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Author: admin, 21.04.2016. Category: How To Learn Meditation

I just happened to be there (for the umpteenth time!) while I was reading the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Based on some solid research backing, author Charles Duhigg explains in the book that a habit, any habit, can be thought of as a loop. Think for instance, smokers who started smoking because it made them look cool — the original reward. The key thing to realize while breaking this bad habit (like most others) is that we are only trying to change the routine — not the cue, not the rewards and not the cravings.
What we want to do is acknowledge the cue and the reward, and make a conscious choice to replace the old routine that takes us from that cue to the reward with something more effective. Like the smoker dude who chooses to chew gum instead of lighting up when he starts to sense the urge — and eventually breaks out of the smoking habit. The magic bullet that helped me dramatically reduce my nagging and screaming came from a book called Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children.
Your you-message response would be something along the lines of: “You are in so much trouble, young man!
And last but not the least, the you-message fuels sibling rivalry, because face it, you are taking the younger one’s side. Consequently, most issues tend to fizzle out well before they turn into a full blown power struggle.
In other words, just like the smoker chewing gum, even if it you scream out your I-message, it is a lot less harmful than a you-message, and eventually paves the way for completely breaking free. Of course, when we are angry and ready to snap, we won’t stop to craft the perfect I-message.
So, what say we spend some time now to think of this and internalize it as best as we can, so when we are indeed very angry, we have a better chance of getting it right?
According to the book Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children, an effective I-Message has 3 components.
While this part of the message makes it clear to the kids the effect it has on us, it is also a great way for us to get in touch with ourselves! The more I did this, the more I realized how much I was over-reacting to mundane everyday situations. In the example above, if the behavior continues, “we won’t be able to have a strong family that supports each other in times of need” or “I can’t finish making dinner if I have to keep coming here to sort the fights” are valid real consequences. Again this part of the message helps in two ways – (a) it helps the kids connect the dots and show that their actions have real impact on the things in their lives (and us!) and (b) it helps us sieve through our idiosyncrasies and sort through irrational expectations. Was your old routine effective in nipping the behavior for good, or can you benefit from trying a new routine? The task for this week is simple – replace as many you-messages with I-messages as possible when you respond to your kids. And if you really want to see major improvements in your life and not just parenting, try this with everyone – your spouse, your boss, your friends and even the telemarketer who calls you at the most inopportune moment and drives you nuts!
Now that I think about it – some of that is probably engrained in me now with how I react to my daughter. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. And before you know it, you are screaming at them like only a raving lunatic, or a very frustrated parent, can. If this results in a reward, the brain determines that this routine is worth committing to memory.

Once the habit is established however, even if they realize that instead of making them look cool, smoking is actually killing them, it is still hard for them to quit the habit. And many of us realize that screaming can actually hurt our relationship with our kids rather than help us in the long run. Those are normal emotions that every parent feels at some point or the other as we raise children. Consequently, each sentence you utter makes you more mad, and makes your son more defensive and rebellious. With each sentence, you are putting out your emotions, which by itself is cathartic and reduces the need to get back at your kids.
When you are not fixing blame on them, and they don’t have to deal with nasty feelings of shame, they are in a much better position to respond more reasonably. With the I-message however, you are not singling either child out and telling your feeling about “their” behavior as one unit.
While the message will work with even just 1 component, the more of these you can craft in, the more effective your message is. When I started doing this, I realized at at first, most of my feelings were on the dark end of the spectrum – angry, frustrated, furious and so on.
What is the consequence of this behavior (real consequence, not made up ones for the sake of disciplining)? After making a bunch of mistakes and feeling perpetually like a crappy parent, one day she had the epiphany that Great Parents are Made, Not Born. I quit my regular job last year to go on a 2-year break… so I have quite some time on my hands now to read books. Over the course of time though, I have noticed that as my yelling has reduced, my daughters co-operation has increased, making it less and less necessary for me to yell. Well, according to Charles Duhigg the author of The Power of Habit, this is the classic signature of a habit.
If there is an associated craving that ties this all together, then we repeat the routine over and over, until it is so firmly etched in our brain’s memory circuit that at a later date, even if the reward is removed, we will continue to execute the habit loop.
And we do not give up on wanting to get our kids to behave — I don’t know about you, but I’d go nuts if I had to live with a bratty child!
The younger one snatches the toy away from the older one which makes him so mad that he gives the younger one a solid whack.
Additionally, the longer this goes on, the chances are you realize you are over-reacting to a perfectly normal (though unacceptable) part of raising kids. Also, you are stating clearly what the expectations in your family which sets up a cohesive environment instead of a fragmented one. Sometimes, I still do, but these days more often than not, I can keep my calm and just state how I feel. Let’s figure out what makes us scream so much, and if it is out of habit, let’s change those habits for something better — sounds good? She is now on a journey to become a better person, and a better parent one itty-bit at a time and warmly invites you to join her in this journey! As long as we don’t let it devolve into blaming and labeling, I think it is a great communication tool – for a parent, or otherwise! Before that, I’d be lucky if I could make enough time to catch up on the daily news and a few of my favorite blog posts!!! And fair warning: while none of this is professional advice, it is powerful stuff and could potentially change your life!

It satisfied a deep craving in all of us – a feeling of control over what is without a doubt a very chaotic time in our lives. And if I have to keep coming here to sort things out between the two of you, I won’t be able to get dinner on the table on time. My daughter sometimes turns around her misbehavior immediately, sometimes it takes longer — but we don’t have explosive flare ups like we used to.
When I am talking about the qualities of biking, people will give me that certain look that you might be familiar with, too. After I got healthy, I took the opportunity to seek professional help to deal with my mental issues. I had deep moral and spiritual conflicts with the church I belonged to and after losing weight, I had the courage to walk away from what I felt is a false religion.
I entered a rebound relationship that my counselor immediately diagnosed as dependent and poor for my mental health and I eventually found the strength to walk away from that as well.
I’ve reestablished my relationship with God and connected with Him again on a spiritual level that feels true and right for the first time in forever. I could erroneously say that it started raining because I was wearing jeans, but we know that isn’t true.So what’s the answer? Occasionally, we’ll try and find a way to get a similar reward from it (think nicotine patches or those weird looking e cigarette things).
If you think your obesity is caused by the fact that you’re “different” (slow metabolism or genetics), please don’t be offended when I tell you you’re almost definitely not. If you’re not ready to admit that, you won’t get anything out of this blog other than anger anyway. If it’s boredom, maybe the answer is rewarding yourself by going shopping (this can get expensive) or golfing or reading or another hobby.When you catch yourself feeling the urge to overeat, try different routines and see if they give you the reward you’re looking for. Then wait fifteen minutes and jot down the three words or feelings that pop into your head.
Next time you feel the urge to binge or tie off and grab a Twinkie (or eat your go-to nutritional crack, ask yourself some questions: What time is it?How are you feeling? If your binging is time based, I guess you could pay someone to hypnotize yourself to black out every day at 3pm but that’s probably not practical (and if you take this route, please message me and take video). For me, I have to be alone sometimes, so how do I find a new routine that triggers my reward of not being bored? Changing a habit takes work and you can choose to work smart or you can choose to work hard.
There is no magic pill or magic habit, but by better understanding the way you’re wired, you can make intelligent decisions that change your habit loop.
In pursuing new things I take a lot of inspiration and process from Tim Ferris and his zeal for trying new things.Are you ready to make a change? I think our lack of understanding our habits may lead to an exhaustive process that ends up in circles.

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