Your unconditional love for your children has conditions: What are your “parental deal breakers?”

janis cohen 9

Almost every parent tells their child, “I  want you to be happy.”

But do you REALLY mean it? Continue reading

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Are You Skipping Yet?

Did you forget how to skip?  Most adults do.  For some reason, you grew up and forgot how to skip.  Why?

Every child knows how to skip.  It’s automatic.  It’s totally liberating and fun.

Kids inherently know how to skip because they are born into “now.”

Outside of extreme circumstances where you didn’t have the luxury of being a kid, most of you know what I am talking about when I refer to a child being in the “now.”

There is an  innocence in being a child.

We all had it.

We still do.

We just forgot how to “be” it.

Regardless of what happens in life, re-connecting with your child state matters.

You can be silly.  You can giggle.  You can imagine.

Anything.

You can be anything.  And you can dress up too!

Or, you can put a cape on and save the world, like your superheros on T.V.

As adults, we don’t give ourselves permission to be in our child state very often.

Others will judge you.

Others will disapprove.

And, still, others will not get it at all, because they are so far removed from being in the “now.”

My nieces and nephews laugh at me because I get silly a lot.

I can’t help it.  I need to do that.

I need to laugh and regress.

Sometimes, they get embarrassed if I sing too loud in a public place, or break out dancing.  (They will actually walk away from me until I have stopped! So, I stop on purpose, only to begin again when they return! HA!)

While I feel just as comfortable being in my adult state as I do my child state, I conducted a “secret mission”, so to speak, with some of my friends.

We were walking together and I asked them to break out of their walk and to skip with me.

They looked at me like I was crazy.

Some of them looked around to see who might witness the silly behavior.

I asked again, “C’mon, y’all!  Let’s just skip down the sidewalk for a little bit!”

They caved.

And we skipped.

It was exhilarating and we all giggled like little girls who just did something sneaky.

We were a bit out of breath, but everyone was beaming.

We connected with that sweet spot of ourselves that didn’t care about anything.

We just became kids again.

No worries in that moment.

Just fun.

Take some time to do something that epitomizes your child state and that brings you joy and silliness.

The world can be a serious place.  Too serious, at times.

It is important to be silly and to give yourself the white flag to regress and have fun.

So, are you skipping yet?

In love and light,
Janis
www.cohenfamilycounseling.com

Teaching Your Children How to Be Comfortable With Uncertainty

A child’s life, essentially, doesn’t belong to him.  He comes into this world with a push and then must rely on his caretakers to provide him with his basic needs.  And, as he grows up, everything is predetermined for him; adults decide what time he goes to bed, with whom he plays, what he eats, when he sleeps and very little is left for him to take control of, except what he chooses to comply with or resist.  For a child, living in uncertainty, at times, is a given, despite how much parents attempt to create safety.  There is always a new experience, new person, new thing, and new way that must be faced by kids, every day. Continue reading

Why Talking to Your Children About the Small Things Makes it Easier to Talk About the Big Things

If you are like most parents, you do your best to be involved in your children’s lives by asking about their day, who they played with at recess, with whom they ate lunch and what their homework is for the night.  You attend their school events, taxi them around to various play dates and parties and do what you can to keep an eye on their emotional and psychological well-being.  Sometimes life gets in the way and you miss an opportunity to dig deeper.  And, as kids age into adolescence, the window for involvement quickly shrinks, and before you know it, the only response you get from your tween or teen is a shrug or an “uh-huh.” Continue reading

Seeing is Believing: What Your Behavior is Really Telling Your Kids About You

Children pay attention to EVERYTHING.  They use all of their senses to find clarity, safety, certainty, and love when they are around their parents. Children watch you, even when you don’t realize it.

They notice how your tone of voice differs from the words you say, they see how you come home from work and watch who you become, when you get home.  Even though your children live in the “now”, they file away the nonverbal messages you give, and if there is a pattern, they try to figure out how they fit into the equation of why you are acting the way you are acting and sometimes,they wonder why they don’t seem to fit into your behavior at all. Continue reading

Hearing is Believing: How Words Can Make or Break Your Kids

Words standing alone, are useless.  When put into a context, matched with  a tone of voice and the underlying intention of the speaker, they can lift you up to the peak of happiness or they can bring you crashing down into the depths of despair.  Words are powerful tools; and when you  use them with your children, you can make or break their spirit; because children listen to what you say. Continue reading

What Every Parent Needs to Know

                                                           

When you become a parent, you are given the most important role you will ever have; to mold another human being from their first breath. You have the amazing ability to influence your child’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors and beliefs about themselves and their world. Life becomes about giving your child the best possible chances in life and doing whatever it takes to raise them to be happy, hopeful, and joyful adults.

You have the power to create a safe and secure environment or one that is fear-based and unreliable.  You are the one who has the chance to teach your child the value or self-respect, resilience, fidelity, respect for others and what it means to be a kind, compassionate and giving person.  You are the one who can ground your child in religion, faith and/or spirituality, or not.  Continue reading

Teaching Your Child the Power of Optimism

        Is your child’s cup half empty or half full?

We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”- Anais Nin

How does your child view life; positively or negatively?  What does your child expect from the world on a daily basis; pleasure or pain?  How does your child perceive his ability to recover from setbacks, life challenges, and emotional struggles; with ease or difficulty?  Does he let upsetting moments “roll off his back like a duck”;chalking them up to moments in time; seeing them as springboards for change? Or does he internalize the negativity associated with the experience and find fault within himself?  Continue reading