Archives for posts with tag: parenting

It’s natural, one sees another person being on vacation, having their kids sitting and posing for a photo and BAM, another “one” sees this photo, while her kid is running around screaming and throwing anything she can get her hands on and BAM, jealousy, rage, bitterness, shame and then the biggest epidemic GUILT.

What to do? Of course turn Facebook off, but usually it doesn’t work that way, this is the moment to go deeper into jealousy, rage, bitterness, shame and then (sigh) guilt.

How can it stop? There is no point to this, we truly have no idea about this other persons real deal, maybe it is as it seems, or maybe not.  It’s an unhealthy addiction and like any other must be monitored or it can be really harmful.

What has been happening to the parents I work with, who are having this FB addiction comparison struggle? They are flipping out (unconsciously) on their kids. They are secretly holding grudges and anger that are leaking out on their kids. They are holding this “not doing enough” energy and their families are feeling it. It’s not good, and it’s affecting the parents self worth.

This has turned into a PSA: Limit the time and set an intention of what you are doing on Facebook. Your family needs you to be present to THEM.

I would love to hear your feedback on this, please comment below.

Doesn’t happen easily does it? How much physical pressure do you need? What material do you use? What liquid works best? Are streaks visible in the morning? The evening? Natural light? candlelight? What about when guests come over? Do you leave the streaks and accept the smudges, fingerprints? Do you not turn certain lights on, keep one side of the drapes closed? Do you ask for help? Do you notice other mirrors in other homes that you visit?

car-wax-10-mirrorThis seems like an ongoing process. One with which I am in the middle of. I began this blog before I received a gift from a parent I work with. We are in a family coaching relationship, and she gave me a cloth specifically to clean mirrors THE BEST. She obviously had no idea of my mirror cleaning challenges, yet she showed up with this “random” gift. We never talk cleaning, we never talk about the mundane.

What I realized is that all conversations, and gifts, (and sometimes the conversations are are the gifts) have an option of being purposeful. This special cleaning rag is extremely purposeful and I am grateful.

This makes me open my mind to what is judged as “pointless” conversation. Do you hold certain topics of conversation  for specific people? Do you speak to your child in a way that serves them? Do you speak to children in a way that makes them wrong? Are you fighting to be right in conversations with friends?

My hope is after reading this blog, your take away is to find the purpose in the conversations that you have. To be aware with the words we share makes the sharing more powerful.

A Day of Joy

Who is the number one person that deserves a day of joy?

Mothers. A Day of Joy is an all day event with 4 workshops, lunch, and goody bags. Mothers get to spend a day playing! Dancing! Creating art! And most of all Relaxing. No talk of children, or schedules or what’s for dinner. This day is for Moms to recharge their fuel tanks…

The inspiration for this event came from trading stories with a colleague. While discussing funny things the children we work with do, we got on the topic of Mothers who don’t get to experience the fun. POOF! A DAY OF JOY!

Joy is what rules children. At the core of their existence, children have the capacity to experience joy every single day. As children get older and eventually become adults, they/we can lose our connection to joy, because of responsibilities, fear, judgment, self doubt, guilt, worry, shame etc.

Children experience joy naturally and spontaneously. It can be seen with a sudden skip down the street, a burst of laughter, or seeing a balloon. It’s physiologically healthy to be expressive and clear on what is felt and desired. Adults do not have the space or courage to let all this energy and emotion out, plus the police might be called or we could end up on the front of the local newspaper or for shame: on social media looking crazy.

Mothers’ are overwhelmed. I see the depletion of energy, lack of zest, and low emotional, spiritual, and physical states in Mothers, this is not the most worthy place to parent from, and children are directly impacted by this.

A Day of Joy is a day for Mothers to play and to tune in to their inner and outer Self. There are no expectations other than to show up on time, creating a sacred space. An important agreement we make at the start: “give no advice.”

Mothers attending A Day of Joy experience mind body connections that last in their lives beyond this one day.

I have witnessed women having soul connections, with no words spoken. Spontaneous laughing, hugging and dancing erupt. I have also witnessed Mothers eating lunch alone by choice, and really enjoying not being a caretaker for anyone else, free from any obligations and worries, even if just in the moment.

Mom’s reflect back on the day with peace of mind and disbelief on how good it feels to be free in their bodies and minds.

I know awareness reaches heightened states by having these experiences and opportunities. When some sadness, guilt, worry, bitterness, shame and sorrow get expressed, then real JOY has a place to expand. This kind of joy is the kind that makes life peaceful, makes the skin glow, brings blood pressure down, reduces anxiety and stress, and brings in hope and possibility. This kind of joy elicits the fact that no one is alone in parenting struggles. In place of stress and anxiety are thoughts of humanity, love, trust, compassion, and joy.

Bio: Shane Kulman, MS SpEd is the founder of Your Beautiful Child LLC, private practice. She offers workshops nationwide, as well as local women’s groups. For more information on Shane go to http://www.yourbeautifulchild.comjoy

I invite you to read this with an open heart and an open mind. It’s clear and beautiful…

The Beautiful Truth.

 

happy new year

Year after year, for most of my life, I would set resolutions for the new year, ways I will change, things I will start doing. These were typically things I never wanted to do, I was not consistent at, and usually failed at.

I found that setting these resolutions were just another way of beating myself up, keeping myself a failure.   I say setting a resolution of ACCEPTANCE. Acceptance of ALL PARTS OF MYSELF. Radical acceptance of:

  • my treadmill ignoring self,
  • my non-waking  up early self,
  • my always arriving late self.

Once I began accepting these things I considered what was wrong with me, GUESS WHAT!? I changed.

Have a precious beginning of this New Year. As dear friends of mine say, “enjoy this trip around the sun!”

People frequently ask me; Are you always happy? The subtext of the question sometimes has  annoyance or disbelief in it, “like jeez, your life is so grand?!”

Actually while I’m sure there is an intrinsic part of me that is naturally happy. The truth is, I have worked and continue to work on feeling my feelings all the time, (and they are not all happy.) It’s like anything you want in your life. It could be working out to get muscles, learning karate or knitting. Being happy (as happy as I am ) takes work.

What does work mean to you? Does it mean a job?  Work to me is: life’s work, working on my Self,  what I do to be real, grounded and present as much as I can.  My perspectives in life have now permanently changed, I have been trained, and now make choices  to keep seeing the light in all situations,  I am  responsible for having created this shift /change. My judgmental and negative thoughts absolutely come up, except now I know what to do with them, and overall they just mean less.

I know that every human being is powerful and has the ability to go deeper into their authentic happy selves. Everyone has happiness buried deep inside. Do you have the patience and energy to uncover your greatness? Time will tell, and so will your actions. The world is waiting, your children and family members are waiting. When your ready to open up and train in your own happiness, you need no ones approval, just begin your journey. Why not right now?

Namaste,

Shane B. Kulman

  • Why do you go on vacation? 
  • Why go to the spa?
  • Why do yoga?
  • Why go out and party?
  • Why excersize?
  • Why meditate?
  • Why pay for a massage?
  • Why go for drinks?
  • Why see friends?

The answer is: TO RELAX.

How much time, money and energy is spent on any of these activities listed above. Does it balance out? The time spent thinking and talking about relaxation versus the time and actions actually spent  doing it?

What if relaxation was easy? Would it be enjoyed so much? What if you could relax every day guaranteed? Would it be enough? If you didn’t have to save, and work and pray and complain about not having time to relax, would you want it anymore?  Your body would, and your mind wouldn’t. Research shows, as a society, we want what we can’t have and vice versa. If we don’t have to suffer to get something than we don’t want it? Isn’t that crazy?  When exactly do we learn that suffering will lead us to what we worked so hard for.

I am here to say NO. No to suffering, NO to working hard in order to achieve relaxation. If one has to work so hard, and so long in order to relax, how will it ever balance out? If  money has to be spent in order to achieve relaxation, there will never be enough money,   if we are always making relaxation happen with external activities, we’ll never be relaxed enough…

relaxandchill

How balanced is it when people count down 67 days until their vacation that lasts 7 days? It’s simple math. The answer is we MUST find ways to incorporate relaxation that comes from the inside every day. We cannot wait for others and perfect timing and specific situations to relax. It’s unfair to our bodies and minds.

If integrating relaxation could be a goal for everyone, there would be less high blood pressure, hypertension, physical pains, less traffic accidents, and less poor choices made.

There is a ton of research on how yoga and meditation are relaxing and beneficial. What if being quiet and still make you more anxious?  I use improv acting class to be loud and intense. What can you do to relax?

We can achieve full relaxation when our minds and bodies are connected.   If our body is physically resting, but our minds are thinking of what should be doing instead, we cannot achieve deep relaxation. This includes watching tv or hearing the radio. Any kind of input into our minds keeps our minds too busy to completely rest.

Happy relaxation… Taking that first action is the most important step.  Thinking about doing something and doing it are miles apart. It’s the physical action that counts.

So yes to vacations, massages, yoga and dance classes, yes to tennis, bowling hanging with friends etc. BUT also consider including relaxation that comes from the inside.

Here are some easy ways to find inner relax daily:

  1. exercise every day, get it done and over with in the morning, involve your children.
  2. write in a journal
  3. breathe into your belly and drink water
  4. self massage (neck, shoulders feet, scalp)
  5. take a bath
  6. turn off the TV and lay on your back in Shavasana
  7. give yourself a foot massage, or ask for family volunteers
  8. Pranayama * Conscious breathing

Happy Relaxation!

Shane B. Kulman, MS

“Care of the Caregiver… YOU!” ~Shane B. Kulman

I remember the first time I heard this. How clear and “right” it sounded.  As the phrase unfolded in my head, I realized that I was a caregiver, and that working in a classroom 5 days a week, 8-3:30 and then coming home to eat a slice of pizza and collapse was not going to work for me anymore. That was NOT caring about the caregiver, and I was caregiving for 25 students and a wacky assistant that year.  No more…

I’ve graduated and will occasionally take a several week or month vacation during the school year, is this extreme caregiving for myself?  I think, no.  Some say extreme, I bet some say spoiled…  I now understand the importance of bookends. When I set out to work, I am aware that before and after I must include time where I do something for myself.  It may be a simple cup of tea, or a massage/spa visit.

I believe everyone is a caregiver in some aspect. Parents, Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles, babysitters, teachers, therapists, Nurses, Doctors, dog owners… you get the idea.

The parents I work with that have children with special needs, are constantly caregiving. There have been very few who make the time to withdraw from caring about others and take care of their Self.  So many parents pick food from their children’s plates, or eat standing up, don’t get dressed or spend every last penny on their child. After a while the caregiving well, goes dry. Parents often feel drained, wasted of energy and limited in   options. When I suggest a yoga class, a writing class, or to join in to any group activity that does not revolve around parenting, they look at me like I’m a dreamer, like I’m out of touch with reality, and then I see the guilt forming, “WHAT!?!? spend time on myself?!!?!? When my child is so far behind?”  I even suggested to a Mom to go out to dinner with Dad with a dress on, and I would stay with the children, she laughed at me and said we talk and eat when the kids go to school. Hmmmm, is this the same as wearing a dress at a restaurant?  I think not.

Children learn from watching, this has been researched and proven.  If all the young girls are watching their Mothers caregive and serve constantly, how will they learn to be independent and self expansive?  Special needs children, including non-verbal children see and feel what is going on around them. I see the neediest children become ultra demanding when they are in need of something. What happens after their demand, that may result in a temper tantrum/meltdown?  A Parent is running to serve them. What is the valuable lesson here? Yup, the bigger the meltdown and demand, the faster a parent runs.

Children with or without special needs, even pets, learn how to rule through behavior and reactions. I believe there is always time to be made for caring for the caregiver. Even if its a bath, or journaling time. I would say shopping, but you know who gets shopped for… everyone else.

Dearest friends – No matter who you are caring for. You can serve them on a higher level, if you take time to serve yourself. Your health and those you love will love you for it.

Namaste and love yourself,

Shane

How YOU could help a Special Needs Parent.

As the rates of #Autism continues to skyrocket, the likely hood of you knowing someone that is a special needs parent is growing as well. Maybe you already know someone with a special needs child. Perhaps, a friend or family member.In this article, I hope to give you some simple ways that you can help the special needs parent in your life. Knowing what to say or do can be daunting for someone that doesn’t have experience with special needs parenting. This is probably where many people, with the best of intentions, get scared off. Seeing what a special needs parent goes through can be a very overwhelming experience for anyone.

It may even seem so dire that one might feel that they have nothing to offer, that could possible be of any benefit. I hope to change that by sharing a few very simple, very basic ideas, that can provide much needed relief to a special needs parent and let them know that they aren’t alone.

So, you have a friend or loved one that is a special needs parent. Do you want to offer help or support but don’t know what you could possibly do? First of all, let me thank you for showing compassion, concern and love for the special needs parent in your life. Honestly, to a special needs parent, just knowing that someone cares is really important. In fact, it’s so important, that I don’t think it can be overstated.

Taken from LOST AND TIRED, ROB GORSKI

 

If you have ever wanted to offer help to a special needs parent but maybe don’t know how, this article is for you. Perhaps their situation is so difficult, you don’t know how you could possibly help. There are some things you can do to help even if they don’t seem like much.

One of the toughest parts of being a special needs parent is the feeling of isolation.  Their child requires so much of their time, energy and undivided attention that they often times have little or no adult contact (aside from doctors and therapists). You could make plans to stop by for a visit. Many special needs parents will tell you that they would love to just talk to another adult. Please remember to call first as a surprise visit could just add to the stress by destabilizing or overstimulating their child.

Sometimes, by the end of the day, exhaustion is such that the thought of making dinner is simply to much. Perhaps you could also offer to bring dinner over so they have one less thing to worry about. It would be a very nice gesture and could really help take some of the load off their shoulders.Remember that their child may have special dietary or sensory needs so it would be a good idea to do some research by calling and asking what would be a good meal to prepare for them.

Things as simple as sending a card, email or text message, just to let them know you’re thinking about them could help them to find the strength to keep moving on a really bad day.

If you wanted, you could send them a gift card for groceries or maybe their favorite take-out. There is often times a tremendous financial burden associated with special needs parenting and maybe a gift card will help them provide groceries for their family, if things are tight that week.Think about making arrangements to go over and spend some time with their child (if that’s something that would work). Educating yourself about Autism of whatever else the parent is dealing with is important for something like this. Not only will educating yourself help you relate to their child, but knowing that you took the time to learn about their child’s condition would mean a great deal to any special needs parent.

As their child likely requires all their time and energy, every single day, things around the house and yard tend to take a back burner. You could help with lawn care or repairs to the house. Wash a sink load of dishes or fold the laundry.

The list of possibilities is endless really.

The most critical thing you will be doing, is showing them that they are not alone. Sometimes just knowing that their are people who love and support you, standing in your corner, can mean more then you can possibly imagine.

Please remember that you don’t have to understand anything about Autism in order to show love, compassion and support to those touched by it.

 http://lostandtired.com/2011/04/22/how-you-could-help-a-special-needs-parent/

I have been writing a book for a couple of months now.  I have never called myself a writer, although I’ve also been writing this blog for some years now, and have published a couple of articles.  Why do some people comfortably state, “I am a writer?”  Is it because they majored in it in college?

Did someone in school tell you, “you can’t write?” or “you have difficulties writing?”  Where are those people now? How important are they now?

I value the use of  THE JOURNAL, I’ve even been called a “born again journaler.”   Journaling was introduced to me when I was young, my Aunt Myriam gave me a journal to write in when I was mad or angry. I used it alot. I stopped, only to really come to love it in the last couple of years.  When I began to write I realized how judgmental of myself I was.  It made me realize how much self-depricating I did.  I saw I “felt stupid” and judged my writing and thoughts so harshly, and this was never going to be shared with anyone, just myself.

Children have been using journals for quite some time in school now. It’s a place they keep their work, but are they given a chance to write their feelings? Ever?

ImageUsing a journal as a parent is powerful. I recently heard that if you are a parent, your heart is always some where outside your body.  WOW. I heard this while I was traveling in California and practicing being present.

Is it ever possible to be present as a parent when you always have your child’s well being and health on your mind?

After the big tragedies with shootings, and the “small” ones locally happening every day. How is a parent ever to feel fully present, unless their child is attached to them physically?

I have friends with teenagers, they often talk about how they are always worrying about what their children are doing until they are home safe in bed. Yikes. I would be endlessly journaling if I had teenage children.

If your choice is a journal, a blog/vlog or actually talking to yourself;) Its’ great!  It’s healthy and very insightful.

If you are a beginner, you could start your writing   “I love and accept you exactly as you are.”  Louise Hay suggests writing it 25 times! I follow her suggestion when I need to and it works! So start!, write your:

  • stories
  • your feelings
  • your imagination
  • the truth
  • your wishes
  • poetry & songs

I find it a great healing tool, clearing space in your head for more ideas, and to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression…

Happy writing! And I thank you with all my heart for reading,

Shane

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