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Haiku: That’s Amore

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.” Dean Martin Haiku: That’s Amore Dean Martin – That’s Amore (1956) Love… that’s amore It strikes at unusual times In strangest places “Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr. Haiku: That’s Amore Life… that’s amore We wait in vain for lovers To shine like the moon “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” Thornton Wilder Haiku: That’s Amore Trust … that’s amore When we ...

Inspiration: Celebrate Good Deeds Day

“I believe that if people will think good, speak good and do good, the circles of good will grow and our world will be a better one.” Shari Arison Inspiration: Celebrate Good Deeds Day… pledge page Goodnet – A Gateway to Doing Good, is a media platform that aims to help you activate your goodness. Connecting between people, organizations and initiatives, Goodnet offers everyone a direct path to finding the opportunity that best suits them for doing good. In 2007, Businesswoman and philanthropist ...

Tired of Poinsettias? Try Hydrangeas!

‘Tis the season for poinsettias! More poinsettias are sold during the holidays than any other plant! Poinsettias are everywhere you look, from apartments to zoos! There’s no doubt that these traditional holiday plants are attractive and bring holiday cheer, but they are too predictable and a bit boring. In fact, some of you may even be tired of them! For something fresh and exciting this holiday season, try growing red hydrangeas! Early this year, Tesselaar Plants introduced the world to the ...

8 Delicious Chrysanthemum Recipes

Although chrysanthemums are generally available all year round, they are most popular in the fall. Chrysanthemums of all colours, sizes and forms are available. Not only do these bright and colourful flowers brighten up and beautify homes and gardens everywhere, the flowers and leaves are also edible. They are often used in Chinese cuisines, in both savoury and sweet dishes, to add a delicate, floral taste. Chrysanthemum flowers can be used in soups, teas, desserts and entrees. That being said, the ...

Bored Times a Gazillion

I suspect this might turn into several posts as I am pretty sure most of you aren't up for a manifesto on the subject of what will go down in history as the record breaker of all boring weekends. If there was a way to quantify boredom, my weekend would be in the next volume of the Guinness Book of World Records. OK, so all of you are out there saying "If you are so bored, why didn't you just do something?" "Do ...

Musings: What’s Next?

“What you can do or think you can do, begin it. For boldness has magic, power, and genius in it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Musings: What’s Next? “Either pray or worry, you can’t do both…” 50 CENT Saeon — I’ll Be Gone  For 9ja music love… TY Xworldmusic.wordpress! What do we do when we feel the end of a long and arduous journey is fast approaching, but the next step isn’t quite clear?  ♥Hold our Breathe? ♥Take a walk by the sea or in a local park? ...

Reflections: A Winter Eden…

“We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away.” Zhuangzi Reflections: A Winter Eden... Tree meets home and snow... Reflections: A Winter Eden... The family gathers in the snow... Reflections: A Winter Eden... They look for bright berries... A Winter Eden by Robert Frost A winter garden in an alder swamp, Where conies now come out to sun and romp, As near a paradise as it can be And ...

Brontosaurus Ribs

I recently saw an online statistic claiming that more than seventy percent of American families enjoyed prime rib for Christmas dinner. At Chatterbox Manor we did not have prime rib for Christmas dinner; instead we opted for Honey Baked Ham. Years ago shortly after we were married Mrs. Chatterbox decided to roast our first prime rib for Christmas. A few days before the holiday we drove to the grocery store and studied the meat behind the counter while waiting for the ...

Connecting With My Kids….

The girls and I with our new green belts (I'm the one in the middle) I’m so proud of my girls. For the past several months my daughters and I have been attending family karate classes. The school we attend is called BMI Karate and it’s the only dojo we found in a 50 mile radius that has families – adults and kids – take classes together. It’s been a great experience so far and our girls still say they love the ...

Brief Book Previews from The Millions Magazine

You may enjoy a look at what one magazine, The Millions, took much time/effort to create for people who live and breathe books–or for people who read only a few each year and want to make sure they’re picking up on good ones. Previews of new books coming out in 2012 are provided here in helpful article part one and part two. I haven’t read any of these yet, and probably won’t for another year or two. You see, I don’t ...

10 Tips to Dating over 30

I’ve been at this a few years. I’ve tried online dating and dating friends of friends. I’ve tried dating people I’ve known for years and people I’ve just met. I’ve learned a lot from the experience, including that just because he says he’ll call doesn’t mean he will (Yes, I realize perhaps that should have been obvious). So here are some of my insights in case they help any of you who find yourselves dating during the years when some cultures relegate ...

The Church of the Future

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of a very witty writing buddy, Bryan Logan. Check out his blog HERE and his entertaining post below. If you’d like to submit a guest post for The Daily ReTORt you can see the guidelines HERE. ================== If you traveled back in time and told your grandparents what the churches of today are like, they wouldn’t have believed you. More importantly, you could probably use time travel to do more important things, but that’s a different post. So today, we’re ...

7 Questions With an Author: Ali Bierman

This is the next installment of a weekly series titled 7 Questions With an Author... where I'll pose seven questions to an author and then share their unedited answers here. Today's author is Ali Bierman,she's a competency-based psychotherapist who helps people ferret out exactly how they operate in relationships - revealing why those partnerships fail. With her training, clients grasp the knack of what to do to transform their patterns of behavior, leading to mastery in creating romantic relationships. She also regularly blogs over at http://www.howtohaveamazingrelationships.com/. Here's ...

Does This Video Disrespect Our Veterans???

This past Friday evening my wife and I attended a preseason NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore ravens. As a lifelong Steelers fan, I've no love for the ravens - but the tickets were cheap, the seats were great and I've been Jonesing for professional football. During the pregame ceremonies and warm-up I took a minute of video that I found extremely odd. The stadium was filling up as the public address announcer said they were going to ...

Visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

Ronae Jull - Hope Coaching

Meltdown! How to help when your teen loses control


Recently I posed the following question on Twitter:

What do you do when your teen has a meltdown?

The most fascinating answer: “Run like the wind!”

If you’re a parent to a teenager, you’ll chuckle. Then you’ll remember the last time your teen ‘lost it’, and wonder if that might have been a better response than the one you had. Teenage meltdowns can be legendary, and create incredible frustration both for parents and for the teens who feel out of control.

Here are some questions parents ask.

  • How can I know if what my teen is expressing is a normal part of development, or is cause to worry?
  • Is there anything I can do to prevent my teen from losing it, or is it best to just wait for things to calm down on their own?
  • When do I need to intervene? How can I intervene effectively?

Whether your child’s personality runs more to passive resistance or outright defiance, there will come a time when they completely lose it. Your response can make an enormous difference in the lessons learned, and can help create an environment where your teen can find more effective ways of expressing their emotions.

Lets start with understanding why teenagers have meltdowns. Is your teen expressing a normal teen emotion, or is this something to worry about?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article Whats Wrong with the Teenage Mind?, Ms. Gopnik, professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, explained part of the problem that today’s teens face has to do with their emotional and biological development being out of sync. Teens are entering puberty at a younger age, yet not reaching a stable adult maturity until later than at any other time in history. There’s nothing abnormal about teens’ energy or passion; what becomes a problem is when the emotional control systems aren’t developed enough to keep a reign on stress responses and voila! An emotional meltdown erupts.

According to Ms. Gopnik and other researchers of teenage emotional and physical development, the way that teens develop a mature ability to handle stress and express emotions without losing control is by practicing. Each time your teenager experiences a stressful situation – they get in trouble at home, they have a romantic relationship crisis, they didn’t make the sports team, they’re a victim of bullying, the shared-parenting situation they’re in becomes untenable – the way they respond emotionally quite literally changes the architecture of their brains.

So does this mean that each meltdown makes the next one easier? Sure. Just as a stream follows the path of least resistance, your teenager’s brain will respond “mindlessly” (in other words, without conscious choice) to whatever feels most natural or familiar. One meltdown creates a literal brain pathway that makes the next meltdown ‘easier’.

This does NOT mean, however, that things are hopeless, or that you might as well just step back and hope things get better on their own.

HOW to intervene effectively when your teen has a meltdown.

Teenagers positively crave tools that will enable them to handle stress without coming unglued. They won’t find these tools on their own, and parents who respond to emotional outbursts in kind only make the situation worse. Here is where understanding that your teens’ emotional and biological development are out of sync will be put to good use.

HOW teens learn healthy stress responses is by practicing. By literally having opportunities for the brain to develop physical patterns – a “stream-bed” if you will – that result in less explosive and progressively more mature responses to emotionally charged situations. With society’s focus on providing ever more extensive educational opportunities, what is left by the wayside are those “life” experiences – the after school jobs, apprenticeships, and ‘doing with’ opportunities under supervision of adults who are there to help guide and teach and mentor. According to Ms. Gopnik, today’s teenagers are missing out on the irreplaceable experience of practice.

Here are six powerful ways that you can effectively intervene with your teenager’s meltdowns, and create for them an environment where practice is expected and encouraged.

  1. Understand. Keep in mind that your teen’s emotional responses are real, they simply lack the mechanisms to express them in a mature fashion.
  2. Respond. How you respond when your teen starts “losing it” will have a profound effect on whether or not this is a learning experience or not. When you get angry right back, remind your child of their immaturity or the mistakes he made, you provide no tools for them to grasp hold of. Instead, respond with gentle expressions of support for their feelings in the moment. Your teen is counting on you to help them regain control of their emotions.
  3. Give space. Remember, teenagers need practice reigning in those out of control emotional responses. They’re quite literally practicing LIFE with you! Give them time to calm down, and lots of space in which to do so. Nothing will be gained by trying to pound home your message while your teen is in ‘meltdown mode’.
  4. Debrief. After the crisis has passed, ask respectful open-ended questions. Like this: “How did you feel inside when I told you that you were grounded for being 30 minutes late? What did I miss that you were wanting me to understand?” Role play different scenarios and discover together ways that might work better the next time around.
  5. Model. Whether they admit it or not, your teen is looking to you for clues to how to do this ‘life’ thing. Do you fly off the handle when someone cuts you off in traffic? Yell when you’re tired or frustrated? Talk over others rather than having a real give-and-take conversation? Use alcohol to numb your own feelings of overwhelm? Refuse to apologize? While your teenager is practicing (read that ‘making mistakes, trying to learn from them, getting better’), they will copy what they see most from you.
  6. Collaborate. Work together. If you and your teen have a habit of antagonistic interaction, sit down when you’re both calm and come up with ways to practice interrupting the cycle. Own your half of the problem, and invite your teen to join with you in finding a better way.

Everyone gets angry. You get angry. Your parents got angry. Even God gets angry. As your teenager grows into their own emotionally healthy habits of expressing upset, you can help by providing them the tools they need, and the grace they deserve. Teenage meltdowns need not take over the peace of your family, and if they already have, it is never too late to turn things around!

Your turn:

What effective responses have you found that help your teenager when they’re in ‘meltdown mode’? If you were a ‘meltdown teen’, what responses helped? What made it harder to regain control? As a parent, what is your biggest concern when helping your teen practice a better way?

Image:  Maniac Meltdown, Gillray 1803

Ronae Jull - Hope Coaching

Parenting teens is tough! After raising four and spending the last 25 years as a family life coach, I've learned a few things that work. Check out my website for mobile apps and resources. Have a parenting challenge? Your first "Meet the HOPE Coach" session is always free!

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