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    HOW DO WE RAISE BRAVE, CONFIDENT KIDS?

    What did we do for fun when we were kids?

    Did we come home from school, spend 1/2 hours on homework and then take to the screen (phone, tablet, laptop)?
    Did we spend hours during our holidays chatting with our friends online, playing games online,
    relying on internet to communicate and entertain ourselves?
    Did we lean much of our behaviour and language from online games and shows?

    Little did we know the hours we spent building tree houses (not necessarily in trees), making up imaginary games with our friends or at times on our own, climbing trees, cycling our, walking half a mile to our friends house, baking cakes with mum (dad!!) or playing house for hours, truly believing those dolls were real babies – all of these activities taught us something.

    The benefits to this type of play;
    we learnt how to use our imagination
    we played how to play with our friends by using our imaginations
    we learnt how to beat our fears and eventually succeed in climbing that tree
    to entertain ourselves without the help of technology
    to be kids, to have fun, to be ourselves, to take chances and to be brave.

    What has happened over the past 15/20 years. Kids need to have freedom to develop
    emotionally and psychologically, they need to play with each other to learn the meaning of winning and losing and taking chances, they need freedom to learn how to be brave and to cope when things might not work out, kids need time without parents, to learn who they really are. We have become so obsessed with safety, work, academia and money and sometimes
    over parenting that many of our kids are losing out. Kids need to be allowed to feel independent (age relative), to stretch their limits and be allowed to fall occasionally but they will always pick themselves up – they are very resilient little people – if they are allowed to be.

    Try to encourage you daughter to climb that tree, to play on that new swing in the playground – without automatically warning her of the dangers. We tend to be more careful with girls, why is that? – some of the strongest, bravest people I know are women. If we want to raise brave
    confident, successful, happy kids, we need to teach them and allow them to be brave, to try new things, to make mistakes and more importantly to teach them how to deal with those mistakes and to learn from them. We must allow them to be themselves even if that may be someone we did not expect (the singer rather than the gaa player, the artist rather than the accountant!). Try to help them to get to know who they really are. Teach them about life without technology and social media. They do need reminding as this is the world they are growing up in – what seems normal to them is not necessarily right. Help them to understand the reality of that online world to be able to balance their online world and their real world. Set age appropriate boundaries in your home, that suit your family, you know your kids better than anyone. But, most importantly, try to ensure that they have ‘time’ to be kids, to play, to explore, to use their imagination, to learn from their mistakes, and to appreciate life.
    Our kids need to be brave and confident to survive this ever changing technologically run world. Try to give them the freedom they need to grow, show them how to enjoy life, to laugh out loud, to beat their fears, to be honest, loyal and trustworthy, show them by example – you will always be your child’s number 1 role model.

    10 Things I Want My Kids To Know – findingjoy.net
    1. Be Yourself
    2. Don’t Waste Time Worrying
    3. Appreciate the Little Things
    4. Stand Up For Your Friends & Family
    5. Don’t Whisper About Others
    6. You Are Not Your Emotion
    7. Always Be Willing To Learn
    8. Pick Your Battles
    9. Surround Yourself With Those Who Respect You
    10. Be Brave

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    THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-DEVELOPMENT FOR TEENAGERS

    I recently ran a Self-Development workshop with a Transition Year group and was surprised at their reactions.
    This workshop was aimed at helping the students to understand the importance of a number of topics;

    The importance of liking yourself – Positive Self-Esteem.
    The meaning of Friendship.
    Getting to know your Strengths and learning to understand what they mean.
    Thinking about Values and how they effect your every day life.
    The importance of Believing in Yourself and Setting Goals.
    The importance of having Dreams/Ambitions.

    During the workshop we had a lot of discussion about friendships and the importance of face to face communication. This is an area of concern, as when we looked at it most of the students said there was never a time they would be with friends when someone was not on their phone – never a time when they would all be talking together. This is a problem as people are not giving enough face to fact time to real friends and far too much online time to virtual friends (who may not be real friends at all). This was an eye-opener for many as we have to remember some of our kids know no different – this is the world they have grown up in. They began to realise the importance of spending real time with real friends.

    When it came to strengths, many of the students said this was not something they really thought about, but after the exercise they realised what great strengths they had, many of which they did not realise they had beforehand. Knowing their own individual strengths is an essential ingredient for them to live a happy fulfilled life – both personally and in their careers. We need to understand our strengths to understand who we are and who we want to be. We need to understand our strengths to understand what area of work we should aim for, to be happy and successful in our jobs.

    Setting Goals is one of my personal favourites. There is a saying “Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes”, to me this is so important. I have worked with so many teenagers and young adults who have spent months and years reading self-help books and motivation books, and when I ask them “So what have you done”?, they look at me blankly. You have to take the first step to change if you want anything to change, reading about it, writing about it will not ‘change it’. You have to ‘do’ something. This section really resonated with the students as I put the ball back in their court – told them they have to stop blaming parents, teachers, the weather – if they want something in life they have to get out there at get it – make the necessary changes in their lives and go for it. Everything worthwhile takes effort – nothing comes easy.

    Values – this section surprised me most of all as it was the area most of them said they really learned something about themselves in.
    What are Values –
    Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.
    When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.
    This feeling of ‘wrong’ really made sense to them. The students wrote down the values they thought their age group ‘have’ and the values they thought their age group ‘should have’. What this did was it showed them that they all wanted the same things – yet many were living against their values to be part of their peer group or to be popular. We all need to take time out to allow ourselves to get to know ourselves better, and this is doubly true for our younger generation who have grown up with another voice in their heads – social media.

    I strongly believe our Educational Department and Department of Health has to look at this area and provide modules to help kids live in this every changing technological run world in a more positive and self aware way. We, their parents, teachers, mentors have to help them to get this support. We all grew up with 2 voices in our heads – our parents and our peers, kids today have a 3rd 24 hour voice in social media – they need support and advice to help them deal to with this voice in a positive and healthy way.

    Lack of face to face communication, low self-esteem, peer pressure, lack of understanding around friendships and relationships are a few of the growing concerns I see daily. We have to support kids and teenagers to understand the importance of realising the reality of social media v’s the real world. There are many positives to social media, but unfortunately there are many very damaging aspects also which I find very worrying.

    A few comments from the students after this workshop;
    “I feel like my age group can do things because of peer pressure. I think this workshop might open their eyes.”
    “I believe this workshop is needed because it helps people my age to realise that they can’t change something without putting effort in.”
    “this workshop shows us that social media is not that important and I need to start seeing my strengths and not be so harsh on myself.”
    “helped me to realise I have to stop putting myself down so much and be proud of myself.”
    “It really opened my eyes to things that I didn’t even notice were going on.”
    “taught me to be nicer to people and appreciate the important people in my life before its too late.”
    “it helped me to understand my values and to see how they effect my actions and my feelings towards other people.”
    “it showed me how important it is to be kind to myself instead of knocking myself.”
    ‘Im going to spend less time on my phone and more time with family and myself.”
    “it made me think about my personality and my values and helped me to understand who I want to be.”
    “spend more time with actual real friends and family and less time on my phone and virtual friends – and if we want something to happen just go out and make it happen.”
    “I am going to think more positively about myself and not always think about the bad things”
    “understand that not everything is about your phone and your appearance.”
    “how to look after myself the correct way – to take a break from social media””
    “it might encourage me to see myself differently and be grateful for all I have in my life”
    “the importance of valuing the people I am with in the moment and get off my phone when with people I value in my life”

    If you have any queries relating to any of the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch – Eileen

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    THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-DEVELOPMENT FOR TEENAGERS

    I recently ran a Self-Development workshop with a Transition Year group and was surprised at their reactions.
    This workshop was aimed at helping the students to understand the importance of a number of topics;

    The importance of liking yourself – Positive Self-Esteem.
    The meaning of Friendship.
    Getting to know your Strengths and learning to understand what they mean.
    Thinking about Values and how they effect your every day life.
    The importance of Believing in Yourself and Setting Goals.
    The importance of having Dreams/Ambitions.

    During the workshop we had a lot of discussion about friendships and the importance of face to face communication. This is an area of concern, as when we looked at it most of the students said there was never a time they would be with friends when someone was not on their phone – never a time when they would all be talking together. This is a problem as people are not giving enough face to fact time to real friends and far too much online time to virtual friends (who may not be real friends at all). This was an eye-opener for many as we have to remember some of our kids know no different – this is the world they have grown up in. They began to realise the importance of spending real time with real friends.

    When it came to strengths, many of the students said this was not something they really thought about, but after the exercise they realised what great strengths they had, many of which they did not realise they had beforehand. Knowing their strengths is an essential ingredient for them to live a happy fulfilled life – both personally and in careers. We need to understand our strengths to understand who we are and who we want to be. We need to understand our strengths to understand what area of work we should aim for, to be happy and successful in our jobs.

    Setting Goals is one of my personal favourites. There is a saying “Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes”, to me this is so important. I have worked with so many teenagers and young adults who have spent months and years reading self-help books and motivation books, and when I ask them “So what have you done”?, they look at me blankly. You have to take the first step to change if you want anything to change, reading about it, writing about it will not Change it. You have to ‘do’ something. This section really resonated with the students as I put the ball back in their court – told them they have to stop blaming parents, teachers, the weather – if they want something in life they have to get out there at get it – make the necessary changes in their lives and go for it. Everything worthwhile takes effort – nothing comes easy.

    Values – this section surprised me most of all as it was the area most of them said they really learned something about themselves in.
    What are Values –
    Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.
    When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.
    This feeling of ‘wrong’ really made sense to them. The students wrote down the values they thought their age group ‘have’ and the values they thought their age group ‘should have’. What this did was it showed them that they all wanted the same things – yet many were living against their values to be part of their peer group or to be popular. We all need to take time out to allow ourselves to get to know ourselves better, and this is doubly true for our younger generation who have grown up with another voice in their heads – social media.

    I strongly believe our educational department has to look at this area and provide modules to help kids live in this every changing technological run world in a more positive and self aware way. We, their parents, teachers, mentors have to help them to get this support.

    Lack of face to face communication, low self-esteem, peer pressure, lack of understanding around friendships and relationships are a few of the growing concerns I see daily. We have to support them to understand the importance of realising the reality of social media v’s the real world. There are many positives to social media, but unfortunately there are many very damaging aspects also which I find very worrying.

    A few comments from the students after this workshop;
    “I feel like my age group can do things because of peer pressure. I think this workshop might open their eyes.”
    “I believe this workshop is needed because it helps people my age to realise that they can’t change something without putting effort in.”
    “this workshop shows us that social media is not that important and I need to start seeing my strengths and not be so harsh on myself.”
    “helped me to realise I have to stop putting myself down so much and be proud of myself.”
    “It really opened my eyes to things that I didn’t even notice were going on.”
    “taught me to be nicer to people and appreciate the important people in my life before its too late.”
    “it helped me to understand my values and to see how they effect my actions and my feelings towards other people.”
    “it showed me how important it is to be kind to myself instead of knocking myself.”
    ‘Im going to spend less time on my phone and more time with family and myself.”
    “it made me think about my personality and my values and helped me to understand who I want to be.”
    “spend more time with actual real friends and family and less time on my phone and virtual friends – and if we want something to happen just go out and make it happen.”
    “I am going to think more positively about myself and not always think about the bad things”
    “understand that not everything is about your phone and your appearance.”
    “how to look after myself the correct way – to take a break from social media””
    “it might encourage me to see myself differently and be grateful for all I have in my life”
    “the importance of valuing the people I am with in the moment and get off my phone when with people I value in my life”

    If you have any queries relating to any of the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch – Eileen

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    CONFIDENCE COACHING FOR KIDS

    Life Coaching is not just for adults – why wait?

    Confidence Coaching for Kids is a very effective way to help your child to deal with the ups and downs of growing up.  Every child will benefit from Confidence Coaching as it gives them the tools to deal with the many different challenges they may face on a daily basis;

    Dealing with peer pressure

    Learning to love themselves

    Knowing how to learn from their mistakes

    Learning how to to take responsibility for their actions

    Learning how to make and keep friends

    Learning how to make good decisions

     

    Stories are one of the most effective ways to make positive changes with kids.  Each of these workshops are explained through different stories in a fun and interactive way.

    Why wait?  

    Give your child the best gift you can give him – the tools to grow into a strong, confident, happy teenager and adult.

    “It’s not what Happens to you, but how you REACT to it that matters”. – Epictetus

     

     

     

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    COMMUNICATION – -PART 2 (11 yrs – 18 yrs)

     

    “COMMUNICATION – THE HUMAN CONNECTION – IS THE KEY TO PERSONAL AND CAREER SUCCESS.”

    11 years – 18 years

    Teenagers are naturally anxious or insecure about where they fit in the world. Part of their own development is getting an understanding of what relationships they want or need in their lives. What really matters to them is who they matter to and who values them. They are very good at detecting who is genuine in wanting to connect and communicate with them, and who has other motives.

    Tweens and teens are trying to become independent of you, their parents.   This is part of their psychological development at this stage – there are certain things parents need to know and much more importantly there are certain things parents do not need to know.  Give them their privacy.

    We need to give our kids trust. They need to believe we trust them – without trust we have nothing. I would always suggest ‘trust them until they give you a reason not to’. If they believe you trust them, they are unlikely to break that trust easily – If they believe you do not trust them, they may feel like they have nothing to break.

    Try not to make decisions about your teenager to please others – family, neighbours, friend’s parents. You know your own child, listen to yourself.

    The most effective way to communicate with teenagers is to show an interest in what they are doing. Let them know you are always there for them. Let them know they can come to you for help and advice, no matter what.
    Have a time in the day that you both know ye can talk to each other – in the car, at bedtime, dinnertime, whatever works for your family.

    If your teenager comes to you and you are openly shocked by what they have told you and react in a negative way, they may not come to you again. If you are shocked, try to take a breath, suggest you talk about it later on – give yourself time to take in what they said and then to act in a reasonable understanding manner, try to remember how you felt when you were a teen. If you react dramatically and negatively and are not supportive/understanding, it may be the last time they come to you with serious matters.  This does not mean you do not address the situation, it means you address the situation calmly and rationally.

    Do not break your trust with them – if they ask you not to say anything to anyone else, keep your word. If your teen hears you on the phone later to family or friends telling them about your conversation, this may also  stop your teen coming to you again.

    If communication has broken down, for whatever reason, do everything in your power to build it up again. Write to them, text them – just be sure to communicate with them. Do not harass them, do not badger them, this may push them away. Take it slowly, one step at a time.

    You know your own child better than anyone else.  Trust your gut.  Do not be afraid to ask for advice from someone you trust or someone in the parenting field.

    Feel free to email me should you have any concerns in this area.

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    COMMUNICATION – THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL IN POSITIVE PARENTING

    COMMUNICATION – PART 1 –

    START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON
    What is communication?
    The goal of communication is to understand others and to be understood by others.
    Communication is a two way street.

    Everyone talks about teenagers and communication –
    Why don’t they talk to me?
    How can I get them to open up to me?
    Can I trust them?

    What about communication with babies and toddlers? Teenagers learn how to communicate from day one, they learn from you.

    It is never too early to think about communication and how important it is at any stage of development. We need to start communicating openly with our kids from day one.

    This may sound basic and some of you may be ready to stop reading now but I cannot emphasise enough the importance of communication with your kids/teens. These tips will most likely be things you already know, but being reminded of them will help you to check in to see if your communication skills are working.

    0 – 1 years of age;

    Babies tend to communicate through eye contact, your touch and the sound of your voice.

    Hold eye contact were possible.
    Use your touch to show emotion.
    Use your voice to communicate your feelings.

    Your communication with them will install a sense of love and security – their basic need at this age.

    2 -10 years of age;

    kid and granddad drawing dep pic

    Come down to their level (eye contact) when you are talking to them or when they are talking to you.
    When they come to you to tell you something, show them you are interested in what they have to say by concentrating on them and listening to them.

    If you are busy at the time, tell them you will talk to them in 10 minutes, at tea time (whatever suits you at the time) but you must come back to them.
    If you do not come back to them and tend to push them away because you may be on the phone, on the computer, making dinner, chatting to a friend – over time they may stop trying. How would you feel if you had something really important to say to your parent and they showed no interest whatsoever? Would you go back again and agin to try to get them to be interested? Does it hurt your feelings? Does it make you feel valued?
    Share stories about your childhood, good times and bad times – tell them how you managed mistakes, how you coped when you were upset, your experiences with friends (good and bad experiences).
    By sharing these experiences you will show them it is ok to make mistakes, it is ok to be upset, it is ok to have a problem with a friend. It is how they deal with these issues that is  important.
    Make sure there is a time in your day that you know you can communicate with them (give them your undivided attention if only for 10 minutes)e.g.
    bedtime * in the car * bath time * meal time – whatever suit your family.
    (Years later your 16 year old may still rely on this time to talk to you)
    Try not to use labels like ‘useless’, ‘hopeless’, ‘waste of space’ when talking to them or about them. This is hugely damaging to their self-esteem. You are the most important person in their lives – if they believe this is what you think of them, what will they think of themselves. Parents are only human, if you let a comment slip out and you know it was wrong/nasty/unnecessary – remember to say sorry. This is also a great lesson for your child – teach them the ability to take responsibility for their actions and be strong enough to say ‘sorry’.
    Try not to swear or curse at them – they will most likely copy you – at the most inappropriate times!
    Try not to make comments comparing them to their siblings or their peers.
    Tell them you love them. We tend to presume they ‘know’ we love them. They do need regular reminding. Helping them to understand we may not like their actions or their words but we will always love them is a great lesson for later on during their teenage years.

    Children need to feel loved, respected and valued if they are to grow into teenagers who feel loved, respected and valued. These feelings will build your child’s self-esteem and confidence and give them a strong sense of family, values and self into their teenage years.
    Sometimes, they may learn more from your actions than your words. They will watch how you react in different situations, how you treat other family members, how you treat friends and presume this is the way it is supposed to be.
    Communication is both words and actions.

    You are your child’s number one teacher and role model.

    “It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.”

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    How to figure out the perfect time to go for your goal! Don’t put it off any longer. A great lesson for us all – at any age!

    You may have heard statements like these before…

    • As soon as I have more money…
    • As soon as I lose weight…
    • As soon as I’m a little older

    …then I’ll go for my goal!

    When deciding the “perfect time” to go for your goal… you must look out for a sneaky dream-stealer called conditional thinking.

    Conditional thinking occurs when you think that something must happen before you go for your goal.

    To spot conditional thinking, listen for the words, “if” followed by “then” (may also hear the words “when” followed by “then”).  Here are some more specific examples:

    • “If my boss wasn’t such a jerk, then I’d enjoy my job.”
    • “When I lose 10 pounds, then I’ll buy new clothes.”
    • “If only I was younger, then I could start a business.”
    • “If only I was older, then I could start a business.”

    The  problem with conditional thinking is that you become a victim to your thoughts. The only person who can control those thoughts is yourself – not your age, the weather, your friends, your family etc.

    You see, the secret to creating what you really want is to declare your dreams based on what you truly want in life…and then managing away the circumstances.  The mistake that most people make is that they look at their current circumstances and then whittle down their dreams to fit within those constraints.

    So how can you break up conditional thinking?
    • The first step is to recognise it is happening and to challenge the statement or belief.  Are you really too old to start a business?  Mary Kay Ash started her company, Mary Kay Cosmetics, when she was 50 years old!  And what a success she is.
    • The second step is to take action…even if it’s just one small step in the direction of your goal.  Action puts a “stake in the ground” and lets the Universe know that you are serious about achieving that goal.
    • And the third step is to reprogram your self-talk.  Reframe the conditional thinking into an affirmation that works for you.  Instead of saying ““I’m too old to go back to school.” You could say, “I’m a lifelong learner and Im ready to go for my next big dream.” (By the way, if you’re 40 years old today…in 4 years you’re going to be 44.  You can either be 44 years old with a college degree or 44 years old without one…time is going to pass either way.)

    The perfect time to go for your goal is now…even if it just means taking a small step in the direction of that goal!  Learning to recognise and shift conditional thinking is a skill that all kids must learn.
    By teaching your kids this skill they will have a much better chance of going for their dreams. If you show them how to set little goals (from any age), show them how to put the work in and they will see that they can achieve those goals. Then they will learn to believe that they can achieve anything with focus and hard work. What better gift could you give them!

     

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    Parent (s) – Number One Role Model for your Child

     

    Being a parent in today’s world is extraordinarily challenging; to say that most parents are dealing with more than they bargained for would be an understatement.

    Taking a step back to notice the impact your behavior has on your child can become a great opportunity to promote positive change in both your lives.

    It is the norm to presume your sullen teenager (or younger child) is completely oblivious to your actions – this is rarely the case. Teenagers and children are usually very observant of parent’s actions and behaviors. Actions will always speak louder than words.

    Take the time to think about your actions and behaviors in front of your kids. Are you behaving in a way that you would want your child to believe as ‘normal behavior’, ‘appropriate behavior’. Do you treat others the way you want your children to treat others. Do you treat yourself the way you want your children to grow up treating themselves.

    I often come across kids who are very confused about this. They may ask;

    “What’s wrong with shouting at my sisters, my mum shouts at her sisters all the time”?

    “Why should I eat a good meal 3 times a day, my mum doesn’t, she is always talking about loosing weight”?

    “Why do I need to slow down and take time out for myself, my dad never stops working, he never has time for himself”?

    “Why should I turn off my phone at meal times, nobody else does”?

    “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

    The way you value yourself, the way you treat others and the way you treat your time is a daily role modeling experience for your child. Is this a positive or negative role modeling experience for them? Do you put yourself down in front of them, do you speak badly of friends and/or family in front of them, do you value yourself and take time for yourself, can you say sorry, can you admit it when you are wrong?

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    Nobody is perfect, we will all loose our tempers, argue with family/friends, not take time out for ourselves – but this should not be the norm. The example we set out for our children and teenagers at home is the basis for the person they will grow into in future years.

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    If you behave in a way you are not proud of, take the time to explain it to your child/teen. Show them how you are going to make things right. Whether that is apologizing to someone, taking time to talk something through with someone, you will be giving your child a very important life lesson. Take responsibility for your actions. This is a lesson that will stand to them throughout their lives.

    Unknown-12

     

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