come alive. 
     ~ Howard Thurman 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quotes of the day... 7/23/14

The practice of forgiveness 
is our most important contribution
to the healing of the world.
     ~ Marianne Williamson

Sometimes, seeing things 
from someone else's perspective 
can totally change your life. 
Which may explain why they're there. 
     ~ Mike Dooley

The highest result of education is tolerance.
     ~ Helen Keller 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton" ~ by Marianne Williamson via Huffington Post

"Hi, Hillary. You know me. I mean, we're not friends, exactly, but we're acquaintances. You were wonderful to me back in l994 when you invited me to the White House. It's a memory I will treasure always, and you gave it to me. I thank you.

Now, about your presidential run -- if indeed you make it. I'm writing you this letter because I think the topic might figure into your decision-making, or maybe not. 

I admit that in 2008 I went with Obama, feeling at the time that he was carrying the real spirit of things, yada, yada, yada. Yeah, well. Anyway.

That was then and this is now.

I want a woman president -- really, I do. A lot of us do. And yes, you're so qualified, and yes, we've known you forever, and yes, you'd know what to do from Day 1. We all get that.

But none of that is enough to get my vote, or the vote of a lot of people I know. We only want to vote for you if you run like hell away from that corporate box you've landed in. I'm telling you, Hillary. The American people have become hip to what's happening. We know now that Wall Street runs the country, and we don't like it. And for many of us, we don't want to vote for you if Wall Street runs you too.

There are the seeds of political revolution in the air -- a rebelliousness, a rambunctiousness -- that America has been sorely missing. It's faint, at least on the left, but it is there. As a matter of fact, as tragic as it is for a lifelong Democrat to have to admit this, the one place where we have been seeing it manifest recently is on the political right. The Tea Party, sans a codependent relationship with the Republican Party, is causing a real problem for establishment Republicans. And once progressives break free of their codependent relationship with the corporate Democrats, you're going to have a real problem on your hands too.

That's why I'm writing. I have a feeling you're getting most of your advice from people who think that everything I'm saying here is nonsense. So I'll say it as loudly as I can.

STOP NOW. Stop cozying up to the banks, to the chemical companies, to the military-industrial complex, to the party machine, and to all the various financiers who make up the plutocracy now ruining this country. Yeah, I know a lot of them are nice people and that's cool. But they should not be able to turn the elected representatives of the American people into mere inconveniences they can buy off election after election. And if we have a sense that you'd be just another puppet of the elite, then I don't believe that you will win. We were fooled once, but I don't think we're going to be fooled again. 

In the final analysis, we really do love democracy -- and watching it dismantled as it's being dismantled, and corrupted like it's being corrupted, has taken a lot of us from denial to real depression to a collective "Hell, no!" that will have electoral consequences in 2016.

Years ago, George Lakoff compared Republicans to a critical father and Democrats to a nurturing mother. I pointed out a bit later that the critical father had become an abusive one -- but that as anyone with any psychotherapeutic understanding knows, the child will ultimately put a lot of his or her blame on the mother who stood by and allowed the abuse to happen! That's the Democratic Party machine today, Hillary. Please don't be one of them. 

I know you know exactly what I'm saying, because I remember you -- a lot of us remember you -- when you were raging against the Establishment machine on top of which you're now so sweetly perched. That machine is not our salvation; it's our problem. Corporate Democrats might have gained some power for the party, but at the cost of its soul. 

I'd love to clamor for you, to work for you, to cheer you on. I don't want to sit on the sidelines longing for Elizabeth or Bernie. I want to hear what's true from you. I want you to rail against the chemical companies and their GMO's -- not support them. I want you to decry the military industrial complex -- not assure them you're their girl. I want you to support reinstating Glass-Steagall -- not just wink at Wall Street while sipping its champagne. In short, I want you to name the real problems so we can trust you'd provide some real solutions.

But maybe that's just me wanting you to change, to be someone different than who you are. If that's true, please forgive my presumption and ignore this letter. But if anything I'm saying rings any kind of true at all, then I hope you'll start saying so. 

And quickly please, Hillary. People are starting to despair."

Quotes of the day... 7/22/14

Everyone creates realities 
based on their own personal beliefs. 
These beliefs are so powerful that they 
can create [expansive or entrapping] 
realities over and over.
     ~Hope Bradford

Our reality forms around our beliefs, 
not the other way around. 
Usually when we believe something so deeply,
our lives shape around it and we see 
proof of our beliefs everywhere we look.
     ~ Andrea Holt

Five Things Positive, Happy People Believe
1. This too shall pass.
2. People are good.
3. This is an opportunity for something better.
4. I am one of a kind.
5. I’m truly doing the best I can,
     and I’m learning every day.
~ Andrea Holt

Monday, July 21, 2014

Quotes of the day... 7/21/14

It surely is far better to be disliked 
by somebody you don't love 
than by somebody you do. 
Even so, I mind. Even so, 
failing to love somebody is a failure.
     ~ Wendell Berry

There are moments when the heart is generous, 
and then it knows that for better or worse 
our lives are woven together here, 
one with one another and with 
the place and all the living things.
     ~ Wendell Berry

“The Earth is what we all have in common.” 
     ~ Wendell Berry

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Birthday
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
For children and adults alike: 
follow what makes you 
naturally curious.
It will lead you to your passions, 
purpose, and abundance.