Tag Archive for anxiety

Don’t Make Children Prisoners…Set Them Free

I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I repeated out loud what I had read. Nope…can’t believe my ears either. But it’s true. Prison inmates in an Indiana maximum security facility are guaranteed two hours of outdoor time every day; but a survey completed in 2016 found three-quarters of children in the UK spend less time than those inmates outside each day. Half of the children didn’t even spend an hour outside each day. Twenty percent (that’s 1 in 5) didn’t even play outside at all on an average day! (More in Children Spend Less Time Outside Than Prison Inmates and Three-Quarters of UK Children Spend Less Time Outdoors Than Prison Inmates—Survey.) I imagine these numbers are very similar in the US.  In fact, a study in 2018 found that children spend an average of 10.6 hours on outdoor play per week (Study: Despite Known Benefits, Kids Are Playing Less). That is only 1.5 hours per day. Our children spend less time outside than prisoners even though outdoor play helps relieve stress, teach safety, and increase immunity (Who Needs a Prescription for Play).

It gets worse. Our children’s free time has decreased in the last 50 years. Take the time between 1981 and 1997. Children spent 18% more time in school, 145% more time doing schoolwork, and 168% more time shopping with parents (Read more in All Work & No Play: Why Your Kids are More Anxious, Depressed). Unstructured play time has decreased even though research suggests children need twice as much unstructured play time as structured time (The Decline of Unstructured Play). Once again, our children have become the prisoners to the structures imposed on them. They miss out on the free, unstructured time that allows them to grow and learn.

One last comparison…our children grow increasingly isolated from supportive, non-parental adults as they progress through school. Rather than have a single teacher for most of the day, our children gain a “revolving cast of characters” in their lives as they switch to a new teacher every hour. This change occurs when our children are going through the massive changes of adolescence and they most need the support of caring adults. (Teen Suicides Are on the Rise.)  In effect, they become less isolated from caring adults and more involved with peers struggling with the same issues and who have the same lack of experience as they do. Our children need us.

The big question I had to ask myself as I contemplated these “prisoner comparisons” is: what can we do to break our children out of this prison? Thankfully, there are ways to do it. 

  • Encourage your children to engage in unstructured, self-directed play with peers. Learn the benefits of such unstructured time in How to Spend Quality Time with Your Children.
  • Encourage outdoor play. Outdoor play can accomplish great things. For instance, even risky outdoor play plays a purpose, helping to overcome anxiety…so Let Them Take a Risk.
  • Limit screen time. Limiting screen time can increase levels of happiness and increase our ability to  understand nonverbal communications and recognize emotions in others (See Just So You Know: Screen Time & Teen Happiness).
  • Provide opportunities for your children to build relationships with trusted adults outside the immediate family. In fact, It Takes a Village to raise a child.

Break your children out of prison…beginning right now!

The Burden of a Smartphone

It has happened to me several times now. I meet a child in fifth, sixth, or seventh grade who is exhausted, depressed, and ready for a rest.  After a few questions I discover they do not go to sleep until 2, 3, or even 4 o’clock in the morning! Why? Because they are “on their phone texting friends and playing games.” These experiences, combined with an exert (A Smartphone Will Change Your Child in Ways You Might Not Expect or Want) from Naomi Schaefer Riley’s new book Be the Parent: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat, increased my understanding of the smartphone as a burden for our children. Yes, giving a preteen or teen a smartphone places a burden on them. We, as parents, need to know that burden and establish parameters to teach them how to manage that burden. How is a smartphone a burden?

  • When children receive a smartphone they move into a culture of “24/7 popularity competition” in the words of Anderson Cooper in the documentary Being Thirteen. They begin to judge their popularity on likes and shares. They see posts in which their friends are having fun without them, maybe even during an activity to which they were not even invited. Selfies and group selfies taken during “fun activities” engaged in “without me” raise thoughts of “not being popular enough.” “Maybe they don’t even like me” and “why are they hanging out with them after what they did to me” are thoughts that cross many a preteen’s mind as they see pictures of their peers having fun without them. Loneliness increases. Feelings of isolation can even flood over many a teen in this situation.
  • At the same time, it becomes more difficult to avoid the drama of the preteen and teen life. “Who said what about whom,” “who does what,” and “who does what with whom” flood the digital airways, popping up on phones 24/7. It’s hard for your teen to go into their room and “get away from it all” because “it all” follows them wherever they take their phones.
  • This also means news is constantly at their fingertips. News of school shootings, Korean bomb threats, police brutality, catastrophic tsunamis in distant lands, and threats of political upheaval in countries they may have never heard of pop up on their phone at all hours of the day. And, little to no positive headlines pop up on the news.  Instead, a steady stream of random “breaking news” pops up with no coherent story behind them. This constant stream of disconnected catastrophes can overwhelm our children with information, increasing their level of anxiety.
  • This constant flow of information includes texts, snapchats, and instagram pics from friends as well. Our children feel obligated and pressured to respond to texts and other digital “pokes” that pop up on their phone. They fear their friends will accuse them of “ignoring” them if they do not answer immediately. And, they feel ignored if their friends do not respond to them immediately. Imagine the pressure of needed to respond to others every minute of every day no matter your current activity.

These are only four ways in which a smartphone becomes a burden that can increase our children’s sense of exhaustion, pressure, anxiety, and depression. It also raises concern for their safety from predators and bullies or the pressure to look “perfect” in the selfie. So, what’s a parent to do? Parents can help their children learn to manage this burden by establishing limits for cell phone usage. Here are a few ideas to help.

  1. Learn the phone settings. Determine which “pop ups” and notifications your child needs and which just cause more stress. Turn off unnecessary notifications.
  2. Do not let your child charge their phone in the bedroom. Instead, plug it in overnight to charge in the kitchen or in your bedroom. It is easier to not respond to a peer’s text because “my mom has the phone after 9” than ignoring it when it is charging next to “my bed.”
  3. During dinner and family meals enjoy one another’s company. No phones allowed. No texting. No checking email. No checking Facebook or Instagram. No reading “pop ups” and notifications. Put the phone someplace else and enjoy one another’s company.
  4. Enjoy one another during family outings too. No responding to texts. No checking Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media app. Leave the phones in a purse, backpack, or pocket and enjoy the company of the people you are with.
  5. Parents maintain access to the phones their children use. Our children may manage the phone very well but find themselves bullied through the phone or sent inappropriate pics through the phone. So, parents need to have full access. That means parents know the passwords for their children’s phones. And, parents check their children’s phones from time to time.  A good time to check the phone is when it is charging in the kitchen overnight. Any inappropriate materials will need to be discussed with the child who uses the phone.

What other limits might help ease the burden of a Smartphone?

A Daily Activity to Decrease Anxiety

Want to reduce anxiety and family stress? I learned a surprising way to do it. A study by Adam Hanley has documented a daily activity that reduces anxiety by 27%! This same activity increased “mental inspiration” in his test group by 25%. And, all this happened in response to a simple six minute activity—washing dishes! Wait, don’t quit reading yet. I know it sounds crazy; and, truthfully, it did include a little more than “just” washing dishes. Mother And Son Doing LaundryLet me explain. In this study, two groups were asked to wash dishes. One performed the six-minute task in the usual way. They simply washed the dishes and let their mind wander from distraction to distraction. The second group was encouraged to focus on the sensory experience of washing dishes. They were told to focus on the smell of the soap, the feel and shape of the dishes, the sensation of the water and soap on their hands, etc.  Doing the dishes in this manner, a “mindful manner,” resulted in the positive impact. It increased the perception of time slowing down, an enjoyable perspective for all of us who feel rushed. Focusing on the here and now sensations of washing dishes also decreased anxiety by 27% and increased “mental inspiration” by 25% compared to the control group.

 

This study focused on dishwashing, but the results suggest that performing any household task in a “mindful manner” (one in which you focus on the here and now sensations) may have a similar effect. Prior to this study, mindful activities have been shown to decrease negative moods and contribute to improved sleep. This study suggests mindful activities also give the pleasurable sensation of time slowing down, decreasing anxiety, and increasing mental inspiration. With all these benefits, why not make it a point to be mindful during all your household chores? While you’re at it, teach your kids to complete chores in a mindful manner. Imagine…a family that completes simple household tasks while focusing on the here and now sensations of that task, will become less anxious, less moody, filled with more mental inspiration, and find they sleep better. Sounds like a good deal to me!

The Absolutely Essential Battle for Successful Parents

I’m sure you have heard someone say “You have to pick your battles” when it comes to parenting. It’s true. Sometimes it’s not worth the battle to make our children wear matching socks and tie their shoes when we have to wage battle to make them wear modest clothes. We do not want to force a victory in the small battles only to harm our parent-child relationship and lose the greater battle for maturity. Some battles just aren’t worth fighting. Of course, other battles are definitely worth the fight. Some battles must be won if we are to help our children become mature adults. Ironically, the most essential and difficult battle that successful parents wage has nothing to do with our children’s behavior.  No, the most difficult battle we encounter as parents involves a far more alarming enemy—ourselves. That’s right. military policeSuccessful parents battle with an internal enemy. We come face to face with the enemy of our own impatience. We battle to overcome our impatience while repeatedly addressing the same problem behaviors over and over again (wait a second, was that repetitive?). We battle our impatience early in our parenting career by watching the same shows and movies time after time after time during our children’s preschool years.  We continue to battle impatience by changing our expectations to match our child’s developmental abilities and accepting that part of our duty as parents is to continually repeat requests, household expectations, and simple routines.

 

We also wage war with our self-centered desires. Our self-centeredness raises its ugly head when we demand everyone watch “my TV show” or when we demand that our children enjoy the activities “we” enjoy. Perhaps the most dangerous attack of self-centeredness comes when we expect our children to promote our status as a “good parent” who has a “good kid,” a “sport’s star,” a “smart kid,” or an “excellent musician” and got into a “good college” with a “good scholarship” as a result.  In our self-centeredness, we might expect our children to promote our status by “never throwing a tantrum,” “never getting in trouble,” always being the “perfect child” with multiple talents and an excellent academic standing. But, our children do not have the role of making us look good. Their job is not to make us feel good. Thinking they have that role is the epitome of self-centeredness. We battle our self-centeredness by allowing our children to be children, misbehavior and all. We continue the battle by allowing our children to discover their own interests (even if they are different than our own) and accepting the joy of having wonderfully average children.

 

Successful parents also look directly into the monstrous eyes of worry and anxiety. We battle to not let our anxieties rule our parenting decisions. If worry informs our parenting and anxiety guides our decisions, we will create a legalistic prison of rules and demands for our children. The rules and demands we develop in response to fear will push grace out of our relationship. Our children will eventually rebel against our rules to assert their independence. So, successful parents look squarely into the eyes of worry and respond with confident grace. We battle against anxieties by nurturing interactive relationships filled with trust. We conquer fears by giving our children meaningful roles in the family and responsibilities to complete various duties independent of us…duties like chores around the house and “age appropriate self-management tasks” like waking up and getting dressed for school independently…from an early age.

 

Successful parents also battle against the strong pull of self-doubt. Nothing will raise self-doubt like becoming a parent. Every decision seems to raise doubts about our adequacy and wisdom. We battle those doubts by seeking the counsel of others who have already raised children successfully. We surround ourselves with wise counsel and loving support.

 

We will also find ourselves standing on the edge of awkward situations, thrown into moments of embarrassment while raising our children. You know the times I speak of—times when your child throws a tantrum at the mall or, worse yet, in front of your parents; times when your child stands up in the middle of a crowd and begins to do something inappropriate, even though they do so in innocence; times when your child blurts out an embarrassing comment. The list goes on. We battle that embarrassment with the realization that our children are their own person. Our worth does not rest upon our children’s childish moments…after all, they are children. We need not lose the battle to embarrassment; we simply use those moments of immature behavior as opportunities to calmly and patiently teach our children more appropriately behavior.

 

Yes, as parents we must pick our battles. And, the most important battle for us to pick is the battle with our selves—our impatience, our self-centeredness, our worry, our self-doubt, and our embarrassment. As our children witness our victory in these battles, they too will grow more mature.

Bless Your Family With Worry-Free Living

I don’t know about you, but I can let excessive worries run away with me. In fact, I have to work at keeping those nasty worries at bay so they don’t interfere with my marriage, my family, and my life. If you’re not sure if worries interfere with your family life, read Worry Killed the Family…you might be surprised. In the meantime, here are six ways to replace worry with peace, anxiety with joy, and apprehension with intimacy.
     1.      Write 5-7 quotes, scriptures or sayings related to worry on notecards. Carry those notecards with you and read them several times throughout the day. You could read them when you wake up, after breakfast, during a midmorning break, during lunch, during a midafternoon break, after dinner and before bed. If you want the extra benefit of this exercise, invest the effort to memorize these sayings. Each time you begin to worry, repeat one of the sayings in your mind. If you have trouble coming up with quotes or sayings, here are a few:
     o    Be anxious for nothing but with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your requests known unto God and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus (Paul–Philippians 4:6-7).

o    In every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double, don’t worry, be happy (Bobby McFerrin).

o    Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (Peter–1 Peter 5:6-7).

o    Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength-carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength (Corrie ten Boom).

o    Worry is most often a prideful way of thinking that you have more control over life and its circumstances than you actually do (June Hunt).

2.      Realize the difference between simple concerns that that lead to action and excessive worry that consumes your time and your life. If you have a concern about something fixable, fix it. If it is not fixable, there is no benefit to worrying either. So, make a decision. Is your worry fixable? Then get to work. Invest the time and energy to address the problem.

3.      Practice gratitude. Every day think of three to five things for which you are grateful. Invest some time to think of new things to be grateful for every day. Write your thanks in a “gratitude journal” by keeping a simple list of thanks in a notebook. After a month, you will have a list of ninety to one hundred fifty things for which you are grateful. When you start to worry, take a moment and review your list.

4.      Recall incidents in which circumstances worked out without worry…or in spite of worry. Write these incidents down in your “gratitude journal” to create a memory bank section. If you cannot think of any times like this, take a risk and act in spite of your worry. Enjoy the outcome and write that incident in your memory bank.

5.      Acknowledge the voice in your head…the one that coaches you to worry. That worried internal voice that tells you how you “should” do things; that creates a mountain out of a mole hill by adding “what if’s” galore; that grows worry with absolutes such as “always,” “never,” “every,” and “no one.” Replace that coach with new coach that points out simple areas of improvement. Make sure the new internal coach will voice acceptance of your efforts as well as acknowledging and encouraging your progress.

6.      Finally, enlist the help of your family. Let them act as a voice of reason for you at times. Let them remind you that the “always” is really a “sometimes” and the “should” is really a “want” and a “choice.”

That gives you six ways to begin to address your worries. Really, the motivation to stop worrying is not simply to stop worrying. No, the motivation is to create peace and joy in your life, more intimacy in your family, and greater celebration with your family. So don’t worry, be happy. Sing along now…don’t worry, be happy!

Curiosity Killed the Cat, Worry Kills the Family

“Curiosity killed the cat” but worry kills the family. I know that sounds kind of extreme, but worry really does interfere with family intimacy. Worry becomes a quiet, unseen but powerful rip current that pulls families apart…or a whirlpool of twisting, turning, dizzying emotions that hurl a family into discord and confusion. Consider these ways that excessive worry can kill the family.
     ·         Worry in one family member limits the opportunities for all family members. When one person in the family is filled with worry, they can interfere with other family members’ exploration of the world around them. Exploration is crucial for healthy child development. Family exploration aids in building intimacy. Worry hinders exploration. It prevents family members from trying new things. Worry can even create fear in younger family members (children) who may believe, “If my Mom or Dad worries about this, it must be really bad.” Worry that prevents healthy exploration will lead to family members who doubt their own abilities, family members who lack the confidence to tackle life problems that arise. Excessive worry blocks a family’s growth and development.

·         Worry also creates distance between family members. Specifically, a person who worries will get so caught up in their own worries that they will find themselves unable to focus on other family members’ interests and concerns. Our mind can only handle so much information at a time and worry will consume all our mental space. Worry will drain our emotional energy, leaving us emotionally depleted and unable to connect with other family members. A family of worry becomes disconnected.

·         Worry increases family stress. It robs families of peace and joy. When someone in the family becomes obsessed with worry, everyone suffers. Everyone becomes concerned about keeping the worrier from becoming anxious or agitated. In order to avoid the stress of one person’s excessive worry, everyone “walk on egg shells.” Celebration gets lost in the fear of annoying the worrier and arousing his rage. Peace and joy succumb to confusion and constant vigilance. A family filled with worry is a family without celebration.   

·         Worry increases conflict within the family. Increased family stress caused by worry will lead to more agitation, stress, and arguing. Children will “rebel” against the worrier in an effort to explore the world around them, try new things, and learn about themselves. Some family members will attempt to argue with the worrier to decrease their worry. This will not work. It will only increase the conflict. Other family members may become agitated with the constant barrage of worry and negative comments. They may feel as though the worrier doubts their ability and, in response, they will become defensive, leading to more conflict. Yes, worry will travel many paths, but they all lead to greater conflict.

·         Worry can also shorten your time with the family. Family members may begin to avoid the worrier just because of the stress the worry creates. In addition, excessive worry increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke over the long run. Worry can shorten your life and lead to an early death. If you want to live a long and happy life with your family, don’t worry, be happy.
 
Worry hurls a family into confusion, drowns them in chaos, and ultimately brings family celebration to an untimely death. So, if you are a worrier…in the words of Bob Newhart, “Stop it!” If that seems too difficult (and if you are honest, it probably does) check out next week’s blog to learn several ways of putting your worries to rest and replacing them with peace and joy. Doing so will add years of joy to your family life!

How to Increase Your Child’s Anxiety

Today I had the opportunity to speak with several teens and college age adults. Each one expressed nervous anxiety about life. Many factors contribute to anxiety in people this age. After all, they are navigating a major life transition. Everything in their life is changing. Teens and young adults search to discover their place in an adult world. Decisions are becoming more life altering and consequences more serious. Knowledge previously practiced on paper now has to be applied in practical, real-life circumstances. New friends come into their life and old friends often drift away. These teens and college age adults desire greater independence but still find themselves depending on parents. All of this can create a great deal of nervous anxiety.
 
Parents can help reduce nervousness in their teen or young adult…or they can add anxiety to their child’s already growing case of nerves. In case you would like to increase your child’s anxiety as they navigate their transition into adult, here are five ways to help.
     ·         Always expect more than your child has achieved. If they get an 89% on a test, tell them they should have worked harder to get a 91%. When they do some chore around the house, complain about the part left undone. Never let them think they have done “good enough.” After all, you need them to pursue being the best. It’s a tough world out there.

·         Do not offer them any encouragement, thanks, or praise. They do not need to receive thanks for doing what is expected of them. They will not receive praise and encouragement when they get out in the real world; so toughen them up now. Instead of offering thanks or encouragement, simply point out the next task that needs finished.

·         Oh, along the same lines…never say “I love you;” they may get the wrong idea and think that they have already done enough to “earn your love.”

·         Do not trust them to make decisions on their own. Make all their decisions for them. You determine when they will go to bed and when they will get up. You control your house…and that means you control them. Do not give them responsibility; you manage it all. Some might say you are over-controlling, but you have to maintain total control if you want your child to grow up “a bundle of nerves.”

·         Keep a close eye on your child at all times. I do not mean to simply watch them—I mean overprotect them. Make sure they never experience any discomfort and never have to struggle. If you see them struggle, step right in there and take care of whatever they might struggle with. Whatever they get involved in, you become involved as well. Be actively involved in leading every activity in which they participate–from scouting to youth group to going out with friends. Never leave your children alone…they need your protection.
 
There you have it—five simple ways to create nervous anxiety in your children. If, on the other hand, you would rather your children learn to manage stress and become less anxious as they navigate the journey into adulthood, try these ideas:
     ·         Have fun with your child. Take time to play, laugh, and enjoy activities together.

·         Allow your child to perform less than perfect; in fact, let them fail at times. Do not rescue them from failing. We all learn great lessons through failures. An important lesson to learn is that we survive in spite of failure; and even more important, we grow through failure. So sit back and enjoy some minor failures. (
Click here to see a celebration of “failure.”)

·         Offer words of encouragement and thanks whenever possible. This will not weaken your children but strengthen them. Words of encouragement and gratitude let children know they are appreciated and admired. And, by the way, lay on the words of love and affirmation while you’re at it. When a person knows they are loved, they have less need to be anxious.

·         Teach your children problem-solving skills. As they learn these skills, let them make age appropriate decisions on their own. Begin to let your late teen make decisions regarding how late they stay up. Talk to them about the wisdom of their decision rather than forcing them to go to bed when you determine. This means giving your child an increasing amount of responsibility as they grow…and, allowing them to suffer the consequences of those decisions. Let them learn from the little decisions and mistakes as they grow so they will be better prepared to handle the big decisions of life.

·         Allow your children to experiment and explore. Feed their curiosity. Encourage them to explore. Yes, this can be a bit scary for a parent; but children learn to manage unexpected difficulties and unforeseen problems as they experiment and explore. They gain a sense of pride and personal power as they manage those difficulties. Let your children explore the world in age appropriate ways.

Preventing Anxiety & Insecurity in Children

Check out this amazing quote: “In our half-century of international research, we’ve not found any other class of experience that has as strong and consistent an effect on personality and personality development as does the experience of rejection, especially by parents in childhood.” Ronald Rohner of the University of Connecticut made this statement after reviewing multiple studies of families and children. To rephrase—nothing has a stronger and more consistent impact on children than the experience of rejection by a parent. That is a bold statement! He goes on to explain that children who feel rejection by their parents tend to feel more anxious and insecure, behave in a more hostile and aggressive way toward others, and even experience difficulty forming secure, trusting relationships as adults. This researcher also noted that perceived rejection activates the same part of the brain as actual physical pain. Rejection hurts and the person who experiences rejection can relive that pain over and over again for years.
 
Children can feel rejected for many reasons. Perhaps they truly do have a rejecting parent. More likely, children have parents who do not actively reject them. Instead, they have parents who do not look up from the paper when their children talk to them…or parents that expend so much time and energy at work that they have no energy left for family…or parents who spend more time with their buddies, their hobbies, their yard, or their project than they do with their children. In each of these cases, children may feel rejected. Why? Because children sense that whatever takes up a parent’s time or attention is the parent’s top priority…everything else is simply rejected, even if that something else is them.
 
Of course, the flip side of rejection is acceptance. When children feel the unconditional acceptance of parents, they feel more secure and confident, they will more easily develop trusting relationships with others, and they learn to resolve difficulties without hostility and aggression. How can you make your child feel accepted? Here are a few hints:
     ·         Spend time talking and playing with them each day. Instead of you directing the play, let them lead. Play what they want to play and follow their lead in play.
·         Notice and describe their actions. Whether you acknowledge that they set the table or colored the dog red, your children learn that you notice them…and, if you notice them, you accept them.
·         Find ways to tell your children “yes.” Of course, you will have to say “no” sometimes, but look for the “yeses” as well. For instance, you may have to say, “No, you can’t go swimming today” but can you add in a “yes” like, “You could go tomorrow (or some other day)”? You will have to say, “No, you can’t play with that.” But, you can add a “yes” by simply saying, “Here, why don’t you play with this instead?” Finding ways to tell your child “yes” informs them that you want them to enjoy life, you accept their curiosity, and you accept their desire to remain active. You simply help them direct that energy in a positive direction.
·         Spend time with your child. Nothing spells love and acceptance like “T-I-M-E.”
·         Laugh with your children. Tell jokes. Be silly. Enjoy a funny show. Make fun of yourself a little bit at times. Teach them to not take life “too seriously,” but to enjoy life along the way.
·         Encourage your children.
·         Surprise your children with little spontaneous gifts or cards. These gifts can range from bringing home a rock for your little rock collector to downloading a new song for the budding musician in your family to cooking a special treat for the young culinary artist.
·         Spend time learning about your children’s interests and asking them about those interests. Pick up a book on that interest. Take them to a related store. Hook them up with another person who has a similar interest. Take up the interest yourself and use that interest as a vehicle to spend time with your child.
·         Did I say spend time with your child?
 
Engaging in behaviors and interactions that make your children feel accepted will yield amazing dividends. Your children will feel more secure and confident and, as a result, engage in more appropriate behavior. They will more easily develop trusting relationships with others, avoiding dangerous relationships and relationships that can derail them into negative behaviors. They will learn to resolve difficult situations with integrity and honor. They will grow up remembering a loving family and wonderful times.