Therapists Say Tough Love Parenting Isn’t Supposed To Be Tough

Disciplining children is a daunting responsibility for parents, even more so for foster parents when the child is not biologically theirs. People often associate discipline with punishments; however, this should not be the case. According to therapists, a child who has experienced abuse, neglect, and trauma can manifest emotional and behavioral issues. Many children lack the necessary skills in problem-solving, coping, and emotion regulation. Foster parents have the responsibility to teach children proper behavior and new talents with positive discipline.

Tough Love

You might have probably heard of tough love and how parents use this simplified approach to discipline their unruly kids. But what is tough love? Tough love is imposed on children to show them that punishments are for their good. It makes use of consequences and boundaries to teach them to take responsibility for their actions. However, imposing tough love or negative punishments on children who have gone through abuse and neglect may worsen their behavior.

Certain behaviors stem from past experiences. A foster parent needs to understand the kids’ complicated past and its effect on them. For example, a child lies not to deceive parents maliciously but to protect himself from being hit. Parents need to practice tough love that is not harsh but is affectionate and empathetic. Positive discipline will take every ounce of patience, love, and understanding foster parents have got.

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Tough Love To Avoid

  • Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment has been a widely debated topic on child discipline. Numerous regulating agencies have prohibited it because acts of physical punishments can deepen the child’s emotional wounds.

  • Lengthy Time-outs

Sometimes parents give misbehaving kids a time-out for a week or longer. This punishment is not particularly useful for younger children. Further isolating foster children may not work well.  The child needs an explanation as to why he is grounded. The time-out needs to be carried out in short amounts of time only. We’re talking minutes. After the timeout, carry on as though the bad behavior never happened.

Positive Discipline Tips To Follow

  • Positive Reinforcements

Foster children need to feel comfortable, safe and supported in their new home. Celebrating or merely acknowledging their good behavior can ease them in. Importantly, a consistent practice can influence the child to repeat the right response.

  • Time-In

The opposite of time-out is a time-in. When a child has performed unwanted behavior, parents need to engage with the child. Communicating with the child allows parents to uncover the reason behind the action as well as correct it.

  • Grandma’s Rule Of Discipline

Parents usually use an authoritarian voice and negative consequences when telling kids what to do. Grandma, on the other hand, gives them positive incentives. Changing how you phrase requests have been proven effective in dealing with difficult children. In the case of a child who refuses to eat vegetables, instead of threatening them, parents should say, “If you finish your vegetables, you can go and play.”

Parents may also approach children by asking them what they want to do. They can ask, “Do you want cabbage soup or pumpkin soup?” This simple act gives foster children a sense of control to assert themselves healthily.

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  • Teach Them Emotions

Foster children may harbor a lot of frustrations and emotions. When faced with an awkward situation, they do not know how to manage their feelings and end up lashing out. Parents can step in and teach children about what they are feeling and how they can appropriately tame these feelings. You can do this by regularly asking your child how their day went and how this made them feel.

  • Redirection

Children have short attention spans. This technique often works for younger children. Foster parents can redirect their child’s frustration by taking them to a new environment. If they are mad about their toys or playmates, parents can take them somewhere else to redirect their attention.  It also works with stopping unwanted behavior. If the child is too rough with their toys, parents can redirect his attention by asking him to do chores together.

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Foster parents must be consistent with giving reinforcements and consequences. Children then will differentiate good behavior from bad behavior much quickly. Making empty threats and promises will only further confuse the child.

Foster kids need the necessary discipline to lead healthy lives and build meaningful relationships in the future. Foster parents have to find positive approaches in teaching children life skills and instilling discipline, no matter how difficult it may be. Tough love may entail consequences. However, focusing on love more than being tough can enable parents to practice positive discipline with their foster children better.

Healthy Hobbies To Reduce Your Anxiety

It’s true that you can’t solve anxiety overnight. It can take months and even years of treatment to address this problem. However, there are also small changes in your life that you can make to help manage your worries. Here are some habits you should consider incorporating into your daily routine.

Cut Down On Caffeine


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Coffee is an absolute “must” for many of us. However, the caffeine in our daily drink can be responsible for our anxiety. Those who don’t drink coffee aren’t safe either. Caffeine is also in tea, chocolate, and even ice cream. Having too much of those can also affect you negatively.

Thankfully, you don’t have to cut it out completely. You can reduce your caffeine intake by being more mindful of what and how much you drink or eat. Limit your coffee intake to about two cups a day or switch to black tea which has less caffeine.

Enjoy Some Quiet Time

When you suffer from anxiety, daily life can feel chaotic. You’re always worrying over past or future events that you forget to slow down and enjoy the present. One habit to help you lessen this feeling is stopping what you’re doing and enjoying some quiet time.

Find a perfect spot, close your eyes and focus on how you breathe. Clear your mind of anything other than breathing in and out. If you find your thoughts wandering, redirect it back to meditation.

Take Social Media Breaks

We tend to compare our lives to others’ when we spend too much time online, bringing us distress. There’s also anxiety from negative news that people share. Some people also worry about validation online, wanting their photos and posts to receive a lot of likes or attention.

Disconnect for at least a day every week. Turn off the Wi-Fi if you must. For extra help, you can even download an app that can block out these sites for a while. If you find that you can’t avoid Facebook and other websites, try to lessen your visits instead.

Clean Your Space

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A cluttered mind can mimic your environment. Clear up your work area, bedroom, apartment or home. Take out the trash, sweep the floor, and find a proper place to keep your things. A clean house boosts your physical and mental health.

Similarly, take a hint from Marie Kondo and get rid of things that don’t make you happy. If something in your space reminds you of a negative experience, toss it out. You want your home to be a relaxing place where you feel safe from stress.

Similarly, the act of cleaning can be relaxing for many people. It gives us something to focus on something outside of our usual daily activities.

Enjoy Some Downtime

We sometimes become anxious because we feel like we always have to do something. Your planner and to-do list are full of activities that you have to tick off. However, it’s crucial for your mental health to have downtime. Your body was not meant to be always working.

Find something you enjoy doing. You could sit down with your loved ones and watch a movie. Have a Netflix and chill night with your significant other. Go out for a massage. Whatever you find relaxing, be sure to set aside time for them.

Write It Down

Sometimes, the best way to rid ourselves of anxiety is to let it out. However, not everyone is comfortable opening up to people. Similarly, there isn’t always someone available to listen to you. As an alternative, you can jot down what you’re worrying over. After you write it down, toss the paper out. It’ll feel cathartic and symbolic of getting rid of your anxiety for now.

Listen To Music

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Playlists are a common thing on music-streaming sites today. You’ll find ones that people curate especially for a workout, for studying, and for relaxation. This trend is because music can affect your mood. So when you’re feeling anxious, reach for your phone and look for a playlist that can help calm you.

Summary

When it comes to anxiety, you can manage it by making small additions to your daily routine. These can include listening to music, spending five minutes of quiet time, remembering to have downtime, and distancing from social media. These small changes can seem small but can make a difference in your life. Try taking up some of these habits and keep your worries under your control

Why It Is Hard To Be Mentally Healthy Nowadays

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Would you believe that the world we live in today is designed to kill us? For some reason, the goal of innovation has been secretly promoting health problems, both physical and psychological. It is somewhat contradictory to what humanity aimed for which is to make life easier and happier. Now, life is more like quicker. Maybe someone believed that short life is more meaningful especially when you spend it on pleasurable things, enjoying modern advancement. Read more