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The Magic of Catching the Beat

The Magic of Catching the Beat

Families lose their rhythm all the time. Each person in the house has a competing agenda, from the parent trying to keep up with work, down to the baby with a yo-yoing nap schedule. If it feels as though everyone is marching to a different drummer, it’s because everyone is.

Like a game of Candy Land or Chutes & Ladders, you might occasionally cross paths, keep pace together for a few strides, or spot one another on a bend on the path. You’ll get a temporary flush of satisfaction when this happens, but it’s only a matter of time before a split occurs again.

The emotional, physical and cognitive toll that comes from rhythmic discord in the family gets worse when it accumulates over time. Eventually, everyone needs to get back in sync. It’s not easy when so many tempos are playing at once. Luckily, one of the most valuable cures is 100% free and it can happen anywhere and at any time.

All it takes is pausing together to catch the same beat again. Sometimes, you have to give the process a little nudge. Reset the metronome to a cadence that works for the whole family. There are limitless ways to achieve this. And there’s only one rule: Do it together.

Put on your shoes and head out for a group walk. Have a family meeting to problem-solve a collective issue. Fix a bothersome household snafu as a team. Rearrange the playroom for fun. Play a game. Plan a family garden. Make art in unison.

Or very literally, put on some tunes when you’re together and let the beat seep into your family’s collective consciousness. Bonus points if you end up having a family dance party.

Your preferences will depend on your family. You can allocate 10 minutes or an entire day. The benefit is real no matter how you’re able to fit it in, but it works best when it happens with some regularity. So, go ahead and turn up that music every chance you get!

About the Author

 Kerry Galarza, MS OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist at the Midwest Institute & Center for Workplace Innovation. She provides specialized assessment and intervention with children of all ages and their families. Kerry engages clients with naturally occurring, meaningful home-based methods to empower autonomy and maximize functioning. 

What’s in Your Blind Spot?

What’s in Your Blind Spot?

You’re stuck. You found yourself locked into a stressful situation. Your kid is struggling and you don’t know why. You’re angry and frustrated. Or maybe sad and wanting escape. There’s a good chance you’re experiencing all of those things.

It’s hardest to see the path to resolution when stressed. We usually default to old habits and only see the obvious factors of the situation. Our kids didn’t come with manuals and even the best parents rely on trial-and-error. No one wants to screw up their kid.

Parenting is hard, and it’s so much harder when it feels like the sky is falling. But before you start yelling or hide in your closet with a week’s worth of chocolate, first hit the pause button. Then gently shift your position to see what’s hiding in your blind spot.

Broader environmental influences are masters at disguise. They’re good at becoming part of the scenery even while they’re playing havoc with your child. Try these examples on for size:

  • Your child’s routine is shifting under their feet. The rules that worked yesterday no longer apply.
  • Your family has other stressors, and your child is feeling the weight without understanding why. Kids have no way of knowing they are not the owner of a larger family problem.
  •  Your child’s internal environment is changing (illness, fatigue, developmental stops & starts) and he/she is busy playing catch up. There are so many variables in this human equation! 
  •  Your child is butting up against a misfit between task demands and their current abilities. Sometimes we have to regress in order to build the skills demanded by new challenges.

Acknowledging sneaky environmental influences on your child’s behavior can go a long way in getting yourself unstuck. You can’t fight an enemy you can’t see, so recognition really is half the battle. Once you have a better idea of what you’re working with, you can then begin to tackle the problem piece by piece. And… ‘poof,’…you’re no longer stuck!

About the Author

 Kerry Galarza, MS OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist at the Midwest Institute & Center for Workplace Innovation. She provides specialized assessment and intervention with children of all ages and their families. Kerry engages clients with naturally occurring, meaningful home-based methods to empower autonomy and maximize functioning. 

Understanding Your Child’s Behavior

Understanding Your Child’s Behavior

Is your child not listening, acting out, struggling at home or school?

Do you feel like nothing you have tried has worked?

 

JOIN US FOR A FREE SEMINAR

  • What your child is trying to communicate with their behavior
  • How to better manage your child’s behavior
  • How you and your child can cope with these challenges
  • How to improve your ability to communicate effectively with your child

SNACKS & REFRESHMENTS WILL BE PROVIDED

These tips and strategies are applicable to all ages from early childhood to adolescence, and apply to a variety of issues and behaviors.

Ready to save your spot?

 

When: Saturday, February 8, 2020

Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm

Where:  111 E. 1st Street, Ste #102, Elmhurst, IL

Facilitators: Dr. Nicole Francen, PsyD & Jennifer Lewis, MA, LPC, BCBA

Register by emailing: jlewis@newlinebehavioral.com or nfrancen.psyd@gmail.com

Social Skills Group: Ages 8-12

Social Skills Group: Ages 8-12

Ready to save your spot?

 

When: Thursdays at 4:30pm

Session 1: November 7, 14, 21; December 5, 12, 2019

Session 2: January 9, 16, 23, 30; February 6, 2020

Where:  111 E. 1st Street, Ste #102, Elmhurst, IL (Downtown Elmhurst)

Facilitator: Nicole Francen, Psy.D.

Register by emailing: nfrancen.psyd@gmail.com or 815-575-6084

Facilitated by:

Nicole Francen, Psy.D.

Dr. Nicole Francen is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a broad range of experience and a passion for working with children, adolescents, and transitional age youth. She specializes in working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families.

Dr. Francen earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Elmhurst College and her Master’s and Doctorate Degree from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. She completed an APA accredited internship at San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health in California and her Postdoctoral Fellowship at New Connections Academy in Palatine (a therapeutic day school for high functioning children on the Autism Spectrum).