Compassion is the Antidote to Judgment!

There is so much disrespect flying around and judgment of all kinds. I don’t know about you, but one of my highest priorities is that my kids become respectful adults when they are grown. Rather than jumping on a bandwagon, howling at the news or your friends expressing displeasure about our country or the happenings in our world, be sure you are being an example of respectful behavior.  There will always be strife in politics and over the years we won’t agree with things we see or hear, at times. Be a model citizen for your kids and show respect for differing opinions and tolerance for those who are different from us. The ultimate antidote to judgment is COMPASSION! Teach it and model it daily!

Wishing you balance,

Bette Levy Alkazian, LMFT
Balanced Parenting

from a post on MOMIPEDIA on Facebook 11-16-16

Spanking…yay or nay?

Spanking is still a very controversial and heated discussion for many. My belief is that spanking doesn’t teach kids anything useful looking forward. When would they be able to use the tool of hitting someone in an appropriate setting? All healthy parenting tools should be applicable to other situations and parents are constantly modeling how to handle themselves and their feelings. Feel free to disagree with me. What are your thoughts about this article?

http://news.utexas.edu/2016/04/25/risks-of-harm-from-spanking-confirmed-by-researchers

Wishing you balance,

Bette Levy Alkazian, LMFT
www.BalancedParenting.com

The Bridge to Connectedness…

I love when a theme emerges with my clients and this month’s theme has been about feeling “safe” in relationships. When we use respect with each other and truly cherish our partners’ and our kids’ strengths AND weaknesses, we make them feel SAFE with us. They feel able to be honest, able to be vulnerable without fear and able to open their hearts and share with us; this is what leads to true connectedness and intimacy in relationships.  This is what we all crave and yearn for from those we love. Look inward at how you might make your partner or kids feel “unsafe” with you and work to hold your tongue when criticism or harshness comes. Your compassion and unconditional love are your greatest bridges to true connectedness.

Wishing you balance,

Bette Levy Alkazian, LMFT, BCPC
www.BalancedParenting.com

from MOMIPEDIA on Facebook 7-27-16

A Different Kind of Independence – Letting Go!

What do you fiercely hold on to that you should be letting go of? There’s been a theme in my office this week of people struggling to let go…of something.  Sometimes it’s an event in the past, or a grudge that we hold on to even if we forgot why, or a thing that holds sentimental value or none, or a story that we tell ourselves that we don’t want to challenge or question. There is much that we hold onto that drains our energy or drains our relationships or drains us financially. Independence Day can mean many different types of independence.  How about a healthy letting go of something that no longer serves us?  What do you want to let go of today?

Wishing you balance,

Bette Levy Alkazian, LMFT
www.BalancedParenting.com

from MOMIPEDIA post on Facebook
7-6-16

Independence Day is Every Day!

Here in the U.S. of A. we are celebrating Independence Day!  What is independence?  The dictionary defines it as freedom fromthe control, influence, support,or aid of others.  As a country, we are still figuring things out, but how are you doing within your family? Are you fostering independence in your kids?

At every age and developmental stage there are things our kids should be able to do on their own.  It’s a long road to adulthood, but shorter than it looks.  We have to begin the process early on so that once they get to the later teen years and are looking for more independence, we want them to have had a lot of practice.

  • In infancy, we need to teach our babies to play by themselves for periods of time and to fall asleep on their own.
  • As toddlers, we want them to dress themselves, feed themselves and to take on small responsibilities like putting dirty clothes in the hamper or putting their toys away. 
  • During the school-age years, we want kids to do their homework themselves, to remember their jackets at school, to help make their lunches and to help more around the house (increasing each year)
  • During the middle school years we want our tweens to be independent students (asking for help when needed, of course), to wash their own gym clothes and to take more responsibilities around the house – setting/clearing the table for dinner, folding their laundry, yard work, etc…
  • During the high school years, kids should be doing their own laundry, beginning to manage their money (with guidance), making business-type phone calls, managing their time, and many other skills that they will need once they go to college or move out of the home, so that they can navigate life without our control or aid.

Many parents struggle to encourage independence in their kids because they fear they will no longer be needed or they fear their child will fail.  The truth is, we are working to put ourselves out of a job, but not to end the relationship!  We want to love on our kids forevermore and that’s great! We just don’t want them to “need” us to get through each day.  If you do want that, you need to ask yourself why and what fulfillment is lacking in your own life.  Don’t ask your kids to fill you up – you fill yourself up and give your kids the space to make a life for themselves.

Wishing you balance,

Bette Alkazian, LMFT

www.BalancedParenting.com
4

Reacting vs. Responding

A life of raising kids is certainly filled with adventure! You never know what is going to come at you! The true test of balanced parenthood is being able to keep our heads on straight when times get challenging.  The key is to RESPOND to situations, not to REACT to them.  What’s the difference?  Sometimes, it’s simply taking a second to take a breath, let our anxious heads have a minute to settle in with the situation and then making a clear and concise decision about how to handle something rather than the typical knee-jerk reactions we are usually likely to employ.  But how do we do that when we are in the moment? The key is less in the moment than in other moments.  When we take good care of ourselves on a day to day basis – rest, exercise, healthy food, self-care, nourishing relationships, etc…we are more likely to have the internal resources to stay centered in a “knock-you-off-your-feet” moment.  What have you found works best for helping you to stay calm in those crazy moments?

Wishing you balance,

Bette Alkazian, LMFT
Balanced Parenting
www.BalancedParenting.com

from MOMIPEDIA post on Facebook
6-15-16

Talking to Kids About Terrorism


Terrorism and kids. What do we tell our kids about such horrible events in the news such as the Orlando shooting? Of course, only as is age-appropriate, we tell them the truth. There are people who hate and who want to destroy and do it with notoriety. It’s is heartbreaking to know that some people don’t value life in the same ways we do. We must talk about that with our kids and remind them that there are so many more good people than bad in this world. It should be a conversation that continues over time, but always remember to point out the good people who step in to help and repair the communities who are wounded. We all need to be those helpers and repairers.


Mr. Rogers said: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”


Wishing you balance,

Bette Alkazian, LMFT
Balanced Parenting
www.BalancedParenting.com