Connect to Correct

3 Minute read

Who had the Connect kit in their home, that magnetic one, with the balls and the sticks, the bits that always blocked the hoover!? It always fascinated me how each one of my children could make very different shapes, ones that got more convoluted, as time went on. There are so many popular toys, that we buy our children, toys that are good for improving fine motor skills, all toys that have connecting bits, Brio, Duplo, jigsaw puzzles, Lego, bits that all slot in and fit together. Did you watch your child get more confident with them, each time, building more and more complicated constructions? And then would say…”let’s tidy up now”, in my house, the beloved construction would be put on display for Daddy to look at but eventually it would have  to be broken up and put back in it’s box. It could never be lasting.

We teach our children from a very early age to Continue reading “Connect to Correct”

The Balance Act

The Author Alain de Botton said:

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

Whether you find that re-assuring or not, when we talk about balance, we can get stressed and feel guilty just trying . What are we trying to balance? Is there a conflict in trying to achieve a balance between work, play and parenting? The Modern Family Index 2017 found that only 1 in 5 parents claim they have the balance right.

Achieving Balance is a hot topic right now, in the light of the headlines quoting how many of us are stressed. The emphasis is very much placed on achieving a balance between work, play and parenting, but by doing so, have we missed an opportunity here to integrate all these parts in what contributes to making us whole? Can we shift the emphasis on finding a balance between our doing and our being, that embraces all our parts , beginning with grounding ourselves to the authentic version of ourselves, without feeling guilty? Continue reading “The Balance Act”

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! Continue reading “Name it to Tame it: How to teach children to surf the waves of Emotions”

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. Continue reading “A Parent’s Guide for A Level Results Day”

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. Continue reading “How to prepare our children Holistically for University”

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)

Continue reading “Top Tips to beat Sibling Rivalry”

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”