Holidays

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      The Parents Guide to Play: 9 Tips to Ignite Your Child’s Learning    Most parents dread this familiar scenario: you buy your kid a new toy, they’re thrilled for ten minutes, but then the toy sits on a shelf collecting dust for six months. While you can’t stop your child from shifting interests, you can engage them through play to support their learning, develop their social skills, and boost their creativity. But with hectic lives and daily distractions, it can be hard for parents to know how to channel their inner-child and connect with their kids through play.    So what can parents do to help their kids get the most out of playtime?    1. Accept the challenge   Play has always been a natural part of childhood across cultures, but today’s society doesn’t lend itself to children getting much unstructured play. Kids aren’t going outside as often, they’re involved in more structured activities, and many schools have reduced recess periods. Research has shown a correlation between society’s decrease in play and increases in depression and anxiety. For these reasons, it’s important that parents accept the challenge of consciously making play a priority.      2. Learn the benefits   Understanding the perks of playtime will help you make educated decisions about what types of toys and activities will benefit your child most. Play can help your child:      Learn about their world    Manage their feelings    Build relationships and social skills    Learn from playmates    Enhance their physical health     Discover how to self-entertain    Ignite their creativity     It’s also important to realize the damage that inactivity can cause – not getting adequate playtime can prevent your child’s brain from developing normally, increase attention issues, and negatively impact their academic performance.     3. Put quality before quantity   When it comes to playing with your kids, it’s important that you genuinely connect with them, even if only for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. If you’re sleep-deprived or stressed out like parents often are, take a break and catch up on bonding time later. Your child will benefit most from playing with you when you are rested, calm, and ready to have some fun.      4. Rotate playmates   It’s important for your child to play and interact with you as their parent, but also make sure they get ample playtime with peers their own age as well as some alone time to play by themselves. Playing with peers will help them develop social skills, and playing alone will help them learn to entertain themselves creatively.      5. Tailor toys by age   As your child’s brain develops, they will require different types of toys to stimulate their interests and learn new skills. Toys generally list which age groups they are geared toward, but you can also check out this    year-by-year toy guide      for details on which toys are best for your child in each stage of development.      6. Balance nurture with boundaries   Play provides a space for kids to lead and parents to learn what their kids are thinking and feeling. While play should be child-led, it also provides opportunities for parents to set limits and teach their children to respect boundaries. Empower your child by letting them choose and lead activities, but don’t allow them to behave in disrespectful or inappropriate ways. Playtime is a great opportunity to teach your child to consider the feelings of others – a lesson that will benefit them when playing with other kids at school.      7. Don’t Dominate   It’s great for you to become engaged in play, but make sure you don’t dominate activities yourself. Parents are especially prone to doing this with crafts or projects that are supposed to turn out a certain way, and can end up pushing their child aside as they create the finished product. So next time you’re creating a Lego masterpiece or building a robotic unicorn, make sure your kid is equally engaged in the assembly.      8. Practice PRIDE skills    Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) identifies 5 skills that parents can use to shape their children’s emotional and behavioral well-being. Incorporate these skills to get the most out of playtime with your child:        PRAISE   – Compliment your child for their positive behaviors. This will reinforce desirable actions, making them more likely to repeat them. Example: “I love how you’re stacking your blocks carefully and keeping them on the table.”      REFLECTION   – Repeat back or reflect what your child talks about during play. This shows that you are listening and value their thoughts. Example: Child says, “The dragon is flying to a far-off land.” Parent reflects, “The dragon is flying to a far-off land.”       IMITATION   – Boost your child’s confidence by copying their creations or ideas. Imitation shows your child you enjoy playing with them and think their ideas are cool. Example: “I’m going to draw a swamp monster just like you.”      DESCRIPTION   – Support your child’s language development and communication skills by describing what you see them doing during play. Example: “I see you’re taking your doll’s sneakers off and putting her roller-skates on.”      ENJOYMENT  – Don’t forget to show enthusiasm and enjoyment as you play. The more fun you are having, the more engaged your child will be. Example: “I am having so much fun playing soccer with you!”    Dr. Marta M. Shinn, a specialist at Variations Psychology, is a    PCIT      and    PC-CARE    Trainer for the University of California, Davis and has taught many moms, dads, and caregivers how to incorporate PRIDE skills in their parenting.     Click here to find a PCIT Provider       


   
     
      
        Click here to consult with Dr. Shinn on PCIT or PC-CARE Training 
      
     
   


 
   Consultation with Dr. Shinn 
   
     
      
         

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Name  *  
               Name 
              
                 
                    
                  First Name 
                 
                 
                    
                  Last Name 
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            
               
                 Email Address  *  
                
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Phone  *  
               Phone 
              
                
                 
                    
                  (###) 
                 
                 
                    
                  ### 
                 
                 
                    
                  #### 
                 
               
            

            

        

            

            

            

            
               
                 What is the best date and time to call you back?  *  
                
                  
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

         

      

      

      
       
         
       
      

      

       Thank you! 

        
     

   

 
       Are you a dad? Click here to check out our PRIDE skills for dads     9. Get support   It can be difficult for parents to know how to connect to their inner-kid and engage their children through play. But remember – behind every great player is a supportive coach! Our specialists at Variations can help you bridge the gap between yours and your child’s interests to make play enriching and rewarding for both of you.       
	 CLick here to find a specialists that's right for you 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              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:   O’Connor, Siobhan (2017). The Secret Power of Play.  Time Magazine . Retrieved online: http://time.com/4928925/secret-power-play/  Raising Children – The Australian Parenting Website. (2018). Why Play is Important. https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/play-learning/play-ideas/why-play-is-important  Bongiorno, L. (2018). 10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play.  National Association for the Education of Young Children.  https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/10-things-every-parent-play  National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2018). Good Toys for Young Children by Age and Stage. Retrieved online: https://www.naeyc.org/resources/topics/play/toys   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). The Parents Guide to Play: 9 Tips to Ignite Your Child’s Learning.    Psychologically Speaking .  [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-parents-guide-to-play-9-tips-to-ignite-your-childs-learning

The Parents Guide to Play: 9 Tips to Ignite Your Child’s Learning

Every parent knows what it feels like to buy your kids new toys, have them play with them for a day, and then have them collect dust for 6 months! While you can’t stop your child from shifting interests, you can make play more engaging to inspire your child to learn and maybe keep that toy off the shelf a little longer. Check out this week’s blog for 9 tips on igniting your child’s learning through play.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Home for the Holidays: How to Get Along with Relatives that Drive You Nuts    When you were a kid, you were probably too caught up in the holiday magic to notice any tension between the grown-ups. Now that you’re older, you may be more attuned to your grandma’s passive aggression, your uncle’s inappropriate comments, or your cousin’s blatant insults. Whether you have a family member that means well but just rubs people the wrong way, or if there are some deep-rooted issues from conflicts, abuse, alcoholism, or infidelity, family gatherings don’t always feel joyous or magical.    So what can a person do to enjoy holiday get-togethers with people they can’t stand?      1. Manage expectations   Family togetherness is not always comfortable; it can be difficult to get along with people who have different personalities, viewpoints, and ways of handling conflict. If you’re expecting your family gathering to feel like a Hallmark special, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Try to release any expectations you have of your family members’ words or behaviors. Remember that you cannot control the actions of others, but you can control how you choose to react.     2. Identify your buttons   You may not be able to prevent your relatives from doing upsetting things, but you can reduce the odds of situations escalating out of control. Think back to things that have set off drama in the past and do your best to avoid them. Does drinking one too many shots, talking about religion or politics, or staying longer than a few hours seem to push your buttons? If so, do your best to consciously avoid those situations.      3. Make spirits bright & conversations light   Maybe you can’t talk to your grandpa about guns without someone dropping F-bombs and storming out of the room. Even if you want to advocate for your beliefs, holiday gatherings are not the best environment to debate tense issues. Let that be a conversation for another day and try to find common ground over lighter topics such as sports teams, hobbies, electronics, fashion trends, or TV shows.     4. Reminisce and reconnect    A great way to reconnect with family members that you’ve been distanced from is to focus on memories that make you feel nostalgic. Even if some of your family members aren’t your cup of tea, you may have fond memories that you share together. Talk about the time your dog stole the Christmas ham or dust off that old photo album for a walk down memory lane. Reflect on positive and humorous experiences that you shared with each person.     5. Take the high road   Whether you’re dealing with an alcoholic parent, judgmental in-law, or fat-shaming cousin, try your best to take the high road when they act inappropriately. This does NOT mean you need to accept unacceptable behavior; if things get ugly, walk away calmly and don’t engage in fueling the fire. Spewing insults or throwing mashed potatoes may come back to haunt you but acting mature and collected when others act out will only paint you in a positive light.      6. Call a confidante    Think of a person you can turn to if you are feeling at your wit’s end. Venting to a friend is healthier than letting your emotions boil up inside - or worse – boiling over at the dinner table. It may be wise to choose a friend as your confidante rather than another family member. You wouldn’t want your cousin to spill the beans to Great Aunt Edna about how annoying you think she is.      7. Take care of yourself    Self-care is important year-round, but many people neglect themselves during the holiday rush. Take time for yourself before, during, and after family get-togethers. Go for a walk and reflect on aspects that bring your life joy. Practice mindfulness by appreciating the present moment – the sights, smells, and tastes of the holidays. When you feel yourself dwelling on past family drama or worrying about the future, center your mind back to the present moment. Recharging your batteries will help you enjoy time with your family much more.     8. Be the light    While you should manage your expectations and prepare for the worst, try not to go into the holidays with a negative or resentful attitude. Break the tension by being friendly and positive to the family members you can’t stand or aren’t close with. Remember, the feelings of dread may be mutual and having you extend the olive branch by being warm and polite might be enough to ease some of the tension between you. By staying positive and accepting of others, your good vibes will likely rub off on those around you.      9. Seek Support   You may be thinking, “but you don’t know my family’s crazy-level! I can’t imagine ever getting past the things they did!” Depending on your family’s unique history and circumstances, the thought of applying these strategies may seem impossible, but there is hope. Our team at Variations specializes in helping families through some of life’s most difficult challenges. Our specialists can get to know your family’s unique story and empower you with tools to get through the holidays peacefully and drama-free.      
	 CLick here to find a specialists that's right for you 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


               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:   Holiday Blues That Linger Could Be Warning Sign of Depression.   (2009, December 10). Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2009/12/holiday-blues.aspx   Making The Most Of The Holiday Season. (2016, November).   Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/holiday-season.aspx  'Tis the Season for Nostalgia: Holiday Reminiscing Can Have Psychological  Benefits. (2011, December 7). Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2011/12/nostalgia.aspx   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). Home for the Holidays: How to Get Along with Relatives that Drive You Nuts.    Psychologically Speaking .  [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/home-for-the-holidays-how-to-get- along-with-relatives-that-drive-you-nuts

Home for the Holidays: How to Get Along with Relatives that Drive You Nuts

Whether you loathe your in-laws, can’t stand your cousin, or are perturbed by your parents, holiday gatherings can be a tense time for family members who just don’t get along. It’s challenging to connect with people who have different values, perspectives, and personalities, but there are ways to keep the peace and enjoy the holidays. Check out this week’s blog to learn how!  

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “Why Can’t I Say No?!” The Woman’s Holiday Guide to Stop People-Pleasing    While the holiday season brings out many joyful emotions, it also tends to bring out the inner people-pleaser in many women. “Sure I’ll host the family dinner.” “Sure I’ll bake 700 cookies for the PTA.” “Sure I’ll sell my kidney so I can afford all these gifts.” There’s nothing wrong with going the extra mile to make the holidays special for the people you care about, but too much people-pleasing can take a toll on your well-being.   So what can women do to tame their inner people-pleaser?       1. Understand it’s a problem   You may think, “it’s easier to accommodate others rather than deal with the backlash of saying no.” While there are times to be flexible to others’ desires, excessive people-pleasing is a habit that can seriously impact your mental health. Always putting the needs of others before your own can lead to:      Experiencing stress or depression    Passive aggressive behavior    Feeling angry and resentful    Over or under eating    Neglecting self-care	    Feeling frustration from being taken advantage of     2. Realize the relationship damage    You may think that your people-pleasing helps your relationships because it reduces confrontation, but people-pleasing actually builds a wedge between you and your loved ones. When you over-work in a relationship, the other person naturally under-works knowing that you will pick up the slack, and that isn’t healthy for either of you. Plus, relationships are about people understanding one another and connecting on a personal level. Authentic connections can’t take place when you’re always hiding your true feelings.      3. Address the root issue   There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be helpful to others, but there’s a difference between being considerate and being a doormat. If you feel a lot of anxiety around making others happy, it may be due to a low sense of self-worth and/or fear of rejection. You probably know some people who don’t people-please but still have lots of friends, so let go of the idea that you need to be compliant to be liked. Focus on improving your own self-image and believing that you are worthy of having your needs met.      4. Take responsibility for your happiness   …and no one else’s! Maybe you host your family for the weekend and Aunt Susan always finds something to complain about. The roast is dry, the pillows are lumpy, your shampoo gives her eczema, whatever. Accept that no matter what you do or don’t do, you are only responsible for your own happiness, and you have no control over the contentment of others. Go to the lengths that make  you  feel happy and don’t concern yourself with what others think about it.     For more tips on developing your emotional intelligence, click here      5. Consider your sacrifices   Remember that every time you say yes to a request, you may be saying no the things you truly value. For example, if you say yes to your cousin’s invitation to go fishing for the holiday when you really don’t want to, you may be preventing your children from enjoying the traditions that you had planned for them at home. Saying no can be hard, but consider what’s being sacrificed each time you say yes out of guilt.      


   
     
      
        Click here for a free 15-minute consultation with one of our specialists
      
     
   


 
   15 minute consultation 
   
     
      
         

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Name  *  
               Name 
              
                 
                    
                  First Name 
                 
                 
                    
                  Last Name 
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            
               
                 Email Address 
                
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            
               
                 What is a good number to reach you?  *  
                
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            
               
                 When is a good time to call you?  *  
                
                  
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

         

      

      

      
       
         
       
      

      

       Thank you! 

        
     

   

 
      6. Deck the halls with lots of stalling   You invited your parents over for an intimate holiday dinner, but they ask if they can invite 20 members of your extended family. You say yes and immediately regret it, becoming angry at yourself for agreeing and resentful at them for asking. A great way around this scenario is making your default response, “let me get back to you,” when someone makes a request. There’s nothing wrong with taking time to deliver a decision, and stalling will allow you to think through the pros and cons of the request.      7. Use empathetic insertions   It can be hard to use “no” as a full sentence. Empathetic insertions can help soften your “no” while also helping the other person feel understood and less defensive. Just make sure that your response doesn’t include specific excuses, as excuses give the other person wiggle room to talk you out of your reasoning.   Example: “I understand it’s a lot of work putting your Christmas lights up, but I’m not available this weekend to come over and help.”    8. Get support   It can feel impossible for many women to say “no,” even if it means compromising her own sanity. As scary as it may seem, there are ways to build up your confidence, stick to your boundaries, and maintain happy and healthy relationships. Our specialists at Variations Psychology can empower you with the tools to learn how.      
	 CLick here to find a specialists that's right for you 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life           
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              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:   Clay, R. (2013). Just Say No.  American Psychological Association . Retrieved online: https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2013/11/say-no.aspx  Coyne, J. C., & Whiffen, V. E. (1995). Issues in personality as diathesis for depression: The case of sociotropy-dependency and autonomy-self-criticism.  Psychological Bulletin, 118 (3), 358-378.  Pagoto, S. (2012). Are You a People Pleaser?  Psychology Today . Retrieved online: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shrink/201210/are-you-people-pleaser  Sifferlin, A. (2012). How People-Pleasing May Lead to Over Eating.  Time Magazine.  Retrieved online: http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/02/how-people-pleasing-leads-to-overeating/  Strauss Cohen, I. (2017). No More People Pleasing.  Psychology Today . Retrieved online: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-emotional-meter/201710/no-more-people-pleasing  Tartakovsky, M. (2016). 21 Tips to Stop Being a People-Pleaser.  Psych Central . Retrieved online: https://psychcentral.com/lib/21-tips-to-stop-being-a-people-pleaser/   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). Why Can’t I Say No?! The Woman’s Holiday Guide to Stop People-Pleasing.    Psychologically Speaking .  [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-womans-holiday-guide-to-stop-people-pleasing

“Why Can’t I Say No?!” The Woman’s Holiday Guide to Stop People-Pleasing

Do the holidays bring out your inner people-pleaser? Many women struggle to say “no” to family and friends around the holidays, even when it means compromising her own values. Check out this week’s blog for 8 tips to tame your inner people-pleaser this holiday season

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      From Spoiled to Grateful – 9 Tips for Raising Thankful Kids     Gratitude is often credited as being the secret to a happy life, but it isn’t something kids are born with. Every parent knows the feeling of spending tons of time and money to give their kids awesome gifts or experiences, only to be met with, “this wasn’t the color I wanted,” or “we never do anything fun!” All parents want grateful kids, but teaching your kids to be grateful takes a lot more than just training them to say, “thanks” at every turn.      So what can parents do to instill true appreciation in their children?      1. Define how thankful feels   Discuss the feelings behind the words, “thank you,” both from the giving and receiving ends. Ask your child how it feels when their teachers, friends, or parents thank them for doing something nice. Then ask how they feel when they show appreciation to someone. Understanding the positive feelings that result from gratitude will make them more likely to express it.     2. Model gratitude   Make it a point to thank those who serve – bus drivers, waiters, military, mail carriers. Make sure to also express gratitude to your children – for doing the dishes without asking, for getting ready for school on time, and for simply being themselves and bringing joy to your life. When you receive gifts, help your children view them as a meaningful gesture and not just a way to score new stuff.    Example:   “Grandma doesn’t make a lot of money now that she’s retired. It really means a lot that she sacrifices to send us these thoughtful gifts.”   3. Don’t force it   The waitress goes out of her way to bring your child a free dessert just to be sweet. Your kid sits there stone-faced, not giving so much as a smile, much less a, “thank you.” Gently remind your child to say thanks, but if they don’t do it, don’t make a big deal of it and just thank the waitress yourself. A battle of wills can be counter-productive to your child adopting a thankful attitude. Over time, your example and gentle reminders will stick.      4. Make gratitude interesting   Tying gratitude into your child’s interests can be a great way to reinforce appreciation. When playing with your child, role play scenarios where toys or puppets express gratitude. If your teen is interested in mowing lawns or washing cars for extra cash, ask them to consider donating part of their earnings to a charity they care about.     Click here to learn more about the benefits of allowing teens to work     5. Teach fortitude   Gratitude is dependent on two other virtues – fortitude (coping with challenges) and positivity (seeing the bright side). Most kids are born thinking life should be easy, care free, and devoid of heartache. They’ll have a hard time being thankful until they accept that life can be difficult. The way that you process your challenging experiences offers a foundation for your kids to learn how to process their own. Talk to them about difficult times in your life that resulted in wisdom, growth, and strength.   Example:   “My girlfriend dumped me in high school. It felt unbearable at the time, but I’m grateful that my life worked out the way it did because then I met your mom and we had you.”   6. Create a culture of gratitude    Make gratitude part of your family culture by incorporating it into daily life. When you’re at dinner, talk about the work of others that went into your meal. The farmers, the harvesters, the truck drivers, the grocery staff, and of course, the cook! Volunteer at soup kitchens or participate in toy drives as a family. Grab some butcher paper and make it a weekly tradition for each family member to list 5 things they’re thankful for. Keep the list displayed in a visible area for frequent reminders of your blessings.      7. Be careful not to spoil   Resist the urge to cater to your child’s every desire; you may think you’re doing them a favor, but too much indulgence can make your child feel that their worth is defined by their possessions rather than their character. This can be damaging to their self-esteem and identity development. Sure, you can buy them treats here and there, but allow them to earn expensive items and the things they really want. This will help them appreciate the value of a dollar and build a strong work ethic.      Click here to read more about fostering independence in your child or teen     8. Be patient   It’s not always easy for kids or teens to recognize the feelings and sacrifices of others; instilling gratitude is a lifelong parenting task and will not happen overnight. Be patient and know that your diligence in modeling gratitude and appreciation will influence their attitudes over time.      9. See a specialist   Gratitude is important to your child’s emotional well-being, but raising grateful kids can be challenging in a world of billboards and commercials telling them they need more and more to be happy. If you’re concerned that your child or teen is having trouble developing a grateful attitude, a Specialist at Variations can help.       
	 CLick here to find a specialists that's right for you 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life           
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              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 :  Havanger, Toma S. (2013). 10 Ways to Raise a Grateful Kid. PBS.org. Retrieved online: http://www.pbs.org/parents/special/article-ten-ways-raise-grateful-kid.html  Lickona, Thomas. (2004). Character Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgement, Integrity, and Other Essential Values. pp 10-12.   Lickona, Thomas. (2018). How to Raise Grateful Kids in an Era of Thankless People. TIME Magazine. Retrieved online: http://time.com/5233398/raise-grateful-children/  Siegel, D.J. (2014). Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You. pp 1-10.   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). From Spoiled to Grateful – 9 Tips for Raising Thankful Kids.     Psychologically Speaking .  [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/from-spoiled-to-grateful-9-tips-for-raising-thankful-kids

From Spoiled to Grateful – 9 Tips for Raising Thankful Kids

Every parent knows what it’s like to buy their kids awesome gifts, only to be met with, “that wasn’t the color I wanted!” or, “why didn’t you buy the accessories?!” Gratitude isn’t something kids are born with, but it’s critical to their life-long happiness. So how can parents teach their kids to be thankful for what they have? Check out this week’s blog to find out!