Counseling 101: How To Keep Your Kids’ Respect

As I mentioned in my previous post, my husband’s temper had been flaring up recently. He threw a fit while teaching our kids how to drive for the first time, causing them to cry. His reason for doing so sounded so unreasonable and not like him, so I had to take matters into my own hands quickly and get a counselor involved. I hoped to ensure that this would not happen again and make our children lose their respect for my husband.

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Counseling

My husband talked to the counselor privately for 30 minutes before his head peeked outside the door, and he beckoned me to go in there with him.

I didn’t want to do that because the problem was him, not me. When I entered, though, the counselor said, “Hello, Mrs. Smith. I want to talk to you about my initial findings since this is technically an issue that affects your entire family.”

All right, counselor. What have you found?” I asked.

“Let me start by saying that I am not a medical doctor. I cannot know if this is a side effect of diabetes or not, but from what you and your husband shared with me, I can say that he has a mild intermitted explosive disorder (IED). Based on my experience, and from what I have seen in many people with this chronic illness, they tend to develop prolonged irritability over the years. It tends to ruin relationships and families if left unchecked.”

As the counselor was explaining all this to me, my husband kept his head low. He looked so fragile and small in that instant, and I wanted to console him. Still, we both needed to hear this for the sake of our family. It was also more for his sake because he would lose a wife and two beautiful children if he kept this attitude going.

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Turning back to the counselor, I asked, “So, what can we do about it now?”

“Anything can make your husband’s fuse explode, to be honest. When that happens, he would not care about everything that comes out of his mouth because his temper rules over his better judgment. But as you told me over the phone, our main concern is ensuring that your children will not lose respect towards their father.”

Be Aware Of Your Mood Changes

As soon as you wake up, you need to spend a few minutes in bed to assess how you feel today. Are you upset about something? Are you worried about a project at work? Don’t you want your children to chatter and make it difficult for you to think at breakfast?

Whichever the case is, you should keep a mood chart to draw or write your current mood. It will be ideal for placing it where everyone can see it before even talking to anyone. This way, your family members will know to keep their distance from you or quiet down a little to ensure that they would not upset you further. Although they would have nothing to do with your feelings, it would still be great if they would not trigger your explosive disorder.

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Fix The Menial Issues

In my family’s case, my husband’s emotions got set off because our children could not understand his driving lessons in five minutes. Since there was no way anyone could do that (except maybe for my husband), I made an executive decision and enrolled our kids in an actual driving school. It was a little expensive for two teenagers, yes, but it would guarantee that they would not get yelled at and that my husband would stay cool-headed.

When my husband found out about it, he started arguing with me and insisting that it was a total waste of money. However, he turned mum when I countered, “ Dear, it is not a waste of money if it can save our family.”

Do Mindfulness Meditation

The counselor also recommended mindfulness meditation to my husband, so I immediately contacted my friend who teaches that. The basic idea was that my husband had to feel his anger flowing down his body and out of his system. He was supposed to repeat the steps every day, especially during stressful moments. Doing so will keep him from having an outburst and hurting everyone’s feelings.

It eventually turned into a family activity as my husband invited our kids to do mindfulness meditation with him.

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Final Thoughts

It was overwhelming to realize that all the positive changes would not have been possible if my husband did not want to change for the better. He only hesitated in the beginning, but when the intervention started, he cooperated 100%. That was enough indication that my husband was not inherently evil – it was probably his medication that made him short-tempered.

Needless to say, my husband managed to repair his relationship with our kids and keep their respect.

Counseling For Fathers With Short Temper

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My husband used to be a gentle spirit. Whenever we would fight back in the day, he would always apologize to me even if it was not entirely his fault. He would do that because he did not want to prolong that fight.

Once we had kids, I also saw more of his patience, considering they were not the quietest children. They would always yell or scream or cry, and I would be the one getting angry all the time. Whenever that happened, though, my husband would be like, “No, no, dear. It’s okay; I can manage them now. You relax there.”

Diagnosis And Warning

When my husband was 35 years old, he got diagnosed with diabetes. It did not genuinely come as a surprise since the same illness ran in his family for ages. He was only slightly devastated because he was asked to choose between pills and injectable insulin, which meant that he could not escape a lifetime of medication either way. He eventually opted for the latter as it was known to have a better long-term effect on the body.

When my in-laws found out about it, they were more concerned for the kids and me than for my husband. I found that a little odder than the diagnosis because, well, I was not the one who would have to get insulin injections for the rest of their life – it was their son.

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Still, my mother-in-law told me indiscreet, “John [my father-in-law] used to be as sweet and gentle as your husband right now. However, ever since he got diagnosed with diabetes and started getting treatment, he became more irritable than ever. It was as if he could find something maddening about everything before he even understood it completely.”

Shocked, I replied, “Oh, I did not know that was the case. I had never seen him angry around the kids or whenever we were around.”

“That’s just because I would be berating him before you arrive to ensure that he would keep his temper in check.”

I felt sorry for my mother-in-law. I had always thought that they had a perfect marriage, but there were still cracks in the relationship that were only held together basically by her. If she gave up, it would all fall apart. Nevertheless, I was hopeful that my husband would never turn out like that.

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When Diabetes Changed Everything

I did not see much change in my husband in the first five years of taking insulin injections. He was still hard working; he was still helping out at home with the kids. However, my husband had somehow gotten more warm-blooded, which meant that it was easy for him to sweat and feel hot. In cases like that, he would be a little irritable until we got to a colder place, but it was something that I could handle easily.

I only started seeing a shift in his behavior and attitude when our kids were old enough to learn how to drive. He did not want them to enroll in a driving school, saying that he could teach what the instructors could and more. Of course, that was okay because it meant fewer bills for us. My children were even excited to do it and waved at me happily before they hopped in their father’s car.

However, three hours later, they all came home, and my teenage kids were crying. They had never cried like that ever since they were eight years old, so something must have really upset them.

I asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Dad was very mean to us. He was yelling on our first try in the parking lot, calling us dumb for not getting what he was trying to teach in the first five minutes.”

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Instead of feeling sorry, I saw my husband’s face scrunch up in annoyance. “Well, that serves you both right for not being quick learners!” he yelled before going to our room and slamming the door.

Taking A Quick Action

You should know about me because I don’t have the same amount of patience as my mother-in-law. As soon as my husband acted up like that, I called a counselor to talk to him about his behavior. Again, my husband seemed annoyed when the mental health professionals arrived, but I told him sternly that it was necessary to keep our family together. That must have shaken him up a bit because he went to the study room for his first consultation.

I may seem harsh for other couples, but the children did not deserve to deal with a short-tempered father. All it would do was make them feel emotionally abused and resent my husband for years. Also, I believed in nipping the problem in the bud before it would have a chance to grow and ruin our family forever.

To know how the counseling session went, please read the continue in the next article entitled Counseling 101: How To Keep Your Kids’ Respect.

Smoking Dads’ Frequently Asked Questions About Nicotine And Depression

I grew up seeing my father with a lit cigarette between his fingers or in his mouth almost every hour. He told me that he had been smoking since he was 15 years old. Back then, he did it as a dare, but he tried it again and eventually got hooked. Dad said that he spent his allowance on cigarettes and would sneak food from home not to need to spend a dime for lunch at school. 

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In reality, I was not against my father’s smoking in the beginning. He was always “surrounded by clouds” and could make different shapes with them, so I thought it was fantastic. Truth be told, whenever my friends and I would do pretend play, I would often hold a pen or crayon between my fingers and pretend to take a puff. 

However, when I was in third grade, I got diagnosed with asthma. My parents were surprised about it because I did not show symptoms until I was nine years old. Still, it was what it was, so all I could do was nebulize and stay away from exhausting activities and fumes. This diagnosis meant that Dad would need to be a few meters away from me if he wanted to smoke, and then he would have to shower before coming close to me so that I wouldn’t get a whiff of the cigarette.

Despite that, my father was fine with the new arrangement. He would do anything to make me safe – that’s how much he loved me. But deep inside, I knew that he was glad that we found a way for him to continue smoking. He would have stopped in a heartbeat if that’s necessary for my well-being, but I was also sure that he did not want to do that.

Then, The Inevitable Happened

When my asthma became controllable after a couple of years through exercise and moderation, my parents decided that we were all prepared for another baby in the family. They got pregnant quickly, and my little sister, Samantha, arrived in no time.

Unfortunately, Samantha came as a premature baby with congenital heart disease. Her condition made her so fragile that my mother had to wear a sterilized gown that doctors wear during surgeries, as well as gloves, a mask, and a hair cap, before holding Samantha. As for my father, since the doctor found out that he was smoking, they advised him to look at the baby through the glass wall because the smell of cigarettes might not be good for Samantha.

The news obviously devastated my father. Seeing your child in such a vulnerable state and not even being able to hold her hand could make anyone’s heartbreak. Hence, Dad made the abrupt decision to quit smoking. We were all unable to believe it at first, but then my father made a show of ransacking his cigarette stash and crushing every stick before dumping it all in the garbage. He also had the car and the entire house thoroughly cleaned to get rid of the smell of cigarettes, which seemed to stick to all the walls as Dad smoked in there long before I was born.

When The Depression Reared Its Ugly Head 

I thought that my father’s smoking problem ended when he dumped his cigarettes in the trash. However, no one was prepared for the withdrawal symptoms that he experienced afterward – not even him.

Dad was finally allowed to hold Samantha on the day that she got released from the hospital. He also got a paternity leave so that he could spend time with all of us. It was an excellent choice, considering Mom needed help at home while her surgical wound from the C-section she went through was still healing. She trusted my father to look after everyone, including the house.

At first, my grandmother from my Mom’s side offered her help, but Dad said he could do everything independently. He tried to prove that by making my breakfast in the morning and preparing my lunch and snacks for school. Then, he would go outside for 15 minutes with the baby so that Samantha could get her daily dose of vitamin D. After that; he would start cooking for Mom, clean the house, wheel out the garbage bins, and do everything else that Mom used to do. 

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By the end of the second week, though, Dad began to mess up with his activities. One time, he slept in and forgot to wake me up, so he had to drive me to school and buy my breakfast, lunch, and snacks at the local gas station. He also left the baby’s feeding bottles boiling for hours, so he was left with melted plastic in the pot. My father finally broke down and cried when he couldn’t make Samantha stop crying one midnight, but he didn’t want to give her to Mom, insisting that he could handle her. In the end, both Dad and the baby were crying all night long.

The next day, Mom made Dad believe that we would go hiking since she was already feeling better. Instead, she drove to a psychologist’s clinic to have Dad’s mental health checked. It turned out that he was dealing with postpartum depression (Yes, it exists in men, too!), and nicotine withdrawal could be worsening its symptoms.

Can nicotine cause depression? 

Yes, nicotine can cause depression. According to research, smokers have a higher chance of developing depression than non-smokers.

Does nicotine act as an antidepressant? 

Yes, nicotine technically acts as an antidepressant. However, constant nicotine use can be harmful to your mental health.

Why does nicotine make me sad? 

Nicotine makes you sad because your dopamine level drops after a while when its effect goes away.

Is smoking good for depression? 

Smoking can be good for depression initially, given that it increases your dopamine level and makes you ‘high.’ However, it cannot do you good if you smoke too often. 

Is smoking bad for depression? 

Yes, smoking is bad for depression. That is especially true if you are a chain-smoker.

Do cigarettes help anxiety? 

No, cigarettes do not help decrease anxiety. The opposite may feel like it at first as it makes you somewhat high, but when you come down, you may get more anxious than ever.

Why do I get dizzy when I smoke? 

You get dizzy when you smoke because carbon monoxide hits your system and robs you of oxygen, making you dizzy.

Are smokers happier? 

Yes, smokers tend to be happier while smoking, considering the nicotine boost their dopamine level. 

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Does quitting nicotine help anxiety? 

Yes, quitting nicotine use helps decrease your anxiety level.

Does nicotine worsen anxiety? 

Yes, nicotine can worsen anxiety over time.

How long does depression last after quitting smoking? 

You may get depressed three days after you quit smoking. Then, it can last up to two weeks.

Why do you get angry when you quit smoking? 

Experiencing anger after you quit smoking is a withdrawal symptom. 

Do you get angry when you stop smoking? 

Yes, some people get angry when they stop smoking. It is expected since they go through a withdrawal phase.

What does cigarette withdrawal feel like? 

When you experience cigarette withdrawal, you feel like you can do anything to get nicotine in your system. That includes eating nicotine gum, sticking a nicotine patch on your body, or even sitting next to a smoker. Then, you may become temperamental for a few days.

How many days does nicotine withdrawal last?

Nicotine withdrawal may last up to 14 days.

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Final Thoughts

My father struggled with postpartum depression and nicotine withdrawal for a couple of months. It would have gotten worse if he did not let my mother step in and share his load, which was clearly a little too much for him. He eventually managed to shake off both conditions, and it’s been two decades since the last time that my father had a puff.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Anxiety Attacks

As a father of three cute little kids, I always thought that I could do everything for my children. And even if things are way too impossible, I always make sure to find ways to come up with solutions. But sometimes, despite all my efforts, I can’t still get rid of the fear and worries I have for my children. That is the reason why at some point, I deal with my emotional and mental health issues alone so that my wife and kids won’t know about my mental health struggle and won’t worry about me.

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But the more I hide my struggle with mental illness, particularly anxiety, the more I get trapped with it. The symptoms often take me to a different state of mind, and it entirely ruins my function as a husband and a father. In some unfortunate instances, I feel too uncomfortable to even with myself as I engage in panic attacks. There are a lot of things that occupy my head. Some of those are unrealistic, while others are mere negative thoughts. Fortunately, I did not let my fears and anxiety eat me, and I tried my best to learn more about my anxiety and panic attacks. In line with that, I found some of the helpful answers from these frequently asked questions. How do you calm an anxiety attack?  You can calm anxiety attacks when you breathe in slowly from your nose through your mouth. You can start deep breathing by gently closing your eyes and relaxing your body. It would be best if you recognized that you have a panic attack. That way, you easily shift your focus and practice mindfulness. After entirely understanding emotional and mental relaxation’s effectiveness, I get to free myself from too much anxiety. Every time it hits me up, I start channeling my emotional and mental energy into a productive activity. Instead of worrying too much about what could happen to my kids when I am not around them, I make sure to spend more time with them.  What does an anxiety attack feel like?  Anxiety attack often feels like you are losing control or going crazy. Sometimes, it gets accompanied by chest pain and heart palpitations. There is also the feeling like you’re going to pass out, as well as experiencing choking sensation and trouble breathing. Anxiety attack also causes chills and hot flushes.  What causes an anxiety attack?  Some factors can cause anxiety attacks. However, the usual reason is stress. It comes from life situations that perhaps include financial issues, a death in the family, work deadlines, and social relationship problems. An anxiety attack also happens when there is an impending worry or fear of upsetting chronic illness or other health issues.  What triggers panic attacks?  Panic attack triggers include family history. It could also come from major life stressors, such as serious illness, a loved one’s death, and traumatic event. These can include sexual assault, physical abuse, or a serious accident. But in my case, I often deal with a panic attack when my kids are not around. I always have these negative thoughts about my children getting hurt physically and emotionally when they are around other people. Yes, I know I can’t stop that from happening. That is why it took me a lot of time to realize that I should not worry too much about my kids every time they are out of sight.

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 Do hugs help anxiety attacks?  Fortunately, yes. Hugging impacts people’s overall health as it helps reduce stress and lower your risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Hugs may even help you heal emotionally and mentally as it releases dopamine in the brain. It is known as the pleasure hormone that provides feelings of happiness. Honestly, it really works. When I feel a little stressed and anxious, my children would run towards me and hug me. They make me feel secure every time they hold me in their arms so tightly.  What to drink to calm nerves?  Kava Tea, Valerian Root Tea, Warm Milk, Peppermint Tea, Anti-Anxiety Smoothie, Tart Cherry Juice, Green Tea, Fresh Fruit, and Vegetable Juice, and Water are the best drinks that help calm nerves.  Can anxiety go away by itself? Mild anxiety can go away on its own, even right after the stressful event that caused it. Some people can handle anxiety better than others. However, in the state of chronic anxiety, the condition often persists and eventually gets worse. It is important to consult a medical health professional if symptoms persist. I can’t often deal with anxiety because I understand that it is part of human nature. The particular emotion exists because there are a lot of things one cannot control. But as long as I stay positive and concern about my overall wellness, I know anxiety can’t stop me from taking care of myself, my wife, and my kids.  What happens during an anxiety attack?  During an anxiety attack, an individual may experience chest pain or discomfort. Sometimes, it gets included with chills or hot flushes. There is also trouble in breathing and sometimes experience choking sensation. There is also the constant fear of death and the feeling of going crazy or fear of losing control. As a father like me, my anxiety usually starts when my kids tell me that they are experiencing emotional issues. I need to jump off my office chair and go to where my kids are.  Can anxiety last all day?  Some moments of anxiety are shorter and mild compared to others. Usually, it lasts anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Sometimes, it can last for a couple of days. However, this anxiety feeling is incomparable to such passing worries or a stressful day for some people. Your anxiety may not go away for a couple of weeks or months. And sometimes, with its severity, it can last up to many years.  How long does anxiety take to heal?  Some anxiety conditions only take a while to heal, especially when you can incorporate certain methods to help with physical, emotional, and mental enhancement. However, the success of treatment in severe cases varies as it usually needs professional care. Thus, CBT is usually taken into consideration. Medical conditions vary with individual circumstances. Treatment options may be short-term or long-term, depending on the severity of symptoms.  What should I do after an anxiety attack?  An anxiety attack’s unsettling experience can cause you to feel emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted. To lessen your symptoms, you need to practice deep breathing techniques. Close your eyes and picture yourself in a happy place. Find focus on other objects so you can distract yourself from having an escalated anxiousness.  What should you not do during a panic attack?  There are things you should not do during a panic attack. You shouldn’t ignore your body. Listen to your needs, and don’t rely on self-diagnosis. Consult your health care specialist if you are not sure about your condition. And if possible, you mustn’t skip any doses of your prescribed antidepressant medicines. Besides that, I try to reach out to my wife and tell her how I feel. Luckily, she would comfort me and tell me that things will be alright. And I thank her for that.

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 Why do hugs help anxiety?  Hugs reduce stress by helping you to relax your muscles, increases circulation, and soothe aches and pains. It also releases dopamine and serotonin in your body that boosts your mood and relieves symptoms of depression.  Why do tight hugs help anxiety? Oxytocin is known to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine or most known as the feel-good hormones. Hugs elevate your mood and reduce muscle tension. Hugs can also help soothe aches and pains.  

How An Absent Father Affects The Child’s Mental Health

Nowadays, we can all agree that most marriages end up in divorce. But we can’t blame couples for deciding to go on separate ways because many factors affect their relationship. It is out of our jurisdiction to conclude that their divorce is either appropriate or inappropriate because we’re not on their shoes. However, one thing is clear when it comes to a failed marriage. It is the impact of the decision on a child. There is a tendency that one of the parents becomes absent. Usually, it is the father that is always missing in action.

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What Is An Absent Father?

An absent father refers to someone who has no contact with their child. It negatively impacts the child’s development as it comes with a lot of consequences. These include a lack of a role model, insufficient financial support, lots of emotional and mental stress, etc. In some cases, it leads to trauma and other mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. But the overall impact is not limited to that. Here are some of the consequences of having an absent father.

There Is An Insufficient Standard Of Happiness – A child with an absent father always finds it difficult to understand happiness. In some instances, the kid becomes either insensitive or too sensitive to pain. Honestly, it is no surprise that a child with an absent father often feels dissatisfied and unhappy with everything. At some point, the kid does not understand the whole process of appreciating life. That is due to the incompleteness and lack of personal connection to someone who should suppose to become a guidance source. Well, I am not saying that every kid with an absent father grows up dysfunctional. Some somehow manage to live their lives accordingly.

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There Is An Issue With Cognitive Skill Development – You might not believe it, but an absent father can affect a child’s cognitive function. A study shows that a kid who grows up with an absent father has a more extensive grey matter on the brain. Usually, the grey matter is located in the areas of the brain that controls emotions. So when there is an emotional and mental disposition, it means that a child is not effectively getting the right amount of chemicals to support brain development. It slows down the child’s learning progress and somehow ruins the ability to concentrate. It results in a delay in the brain’s maturity as an absent father creates a lasting impact on emotional well-being.

There Is A Risk Of Having A Mental Illness – Well, everyone can agree that having an absent father is a traumatic experience. It can cause severe damage to a kid’s overall mental health status because the consequences of an absent father last for an extended period. It does not guarantee to heal over time. And even if someone chooses to take the absent father’s place, it will not fully support the overall healing progress. The impact that started from childhood can develop until adulthood. In some unfortunate instances, most children without a father in their lives tend to become more agitated, lonely, isolated, and even depressed.

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There Is A Chance Of Developing Addiction – Most of the time, due to the trauma of having a broken home, the kid engages in inappropriate coping methods in various ways, especially in the adolescent stage. Somehow, it gives the child a temporary feeling of relief from unwanted emotions. Thus, a child finds it amusing, and self-soothing to smoke cigarettes or weed, drink alcohol, take illegal drugs, engage in non-stop video games, and a lot more. Furthermore, without proper guidance, a child with emotional issues due to an absent father may also develop self-harm addiction. A child might view it as an outlet to let the emotional pain out.

There Is The Urgency To Form Sexual And Romantic Relationship – Having an absent father, a child could develop a different ideology about a relationship and engage in multiple romantic and sexual affairs in their adolescent years. Though the complication is relatively low for a teenage boy, it can become a serious issue for a teenage girl. The lack of a fatherly image can make her long for the instant love and affection of someone. Thus, it will put her in a state of searching for a man’s attention to compensate for her absent father. It is damaging for her as it can lead to the possibility of teen pregnancy.

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Takeaway

Understandably, we cannot control any marital issues that will somehow ruin the family, but we can always do something to keep our relationship with our parents or children intact. We should take the unhealthy lessons with us and use it to improve our lives. If we want our kids to become emotionally and mentally stable once they grow up, we should become responsible parents who are always right by their sides.

Things That Dads With Anxiety Should Remember When Handling Kids

Growing up in a patriarchal household, you tend to see the roles that mom and dad play when it comes to parenting. The former, for instance, watch the kids like a hawk and keeps everything in order. The latter, on the other hand, typically has the final say on most decisions concerning the entire family.

What that entails is that if a kid comes home with a letter from the school principal because he punched a classmate, the mother cannot serve a punishment by herself. She can get angry and grill the child about why the incident occurred, yes. However, you will still hear her say at some point, “You just wait until your father hears about this fiasco you started.”

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…acknowledge what your child might be feeling. Help them tell a story about what happened. — Amy Quinn, MA, MS, LMFT

It can feel great to know that everyone recognizes you as the head of the family, quite frankly. They won’t do anything unless you say it’s okay. The only downside here is that you need to worry about everything that the others could have resolved without you. Thus, instead of being able to rest after work, you have to think of various issues at home and feel anxiety creeping in little by little.

This kind of concern is something that you can talk about with your wife. You may relax your roles a bit so that you can make decisions alternately. Nevertheless, there are vital things that you need to remember to avoid transferring your worries to your kids.

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  1. Let Them Conquer Their Fears Early

The first advice is to give your children a chance to overcome their phobias while they are still young. In case your baby girl is afraid of animals, you should bring her to a petting zoo often to let her realize that they are not scary at all. Assuming your son fears the water, you have to pencil swimming in your schedule regularly in hopes of making the aquaphobia go away in that manner.

If you shelter your kids for too long, you might as well pass down your mental disorder to them.

The tongue-in-cheek expression, “Do as I say, not as I do,” illustrates the understanding that youth pay a lot more attention to what their parents do than what they say. The way you conduct yourself in the presence of your children is likely to have a deep and lifelong impact on them. — Johannes Kieding, LCSW

  1. Don’t Be Too Critical

Parents with anxiety tend to become perfectionists when it comes to children. Whereas average folks allow the kid to choose their extracurricular activities, the former has to make sure that their son or daughter excels at all the additional classes that they are getting. If they fail at executing a good performance, they might not hear the end of it.

The reason why you should not act the same way with your children is that your perfectionism can give them anxiety. Say, they score A- at a math exam. It’s possible for them to dread coming home and showing it to you as you may be expecting an A+.

If you keep on being overly critical, the kids might resort to telling lies sooner or later.

In the case of communicating interest and support, parent-child relationships are most effective when we avoid criticism, sarcasm, negativity, punitive language, and scolding. — Jon Lasser, Ph.D.

  1. Fight Your Phobias

Last but not the least, you should have the strength to conquer all your fears. In case you are unaware of it, it matters to build your connection out of the house as well. Not trying means that you may not be able to go on adventures and bond over some things with your kids. You don’t want the day to arrive in which you can no longer relate to anything your babies say, do you?

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Ultimately, the best alternative for you to deal with your anxieties appropriately is to partner with a compassionate and experienced therapist, one that you can have access to when you subscribe to the BetterHelp app. Signing up has never been easier and more convenient. Learn more about it by visiting BetterHelp’s official site and get the help you need today.

You can do so much to maintain the happiness painted on your children’s faces. Don’t pass up every opportunity to make that happen.

 

Good luck!

Tips From A Therapist For New Dads

Finding out that your wife has finally given birth to your first-born can be overwhelming at first. There will be many things that will enter your mind. Aside from this, you will also experience mixed emotions. First of all, you will feel happy knowing that you are going to raise your own child in this world. Second, you may also feel fear especially if you have no idea on what to do now that you are a brand new dad. At this point, it is significant to highlight the fact that what you are feeling is only normal.

 

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Continue reading Tips From A Therapist For New Dads

Unhealthy Father And Son Relationship (A Family Discussion)

A lot of people believe that sons grow up to be as great as their fathers. That is somewhat true in some instances. But what about some individuals who grew up with a toxic father where they experienced a tough upbringing? What about those who never experienced having a father in their lives? Honestly, it is essential that we all take a moment to understand how toxic family dynamics can affect our emotional and mental wellbeing. So take a minute to read some of the listed unhealthy father and son relationships.

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The Addict

An addict father is someone who struggles with addiction. It could be alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, and so on. In this state, if you have an addict father, you tend to be vulnerable. And often, you experience emotional instability due to fear and anxiety instilled within your life. It can scare you to death. In some instances, your fear can restrict you from opening up and getting close to other people. There is this feeling that you do not want to get hurt and rejected. Over time, this unwanted fear can cause you the inability to form an intimate friendship as well as establish a romantic relationship. Unfortunately, it does not end there. Usually, an addict father tends to resort to abuse, which could top off your father-related worries.

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The Abusive

It is a type of father image that destroys you from inside and out. An abusive father often possesses an overly-strict feature that eventually turns into a harsh and abusive one. Usually, an abusive father experiences frequent irritability and anger outburst that comes from nowhere. He then executes his uncontrolled emotions to verbal, emotional, sexual, or physical violence. It is a characteristic that often makes the whole family unhappy and unsafe. With an abusive father, there is no room for mistakes and flaws around. But before you connect an abusive father to the addict, consider thinking outside the box. There are instances that an abusive father tends to be highly religious and well-mannered as well. However, in the household, he tends to expect everyone to follow his rules and regulations. This type of father is often moody and unpredictable, so you usually tend to be afraid of him.

The Absent

An absent father is an image of an individual who is never around when you need him. Usually, the case is situational. There are instances that you experience an absent father because you lost him at an early age. Or perhaps you never get to know him because of personal reasons. But often, you experience an absent father because this man chooses to ignore his family for whatever reasons you sometimes can and cannot understand. It is mostly because he wanted to take a step back from all the pressure from his family. This man has many regrets in his life that he wants to fulfill so badly even if it ends up leaving his whole family. An absent father becomes emotionally and physically unavailable in nurturing his children. Over time, that feeling of abandonment can be detrimental to everyone’s emotional, mental, and physical development.

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The Busy

The busy type of father immerses himself into a lot of hobbies and work. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with being passionate about a career. But if your father gets obsessed with something that benefits him alone rather than spending quality time with you and your family, that is different. When your father doesn’t enjoy being around his son or any other member of the family, that can cause a lot of emotional and mental pressure. Indeed, you can understand that most fathers would love to spend time relaxing and resting after a day of work. But if that individual always avoids being around everyone in the house, it represents an unhealthy relationship. But note that most busy fathers tend to have the impression of being reliable and responsible in front of other people, yet in the household, they often practice neglect.

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The Passive

The passive father is somewhat comparable to the busy one. However, they differ significantly when it comes to emotional unavailability. Usually, a passive father has a very boring and uneventful life. He only focuses on himself, he never tries to help at home, and he never spends quality time with everyone in the house. Yes, he rarely complains about a lot of stuff, but you can feel that he is somewhat inexistent. Sometimes, it makes you think that the rest types would be better compared to this one. Although this type of father is physically present in the family’s lives, he is often emotionally distant. He doesn’t interact that much or not at all with all the members of the unit. Thus, it becomes impossible to bond or even have a small conversation with this type of individual.

 

 

How Dads Can Help At Home During The Quarantine

With most people still in quarantine, dads are spending more time at home with their loved ones. While most fathers are taking a more active role at home than those before, women still handle most domestic tasks.

If you want to help out more at home during this difficult time, here are some things you can do.

Help With Chores

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One of the things you can try at home is to help out with more chores and housework. It’s likely that you and your family already have assigned duties, but now you can help out with more tasks. It could be standard household work such as cleaning dishes, dusting furniture, or doing laundry.

Or perhaps you have tasks you’ve wanted to do for a while. Maybe you’ve been planning to clear out the roof, repair those squeaky chairs, or try out that recipe you saved. Now that you’re at home, you might have the time to check these items off your to-do list.

Study With Your Kids

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Because most places have still suspended classes, learning now dominantly takes place at home. More and more parents realize how challenging it can be for teachers worldwide. Some even joke that they now believe educators should earn millions with the amount of patience they show with young learners.

As we await the end of this outbreak and the beginning of a new term, you can help your kids. Thousands of online resources will give you activities you can do with your children at home. From practice sheets and flashcards to coloring pages and informational videos, you can use these materials to teach your kids.

Alternatively, you can also go on a virtual tour with your family. Some places you can visit online include:

  • Walt Disney World. Walk past your kids’ favorite Disney landscapes and landmarks through 360-degree panoramic shots.
  • The National History Museum. Visit up to 14 different exhibits and an interactive gigapixel photo.
  • NASA. The space agency offers an app with augmented reality to let you experience being in the Horton Space Center. You can also have a 360-degree view of the galaxy.
  • The National Aquarium in Baltimore. Explore the aquarium and chill with penguins or tropical fish.
  • The San Diego Zoo. Watch animals without ever leaving your home through live cameras of the enclosures 24/7.

With virtual tours, you can visit places without having to leave your home. It’s an excellent alternative to plans you might have needed to cancel due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Teach Your Children A New Skill

Speaking of learning, you don’t have to stick to a specific curriculum or classroom work. You can also take the time during this quarantine to teach your kids a new skill or hobby.

Why not show them how to play a few basic chords on the guitar? Or teach your older kids some beginner house repair. You can also guide them on how to knit to create a simple project. It’s an excellent time to share your interests and knowledge with them. You can also learn about what might pique their interest.

Have Playtime Together

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With how busy parents can get with work and other responsibilities, you might not always have time to bond. Now you can take some time to have playtime together.

A fun idea is to stage a “Family Olympics” where all household members can play. Plan out simple games you can all participate in and keep score of who wins for the day. Some suggestions for these activities include:

  • Trash can toss. Get the most paper balls into the bin in a certain amount of time.
  • Water bottle bowling. The goal is to knock down the most water bottle pins with a small ball.
  • Paper cup tower. Build the highest tower out of paper or plastic cups.

Playing with your kids can help strengthen your bond together. “When a dad engages with his child, it allows him to enter the child’s world,” says Kate Eshleman, PsyD.

Summary

In the past, many fathers may have been less involved in raising their kids and participating at home. However, there’s now a significant shift in the norm, with more dads being more proactive. In 2012, dads made up 16% of stay-at-home parents, higher than 10% in 1989.

Even during this quarantine, there’s a lot you can do to help at home. You can help out with chores that you might not have had the time for before. The extra time also gives you an opportunity to teach your kids more lessons, a new skill, or about a hobby. Lastly, the quarantine can also serve as bonding time with your family. With all the stress right now, everyone can use fun activities and games together.

 

 

 

Indoor Activities Dads Can Do With Kids During Quarantine

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COVID-19 has made us adjust a lot of things in a short period. To stop the outbreak from spreading, schools have shut down, jobs have transitioned to remote working, etc. Now that you and the kids are home every day, how can you keep them engaged and entertained despite the situation outside? This vast transition can be challenging both for you and your child.

Here are some creative indoor activities that can keep your kids engaged while at home:

Go On Virtual Tours

Touring landmarks is the number one leisure activity. You can still do this—but virtually. It’s not nearly rewarding as in real life, but it can be a fun and exciting way to pass the time. 

You can virtually tour museums, safaris and zoos, national park, and landmarks such as:

There is a long list of free virtual tours that you can find online. Or, a simple search on Google Maps can take you on a trip all over the world. “Walking” around with your kids and making up stories along the way can be a fun and unpredictable experience.

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Get Creative With Arts And Crafts

Sky’s the limit with indulging in the hobby of arts and crafts. It can be a way for children to express ideas and emotions and to explore processes and outcomes. 

You can bring out a classic paper and crayons combination, and kids can be entertained for hours. Painting is another activity—finger painting is highly-stimulating for toddlers—to get their creative juices flowing. You can also create DIY crafts out of recycled materials and natural objects.

Introduce Them To Music

You can also use the quarantine period as a time to introduce your child to music. Music is therapeutic and helps alleviate the anxiety this crisis brings. If you know how to play a musical instrument and your child is old enough to pick it up, why not pass on the knowledge to them? If you have a toddler, on the other hand, you can buy them toy instruments for starters and let them have a feel of it.

A lot of celebrities and musicians are also holding live concerts at this time that you can watch with your kids. Or if your kid is into dancing, playing out exciting music for them can help them hone their talent.

Teach Them A Recipe

With many restaurants closing for business, you can take this time to teach your kids how to cook or bake. You can have them help with the preparation when you’re preparing a dish for your mealtime. You can also teach them family recipes and follow instructions from a kid’s cookbook. You’ll not only teach them how to cook, but they can also learn how to measure ingredients precisely.

Damon Korb, M.D., points out that, “This break is an opportunity for all of us to get back to the basics and get out of our digital lives. Don’t look at these activities as just chores, but things that your young adult will someday need to be able to do on their own.”

Do A Science Experiment

Simple science experiments can teach kids how things work in a fun way. You can show them how chemical reactions work through a classic volcano experiment or create a DIY lava lamp to introduce some physics lessons. There are tons of science experiments and projects that you can do together with your kids. Check out Science Buddies for more ideas!

Reading and Storytelling

Learning should never stop even in quarantine. Take advantage of this time to read some new books for your child. If they are ready for chapter books, then you can take out your favorite books from the shelf and have them read it. If you have small kids, you can pick a children’s book and read it out loud to them.

Bring Out the Board Games and Mind Puzzles

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Back in the days, you’ve probably spent vacation nights and family gatherings with your cousins playing Monopoly or Scrabble. Go old school and teach your child these games that you enjoyed before. It is not only a fun way to pass the time but also an opportunity to teach them skills and strategies while adding in some lessons while you’re playing.

Conclusion

Even amid a pandemic, your child doesn’t stop growing. You shouldn’t let this situation hinder their growth. They will carry their experience and memories of this period until adulthood. We hope that this article helped you come up with some exciting ideas on how you can spend this quarantine period with your child. Stay safe!