In the hustle bustle of stressful family life, it can be great to spend special one-on-one time with each child. Kids adore the attention, the fun, and the indulgence of having one parent all to themselves. It can also be incredibly meaningful for parents. If you feel exhausted from doing laundry, dragging kids to swimming lessons, refereeing arguments, or cleaning up spills, having special time with just one child can put the zip back in your step, the magic back in the moment. "Special time" is a powerful tool to nurture a parent-child relationship. Positive parent-child relationships strengthen children's emotional well-being, attachment security, coping skills, school readiness and achievement, and future capacity for relationships. What makes special time special?It’s one-on-one. A child who is used to sharing you with a fussy newborn sister or a potty-training brother finally gets you, the most important person in his or her little life, … [Read more...] about 8 Ways to Make “Special Time” With Kids Even More Meaningful
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Google images: free to use or share The vacuum cleaner was a big, upright model, heavy and awkward. On my first day, I had trouble steering it and got sweaty and irritated. After a lot of yanking, shoving, and banging it on people’s doors, I wrestled the vacuum cleaner back into its closet and forgot about it. The rest of the day was calm and peaceful. But late that night, I awoke with a sharp pain in my right shoulder. I didn’t understand the source of the pain until after breakfast, when it was time to vacuum again. Mindfulness means paying attention to whatever is happening in the present moment, with an attitude of friendly curiosity and nonjudgmental acceptance. On a retreat, the goal is to be mindful of whatever you’re doing throughout the day. Participants are called yogis (a yogi is a student of meditation) and the housekeeping tasks are called yogi jobs. This means that the vacuuming, like everything else in retreat life, is an opportunity to practice … [Read more...] about Mindful Vacuuming
Mindfulness experts often say that we should observe the present moment with friendly curiosity, but what does this mean? Friendly curiosity toward other people is a common experience, especially when we’re genuinely interested in something about them. We watch or listen closely and ask questions. The tone is congenial; the attitude is open-minded and nonjudgmental. Friendly curiosity is less commonly applied to the inner world of thoughts and feelings, especially when they’re unpleasant. If you have a headache, for example, the natural tendency is to ignore it or try to get rid of it. Rarely do we take a friendly, curious stance toward a headache. “I’ve had headaches before, I know what they’re like,” we’re probably thinking. “I don’t need to pay attention to this one. I just want it to go away.” This attitude may be work well enough if you’re able to ignore your headache or get rid of it easily. But … [Read more...] about Friendly Curiosity
The researchers expected that people might appreciate the chance to sit quietly and think. But most participants rated the experience as boring and unpleasant. Moreover, twelve of the 18 men in the study, and 6 of the 24 women, voluntarily gave themselves at least one more shock during the 15-minute thinking period by pushing a button on the device. Several shocked themselves three or four times. These findings are surprising. It’s hard to believe that ordinary people chose to distract themselves with electric shocks that they had just claimed they would pay to avoid. Yet there are understandable reasons for not wanting to be alone with one’s thoughts. Most people have an abundance of unpleasant or even painful thoughts. We have worries about unresolved problems or upcoming stressors, memories of difficult or embarrassing experiences, angry thoughts about unfair situations, and sad thoughts about disappointments and losses. We distract ourselves with electronic … [Read more...] about Alone With Your Thoughts
Source: Krystine I. Batcho Recent studies have revealed the prevalence of loneliness in the United States. One online poll of 20,096 adults suggested that nearly half of Americans reported sometimes or always feeling alone or left out, one in four rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them, and one in five rarely or never feel close to people or feel there are people they can talk to. The undesirability of loneliness is clear. Research has shown loneliness to be associated with poor physical health as well as adverse psychological wellbeing. Psychologists are exploring multiple reasons for widespread loneliness. One observation stands out as particularly instructive. Only around half of the Americans surveyed reported having meaningful in-person social interactions, such as an extended conversation with a friend or quality time with family, on a daily basis. Has our lifestyle become increasingly less personally … [Read more...] about Are You Afraid of Being Loved?