Category: parenting

Positive Psychology: Raising Happy, Kind Children Evolutionarily Adaptive

By , March 5, 2010 4:34 pm
Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Do Kinder People Have an Evolutionary Advantage?
“Positive psychology” research indicates that the kinder you are, the more likely you are to survive — and evolve. Quoted from March 4, 2010 article from AlterNet, by Yasmin Anwar:

In contrast to “every man for himself” interpretations of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, Dacher Keltner, a UC Berkeley psychologist and author of “Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life,” and his fellow social scientists are building the case that humans are successful as a species precisely because of our nurturing, altruistic and compassionate traits.

They call it “survival of the kindest.”

“Because of our very vulnerable offspring, the fundamental task for human survival and gene replication is to take care of others,” said Keltner, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. “Human beings have survived as a species because we have evolved the capacities to care for those in need and to cooperate. As Darwin long ago surmised, sympathy is our strongest instinct.”

…While much of the positive psychology being studied around the nation is focused on personal fulfillment and happiness, UC Berkeley researchers have narrowed their investigation into how it contributes to the greater societal good.

One outcome is the campus’s Greater Good Science Center, a West Coast magnet for research on gratitude, compassion, altruism, awe and positive parenting, whose benefactors include the Metanexus Institute, Tom and Ruth Ann Hornaday and the Quality of Life Foundation.

Christine Carter, executive director of the Greater Good Science Center, is creator of the “Science for Raising Happy Kids” Web site, whose goal, among other things, is to assist in and promote the rearing of “emotionally literate” children. Carter translates rigorous research into practical parenting advice. She says many parents are turning away from materialistic or competitive activities, and rethinking what will bring their families true happiness and well-being.

“I’ve found that parents who start consciously cultivating gratitude and generosity in their children quickly see how much happier and more resilient their children become,” said Carter, author of “Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents” which will be in bookstores in February 2010. “What is often surprising to parents is how much happier they themselves also become.” Read whole article

See our own Creative Edge education model, teaching basic “emotional literacy” self-help skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening to increase creativity and empathy throughout life.

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (TM) (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

Resources: Free Articles, Training, Classes

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way

ADHD OR HANDS-ON LEARNING? “FOCUSED” TODDLER” BECOMES “ATTENTION-DEFICIT” STUDENT?

By , June 11, 2009 4:42 pm

This 18-month old toddler is intent about learning. He is hard at work, figuring out every task, every piece of equipment put before him. He practices and practices until he masters a task. He comes back week after week to try again. He watches intently, trying to figure out “the trick” of doing each thing.

This child is an active, “hands-on” learner. He learns by doing.

Try blowing bubbles with him. While another child might clap their hands and chase the shiny bubbles, this one must “do it himself,” even if, time and again, he puts the blower into his mouth and ends up with a soapy taste. One day the wind helps him out, blowing bubbles out as he swings the wand. He is so ecstatic he almost falls out of the chair, and he repeats this magic time and again, laughing with joy: “I can do it!”

Months ago, he brought pop beads to me, over and over again, watching intently: how did they come apart? How go back together? Now, he has mastered the pulling apart, but not the putting back together. He stares and stares as I perform this magic: how do you do it?

Same with stacking blocks, placing rings on pegs, opening and closing small doors and windows, getting puzzle pieces to fit. He will practice over and over until he can do it, then move on.

The first day of kindergarten, he might be practicing standing on his head while the other children sit in a circle and listen to a story. First day of first grade, he is over trying to figure out how the pencil sharpener works while the others sit in a circle and listen while the teacher sings songs.

By fourth grade, when “academics” (reading and writing) thoroughly replace hands-on learning through manipulation, he will possibly be diagnosed as ADHD, “attention-deficit disorder,” and given medication so that he CAN sit still like all the other children while the teacher teaches.

Who is the real learner here? The passive recipient of information or the active, “hands-on” learner? Why does our education system place so much more emphasis upon “passive” learning, the absorption and reporting back of information? How can we justify that academic skills/college education will demarcate who will succeed and who will fail in our American society? There is no “equal opportunity” here!

Some children, some people, will never be “academically” inclined, in terms of enjoying reading literature and poetry, dealing with abstract similes and metaphors more than working with their hands. No amount of “equal opportunity” to a college education will allow them equal access to the rewards of our society, if their learning style is cut out of the curriculum starting in fourth grade, insuring their failure. Yet why can we say that their learning style, their skill set, is any less worthy of the extra funding that we give those who can make it into “college?”

We say these hands-on learners are unmotivated, not trying hard enough, “unfocused,” unable to concentrate, while we force them to learn in OUR style, sitting still for reading and writing, day after day.

And, when they fail, we shunt them into low-paying jobs or, most shamefully, fill our armed forces with them, their best option for hands-on skill training, only including that they risk their lives for their “higher education.”

This is not equal opportunity!! It will never be resolved by more chances to go to college. That door, the academic door, is firmly shut to them, as long as interest in reading and writing is the skill needed for getting in.

What if they were allowed hands-on learning opportunities throughout their school years, equally to reading and writing. What if by grade 12 they left school with skills in electrical wiring, welding, cable laying, construction, wood working, plumbing, website design, fashion design, horticulture, emergency medicine, and all the other hands-on things they could learn in twelve years! And what if these skills led to equal-opportunity higher education and high paying jobs?

The Career Academy model, which includes hands-on learning of specific job skills in high school learning communities, steps in this direction. Beginning in elementary school, Howard Gardner’s model of Multiple Intelligences shows how to incorporate all learning styles into education.

There is a huge inequality if reading-and-writing, academic preference for learning style, becomes the hurdle that learners have as the only path to equal opportunity education.

See Creative Edge Education, Creative Edge Parenting, and Dr. McGuire’s paper, “Don’t Fight Them, Join Them: Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Drop Out, and Juvenile Delinquency.” You’ll find links to Gardner and other multi-modality models for education.

Find a variety of Personality Tests at our Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, both of which give information about different kinds of learning style leading to differing career skills and preferences.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads: 

 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

FOCUSING AND CHILDREN: PRESERVING AND RECLAIMING TRANSPARENCY

By , May 30, 2009 4:12 pm

Toddlers, before learning words, can be so transparent, their whole body beaming out their emotions and needs.

First trips to the park, 16-months old, my steadily-walking toddler grandson simply sits down, in shock and awe, many times as he sees other people his size, all kinds of dogs, people stretched out on the grass. He simply cannot stand up and take in all this new information at the same time.

Almost choking on a piece of orange, as soon as recovered from the emotional upset, he “asks” (by pointing) for another piece of orange. He tastes it, chews it carefully, a quizzical look on his face. He simply MUST determine what went wrong, master this scary and unexpected experience.

First day in day care, he carries his jacket with him all day long, beaming out “I am reminding myself of home, I am holding on to home, I will be going home.”

Uneasy about leaving his home with Dad and Great-Grandparents to spend the day with me, he insists upon taking Great-Grandpa’s hats, and wearing them for hours.

As we develop more cognitively, our capacity to “symbolize” intervenes between our sheer emotional experiences and what we “choose” to express.

But, still, at age seven, I could read my son’s inner experience from outer symbols. Adopted at birth, having just received his first letter and photo of his birthmom, showing her with her “new” family, husband and child, he runs from the room angrily. I find him in his room a little later, where he has unravelled several hundred feet of fishing line from the spool, creating a huge tangle all around him (this image brings tears to me now, 15 years later). Using Roger’s Empathic Listening, I can reflect him to himself: “Seems like you are feeling all tangled up inside.”

As we get older and older, and through painful life experiences saying “Don’t show yourself here. Don’t cry. Don’t show fear. Don’t even show awe and joy,” we lose “touch” with ourselves, with that transparency, so that we cannot even name our own experience to ourselves, much less authentically express it to others.

Gendlin’s Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and McGuire’s Intuitive Focusing can help you refind and reclaim your inner experiencing, allowing you to find the clarity needed to move forward in life situations

Using Intuitive Focusing and Empathic, Reflective, Focused Listening with children can help them stay in tune with themselves and be able to express their inner experience, their emotions, wants, needs, creative ideas. See The Children’s Corner at The Focusing Institute.

Read a book review of Stapert and Verleifde’s Focusing With Children: The Art of Communication with Children At School and Home , UK: PCCS Books, 2008 and order the book from The Focusing Institute bookstore or from Amazon.

Also see Edwin M. McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance for stories of taking a Focusing attitude with children, and McMahon’s The Little Bird Who Found Herself, a colorful and simple story book for children (and adults) about “sitting with” instead of “running away from” feelings and other felt-sensing in the body.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

INTEREST AREA: POSITIVE PARENTING — LISTENING TO YOUR CHILD, YOUR PARTNER, AND YOUR SELF

By , July 8, 2008 11:15 pm

Interest Areas: Positive Parenting Initiative – First Ten Steps

Core Concepts

  • In order to raise children for today’s world, parents must “mentor” their children for independent and flexible problem solving and decision making. Children need guides, mentors : Yoda of Star Wars, not authoritarian police man.
  • Children have natural access to the “intuitive sensing” central to Intuitive Focusing. This inner guide leads to independent decision making, having a “conscience,” and having a satisfying life which fulfills one’s unique “blueprint,” specific talents and aspirations. Positive Parenting helps children maintain and develop this “inner guide.” Using Focused Listening, parents learn to help children find their own solutions to problems.
  • Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse are the enemy of developing this inner sensing, this conscience and guide for independent decision making. They exactly teach children to dissociate from their bodies, from their “felt experiencing” or “intuitive feel.”
  • Educating parents for child rearing is not enough; parents must heal their own “Inner Children” before they can radically alter their behavior toward their children. The PRISMS/S Problem Solving Process, with Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, is needed for change at the level of Paradigms, cognitive/ emotional/behavioral “schemata” that determine behavior, emotions, and thinking. The kaleidoscope has to turn!
  • Parents can learn to use Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing in their own relationship. The Creative Edge Pyramid includes applications of PRISMS/S at many levels. Parents can help each other with Inner Child healing through Focusing Partnership turns. They can also use Interpersonal Focusing to resolve conflicts between themselves in terms of parenting styles.
  • Parenting support groups are absolutely essential. Parents sharing with other parents can help them weather crises in their marriages or single parenthood. The essence of support groups is (a) you are not alone. You are not the only one experiencing these things (b) you are all experts. Using the resources among you, you can solve problems, move mountains. Focusing Groups and Focusing Communities provide self-help, peer counseling models for support groups.

Four Applications of Listening/Focusing to Parenting

The Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be applied to parenting in four different ways, two primarily for your children, and two primarily for yourselves as parents. I call this Inner/Outer Parenting:

Directly with your children:
You can teach your child to use Intuitive Focusing for personal growth, creativity, and problem-solving
You can use Focused Listening skills as a way of responding to your child which avoids argument and leads to deeper communication, understanding, and problem-solving

Directly with yourself and your parenting partner :
You, and your parenting partner, can use Focusing and Focusing Partnership turns to discover patterns from your own childhoods that are clouding clear seeing of your own children
You and your parenting partner can use Interpersonal Focusing turns to resolve issues causing conflict between you in terms of parenting styles.

Basic to the Core Creativity Cultura de Creatividad philosophy is the belief that every person has a unique, inborn blueprint ready to unfold, if the proper facilitative environment is provided (Carl Rogers, On Becoming A Person). Parents are needed to be mentors, facilitators, guides to this unfolding, rather than authoritarian policemen.

Building Self-Esteem Avoids Narcissism

Parents are mirrors for their children. Positive attention creates true self-esteem. Lack of attention, or negative attention, creates the wound of narcissism, the emptiness that looks like “self”-involvement. Narcissists want all the attention for themselves now – because they did not receive it in childhood MORE (Article “Parents Must Be Mirrors For Their Children”)

Setting Limits While Allowing Choices

Children raised by authoritarian parents demanding obedience do not build confidence in their own capacity to make decisions. But children raised without any limits and boundaries also do not develop the capacity to make decisions. Parents must establish clear limits while allowing choices within those limits. MORE (Article “Setting Limits While Allowing Choices”)

Inner/Outer Parenting: Listening to Your Child, Your Partner, and Yourself

Everyone has a wounded child inside. You are not going to be able to change your behavior toward your children or partner, to do things differently than your own parents did, unless you heal the wounds of your own Inner Child. Using the Focusing , Focusing Partnership, and Interpersonal Focusing methods of the Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid provides self-help measures for understanding your child, your partners, and your own Inner Child MORE (Article “Positive Parenting: Listening To Your Child, Your Partner, and Yourself”)

Ten Ways of Bringing Creative Edge Focusing TM into Parenting    Click the link to go to Interest Area: Positive Parenting at CEF website. Scroll down to the bottom to find the Ten First Steps for Bringing Listening/Focusing  Into Positive Parenting.

Also visit Interest Area: Creative Edge Education (especially for ADHD)

Tell me what you think at cefocusing@gmail.com or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

POSITIVE PARENTING: Listening to Your Child, Your Partner, and Yourself

By , January 4, 2008 6:40 pm

Listening To Your Child: Developing An Inner Guide, Not Only Outer Authority

Authoritarian child rearing was effective in producing the assembly-line workers needed by an industrializing society. Times have changed. Now businesses want to hire flexible, creative, self-directing team players.

Families have also changed. Large farming families needed military-style discipline to keep everyone in line. In today’s one or two-child families, parents can give attention to the unique personality of each child.

As we struggle for equality between men and women in relationships, we also look for ways in which children can be treated as persons with dignity and rights.

In the 1950s, psychologist Carl Rogers took a stand against the authoritarianism inherent in psychoanalytic and behavioral theories of psychotherapy and created “client-centered” psychotherapy. The therapist did not impose values or goals upon the client but acted only to facilitate the unfolding of each person’s unique way of being in the world. Rogers later called his movement the “person-centered” approach, and it spread to education, childrearing, and peer self-help.

Rogers created “empathic listening.” The therapist tried to hear the client as if standing in the client’s shoes. He or she would then try to reflect back the client’s own words such that the client could hear him or herself more clearly. The client continued clarifying and articulating his or her own vision until the words and images exactly fit inner experiencing. Just this — finding exactly the right words or images for unclear body sensings or intuitions — allowed the client to move forward, to become more clear about values, goals, and action steps.

Empathic listening became the basis of many self- help techniques, including the “active listening” of Thomas Gordon’s Parent Effectiveness Training, and Faber & Mazlish’s How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, How To Listen So Kids Will Talk.

Eugene Gendlin, a student of Rogers, discovered a further essential thing about human beings: they could only change, through therapy or through life experiences, if they were able to check with and refer to their present bodily “feel” of living in situations. He called this self- checking “Focusing” and developed self-help and therapeutic techniques for teaching people this self-healing capacity (Focusing, Bantam, 1981).

“Child-centered” or “positive” parenting applies Listening and Focusing skills to raising children such that they do not lose the capacity for self-checking — for articulating and being guided by their own unique vision and for taking responsibility for their own behavior. A three-prong approach is necessary: listening to your child, listening to your partner, and listening to your own Inner Child. Read more about Inner/Outer Parenting

See our Interest Area: Positive Parenting

Download Dr. McGuire’s article, “Don’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Failure, and Juvenile Delinquency” .

Spend some fun time taking some of the Personality Tests and discovering your “differing gifts,” your Temperaments, your varying Multiple Intelligences, your Shadow Side in the Enneagram.

Learn more about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening and Experiential Focusing Therapy at Creative Edge Focusing’s website, filled with free downloads on creativity, spirituality, collaborative thinking, parenting, innovation in business, and many other aspects of application of Focusing and Listening skills at home, at work, in your community, and globally.

Download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual (”Ajas” Instantaneos en espanol) for ten exercises bringing Listening and Focusing into your everyday life starting today.

Download our complete Intuitive Focusing Instructions to start practicing Relaxation, Getting a Felt Sense, and Intuitive Focusing today!

See actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing in our Self-Help package, a manual in English or Spanish, four CDs of Focusing Instructions, and a DVD with four demonstrations of actual listening/focusing sessions — everything you need to start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Support Group or to incorporate these basic self-help skills into existing support groups.

In the side bar at Creative Edge Focusing, subscribe to our free e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice Relaxation and Focusing exercises and join our free yahoo group, Creative Edge Practice, for ongoing demonstrations, practice, and support.

Find classes/workshops/phone coaching in our Listings section or Coaching/Classes/Consulting with Dr. McGuire

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way

POSITIVE PARENTING: GIVING CHOICES WITHIN LIMITS BUILDS CONFIDENCE

By , January 3, 2008 1:15 pm

Raising Flexible, Resilient, Self-Confident Children

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, Sigmund Freud confirmed everyone’s worst fears: Yes, human beings were voracious bundles of desires, ready to devour the world.
 
Society had to instill a strong superego, a conscience to hold the id’s desires in check. The job fell to authoritarian parents. The children produced obediently took their places on the assembly lines of industrializing nations.
 However, later theorists like Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow insisted that human beings also have inborn tendencies toward altruism and cooperation. Rather than subduing a monster with authoritarian rules, parents could see themselves as “gardeners,” providing the right conditions for the unfolding ofeach child’s inborn potential.
           
Expectations also have changed in the work world. Today’s workers are asked more often to be part of idea- generating teams and to work cooperatively than to be assembly line workers. They must be creative and flexible enough to retool their skills formany job changes in a career. Obedient rule-following no longer insures survival.

However, some worried that the more “permissive” childrearing espoused by theorists like Dr. Spock led to a generation which could not conform to any limits. However, it is the total lack of limits that produces out-of-control children. Children like freedom-within-limits. They need boundaries to feel loved and cared for. And they need to make choices in order to build self-confidence.

You Must Set limits…

Parents need to strike a balance between setting limits and allowing choices. Authoritarian parents who must prove that they are boss and do not allow their children choices stifle creativity. But overly permissive parents who do not set limits produce children unable to cooperate with other people and to respect boundaries and follow rules.

I’ve seen children afraid to choose a toy for fear of being yelled at for doing the wrong thing. I’ve also seen children running in the streets, not wearing bicycle helmets when riding their bikes, and playing with firecrackers because parents were unable to set limits and stick to them. Setting limits is a way of caring as much as giving a child some power over decision making.

If you want your child to grow up able to negotiate and cooperate, you’ve got to teach those behaviors now: “I do lots of things for you. If you won’t do what I need, then I won’t feel as good about helping you when you want something.”
Here’s a list of simple limits I enforced with my child from toddlerhood: (Read more at Creative Edge Focusing’s website)

See our Interest Area: Positive Parenting

Download Dr. McGuire’s article, “Don’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Failure, and Juvenile Delinquency” .

Spend some fun time taking some of the Personality Tests and discovering your “differing gifts,” your Temperaments, your varying Multiple Intelligences, your Shadow Side in the Enneagram.

Learn more about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening and Experiential Focusing Therapy at Creative Edge Focusing’s website, filled with free downloads on creativity, spirituality, collaborative thinking, parenting, innovation in business, and many other aspects of application of Focusing and Listening skills at home, at work, in your community, and globally.

Download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual (”Ajas” Instantaneos en espanol) for ten exercises bringing Listening and Focusing into your everyday life starting today.

Download our complete Intuitive Focusing Instructions to start practicing Relaxation, Getting a Felt Sense, and Intuitive Focusing today!

See actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing in our Self-Help package, a manual in English or Spanish, four CDs of Focusing Instructions, and a DVD with four demonstrations of actual listening/focusing sessions — everything you need to start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Support Group or to incorporate these basic self-help skills into existing support groups.

In the side bar at Creative Edge Focusing, subscribe to our free e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice Relaxation and Focusing exercises and join our free yahoo group, Creative Edge Practice, for ongoing demonstrations, practice, and support.

Find classes/workshops/phone coaching in our Listings section or Coaching/Classes/Consulting with Dr. McGuire

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way

POSITIVE PARENTING: PARENTS MUST BE MIRRORS FOR THEIR CHILDREN

By , December 31, 2007 3:57 pm

Narcissism = Lack of Self-Esteem

We all know the story of Narcissus, the youth so taken with his own reflection that he could not tear himself away from it and so starved beside the pool. 
We know a lot of narcissistic people. They talk and talk about themselves, unable to listen to another. Or they are so busy beautifying their own body or house or car that they have little attention for anyone else. Or they dress up their child as an image of what they themselves wish they had become. They exhaust us with their selfishness.

We think of narcissists as being “full of themselves,” but actually they are empty shells, desperately trying to fill a void inside. The psychological term is “narcissistically wounded.” At the time in childhood when they were supposed to be the center of attention, much admired, they did not get “filled up” with reflected images of their wonderfulness. Throughout their lives, they then seek this affirmation from outside, having no positive self-image inside.

Youngsters need lots of praise and encouragement to develop a good image of themselves. Contrary to popular thought, it is too little positive attention in childhood, not too much, which leaves behind the emptiness of the narcissistic wound. 
Forming Your Child’s “Self-Image”
Especially from birth to 3, and actually extending through age 6 or 7, children are incapable of seeing something fromthe point of view of another. Simple experiments show that if you ask such children to draw a picture as it would be seen by someone standing at another viewpoint, they are unable to do so. They are “ego-centered.”
Actually, it’s not accurate to say a child is self-centered at the earliest ages. The infant is not aware of being a self at all. Self and other are all mixed up in one soup. “Mother’s milk is my milk; mother’s anxiety is my anxiety.”

A separate self arises only as children are mirrored back to themselves by the surrounding environment.  Mother does not come when called, and the infant begins to see her as a separate person. The crawler bumps into an immovable object and learns, “Oh, this is not me.” But much of our mirroring comes from the words of our parents: “Oh, you’re such a good walker. I see you’re really trying! …What a good idea! …You’re so nice to share. ..What a helpful boy. ..I’m so glad you’re here. .. You’re such a sweetie. ..I love you how you keep trying.”

 I remember my child toddling into view, filled with pride in some small accomplishment, and I would simply say, much to his delight, “I see you!”

Filling Your Child’s Self-Esteem To The Brim

What you put into a child is exactly what you get back. Reflect to your child. “Oh, you’re so cooperative. ..You’re being so gentle with kitty …What a good plan. .. You’re really thinking!” and you get a cooperative, gentle child, confident in his or her ability to think and plan. Reflect to your child, “You’re so stupid…How could you do that?…You’re ugly. ..Who would want you? …What a dumb thing to do,” and you’ll get a child who feels stupid and ugly,  with no confidence, sure to fail and behave inappropriately.

The child filled to the brim with admiration in the early years has self-esteem over- flowing and therefore is able to give to others. Self-confident, he or she can share the limelight. The child who was not admired spends a lifetime seeking attention, good or bad.

The Reflection Must Be Accurate

Reflective feedback needs to relate specifically to the behavior of your child. Be on the lookout for positive behavior and congratulate it. The reflection needs to be an accurate mirror, evidence that you see your child’s uniqueness. Saying “You look like a model” to an ordinary child or “You’re a great athlete” to one better at math than sports will never fool the child, who will realize, “You don’t see me. You only see what you want to see,” the parent’s own narcissistic reflection.

Trying to make your child a mirror of yourself creates the narcissistic wound. You are trying to fill the child up with your own image, not his or her own. Trying to make your child a great ballerina or a great football player to fulfill your own dream, when the child’s talents and interests lie in a different direction, is an attempt to use your child as a reflection of yourself and leaves your child empty inside.

Healing Your Own Wounded Inner Child

What gets in the way of giving reflective attention to your children? Your own wounded child inside who says jealously, “I never got any attention. Why should she or he? Pay attention to me! Me!”

Almost all of us have a narcissistically wounded child inside. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Our parents or grandparents grew up in large families, pools of farm la- borers, extensions of their parents. It’s only as families have gotten smaller that parents
have had time to give attention to each unique child. None of us is filled up. We don’t have to berate ourselves for being needy. But we can take steps to nurture ourselves so that we can turn our mirroring attention toward our children and break the cycle of narcissism.

Here are some steps you can take to “fill up” yourself:

  1. Spend time each day doing something that lets you feel competent and good about yourself. Spend time nurturing yourself. Work toward having a minimum of four hours a day separate from your child, time to give attention to yourself and to have your competence reflected by friends or co-workers. Use extended family, start a baby-sitting
    cooperative, use the various relief nurseries, get a part-time job, and use preschool or day care. Even folding laundry or going grocery shopping by yourself can feel like luxurious time alone.
  2. Couples arrange time to be together without your children, mirroring yourselves to each other.
  3. Read books about the inner child (John Bradshaw’s Homecoming and Margaret Paul’s Healing Your Aloneness are a good start) and do some of the exercises for nurturing your own inner child. Go to an inner child workshop. Learn to play.
  4. Join a support group (Adult Children of Alcoholics, Birth To Three, a divorce or single parenting support group,  etc.) where you can share your feelings and ideas with adults who can mirror you.
  5. Get yourself reflected by other adults who can really see and appreciate you so that you can turn your parenting attention to reflecting the positive behavior of your child. It’s never too late. I’m over 40 and would be delighted to have my parents say “I see you!”
  6. Visit Interest Area: Positive Parenting at Creative Edge Focusing ™ , www.cefocusing.com to join our e-discussion/ support group and find other projects.
  7. Purchase The Self-Help Package at www.cefocusing.com so you can create your own Listening/Focusing Partnerships and Support groups.

Read more about Positive Parenting

Download Dr. McGuire’s article, “Don’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Failure, and Juvenile Delinquency” .

Spend some fun time taking some of the Personality Tests and discovering your “differing gifts,” your Temperaments, your varying Multiple Intelligences, your Shadow Side in the Enneagram.

Learn more about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening and Experiential Focusing Therapy at Creative Edge Focusing’s website, filled with free downloads on creativity, spirituality, collaborative thinking, parenting, innovation in business, and many other aspects of application of Focusing and Listening skills at home, at work, in your community, and globally.

Download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual (”Ajas” Instantaneos en espanol) for ten exercises bringing Listening and Focusing into your everyday life starting today.

Download our complete Intuitive Focusing Instructions to start practicing Relaxation, Getting a Felt Sense, and Intuitive Focusing today!

See actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing in our Self-Help package, a manual in English or Spanish, four CDs of Focusing Instructions, and a DVD with four demonstrations of actual listening/focusing sessions — everything you need to start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Support Group or to incorporate these basic self-help skills into existing support groups.

In the side bar at Creative Edge Focusing, subscribe to our free e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice Relaxation and Focusing exercises and join our free yahoo group, Creative Edge Practice, for ongoing demonstrations, practice, and support.

Find classes/workshops/phone coaching in our Listings section or Coaching/Classes/Consulting with Dr. McGuire

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way

Ten Ways of Bringing Creative Edge Focusing into Education

By , December 30, 2007 4:52 pm

For background, read previous blogs on Creative Edge Education, especially for ADHD, or visit Interest Area: Education at Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s website.

Here are ten suggested first steps for bringing a Creative Edge Focusing approach into school systems:

  1. If you are not a teacher or school administrator, brainstorm with any you know about Creative Edge Focusing as “human literacy” and how to interact effectively with school systems to propose a Creative Edge Focusing curriculum
  2. Collaborate with others at Creative Edge Focusing™ to create a Creative Edge Focusing™ curriculum for each level of education, from pre-school through graduate school.
  3. Offer a power point presentation on Creative Edge Focusing™, with PRISMS/S and The Creative Edge Pyramid of skills and methods to a Parent Teacher Organization meeting. Interface the core skills with Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence work.
  4. Offer to follow up with a ten-week Focusing Group/Team training with interested staff and parents ( or separate groups for parents and school personnel, if this is more comfortable for those concerned), to learn the core Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening skills  and Interpersonal Focusing and Collaborative Decision Making skills and to problem solve on how to bring Creative Edge Focusing™ into their school or school system. Make a plan and help carry it out.
  5. Offer a similar presentation at higher levels in the school system hierarchy, for instance, district-wide teacher inservice days, Education Collaboratives funded to offer training to teachers, education conferences, teacher training programs in Universities, followed up with a Focusing Group ten-week training.
  6. Offer Focusing Groups as a burn-out prevention method for teachers and as a first step in their learning Listening/Focusing skills to turn around and teach to students.
  7. Offer to start a peer counseling training program at a school or school system, training selected students in Listening, Focusing, Interpersonal Focusing and Collaborative Decision Making who can then serve as peer counselors to other students and to mediate interpersonal conflicts and facilitate group decision making when needed (as in a Student Court, for instance). Peer counseling is an established practice in some schools that can be built on. Google it and network with others using this approach in schools, try to get a grant….
  8. Find ten foundations which sponsor innovations in education (such as George Lucas’ foundation and Gardner’s Project Zero. Approach each with a proposal for integrating “human literacy” training through Creative Edge Focusing™ into some chosen schools (e.g., Head Start, Career Academies, Waldorf, or other innovative kinds of schools)
  9. Approach Business Schools with an “emotional intelligence/human literacy” Creative Edge Focusing™ curriculum of PRISMS/S and The Creative Edge Pyramid. This would  prepare business students for Focused Listening to clients, Intuitive Focusing for creative problem solving, Interpersonal Focusing for conflict resolution, and Collaborative Edge Decision Making for productive team/group meetings.
  10. Find ten foundations which sponsor education-based interventions in impoverished areas, such as the Peace Corps and Vista. Propose that they incorporate “human literacy” through Creative Edge Focusing™ into their programs.

Just ideas! As a psychologist/consultant and parent of two children with special learning needs, I have lots of experience interacting with school systems, but I’m not a teacher or administrator. I would like to see ideas from inside of these systems for integrating “human literacy” into curriculum. Please join our e-discussion/support group for continued collaboration on Creative Edge Focusing and Education. 

Download Dr. McGuire’s article, “Don’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Failure, and Juvenile Delinquency” .

Spend some fun time taking some of the Personality Tests and discovering your “differing gifts,” your Temperaments, your varying Multiple Intelligences, your Shadow Side in the Enneagram.

Learn more about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening and Experiential Focusing Therapy at Creative Edge Focusing’s website, filled with free downloads on creativity, spirituality, collaborative thinking, parenting, innovation in business, and many other aspects of application of Focusing and Listening skills at home, at work, in your community, and globally.

Download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual (”Ajas” Instantaneos en espanol) for ten exercises bringing Listening and Focusing into your everyday life starting today.

Download our complete Intuitive Focusing Instructions to start practicing Relaxation, Getting a Felt Sense, and Intuitive Focusing today!

See actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing in our Self-Help package, a manual in English or Spanish, four CDs of Focusing Instructions, and a DVD with four demonstrations of actual listening/focusing sessions — everything you need to start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Support Group or to incorporate these basic self-help skills into existing support groups.

In the side bar at Creative Edge Focusing, subscribe to our free e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice Relaxation and Focusing exercises and join our free yahoo group, Creative Edge Practice, for ongoing demonstrations, practice, and support.

Find classes/workshops/phone coaching in our Listings section or Coaching/Classes/Consulting with Dr. McGuire

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way

CREATIVE EDGE EDUCATION: ADHD, SCHOOL DROP OUT, JUVENILE DELINQUENCY

By , December 29, 2007 2:58 pm

Creative Edge Education pays special attention to the needs of students with ADHD and other non-traditional learning styles. It  joins with Juvenile Justice in prevention of school dropout and juvenile delinquency.

The Creative Edge/ Differing Gifts model  can apply to all education, but the education of those children labeled as  having “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or “Attention Deficit Disorder” and other learning differences  is an urgent area needing response.

  “Attention Deficit Disorder” simply defines children in terms of their “deficit” in the ability to participate in and benefit from traditional, passive, obedience-based education. These children receive a positive definition for their “unique abilities” in the Myers-Briggs and Keirsey definitions of differing temperaments and learning styles. The child with an SP, hands-on learning style, called The Artisan by Keirsey, can excel in an active, independence-based, hands-on learning environment, steered toward careers which maximize the use of these special skills.

In a traditional classroom, where obedience and passive learning are the watch word, the Guardian children (who make up one-third of the typical classroom) have an advantage, while the Artisan children (which, according to Keirsey, make up another one-third of every classroom!):

  1. Are doing the “wrong thing” all day long, given their inability to “sit still, listen, and obey.” Their behavior is just the opposite, a need to learn by moving, and by their own hands-on, trial and error, not by passive listening. The medications like Ritalin help them to “sit still,” to conform to the traditional model.
  2. Are being punished all day long for doing the “wrong thing,” ending up in time-out, in the hall, in detention. Their self-esteem and trust in themselves to make good judgments are destroyed, encouraging them to identify themselves as “losers,” “bad kids.”
  3. Are pushed out of school and into school dropout, juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, drugs, and other high-risk behavior.
  4. Become our lower-tier of “working class poor” or jobless people.

Needed instead: Hands-on and other learning approaches which respect their different learning style and lead to careers which they can thrive in.

Of course, legislation at the national or state level specify academic content which must be learned by every student, as an attempt at holding educators responsible for delivering an equal product to all learners. This seeming conflict with a Creative Edge model, which aims at maximizing the unique, creativity-motivated learning of each child and producing creative, innovative, self-motivated and collaborative adults, must be given attention in finding compromises which work to the advantage of each child.

Join the Creative Edge Collaborators yahoo group  for further brainstorming with interested others, find “one small step” people are willing to do, create action plans for carrying out our mission, and use our power as a concerned “group” to approach legislators, foundations, whoever has the power to bring listening/focusing into education.

The goal? Having training in PRISM/S and The Creative Edge Pyramid as a cost- and time-efficient part of curriculum for teaching “emotional” and “social” intelligence as basic to “human literacy.”

Download Dr. McGuire’s article, “Don’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Failure, and Juvenile Delinquency” .

Spend some fun time taking some of the Personality Tests and discovering your “differing gifts,” your Temperaments, your varying Multiple Intelligences, your Shadow Side in the Enneagram.

Learn more about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening and Experiential Focusing Therapy at Creative Edge Focusing’s website, filled with free downloads on creativity, spirituality, collaborative thinking, parenting, innovation in business, and many other aspects of application of Focusing and Listening skills at home, at work, in your community, and globally.

Download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual (“Ajas” Instantaneos en espanol) for ten exercises bringing Listening and Focusing into your everyday life starting today.

Download our complete Intuitive Focusing Instructions to start practicing Relaxation, Getting a Felt Sense, and Intuitive Focusing today!

See actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing in our Self-Help package, a manual in English or Spanish, four CDs of Focusing Instructions, and a DVD with four demonstrations of actual listening/focusing sessions — everything you need to start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Support Group or to incorporate these basic self-help skills into existing support groups.

In the side bar at Creative Edge Focusing, subscribe to our free e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice Relaxation and Focusing exercises and join our free yahoo group, Creative Edge Practice, for ongoing demonstrations, practice, and support.

Find classes/workshops/phone coaching in our Listings section or Coaching/Classes/Consulting with Dr. McGuire

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way

INTEREST AREA: Education, Especially For ADHD

By , December 19, 2007 10:59 am

Core Concepts

1. Educating for human literacy: “Emotional” and “Social” Intelligence

Specific to the Creative Edge Focusing™ model, the core “human literacy” skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be integrated into education along with the traditional literacy of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Basic to the many aspects of “emotional” and “social” intelligence outlined in Daniel Goleman’s books, Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, the core of the PRISMSS Problem Solving Process, are two simple, self-help skills that everyone can learn. They translate into every sphere of home and work life, from personal growth and creativity to interpersonal relationship and conflict resolution to collaborative work in groups and teams to problem solving in our local, national, and global communities.

Through The Creative Edge Pyramid of seven applied methods , every student can learn, in about forty hours of instruction and in preschool through post-graduate education, how to:

  • Create new ideas
  • Change problem behaviors
  • Listen to another
  • Resolve interpersonal conflicts
  • Start a support group
  • Build supportive community
  • Create win/win decisions in groups
  • Create innovative solutions
  • Motivate others for collaborative action

Basic philosophy:  Each child has a unique inner blueprint. Education serves, not to fill the child with “content,” but to facilitate the unfolding of his or her unique interests and talents and to teach communication, team-work, and creative problem-solving skills.
See also Interest Area: Positive Parenting

2. Creative Edge Education is active, hands-on, always striving to engage The Creative Edge of each child

In Creative Edge Organizations, every worker is engaged at the Creative Edge of their own “intuitive felt sensing,” their specific motivating passion of the moment. So, too, in Creative Edge Education, each student should be actively engaged, actively interested, actively motivated to create out of their own Creative Edge, their own “intuitive sensing.”

In Business Schools, at the undergraduate and graduate level, hiring companies want employees skilled in working in collaborative teams. They have pushed professors from passive lecturing to aiding students to work in groups and teams. Students work on real-life, hands-on projects, including computer-generated business simulation “games” as well as actual business projects.

So, too, in our elementary and secondary education, if we want to educate future workers for creativity and innovation, students need to be taught to be active learners, to be engaged at their Creative Edge, and to work in groups and teams on collaborative, real-life projects. Read More about Focusing in Education.

Download Dr. McGuire’s article, “Don’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Failure, and Juvenile Delinquency”.

Learn more about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening and Experiential Focusing Therapy at Creative Edge Focusing’s website, filled with free downloads on creativity, spirituality, collaborative thinking, parenting, innovation in business, and many other aspects of application of Focusing and Listening skills at home, at work, in your community, and globally.

See actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing in our Self-Help package, a manual in English or Spanish, four CDs of Focusing Instructions, and a DVD with four demonstrations of actual listening/focusing sessions — everything you need to start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Support Group or to incorporate these basic self-help skills into existing support groups.

In the side bar at Creative Edge Focusing, subscribe to our free e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice Relaxation and Focusing exercises and join our free yahoo group, Creative Edge Practice, for ongoing demonstrations, practice, and support.

Find classes/workshops/phone coaching in our Listings section or Coaching/Classes/Consulting with Dr. McGuire

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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