Generational Flow of Parenting

Good child-rearing is one of the most vital responsibilities us parents carry with us throughout our lifetime. More and more research reveal the degree of influence parents have on their children’s long range mental health.  It really isn’t about following the best child-rearing practices around; it is about what we personally bring to the table.  And, oftentimes, we bring to the table what was left with us when we were growing up.  Sadly, we transfer our own foibles to the next generation.  Although we thankfully don’t carry the whole load, giving some credit to peer influences, genetics, their own life experiences, and society’s effects, parents are truly the ones that have the most impact. 

There has been increased studies on the effects of plain, old, childhood emotional neglect.  This doesn’t include other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse, or being frequently criticized or manipulated as a child.  This is about not receiving sufficient affection, attention or nurturance.  So, let’s say you are a depressed parent who doesn’t seek help, or a parent who works all of the time and with good intentions.  There is no intent to harm, but the effects of child neglect can be great. 

It is our human nature, especially at a young age, to feel cared about and loved.  When emotionally neglected, a child is at risk for long-term adult problems, with common characteristics including feelings of emptiness, being hopelessly flawed with low self-esteem, dependency on others for validation, excessive guilt, feeling ashamed with some self-hatred mixed with anger towards those they feel harmed by, difficulty identifying and expressing their feelings, and their own lack of self-compassion.  If there is no insight as to what they bring to the table, the table will be the same for the next generation; a depletion of affection, attention, nurturance, and without intent.

The good news is that not all adults who experience emotional childhood neglect struggle with these problems.  We are all different, and children cope in various ways.  Among many factors, children’s level of coping depends on their own personal character.  For example, a child who is more sensitive and introspective is more likely effected from emotional neglect than a more resilient child who somehow holds some protective lining and is able to coast easier through times of vulnerability. 

The other good news is that we, as parents, can change.  With hope and understanding, we can gain insight about its effects and realize we can make a difference for ourselves and our children.   

As no one can predict how a child interprets their own world until they gain some insight later in life, it is still a generational flow.  Unless us parents deal with our own maladies, the table setting for our kids remains the same.

Claudia A. Liljegren, MSW, LICSW

St. William’s Mental Health Services

Generosity Gone Asunder

Have you ever offered a neighbor some apples from your tree only to later realize that there was none left over for yourself?  How about times you were generous with your money but then learned it was squandered?  Or maybe you borrowed out something only to receive it back in poorer condition, or not at all.  None of these are legal offenses.  They are occurrences that most of us experience from time to time.

Oftentimes, as the giver, it sets us aback and we are surprised at the rawness of it all.  It leaves us hurt and angry, and we gain a sense of distrust and fear that the same thing will happen again down-the-road if we aren’t careful.   We may even be more cautious with our generosity the next time around.  Of course, it helps when we learn that the deception was not intentional, or that the problem was merely missed communication; or, even if there may be a good underlying reason that we are not privy to.  None of us want to be taken advantage of, but being paranoid and distrustful are surely not virtues we seek.  What can we do to protect ourselves, yet remain a generous people?  

As most of us realize, being a “giver” abounds its own rewards.  It heartens our souls.  It has its own energy and we seek to do more giving because we are left with the good feelings it generates inside.  Giving to others helps our mental health.  It takes us away from our own hurts and insecurities, at least for a time.  It helps us feel valued and that we can make a difference. 

We are still left with the pre-ponderance of what to do when we are intentionally misled.  Do we want to teach others that it is ok to do self-serving damage to another by doing nothing?  Is it our duty to help others recognize the harm they have done so that they can change or challenge their motives?  And for those repeat offenders, what can we do to maintain our open-handedness without distrust lapping up our good intentions? 

  1. Before giving, decide if it matters what happens in the end; how would you feel if all the apples are indeed taken, or your gift of money is squandered; or your possessions are returned in poor condition, or not returned at all?  If it doesn’t matter, there probably isn’t a problem
  2. If there are stipulations:
    1. Make the conditions clear.  Set boundaries
    2. Know your receiver; usually, but not always, history is a good predictor of the future.
    3. Work collaboratively with the receiver to ensure your intention is followed and the end result is mutual

Regardless of any ill-will done by some, generosity is truly a gift to our mental health.  Giving makes the world go around. It helps us repair the parts of ourselves that otherwise would be left to its own devises.  Being generous is a boomerang effect most of the time; a gift to both, and a virtue too significant to restrain. 

Claudia A. Liljegren, MSW, LICSW

St. William’s Mental Health

What are Registered Nurses? 5 Facts About This Amazing Career

Did you know that registered nursing is one of the highest paid occupations in America?

Not only can you make money as a registered nurse, but it’s also one of the most fulfilling jobs you can do. Nursing allows you to take on an active role in improving the daily lives of others.

There’s also a ton of demand for medical professionals. A nursing career gives you the job stability you want. And offers plenty of opportunity for advancement.

So, what are registered nurses (RNs)? In this article, we’ll give you five facts about this amazing career.

1. RNs are one of the Highest Nursing Ranks

When you choose to start a nursing career, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a great place to start. This is where you learn the basics of resident care.

The next level of nursing is called a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). LPNs take on a more advanced role. This is where you’ll learn to supervise others, administer medication, and take part in monitoring the health of the patients. 

RNs are the next level up in nursing. To become an RN, you must have a nursing degree, pass an exam with the national board of nursing, and meet all other state licensing requirements. You’ll work directly with supervising medical professionals to develop and implement care plans for your patients. 

2. You’ll Get Your Exercise as an RN

Looking to get out from behind a desk? Becoming an RN might just be the career change you need! That’s because nurses walk an average of four miles every day.

You’ll make regular rounds meeting and talking with residents. You’ll help with physical therapy and daily exercises. You’ll also move patients to and from mealtimes and activities. There’s never a dull moment when you’re an RN at a nursing home.

3. It’s One of the Most Fulfilling Careers

When your job is caring for others, the level of job satisfaction can’t be matched. As an RN, one day is never the same as the next. So you’ll have lots of opportunity to learn and grow as a person along the way. 

You’ll get to know each of the residents individually. And you’ll get to meet their families. There’s nothing more satisfying than providing a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on for those in need.

4. Men Can Do It Too!

Nursing isn’t only for women, men can do it too! In fact, the number of men choosing to go into the nursing field has increased year after year. 

Many residents appreciate having both male and female nurses around. Male residents may prefer to have a man help with bathing or toileting. If you’re considering becoming a nurse, don’t let old gender norms stop you.

5. You Can Get FREE Tuition

That’s right, we used the magic word – FREE! St William’s Living Center offers scholarships for nurses who want to advance their career. If you meet the requirements for scholarship participation, St. William’s will pay for your RN schooling and books.

And if you’re already in school or have completed a nursing program, St. William’s offers reimbursement of tuition expenses for qualified employees. Plus, we offer flexible and part-time shifts to our nursing staff. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to juggle work, school, and home life.

What are Registered Nurses? It’s Time to Find Out!

If you’ve ever asked yourself “what are registered nurses?”, now’s the time to find out! Contact us to get more information on this lucrative and fulfilling career. 

St. William’s Living Center offers our employees great benefits including low-cost health insurance, PTO, and, as we mentioned, tuition reimbursement and scholarships. And our facility has earned a 5-star ranking with Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare program. That means we consistently rank above average in all levels of safety, staffing, and resident care. 

Join an organization that you can be proud of. Call St. William’s today!

You Betcha! 4 Amazing Benefits of Working in a Nursing Home

Are you satisfied with your job?

Unfortunately for many, the answer to this question is a resounding “NO!” But what makes a job more satisfying? 

The answer to this question depends on you, of course. But there are a few common characteristics that make certain jobs more fulfilling than others. Caring for others, the opportunity for advancement, and building positive relationships are a few of these characteristics. 

And working in a nursing home happens to have all of these positive features! In this article, we’ll outline 4 amazing benefits you’ll get when you decide to work in a nursing home.

1. It’s Never Boring

No matter what your position in the nursing home, there’s always something to do. And one day never looks the same as the next day. 

As part of a bigger team, you’ll learn to share responsibilities and take on new roles every day. There are different levels of physical and occupational therapy to administer to residents. And you’ll get to experience the same great activities as the residents, which includes live music, group games, and off-campus trips. 

Depending on your position, you may work with food prep one day and help with bathing the next day. You’ll keep track of patient records and may even be in charge of administering medication. And you’ll be on your feet, which is important to keep your own body strong and healthy. 

2. Get to Know Your Patients

One of the most rewarding aspects of a nursing home job is getting to know the residents. Unlike a hospital or outpatient clinic, many of the residents stay for weeks or even years. You’ll get to watch them grow and progress as they heal from surgery and overcome illness. 

As a caregiver, you’ll get to know their families too. You’ll be someone they can share stories with and relive the good-old-days. And you can be a shoulder to cry on during difficult times. 

Plus, you’ll gain a new respect for aging. And you’ll learn valuable skills for how to care for aging loved ones. Which can come in handy one day when you need to care for your own family members. 

3. Room for Advancement

If you’re looking to advance your nursing career, the nursing home is an excellent place to do that. At St. William’s Living Center, we offer scholarships for people who have been employed with us for longer than three months.

We want to see our employees grow in their profession. In addition to the monetary support, we offer flexible scheduling to accommodate those who are in school to advance their careers. And if you’re newly hired LPN or RN, we offer student loan repayment options to help you get out of debt. 

4. PTO, and Insurance, and Retirement Investments, Oh My!

Plus, there’s a fabulous benefits package! At St. William’s, we offer competitive wages and affordable health insurance for as low as $45 per month for the employee. 

We also offer a dental package option and a $25,000 life insurance policy to every employee. Our Paid Time Off (PTO) policy allows you to start accruing time off starting on your first day of employment. And we offer a 401k contribution for every employee with no contribution by you required. 

Considering Working in a Nursing Home? Here’s How!

There are a ton of benefits to working in a nursing home. And we’ve only touched on the tip of the iceberg here! 

Are you ready to start? Visit our Career Page to get all the details. 

Congratulations, McKinley!

We would like to congratulate McKinley in receiving a scholarship from St. William’s Living Center to further her nursing career. She is working towards obtaining a degree as a Registered Nurse. McKinley has been a Certified Nursing Assistant at St. William’s Living Center since April 2019. We are very proud of her and furthering herself in her nursing career!

St. Williams Living Center

“Blunder Catching”

So often, we trust our reasoning.  I mean, why would our logical mind lie to us?  Unfortunately, we oftentimes base our logic on our own sensitivities and perceptions, and not on the facts.  Our thoughts can easily be blundered and we don’t even realize it.  “Feeling Good Handbook”, by Beck and Burns scopes out these problems, identifying at least 11 mistakes in our thinking.  Maybe if we can catch these mistakes, we will be more rational and have an easier time with ourselves and in our relationships.  The following is a list of common reasoning blunders, or better known as Cognitive Distortions:

1. All-or-Nothing Thinking / Polarized Thinking, without finding a middle ground (e.g., “I have to get all A’s or I’m a failure”

2. Overgeneralization, or taking one instance and making across-the-board statements (e.g., “I burned the potatoes, so the whole meal was a disaster”).

3. Mental Filter, or despite all being positive except for one, all is negative (e.g., “Because I received a warning, although I never got a ticket in all the years of driving, I’m a poor driver”).

4. Disqualifying the Positive, or rejecting positive feedback vs. embracing them (e.g., “He is just saying I’m an excellent employee because he is trying to be nice”).

5. Jumping to Conclusions – Mind Reading, or believing that you know what others are thinking with negative interpretations (e.g., “They are not looking at me when they pass me by because they don’t like me and are avoiding me”).

6. Jumping to Conclusions – Fortune Telling, or making conclusions/predictions with little to no evidence (e.g., “I’ll never get married because none of my dating experiences”).

7. Magnification (Catastrophizing) or Minimization, or exaggerating or minimizing the importance of the meaning of things (e.g., “I dropped the ball when playing sports, so I’ll never be a good player”, or “I got the last point in the game, but it was just luck – I’m not that good of a player”).

8. Emotional Reasoning, or letting emotions be your logic (e.g., “I feel angry, so what is happening right now is unjustified”).

9. Should Statements, or feeling guilty if the “shoulds” aren’t done (e.g., “I should have called and maybe everything would have been ok”

10. Labeling and Mislabeling, or judging someone based on one instance or experience (e.g., “He is a lazy bum” when individual is mislabeled and instead had sleeping problems for the past couple nights)

11. Personalization, or taking things personal when they aren’t meant to be (e.g., “We didn’t have fun last night because I was late”

“Blunder catching” is a way to help keep ourselves more logical when emotions get in the way.  It is good mental health and it does make it easier to deal with ourselves and our relationships.

Claudia A. Liljegren, MSW, LICSW

St. William’s Mental Health