Notice: When you would like to view “The Feelings Gallery” and “How Colors Affect Children’s Behavior” please click on the link provided for you at the bottom of this blog. I apologize if this is inconvenient. I am planning on changing my site very soon, to improve its performance in the future. This will enable me to offer various and related items for sale, and achieve my goals much faster. I appreciate all of my followers and their patience in bearing with me through my growth; this has been a challenging venture and I thank you all so much. I hope you enjoy the read!
Many children today, are struggling with low self-esteem. Part of the reason is their personal struggle of shuffling back-and-forth, between different family hierarchies. For a child to feel a sense of “belonging” or even having the wherewithal to discover their “place” (meaning where and how they fit into different families) would prove difficult, even under the best of circumstances. This blog offers tools to help you encourage your child and validate their feelings as they subsist within each locale. “The Feelings Gallery” (click on a picture for more information) will help them recognize and understand what they are feeling is normal; this allows for a healthier perception of themselves and the lifestyle changes they undergo. “How Colors Affect Children’s Behavior” (located to the right), encourages your child through art and color to release pent up feelings of frustration; a result from their constantly changing environment (affecting their psychological development) of which they have no control. Colors can stimulate their psyche enough, allowing you to interject positive feedback /affirmations advocating good behavior [choices] verses negative. Using colors is similar to subliminal messages which have been used, as far back as the 1950’s [it is very probable their usage began much earlier than the ’50’s]. The news caught wind of this type of advertising in 1957. Apparently subliminal “messages” would pop-up on-screen during a movie, suggesting to the viewers they were thirsty and/or hungry for specific items. Research showed an increase in the sale of these items from 18% to 58%. Many specialists argue whether subliminal messaging works; I am of the opinion that the subconscious “sees” the messages however, one cannot be “persuaded” to do anything they would not otherwise be inclined to do. Some forms of hypnosis therapy use this, believing it motivates the conscious to change bad and/or unhealthy habits. Subliminal messaging is a subject not to be taken lightly. I was under the impression that it was illegal, therefore, making subliminal advertising an unlikely source or option for agencies, how wrong I was. If any of my readers desire a blog on this subject please let me know in my “Comments” section. I have acquired some very interesting information on this subject, while writing this piece. What I am highly concerned about are our children; I came across research that stated (not implied) our children are being “fed” subliminal messages during television programs.
A strong leader and competent Doctor often states, “We cannot prepare the future for our children but we can prepare our children for the future”. As your child grows, they will learn about life either by the media, other family members, an au pair or nanny, this will be your choice. They will navigate through emotional division (e.g., moving, new schools, step-parents, et cetera), please prepare them for changes in their lives. I taught my children, “Change is one thing you can always count on, it is an unavoidable constant in everyone’s life. Unfortunately with change comes situations they will be ill-equipped to deal with. I have disclosed a few examples that may be a part of your child’s developmental years, these situations can be an opportunity for you to be a positive role-model. Whether they experience these situations, over-hear an argument or see violence on television, matters little, after-the-fact. However they are influenced by a negative coercion, you will need to be there to instruct and guide them. When both parents work, this becomes a more challenging goal; using positive “tools”, age-appropriate punishments, and keeping your child on a good schedule will help them develop healthy habits as well as a healthy self-esteem. My goal is to provide you with something tangible to work with, bringing you closer to your child and addressing their needs. As you work together, maintaining a close bond; their stress levels will decline and so will yours. The adage, “When Mommie’s not happy, nobody’s happy” seems to have changed to, “When the children are not happy, no one is happy”. I am not suggesting, “Children now run the American household“, but rather, “We are not meeting our children’s needs”. As a society, we have become too busy, even for our own family. How much personal attention does your child receive from you or your spouse? I am not blaming anyone, I am simply stating facts, when both parents work there is little time left for the child. Incorporating positive and encouraging “tools”, may very well determine how your child handles stressors, now and in the years to come. I believe we have an opportunity to rear future leaders, not followers, with this generation. Change begins with action, let us act now.
Taking the time to teach your child about God will in-turn give them additional ways of coping, beginning at a young age. Also, they will have the opportunity to experience a spiritual connection with God. This action, on your part, is a gift you can give to your child by first planting a seed of faith and teaching them their first “asking-prayer”. Prayer and meditation are two of the most personal “tools” we are given to create an intimate relationship with our Maker. You have the means to “introduce” your child to God, teaching them how to engage through prayer, this must be presented to them in a serious manner; they are speaking with their Creator. Before you begin you should have some quiet and alone-time with God through prayer and/or meditation, then allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, as you talk with your child. An “asking-prayer” should be very simple, some examples would be; “Dear God, please bless (a short list of people within their family and whoever they want to add) followed with, “…will you let my tooth come out please?”; “Dear God bless…..will you bring rain?”. These are two examples that do not challenge God to “prove” who he is but rather, the child is requesting two things which would not affect others adversely. For example if the child asked for a “deluge” of rain this may very well put people out of their homes, cause deaths to others who are homeless, etcetera. Also, losing a tooth could take a month or longer therefore these are two simple prayers, that could be answered at anytime, bringing the child closer to God and not interfere negatively against others’. Further, explain we do not ask God for material possessions unless we need them to help others; we ask God for spiritual gifts. As your child “experiences” God through the answer of their prayer [may take perseverance on the part of the child] this will be a spiritual experience they will cherish forever. You also need to preface your instructions to them, with the knowledge that at times God will answer, “No” through silence.
1. You have introduced “The Feelings Gallery” to your child, using your own way of discussion or following my suggestions. I would add that you set a schedule to check your child’s feelings. Every evening before bed and/or in the morning at breakfast (or before) you want to keep this a private discussion as feelings are often associated with very private thoughts. You may also post a feelings chart, using pictures from a magazine, downloaded from the computer or this blog, whatever you choose is fine as long as the child can engage with the facial expressions on the pictures. I would NOT use Emoticons, they are far too impersonal. Also, tell them NO feeling is wrong.
If you need to ask questions, keep them age-appropriate, short, and open-ended.
CORRECT: “Did you throw the food on the floor?”
INCORRECT: “Did you throw the food on the floor or did you drop it?”
With the “incorrect” question you have just provided your child’s answer and also a way-out of a possible punishment for bad behavior. An older child will agree with the incorrect question as they have just avoided a possible punishment. A younger child will agree with the incorrect question also because they think it is what you want to hear. YOU have to learn how to allow your child to “think” for themselves by asking and then waiting.
- You have introduced “How Colors Affect Children’s Behavior”
This information is displayed in a “text” box to the right of this blog. Positive stimuli, from infancy, is important to the developmental stages of a child’s life. With some individuals, colors can inspire, cause aggressive behavior, and have been known to calm hyperactive behavior. There are multiple studies on the affects of colors. I have had the wonderful opportunity of seeing first-hand the affects of colors on children, it is nothing short of amazing. Like most things in life, everything varies according to the individual, so do not set your expectations too high. Work with your child and I am sure “The Feelings Book” and using colors (instructions below) will work wonders if your child is responsive. The importance of using any “tool” is to not give up, keep working with your child until you find that connection. The people in life that choose to keep on going, never giving in to negative influences, feelings and doubt, that succeed. The construction of the “Feelings Book” is as follows:
a. Three to four sheets of construction paper (8 1/2 x 11 inches, various colors are fine).
b. Fold the paper in half (from top to bottom). Staple the folded end, a minimum of three times, straight down. One staple at the top, one in the center and one at the bottom, as close to the edge as you can get.
c. Have your child choose feelings-colors; one color for each feeling. NOTE: Please choose ordinary colors that generally stay within the guidelines of the feeling they are choosing. For example: yellow-happy, black-sad, red-mad, green-playful, purple-God, Gold-beauty, etc. This way when the child begins school they are not remembering the color green as mad when this is a common color for grass, trees, etc.
d. Write their name on the front of the book using a color they choose.
e. Also on the front, draw a box, using each feelings-color (crayon or marker), write the name of the feeling in the box (stay with these original color choices whenever using the book).
f. On the first page upon opening the book, draw stick people (allowing them to name each one). NOTE: They will choose different stick people each time they want to use the book, according to how they are feeling.
g. Ask them to color, trace or draw their feelings, using the appropriate colors, on and/or around the stick people. Do not stand over them, let them have their privacy and draw how they feel. If you ask to look and the answer is no, please respect their feelings and privacy. Remember, our children are individuals just as we are, allow them to express themselves without feeling as though they must share with you. Do not take their decision, to not share, personally.
h. This is a great avenue for them to release good and bad feelings. They will share when they feel ready.
i. When finished, place the book and crayons in a private and safe place where they cannot reach them without your assistance, unless your child is old enough to be trusted alone with crayons or markers. If age-appropriate allow them to store it where they want. It is a good idea to offer this exercise whenever you feel it necessary or they request to use the book. It is helpful if you can set aside a specific time however, this is not always possible. Creating this book together is a wonderful and powerful experience for both of you while enjoying one anothers’ company. This will help establish trust and teach cooperation skills as well. This book is their way to release emotions that could very easily remain within them, causing low self-esteem issues in their future.
You have instructed your child on their first “Asking Prayer“, planting a seed and helping them to begin a relationship with God. Once your child begins to enjoy this new connection, share the positive changes that you see. Then introduce the following:
Allow them to fully grasp this system-of-thinking and how it affects their lives. Engage with them, helping your child to understand the importance of this connection and the specifics on how it works, literally sets them up for a successful future. Allow them to share with you, whenever they want, examples of how they perceive what you are teaching. Help them to discover on their own, through examples they give, that their negative thoughts bring negative feelings which then bring negative actions. As both of you discuss this, make a list of all their negative “thoughts” (this may take some practice, depending on their age-group). How long this process takes does not matter, what does is their understanding of the connection. Once you have a list of negative “thoughts”, change each one to a “positive thought”. Hang or place this where the child can see it everyday. If they cannot read yet, choose pictures (with your guidance but of their choosing) in place of words. Tell them they have the power to change their bad thoughts to good. After they fully comprehend and you see change on a fairly regular basis, write at the top of the list you made : THOUGHTS=EMOTIONS=ACTIONS. You can use a different feeling-color (crayon or marker) for each word. At some time, when you feel they are ready, you need to make sure they understand the difference between an action (their choice) and a reaction (acting before they choose how they want to react). Role-playing is fun and a great teaching tool as well. Explain that actions and reactions are physical expressions and then demonstrate or have them demonstrate. If physical role-playing is something they are not enjoying you can use a doll, army men, even puzzle pieces that have appropriate pictures on them to teach this. It is important they understand they are not responsible for bad thoughts that pop into their heads. This is something many adults do not realize. Remind them, thoughts bring feelings, which result in actions. You want them to be act good toward others and this begins with changing negative thoughts. This is an ongoing lesson, nonetheless you have the advantage of a young mind; one which learns very fast. Use this to your advantage when teaching them.
If you have more than one child, start noticing each one “individually”; look at each child’s differences, their character traits, needs and unique playful ways. Soon, you will become aware of what you have been missing; a child hiding their wonderful, individual talents. As you begin to interact with them individually, their interest and desire to please you will increase, as will your over-all relationship with them. While fine-tuning your parenting skills keep a positive attitude, this will enhance the bonds you have created with all of your children. If there is a child that you have problems bonding with, find out what they are thinking, is it a bad memory or experience? Understanding this, can provide opportunity, to mend wounds that have been troubling your child. If you feel you need additional help or advice, especially if you are dealing with an adopted child, please seek someone who has experience in dealing with bonding issues. Never accept advice from a friend who has no experience in child-rearing. You will receive a variety of suggestions, a result of inexperience, as they pull from their personal memories of how they were raised. If you seriously need help please seek professional advice. Further, do not trust strangers, especially those that come across quickly as caring and loving individuals; many times they are perpetrators looking for an opportunity.
Many of you, living in split-families, deal with children who “act-out”, this usually relates to thoughts and/or memories of experiences where they were subjected to maltreatment. This is a subject I would like to address, if I receive enough requests in my comments section. This is a field I have hands-on experience with and years of study. It is a tragedy that this dilemma remains, not only in America, but across the globe.
These adorable individuals are our future leaders of tomorrow, raise them as such. A great leader once said, “Do not ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. This is another mantra that can plant a seed within your child, in the hopes of a renewal for this once great and thriving country. As soon as a child is born, you have begun to “form” this individual, while allowing their inner personality to thrive and grow. This is no easy task, it is considered the hardest job in the world, and yet it is the most rewarding. Take the challenge I give you today and begin to raise leaders.
Degrees: Basic Art Degree; Art Institute, Milwaukee
Continuing Education: Certifications: Uncommon Knowledge, Law of Attraction (LOA)
Awards: As Director of Ruffner Mountain Nature Center I worked with colleagues to develop new Environmental Education Programs which were named to the Environmental Success Index by Renew America Foundation, Wa., D.C., the Best Environmental Education Programs by the Center for Environmental Research and Service at Troy State University, First Prize-Education in the CIVIC Category of the 1990 TAKE PRIDE IN AMERICA CONTEST. Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Development of Artist Skills-featured inILLUSTRATOR Magazine.
Activism: Helped establish and served on the Board of Directors of The Hillcrest Aftercare Association to aid those in prison and half-way houses, Published works in the One Voice: a Catholic Newspaper, The Shooting Star: a quarterly newsletter to members of Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. I have work published in the American Poetry Anthology; available in Colleges around the Country and have one book of poetry published-A Private Writing.
I am a Freelance Writer, Researcher, Artist, Activist, Entrepeneur, and offer hypnosis sessions.I also wrote two instructional programs, for professionals like myself, to help children who have or are suffering(i.e., trauma, death, divorce, etc.) When the programs are used correctly, individuals will gain a greater insight on how to teach children relaxation, meditation, and the use of hypnosis so they may have the opportunity to learn or relearn imperative 'life skills', lost (due to trauma, etc.)during various developmental stages. Adults who suffered as children also benefit greatly from hypnosis. You can retrain your brain as well as change your thinking. It is only spontaneous "thoughts" we have no control over. How we "react" or "act" on those thoughts is what we can change.
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