Children who get too much validation for being good find it very difficult to handle the tiniest mistake without feeling they are failures. These children, if they do make a mistake, are apt to lie, or worse, avoid activities that they are not sure they will succeed at to cover the fact they are not perfect.
Is your child being good to win approval? Or are you blessed with a sensible little person who always seems to get it right?
Things to do and say to ensure your child doesn't become an approval seeker:
1. Don't compare. Don't say, 'Look at your sister, she is sitting up well.' Or, 'Why can't you be good like your brother/cousin?' It makes the 'bad' child feel bad and therefore act 'bad' and it puts pressure on the 'good' child to please you.
2. Use encouragement. Notice progress and effort rather than results. Say, 'You are working hard at keeping your room tidy' instead of 'good boy'. Separate the behaviour from the person. That is, keep what people do, separate from who they are, so that a bad behaviour does not make the person bad, nor a good behaviour make a person good. This is very important for self- esteem.
3. Say 'Try again!' to let your children know that it is ok to make a mistake and that they are wonderful opportunities to learn. Create a ritual during car trips/ dinner of having everyone take turns sharing a mistake and what they learned from it.
4. Make sure your children get the message that ANYONE can fall down, but it takes courage to get up and try again.
5. Don't let your children get away with avoiding new activities. Let them know they can decide to stop an activity after at least three or four activities. This will help to reduce the likelihood of your child not taking risks in case they are not the 'best'.
Teach that a mistake is just that, a mis/take. It is impossible to grow and learn without making them..... and that is what being a kid is all about isn't it?
|Posted in:parenting tipsanxietychild not risk takingworried childrenmaking mistakesstressed children|
What's great about this is it can be done at any time. No one will notice. Simply use the thumb of one hand and press around the palm of the other hand. It's very soothing.
By pushing your palms together and holding for five to ten seconds, you give your body "proprioceptive input," according to Brukner, which "lets your body know where it is in space."
It is said that 80 percent of sensory stimulation comes in through the eyes, so shutting them every now and then gives your brain a much-needed break. Highly sensitive people can benefit from staying in bed with their eyes closed. They don't have to be sleeping. Having the eyes closed allows for some chill time and a break from being bombarded with stimulation.
To do this you breathe in to a count of five through your mouth and then you let out a very loud sigh.
Bring your hands, arms extended, in front of you, then bring the arms down. Next bring your arms (still extended) to your sides and then down. Next bring your arms all the way past your head and then swoop down allowing your head to dangle between your knees and hung there for a second. This exercise is extremely effective at releasing the tension we hold in different parts of our body.
Did you know that a ten-second hug a day can change biochemical and physiological forces in your body that can lower risk of heart disease, combat stress, fight fatigue, boost your immune system, and ease depression? You can begin by giving yourself a hug. By squeezing your belly and back at the same time, you are again giving yourself proprioceptive input (letting your body know where you are in space), which can help stabilize you.
Another great exercise to ground kids (and adults) with sensory integration issues, according to Brukner, is the wall push, where you simply push against the wall with flat palms and feet planted on the floor for five to ten seconds. Placing the weight of our body against a solid, immobile surface and feeling the pull of gravity is stabilizing, even on a subconscious level.
If you do yoga, the superman pose is basically the airplane position, except the arms and the hands are stretched out in front of you, not to the sides. Lie on your tummy on the floor. Extend your arms in front of you, and hold them straight out. Extend your legs behind you and hold them straight out. Hold that pose for ten seconds. It's a great exercise if your child is sleepy, overexcited, distracted, or antsy.
Did you know that animals relieve their stress by shaking? Lots of animals shake off their fear after being frozen in panic to escape a predator. So give it a go, get your children to get their shake on!
The Bubble Breath is very simple and calming.
Breathe in for five seconds, out for five seconds.
Imagine you have a wand of bubbles. When you breathe out, be careful not to pop it.
Place one flat palm on your heart, one flat palm on your belly.
Breathe in through your nose and hold your breath for five seconds.
Breathe out a large "bubble" though pursed lips, blow out for five seconds.
|Posted in:Back to schoolparenting tipsanxietydealing with disappointmentsworried childrenstressed childrengrumpy childrensymptoms|
Every child deals with some form of anxiety at some point in their life, whether that's monsters under the bed, to failure at school, or being afraid they won't fit in. Although these are usually short-lived and a normal part of childhood, sometimes anxieties can linger and worsen to an extent where they begin to impact a child's everyday life.
Separation, social situations, failure, criticism or tests, getting physically hurt, anxiety about not being perfect, world events, wellbeing of family members.
Some people are more likely to be anxious because it runs in the family (just like eye colour). People can also learn to think and behave in an anxious way by watching others, or by going through experiences that the child perceives as scary. Certain things in a child's environment might also increase the child's chances of becoming anxious for example, if a parent is inadvertently overprotective of a shy child it might help the child in the short term, but can increase the child's anxiety overall, or if the child senses any difficulties that the parents might be going through. Unfortunately, the more anxious parents become about their child's anxiety, the more anxious the child often becomes.
|Posted in:anxietyworried childrenstressed children|
Dr Cowan's 8th insight is about giving children time to heal, but I think it is a tip the adults in the family could benefit from.
The most alternative medicine I practice these days is taking time. As a society, we're addicted to quick fixes because we have no time to be sick anymore. As a doctor, I was trained as a kind of glorified fireman, looking to put out emergencies quickly and efficiently.In emergencies, strong medicine is often necessary to save lives but most health problems in childhood are not emergencies. In those instances it takes more than strong medicine to get better; it takes time. I realize that taking another day off from work because a child has been sent home from school with a runny nose can add real stress to our already stressful lives. But children have taught me that healing is a kind of developmental process that has its own stages too.
When we don’t allow time to recover, we rob our children of the necessary stages they need to learn from if they are to develop long-lasting health. When we take time to recover, illness becomes a journey of discovery, not just a destination; we begin to see our health and illness as two sides of the same coin.
|Posted in:healing from sicknessstressed childrengrowth and developmentsymptoms|
This week we are up to Dr Stephen Cowan's 6 th tip:
Good medicine asks what is the symptom trying to accomplish? Rather than simply suppressing it. Our body has its own intelligence and yet so much of pharmaceutical advertising tries to convince us that there is something wrong with feeling symptoms. Much of my medical training was focused on stopping symptoms as if they were the problem. (This is like telling the body to shut up. It’s rude!) We don't trust the body’s intelligence. We think too much and tend to be afraid of feelings in our body.
But children have taught me that a symptom like fever is actually not the problem. Whatever is causing the fever may be a problem, but the temperature is simply the body’s way of trying to deal with what’s happening.
Take, for example, the child with a fever. What other symptoms does the child have? If he is playful, you may not need to suppress the fever. It means the body is trying to make metabolic heat to mobilize the immune system. To help it do this, you can give warm (not cold) fluids so it doesn’t dry out and nourishing foods like soups to fuel the fire.
|Posted in:parenting tipsstressed childrensymptoms|