Our Counsellor, Gwilym, shares some messages and guidance with you, to help create a happy and healthy home environment during lockdown (below).
As part of the Resilience Programme, Lianna shares the bubble breathing strategy:
During Mental Health Awareness week, here is Anette, one of CYCA’s CEOP Ambassadors, talking about being kind online ❤️:
Tracy guides us through two relaxation sessions:
Kath from CYCA talks about Mental Health Awareness Week, the theme of kindness, and being kind to ourselves:
Gwilym on role reversals between introverts and extroverts during lockdown:
Gwilym, our counsellor, outlines a difference between our emotions, our thoughts and sensations in our body.
All emotion is temporary and no feeling is either good or bad.
This is the wheel of emotion Gwilym refer’s to in his vlog (which can also be found: feelingswheel.com) …
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CHILD
The INTERPERSONAL WHEEL OF COMMUNICATION uses animals to describe different styles of communication.
LION– (DOMINANT) Associated with being ‘in charge’; your child clearly sees you as ‘the boss’- you give them clear rules and expectations of behaviour, if they break these rules or expectations- there are clear consequences. This style of parenting is sometimes referred to as ‘authoritative’
Those who lean toward the LION/MONKEY will be seen as ‘firm but kind’- they will have clear boundaries and discipline- but they will want their child to ‘want to’ behave, rather than behave out of fear.
Those who lean toward the LION/T-REX will impose rules through fear and may use pain or physical punishment to ‘teach children a lesson’. They may feel shouting or spanking a child is a way to teach them ‘who’s in charge’. This sort of parenting is sometimes referred to as ‘autocratic’ and can be compared to a dictatorship. This sort of parent wants the child to behave without question or challenge- ‘because I said so’ is good enough.
T-REX– (HOSTILE) Associated with ‘scary’ or aggressive behaviours. This sort of parent has proven that they are prepared to hurt or frighten other people to get their way. They have used overtly aggressive behaviours in front of or toward their children (e.g. shouting, hitting, throwing things, swearing, etc.). Children of this sort of parent often still love them very much but they are also afraid of them and no longer trust that ‘Mummy or Daddy would never hurt me’. They may also say deliberately hurtful things like ‘You’re a waste of space, you are’; ‘I wish we’d never had you’.
Those who lean toward T-REX/ MOUSE on the wheel will engage in passive aggressive behaviours toward their children. This may include using guilt or sarcasm against your children. ‘Look what you made me do’; ‘I can’t wait to see the back of you’.
MOUSE– (SUBMISSIVE) Associated with behaviours that blur adult/child boundaries; the child actually takes the dominant or authority position in the household. Parents may describe their child as ‘uncontrollable’, ‘wild’, and ‘impossible to discipline’. Parents in this category are sometimes described as ‘permissive’- they struggle to set appropriate boundaries or establish healthy routines. Children may establish their own sleeping/ eating/ curfew patterns in very unhealthy ways. The parent may fail to discipline poor behaviour (e.g. letting them hit other children, swear, cut school, etc.) and also will not reinforce or support good behaviour.
Children here may crave attention and act out to try and provoke some response from their parent/parents. They may also manipulate their parents to try and get their own way- as they perceive that they are in charge (e.g. if they have a tantrum, or make enough of a fuss they will get their own way).
MOUSE/MONKEY parents may blur boundaries even further by treating their child as an adult ‘mate’(e.g. drinking, drug-taking, watching age-inappropriate movies/ video games, etc.). A child in this sort of household will struggle to obey rules- as there aren’t any at home and may often be in trouble at school or in the community.
MONKEY (COOPERATIVE)- Focuses on parenting that is about teamwork and friendship. The parent who uses this style will play often with their child and will ‘help’ them with the rules (e.g. teaching them to pick up their toys by helping them clear up). The child may get to make some decisions for themselves (e.g. what to wear at the weekend, what they want for tea) but will still have boundaries in place from the adult (e.g. can’t wear sandals in the snow, have to have a veg.).
This sort of parenting is often a lot of work because it involves negotiating agreement with the child- e.g. ‘if you do this, you’ll get to have this’; ‘If you put your shoes on now, you can bring your scooter’. Because of this, the parenting dynamic can sometimes swing too far into permissiveness- e.g. asking the child’s opinion on everything, letting the child make major decisions that are really an adult’s job. (swinging toward monkey/mouse).
*The clear winning combination for parent/child interactions is LION/MONKEY:
• Clear/ firm rules and expectations of behaviour
• Caring about the child’s feelings
• Encouraging their autonomy and independence
• Making sure they know that you mean what you say and are securely in charge
• Not putting too much pressure on them to make decisions
• Not using fear to impose authority- but firmness
• Still able to have fun and friendship with your child
POINTS TO TAKE AWAY:
All parents will occasionally slide around the other quadrants- dependant on a wide range of circumstances and contexts.
The point is to try and keep your parenting in the right quadrant or at least the right half of the wheel for the MAJORITY of the time.
You won’t always get it right- apologise when you get it wrong. When you do get it right- be strong and stick to your word.
NEVER, ever think that the ‘right’ thing to do is to frighten your child into obedience. A healthy parenting relationship just like an adult relationship is based on love and respect- NOT FEAR.
Useful to remember ‘rules of communication’:
• Hostility breeds hostility
• Dominance encourages submission
• Submission encourages dominance
• Cooperation promotes cooperation
• What qualities would you associate with each style of parenting?
• What kind of animal do your children see you as?
• What kind of animal do your children see their other parent(s) as?
• What kind of animal would you say your own parents were?
• Ask the men to consider how a child responds to each parent type?
• What sort of relationship would you want with your child, short-term and long-term?
• What can you change in your behaviour that will improve your interactions?
• What do you love about being a parent to each of your children? (useful to remember when you’re struggling!
Gwilym’s vlog presents his take on the Drama Triangle.
Gwilym & Languages of love
In this short video, Gwilym, our counsellor, outlines 5 ‘languages of love’. These are the ways in which people prefer to give and receive love. Which one are you?
Gwilym & Arguments in front of the kids
In this short video, our counsellor, Gwilym, talks about the importance of telling children that their parents’ arguments is not their fault.
Gwilym & The best ways to tackle anxiety & depression
It’s scientific! Our counsellor, Gwilym talks us through three things that science tells us really help to reduce mild anxiety and depression. Give them a try!
Gwilym & A quick change of scene
Gwilym our counsellor talks about the simple and effective way that a quick change of focus can be like a re-set button. also, remember to breathe!