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Learning

What It’s Like Dating Someone With Anxiety

I feel like a bad girlfriend for putting my partner through this.

The Important Message My Son Taught Me About Men

It’s not easy growing up in a world that won’t accept weakness.

Using Psychology Instead Of Diets To Control Your Weight

Ever been on a diet, lost the weight and then put it back on? This has to do with conditioning; a type of learning that occurs, which dictates how we behave. If you want more control over your weight; learning about conditioning is better than any diet, you will ever try.

What is conditioning?

Conditioning is the basis of how we learn to behave. This includes our habits, which cause us to be the weight we are. Three types of conditioning have been identified; classical, operant and observational. Each plays a vital role in controlling weight gain and loss.

Classical conditioning

Learning via association. For example: have you ever been to movies and headed straight to the snack bar for some popcorn, even though you aren’t hungry? That’s classical conditioning at work. In many people’s minds, they associate a trip to the movies with popcorn or a snack, while they relax and enjoy a movie.

For people wanting more control over their weight, they need to be aware of conditioning which pre-exists for them, about food and exercise. As an example; if you consume your nightly meal on the lounge, in front of the TV (as many people do); each time you sit down to watch TV, there is a greater chance of you associating this activity, with eating. This is why it’s recommended that you find a designated place to eat; like at the dinner table. This reduces the likelihood of eating in front of the TV at night.

Some people also find that they eat when they experience different moods or physical states; such as being tired, anxious, confused or worried. Eating, is therefore, a coping mechanism. From past experience, food made them feel better and it becomes a viable solution, each time they experience this feeling. The only way to cease it, is to identify, acknowledge and change these types of associations.

Operant conditioning

Learning via consequences. For all behaviours, we are either rewarded or punished. Rewards encourage us to increase a behaviour, while punishment reduces it. These can be added or removed. For example; when we diet, we are usually rewarded with removal of weight. However, when we gain weight, we are punished by addition of weight.

Rewards and punishments, encourage which behaviours to choose. Sometimes the punishment of weight gain, isn’t enough to deter, increased weight gain. Perhaps the reward of consuming particular foods, overrides the compulsion to avoid the punishment of excessive weight gain.

Observational conditioning

Learning via observing others. For example; large people usually have large family members. Sure, genetics comes into play, but learning and adapting the habits of parents is much greater. Children are like sponges, absorbing a significant amount of knowledge from their role models. If their role models are healthy and active; they will likely, be so too.

By the time kids reach adulthood, they have learned a great deal from mere exposure. For example; if you take the kids shopping, be aware, they are learning what types of foods to put into the trolley. Even if it appears they aren’t really paying attention; repetition and exposure is teaching them. This is primarily where most habits begin.

Lastly, when you become fully aware of the roll food and exercise plays in your life, long term weight control can be achieved. Ask yourself these 6 vital questions and you will be well on your way.

  • Why are you eating?
  • When are you eating?
  • Where are you eating?
  • What are you eating?
  • Who’s watching you eat?
  • Exercise… pleasure, pain, chore or choice?

By Kim Chartres

5 Ways To Improve Your Child’s Vocabulary

Your child’s vocabulary is extremely important for good understanding, communication and learning, yet, often we’re so busy with our daily lives that we forget to include activities that encourage mastering new words. If you’re looking for ways to improve your child’s vocabulary that don’t take too much time out of your day, here are some ideas that will help.

RELATED: Why Reading To Your Child Is Crucial

1. Conversations

We tend to limit our conversations to what our children can understand and what is relevant to them, but that doesn’t help them much to improve their vocabulary and understanding of the world. Instead, talk about your day, what you see around you, what your other half may be doing or anything else that comes to mind. Ask questions, too, and be interested in what your child has to say.

2. Reading

We only use a limited number of words in our daily conversations and that’s one of the reasons why reading is important – it gets your child exposed to words that he or she may not come across otherwise. Start reading with your baby as soon as possible and turn it into a daily habit.

3. Word games

You can start with games as simple as naming household objects and body parts, then progress to more complex games that require some knowledge of the alphabet. ‘I spy’ is one of the favourites in my family, because you can play it anywhere – at home, in the park or in the car.

4. Singing

Nursery rhymes are a great way to learn new words while keeping your child entertained. Songs are memorable and it’s another thing you can do whether you’re at home, at the playground or on your way to an appointment.

5. No baby talk

Baby talk can be very cute and it’s hard to resist talking to your child the same way they talk to you. There’s nothing wrong with using it from time to time, but avoid turning it into a habit. Talk to your child in complete sentences and encourage them to do the same. When your toddler points at something instead of saying the word, say it for them. They may not immediately repeat it after you, but will remember it.

Improving your child’s vocabulary doesn’t have to be time consuming, but it takes focus and consistency. Make it fun for yourself and your child, and it’ll be a lot easier to stick with your efforts.

Image via Pixabay

How Are Negative Life Patterns Affecting You?

Do you have a string of bad relationships? Can’t quit smoking, reach that goal weight or feel worthy of that promotion? What about finishing things? Perhaps you have some attainable goal that just seems to keep evading you? All these things are negative life patterns at work. Unconsciously you may be doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome or stuck in a familiar way of doing things.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about personal boundaries

Unfortunately life patterns can be much easier to recognise in others than acknowledge in ourselves. For example, we can often see our friends or relatives enter the same types of relationship time after time but never find happiness. The problem is they seem oblivious to what’s right in front of them.

We all experience this in one form or another. For some it’s worse than others, such as people who unintentionally sabotage themselves with unhealthy behaviours or continue to place themselves in violent relationships. It’s only when life patterns are recognised and acknowledged that change can begin.

How life patterns form

Barbara Findeisen, psychotherapist and world renowned expert in pre-and perinatal psychology, believes life patterns form before birth whilst still in the womb. She explains that here we begin learning patterns of trust and security.

This strongly supports the theory that life patterns evolve on a sub-conscious level. For example, knowing that things covered in fur which have four legs are usually animals. We don’t remember when we learn these things, but most of us eventually do.

We also learn what to expect in various situations and from other people. Like if we walk down a dark alley alone at night we’ll probably feel scared, or if we’ve done a good job at work we may receive praise. Combined these things form our unconscious perception of what we know and what we anticipate to happen. If we anticipate a negative or positive outcome we act accordingly.

Remember this happens on a sub-conscious level. Many of us aren’t aware that we intentionally set ourselves up for success or failure, but ironically that’s exactly what happens. The only way to move forward and overcome it is to recognise your life patterns for what they are and make some essential changes.

Negative self-defeating life patterns

If you have a string of bad relationships, can’t finish things, feel stuck in a rut or just can’t seem to meet goals you set for yourself, you may have a self-defeating life pattern. People with this type of life pattern learn a negative perception and often repeatedly behave in a way that supports it. This is called a self-fulfilling prophecy and occurs due to positive feedback between beliefs and behaviour.

For example, they may be attracted to a particular type of person and this is why the relationships they enter into end badly. Maybe they sub-consciously feel they can’t be in a relationship or that they don’t deserve happiness. They will choose partners based on this unconscious perception which supports this belief. When the relationship ends badly it’s familiar and expected, which in turn strengthens this belief.

How to fix negative life patterns

According to Kevin D. Arnold, a psychologist and Board Certified Cognitive & Behavioral Psychologist, there are some simple ways to overcome negative self-defeating behaviours.

1.Know what triggers your self-defeating behaviour

When you know what you want to change, work out the pattern which has lead you to defeat in the past. For example, you might eat when you’re tired rather than hungry. You might have a date with an ideal partner but not answer their call for a second date. Each behaviour has a trigger, so keep a diary and work out what you’ve been doing in the past which has prevented your happiness or success.

2.Control your triggers

This is pretty self explanatory, but pull yourself up on whatever the behaviour is when the trigger presents itself. Recognise it and the best method of control is replacing a negative behaviour with a positive one.

3.Replace Self-defeating habits

We learn every behaviour and most are a reaction to a trigger. The idea is to swap the behaviour for a non-defeating positive behaviour. Identify one which will work and replace the behaviour which is holding you back. It will become a habit over time and far easier to sustain a change.

4.Keep moving forward

We can’t change the past, so focus on the present and future. The idea is to shift your perspective of negative self-belief into positive self-belief. The power of positive thought works equally as well as negative thought, so if you have a choice, why focus on the negative? Over time your new behaviours will change your perception. They will confirm your positive perceptions and new self-fulfilling prophecies will develop.

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Men’s Mags And Female Orgasms

Most men’s mags are filled with images of women in sexy lingerie, right? Wrong! Sure, some mags are all about the images but, if you take a sneak peek to see what men are really reading about and looking at, you may get a startling surprise. It seems some men are reading up on ways to become better lovers and partners.

What fabulous news for the ladies! Some mags go into detail about how foreplay is essential for women to achieve orgasm, what positions are better for women, how and where to find the elusive G spot, ways to make sex last longer – the list of how to improve the sexual experience for women is endless.

Who knew? It’s not all about T and A, as many women believe. Then there’s also heaps of news, interviews, cartoons, comedy, jokes, sports commentary, heath and fitness, nutrition, entertainment guides, technology, cinema and gaming reviews, finance, fashion and grooming advice; plus sexual health – men’s and women’s.

Even mags like Playboy and Ralph seem to contain far more information than most women would anticipate. So, next time you find a men’s mag in your man’s bathroom or on his web history, don’t panic. The age-old excuse of “I’m just reading it for the articles” just might be the case and can be totally beneficial for you and your relationship.

This made me think about the differences between what women are reading, compared to men. Take SHESAID, for example. How many articles have you seen about how to give your man the ultimate sexual experience? Something like a step-by-step guide teaching women how to perform oral sex. Uh, none! Why is that?

Is it because women think they know what they’re doing in the bedroom and beyond; are men easier to please, sexually, than women; do they find other stuff more interesting; or more importantly, is it just not being published? Would women like to know more about how the male body works and how to make your man’s toes curl?

Judging by the response to articles on SHESAID about improving a couples sex life, the use of sex toys, different positions, etc; women probably would like to know more, about how to wow their partner. Men are obviously reading up on it, so why shouldn’t the ladies?

So, if you what to know more about how to perform an erotic massage, strip tease or pole dance; stick with us! Great sex is something couples should both work toward. As they say, variety is the spice of life; so we are going to get busy! Plus, if there’s anything else you want more info on, tell us! We always love to hear from our audience.

Image via http://www.teachmedia.org

Tutoring Tips To Save You A Fortune

Classrooms are becoming more and more crowded and kids could really benefit from a bit of outside assistance. Who better to offer it, than their parents, grandparents, aunties or uncles. Rather than having to hire an expensive tutor, there are some great ways to help with their homework. Rather than leave it to a stage where a degree in rocket science is required, sit down with them and give them some guidance.

Firstly, maths can be a torturous topic, yeah? If you catch it early enough, you can help kids with basic addiction, subtraction, division and multiplication. These are the basic building blocks for the rest of their mathematical education. If they are heading into the upper grades, like years 11 and 12; keep reading because I have some tips for you, too.

So, for primary aged kids, instead of sitting them down to hundreds of printed worksheets – which by the way, is what tutors will most likely do – engage them. Go and get some flash cards or play some games. Games are a great learning tool. They will keep the child interested and instead of homework being a chore, it will become a pleasure.

One of the best games around, to teach basic maths skills is Yahtzee. Yep; the dice game. It teaches them all the skills they will need and keeps them entertained. If you don’t want to pay for a set, print a template of the internet and go and buy a set of $2 dice. It’s that easy. Plus, print out a multiplication chart and teach them how it works. As they get older, manipulate the game and make up your own score sheets.

The concept of engaging the child, applies to any subject. Make education fun or at least interesting and increase their exposure. Exposure is key. Remember back to all those posters on the wall at school? If they are older, think out side the box and find ways to relate what they need to learn, to real life situations. There’s tonnes of stuff on the internet to help you grasp the concepts, kids are learning.

A third thing you can do, for all ages, is computer games. Now, you might be thinking, kids spend way too much time on the computer; but it really is an excellent tool for education. Educational games have been created for kindergarten aged kids to adults. Check out which ones are the most valuable; even if they need to be paid for. It will still cost significantly less than a tutor. Some kids play these games at school and may have access to certain accounts already. All you’ll need to do, is download them and watch the magic happen! Sit with them and talk about what they are learning. Increase the challenge as they progress and remember to review what they have learnt.

Lastly, be approachable and be realistic with expectations. When a child needs help with their school work; don’t send them away without some guidance. This is predominately, all which should be offered. Don’t take over and hijack their work. It’s about learning, not perfection.

 

Enabling Or Helping – What Is It You’re Doing?

Are you or someone you know dealing with the consequences of someone else’s behaviour? It can be as simple as continuously putting away your kids toys or as time-consuming as taking home piles work because a colleague has unable to meet their deadline, once again. This is actually enabling, not helping. It happens all the time. Usually the more someone does for a person, the more will be asked of them over time. Anyone who is putting their precious energy into “helping”, needs to be aware of the fine line between enabling and helping.

Parents are often prime enablers. It starts from infancy and continues for as long as they let it happen. Children need to learn from an early age that they are responsible for their own actions. For example, if they scribble on the wall with crayon; let them help in the clean up. It’s ok to provide support and assistance, but if children are shielded from the negative consequences of their behaviour; they will be unlikely to learn.

It’s well researched that dealing with natural consequences aids learning. Young children learn to avoid a hot surface because it burns. So this type of learning can begin very early. Children will also learn if they need to accept responsibility of their actions or be able to shift it along to others.

Those who don’t want to deal with the negative repercussion of their own behaviour will look for alternatives. They may use people who love them to accept these for them. Parents can unknowingly encourage this. Eventually, even loved ones get tired of this and pull away from them. No one wants to see those around them fall; so it’s best to put a stop to enabling as soon as it is recognised for what it is.

If someone has been enabled for a long time, they will likely be unable to cope. This is where helping and enabling are two very difference objectives. It is really important to be aware of the difference. Enabling is the removal of negative consequence for behaviour, whereas helping is a purely supportive role. Although the person will want the enabler to take on their regular role and enable them to continue upon their path, a re-education needs to occur. The enabler will need to step back and provide support whilst letting the perpetrator of the behaviour deal with their consequences.

The shift from enabling to helping will be a positive one for all concerned but not an easy transition. Often the relationship has severed the needs of both parties and the relationship will need to be re-established. Enablers will need to relinquish control whilst letting the other regain theirs.

In situations where enabling of addiction or other serious behaviours are needing to be addressed, seek professional support. A recommended starting point is to visit a GP, discuss the behaviour and seek a referral to an appropriate professional. 

By Kim Chartres

Texting Tips To Save Your Fingers, Time And Reputation

txt & internet slang hz bcum so complicated dat ppl R UzN translators, jst 2 undRstNd it. It’s lIk learning o NothA lngwij. If you had trouble reading this sentence; you need a quick guide to text slang. This article gives you some basics, plus a few extras.

Let’s start by decoding the sentence above:

English

Text slang

English

Text slang

English

Text slang

text

txt

people

ppl

understand

undRstNd

has

hz

are

R

another

NothA

become

bcum

just

jus

language

lngwij

that

dat

to, too, two

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interestingly, The Oxford English Dictionary states that the 20 most used words are all under 4 letters. Text slang abbreviates 12 of them.

English Text slang English Text slang English Text slang English Text slang

the

d

be

b

to

2

of

of

and

&

a

a

in

n

that

dat

have

hav

I

I

with

w

for

4

as

az

you

U

with

w

at

@

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the most used words in text message are for organising meetings, touching base with loved ones, congratulating or well wishes, and letting others know what is going on. This list has been complied to help abbreviate the most common type of text messages.

Organising meetings:

English Text slang English Text slang English Text slang
Monday mon. Saturday s@RdA Time tym
Tuesday tues. Sunday sun. Day dA
Wednesday wed. Tomorrow 2moro Later L8r
Thursday thur. Today 2day tonight 2nt
Friday fri. Next week NXT wk Tomorrow night 2moro nyt

 

Touching base with loved ones:

English

Text slang

English

Text slang

I love you

I luv U 0r 143

How are you?

How r u?

I miss you

I ms U

At the moment

ATM

We should catch up

We shud catch ^

Thank you

10q or TY

What have you been up to?

wot hav U Bin ^ to?

Mates

m8s

How is the family?

How iz d family?

Hugs and kisses

88

 

Congratulating or well wishes:

English

Text slang

English

Text slang

Happy birthday

🙂 bday

Well done!

weL done!

Congratulations!

cg, gratz, congrats

Good job!

gud job!

Merry Christmas

Merry xbo

Great to hear you are doing so well.

gr8 2 hEr U R doin so weL.

Happy Easter

🙂 Easter

Get well soon

GWS

Happy New Year

🙂 nu yr.

You’re welcome

YW

 

Letting others know what is going on:

English

Text slang

English

Text slang

I’m going to be late

I’m goin 2 b l8

What time are you going to be home?

wot tym R U goin 2 b home?

I’m not feel great

I’m not fEl gr8

Sorry

soz

I won’t be able to make it

I won’t b abL 2 mAk it

What time do we need to be there?

wot tym do we nEd 2 b there?

Can you please get some…

cn U pls git som.

Are you ready?

rur

 

There are literally thousands of abbreviations, and it would be implausible to list them all in a single article. Just a word for the wise, if you don’t know what someone is saying; look it up, before you respond. You could be congratulating someone on the death of a pet or something worse! For like everything else in this world; there’s an app for that.

 

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Finding Suitable Daycare For Your Children

When the time comes to send your little ones off to daycare, you want to be sure you’re making the experience a happy one, for them and you.  Those first few years of life are important for children as their physical, cognitive, emotional and social development evolves.  Finding a centre where your children can thrive, feel happy and safe is crucial as well as somewhere that you are comfortable with.

Once you have made a list of the centres that you’re interested in visiting, remember these important questions to ask yourself to help you come to the ultimate decision.

Does the centre have a reputable name or any complaints against it?  Word of mouth is a great way of finding out what people really think.  Don’t believe everything you hear though – ensure you do your own research to find out for yourself.  Search the internet for any reviews, positive or negative.

Does the centre look safe?  It’s imperative that daycare centres adhere to strict health and safety guidelines to ensure the safety of the children at all times.  Ask plenty of questions when you visit such as when were the smoke alarms last tested?  Are the electrical sockets covered?  Do they have an evacuation plan and how often do they practice?  Is there adequate security to protect the children from strangers?

Are the staff friendly and welcoming?  Your children need to feel comfortable turning to their teachers in times of need otherwise it could be an awful experience for a young child who is left feeling alone and forgotten.  A centre that has staff who can connect and build relationships with children is extremely important.

Do they have records of what children do all day?  Some parents like to know how much their children have eaten, if they had a sleep and how many nappy changes they’ve had each day.  Ensure the centre keep these records up to date and ask to see some examples.

Is the centre tidy?  Keeping a daycare centre clean can be a hard task during the day when the children are busy having fun making a mess but at the end of each day they should be cleaned to a minimum standard.  If you visit a centre early in the morning check the cleanliness.  The rubbish bins should be empty, the dining areas and bathrooms should be clean and the floors should have been vacuumed.

Is there adequate shade in the outdoor play areas?  The sun in Australia can be unforgiving at times and although most centres now insist on children wearing hats and sunscreen whilst outside, playing in the shade is equally important.

Does the centre offer a nutritious menu and easy access to drinking water?  Ensure that the menus offer a variety of foods such as fruit, vegetables, bread, dairy and meat.  Water should also be available and accessible at all times for the children to drink.

If all else fails and you’ve asked yourself all of the questions above but are still having a hard time coming to a decision, the last resort is normally going on your instinct.  When you visit the centres you’ll get a feeling about whether a centre has a good vibe or not and if it feels right for your child.  Trust your instincts.

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By Karyn Miller