Monthly Archives: September 2012

Changing Your Default Settings

I long ago learned that we are not our past.  In order to rise above our negative experiences we must reframe them.  We can do this by learning a great deal from them and recognising our ineffective or harmful ‘default settings’.

We all have strategies we use for certain situations.  We need these in order to manage life’s challenges unconsciously.  There is far too much going on for most of us to consciously think through our approach to every single situation that arises.  But… are they effective?  Are all of your strategies, ways in which you deal with certain situations and people, working for you?

I have met many people whose answer to this question begins as a ‘yes’.  On closer inspection we may find that the effect of using this unconscious, go to, strategy was partly harmful and could use a little adjustment or major rethink.

Take road rage for instance.  When a person shouts at the driver who pulled out on them, didn’t pull away fast enough or in any other way angered them do they benefit.  Many would say yes.  They believe that this is a way of alleviating their stress, venting steam.  But many effective people have a different strategy entirely.  Many people are able to use their reaction to gauge their state of mind and shift it to a more resourceful, effective state.

Who do you think would have the better day ahead?  The person who reacted out of stress (let’s call him person a), or the person able to behave and think in a more resourceful way, (person b)?

Person a) will most likely react to stress in this way by default, whatever the stressor may be.  Person b) on the other hand will most likely use their effective strategy to handle stress in all other areas.

So, how to change your default settings?  First question the strategy.  Does it benefit you?  Is it your chosen way to react?  Did you learn this strategy from someone else, perhaps your parent or boss?  If you could change your reaction would you?  How would you choose to react differently?

With stress as the example I can assure you that I have had many clients effectively change their stress response to many situations for the better.  They benefit from lower stress levels in all areas, a calmer approach, clearer thinking, and report being much more contented.  Their family benefits from their strategic approach to situations, their work benefits from clearer thinking also.  There are the obvious health benefits from lower stress levels and the mental health benefits are abundant.

Hypnotherapy, incorporating highly effective NLP techniques, and self-hypnosis, can aid you greatly in making the changes that will benefit you and those around you.

It’s your life so take control of your reactions and settings – reinvent your mind.

“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep on getting what you always got”

When Parenting Styles and Schools Clash

When Parenting Styles and Classroom Practice Clash

FROM A PARENT

My chosen style of parenting and positive behaviour management has come back to bite me in the butt.  My daughter has moved up a year and within 2 weeks is experiencing difficulties with her new teacher.  This teacher has a chosen disciplinary approach that is in conflict with mine and how I have raised my daughter.  There is one point that demonstrates this conflict of approaches.  My daughter comes home yesterday and explains that she was doing something wrong and her punishment was to miss assembly and stay in class to ‘think about what she had done’.  The other child that had also been found ‘climbing on the toilets’, which was their misdemeanour, was permitted to attend assembly.

 

She was sat on the carpet, alone, sad and confused, for the whole of assembly.  ‘We didn’t talk or anything’ She explained and ‘after assembly she asked me to get my coat to go out’.  She wouldn’t have understood the difference between her actions and the other girls’.  She wouldn’t have understood the reason for different consequences.  She wouldn’t have been able to work it all out and this time alone just confused her.  She still has questions and hasn’t had the chance to order her thinking since the punishment.

 

Why wouldn’t she have understood?  Why the confusion?

1) She is 5 and we believe children need guidance and coaching to understand her feelings and behaviours 2) She has been given this at both her homes and is not left alone to ‘think about what she’s done’ – rather she is coached to understand what was unhelpful or against the rules and how to change her behaviour

 

Why the behaviour?

1) She is going through many changes.  The birth of her Fathers child is imminent.  The teachers for her class share the week and do 3 and 2 days each.  The teaching style is different and she is finding it difficult to adjust.  The discipline is different and she is finding it hard to understand.  She is tired from 2 weeks back to early mornings and long days.  2) An ongoing family situation has caused concern again and this has confused her 3) The teachers personality is vastly different from that she is used to in a role of authority

 

What we are experiencing here is a clash between household and school approaches.  I used to parent very differently but it felt wrong, it disconnected my daughter and I and left us both shattered and unsure.  It was highly ineffective.  I read many many books and studied more child psychology.  There were parents out there who were experiencing the same frustrations with accepted parenting styles and were feeling discontent.  I found an approach that fit with my beliefs about children and I stuck with it.  My child responded excellently and clearly felt assured and understood.  Meltdowns stopped, apologies came quickly and understanding was key.  Boundaries were no longer pushed and my child and I were very content.  Of course it wasn’t this simple.  It took time but the positive changes were apparent almost immediately and this spurred me on.

 

The difficulties happen later, and the books don’t explain how to address these problems.  Though more and more expert findings and research into behaviour supports this approach this is not yet the ‘norm’ – far from it.  Many schools still adhere to the accepted, and outdated, views of child behaviour, as do many parents.  The problems occur when a child, happily raised in this understanding environment, is cast into an environment that seems to have polar opposites.  The child then enters a state of disequilibrium and questions the rules and the reasons of both the new environment and her home.  If the parents, even if still together, don’t agree on a parenting style the conflict creates disequilibrium.  The child needs to find equilibrium again to say ‘ah – now this is the way it is and this is why.  That makes sense’.

 

Not all children are the same, by any means.  Many children may not exhibit these difficulties in assimilating different rules.  My child asks for reasons and ‘because I said so’ doesn’t wash with her. I do recall being the same and experiencing the same confusions, asking the same questions.  Often the answers didn’t satisfy me and disequilibrium seemed to be an almost constant state.

 

Parents and schools must work together to create equilibrium for the child.  The parents must show a united front but should discuss any conflict of views outside of the child’s awareness so that they can come to a mutually agreeable approach that the child can follow.  The schools must recognise confusion and disequilibrium and discuss this with parents so that they can work together to help the child toward equilibrium and understanding of the rules and approaches.

In the case of my child simply saying ‘that’s the way they do it there does not satisfy her questioning mind’ – and why should it?

It would certainly do my child no good at all to go back on what has been such a positive experience for us both and change my parenting style.

Any views or comments are welcome on this subject and you can also follow me on Twitter

Starting from Here since Here is where I find myself

Ok so without further ado and procrastination I am going to write, write and write more for all it’s worth and because it’s what I’m driven to do.

Today I find myself in the middle of a tumultuous week – parenting and all the joys (and I do mean joys) that entails, along with school issues, co-parenting issues with my daughters father, life and work.  It’s been hard given my personal struggles with effective communication and stress levels but, dare I say it, I’m getting there.

I have a number of topics I would like to present.  I have opinions on everything, as many do.  I find myself in a position many share and I have articles written but not yet presented.  And I will do my best to present them in my own way and make them relevant to others.  My aim is to encourage, support, educate, learn and inspire as many people as I can.  I have learned a great deal and I want to share what I can.  My ego has been told to ‘back off’ over these years and is heeding the warning so I aim to spread some news and views and learn along the way.  

I hope others will enjoy reading and I know it will be a wonderful addition to my journey as an inhabitant of this Earth we call home.