Wednesday, 22 February 2012

10 simple ways to increase your confidence

10 quick and practical methods to increase your confidence:

    Smile loads! Smile when you meet people and generally be happier even if you’re not feeling that way.

   Learn from the past but don't dwell on that which you can't change. You could even ask yourself 'What was good about that?' for a great reframe of the situation.

 Buy yourself some new clothes, get your hair done, treat yourself to something new. I know you won't need too much encouragement from me on that one!

 Are you prepared for situations? Are you prepared enough to meet any challenge that may come up? Are you prepared for that networking event, that presentation, meeting someone for the first time? If not, get to it.

Play to your strengths. Expose yourself to what you are good at, at every opportunity. Improve your weaknesses and put a plan in place to improve them in time.

Don't be a people-pleaser! Learn how to say no to people, when you really want to. After you’ve said it the first time, there will be no going back. 

 Be in charge of your thoughts at all times. If you’re thinking negative thoughts, you’re probably asking a negative question or focusing on the problem rather than the solution. Change the question to a more positive one.

Whenever you feel stressed ask 'is this really important in the grand scheme of things?' If you're having to make a tough decision, ask yourself how each of the options affect the next 10 hours, 10 days 10 months etc. (I call this my 10/10 rule).

At the end of each day list your achievements and successes throughout that day. Acknowledging them before you ask 'What could I have done better?' is a great discipline.

Every morning when you’re in the shower, visualise your day as though it was already a success. Visualise success and the relevant confidence and it will be so.

Monday, 6 February 2012

No Need to Smack Ever - Part 2

As is said many times, we're not given a manual when it comes to parenting. This is true but I believe we don't need one.

We have something much better instead. It's called intuition and knowledge of one's own child. Every person in the whole world is unique and that includes babies, toddlers and young adults. Having someone else tell you what to do, is helpful sometimes but if all parents not only trusted their intuition but acted upon it too, we could throw away any 'one size fits all' instruction manual.

However, the main point here is that not everyone acts upon their intuition because sometimes it's easier to let things go rather than to confront properly. So I am not coming from an 'expert' position, rather one that says 'you are the best person to know what's best' but don't forget the basics. Here are my 7 Steps

1) As already stated in part 1, praise and encouragement of the behaviour you do want is paramount along with rewarding only good behaviour

2) Set a good example. Children will copy anyone and everyone especially siblings and parents. Shouting, smacking, sulking etc are unattractive at any age!

3) Set clear boundaries and stick to them. Losing a battle will cost you the war. It is essential that parents are united here, so discuss with your partner and then agree to stick with them. And this means that everyone agrees to the house rules, not just the children!

4) Spend quality time with them, doing interesting and educational activities. Talk with them and make them feel interesting, showing lots of affection and praise.

5) Stick It To them! - use behaviour gold and silver stars on a chart, showing them visually how they are rewarded for good behaviour and reaching their goals. Children adore sticking a gold star onto their chart!

6) Use open questions when teaching them something, rather than keep telling them what to do. For instance 'so what's the next thing we need to do when...'

7) Keep it simple - give calm and easy instructions. Too many and you will confuse them. Too little and they will not understand. Don't overwhelm and make it interesting for them to learn, or to do as they are asked.

Add your own number 8. Something that is needed especially for your child. It could be something you have meant to do for a long time but have yet to instigate or a new idea that has come to you whilst reading this. Have a think and make a decision now to carry it through.

Trust yourself and your children.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

No Need To Smack Ever - Part 1

Smacking? ABSOLUTELY NOT, never. I'm finding it hard to believe that there are still some MPs who think it's okay to smack a child in order to discipline them!

Not only is this morally wrong, on so many levels, but it's totally unnecessary. I'd be happy to hear from you if you think differently, but I'm going to do a series of blogs which will give tips for handling a child's difficult behaviour AND help them to become confident and willing to co-operate.

Smacking gives out the wrong messages and can easily escalate into something more aggressive, even violent. It says that in order to get what we want we must go around hitting people. Hardly a good example setting is it?

My opinion is that we all so easily label children with things like ADHD in order to help make sense of why our child is misbehaving. I hate anything that gives children, or adults, more reasons to think negatively about themselves or an excuse to continue their innapropriate behaviour.

In all my coaching I will always ask the coachee (in this instance the parent) what their goals are. So  examples for their children could be:

Go to bed when asked
Eat nicely
Respond to requests
Listen, open up, communicate politely
Accepting rules or boundaries

There are so many more! What will they (and YOU!) look like when this thing is achieved?

In all my coaching of young people and/or their parents WITHOUT exception, I have found that a small change in behaviour in one person, brings about a small change of behaviour in another so you also need to set goals for yourself, such as

No more shouting
Listen properly
Have more time to pay attention

Again there are many more, so pick your main aim and describe what we will see, hear and feel when we have achieved it.

Once you have done this write it all down and start keeping a journal of the week's events.

See you in part 2 but in the meantime, let me give you a Top Tip that I was reminded of recently;

When you praise your child (or anyone else for that matter!) don't just say well done, or that was good. Give exact details of what the praise is for, for instance,
"Well done, on eating all your vegetables and sitting still throughout the meal. That was excellent!'

Try it and see the smiles. Children don't always understand what you are giving praise for and so cannot repeat it. Be explicit and you will watch the behaviour happen again.

Until next time....