Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Focus On The Positive (back-to-school lesson 1)

We've all heard the suggestion: "Catch your kid doing something right." This especially applies when helping you're child be successful in school. Too many parents focus too much on their child's mistakes. When we do that it makes their poor performance more important than their good work. They need to get more attention for the good effort they've put in. For example, if your child gets A's and B's, but also a D or an F, you have to focus on the good grades first. Those are more important for how they feel about themselves. You do have to address the poor performance, as it obviously indicates a problem. And give them appropriate consequences for their overall performance, good or bad. But if they are to be punished, please acknowledge their good work first. This helps improve their self-steem. Praise given to a child must be genuine though. Don't tell them they're good at something, if they are not. This means finding something that they are good at (even if it's not school-related).

When reprimanding your child, separate the behavior from the person. You can hate the behavior, but continue to show your child that you love them. And calling the behavior 'stupid', still demeans the child. Please do not use such words in connection with your child.

So now, before school starts, get in the practice of identifying, and praising the good things that you "catch" your child doing. They'll learn that good behavior is the best way to get your attention, instead of the negative attention that children can be so good at getting. Attention and acknowledgement is very important to kids (and adults!). Retrain them now, and yourself too.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Give Peace A Chance...

Yes, we should definitely get out of Iraq. War hasn't worked. Peace seems like a reasonable alternative. That applies to life in our homes, as well as inner peace. The important relationships, with our partners, our kids, friends, coworkers, sometimes do involve conflict. Too often. Resolve these conflicts peacefully. We do not need to fight with the people we care about, regardless of the 'baggage' that we carry. Let the past stay in the past. Forgive. It is also important to forgive ourselves for the failures we've lived through, for the mistakes we've made. Give up any of the guilt we feel from the past, and forgive yourself. Some of our inner conflict contributes to the conflict we go through with other people in our life. Including the people we care about, the ones we love. Love often requires forgiveness, which helps us reach the peace we deserve in our lives. Think about that. If you do not love yourself figure out why. This may be the reason for some of your self-destructive behavior. Learn to forgive the ones you love, so you can enjoy a happy peaceful relationship. If you find that you can't do either of these things, get some help with it. We've been in Iraq for almost five years now, mostly because of stubbornness. Don't make the same mistake in the relationships that are important to you. Figure it out better so you and others don't continue to get hurt. Don't allow yourself (and your family) to continue to suffer because you are too stubborn to consider another, more peaceful, loving way. Give peace, and forgiveness, a chance.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Sicko ... by Michael Moore (a mental health movie review)

You gotta see this movie! SICKO is about the healthcare system in this country, and the MANY improvements that could and should be made to make it as good as it is in other countries. Health insurance companies (which I will also refer to as 'Managed Care') in this country seem to be mostly focused on making money, while they should be more involved in insuring our health. SICKO describes how many Americans suffer two-fold. First from the illlness they may have, but then also from the stress of trying to pay for the treatment that might save your life. Especially stressfull if your health insurance company is trying not to pay for the care. It is bad enough that so many people in his country can't access health care, but when you think you're 'covered' and you are not, well that's too much!

This is a mental health issue because most people in this country also do not have mental health care coverage. This issue is not addressed so much in the movie. Actually, that could be a separate movie, because the negative impact of insufficient psychological care in this country has been evident for centuries. Though most recently the college shootings, and other such events have emphasized the lack of access to necessary mental health care in this country.

The movie helps throw light on a BIG problem in this country. As you know, I like to be able to make some suggestions about 'what to do' to fix the problems that get addressed here. See the movie. Let it stimulate your thoughts and emotions towards fixing this life or death situation with our health (including mental health!), and medical care in this country. Then you'll make the right choices about this when it comes time to vote. This effects all of us. My parents are on fixed incomes, and pay exorbitant fees for medicines, and medical care, just like yours. In most other civilized (and many third world) countries it's free. FREE!! See the movie. See what you think. Let me know.