Name it to Tame it: How to teach children to surf the waves of Emotions

I’ve just returned from a lovely holiday in Turkey, and learnt two things:

  1. Turkish is a beautifully emotive language
  2. I’m a rubbish paddle boarder!

Is anyone a Surfer or paddle boarder?

I’ve tried it and just can’t master it, everytime I try to get up on the board, I wobble and down I go, back into the water. Not got the core strength! But you know how to lift yourself up everytime.

The goal of raising children should not be simply to have an obedient and compliant child, but one that can take control of how they feel through making choices. We want children that can use their own strengths to get up again when they are knocked back, and be able to self- regulate when they lose their balance. Just like surf boarders, this takes a lot of practice!

I hope today through this talk to be able to share my ideas about how we can teach our children to metaphorically surf the waves  of emotions.

 

Children are born with the potential to feel and express the full range of emotions. Not all of these are comfortable or manageable, they are often overwhelming before a child learns to regulate them.

Learning how to manage emotions and endure unpleasant feelings doesn’t come naturally, but they are skills that can be and must be taught. When we help children learn to regulate their emotions, we are doing much more than helping them control their temper, we are helping them with practice and guidance, in being able to cope with feelings.  Therefore we are teaching emotional regulation as oppose to emotional surpression, which comes from closing the behaviour down.

We know that a baby crying is their way of communicating a need, hunger, thirst, connection etc, but how does this translate as they grow older?

As a parenting coach, I’m often asked for strategies about taming tantrums, be it toddler or teen. Traditional parenting strategies aim to close down behaviour but the behaviour is simply a communication of a need, just like a baby’s.

The aim of today’s talk is to give you one ninja strategy:

NAME IT TO TAME IT: THIS IS YOUR NINJA STRATEGY that will make them a great e-boarder!

If you follow this strategy, coined by the neuro-scientist Dan Siegal, who wrote The Whole Brain Child,  it is a sound pathway to helping your child be able to regulate their own emotions and develop emotional resilience in the future.

The philosophy behind Name it to Tame it, upholds, that all emotions are both hurtful and helpful, and therefore serve a necessary purpose to helping us be whole.

Why would you use this strategy:

A very large concensus now amongst child psychologists and neuro-scientists that it is a child’s ability to regulate emotions that is a critical factor in their mental health.  Research by John Gottman concludes that it is “The Difference that makes the difference”.

What is the Difference?

The difference is an Authoritative approach to Parenting As oppose to more traditional forms of parenting (authoritarian) that punishes a child for behaviour, and doesn’t recognise the emotions fuelling the behaviour as a response to a need. This leads to surpressing emotions, which is damaging, or more anger. Punishment adds to the negative feelings that drives poor behaviour

How it makes a difference?

It can be argued that Emotional competence is more important than other skills linked to success and happiness. There is a current danger on focusing on academic prowess, without building core resilience skills, which may explain in the upsurge of the amount of teenagers suffering from anxiety and depression.l

Children who are able to regulate emotions:

  1. Pay more attention, work harder and achieve more academically
  2. Are better able to resolve conflicts with their peers
  3. Have lower levels of stress
  4. Are more caring to others.

Labelling Emotions:

As an NLP practitioner, I’m really interested in Language, particularly language that creates Connection rather than which fuels disconnection. We have the largest amount of words in any language, but the least for emotions. For example There are at least five different words to express surprise in Chinese Mandarin; some surprises are happy, others are shocks and still others are the slow, prolonged surprise you might experience while reading a book – suspense.

A British researcher called Lomas published an article in the Journal of Positive Psychology finding that the English language lacks words for positive emotions. He found that worldwide there are 216 words that we have no equivalent for. Here are some:

Words relating to relationships:

  • Nakama: Japanese for friends who one considers like family
  • Kanyininpa: Aboriginal Pintupi for a relationship between holder and held, akin to the deep nurturing feelings experienced by a parent for their child
  • Gigil: Philippine Tagalog for the irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze someone because you love them so much
  • Kilig: Tagalog for the butterflies in the stomach you get when interacting with someone you find attractive
  • Sarang: Korean for when you wish to be with someone until death

So what are the main emotions?

  • Anger:the most common emotion displayed by young children
  • Fear: fuels anxiety and meltdowns
  • Disgust:fuels prejudice, lack of respect and bullying
  • Happiness and Joy:Susan Jeffers, states seek joy not happiness in daily living because it is immediate
  • Grief and Sadness:”I’ve lost something important to me”: The proof of love present. If your child is the smartest kid on the block but cannot tolerate being sad, they will never be willing to risk failure or rejection
  • Surprise: Can be happy or sad (a shock)
  • Contempt and Shame: Self- loathing, Abuse of others, depression.

However these are all on a continuem of Pain & Power (Susan Jeffries)   and when we recognise that negative emotions serve a useful purpose, we can name that need.

For the purpose of this talk, I’m going to focus on the ones which lead to negative behaviours and explain why and explain how we can shift them from pain to power.

The over-riding reason for challenging behaviours, whether that’s screaming, whining, tantrums, anger, hitting, biting Is needs not being met.  If you are unsure of what these needs might be they are easily related to Maslow’s model:

Physiological: Hungry, tired, Hot/Cold, want to be at home (Shelter)

Safety. Fear: I might be in danger. Fuels Anxiety

Love/Belonging: Friendships, the need to be understood, the need for Connection & Companionship

Self- esteem: (humiliation , embarrassment. A challenge in confidence or respect. Frustration at not being able to do something because they perceive we don’t think they  have the skills or that they don’t have the skills.

Self- actualisation: Coping with change, coping with boundaries. Not understanding (logic) what is expected of them. LInked with developing their own Identity

Once we’ve looked for that need, what next? What are the components of the Ninja Strategy?

  1. Name the need: How can I help? Label the emotion e.g It looks like you are feeling angry right now”
  2. Validate the emotion: Showing that you understand how they are feeling, but you don’t agree with it. e.g I can understand feeling so angry that you wanted to say something mean.This is connecting to correct.
  3. Assert the limit….”This is  not how we speak to each other in this family because it’s rude.” Correct the behaviour, not the emotion
  4. Seek the solution: Do not fix. Ask your child what they think they should do. By fixing, you are taking responsibility for their emotions, not them. This may have to be done later if needs some time out to calm down. N.B Use time out positively, you will have agreed calming strategies and the place in advance.
  5. Apply the consequence and re-affirm that they always have a choice in how they behave to get what they need.

Forcing your child to say sorry doesn’t teach them how to make amends. Teach them that apologies are only meaningful when they are intent on changing their behaviour. We can help them change their behaviour by using discipline to teach, by using the relationship we have to guide and teach the values that we want them to learn.

We have lately witnessed some high profile monsters : Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein, who think that saying sorry is good enough, to absolve them of their horrific sexual abuse.

What do these 5 steps achieve?

Neurons that fire together, wire together. We know that there is so much plasticity in the brain, and that the old view that the brain was fully formed by age 7 has been proved wrong.

When we observe a child behaving aggressively, we often view this behaviour as naughty, inconsiderate or mean. This moves us to want to punish, without giving thought to the feelings driving it.

Young children cannot feel big emotions and at the same time think about their actions. This requires left brain logic to pair with right brain emotion and that takes time to integrate. So we become their upper brain for them, providing the pause and refelection and stopping the behaviour until they are able to do so themselves.

By looking behind the aggression, there will be feelings of frustration driving it, so we address the frustration.

The emotion pre-schoolers tend to struggle with the most is anger

Why does anger manifest itself: What is the need?

The need is: Frustration that something is in the way of me getting what I need.

Therefore, seeking a joint solution, rather than shouting or punishing is the more logical way and successful way. With toddlers we have to be their left hand brain for them, by setting the limit and establishing the consequence , but as they get older, we can ask how they think they can fix or amend the situation. Forcing a child to say sorry, does not encourage them to work out their own way of making amends. Trying to “fix” the situation for them, also does not enable them to take responsibility for their actions.

We need to teach from any early age how to calm themselves down and self- regulate, rather than punishment.

So how do we build emotional literacy from a young age?

  1. Use the Name it to Tame it Strategies.
  2. Explain that thoughts involve words or pictures that go on in the brain
  3. Ask your child where in their body they are feeling the feeling
  4. Behaviour involves the actions they choose to take with their body. Choice exists
  5. Plop words associated with emotions in sentences when you are speaking to them

Feeling disappointed, frustrated, angry and sad are all part of life. The one thing we can do is role model being comfortable showing these emotions, not hiding them from our children.

It’s connection, not control, that cultivates co-operation, trust, love, resilience and independence and which builds their internal compass.

We can help our children to find and nourish their internal compass.

 

N             Name it to Tame it, leads to

E              Emotional Resilience leads to

S              Self Esteem leads

W           Well adjusted child

 

A Parent’s Guide for A Level Results Day

How to prepare for A Level Results

 

This week, millions of children will be anxiously awaiting their A Level  results tomorrow and planning the realisation of their hopes and dreams of their next stage in life.

3 years ago I wrote a blog about my son , you can find it here

https://wordpress.com/post/wellerway.wordpress.com/30

I am so pleased to report that, having followed a new direction, a heart over head decision he has successfully graduated and has had the best time along the way. But the reason I wrote that blog was to encourage other parents to be creative on results day, if the results close one door, there are many doors open which are welcoming, beckoning and exciting . All it needs is a brainstorm and a leap of faith.

What to do on results day if the Grades don’t open the door to the next stage

Have a discussion about connecting dreams to education. Often children can be carried along with a limited belief and acceptance of how their talents are pigeon holed at school or that they can’t study a subject at Uni, because all their A level’s are in the wrong subjects. I strongly encourage you to adopt a coaching stance style in this discussion as it also gives your child a chance to admit….”actually, I never really wanted to study that, but I got swept along with the idea at school”. Our children are backed into a position from the age of 14, of having to make choices about a future career before they’ve had an opportunity to venture into the realm of part time work at 16 or truly discovered their own authentic identity and therefore sometimes choices are grasped at rather than truly considered.

Some helpful pointers of how to direct a coaching style of conversation are:

  1. What have you always loved doing or reading about, what nourishes your soul and fires up your passion for learning or discovering more?
  2. What people do you admire and why? How have they achieved their ambitions?
  3. What bothers you in the world, and would you like to try and fix it?
  4. What skills do you possess v what gifts/talents do you possess and how do these match up

 

Thursday looms and it will go. For some it will be a straightforward pathway, but for others it will be tough. This is the marking point of 7 years hard slog study and dreams can be crushed by the opening of an envelope. Sue Atkins, another Parenting Coach suggests that we as parents can ease the impact of that envelope with the following advice:

  • “Well, the first thing is not to look disappointed and look to blame someone – it’s a natural reaction but it’s not helpful because it will not move you all as a family into a more resourceful place.
  • Stay grounded, centred and positive for your teen – even if you feel upset or disappointed for them and don’t allow your partner’s reaction to cloud or influence yours ! Often in life we look back and say – gosh I’m really glad that happened as …. this wouldn’t have happened …. and I wouldn’t have …. travelled, met my wife , or spent time in Bristol instead.
  • Try to help your teen focus on what will be coming, what they have learnt from the situation and how they can move forward either with retakes or where to go instead.
  • Start to immediately focus on what has gone well, and what they can do next.  By helping to stay calm and keeping relaxed and open you can start to ponder more options – the secret for them is to remain calm, open minded and flexible so they can  go and talk to the right people who can help  plan the next small steps.
  • But while it may feel like the end of the world for a teenager whose dreams have just gone up in smoke,  they may have only taken a detour, and it might not be quite as bad as it seems. For help is at hand like never before to ensure that initial disappointment can be turned around”.

What to consider:

My advice is to think carefully about re-takes. It can be very isolating and demoralising hanging about waiting to do these the following summer when all your friends have gone off to pastures new, and what’s worse is seeing all their posts of having a great time on social media. We are experiencing an academically driven culture like never before, children are being brainwashed that academic excellence defines whether they will be successful or not in their future world, and as a result self esteem is suffering and anxiety is the fastest growing illness in the UK.  It is up to us as parents to re-inforce that exams are not a defining conclusion of our worth,  (in the heat of Thursday, good luck with that one, you maybe ignored!!) But, as in all walks of life, negotiation is there for the taking for those who have the confidence. Universities are desperate to fill their quotas, as applications are declining, so give it a go, you have nothing to lose. Getting through the admissions secretary to speak to the department, is a bit like getting past a Doctor’s receptionist , so good luck, but it can be done!

Gap years are worth considering  working and travelling gives time out to reassess and make leisurely rather than hurried choices, it also gives a newly acquired maturity to those decisions once the world of work is fully experienced. But most importantly for tomorrow, don’t cancel that lovely dinner you were going to cook, their favourite meal, or that restaurant reservation , or whatever else you were going to do. The celebration might not be what was expected, but a celebration of new beginnings, and new journeys, but above all a celebration of your family being together and instilling values of loving each other for each other, come what may.

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Calvin Coolidge

GOOD LUCK!

How to prepare our children Holistically for University

 

This isn’t another blogpost on University preparation about how to get student finance or prepare an IKEA shopping list, it is about how we can prepare our children holistically for the transition from school to studying away from home, family and friends, preparing them mentally and emotionally which can result in reducing the risks to their wellbeing through stress, anxiety and coping on their own whilst at University or College.

This transition comes at a crucial time, when the teenage brain is still developing, self-esteem and identity are still forming, and independent living skills together with self care strategies are probably not yet embedded.

The Teenage Brain:

Managing time, planning and organisation skills are not yet fully developed, as the brain is not fully integrated, yet University life demands those L’s…logic, lateral thinking and linguistic prowess.

Managing Risk: Mmmm….don’t want to be a party pooper on Freshers Week, but how many 18 year old’s are fully in control of their alcohol consumption and risks to personal safety that accompany it?

Managing Sleep:  How many 18 year old’s are fully committed to getting 8 hours sleep? or have developed self care strategies?

 

Why I’ve written this post

According to The Higher Education Statistics agency, the numbers of students developing Mental Health problems whilst at University has increased five-fold. That figure is only the figure gained from those students accessing help, so I suspect the figure is more. There is a lot of variation between various reports, but according to research by the BBC:

  • In 2006 3K students asked for help, in 2015 the figure was 15K.
  • 1,180 students abandoned their studies in the year 2014-15.
  • Suicide rates of students have nearly doubled between 2007 and 2016.
  • There were 10 deaths at Bristol University in the last 18 months, and closer to home, my daughter has reported sad statistics during her time at London College of Fashion, including 3 on the Women’s Wear course.

So within the context of these statistics, why have the figures increased? And why is there a significant gender difference?

In my opinion, a combination of social , political,  economic and neurological factors have contributed to the melting pot that causes a decline in Student Mental Health:

  • Education Policy. The Learning environment at School, emphasising  learning to pass exams and not promoting independent thought. Students are not trained and are mentally ill-equipped for independent, un-supervised learning, which leads to stress and difficulties in motivation.
  • A lot of high achieving pupils are used to being a “Big Fish in a small pond” : Student Ruth Day is quoted in an article for The Guardian about suicides at Brisol: “When you get to a Russell Group university, you are used to being top of your class. At school I was used to getting 90% for my work. At university 60% is brilliant. That disparity was something I really struggled with. At school, you are used to being a big fish. Here you are just one face in a sea of faces and it feels very isolating.” (The Guardian 26/05/2018)
  • Student Debt: Pressure to achieve top marks to validate the amount of debt
  • Financial worries as a result of poor budgeting skills, keeping up with Bills and expenses of a  Social life
  • Homesickness and a loss of belonging
  • Isolation, especially if the student is an introvert personality
  • Lack of independent living skills and taking responsibility for own life . Haven’t experienced making mistakes on their own or juggling independent living with working (a part time job) and studying
  • Poor emotional resilience: inability to bounce back from challenges
  • Poor relationship skills due to being an introverted personality as oppose to an extrovert personality, leading to a loss of connection through difficulties in making new friendships.

What can we as Peoplemakers and Parents do to prepare our children for University holistically?

One of the key parts of understanding how the teenage brain works, is that during adolescence their brain’s are re-wiring to biologically prepare themselves for independence. As part of this process teenagers may start communicating less with you, listening less and wanting to be with you less. But many parents assume that this means they don’t need us. Whereas, in reality, they do still need us, but they need us differently. it is crucial to keep communication and connection strong, even when it looks like your teenager is distancing themselves from you.  “Cutting them from our apron strings” should not include a severance to deep loving connection.

There is so much research and evidence being published now, that cites a loss of connection as the cause of Depression, rather than exclusively , a lack of seratonin, which explains why going to Uni is such a crucial time for young people when they are at their most vulnerable in losing connection, being away from home, and their established support network.

Use the Summer break after the A levels, to encourage them with self care strategies, looking at developing an exercise routine, and starting to build independent living skills if they are not already in place by enabling them to experiment with cooking meals,  helping with the family food shopping and doing their own laundry, so they have an understanding of how much time this takes.

Moderating our parenting style during the secondary school years to promote Growth Mindset, which includes praising for effort, and personal qualities, rather than praise exclusively for achievements, grades and outcomes goes such a long way in preparation for uni and developing a positive self identity which gives a strong foundation for managing the reality of meeting other University students  with different cognitive abilities. This helps with the “I am now a small fish in a bigger pond” scenario. Growth Mindset helps build resilience in managing setbacks and challenges, of which there will probably be a fair few, it equips children with the knowledge that they can manage when things get tough, whether that’s when the level of work cranks up, or when they experience relationship difficulties.

Role modelling how we manage stress is also very influential. Having conversations about what their stress management strategies might be, and how they can embed those, but more importantly do they know what their stress triggers are? Asking questions around, how would they seek help if they thought they weren’t coping, and helping them understand that asking for help is not shameful or weak. Girls are good at talking to other girls about their problems, traditionally ,  boys are not and for this reason, boys fall under the radar.  This partly explains, why there is such a gender difference in the suicide figures.

Recognising what personality style our children are, do they have an introvert or extrovert personality?, enables us to help them understand that not everyone makes friends easily or on the first day. Not everyone needs to scurry to join the Pack. For my children, I don’t think they discovered their true tribe until the second year.

Finally a conversation around….what will happen if you don’t like it. One of my key beliefs, is that “no experience is wasted experience” . Getting to University and deciding that you don’t like it or the course, is no big deal, quit while you are ahead, you can sort the student loan and come home and re-evaluate, it doesn’t mean you are a loser or a dis-appointment.  Help them understand that courage is good, burying your head in the sand, and not turning up to lectures because you are unhappy is not. Re-affirm that you support them either way in their journey towards finding their passion and purpose.

Send them off with the knowledge that whatever happens you love them un-conditionally, together with  a fruit cake and a bottle of something to offer hospitality to others on their floor.

 

Top Tips to beat Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry…Uggh!

(3 minute read time.)

Take two kids in competition for their parents’ love and attention. Add to that the envy that one child feels for the accomplishments of the other; the resentment that each child feels for the privileges of the other; the personal frustrations that they don’t dare let out on anyone else but a brother or sister, and it’s not hard to understand why in families across the land, the sibling relationship contains enough emotional dynamite to set off rounds of daily explosions.

(Adele Faber).

Sibling Rivalry…..Uggh, it’s one of the things that most parents struggle with knowing how to handle and one of the things that often causes us to reach the end of our tether, no matter how hard we try and stay calm.

Much of today’s popular advice about Parenting still ignores emotion. Yet emotion is what fuels all behaviours, including sibling rivalry and spats and it’s emotion that fuels our responses too.

The ultimate goal of raising children should not be simply to have an obedient, compliant child, but one where we as parents can empower them to problem solve and internally regulate their own emotions from a young age.

Therefore the secret lies in:

  1. Your perspective: how you perceive why siblings argue. If you can see it as a process and a natural part of their development,  a practice ground if you like, of your children testing the waters of  interacting and managing relationships, then you can encourage and empower them to learn problem solving techniques and the skill of co-operation.  But also to see all behaviours as a communication of a need. There will be a positive intention behind the poor behaviour always.
  2. How you manage the situation and react. Do you use discipline for learning opportunities and teaching values, or for punishment?

What are The Weller Way’s top tips?

  • Allow your children to have differences: Only step in if it gets out of hand and they are not able to sort it out themselves
  • Hitting, kicking, pushing etc is the result of a child having exhausted all the options of having his needs met. Because he doesn’t have the necessary brain development to control his feelings or think of ways to solve a problem, we can step in to help, but first:
  • Consider your attitude to conflict. Do you find it difficult and always want to shut it down?
  • Their argument is not your argument, therefore Don’t take sides: Make observations and describe what you see happening without judgement. This acknowledges each child’s perspective. Ask questions, rather than telling them to “STOP THAT”. Ask if they can come up with a solution, before you suggest one.
  • With older children, we can ask |”why do you think I am concerned about what I am seeing?”
  • Identify the need…”name it to tame it”.  Is it a need to protect something they are working on? Is it fuelled by wanting a sense of ownership? Or is it hunger, tiredness, frustration etc?? Understanding the need does not mean you agree with their behaviour.
  • Put the limit on the behaviour, not the need. A limit should be something you want them to learn, and must be something that you can carry out consistently. Limits tie into family values: e.g We don’t hit each other because we love and respect each other. This builds awareness of  the WHY  certain behaviors are wrong.
  • Don’t use guilt i.e “What is wrong with you”, or “I am so disappointed in you” or “why can’t you behave like your brother”.
  • Don’t use a withdrawal of 1:1 time as a consequence, as this will have a negative effect on self esteem. Remember the behaviour is not the person.
  • Work on your own mindset and internal state. If we yell , they will yell more. It is better to remove yourself for a moment to breathe and count to 10, before tackling the situation in anger and frustration.
  • Try games that build teamwork and boost sibling co-operation.
  • Offer 1:1 un-interrupted consistent attention to each child where you can slot it into your routine and which feels natural.
  • Highlight and praise the uniqueness of each child using statements like: “I love it when you…..”

From their struggles to establish dominance over each other, siblings become tougher and more resilient. From their endless rough-housing with each other, they develop speed and agility. From their verbal sparring they learn the difference between being clever and being hurtful. From the normal irritations of living together, they learn how to assert themselves, defend themselves, compromise. And sometimes, from their envy of each other’s special abilities they become inspired to work harder, persist and achieve.                  

(Adele Faber)

A Productive Guide to Positive Parenting

If I were to ask you what is your main hope for your child….would it be… “that they are happy?”

mother and child

It is a great responsibility don’t you think, to make that our No 1 aim of Parenting? I personally think that it’s too much responsibility to feel responsible for our children’s happiness but we can do so much to promote their own growth towards it. It is the difference that makes a difference. The clients I work with everyday worry about their child being happy, asking themselves, am I doing the right thing? But a Positive Parenting approach does lead to your child having a greater chance of Happiness amidst the current evidence of Mental Health statistics: Continue reading “A Productive Guide to Positive Parenting”

A Stress Reduction Guide for you and your family

It’s Stress Awareness Month

(A 5 minute read).

 

Stress can creep up on us silently, without us realising it, manifesting it’s creeping threads in so many different ways, triffid like.  A lot of people I know at the moment are suffering from Stress. The World Health organisation reckon that stress related illnesses will become  the largest health problem by 2020.

I recently gave talks at Tunbridge Wells Mums in Business about The Balance Act for Parentpreneurs, and at Tonbridge Mums in Business about Mum Guilt so I thought I would condense these into a shortened blog post. Having said that, I’ve realised that it’s not so easy to write a blog on a talk! But here is the essence!

The Author Alain de Botton said:

 “there is no such thing as work/life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life” .

Continue reading “A Stress Reduction Guide for you and your family”

Helping Children cope with Change

Change is the only constant

I feel like I’m re-living the lyrics of Paul Young’s hit Wherever I lay my hat at the moment, not because I’m breaking someone’s heart, but because I’m roaming about Kent stopping here and stopping there in holiday lets while our house is being renovated after a flood last year.

Having lived in our house since 1998, I now realise that I don’t do change in my home situation very well, probably because as a child I lived in 9 different houses before I was 18.  As a result I longed to put down roots after I was married and had my children.

Continue reading “Helping Children cope with Change”

Positive Parenting Guide on Toddler Tantrums

Are you at the end of your tether dealing with tantrums?

“Children in a family are like flowers in a bouquet: there’s always one determined to face in an opposite direction from the way the arranger desires” Marcelene Cox

 

 

 

How can a Positive Parenting approach help you deal with Toddler Tantrums?

Positive Parenting is not just a Parenting Strategy, it is a Parenting Philosophy and as such it is more of a holistic approach to the wellbeing of the whole family. In it’s “wholeness”, it embraces emotional intelligence, emotional resilience and nurtures the mindset and wellbeing of all. It is an approach that  looks much deeper into behavioural challenges such as Toddler Tantrums,  by addressing the emotions that are fuelling the behaviour and therefore giving children the opportunity to express their feelings and feel heard. Continue reading “Positive Parenting Guide on Toddler Tantrums”

The Saving Grace of a Garden

Salvias are their own saving grace hence their name being very aptly derived from “salvere”, which is Latin for “to save” or “to heal”.

The Saving Grace of a Garden

Caroline Arnold in her TEDxTunbridgeWells presentation talks about her idea of the Saving grace of nature, the benefits of being outdoors and noticing nature for our wellbeing and mental health.  I love the bit where she suggests that we all make an effort in our lunchbreak to go outside, and hug a tree. Caroline runs a successful project in Sussex called Grow to Grow, where vulnerable young people who have dis-engaged from school can participate in growing and selling produce alongside receiving education in core subjects.

The effects of being outdoors have been well documented and evidenced for looking after ourselves and a powerful remedy for stress, anxiety and depression. Continue reading “The Saving Grace of a Garden”

My type of Coaching: How I can help

The Pathway to my kinda  Coaching

It all started buying a new pair of glasses! I blindly (excuse the pun) expected to purchase a pair of glasses with little ado….eye test done, new frames chosen….voila! But then a protracted dilemma was drawn out by the choice and quality of lenses. I expect a pair of lenses to help me see, but I didn’t know that the quality of lenses, the thickness, the curvature, the coating, blah, blah, blah, would “enhance my sight even further, if I upgraded from the bronze quality to the gold quality. Whaaaat? The lengthy explanation that I would be able to see better for night driving…well yes, to see better would be most helpful! I started to feel anxious. In fact the whole process fed into my anxious brain…which presumably this selling psychology is supposed to do, to persuade me to spend far more money in upgrading from a lense that I might not be able to see the road in high definition, to one where I have super duper night road vision so that I don’t crash and die! Of course I ended up paying a stupid amount of money for the “premium” lense, as I long for the best vision possible, not to crash and die and I don’t want a pair of glasses that look like a pair of swimming goggles.

This process of what I now reflect upon as a form of insidious “selling” psychology seems to have permeated across the board . I think the official term is “upselling”. I have been busy trying to get into the “business lingo” while doing my business plan. Researching for my business plan….yes, I know I have started the business, but that’s me I tend to do everything backwards, leap in and learn along the way. Anyway, in my research I have been surprised at the amount of “business terminology” and upselling packages, in what is a people, not a product driven environment. I am quite baffled as to why anyone in the “helping people” sector are offering for example, the same models as for buying glasses, that is, a Bronze, Silver or Gold selection or a “VIP” package, because to me that gives the impression that the Bronze service is an “inferior” service to the Gold package or I’m not a VIP, because I can’t afford to be one. As a potential client I would be dismayed to think that a bracket of money would only entitle me to a part of a full service….again feeding into my “anxious” brain, that I could possibly be missing out on the advantages of the full  “VIP” or “Gold” package.  Using the very language of Bronze, Silver and Gold or anything similar has subliminal links with Competitive activities and the corporate world.

My Style, My Brand

During the last ten years of coaching vulnerable adults and children, they have always got the very best from me, there were all VIP’s in my eyes, people that needed extra TLC and support and I would constantly brainstorm in the most creative ways how to connect with each individual, no matter how challenging, to facilitate some form of “lightbulb” moments. Even when some told me to “f***k  o** I would wait for another opportunity, usually involving the art supplies.

I truly hope that you won’t feel the need to use expletives as my approach to coaching is that everyone gets 100% of The Weller Way, I have a flat fee for which in return I hope you will feel that you have gained personal reflection and a valuable insight into the most important job in the world.  There is no upselling with me, because that in my opinion is disingenuous. Generally people seek help from Coaches because they feel they are “not performing” in an area of their life, using competitive jargon in my opinion is counter productive. “Not performing well enough” is an indictment on our society’s fast paced, perfection seeking,  driven , ambitious culture and this is sadly filtering into our attitude about parenting. We strive to be the best parents that we can be, and that is natural, but not at the expense of beating ourselves up that we are not good enough because we are constantly making comparisons with others. Children are wonderfully forgiving, for most of the time, because they are hard-wired to seek a strong attachment with us, as long as we remember to apologise when we get it wrong. The Weller Way encourages and helps you to re-frame your thought processes from a stance of not good enough and feeling unable to juggle the demands of family life to feeling good enough, that you have a strong and secure connection with your child through which you can implement effective boundaries that are respected and can withstand whatever challenges are thrown your way.

 Parenting is Tough

as the Duchess of Cambridge reminded us recently , but it isn’t a competition, it’s a warts and all journey of unconditional love and building connection that can be strengthened by a little bit of coaching.

The Weller Way can guide you along a pathway, which encourages the following components to create a fully functional family:

P for Partnership

A for Authenticity

T for Trust

H for Heart.

Whether it’s a few sessions, or the full Circle of Security training,  I can help you feel more confident in ambling along your unique path. I hope that you can discover that being a real and not a perfect parent is something to aim for.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a     river moving in you, a joy.

Rumi.