Calming the Green-Eyed Jealousy Monster

Jealousy is a feeling all of us have to deal with at some point, and children are no exception. It can be anything from school grades, types of trainers, sporting achievement or good old fashioned sibling rivalry. Jealousy sparks big feelings in us – so how to support your child with defeating the green-eyed monster? Continue reading

Positive Self Talk – and Why it Matters

Our thoughts determine our actions – if we are in the habit of positive self-talk and positive thinking, we find that we can do things and marvel at our successes. However, all too often our internal chatter  is very negative; we can’t, we are stupid, people will laugh at me. Here are some tips on turning off the negative – and switching on the positive with yourself – and your children. Continue reading

10 Benefits of Taking Risks

Taking risks is important for children and teens – this doesn’t mean being reckless or placing themselves in danger, but having a positive attitude to stepping out of your comfort zone is a key life skill – and there are so many advantages.

 

As a parent you want your child to be safe – and protect them from any kind of hurt or harm. Realistically, I am afraid, this isn´t possible and it´s all too easy to be  over protective. Stopping children from trying new things  actually means they learn to fear taking  risks  – and they seek to continually stay in their comfort zone. In this way, children can become very limited in their ability to become resilient or overcome their fears. So, as always, it´s about balance. Even when things go wrong, that in itself is a valuable learning experience – no matter how bad the experience, we can always take a positive lesson from it, if we seek to.

Our comfort zones are exactly that – safe and stable. Nothing will change for the better if we insist on staying in them. Change will happen through external forces – but those who seek to only stay in the comfort zone begin to fear and resent those external forces. Those who proactively seek to change and control things on their own terms, however, are those who ultimately lead a more fulfilling and happy life. Change IS scary sometimes – however, it´s usually nowhere near as scary if we are the ones to “seize the day” and make it happen.

 

Benefits of taking risks

  1. Children learn and experience new and exiting things – they discover new things about themselves and what they do (and do not) like to do.
  2. They meet new people and form new friendships and relationships
  3. They learn how to handle it when things go wrong and this in turn can help them develop a sense of resilience and responsibility for their own actions.
  4. They learn to challenge themselves – to continually progress and learn more and more things – they develop a love of learning and a passion to succeed.
  5. They do not fear challenges – rather they embrace it and seek to continually try new things.
  6. Taking risks means you have greater confidence and are not afraid of failure.
  7. You are inspired by, rather than threatened by others, and develop a “give it a go” attitude rather than judging or criticizing others for taking a risk.
  8. Children who take risks learn from their mistakes, learn new life skills and inspire others.
  9. Risk taking fosters a love of resilience and perseverance – and children who take risks are more likely to acknowledge and celebrate their success and achievements – this boosting their self-esteem
  10. It´s the difference between living life and watching it go by – far better to join the party, than sit on the sidelines. Yes – children (and adults) who take risks are happier, have more fun and attract more positivity into their lives.

So go on – take a risk and let me know what you did and how you got on!

 

 

 

How to Explain Tough Love to your Child / Teenager

There’s no doubt about it –  as your children and teenagers grow up, there are often times when you need to apply a bit of the old tough love. And it can hurt.  It can upset them and it can hurt to you to have to say it and then cope with the backlash. Here are a few tips to explain what tough love is – and why it is important. Continue reading

Overcoming Self Doubt

It is normal that every now and then we doubt ourselves. Did we say the right thing, offend someone or could we have reacted in a more positive or self-assured way? Self doubt is normal, but more and more children and young adults are basing their self worth on the values and opinions of others. Continue reading

Is Your Child a Fussy Eater?

Why is it that children will guzzle sweets, chocolates and all things unhealthy, yet will adamantly refuse anything remote healthy? Continue reading

Kindness Makes the World go Round

To be kind is one of life´s virtues. It says a great deal about who we are as a person. It reflects how we respect and treat others and ourselves, and how we wish to be seen in the grand scheme of things. Continue reading

The Importance of Good Manners

Good manners matter – they cost nothing yet can mean a great deal to others. They make a positive difference and a lasting impression, yet so many young people are failing to be “well mannered” – but at what cost?

Continue reading

Let´s PLAY! (And create few happy habits at the same time!)

Ever miss the days when life was so much simpler and there was a lot more fun around? Children have so much fun playing – when do we loose that spark for fun and creativity? Continue reading

Having a Bad Reputation – and What they can do about it

Does your child have a bad reputation at school? The problem with bad reputations is that they are easy to get – and tricky to shake off. Happily, there are things they can do to start taking back control and making life a lot less lonely. Continue reading

How to Manage Stress and Stay Calm

Stress is something we all have to mange, yet without secure strategies in place, it can rule us, rather than us managing our stress levels. Continue reading

How to Make time for Downtime – and Why it is SO important: A Spookje Story

Are you and your children constantly busy and on the go, with little or no downtime? The importance of being mindful and taking time out has never been more important. Continue reading

When Kids Break The Rules : A Spookje Story

It’s completely normal for children of all ages (even the grown up ones!)to test boundaries and break the rules. However – where is the balance between allowing them to test the limits and keeping them safe? 

Children break the rules for different reasons:

  1. To test your limits and see how far they can push you – this is about control and who has it – and who hasn’t.
  2. For attention – even if it is negative attention.
  3. Copying others to fit in and be part of a group.
  4. It is fun – it’s a way to assert their authority and gain more independence.
  5. They do not know the point of the rule – to them it is meaningless.

As soon as children learn that breaking the rules works – they get what they want  – so they will keep repeating it. Children / preteens who are defiant at school and get sent out of class may behave this way to GET sent out of class. As soon as they know what buttons they need to press to get what they want – they will do it over and over. Then you end up in a vicious circle of telling them off, only to find they immediately repeat the same behaviour.

Rules and boundaries are vital to children and teenagers. They are there to keep them safe and offer boundaries that ensure they can learn positive life skills.

Here are a few tips to help manage the constant rule breaking at home and maybe offer some food for thought:

  1. Sit down and explain that the rule breaking is a big cause of arguments. Talk to your child about it – be open and curious – what are their reasons for breaking the rules? If they have the confidence to be open and honest about it, then make sure there are no negative consequences for their openness. It might be that they want your attention and that’s why they break the rules. This is simply about them wanting your time, so schedule in times when they will have your undivided attention and AGREE TOGETHER that this then stops the negative attention rule breaking. You’ll need to stick to the agreement too – otherwise, that in turn will illicit negative attention seeking.
  2. Look at what rules are being broken – are those rules fair, age appropriate and meaningful to your children?
  3. How many rules are there and what is their purpose?
  4. What rules are non-negotiable because they are there to keep them safe?
  5. Do the children know the purpose for and reasons behind the rules – sometimes they do not see the point of rules. If there are meaningless, then children will continually break them.
  6. What rules are no longer necessary?
  7. What independence do the rules encourage?

Two key questions are:

  1. What level of input do children have over rules and boundaries?
  2. What is your reaction to rule breaking – and how consistent is it?
  3. What are the consequences to rule breaking – who imposes them and how consistently are they applied?

If you find your child is breaking the rules and it’s causing trouble at home, please get in touch.

 

 

Change is Coming

Change can be challenging for all of us – especially if we did not choose it, do not want it or we are scared of what will happen.The unknown can be frightening for all of us. Continue reading

Spookje Stories: I HATE YOU! Bad Moods Impact on Everyone

Watch out – he´s in a bad mood  AND IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT

Ever had your head completely bitten off by your kids (or a colleague, friend or partner)  for absolutely no reason – but suddenly you feel like you did something wrong? Continue reading

Spookje Stories: Happiness – Being Happy and Keeping that Feeling

happy, happier, happiest – happiness

It’s so lovely when your children are in a great mood, are delightful to spend time with, follow all the rules,  don’t argue….. and then BANG something happens and it’s all changed. Continue reading

Spookje Stories: Keeping Clean

Having trouble getting your kids to keep themselves clean?

As adults we know an important part of self-care is keeping ourselves clean, brushing our teeth, washing our faces, bodies and hair – yet somethings children do not see the importance of these simple things. Continue reading