Tag Archives: change

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

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Heart 2 Heart//Changing Your Attitude

Kicking off the Heart 2 Heart series with a lesson of love for yourself…change your attitude.

This speaks to me in such a huge way.  I have been somewhat stuck in a cycle of negativity.   I know…how awful!

I started to be short with loved ones, and I had no idea what was happening.  I of course was the last to realize that I was “stuck”.  When I woke up, I made it a point to do something different.  I wanted to change my attitude…in fact, I needed to do this.  I was only torturing myself, and this was beginning to weigh on my soul!

I know that I have been taking many of the things in my life for granted, and that is not how I want to live my life. I

I want to be happy, so why not make this happen?

I want to be successful with my goals, so why not take those first steps to change the direction I want to go?

I don’t want to complain all of the time, about things that I am not willing to change, so why not work on resolutions instead?

This is how I spent my day yesterday.  Yes, this is something that I have done in the past, but I allowed myself to get caught up again.  I wasn’t taking the time to replenish myself, and prioritize my own self-care. To be honest, this was an extremely refreshing day.  I realized that I was sabotaging my own happiness. What I needed was to check my own attitude.

*Sidebar* I always hear people saying that they will treat others how they are treated by those same people…I don’t even want to do this.  I really want to take charge of my own life, and not have anyone dictate my attitude.  Saying you want to be happy, and actually chosing to be are completely different….again, I’m realizing this now.  For such a long time, I knew what it would take for me to be happy, and alter my mood, but have been inconsistent with making this happen.

So simple, but yet I was making this much harder than it needed to be.

I really took the time to count my blessings, and appreciate where I was in my life.  As a result, my day was brighter.  I was less cranky and annoyed, and kept on smiling for just the thought of being in control of my own happiness.

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I am Thankful for…

  • My health
  • My boyfriend returning home safely after traveling for work for the last five weeks (for my own selfish reasons)
  • My family and my friends (for their love and continuous support. Thanks for sharing my blog with others, and encouraging me to be great!!)
  • My career which allows me to pursue my dream of helping mend relationships

What are you Thankful for?

~FreeBryd

Image Credit#1: Found on Etsy

Image Credit#2: Found on google images

Learn Something New//Book Review

Hello World!

Starting this Wednesday off with a book review, for my #TeachMe series.  The book I have been reading is, The Dance of Intimacy, by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

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Well, I made it through the first half of the book so far! This book was written as a “woman’s guide”, to changing significant relationships. For all of you who are not familiar with this author, her books can be utilized by anyone.   Stay tuned, because I wanted to include all of you with sharing your thoughts on whether or not you would continue reading this book, and the reasons for doing so. You can help by taking the toll at the end of the post. 🙂

Now! Let’s get started with peeling away the layers of this book, shall we?!

“It is the will to change that motivates us to seek help, and it is the fear of change that motivates us to resist the very help we seek”-Lerner.

The main theme throughout this book is understanding the process of change, to increase intimacy.  What I mean is, when we feel “stuck” in your relationship, we often blame the other person.  Maybe it’s their fault for starting the argument with us. Maybe our partner is at fault for not calling us back? But, I challenge you to think of what could possible be contributing to these sources of anxiety? It could very well be the most obvious concern, then indeed a quick fix is needed.  This will not always be the case…

I believe Harriet Lerner is justified in her belief that there are many books available that offer specific guidelines, and how to’s, in regards to improving your relationships with others.  But, what are we learning from many of these books? How can we learn to sustain long-term changes, when many of these recommendations may have been based off of a quick perception of the problem? I agree that these books can and have been helpful, but what we should focus on is becoming more knowledgeable in getting to the root of these “issues”.

To give you a better example, think about going to a friend to talk about your day…you know, just venting about what happened that caused you to become upset.  Next, this friend has the best advice on what you should have done, and the reasons why this advice will help “fix” everything. Either this can be good really good advice, and you are thanking your lucky stars for such an amazing friend, or perhaps this friend has completely missed the mark? Without really understanding what happened in your day, how can anyone offer you meaningful suggestions that would be satisfying for you?

Not even do the significant people in our lives get to take the fall for providing us with the “wrong advice”! Many times WE are quick to jump to make decisions on how to resolve the “immediate” problems.  Of course this may seem logical at the time.  On the contrary, if you’re having the same argument for the 5th time this week, this may cause you to feel hopeless right? Been there. Done that too many times to count.  What this just means is that you really haven’t figured out why these arguments are truly happening…I’ve learned that my expectations can get me into a ton of trouble.  Come on guys, I can’t be the only one out there. 🙂 Many of my past disagreements, (with anyone), boiled down to me not feeling comfortable with accepting that life happens. I won’t have the ability of predicting what should happen or when (even though this would be…awesome).

headacheInstead of discussing my expectations before the disagreement, I chose to say nothing.  I’ve also learned that I needed to speak up for the things that I wanted. I was tired of hiding, and dealing with huge blow ups after the fact.  :-/

In a nutshell, this book provides you with ways on how to begin understanding where your feelings of anxiety stem from, that may prevent you from changing your behavior to improve intimacy within your relationship.  Does your symptoms of anxiety originate from earlier experiences? Or is it something more recent in your life/relationship that needs your attention? Lerner provides case examples, and personal narratives about how to begin this process.

My question to you is, how do you resolve issues in any of your relationships? Are these changes typically a quick fix, or do you feel that you need to constantly address the same issue?

Help me Rate This Book:

Based on this book review so far, would you continue reading this book?

Thanks for your feedback!

~FreeBryd

Photo Credit #1: http://blog.prepscholar.com/how-to-improve-your-low-sat-reading-score-6-strategies

Photo Credit #2: http://www.harrietlerner.com/pages/intimacy.html

Photo Credit # 3: http://www.unhs.co.uk/unhs/your-health/health-advice/headache.aspx

Inspiration//Changing Directions

Don’t lose focus of what’s important, because an obstacle gets in your way. This is only temporary. So, don’t allow temporary challenges to redirect everything you’ve set your mind to.

Regroup, and get it done!

IMG_0156 ~XOXO

FreeBryd

Photo credit: http://kickaction.ca/everyday-role-models/

Woman 2 Women//Where is the Love?

Let’s have an honest discussion friends!
I’ve been spending so much time trying to better myself, by learning to forgive, reminding myself to think more positively, etc.  With that being said, can you tell that I spend a great deal of time in my feelings lol?  A serious question parked itself in my overactive brain, until I decided to do more research into this.  I was able to reach out to a few of my followers, to gain their perspectives on why they believe many women are unable to from long-term and meaningful relationships with one another.
Where does this come from? Why?

I have always played around with this topic individually up until now.  I only brought up this sensitive topic, based solely from my recent encounters with other women.

Like I mentioned before, I followed up with my hypothesis by reaching out to other women.  I would love to have additional perspectives from men as well.  So, don’t be shy with sharing your thoughts on this discussion. Today, I have included two interviews with this blog post.  Here are the results.


Response from Tiffany: a 20 something year old female, eager to share her thoughts! 
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Do you think that women experience difficulty with supporting/having positive thoughts of one another? 

I have been fortunate enough to have limited experiences with unsupportive women.  However, I do feel that this does exist as I have had a few run-ins where either women or myself were catty to one another for some reason or another.  I think it’s hard for some women to see other women succeed, especially when they feel that they are equally as deserving (if not more) of that same success or perceived happiness.

What do you think is the main reason why many women have been unable to form genuine and long-term relationships with one another? 

 I call it the “Mean Girl” syndrome and I believe it’s caused by immaturity and insecurity. In general, I feel that insecure people (not just women) are intimidated by other people who may have things that they lack.  In some cases, it’s hard for women to establish and maintain genuine relationships because of these negative personal issues they may be dealing with.  I also think the media has played into this woman vs. woman war.  Think about it, there are about 10 – 15 well-known reality shows that star and cater to our demographic (young women ages 18-40).

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How many of these are positive reinforcements of women empowerment? While some shows have glimpses of women supporting each other, the overall message is that women are against each other, and not able to maintain stable and positive friendships with other women. What you consume is what you eventually project.  If all you see every day is women fighting women, women ending friendships and being catty and petty, it’s only a matter of time before you start to take on that mindset whether you realize it or not.

bravo-renews-housewives-o-c-and-othersDo you think that you have trouble with being supportive/being non-judgmental most of the time to other women? 

To be honest, I don’t think I have an issue with being supportive of anyone, especially women.  I’m completely about Girl Power, I LOVE seeing women uplifting and inspiring other women.  There is so much for all of us to learn from one another so it’s saddening when we do the opposite. Now, on the flip side, I feel like I am quick to give a side eye and I know I am judgmental even though I try not to be.  It’s unfair, but it is something that I understand is a human trait.

What would be your advice to other women to help address this issue?

I think that understanding ourselves and exploring our own insecurities are the first steps to addressing this issue. No one is perfect, and the more we realize this within ourselves, I feel we can be less judgmental. It also helps us to accept one another for who we are.  This will in turn help us to nurture positive friendships and we can truly be supportive.

Response from Ms. Anonymous: a 30 something year old female, who agrees this is a problem! 

Do you think that women experience difficulty with supporting/having many positive thoughts of one another? 

I guess it depends on the relationship. I wouldn’t just support a random stranger. If I felt some kind of connection to the individual, then yes I would support. But not just a random stranger.

What do you think is the main reason why many women have been unable to form genuine and long-term relationships with one another? 


I do believe this is a problem for women. Women are in constant, subconscious competition with one another (financial, romantic, beauty, etc). Especially if there’s a differences in classes or social status.   I think a woman is more likely to “hate on” another woman if she feels less than. “She thinks she’s cute” comes to mind. I face this problem at work. I’m a similar age to those I work with. Most of the women don’t like me! They feel that I think I’m better than them. But they do not respond to men in the same way.

Do you think that you have trouble with being supportive/being non-judgmental most of the time to other women?

As far as friendships, I think it’s hard because….um….it may be hard to find women who are the “same” or similar lifestyles/interests. There’s a formula to friendship that has to be just right in order for friendships between women to be successful. Just being introspective, all of my friends are either childhood friends or other career driven women. I tend to prefer my career driven friends over my childhood ones. One friend I’ve known for many years.  When she had kids and I didn’t we drifted apart. We didn’t have similar interests and we couldn’t connect like we used to. I have another friend who is slightly older with kids. We were friends before I had any children, and hung out when she had free time. We connected on a professional level. And now I have kids and we connect on that too.  Another friend of mine is also slightly older with a kid. Not career driven. Different interests than me. I tried and couldn’t maintain a successful friendship. So yeah, the formula has to be just right in order for friendships to work…for me anyways.

What do you think is the main reason why many women have been unable to form genuine and long-term relationships with one another? 

For me it was easier to supper once I became secure with who I am. I know who I am and what I want out of life. So it’s easier for me to support other women…as long as they aren’t trying to knock me off my path. I kind of see things differently now. I see that all women are just trying to do the best they can for themselves and/or family. I guess it comes with confidence. Other than my tummy (ugh) and natural hair edges, this is the most genuinely confident I’ve ever been. So I don’t see other women as a threat.

*End of Interviews*

My goal is to promote “girl power” as Tiffany suggested earlier.  I first have to believe things can get better, so I will.  I’ve had so many great experiences with getting to really know, love and value each of my friendships with other women. Those who I’ve known since playing house in elementary school, my siblings, my girls who first introduced me to club hopping, my goons who I’ve met in grad school, to those I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with in my adult life. I appreciate all of you! I realize that your circle becomes smaller as time goes on, and life takes you in unexpected directions.  I just wish that we were still able to remain open to meeting new people, without the pressure of believing that they won’t like you anyway, so don’t even bother.  Ok..this may be extreme, but sometimes I feel this way.  I can’t force someone to get to know me, but a girl can hope for a better tomorrow, and hope for change.

How many others are out there who share these views?  I’m also quick to place judgment onto others.  I have feared that my judgments have prevented me from getting to know some pretty amazing women. What am I doing to give off the vibe that I’m unapproachable?  Did I look at someone wrong?  Where is the Love?
Let me know what some of your experiences have been!
~XOXO
FreeBryd
A look at some of my lovelies ❤
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