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Can't I discipline without the chaos?How many times have you asked yourself a similar question “Can’t I discipline without the chaos?”  “Can’t I be a more effective parent?” “I swore I would never parent like I was!”

You want the bad behaviour to stop, but you want to respond in a way that values and enhances your relationship with your children.  You want to build your relationship, not damage it.  You want to create less drama, not more.

How many times have you said I don’t want to discipline like I was?  I know I have quite a few times when I have thought goodness I sound like my mother.  But that is the only type of discipline I know and honestly it is the way that is promoted all the time.  So I feel like I have been at a cross road of how I want to discipline.

The word “discipline” comes directly from the Latin word disciplina which means teaching, learning and giving instruction.  However if discipline is meant to teach, most people associate only punishment or consequences.  Society tends to frown upon parents who do not simply punish their child when they misbehave.

Our children need to learn skills like inhibiting impulses, managing big angry feelings, and considering the impact of their behaviour on others.  Learning these essentials of life and relationships is what they need and if you can provide it for them, you’ll be offering a significant gift not only for your children, but to your whole family and even the rest of society.

It is time to begin to rethink what discipline really means, reclaiming it as a term that’s not about punishment and control, but about teaching and skill building – and doing so from a place of love, respect and emotional connection.  Since I changed my beliefs, put in my professional philosophy with behaviour management of children with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder, I am able to support them through their tough emotions and it has been amazing how quickly they calm when supported.

If you are sick of yelling, doing time out have a look at our program called Challenging Busting Behaviour  program or simply email me at info@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au and share how you want to start parenting your children.

 

Why can't my family be just like theirs?Why can’t my family be just like theirs?  This is a common question that families ask themselves from time to time.  When each day is based on problems after problems and meltdowns after meltdowns, you do look around you and think why can’t my family be just like theirs?

Social media is also adding more self judgement then ever before.  All you see around you is “perfect” families.  This also leads parent’s to the question “why can’t my family be more like theirs?”

Nevertheless, we just see a snap shot of a families 5 seconds that it took to take that photo.  We do not see what happened 5 seconds later or an hour later.  A perfect photo does not show us a families struggles as who will put that up for other’s to see.  If people continually put up amazing posts and photos of what they want people to see, people forget they have struggles.  I saw the perfect photo to illustrate this.

14708200_1213473358720355_2848913311369338979_nWhy can’t my family be just like theirs?

We only see what people want us to see.  As a parent, we may only be “seeing” what we want to see and that may be that everyone’s life is better than ours.  Everyone else can handle things better than me.

If you wanted to make changes in your family what would they be?

I would encourage you to write down any positive changes (which need to be realistic) you would like to make for your family and email me on info@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au so we can organise a free 30 minute phone call so that you can start making those changes.

 

Are You Ok?When you are feeling depressed it is imperative that you speak up and seek help.  In the media, there has been reports of a murder/suicide of a family who have two children with severe autism.  I am not going to go into this story because at the end of the day the children were murdered.  Just because they have Autism does not make the action any different than a father throwing a child off a bridge.

Nevertheless, what is being highlighted there are so many families feeling isolated due to location, not having support, affordability of actually seeking professional services, feeling confident in seeking support or not being heard by professional services.

I know how hard these thoughts can be and I understand that there feels like there are no other choices.  How do I know this?  I have been to hell and back and I have had treatment I would not want anyone else to go through.  I spent approximately 7 months in between a mother/baby unit and a psychiatric ward after Emma was born.  I used to self harm and I put a suicide plan into action.

When you are feeling depressed to the point where you can not see any other option it is extremely hard to fight.  It is extremely hard to explain but it is a lot worse than the flicker of the thought “I could end my life right now”.  I want you to know that the light will come back. It will not be easy but you are going to have to fight through it.  I have come out the other side stronger for facing my demons and you can too.

More support needs to be offered for families.  At no point is your autistic child and what they are going through to blame.  You need to reach out and say “I need help” and keep fighting until you get the right help.

My email is always open for mums and dads who are needing emotional support.  No matter where you live, the thoughts you are having are you alone.  I do not judge anyone for the thoughts you might be having because I have had them too.  But I want you to email me and let me know you are in trouble.  We can work together to get through this tough hurdle.  You are not alone and I am here for you 24/7.

If you are needing some emotional help email me at info@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au.  You are not alone no matter where in the world you are.

 

Are you feeling deprived?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you feeling deprived?

When I have session with a client I ask them “Are you feeling deprived”?  It makes everyone think and they usually say yes.

Typical answers that clients share are:

  • Sleep
  • Emotional support
  • Time to myself
  • Physical energy
  • Not catching up with friends
  • Companionship
  • Peace
  • Hope
  • Touch
  • Peace and quiet
  • Not having a relaxing day without a meltdown
  • Someone who understands.

Awareness id a powerful catalyst for positive change and in time when you start to recognise when you are feeling deprived, you can put self care into practice.

I have come to learn that over giving is often a sign of deprivation – a signal that a need isn’t being met, an emotion isn’t being expressed, or a void isn’t getting filled.  For example, while you might dedicate hours to coordinating the family’s social calendar, you may actually be yearning for deeper and more meaningful connections, stimulating conversation, or greater intimacy with yourself.  You might also be available and generous with others because on some level you have an unconscious desire to get what you give, whether it’s acknowledgement, affection, recognition, or support.

Becoming away of how you feel deprived can be a key to recognising what needs to shift emotionally and physically.  In what ways are you starving yourself of what you need to live a rich and fulfilling life?

Since awareness in and of itself inspires change, I’d like to challenge you to spend the next 30 days becoming skilled at seeing the ways, big and small, that you deprive yourself of what you need.  Rather than feeling like a victim to something outside of yourself, when you realise that you alone are responsible for over giving, you can actually empower yourself to do something about it.

Discovering where you feel deprived

This challenge is a call to consciousness – becoming more aware of how, why and where you feel deprived.  It is handy to have a little notebook handy that you can take everywhere with you.  Whenever you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, burdened, or resentful, stop and ask yourself:

  • Where do I feel deprived?
  • What do I need more of right now?
  • What do I need less of?
  • What do I want right now?
  • What am I yearning for?
  • Who or what is causing me to feel resentful and why?
  • What am I starving for?

Your answers to these questions will help you to identify the areas of your life that are calling for greater consciousness, an increase in your awareness of what needs to change to keep you from feeling deprived.

If you would love to join my It’s Time to Look After Me, we look in depth in this are.

 

 

Explosive ChildWho is an explosive child?  Explosive is a descriptive term for children who become frustrated far more easily and more often and communicate their frustrations in ways that are far more extreme than ordinary children.

 

However a simple label does not begin to capture the upheaval, turmoil, trauma that outbursts cause.  These outbursts affect each member of the family.

How do we start to help an explosive child?

The explosive child or behaviourally challenging children need us to take a close look at our own beliefs about challenging behaviours.  This is an extremely challenging task to do alone because to do it successfully you have to really question your beliefs.  Your beliefs come from how you were raised, what you think about how to deal with challenging children and what messages that you are receiving from the community.  We have so many people offering suggestions on how to handle an explosive child.

Nevertheless what happens if you are being told something different to what you believe in how to help an explosive child?  This is not easy to do by yourself as it can feel like a tug of war inside it and we usually resort back to what we already know.

However, for parents who have an explosive child, they are usually asked to apply strategies that are often a far cry from ways to which most adults interact with and discipline children who are not behaviourally challenging.  You will also hear plenty of suggestions and opinions which can be challenging for families.

Nevertheless, one of the most important parts on handling an explosive child is actually understanding why they behave as they do.  The more accurate that your understanding can be, by itself, leads to improvements in your interactions with your child, even before any formal strategies are tried.

By understanding from your child’s point of view rather than just an adult’s assumptions is half the battle in reducing explosive outburst.

Always remember that a child will be successful if they have the tools to be successful.

 

Don't label your child just let them surviveDon’t label your child just let them survive!  How ridiculous is that!!!!!!!!!!!! Just writing that made me tear up.

Today I saw this on a friend’s Facebook page the following picture and thought I might look at the comments.  I knew I was setting myself up for some angry feelings.

There were individuals who suggested that we all should stop analysing out children, not get them labelled and just let them survive.  I see that as emotion dismissing parenting and picture how many children who have not received enough help.

We should be thankful that our children are not dying (which I am every single day) but let our children survive in their misery.

Their answer was that kids who were “naughty” were belted by their parents, teachers, Principals.  But did anyone ask why it was the same kids receiving this punishment?  They then put them into institutions never to be seen.

But what they failed to comprehend is that it was caring people who looked at all of these individuals and found the reason for their behaviour and found ways to help them.  How is helping our children limiting them?

They believed that all of us should just survive and work and contribute what they could in society.  What they failed to realise that the help that I continually give my children are not going just to let them survive.  They are going to thrive.  They are going to thrive in what job they want to do and they will contribute more than anyone who is just going to survive.

Our children are receiving a lot more help than those sadly did in the previous generations which is really sad.  But getting your child the help will not just let them survive but to let them thrive.

I remember when I had to fight for months to get my children trauma insurance.  They were denying the girls cover because they have Autism.  Believe me they received it double barrel with questions like:

  • Where is the research that ASD children are more prone to cancer?
  • Where is the research that ASD children get sick more than any other child?
  • What is the difference between a girl with ASD and a boy with ASD?

I remember I had the list of what they covered and they did not enjoy me asking for research for each statement.  In the end they were too scared to call me back lol but they all children were labelled severe and ones who got lost etc.  I had to send in my girls reports for them to cover the girls.  They limited my girls and their future but in the end the company started working on changing their policies.

There needs to be more awareness but there needs to be more work done on helping businesses, schools, university etc to help break down the limits that they perceive that everyone can thrive.

 

 

 

For teachers who do not believe in AutismIt breaks my heart when I hear parent’s say that their child’s teacher does not believe in Autism.  This article is for teachers who do not believe in Autism because they have failed to learn something about something they do not know.

What made you want to become a teacher in the first place?

You have spent numerous years studying to be a teacher and I am sure you participated in lots of placements in schools.   What did you enjoy about these experiences?

What made you take a teaching position in the first place?

Most teachers who take a role in schools want to teach children and help them in some way.  There are definitely some who I wonder why they bother which is a shame.  You must have a passion for teaching because it is definitely not about the money.  I bet you had a dream about what kind of teacher you would like to be and I am sure there is a teacher who inspired you.

However, how can you possibly help students if you refuse to deepen your education into the disability area.  I completed a Bachelor of Early Childhood and it was not until I met a child with Autism in my care did I realise I was not going to be the teacher that I wanted to be if I did not take further steps in understanding disabilities and especially Autism.

Parent’s expect teachers to have knowledge about everything and courses do not put a lot of emphasis on disability knowledge.  I remember my course was based on child development, the curriculum, literacy and numeracy.  I knew for the well being of this student, I had to complete more study in the disability field so that I can provide the best environment for this child.

Each of your student’s comes with their own interests and needs.  There is no child sitting in front of you has the same needs as another.  It is daunting to figure out how to meet each child’s need in a class of 30.  It is even harder when there is a massive focus on literacy and numeracy.  Teachers also do a lot of extra hours.  Believe me I get it as I was faced with the same situation.  However it does not take a lot of time to read up the vast amount of information on the web for ideas.  The parent is full of information on the strengths, interests of the child and ways you can put simple strategies in place so that the child can be successful and for you to reach a whole new level as a teacher.

By failing to gain further information and education about Autism and simply keeping the belief that Autism is due to bad parenting etc etc etc, I would encourage you to find another job.  I had a boy with severe Autism in my class and there were many days when I went home with bite marks.  Teachers should definitely not be made to deal with bite marks and violence from students.  Nevertheless do you know how we stopped the biting? No we didn’t put him in a cage, tie him up or even expel him.  We tapped into his interests, strengths and his personality.  Once we got to that stage we did not receive a single bite mark and we put in strategies to help him before he got to that stage.

It is not easy being a teacher but don’t stop yourself from learning more and more for your students because one day YOU will be the teacher who inspires a child to become a teacher.  It is hard to change your beliefs but don’t let your false beliefs stop you.

There are many ways to gain knowledge to become the teacher you wanted to be at the start.  If anyone wants any help, please feel free to email me at info@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au as I can point you in the right direction to amazing resources or even offer some suggestions.

Discrimination is alive and well and we should be appalled. The Paralympics is currently happening in Rio and we should be celebrating the athletes achievements.  But are we celebrating it?  No.  Reality is that we only care able the able body Olympics and athletes.

I purchased the Herald Sun expecting a celebration article somewhere in the 6 pages.  Did I find an article?  NO.  We seem to care more about the health of Hillary Clinton over our Olympians.  We will promote ISIS propaganda over celebrating the achievements of our athletes.  Even Belle Gibson got an article over our athletes.  This would never have happened if it was our able body Olympians.

So much work is being done to encourage acceptance and awareness of disabilities and reality is even when we should be celebrating the hard work our Paralympian’s do to achieve their dreams just like we do for our abled Olympians we show just how much we don’t care.

We should hang our heads in shame.

emotional chaosAs your child’s parent it is extremely important not to join your child’s emotional chaos.  Your child instead needs you to remain calm and guide them through these challenging emotions.

Have you ever watched your child’s eyes glass over when you yell at them?  Have you been in a classroom where the teacher is yelling and getting very little reaction from the teacher?  Do you have a teacher who is well known for constant yelling?

As a teacher in Outside School Hours Care, it was challenging with such a range in ages and battling the end of day tiredness that they students simply did not listen.  No matter how much I yelled it did nothing.  I soon figured out that the best way to get your child’s attention is to simply whisper.  All of a sudden you will find that children go quiet as they think they are missing out on something.

181_volcanoWhen your child is emotionally erupting, they need our guidance in how to regulate their emotions and learn how to calm themselves down.  By yelling back at our children when they are yelling, you are only reinforcing they yelling behaviour.

So how do you not join in your child’s emotional chaos?

  • Before responding take a deep breathe
  • Remind yourself that you are not going to yell back
  • Look at the situation from your child’s point of view so that you can show understanding and empathy
  • Remind your child that it is ok and you are there to help them
  • Label the emotion so that they start to understand their feelings
  • Direct them to appropriate activities to help let out their emotions
  • Make up a chart and together come up with strategies that they can do when they are feeling…….

Helping your child through their emotions is extremely challenging if you dismiss emotions.  I encourage parent’s to sign up for my Emotion Coaching program so that you can help your child emotionally regulate.  It is important that you do not join in your child’s emotional chaos.

 

Mental emotional healthThe bond between parent and child is the child’s primary source for emotional health.  Therefore building strong connections lay the foundation for mental and emotional health.

By having a strong connection, it gives your child the capacity to have satisfying relationships the rest of their life. A weak or anxious bond could reverberate through your child’s entire life in the form of low self-esteem, impaired relationships, and the inability to seek help or ask for it in effective ways.

Research indicates that over one-third of the children in middle-class families suffer from anxious attachments to their parents. This insecure attachment tends to be transmitted from one generation to another. Every parent wants to know what early experiences enable a child to feel that the world is a positive place. We ask ourselves how a child becomes equipped with enough confidence to explore, to develop healthy peer relationships, and to rebound from adversity. We seek to know what builds a child who sees himself or herself as being loved, loving, and valuable. We wonder, “Do I have what it takes to raise a secure child? What can I do to support my child or change myself?”

Secure attachment is created by the subtle quality of adult-child interactions. It does not happen because a parent holds, feeds, bathes, or responds to an infant’s cries. It is based on how the adult responds. We have all had the experience of talking with a spouse or friend who looks as though he or she is listening, but something is missing. We have gone to the movies and out to dinner with a friend, having a reasonably good time, but sensing that something is missing. Conversely, we have had experiences with spouses and friends when we felt that a wholeness was present—that they were truly “there” and that we were attuned to the moment and each other. This connection is at the heart of our bonding with children and with each other.
Young children up to age four or five rely on the parent’s affect, or demeanor, to determine whether a situation is safe. Later in life, they can discern this information themselves by environmental clues.

In our hurried society, many are finding the mechanics of parenting all they can handle.  The joy of parenting is lost. Parents are overwhelmed with the pressures of modern life. These demands create times when parents are sometimes physically absent and other times when our bodies are present but our minds are elsewhere.
The ramifications of our well-intentioned absences may manifest themselves in certain behavioural characteristics in our children. We may see our children acting like bullies, taking advantage of more vulnerable children. Or we may see them victimized and excluded by others or excluding themselves to manage their anxiety about failing. We may see our children being impulsive or shy, showing poor concentration skills, getting easily upset, and lacking initiative. Or we may see rampant independence that hardens into stubbornness and bossiness. We may see our children struggle with friendships, jealous and afraid that they may lose the security of a best friend. We might see them shy away from risk and group activities or leap in and take unsafe risks. We might believe these behaviours are part of the child’s genetic temperament. Temperament is a factor; however, brain research indicates that although nature provides the raw materials for brain development, nurture is the architect.
How we interact with our children profoundly shapes their brains. We literally custom design our children’s brains. Many of the behaviours we see can be traced to the original bonding experience between children and their caregivers. As daunting as it may seem, there is hope. Just as children are forgiving, so, too, is the brain—especially in the early years. The brain can be shaped and reshaped by each new experience; like a house that gets dirty, a good cleaning is all it needs.
I Love You Rituals are designed to strengthen the bond between an adult and a child and, in turn, re-establish the child’s sense of security. This secure base then frees the child to explore the world with greater willingness and success. It also builds healthy ties between the adult and child, increasing the child’s willingness to be cooperative. Imagine that you are sitting on your couch at home with your spouse. Lately your relationship has been going very well—communication and connection are at an all-time high. If one of you were to get up and the other asked, “Honey, while you are up, would you get me a sandwich?” more than likely the answer would be, “Sure, what would you like?” Now pretend you are on the couch and the relationship is going poorly—so poorly that you wonder why this person is sitting on your couch. Suppose one person gets up and the other asks for something. The likely response would be, “Get it yourself; you have legs.” Cooperation is directly related to the connection we feel with each other. The same is true with children: Strengthen the bond and increase the cooperative spirit.
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