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  1. angry bog

    Anger 

    Anger is a normal human emotion. 

    We feel anger when our brain is telling us that something is not quite right. By mastering our anger, we can take control of our emotions, create better relationships with our family, and deal with life issues in a much more effective way.

    Alarm System

    The amygdala is the part of your brain that triggers anger.  It acts as your own personal alarm system, and is there to protect you from harm. 

    When you feel anger, your brain is reacting to a perceived threat that may be triggered from a past memory, a present situation or future danger.   

    When your alarm system is activated, your heart rate increases and your brain releases a stress hormone called serotonin, putting you into a state of high alert. This results in the fight, flight, or freeze response.

    You can see this response in behaviours such as arguing (fight)storming off (flight) or ignoring people (freeze).

    Flooding

    Flooding is caused when your alarm system is in overload. Your heart rate rises to around 100 beats per minute, and it becomes hard to think rationally and stay calm.

    Being flooded is your biological warning sign to get out of the stressful situation that you are in and calm down otherwise you may flip your lid.

    Flipping your lid

    Yes flipping your lid is a real thing that happens in your brain. Described by clinical psychiatrist Daniel Siegel as a mechanism in the brain that is activated within seconds if your brain is not balanced after becoming stressed and flooded.

    Flipping your lid is like hanging onto the edge of a cliff with your fingers, eventually they will give way and you will fall. The brain has a similar response to extreme stress and eventually your brain will ‘flip’. 

    Once you have reached this level, you become out of control. You may start behaving badly, becoming physically or emotionally abusively towards the person that you are angry with. 

    This means Danger.

    Stop and back OFF

    At this point the best thing to do is to stop and back away. Think of it like a boiling kettle on a stove - The kettle won’t settle unless it is taken away from the heat.

    You must back off and calm down for at least 20 minutes or until you feel calm again, and have allowed your brain to process everything. Now is the time for self-soothing.

    Self-Soothing

    Learning to self sooth is a great feeling, and is a vital tool in mastering your anger. Especially when the person you may run to when you are flooded is the person you are angry with. By learning techniques that help you return to a happy state allows you to be more independent and in control of your own emotions. 

    It is important to become aware of anger as it starts to build. If you feel yourself becoming angry and notice you are becoming flooded - interrupt this by breaking yourself out of the situation.

    How to self-sooth

    • Go for a run
    • Go for a walk
    • Go to the gym
    • Hit a punch bag/pillows
    • Listen to calming music
    • Sit quietly
    • Meditate
    • Yoga
    • Go dancing
    • Read a book
    • Deep breathing
    • Find some space alone in nature
    • Cry it out
    • Ask for help from a friend or trusted adult (this is important in situations that leave you feeling alone)

    Triggers

    Prevention is always better than a cure. You can prevent this cycle of destructive anger by looking for common triggers that set it off. If you or the other person is starting to trigger anger, it often stems from these four triggers.

    • Being criticized
    • Being defensive 
    • Justifying 
    • Blaming and shaming

    Halt

    Think about your basic needs that can lead to poor decision making.  They are a personal inventory to help you to regulate yourself and keep yourself from being vulnerable to anger. Ask yourself are you:

    • Hungry

    • Angry

    • Lonely

    • Tired

    Persistent state of alarm

    Repeated and overwhelming stress means that your brain becomes hyper alert and it can be on a persistent state of alarm. This means that anger is easily triggered and never far away. To really master anger and to slow down this reaction you must take responsibility to be mindful of your feelings, and take care of your mental and physical health by self-soothing everyday.

  2. Understanding emotions with feeling words

    heart

     

    A child’s feelings like our own are their feedback mechanism that helps them to have emotional awareness.  Understand feelings is a major step to connecting to our needs and wants which is key to leading happier more fulfilling lives. Help your child (at their level) to build their emotional bank account by becoming familiar with these common feeling words and talking about them in everyday conversations.

    Download the tip sheet here

                

               Fear            

        Unhappy      

           Happy        

          Angry           

    Uneasy

    Lonely

    Pride

    Annoyed

    Worried

    Unwanted

    Happiness

    Bitter

    Trapped

    Weak

    Calm

    Cross

    Shy

    Worthless

    Grateful

    Livid

    Timid

    Rejected

    Hope

    Revengeful

    Anxiety

    Lost

    Peace

    Judgmental

    Suspicious

    Hurt

    Joy

    Rage

    Restless

    Disappointed

    Love

    Impatient

    Shock

    Despair

    Playful

    Humiliated

    Suspicious

    Depressed

    Satisfied

    Judgemental

    Nervous

    Discouraged

    Delighted

    Disgusted

    Obsessed

    Empty

    Compassion

    Snappy

    Insecure

    Grief

    Generous

    Resentment

    Guilt

    Lost

    Powerful

    Furious

    Jealous

    Hopeless

    Enthusiastic

    Agitated

    Indecision

    Regret

    Excited

    Completive

    Angst

    Rejected

    Bliss

    Exasperated

    Panic

    Sorrow

    Inspired

    Frustrated

    Overwhelm

    Shame

    Forgiving

    Contempt

    Frantic

    Remorse

    Devoted

    Defensive

    Hesitant

    Unimportant

    Confident

    Distain

    Desperate

    Sad

    Empathy

    Bad-tempered

    Embarrassed

    Abandoned

    Satisfied

    Grumpy

    Have you asked your child how they feel today?

    Print out this tip sheet here

  3. Develop and Growth Mindset & help yourself succeed

    MIND

    Sometimes, we can get stuck in negative ways of thinking that really closes our mind to options that with help us to grow and succeed in what we want.

    A growth mindset is the opposite to a closed mindset and is absolutely key to help to reach personal goals, satisfaction and success in life.

    As a parent we need a growth mindset for our self fullfilment and to be able to manage stresses and challenges that everyone has from time to time.

    Here are some really positive growth mindset phrases that will help to keep your mind focussed on success

    and teach your children to look for strategies that will give them more chance of success in life.

    You are welcome to print this tip sheet below.

     

    Develop a Growth Mindset

    Mistakes help me learn

    I will try a different strategy

    I am always improving

    My attitude makes a difference

    I will train myself

    I can do it

    My effort makes a difference

    I will explore my options

    I am learning

    I like a challenge

    I will think what I can do

    It wiull become clearer

    I am more aware today

    I will make an adjustment

    It's good to try

    I can choose another option

    I will expect myself to do my best

    Download the printable version here

     

    Good luck!

  4. young-girl-holding-an-apple

    Does your family find meal times really stressful?  Do you have picky eaters and find your children take far too long to eat just a small amount of food?

    Meal times can often become a battle of wills between you and your children, which can be improved with these 7 easy  tips for happy meal times.

     1.     Be positive

    • It is important to make meal times a positive experience and not to bring the last mealtime disaster to the table.  If you are subconsciously or consciously feeling negative this will have a big impact on your whole mealtime experience.
    • For example, picture a parent who is worn down with miserable meal time battles and is feeling very negative about them and does not enjoy them, this parent will give off very different body language than a parent who usually enjoys meals times and looks forward to sitting together as a family.  You will help yourself to be more positive by having positive self-talk and using positive affirmations before you sit at the table.

     2.     Take the focus off your child

    • If your child is displaying unwanted behaviour at the table it is natural to focus on this and give it the most attention. Unfortunately this is usually giving children what they want and accidentally rewarding the unwanted behaviour, ultimately making it worse.  By shifting your focus onto yourself or by talking to others who are behaving well you will give your children the message that you are more interested in the good behaviour of others. 

     3.     Make it fun

    • Think about what you would consider to be a happy, fun or pleasant mealtime?
    • This may include you having positive conversations, focussing on good things and trying to keep the atmosphere light and pleasant, telling jokes and maybe laughing.  If you aim to make meal times fun then everyone is more likely to enjoy coming to the table.

     4.     Be a good role model

    • Your children are always watching and listening to you, so it is vital to be a good role model. Whatever you want your children to be doing, first check to see if you are doing the same.  This includes positive conversations, because if your children can here lots of nagging, and negative comments then this is giving them the signal that this is OK.

     5.     Have some rules

    • By deciding on your house rules for meal times you can tell everyone involved what they are.  Manners are very important in some households and not so much in others so it is up to you what they are. 
    • For example, saying please and thank you, elbows off the table and eating with a knife and fork are considered manners for some and others will not have these same rules.  
    • Small children under 3 years old will need constant coaching and direction rather than laying the rules down because they are really just learning and they can’t remember instructions. 
    • It is always helpful if both parents share the same values and rules and keep a united front so that children don’t get mixed messages.

     6.     Consequences for unwanted behaviour

    • Fitting consequences and loss of privileges may be used for unwanted behaviour at the table.

     7.     Rewards and praise

    • Children will do more of what they get attention for, so be mindful to focus on any good behaviour from them, or from others at the table and you will be far more likely to have a calm positive mealtime.  By using verbal or non-verbal praise you will be encouraging more of the behaviour that you would like.

    Try using these tips consistently to help you to enjoy happy family mealtimes together alongside the other tips in my Parent's Guide to Children's Behaviour Programme

  5. ticker-Small-Bored

    Timeout seems a good idea, after all, it is well documented by some very well respected professionals and lots of parents use them, however in reality they can cause a lot of upset and grief for both children and parents and isolates children when they need to connect with you most.

    Why we need to stop using timeout and find a more positive alternative?

    1. Timeout makes children feel bad and lowers their self esteem

    If children are behaving badly, they were already feeling bad, sending them to timeout will just make this worse. In order for children to behave better we need to help them to feel better.

    2. Timeouts don’t help children to regulate their emotions

    The best way to teach children to calm themselves down is to provide a nurturing environment where they feel safe and secure. Sending children to timeout means they will likely calm down eventually, however resentment, stress and frustration may be building up within them, which means they are quicker to anger and less likely to behave well.  It is far better to provide a place where they can use as a calming soothing place to unwind, where they recognize a place of comfort and relaxation rather than isolation and punishment.

    3. Timeout is a negative thing to do

    Sending an upset child to timeout will likely make them feel rejected just as they were feeling out of control and really need to connect with you. It is more effective in the long term to use positive techniques such as having ‘time in’ with your child to re-connect and listen to them, honour their feelings and help them to understand their emotions.

    4. Timeout can damage your relationship with your child

    Instead of reaffirming the relationship that you want with your child, timeout creates a power struggle and a controlling win lose situation. For long lasting positive relationships with your child look for ways of finding a win-win solution.

    5. Timeout, like other fear based punishments can weaken your bond with your child

    In order to encourage the behaviour that you want, you need to be looking to create a strong bond and good relationship with your child, using timeout can weaken that bond because you are isolating them when they need you most.

    Positive alternatives to using timeout

    If you want to teach your child emotional self-management, try to nip things in the bud and catch things before they escalate. If you see your child getting upset, angry or starting to use any number of negative behaviours such as hitting or shouting, it’s a warning sign that you need to re-direct your child to something to calm them or distract them to something positive to do. You can do this in a number of ways including taking some quiet time together perhaps sitting together and reassuring them that you understand that they are upset and that you are happy to talk about what is bothering them when they are calm.

    To find more positive ways to encourage the good behaviour that you want, please contact us directly, we are happy to help 

  6. sunset 

    A child’s mind has tens of thousands of thoughts a day, which come from what others have said to them and from what they say to themselves.

    These thoughts include short statements, or affirmations that go over in their mind, which have a direct affect on how they feel and on their behaviour. The more positive the thoughts the more positive the behaviour will be. 

    For example a young child starting nursery, who goes into class feeling miserable and shy thinking to himself that he hasn’t got any friends is less likely to attract some friends because he may be sitting alone and not wanting to go and play with the others. 

    An older child who is going to have a test or exam may be having negative thoughts, which will make them feel weak and loose concentration.  They may be saying to themselves things like, ’I can’t do this’, ‘I am stupid and can’t remember anything’, I will never be as clever as the others’, These negative thoughts are like an annoying voice in their head that is convincing them of doom and glum and are played over and over in their mind like an old record on a tape recorder.

    Without being aware of it children will play back the old tapes in their mind when something triggers a memory of it, like when you hear a favourite song it will make you happy.

    As parents you can teach your child to say positive affirmations that will help them to feel in a good frame of mind such as ‘I am going to do really well’, ‘I will pass this test’ and you can also say positive affirmations to them, such as ‘I am sure you will do really well’.

    These affirmations will positively stimulate the mind and affect a child’s behaviour because if they are feeling positive they are more likely to feel like making friends and studying more and behaving well.

    With practice, children can develop the mental habit of using affirmations in a whole range of different situations, to help them to have positive attitudes and give them confidence and they can enjoy being able to direct their own mind to help them to achieve what they want in life. This way we can help to empower children to get the best out of life.

    Write a guide of how to fill your child’s mind with positive thoughts and affirmation and how they will develop a positive mindset that will encourage good behaviour;

    I can’t do this

    I am getting better every day

    I am stupid

    I am strong

    Everything I do goes wrong

     

    Nobody likes me

     

    It’s not worth trying

     

    Nobody likes me

     

    I hate myself

     

    I’m useless

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Remember you are far more likely to be able to help your child with positive affirmations if you use them for yoursel.  Give it a go:)

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