Where negative statements can be accepted as true in our children’s mind, so too can positive statements. We call these Affirmations, and they can be used to counteract and overcome a negative, unhelpful belief, or reaffirm something wanted, bringing about positive thoughts and feelings. They’re positive statements said as if they are already true.
As adults we may feel a bit silly saying them at first, but children are less self-conscious. They’ll find affirmations a fun way to program their minds and to plant and grow positive suggestions in their subconscious. But what’s really great is if they can accept these positive suggestions while young, then there will be less reprogramming to be done as they get older.
To encourage this habit, they need to think of a positive statement in the present tense that they can relate to. The language needs to be simple, using words they would use in everyday speech and that’s appropriate for their understanding. If too complex, they’ll be less likely to understand or take the statements on board. It’s better they choose their own affirmations they feel comfortable with saying, these can be written if the child is old enough, to compliment and reinforce the verbal affirmation but are best said aloud repeatedly. They need to be short, simple, positive, uplifting, motivating, and believable. Such as; ‘I am now learning more and more every day.’ Repetition is key to affirmations and the more they practise using positive affirmations, the easier they get and the better they start to feel about themselves and their capabilities.
This probably won’t surprise you to know, but while children are speaking and thinking positively about themselves, it’s impossible for them to think negatively, and then fear, worry, anxiety, anger, and frustration disappear. This is useful if they are struggling in some area, such as learning how to read, instead of listening to their self-defeating mental chatter, they can replace it with positive self-talk and could say; ‘I enjoy learning how to read, reading is fun, and I am now finding it easier and easier to read.’
We can clearly understand how this approach is more helpful than what children usually say such as;
‘I can’t read, I hate reading, it’s hard.’ Convincing themselves with their own words that they cannot read, not realising that they are the ones holding themselves back. Children confuse lack of experience and confidence in something, such as reading, as a lack of ability, and believe they do not, cannot, and will never be able to do it. Any mistakes they encounter only reinforce this, knocking their confidence further, we can minimise the risk of this happening by introducing our children to affirmations.
I like the affirmation bowl. Write out some affirmations on some post it notes and mix them up in a bowl and ask your child to pick one each morning and evening before bed. Then notice how their behaviour and language becomes more positive and how their self- esteem and confidence improves.
A chance for us to shut off that constant mental chatter, stress, worry, work and woe.
A time to do those things we love to do, for the sheer enjoyment of doing them.
Freedom to indulge in our pleasures and be with those special people we love?
Hang on…. What do you mean you wish?
What will you be doing this weekend if not any or all of the above?
We all deserve a break, even You.
Work and Worries Never End!
There’s always going to be laundry in the basket and an un-surmountable pile of paperwork or emails harassing us. Our work doesn’t cease to exist because it’s the weekend either. And those work issues can dwell in our minds constantly if we let them, taking up our time and attention, even on our days off.
But when are we free to enjoy life and those we love most?
Totally free to be in the moment and do nothing without feeling guilty?
It’s a rare occasion for most of us.
But today if you only do one thing, free your mind with some U Time.
We all know this is easier said than done, but when we consciously make space and time just for U Time, like we would cooking tea for the kids or washing the school uniforms, then we allow ourselves the chance to relax into the present moment. When we focus on the moment, this very minute that we are currently experiencing, we can’t ruminate on the past or worry about the un-lived future. Although that seems so obviously basic, it eludes us all.
We get caught up in the humdrum, daily dramas of our everyday lives. The unimportant, insignificant details, that cloud our true purpose and reality.
Robbing us of our peace of mind that we are all seeking but never find for long.
If only we could just temporarily let go and have five minutes peace?
Why not try?
Find a space that’s relaxing, quiet and away from all distraction’s, switch off your electronic devices and phones.
I have a space in my home where I place crystals, stones and candles. When I spend U Time there I let go of everything that’s mentally cluttering up my head and watch the fog drift away. Finding things that calm you or bring you joy will help, you don’t need buddha’s or crystals, if they aren’t your thing listen to a water feature or look at a painting, smell some aromatherapy oils, anything you feel comfortable with that signals to you this is U Time.
Make sure no one will disturb you and either sit or lay down somewhere, in a nice comfortable position. Surround yourself with cushions or soft warm blankets if that helps?
And take in some slow deep breathes.
Feel where your tension resides in your body?
We are all different, one person may carry their tension in their neck and shoulders, another in their jaws or buttocks. Wherever it feels uncomfortable breathe into it, focusing on that place, and allow it to release, as you breathe out gently and slowly.
There’s no -where to go, nothing to do, and no one to see, so you are absolutely free.
Free your mind of mental chatter and you’ll free your muscles of tense matter.
This is ‘U Time’ feel free to let go and relax. You can’t do this wrong, you just breathe.
Melt into whatever is supporting your body and just keep breathing, and as you do so, say to yourself;
Don’t just say the words, feel them, like a warm, comforting sensation flowing through you.
Practice this letting go and breathing to free your mind, until you get bored.
But I warn you, this state of pure relaxation and freedom of thought is addictive and hard to break, but it’s a great habit to make.
So, …. how will you spend your weekend now?
If you would like some help learning to relax and let go, then book your free Mumatherapy Consultation today! All bookings for September 2021 made in May will receive a 20% discount, please quote Muma May when booking.
If most of us grown-ups are petrified by this COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak then how do you think our children are feeling?
No news is good news, as they say.
We may be led to believe that it’s educational and informative for our children to follow the news because it allows them to know what the world is really like, but how often do you see or hear good news?
Does that mean that in reality there is no good news?
And no good people or experiences in the world, only bad?
Does the daily news really offer our children a balanced, realistic view of the world?
Or does it just highlight all the doom and gloom to sensationally sell more newspapers and boost ratings?
Unfortunately, bad news sells!
It’s what the majority of people like to hear about. It’s debatable whether the Pollyanna Gazette would be as popular?
Fortunately, life is not all doom and gloom, but if our children are being exposed to bad news every day, then they may start to believe it is.
In fact, they will likely become accustomed to it and expect bad news, associating more with it than any good news they may hear.
We should take care to protect our young, innocent children’s impressionable minds. Regular exposure to such negativity could cause nightmares, and some sensitive children could become fearful, sad, or depressed.
We do not, however, need to hide the truth from our children or try to protect them from hearing about anything unpleasant. Quite the opposite, it’s actually beneficial that they are aware of both the good and the bad news.
Yes, bad things happen in the world but so do good things too. We just need to give our children a more balanced outlook and show them what’s good about life more often than highlighting the bad news.
There are devastating diseases spreading across the globe today, there was in the 90’s too when Aids was an uncurable epidemic, and yes people are experiencing poverty and tragedy in the world, even today, but our children do not need to feel sad, fearful, or guilty because of that. It’s not their fault. Our children have a right to be happy, regardless of what’s going on in the world. Undoubtably, they will have a hard time being happy and carefree if they are aware of all that’s going on, which is out of their control.
If they want to make a contribution to society and a positive difference in the world, our children will have to learn how to free and empower themselves.
Something they can only do if they feel good. It’s hard to be an up lifter when you’re feeling down or fearful. This is where we can positively help to direct their attention on good causes.
Some people may think that you can’t shelter your children from the real world, scary stuff happens every day and it’s happening more and more. Not reading about it or watching it on TV won’t make it go away. I totally agree, but watching and reading about it won’t change anything either.
Just as exposing our children to scary stories can cause anxiety and fear, it’s pointless to highlight it unless we are willing to address the problem. Children do worry, they magnify things, and they don’t understand life as we do. When they hear there’s a murderer on the loose, even if that murder is in a different part of the country or even the other side of the world, they will have nightmares of the murderer coming to their house to get their family. They just won’t understand the back story. Maybe the murderer killed someone he knew on accident and has no intention of hurting anyone? But that won’t matter to a young child.
As a childminder, I’ve had to reassure and calm many a child down over something in the news that was bothering them. One child was petrified of a tsunami washing their home and family away and desperately didn’t want to go to school in case it happened.
As a therapist, one of the first things I advise my adult clients with anxiety to do is stop listening to the news. It’s amazing how that one simple thing makes them feel better in such a short space of time.
Taking a proactive approach and preventing our children getting caught up in bad news and taking action to personally change the world positively when we can will yield the most beneficial results.
Spreading love, joy, and happiness instead of doom and impending disaster as each individual person, one by one, we can impact those around us. Starting with ourselves, is what will make a difference to society as a whole.
We can’t change current epidemics, pandemics or the like or even other people, but we can and do affect our children, negatively or positively.
As an influential role model, you decide.
Because how we parent does make a difference to the future news, and the world we live in.
It’s that time of year when, we
discover if our little ones have got a place in the preferred school, we’ve
chosen for them.
As I chatted to a friend at the school gates last week, who was devastated her child didn’t get into the primary school his siblings attended, I felt her pain.
I remember that dreaded anticipation
myself many years ago!
Would my first born get a space in the
School, I perceived to be the best in the area we lived in at that time?
Oh, the joy when I finally received
that letter telling us she had got a place.
Off we went excitedly to buy her new
school uniform. Such a proud first moment was her first day at school.
Then I had to relive all that stress, anxiety
and worry once again two years later, when my Sons turn came to find out if he
had a place?
The sleepless nights and despair I felt when I discovered that the catchment area boundaries had changed, and a new Welsh School which was opened within twenty feet of our house, threatened his place in his Sisters school, which we all loved because, I hate to honestly admit it, but all the parents seemed affluent and the learning league table for results was high.
On top of that, the school was rated a green for very good. The rating system was based on four colour coded categories; green, yellow, amber and red, this colour coding was to demonstrate how much support the schools needed. But relying on that colour system would have been pointless because that all soon changed anyway, as the School colours slipped down when the headteacher changed, something not too uncommon for lots of schools.
relief, when I received that letter saying my Son had a place in his Sisters
school was exhilarating.
to throw a ‘Thank Goodness Party!’
DOUBTS FEARS &
Yet looking back, there was no reason
to celebrate, and all that stress, worry and anxiety was for nothing, as I removed
my children half way through primary school, from that much sought- after,
Welsh Medium School, to an English Medium School, (nothing to do with the
language may I add).
Initially when I chose the Welsh School,
I was happy with that decision. A few
years later that decision no longer felt like the right thing for my children,
leaving me to make the proactive decision of changing their schools.
A lot of parents felt the same way as
me at the time, and also wanted to remove their children, but they didn’t as
they were fearful how it would affect them.
I on the other hand feared how keeping
my children in their current school would affect them?
But it was a decision I needed help
with, so I proactively involved my children in the decision-making process,
every step of the way.
This took a lot of the pressure off me
to make the decision and gave them a choice.
My Daughter was keen to change schools,
my Son however, was not so keen.
I asked them both to individually list the pros and cons for staying in their old school and moving to the new school. This was discussed verbally, then I drew up a pros and cons list (putting it in writing helped us all to physically see the outcome.) Both children had more pros for moving and more cons for staying put.
The decision was made instantly based
on those lists.
I didn’t dwell on it or give them time
to worry about the consequences, I took immediate action and within a week,
they had both moved to a new school.
Today they are now in High School, but
they have never regretted moving schools and the only affects it had on them at
the time, were positive.
They’ve made great best friends that
otherwise they would never have met and are both confident and sociable, and despite
joining a new school mid-way through their primary years, their academic
ability has soared.
Children are much more resilient than
we give them credit for, it’s us as parents that have the doubts, fears and tears,
not our children.
The initial idea to change schools
came from my own parental intuition. I could have taken the easy option and
ignored what I felt. I could have found many excuses to keep them in their old
school but that would have kept me reactive as a parent, not proactive.
I probably would have been complaining
to the school over issues that I was unhappy with for years, and would have
always wondered, what if they had gone to a different school?
Proactivity quashes regrets before
Feeling confident to take -action,
comes from that parental intuition that we all have, which arises from knowing
and loving our children.
This insight is invaluable to tune
into, as it helps us to know how our children will respond to certain people,
events, or situations in advance. This gives us time to take the necessary
steps, in order to avoid situations turning out undesirably.
Fortunately, this proactive approach arising
from instinct or intuition, is something we naturally do as parents, most of
the time anyway.
Although my Husband and I made the
right choice in moving our children to a different school, and both of our
children excelled in their new school, none of us regret them having gone to
the old school.
My children made some great friends
there (as did I, I’m still friends with some fab parents from their old primary
And my children also learnt how to speak Welsh fluently at a young age (which I’ve no doubt is the reason they do so well in this subject now, as its now a compulsory GCSE subject in my Children’s English Medium High School.)
In addition, my children learnt how to
change and adapt to new circumstances, build on their self- confidence and form
new relationships, all invaluable skills to learn at a young age.
We all learn from experimentation and
That’s why nothing happens in vain. When
we view any experience, circumstance or relationship this way, we free
ourselves from worry, stress and anxiety. Its all a learning opportunity. This helps
us to accept what is, even if what is, isn’t what we want!
As parent’s, we need to accept that we
won’t always make the right choices or decisions all of the time. And that’s
ok, because we can, and will learn from all of them, good or bad along the way.
As long as we keep moving, we will
make progress and rid ourselves of paralysis by analysis. By doing what we can,
we can feel confident in the knowledge that we are always doing our best.
We will then be free to relax knowing
that, we cannot control everything that happens to our children.
And this is a good thing, because we
cannot learn everything for them, there will be times when they will have to
learn for themselves, often the hard way.
Therefore, the most proactive thing
that we can all do as parents, is to decide today to stop worrying about our
children’s; behaviour, education, health, happiness, safety, success or
whatever else is worrying us at the moment, and take- action to do something
If its out of our control and we can’t
do anything about the outcome or circumstances, as in the case of not getting a
space at a preferred school for our child, then acceptance is the only choice
we really have. This means letting go of the illusions of how perfect that
school would have been, and how our children have lost out. There’s no loss, as
they never had that space to begin with. There’s no loss, as there are
alternatives, and alas, other schools that could end up being just as good, if
not even better in the long run?
We can only do the best we can do, at
any given moment in time, with the knowledge, experiences and resources we have
at that time.
Circumstances change and so do we.
My priorities and perspective on my
childrens initial primary school changed. So did the influential people at that
school, and the school’s performance and colour coding. Had I known all that
years ago, then I wouldn’t have worried for a second whether my children got a
space at that school or not?
You may be experiencing joy and
exhilaration, as you open that envelop that says your child has a place at your
Or you may have doubts, fears and tears,
as you hear your child has not been accepted?
But fear not, things are not always as
bad as they seem. And years from now, like me, you may look back with relief,
that actually, what you thought your child was denied, was in fact the best
thing that could have happened?
Two weeks into the New Year and all I’ve heard this week from friends, family and associates, is how low everyone is feeling.
No one is immune to worry.
We all at some time, fear the future, ruminate on the past and spend endless, sleepless nights, catastrophising. The dark of the night seems to magnify issues to monstrous proportions.
Even when there’s nothing to worry about, it worries us, and we think that something must be wrong?
I’ve been there many times.
And it feels like there’s nothing we
can do, as problems paralyse us from taking any action. This condition is known
as paralysis by analysis. It’s when we become plagued with indecision and get
caught up in a state of over thinking an issue.
Then instead of dealing with it, we
worry about it!
Parenting is a ‘Worrying Business’
And as parents there’s not only
ourselves to worry about.
When it comes to our children, we can
worry about everything and anything. As we deliberate on what they should eat,
how to deal with their unwanted behaviour and how they are progressing at
And all of this responsibility can
weigh heavy on us. Especially if we feel over whelming pressure from others,
such as teachers or spouses, adding to the problem itself
This can become a constant source of stress,
as we feel we must instantly sort everything out, the right way.
This pressure makes it difficult to see
the wood from the trees, leaving decision making impossible. But taking
decisive action and doing something, even if that action is not the right
action to take, sets the solutions to problems in motion.
When we put ourselves out there,
answers find us.
When we procrastinate or are fearful
of making the wrong choices, and take no action to solve an issue, this leads
to a lack of confidence in our own parenting abilities, preventing us from
The only solution is proactively taking
action to prevent or deal with problems, rather than Auto Pilot Parent when
things go wrong.
This empowers us to handle situations, as well as our children’s behaviour.
However, taking a proactive approach can also mean
stepping back and away from the problem itself.
When we are less involved in the
emotional side, we can start to narrow down a couple of options that we could
take. Then take assertive action.
For example, we may find ourselves
deliberating over several possible schools that we could send our children to.
When faced with such an important decision, choosing the right school could
seem more daunting than it really is.
Once we can relax, step back and think
clearly, the decision usually rests on only one of two possibilities. And that’s
the way with most problems.
It’s having the clarity to narrow
things down. Knowing that even if we make a wrong choice, we can feel reassured
that we can always change course if we are going in the wrong direction.
Being proactive eliminates doubt.
Even if it turns out we were wrong, that’s
better than not taking action and never knowing, allowing others to take the
What we find when we take this
approach is that, we can never really make a wrong decision anyway, just a
As parent’s, we need to accept that we
won’t always make the right choices or decisions all of the time.
That’s ok, because good or bad, we
can, and will learn from all of them.
As long as we keep moving, we will
make progress, and rid ourselves of this paralysis by analysis.
And by doing what we can, we can feel
confident in the knowledge that we are always doing our best.
We will then be free to relax knowing
that, we cannot control everything that happens.
But the most proactive thing we can
all do as parents, is to stop worrying about our children’s; behaviour,
education, health, happiness, safety, success or whatever else is worrying us
at the moment, and take- action to do something about it.
Start today by doing the following ‘Worry Busting’ Exercise.
This simple technique helps us to gain
a clearer perspective, alleviating a certain degree of worry straight away. Focusing
more on solutions rather than problems.
THE WORRY BUSTER TECHNIQUE
First think about something that is worrying
you at this moment regarding your child.
Now write down all the reasons why it is
worrying you? Note how worrying about it has helped the situation or how it has
made it worse?
Then work out how long you have been worrying
about it for?
Now, decide how much longer you want to keep
on worrying about it?
Next write a list of all the possible ways
that you can try to help solve the problem, or at least make it less of a
worry. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can think of, regardless how unrealistic
they sound at first.
Now choose one way that you can take- action
on the problem today.
Finally, go and take some action and do
something to change the situation now.
Can’t find a solution right now?
Then just decide to relax and step back, and
accept the way things are for now.
Clear your mind of the problem, and do
something else until a solution comes to mind. Busy yourself with chores or
exercise, and let the solution bubble away in the back of your mind, unhindered
You’ve proactively looked at the issue by
doing the ‘Worry Busting Technique’.
Now the only thing you can change, is to stop
worrying about something you cannot change. If there is nothing you can do
about it, then why waste time and energy worrying?
Worrying will not help or change
After all, most of what we worry about never actually happens anyway. Rest assured, if we are doing all that we can do right now, then there is no need to worry about anything else.