What are you looking forward to?

I was listening to a fascinating conversation on the radio. The DJ asked his nine-year-old caller, who was about to depart for school – “what are you looking forward to about school today?”. The response was immediate and effusive. “My two front teeth came out yesterday and nobody knows – I can’t wait to get to school and show everybody!”.  I thought ‘how wonderful’, and not a moments concern from the caller either. It also reminded me about the importance of looking forward rather than backwards. We can’t change the past, yet we can eagerly anticipate the future, especially if we believe we can influence it by what we do in the present. In The Coaching Parent book we refer to how easy it is to integrate this thinking into coaching. One of the great things with coaching is to create an atmosphere of future expectation. It’s done with the[…]

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What’s not to be possible?

How do you construct your reality? If you read the ‘papers’ every day, and watch a lot of ‘news’ programmes, you will probably be suicidal! Like most people, you most likely take what you watch, hear and read with a pinch of salt. I saw a TV programme the other night about a young single mum who gave her young son an Argos catalogue before Xmas. Guess what? He ‘chose’ a list of toys and she went into debt to buy them. She had to declare the equivalent of bankruptcy after being unable to pay the £600 bill. So who created her son’s reality? And her’s? Forget the material stuff for a moment. What would happen if you dispensed with Newtonian cause-and-effect physics? This 400 year old theory underpins media reality, as does the model of a our bodies as machines. Suppose we could influence ‘reality’ to a level unimaginable?[…]

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The [Divine] Feminine?

At what age do you consider it appropriate for your girls to be bombarded with sexual imagery? What kind of role models do they have today? Who or what might inspire them? If you watch television, you will not fail to have noticed that today’s women are obsessed with how they look, how often they can flick their hair, how high the heels are on their shoes and if they can master about six poses and pouts modelled by Posh Spice and Cheryl Cole. Indeed do not these two represent the highest pinnacle of acheivement? And if you get fed up with Cheryl Cole’s face on every vertical urban space, there’s always Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Beyonce. The time is ripe for mothers everywhere to become real role models for daughters. Compassion, kindness, inner strength, resilience, serving others, honesty, down-to-earth, intelligence, grace, patience, humility, love… Or self-obsession, avarice, greed, falseness[…]

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Winter snow – Are you loving it or hating it?

In England, we have an ambivalent relationship with snow. We love to see it and it’s fascinating when you’re looking out of the window. As soon as it starts to disrupt our lives and our regular routines, the pushback starts! I wonder if this has something to do with our preoccupation with the weather in this country? To be fair, it does change frequently. It’s also very pocketed. Several parts of the country being completely cut off, others having bright sunshine. And yet, for many of us it brings out our inner child. Don’t you remember snowballing, making slides in the school playground and constructing the ‘best snowman ever’ and sledging? While I myself have hard several client meetings cancelled and in some cases suffered lost revenue, let’s not lose the wonder completely. Why not bring out those creative and adaptive parts of you and just for a moment, allow[…]

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Around the World

We have had requests in for the book to be translated into Polish and Korean. My very good friend David Miskimin tells me Romanian is also a strong possibility. Wonderful stuff! Thanks Joe. Jack Stewart

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Stressed?

Are you stressed? And what kind of stress are we talking about? Your kids might find it stressful to be deprived of their mobile phones for an hour. No, we are talking about deep, lifetime acquired physiological stress. The kind most people are unaware of until they go down with illness, have a serious accident or ‘lose the plot.’ That’s the bad news. The good news is you can let it go. In our first book we gave you a whole range of tools and techniques to do so. When The Coaching Parent Companion comes out, you will find a few more. Do you have beliefs that limit you? You have [harmful, even traumatic] memories from childhood [and even further back] that remain in your cells. They need to go. Jack Stewart

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Building a Moat

What has this to do with parenting you ask? An appalling case, two people dead, one blinded, opinion split nationally. ‘He deserved it.’ By all accounts Moat was a violent thug. But he was a parent. He was a human being and someone’s son. His crimes were unspeakable, but 12 months ago he asked for help. It didn’t happen. If you want macho, watch ‘The Bill.’ In a recent episode, one copper sees another parent hang himself, helps cut him down and he survives. But he had already killed his son. The copper goes to revive him. Later he has a breakdown.  His sergeant brushes off his own father’s death as if it were a fly. These last two cases were fiction. And maybe the macho posturing will be shot down in future episodes. Macho, insensitive, alpha male, sexist programming is garbage. It doesn’t work. It makes the macho man even[…]

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Ministers halt child abuse vetting scheme

Sanity seems to be prevailing. To quote the minster: You were assumed to be guilty until you were proven innocent, and told you were able to work with children. More here. The implications of this go far beyond the obvious. Kids are being subtly told [and blatantly in some cases] that adults can’t be trusted. And kids who decide they want to pursue a career working with kids, that they too are under suspicion. The world is full of fear-laden policies and tactics which undermine parenting. However, let us celebrate when the government gets it right. Jack Stewart

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Setting an Example

This is a primary theme running through both our books. ‘Do as I do and do as I say.’ Do you do as you say? Is there congruence between your words and actions? We live in a world of deliberate confusion. One media source will tell you a substance/product/food/activity is good for kids, another the opposite. This is another reason to be consistent yourself. Greece is in the news at the moment, and it is accompanied by xenophobic rants about Greeks not paying tax. If you had any time to spare, you would discover through research that people who run the planet don’t pay any tax either. Except we are not talking about a few euros, we are talking billions. Much of this is hidden from the public. But be under no illusion. By setting the best example you can, you can put off or deny for ever the day[…]

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The power of imagination

We gave Aiden, our 6 year old grandson, a Power Rangers book to read when he stayed over recently.  This is the same boy who is unbeatable at Wii ten-pin bowling – I don’t stand a chance.  He also enjoys playing with a cut-down laptop computer, that can’t access the Internet, yet looks as though it could pilot a spaceship to Mars!  Laura my wife and I were amazed at what happened.  The book never left his side, whether at the meal table, sitting on the floor, or when in bed.  He loved it – why though?  Well it had brilliant graphics and on every page asked the reader questions that stirred his imagination.  The clincher though was the cut-out Power Rangers mask.  He transformed when he wore it – which was almost all the time.  This even included trying to go to sleep wearing it! What a wonderful reminder.  As Jack will tell you, I say[…]

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