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How You & Your Child Can Thrive Through Personal Style by Hemda Mizrahi

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How You & Your Child Can Thrive Through Personal Style by Hemda Mizrahi

How can you present a true, clear message about who you are, both at home and at work? Personal Style Coach Allison Hamilton-Rohe reveals her formula during a guest appearance on my Internet radio show, “Turn the Page”

Our dialogue about launching you on your style journey continued after the show, when Allison offered an example of powerful personal style: “Look at the amazing Duchess of Windsor, whose husband literally gave up his kingdom and chose exile over life without her. While she was not a “classic” beauty, her charisma and appeal were undeniable — especially for her King!” This is one of the ways that personal style is distinct from fashion. The common personal style thread across your lifetime is YOU, what flatters and matters to you most, what you aspire to be and do.

Once you experience how the language of style can move you past image anxiety and into a more fulfilling reality, you’ll appreciate the benefits of discovering it earlier in life. Hopefully, this will motivate you to pass the learning onto younger generations, including your children and grandchildren.

Allison references Carol Dweck’s book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” in identifying ways you can support your child in achieving a positive self-image. Dr. Dweck’s research indicates that 40% of your happiness is a product of how you see yourself, and the corresponding choices you make.

As a parent or guardian, how can you help your youngster to look and feel good? These are strategies that Allison’s own kids have embraced:

The number one thing you want to encourage, instill and empower your children to feel towards themselves, their bodies AND their style is love. You can do this any number of ways!

Dr. Dweck suggests offering process rather than person praise. This involves acknowledging repeatable behaviors that can reinforce a praiseworthy character trait, skill, action, or outcome. For example, rather than saying “you look pretty,” be specific about what you appreciate: “I love how those barrettes bring out the sky blue color of your eyes.”  A statement like this encourages your child to feel proud about doing something well. In contrast, “person praise” can create self-doubt when something goes awry, like the physical changes and emotional reactions that might occur at the onset of puberty!

When you’re shopping with your children or going through their wardrobes, only buy/keep things they love.  If they need a new coat, find a coat they love.  If you have a sense of their style and size, shop online with them.  You might select a few items and then ask them to look at the order before making the purchase. Ask them one question only: “Do you love what I’ve picked out for you?” If they say no, delete it. No exceptions. This sets a precedent that style is something that feels good and they can enjoy.

It’s okay to insist that your children brush their hair and teeth, clean their bodies, and wear clothes that aren’t ripped. This is basic grooming. It’s important to teach your children these habits early on so they’re prepared when the time comes for them to “dress to impress.” It may take energy and patience, and consistent practice works.

Allison shares a personal illustration: “I posted a picture checklist by my kids’ door that I ask them to check everyday. They receive a star each time they complete their list. When they master a skill, I give them a bonus and we celebrate. Now, if I notice they forgot to brush their hair, all I have to say is, “Checklist?” and they go, “Oh!  Whoops!” and run back upstairs.” This tactic can be adapted to the specifics of your household. If you have a special needs child, creating a visual map of the checklist and breaking down tasks can be helpful. Teaching basic self-care is deeply important to preparing a child to be an independent adult.

If you’re dressing up for a party and your child is dying to wear a dress that’s a bit over-the-top, or put on lipstick, don’t sweat it.  If your kid puts on a shirt and pants that don’t match well and he’s three, let it go! If your son wears pink or your daughter wears combat boots, offer the freedom of experimentation. Allison reflects on rejoicing in her daughter’s self-expression: “I bought my daughter a button that read, “I dressed myself today. I loved posting her wacky outfits on Facebook.” Style can be fun and it allows kids to play with who they want to be. Allow your kids to enjoy it!

Your kid is going to be who she is. If you do your job well, she’ll value her unique qualities and use them to propel her purpose in the world. If your kids settle into a style that unsettles you, have a conversation about the power of style and what it means for first impressions.  Allow your children to be in control of the message, and check in to ensure it’s the message they truly want to send. If not, work with them to change it. If your son loves his style and it STILL unsettles you, enlist a family therapist to address the underlying issues both for you and your child.

Identifying with any of these strategies as ones you’d like to adopt for yourself? Go for it!  Your example is the best guide for your children. If you’re kind to yourself, insist on love, maintain standards, allow yourself to play, and encourage your own self-expression through style, they will, too!

If you need expert guidance along the way, contact Allison through www.dailyoutfit.com. Mention this blog in booking a session on the “Work With Me” page of her site, and read on through her free newsletter and blog posts, including this one on “back-to-school” shopping sprees: http://www.dailyoutfit.com/2014/08/top-10-tips-to-make-back-to-school.html

If you haven’t yet listened to Allison’s guest appearance on my show, we invite you to learn about the three key components of her personal style formula. Find out how personal style can work for you

What is Normal Child Development in Children with Complex Congenital Heart Defects? With Anna Jaworski

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What is Normal Child Development in Children with Complex Congenital Heart Defects? With Anna Jaworski

With more childrEileenPearlmanen with complex, congenital heart defects, or CHDs, living beyond their first of year of life than ever before, parents and the professionals working with those children need to know what normal development is for this group of survivors. What kind of behaviors are normal or common? Is it to be expected that the majority of these children will be labeled “Failure to Thrive”? Is it common for children with major heart defects to need feeding tubes? How does the use of feeding tubes affect speech and language development? What can parents and the professionals working with them do to help these smallest survivors have a good quality of life? Who should be part of children’s care team? When should parents seek outside help? These questions and more are answered in today’s episode: What is Normal Child Development for Children with Complex Congenital Heart Defects?

Guest Bio: Eileen Pearlman has two daughters, Jessica and Amy Cowin. While pregnant with Jessica, she thought everything was fine. Jessica was born on June 7, 1983. Doctors began monitoring her heart due to an irregular heartbeat. Three days later, after extensive testing, she had emergency surgery because she had hypoplastic left heart syndrome.Vicki But nine years before Jessica was born, Eileen was already a practicing Speech/Language Pathologist. She began her career as a Speech/Language Pathologist in 1974 and she works primarily with students who have special or multiple needs.   Vicki Lucas is a Special Education Teacher and mom to teenage sons:  14-year old Ian, 16-year old Alex, and 18-year old Zach. Vicki and Steve have been married 20 years, weathering the challenges and thrills of raising three sons, including a child with a complex congenital heart defect. Over 15 years of classroom experience and private tutoring have given Vicki insight into the challenges and learning styles of special needs students. Alex was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). He has had 4 open-heart surgeries and multiple catheterizations. Alexander has seen the gamut of learning environments from specialized preschool, Language Learning Development, Self-Contained, Resource Room, In-Class Support; culminating in a 504 Status. For a child expected to use a Picture Exchange Communication System or PECS Communication System, Alex has since progressed to Honors and Talented and Gifted classes. Alex is planning to attend college!

Dr. Dawn Ilardi is a senior pediatric neuropsychologist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Sibley Heart Center.  She specializes in working with children who have complex CHDs requiring cardiac surgery or transplantation. Her focus is the assessment of children’s abilities, including cognitive, Dawn_Ilardiemotional, and social functioning thus helping families and schools understand each child’s strengths and weaknesses. She makes recommendations to support children’s needs. She also works with children before discharge from the hospital addressing family’s concerns and facilitating the transition back to school. Dr. Ilardi and other professionals from leading children’s hospitals are building developmental follow-up programs for children with CHDs to make sure they get the necessary assessment and intervention support needed from infancy to young adulthood. Dr. Ilardi collaborates with others to collect research to better understand the needs of children and young adults with CHDs. Heart to Heart with Anna is a program specifically for the congenital heart defect or CHD community. Our show will address issues of concern to the CHD community. Topics revolve around some of the special needs of the child born with a CHD, how to become an advocate for the CHD child, parent and CHD survivor and what it means to be part of the CHD community. The show addresses issues of concern to the CHD community. Members of the CHD community will serve as Guests to share stories to encourage others. While the topics will be especially pertinent to the CHD community, they also have a broader appeal to any community dealing with chronic illness since many of our topics are faced by other communities dealing with chronic illnesses. Heart to Heart with Anna will be broadcast live every Tuesday at 12 Noon Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel.

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