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Mindful Ed Blog

The importance of listening skills.

As a personal development trainer, many of the tweens and teens I ‘talk’ to tell me that no one is listening.  I find them desperate to talk, to off load and to express themselves but that is because I am neither their parent or their teacher.  I am a neutral person, someone not related to home or school.  I have become very privileged to be the only adult to hear some very personal life experiences of some wonderful kids.  They come to me sad, angry, hostile, fed up or in the middle of some teenage angst or drama, or a very real family or personal life experience that they need support to cope with.

What does real listening look like?  I have learnt through the years that there are four parts to every teenager told story and there is a definite skill involved in getting to the final (and real) part.  It takes time, commitment and a lot of deep care from a very calm, present adult.  This adult needs to offer a safe, non-threatening...

People do better when they feel better.

We have the power to change the way we react to a situation.

How to Manage Emotions

People need to learn how to manage their feelings and emotions. 

Each time someone becomes angry or upset they make a choice to either cope with those feelings or react to them. 

It takes a lot of self control and self discipline to calm down again after something has triggered someone to become angry or upset.  Parents and teachers need to ‘teach’ children how to manage their feelings and emotions rather than punishing them for having them. 

Many adults also need to learn how to manage their feelings appropriately.  Children learn from what we do more than what we say!

Emotion Traffic Lights For Children

Red Zone            Feelings:  Out of control – a volcanic eruption!

When a child is in red zone they are not utilising the rational part of their brain.  They are not in control of themselves.  They may be frightened of themselves and:...

The Importance of Reading to Your Baby

Here are some good reasons to read to your baby as often as you can:

  • Your newborn baby is like a sponge absorbing new information at staggering rates.

  • Research has shown that a baby's brain is only 15% formed at birth yet by aged three the majority of the remaining 85% is formed.

  • Reading to your baby stimulates their senses which in turn helps their developing brains to grow.

  • Research has shown that reading with your baby may help them become successful in school.

  • Reading builds listening, memory and communication skills.

  • Reading helps develop your baby's concentration

Have you noticed how your voice becomes animated when you are reading to your baby?

Imagine how reassuring that is to your baby. Your baby loves to hear your voice and it calms and soothes them and helps them to feel loved and secure.  Your baby has been listening to you from inside your womb, so the sound of your voice when you are reading to baby...

How can I have a healthy relationship?

I have been very blessed as I am in a long term loving marriage.  As I happily enter my third decade with my husband I feel I can share my own thoughts and experiences on what the magic is for a long and healthy relationship.  But these principals apply to all our relationships, whether they are with a friend, colleague or family member.

1)  Focus firstly on yourself

I believe it is a very simple recipe and it is the same one I apply to myself, my parenting journey as well as being a wife, a friend etc.  That is to focus first and foremost on myself.  To be the healthiest version of myself.  To be fully accountable and responsible for myself in thought, word and deed.  By not expecting my husband, son or friend to do that for me I don't give my power away, and anything they do contribute is a total bonus.  

2) Communication

It is so important to speak our own truth.  I have learnt to be as Mindful of my own...

The Positive Discipline parenting and classroom management models are aimed at developing mutually respectful relationships. Positive Discipline teaches adults to employ kindness and firmness at the same time, and is neither punitive nor permissive.

October 24, 2016

By spoiling we mean giving children too many of the ‘things’ they think they want.  This falls under the parenting style of permissive parenting where children become overindulged and adults around them follow their wishes rather than saying No! 

In the UAE permissive parenting is very common, as we see many children spending large numbers of hours either in nurseries or with nannies and commonly these people are ‘working’ with our children and their use of limits and boundaries can be lower than children need.  Working parents often talk also of feeling guilt because they don’t spend enough time with their children, especially if they work long hours or travel for work.  We commonly see this a lot in the UAE.  Therefore out of guilt it becomes harder for parents to say NO to their child’s wishes and they can tend to overcompensate and this can lead to buying them what they want.

What are the dangers of spoiling your kids?

Spoiled children can come to expect they can have...

October 17, 2016

All parents work, whether they get paid for it or not, and whether they leave the house each day or not. To be a working parent means you have your foot in two camps, that of work (whether it is house-work or office-work) and that of home and family.  The ability to devote enough time to both can be, for many parents, an overwhelming challenge to overcome.  As a mum I have experienced several models.  I was a ‘stay at home mum’ for the first three years of my son’s life.  I then worked as a teacher in a large international school, until I set up my own company and was able to choose the hours that I worked. 

I now work as an educational consultant, trainer and parenting educator in Dubai and part of my role finds me helping parents cope with this impressive juggling act.  I was recently employed by a company in Dubai to run a workshop for their working parents.  It is impressive to imagine that a company not only acknowledges that many of their staff are parents, but...

September 29, 2016

In order for us to realize just how ‘primitive’ our young children’s social interactions are we need to understand something about child development and age ap

September 27, 2016

The benefits and the price they pay for being raised in a country that is not their own.

My four year old son Jamie, just had international day celebrations at his school. When asked where he comes from he happily replied, "Dubai", which earned him a laugh from those asking as he was dressed in his national dress, a kilt and an All Black t-shirt.

He was quite right as he has lived in Dubai his whole life, however the person asking was actually expecting to hear Scotland or New Zealand the countries his parents are from and the passports which he has. For Jamie, these countries are places his Grandparents live and tend to feel more like holiday destinations.

Jamie is a 'Third Culture Kid' (TCK), which means he is spending his developmental years living in a country different to the one his parents come from. While Jamie does live in Dubai he is also not a part of the local Emirate culture either. The group that Jamie relates to more than any other is the ex-pat culture which tends to have...

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Active Listening: Talking to tweens and teens

June 24, 2018

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