After learning about yet another school shooting, so many people are left stunned, feeling powerless. People are thinking: What can I do? I have a job, kids, responsibilities. I don’t have time to do something that will “actually” make a difference…
You, in fact, can do the thing that will make the biggest difference:
What does that mean? Its really simple. My take on fostering connection is to help others feel the sense of being connected, or belonging. Help others to feel wanted, needed, included.
That sounds like a big time commitment. Actually, it isn't. It can be done in 15 minutes a day, and a couple of hours per month. Let me explain how.
Foster connection with your children
Give them 15. First, start at home. If you’re reading this, you’re likely someone who cares for others, someone who is already a pretty good parent. Even being a good parent, we all have to check ourselves occasionally. And I do this, too.
In the last few days, have you spent time with your child(ren) that is one on one, screen free, and completely focused on them? Often we become so focused on all of our to do’s, that we forget the most important things.
Just 15 minutes a day of undivided attention can do wonders for kids. Ask them about their day, about their fears and their dreams, about their hopes for the future.
Morning resets. Another tip that I don’t hear or read often: Treat mornings like a reset.
When you first see your child in the morning, greet them in the most loving, patient way that you possibly can.
If you’re not a morning person, or if you’re still miffed about how s/he behaved yesterday, fake it. It still works amazingly.
Even if your child is older and can tell you are being “intentionally cheerful” (i.e. faking it), you are putting in the effort, and your child knows this.
Will you mess up? Probably. Correct course and keep trying anyway. You may be surprised how quickly it becomes a morning habit, without even thinking about it.
Give them some control. Allow your child(ren) some age-appropriate control over things in their lives. Even if you know how to do it better, they will not learn nor feel the satisfaction of practicing and mastering something if you consistently step in.
What can you let them do on their own?
What can you ask them to figure out?
Remember, children are people. No one likes to live controlled absolutely. There are so many things in their lives that are out of their hands. Let them practice being adults before they get there.
Foster connection with young people in your community
Not every child is blessed with a good parent or two. There are some kids hanging on by a thread. How can you help them?
Give them time. Find something that you can do with them, that’s fun and interesting for you and for them.
Besides my work, I volunteer teaching art in my children’s classrooms. I spend just a couple of hours a month in each class.
In the little time I spend there, the kids get to know me quickly. Often, I try to pay a little extra attention to the children who seem to need it more: to those who ask me the most questions, and to those who ask the least questions.
Presence matters. I remember one young boy I’ll call Ben (not his actual name). While I don’t know for sure, he struck me as a child experiencing behavioral and maybe emotional issues. When I would start our art lesson, chatting about the theme and explaining the project, he always had his hand raised.
When the kids were working on their art pieces, I made a point each time to stop at his desk to admire and comment on his work, asking him to tell me about it. Simple enough. Just letting him know I see him, he matters, and what he does matters.
He was so proud each time. He would let me know he misses me, as often little kids do, but it was surprising to hear it from him. And each time, the amount of effort he put into each project improved.
Tell others. I share what I do only to point out how easy it can be, and that a small time commitment can really make a difference. There are so many places to get involved. I say pick one and setup a visit to see how it feels. After you get the hang of it, recruit friends. Tell them what its like.
Become a safety net
Kids desperately need positive connection with adults who are happy to see them and give them even a few moments of undivided attention.
Become a safety net for your children, and start sewing one for other children. You have no idea who much of a difference you could be for one child, hanging by a thread.
A recent medical study confirmed what professionals using hypnotherapy have known for a long time: that this treatment can do wonders for pain and anxiety, with little to no side effects.
Medical student and PhD candidate at Australia’s University of Queensland, Stephen Chester conducted a randomized controlled trial at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane. He worked with young burn victims for the study during the typically very painful process of changing their skin dressings. The experience of going through the burn treatment as a whole, he describes, can often be traumatic.
Patients were randomly assigned to either receive hypnosis before their burn dressing was changed, or the standard care.
Participants in the hypnotherapy group, after the first session, experienced:
70% decrease in pain
67% reduction in anxiety
After the third hypnosis treatment, patients had:
90% lower pain
84% lower anxiety
Scientifically, these are stunning results!
The patients receiving hypnotherapy also had significantly lower heart rates before and after the third dressing change. This is normally used as an objective measure of pain and stress, according to the researchers.
Read the original article on the University of Queensland’s website here.
Curious if hypnotherapy could work for you? Connect with me!
Many people struggle with symptoms of pain- but you don't have to live that way! Today, we will go through an exercise to understand and start to release physical pain symptoms. Our interpretation of suffering as a result of pain can be separated from the physical sensations, helping us find relief! This video is best used as an adjunct to sessions in the office. When you're ready, contact me to discuss how hypnotherapy can help you.
Welcome to my practice! I'll be sharing guided meditations and wellness tips here with you. Today's video is a relaxation method that is simple but is very effective! In this exercise, we will also connect with our bodies and learn what helpful messages it has for us. Be sure to grab a notepad and pen beforehand. Then pick a cozy spot to lay down, where you will not be disturbed, and enjoy that time just for yourself!