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My 17 year son is making up various excuses not to attend school. He had the same issue last year which went on for about 4 very long weeks. He will not give us any reason just that he is feeling unwell with headaches, sore throat etc. He had a brain scan done last year for mainly our peace of mind which was all clear. Last year he saw a psychologist for some time management skills, but I feel he continues to be addicted to technology. We have reduced his internet time which he is not happy about. What do you suggest we do when we can’t find out why he doesn’t want to go to school. I am guessing the problem last night may have been an issue with his internet friends that he games with. He has inactivated his account today but he seems to be very depressed today. He also had 4 days of last week for a sprained knee for which he maybe needed one or two days off. I think he is taking advantage of any opportunity not to attend school. I did speak to his form teacher last year and he warned me it will be a long road. The GP did suggest increasing his physical activity in return for internet time etc. We are finding this difficult to initiate. Any advice would be much appreciated. A concerned and worried Mum.
I think many parents will share your concern. It’s so much harder for us to know what’s going on for our children these days because they spend so much time alone in the rooms on technology. I agree that something is going on for your son – his reasons for not wanting to go to school are signs that he is avoiding something or someone eg being bullied. It’s great that you are trying to decrease his time online, which can be hard to do when he’s 17. I’d recommend that you be very open with him about your concerns. Tell him that you are very worried about him and you want to help him by decreasing his time online and increasing his sleep and exercise. There is also growing evidence that teens are not getting enough sunlight since they are either at school or indoors at home. He will no doubt resist your attempts to make changes, but down the track he will be pleased that you noticed that something was wrong and you didn’t give up on him.
Maybe you might need to set time limits on his access to the internet (which he will hate). Give him some control over the time by asking what window of time would suit him to be online. If possible, it’s also a good idea to make being out of his room as appealing as possible eg cooking his favourite meals, watching movies or TV together, board games, family friends over for a meal etc.
Look out for other signs of depression – decreased interest in things he used to enjoy; decreased interest in friends; significantly more or less sleep; reduced appetite or weight loss or gain; depressing ideas appearing in any written work, artwork or song lyrics; suicidal references.
Finally, I’m sure you already do this, but try to find times to talk to him when there is limited eye contact eg in the car, side by side on the couch. Don’t pump him for information – just gently say you’re checking in on how he’s doing because you are a bit worried about him. Mention your theory that something may have happened with his gaming friends and then back off a bit and let it soak in that you are aware that something is going on. At some point remind him that if he doesn’t feel comfortable talking to you, he could talk to the psychologist again or maybe there is a family friend or a grandparent or aunt or uncle or an older cousin that he is close to. In other words, you are telling him that he shouldn’t suffer alone and there are people who love him and want to help.
I really hope things turn around for your son. He obviously has a loving mum in his corner.
I have a question, Iv been in rehab for the past 6 years. I used to have a very full on life but I don’t do the things I used to do. I did the program for 4 years then worked there for 2 years. Even tho I don’t do the behaviours anymore I have never actually talked about things I think I should of. I have seen lots of psychologists but can never open up, I did continually try but I would get panic attacks, head aches and get sick. Iv just left the rehab but Iv come very close to doing some things I used to do but the anxiety stops me from seeing some one. I feel trapped and get worry I might go backwards. So my question I guess is, do I need to see a profeshanal about these things ? and how do I do that when I react like that?
In a nutshell, yes it would be a good idea to talk to a psychologist. I know it’s hard for you and it’s common to feel anxious. But without addressing the issues underneath the behaviours, it may be harder to stay on track. You have obviously worked so hard over the past 6 years and I really admire you for that. The next step is maintaining all the gains you’ve made with a lot of support. Does the rehab place have some strong recommendations for you? It is essential that you see someone who specialises in your specific issues. Tell the person how hard you find it to open up and take things very slowly. I wish you all the best.
My girlfriend has recently been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. She has decided to accept help by committing to Dialectical Behavioural Therapy offered through Headspace. How can myself and her family best support her through this? It can be very tough to see her self harm and talk of attempting suicide. She has episodes where she is depressed or an emotional wreck. How can I best handle those situations? Sometimes when I’m not with her and I get a phone call with her telling me she wants to take her life how am I to know if she’s actually going to go through with it and when I need to be calling 000? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
Your girlfriend is so lucky to have you and her family. It’s must be so distressing for you all to see someone you love in so much pain. As you suggested, she does need treatment. If she doesn’t want to attend a group, she could do one-on-one DBT with a specialised therapist. Would she find that easier? Otherwise she could start by finding a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist she is comfortable with and move into DBT down the track. Hopefully she has a wonderful GP who can be the first point of contact. With treatment, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. There are Borderline Personality Disorder support groups starting up around the country for patients and their loved ones. When she does tell you that she’s suicidal, it’s important that you take her seriously. If you are in a metropolitan area, mental health crisis teams can be good to call. If not, either take her to the emergency department or ring 000. I really wish you and your girlfriend all the best.
I would like to see a psychologist but I’m worried about finding the right one for me. I am in Melbourne and wonder how I go about finding someone that fits with me?
I am wanting to see someone for relationship issues / couple counselling.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks for your email. Psychologists provide a service just like anyone else, so it’s okay to spend some time choosing the person for you. A first step would be to talk to your GP if you have someone who knows you well. GPs often know who the good psychologists are. If you don’t want to ask your GP, the Australian Psychological Society’s website has a “Find a Psychologist” section where you can enter your details and they will offer a list of possibilities. Then it’s a case of making a few phonecalls to check on availability. You can often get a sense from the psychologist or their receptionist about whether they will be a good fit. But remember it’s still okay to look elsewhere if you don’t strike up a good rapport after a session or two. Hope that helps.
All my life I have grown up thinking or letting other tell me I’m shy, have low self-esteem and lack confidence. I’m now 25 years old and have been seeing a psychologist for the last 3 years once a week and it has helped so much. Only recently since quitting from a job where they weren’t paying properly and were very negative people did I somehow find a new boldness and confidence I never felt before. My mother who I feel has a lot of anxiety and similar issue growing up feels she doesn’t need help but I have seen her struggle like me every day with relationships, work and moving from northern Ireland to Australia and trying lots of different churches. How do I encourage my mum to get help without her feeling judged?
So good to hear that you have enjoyed the benefits of your hard work developing insight and learning strategies to overcome your lack of confidence and self-esteem. Does your mum see the improvement in you? You are clearly a good advertisement for getting help. Often we need to plant seeds and let them slowly grow. It might be a good idea to find the name and number of a good psychologist near your mum (not your psychologist). Then simply write the details of this person in a loving card that emphasises how much she means to you. Gently suggest that she contacts this person for a once off session and see if she clicks with them. Tell her you love her just the way she is, but from your experience, there is so much to gain from getting some help with a general lack of confidence. After that, it’s probably a case of sitting back and letting her make the decision. You never know, on a low day she might reach for the phone and make that call.
why is it harder to make positive changes and keep the negative mindset to continue ‘head in the sand’ around our education. on self awareness, self reflection and emotional awareness. We don’t need to come up with new language, its just as important as learning how to read and write and learn maths…. 3 R’s … 4 R’s, Learn relocation, this is not a new concept many have spoken about it and have place into schools around the world. ( MindUP), Positive Education, WHY have they not made it to our educational Minister… Very simple, positive ways to look at the root of all positive change on our children to help with resilience, self image, learn about emotional decision making, self awareness. why wait till its harder to change, but still possible. Ive tried to put my thoughts out their to support our future leaders. Katrina
My son who is 7 in a few weeks, starting grade 2 this year, was diagnosed Dec 13 with as ASD, high functioning, he is of high intelligence, was really hard to diagnose, took all of last year with a massive amount of apps with everyman and his dog etc. Anyways, any tips, he has been experiencing extreme separation anxiety last year, prep was fine, grade 1 started and within a few weeks he would suddenly not separate from my husband or I. We ended up with him going into class via the office, term 3 it settled and he was back to going in by himself, but then term 4 awful again, we just let him go in via the office, school very supportive. He was starting to have issues with kids last year, one biting incident, very out of character but happened, so we expect new teacher, new class term 1 to be rocky. Any tips to prepare him better and get thru the first weeks without so much stress, we also have a 4 year old, and a new baby, now 8 months so been very stressed out with all this in the last year, heartbreaking to tell the truth.. Love your common sense advice I see you have for people so thought we would get your view on this. My son is not aware of his diagnosis and we are about to start a ton of therapy in the next months but all cannot happen quick enough etc and before school goes back so we are looking for the stop-gap advice. Thanks so much.
Thanks for your email. To say that you have had a stressful year is a bit of an understatement. It’s so frustrating when diagnoses take so long, not to mention the time and money. What I love hearing is that your son has two loving parents who are obviously willing to do anything to help him. And it sounds like the school is very supportive too, which is great. The therapy will help a lot & they will give you plenty of strategies to help make life easier for you and your son. Unfortunately, there are no magic strategy to try before he starts therapy. I’m sure you already do this, but I’d: give him plenty of empathy for any anxiety he has about school (eg “We know you’re worried, but we know you can do it”); answer his questions (even if he asks them over and over again); discuss the school routine with him (emphasizing the drop off and pick up plans); maybe have a few practice runs in the next week (walking around the school for ten minutes); praise him for his bravery; continually make reference to what a big boy he is going into grade 2; and encourage him to tell his four-year-old brother or sister about what it’s like to go to school (emphasizing the good bits).
I’d be really keen to hear how he gets on & I really wish you all the best and hope that in time things will get a little easier.
I have a huge dilemma on my hands and can’t seem to work out a solution.
I have been seeing the same psychologist for almost a decade since a sexual assault occurred. I really thought I was progressing more this year than ever before.
When my referral to my psychologist ended and I needed a new one, my doctor and psych became very complacent for over three months.
To date my psychologist is yet to respond to any methods of my contact, including a letter where I had stated how upset I was that at a time I felt like I had no support.
She did however phone my doctor, who told me she said in my one hour sessions with her I waste her time & refused to write a clinical report so I could receive appropriate help elsewhere. She did however suggest I see a male psychiatrist which I am very against.
I feel betrayed and such a loss of trust, almost to the point of abandonment.
In a sense of anger I sent my psychologist a text saying I can’t believe she would do that & I never wanted to speak with her again.
For the first time in a long time I am lost. What do I do?
It’s easy to see why you’re angry and confused as it’s hard to understand what’s happened. It sounds like you have done everything you can to find some answers to no avail. I would strongly encourage you to look for a new psychologist who specialises in trauma. The Australian Psychological Society has a “Find a Psychologist” service on its website. That way, you can find someone appropriate close to your work or home. When you find the contact details of someone suitable, give them a ring and see if you get a good feeling on the phone. I know it will be hard to start again with someone new, but when a therapeutic relationship breaks down, it’s important that you finish the important work you were doing with someone else. I’m so sorry that you’ve had a hard time and I really hope you can trust again.
A friend and I were discussing how people can be judgemental, thereby suggesting a flaw in their personalities. I seek your kind advice so that we have a balanced understanding of what “being judgemental” means.I’m sure we all appraise others’ comments / actions all the time. Sometimes we might come to a firm private view (judgement) about those comments / actions. Further, we might sometimes mention those views (judgements) to another / others. I think it is the reasons for actually stating these views and to whom, that might bring a “personality flaw” into question.
Could you please provide some guidelines for when one might express a judgement about others’ comments / actions without being labelled “judgemental”?
Great question. I think there’s no harm in observing others – we all do it, we are social beings. It’s also normal to discuss our observations with others and express our thoughts and feelings about what we see. Judgement goes further than observation. I think judging others can be harmful because we are merely comparing other people to ourselves. When people make different choices to us or act differently to us, we judge them and that’s when we lose empathy for others. It’s important to remember that we are all the result of our genes and our past. To expect others to act the same way we do is unrealistic. Everyone has their own story. Sometimes I think we can be judgmental in an attempt to justify our own decisions. Other times, being judgmental comes from fear. If a teenager is struggling for example, others may judge the teen’s parents’ parenting style. By declaring the teen’s parents negligent, we can feel secure in the fact that our own children won’t make poor choices. When tragedy happens, we can be quick to judge the decisions that may have led up to that tragedy (“Why did she leave the child alone?” “He shouldn’t have drunk that much”. “She shouldn’t have been dressed like that”). Again, these judgements are attempts to seek some sort of guarantee that we won’t go through the same pain. Wow – that’s a long winded answer to your question. Keen to hear your thoughts. Jo
Thank you for your comments, Jo. You have highlighted an interesting range of observations and how any associated judgements made “can” be detrimental. I have in fact become a bit lost. Do you mean don’t make judgements about the observations, those involved or both? I am comfortable with it being ok to make observations and discuss these with others in a responsible manner. Discussions invariably lead to trying to understand how the situations came about, while realising we probably don’t have all the facts. I’m not suggesting one should make judgements about those involved, such as determining they are bad people. I’m saying that I make judgements about some of my observations. For example, I might judge that, from my point of view, some cricketing sledging is way outside today’s acceptable standards. I may feel compelled to state formally or informally that I don’t agree with such sledging. It is up to cricket authorities to make a final judgement on the situation and deal with those involved appropriately. I would value your thoughts, Jo. Thanks.
My husband wants to repeat my son at school he is 9 years old in grade 4 (dob 15/06/2004) he is a very emotional child he has been repeatedly bullied and his school work has suffered thus. We are changing schools next year I see it as a positive so does my son my husband sees it as an opportunity to repeat. I don’t know if I should agree with my husband or not? should we repeat our son? Or just support the change and see if his work improves? I don’t know what to do? Son is very upset to repeat. thanks libby
Previously you have provided me with some advise on mother-in-laws which I found extremely helpful and made a difference. Thank you. I would like to again ask you for your time and expertise. For a number of reasons my husband and I have decided that our 1 1/2 year old daughter will be an only child which wasn’t a decision we made lightly. I would like to ensure that we manage this well and that she grows up not feeling alone and is happy. Have you any suggestions and/or could point me in the direction of some books that could be useful. Once again, many thanks. Anna
The fact that you want to do everything that you can to ensure your daughter’s happiness means that she will be fine. Being an only child is not a disability. Try not to listen to anyone who claims that it is. There are of course a few strategies you can employ to make sure that your daughter is not lonely – Play groups and play dates will help her develop social skills before she starts school. Spending lots of time with family friends and extended family will ensure that she doesn’t feel alone. Once she starts school, she will be making lots of friends. As well as those children she meets at school, it’s probably a good idea to encourage her to play in a sports team or be part of a band, drama or dance group. As she gets older, you might be able to holiday with other families or take a special friend of hers away with you. Remember that all children just need to know that they are unconditionally loved, whether they are an only child or one of six.
All the best to you and your family,
I need some advice on how to help my 14yr old daughter cope with the nerves she has prior to big gymnastics competitions. Prior to last year she managed her anxiety but last year she would become very quiet on the way to comp then by the time she had to meet her coach she would be feeling sick, crying and have no confidence. Ultimately she would perform and be very successful but the emotional stress before she competes is terrible. She loves her sport, trains hard, is well prepared for competitions and is a very happy girl. I think what I need are some strategies to relax her and keep her calm on competition days.
It must be hard to watch your daughter battling her understandable nervousness about competing. As you said, a few strategies wouldn’t go astray. I’m sure you’re doing most of this, but I would encourage you to firstly tell her that anxiety before big competitions is perfectly normal. In fact, she needs a bit of anxiety to perform at her peak – but obviously not too much so that it’s debilitating. It’s so important that you validate and normalise her feelings first, rather than telling her that she shouldn’t be feeling nervous since she’s so capable etc etc. Once you’ve told her how normal it is to feel nervous, ask her where she feels her anxiety. Is it in her stomach? Does she feel sick or dizzy? Does she have butterflies in her tummy? Does she feel shaky? Is her heart racing? In other words, you want her to focus on her body – rather than what’s going on in her head. Once she has been able to tell you what’s going on in her body, help her to focus on her breathing so that she breathes slowly in through her nose and out through her mouth using her diaphragm, not her chest. Try to do some slow breathing with her in the car on the way to the competitions (and even before you leave home). When she has been concentrating on her breathing for a few minutes, get her to check in with her body again. Has the sickness decreased? Have the butterflies settled a bit? Reassure her that by slowing down her breathing, she is telling her brain and body that everything is okay. Although she shouldn’t aim to be perfectly calm (& that wouldn’t allow her to perform at her best anyway), she will be a lot calmer if she gets out of her head (which is filling with self-doubt) and concentrates instead on breathing nicely. Then she should find it easier to enjoy the sport she obviously loves.
Hope that helps,
Hi Jo my nearly 5 year old daughter is starting school next week and i am extremely anxious. Never settled at preschool after 6 or more months and at orientation ran away the first lesson and following 3 i had to sit in classroom so she could see me. She seems ok now but i know the first day she will be anxious , give me all the reasons why she doen’t want to go. She is quite attached to me but does happily go off and play with kids at friends. She will sleep at my mum’s fine. Is more larger groups. I just want it to go smoothly ( as it can ) as hate seeing her get so traumitised. How should i handle it. Thankyou Jo :))
I’m not surprised to hear that you’re anxious. It’s so hard to see your child struggle. Sounds like you have realistic expectations about her possibly finding her first days difficult. She might surprise you, but if she does display anxiety, validate her feelings. Tell her that you can see that she’s worried and you understand why. Reassure her that it will get easier as time goes on and most importantly, reassure her that you’ll be there at the end of the day (or whoever will be there to pick her up). Be guided by her teacher – they are so well trained to help with first day nerves and ongoing separation anxiety. Make sure you have someone supportive to talk to next week – someone who will acknowledge how hard it is for you too. At the end of the day, ask her all about what happened and praise her for doing so well. Please let me know how you both go.
My 6 year old daughetr has been toilet trained since she was 2. Since that time she has continually had accidents (weeing her pants). It’s happened on and off and always happens when she’s too busy playing. It’s been ok before now because I’ve been there to prompt her to go to the toilet, but now she’s at school it’s all up to her. Her teacher tells me it happens during playtime.
I’m not sure how to tackle it. I’ve told her to go just before little play and then again just before big play to give her a routine which seemed to work for the start of the year but now she’s wetting her pants once a week.
It must be frustrating for you and particularly difficult for your daughter to regularly have these accidents. No doubt you have discussed this with your GP and I’m obviously not a doctor, but it’s important that she learns how to empty her bladder properly and that she knows that she needs to go to the toilet 5-7 times a day. It might sound counter-intuitive, but if you increase the amount of water she’s drinking, she might find it easier to go regularly eg when she gets up, before she leaves home, at the beginning of recess and lunch and as soon as she gets home from school. Then I’d draw up a chart for her, so that she can place a tick beside the days when she went at these set times (& other times if she needs to go) and doesn’t have an accident. In other words, she’s not too old for a good old-fashioned star chart – as long as you also educate her about how often she needs to go and how important it is to sit there long enough to empty her bladder. And as they say, if the problem persists, it would be a good idea to chat to the doctor again.
Hope that helps,
H Hi Jo,
I always enjoy your segment on Sunrise.
My 5yr old daughter got a little mermaid outfit (halter neck shell top with a skirt ththat comes to the knees) and my husband is adamant that by me letting her wear
this dress up outfit without her wearing a t-shirt under it is sending her a message
that you can dress like that when she gets older. My husband is currently in the
Police Force, and it seems to me he’s view on the world seems tainted,
everything has a sinister meaning behind it. Like a 5yr old child playing dress up.
Is there any books or information out there somewhere that says this is normal
behaviour for children to dress up? I’m also really worried what affect my husbands views like this will impact our 5yr old?
I’m really pleased that the issue of the sexualisation of children is being discussed in your house. We need more parents like you and your husband. It’s not surprising that your husband is very wary. He’s probably seen the darker side of life. He is no doubt super-protective because of what he’s seen and heard. From what you’re describing, the Little Mermaid outfit sounds harmless enough – because she’s obviously wanting to play dress-ups which of course is very normal. Perhaps her dad would be comfortable with her wearing the outfit at home, but not in public. I’d encourage you to give your husband plenty of empathy for his concerns, and reassure him that your daughter’s safety and welfare are also your priority. Point out that you don’t agree with the sexualisation of kids, but gently point out that your daughter needs a normal childhood, which includes dressing up. Your husband will probably always be wary because of his profession, so your job is to balance this out with your own views.
Hi Jo, I just wanted to hear your opnion on carl jung’s typology, MBTI and David Keirsey’s temperament sorter.
Are these types real? And if so are they innate?
You personally seem like an NF to me although I am not sure which one. I think perhaps ENFJ maybe lol
I take that as a compliment – ENFJs sound like lovely people. In my practice, I use a fabulous book by Oldman & Morris called The New Personality Self-Portrait. It contains a self-administered test and the answers allow you to construct a personality profile. Mostly, people have a strong personality style and some other styles that also have a big influence on how they think, feel & behave. But whether you use MBTI, Jung’s typology or Oldman & Morris’ classification, I believe that personality types are the result of the combining influences of nature and nurture. Our genes are manipulated by the upbringing and the experiences we have throughout life. It can be useful to understand your own personality style and that of your partner’s in an attempt to develop insight and empathy.
I attended your family forum today and just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it! It was very beneficial and I left with a lot of valuable information. You are so educated, calm and a very positive person. With my strong passion for psychology and once I complete my university studies, I strive to be the type of person you are! Again, was a pleasure to be there today.
Thanks so much Melissa – that’s so kind. Good luck with uni. Psychology is a fabulous profession. I meet such inspiring people every day. Jo
MMe again. I am happy report that I have now been sober for 70 days! However I had a moment where this was threatened and I could use some advice. I find myself recognising an anomoly in my relationship with my sister. It has made me question my relationship with her during my whole life and in questioning this, I am questioning myself.
My sister is actually my half-sister, Mum married twice. She is 20 years older than me so we have never really lived as siblings. Mum raised her alone until she was 7 (when she married my father) whereas I had both parents for my entire life.
My latest blog entry outlines where I find myself. If you can find time, can you help me towards my next best step?
Latest blog entry: http://givinupthegrog.blogspot.com/2011/04/wise-old-sayings.html
Once again, can I congratulate you on how well you write & on being sober for 70 days! Your blog is so useful because it outlines the hurdles people face every day when they are trying to change their behaviour.
Obviously I don’t know your sister, but I’m sure she loves you very much. But sometimes close friends and family members have a strange reaction when we change. They get used to us being a certain way – overweight, drinking, or even being depressed. In fact, they come to depend on us being a certain way for the relationship to function. They often don’t know how to act when we change. That’s why they are often the first people to say: “You’ve lost too much weight”, “You’re not the same now you’re not drinking”, “Everyone is worried about you.” It’s hurtful and not supportive, but it comes from a place of uncertainty – Uncertainty about the relationship going forward.
I hope that makes some sense to you. Keep up the amazing work!
Hi jo i just wanted to know are all people really bisexual to some degree or is that
an outdated freudian idea and all it does is address the current misconception that
in order to be bisexual you must be attracted to both sexes equally, whereas it’s
likely that bisexuals are on a continuum and most have a preference for one sex or
the other and the amount of bisexuals who are equally attracted to both sexes are,
not non existent, just rarer
You have pointed out another reason why labels are so unhelpful. It’s far too simplistic to say that bisexuals are those who are equally attracted to both sexes. Nor do I believe that all people are bisexual to some degree. I think you put it very well when you say that bisexuals are on a continuum and most have a preference for one sex or the other.
LLove your work on Sunrise.
I have a question in relation to my now 4 1/2 year old daughter.
Almost everyday since she has been able to talk (15 months) she tells me that she is sad, very sad. She cries a lot for everything (around 4-5 times a day), she is always moody & is an extremelly difficult stubborn child-everything is a fight.
From the day she was born she has been Mary contrary & been really hard to make happy & smile.
Last night during a hissy fit after being asked to have a shower she told me that she didn’t like her face & wanted a different one? Where is this coming from at this age?
Both my husband and I are easy going & quite positive people so we don’t know why she is like this.
My main question is, do we need to worry. I’m worried her brain will be hard wired into depression. Do we need to get help? it is really hard dealing with the misery everyday.
I can see why you’d be worried. No one likes to hear their child saying that they are sad and that they do not like themselves. I’m also wondering where this is coming from. Perhaps at a young age, she got lots of attention (understandably) for saying that she was sad; which reinforced the behaviour. Maybe she really is very sad and needing of a lot of attention. I’d encourage you to give her the attention she craves, while trying to help her to focus on the positive. What does she like doing? What makes her relax? When you do catch her smiling or relaxing, make lots of comments about how lovely it is to see her “relaxed,” rather than saying you’re pleased to see her happy or not crying.
When she makes a negative comment about herself, give her a bit of empathy by saying that everyone worries about their face or body from time to time, but as long as we are healthy, that’s all that matters. Try not to react too strongly at these types of comments, or once again, she might keep saying things to get a reaction. Try not to ever let her hear you say that you don’t like something about your own face or body.
If everything’s a fight, you might benefit from trying a few new strategies. Look out for Terri Apter’s excellent book called The Confident Child or have a look at Steve Biddulph’s The Secrets of Happy Children. These books suggest ways to phrase things to children in a way that gives them a choice, within reason.
Finally, it might be worth you and your husband having a chat to a child psychologist. You don’t need to take your daughter along just yet. It might just be good for you to get some strategies for the time being. But if the strategies don’t work, then you could take her along for a casual, age appropriate chat.
I really hope this helps.
I want to ask you a favour. I watch you and admire your skills and technique and compassion in your work. And I often read your website.
My name is Lee and I am 47. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at age 38, which let me tell you was both a relief and burden. I am also an alcoholic having made booze the mainstay of each day for the past 30 years.
However, at 8.30pm, Sunday 6th Feb 2011, I stopped drinking.
I am keeping an online diary of my daily experiences and challenges as I find if I write things down it helps me make sense of my thoughts, and also to gauge my moods and perspective of things.
Now I have always been fond of brainstorming sessions and feedback, and conduct these assessments regularly in my own mind. However, I do realise that given my condition, my perceptions can sometimes be distorted. So I have enlisted a small group of people I trust to support me in my quest for a better life.
The thing is all of these people have an emotional investment in my life…I would like an objective view from someone who is not enslaved by their own demons and emotional ties to me.
The favour I am asking is…could you please read my blog and tell me if I am heading in the right direction? I mean I am not doubting myself and my goals…I am just looking for reassurance.
Can you help me out with this?
The blog address is : http://givinupthegrog.blogspot.com/
I have had a good look at your blog & am inspired by your honesty & strength. You obviously have incredible insight as your expectations are realistic – knowing that there will be good days and tough days. I particularly love your observations of how those around you are coping with your sobriety. I collect “clangers” = those comments that friends make when we are grieving the death of a loved one, trying to lose weight, or conquering an addiction. I will follow your journey & hope many others do the same.