Archives for Family
Mother's Day has arrived and it's time to celebrate the unique responsibilities, challenges and excitement of motherhood. If you’re a mother, this post is an offering to your happiness and contentment, and a reminder of the indispensable role you fill. Mothers are a unique leader of their children and family. They fill a crucial role of teaching future generations the power of living a loving and compassionate life. This is because mothers live with a sense of love that is unmatched by most. They approach life with a caring and courageous heart and the decisions they make are anchored in love. A few of the leadership qualities mothers convey include: joy, hope, love and compassion.
We live in a society where people spend billions of dollars annually on their pets, and according to the American Pet Products Association, 62% of U.S. households own a pet. Clearly many people view their pets as a part of the family and more than merely a wild animal. In my life I have always appreciated and loved our family dog and everyone in my immediate family holds their dog near and dear to their heart. In my personal experience, dogs, and pets in general, bring joy, amusement and affection on a daily basis. Having a pet in our lives can create wonderful memories and an attachment that is long lasting. I am obviously biased toward dogs, and toward an affirmative yes with the title of this post. What about you? Is your experience with having pets full of positive emotion and affection?
I'm sure when you think of "teenagers" there is a tinge of stress. We have all heard horror stories of the argumentative teenager with mood-swing and a know-it-all attitude. Fortunately, most youth will be well-adjusted, happy, enjoy life, believe they can cope effectively with stress, and value school and work. But, what about the smaller percentage who end up going down an unhealthy and risky path? All youth can learn to be confident, connected, and contributing members of society, though at-risk youth are particularly in need of help with realigning their focus and values. Thankfully, there is growing recognition that successful development includes both the absence of risk and the presence of positive attributes. This is what the field of positive youth development (PYD) emphasizes. Problem-free does not necessarily equate to fully prepared for life. The idea becomes one where we can learn to help youth thrive instead of just survive. PYD focuses on all youth; however, working with at-risk youth in this framework has particular benefits.
I was fortunate to have a healthy and positive upbringing. By this I mean I was shown love, given support, and had my needs taken care of. My family was by no means perfect. We had our ups and downs, though overall I have many more positive than negative memories. From my immediate to extended family I was shown unconditional love and given support through my many mistakes. We shared fun and enjoyable experiences together, such as family vacations and celebrations, and I had the freedom to develop into the person I wanted to be without judgment.
The idea of having an inspiring vision and collective mission is important in many different areas. Whether it be marriage, career, or personal growth, having a vision and mission to direct decision making and stimulate goal-setting is crucial to keeping a healthy and productive perspective. One model, called Appreciate Inquiry (AI) has been shown to help elicit positive change and transformation both in and out of the workplace. It is often utilized as a prescription for change in organizations, though it can also be applied to daily life and relationships in general. This methodology incorporates and blends a visionary and collective philosophy, and has been shown to be an effective tool to enhance relationships, stimulate creativity, and build commitment and meaning into peoples' capacity for change. The process of AI works by eliciting participation and collaboration from all people involved, whether a community function, organization, or family, with the overall goal of improving performance and functioning by asking strength based questions.
The family can be a source of true joy and love. Family relationships offer us unconditional support and are important for every member of the family unit. Positive, healthy relationships are built on foundations of trust, respect, love and understanding. These relationships can also be expanded and family bonds can be strengthened to keep relationships healthy for the long haul. Families that come together and share positive experiences build strong family relationships. They cultivate a strong family bond by experiencing positive emotions and uniting through common family goals. Here are some areas where families can come together and build a strong bond.
Everyone is raised in a unique family culture. Some kids' home life models emotions as easily expressed and understood and others have a situation where emotions are inconsistent or even prohibited. We experience a vast range of emotions through the family dynamic. All families have moments of joy, amusement, and love, though families also experience more unpleasant emotions such as anger, frustration, and worry. These are all a normal part of a family’s journey, and it’s important that parents provide children guidance to navigate their emotional experiences. We learn by modeling how others behave but also by explanation and Socratic teaching. An important role for parents is to walking through the process of understanding and dealing with emotions. If your child is angry and isn’t behaving appropriately, it may be because they just don’t understand how they feel. Coaching children on emotions Emotion coaching involves walking through an emotional experience with a child, and it can be an effective way for children to develop greater emotion regulation.
Family is such an integral part of who we are and what we become. Our family offers us needed support along every step of the way, and helps us learn how to deal with life's problems, make decisions, and interact with others. Much of this comes from modeling and observing other family members, and learning how to think and behave around others. Family patterns, values, and behaviors are often passed along unknowingly from generation to generation. A valuable place where positive psychology and the humanistic tradition focus efforts is in examining positive family values, and how this translates into well-being and life-satisfaction for future generations. Of course, every family has their quirks and dysfunctions, but beginning to examine the current family patterns, as well as our family history, we can be a change agent for the future, and provide positive values that we want to become the norm. What positive attributes and values are you passing on? Here are some things to consider in growing a healthy family tree.
There is a vast array of problems that youth of today may have to face. It can be a fast and confusing world taking place during such a crucial stage of adolescent cognitive, psychological, and social development. Living a mentally, physically, and socially healthy life is something that is learned. Promoting positive youth development means helping youth understand what success means to them, and the characteristics and skills of a thriving, productive adult. Many youth programs focus on the problem and target a specific group for prevention. There are many programs that offer assistance and education to prevent drug and alcohol use, teen pregnancy, and dropping out of school to name a few. Positive Youth Development (PYD) on the other hand, is a framework to help youth be more hopeful, engaged, and thriving members of society. This is done through focusing on positive outcomes, strength of character, and how to cultivate well-being and life-satisfaction now and into the future. PYD is often conceptualized by the five "Cs." These are core values that provide a strengths based approach and outlines how to help youth be successful in the long-term. The five "Cs" include:
It seems that certain people are just made to handle adversity. No matter what comes their way they find a solution and don't seem overly concerned. Though, resilience doesn't come out of nowhere. These people learned somewhere along the way how to deal with problems and find value within life's difficulties. Why is resilience important? Resilience offers protective factors against mental and physical illness, providing a buffer against stress, strain, and anxiety. When it comes to children, helping them understand risk factors in their life and how to face these competently is cruical to raising a confident and self-discplined children.