IF THERE ARE DANGEROUS SUPPLEMENTS ON THE MARKET, I WON’T HESITATE TO LET YOU KNOW. Although many supplements are safe, effective, and essential, such as vitamin D, there are a large number of supplements with serious side effects that we should avoid. Not all supplement manufactures produce toxic products, and many have strict quality standards. But many dangerous supplements continue to be marketed and are widely available. Americans spend more than $30 billion dollars on supplements each year. Read on to find out which supplements to avoid. Some of them will surprise you. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised to avoid these supplements.
This plant has been used in South Pacific Islands in ceremonies, and in other countries as a relaxant and anti-anxiety agent. It’s available as a tea, in liquid form, and in capsules. Although some evidence shows it does relieve anxiety, kava has caused liver toxicity. It was thought that this problem occurred only in Western countries, but a recent study showed that even kava prepared with traditional methods in the South Pacific, the US and Germany caused liver toxicity. The problem might be caused by the bad quality of herb before it’s even used or transformed.
Kava is linked to severe liver problems, and although it’s still available in the US, we should avoid it, and should NEVER be used by children. Kava is toxic on its own, but it also interacts dangerously with alcohol and other drugs.
Many weight-loss supplements have been proven to be extremely toxic to the liver, and so we should exercise extreme caution when buying these products. Several ingredients can contribute to this toxicity, and it will surprise you to learn that green tea EXTRACTS can cause liver problems. Drinking green tea is safer than using it as a supplement, even if you drink 10 cups of it a day.
But green tea extract in supplements could cause serious liver problems and are best avoided. Many weight-loss products contain these extracts, so read the label. This isn’t the only problem with weight-loss products. Some of them could contain a toxic drug called sibutramine, which can cause severe cardiovascular side effects.
Products that claim to help us lose weight are one of the most dangerous supplements we can use. AVOID THEM.
Bitter orange/ Synephrine
Bitter orange is marketed to fight allergies, nasal congestion, and is in some weight–loss supplements. It’s also a replacement for the banned toxic compound ephedrine. This supplement contains synephrine, which is similar to ephedrine. Recent research published in the journal Cardiovascular Toxicology proves that it causes high blood pressure, and causes even more side effects when combined with caffeine. Bitter orange can interfere with many drugs, causes fainting, heart problems, and can cause death.
Chaparral is used as an extract or as a tea, and is claimed to help the immune system, and to fight respiratory illnesses, and other diseases. This herb has been shown to cause severe liver damage, and kidney problems. Many people who used chaparral have had to undergo emergency liver transplantation.
It can interact dangerously with many commonly used drugs, such as aspirin. It has been linked to kidney cysts and kidney damage. Toxic effects can begin as early as 3 weeks of daily ingestion. Even if it’s discontinued, it can cause long-term liver damage.
Sterols are plant compounds and are included in vitamins, added to foods such as margarines, and available as supplements. They are claimed to reduce cholesterol and promoted as heart-healthy. But the reality is that they can cause heart disease. Research on animals and humans shows that these supplements can cause cardiovascular disease.
Adding extra sterols can also increase intestinal cancer formation.
Sterols from foods aren’t implicated in heart disease or cancer. It’s sterols from supplements or foods with added sterols that are dangerous. Avoid vitamins that have sterols included, and many food products that have added sterols, such as margarines. They won’t improve your health, and can instead cause serious diseases.
Red yeast rice
Red yeast rice supplements are claimed to reduce cholesterol. It’s made by fermenting rice with Monascus purpureus yeast. This supplement can contain monacolin K, the same ingredient found in the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin, and can cause the same side effects as drugs that lower cholesterol .
Some products that were tested recently were shown to contain high amounts of monacolin K, even though the FDA has told manufacturers that it’s illegal to market these products as supplements. There’s no way for consumers to tell how much monacolin K a red yeast rice supplement contains.
People who took these supplements have reported liver toxicity, muscle pain, and rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle tissue). Muscle fiber contents are then released into the blood, which can cause kidney damage.
Another problem with these supplements is that they contain a toxic compound called citrinin. It’s been shown to cause kidney failure and genetic damage.
Colloidal Silver is a supplement composed of silver particles in a liquid suspension. It’s claimed to help fight infections, and a variety of ailments. The FDA warns that this product can cause IRREVERSIBLE bluish or grayish discoloration of the skin, a condition called argyria. This condition has occurred in people using colloidal silver supplements.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the most toxic side effect of this supplement. It has caused neurological problems, liver toxicity, and kidney problems. It interferes with thyroid medications, and with antibiotics. Hey, they had me at the Blue Man Group effect!
It might surprise people to learn that some forms of vitamin E are dangerous. Synthetic vitamin E, called dl-alpha-tocopherol or all-rac-alpha-tocopherol, is dangerous because it depletes gamma-tocopherol, the protective form of vitamin E. Guess which form of vitamin E is most commonly found in supplements? You guessed it, the synthetic kind.
Supplementation with synthetic vitamin E has recently been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer.
In contrast, gamma-tocopherol protects against prostate, breast, and lung cancer .
We should use supplements that contain mostly gamma-tocopherol, and no dl-alpha or all-rac-tocopherol. We can get vitamin E from walnuts, almonds, and wheat germ too.
Maybe the most dangerous supplement is calcium, because it’s prescribed by doctors, and is widely available. We wouldn’t think that it’s toxic, right? Calcium supplements don’t even work for the reasons we buy them: they don’t prevent bone problems .
More importantly, a large study has proven that calcium supplements, even if you add vitamin D, increase the risk of serious heart problems, including heart attacks.
These effects were re-confirmed in a 2013 study, which showed that calcium supplements increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 30%.
Calcium from foods is safe, so we should aim to get our dose from milk, yogurt, almonds, and kale. Avoid beverages which have added calcium too, such as some soy, almond, and rice milks.
To avoid toxic supplements, look for the USP label on the bottle. If a product has this label, then it has undergone voluntary testing of its product for potency and purity.
Don’t be the first to try a new supplement when it comes out, and wait for reports of toxicity.
Ask the supplement company to provide you a third-party lab test that shows the safety and purity of their product.
There are many useful supplements we should use, just be sure to avoid the toxic ones.
Si, dans la région de Montréal une situation impliquant un enfant ou un jeune vous inquiète, nous vous invitons à communiquer avec nous le plus rapidement possible. Les informations ainsi obtenues resteront confidentielles. Vous pouvez nous rejoindre en tout temps au numéro de téléphone suivant :
A new study shows that postmenopausal women with invasive breast cancer who used multivitamins had lower breast cancer mortality than those who didn't use these supplements.
Dr. Terri Cappello of Loyola University Medical Center has treated patients during her 15 years as a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon.
"A trampoline puts a child at risk for serious injuries," Cappello said. "Kids sustain broken arms, legs and even break their necks which can lead to paralysis. Just as you would not let your child jump into a shallow swimming pool, you should not let them jump on a trampoline."
Cappello agrees with a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that says safety measures such as enclosure nets and padding have not substantially reduced the risk. "Therefore, the home use of trampolines is strongly discouraged," the Academy statement said.
The AAP estimated that in 2009, there were nearly 98,000 trampoline-related injuries in the United States. And injuries peak during the summer months.
The Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America said trampolines and moon bouncers are among the four main areas of preventable injuries in children. (The other areas are skateboards, ATVs and lawnmowers.)
Posted at 11:03 AM | Permalink
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IF YOU SEE AN ADULT PUSHING A CHILD TO THE GROUND, OR HOLDING THEM IN THEIR ARMS FORCIBLY AGAINST THEIR WILL, OR SCREAMING AT THEIR CHILD LIKE A PSYCHOPATH , STOP THAT PARENT, THEN CALL THE POLICE AND CHILD SERVICES.
ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR EVIL TO TRIUMPH IS FOR GOOD MEN/WOMEN TO DO NOTHING.
HE/SHE WHO DOES NOT PUNISH EVIL COMMANDS THAT IT BE DONE.
-LEONARDO DA VINCI
AVOID TOO MUCH VITAMIN C AS SUPPLEMENTS . A new animal study shows that the human equivalent of 1 gram of this supplement per day " significantly shortened lifespan... "
YOU SHOULD ALSO AVOID vitamin E as α-tocopherol, (alpha form) , and use gamma-tocopherol, the natural form. Gamma-tocopherol can prevent cancer and is the form you should use.
S. marcescens is a bacterium that thrives in showers, bathtubs, sinks, soap dishes and warm damp places, and can cause many infections, including pneumonia, bacteremia, and endocarditis. The bacterium causes a pink color slime to appear on affected surfaces.
Chlorine can help control it, but EXTREME CARE must be used when disinfecting surfaces. DO NOT TOUCH OR INHALE THE BACTERIA.
IF YOUR BEHAVIOR IS SO RIGHT, THEN CALL CHILD SERVICES AND THE POLICE AND HEAR WHAT THEY SAY. YOU'RE THE PROBLEM, NOT YOUR KIDS.
It doesn’t help that there are always the endless pressures of life: appointments we’re late to, things we’ve forgotten until the last moment, health and financial worries -- the list is endless. In the middle of that hectic momentum, enter our child, who has lost her sneaker, suddenly remembered she needs a new notebook for school today, is teasing her little brother, or is downright belligerent. And we snap.
In our calm moments, if we’re honest, we know that we could handle any parenting moment much better from a state of calm. But in the storm of our anger, we feel righteously entitled to our fury. How can this kid be so irresponsible, inconsiderate, ungrateful?
But no matter how aggravating we find our child's behavior, that behavior doesn't cause our angry response. We see our child's behavior ("He hit her again!), and we draw a conclusion (He''s going to be a psychopath!") which triggers other conclusions ("I've failed as a mother!"). This cascade of thoughts triggers a run-away train of emotions, in this case fear, dismay, guilt. We can't bear those feelings. The best defense is a good offense, so we lash out at our child in anger. The whole process takes all of two seconds.
Your child may be pushing your buttons, but he isn't causing your response. Any issue that makes you feel like lashing out is a deep issue, with roots in your own early years. We all enter the parenting relationship wounded in some way from our own childhoods, and our kids surface all those wounds. We can expect our kids to act out in ways that send us over the cliff at times. It's our responsibility as the grownup in the situation to stay away from the cliff.
Parents and kids have the ability to trigger each other as no one else can. Even as adults we are often irrational in relation to our own parents. (Who has greater power to annoy you? Make you act childish?)
Similarly, our kids push our buttons precisely because they are our children. Psychologists call this phenomenon “ghosts in the nursery,” by which they mean that our children stimulate the intense feelings of our own childhoods, and we often respond by unconsciously re-enacting the past that’s etched like forgotten hieroglyphics deep in our psyches. The fears and rage of childhood are powerful and can overwhelm us even as adults. It can be enormously challenging to lay these ghosts to rest.
It helps to know all this, if we are struggling to cope with anger. Just as important, because it gives us incentive to control ourselves, we need to know that parental anger can be harmful to young children.
Imagine your husband or wife losing their temper and screaming at you. Now imagine them three times as big as you, towering over you. Imagine that you depend on that person completely for your food, shelter, safety, protection. Imagine they are your primary source of love and self-confidence and information about the world, that you have nowhere else to turn. Now take whatever feelings you have summoned up and magnify them by a factor of 1000. That is something like what happens inside your child when you get angry at him.
Of course, all of us get angry at our children, even, sometimes, enraged. The challenge is to call on our maturity so that we control the expression of that anger, and therefore minimize its negative impact.
Anger is scary enough. Name calling or other verbal abuse, in which the parent speaks disrespectfully to the child, takes a higher personal toll, since the child is dependent on the parent for his very sense of self. And children who suffer physical violence, including spanking, have been proven to exhibit lasting negative effects that reach into every corner of their lives.
If your young child does not seem afraid of your anger, it’s an indication that he or she has seen too much of it and has developed defenses against it -- and against you. The unfortunate result is a child who is less likely to want to behave to please you, and is more open to the influences of the peer group and the larger culture. That means you have some repair work to do. Whether or not they show it -- and the more often we get angry, the more defended they will be, and therefore less likely to show it -- our anger is nothing short of terrifying to young children.
Since you’re human, you’ll sometimes find yourself in “fight or flight” mode, and your child will start to look like the enemy. When we're swept with anger, we're physically ready to fight. Hormones and neurotransmitters are flooding our bodies. They cause your muscles to tense, your pulse to race, your breathing to quicken. It's impossible to stay calm at those points, but we all know that clobbering our kids -- while it might bring instant relief -- isn't really what we want to do.
So commit now to No hitting, No swearing, No calling your child names, or No meting out any punishment while angry. What about screaming? Never at your children, that's a tantrum. If you really need to scream, go into your car with the windows rolled up and scream where no one can hear, and don't use words, because those make you angrier.
Your children get angry too, so it’s a double gift to them to find constructive ways to deal with your anger: you not only don’t hurt them, you offer them a role model. Your children will certainly see you angry from time to time, and how you handle those situations will teach them a lot. Will you teach them that might makes right? That parents have tantrums too? That screaming is how adults handle conflict? If so, they'll adopt these behaviors as a badge of how grown-up they are.
Or will you model for your child that anger is part of being human, and that learning to manage anger responsibly is part of becoming mature? Here’s how.
1. Set limits BEFORE you get angry.
Often when we get angry at our children, it’s because we haven’t set a limit, and something is grating on us. The minute you start getting angry, it’s a signal to do something. No, not yell. Intervene in a positive way to prevent more of whatever behavior is irritating you.
If your irritation is coming from you -- let’s say you’ve just had a hard day, and their natural exuberance is wearing on you -- it can help to explain this to your children and ask them to be considerate and keep the behavior that’s irritating you in check, at least for now.
If the children are doing something that is increasingly annoying -- playing a game in which someone is likely to get hurt, stalling when you’ve asked them to do something, squabbling while you’re on the phone -- you may need to interrupt what you’re doing, restate your family rule or expectation, and redirect them, to keep the situation, and your anger, from escalating.
2. Make and post a list of acceptable ways to handle anger.
When you feel this angry, you need a way to calm down. Many people can harness their biology and get it under control just with awareness: Stop, breathe, remind yourself it isn't an emergency. Shake the tension out of your hands. Take ten more deep breaths. If you need to make a noise, hum.
You might try to find a way to laugh, which discharges the tension and shifts the mood. Even forcing yourself to smile sends a message to your nervous system that there's no emergency, and begins calming you down.
If you feel you need to physically discharge your rage, put on some music and dance. Some people still follow the timeworn advice to clobber a pillow, but it's best if you can do that kind of discharging in private, because watching you clobber that pillow can be pretty scary for your child. He knows perfectly well that the pillow is a stand-in for his head and the image of crazy hitting mommy will be seared into his memory. I should add that I personally think this is a questionable strategy, because research shows that hitting something --anything-- confirms to your subconscious that indeed this is an emergency and you should stay in "fight or flight." If you can breathe deeply and tolerate the angry feelings, you will probably notice that right under the anger is fear, sadness, disappointment. Let yourself feel those feelings and the anger will melt away.
3. Take Five.
Recognize that an angry state is a terrible starting place to intervene in any situation. Instead, give yourself a timeout and come back when you are able to be calm. Move away from your child physically so you won't be tempted to reach out and touch him violently. Just say, as calmly as you can, “I am too mad right now to talk about this. I am going to take a timeout and calm down.” Exiting does not let your child win. It impresses upon them just how serious the infraction is, and it models self-control. Use this time to calm yourself, not to work yourself into a further frenzy about how right you are.
If your child is old enough to be left for a moment, you can go into the bathroom, splash water on your face, and do some breathing. But if your child is young enough to feel abandoned when you leave, just use the kitchen sink instead. Then, sit on the couch near your child for a few minutes, breathing deeply and silently saying a little mantra that restores your calm, like "This is not an emergency.....Kids need love most when they don't seem to deserve it.....He's acting out because he needs my help with his big feelings...This too shall pass." It's good role modeling for our kids to see how we regulate our big emotions.
4. Listen to your anger, rather than acting on it.
Anger, like other feelings, is as much a given as our arms and legs. What we’re responsible for is what we choose to do with it. Anger often has a valuable lesson for us, but acting while we are angry, except in rare situations requiring self-defense, is rarely constructive, because we make choices we would never make from a rational state. The constructive way to handle anger is to limit our expression of it, and when we calm down, to use it diagnostically: what is so wrong in our life that we feel furious, and what do we need to do to change the situation?
Sometimes the answer is clearly related to our parenting: we need to enforce rules before things get out of hand, or start putting the children to bed half an hour earlier, or do some repair work on our relationship with our twelve year old so that she stops treating us rudely. Sometimes we are surprised to find that our anger is actually at our spouse who is not acting as a full partner in parenting, or even at our boss. And sometimes the answer is that we are carrying around anger we don’t understand that spills out onto our kids, and we need to seek help though therapy or a parents support group.
5. Remember that “expressing” your anger to another person can reinforce and escalate it.
Despite the popular idea that we need to “express” our anger so that it doesn’t eat away at us, there’s nothing constructive about expressing anger to another person. Research shows that expressing anger while we are angry actually makes us more angry. This in turn makes the other person hurt, afraid, or angry, and causes a rift in the relationship. So discharge your anger physically if you need to, but then calm yourself and consider what the "message" of the anger is before you speak with the other person.
Rehashing the situation in our mind always proves to us that we are right and the other person is wrong, which again makes us more angry as we stew. What works is to find a constructive way to address whatever is making us angry so that the situation is resolved, and our anger stops being triggered.
6. WAIT before disciplining.
Nothing says you have to issue edicts on the fly. Simply say something like “I can’t believe you hit your brother after we’ve talked about hitting being against the rules. I need to think about this, and we will talk about it this afternoon. Until then, I expect you to be on your best behavior.”
Once you’ve taken a ten minute timeout and still don’t feel calm enough to relate constructively, you can say “I want to think about what just happened, and we will talk about it later. In the meantime, I need to make dinner and you need to finish your homework, please.”
After dinner, sit down with your child and, if necessary, set firm limits. But you will be more able to listen to his side of it, and to respond with reasonable, enforceable, respectful limits to his behavior.
7. Avoid physical force, no matter what.
85% of adolescents say they've been slapped or spanked by their parents (Journal of Psychopathology, 2007). And yet study after study has proven that spanking has a negative impact on children’s development that lasts throughout life. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends strongly against it.
I personally wonder if the epidemic of anxiety and depression among adults in our culture is caused in part by the aftermath of so many of us having grown up with adults who hurt us. Many parents minimize the physical violence they suffered, because the emotional pain is too great to acknowledge. But repressing that pain just makes us more likely to hit our own children.
Spanking may make you feel better temporarily because it discharges your rage, but it is bad for your child, and ultimately sabotages everything positive you do as a parent. Spanking, and even slapping, has a way of escalating, sometimes into deadly violence.
Do whatever you need to do to control yourself, including leaving the room. If you can’t control yourself and end up resorting to physical force, apologize to your child, tell him hitting is never ok, and get yourself some help.
8. Avoid threats.
Threats made while you’re angry will be unreasonable. Since threats are only effective if you are willing to follow through on them, they undermine your authority and make it less likely that your kids will follow the rules next time. Instead, tell your child that you need to think about an appropriate response to this infraction of the rules. The suspense will be worse than hearing a string of threats they know you won’t enforce.
9. Monitor your tone and word choice.
Research shows that the more calmly we speak, the more calm we feel, and the more calmly others respond to us. Similarly, use of swear words or other highly charged words makes us and our listener more upset, and the situation escalates. We have the power to calm or upset ourselves and the person we are speaking with by our own tone of voice and choice of words. (Remember, you're the role model.)
10. Consider that you're part of the problem.
If you're open to emotional growth, your child will always show you where you need to work on yourself. If you're not, it's hard to be an inspired parent. In every interaction with our child, we have the power to calm or escalate the situation. Your child may be acting in ways that aggravate you, but you are not a helpless victim. Take responsibility to manage your own emotions first. Your child may not become a little angel overnight, but his acting out will diminish dramatically once you learn to stay calm.
11. Still angry?
Look for the underlying feelings. Don’t get attached to your anger. Once you’ve listened to it and made appropriate changes, let go of it. If that isn’t working, remember that anger is always a defense. It shields us from feeling vulnerable.
To get rid of anger, look at the hurt or fear under the anger. If your daughter’s so obsessed with her friends that she’s dismissive of the family and that hurts you, or your son’s tantrums scare you, work with those feelings and situations, and address them. Once you get to the underlying feelings, your anger will dissipate.
12. Choose your battles.
Every negative interaction with your child uses up valuable relationship capital. Focus on what matters, such as the way your child treats other humans. In the larger scheme of things, her jacket on the floor may drive you crazy, but it probably isn’t worth putting your relationship bank account in the red over.
13. Keep looking for effective ways to discipline that encourage better behavior.
There are hugely more effective ways to discipline than anger, and, in fact, disciplining with anger sets up a cycle that encourages misbehavior. Some parents are surprised to hear that there are families where the children are generally well-behaved, physical force is never used and parental yelling is infrequent. In fact, it is my observation that families where there is no yelling at all, but only empathic limits, produce kids who take complete responsibility for their behavior at an early age and are the best-adjusted emotionally. We know that punishment is ALWAYS a negative, and I would say that Discipline as we think of it is also counter-productive.
14. If you frequently struggle with your anger, seek counseling.
There’s no shame in asking for help. The shame is in reneging on your responsibility as a parent by damaging your child physically or psychologically.
Posted at 07:41 PM | Permalink
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ANGER IS NOT PARENTING, IT'S THE LACK OF PARENTING AND DISCIPLINE. KIDS IMITATE US, SO IF YOU TREAT THEM LIKE SHIT, YOU ARE BEING CRUEL AND TEACHING THEM TO TREAT OTHERS LIKE SHIT . IF YOU TREAT THEM WITH ANGER, GET PROFESSIONAL HELP, FOR YOU, GO TO COUNSELLING, OR WE GUARANTEE THE POLICE OR CHILD SERVICES WILL CONTROL YOU AND FORCE YOU TO CHANGE.
FROM Love Our Children.
Controlling Parental Anger
How to Keep Your Cool
Mike works all day ... long, hard hours. He has a successful business and works hard to keep a good relationship with his clients and employees. But 10 minutes with Annie, his four-year-old, and he becomes a rage-a-holic.
Every night when he comes home, he just wants to relax and read the newspaper, but Annie wants to play. He tells her nicely to watch TV, and she refuses.
Suddenly lightening hits, and he's screaming at her and stomping around the house. He's in a rage … slamming doors, you name it … He can’t control himself."
Anyone can be angry … even the most able and mild-mannered parent. Parents like Mike worry about the frequency and intensity of anger they feel toward their children. A lot of this anger comes from utter frustration -- not knowing how to manage children's behavior. Anger also occurs when a child falls short of a parent's expectations, when kids embarrass their parents in public, and when they show disrespect.
Unresolved frustration leads to distress, and frequent angry outbursts ensue.
Anger Doesn't Work
Parents’ uncontrollable outbursts rarely improve children's behavior. Don't you secretly wish they would? Wouldn't parenting be easier if you could yell at your child, "Get dressed right now, young lady. Stop playing around and wasting time. You're going to make me late for work and I’ll lose my job," and your daughter would jump into her clothes and then climb into the car, waiting patiently while you put on your makeup and make one quick phone call?
You might think a child would comply with angry demands to avoid the unpleasantness of these scenes, but that usually isn't the case. Some children become immune to your anger; they ignore it, while for others, anger has a contagious effect; children fight back with an angry defensive response of their own.
Parents need to find effective, realistic ways to deal with anger. Children are gifts … treasures … jewels. As angry as you may be, remember how much you love them. Never let yourself forget that – first and foremost.
If you were treated with anger when you were a child, remember it and feel it. Remember how bad it felt? So why would you want to inflict the same hurt on your children?
How Do You Strike A Balance?
Understand that you'll always respond more effectively if you notice when those feelings of anger are starting to well up, while they're still at a low level of intensity.
- When your anger starts to build, stop, count to 10, and take some deep breaths.
- Move slowly toward your child and get on his or her level; sit on the floor near your toddler or preschooler; sit on the sofa next to your older child.
- If you are truly ready to explode, call a neighbor and ask them to stay with the kids while you out for a walk.
- Leave the house as soon as you can find someone to stay with the kids.
Now, What Do You Say?
Tell your child that you are starting to get angry. Describe the exact situation that's provoking your anger: "Your toys are scattered all over the floor."
Explain what you want done about it, and put a time limit on it: "Dinner will be in 10 minutes. I expect them to be cleaned up and put away before we eat. I'll set the timer."
Progress, Not Perfection
It’s a given that children's naughty behavior provokes anger in their parents. Learning new responses takes a lot of effort, and change comes slowly. If you succeed once a week in using your anger productively to improve children's behavior, give yourself credit for small successes. It takes time and it takes patience.
Know When To Get Help
If you feel that your children have taken away your freedom, are depleting your finances and are draining your energy, and you’re unleashing anger at them because of that – it’s not fair! Now is the time to seek professional assistance to manage your own internal struggles.
Working Through The Problem
In the case of Mike and his daughter Annie, Mike had to decide what he wanted to occur every night and then find a constructive way to make it happen. With the help of a counselor, he worked through the problem. He identified his need for some peace and quiet when he arrived home from work, but realized that Annie needed him, too.
He was determined to give Annie his first five minutes once he got home, watching TV with her. He couldn’t believe how this little bit of attention worked, and it freed Mike to read the newspaper in quiet.
Anger shrinks intimacy and keeps children at an emotional distance. It can take over your home and destroy the parent-child relationship. If you learn how to manage anger, your children will learn to express anger as you do.
Establish Your Equilibrium
When your anger gets the best of you, do something to bring yourself back to your emotional equilibrium – turn on some music, take a nap, go for a walk, call a friend. After, try to secure your relationship with your child, spend some time together in a mutually enjoyable activity.
Love, nurturing and joy should be the overriding feelings expressed in your home. And when those overwhelming feelings of anger do well up, if you can't think of anything else to do or say, take a deep breath, shift into low gear and focus away from your child. You'll like yourself better in the morning.
Tried and tested strategies to smooth out turbulent parenting waters for every parent:
Offer A Choice
Your child’s friend came over to play. You hear name-calling. "You're stupid." "You're a geek." "Well, you're a nerd." Instead of getting angry and yelling "Just stop that right now!" offer a choice: "I hear name-calling. You have a choice. Either the name-calling must stop, or your friend must go home." If you hear name-calling again, send the friend home with an apology and the hope of a better playtime together tomorrow.
Express Your Feelings
You’re exhausted from a long day at work, you walk in the door to the annoying sounds of your kids screaming "She ruined my game." "I didn't mean to; it's just a stupid old game anyway." "It's my favorite game. I hate having a little sister." Instead of blaming them by saying "You kids are making me so mad! I work hard all day and don’t need to come home to this fighting." Instead, express your feelings: "I'm crabby. I've had a terrible day. When I hear fighting, it makes me crabbier. Get a snack. I'm taking a bath."
Accept Your Child's Feelings
Your daughter is insulting her stepsister who is visiting for the weekend. Instead of saying “You're being rude and jealous" in an angry voice, accept your child's feelings by saying "I understand it's difficult to share your dad when your stepsister comes for the weekend, but I will not allow you to be rude." If the rudeness continues, send her to her bedroom for some quiet time.
State A Rule
The children's disagreement have come to blows. Rather than scream an angry threat like "That hitting must stop instantly or we’re not going to the movie!" state a rule by saying "Hitting is not allowed. Suzie, you empty the dishwasher and Michael, make your bed. We'll discuss the movie when your chores are done and you've calmed down."
Assert Your Values
Your child is attempting homework in front of the TV. Instead of nagging "Do your homework," "Do your homework or you won't get good grades," "You'd better do your homework or you won't get into college” assert your values: "Homework is more important than TV. The TV goes off until homework is done."
Cope With Your Child’s Feelings
Children's feelings of anger, jealousy, and even hatred need to be acknowledged and allowed appropriate expression. By accepting children's strong feelings, you can show them their feelings are part of normal human experience. It’s actually helpful for you to tell a child that all people feel these ways at times.
Help children learn acceptable ways to express strong feelings. When their expressions are hurtful or demeaning, redirect them. Ask your child to rephrase anger in a more acceptable manner, but allow your child the right to feel angry.
Often you must tell your child what a better or more appropriate way might be. You could say, "When you're mad at me, this is how I'd like you to tell me: 'What you said made me so angry.' Then I can listen better to your feelings and be more willing to try and work things out."
State angry feelings without accusing anyone. Parental anger is a useful tool when it is expressed in nonjudgmental language.
When you firmly state your anger, you emphasize the rules and let children know clearly and strongly how you feel.
Match Words To Feelings
Match your expressions of anger to the way you really feel. If you are only mildly annoyed say, "I'm a bit annoyed" or "This is irritating me." If you are very angry, it is more appropriate to say, "I'm very mad about this" or "This has made me very angry."
Avoid yelling and shouting; instead express your anger in a firm voice. Never expose children to hurtful anger.
It is normal for parents to feel frustrated by children. Unfortunately, though, when some parents feel this way they frequently vent their anger by saying to their children, "I could kill you for that!" or "I'll wring your neck!"
For that parent, these are empty words, spoken without forethought. But expressions such as these are damaging to a child. Even though you don't mean these statements and have absolutely no intention of carrying them out, your child, however, does not know this.
These expressions of hurtful anger should never be said by parents to children of any age.
Find other ways to vent your anger. Give safe expression to your feelings. All parents do get intensely angry at their children at times.
How can you get relief? First, make sure your child is safe and then give yourself a moment alone to allow these feelings silent expression. After thinking through the feelings or even saying them out loud to yourself or a friend privately, you will feel better. Take a deep breath and return to your child, ready to state your anger in a helpful way.
Never humiliate or degrade your child. Aim your disapproval at your child's behavior, not character. Instead of saying, "You're a rotten kid," you can say, "I don't like what you're doing right now."
Timing is important. Sometimes we plunge in too quickly to handle a situation and end up saying or doing something we wish we hadn't. Take some time before rushing into a situation. Except in a true emergency, there are always a few seconds, even minutes, to spare. Leave the room if you need to, take a deep breath and ask yourself, "What do I really want to accomplish here?" After finding a positive response, go in and handle the situation.
Sometimes we don't intervene soon enough. Don't wait until your anger and the child's behavior are out of control. Go in and set the limit before the situation goes too far.
Never, Ever Hurt A Child
Children are not to be used for hitting!
Some parents say that there are times they are so angry with a child that hitting them is the only way to gain control.
Anger is a powerful emotion and it should not be used to frighten or harm children.
When expressing anger with words is just not enough, relief comes in other ways. Jump rope, play basketball, jog or take a walk, shake out rugs, scrub a floor, bang on the piano or hammer in the workshop. This can provide great relief. These activities also offer children a healthy model for dealing with their own anger.
If you feel like you have to or are going to hit your child, hit a pillow. Hitting a pillow is a therapeutic technique for letting off intense, momentary anger. Hitting children is never appropriate.
You do need to set necessary limits for children. True discipline is teaching and guiding children, relying on a variety of constructive, positive and helpful approaches. Stress the family rule: "People are not for hurting," and everyone in the household will obey it.
Words can wound our children deeper than a slap at times. Many of the seemingly harmless words that so easily pop out of our mouths like "Why can't you be more like your sister?" can cause severe emotional injury and chip away at a child's self-esteem. The words parents use form the basis of a child's sense of self. Words are like a mirror reflecting back to our children vital information about who they are and what they will become.
It's easy to verbally harm our children in subtle ways, often in the mistaken belief that we are doing what is best to teach them to behave. Most children are resilient and can handle an occasional hurtful comment from their parents. The more we are aware of potentially harmful statements, the more likely we will be to find other ways to influence our children. If you find that you habitually use the 10 red-flag statements described below and can't stop yourself, you should seek help from a professional counselor or join an organization such as Parents Anonymous.
A group of mental-health professionals and a group of parents were asked what parental verbalizations, if any, they considered so potentially harmful to a child's self-worth that the words should never be used. Although the two groups did not regard parental nagging, shouting or criticizing to be serious problems, they were in remarkable agreement about what parents should not say to their children. Here are the results.
"Dummy" … "You're a bad boy" … "What a klutz" -- all of these are harmful!
Harmful: Parents' words are like word of God to a child. If you label a child as a "jerk," "brat" or "baby," he is likely to believe it's true. Since negative labels assault a child's personality rather than a specific behavior, his self-esteem will be diminished. Labels tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies. The child who is told she is "clumsy" might avoid dancing or playing sports. The child labeled "shy" may seek to avoid contact with peers and adults.
Helpful:Direct your child's attention to a particular behavior that needs changing, e.g., "This room is getting messy!" "The paper and pencils you left on the floor need to be picked up now."
"I wish you were never born" … "Nobody could love you."
Harmful: Rejection means you state a strong dislike or a desire to separate from your child. To a child, being unloved by the person who brought you into the world means you really must be unlovable. What children need more than anything else from their parents is to feel that they are loved unconditionally, i.e., that they are loved for who they are rather than for what they do or fail to do.
Helpful: On a daily basis, openly communicate your affection for your child with both verbal ("I love you") and physical (hugs, pats on the shoulder) expressions
"You'll never amount to anything" … "You're going to be locked up on jail someday."
Harmful: Children tend to live up--or down--to what we believe about them. A minister once visited a prison to speak to a large group of inmates. He asked how many of them were told when they were children that they would end up in jail. The minister was shocked when almost everyone present raised their hand. Parents need to believe in their children and predict a good future for them.
Helpful: "You're going through some hard times right now, but I want you to know that I'll never give up on you."
"You made me lose my temper" … "You're the reason your mother and I are getting a divorce" … "Your brother would never do that. You must have done it."
Harmful: Scapegoating means blaming a child for the actions of others. Children are a convenient and easy target to fault for the troubles of other family members. If our children are to learn to take responsibility for their actions, we must set an example of being personally accountable for our mistakes and weaknesses.
Helpful: If you lose your temper, as soon as you cool down, apologize to your child by saying something like, "I'm sorry I yelled at you. I'm feeling very tired today and I need to work harder on controlling my temper."
"How come you only came in second?" … "You only got a 97 on your exam? What happened to the other three points?"
Harmful: Perfectionist parents push or pressure their kids to be the best soccer player and/or get straight A's in school. The message behind the demand is, "You're not good enough the way you are." To hold children to unrealistic expectations only leads to their loss of self-confidence.
Helpful: To accentuate the positive, you might say things like, "Nice work on getting so many A's on your report card," or "You really ran a good race. You started strong and finished with a burst of speed."
"Why can't you be more like your sister?" … "When I was your age, I used to walk three miles to school."
Harmful: When you inform your child that he isn't as well behaved or high achieving as his sister, you sow the seeds to resentment and bitter rivalry between your children. Children should not feel in competition with other family members because one will inevitably feel devalued and inferior to the others. Even positive comparisons can backfire. When you say, "You're better at tennis than your brother," you instill competitive feelings and discord among siblings.
Helpful: Rather than saying, "You're much better at pitching than your brother was at your age," say, "Over the past year, your control has improved a great deal when you pitch."
"You should be ashamed of yourself-- you're acting like a baby!" … "I can't believe you're afraid of a little kitten."
Harmful: In shaming, a child is made to feel defective and inadequate about a mistake or misdeed. Shaming demoralizes a child rather than empowering her to change. Some parents publicly humiliate a child by pointing out a child's weaknesses, e.g., bed-wetting, to others. Shame tends to lead to a compelling urge to hide or withdraw from the source of shame.
Helpful: Rather than saying, "You're too old to cry," say, "Sometimes it's hard to share. Next time we'll put your special toys away."
"Go to hell!" … "Goddamn you!"
Harmful: There are few things more devastating to a child than to be verbally attacked by a parent in an obscene or profane manner. Children depend almost entirely on their parents' reactions to know whether they are good or bad, smart or dumb, loved or unlovable. They are very vulnerable emotionally. A child is likely to internalize her parent's hostility and conclude the worst about herself.
Helpful: In lieu of an expletive, give an assertive statement that tells your child what she did wrong and why it is unacceptable, e.g., "When you leave the kitchen table a mess, it means more work for someone else. The table needs to be cleared off now and wiped clean."
"If you don't get over here right now, I'll drive off and leave you here." … "If you do that again, I'll have the police take you away."
Harmful: A threat is an exaggerated statement of impending harm that parents use to intimidate or terrorize a child, e.g., "I'll break every bone in your body if you don't behave." Threats create a climate of fear and make a child feel that he is living in an unsafe and hostile world. A threat of abandonment is particularly traumatic to children, since they are so vulnerable and dependent on their parents for basic survival needs.
Helpful: Children should receive warnings not threats. A warning is a realistic "if-then" statement of what will happen to a child if he continues to misbehave, e.g., "If you try to pinch your sister again, you'll have to go to time-out."
"How could you do that after all I've done for you?" … "You'll be the death of me yet!"
Harmful: Children who are made to feel guilty for normal mistakes or problems that are beyond their control will come to believe that they are responsible for every negative thing that happens in a family, leading to an overwhelming sense of guilt. Excessive guilt can inhibit a child's engagement in new or autonomous behaviors for fear of offending a parent.
Helpful: "It's wrong to take something belonging to someone else without asking permission. How would you feel if your brother took something from your room without asking?"
It’s Time To Stop Violence Against Children Before It Starts!
WE CAN BREAK THE CYCLE NOW!
Violence Against Children Is Completely Preventable!
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In a recent study, researchers randomly assigned healthy middle-aged individuals to receive one of three study drinks once daily for 30 days. The first group received a dark chocolate drink containing 500 milligrams of cocoa polyphenols (antioxidants found in chocolate), the second group received a drink containing 250 milligrams of cocoa polyphenols, and the third group received a placebo drink containing 0 milligrams of cocoa polyphenols. Mood was evaluated with the Bond-Lader Visual Analogue Scale and brain function was measured with the Cognitive Drug Research system.
The researchers found that individuals who consumed the drink with the most cocoa polyphenols reported significant increases in feeling calm and content when compared to those who consumed the placebo drink. Changes in cognitive function were lacking.
The authors concluded that chocolate consumption may improve mood in healthy individuals; however, further research is warranted to assess its potential affect on people with anxiety or depression.
In addition to enhanced mood, many health benefits associated with cocoa products have been examined clinically. Chocolate flavonoids, found in the highest amounts in dark chocolate, exhibit antioxidative and cardioprotective properties, as well as blood thinning activity. Cocoa formulations have also been studied for their therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, skin conditions, vascular disorders, and constipation in children, as well their ability to heal wounds, repel insects and lower blood pressure.