Support Group Wisdom

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | August 20, 2014

This child will not throw a tantrum at his prom – it absolutely will not happen.

The Parents Anonymous Group was a wealth of information; I wonder how I could ever have managed without it and the members. Here are a few quick tips that I learned in group that helped me many times:

Nothing lasts forever.

Change is inevitable… except when you have a toddler that throws tantrums and every tantrum seems to last forever.

Many members in my group went through tough situations; the operative word is through. There is a transformation in which parents get from one difficult event and moved into another, hopefully, less stressful time.

Here are a few situations that parents will (probably) get through with kids:

• Not wanting to bathe
• Throwing food
• Enjoying bodily functions like farting, picking noses and eating boogers
• Not liking the opposite sex
• Not liking siblings
• Refusing to go to school
• Eating the same food at every meal
• Saying “I hate you”
• Watching the same movie over and over

You get the message. It may not be easy and, in fact, some things can be very upsetting but nothing is forever. Chelsey once forgot how to eat and breathe at the same time and our mealtimes became chaotic for a short time.

The key for parents is this: You will not be dealing with this at prom time. Have you ever seen a 17-year-old pitching a fit getting into the limo (or the family car)? Situations will change. It may get easier or harder but it will not stay the same.

Mothers and fathers think differently.

This is how fathers get into trouble: Mothers relate to their male partners about her concerns about their child while fathers listen intently (or pretend to). The mother pauses.

Fathers are fixers but sometimes there is nothing to fix and mothers share information whether it is needed or not.

Dad says to her, “So what do you want me to do?”

Mom frowns and responds, “You were not listening!”

We look at things differently. Fathers are fixers; they listen for directions or to see what the mothers want them to do. Mothers tell the dads about situations or something she has noticed with their child and she may only want to share information.

Smiling, mom says, “Robbie picked up the paper that Jill dropped and ran to return it to her.”

Mom looks at Robbie’s father and he instantly thinks he missed something (or was not listening).

Puzzled, dad says, “Yeah, so Robbie took it to her, what do you want me to do?”

There is nothing that needs to be done, nothing to be fixed. Mom noticed that their son is growing up and showing empathy; she is sharing information. When mothers (and fathers) understand this we get along much better.

Remember that the dads are the fixers and that there are times, though, when something just needs to be fixed.

You always have choices.

We cannot choose our genes but most things in life we can; thinking we have no choice causes unneeded stress.

We cannot choose our parents, our eye color or the weather but we can make choices most everything else.

When children are young we give them choices to calm and empower them. Guess what? As adults we still have choices even though we often tell ourselves that we ‘must’ do this or ‘have to’ do something else. Pressure and anxiety come from believing we have no choices or that we are boxed in.

With choices come consequences or results of our choices; weighing consequences can help us decide which choice is best. Thinking about choices and perhaps jotting them down on paper can help erase ‘musts’ and put the power to weigh our options back into our hands.

Don’t hold on to those tips, share them with others!

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Joel Kramer Under Flicker/CC License.
PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Ed Yourdon Under Flicker/CC License.
PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of victoriabernal Under Flicker/CC License.

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

New Jersey 24-Hour Family Helpline: 1-800-THE-KIDS

Parents Anonymous® of New Jersey, Inc.
Phone: (609) 585-7666
Fax: (609) 585-7686

Join the Online Support Group
Wednesdays 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST
Thursdays 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST

Facebook: Parent Rap – Soup To Nuts

Parents Anonymous® Inc.
Phone: (909) 621-6184
Fax: (909) 621-0614

National Parent Helpline
1-855-4A PARENT OR 1-855-427-2736
Hours: Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST

About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
This entry was posted in Communication, Parenting, Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Support Group Wisdom

  1. kcg1974 says:

    A fantastic post, Jackie. I don’t know what I would have done without my own, “Parent’s Support Group” back in my day. They got me through some really tough times. Great points you hit on, but also wonderful to let others know these groups are available. Thank you!


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Thank you for that lovely comment! You touch on an issue that many parents deal with in our transient society. Many do not have the links of family or community like folks did many years ago. That was our “support group!” Moving to another state I had nobody to talk with or go to so I was very lucky to have stumbled on Parents Anonymous in New Jersey. The members became my family. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts and ideas!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s