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Parent Education and Family Coaching

Cristina Trette is a Family and Wellness Coach and a graduate student working towards a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Cristina's philosophy is centered around utilizing the relationships and challenges with her three children as an avenue for personal growth and transformation. You can learn more at www.cristinatrette.com.

The past month or so has been stressful. My schedule is jam-packed. Catching up, and staying on top of it all, continues to elude me. My three children have reacted to my intensity and have taken turns acting out in various ways. About three weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, everything came to a head, when my family was in town. The morning started out great. I relaxed with my kids and their grandfather while drinking a cup of coffee. Eventually I noticed that it was time to get going on the day’s tasks and was frustrated when I had to switch gears.
conscious parenting
1. An event occurs which leads to thoughts
screaming tantrum toddler boy yelling anger
Sometimes children act out in maddening ways -  tantrums, explosive fighting with siblings, or an outright refusal to comply with requests. When these kinds of behaviors happen too frequently in homes, they tend to be met with strictness, tight control, or even force. It makes sense that parents would want to "lay down the law" on these types of behaviors! It is not pleasant to be around children when they are in this mode and many parents have been taught to eliminate these kinds of behaviors through punishment.
Visualization, or mental rehearsal is a well researched therapeutic technique that has been shown to increase performance and lower stress response. Mental rehearsal entails visualizing oneself in a challenging or stressful situation as a way to practice responding. During the visualization the individual sees himself or herself moving through the challenging or stressful situation successfully and having a positive outcome.
Dr. John Gottman is a well know research psychologist and relationship expert who has conducted extensive research on what the happiest and healthiest couples do to create lasting, loving, meaningful, and committed relationships. In his book, "What Makes Love Last", Gottman teaches a concept known as turning towards each other. Taking on a general mindset of turning towards your partner or spouse can increase connection and reduce conflict. And the great thing is that is easy to do and can be fun to implement. To learn more, keep reading!  
After having a baby, 67 percent of couples see their marital satisfaction plummet, according to research by John Gottman, PhD. The arrival of the first baby can throw parents into a total life change overnight. Many individuals, used to life with flexibility and autonomy, have a difficult time adjusting to the demands of a newborn, despite the fact that they love their new child.
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
My third child had just been born and I was totally overwhelmed. It was summer. This meant long days. I had three kids, ages 4 and under, at home with me all day and night with little to no help. My house shifted from being relatively happy and peaceful to a complete chaotic mess overnight. My middle child, age 2 at the time, had the most difficult time with the transition. He resisted getting dressed, taking naps, and getting into the car. Everything became a battle. Eventually I reached my breaking point. 
"It is that feeling that you've done this to me, so I'll do this to you, then you'll do this to me, and then I'll do this to you. And what happens in that is: It just gets bigger and bigger, and bigger. And no one ever wins. There is no triumph that ever comes from any of that."                                                                                       - Abraham-Hicks      

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