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 worse in later life. It closes him down and can make him ill. Or in extreme cases, far worse. Is your son learning to bury his feelings and build a wall around him? Are you digging a moat?  Show him a better way. Jack Stewart

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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 your child is weighed down by the deliberate confusion of the world. You can be the light in the darkness. And as you shine on your child, you will shine on everyone. And sometime soon, confusion and deceit will lift, and your child will be an even greater gift to you, your family and the world. Jack Stewart

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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 there are contemporary approaches and then there is the classical method.  On all counts stimulating a child’s imagination is the latter. David Miskimin

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Blaming

So it’s your fault. And you know it. Everyone around you blames you. You feel terrible. You put it right, as far as you can. The damage is never permanent. The ‘victim’ [your child] learns from it. So do you. And so do those who prefer learning to condemnation. You let go, you move on. The only people who want you to spend the rest of your life feeling guilty are doing the same to themselves. There is nothing of value in continuously beating yourself up. When did any creative solution ever emerge from doom & gloom? Look around. What are the kids like whose parents are always beating themslves up?  Good role models? Shut down the scapegoat factory, forgive yourself. Set the best example. Jack Stewart

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[That’s Just] The Way It Is

Is the title of a brilliant 1986 song by US group Bruce Hornsby & The Range. It is about race discrimination, about black people being denied jobs and rights. That’s Just the Way It Is Some things will never change That’s Just the Way It Is But don’t you believe them…. When I was young, long before 1986, my parents let me have a lot of freedom compared to today’s kids. Like every other kid, I made mistakes, got into scrapes, broke the odd bone, and acquired the odd trauma and beliefs I would need in later life to release. Did you know that the number of passengers using UK airport terminals rose to 241 million in 2007. This compares to 7 million in 1957. Have you ever had an X-Ray? Doesn’t the radiologist stand behind a screen to protect themselves from the rays? What does that suggest to you? My local airport has introduced ‘scanners’. They use X-rays. The operator stands behind a screen. To protect your privacy? To protect themselves from the X-rays perhaps? Not everyone has to go through them. But if you are spotted travelling whilst Asian, look a bit shifty, or are anxious at airports, you might have to be ‘screened.’ It’s your choice of course, but if you refuse, you won’t be able to fly. Our generation, and our children’s generation, are on the brink of leaving an irreversible legacy for the next generation. We are a nation of suspects. Does your child, or grandchild, need a tag or chip to protect them from the invisible army of ‘bogey men’? Why bother with a cumbersome tag, why not have your baby ‘chipped’ from birth. S/he won’t need the X-rays, can avoid the long queues and be continuously monitored by ‘the authorities’ if they fit the profile. Remember Tony Blair? Whether you agree with him or not, he told lies. Don’t all governments tell lies? Some things will never change. That’s Just the Way It Is. Will you let your child believe them? Jack Stewart

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Cultural Universals

My wife and I have just spent a working weekend in Athens, giving a talk and demonstration about healing to a wonderful group of people, who no doubt are mostly parents. After the talk, our hosts took us to a Greek restaurant, and we listened to a couple of Greeks singing traditional songs and playing [wonderfully] guitar and bouzouki. Our hosts, and most of the diners, got up and did their versions of Greek dances. Fabulous. Elsewhere in the city, we saw the creeping, toxic effect of a universal culture. Teenagers eating fast ‘food’, clothed like American college students, and adopting ‘cool’ [arrogant, zombied, brain-dead] expressions. Every culture has its good points. For reasons too long to go into, Greek culture is one I adore. There are many aspects of British culture I like. Ditto Russian, Asian, Native American and Irish culture. Contemporary, commercial US culture, that which saturates the media and every aspect of our waking lives, has no tradition, no roots, no substance. It is manufactured, corrosive and has a dangerous agenda. As a parent, what can you do? Ban or sensor fast food, [c] rap, gum, violence, ‘celebrity’, vacant expressions and Hannah Montana? We all know this is the quickest route to turn kids on to it. How about embracing what’s good about all cultures? Multi-culturalism has become a cliché, a mantra. The best of it can inspire and educate, the worst of it, divide. You cannot escape the creeping paralysis induced by all this by switching off the television, or not reading papers. It is in your supermarket, in your trolley, on the street, in your kid’s heads, and on most people’s lips. I no more want a Billy Burger ‘joint’ at the Taj Mahal, the Parthenon, the Arc de Triomphe, Stonehenge or the Giant’s Causeway than I do the aspartame, MSG, fat, sugar and salt in our kids’ bodies. Or the images of ultra-violence, or lyrics of some phobic song in their heads. How is reality created in your child’s mind? I think you know. What will you do about it? Because they are worth it. Jack Stewart

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The first post

Hi! I was just thinking about our original book The Coaching Parent. I don’t really know what I expected in terms of where the book might be bought. What has astounded me is that sales have occurred in Sweden, Turkey, Germany, Japan (why not?) and North America. Guess it’s sort of reassuring that the work invested can be discovered! It’s all more important given the imminence of our follow-up work – almost gave the title away then, but then our publisher might kill me… David Miskimin

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