Improve my self-esteem. Work on my personal relationship(s). Have more fun with my child(ren. The list can go on and on. Regardless of what is on your Resolution list, it is important to remember there are certain aspects that must hold true in order to increase your chances of success and reduce the likelihood of failing to achieve your goals/desires for this year.
1). It Must Come From You- many of our intentions for change originate from good places but they are not often our own. In many cases, they can be other people's recommendations or beliefs of what we should be doing, what we should look like, how we should be living our life and/or what kinds of relationships we have. And while you may want to pursue such changes, unless you truly have the desire to embark on the journey for yourself, the chances of success can be minimal. Therefore, take some time to reflect on what you feel you have the energy for.
2). You Must Have a Plan - Once you identify what YOU want to work on, you then decide how you want to get there. Devise a plan that is realistic with the pursuit of your goals by sitting down with a pen and paper and answering these questions:
- what do you specifically want to improve? - why do you want to improve?
- how can you make it happen?
Not sure how to make to happen? I personally find inspiration from listening to how professionals and non-professionals are navigating their journey. My favorite go to that fits into my mom life is podcasts. Searching for keywords and looking for episodes in the podcast app can be extremely helpful.
3) You Will Need Perseverance - Any aspiration worth attaining usually takes "blood, sweat and tears." In other words, hard work, dedication and routine are usually required. When you find yourself exhausted, wanting to quit, refer back to your list of reason(s) for pursuing your goal(s) and review your plan of action. Your plan may need to be modified based on what you have learned about what works and what doesn't. Sometimes modifying the plan can help to reinvigorate your motivation.
Overall, time and patience are required to reach your goals. And by time, I mean, time to get a handle on what does and doesn't work for you. And when I say patience, I mean, not being hard on yourself because you couldn't get from point A to Z within a given timeframe.
Good luck on your 2022 ambitions and be sure to leave a comment if you have questions or need resources.
Of the many things I love to do, playing board games is one of them. Monopoly anyone??? Playing adult games when you are an adult can be fun and exciting, but playing kids games as an adult can be tricky. Depending on the age of your child, it can elicit feelings of boredom, frustration and competition.
In order to avoid this, it is vital to be aware of the potential blocks that can turn a fun, bonding experience into a stressful one that the child and family ultimately avoid. Below are 5 ways to help make playing games a fun, interesting and family bonding experience.
1). It's Not About Winning - at least not on the part of the parent/guardian. Playing a board game should be primarily about the child winning. Now, you may be thinking - "But Christine, how will my child learn not to be a sore loser or about the facts of life, if I let them win?" I hear you and I'm here to say - if you are trying to foster a stronger connection with your child, that starts with you being able to let your child win at a board game.
Hear me out....winning a game is more about the child feeling they have a sense of mastery. This is something they rarely get a chance to feel, especially in relation to adults. Allowing them to feel like they are beating you, can make them feel like the King/Queen of the World - and let's face it, we all want to feel like we have conquered something. Plus, you will also be showing them how to lose fairly.
So, play your best but be sure to not make it about you winning. Also, this doesn't mean you don't win at all. It just means that we want our children to know how amazing it feels to beat someone who seems stronger than you.
2) It's Not About Teaching - another area where I see some parents/guardians get too focused on is trying to make the game a teachable moment. Playing a game with a child should be about the fun of it vs. using it as an opportunity to have them recite their colors, showcase their reading skills and/or define words. Now, if your child offers to do this, then awesome, take their lead. But, be sure to bring it back to the play zone. Your child will have enough time in life to learn.
3) It's Not About Following the Rules- playing games do have rules but this is not the time we have to be a stickler about the rules. Depending on the age of your child(ren), you will have some children that are all about the rules but children younger than six typically just want to play the way they feel like. As long as any other child who is playing is on board to do the same, then just go with the flow.
4). It IS About Having Fun - playing games is about laughing, smiling and connecting during the time you are with each other. When we can learn to let go of what we think game play should look like with a child, and allow our child(ren) to lead, we can end up having a lot more fun.
5) Choose Enjoyable and Non-complicated games - games I often recommend and even have in my household and office include the following - Candy land, Connect four, Memory/Matching cards and Charades. I personally love a charades game called Kids on Stage. This game allows kids as young as three to play and reading is not required. I've even had adults play this game too and it can be hysterical.
Some other games I would recommend for kids 7+ include Pictionary, Guess Who and Jenga. These games can also be played with younger kids but you will really need to flex the rules.
Thoughts? Questions? Feedback? Leave them in the comments below.
Welcome back to my blog and thank you for reading. After taking a hiatus due to COVID and mom duties, I'm happy to say I am now in a place where I can give back to my readers.
So, what has changed?
1) I am now primarily virtual - upon the pandemic doing what it did, I decided to move my practice to all telehealth so that I can continue to be of service to my clients. Fast forward a year and a half later and I'm still providing therapy virtually to my adult clients. Some exceptions are being made for children under 11.
2) I now work with children ages 3-11 - this has been the biggest shift for my practice and it has bought me full circle to how I intended to begin my career as a social worker. To learn more about the work I do with children, click here.
3) I also work with parents/guardians - in order to help the children I work with, it also makes sense to help guide the parents/guardians too. I mean, who else is going to help that parent/guardian manage the embarrassing public tantrums that we have all been witness to, and let's admit it judged, in the supermarket. ;)
4) I became a Mom - Five years ago I gave birth to a child who is the primary focus of my world - especially when we are dealing with a global crisis. As a result, I took time away from my blog and focused on adjusting to this new life role while also managing my home life, my mental well-being, my practice and the clients I work with.
So, that is it in a nutshell. My practice is focused primarily on working with children and families but I still also love working with adults who are family caregivers, are coping with Multiple Sclerosis and/or as well as other daily struggles.
Moving forward, I expect to distribute a Monthly Newsletter and continue adding to the blog. Be sure to sign up here.
Thanks for reading!
Christine M. Valentin
Christine M. Valentín
Welcome to my blog where I provide tips on learning how to connect with your child and how to feel more in control of your parenting journey.
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