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Can’t I Discipline Without The Chaos?

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?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.

 

When You Are Feeling Depressed

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.

 

Don’t Label Your Child Just Let Them Survive

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 Autism

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.

Believe In Your Child’s Future

Believe in your child's futureFor a family who is just starting to learning about the Autism Spectrum Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder, we can feel all the dream’s we have for our child has disappeared.  I urge all parent’s to believe in your child’s future.

When we became pregnant it is extremely natural to dream about what our child might achieve in their future.  When we hold them for the first times we also have dreams of their future.  However, for families after their child has received a diagnosis of Autism or Sensory Processing all of these dreams can be shattered.

However all is not lost! Believe in your child’s future.  You have taken the most important step of getting them help.  You will enrol your child in therapies to help strengthen them.  All of these little steps……….all the ups and downs that will occur….they all lead to bigger things.  Those dreams that we originally had for our children might have never occurred either without the diagnosis.  However it you truly believe in your child and really work on their strengths they can achieve anything in life.

We need to believe in your child’s future!

It is Time to Shed the Darkness

DarknessDo you feel burdened with your life?  It is time to shed the darkness.

Darkness is everywhere and it is growing.  We are constantly being bombarded with hate through media outlets, Governments, social media etc etc etc.

This has been highlighted recently when Stuart Kelly took his own life due to the huge amount of abuse and hate mail since his brother was killed in a one punch attack.   He had to endure so much hate towards his family because the NSW Government changed the Lockout Laws in any hope that no one else would be killed.  What absolutely astounded me is that his brother was the one killed by the punch………..not the one who threw it.  Shouldn’t these individuals be sending the letters to the person who committed the offence?

A conversation I participated in on a page in an Autism group brought up the divide that is becoming more apparent within the Autism community.  I reflected on this because it is becoming more and more apparent and it is breaking my heart.  The divide is occurring because people are so judgemental towards each other and individuals feel they have a “right” to be judgemental, rude.  People wear their rudeness like a badge of honour and think it is a fantastic trait.

Each of us needs to desperately look at our interactions to reduce the darkness in our mind, body and spirit.  This heaviness could be heaviness in our moods, stress levels heavy work load.  By replacing this darkness to lightness you will feel more fulfilled with vitality and energy.

To lift the darkness into lightness some great strategies are:

  • Think before you make comments on social media and refrain from judgements, rudeness.
  • Show more compassion and listen to someone.
  • Meditation.
  • Exercise.
  • Eating well.
  • Doing something for you everyday in self care.
  • Listening to music.
  • Spending some quality time with your family members.
  • Take action and stop procrastinating.
  • Being grateful for what you have.
  • Stoping the negative thoughts and labelling them as unhelpful.

 

I Love You Rituals Help You Through Tough Times

I Love you rituals helps you through tough times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love you rituals help you through tough times.

What rituals do you and your family already share?  These could include:

  • Sharing dinner
  • Birthdays
  • Religious celebrations
  • Specific times in a day for one on one time
  • Reading bed time stories together
  • Bedtime routines.
  • Making sure that you kiss your partner when you leave and when you get home.

Routines are central parts of our lives and they range from small to large rituals.  Rituals create time to be playful, to explore the meaning of our lives and to rework and rebuild our relationships.

Think of the pleasant rituals from your childhood.
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What feelings are evoked as you allow yourself to reminisce?
It is striking how different families are today from twenty-five or fifty years ago. As our society restructures itself with shifting gender roles, blended families, cultural diversity, and economic and political uncertainty, fear is a prevalent emotion. New rituals are needed for families and for children. I Love You Rituals put life in focus, shifting our attention from getting ahead to getting together; from valuing material wealth to valuing one another. They are called “rituals” because they are designed to be part of the day-to-day activities between adults and children.

Rituals are moments taken solely for the purpose of connecting. Rough transitions during the day or week signal times when a ritual is needed. A child who is being picked up from school may whine, complain, or bicker with you or siblings in the car. A calming ritual or a change in rituals is needed. Picking up children at school with the words, “Hi, how did it go? Where’s your coat? Do you have your homework? Hop in the car, we need to stop at the store.” are not a ritual.  Each time the girls come out of school, I give them a welcome and say to them how excited I was to come pick them up.
I love you rituals help you through tough times as it helps to remind you of what is important. Even after a rough day we always end the night by spending time in the girls room to watch them sleep.
You can develop rituals with your child with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder with following your child’s lead.  Have you ever flapped your arms like your child when they have excited?  Have you spun around in circles if your child likes that?  Have you ever simply participated in what your child’s likes to do to unwind?  So often we try and stop the flapping, spinning as they are seen as unwanted behaviours.  But we also miss the perfect opportunity to connect with our children.
I love you rituals help you through tough times.  What rituals can you share in your daily routines?

 

 

Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help!

Ask for helpNever be afraid to ask for help! It always amazes me how many people do not ask for help when we need it.  There is no need to go through this journey alone.  Asking for help does not make you an incompetent parent.  No one could ever tell you that they have all the answers because that is rubbish.  Parenthood is a continuous journey of learning.

However, there is sadly the flip side if you ask for help.  You may be told that your child is too hard……your child is an Angel and it is all in your head………….or that they do not have time.  When I hear this through discussions in social media and with clients it really guts me that people would say this when someone asks for help.

I know exactly how hard it can be to ask for help.  I have a degree in Early Childhood and postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies.  I have spent the majority of my working life looking after children.  I thought I was weak if I asked for help because it should have been easy for me.  Where did that get me?  Only with a diagnosis of severe depression.  I learnt the hard way how important it is to ask for help.  I was scared to ask for help because my mum had 4 kids under the age of five.  However, as the saying goes “it take a village to raise a family” but these days no one talks or helps those around each other.

By asking for help you will also improve your overall well being because you are also looking after yourself.  Find a support group that you can ask for help knowing that you are not being judged.  You are not alone!

 

 

 

I Love You Rituals Increase Learning Potential Through Touch

touchAs a mum of a daughter who has severe Sensory Processing Disorder Defensive Modulation touch would have been out the window.  For the first couple of years, we had trouble with affection as she didn’t like it (especially with me).  However, around the age of 2, I noticed that she would press her forehead against mine really hard.  At first I could not understand what she was doing but I knew not to stop her.  This was her way of regulating her body and to let me give her cuddles at the same time.  Our Occupational Therapist has been outstanding in helping her cope with touch and now we have the best cuddles.  I love when we cheek to cheek each other as a form of self regulation.

Nevertheless, how do I love you rituals increase leaning potential through touch?

Touch is the only sense we can’t live without. Your child could be blind and be fine, she could be deaf and be okay, but without touching and being touched, a child will die. In 1920, Dr. Henry Chapin, a New York paediatrician, reported that the death rate for infants under two years of age in institutions across the United States was 100 percent. These infants received adequate food and shelter. What was missing for these babies was caring touch. Chapin concluded that being handled, carried, cuddled, and caressed was necessary for life.

A lot of people do not feel comfortable with touching people in public.  A parent may have been raised by someone who was not affectionate.  This type of behaviour will continue through generation to generation unless we all become comfortable in offering someone a hug.  As awareness of sexual abuse has increased so has the fear of being seen touching a child even if it is appropriate.  I know as a child care educator we were told to tell all staff not to touch children.  Educators are told that they can not make physical contact with a child even if they are upset when a small cuddle or arm around the shoulder would provide the child with care.

Brain research confirms the critical role of touch in our mental and emotional health. When we touch one another, a hormone is released called the nerve growth factor. This hormone is essential to neural function and learning. The brain and the skin develop from the same embryonic tissue. The skin, in essence, is the outside layer of the brain. If we want smart, happy children, we must consciously touch them. It is time to relearn appropriate, caring touch and move past our fear of inappropriate touch. We must embrace touch for its value and function in development and learning.

I remember attending Tony Robbin’s Unleash Your Personal Power seminars and in this seminar you had to hug strangers.  My goodness that felt so weird and you did step back at first.  However, it showed that it improves people’s emotional well being.

touchChallenge:

Next time you see your partner give them a hug for two minutes and see what happens.

By understanding caring touch, children develop compassion for themselves and others. Hitting becomes hugging, snatching becomes asking, and the difference between caring touch and unwanted, uncomfortable touch is learned.
With my eldest daughter her hug consists of a shoulder into me or her back.  It has taken a long time to actually get her to cuddle front on with me.  Now she comes for a hug when she needs to.  Even though she gave me a shoulder it was a moment to tell her that I love her.  With Emma I have to make sure that she is aware I am going to hug her so she does not become defensive through a firm hand on her shoulder or arm.  I find light touch sends her crazy.
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