You all know that three of my kids have diagnosed mental illnesses. What you might not know is that one of them has to go to an intensive outpatient program (IOP) three times a week after school. This program is three hours long, and it’s a 45-60 minute drive from my home, depending on traffic. This means that I have to pick my kid up early from school, and we don’t get home until 15 minutes before bedtime.
Can we talk for a moment about listening? As Americans, when we have conversations, we’re conditioned to do something that psychologists call “reloading” while the other person is talking. This means that instead of truly listening to our conversation partner, we’re preparing what we will say next. (Don’t worry. The other person is doing it to you too. You’re not a total narcissist.)
“Dear God, just get me to bed time.” What parent hasn’t uttered those words at least one (billion?) times?
For me, bed time is not my favorite time of day. Not at all. We have very serious power struggles at bed time. My 4-year-old, in particular, is a master at making the getting-to-bed process as painful as possible.
Occasionally, I’ll share some of the therapeutic tools that my kids and I use to help control their mental health symptoms. Today’s tool is snuggling our dogs.
One of the symptoms of my son’s mental illness is that he his anxiety often turns to rage. He feels anxious, he convinces himself that a problem is unsolvable, he spirals out of control, and rages.
The other night, as we climbed into the car after an evening at my parent’s house, my kids were going berserk. Yelling, teasing, complaining, and just generally discombobulating all over the place. I decided to put on some soothing music to calm them down. And to me, there is no more soothing song than the Beatles “Let It Be.”
Hello friends! Welcome to my brand new blog! This blog is part of my brand new website, Where the Heart Is. If you followed my previous blog, you’ll recognize the title. It’s the same! This site is quite a bit different, though, so stick with me a moment while I explain.