Now that we are well into the school year, kids everywhere are faced with the challenge of how to deal with bullies.
Here’s a typical encounter: Your 5th grade son is playing soccer on the playground at recess. A 6th grade bully comes over and takes his ball, throws it at him and laughs as he walks away. What should your son do?
a) Throw the ball back at him
b) Walk away and say nothing
c) Report the boy to school authorities
d) Go after the kid and try to talk to him
e) Initiate “The Swarm”
Dads tend to choose answer A because they want their sons to fight back. Moms like answer D because we think problems can be solved by talking them out. Answer B is good if you can get your son to do it, but it does nothing to correct the bully behavior. Answer C works if adults are involved and will actually do something. Reporting a bully is sometimes unpopular because kids fear revenge and being labeled a tattletale. So that leaves us with answer E. The Swarm is an effective technique. Your son gets a number of his friends to literally swarm the bully and tell the bully to stop. There is power in numbers and the bully will have to contend with the entire group, not just your son.
You can also help your children prepare for a bully attack this way. Ask them to write down bully situations on 3 X 5 cards. They will come up with examples in no time. Then role-play the situations and practice different ways to handle a specific problem. Talk about why some solutions are good choices and others not so good. Role-playing exercises like this one helps children think what they might do before they encounter the problem. Then when a bully situation presents, they have a plan and can act more confidently.
A little help to break the overeating habit:
- Start a journal. Write down where you were, what you were feeling and how you responded every time you overeat. You may find a pattern to your overeating. If a place sets you off, you might be able to avoid it. If a feeling sets you off, you will have to learn a different way to manage it. Food and emotions are usually related.
- Eat at regular times. The biggest mistake is skipping meals and having no regular time to eat. When you skip meals, you set yourself up to overeat. When you eat on the run, you tend to grab fast food or food low in nutrition but high in empty calories.
- Slow down, pause between bites. The slower you eat, the more time your body has to catch up and tell you that you are full. Pause and enjoy each bite rather than cramming the food down.
- Don’t eat standing up. Make it a habit to eat when you are sitting at the table and not everywhere else you may roam. Learn to associate food with sitting down for a meal.
- Don’t eat while cooking. Tasting food can add a lot of extra calories.
- Stay out of the kitchen except for at mealtimes. How many times have you found yourself unconsciously wandering into the kitchen and opening cupboards and the refrigerator? The sight and smell of food cues you to eat it.
- Don’t go places hungry. You will tend to overeat if you do. Instead have a piece of fruit and drink water before you go.
- Have healthy snacks on hand so you won’t be tempted to dive into a high calorie one.
- Don’t cook/bake things that will be difficult to resist. If you tend to eat the entire batch of hot gooey brownies, don’t bake them.
- Limit your exposure to food cues – don’t shop often, watch food TV commercials, etc.
- Replace food with some other relaxing or rewarding activity. For example, take a walk, listen to soothing music, etc.
- Pray and ask for self-control. You need the fruit of the Spirit operating in your life – Love is the fruit that produces self-control.
- Lose the word dieting from your vocabulary. There are no short cuts. Resign yourself to eating healthy for a lifetime.
- Learn to love yourself regardless of your weight.
For more help to break the overeating habit, order a copy of Dr. Linda Mintle’s book, Press Pause Before You Eat and read How to Stop Mindless Eating
Have you ever said, “Why did I eat that? I wasn’t hungry.”
Most of us eat without thinking several times a day. But mindless or emotional eating is one of those behaviors that keeps those extra pounds from falling off.
In this short video clip, I give you the PAUSE strategy. Many people have been helped by using this before they grab for that snack without thinking. It is the basis of my book, Press Pause Before You Eat. Give it a try.
Tom’s wife made a spot on comment about his behavior, but Tom isn’t buying it. He looks at her and says, “You are wrong” and then becomes highly defensive. His wife tries again to explain her perception of the problem. Again, Tom refuses to acknowledge her point of view.
Is Tom just being stubborn or is his refusal to listen to her and acknowledge her thinking harming the marriage?
Tom’s refusal to accept his wife’s influence will impact his relationship negatively. Researcher John Gottman and his colleagues found that men who accept their wives’ influence have happier marriages and are less likely to divorce. And the reverse is also true, wives’ who honor and respect their husbands and allow them to influence their decisions have better marriages. Accepting influence from a spouse relates to the power dynamic between a couple. When you listen and take to heart what your partner says, you are basically saying, “I respect this person and value what he or she has to say.”
So men, if you refuse to take the influence of your spouse in decision making and power sharing, your marriage will probably experience problems. Accepting influence creates positive feelings that help to solve problems, but also boosts the marital friendship. When conflict doesn’t escalate to a negative place, relationships do better.