Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teens look to parents as guides for sexual behavior

It's such a common fear of parents. Thoughts of their teen succumbing to peer pressure and engaging in risky sexual behavior, or modeling their views of what is sexually healthy and appropriate from their teenage friends. Fortunately, this article suggests that parents who maintain an open dialogue about sexuality might not have to worry about this quite so much. Check out the article: Teens Look to Parents as Guide to Healthy Sexual Behaviors here. 

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Become a Certified Parenting Instructor

Kathryn Kvols will be personally providing two upcoming Parenting Instructor trainings in July and August.  This is an exciting opportunity to learn from Kathryn herself. All who complete this intensive three day training will be certified parenting educators authorized to teach the Redirecting Children's Behavior (RCB) course through the International Network for Children and Families. RCB is the only leading parenting education program that prepares their instructors through such an intensive training program.
"I love teaching "Redirecting Children's Behavior" because it makes ME a better parent. Being reminded of the tools consistently, really keep me in alignment with the parent I want to be."

"I have had many careers in my life. None of them has been as fulfilling as teaching "Redirecting Children's Behavior".

These are words we continually hear from our instructors. Whether you are you wanting to start a new stream of income or want a career that makes you feel like your are making a powerful difference in your community, I invite you to join our international team of dedicated parenting instructors who teach "Redirecting Children's Behavior." The next training dates available are:

    * July 29th-31th in Orlando, Fl.
    * Or August 18-21st in Raleigh, NC

Here are five reasons to take this training:
1. Many families are stressed with all the economic changes. We all know that when parents are stressed, children misbehave more and child abuse dramatically increases. Now good parenting help is needed more than ever.

2. You can develop several streams of income from the curriculum. You can teach the course, give workshops, develop a coaching business, lead tele-seminars and do public speaking.

3. You can have a career where you can be your own boss and work the hours you want to work!

4. It is a good investment. There are parents EVERYWHERE! Frequently instructors have recouped their tuition after their first or second courses.

5. Most people have a goal to be the best parent they can be. When you teach the course you not only help others but, teaching also helps to sharpen your parenting tools!

Completion of this course entitles Nurses, Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, School Psychologists and Psychologists and Licensed Midwives in the state of Florida to receive 20 CEUs.

If you are interested in being a catalyst for growth and change in families, email kkvols@mac.com for more information.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Family Team Building - Committing to Action

In the last blog post, we discussed how conflict can be healthy for families. In this blog post, we will share how commitment to action is crucial in family team work.

What does it look like when family’s DON’T set goals that they stick with and DON’T commit to taking action? Families that don’t commit to taking action in their families often don’t have clear priorities or a sense of direction. You might see one person who takes on the majority of the responsibility for the family. We know who that person is because they are the ones that miss important appointments, run late for things a lot and always feel stressed. Families who don’t commit to action may have a very hard time making decisions as a family. They may have the same discussions again and again, or may fear failing.

What does it look like when family’s DO set goals that they stick with and commit to taking action?
Something amazing happens after teams have developed trust and the room to disagree with each other. They often move on to commit to a plan or goal even when they don’t quite agree with the plan. When people feel heard and understood, they feel more OK with cooperating. Families that commit to goals and to one another are clear about what is expected of each other and are willing to work towards the goal, even if they disagree. What's more, you start to see a greater sense of balance within the family.

Ways you can build COMMITMENT TO ACTION in your family.
  • Make sure everyone feels heard and understood.
  • Make sure there is a clear understanding before you take further action.
  • Before you end your family meeting or discussion, ask the question, “What have we agreed upon today?” This helps to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Write it down! Be sure to write down what the agreement is and who will be doing WHAT by WHEN!

Try it out! In your next family meeting, talk with your family about a time when everyone decided to work together on something, or did something together even if everyone did not agree. What did that look like? How did it work out? Then choose as a team an issue that continues to creep up in your family, tackle it and commit to take action on it!
Heather Remer, INCAF

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Handling Conflict In Families

In the previous post, we talked about building trust in families and how that was an important part of creating an atmosphere of teamwork in your home. In this post, we will talk a little bit about another crucial part of creating a team - being ok with conflict.

What does it look like when family’s are NOT ok with conflict?
Families that aren’t ok with conflict might get bored with each other. If they have family meetings, the meetings might seem kind of superficial. There may be a lot of talking about other members behind each other’s backs. Families that aren’t ok with conflict might avoid discussing important topics because they are controversial and they might not share (or ask for) the opinions of other people in their family.

What does it look like when family’s ARE ok with conflict?
Families that are ok with conflict are able to disagree respectfully with each other. They understand that people have different ideas and opinions and that being able to voice our opinions gives us a feeling of importance and belonging to a group. Families that are ok with conflict are able to “clear the air” of resentments. They understand that sometimes disagreements can act to motivate us to change. Families that are ok with conflict also look for “win-win” solutions, rather than “win-lose” or “lose-lose (often veiled as compromise)” solutions. When they disagree, they try to hear the other side, rather than try to “win” the fight.

Ways you can be “ok with conflict” in your family.
In the Five Dysfunctions of a team by Patrick Lencioni, conflict is described as a continuum with “artificial harmony” on one end and “mean-spirited personal attacks” on the other. Healthy teams shoot for a spot on the Harmony side near the middle.

Every family has certain rules that are not negotiable. But often parents turn everything into a “nonnegotiable,” forcing other members of the family into feeling like they have no control. When it comes to things like choosing what is for dinner, or how to spend a Saturday afternoon, welcome feedback and debate! It will build on trust and foster communication, independence, self esteem AND teamwork. Encourage family members to express their views and feelings in respectful ways to each other (no yelling, insulting, talking down to others, etc.).
o    Define the conflict. Work together to make sure members know exactly what the problem is in clear and specific language.
o    Reflect back. Control your passions! Repeat back to the other members what they are asking for and what they are needing to ensure each person understands and each person feels heard. Ask them to do the same.
o    Be optimistic and make it clear that the goal is to come to a win-win whenever possible.
o    Accept that conflict can be a little uncomfortable, and that’s ok.

Remember: It’s not the end of the world if a family member steps over the line. In fact, working through controversy and conflict as a team and in a respectful way helps each individual member develop confidence in the family as a group!  

How does your family respond when there is disagreement? Does everyone have the opportunity to be heard?

Heather Remer, INCAF

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Building Trust in Families

In the last post, we talked about creating a strong family team and we outlined the five essential ingredients of
a team: trust,  being ok with conflict, committing to decisions, accountability and focus. In this post, we will delve a little more into "Trust."

What does it look like when family’s DON’T have trust?
Families that don’t have trust feel like they need to hide their mistakes from each other. They may not feel comfortable asking for feedback or offering to help with something they haven’t done before. Families without trust jump to conclusions about why other people in the family are acting a certain way without clarifying with that other person. Families without trust hold grudges. Families without trust focus on “short-comings” of their other family members and aren’t able to tap into each person’s skills in a way that benefits everyone.

What does it look like when family’s DO have trust?
Families that trust each other don’t use past mistakes against each other later. They keep their promises and commitments to each other. Families that trust each other can be vulnerable in front of each other without feeling threatened. Families that trust each other have parent’s that are connected and demonstrate trust in their relationship with each other as a couple.

Ways you can foster trust in your family:
Think of each relationship in your family as being a bank account. You can make deposits and withdrawals. When you interact in a way that strengthens the relationship (hugs, showing love, etc) you make a deposit. When you interact in a way that is hurtful, or denies a person of what they need, you make a withdrawal. The goal of course is to make deposits! Some ways you can make deposits are:

o    Demonstrate trust! Give each other opportunities to follow through on their agreements. Set each other up for success rather than failure.
o    Don’t use guilt trips or threats with each other.
o    Be consistent and follow through on promises.
o    Ask open ended questions that promote communication instead of making assumptions about what other people think.
o    Remember, trust must be maintained over time!

So go on, talk to your family about trust.
How do the members of your family show each other that they trust each other and can BE trusted? Where might you need to be able to trust each other more? Where are there good levels of trust already? Have each member of your family come up with one thing they can do that will help foster trust with another family member.
Heather Remer, INCAF