BULLYING SERIES – How to stop bullying – what you can do about it.

What is bullying? Many of us have probably experienced bullying in some form, either as a child or in our adult years. Unfortunately, it is also highly likely that our children will experience some form of bullying, or even be involved in bullying behaviour. While we may not be able to protect our children from all bullying, it is important to note that, whilst prevalent, bullying is not a natural part of growing up and it should not be ignored (Elliot, 1997). As parents we…

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Helping Kids with Homework

Like it or hate it, homework is part of most Aussie families lives. Many of us think of homework as the traditional sit-down-with-pencil-and-paper task, but schools are encouraging more creativity in homework too, such as helping someone around the house, or measuring in steps the length of your street. Technology is also being used more in our children’s homework than we would remember from our own school days. Many parents want to be involved in their children’s learning and homework, but are not sure how…

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The Brain, Emotions and Behaviours (Part 5)

TALKING WITH YOUR KIDS ABOUT THE BRAIN Part 2 Using the brain house and its character inhabitants helps kids talk about their emotions and related behaviours in a non-judgemental, no blame, fun way because it separates their feelings, thoughts and behaviours from the child. Some parents raise concerns about kids using this as an excuse for their behaviours, and not taking responsibility for their actions. If we jump straight into consequences though, we are trying to reason with the rational (upstairs) brain of our child,…

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The Brain, Emotions and Behaviours (Part 4)

TALKING WITH YOUR KIDS ABOUT THE BRAIN Part 1 One skill of our brains that develops fairly early is the use of imagination, so when talking with kids about the brain, emotions and behaviours, we can get creative. In our last blog we talked about the brain as a “house” with a downstairs (emotional brain) and upstairs (thinking brain) connected by a staircase so messages can be passed between the two. Hazel Harrison (2015) a Clinical Psychologist suggests adding characters within the brain house such…

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The Brain, Emotions and Behaviours (Part 3)

THE BRAIN AND DEVELOPMENT Part 2 Continuing with the house analogy of the brain, the upstairs and downstairs are connected by a stairway on which messengers can run up and down sharing information. In our brains, these connections are less obvious but function in a similar manner. We need the downstairs “emotional brain” to be able to inform the upstairs “rational brain” with instincts and reflexes, feelings, and information about our bodily functions such as breathing, temperature, etc. However, we also need messages going from…

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The Brain, Emotions and Behaviours (Part 2)

THE BRAIN AND DEVELOPMENT Part 1 When a child is born their brain size is only 25% of what it will be as an adult. The main structures are all there, but the connections between them – the brain wiring – is still very sparse, especially in the upstairs, rational brain (cerebrum). The first five years of life sees over 90 percent of the brain’s growth occurring with the formation of the connections directly linked to a child’s life experiences and emotional interactions with others.…

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The Brain, Emotions and Behaviours (Part 1)

THE PARTS OF THE BRAIN INVOLVED IN EMOTIONS AND BEHAVIOURS The brain is the most important and complex organ in our bodies. You don’t have to be a brain specialist though to appreciate some of the basics about the brain’s role in emotions and behaviours in both ourselves and our children. The brain is compartmentalised for our understanding but in reality all the parts work in complex, intertwined ways. The largest section of the brain and closest to the surface is the Cerebrum (suh-REE-bruhm) or…

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Boredom is good for you (Part 3)

Helping your child with boredom As parents, we can help our children get the most out of being bored rather than rushing in with ready-made solutions to alleviate boredom. Here are a few ways you can help your child use boredom constructively: Spend one-on-one time with your child on a regular basis to reduce the situation where your child is saying they are bored to get your attention. Encourage exploration and discovery in your family. Children are naturally curious and creative so show them that…

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Boredom is good for you (Part 2)

Benefits of boredom When our children (or we ourselves) are feeling bored, the tendency is to try to alleviate that state as quickly as possible. It’s all too easy to use an electronic device to consume content or play games whenever we feel a sense of boredom. However, research suggests there are actually benefits to being bored. Boredom: Allows creativity and imagination. Much of what our kids do is scheduled and structured. Our children don’t often get an opportunity to just daydream and let their…

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Boredom is good for you (Part 1)

Boredom can be good for you (and your children) “I’m bored” is a phrase most parents dread or at least find quite exasperating to hear.  We live in a society that values business, progress, success, and always striving for more. We’d like to slow down and, at times, do “nothing” but we fear this may be viewed as laziness, or that we will get behind and be even more busy trying to catch up. All of this contributes to the negative perception of boredom and…

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