april 19,2011

Raising an emotionally expressive child is one of the biggest challenges of parenting for those of us who weren’t allowed to express our feelings as children. Here’s how to encourage your child to be expressive, yet respectful.

A baby who can express needs becomes a child who can express feelings. This is why we emphasize the importance of being responsive to your baby’s cues. A one-month-old cries to express his need for food or holding. Parents pick up on these cues and respond sensitively. Baby learns that these impulses within himself have meaning. His cries bring comforting responses. Expressing his needs leads to good things. By being open and responsive to baby’s cues, parents affirm baby’s self-expression. When parents anticipate needs by recognizing subtle pre-cry signals, baby learns a greater variety of ways to express himself and doesn’t have to cry to get what he needs. This makes him a joy to have around, which insures that his parents will continue to be sympathetic to his needs. The connected baby becomes a child who is capable of recognizing and showing deep feelings.
Not so the disconnected infant. A baby who is dutifully scheduled, left to cry it out, and whose well-meaning parents fall prey to the fear-of-spoiling advice, learns early that the caregiving world is not responsive to his needs. He learns to stop asking. This baby learns to ignore his feelings at an early age. He learns neither to identify nor to express them. On the surface, this little person is a “good” baby; he doesn’t bother anybody. He adjusts to the inflexible schedule, sleeps through the night, and is convenient to have around. This “good” baby, seemingly so “well-disciplined,” is at risk for becoming a withdrawn child and an internally angry, depressed adult. Other disconnected infants cry harder when they receive no response, becoming obnoxious and openly angry. These babies become children who are very hard to manage. They carry these feelings into adulthood, and like the “good” baby are at risk of ending up in the psychologist’s office. (This “good baby” or “obnoxious baby” is different from the temperamentally easy baby or difficult baby.)
The expressive baby and responsive parent bring a winning combination into toddlerhood. Because baby’s cues were listened to and decoded in the first year, the toddler is better able to express himself. He is now a bigger person with bigger needs. The infant who learned to express his needs now becomes the toddler who is in touch with his feelings. Mothers tell us, “My toddler doesn’t have many words yet and it drives me nuts trying to understand him.” Martha has gotten very adept at reading our toddlers’ eyes. When she’s not sure what the toddler is “saying,” she can get a clue from the expression in the eyes. The toddler knows exactly what he is telling you, and his eyes often speak more eloquently than his tongue. Intently watching the eyes as your toddler “bares his soul” will often help the garbled words suddenly make sense.
Toddlers are little persons with big needs, who have a limited ability to communicate these needs. Help them. Meet your toddler at eye- to-eye level when he is talking to you. Be attentive even when you don’t understand what your toddler is trying to say. Give body language cues (nodding your head, eye-to-eye contact, hand on shoulder) that you are trying to understand his viewpoint. Even when you can’t stop what you are doing you can at least make voice contact with your child. He isn’t mature enough to understand why your needs are more pressing than his at this moment, but hearing you talk to him (“Tell mama what you want…”) will help him feel that you care about him.
Lauren, our two-year-old, hurts her finger. She holds her hurt finger up to me, “Daddy, kiss owie.” I know she’s not really hurt, because she’d be crying in pain if she’d pinched her finger hard. I could dismiss this and get back to my important agenda, but my heart looks behind the eyes of my child. I realize that this very healthy looking finger is not the issue. The fact that Lauren feels her finger is hurt is the issue. Lauren learned she can use her feelings to get my attention and my sympathy, and by showing my own emotional interest in her plight, I can help her develop her expressiveness and let her know I care about her finger just as much as she does. “Show me where it hurts. How badly does it bother you?” I look into her eyes sympathetically and sensitively examine her finger. “Let me show you how to make it better.” I put a bandage on her finger or show her how to go to the freezer for the “boo-boo bunny” (a cloth container for ice cubes). I then hold her on my lap for a few minutes until her attention is diverted to something new. The inexperienced parent may hesitate to make such a fuss over “nothing.” The veteran realizes how sensitive little children are to insignificant trauma to their bodies. From a child’s viewpoint, the tiniest pinprick represents a hole in his body, and he needs the bandage to repair the leak.
Children can be exasperating, draining, and a downright nuisance when they overreact to life’s little setbacks. Children are like that. They seem to time their dramatic performances for the most inconvenient time for their audience. Nevertheless, these “small” events are important to them.
Don’t try to get a child to stuff her feelings. When a child is upset, sit back, look into her eyes, and give her time and space to express herself. Resist the urge to unload your reaction—anger, judgment, logic. Your child is not in a receptive frame of mind to receive any of these. Remarks that convey your adult assessment of the situation tell the child that she should suppress her own feelings. Feeling stuffers give the child the message that you are not accepting of her emotions, and cause the child to clam up. It’s a lose-lose situation. The child loses the ability to express herself, and you become an unaccepting parent whose child learns not to open up to you. A distance develops between parent and child.
Instead of lashing out with feeling stuffers:
• “Stop that horrible crying.”
• “There is nothing wrong with you.”
• “You’re being a baby.”
• “You’re overreacting.”
• “It’s not a big deal.”
• “You don’t need a bandage.”
• “Quit bothering me.”
• “You’re not cold” (or hungry, or thirsty, and so on)
Try helping your child identify her feelings:
• “Do you think you were bad?”
• “That made you angry.”
• “ouch! That must hurt.”
• “Does that make you sad?”
• “What a happy feeling!”
• “That really hurt your feelings, didn’t it?”
• “Scraping your knee hurts a lot.”
• “I’ll bet you feel good.”
Past six a child can take more responsibility for keeping harmony in the household. If your seven-year-old is glaring at you with hateful looks and seems bent on wallowing in turmoil, resisting your invitation to communicate calmly, you can calmly request that he or she go into another room where the foul mood will not affect your harmony.
Early in our parenting careers, I learned a valuable approach to children’s feelings by observing how Martha reacted to our children’s emotional outbursts. For example, when a child came running to us with a “boo-boo,” I would immediately click into my doctor role and make an objective assessment of the situation. I was so caught up in analyzing the external appearances of the boo-boo and making judgments about it, that I was out of sync with my child’s emotions. While he was expressing his feelings, I was mired in a mental exercise about how significant the scrape was.
Martha, on the other hand, was able to match the child’s emotions with her own. Instead of locking into her adult mind, she clicked into the child’s view of the problem. She first matched the child’s emotional state. If the child’s emotions registered a “10” on the boo-boo rating scale, Martha’s empathy would rate a “10.” She was using the oldest negotiating trick in the world: First, meet people where they are and then carry them where you want them to be. Martha gradually began lessening her worry signals, which would help the child wind down into the realization that the scrape was not the end of his life. He would realize that if the hurt was no big deal in mommy’s eyes, it was not worth wasting energy on, and he would go back to his play, happily sporting a Band- Aid.
Wait for the child to initiate the call for help or sympathy. Many a time we’ve seen a child go splat and we brace for the tears; but the child picks himself up and then steals a glance in our direction. If we look worried and rush forward, the child takes his cue from us and disintegrates. If we stay calm, the child will often ignore the owie and continue his play.
Preparing for a family trip, we had carefully chosen a seat on the airplane for our eleven-year-old daughter, Erin so that she could have a good view of the movie. When we got on the plane she was upset because she wasn’t sitting next to us. Instead of jumping into a tirade about her ingratitude, we listened to her reasoning and her explanation of why she was upset. She told us why she wanted to sit next to us. We listened sympathetically, but then tried to get her to realize that if she sat next to us she wouldn’t have a good view of the movie. As she continued to plead her case, we saw her start to discover that she had a better deal after all. We took the discussion out of the realm of conflict by simply stating, “You can choose where you want to sit.” Given the face-saving opportunity to make a choice, she chose the original seat.
Children, and adults, often need to express their negative feelings before they can solve their problem. Watch masterful negotiators. They first try to understand the other side’s viewpoint rather than making judgments about it. Next, they let the other person present his whole argument before offering a solution. Use similar strategies for helping a child work through her feelings. Give a child the opportunity to present her whole story. Listen attentively and match emotions with the child. Don’t jump right in with advice or solutions. If you are busy constructing your own arguments while the child is talking, she’ll know it. You won’t get her viewpoint and you won’t be able to help as effectively. Knowing when to speak and when to hold back is the key to being a good listener—and a good disciplinarian.
Avoid playing amateur psychiatrist. “And how does that make you feel?” older children, especially teenagers, sense when someone is fresh out of Psychology 101 or has just finished the latest discipline class. They may resent you trying some outsider’s methods on them; at best, they may find it embarrassing, at worst, infuriating. Personalize your approach; if you use tips from this site or another outside source, ease into them. Make them your own. Use your own words and your own style of communicating.
Avoid cover-ups. Shallow people shy away from deep relationships. If you are blessed with a deep-feeling child and you offer shallow responses, a distance is likely to develop between you. One day Erin’s bunny died. She was heartbroken, and shared her tragic discovery with me when I was busy. I should have focused first on her feelings, second on the bunny’s death, and third on my inconvenience. Instead I offered a lame, “We’ll get you another bunny.” That was a cover-up, a refusal to deal with deep feelings. Instead of addressing Erin’s sorrow, I offered an economic remedy, as if money could change her feelings. Besides encouraging her to stuff her feelings, this cover-up modeled shallow attitudes: we live in a disposable society where broken relationships can be quickly healed by buying new ones. It turned out that Erin’s sorrow was laden with guilt because the bunny didn’t have any water when he died, and giving him water had been her responsibility. It took some careful listening and empathetic counseling to help her work through these heavy feelings.
FEELING PUPPETS. Ideally, the way for children to deal with fears and feelings is to talk to you. In reality, children often clam up when asked “How do you feel?” Yet, they will often tell a go-between, such as a puppet or a favorite doll how they feel. Take one puppet yourself and give another to your child. The friend puppet asks your child’s puppet what he is feeling, and often your child will release his feelings through his puppet. These stand-ins are less threatening to your child if he worries that you might pass judgment on his feelings.
Empathy is part of the sensitivity that is at the heart of attachment parenting. True empathy means getting into the mind of your child, looking at the world from his viewpoint to see how he thinks and feels. Empathy is not the same as sympathy. Sympathy is feeling with a person. Empathy is feeling like the person. Logical responses will not take the place of empathy. Children are not logical. You can say that there is no such thing as a monster in the closet, but as long as the fear is real to your child, the logical explanation will do no good. Deal with the feelings first, to encourage your child to trust you, and then work in the logical explanation or the time-tested adult wisdom. This approach is valuable for both younger and older children. Before you can get through to them, they first have to believe that you truly understand (though not necessarily agree with) their point of view. Nothing bugs a preteen or teenager more than sensing that a parent does not understand his or her viewpoint. Try this method for being an empathetic listener:
• Acknowledge the child’s feelings. Instead of: “You don’t have to be afraid of that big dog,” say “That dog sure is big, and big dogs can be scary. Did his bark make you jump?”
• Mirror your child’s feelings with empathetic facial expressions.
• Listen empathetically while the child tells his feelings (but not when he screams, kicks, bites, or criticizes).
• Draw out the child’s explanation of why he feels the way he does.
The ability to get into the mind and behind the eyes of your child is a valuable tool for discipline. It starts early in infancy, as child and parent learn to understand each other’s body language. Being empathetic toward your child will give him the skills he needs to be empathetic toward others. Being able to read and understand interpersonal cues is the key to successful social living.

Source: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/6/t061600.asp

Wine lover’s choice – Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar – for the most impressive and practical wine list in the Philippines, over 2700 selections, enough to satisfy the most fastidious connoisseurs. Wine lovers and gourmand foodies from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Malaysia dine at Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar when they visit Philippines and bring home some rare vintage wines too.

An excellent wine list is not just about 1st growth and cult Cabernet but a seemingly unending selection of affordable aged vintage wines that are not available anywhere else, not even in the best wine shops around town. Yats Restaurant has just that.

Visitors to Clark Philippines and Angeles City no longer suffer from lack of choices for places to eat out or wine and dine. Clark Philippines reviewed over 50 establishments and came up with three top choices in guide to best restaurant in Clark Freeport

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Topping the list is the famous fine-dining Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar located inside Mimosa Leisure Estate of Philippines Clark Freeport.

This restaurant in Pampanga Philippines is highly recommended by food critics and frequent diners in Manila as a place to wine and dine in Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone. Although it is a famous fine dining restaurant with an award winning 3000-line restaurant wine list, Yats Restaurant is also a popular restaurant for family with children. Aside from French Mediterranean haute cuisine, this restaurant also serves healthy food and the best vegetarian cuisines in the Philippines.

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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

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