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      7 Ways a Loved One’s Illness Affects the Whole Family      A person’s quality of life tends to be similar to those around them - when someone you love develops a serious illness, the negative impact on the patient’s life can also influence the rest of the family’s well-being. While it’s critical that family members support their sick loved one, it’s equally important to be aware of obstacles that illness can impose on the whole family. By understanding the challenges that may arise, your family will be better prepared to work through them and support your sick loved one as a strong, united front.    So what kind of problems do family members face when a loved one becomes ill? If you have a sick loved one, here are 7 challenges your family may need to work through:     1. Emotional upheaval     Watching someone you love struggle with illness is painful, making many family members feel a sense of helplessness or loss of control. Emotions impact each person to different extents, but it’s normal to feel any or all of the following emotions:      Guilt    Anger    Fear    Frustration    Embarrassment    Despair      Click here to uncover the 6 stealthy disguises of depression in men       2. Function disruption     Each family member fills certain roles in their household, allowing the family to function like clockwork (well, maybe not like clockwork – we’ve all left a sink full of dishes overnight or forgotten to pay a bill!). But when one family member becomes too ill to function, it can feel like the family structure has gone completely off the rails. The rest of the family feels pressure to fill the roles of the patient, and trying to absorb another person’s responsibilities can feel overwhelming.      3. Body burn-out      Driving your family member to medical appointments, preparing special meals, picking up prescriptions, and being too stressed to sleep can make you feel like your body’s tank is constantly running on empty. Neglecting your own appointments, feeling exhausted, having gastrointestinal issues, and developing body aches are common symptoms of caregiver stress.      Experiencing caregiver-stress? Click here        4. Rocky relationships      Each family member deals with a variety of complex emotions, and it can be hard for them to understand one another. Some may feel anger from being burdened with most of the caregiving, while others might feel neglected as the patient gets most of the family’s attention. Poor communication can cause tension and arguments between family members; in turn, strained relationships make it harder for the patient to remain positive and hopeful as they cope with their illness.      5. Work and school slip-ups     A person’s illness can be very disruptive to their family’s professional and academic lives. If dad is in the hospital, he can’t help his kids with their math homework. If mom has to drop everything to respond to grandma’s health emergencies, she may miss important meetings or deadlines. Focusing on completing work or school assignments is difficult when family members are worried about their loved one’s health.   Worried about how a loved one’s illness is impacting your child in school?      


   
     
      
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      6. Financial fall-out      The financial implications of a family member’s illness often present a tremendous burden. If the patient was normally the family’s main bread-winner, the rest of the family has to quickly adjust to life without their regular income. If the patient is a child, one or more parents may need to take a leave from work and disability income is often less than their standard pay. Costs of treatments, transportation, medication, and hiring caregivers can quickly mount into unmanageable expenses, adding to the family’s stress.      7. Social struggles     Meeting the constant needs of severely sick loved ones can leave little time for hobbies and social activities. If medical bills are stacking up, you may not have much cash left to watch a pay-per-view fight with the guys or get your roots touched up at the salon. The emotional impact of a family member’s illness can also make it difficult to have fun and connect with friends, as many people fear coming off as a “downer” when they talk about what’s going on.    Need someone to talk to? Click here to learn more about our specialists          8. Need for support      All of these challenges are significant and should not be taken lightly; the good news is, your family doesn’t have to face them alone, and there are ways to leverage these obstacles to strengthen your family rather than tear it apart. With the right support, your family can maintain a healthy quality of life while tending to the needs of your sick loved one.    Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you are a man or teenage boy struggling with a family member’s illness, Dr. Sample can provide a safe place to work through your challenges.         
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Elsa Torres, Psy.D.,  is an expert in diagnostic testing and counseling and is experienced in helping families strengthen their relationships and improve their quality of life. If your family is being affected by a loved one’s illness, Dr. Torres can support you in coping with challenges and finding happiness.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Torres 
       Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology. If you worry that a family member’s illness has had a negative impact on your child, Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing and recommend support for your child’s unique needs.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life           
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Golics, C. J., Basra, M. K., Salek, M. S., & Finlay, A. Y. (2013). The impact of patients' chronic disease on family quality of life: an experience from 26 specialties.  International journal of general medicine ,  6 , 787-98. doi:10.2147/IJGM.S45156  How Chronic Illness or Disability Affects a Family (2014).  Healthychildren.org . Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chronic/Pages/How%20Chronic-Illness-Affects-the-Family.aspx  Shinn, M.M. (2018). How to Care for Aging Parents while Raising a Family: 8 Tips for the Sandwich Generation.   Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/how-to-care-for-aging-parents-while-raising-a-family-8-tips-for-the-sandwich-generation    Shinn, M.M. (2018). Stealth Depression in Men: Unmasking its 6 Disguises.  Psychologically Speaking .   [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/stealth-depression-in-men-unmasking-its-6-disguises    Wittenberg, E., Saada, A., & Prosser, L. A. (2013). How illness affects family members: a qualitative interview survey.  The patient ,  6 (4), 257-68.    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). 7 Ways a Loved One’s Illness Affects the Whole Family.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/7-ways-a-loved-ones-illness-affects-the-whole-family

7 Ways a Loved One’s Illness Affects the Whole Family

Are you struggling with a family member’s chronic illness? Check out this week’s blog to learn how a loved one’s illness impacts the whole family and how our specialists can help.  

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children   From the time a baby is born until they establish themselves as adults, most parents are at least a little concerned with how intelligent their child will be. They may get a little worried if their best friend’s kid started talking earlier or if their teen didn’t make the honor roll.     But what about the type of intelligence that doesn’t impact a kid’s ability to solve math equations or memorize state capitols?    We’re talking about emotional intelligence, and though it might not get quite as much “air time” among parents’ concerns, we’re here to convince you that it’s just as important to your child’s future as their academic performance.   What is emotional intelligence?   Emotional intelligence (EQ) is our ability to identify and manage the emotions of ourselves and others. EQ refers to the way that we perceive, process, regulate, and use emotional information.   For example, if your child has high EQ, they might manage a conflict with a friend in the following manner:    Emotional Perception  – “I’ve noticed that Hailey has been ignoring me at recess so I think she might be mad at me.”  Emotional Process  – “I’m feeling lonely and hurt because Hailey is ignoring me, but I’m not going to let it ruin my day. I have lots of people that care about me and I’m sure I’ll get through this.”  Emotional Regulation  – “I think I’ll ask Hailey about why she’s angry at me, but first I’m going to take a walk to calm down and think about what I should say.”  Emotional Utilization  – “Now that I’m feeling calm, I’m going to ask Hailey if she’s angry with me and talk to her about how we can work it out.”     How EQ impacts your child’s life   A person’s EQ guides their behaviors and impacts their career, relationships, and overall well-being. While IQ may be a good indicator of your child’s academic potential, it won’t necessarily help them relate to others or manage challenges. Some argue that EQ is more important to success than IQ, as EQ has shown to have stronger influence on stress management, team cohesiveness, and job performance than technical knowledge.   Why is EQ so critical?   Studies have shown that American children have steadily declined in emotional intelligence over the past several decades. A growing number of kids are struggling with anxiety, impulsivity, disobedience, anger, loneliness, and depression. An unfortunate reflection of this trend is also seen in the growing prevalence of school violence since the 1990’s. To address this alarming concern, it’s important that parents and educators understand how to cultivate emotional intelligence in children.   How can I raise an emotionally intelligent child?    Just as there are academic prodigies who seemed to master calculus from within the womb, there are kids who naturally have a higher EQ than others. Whether a child is “emotionally gifted” or not, studies have shown that emotional intelligence can be taught and increased in children.   Here are 5 tips for raising an emotionally intelligent child:     1. Be an emotional "label maker"   Emotionally intelligent people understand and accept their emotions as they experience them. This insight allows them to identify what they are feeling and understand that their emotions are temporary. Big emotions can feel very overwhelming to little people, so help your child understand their feelings by “labeling” them as they come up. This will help them realize that their feelings are a normal part of life that can be worked through.   Example: “You’re feeling angry because it’s your brother’s turn to pick the movie we watch. Everyone feels angry sometimes, and it’s ok to feel that way.”    2. Become an "empathy" model   While you may not be a fitness or swimsuit model, parenting gives you a chance to model your best body part – your heart! Modeling empathy, especially when you don’t agree with your child, is an effective way to show them how to acknowledge the perspectives of others even when they don’t see eye to eye. Empathizing does not mean you have to let your parental boundaries cave in, it simply means you validate their feelings while sticking to your rules.   Example: “I understand that it’s hard for you to stop playing and come inside, but it’s time for dinner.”    3. Encourage expression   When your child starts the dreaded “whine-talk” or temper tantrum, it can be tempting to plug your ears and send them to their room. Unfortunately, this tells your child that expressing negative emotions is unacceptable, causing them to repress their feelings rather than learning how to managing them. When your child gets upset, encourage them to use calm words to explain how they are feeling. Try to stop viewing negative emotions as harmful – instead, view them as a teaching opportunity to show your child how to express emotions in a calm, healthy way.   Example: “It looks like you’re feeling sad because your sister was leaving you out of the game. It’s ok to be sad, but it’s never ok to hit. Use calm words to tell your sister how you are feeling.”    4. Increase their interactions   Children of previous generations spent a lot more time playing with other children – a behavior that naturally cultivates EQ. Today’s kids tend to spend a lot of time indoors, limiting their emotional interactions. Limit screen time and allow your child to have plenty of unstructured social time with peers. Take the time to actively talk and listen to them without distractions. Even if your child is yelling at you to go away, a child’s rage and sadness often can’t dissipate until they feel heard and understood. Put your phone away, let the laundry wait, and tell your child you want to listen.   Example: “I know you said you’re angry and that you want to be alone, but I just want you to know that I’m here and I want to listen.    5. Empower problem solving   Your child’s homework will almost always revolve around solving academic problems – things like figuring out which train will reach its destination faster or determining how to make an egg survive being thrown off a building. Emotional conundrums might not be in their weekly homework packet, but they deserve just as much attention. When your child is upset or disappointed, encourage them by offering to help them brainstorm ideas to overcome their difficult emotions.   Example: “It looks like you’re feeling frustrated because your friend hurt your feelings. When you’re feeling calm, let’s think of things you can say to help her understand how you feel.”    Variations can help   Emotional intelligence is a critical aspect in your child’s development, social relationships, mental health, and life-long success. If you are concerned about your child’s EQ development or just want to learn more ways to support their emotional growth, Variations Psychology can help.      Cynthia Johnson, LMFT , is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. Cynthia is experienced in helping parents build strong emotional connections with their children and provides parents with practical tips to support their child’s mental and emotional growth.   Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D ., is an expert in child and educational psychology. Dr. Shinn specializes in helping parents understand the educational and emotional needs of their children, consults with parents to evaluate EQ in their children, and teaches parents ways to increase their child’s emotional intelligence and mental well-being.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life:      

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.    More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams). See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a   call   and we will guide you.  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References   Bar-On, R., Maree, J.G., & Elias, M.J. (2007)  Educating People To Be Emotionally Intelligent.  Heinemann Publishers.   Gottman, J. (1997)  Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child . Simon & Schuster.  Mikolajczak, Moïra et al.  The moderating impact of emotional intelligence on free cortisol responses to stress Psychoneuroendocrinology , Volume 32 , Issue 8 , 1000 - 1012     Laura Thi Lam & Susan L. Kirby (2010) Is Emotional Intelligence an Advantage? An Exploration of the Impact of Emotional and General Intelligence on Individual Performance, The Journal of Social Psychology, 142:1, 133-143,DOI: 10.1080/00224540209603891   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). 5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children.   Psychologically Speaking .   [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/5-tips-for-raising-emotionally-intelligent-children

5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children

From the time a baby is born until they establish themselves as adults, most parents are at least a little concerned with how intelligent their child will be. They may get a little worried if their best friend’s kid started talking earlier or if their teen didn’t make the honor roll.  

But what about the type of intelligence that doesn’t impact a kid’s ability to solve math equations or memorize state capitols?