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Who Are You?

How do you define yourself?  By what others tell you?  By what you think you should be? By what you really are?

Most of us grow up learning to define ourselves by the first two ways given?  Thus we may never learn who we really are!  Often we reach middle age or our golden years, not knowing who we are!  Then we feel we have lost valuable time actually we could have been being ourselves in our lifetimes.

rp_366761818_150_150.jpgWho are you?  In our society, we are subject to many outside influences trying to control who we are.  We are unique human beings (one of a kind) who are shaped by varying outside influences and by inborn internal constraints.

Even identical twins are not entirely identical.  In their bodies in some ways, they are mirror, rather than identical, images of each other and, of course, inevitably they are not treated exactly alike by other people and have experiences that are not exactly alike.

Yes, we inherit certain abilities and disabilities from our ancestors; but not always in the way that our family is happy with.  Because that is so, many parents and grandparents are unhappy with their children and grandchildren who are unable to follow in their footsteps.

Even if we find idols other than our parents or grandparents to follow after, we might still not be qualified to do so.  My parents were not college graduates so when I went to college something that my parents had not had the opportunity to do), I chose to become a psychologist, something that no one in my family had ever done.

rp_374391220_666c62562e_m.jpgI ignored some of my creative artistic and musical inclinations to become a knowledgeable scientist who would successfully do research to prove certain principles in the science of psychology.  I felt had to do this to become what I was interested in being a practicing therapist and intuitive diagnostician and this was a preliminary step!

Actually, I was really interested in helping ordinary people before their problems became serious which is something I am doing now by writing this blog.  I have also discovered that instinctively I have a good singing and speaking voice and artistic sense.  That led me to rethink my past interests in projective drawings and hypnosis and other forms of altered states as an aid in therapy.  I had briefly become involved in these things and then rejected them because they did not represent mainline scientific psychology and because I thought I was not talented enough in these areas.

Now Is The Time That....

Now Is The Time That….

So who are YOU really?

 

Wasting Some Of Our Most Valuable Resources: Children

rp_360159124_150_150.jpgIntroducing this topic, I do want to make it clear that I am Pro-Life (especially if you have not figured this out from my past posts).  Children do exist in the womb.  At eight weeks after conception, all necessary organs for the child exist and the rest of the time in the womb is spent growing and becoming capable of  independent existence.  In my lifetime,  science has found more and more ways to detect life in the womb and to sustain such life either in the womb or out of the womb.   The question is at what point do we determine that another human being does not have the right to exist.   No one is infallible when it comes to making this decision.

Maybe we should call our children the “throw-away generation”.  I think we would all admit that many children are not given the training, experience, and resources necessary to grow up to be responsible adults.  How can we consciously keep the next generation in areas of the country that are veritable war zones in inhabitable surroundings with irresponsible adults and penalize those that do sacrifice resources, time, and sometimes careers to help raise responsible adults whether as parents or teachers or volunteers to provide opportunities to help the next generation grow up as safe responsible citizens.

rp_Truman_pass-the-buck.jpgHere is one example of how ignorant one of the most responsible areas of our government operates in one area of my state.  Custody determinations cases (often done when a divorce is granted) are given to the judges who are considered the least competent and who have little or no training in this area.  This leaves them free to make up their own minds about the cases and/or to depend on professionals who are presented to them as qualifying “experts” by dueling attorneys for each person seeking custody and those agencies who deal with these cases with certain biases as to parental (often not children’s) rights.  This was in spite of well recognized and highly motivated diversion courts for domestic violence, drug addiction, and mental illness.

A bad custody decision can result in a “life sentence” for some children.  One they didn’t ask for and one they didn’t deserve.  It appears to me that in these situations early and appropriate intervention is desired and those appointed to discharge this duty should be well-trained and held responsible for what they do.  Is there anything “flippant “about making a custody decision? and shouldn’t the best and most well-trained judges be given this duty.  Another point that needs to be made in this area is that the best person for this position of making custody decisions should be someone who is and/or wants to become knowledgeable about child-rearing.

Warm Fuzzies-Cold PrickliesChildren at different points in life need different things.  Initially, it is important that needs must be met that help maintain the physical body of the child such as food and clothing, shelter, etc. and physical gentle, loving touches and caregiving, and by someone who is concerned about the safety and well-being of the child.  How a task is done in caring for a child telegraphs to the child whether or not he or she is safe, secure, and the object of someone’s care and concern.

One of the next steps necessary to a child’s development the ability of the person providing the care and education of the child be aware that children are different and that is not necessarily bad.  Nature requires diversity and  that means that those providing nurturance be able to able to provide and or seek out sources for the education, training, and future achievements possible for each child.

rp_2290679982_1eaafcaf2b_m.jpgChildren also learn at different rates and in different ways.  Having, eight young grandchildren, I have noticed this.  Children progress at different rates in different areas and it does not necessarily mean that the child is “backward”  and may not catch up in this area later when he or she changes their focus of learning.

Over time, children need to become responsible for certain things and to have certain experiences.  For example, you don’t don’t teach a child about dating by not letting them be around the opposite sex until they are twenty-one and then let them figure it out by themselves.  Children need also to learn to make certain decisions for themselves and to experience the appropriate consequences.  Learning is done in steps and certain concepts need to be acquired and practiced before going on to other more advanced and/or difficult ones.

Do You Naturally Show Affection?

Do you show affection or is it awkward and uncomfortable if you do or someone else does it to you.  It has a lot to do with your upbringing.  My family background is German and there were few displays of affection while I was growing up and it remains awkward for me to do this even today.

rp_20070403_personal_space_comfort_zones.pngI have said, “Love you,” to some of my family members whom I truly love and they were shocked and didn’t know what to say.  I once tried to give my ailing father a hug and he froze.  Anger was easier to express in my family than affection.

Physical contact is an important part of showing affection.  We all need to be touched whether it is a back rub or physical contact like curling up on the couch to watch a movie with someone.

Warm Fuzzies-Cold PrickliesThere is a story about “warm fuzzies and cold pricklies” that illustrates that people need love and affection and can die without out it.  Due to an old witch, people got the idea that the amount of warm fuzzies that a person can give is limited and they were encouraged to use cold pricklies provided by the witch.

rp_344686278_150_150.jpgIn my family anger and criticisms were the cold pricklies that kept me alive.  Disappointment was sometimes used too.  The warm fuzzies were few and far between and they didn’t feel very warm.  They mostly were given at a distance as when I would show my Dad my new dress.

rp_342852690_150_150.jpgMassages of hands and feet can heal certain parts of the body according to Reflexology,  Hands are convenient to use as it doesn’t require removing any clothing.  Holding each others hands in a group as we pray or meditate or visualize something and the arms can be stretched out to put some space between people as they do this.

Could this affect someone’s sex life.  Very definitely so. With all the bands on physical touching in most places, people don’t get much chance to bond this way or offer support and reassurance this way.  Sexual relations can be life getting to those involved; but not if it is,”Wham Bang; Thank

rp_272680378_bd063659bc_m.jpgSexual relations can be life-giving to those involved; but not if it is,”Wham Bang; Thank You Mam.”  Is it manly to do a little making out to get ready for sex?

Pets often get more love and affection than the human family members and they know how to get it.  If love and affection are not encouraged when one is a child how can he or she display these things as an adult?

141167840521223colorfulgrandcanyonWhen I went to Sedona, I had the most beautiful massagre and I didn’t feel awkward or uncomfortable although I was undressed under a sheet.  I was not embarrassed when she touched me intimately in parts that I never had been caressed before.

Do you know that boys especially when they start to mature are considered too old for sissy things like displaying or receiving love and affection.  It is amazing that because of things like this, that we don’t wither on the vine.

Lets Not Keep Throwing Kids Away Literally and Figuratively

4-disciplining-children-450a032108Frightened young girls get pregnant so they have somebody to love and young boys like to feel studly and see how many babies they can generate.  Neither is a good reason to have a child.  Nurturing a child is also a full-time process which involves being selfless much of the time.  It also requires good judgment which is not fully developed until young adulthood.

Our welfare state facilitates irresponsible parenthood and children often raised without discipline or love.  How many children are thrown out on the street and have to learn how to survive there on their own.Then we chastise them (not the parents or the state) for doing this and becoming angry at society and not fitting in there.

rp_2290679982_1eaafcaf2b_m.jpgNo wonder these children don’t trust anybody.  Yes, the ghetto (where many of these children end up) doesn’t always teach middle-class values.  In order to survive, these children do what they can to live on the streets or with parents and foster parents that don’t care or use them for their own purposes.  They often only want the check.  Worse yet these parents may have been raised the same way that they are raising their children.

rp_300px-Lansing-correction.jpgParents having the right to raise or not raise their biological children as they see fit does not take into account the rights of the children.  They also go so far as to often use abortion as the method of choice when it comes to practicing birth control.

I think it is a case of blame the victim (which is the child) for the sometimes irrefutable abuse they sustained whether caused by the system, natural parents,  and/or foster parents.

Last, but not least, parents who do a good job of raising their children by giving their kids love, discipline, and values do not get rewarded by the system.  There are no rewards for doing a good job, just for doing a bad job.

rp_9709182109_5fd0b7fbaa_n.jpgChild custody also gets handled often by people who do not know what they are doing, what the child needs, and what constitutes a good parent. If they do know these things they are hampered by laws and regulations that often don’t make any sense.

For example in one northern county of my state, only the worst judges, those who are not doing their job in other venues, get “demoted” to doing child custody cases and they receive no training on how to do this in a way that would benefit the child whose custody is being determined.

I have proposed that that county develop special training for these judges determining custody cases.  It would include forty hours of hands-on training by professionals in the field of custody determination. Doing it this way ensures that judges would actually participate and not just skim through some information on the subject.  It should also be a mixed group so no judge would be swayed in a particular direction.

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Toddler Tidbits (Tips)

rp_360159124_150_150.jpgBecoming a grandmother has me dealing with usually two or three toddlers at a time (possibly four).  I would have more babies to watch but they aren’t out of diapers yet (P.S. I am used to the kind of diapers with pins in them).

Tips:

  1. When toddlers ask for something, don’t get started finding it or making it immediately because within five to ten or at the most fifteen minutes they will have asked for two or three more things and have forgotten the first thing.  It is wasted effort if you do the first thing first.
  2. Toddlers often don’t lie.  They just have great imaginations except when tattling and then it is not lying, it is blaming someone else before they get blamed for doing it his or herself.
  3. Toddlers sense of time is not like ours, a couple of minutes can seem like an hour when made to stand in the corner (or sit in a chair) because they repeatedly disobeyed a command and/or they are having a full blown temper tantrum or hissie fit.  (Don’t worry they will have forgotten about it long before you do.)
  4. If you don’t want toddlers to share a certain toy, put it up.  They usually feel possession is 9/10ths of the law and won’t give it back to the owner that easily.
  5. Remember toddlers deserve and consciously or unconsciously desire unconditional love.  A toddler doesn’t understand when you withdraw your love because of a misdemeanor and continue it even after the discipline is finished.  This doesn’t teach the toddler a lesson, this just tells him or her that you don’t love him or her now.

Feeling Beat Down And Worn Out?

Criticism and put-downs can be a form of mental abuse and so can sarcasm and being told that you can’t take a joke.  Constant volleys of such “verbal” abuse can wear a person down and definitely not help them back up. It is often used in arguments to denigrate the opinions  and/or wishes of those being put down.  The partner might find him or herself spending more time defending themselves than having a constructive arguement.

Anger Is Often Used To Control

Anger Controls People

Nagging can result from such interactions.  If a person is never allowed to win an argument by the means cited above, they may resort to nagging as a substitute for not being able to win in an argument.  Nagging can be a symptom of a relationship where one person doesn’t do something that the other person wants and in an argument over this issue, the other person feels that they don’t have to a chance to win.

Such forms of interaction discussed above can result in a negative living situation with one or both persons involved feeling “less than” and unable to cope.  Being constantly “put-down” does not generate a comfortable situation and it can become a constant war zone in which one person always wants to win and the other person doesn’t feel they have a chance.

Punishment is not a good way to encourage certain forms of behavior; positive reinforcement is.  Also on many issues over which partners fight there is often no one “right” answer.  Many such arguments are about personal preferences and not absolutes although some people like to think that they are.  Mother nature and our environments are set up to encourage certain types of tastes and certain types of skills.

Does Anger Bring Out The "Devil" In You

Does Anger Bring Out The “Devil” In You

For example, if I have sensitive hearing, I may prefer certain types of music over other types.  Does that make me right or wrong when I argue with a person with different sensitivites and experiences.  For example, I do not like most “bluegrass music,” certain old time country music, and polkas (unless they are extremely “lively”).  However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like music as a whole.

It often boils down to a whole issue of control.  If I maintain that the things I like and like to do are the only “right” ones than I can be sure that I won’t have to do or experience anything different that I might not like.  In one relationship I was in, I was not allowed to eat any onions cooked or raw at home or away from home for he could always tell if I did and he didn’t like them.

Nobody is happy if only one person is in control of the relationship.  The winner might get tired of having to tell the loser everything they are supposed to do and the loser might get tired of never having “any choice”.  This can be the motive for murder where one partner kills the other.

 

 

Shame, Shame, Shame On You, Not Me

Have you ever been publicly shamed by somebody when you were especially vulnerable and unable to defend yourself?  Do you know who ought to have been ashamed for doing this?  Probably that person, not you.

Have you ever goofed, made a mistake, or have been unable to control a situation,  not because you didn’t want to but because you couldn’t at that moment.  Some people are blind to their own mistakes but can see those of others in H-D or 3D for those of you who don’t have it yet on your TV.

These people can be merciless and drive people away from places where they have as much right to be as the other person.  This often happens in family restaurants and places of worship.  These critical comments are usually not accompanied by an ofter to do what they can to help in the situation.

These people often wear blinders to their own faults and to those of others close to them.  This is especially true when this is behavior that they might have had problems with once upon a time.  People can be especially intolerant of the behavior of children and infants when they are no longer dealing with them.  They tend to forget what it was like to have kids and how hard it is to be a parent.

People have a tendency to only comment on what they see is wrong and not be aware of what is really going on that might prompt them to  be more understanding.  You never might really know what is really going on in a situation that might prompt the behavior.  We were celebrating a birthday at a nice restaurant when my grandson threw temper fit after temper fit and nothing worked as far as disciplinary techniques were concerned.  Later, when he got home, he was violently ill.  No one could have predicted that.

Remember,  build people up.  Don’t knock them down.  What would you want others to do for you?  Truly gracious people don’t need to do this to embarrass others.

 

 

Living Through Your Children And Why It Is Bad For You As Well As For Them

How Realistic Are Your Expectations For Your Children?

How Realistic Are Your Expectations For Your Children?

It is not difficult to look around and see parents trying to live out their thwarted dreams through their children. In fact it is so frequent and so common that I can’t give some examples because they are so close to home. I have even done it myself trying to make up for my husband (he was a farmer and also ran a dairy) not doing “father-son things” with our son. I was a dramatic failure at most of those things. It was almost as if the “cosmos” knew what I was trying to do and was working against me. The stories are “funny” now but not when they happened. They could have made for a situation comedy.

 
Remember my recent post on this website, “Weeds Versus Flowers”. This gives some background for why this is a problem. I think we all have a purpose in this life and no one person’s purpose is exactly like another’s and no matter how much we admire a person and want to emulate them we can’t as our life experiences and inborn abilities are not exactly the same.

 
rp_Skills_Like_This_poster.pngI greatly admire Joyce Meyers; a Christian author and speaker; yet, I probably would not be happy doing exactly what she does and has done to get to where she is . I have learned that as a psychologist. I admired some of my professors. I thought I wanted to emulate them; but I found some of the work boring and unsatisfying and some of the theoretical thinking rather narrow minded. (Yes, I’ve always been very competitive.)

 
Then when I became acquainted with some of the great therapists, I felt doomed to fail because no matter how much I read and studied about them, I couldn’t get “it”, whatever it was they had. All along the way I (to some extent) ignored what I had to give and enjoyed doing and that I had had some experiences which taught me something which is where I am at today.  I once toilet trained a young boy by playing miniature basket ball with him in play therapy.

 

 

 

Personal Fulfillment Achieved Through Prayer

Personal Fulfillment Achieved Through Prayer

Back to the subject of raising children to fulfill their life purpose and to use their life experiences as learning experiences while also using their own inborn talents. Many parents did not get to do this themselves and have tried to make up for this by using their children to do this. Either they push experiences on them that are not appropriate for that particular child or they discover some natural talents that their children have and try to develop them so that they ( the parent) can bask in the limelight or reflected glory of their successful children.

 
You must nurture your child like the particular and special “flower” that they are requiring different amounts of “moisture”, “soil”, “sunshine”, and fertilizer from other plants. Even if they seem to be very similar to you as a child and seem to have the same gifts, no one is exactly the same. Check your DNA!
And you must also continue to nurture yourself as an adult and make sure you get what you need to thrive and be “YOU”. What do “empty nesters” do after their children are gone?  (Oops, I know, take care of their elderly parents. But that’s a topic for another post.)

Do You Hear Only What You Want To Hear?

Do You Hear Only What You Want to Hear Or See Only What You Want To See?  Do you sometimes tune things out and skip parts of the material that is given to you? or that is shown to you?rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpgI go to a place to meet my spiritual needs and I go to hear what God wants me to know.  I try to go with no preconceived notions of what I will get from attending church that day.  I quiet myself and pay attention to what is prayed, said, or done.  It is a time to be in the moment, not about feeling bad for what has happened in the past or being anxious or worried about the future.

Something was said yesterday during the service that I caught and am presenting here.  This idea not only applies to worship services, but also to doctor visits, books, lectures or workshops.We often hear what we want to hear not actually was said or intended.  When we learn something new, we often make changes to other ideas we have held or if this makes us uncomfortable we decide to tweak the material that was presented so it fits our notions of how the world should be.

Gossiping

Gossiping

Ever play the game of gossip and noticed how distorted the original message became?

We may tune in and tune out adjusting what we do hear to make it more acceptable no matter what the content.  We can have attacks of boredom.  We can become irritated because we have to sit there and listen to the speaker drone on and on.  We can day dream or even fall asleep.  Pay attention there may be something useful there.

This also can apply to visual material like posters, power point presentations.   Did you read the quote presented at the top of this post.  Here it is again.rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpg How did it make you feel: comfortable or uncomfortable.  Are you generally open and receptive? or do you not like someone else telling you what to do and/or commenting  on your appearance, possessions, and family.  You have your own ideas and are comfortable with them.

I realize when I jump to conclusions I don’t pay attention to what is being presented.  Stereotypes of people and cultures leave much to be desired and prevent us from encompassing diversity and learning what these people and cultures are really like.

Now you may understand why that Active Listening (Carl Rogers) is so important in communication.  Being able to repeat what the other person has said before giving your reply encourages people to hear everything that was said.

Stay Involved, Don’t Opt Out

rp_Feelings.jpgSocial interaction is crucial to children learning language.  Watching a video or listening to an auditory version is not enough.  Are children becoming autistic because people in our world are becoming less and less involved?  What about a good old fashioned conversation or a satisfying read?  Being unable to interact with others is a very real problem and I can see the day when children have virtual play dates?  How removed from reality is this?  Will we all sit home and rely on clouds and the internet to keep us in touch?  Will the ethers be doing our talking?  It will no longer be necessary to read or write as computers will communicate for us just by talking and ultimately will thoughts and images not words be used to share ideas?

 rp_2269499855_31a018a8f6_m.jpg This just started out as a blog about how children need human contact to learn and ultimately to thrive.  Scarey isn’t it?  For example, someday people will not sign their names, not just because they did not learn cursive writing; but because reading and writing are no longer considered necessary.  We have done this since the dawn of the machine age and eliminating the human factor in creating things that we need and use.  Is it possible we are also eliminating the good vibrations that many skilled, dedicated craftsmen and craftswomen put into their work.