AFFIRMATIONS, ANXIETY / FEAR, Esteem, Proactive Parenting, Starting School

BACK TO SCHOOL

So, the day has nearly or finally arrived for our beloved little ones to return to school. Yippee!!!  I can see all the mums fist pumping the air and doing a happy dance around an empty house right now 😊

I’m sure many children are looking forward to going back and catching up with their friends again. But equally there will be some apprehension for most. Here’s a few tips to boost our kids’ confidence and tackle their anxiety about returning to school during the pandemic.

ADDRESS OUR OWN ANXIETIES

Children pick up on parent and carers fears and anxieties, so if we are worried, they’ll think there’s something to be afraid of and that they too should be scared.

PAINT A POSITIVE PICTURE

Help them view returning to school optimistically by telling them about the fun things they will get up to, such as painting, play dough, and reuniting with friends. And answer any questions they’ve got to help them feel prepared.

PLAY THE AS IF GAME

If they can use their vivid imaginations to visualise going back to school positively, they’ll be more inclined to experience that on the actual day. This focuses their attention on what they want, instead of what they don’t want. Getting them to imagine waking up to their favourite breakfast and getting ready in their new school uniform, with their new shoes, lunch box, backpack and pencil case, builds anticipation and excitement, while increasing their confidence and motivation.

RE-ESTABLISH ROUTINE WITH WARNINGS AND REMINDERS

Routines help children to feel relaxed and confident when they’re given notice and know what to expect, when and why? Offer plenty of warnings and reminders fifteen to ten minutes beforehand, such as at meal and bedtimes, to mentally and physically prepare them.

ENCOURAGE SLEEP

Sleep is vital in restoring children’s mental and physical development and growth. Set a regular bedtime time and routine for a good night sleep, such as, 7pm -bath, brush teeth, bedtime story. Keep to this even at the weekend.

PROMOTE EXERCISE

Exercise is important to childrens emotional as well as physical wellbeing.  Children who exercise learn and concentrate better at school, improve their memory and release endorphins, reducing or preventing depression or anxiety.  Wean them off the screen using the ‘Bursts of Fitness 15 Minute Rule’ For every fifteen minutes of sedentary play, i.e. Watching TV, they then have to take a break to run up and down the stairs/garden/hallway or wherever is suitable and convenient, fifteen times, before they resume watching TV for another fifteen minutes. Repeated every fifteen minutes.

3 HAPPY THINGS

Before bed ask them to think of three thing’s they were happy for in their day, remembering the good parts keeps them grateful and focused on the positives.

THE BOTHER BOX

Prevent worries building up in their head or going unaddressed by creating a ‘Bother Box’. Find an old shoebox and ask your child to decorate it as they choose with paint, crayons, or stickers. Buy a pack of copier paper and whenever they’re bothered by something, encourage them to draw a picture of whatever is bothering them and place it in the box. Then sit down together and go through the concerns in the box. As they get older, they can exchange drawing pictures for writing their worries down on post it notes, or in a journal or diary.

AFFIRMATIONS

These are positive statements said as if they’re already true, used to counteract and overcome a negative, unhelpful belief, relieve fears and anxiety, and to reaffirm something wanted. If they are nervous about returning to school, affirmations can bring about positive thoughts and feelings.

Ask them to practice saying aloud;

‘I enjoy going to school and playing with all my friends.’

Giving our children tools and techniques such as these, gives them coping mechanisms and preventative tools to manage their thoughts and feelings, before they need them. 

Mumatherapy Facebook Friendship Group

As mum’s we also need some support sometimes too, that’s why Happy Childcare has now set up its Facebook Mumatherapy Support Group. It’s a friendship support group for Mum’s that’s intended to be a safe place to air our inner most thoughts and feelings, with like-minded others, in a closed, supportive group. Sharing helpful parenting advice and providing some helpful tools and techniques, to alleviate stress and anxiety and increase confidence and self -esteem, such as, hypnosis, guided meditations, EFT and affirmations and quotes. The only goal is to love one another like you would your best friend or sister, without judgement. It’s also a place to share the joys of motherhood too and your own successes and achievements. A positive place to feel loved, loving and lovable. Please join with an open mind.

We welcome you to join us here.

Next week we will meet little Archie the pint sized entrepreneur, that turned a home schooling project into a profitable business!

Until then, Stay Present,

Em x

ANXIETY / FEAR, Proactive Parenting, SELF-CARE, SELF-LOVE, U Time

LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF

There’s a true saying;

 ‘If you don’t love yourself, then who will?’

We must look after and love ourselves, mistakes, imperfections and all.

If there’s something we don’t love about ourselves, then others may not love that aspect of us either.

Not because it’s not lovable, but because we will transmit the message of how we feel about ourselves to other people that we meet.

Our partners may think we are beautiful, but if we think we are ugly, over time, we will start to dress and look the way we feel.

Self-love shouldn’t be reliant on others loving us though.

We should replace any damaging, empty, unhealthy relationship with another, for a more meaningful, loving relationship with ourselves. 

Getting to know who we really are as individuals is self-love. The relationship we have with ourselves influences all the other relationships in our lives, and our love for ourselves is more important than any other love we may, or may not, receive from others.

Fat, thin, rich, poor, happy, or depressed, it makes no odds; you can love yourself regardless of who you think you are, or however your past may have been.

Loving yourself does not need to depend on past or future events or relationships. Anyone can start afresh today and learn to love themselves, no matter what.

It’s the single most loving thing we can do for our children.

We are their greatest asset in life, so we must take good care of our own health and happiness. Should we become ill, we would not be in a position to care for them. Surely If only to keep us in a strong position to take care of our children at all times, that’s all the motivation we need to ensure we love and care for ourselves?

We need to learn to love ourselves the same way we love our children. To help with this, let’s try the following exercise.

LOVING YOURSELF THROUGH YOUR CHILD’S EYES EXERCISE

Close your eyes for a moment now. Then imagine your child in the future, grown up as a parent themselves with their own child.

Close your eyes and imagine.

How do you see them?

Can you see, hear, or feel them as a kind, caring, gentle, relaxed, patient, and loving parent toward their own child?

Can you hear them enjoying their life, laughing with and loving others?

Are they;

A responsible adult and parent with honesty and integrity? Healthy, happy calm, relaxed, patient, optimistic, and fulfilled?

Making time for themselves and taking care of how they look, spending money that they have worked for on themselves and others?

In a career they love. Smart, successful, and abundant while being humble, content, and grateful?

Or are they;

Angry, worried, stressed, sad, frustrated, or depressed, struggling to make ends meet and sacrificing their time on the needs of everyone else?

What would you like them to look, sound, and feel like as a parent?

Imagine now that you are their child. What do you want for them as your parent? Love, happiness, abundance, and peace of mind?

Can you feel this overwhelming love, respect, and admiration for them as your parent?

Do you look up to them and aspire to be like them when you grow up?

See them as the parent, putting their arms around you as their child. Listen as they wish you all the good that you have wished for them.

Open your eyes now and be their parent again. The parent your child wants you to be and the parent you wish your child will become in the future.

When we love ourselves the way we love our children, we become a living, loving example. (Or a living example of love.)

 When they see us loving and caring for ourselves and addressing our own needs, they reap the benefits of our happiness, and it teaches them how to love and treat themselves.

MUMATHERAPY FACEBOOK GROUP

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve received messages from Mum’s who are feeling overwhelmed with life and motherhood at the moment. Those lucky enough to have partners have shared their feelings only to feel their partners have dismissed them.

When this happens, it can be difficult to confide in anyone else. This can lead to feelings of despair, isolation, loneliness, frustration, anger or jealousy. This can be exasperated by the current world situation where we can no longer just go and seek help in a counsellor or friend easily, face to face. And over the phone or zooming means many mum’s won’t talk about how they are feeling with little ears or partners listening in. So I have been chatting to mum’s about starting a Mumatherapy Facebook group where mum’s can share their thoughts and feelings, real time, and help uplift and empower one another. This can just simply be reading about other people’s experiences, asking questions or joining in to support others. It will be a safe place to air your inner most thoughts and feelings with like-minded others, in a closed supportive group. I plan to share some helpful tools and techniques to alleviate stress and anxiety, and increase confidence and self esteem, such as, hypnosis, guided meditations, EFT and affirmations and quotes. The only goal will be to love one another like you would your best friend or sister, without judgement. It will also be a place to share the joys of motherhood too and your own successes and achievements. A positive place to feel loved, loving and lovable.

If you are interested in joining this free Facebook group please can you comment below or email me emma@happychildcare.club so I can see the demand for such a group or not.

Until next time, Stay Present,

Em x

ANXIETY / FEAR, Behaviour, LOVE, Us Time

10 Seconds to Increase Your Bond with Your Child

Lockdown may have kept some of us apart but if you are fortunate to live with people you love, then give them a hug right now (but please, do not hug just yet those who live outside of your home due to Covid-19).

Hopefully it wont be for long, but for now keep the hugs for your kids!

Did you know that a 10 second hug releases oxytocin, increasing your bond with your child and decreasing anxiety?

That’s why this hormone is known as ‘The love’ hormone.

And that’s why, the next time our little ones push our angry buttons, it’s better for everyone to have a hug.

STAY PRESENT

When our children constantly want and nag and fight for our attention, what they’re really craving is that human, loving, connection. A simple kiss, cuddle and a long hug is all it takes to bring us present together, in the moment.

Being a Present Parent means we are not just there physically, but in mind and energy too. We are focused on one another completely. Everything we do for our children is an act of love. Even listening to them chat about their day at school or childcare or reading them a story. Those things all mean more than money or possessions. But we need to be paying attention, or we’ll miss out as much as our children on some (much cherished in years to come) Us Time (you can learn more about Us Time and The U URSELF Routine in my book The Confident Parent’s Guide to Raising a Happy, Healthy & Successful Child and on Present Parenting in The Powerful Proactive Parent’s Guide to Present Parenting, both books are available now from all good book stockists such as, Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble.

Just Click the button below to find out more.

Love equals Time and Attention, and that’s the most loving investment we can make in our children’s lives. We can always buy more stuff, but we can never buy more time. Once spent, it’s gone forever.

Love in the moment.

This moment is all that counts. And all those loving moments soon add up!

BETTER BEHAVE

Our childrens unwanted behaviour is not their fault, they’re not being difficult, annoying, ungrateful or selfish, it’s just more loving ‘Us Time’ they’re really seeking.

It’s not how our children behave or the things that happen to us in life that’s the problem, it’s how we choose to deal with what happens.

Problems and disagreements are part and parcel of parenting, which we can’t eliminate, but we can learn how to deal with and overcome them.

Offering a reassuring hug, kiss or smile is all it takes to repair a kink in the chain of love that connects us.

Disagreements will always occur in loving relationships, but if we take action to resolve things as soon as possible and are willing and able to work through issues with our children, we strengthen our bonds. 

I know this can be difficult when they wake us at two am in the morning, we may know that there are no monsters under the bed, but a three-year-old may not.

At those times, particularly when we are tired and angry, we can unintentionally miss the opportunity to give them an explanation, hug or a kiss, and to make them feel better, especially if they are behaving undesirably. 

Yet this is when they are crying out for help, and yes, attention.

Ironically, it’s those times when they misbehave and don’t understand their own emotions that, we end up getting upset and angry with them, when all they really want and need is a cuddle.

Each time we find ourselves overreacting, we can stop and try to shift direction, and replace that in the moment reaction with a hug. It means bringing our awareness back to the present moment, and acting from a place of love. Not automatically reacting unconsciously in the heat of them moment, trying to stop our childrens behaviour.

Once upon a time, we were our children’s number one fan, we adored everything they did. Even a poo on the potty was cause for celebration and hugs of proud appreciation, but as they grow, the focus changes.

But is it our children who change, or is it us who change how we view our children?

BONDED BY LOVE

It’s those everyday acts of love such as cooking them tea and chatting about their day, that strengthens the bond we share with our children.

Expressing our love a little longer than expected, reinforces our love.

Next time, try hugging your child a couple of minutes longer than usual and feel the love transmitted back and forth.

That’s our bonds strengthening and reconnecting us to one another.

 

Stay Present,

Em x

ANXIETY / FEAR, Stay Present, U Time

THE HERE & NOW

The easing up of lock down brings with it a mix bag of emotions for all of us, some excitement and relief, others apprehension and tension.

The problem as in everything in life is that we are ruminating on the past or fearful of the future, neither of which exist. We need to bring our attention back onto the here and now. I call this Present Parenting and its something that requires some practice and effort, not because it’s unnatural and we have to learn how to be more present, but because we’ve formed the habit of Auto Pilot Parenting, which is not natural but an unconscious coping mechanism in response to today’s busy world. We just have to remember how to naturally be, which is what we will do through the following exercises.

PRESENT PRACTISING ACTIVITY

  • Think of an activity you would like to try out for this ‘Present Practising Activity’. For me, cooking is a good activity to practise being ‘Present’.
  • Pick something stimulating or a bit challenging, this will keep you interested and focused on the task at hand for longer.
  • Choose a time when you are by yourself to start with, it’s easy to get distracted when our children are around.
  • Now go and do it. If it’s exercise, get up and go for a run, even if it’s just up and down your stairs for five minutes. Try not to think of something that you’ll have to wait to do such as taking up a new hobby like knitting. Of course, this would be a great present practising activity to do but not if you haven’t got any wool or knitting needles as that’ll become your excuse to put this exercise off until they arrive tomorrow. As we know, tomorrow never comes. Whatever you choose, do it now. Not later or tomorrow, this is a Present Practising Activity—the time to do it is now.
  • As you engage in this activity, stay focused on what you are doing and feeling in each moment. You may hear that annoying little voice in your head telling you, ‘This is stupid, stop wasting time, you’re too busy, there’s lots of more important things you should be doing’. But don’t let it bully you into unconsciousness. Stay present!

When cooking, I get absorbed in what I‘m doing, I need to concentrate to prevent chopping a finger off or burning myself.

I stay engaged by choosing to cook different dishes each time to challenge myself and keep me present, if I wander off mentally, I could ruin my evening meal, so I focus on the task at hand. This way, I experience the different tastes, textures, and smells, and I’m not thinking of anything else except what I’m doing, making it also therapeutic, as any worries are forgotten. Time seems to fly by in this flow state. Then once we practise feeling in the flow in new activities we enjoy, we know we can experience this day to day in general too.

If you can’t think of a specific activity to practise being present in, and don’t like cooking, then try practising while having a bath. Feel the warm water surround you, notice the sparkling bubbles floating on the surface and the scent of the soap. Feel your skin wet and soapy, and take in the full experience of having a bath.  Luxuriate in this refreshing experience. How often do you bath without thinking about these things or without really enjoying the experience? 

That’s because when bathing, we are usually somewhere else in mind, and instead of relaxing in the present moment and enjoying the pleasurable experience, we take it for granted, and it becomes another Auto Pilot chore.

Anything we do often tends to end up this way. We become desensitised by its familiarity.

To appreciate the little things and stop our minds from wandering off on a rampage of doom and gloom, we just need to stay in the here and now, the only place we can ever really be!

Don’t forget you can get a- FREE 35-minute hypnotherapy anxiety relief down load, simply by signing up to our Happy Childcare Newsletter now (you’ll get invited to do so each time you visit our site and we’d love to have you in our club!)

And you can check out my interviews this month with Charlene Walters phd on her inspirational women series here https://ownyourother.com/blog/f/inspirational-women-series-an-interview-with-emma-grant

and with The Dorset Book Detective by clicking the link below.

Until next week,

Stay Present, Em x

Thanks for Photo’s by Alyson McPhee Jason Briscoe bruce mars niklas_hamann on Unsplash

ANXIETY / FEAR, EFT TAPPING

EFT-TAPPING TO RELIEVE ANXIETY & FEAR

During the last 9-10 weeks, the focus has been on how families will manage all confined to the home together, mum guilt over working from home and being there but unavailable to our children, home schooling, managing unwanted behaviour and siblings fighting and arguing. Now it seems there’s a concern more on returning to work, sending our children back to school and childcare and re adjusting to some sort of normality that we all lived before lock down.

To address these fears and anxieties I’ve put together a brief video on EFT -Emotional Freedom Technique, known as Tapping. I have to admit, even as a hypnotherapist I was initially sceptical that something so simple like tapping on parts of my body, could be an effective tool for transformation and healing body and mind, and overcoming addictions, fears and phobias. But I was wrong!

Since sharing that video on IG TV and Youtube, I’ve had a few messages asking some good questions, so I’ve written this blog to address those and explain in more detail about what EFT is and how to do it.

How to do it?

Basically, take two fingers your index and middle finger on the hand you use most, I’m right-handed so I’d use my right-hand fingers, then on the opposite hand (my left) tap the fleshy side of your hand where you’d do a karate chop. You don’t want to hurt yourself; you’re not actually fighting you but apply enough pressure so you can feel it. That vibration should shoot some energy down that point, while saying three times this sentence’ –

‘Although I have this fear (or you can say anxiety), I am willing to love, approve and accept of myself anyway.’  

Say this out loud, you may feel a little self-conscious, silly or cynical even to begin with but that’s that voice, your ego, trying to stop you, trying to maintain the norm. Don’t listen to that resistance within you telling you you’re fine as you are, you wouldn’t be reading this blog in the first place if that was true or this was stupid.

 How bad do you want to relieve your anxiety?

There’s nine tapping points we are going to tap on, you can watch the video here, https://youtu.be/zLX8YlfJ4QY to see how it’s done. We start with the sentence and tap on our karate chop.  If you don’t believe you’ll relieve your fear or anxiety you could say the following sentence;

‘Although I don’t believe I’ll relieve this fear / anxiety I am willing to love, approve and accept myself anyway’

When you say this sentence tap three times on the karate chop with 4 fingers on this point, see the video on where this is and how to do it. It can be hard for many of us to say we love accept or approve of ourselves, so if you can’t bring yourself to say that either yet say-

‘Although I don’t believe I’ll relieve this fear / anxiety, I am okay.’

 Then follow with 2 fingers tapping;

  1. Beginning of the eyebrow ‘I can’t get rid of this fear’
  2. Side of the eye- I just can’t do it
  3. Under the eye on the bone ‘this anxiety’
  4. Under the nose – ‘this fear won’t go away’
  5. Chin- ‘no way is this anxiety going to go’
  6. Collarbone where a tie knot would go- ‘’this fear / this anxiety’
  7. Under the arm in line with the nipples- ‘I’ll never be free of this anxiety’
  8. Top of your head using all your fingers in a claw shape- ‘this fear / anxiety’
Collarbone where a tie knot would go- ‘’this fear / this anxiety’

What can I use it for?

I’ve found Tapping can work for most things. A couple of weeks ago I had a fit of the hiccups, as you’ll more than likely know getting rid of these annoying little beggars is not easy. In the past I’ve tried everything from being shocked, punched, holding my breath, drinking water but nothing ever worked but this time, I decided to tap saying-

‘These hiccups’ 

That’s all I said while tapping on the 8 points, 3 times each and instantly like magic, they just stopped!

Despite having seen this tapping work for many of my clients in the past for all sorts of different issues, it even amazes me now how something so seemingly simple and quite absurd, can work so effectively well. But no matter how bizarre, I never question anything that works for anyone!

How does it work?

We are all made up of energy, in fact everything is, even that lifeless looking rock on the ground. When our energy becomes unbalanced or disrupted in some way, we have energy blockages. This was first identified by Dr Callahan in 1980 and termed TFT- Thought Field Therapy and later in the 1990s Gary Craig continued Callahan’s work and founded EFT Emotional Freedom Technique.

Emotions are not bad; we need them, they are what lets us know we are alive and helps us to understand how we are feeling. Through tapping we can reconnect to our emotions and restore balance. Usually we adopt habits such as eating or drinking alcohol which is how many of us, I know, have coped with being in lock down. These habits or addictions try to numb and supress those emotions or stress that we find uncomfortable. Tapping brings them to the surface helping to reconnect our mind and body in a healthy way. It brings us present to the problem, this is important and the reason why we will use a negative statement to address the problem, while tapping on certain parts of our body.

COMMON Q & A

Should I just be saying my anxiety or can I say something positive when tapping?’

Great question!

I said ‘This anxiety’ in my video and in this blog to keep it simple but I usually ask clients to say-

 ‘This anxiety won’t go or I’ll never get rid of this anxiety’ And variations on the issue, so for weight loss I’d ask them to say-

‘I’ll never reach my dream weight’ ‘I just can’t stop eating crisps’ or whatever cravings they have, etc….

We don’t say positive statements or affirmations as we would in hypnotherapy because we are working on the issue, of approving and accepting ourselves despite our issues. And the subconscious part of our minds can’t reject this, as we are telling the truth, so if you feel anxious and you say – ‘I’m feeling great’ the anxiety will be heightened by your mind telling you that’s not true and so you feel like the tapping doesn’t work. The tapping unblocks the energy that has been caused by the issue, so tapping to unblock the positive doesn’t make sense, that’s why we tap on a negative statement.

Measure your anxiety levels before & after tapping.

I recommend you write down on a scale of 1-10 your level of anxiety before you do the tapping exercise – 10 unbearable -1 feeling no anxiety.

Then do a round of tapping and then rate you level each time. You do initially invoke your anxiety because that’s what you are bringing to the surface. In our everyday lives we try to ignore it, so it manifests in different ways, in EFT we are acknowledging we have it and trying to work through it. 😊

The Enemy Within.

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy, this is the block we are working on and the block that’s causing your fear or anxiety.

We spend so much of our time and energy disapproving of ourselves and speaking unlovingly towards ourselves, never accepting who we are fully. But if we want to change, we have to do the opposite of what we’ve been doing if that hasn’t been working for us, and if that means trying something new, then so be it!

When we tackle our self-doubt head on with juxtapositions that mix the negative statement with the positive, our sub conscious is not on the alert. We get to sneak in the back door. This way we aren’t lying to ourselves or putting pressure on ourselves.

I’d love to hear how you get on with EFT, so please do get in touch or if you are interested in booking a 1 on 1 Mumatherapy Coaching or Hypnotherapy session with me after lock down, you can email me emma@happychildcare.club or tweet me on Twitter anytime.

Also you can check out my interview this week with Charlene Walters PhD on her ‘Inspirational Women Series’ here https://ownyourother.com/blog/f/inspirational-women-series-an-interview-with-emma-grant

Still feeling anxious?

Then you can get a- FREE 35-minute hypnotherapy anxiety relief down load, simply by signing up to our Happy Childcare Newsletter now (you’ll get invited to do so each time you visit our site and we’d love to have you in our club!)

Until next week,

Stay Present, Em x

Thanks Photo by Jon Tyson  Roberto Nickson  Mladen Borisov  Giulia Bertelli  Amanda Jones  Tim Mossholder  Almos Bechtold  Content Pixie on Unsplash