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How to Parent When YOU Are in Pain?

Parenting & Pain
By Ron Huxley, LMFT

It is hard to be on top of our parenting game when you are in a lot of emotional pain. This is especially challenging if the origin of this pain comes from the children that we are trying to parent. It might be simplistic to say but pain is “painful.” It hurts! It shuts us down and drives a wall between us and others so we can’t be hurt anymore. We want to retreat to nurse our wounds before risking more in relationships. Unfortunately, the everyday tasks of life have to be completed and our children continue to need us. As a compromise to this situation we become robotic in our actions. We are hyper-functional but we are hypo-relational. We get stuff done but we are just going through the motions and have no e-motions to share. We are too raw!

If you are in this place, make a resolution to find some help through good friends, therapists, doctors, etc. There are lot of support groups and parenting educations classes in your community. Be determined not to repeat past problems. Find new ideas and new support to achieve new, less painful interactions with your family. Second, be OK with being in a place of pain but don’t let it define you. You feel bad but YOU are not bad. Hurtful feelings are normal responses to hurtful actions they are not meant to be permanent. You will have better days again but don’t allow shame to pull you deeper into that dark place of despair. Set some boundaries, find some help and get mad a shame. It is not your friend!

Take back control of your home: 101 Parenting Tools: Building the Family of Your Dreams

Parenting and Pain

Parenting & Pain

By Ron Huxley, LMFT

It is hard to be on top of our parenting game when you are in a lot of emotional pain. This is especially challenging if the origin of this pain comes from the children that we are trying to parent. It might be simplistic to say but the pain is “painful.” It hurts! It shuts us down and drives a wall between us and others so we can’t be hurt anymore. We want to retreat to nurse our wounds before risking more in relationships. Unfortunately, the everyday tasks of life have to be completed and our children continue to need us. As a compromise to this situation, we become robotic in our actions. We are hyper-functional but we are hypo-relational. We get stuff done but we are just going through the motions and have no emotions to share. We are too raw!

If you are in this place, make a resolution to find some help through good friends, therapists, doctors, etc. There are a lot of support groups and parenting educations classes in your community. Be determined not to repeat past problems. Find new ideas and new support to achieve new, less painful interactions with your family. Second, be OK with being in a place of pain but don’t let it define you. You feel bad but YOU are not bad. Hurtful feelings are normal responses to hurtful actions they are not meant to be permanent. You will have better days again but don’t allow shame to pull you deeper into that dark place of despair. Set some boundaries, find some help and get mad a shame. It is not your friend!

Dear ANGER Diary

by Ron Huxley, LMFT

Have you ever kept a diary? Maybe as a child you did. I still do although I am not as diligent with it as I used to be. Using a diary is a simple way to manage your anger. Anger triggers and solutions are very predictable. Unfortunately, we miss the clues to both of these anger management tips and continue to repeat the negative process of outburst and tantrums.

Every day for two weeks, write in a diary using this four step anger management process:

1. List what made you angry.
2. List how angry it made you feel on a scale from 1 to 10, one being cool and calm and 10 being a major rage.
3. Put a plus sign (+) down if you handled it well and a minus sign (-) if you didn’t.
4. Write what you will try next time this situation presents itself.

After two weeks are over go back and see what you have learned. You will be surprised by how much info you gathered in a short time and how much insight and change you have accomplished.

Get more help on anger management by Ron at http://inner-healing.tumblr.com/anger

inner-healing:

What does your heart desire?

by Ron Huxley, LMFT

A desire is defined as a “strong want or wish.” An even deeper meaning is to have such a longing for or yearning for something that everything else dims in comparison and the pull created by the desire shifts everything in life toward it. It can cause some very positive reactions in people to work toward a desire despite challenging odds or it can create some very distorted actions to get those desires met. 

These desires might include power, influence/significance, acceptance, challenge, curiosity, order, safety, honor, competence, fun/playfulness, connection, community, status, and peace. There are many more ways to describe these deep longings but this gives a simple list to focus on. 

Ask yourself what is the yearning of your heart and how do I get that desire met? Is this a healthy or unhealthy means to a legitimate end? Who provides this for me and how do I provide it to others? 

It is easy to focus on the emotions that accompany these desires or even more frequently, to focus on the behaviors they produce. All behavior, to one degree or another, is driven by a deeper desire. What does your behavior or the behavior of your children/family reveal to you about the desires of the heart? 

After you have made this internal inventory, ask yourself how you can met or get this desire met in a healthy way that will eliminate the inappropriate feelings and behaviors?

For example, a parent may be dealing with a defiant teenager who desires power, independence or competence. How can a parent help met that need in a way that is agreeable to both parent and child? Can more choices be offered or freedom allowed or rules re-negotiated? Address these desires in your heart in reaction to their yearnings: “I need to feel safe and honored in order to give your your desires” and vice versa. 

Try this for a week or two and see what difference it makes in your family?

» Need more help on clarifying your desires and finding real answers to life problems and parenting issues? Contact Ron Huxley today at rehuxley@gmail.com

Core Values are what drive our best practices in life. These values are at the heart of healing for Ron Huxley and are evident in his work with families:

Healing occurs in “family”. The family is the primary healing agent for change. Children cannot be “fixed” but must be treated as powerful, creative people that must learn to live with other powerful, creative people called “family.” Family can look like many positive things.

Healing is Wholeness. Healing isn’t just about coping with problems, it is about being whole in mind, body, and spirit. It involves and impacts all three areas.

Healing looks like something. It should be noticeable, practical, and agreeable. It involves a change of heart as well as behavior. It is a measurable process.

Healing focuses on our strength’s. Healing builds on what is already working… It focuses on doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Healing is multi-sensory and experiential. It uses all the senses and can involve storytelling, drama, movement, and art.

Healing occurs when a “false belief” is replaced with a “true belief”. A false belief is the real root of the problem, not the behavior. Behaviors are the fruit of your beliefs. Once the false belief is discovered, a true belief must take its place.

Healing is inherent in identity. You can choose what you belief about yourself and not what your situation suggests or others say about you. Once you know your identity you will know your needs and your boundaries.

Healing always involves truth. It comes form understanding “all there is to know” about the story of you. Even young children can handle truth when shared in a developmentally appropriate and caring way. Truth brings freedom from pain.

10 Ways Family Journals can heal and restore your heart…

By Ron Huxley, LMFT

Journaling has long been a tool to achieving better emotional and mental health. The need to express oneself in a safe and controlled manner is a powerful means to improving self-esteem and personal relationships. Parents can use this tool to increase their effectiveness and satisfaction with family members. Here are ten ways that a journal will help parents:

1. Tell your family story. What better way to immortalize your life than to write about it in a journal? You can create a memoir of your life growing up, describe the many branches on your family tree, or just make a scrapbook of your life. Children can benefit by learning their family history and discover whom they are in relation to past generations. Parents will find clues to family dysfunction and strengths by exploring their familial history.

2. Share yourself with family members. Most people keep their journals private but choosing a sister or child to share a journal with can close the gap on distant relationships or bring close one’s even closer. Swap separate journals for family members to read, keep a family journal that is free for all to read and write, or create a journal to express thoughts, feelings, and dreams with a particular family member.

3. Organize yourself…emotionally and spiritually. Whenever I go to the store, I make a list. If I don’t I am sure to forget something. Probably a few “something’s”. Writing things down helps me recall what I need to buy. Journaling will help you remember the emotional and spiritual items you need in your life. Some of this items you may not have known you needed and others will be one’s that you know you need but haven’t had the courage to go out there and get it. Journaling is the first step in that spiritual grocery store shopping.

4. Track your emotions, moods, and experiences over time. Monday was a high-energy day. Tuesday, I felt depressed and lethargic. Wednesday, I started to climb out of it. Thursday, I felt better but had difficulty focusing. You get the picture, right? Journals will help you map the highs and lows of your week, month, or year so that you can plan your life accordingly. What mood ring can do that for you?

5. Unburden yourself and let go of old hurts. You’ve carried that old emotional baggage for how many years now? Isn’t it time to let it go and move forward feeling a little lighter on the emotional load. You can let go of the hurts and fears you inherited from childhood that have clung to you through adulthood and affected all of your important relationships. Release them into a journal and really live life to the fullest. Because you are anonymous, this is your opportunity to say it all and unburden yourself so that you can have freer, more productive relationships with your family instead of venting it all at them.

6. Clarify and achieve your dreams, goals, and aspirations. Any successful life planner, motivational speaker, or therapist will tell you that in order to achieve a goal or dream you must write it down. Journals are a great way to realizing that goal or dream. While the path of life and relationships seems confusing and chaotic, a look back, into your journal, will reveal some very clear patterns that will help you in your future journeying.

7. Share your wisdom (life experiences) with others. I may not be an expert on life but I have had my share of successes and failures. So have you. Together we can learn and grow more than either of us could have done alone. Use journals to write down your mistakes so your children do not make the same one’s or share a few tips about life that you wish your parents had shared with you. It’s not too late.

8. Glimpse the world through the eyes of another person. Journals allow you to see life from the perspective of another’s culture, geography, beliefs, age, and gender. Take a trip around the world or through time simply by reading a family journal. Ask family members to describe you or your childhood. You may be surprise by what you learn when others look at you and your life.

9. Challenge your beliefs and enrich your life. Master therapists tell us that in order to change your life you must change your thoughts or beliefs. Doing this on your own is difficult if not impossible. Journals are a great way to analyze those thoughts that get in the way of good mental health and better family relationships.

10. Realize you are not alone! Have you had a loved one pass away? Suffered a divorce or financial loss? Had a prodigal child leave home? Anyone who has suffered a loss or felt the weight of depression knows how lonely that can be. It feels like no one could possibly understand the pain you feel. Family Journals remind you know that you are never alone and that hope is just one entry away!