Connect With Me//Over a Cup of Coffee

Hey Blog Family,

We had such a great turnout for the last Mix and Mingle…so, it’s time for another one!  Let’s take a moment to say hi to someone new, and possibly gain a long-term friend!

Let’s pretend that we are sharing a cup of coffee (or some other fancy drink if coffee isn’t your thing).  Over this cup of coffee, we will share details about our week with one another.  This idea was inspired by the Writing 101 course that I’ve signed up for via WordPress.

As always, thanks for joining! Now, let’s grab a cup of coffee!

coffee-pic-1

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that I’ve recently wrote an Open Letter To My Father.  I’ve never been so transparent before with him.  I was able to share most of my thoughts and feelings that I’ve been keeping safe since childhood.  My father and I have grown much closer over the last couple of years, so I felt that we were in a better place to be able to communicate more freely and open.  In response to the letter, he let me know that I wasn’t actually a headache for him…lol. He shared some personal feelings of his own from these earlier experiences. Nothing but smiles from me! I am even trying to plan for a family reunion…something we’ve never done before with my father’s side of the family.

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that in about a week, I will be traveling to Mexico for 7 days!! I am excited for the well deserved vacation, the food, the activities, and dancing!  I’ve been trying my best to eat healthier, and become more physically active.  I do worry that my healthy lifestyle will suffer…just a smidge, because I’ll be in such an exotic place.  Anyone who knows me, understands how serious I am about my food.  I’ll plan  to do some outside activities to keep my heart rate up…in exchange for eating any and everything, and relaxing on most days.

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that while I’m away in Mexico, I will miss blogging as often as I’d like.  I’ve honestly grown to look forward to connecting with all of you.  So many opportunities to meet such wonderful people, and become inspired by your posts! But, I’ll be happy to update all of you on how awesome this trip has been when I return!

In recognition of today’s Mix and Mingle, I ask that you do the following:

  1. When you share an update, begin with “If I were drinking coffee right now”.
  2. Leave a link to your blog so others can check out your space.
  3. Want to share this post with others? Be sure to pingback and reblog this post.

*Share as little or as much as you’d like*

Happy Sharing!

~FreeBryd

Image #1:https://www.contentwatch.com/

Image#2: http://www.firehousejavacuisine.com/

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Learn Something New//Parenting Through Play

Hey All!

Thanks for joining me again for the new #TeachMe series.  Those of you who have been keeping up with my posts for a while know that the theme of my blog focuses on mending relationships.  I’ve spent quite some time now providing insight, new perspectives, and advice on how to improve your romantic relationships, as well as those between friends and co-workers.

Today, I wanted to shine some light on another important aspect of our lives…the parenting relationship.  Now, I’m no certified expert in this area, so today I include myself in learning something new.

I think many of us can agree that communication is one of the top priorities in nurturing a healthy and successful relationship. I’m sure many of you have mastered the skill of understanding baby talk…but, hopefully you can agree that this alone can become challenging.  Young children appear to have so much to say, and often times they have not yet fully developed the vocabulary to express themselves.  Both parent and child may then become easily irritable.  An increase in emotional and behavioral concerns from the child can take place as a result.

“Play is a fun, enjoyable activity that elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life” (Russ, 2004).

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Play therapy is a way for both parent and child to begin learning how to communicate with one another.

“Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom, connects us to people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates our emotions, and boosts our ego” (Landreth, 2002).

Initially, play therapy was created to treat mental, behavioral and psychosocial concerns, with weekly sessions with your child and a trained play therapist.  But I don’t see the harm in using this technique for any child under the age of 10, and with parents who want to improve their interactions with their child/decrease behavioral and emotional concerns. Just be sure to gain as much knowledge as possible in this therapy technique.

I had the opportunity to participate in play therapy, and filial therapy (teaching parents how to use play therapy with their kids) during my grad program.  I absolutely loved this! Now, I know what many of you must be thinking…

  • Why would I need someone teaching me how to play with my children?
  • I already play with my kids…and we have fun!

I completely get that you may have these thoughts initially.  I wanted to highlight the difference between play therapy and just everyday play.  Watch this quick video here on play therapy, to get a better idea of what this entails.

Play therapy helps parents to learn more about their children. Typically, children are unable to express themselves verbally.  For example, as a parent you may not get an accurate account of how your child’s day was (either at school or daycare), through verbal descriptions alone.  In addition to these types of questions, parents can allow their children to take the lead through play, to gain a better understanding on what they are feeling, and what they have experienced.

You have to allow the child to lead completely, refrain from guessing at what the child may be doing during play, and fight the urge to “help” them complete a task that you know they are capable of doing on their own. For example, asking your child things like: what do you want me to do next, where should I sit, what do you want the police officer to say? Try not to assign any names or labels to any of the toys until your child does so first (ie.the car may not be a “car”..may be a spaceship!).

Your child will begin gaining confidence, and learn how to better express themselves. Again, this type of play is separate from your everyday play (30 mins-1 hour, weekly or as often as you’d like).

The toys that are recommended to assist in this type of play expression:

Real Life/Nurturing (baby dolls, phone, money, furniture, clothes for dress up)

Acting Out/Aggressive Release (handcuffs, masks, “scary toys”, inflatable bop bag)

Expressive (paper, crayons, paint, building blocks)

*Board games are not encouraged for this type of play, because they limit expression and creativity.  Other than that, board games are awesome, and are a household necessity!

What are your experiences with playing with your children? How often do you play? 

Thanks for reading! Go out, play, and have fun!

Resources:

Click here to learn more about play therapy: benefits, what this treats, etc.

Click here for a more detailed list of toys to include in play therapy.

Association for Play Therapy

PlayTherapy3rdEdition

~FreeBryd

Image credit# 1, 2 and 3: Google images