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Misbehavior – A Form of Communication

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When a child misbehaves or exhibits behavior that becomes problematic, their behavior is telling you something, but what?
A child that misbehaves is trying to communicate that they have an unmet need, but how do parents determine what that need is?
Parents can look for clues that might tell them how the child is feeling. When parents figure out what is wrong or missing, they can then follow to assist the child to take care of themselves.
What are some of the reasons that a child might misbehave?
  • They may be hungry, tired, ill or bored.
  • They might not know or understand what is expected of them.
  • They might be held to expectations that are beyond their developmental level.
  • They may have experienced trauma or abuse.
  • They may be copying the bad behavior or their parents or someone else.
  • They may be trying to cover up feelings of pain, fear or loneliness.
  • They may be experiencing feelings that are overwhelming to them.
  • They may feel bad about themselves.
  • They may be experiencing bullying.
  • They may be experiencing dietary issues.
  • They may be trying to get attention from others.
  • They may be testing whether parents will set limits, boundaries and enforce rules.
  • They may be asserting themselves and seeking to be independent.
They may have an untreated disorder such as:
  • Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • General anxiety disorder.
  • Sensory processing disorder
It is important to remember that misbehavior does not mean that a child is “bad.” They should never be labeled as such. There is a difference between a child’s character and how they behave. What a child does is not who they are.
Maybe you’re frustrated and having difficulty determining why your child is misbehaving. Maybe you have an idea of why your child is misbehaving but don’t know how to approach the issue. Maybe you’re wondering if your child has an untreated disorder. If so, call us at Wasatch Family Therapy (801.944.4555) to schedule an appointment for a parent consultation with one of our trained providers. Mental health is just as important as physical health to a child’s well being.
Sue Hodges, LCSW

 

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How to Stop Saying “Yes” When You Really Want to Say “No”

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Do you find yourself saying “yes” more often than you would like to?
Do you ever find yourself thinking “no,” but then suddenly without warning, the word “yes” escapes your lips?
Do you feel that by saying “no,” you might offend or disappoint someone?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you may want to consider the following.
In her newly published book ,”The Assertiveness Guide for Women,” Dr. Julie Hanks LCSW explores the significance of the word “no.” She states, “Being able to say no has been a really important skill for me in keeping my priorities straight…it’s liberating to know that giving an honest no allows me to focus on what really matters most in my life.” Below are some examples of kind and positive go-to phrases she recommends:
“I want to but I’m unable to.”
“I just don’t have that to give right now.”
“I understand that you really need my help, but I’m just not able to say yes to that.”
“I’m not able to commit to that right now.”
“That’s just not going to work for me.”
Learning to say “no” can can be a gift you give to yourself. Doing so can prevent burnout, eliminate feelings of frustration, and promote a healthy sense of well-being.
So…… Just say, “NO.”
To schedule an appointment with Sue, call 801-944-4555.
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Catch and Don’t Release: That Gratitude Attitude!

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It’s been twenty years now since a caring neighbor and friend challenged me to change my ATTITUDE.  It was a difficult time for me as suddenly my life became filled with darkness, doubt and pain.  My Spouse of almost 20 years had recently been diagnosed as having a brain tumor and given only a few months to live.  While he was fighting a battle to survive for as long as possible by receiving daily treatments of both Chemo and Radiation, I was trying to continue to raise five children and eventually became a caregiver of a man who couldn’t even remember how to brush his teeth.
My friend encouraged me to read and study a book that contained wise advice, “Simple Abundance  A Daybook of Comfort and Joy,”  She provided me with a beautiful Journal and instructed me to take a few minutes each day to write down 5 things that I was grateful for.  Although at the time I doubted that such a simple task could improve my mood and change my ATTITIUDE  I took on the challenge.  As I began to focus on what I HAD rather than what I lacked my burdens became lighter and my soul was filled with joy and hope.  Now 20 years later this small and simple task has become not only a habit but a ritual I look forward to performing.
Remember there is no right or wrong way to keep a gratitude journal.  While doing so you will discover what works best for you, but here are some tips:
1-  Keep a physical record.  Write things down.  Just don’t think about these things in your head.
2-  Look for the small things that may seem trivial,small or unimportant.
3-  Include a narrative as to WHY you are grateful.
4-  Focus on people as well as things you are grateful for.
5-  Record unexpected events or surprises.
6-  Write regularly.  Commit to a certain day and or time and be consistent.  New evidence has shown that writing 1-3 times a week can be more effective than writing daily,
7-  Set a goal to write for at least 15 minutes each time.
8- Try it!  You’ll  like it!
It’s easy to take the people who we love and the good things in our lives for granted.  Keeping a gratitude journal will improve your relationships with others, improve your sense of well being, and enable you to enjoy greater happiness and better health.
So… Catch but DON’T release that “GRATITUDE ATTITUDE!”  Doing so has made an incredible difference in my life and it can in yours too.
Sue Hodges  LCSW Wasatch Family Therapy

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Take Time to “Spruce It Up!”

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I recently read an article entitled “Time for a Spring cleaning of the mind” by Jeannette Bessinger.

Because I have never been interested in Spring cleaning my home, I paid close attention to the tips that were given on how to “declutter my emotional space.”

I share these tasks with you along with some ideas of my own, and encourage you to join with me in asking yourself these questions, and reflecting  on how you can work towards clearing  the emotional junk from your mind.

  1. Mind your own business.  Most of us have enough business of our own to tend to.  Ask yourself, “If it’s not my business, why am I in it?”
  2. Let go of the need to be right.  Ask yourself,  Is it more important for me to love and be loved or to be right?  Who do you play the right wrong game with?  Make a commitment to  eliminate the need to play this game with others.
  3. Stop blaming, shaming and complaining.  All three behaviors are negative and do not bring joy to your life.  Ask yourself,  Does my behavior of blaming, shaming and or complaining assist me and others to feel joy and happiness?   Continue to remind yourself that these behaviors are toxic and will not improve your relationships and sense of well being.
  4. Stop trying to impress and please everyone.  Ask yourself, Will I die if  someone disapproves of something that I think, do, or say?  Remember you don’t have to do everything and be everything for everyone else.  Make a list of 10 things that you can do for yourself and select one to do TODAY.   Make yourself a priority.  Put yourself on your “To do” list.
  5. Clean up unfinished business.   Ask yourself, If not now when will I begin?  Pick a task that you have been procrastinating to complete and DO IT TODAY!  Eckert Tolle stated, “That which stands in the was IS the way.  Beginning is usually the hardest part of the task.  Just Begin.
  6. Forgive someone.  Ask yourself, Who am I holding a grudge against?  Am I being unforgiving as a way to punish them? Remember forgiving others is a gift you give to yourself.
  7. If you’re in the wrong, Make it right.  Ask yourself, Have I committed a wrong that I can make right?  Follow this admonition,” When you do something wrong, tell the truth, apologize and right the wrong if you possibly can.  Owning up means it won’t own you.”
  8. Let go of self limiting beliefs.  Ask yourself, Do I believe everything I think?  Work towards eliminating the negative self talk you engage in.  Use positive affirmations to rid yourself of stinking thinking, such as, I am capable of achieving that which I believe.  I am capable of achieving the task at hand.
  9. Let go of perfectionism.  Adopt the belief that, “Nothing in life is perfect.”  Stop comparing yourself to others and remind yourself that, “It is what it is, and it’s all good.”
  10. Stop mismanaging your emotions.  Ask yourself, Am I stuffing my unpleasant feelings down with too much food, or shopping.  Remember, that “feelings are like the weather, natural and ever changing.”  It is important to take time to acknowledge them, feel them and release them through healthy coping skills.

Only you know which task will be the most beneficial for you to complete.  I challenge you to choose a task and begin to work towards clearing the emotional junk from your life.  Begin now to “Spruce up your life,” YOU DESERVE IT!

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The Power of Emulating LOVE

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Mark Twain once said that he could go for two months on a good compliment.
Sincere compliments build self esteem in ourselves and others,and foster feelings of good will, peace and thus harmony.
To quote Leo Buscaglia, “Honest compliments are simple, and cost nothing to give…we must not underestimate their worth.”
Here is a list of phrases that are complimentary in nature that are easy to use.  Try them!
 *  You make me happy!
 *  I trust you.
*  I like it when you…
*  I know you can do this.
*  You are special.
*  I am grateful for you.
*  I love you.
*  I believe in you.
*  I am proud of you.
Because nearly everyone appreciates a compliment, be sure to use them daily.  The primary reason being, “The life and love we create is the life and love we live.”  L. Buscagia
For more inspirational thoughts related to creating abundant relationships of LOVE, please refer to any or all of these publications authored by; Leo Buscagia, Ph.D.
“Born for Love, Reflections on loving”
“Personhood,  The art of being fully human”
“Loving each other, The challenge of Human Relationships”
“Living, Learning and Loving”
“LOVE, A warm and wonderful book about the Largest experience in life”
“Bus 9 to Paradise”
“The way of the Bull”
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