Tag Archives: communication

How To Survive Thanksgiving Amidst Family Conflict: A Guide For Young Adults


 

Photo: Cottonbro Studios/Pexel

The holidays offer a unique opportunity for family conflict. Whether it’s long-standing feuds between siblings or political disagreements between relatives, the holiday season can be a minefield. 

Thanksgiving is a time when families come together to share a meal and give thanks for all they have. But for many families, Thanksgiving is also a time of conflict. If you’re expecting a tense Thanksgiving this year, it is essential to have a plan in place. Here are some tips on how to survive the day:

1. Have a backup plan. In the event  situations becomes too heated, such as leaving the gathering early or spending time with friends or other relatives instead.

2. Be assertiveIf conflict does arise, it is important to be assertive in communicating your needs. This means standing up for yourself and speaking up when you feel mistreated or disrespected. It may also be necessary to set boundaries with certain family members, such as telling them that you will not tolerate certain behavior.

3. Keep your cool. It can be difficult to stay calm in the midst of conflict, but it is important to try. Losing your temper will only make the situation worse and could lead to further arguments. If you find yourself getting upset, take a few minutes to cool off, take a way, go into the next room etc. 

4. Avoid hot-button topics. If you know certain topics are sure to start an argument, do your best to avoid them. This may mean changing the subject when someone brings up a controversial topic or politely declining to answer questions about your personal life.

5. Don’t engage in arguments. If someone does bring up a hot-button topic or starts to argue with you, don’t engage. politely excuse yourself from the conversation or leave the room if necessary. Remember, you don’t have to defend yourself or your beliefs to anyone.

6. Set boundaries. If you feel like you’re being relentlessly attacked or attacked, it’s okay to set boundaries.

7. Don’t Expect a Resolution. If you go into Thanksgiving with the hope of resolving all of your differences, you’re likely to be disappointed. Instead, focus on getting through the day without any major blowups.

With these tips in mind, you can successfully navigate family conflict during the holidays. In summary, and most importantly, try to understand where your family is coming from. Second, be honest about your feelings and take time for yourself if needed. Finally, set boundaries with family members who are particularly challenging. If you follow these tips, you can survive Thanksgiving amidst family conflict. Your mental health will thank you!

Like, follow, and comment to let us know how you did!

To Your Success, 

Juan

Effective Strategies for Parenting An ADHD Child


Does your child have ADHD? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a common childhood mental health disorder that affects about 5% of children in America, according to the American Psychiatric Association. However, the diagnosis of ADHD has been on the rise for the last several years. It is an issue parents, educators, and Doctors all have to contend with.

 ADHD is characterized by impulsivity, a lack of focus, and distractibility that are also sometimes intertwined and co-existing with other behavioral and/or developmental challenges. Dealing with an ADHD child can be frustrating, challenging, and confusing for parents as they try to grapple with the question of why their child just won’t “behave.”

Try these techniques to learn more about ADHD and how you can cope:

  1. Realize that the ADHD Brain is Different. Researchers and scientists have shown that the brain of children afflicted with ADHD has different characteristics which are responsible for the child’s symptoms.
    • Once you accept that your child’s brain is simply wired differently, it becomes much easier for you to keep yourself in control, when faced with difficult and challenging behaviors.
    • Imagine for a moment, you have a hundred different things vying for your attention without the self-control to devote your attention to just one of them.
    • The result is what a child with ADHD experiences: something grabs their attention and they go after it. This isn’t their fault, but it’s the distractibility that scrambles their brain and makes it more difficult to focus.
  2. Respond consistently. One of the most important things you can do when parenting your ADHD child is to use consistency when communicating.
    • This is sometimes tough for parents because this assumes that we’re always going to have the same tone of voice and not allow our own emotional states to affect what we’re trying to communicate.
    • However, ADHD children need to hear the consistency in what we say and in our tone of voice.
    • With an ADHD child, we cannot express our expectations about something on just one occasion. Rather, we need to communicate our expectations on every occasion in just the same manner.
    • For example, instead of saying, “Would you please turn off the TV?,” a more effective approach would be to use the child’s name so they recognize that they are being told to do something. Use this same technique every time you want them to do something.
  3. Use token economies for incentives. This is a simple, yet consistent, behavior management approach that uses a token economy system to encourage appropriate behaviors.
    • This will also let your ADHD child begin to learn what’s expected of him, and see that he gets rewarded when achieving those expectations.
    • The basic idea behind this behavior management system is that the child receives a token for following a demand and then he can turn in those tokens for rewards.
    • A token economy system can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be. You can use pennies, buttons, colored popsicle sticks, reward dollars, or any other number of objects as the tokens.
    • The frequency of the rewards that you give out will depend on the nature of your individual child. A child that has immense difficulty following-through, for example, will require more rewards in the beginning to achieve the desired outcome.
    • The idea is to eventually phase out the rewards or to spread them further apart so that the child doesn’t become dependent on them.

Parenting a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD is no easy task. It often requires help and assistance from multiple professionals, such as counselors and therapists, school staff, and special education teams. 

Consistency, communication, and a behavior management system are all important keys to parenting success with an ADHD child. If you struggle with disciplining your child with ADHD, the next post would be of interest! 

Until the next post,

Best,
Juan

Depression and Your Cellphone


The National Sleep Foundation recommends we discontinue use of cell phones and other mobile devices at least 30 minutes before bed. Recently, during a medical appointment, I mentioned to the Physician I was having problems sleeping. She queried my cellphone usage before bed, and informed me the blue light on cellphones interferes with melatonin production, which controls our sleep cycles. Of course I knew about this, but bad habits are hard to break.

A study conducted by the University of Arizona, showed a link between teens, cell phone use, and Depression. Scientists continue to research more direct links. While most of the research to date has focused on young adults, the findings may be relevant to us all. Learn about how talking on the phone can affect your health and discover practical methods for using all your electronic devices wisely.

Research on Cell Phone Use

  1. Know the latest findings. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, studied young people who spend a lot of time on their cell phones and computers. They found heavy users were more prone to sleep disturbances, stress disorders, and other mental health issues.
  2. Understand gender differences. This latest study found men suffered most from an increase in sleeping difficulties. Women reported both insomnia and more symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  3. Reflect on previous studies. Scientists worldwide have been examining how our phones are affecting us. While there are conflicting findings about any increased risk of cancer, the evidence is stronger when it comes to growing cell phone dependence, and linking our self-esteem, to fancy phones and other possessions.

Using Your Communications Electronics Wisely

  1. Count your calls. The good news is that the unpleasant effects tend to be linked with extreme use. If you’re making less than 90 calls a day, you’re probably in a safe zone. Phone calls are becoming a thing of the past. Emails, texting, and social media are taking over
  2. Factor in all your time online. That includes texting, emailing and surfing the Internet.
  3. Take breaks. Family emergencies and school projects may require that you spend a lot of time on your phone. Give your mind and body time to recover from intense periods to balance things out.
  4. Turn your phone off. Get in the habit of turning your phone off more often. If you’re not expecting any urgent calls, devote all your attention to the present moment.
  5. Set a curfew. Mental stimulation and watching an illuminated screen late at night can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try turning everything off a couple of hours before bedtime.
  6. Analyze advertising messages. Marketing executives want you to feel like their products are part of your personal identity. Base your self-esteem on something more stable, like accomplishments, relationships and spiritual traditions.
  7. Engage in meaningful activities. Naturally, being bored can cause you to spend more time on the phone. Plan ahead, use your free time to strengthen body and mind.
  8. Check your messages less often. Reduce the anxiety of monitoring whether people call you back immediately. Develop a schedule for checking messages and stick to it.
  9. Express your emotions. Studies show that young adults who are skilled at articulating how they feel, are less likely to report heavy cell phone use. Whatever your age, learn effective methods for managing your emotions.
  10. Exercise more. Spending lots of time with our phones and computers may create a sedentary lifestyle. Keep yourself in shape by working out for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Put your phone to good use, by checking out popular fitness apps that can help you reach your goals.
  11. Focus on others. Fundamentally, feeling blue can often be fixed by taking the focus off of ourselves and trying to help others. See your doctor if you think you may need help with feelings of depression. Otherwise, use your phone to delight your grandmother ,with a surprise call or spend some time offline.

I will be the first to admit I am a slave to my phone, and spend way too much time online. Conducting research for this post has forced me to reasses. In parting, use your cell phone when you need it, be pro-active in avoiding extreme use that could interfere with your mental and physical wellbeing. Sensible limits, a healthy self-image and constructive use of your leisure time will enable you to stay connected and peaceful.

To Your Success,
Juan