OXYTOCIN

Oxytocin Parenting

This is an awesome responsibility. Luckily, it’s not that hard. Many of the things you naturally do to care for your child help shape a healthy oxytocin response.

But some common childrearing practices do more harm than good. These mistakes can train your baby to believe that the world is a scary, uncomfortable place. And these attitudes can persist throughout life, limiting your child’s ability to experience love, joy and connection.

Oxytocin Parenting is an approach that helps you use your natural inclinations to create a warm, safe connection with your baby and, as she grows, teach her how to love and trust appropriately and safely.

The book contrasts traditional views of parenting practices with the way Oxytocin Parenting views them.

You will learn to parent softly in a way that feels good to you and to your child.

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, expecting or raising a baby or toddler, then Oxytocin Parenting is for you!

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I encourage you to read this book Susan Kuchinskas and Brain Post

Jumping Teens

How to Guide Teens Through Loss and Grief

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Max Schwolert

I recently had the honor of talking to an intimate group of parents who where at a loss as to how to help their children cope with the loss of a friend, 17-year-old Max Schwolert, who died from complications of the flu during a holiday vacation. Those who knew Max, and those who never had the pleasure of meeting a Schwolert, had many questions. Only one being: “How can I help my child through this?”

As a parent or support person, you have the opportunity to gently guide your teenager in living with the loss, as I do not know one ever truly “gets over it.”

A loss of a friendship can be hard on a teenager, just as it can be on adults. It is important to validate your teen’s feelings of loss. In validating those feelings, you make it easier for him or her to share their stories about the friendship, the memories of happy and sad times. Bereaved children and teenagers will need ongoing attention, reassurance and support. It is not unusual for grief to resurface later on, even well after the death. This can happen as they move through different life milestones, and develop as individuals.

As a parent or support person, you have the opportunity to gently guide your teenager in living with the loss, as I do not know one ever truly “gets over it.” Many teenagers feel guilty because their friend died; yet they have a chance at life and graduation, and romance, and experiences, and even new friendships.

One thing that is very important for parents to know is: When your children are grieving and crying, your job is not to fix them. It is natural to want to make their crying stop, but this desire really is more about your pain because it hurts you to see your children cry. But, your job is not to make their pain go away, but to walk hand-in-hand with your child so they can learn to work through this pain. In other words, you have to honor your child’s feelings and allow them to have them so they can learn to process and express a range of emotions, and react in appropriate ways in emotional situations.

Parents also need to realize that, in your intention to fix them, you send the message that you don’t see them, and they therefore do not feel heard by you—this “not being seen and heard by you” can lead to a fight. This is because you have failed to understand your child’s real point and their thoughts or feelings underlying that point. I recommend you quit trying to fix your children and start communicating that you believe in them.

When your child is crying or upset and you don’t know what to do, stop and take a moment to reflect what you are seeing in your child. For example you could say, “You’re really angry. You want this to be over because this is really bothering you.” This will let your child know they are being heard and touched.

It’s also good to ask your children, “What do you need from me now?” Then, if your child just needs you to listen, they can say, “I just need you to listen.” Or if your child wants you to take some action, then they are able to tell you what action to take. This helps them feel like they have some control because death makes all of us feel out of control.

The bottom line is: Don’t fix your children. Instead help them learn how to feel and appropriately express their feelings. As parents, we can teach and guide our children to handle their emotions in ways that validates their feelings, while fostering healthy interactions with the world. In fact, emotional regulation is essential for children’s overall wellbeing.

Remember you’re the most important person to them as their parent and they just want you to walk with them on this journey.

On the flip side, it’s also okay for parents to cry and grieve in front of their children. While you may think you need to hide your pain from them, crying actually allows you to honor yourself and to feel your feelings. It’s okay to feel your pain because we all have to go through the struggle before we can come out on the other side.

The Struggle to Become a Butterfly 

There is a well-known story about a man who tried to help a butterfly out of its cocoon by slitting the cocoon open. The butterfly that emerged had small, unformed wings, and died soon after. What the man didn’t realize is the butterfly needed the struggle out of the cocoon to force the fluid into its wings; to stretch and open them so that the butterfly could fly. By trying to shortcut the process, the man had instead doomed the creature.

I use this story to illustrate that, while it’s hard to watch someone you love struggle, sometimes we need to learn to wait and let the process unfold on its own.

Remember: WITHOUT THE STRUGGLE, THERE ARE NOT WINGS!

If God allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. We would never be able to fly.

How To Help Your Teens

  • Be honest and let them know what’s happening
  • Be willing to listen, and available to talk about whatever they need to talk about
  • Acknowledge the emotions they may be feeling—fear, sadness, anger
  • It can be helpful for parents, or other adults, to share their own feelings regarding the loss
  • Frequently reassure them they are safe, who is caring for them, and which adults they can trust to ask for further support
  • Keep routines and normal activities going as much as possible
  • Talk to them about grief – what it is, that it’s normal, that everyone is different
  • Avoid expectations of adult behavior – allow them to be the age and stage they are and encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings – give them ideas of things they could try, such as doing physical activities, writing, singing, listening to music, talking with friends, reading etc.
  • Allow questions and provide honest answers
  • Comfort them with hugs, cuddles, holding their hand, and by encouraging them
  • Speak calmly and gently to them – and be calm around them
  • Talk about death together; answer any questions they may have
  • Let them help in planning the funeral or something to remember the loss

IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE WHEN YOUR TEENAGER IS STRUGGLING WITH THE LOSS MORE THAN WHAT IS NORMAL.

Recognizing the symptoms is one way of helping your teenager deal with the loss such as: 

  • Teenagers can experience symptoms of depression and have angry outbursts.
  • They can also be at the opposite end of the spectrum by showing a lack of emotions and feeling numb.
  • There can be problems in school with failing grades or delinquent behaviors.
  • Further symptoms showing difficulty processing the loss might include personality changes, self-destructive behaviors (drinking, drugs, etc.), withdrawal and isolation, or even suicidal thoughts.

While this is not an all-inclusive list of symptoms, it does give you an idea of how hard the loss of an important relationship can be on a teenager. If you are concerned about any extreme reactions, or if you think the young person may have become depressed, contact your doctor or other trained adviser, such as a counselor, senior staff member from their school, social worker, community or youth worker or a local family support agency.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group you can contact her at: 214-499-0396, Kay@KayTrotter.com or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com

blessing kelly emery

I Offer This Blessing—To Bless The Wonderful Person So Worthy Of Love That YOU Are

As I sit here pondering the past year and reflecting on my life and the treasures bestowed to me and the ones yet to come, I find that I am grateful for it all. For the joys and for the sorrows, for without these experiences I would not be the person I am today. Through the losses in my life’s journey amidst the pain and tears I also was blessed to discover that the ONLY thing important in life is the relationships we have with each other—our connectedness with loved ones. Everything else is just stuff.

So, with this in mind I “Send Blessings Out Into The Universe With Your Name…….I offer this Blessing—for you. My hope is that you will embrace and “recognize your infinite good which is part of the very fabric of the universe.” I also pray that you send out blessings wherever  you go and these beautiful words on the gentle art of blessing written by Pierre Pradervand is a wonderful example of how to bless others in your everyday life. - Dr. Kay Trotter

Be sure to also watch this beautiful video “The Gentle Art of Blessing” where  Janes Joy brings Pierre’s words to life with music and wonderful photo’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WegAgepCYfo

“The Simple Art of Blessing” by Pierre Pradervand 





On awakening, bless your day as it is already overflowing with an abundance of goods that show your blessings. For bless means to recognize the infinite good which is part of the very fabric of the universe. He expects us to sign a manifest.

People crossing the street, on the bus, at your place of work, bless them all. The peace of your blessing will be the companion of their way and will have a discreet fragrance light their way. Bless those you encounter in their health, their work, their joy, their relationship to God, to themselves and others. Bless them in their abundance and their finances. Bless them in every way conceivable, because such blessings not only sow the seeds of healing but one day, like so many flowers burst forth with joy in the arid areas of your life.

blessing sunflowerAs you walk, bless your village or city, those who govern and its teachers, its nurses and street sweepers, its priests and prostitutes. At the very moment someone expresses any aggression, anger or lack of kindness towards you, respond with a blessing silent. Bless them totally, sincerely, joyfully, for such blessings are a shield that protects you from the ignorance of their misdeeds, and diverts the arrow that is sent to you.

To bless means to wish and want unconditionally, totally and unreservedly good unlimited – for others and the events of life – drawing on sources deepest and most intimate of your being. This means reverence and awe with a total look that is always a gift from the Creator and that whatever appearances. One that is supported by your blessing is set apart, consecrated the world.

orchrid blessBless everything and everyone, without discrimination, is the ultimate form of giving, because those you bless will never know from where does this sudden ray of sunshine broke through the clouds of their skies, and you will rarely witnessed in this light their lives.

When, in your day, some unexpected upsets you you as far as your plans, burst into blessing, because life is going to teach you a lesson, even if the cut may seem bitter. For this event you believe to be undesirable if you have in fact created, in order to learn the lesson that you escape if you hesitate to bless him. Events are blessings hidden and cohorts of angels follow their footsteps.

To bless means to recognize beauty everywhere hidden from material eyes. This is to enable the universal law of attraction, from the depths of the universe, will bring into your life exactly what you need in the moment to grow, grow, and fill the cup of your joy.

When you pass a prison, bless its people in their innocence and their freedom, their goodness, their pure essence and unconditional forgiveness. Because we can only prisoner of the image we have of ourselves, and a free man can walk without chains in the courtyard of a prison, as well as citizens of a free country may be trapped when fear lurks in their minds.

blessing ButterflyWhen you pass a hospital, bless its patients in the fullness of their health, because even in their suffering and disease, this fullness is just waiting to be discovered. And when you see someone crying or seemingly broken by life, bless it in its vitality and joy for the senses do not show that the inverse of the splendor and ultimate perfection that only the inner eye can perceive .

It is impossible to bless and judge at the same time. Then hold in the desire to bless you as an incessant inner resonance and as a perpetual silent prayer for you and those are the peacemakers, and one day, you will discover all the face of God.

 - Pierre Pradervand

PS And above all, do not forget to bless this wonderful person, totally beautiful in its true nature, and so worthy of love that YOU are.

http://vivreautrement.org

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group you can contact her at: 214-499-0396, Kay@KayTrotter.com or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com

tamberly

Gratitude and Praise to Teachers

As everyone heads back to school, I would like to take a moment to give Praise and Gratitude to all the Teachers that parents have entrusted to care for their most precious children.

All of us know first hand the impact teachers had on us growing up, but few of us know the loving sacrifice teachers freely make on a daily basis.

For the past four years, I have had the honor of a “backstage pass” into the real lives of teachers because I’ve watched my daughter, Kelly, serve as an elementary school teacher. Through her experience, I have personally witnessed the joys teaching has brought to her and I also understand the stressful challenges she has to balance in her life.

When I began writing this, I was instantly taken back to the year Kelly’s class had five special needs students she lovingly called “her boys.” When you entered Kelly’s classroom that year, you not only saw and heard 20+ students clamoring for attention, seeking answers to questions and desiring guidance – all of which every teacher faces daily – you also got a glimpse into the very different world of Autism as it walked hand-in-hand with a mainstream classroom. Kelly soon found herself performing a daily dance that combined the needs of her regular students with the poor communication skills, social awareness and behavioral characteristics of Autism. The tapestry woven between teacher and students was amazing – but it came at the price of stressful days, emotional exhaustion and tremendous fatigue . . . A price I know Kelly would lovingly pay again. Objectively, teaching has got to be one of the top 5 most stressful careers in the world.

Comedian Bill Cosby knows the importance of teachers and, in fact, attributes his own phenomenal success to a teacher. As a sixth-grade student in Philadelphia, he was inspired by his teacher, Mary Forchic, to follow his dreams of becoming an entertainer. Recognizing his natural storytelling abilities, she suggested “you should become either a lawyer or an actor because you lie so well.” Forchic has remained one of Cosby’s lifelong friends and Cosby has devoted a great deal of his time to ensure that all children have the opportunity to benefit from teachers like Forchic.  We could all follow Cosby’s lead and express our gratitude for the enormous contributions that dedicated teachers make to our childrens’ lives and to our community.

So many teachers are at school early and stay late, they correct papers and plan instruction on evenings and weekends — working hard to meet the educational needs of students, some of whom struggle to make progress despite the stress of life. Teachers also buy materials with money from their own pockets and volunteer their time to attend school carnivals and sporting events while also attending workshops and training to continually develop their own skills. I assure you they don’t do all this for the money.

They do it because they care about your child.

As another school year gets underway, now is an appropriate time to remind everyone to continuously thank the effective and dedicated teachers in our schools.

Yes, teachers make all the difference.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about her counseling practice, you can contact her at: Kay@KayTrotter.com214-499-0396, or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com.

Dr Trotter also post regularly in her FaceBook fan page http://www.facebook.com/DrKaySudekumTrotter.

praying

My Spiritual Journey: Counselor—Faith—Intuition

Part 5 of My Spiritual Journey: Counselor—Faith—Intuition

July 2, 2009

Today as I sat meditating I realized that another message I received yesterday is that God has a very important mission for me. Yes, it will change my life greatly, and it will also change the lives of many others. But I already knew that, right? So, what is the problem?

Surrender is the problem or lack of surrendering really. I need to surrender this to God and start doing his work. Knowing deep down in my being that when I go out on faith — when I own my healing power — God will be there and to take care of me. BUT my ego has got to get out of the way.

Great, you’re saying. How in the heck do I get my headstrong crazy ego to leave, or just chill out? Well, yesterday I finally heard the answer, and it actually is simple. It’s something that I’ve heard for years, but I guess I really did not truly hear it. It’s prayer. It’s asking specifically for God’s guidance. Asking for God to help me. So, in essence when we pray to God, asking Him to come into our lives and guide us, what we really are doing is two-fold. First, by “asking” we are giving God and all His angles permission to be with us. To interact on our benefit. To change the course of things. To be our companion. To work hand and hand with us throughout our lives.

I did not realize that because of the free will God gave us, without us asking God to guide us, he couldn’t. What irony is that?

All those years when I was a volunteer in youth group and people would ask me how I felt about abortion, I would tell them I am pro-choice. Boy, what violent and confused reactions I would get. Then I simply would ask them this question: “What is one of the greatest gifts God has given us?” The answer, of course, is “free will.” It is this gift of free will that requires us to ask God to guide us. Until we specifically ask, all God can do is sit back and love us.

The other thing that happens when we “ask” God is that through our asking, He now is in charge, and our ego can be removed. Once our ego is out of the picture, our fears lessen. Why? Because we are not in control – God is. Remember, we asked God to guide our steps, and to be in charge. We turned our troubles over to him. How cool is that.

Of course our domineering, blood sucking ego has a hard time staying out of things, so it becomes a process of assuring our ego — like little children —that everything will be okay. So during this discovery I wrote down some prayers and affirmations to help me ask God specifically to guide me on this spiritual journey.

Affirmation
I am surrounded by the pure white light of God
For love, guidance and protection
Only good shall go from me;
Only good shall come to me.
I give thanks, I give thanks, I give thanks.

Things to remember or focus on:
Guide me, God so I can be of spiritual service.
I must ask for God’s guidance and direction everyday in my life.
I must ask for spiritual assistance to come into my life.
I need to focus on the promise of what is coming (this helps keep my ego in check).

With all this in mind I came up with my daily prayer.

My Daily Prayer
Thank you, God, for calling me to be of spiritual service to you,
And for giving me this time to reflect and become whole.
Please guide me in doing the best possible actions each day.
Please send me people who will help me fulfill Your mission for me in this lifetime.

faith

God’s Compassionate Touch

Part 3 of My Spiritual Journey: Counselor—Faith—Intuition

June 22, 2009

As I continue to read today God was not finished with me yet. Even thou the sun threatens to run me off my patio, He has more He needs to tell me—more I need to hear. To start I guess I need to share with you the words I underlined in the book God has chosen for me to start my spiritual journey, well one of the books anyway. God actually has me reading four books at the moment. Each for a different purposes each with a different meaning. As a side note I do find it important to share that this poor little dyslexia girl has NEVER read more than one book at time before now. Well anyway here are the words that spoke to me today. They seem to center around two themes compassion and wounded spirit, they are:

  • People longed for His compassionate touch
  • Each who came was touched
  • And each one was changed
  • Compassionate touch
  • That one touch changed their life forever
  • He extended his hand, palm forward
  • Isolate their wounded
  • He was put outside the village
  • Infected by this fear of rejection and their memories of the last time they tired. They choose not to be touched at all. Rather than RISK being hurt again
  • Before He spoke, I knew He cared
  • I will never forget the One who dared to touch me

This last one did it —God is now yelling at me saying “Kay don’t you get it!” “I want YOU to dare to touch my children completely with all of your being and all of your spirit. And I God will not only show you how (even though you already know how) I will be there to hold you –because I know you think you will fail you think you will fall. But I God knows better. I know that this is only your fear talking because I God know you won’t fall, that you won’t fail; that you will achieve all that I have planned for you to be. I want you Kay to touch my children to honor me by honoring them to validate me by validating them, to christen them in the Glory of Christ. Yours is the Power of the Godly touch.”

As a side note while I re-read what I wrote today God wanted me to change what I wrote. You see as I penned the bullet points above I put the word God in parenthesis. Now God is telling me to remove the parenthesis. He wanted me to own that it is Kay doing the touching, and to stop deflecting by saying it was God. He wants me to truly embrace and own the power that God has given me. Yes, God is working through me but I have to own my part totally and right now in this moment in time — that’s kind of scary for me —

mind body spirit

My Spiritual Journey: Counselor—Faith—Intuition

My Spiritual Journey: Counselor—Faith—Intuition

June 8, 2009

I can feel myself beginning to question my new commitment to combine all three elements of who I am – the clinical counselor, the Christ-centered religious person, and the spiritually intuitive woman who receives flashes of guidance and clarity – in all aspects of my professional and personal life.

How quickly my memory fades; how quickly I forget the depth of my recent insight, my direction, my new resolve. I do remember how strongly I felt those things I wrote about only two days ago. I remember the tears wetting my face and the tension in my forehead as I embraced the decision to integrate these three parts of my inner core.  But just as powerful as my desire to be “whole” is my mind and body’s overwhelming need to protect me, caution me against standing out, and urge me to maintain the status quo. “Be normal!” is the message from my inner critic.  “No one else ever talks about a burning need to combine clinical, religious and intuitive insight!”

My brain threatens to erase the cognitive connection I came to, and make me soften my writing, my journey’s foot prints, rendering me stuck in non-change—keeping myself unchanged. What a powerful tool this inner conflict provides me to experience first hand how my clients interact with me, and how they feel about the guidance I provide to them daily. I feel just how difficult change can be—even willing, desperate change.

The struggle to open myself up and share these spiritual and intuitive dimensions of my life with others continues to plague me. The desire to be known, to be loved is there — but I quickly close off when I feel even the possibility of the judgment and criticism of others, especially those who are close to me, those whom I love the most.  I know it hurts them, too, when they see how alive I can be, but that I choose not to share that part of me with them. Do they not see that they can’t have it both ways? They can’t effectively shut me down one moment, and then expect me to continue to open my world to them. This is something to this day I have not learned to do. So I fracture myself sharing just those pieces of me they can handle, and not sharing the other pieces of me that they can’t understand or deal with — or should I just exclude them all together and go it alone?

In a way this is part of what my spiritual journey is about; learning how not to “go it alone.” Learning how to put myself out there and stand in my truth, not only with my family (who are the scariest because I have the most to loose with them) but also with everyone with whom I come into contact. I fear that the people at my church, who I do not really know, will make fun of me, or think I am some kind of psychic nut job. I agonize about how my clients will react – the very people I help navigate the level of their own openness and desire to be touched.

My clients perhaps are the least of my fears, because God sent them to me, and they are ready, open and relieved when I talk about what others shy away from. They have had experiences that can’t be explained through traditional, clinical logic, and they have questions that can’t be answered through traditional, clinical logic, either. Not only do I talk about what others consider psychic babble when my clients bring it up, but also I act as if it’s the most normal everyday occurrence, because for me, it truly is. I only wish I could let my family in on this element of my life—my journey. Perhaps God will show me how, or place the desire and openness in them to explore this and not be threatened or fearful. As I walk were He sends me, as I talk to those He brings to me, to I hope all will be made clear.

— Kay

meditating

Does your child or you rely on others to soothe them?

Does your child or you rely on others to soothe them, and seek soothing in food, toys, or activities of distraction?

Does you or your child resort to “Someone PLEASE soothe me”

mode, turning turn to relationships, activities, and things to comfort them. It is important to remember efforts spent on teaching yourself and your child skills of self-soothing can pay off today … and way into tomorrow.

The Struggle to Become a Butterfly: A True Story

A family in my neighborhood once brought in two cocoons that were just about to hatch. They watched as the first one began to open and the butterfly inside squeezed very slowly and painfully through a tiny hole that it chewed in one end of the cocoon. After lying exhausted for about 10 minutes following its agonizing emergence, the butterfly finally flew out the open window on its beautiful wings.

The family decided to help the second butterfly so that it would not have to go through such an excruciating ordeal. So, as it began to emerge, they carefully sliced open the cocoon with a razor blade, doing the equivalent of a Caesarean section. The second butterfly never did sprout wings, and in about 10 minutes, instead of flying away, it quietly died.

The family asked a biologist friend to explain what had happened. The scientist said that the difficult struggle to emerge from the small hole actually pushes liquids from deep inside the butterfly’s body cavity into the tiny capillaries in the wings, where they harden to complete the healthy and beautiful adult butterfly.

Remember: WITHOUT THE STRUGGLE, THERE ARE NO WINGS!

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about her counseling practice, you can contact her at: Kay@KayTrotter.com214-499-0396, or visit her web site http://www.KayTrotter.com.

Dr Trotter also post regularly in her FaceBook fan page http://www.facebook.com/DrKaySudekumTrotter.