Being a ‘good enough’ parent…

A parent needs to be ‘good enough’at offering the love, care and attention to meet the needs of their child. Understanding their stage of development is important. Having fun, giving opportunities and embracing other family members and friends, to help raise a child, creates great pleasure and feels less like hard work.

I love this blog, except for the reference to the Almighty which is personal choice.

~ ~ ~ There is no such a thing as perfect parenthood Who is the paragon of father or mother Claim to have a one size fits all formula Children are unique and special Have different talents but same potential Minds like sponges, soak in as much as available A secure environment and loving care […]

via Parenting — The Shower of Blessings

Exam stress!!

 

exam-revision

Its that time of year again!!

Teenagers all over the country are beginning to feel the pressure…

poor motivation?

dis-organisation?

apathy?

erratic moods?

impending sense of panic?

anxiety?

As parents of a possibly uncommunicative, yet stressed teenager, where the young person may have great difficulty expressing their concerns can be a challenging time for the whole family.

Knowing where to go to seek support can be tricky.

If the teenager is demonstrating anxiety and depression symptoms, where they appear to be not coping with erratic emotions, have significant changes in eating and sleeping habits or are expressing feelings of low mood, particularly suicidal thoughts, then a Gp consultation is necessary.

For many teenagers it can be much more subtle than this and who may improve the situation can be less obvious.

The schools and colleges are getting better at offering sessions on tips and strategies which enhance the students planning for revision, so they feel better prepared and more able to cope with the pressures.

With the multiple demands on teenagers this preparation is getting harder to focus on.

This relies on your teenager not being too hormonal, influenced by their peers which has often been the case, but enhanced by the massive influence from social media. This constant distraction of messages, apps and the internet is pervasive and often difficult to manage alongside their rapidly developing brains. As many study skills need to be accessed on line it is increasingly difficult to avoid the pull of the internet.

Personal discipline is crucial, so addiction to the phone can interfere with this, as can a fear of failure, making starting difficult, or building performance anxiety may be driving the lack of engagement with their studies.

Accessing resources to improve the teenagers ability to remain calm, focus and commit to performing in the way that does them justice is hugely beneficial.

Having a session with a therapist who offers NLP techniques to promote these skills, ideally enhanced by hypnosis but not essential, can help the teenager to set the intention and take the steps towards achieving more focus.

Contact me if you want to explore this conversation further, sometimes recognising what is happening for the student is the first step.

 

Coming of age

My oldest child has become a young adult!!

Does it make me feel old?  A little…

Am I sad about it…

not really!?

feb-17-176

The last few years whilst she has been preparing for being more independant, have been a bit of a balancing act. I have still wanted to guide her as a parent, and will continue to do so,  but in a lesser role no doubt. There has been lots of challenge and disagreement!

As a parent of a teenager the conflict has been between me trying ‘not to know best’ and being available for discssions around tricky issues.

As teenagers they need to be able to explore who they are, look to their peers, try things out, challenge themselves, learn lots, make mistakes and run to the parent/s when things go wrong!

Their communication is all over the place from disengagement to outright rudenesss, with good moments in between.

It is a challenge to be steadily reasonable yourself when they are rejecting everything you open your mouth to say and can seem like a huge attack on you as a person.  You are “old” and “out of touch” and “don’t know anything” and are laughable – some of this is somewhat true, but can be very difficult to hear out of the mouth of babes. From the one you cradled, protected and nutured over the past 15 years or so and seems not that long ago. I know I’m getting sentimental now…

Parents need to keep adult enough, ensure they have their own interests and support systems to be strong and supportive during this phase. Having your own peers to share issues, laugh and keep perspective with is important.You are also a role model for your young person and how you deal with the stresses and strains of life is teaching those observing what the choices for lifestyle are. If you are struggling with any of these, seek help and support for yourself!

If you can keep communication channels open enough, you are doing well. You should be their sounding base at times and it is essential you set boundaries but are available for discussion if necessary, to unpick what is reasonable.

It may not feel like they trust anything you say much of the time but moments of difficulty will highlight this to you. Teens face huge pressures to look good, perform well academically and be social. Issues with low mood and anxiety have never been higher for our young people. Social media is the way of communicating so being involved and informing yourself, with your teens where possible, so what they are accessing is understood is essential. Friendships are of course a huge feature of this period and should be encouraged ideally with some interaction from parents so you are aware of their activities. Educate yourself on the dangers and the impact of social media and other teen issues on health and wellbeing. Awareness aids communication skills and being able to discuss more difficult subjects.

Schools and colleges are striving to keep pace with current issues as they arise and communicating with them and other relevant organisations, working together to support your teenager, can be reassuring in an ever changing environment. Keeping your teen engaged with learning and other activities available to them will promote their sense of belonging and reduce anti social activities. So having an open mind and being aware of opportunities to develop and support them is key.

So many issues to consider and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some…

I’m sure on embracing adulthood my daughter will continue to have problematic moments which at times I will find wearing. However…

Now I do feel more able to say – you’re a young adult, what do you think?

This has pushed some of the responsibility for more difficult decisions back to her and enabled a two way conversation with more balance.

It is a huge relief!!

Why Losing Control Can Make You Happier – Mindful

imageWork on lessening your need to seek control over others via Why Losing Control Can Make You Happier – Mindful

This explains a lot of the power balance when trying to manage teenagers!

As a parent I continue to work on stepping back a little…

Set boundaries, but keep communication open and encourage negociation and discussion. LOL!

Baby days

imageThose early days with a new baby are bliss and torture rolled into one.

You are ecstatic that baby has arrived, hopefully without too much drama and snuggling with baby is soothing and comforting.

However…it is demanding and takes some adjustment!

There are small steps that you can take each day, to keep you focused on this unique stage of life and encourage you to engage with the wonder, as well as knowing there is a bigger picture.

Sleep. The physical demands on your body include recovering from pregancy and the birth. This requires rest and good quality sleep. A change in sleep pattern usually occurs in these early weeks, just when you need it most! Sleeping when you can is a necessity. Sleep in, ideally your partner may bring you an early morning drink or the baby if they need feeding and you can snuggle. Rest and snooze when you can.

Help.Take up all offers of help, not just to hold the baby but any everyday tasks. Offers of  drinks, cooked meals or to hang up your ongoing supply of washing are all good. Don’t let guests sit and you run around offering drinks, let them do anything they can offer, while you conserve energy. You’ll need it later on.

Baby and you. Time for you and baby to get to know each other, with partner when available, takes time and focus. Observe their behaviours and learn what it means. The more you understand about how your baby communicates the more amazed and attached you will feel, so try http//getting to know your baby.  This knowledge builds your relationship with baby and can only be a bonus.

Support. You may have lots of visitors but don’t let them overwhelm you. A couple of close family members to support you as a new family can be very beneficial in the early weeks. Your partner can help manage and encourage people to give you space, as needed, to adapt to this new lifestyle and rest. Often after this initial period mum and baby are alone for long periods so other family members and friendships become more important and can help support weekly activities.

Habits.Finding some kind of pattern to your new days and nights can be a challenge due to an overall lack of quality sleep and the intensity of a small persons demands.Getting out and about each day can give a focus to each day and improve your mood and sense of well-being.

Anxiety and depression can become an issue in the early weeks, months and even at some point in the first year. This is a normal reaction as you adapt to this new lifestyle. Try not to ignore it as the sooner you seek help the sooner feelings can start to be addressed and improve. Share these feeling with friends, family and if not improving seek support from your Health visitor or Gp.

Some people struggle more with this adaption, partly due to the current situation they are in, isolation, previous concerns,  or relationship challenges. With time to over think and ruminate, despite the physical challenges of caring for a baby, the feelings can become overwhelming. Initially cut yourself some slack whilst you get used to this new way of life. If time is going on and you are struggling with your thoughts and feelings, then seek help.

Hypnotherapy can give you skills to manage these feelings whilst you adapt to parenthood.

Sessions which help a more positive focus inwards, give some much needed “me” time,  and a space to be able to acknowledge feelings which are normal.  An exploration of where you are and what needs to change can be a huge boost. Hypnotherapy enables you to access resources via your subconscious mind,  which gives you tools you can use in everyday life.  This gives a sense of control over negative feelings and improves mood. Many clients benefit from a sense of relaxation during sessions and this also boosts well-being.