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Solutions Community Counseling and Recovery Centers

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Solutions promotes wellness in mind, body and spirit through the provision of
effective, affordable mental health and alcohol/drug services that
promote recovery, overall health and a sense of belonging. 

Communication, Compassion, and Continuation to Get You through the Winter

Posted on: February 19, 2015 1:00 pm

                How many discussions have you had about the weather this week?  I’ve had no less than 10 this morning alone.   With temperatures well below 0, who isn’t thinking about how cold it is outside?  Along with our daily worries about school, appointments, errands, bills, and work, we have to be sure our families have enough layers when trekking outside, and decide who will care for our kiddos while they are off school.  (Who, by their fourth day at home, are bored of watching Big Hero 6 and building snow forts.)  The added stress of these frigid temperatures can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and depression for people of all ages.

                If the cold days have you feeling down, you’re not alone.  Psychologists from the Boston area have seen an increase in need for counseling for people feeling stressed and worried about the seemingly endless snow they have endured this winter.   With 8 feet of snow to date, the city is experiencing one of the worst winters recorded.   Fortunately, southeastern Ohio’s winter has not been as treacherous, but when it is too cold to go outside, and the weather makes traveling dangerous, it can leave us feeling trapped.  You may be feeling a lack of control, or stress because simple tasks, like a trip to the grocery store, take much longer.  These feelings are normal, and many people experience them in the colder months of the year.  So what are some strategies for coping with the lack of sunshine and lots of time spent inside?

                There are simple things you can do to handle the added stress.  An easy way to remember a few strategies for taking care of yourself and others is to follow the “three C’s,” which are: communication, compassion, and continuation.  It can be easy to isolate when feeling down, yet maintaining social relationships with friends and family can quickly brighten both your day and your friend’s.  Crafts and coloring are a great indoor activity and fun for both kids and adults.  Also, the weather affects us all, and showing compassion for your neighbors, who are undoubtedly just as cold, can lighten the unpleasant feelings you’re having.  Maybe you can join community members are the Countryside YMCA when they host a health fair from 10am – 1pm?  It's a a free event and there will be many resource booths for kids and adults.  Lastly, continuing your daily routine as much as possible preserves your sense of control when it feels like we are at the mercy of the gusty winds and chilly temps.   We hope to see you at the health fair this Saturday, February 21!  

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Establishing Routines/Household Rules and Effective Limit Setting

Posted on: February 16, 2015 10:00 am

Establishing Routines/Household Rules and Effective Limit Setting

Did you know... That parents usually give about 20 commands every ½ hour in a typical household?

  • What if this were to happen to you in your work/home environment?
    •    Would you feel overwhelmed?

Principles for Establishing Routines/Household Rules and Effective Limit Setting:

  Commands should be:          

  • Short and to the point.
  • Stated positively and politely ( For example: “Please use your walking feet.” Instead of: “DON’T RUN.”)
  • Try to give "do commands" rather than stop commands (For example: “Please keep your hands and feet to your own body/to yourself.” Instead of, “Stop hitting your sister/brother.”
  • When possible, commands should include a warning. (For example: “If you hit your brother, then you will go to time out.”
  • Give children ample opportunity to comply to the commands. Parents should not give another command until the child has complied or 5 seconds have passed.
  • Avoid unnecessary commands.
  • Use "when-then" commands. (For example: "When you finish cleaning up your toy blocks, then we can go outside and play on the play set."
  • Auditory input is the least effective way of changing behaviors. Visual cues are most effective, but used the least! (Use gestures and visual cues)
  • If you implement a consequence, make sure there is a follow through.
  • Be realistic in your expectations and use age appropriate commands.
  • Give warnings and helpful reminders.
  • Give children options or choices whenever possible. (For example: “You can hop to the dinner table like a bunny or slither to the table like a snake. Which will you choose?”
  • Praise compliance.
    •    For example:
      • "Hooray for you, you chose to hop to the dinner table like a bunny! Here is a high-five for using your listening ears!"
      • "You picked up your toys so that your family would not trip. That was really helpful and you’re helping our house to be a very safe place!"
      • "You and your sister are sharing blocks. That is a friendly way to play! Look at how happy your sister is. She is smiling very big.”
      • "You used your listening ears and lined up right away. That was a helpful choice and your helpful choice has made you smile and seem very proud of yourself!”
  • Provide consequences for noncompliance.
  • Strike a balance between parent and child control.

Unclear, Vague, or Negative Commands/Requests

  • "Let's put away the toys." This implies that you are going to assist with the cleaning up process. Just be mindful that children may protest if you are unable to assist with the cleaning up process.
  • "Why don't we go to bed now?"
  • "Don't yell."
  • "Stop running."
  • "Wouldn't it be nice to go to bed now?" This gives the children a chance to say no to a command that you have given. Which in turn could create a power struggle.
  • "Watch it."
  • "Let's don't do that anymore."

Clear Commands/ Requests- Start with Please...

  • "Walk slowly."
  • "Keep your hands and feet to yourself/to your own body."
  • "Talk softly."
  • "Please put the clothes away."

Consider this goal: I will commit to reducing the number of commands or requests to those that are most important. Instead, I will focus on giving choices when possible, using distractions and when-then commands.

Please check back next week for our review of: Following Through with Commands and Ignoring Children’s Inappropriate Behaviors.

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