family | Kay Trotter

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All Posts Tagged: family

Parenting Tip

parenting tipParenting Tip

“Let’s spend more time on the floor with our kids. Let’s trade strollers for newborn carriers, and car trips for walks. Let’s spend more time looking into each other’s eyes, and less time staring into our screens. Let’s really get to know each other, and less time staring into our screens. Let’s really get to know each other.” ~ Zero to Five

 

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Childhood Development Ages 8 to 11

childhood development ages 8-11“The major task of childhood is to become “your own person”

My childhood development blog series will include the characteristics of the “typical” child during each developmental stage from ages 8 to 18, illustrating how children’s progression through these stages is determined not only by biological growth and change, but also by temperament and personality, adult expectations, and social influences.

The main tasks of childhood require children to learn, and this kind of learning is not just a matter of getting the right answer. Most important is to understand the meaning of the right answer. This is truly difficult work and it absolutely requires support from parents, relatives, and neighbors.

To help children grow up, parents need to be aware how their child is changing, growing, and developing. It is easy for a middle-aged adult to forget this fact, especially when confronted with a difficult problem. However, parents who are working on their own growth are in a good position to understand children and to respect what they are doing as they struggle to grow up and become good people in their own right.

Children progression through these stages is determined not only by biological growth and change, but also by temperament and personality, adult expectations, andsocial influences. Children learn to make choices and commitments, follow through with them, and stand up independently in the world. They need to be respected for taking on these tasks. After all, we respect adults who can do these things. They are complicated and courageous actions. However, children swing back and forth between dependence and independence as they work on these tasks. It is easy for parents to get frustrated. It is also easy for a parent to assume that if the child would simply follow the plan that makes sense to a parent, things would be all right in the end.

“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.”
-Richard L. Evans

Understanding your child’s moral, emotional, and self-development – the main tasks of childhood require children to learn, and this kind of learning is not just a matter of getting the right answer. Most important is to understand the meaning of the right answer. This is truly difficult work and it absolutely requires support from parents, relatives, and neighbors.

To help children grow up, parents need to be aware how their child is changing, growing, and developing. It is easy for a middle-aged adult to forget this fact, especially when confronted with a difficult problem. However, parents who are working on their own growth are in a good position to understand children and to respect what they are doing as they struggle to grow up and become good people in their own right.

Late Childhood Development 8-11″

Cognitive Stage: Children in this developmental stage use logical thinking but with a very limited ability to extend logic to abstract concepts (e.g. the disdain for imaginative and illogical thinking of early childhood). At this point, they have accumulated a lot of general knowledge and have gradually developed the ability to apply learned concepts to new tasks. They also have a frequent interest in learning life skills from adults at home and elsewhere (e.g. cooking, fixing things, etc.).

Moral Development: Children age 8-11 are predominantly focused in the needs and wants of themselves, although they have developed a conscience and move from thinking in terms of “What’s in it for me?” fairness (e.g. “If you did this for me, I would do that for you.”). They now want to gain social approval and live up to the expectations of people close to them. They tend to have a ”Golden Rule” morality where they can take the perspective of others and may place the needs of others over their own self-interest. However, their moral thinking abilities are not always reflected in their behavior.

Psychological and Emotional Traits: Children at this stage have a need to develop a sense of mastery and accomplishment with frequent interest in making plans and achieving goals. They learn from what parents and others do to make and fix things and have a tendency to be disorganized and forgetful.

“Early onset of puberty is associated with lower self-control and emotional instability.”

Self-Concept: Influenced by relationships with family members, teachers, and increasingly by their peers, often relatively, 8- to 11-year-olds have a low level of concern about their physical appearance (especially boys), although this is influenced by peers as well as the media. Many boys experience pressure to conform to “masculine” stereotype. Girls’ body image declines precipitously with puberty, especially with early onset puberty. Early onset puberty is also associated with lower self-control and emotional instability, especially for boys.

Relationship to Parents and Other Adults: Children in late childhood development tend to be closely attached to parental figures and parents increasingly need to involve these children in decision making while increasing responsibility with age. Most frequent conflicts occur over sibling quarrels and forgetfulness with respect to chores, schoolwork, and messiness, especially of their bedroom. Parental listening skills becomes increasingly important as the parent-child communication patterns can change with puberty. Many adolescents report that (a) they cannot talk with parents about issues related to sexuality, and (b) they do not get needed information in sex education courses at school.

Peer Relationships: Friendships among 8- to 11-year-olds are often with their same-gender peers and are usually based on proximity, common interest/hobbies, or other perceived commonalities. Girls usually have fewer, but emotionally closer, friends than boys. Formation of exclusive “clubs” and shifting peer alliances is common at this age and media influences and popular culture increasingly affect the child’s peer activities and relationships.

† Source: Middle Childhood and Adolescent Development, Oregon State University Extension Service.

Next blog of the Childhood Development series will be  “Early Adolescents ages 11-14”

Download the complete ages 8-18  “Task of Childhood” 

Additional Resource:

Ages and Stages A Parent’s Guide to Normal Childhood Development Written by a fellow play therapist Charles E. Schaefer‘s Ages and Stages this book is great for sorting through what’s normal age appropriate behavior and what’s not.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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Christmas Dinner Menu Past—Family Traditions

Since I am iced in today (thunder-sleet storms, ice and snow here in North Texas) I thought I would use this down time to create this year’s Christmas Dinner Menu. As I started looking at recipes, I found a few past Christmas dinner menus and thought it would be fun to share a few of them with you.


Cooking Nurtures My Soul – Cooking Grounds Me

166216_1664273120592_6628374_nChristmas dinner is an especially important cooking activity for me. I research recipes, explore food pairings from appetizers to dessert. Then its time to create a fun design for the printed dinner menu.

I like to enjoy the sparkling festiveness of a Christmas-themed dinner table, Christmas dinner table is set weeks ahead of time. Then, on Christmas day, I turn my kitchen counter into a shining, flickering, happy place to munch on this year’s tapas and sip on raspberry Champagne, something that has become a traditional Christmas Dinner cocktail in my home.

07menu

Christmas Dinner 2007

Cocktail: Seasonal Breeze • Campari Liquor, Blood Orange Juice and Cranberry Juice • Recipe courtesy of Feast Food to Celebrate Life, December 2004

Soup: Crab Bisque • Blue Crabs with a hint of Old Bay spices and fiery peppers • Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine, December 2007

Salad: Poached Pears with Ginger and Port • Ripe Anjou pears, Tawny Port wine and Mascarpone cheese • Recipe courtesy Gourmet magazine, March 1997

Vegetable: Perfect Roasted Potatoes • Yukon gold, red and sweet potatoes, roasted with fresh rosemary sprigs • Recipe courtesy of Gourmet magazine December 2004

Entree: Roasted Duck with Pomegranate-Wine Sauce • Roasted duck, garlic, herbs, white and red wine drizzled with a orange pomegranate molasses sauce • Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetite, December 2004

Dessert: Southern Pecan Pie • Recipe courtesy of Sudekum Family Favorite Cookbook

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 10.17.55 AMChristmas 2008

Appetizers: Raspberry Champagne • Artichoke DipCheese Tray: Brie, Gouda and Mild Cheddar

First Course: Shrimp Cocktail

Second Course: Cream of Mushroom Soup

Third Course: Caesar Salad

Main Course: Garlic Standing Rib RoastGoat-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes With Chives

Dessert: Southern Pecan Pie

I have also blogged my 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Christmas Dinner menus.

As you can see my family loves to cook and we have lots of Family Traditions

For more of my family recipes, please check out my Pinterest board Yummy Sudekum Family Favorites Recipes.

May Gods blessings float down like soft snowflakes on you and yours this Christmas

~  Dr. Kay

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Play Therapy for Children

4 Year Old Girl Playing With Blocks

IN HONOR OF THE FIRST DAY OF NATIONAL PLAY THERAPY AWARENESS WEEK 

Work with young children is important….Because research has shown that a child’s social and academic success can be greatly influenced by experiences from infancy and toddlerhood. Infant or toddlers who have identified with difficulties or has experienced trauma would benefit from Play Therapy.

It’s important that a trained play therapist work with young child and their parents or caregivers as early as possible is optimal—early intervention make a difference. Early intervention helps foster mental health development and future healthy relationships. Neuroscientist have identified that healthy care giving interactions with infants and toddles positively influence developments of the child’s brain that affects their behaviors throughout childhood and adult hood. Play therapy provides the framework needed for understanding the emotional needs of very young children and their caregivers.

“The job of early intervention is to support, facilitate, identify and guild on strengths that exist in the and for each child and family”

DID YOU KNOW THAT DR. KAY TROTTER DOES PLAY THERAPY WITH YOUNG CHILDREN? 

As a Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor Dr. Kay has extensive training in child development, parent-child attunement, play based interventions, parenting and of course play therapy techniques.

  • To find a Registered Play Therapist in your area or to find out learn more about Play Therapy visit the Association for Play Therapy.
  • To read the Play Therapy Meta Analysis “The Efficacy of Play Therapy and Filial Therapy with Children: Summary of the Meta-Analytic Findings” visit Center for Play Therapy.
  • Visit the Texas Association for Play Therapy site and “Make a Difference In Their Lives.”

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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A girl’s father is one of the most influential people in her life

Josh and Emery Widener

A father’s influence in his daughter’s life shapes her self-esteem, self-image, confidence and opinions of men.

What matters in the father-daughter relationship is that Dad seeks to live a life of integrity and honesty, avoiding hypocrisy and admitting his own shortcomings, so that she has a realistic and positive example of how to deal with the world.

He should try to model a reflective approach to life’s big questions so that she can seek to do the same.

To learn more on how to build a positive meaningful relationship with your child contact Dr. Kay Trotter at: 214-499-0396, Kay@KayTrotter.com or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com

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Oxytocin Parenting

This is an awesome responsibility. Luckily, it’s not that hard. Many of the things you naturally do to care for your child help shape a healthy oxytocin response.

But some common childrearing practices do more harm than good. These mistakes can train your baby to believe that the world is a scary, uncomfortable place. And these attitudes can persist throughout life, limiting your child’s ability to experience love, joy and connection.

Oxytocin Parenting is an approach that helps you use your natural inclinations to create a warm, safe connection with your baby and, as she grows, teach her how to love and trust appropriately and safely.

The book contrasts traditional views of parenting practices with the way Oxytocin Parenting views them.

You will learn to parent softly in a way that feels good to you and to your child.

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, expecting or raising a baby or toddler, then Oxytocin Parenting is for you!

I encourage you to read this book Susan Kuchinskas and Brain Post
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How to Guide Teens Through Loss and Grief

Max Schwolert

I recently had the honor of talking to an intimate group of parents who where at a loss as to how to help their children cope with the loss of a friend, 17-year-old Max Schwolert, who died from complications of the flu during a holiday vacation. Those who knew Max, and those who never had the pleasure of meeting a Schwolert, had many questions. Only one being: “How can I help my child through this?”

As a parent or support person, you have the opportunity to gently guide your teenager in living with the loss, as I do not know one ever truly “gets over it.”

A loss of a friendship can be hard on a teenager, just as it can be on adults. It is important to validate your teen’s feelings of loss. In validating those feelings, you make it easier for him or her to share their stories about the friendship, the memories of happy and sad times. Bereaved children and teenagers will need ongoing attention, reassurance and support. It is not unusual for grief to resurface later on, even well after the death. This can happen as they move through different life milestones, and develop as individuals.

As a parent or support person, you have the opportunity to gently guide your teenager in living with the loss, as I do not know one ever truly “gets over it.” Many teenagers feel guilty because their friend died; yet they have a chance at life and graduation, and romance, and experiences, and even new friendships.

One thing that is very important for parents to know is: When your children are grieving and crying, your job is not to fix them. It is natural to want to make their crying stop, but this desire really is more about your pain because it hurts you to see your children cry. But, your job is not to make their pain go away, but to walk hand-in-hand with your child so they can learn to work through this pain. In other words, you have to honor your child’s feelings and allow them to have them so they can learn to process and express a range of emotions, and react in appropriate ways in emotional situations.

Parents also need to realize that, in your intention to fix them, you send the message that you don’t see them, and they therefore do not feel heard by you—this “not being seen and heard by you” can lead to a fight. This is because you have failed to understand your child’s real point and their thoughts or feelings underlying that point. I recommend you quit trying to fix your children and start communicating that you believe in them.

When your child is crying or upset and you don’t know what to do, stop and take a moment to reflect what you are seeing in your child. For example you could say, “You’re really angry. You want this to be over because this is really bothering you.” This will let your child know they are being heard and touched.

It’s also good to ask your children, “What do you need from me now?” Then, if your child just needs you to listen, they can say, “I just need you to listen.” Or if your child wants you to take some action, then they are able to tell you what action to take. This helps them feel like they have some control because death makes all of us feel out of control.

The bottom line is: Don’t fix your children. Instead help them learn how to feel and appropriately express their feelings. As parents, we can teach and guide our children to handle their emotions in ways that validates their feelings, while fostering healthy interactions with the world. In fact, emotional regulation is essential for children’s overall wellbeing.

Remember you’re the most important person to them as their parent and they just want you to walk with them on this journey.

On the flip side, it’s also okay for parents to cry and grieve in front of their children. While you may think you need to hide your pain from them, crying actually allows you to honor yourself and to feel your feelings. It’s okay to feel your pain because we all have to go through the struggle before we can come out on the other side.

The Struggle to Become a Butterfly 

There is a well-known story about a man who tried to help a butterfly out of its cocoon by slitting the cocoon open. The butterfly that emerged had small, unformed wings, and died soon after. What the man didn’t realize is the butterfly needed the struggle out of the cocoon to force the fluid into its wings; to stretch and open them so that the butterfly could fly. By trying to shortcut the process, the man had instead doomed the creature.

I use this story to illustrate that, while it’s hard to watch someone you love struggle, sometimes we need to learn to wait and let the process unfold on its own.

Remember: WITHOUT THE STRUGGLE, THERE ARE NOT WINGS!

If God allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. We would never be able to fly.

How To Help Your Teens

  • Be honest and let them know what’s happening
  • Be willing to listen, and available to talk about whatever they need to talk about
  • Acknowledge the emotions they may be feeling—fear, sadness, anger
  • It can be helpful for parents, or other adults, to share their own feelings regarding the loss
  • Frequently reassure them they are safe, who is caring for them, and which adults they can trust to ask for further support
  • Keep routines and normal activities going as much as possible
  • Talk to them about grief – what it is, that it’s normal, that everyone is different
  • Avoid expectations of adult behavior – allow them to be the age and stage they are and encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings – give them ideas of things they could try, such as doing physical activities, writing, singing, listening to music, talking with friends, reading etc.
  • Allow questions and provide honest answers
  • Comfort them with hugs, cuddles, holding their hand, and by encouraging them
  • Speak calmly and gently to them – and be calm around them
  • Talk about death together; answer any questions they may have
  • Let them help in planning the funeral or something to remember the loss

IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE WHEN YOUR TEENAGER IS STRUGGLING WITH THE LOSS MORE THAN WHAT IS NORMAL.

Recognizing the symptoms is one way of helping your teenager deal with the loss such as: 

  • Teenagers can experience symptoms of depression and have angry outbursts.
  • They can also be at the opposite end of the spectrum by showing a lack of emotions and feeling numb.
  • There can be problems in school with failing grades or delinquent behaviors.
  • Further symptoms showing difficulty processing the loss might include personality changes, self-destructive behaviors (drinking, drugs, etc.), withdrawal and isolation, or even suicidal thoughts.

While this is not an all-inclusive list of symptoms, it does give you an idea of how hard the loss of an important relationship can be on a teenager. If you are concerned about any extreme reactions, or if you think the young person may have become depressed, contact your doctor or other trained adviser, such as a counselor, senior staff member from their school, social worker, community or youth worker or a local family support agency.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group you can contact her at: 214-499-0396, Kay@KayTrotter.com or visit her web site www.KayTrotter.com

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Parenting Your Teenager

By Dore Quinn, MEd, LPC – Dore is a licensed professional counselor, who works with those who are striving to overcome depression, anxiety, effects of sexual and physical abuse, grief, marital and parenting issues. Dore uses many different counseling modalities including traditional talk therapy, expressive art therapy, experiential therapy and play therapy (for the young ones).

I have often heard parents with young children lament the time when their child turns into a teen. For some reason, many look on that time with dread (could it be, perhaps, that many are thinking back to when they were a teen?). I have found the teen years to be fun, and quite different from having small children. There are many things we as parents can do to build a relationship with our teen.

To me, it begins with learning to allow our children to be his or her own person within the rules of the home.  I have often thought of how much easier this whole parenting thing would be if each child came with his/her own manual, but we all know they don’t.

I remember before having my first child thinking, “Wow…we are going to have it so easy between my easy-going personality (which I have since learned isn’t so easy-going) and their dad’s easy-going personality (which really is easy-going)!”  Yes, those of you with kids know how UNTRUE and naïve that thought is because what I didn’t realize at that time is that each child comes with his/her own personality.

Our children are not combinations of us, nor where they meant to be.  It took me a few years to recognize that I was trying to turn my oldest into a “mini-Dore” because the way I thought was the right way to think or else I wouldn’t be thinking it, right?   And yes, we clashed quite a bit until I realized what I was doing.  As I was going about trying to make her into a mini-me, I completely overlooked her own person.  The message I was sending without intending is that there was something wrong with her.

So then what was my job?  I determined that my job as a parent was not to turn her into a mini-me, but to love her, protect her, and teach her right from wrong.  It’s also important to not expect our children to be like their siblings.

In order to have a good relationship with your teen, home needs to be a safe haven from the rest of the world.  A saying that I have repeated over and over (and my kids can recite it verbatim) is that not everyone on the planet is going to love them, but their family will ALWAYS love them!

A good way to foster a “Home is a safe haven” environment is to NOT ALLOW sarcasm and nastiness among siblings.  We need to be sure we aren’t engaging in it as well, whether it is with a spouse or with our children.

Another important component of building a relationship with your teen is to learn to laugh.  Don’t be afraid to play and be playful.  We don’t always know the impact that having fun in our homes will have.  During my son’s first year of college out-of-state, he posted the following status on Facebook:  “To either Mom or Dad…whoever sees this first:  I was on Facebook with my iTunes on shuffle and “Love Will Keep us Alive” by The Eagles came on and it made me think about how a while back at the Buckner house on Saturday nights we would open all of the windows and the front door and play music on Dad’s stereo and dance around the living room…I’m tired of growing up.”  I had no idea that fun times such as that would be important to my son.

Lighten up!  Discipline on a “lighter note.”  For example, when your teen asks to come home one hour after his 12 o’clock curfew, instead of going into a long lecture on obedience, say something such as, “So what I hear you saying is, “Mom, I REALLY want to come home at 11:00?”  This is a much less intense confrontation.  Another example would be my son and I were joking around on the way to school, and he said something that was over the line.  We were pulling up to the school and I said, “Sorry Mom….” And he completely ignored me.  After he took two steps towards the front door of the school, I rolled down the window and said, “That’s okay…as soon as you get to the door I’m going to shout out to you if you remembered to take your anti-diarrhea medicine this morning.”  I got a prompt apology without offense being taken.

Another way to build a relationship with your teen is to learn to criticize less.  There is a distinct difference between consequences and criticism.

A CONSEQUENCE WOULD LOOK LIKE THIS

“Gee, since you chose to come home after curfew, you chose to not go out tomorrow.”

A CRITICISM LOOKS LIKE THIS

“Did you EVEN stop to think I would worry about you?  You are so irresponsible and don’t care about anyone but yourself!”

Criticism doesn’t address the actual problem; it merely makes a global statement about the other person’s character.  The problem with criticisms is that it elicits defensiveness, and seldom results in behavior change.  Especially be careful to not nit-pick the small things.

An example of nit-picking the small things would be giving your teen a hard time because he/she got a “B” on a test instead of an “A”.  Nit-picking results in a teen believing they can never do anything right in the eyes of the parent, so why bother?  Eventually they give up and then there are bigger problems.

Building a relationship with your teen can result in many years of joy and can offset the tough times that are bound to come along with your kids growing up

Keys to Remember

  • Allowing your children to be themselves
  • Not allowing meanness at home, learning to laugh
  • Disciplining with a lighter touch
  • Criticizing less

These are just a few ways to achieve a meaningful and fun relationship with your teen.

If it seems like a daunting task, pick one area and work to make one small change.

Even one small change will impact your relationship and your family in a positive way!

You can contact Dore at: 214-499-0396, Dore@KayTrotter.com or visit our web site www.KayTrotter.com.

Teen Depression is on the rise be sure you know the Warning Sings of Teen Depression 

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STAYING CONNECTED WITH YOUR TWEEN

Recently, I was asked to speak at a Middle School Parenting University and I wanted to share with you my 25-minute talk titled, “STAYING CONNECTED WITH YOUR TWEEN: 5 Keys You Need to Know”

As I prepared for my talk, my husband shared how, when our daughter was a pre-teen and in middle school, that he quickly learned he needed to be flexible during this time. Because, just like her developing hormones, one day she might act like she was 25 and the next day she would revert back to being his little girl.

HERE ARE THE 5 KEYS

1-Acknowledge vs. Dismiss

Many times parents dismiss their child’s feeling without even realizing it – How many times have you said:

“It’s just silly to feel that way.”

“You’ve been mad long enough.”

We would not like it if an adult said that to us and children are no different. If you dismiss a child’s feelings they don’t feel heard and they definitely don’t feel understood.

Instead, acknowledge how your child feels.

HOW?  By simply putting a name to what you see.

If you see they’re angry and frustrated put a name to it.

“You know what, it looks like your really frustrated.”

Acknowledging what it is they are feeling validates what they are feeling and lets them know that they have been heard.

By acknowledging them, you give them an awareness that you understand

2-Step Into Your Pre-Teen’s Reality

What this means is you are just going to LISTEN. Anything you try to do to fix things will just feel like an opinion or judgment to them. So, all your going to do is LISTEN and don’t try to fix it.

You’re going to actually  “step into what it feels like for them.”

Then you’re going to say, “Wow this sounds like a really difficult situation, and I can tell your trying to figure it out.  If you want or need my help on this one, please let me know.”

3-Teach Your Kids How To Manage Their Life

In the beginning stages, when children are younger, parents definitely manage their lives: we tell them what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. But, when they start entering into the pre-teen and teenage years, they start to pull away, (which is normal), and they don’t want you to always manage their life any more.

The problem is, they do not have the tools to manage their life, and so someone has to manage it for them. So, as you start to release the reins a bit, you need to start teaching them how to manage their life.

What this looks like is more of conservation. So, instead of getting angry with them because they are making mistakes, you talk about it. Ask them questions about the situation.

I’ve had parents ask me, “What if my daughter makes a mistake?” I tell them she is going to mistakes, we all do. But, knowing they are going to make mistakes, and that mistakes are good, they have a chance to learn though this process. Remember: you need to teach your child how to manage their life while you stop the process of managing it for them.

4-You Need Boundaries and Your Child to Be Able to Set Boundaries Too

The boundaries you set for your pre-teen are critical. They need to know that their weekday 9 o’clock bedtime means 9 o’clock. Not 5 minutes after, not 15 minutes after, and it does not mean they can try to negotiate it, 9 o’clock means 9 o’clock. Doing this is good for them so they really know where they are with you.

At this stage there is a lot of difference between a 6th grader and an 8th grader. I would suggest weekday bedtime curfew for 6th -7th graders be 9 o’clock. And most 8th graders are ready for a 10 o’clock bedtime curfew. On weekends you can extend their bedtime curfews by looking closely at each child’s individual sleep patterns. For example, say your child is night owl, like my nephew, so a weekend bedtime curfew an 8th grade night owl could be 1 o’clock in the morning.

Your child also needs to be able to have their boundaries for you as well. Just because they are pre-teens does not mean they don’t have rights. So, if they ask you, “Mom is there any way you can knock before you come into the bedroom?,” you need to respect that. Respect that they are setting a boundary.

If you want to teach your child to have boundaries, then you need to let your child to have boundaries as well. It’s really important that you have firm boundaries and they get to have boundaries as well.

5-Don’t Let Your Feelings Muddy the Water

Dealing with your own feelings around your pre-teen’s behaviorsIf you allow your fears to come into your child’s behavior you’re going to react to “your fears” and “not your child’s behavior” and it’s not going to be a good situation. Let’s say your child stayed up playing on the computer 45 minutes past their bedtime curfew and, when you discover this, it’s late, you’re tired, you’re worried too much computer time is hurting your child, you’e worried that if they are breaking this rule what other rules are they breaking that you don’t know about. So, you just react and say to them “You’re grounded from the computer. Get to your room and go to bed.” What do you think your child is thinking about when they go to their room? They are not thinking about what happened, their thinking about how their parents misunderstand them and how they don’t like their parents.

We don’t want that to be the lesson. We want the lesson to be – “When you say you’ll be in bed by 9, it’s really important that you keep your word and be in bed by then. If you want to develop a relationship based on trust and you want me to keep releasing the reins so you can manage your life, then you have to be a person of your word.” So you just sit with them and talk about that, so that the lesson comes out of it instead of their thinking about something different. It’s really important that you keep your fears out of it.

The first thing you might say to them is:

“Is everything OK? You’re 45 minutes past your bedtime.” And if they say, ”Yes, something did happen and this is what happened.” You give them the opportunity to explain what happened and then you can go into a teaching with them.

Or, if you choose to wait and address it with your child the next morning when you know you’ll be calmer, you might say this:

“It was very late when you finally went to bed last night.  It was past the time we agreed on.  I need to be able to trust you to follow thru on the things you say you will do.  It is important now and will only become more important as you get older.  We have to be able to trust each other.”

Here is a real-life situation from my sister and her pre-teen son that she shared with me:

“…. I got up to go to the bathroom and he was still up and it was way past bedtime curfew.  The first time, I just reacted and did the ‘mad thing’ and I do mean reacted; a gut response.  The next time it happened, I realized I was responding to ‘my fears’ and not ‘his behavior’ so, I took this approach…. he was in the other room on the computer and immediately turned it off and stealthily got into bed and feigned sleeping, once he realized I caught him.  I chose to let it go until the next day.  It was the weekend, so I knew I’d have time to speak with him the next day, which we did.  That was better because by then my gut was no longer in control, my heart was.  I sat down next to him so we were at the same level and we had a real conversation about trust.  I wasn’t mad and I spoke to him person-to-person; it was not a heated discussion or a one-way discussion.  We talked how important trust was, how it’s easy to lose and hard to earn back and why it was so important to me and to our relationship.  He shared how he felt as well.  I was heard and he was heard and he was reminded (because he already knew) how important the trust component is to our relationship and to his place as an upcoming young adult as well. 

“Thru our discussion I saw how important it was to him that I be able to believe the things he tells me; to trust he is telling the truth.  I also learned it is important to him that he doesn’t disappoint me.  We also discussed his ability to trust me.  He wants to trust I won’t cross his personal boundaries and trust that he is capable.  He wants to trust that I don’t read his email, for example.  I have his email password and he knows I could read his email at anytime, but he doesn’t want me to read it and needs to be able to trust me that I won’t.  I agreed I would not read his email without his permission but there may be a situation down the road that I would need to check his email, and I would ask for that permission first and with his full knowledge and I will stick to that.  I won’t break that trust, his trust of me is just as important as my trust of him. The conversation continued on from there, it actually went past the bedtime incident and into other things that were on his mind.”

OK PARENTS, THE 5 KEYS ARE:

  1. Acknowledge your child’s feelings
  2. Step into your pre-teens reality
  3. Help them learn how to manage their own life
  4. You Need Boundaries and Your Child to Be Able to Set Boundaries Too
  5. Don’t Let Your Feelings Muddy the Water

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group you can contact her at: Kay@KayTrotter.com214-499-0396, or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com.

Dr Trotter also post regularly in her FaceBook fan page http://www.facebook.com/DrKaySudekumTrotter.

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Christmas Raisin Bread

After I posted my “Family Traditions and Celebrations” blog my sister, Ann, who is a personal chef, posted our family’s “Christmas Raisin Bread” recipe on her blog Ann’s Custom Cuisine and I wanted to pass it along to all of you.


My family has a recipe for Christmas Raisin Bread that has been in our family since the 1800s – maybe even longer. My mom learned it from her Irish grandmother, my great grandmother, and it is always baked at Christmastime and given as gifts to family, friends and neighbors as well as our mailman, milkman, hair stylists and others. As we were growing up, my mom also made it for all of our teachers, which means, with four children in my family, she was baking a lot of bread!

The smell of this bread baking always brings a smile to my face and fills me with lots of happy memories of childhood.

My family traditionally serves this bread as toast on Christmas morning (the brunch menu also includes sliced & sugared navel oranges and some of us like to dip the toast in the orange juice that is left on our plates!). We also use this bread for leftover turkey sandwiches slathered with lots of tangy Durkee’s Famous Sauce plus crisp lettuce and tart cranberry sauce.

My sister, Ann, who lives in St. Louis, also likes to use this bread to make a decadent Eggnog French Toast with eggnog from Oberweis Dairy, (which she says is the best she’s ever tasted).

While we all know how to make this bread, my mom is the official baker of the Christmas Raisin Bread. And, as her hands have lost their strength over the years, she developed a way to make the bread in a bread machine (although, she only lets the machine go as far as the dough cycle and then she takes it out to form loaves and bake in individual bread pans).

CHRISTMAS RAISIN BREAD

Source: Sudekum Family Favorites Cookbook
Yield: 6 loaves (1 pound each)

Ingredients
4 cup milk
1/2 pound lard
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons salt
4 packages yeast*
4 eggs
5 pounds flour
1 1/2 cups raisin
* Do not use “quick-rising” or “instant” yeast

Preparation

  • Heat milk in a saucepan until scalding (180° F).
  • Place lard, sugar and salt in a large bowl and add scalding milk. Let cool to around 100-120° F.
  • Dissolve yeast in 1/2-cup warm water and add to milk mixture. Add eggs, half of the flour and raisins. Beat the dough hard with a spoon and then add the rest of the flour. Mix well and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead dough for 10 minutes and place in a large, clean, greased bowl.
  • Cover bowl with a damp towel and let dough rise for 2 hours. (NOTE: the yeast needs to stay warm while the dough is rising, so be sure to place the dough in a warm part of your kitchen.)
  • After the first rise, punch dough down and let rise again for 1 hour.
  • Cut dough into 6 sections. Cover sections with a damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes. Shape dough into loaves, place loaves in greased loaf pans, cover with a damp towel and let rise again.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned.

How to Shape Dough Into Loaves
Roll dough into a 12×8-inch rectangle. Starting from the narrow edge, roll up tightly. At each turn, seal with fingertips or edge of hand. Press down on ends of loaf with sides of hand to make two, thin, sealed strips. Fold strips under loaf (or shape dough into a rectangular loaf, pulling ends together until smooth).

CHRISTMAS RAISIN BREAD FOR THE BREAD MACHINE
Yield: 2 loaves (1 pound each)

Ingredients
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons lard
1 egg
4 cups flour
1/3 plus 1/8 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 cup raisins

Preparation

  • Place all ingredients, except raisins, in the dough bucket of the bread machine.
  • Run the dough cycle.
  • When the dough cycle reaches 1:19 (1 hour, 19 minutes), add the raisins and let the dough cycle continue.
  • When the dough cycle finishes, remove the dough from the bucket and divide into two sections.
  • Let dough rest for 10 minutes and shape into loaves.
  • Place loaves in greased loaf pans, cover with a damp towel and let rise for 1-2 hours.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
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