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Angry in a Flash

By | June 4th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

There is more in a moment of anger than we credit; many different internal and external factors are at play. We have little control over some, but, we always have control over our reactions. We need to remember that when it comes to our children. Everyone has experienced when spilled milk one day is just an accident and the next day it is clumsiness and cause for a stern talking to.  It’s confusing to be a child.

Anger is the result of three things, something happening, how we experience it and ultimately how we react. The parent who experienced the spilled milk and was angry one day but wasn’t the day before had other internal and external things that affected their response. Lets take a closer look at the difference between internal and external factors and how they affect a person’s anger.

As we progress through life events go through our experience filter. It’s this filter that helps us decode how we feel about everything based on past experience, culture, upbringing, gender, race, or religion. Those feelings ultimately direct our reactions, impacts how we respond, even to something as simple as a glass of spilled milk. How would a glass of spilled milk impact you? If it makes a laud noise? If it breaks something? If you are embarrassed in front of friends or family? These are all examples of internal things that provoke anger because it is how we respond to external stimuli. These events alone are not a common trigger. Even though the events are external they are going through your experience filter and your internal belief structure that is impacting how you are relate to an incident.

Other internal factors that are easier to relate to are fatigue, pressure, conflict and insecurity. These have direct impact on how we choose to respond to an event.

When thinking about external factors one must think about the events that he or she experienced and the circumstances under which they occurred. For example think about the things in your life that caused you stress. Did you come up with any frustrations, annoyances, abuses, injustices, harassments, hurts, disappointments, or threats? These are all stimuli that activate your anger. It is clear that not all of us react the same way. A bully might see an insult as humorous from someone smaller; however, if threatened his response would be quite different. External factors are different from internal in that they alone can cause anger. They don’t need to go through your experience filter to stimulate a reaction.

It is understandable that people have different reactions to the same event. No two days are the same and our experiences throughout the day have an impact on how we treat those who cross our path. Understanding the factors that go into anger gives you a tool set to make different choices. Knowing that you are walking into a situation when you are tired and feeling vulnerable should warn you to go easy or to schedule a better time to have important conversations. If your child spills a glass of milk and you feel your temperature rise ask yourself some very important questions.

    1. Where is my stress gauge?
    2. Do I already feel anger about another incident?

These questions might help you from making saying and doing things that you will regret later.

If you have any questions or you would like to look up more information on behavior management, please visit our website at www.ourbreakthroughs.com. Vlinder is a behavior management game created to encourage communication, cooperation and connection in the family. To learn more visit us here.

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Smittie Boyz Go back to school

By | August 17th, 2016|

Success!  Today was the first day of school.  It was a pretty big day at the Smit house.  The twins are in third grade and their older brother is in fourth.  It seems like just yesterday they were chasing each other around in their “wheelie chairs”. 

This morning I broke out our old Task Sheets.  (We have been taking a break from playing.)  Kiel took one look at them and said, “Oh yah!”  Then he turned around and started walking to his room.  I asked him where he was going and he calmly replied, I have to make my bed again. 

The rest of the morning was just as smooth.  Jayden and Keenan woke up a little late but then quickly realized that in order to earn their Reward Cards they were going to have to put it into 5th gear. 

Jayden was concerned that he wouldn’t earn his stamps.  Whenever I saw him I would simply remind him of one of the expectations on the sheet.  He would promptly turn around and make his bed, get dressed, eat breakfast…, etc.  Before he knew it he had completed 10 of the 12 tasks. 

Keenan desperately wanted to play and had some difficulty staying focused.  He followed me around asking for more chances all the while completing tasks along the way. Re-direction is easier when the task is clear, consistency is established and the promise of reward is just ahead. 

When we finally got a chance to sit down and review the Task Sheets the boys were amazed at how easy it had been to complete most of their tasks.  We talked about room for improvement and challenges to come.  It is a time for give and take.  I value this down time with the boys to see what works for them during the morning and what does not.   

Picking out the Reward Cards from our bin, which is an old milk pail, was just as much fun as last year.  They worried and giggled about getting Bummer Cards. They were thrilled with the money and candy cards.  The most fun is the game cards.  Kiel got to tell me something cool he did today.  He shared about his first day at school.  Keenan got the “start over” card and got to put his cards back and start fresh.   

When I thought that playing Vlinder could not have provided me with a better experience I got an email from a fellow mom with the following message.

“We love it! I would strongly recommend this for anyone who wants their mornings with their children to run smoothly! It is brilliant!” 

It makes me so incredibly happy to see how Vlinder can have a positive impact in others’ homes.  Like I said in the beginning…Success!

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Reward vs. Ultimatum

By | August 2nd, 2016|

My first blog!  The process of creating Vlinder has been challenging and rewarding.  To me this is the signs of a good project.

My favorite part has been brainstorming and creating different rewards for families.  I’ve enjoyed speaking with parents about what has worked for them.  Now I want to know more.  Having three boys myself, who are 9, and twins that are 7, I have experienced how different each child is.  What motivates one to succeed is not the recipe for success for them all.  Keenan is constantly wanting to play more electronics so he digs and digs in the reward bin in hopes for the 30 minutes of playtime.  Jayden wants to get a piece of candy and play with the dog.  Kiel loves his 30 minute breaks from homework.  All three are motivated to dig into the weekly reward bin for the bigger rewards.

I’m curious what motivates others.  What works in your home?  I used to say, “pick up your room or you don’t get to play electronics” or “stop yelling at your brother or you are going on a timeout”.  Now I say, “you aren’t earning your stamp.”  Because the motivation is set up and they know that without the stamps they aren’t earning their turn in the reward bin. It is an automatic head turner.  They stop, listen and make their decision.  It isn’t always the right one…but change takes time!  One of my happy moments was when one of the kids stopped their yelling, without a redirection from me, and reminded their brother that they both would not be earning their Respect Stamp.  Well they both didn’t earn their stamp that day…but what success!!!

So I’m curious what others think.  If you take a motivation and turn it into a reward, rather then an ultimatum, do you believe that you will see a change in your child’s behavior?

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