…and how do I turn off the button???
It’s amazing how we reject the typical daily chores, activities and daily routines and hand it over to someone else to do, like a nanny or “auntie” or helper or granny. Sure the reasons for having this wonderful helpful person in our home is because:
- We work late hours
- Im a single parent
- We are too exhausted by the time we get home to “worry” about the kids, especially after such a stressful day
- It’s too chaotic and rushed in the morning to get everyone and everything ready
- I’m going to be late for work
- I coming home too late from work
- Having breakfast and dinner together starts off and ends the day (at the table not infront of TV!) Eating at the table is learning proper social skills and table manners (bonus: a better digestion and healthier)
- Setting and clearing the table helps with learning responsibilities
- Tidying up their own rooms, making up their own beds (a little help/support is needed, of course)
- Washing or packing dishes, prepares them for the future chores
- Mowing the lawn, picking up the dog poop, racking the leaves, planting some flowers or a new tree, together (means outside bonding time in fresh air or smelly poops)
“Mommy, what happened to my daddy, why don’t I have a dad like the other children?” asks Rachel who is four years old.
Mom freezes for a moment from the cooking she was doing and a rush of information from the past flows through her mind of the time her husband, her little girl’s father stepped out from their lives after an argument and chose to be free from the reins of family-hood.
…and begins to explain:
“Well, your father travels around the world a lot for work and one day, he will be back and bring you lots of dolls from all parts of the world.”
Off skips Rachel to her room, happily to continue to play.
Unlike other species that travel across the earth, only human beings are capable of lying.
Lying, is the act of defying what is known and understood and presenting an alternative in its place.
Without life’s experiences at hand for the child, aspects can be extremely difficult to understand, so to present a full complex explanation to a child all at once can be overwhelming therefore elementary explanations tend to be simple, concise, or simply incorrect (lying), but the attempt has been made to make it more understandable for the child and less uncomfortable for the parent, especially easier by avoiding any emotional trauma that comes with the truth. Lying prevents deeper discussions from ensuing as in the above case.
Why does a person lie?
- The person does so due to a fear that he/ she may have.
- To avoid a particular person or topic.
- To impress others or seeking attention and needing a boost in their self-esteem.
- To protect their child from certain information.
- The person who habitually lies just seeks the short-term benefits of a lie.
The outcome of a lie:
- It can bring about shame and embarrassment.
- It can destroy the trust anyone may have for someone who lies.
- And if uncorrected it can form into a habit.
- Eventually, socially, the person may experience being rejected and have difficulty forming any meaningful relationship.
- Emotionally, the person will feel a sense of loss of true-self and could lead to psychological issues or a physical dependency.
The person WILL suffer the consequences of what a lie may cause!
If a child enquires about a certain topic (be it sex, drugs, a family member, divorce, death, crime, etc…) or about something they may be experiencing in their life- BE TRUTHFUL. Too often, parents assume that they must have the answers and reactions immediately, and this misguided notion encourages conflict in the home. In fact, for parents’ benefit, it is well within your rights to tell a child that you need time to process that information with which they came forward and that a discussion will be tabled until everyone is ready or find someone that can assist you in sharing the information with the child as soon as possible.
Do not delay the discussion forever or withhold the information, as your child shall seek the information elsewhere and it will either be misguided information and the child will not rely on you for an answer in the future. Allowing the child to view you as an ally in their development is one way to hone the bonded trust between the two of you.
Be true to your children and set an example and be their compass in life in showing them the True North.
I thought it would be important for me to share a personal matter that happens to us all.
Both my grandmothers died within the space of two weeks from each other, just a few weeks ago. As sad and as difficult as it was, it was also important to explain to my 5 year old what had happened and walk her, myself and my parents through the process of grieving.
Irrespective of cultural or religious beliefs, the death of a loved one is always painful to deal with. According to Lewis (1998:6), “Grief can be described as a deep sorrow or distress. It can vary in duration and intensity”.
Children grieve differently from adults; they grieve according to their developmental stage and their understanding of death and loss. Older children tend to display more anxiety, depression and somatic symptoms. Younger children tend to display more sadness, anger, crying spells, feelings of rejection and guilt, separation anxiety and also somatic complaints. Children will typically ask the same question over and over, not because they require more factual information or because they do not understand the information presented to them, but for reassurance.
Gilliland and James (1993) point out that research has shown that children generally make healthier adjustments if they are told the truth about what exactly happened. The child can sense if he is not told the truth or that information is being held from him. That makes him distrust adults and makes him feel even more insecure.
The following is what can be done to help the process:
- Talk about good happy memories of that special person.
- Make a memory box, with special photos or memorabilia of the person.
- Answer any questions being asked.
- Visit the grave.
- Create a memorial site/space in your home of that special person.
- Write a letter or draw a picture to the loved one that died – a sign of your love.
- When writing a letter to your deceased loved one, you can mention what you would have liked to have told him/ her if they were alive.
- Have a photo of the person in your room or where it can be seen.
- Create a scrapbook of the special person that died.
- When you really miss that special person, have an item close at hand that can be touched, smelt and seen to remind you of him/her.
- Get lots of hugs, cry and talk to someone you feel close to.
- Last but not least, it takes time to feel better after someone you love has died. Give your heart time to heal.
This article is in memory of my Avó Julia and Avó Lourdes, because I know that they would love to still be remembered.
*Avó is portuguese for Grandmother
Paul loves coming to Neurotherapy.åÊ It‰Ûªs not every day he gets to play 30 minutes of uninterrupted computer games!åÊ Well, at least that‰Ûªs his perception of Neurotherapy!åÊ Paul‰Ûªs mother, however, brings him for Neurotherapy as she has seen the benefit in his sleep patterns, concentration and consequently in his behaviour since he started.
But what is Neurotherapy?åÊ In its simplest form, Neurotherapy is bio-feedback for the brain.åÊ Teaching the brain to recognise bad habits and patterns and being able to change it.
During Neurotherapy an electrode is placed on the scalp to monitor the client‰Ûªs brain wave activity via an advanced computer programme.åÊ We explain it to the children as being like the doctor listening to your heart with a stethoscope and then being able to tell you how your heart is functioning.åÊ Just like the doctor can‰Ûªt change anything in your heart with his stethoscope, the therapist can‰Ûªt put anything into a client‰Ûªs brain and can‰Ûªt ‰ÛÏread his mind‰Û with it. The therapist, with the help of the computer program, can only give the child feedback on how his brain is functioning.åÊ The child sits in front of a second computer monitor with a ‰ÛÏgame‰Û on it.åÊ When the child‰Ûªs brain is functioning optimally the ‰ÛÏgame‰Û will play.
We all make a range of brain wave patterns throughout the day and night to cope with specific tasks or expectations.åÊ Mature, well-balanced brains are able to move effortlessly from one brain wave pattern to another.åÊ However, some people find this more difficult.åÊ By setting specific expectations of the child, he is guided, during Neurotherapy, by using the computer programme and other treatment techniques to shift his brain wave patterns.åÊ For example a child who is very anxious might find it difficult to move into more relaxing brain wave patterns.åÊ The therapist will then set the boundaries for the computer game to reward the more relaxing brain wave patterns.åÊ During the session the child is given continuous feedback (a process called operant conditioning) on when he is becoming more relaxed while the therapist might teach him specific relaxation techniques.
Neurotherapy has been proven by international studies to be very effective in children (and adults) with AD/HD as well as sleep disturbances, epilepsy, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder etc.åÊ It has come a long way in South Africa.åÊ The NAA (Neurotherapy Association of Africa) was established six years ago as this emergent field of work began to need governance and guidance.åÊ The aim of this organisation was to promote Neurotherapy to the public, ensuring that therapists are sufficiently qualified and registered.åÊ The NAA has adopted the criteria of the BCIA (Biofeedback Certification Institute of America).åÊ Therapists are trained by EEG Spectrum International, a body recognised by the American Psychological Association (APA), and should be properly registered in South Africa with the Health Professions Council of SA.