Rules Without Relationship Leads to Rebellion in Teens

Welcome to Moms’ Month on Dr. Stephanie! This month I will be featuring guest posts from some awesome moms around the country.  They will be sharing tips, tricks, and funny stories about motherhood.  This will be a fun celebration – thanks for joining us!  Today’s author is Melony Bishop.  Welcome, Melony!

Melony Bishop
“temporarily retired” Occupational Therapist
Stay-at-home mom to Savannah – 16, Tyler – 10, Haley – 8, and Lexi – 5
Long Valley, NJ

As a mom, I’m a firm believer that “rules without relationship = rebellion”.
When I became a mom, my husband and I vowed that our relationships with our kids would remain paramount no matter what!  I hope and pray that as my kids continue to mature, that I will be able to keep that promise.
Something I’ve learned recently is the reality that my kids need to be able to trust my responses to them.  I have always thought that trust was kind of a one-way street between parents and kids…… parents needed to be able to trust their kids, not the other way around.  What I have come to learn is that my kids need to be able to trust ME!  They need to be able to trust that I will respect them, to trust that they can confide in me, to trust that I will not overreact to various situations, to trust that my love is unconditional, to trust that my yes means yes and my no means no, to trust that I will keep my word, to trust that I have their best interest in mind no matter what.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not consider my children equals to me, nor do I consider myself their “friend” before being their parent…… BUT my relationship with them needs to be a trustworthy one if I am to expect the highest level of fruit to be beared.
Kids are up against a lot of obstacles these days….. just as we were when we were young.  I want my kids to trust that they can come to me with anything!  In order for this to happen, I am finding that I must be diligent in my day-to-day responses to them so that I can remain a character in their lives that they can trust with all the nitty gritty of life.  The old adage, “don’t cry over split milk” applies here.  As a fairly reactionary type of person, I am likely to squeal and possibly rant and huff over an overturned glass at the dinner table……. to what result though?  I must purpose to keep control over my responses and reactions in all the dailies of life if I’m going to lay a solid foundation on which my kids can firmly plant their feet, in order to be sure that they’ll bring me the bigger “spills” in life as they grow up.


Family Rules

I am a big fan of creating family rules.  What I’m talking about is this: What is important to your family?  What makes you different from the other families on your street?  What values, customs, traditions are essential for you to pass on to your kids?  I often encourage families with whom I work to outline a few (like 3-5) rules for their family that can serve as guidelines when it comes to big decisions like how to spend money or discipline children.

As I believe so strongly in defining rules for our families, I was thrilled to see some rules posted at a friend’s house recently:I was inspired at the thought that went into the guidelines and how they reflected what I know to be important to her family (and also how creative she was at displaying them!).

One of the neatest thing about developing your own family rules is that the process can be a family affair.  Get the kids involved and take your time choosing just the right words to reflect your family’s values.  Most importantly: have fun (hmmm…maybe that’s a family value of mine?)!

Some other ideas of family rules to get your started:

  • Exercise your body, drink plenty of water, and eat fruits and vegetables everyday
  • Treat all people with respect – even if you don’t understand or agree with what they are doing
  • Incorporate your faith into everything you do
  • Use kind words and actions at all times

CREATE Mental Health Week – Making a Calendar for Orientation

This is a guest post in the series CREATE Mental Health. All week we will be exploring how different people use creativity to create and maintain mental health. Today’s post is by Melony Bishop. Melony writes the blog, Stamping with Melony.  I love this idea – it blends creativity and function beautifully!  Welcome, Melony!

When my friend Faith recently approached me about creating a special stamping project, I couldn’t help but realize the additional cognitive benefits that were involved in this sweet hand-made gift.  Faith wanted to make a daily calendar for her aging father-in-law  to help him stay oriented to the date each day….  What a simple but powerful tool for this man and his caregivers!  A daily calendar hand-made by his beloved daughter-in-law!  What a fantastic way to “CREATE MENTAL HEALTH” in this man’s life!  (Maybe it’s the Occupational Therapist in me that couldn’t resist this purposeful creative calendar coupled with a cognitve component.)

After many hours, here is the fruit of this “labor of love” for Faith’s father-in-law!  🙂

Notice the details involved!  We designed and hand-made a central month page for each of the 12 months with a seasonal theme.  We then designed coordinating mattes for the days of the week and the date of the month for either side of the month.

Faith used the GoGo Boots Die Cut letters with the Big Shot to cut and adhere the names of each of the days of the week that can be rotated daily throughout the year.
She used the Simple Numbers Die Cuts to die cut each of the dates of the month to also rotate through each of the days of the months.  Both the days and dates were cut from Early Espresso Cardstock and adhered to 4×4 Whisper White squares using 2-way glue.

We hand-made little embellishments for all of the various holidays and special days throughout the year and adhered magnets to the backsides that will magnet onto the metal clips on the clipboard to designate those special days of the year.  :)  We stamped multiple different years as well for the center clip.

We used clear box cases to organize and keep all of the pages safe and handy for his caregiver to swap each day of the year.

Check out the rest of the months of the year that we created……..