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What’s your parenting style?

Before reading this article I would like you to have this small test which will tell you about what parenting style you’ve adopted for your children, so that you’ll be able to benefit from the content in the article.  http://comprehensivepsychology.com.au/assets/pdf/PARENTING%20STYLE%20QUESTIONNAIRE.pdf

Parenting can be a terrifying responsibility to take on for most of us. Being responsible for bringing a child into the world and raising him/her right is a something many of us might feel unprepared for. We worry about so many things which may go wrong. We try to read books on parenting, talk to our own parents and others, watch videos in order to understand ‘how to parent’ and raise our child in the best possible way. There is no such thing as a perfect parent just as there is no such thing as a perfect child. Parenting is a skill which is perfected through practice and experience. The parents’ and the child’s temperaments will have a huge influence on their style of parenting as well. Each parent will have their own unique way of raising their child.

The parenting styles are as follows:

  • Permissive Parenting

The permissive parent attempts to behave in a nonpunitive, acceptant and affirmative manner towards the child’s impulses, desires, and actions.  Such a parent will consult the child before taking decisions and explains family rules to the child.  However, a permissive parent makes few demands of the child regarding household responsibility and orderly behavior.  The parent presents himself/herself as a resource for the child to use as he/she wishes, not as a role model or a healthy disciplinarian. The child is allowed to regulate his/her own activities as much as possible without being forced to obey any rules. Permissive parenting often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school.

  • Authoritarian Parenting

The authoritarian parent attempts to control the child according to a strict standard, which he/she sets or which he/she believes their faith has set. The parent values obedience as a virtue and uses punishment, often corporal, when the child does not follow the parent’s edicts. Such parents do not encourage verbal give and take, believing that the child should accept his/her word for what is right. They do not explain the reasons why certain family rules are in place and do not allow the child to ask questions. Research has shown that authoritarian parenting styles generally lead to children who are obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem.

  • Authoritative Parenting

The authoritative parent attempts to direct the child’s activities but in a rational, issue-oriented manner. The parent encourages verbal give and take, shares with the child the reasoning behind his/her rules, and solicits any objections the child might have. Both independence and disciplined conformity are valued. Therefore, the parent exerts firm control at points of where the parent and child disagree, but does not hem the child in with restrictions. He/she uses reason, power, and shaping by regime and reinforcement to achieve her objectives, and does not base her decisions on group consensus or the individual child’s desires. Authoritative parenting styles tend to result in children who are happy, capable and successful (Maccoby, 1992).

  • Uninvolved Parenting

An uninvolved parent is characterized by few demands, low responsiveness and little communication. While these parents fulfill the child’s basic needs, they are generally detached from their child’s life. In extreme cases, these parents may even reject or neglect the needs of their children. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers.

Time to get in touch with what you really want for your child, how can you as a parent respect their autonomy and choices and modify your parenting styles for the betterment of child’s healthy mental and physical growth.

Having Girlfriend/Boyfriend. Is it a must?

In this 21st century, where almost every individual is in romantic relationship, if one person isn’t, he/she is bombarded with questions like, ‘’you’re so beautiful and confident as a person, you must be having a boyfriend/ girlfriend?’’ Well, thanking the compliment, but who makes these rules that a pretty and confident girl/ handsome and smart boy has to have a romantic companion?

Dating in today’s era has become so common, and kind of loosing it’s meaning, it has become like breathing. Why do we feel such intense need to be in a relationship?

  1. Peer pressure
  2. Movies/ love stories
  3. In search of one, where there are many
  4. Not loving oneself enough
  5. Being accepted in friends circle

By falling prey to all such distractions, what are we actually doing is,

  1. Completely ignoring the other sources of love we have in life like, parents, friends etc.
  2. Not being able to live in this moment but constantly worrying about that one person in the future.
  3. You assume that, when a new person will come, he/she will give you utmost happiness and satisfaction. Can you guarantee that? If people near you cant give you happiness now, how will a stranger coming in future can provide you with that?
  4. When you constantly focus on that person in future may or may not come, you tend to give less importance to the people around you who are actually the sources of love. In this process you might lose them.

Love yourself first

  1. Knowing yourself: Be aware about sense of self, morals, value systems, beliefs.
  2. Accepting yourself: Be proud of who you are, and the product you’ve become of different learnings and environment.
  3. Appreciating yourself: Give self-compliments, acknowledge your own strengths and use them for your betterment.
  4. Exploring yourself: Get out of the routine life, try thinking out of the box, give yourself new choices and options. You might get to know new things about self you were unaware of for so many years.

Life doesn’t work on planning and it never seizes to surprise you. Start walking on this adventurous path, let it be solo or with companion, it’ll turn out to be amazing if you keep your head high and love yourself first!

Can’t break-up because you fear loneliness?

Ours was a beautiful relationship. He was my first serious relationship and we spent some good time together. From thoughtful compliments to amazing dates to beautiful gifts… You name it I had it. We went for picnics, movies, long drives, out of the town vacations and doing all of these things hand in hand.

But then it all started to change….

Initially most of the times things used to be really good but sometimes when he was stressed due to things at home or at work he started to blame me or the relationship. Finally it became much worse… He could see nothing positive in me, even the things about me he used to like- he hated. He used to make me feel like I was stupid- if I re-inquired something only to avoid misunderstanding he would scream at why I was repeating don’t I understand things in one go.

Everyday I would question myself, why am I with this person anymore? The only answer I could get was I wasn’t brave enough to take that step and face the loneliness that it would bring.

Being stuck” in intimate relationships makes us restless, frustrated and sometimes angry as well. We may feel stuck making very crucial decisions in our lives like whether to stay in a relationship or not? The fact that there is no movement in these aspects of our life can indeed become a worrisome and frustrating factor to all of us.

Things that stop us from breaking up even though we want to:

  1. We may be afraid of being by ourselves,
  2. Afraid of hurting our partner, or
  3. Afraid that we’re not going to find someone else.
  4. Safer to stay in relationship than to risk not having a chance at being in relationship again.

We can fear being lonely may be because:

  1. We’ve always lived with someone.
  2. We’re worried we might not be financially independent.
  3. We may sometimes be worried about what friends, family, coworkers, and the neighbours will think if we’re alone or not with our partners.
  4. Sometimes, especially if they are someone we would have to meet or see after the relationship, we may be worried that they might date someone else and that would be hurtful.
  5. the future we have planned with our partner, it seems would never happen the way we wanted it to and it’s memories would haunt us.
  6. Or it can be a combination of points mentioned above.

Finally, knowing the root reason, how to overcome the fear and let go:

  1. Start writing down fears and possible solutions. Write down short-term action goals.
  2. Stay connected to your sources of strength, positive assets, optimism, energy and power.
  3. Speak the truth, vent out in front of your support systems like family and friends. It’s a brave one who seeks help, not the weak one.

Understand that, it is natural for you to be scared in such situation, however at the same time it was important for you to do what you need to do to take care of you, your life.

 

“you come home,

Make some tea,

Sit down in your armchair,

And all around there’s silence.

Everyone decides for themselves

Whether it’s solitude or loneliness”

Thus, my friend, choose wisely.

 

 

Feeling the communication Gap? Bridge it & Get closer to your child.

Parenthood, as the name suggests, is a beautiful yet taxing journey. It begins the moment a child is conceived and goes on for life. Parents are the models that children imitate during their childhood years. Parents who pay attention to their child’s concerns and ideas teach their child that they are important in the family. Children learn attitudes, values, and behaviours, as well as gain knowledge, through communicating with others – the most important of whom are their parents. Communication between parent and child begins the day the child is born, or earlier, and continues as the child grows, matures and changes. Communication gap, as it is called, could be due to differences in the values and perspectives of individuals stemming from the Generation Gap that exists between them.

How to encourage open and transparent communication:

  1. Take initiative to open the conversations.
  2. Avoid stopping them in the middle with whatsoever reasons.
  3. Be a good patient listener. Show interest.
  4. Help your child solve problems. They look at you as their support systems.
  5. Promote communication. They should approach you next time without hesitation.
  6. Try to be open to the topics they bring in. Do not give in your own opinions and judgements instantly. Quick reflexes might put them in defensive position.
  7. Apologize when it’s your mistake. It takes a big heart to accept the mistake in front of our children. Even though they are younger in age, they might teach us many things.
  8. Be a friend than a parent when required. Try getting to their age and understand their enthusiasm, stories and concerns.

Enjoy being a parent and provide your children the safe and secured environment they wish to have. If you follow these basic steps, you’ll be their best friends and the generation gap would seem much smaller!

Fill colours in your romantic world

Romance is an integral part of our existence. What does it take to be in love? Romance is everywhere, it’s in the skies and oceans and also the social media. But have you ever pondered over some of it’s behind-the-scenes? When do we know that our relationship is going out of the hands? It is often said that the love of a person completes them, or makes them whole. I would care to disagree a little there. We are all complete and significant, and love is but a choice that we make, day after day, to be with somebody who, yet again, is complete. It is the coming together of two wholes to willingly form a union.

5 useful Tips to improve your relationship:

  1. Respect your partner before all. Respect their opinions, values and individuality. The biggest mistake is trying to merge into the partners personality and trying to make changes in them.
  2. Being aware of self and accepting individual differences. Loving your partner as they are, with the difference that they bring in, may it be personality differences or cultural differences.
  3. No article on relationships in complete without having a mention of communication: Be honest and share your feelings, Admire their strengths and overlook little things, acknowledge small things they do for you, verbally express the love, do not run away or stay silent after the fights but try talking about it, Make thoughtful gestures, learn to listen, say “I love you” often.
  4. Understanding thresholds: As individuals, we all have our respective thresholds towards our emotions and feelings. While some people may come across as being aggressive, others may appear relatively calm and peaceful. We develop these characteristics over due course of time, and it is not always that we have utmost control over the habits that we end up adopting and following. As two significant wholes who are willingly part of a union, both parties should know when to snap or when to give in.
  5. Another key aspect of a relationship is A person is said to have attained this state of mind when their thoughts, feelings, and actions are in accordance with one another. This means, that what one thinks and feels is what they speak and do. There may be times wherein your partner may commit to something they couldn’t fulfil, or make a promise they failed to keep. It is okay if it happens sometimes, because perfectionism is non-existent among us by virtue of being human. However, if this is, or has become a common occurrence, then it is imperative that something be done about it. Relationships turn sour over time, if either or both parties fail to keep their word.

Now that you’ve got the guidebook, follow these basic steps, add your own ingredients as you wish, and make a perfect dish if your romance!

Something left unresolved? Get a perfect closure in relationships

Before you start reading this article, I want you to see these figures.

When you are looking at them, do you feel not so good about the gaps in the figures? Even though there are distinct gaps in both the figures, we tend to see them as whole: A circle and A Square. This highlights the tendency of humans to fill the imaginary gaps to perceive everything as whole to give it the fruitful meaning.

“This filling in the gap and spaces of unknown to attain a meaning and perspective is called Closure”

Why do we need closure in broken relationships?

  1. Holding on to the past too tightly
  2. Someone might still see the ray of hope to get back together
  3. Unanswered questions from the partner

How to give someone closure:

Breaking up with someone, particularly when you believe your partner will not share the same sentiment, is not easy to do. It is difficult to take responsibility for your true feelings and give honest reasons for the break-up, knowing that you are hurting another person who likely cares very much about you. Not only does giving closure mean you have to take responsibility for your actions in the relationship, and potentially feel guilty for ending a relationship, but it also means you may discover aspects of yourself, as expressed by your former partner, that you may have otherwise chosen to ignore.

How to give yourself closure:

If your partner refuses to give you closure after you have repeatedly asked for it, ask yourself whether the type of person you imagined him or her to be would treat you with such indignity, and whether the future you might have imagined together included this characteristic. Chances are, your answer is ‘no’. Therefore, you can begin to reconcile the fact that perhaps you imagined your partner to be someone he or she is not and forgive yourself for trusting someone who has hurt you.

Closure can happen through:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Acknowledgement
  3. Time to grieve
  4. Build new memories
  5. No blame game/ guilt inducing actions

Giving a satisfying closure with a conversation might not be everyone’s cup of tea. It puts person in vulnerable position and might open the wounds but that’s where the strength lies. Maybe, hearing it from the other person gives us a sense of their acknowledgment and accountability that leads to our acceptance of facts. Last but not the least, closure comes by being empathetic. Accepting their perspective, a perspective which cannot be right can also not be wrong, of the other person.

If you want a closure, it’s certainly time to fill the gaps!

10 Myths about the Counselling Process

Are you someone who has heard a lot about counselling but fully not aware of the facts? Someone who is curious about counselling but felt unsure of whether it was for you based on what you’ve heard? Well, if you can relate to this, then you’re at the right place to know all about it!

To begin with, counselling is a process of effective communication. The better and transparent the communication between a professional and client, the better the counselling. It is a process in which the relationship formed between you and your counsellor helps you develop more awareness and understand yourself better. Counselling is a dynamic collaborative two-way process with a counsellor who listens, understands and tries to work with you to help you reach the goal. However, there are a lot of misunderstandings revolving around the field of psychology and counselling in particular. They are as follows:

  1. The person is MAD if he/she visits a counsellor. Well, they’re in fact the brave hearts to seek the help needed for the mental health concerns which is as important as physical health.
  2. Counselling is only for severe issues. In fact, counselling is a communication process which can tap the adjustment issues in daily functioning. It helps in working with dealing with the issues at milder level and not getting blown up in full-fledged disorders.
  3. Counsellors are advise givers. They are not. They help you only to help yourself and work as a GPS to reach to your own goals.
  4. Anybody can counsel. Well, that’s absolutely not true. Refer to the article, ‘how to spot an effective counsellor’ article for the same.
  5. Counsellors may leak what I speak. Confidentiality is the utmost important ethics that all counsellors follow. Thus, all your secrets are kept safe in a lock.
  6. Counsellors might judge based on what clients speak. Rather, counsellors provide a very safe and secured environment for clients to speak their heart out without reflecting with their own personal opinions and biases.
  7. They can read my mind, I feel unsafe. Well, Counsellors CAN NOT read your mind. They only work with the information you provide them with.
  8. Counselling is expensive. Your mental health is more important than the fees. There are some NGOs and organizations who provide services at minimum rates.
  9. Counselling takes a long time. Not every time. Depends on the nature of issue and the treatment planned. But, Yes, it’s a long-term commitment.
  10. Counselling will change my whole personality. Well, only the parts of client that clients want to change, will be worked upon. And that too, depends upon entirely in client’s hands, not counsellors.

Now that you know the myths and misconceptions, be aware and spread the knowledge about the same for maximum people to benefit from the services

Looking for a helping hand? It’s a sign of strength!

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”
Roy T. Bennett

It’s never too late to go for a therapy. Given the fact that you wish to ask for a help from a professional, itself is the sign of strength.  Sometimes we just need a hearing ear to vent out with our concerns and not give any opinion or advises on it. Well, we’ve got counsellors for that. They work on the basic motto, not to indulge in any advice giving, persuasion, manipulation or guidance giving behaviours. They help you to help yourself. They will work as GPS and assist you to reach your goals through the path full of hurdles. It’s time to show little trust in professionals and give a knock on their doors.

In Indian culture, there is a stigma attached to mental health problems and disorders. No one really wishes to talk about mental health problems and it’s always been dealt with secretively. People do not even acknowledge the early emerging symptoms, which later might grow into mental health disorders. Physical problems can be spoken about out open in public then why not mental health problems? Isn’t brain and mind part of our body? Why do we disown them conveniently? Only if you take care of mind and brain, your bodily health will be fit and fine and vice versa. It’s a vicious circle.

There are many emotional issues that find a corner in our heart and refuse to die down. They stay with us as unfinished businesses. If not dealt with at that time itself, they might come out in uglier ways later. With time, these issues can transform into a sort of emotional tumour that impacts negatively on our daily life, such as lack of concentration, enthusiasm, self-respect, will to change, encouragement, and so on. We, as counsellors, try to dig deep into the issue to address the root cause of the problem after carefully listening the patients, and help in changing the pattern of their thinking and beliefs. It helps in fighting back the problems at hand with much more confidence.

You’re one step away from taking a professional help. You yourself have one powerful tool of HOPE, it’s just time to use it now!

How to Spot an Effective Counsellor

As clients, how much do you really know what an effective counsellor is? Do you just take the services without considering these important questions? Are you giving your mental health in well qualified hands? It’s time to know your rights as clients and raise important questions. Only then, the counselling as a field will see a brighter tomorrow. In India, there is no legal body or association for governing the practice of counselling. This has unfortunately led to ineffective practices of mental health services by the people with or without a proper degree and background required.

Only having ‘good intensions’ of helping doesn’t approve one of being a mental health service provider. Hence, there is a lot of confusion and misled information about the nature of therapy, role and activities of a counsellor, in the public eye. It is important for you to know what professional counselling is, so that you are in a better position to decode the real thing. Certain characteristics of an effective counsellor are given in the list below (Norcross, 2011; Skovholt & Jennings, 2004).

  1. Minimum degree of Masters in Counselling Psychology from recognized university.
  2. Effective therapists follow ethical codes like informed consent, maintaining confidentiality, given by ACA (American Counselling Association) which is a legal body governing ethical practices of counsellors.
  3. Effective therapists do not work on personal opinions or judgements, rather work on the basis on evidence based practises which have a strong research support.
  4. Effective therapists do not indulge in advise giving or guidance, but they try to make the client more independent in finding solutions on their own. They just work as path finders. They encourage clients to make new choices and changes in life.
  5. Effective therapist charges fees and meets the client only in professional setting, avoiding to have any dual relationships with clients. This ensures the professionalism.
  6. Effective therapists have an identity. They have sense of self, awareness of what they want out of life and what they are capable of being.
  7. Effective therapists are open to change and have flexible approach. They have courage to leave their comfort zone and adapt different kind of methods by going out of the way.
  8. Effective therapists are authentic, sincere and honest. They do not hide behind rigid roles. Who they are as person in their real life, reflects the same in their work life.
  9. Effective therapists appreciate influence of culture. They are aware of the ways in which their own culture affects them, their own personal values and beliefs and not let that come in a way of therapy outcome. They are sensitive to the unique differences various cultures show.
  10. Effective therapists can maintain healthy boundaries. Although they are fully present with the clients in the therapy session, they do not carry the problems of clients outside the work setting.
  11. Effective therapists have healthy interpersonal skills. They strive to create collaborative relationships with others, make their clients feel understood and heard.
  12. Effective therapists are accountable to their senior supervisors to discuss the cases (with maintaining confidentiality, and not discovering the identity what so ever) which ensures the clients well-being, and scope to improve in services.
  13. Effective therapists seek personal therapy to deal with own emotional issues, thus, knowing how is it to be on the other side of the table too.

I hope you all address these important issues with your respective counsellors and get the services you deserve.

What’s your parenting style?

Before reading this article I would like you to have this small test which will tell you about what parenting style you’ve …

Having Girlfriend/Boyfriend. Is it a must?

In this 21st century, where almost every individual is in romantic relationship, if one person isn’t, he/she is bombarded …

Can’t break-up because you fear loneliness?

Ours was a beautiful relationship. He was my first serious relationship and we spent some good time together. From thoughtful …