Have you ever shown up to a party or wedding and felt under or over dressed? Have you turned up at a friend's house for game night and realized your partner forgot to tell you it was potluck and you're empty-handed? What about when you've gone to a restaurant and realized after arriving that there's a dress code or that you need to tip and you didn't bring cash? Think about a time where you've been embarrassed or frustrated because you didn't meet an expectation you didn't know about beforehand?
How did it feel?
What would you have preferred happened?
All of these experiences of discomfort could have been avoided if you had known the expectations in advance, right?
This year families will be experiencing holidays in different ways due to the pandemic. Many families will not be seeing grandparents or extended family due to the risk of exposure to...
When I was a kid I remember looking forward to elections. I loved seeing the signs outside and the watching the debates. And my favorite thing was that I got to vote at school. I vividly remember voting during the 1996 Clinton-Dole election. We got to color our ballots and everything! Then there was a super secret voting booth (probably a refrigerator box) where we cast our ballots.
That's what I remember about elections growing up.
Wow how things have changed...
Young children should not bear the burden of worrying about how the results of the Presidential election threaten their safety and security.
In a perfect world, children would not have access to information that makes them feel unsafe and insecure. They would be buffered and surrounded with fluffy clouds and rainbows. But we don't live in a perfect world....
If you talk to anyone that knows me on a personal level really well, they will tell you I am all. about. boundaries (insert that clapping emoji for emphasis).
I lived a good chunk of my life without boundaries and when I discovered the power boundaries had to help me shape interactions and develop relationships in the way I wanted, I dove in head first.
In case you haven't had the same experience with boundaries that I have, let's talk really quick about what they are and how they benefit us as individuals.
Boundaries are limits on what we deem acceptable and welcomed in a variety of different areas of our lives. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of boundaries, a great place to start is a book called Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. I highly recommend it for literally everyone. You can grab your copy here through my affiliate link (which supports the creation of content like this).
In this post, I want to focus in on personal boundaries. Personal...
As mask-wearing has become more and more part of our lives over the past 7 months, you may have realized that mask-wearing is something that requires adjustment. Different people have different reactions.
Perhaps you have felt like it's difficult to breathe. Perhaps you feel a bit irritable when you have to wear a mask. Maybe you sweat! I know it's something I've had to adjust to. And while I understand the reason for mask-wearing, I don't like it. I do it because I understand the consequences of not mask-wearing. Consequences could include getting the virus, not being allowed to enter a business, or in some cases being fined, depending on where you live.
Now imagine you're a kid who is having to adjust to wearing a mask. You don't really understand why you need to wear it and it doesn't feel good.
What do you do?
You throw that mask off like it's a hot potato!
Then the adult in your life gets upset and either tries to put it back on you or tells you to put it...
As a child safety professional and coach, I often get asked how I can do the work I do and not have constant anxiety about all the awful things happening in the world. If I said I was unaffected I would be lying. I think often about my son's safety and about all the children I read reports about. In the past it gave me bouts of intense anxiety and sometimes depression.
As a practitioner, I engage in reflective practices with a therapist to help me process and learn strategies to cope with the space this work takes up in my mind and heart. Through that work I've learned a few techniques that I find extremely helpful for parents struggling with anxiety about safety.
In the recorded online training below, I discussed some of my favorite ways to manage anxiety surrounding child safety.
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