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Parenting Anxious Kids

Expert Tips from a Child Psychiatrist

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Managing Sibling Jealousy: The Key to Maintaining Strong Family Bonds

Sibling rivalry, while a natural part of growing up, can strain relationships if not managed effectively. It’s crucial to stay alert to your children’s emotional health and respond suitably when signs of jealousy emerge.

A specific form of jealousy that demands our attention stems from the fear of losing parental affection. Children may react in various ways when they feel insecure, ranging from subtle hints to explicit actions. The remedy, however, remains constant - fostering connection. Empathy and quality time form the foundation of all personal relationships, and it’s essential to prioritize these for our children. We must strive to provide them with as much attention and connection as possible.

Inevitably, some children may require more attention than others. Hence, it’s vital to create unique traditions and rituals for each child. Allocate individual time for each of them and guard this time as if it’s indispensable. While maintaining equal...

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The Art of Praising Children: Balancing Motivation and Humility

parenting praise May 04, 2022
 

Many of us believe that praising and complimenting children is a positive action, but did you know that there is also such a thing as unhelpful praise? How can we reinforce good behaviour without unintentionally overinflating their ego? How do we ensure that our approval isn't dependent on their performance? In this video, we've outlined four key ideas to help you navigate this tricky topic:

  1. Be authentic and genuine with your praise
  2. Connect with your children frequently, so they don't feel like your attention is based solely on their accomplishments.
  3. Avoid comparing your child to others
  4. Refrain from praising or commenting on aspects of their appearance or natural intelligence, as they have no control over these factors.

Tune in to this episode on the podcast to learn more.

Episode 084: dont be cringe when you praise your kids. Try this technique.

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Encouraging Children to Express Emotions Non-Verbally

I wanted to share one of my favourite tips for helping kids talk about emotions (using an empathic approach). And you actually don't have to do a heap of talking yourself! Jump in and check it out now!  

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Key ideas to connect with emotionally sensitive kids

connection empathy Apr 15, 2022

To be influential, building a connection is essential. Trust is the foundation of any productive relationship, and it's impossible to exert influence without it. However, as parents, this can be a challenging hurdle to overcome.

We've lost touch with our innate ability to connect with others, perhaps because it requires us to let our guard down and become vulnerable. But to be authentic and genuine, we must find a way to break down these barriers and build bridges with the people around us.

This is especially true with our children. They need to feel heard and seen, and it's up to us to create that connection. We must apply unconditional positive regard and be reflective instead of reactive. Listening is key, and we must make an effort to suspend any apprehensions we may have.

In this video, we'll explore key ideas to help you build meaningful connections and increase your influence.

 

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Tips for Dealing with Picky Eaters

 

In most cases, fussy eating is a part of growing up. It's an expression of independent thinking and a need for mastery and control over one's environment, body and choices. But, I don't hear parents celebrating! Fussy eating can be exasperating.

But let's take a step back and think a little bit about what we would be doing if we were presented with limited food options that didn't appeal to us. Have you ever travelled some place where the food wasn't really stuff you'd eat? How did the locals treat you? Did they force feed you? If they did, I'm sure you wouldn't visit right? (1 star review!!!) We might be curious about the strange new foods there but we'd prefer to try them at our own speed. 

Here are some tips to help you adjust your 'speed' and help your kids try the 'local' cuisine in your household. 

The first thing is to keep your cool around meal times to minimise stress for your child (I know you will be stressed enough for the both of you); otherwise, Kids will...

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What does an emotional storm look like?

 

 Understanding Emotional Storms with the Help of a Pictogram

Visualizing the various stages of an emotional storm can be very beneficial. By using a pictogram, you can identify the antecedents that fuel the storm, as well as the factors that dissipate its power. This approach can help you develop a deeper understanding of how emotional storms operate, so you can better navigate them in your life.

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 Helping Children Navigate Emotional Storms

emotional storms Mar 27, 2022
 

Emotions can be like a storm; once they start, they can be challenging to stop. Just as with a natural storm, the best solution is to prepare and wait for it to pass. However, when children experience an emotional storm, we must do more than wait. Understanding the antecedents of the storm is crucial for reducing its frequency and intensity.

Children are not miniature adults and cannot be expected to act, behave, or think like grown-ups. Although adults and children experience similar emotions, adults may have more experience in navigating their emotional lives. Therefore, we must teach children how to handle their emotions effectively.

Forensic Analysis and Detective Work

To help children manage their emotions, we must teach them forensic analysis and detective work. We need to survey the damage done and elicit the child's perspective without interfering or putting words in their mouth. Once we've gathered clues, we can present hypotheses to the child, work together to...

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Dealing with imposter syndrome

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2022

I talked about this in episode 001 of the Huddle Wisdom podcast and expand on some key ideas here.  

 

  • Perfection is the enemy of the good. There is no such thing as perfection thus we will always fall short. It's like grasping at clouds. Rather, we are better off focusing on our personal growth - that is being further along the road than where we were yesterday is a solid achievement. And when we have done well, we need to learn how to give ourselves a pat on the back. 'The Tall Poppy Syndrome' is ever real in our culture, and it is toxic. 

 

  • Comparing ourselves to someone else's progress is fallacious. Yes, seeing how well our counterparts are doing may fill us with envy and motivate us to do better (whatever that means!), and it may even inspire us, invigorate us but it can also make use feel inadequate, understandably. It's fine to look, but don't touch it! But let's not make the mistake of using another person's achievements / goals or anything else...
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Tips for Dealing with Backchatting Children

parenting Mar 26, 2022

 

 

If you're struggling with a child who seems to be backchatting you, it's important to remember that this behaviour is neither good nor bad – it's simply their way of communicating that they're struggling with the demands of the environment. Try not to take it personally; it's difficult not to be offended by the know-it-all attitude of a child, but it's important to remain calm and rational.

Here are some tips to help you deal with backchatting:

  1. Be the adult. Take a deep breath and avoid getting caught up in the argument. Nothing gets solved by escalating the situation.
  2. Set the tone in your household by establishing rules of engagement. Praise your children when they follow these rules, as this will reinforce the behaviour you want to see. It's better to acknowledge good behaviour than to scold bad behaviour.

Listen to Episode 008 on the Huddle Wisdom Podcast for a little more...Dealing with Backchatting.

If you want to get a better handle of empathic...

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Managing Emotions in the Heat of the Moment: Using the H.A.L.T Acronym

parenting Mar 26, 2022

 

As grown-ups, it's often challenging to manage the intense emotions our children stir within us. It's tempting to react impulsively, but it's crucial to keep our calm and avoid regrettable behavior.

The H.A.L.T acronym is a simple yet effective tool to regulate our emotions.

H is for Hunger – Most of us function poorly when we're famished, and our kids are no different. Providing them with nutritious snacks and meals throughout the day can help keep them satiated and focused.

A is for Angry – It's essential to acknowledge and validate our children's emotions, but it's equally crucial to choose our moments wisely. Waiting for the flames to subside before disciplining or teaching is more effective than reacting impulsively.

L is for Lonely or Lost – Sometimes, our children feel disconnected, and it's our job to bridge that gap. Reconnecting with them through play, conversation, and shared meals can help them feel more secure and settled.

T is for...

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