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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Can Mothers and Daughters Be Best Friends?

posted by Linda Mintle

I love my motherI was interviewed for a magazine article on mothers and daughters from my book, I Love My Mother But… The reporter asked this question: Should mothers and their daughters be best friends? Why or why not?

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Here is my answer:

The early years are characterized by more authoritative (not authoritarian) styles of mothering. You are teaching and guiding. Friendship requires an equal partnership and you are clearly not equal when you are raising her. You need to keep the lines of communication open and shift your parenting to match the developmental stage, but also provide consequences for problematic behavior.

Parenting changes through the developmental stages with different tasks required of both mom and daughters. For example, as your daughter moves more into the teen years, rather than telling her what to do, you begin to ask her what she should do and guide her choices. This is important in developing her independence. A goal in raising a daughter is to help her become her own person, but stay connected to her mom. In therapy, we call this being separate but attached.

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Later in life, when young adulthood brings the kind of healthy separation and individuation a daughter has with her mom, the two begin to move to more of an adult friendship.

So early on you are not her best friend. You are guiding, shaping and teaching. As she grows into young adulthood, the relationship begins to shift into more of an equal position. You are still her mom, but you relate to her more as an adult woman with her own identity, more like a friend whose person you begin to admire.

Instead of best friends, we should be their biggest cheerleader, guide, mentor, and the one person that no matter what happens will always unconditional love and validate them for who they are.

 

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10 Lifestyle Interventions to Reduce Anxiety

posted by Linda Mintle

Letting Go of WorryAnxiety is something we are all familiar with and sometimes struggle to overcome. Certainly, there are the therapy approaches and medications to help with anxiety. But what about lifestyle changes that lessen anxiety and may even be the root cause. Here are 10 to consider:

  1. Reduce stress: Where and when you can, this change in lifestyle goes a long way to reduce anxiety.
  2. Regular aerobic exercise: Exercise is a known anxiety reducer. Add it to your routine and feel the benefit.
  3. Time management: Anxiety is often spawned by feeling like there isn’t enough time to do all you need to do. With a little time management, you have simply reduced the stress.
  4. Adequate rest and sleep hygiene: So important to combatting anxiety that this intervention alone could find you peace.
  5. Reduce or eliminate stimulants -Caffeine can trigger anxiety as well as some medications. Take a look at what you are ingesting.
  6. Reduce or eliminate alcohol: Alcohol can be a trigger for anxiety. See how you feel when this is reduced or eliminated.
  7. Stop smoking–smoking is a stimulant and tends to increase anxiety. A sure bet to reduce anxiety.
  8. Find a person with whom you can talk and let feelings out (support). When we feel supported, we face difficulty much better.
  9. Supplement your diet with a multivitamin, esp. with A, B and C vitamins and extra calcium (calms the nervous system and look into herbs that foster relaxation such as Valerian Root, Passion Flower, Chamomile, Skullcap, Dandelion; Kava Kava can work as a calming agent.
  10. Limit exposure to violent media (could include the nightly news). This may surprise you but watching too much violence and mayhem can trigger anxious feelings. Turn it off and view more positive media.

Finally a lifestyle change that will help keep you in peace is regular Bible reading. This is a way to daily renew the mind and take your anxious thoughts captive.

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For more help with anxiety and worry, check out Dr. Linda Mintle’s book, Letting Go of Worry

 

 

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Taking Charge of Anxious Thoughts

posted by Linda Mintle

Letting Go of WorryAbout 29% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetimes. Anxiety is that uneasy feeling, apprehension, feeling of danger, doom or misfortune. It can be debilitating or mild. Anxiety can spawn fear, worry, and stress.

Negative self-talk is behind many anxious feelings. Your thoughts impact your feelings. Your feelings affect your view of the world, and an anxious, negative view affects your thoughts. This vicious cycle keeps anxiety going.

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In order to stop anxiety,  take charge of those anxious thoughts.The work is to replace negative self-talk with positive talk. For example, most anxious people think, “What if…

”Change the “What if…” to “So what,” and you’ll reduce anxiety.

When anxious thoughts come into your mind, identify them, and tolerate the momentary feeling. Then correct the thought with something more reasonable like, “Yes, I am afraid but God is with me, and will get me through this. I can take it.” As you correct the thought to something more reasonable and tolerate the feeling, anxiety will most likely decrease.

The key here is to tolerate the anxiety and push through it, not try to avoid or run from it.

So when you feel anxious,  look at your thoughts,- you can change your thinking. Whether your fear is real or imagined, the way you talk to yourself will determine if you work through it or become paralyzed by it. For example,”Yes, I am anxious, this feels bad…” coupled with “But I can take it and work though it” is the way to approach anxiety. Acknowledge that anxiety is present, that it doesn’t feel good but that you can move through it by taking charge of your thoughts, e.g., “This won’t destroy me, God is with me, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, He will walk me through this, etc.”

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The confidence that God will walk you through even the most difficult circumstances is the basis for keeping anxious thoughts at bay.

 

For more help with anxious thoughts, get a copy of Letting Go of Worry by Dr. Linda Mintle

 

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Parent Help With Overweight Kids

posted by Linda Mintle

ID-100161678Having an overweight child doesn’t mean he or she will stay that way. That being said, we don’t want our kids to go on diets. We want them to stop gaining weight and grow into the weight they already have.

And while the climbing obesity rates have to do with your child, family, and outside environmental forces, you can become part of the solution.

When you raise a child who is overweight, it’s easy to feel like a bad parent or feel guilty for letting this happen. That kind of guilt isn’t productive. So instead of blaming yourselves, let’s focus our efforts to become informed and then decide what kind of life we want for our children and our families.

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As a parent, you can establish an environment that encourages success. There are changes you can make that will make a difference. It’s never too late to instill good eating habits in your children.

In addition, the connection between body, mind, and spirit cannot be ignored. Our faith can empower us to move forward, to be transformed.  As parents we shape our children’s perspective for what they believe and how they esteem themselves and others—we are their earthly foundation.

There’s an old saying, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. As adults, we know this isn’t true—words pack a powerful punch. Our primary job is to help our children feel loved, accepted, and confident in life. With this nurturing, a healthy body image develops in our children and they learn to find enjoyment and love through channels other than food. Please don’t underestimate the power of your influence. Parents are the biggest motivators—both through their talk and their walk. Talk needs to be backed up by action in our own lives.

Our children are the greatest legacy we have. Their health and well-being are part of the chain that connects us. That being said, the battle of the bulge can be waged successfully as our children grow in confidence and look forward to long, healthy lives. Are you with me?

Previous Posts

Can Mothers and Daughters Be Best Friends?
I was interviewed for a magazine article on mothers and daughters from my book, I Love My Mother But... The reporter asked this question: Should mothers and their daughters be best friends? Why or why not? Here is my answer: The early ...

posted 6:00:13am May. 06, 2015 | read full post »

10 Lifestyle Interventions to Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety is something we are all familiar with and sometimes struggle to overcome. Certainly, there are the therapy approaches and medications to help with anxiety. But what about lifestyle changes that lessen anxiety and may even be the root ...

posted 6:00:14am May. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Taking Charge of Anxious Thoughts
About 29% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetimes. Anxiety is that uneasy feeling, apprehension, feeling of danger, doom or misfortune. It can be debilitating or mild. Anxiety can spawn fear, worry, and ...

posted 6:00:03am Apr. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Parent Help With Overweight Kids
Having an overweight child doesn’t mean he or she will stay that way. That being said, we don’t want our kids to go on diets. We want them to stop gaining weight and grow into the weight they already have. And while the climbing obesity ...

posted 6:00:17am Apr. 29, 2015 | read full post »

I Spend, She Saves: 6 Tips on What To Do About Money
It's a common scenario, one person in a couple is a spender, the other wants to save. Fighting over money puts strain on even the best relationship. So how do you work through what seems like a major difference in approaching life? The key is ...

posted 6:00:31am Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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