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!

 

 

 

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

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 “ME” time

Having time to ourselves is really important – it is healthy and normal. Many of my “kids” complain they need more “me time” yet they find it hard to schedule in and do not always understand this need in others. 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

Spookje Stories – SNOTTY NOSE!

At times we all get colds – so what can you do to enable your child to look after their snotty nose? Snot is never a good look on anyone – not cats, kids or grown-ups! Continue reading

making promises

How Not To Break Promises to Your Children

We make promises for all sorts of reasons; we want to make someone happy, we are afraid of disappointing them or, as can often be the way with kids, to keep the peace. Making promises is usually done with genuine intentions.

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Making Friends

Making New Friends

For some children, knowing how to make friends is really easy – for others – not so much. It can be an awkward and challenging time, both for your child and for you. Some children lack confidence when trying to make a new friend; they are just not sure where to start or they are good at initiating a friendship but not good at maintaining them. Sometimes kids can be too dominant – or too passive. More often than not, children genuinely don’t know how to talk to other kids of their own age; they get nervous, they show off. All too easily, they are on their own, whilst everyone else seems to find it oh-so-easy to make friends.

Why making friends is important

Friendships are important – knowing how to make friends is a key life skill. If your child is struggling with friendships, reassure them that friendships take time and effort on both parts. They are also not alone in struggling with this issue -problems with friendships comes up a lot with children I work with. There are many issues with friendships – making them, losing them, changing friendships, old/new friendships, toxic friendships – and of course bullying, which I will be posting about very soon.

Here is some advice from one child to another. Through coaching, Milly is learning how to make being her age a little less complicated – for herself and others around her.

“Some people really have a thing about popularity and they will be mean to you just so they can be friends with the person you are friends with. And then, the friend you used to be friends with, starts being mean to you because that’s what the other person wants. But, if the false friend is being mean to your old friend, then that’s not friendship at all. That sounds weird and complicated, but people my age will get it.”

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“Sometimes making new friends is scary and really you want them to like you. Be yourself – not the person they want you to be.”

Some strategies on how to make a friend:

  • Smile
  • Ask them their name and tell them yours
  • Ask a question about what they like to do or what TV they watch
  • Give a compliment
  • Be aware of things you do when you are nervous, like talk too much – acknowledge it and then move on to chatting about something else
  • Remember – everyone can be nervous when trying to make new friends, even if they do not look nervous.

If you are worried about how to help your child through any issue related to friendship, why not get in touch with me and find out more about how I can help support both you and your child. You and they are not alone – and there is someone who can help.

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Teen Talk – Preparing For a New School

This part of my blog is based on the advice of a pre-teen called Milly. Through coaching, Milly is learning how to make being her age a little less complicated – for herself and others around her. She would like to share her ideas, in the hope that she can help others going through the same kind of things.

Starting A New School

“Everyone gets nervous about starting a new school. I’m really excited but I’m also really nervous! I’m nervous that the teachers won’t like me, that I won’t know what to do, that I won’t make friends – and that my Dad will be super annoying when he takes me to school and embarrasses me in front of everyone.”

Here are a few bits of advice to help make the start of either a brand new school, or a new school year, less stressful:

Teachers

New teachers can be scary, and that’s because you don’t know what their rules and expectations are. You may have heard that Mr X or Mrs Y is really strict, so just keep it in mind; wait and see how it goes. Just be calm, smile nicely when you meet them and listen to what they are telling you about the behaviour they want to see in class. Teachers are always more strict in the beginning because they want a good start to the school year – for them and for all the children in the class. You’ll get to know them soon enough, and they will get to know you. So give it a bit of time, is really my best advice; smile, be polite, and wait and see.

If you’re worried about reputation, and you are going to a new school, remember, every year is a fresh start. No one really wants to deliberately get into trouble (and that’s a different blog post if they do). Mostly, you don’t have a reputation – you’re just worried about getting one on your first day. You’re worried you will do something wrong, or get lost, or your bag won’t fit into the locker etc. You worry that a teacher will see and you’ll get into trouble. Remember, teachers see this every year, and they are really hoping that, if you do have a reputation, this is the year you can break free of it, or if you don’t they are not looking to give you one. Really. Stick with others and watch what they do.

I Don’t Know What To Do

Everyone that’s new has this worry – even adults starting a new job. It’s completely OK and  normal to worry about this. You are in a new pace, with new people, with new routines. My best advice is to carefully (but not actually staring at others because that’s a bit weird) watch and see what others do and follow their lead. If you’re not sure, it is also a good way to start talking to someone and ask for their help.

“I’m worried that my bag won’t fit in my locker, that I’ll lose my locker key or I won’t have anywhere to put the key.”

I wrote down some of my fears – some are just there to worry you and you need to say to yourself, “I am going to out that at the back of my mind and deal with it if it really happens.” I talked to my mum about the key and we went and bought a key ring, so if I needed it, it was there. I also checked my school uniform to see if there was a loop on the skirt. There was, so we made sure I had a thing on the key ring to clip it onto the loop – if that’s what the other girls did and if we were allowed. I also worried about getting lost so I decided I would always stick with a group and try to just chat and say “Hi” to other people, even if I didn’t know them.

Making Friends

Lots of people worry about making friends – it is normal. My best advice, even if you are really shy, is to smile, and say “Hi”. This is a good first step. If they don’t respond, then have a few prepared things to say. My advice is, try not to stick with only one new friend as it might stop you making friends with other people too.

At my old school, I used to take a book onto the playground and read all the time. It was a great way to protect me as I had something to “disappear” into and then it didn’t really matter if no one was my friend or invited me to play. Actually, this isn’t true – of course it hurt. I now realise that the book made it look like I am not interested in talking to anyone else, so I’m not going to do this in my new school.

“Honestly, just talk to everyone – soon people will realise that you’re friendly and they will come up to you and start talking. I know it’s easy to say and I am really going to give it a go when I start my new school this week.”

Dad

If you’re worried about your parents embarrassing you on your first day, maybe because they have been teasing you about it, or you are really unsure, then find another adult to share your worries with, if you can. Just check-in with them that he’s not really going to give you a big hug and kiss and hold your hand when you go to your new school – and you’re 11 years old – because that’s so embarrassing. He’s probably only joking, but if it is on your mind, try to ask someone for help. If that’s not possible, try to say politely but firmly, “Dad, I am a little bit worried about this teasing. I’d really like to have a good start at school, so please I need your help to make that happen.” If you’re polite and share your feelings, hopefully the message will get through.

Teen-Talk: New School – New Friends

This part of my blog is based on the advice of a pre-teen called Milly. Through coaching, Milly is learning how to make being her age a little less complicated – for herself and others around her. She would like to share her ideas, in the hope that she can help others going through the same kind of things.

Making New Friends

“Friends aren’t always something you get straight away – even if that’s what you really want. It’s easy to feel like you just want someone to hang around with, but then they can actually stop you making new friends.”

“Some people really have a thing about popularity and they will be mean to you just so they can be friends with the person you are friends with. And then, the friend you used to be friends with, starts being mean to you because that’s what the other person wants. But, if the false friend is being mean to your old friend, then that’s not friendship at all. That sounds weird and complicated, but people my age will get it.”
“Sometimes making new friends is scary and really you want them to like you. Be yourself – not the person they want you to be.”

Some strategies on how to make a friend:

  • Smile
  • Ask them their name and tell them yours
  • Ask a question about what they like to do or what TV they watch
  • Give a compliment
  • Be aware of things you do when you are nervous, like talk too much – acknowledge it and then move on to chatting about something else
  • Remember – everyone can be nervous when trying to make new friends, even if they do not look nervous.