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The Creativity Queen

Mom who kicked her children out of the car- What are your thoughts?

Almost every parent has felt this way. However, what is the message that you are teaching your child if you can't control your anger and you act with aggression? Many of the parents I work with have great success in helping their child get back in control through the use of consequences. When you are calm, before a car trip, explain what is expected and what the consequences will be if they don't listen (i.e not electronics for the evening). A warning tends to help- however, you must follow through or it just won't work!!

Are you raising a codependent child? Three things you need to know!

Are you raising a codependent child? I know, the statement sounds quite alarmist. However, I see many children in my practice whose parents are teaching them codependent behaviors and they are not even aware of what they are doing!

Read the article below to ensure you are not doing the three things below. If you find yourself falling into these traps it is time to make a change!

Feature Article: "Are you raising a codependent child? Three things you need to know"

In the past codependency was associated with person who enabled an alcoholic or drug addict. These days codependency has become associated with emotional dependencies in a relationship. All relationships involve a dependency on another person to some extent. However, when an individual compromises their own values and wants to avoid rejection and anger they are exhibiting codependent behaviors.

The reason why this is so important for parents to understand is that its origins start in childhood. So if you are doing the following three things you may be planting the seeds of codependency.

1. Being inflexible ( or the type A- "Superparent")

If you are the type of person who has a rigid plan of how and when things are done you do not allow your child an opportunity to voice their choice. If you are so in control of their schedule, their food choices, their clothing choices, or their playmates you are restricting your child from having the opportunity to explore their choices. You send out a message loud and clear to your child that they are not responsible for their choices or decisions and someone else has all the power. As they grow older they are likely to seek out relationships in which someone else has all the power and control.

What can you do? Allow your child some freedom of choice. If it is not a safety issue then it is negotiable. Let go of the need to be in control so you child has the freedom to grow and learn, even from their mistakes!

2. Having your child meet your needs

I know many parents who fall into this trap but do not see that they are doing this. If you are not fulfilling yourself in other areas of your life, like your relationships, your work, or your passions, you may default to living vicariously thorough your child. When you spend more energy on your child's interests and less on what gives your life meaning and pleasure you model codependent self-sacrificing behaviors. You also unconsciously teach your child that their value comes from pleasing you. The cute "look mom" behavior phase that most kids go through when they want your approval may continue into adulthood.

What can you do? Get your own needs met with positive relationships and ways to replenish yourself. Instead of constant praise ask your child how they thought they did. Encourage them to self-praise.

3. Wanting to solve problems for them

When they come home and talk about a mean peer or a problem at school what do you do? Do you react and rescue, slipping into your parent problem-solver mode and coming up with a plan of action? Essentially you are taking control of their ability to solve the problems they are encountering. This sends your child the message that they are not competent or responsible enough to figure out how to solve their problems and that someone else needs to do it for them. Imagine what this will look like as they become adults? Will they find relationships in which another person will tell them what to do?

What can you do? Safety first, everything else is negotiable! If it is not a physical or psychological safety issue allow your child the opportunity to figure out how to solve the problem. If you LISTEN, without offering advice, your child will likely figure out some things they can do differently.

The reason why so many children have success in our programs is that we offer a safe place for them to explore their thoughts, feelings, and choices. When given an opportunity, children will come up with ways to solve their problems. As adults we can offer support and encouragement as they explore their choices.

One last important thing. If you find that you are doing one or more of the behaviors above, congratulations! That's right, Congratulations! Why? Because it means that you are aware of what you are doing, and awareness is the first step in making changes. So the next time you notice you are defaulting to one of the behaviors above, STOP, and explore what other things you can do. If you'd like more support we would be happy to help you. Email us at info@thecreativityqueen.com or call us at (941)504-8498.

Using art therapy to discover what is truly important to you

Times are changing. Although you (or someone you know) may be experiencing fear and uncertainty, there is also opportunity for growth and clarity. If we quiet the busyness of our thoughts and our actions we can take time to reflect on our core values.

So what if we graciously set aside any fears of finances, just for a few minutes? If we acknowledged any fear or worries we've been carrying about in our head and in our hearts? Can we place these worries aside, just for a bit, so we can honestly look at what our heart is trying to tell us?

So give yourself a bit of space to really LISTEN to your inner voice.

And ask yourself gently, "What is it I long for?"

Allow yourself to use the art materials to explore this question.

As I take the time to answer this I feel my heart stir with emotions longing for hope, healing, being the light in my own life, loving speaking my truth, listening deeply to my soul, being compassionate and loving, uplifting and inspiring, by opening my heart to what's so truly important to me- family and friends, compassion and acceptance, LOVE and such pure and simple things.

Can you gently acknowledge what it is that you treasure and hold this image in your heart and in your head as you go throughout the day? As the worries or fears arise can you gracefully remind yourself of what is truly important to you?

It is in these moments of vulnerability that we can see clearly what is so important.

So how in this moment can you honor what is truly important?