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Small Changes, Big Results

By Debra Kissen

Small Changes, Big Results

It is amazing how teeny tiny environmental shifts can create mammoth behavioral changes. As a mom and as a pychologist (momchologist), I try to look for small entry points to reduce problematic behaviors while encouraging new, more effective behaviors. For my site visitors who read my 7/17 blog, todays update serves as part 2 of that entry. After writing Monday’s blog entry, I took a few minutes to calm down and settle my self (I am a big fan of parent time outs..I often state, mommy needs a time out and then lock myself in the bathroom for two minutes). When feeling emotionally charged, it is hard to think clearly and make effective choices. In these tough moments, I may be flooded with judgmental, harsh thoughts, such as “this is a disaster”, “we will never be able to function effectively”, “this is just too hard”… Once I calm down, I can begin to enter problem solving mode. I can 1. rationally identify the problem – how to streamline the morning out the door routine 2. Brainstorm potential solutions – pick outfit out night before, not allow entrance to family room to watch a morning show unless one is dressed for the day 3. Implement – have family meeting after school and discuss new “house rule”. So, I followed these 3 steps and the next few days have been remarkably better. Not perfect ofcourse, because we are talking about tempermental, unpredictable, and most of all deliciously lovable little people, so life is always work in progress. But I am committed to always refining my strategies to bring at the best and minimize the worst in my children. As always, to be continued…

Dr. Debra Kissen is CEO of Light On Anxiety CBT Treatment Center. Dr. Kissen specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)...

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