Archive for March, 2013

Challenging Kids, Stuck Families, Difficult Cases: Creative Support for Child Quandaries

March 25th, 2013

ARE YOU A PARENT OR PROFESSIONAL?

Join the International Parents & Professionals Community (IPPC) monthly Support Call Tuesday, March 26th. Dr. Laura will be speaking on the topic “Challenging Kids, Stuck Families, Difficult Cases: Creative Support for Child Quandaries”

There are times when both parents and professionals are at a loss of what to do to help a child. Perhaps you’ve experienced this: a child that is withdrawing and you’re worried they are cutting, the kid who gets bullied and retreats into video games, the teen you tiptoe around because one word will set them off, the child who comes into your office and refuses to speak, or the child who has an explosive temper and nothing seems to help them when they are mad?

You may be worried about your child, a child in your classroom, or a family in your practice, and you are feeling totally at a loss on how to best help them. You may feel like things are stuck, getting worse, or you’re just out of ideas.

Even the most seasoned professional gets stuck, and even the most patient parent feels at a loss. We are just so human and sometimes when the problem is so close to us we can’t see the alternatives.

So the CQ decided to create a unique call to address these child quandaries.

On this call we will explore:

  • The reasons why children shutdown, act out, tantrum, and meltdown.
  • How to create support strategies and interventions that will engage challenging children
  • What are your stuck areas or hot buttons? How you can identify and transform these personal/professional triggers so you are more open and present with children during difficult experiences.
  • Creative tools and strategies influenced by art therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and positive psychology to help children self-regulate
  • Plus, attend this call live and share your child quandaries (as a parent or as professional) and receive support and feedback!

Don’t miss this unique call that will support you where you are feeling stuck and overwhelmed, with strategies specific to your situation, so you can help those kids so in need. This call alone could transform a child’s life! Click here to find out more


Clam Kids: 3 Creative Ways to Help Your Kids Calm Down

March 19th, 2013

Ever feel super overwhelmed and you just want to crawl into bed and hide under the covers and hope the house is still standing when you re-emerge from your hibernation?

Yes, there are better ways to deal with the chaos and get back into your calm. As a parent you’ve got skills. Yeah, skills!

You know it’s time to take a walk, skip the pile of laundry and zone out on Facebook, head over to Yogurtology, or close the bathroom door and channel your inner Calgon “take me away” moment. Sometimes you are faced with the yucko moments of crying kids, last minute projects, fighting siblings, and it seems impossible to find your “Happy Place”. You’ve still got skills. You know your triggers (and sometimes you even take a break before your buttons are pushed too far), you can say no thank you, you can ask for help, you can hide out in the bathroom until you’ve chilled out enough so that no one gets hurt. Yeah, you’ve got skills.

However, kids don’t come with pre-made skills.  They don’t know how to say something is bothering them, how to ask for what they need in a polite and calm way, how to say no thank you, how to identify their triggers, what they are feeling, or how to calm their system down…unless you teach them.

Want to help your child develop some skills?

Teach them put words to what they are feeling. When you help your child develop a feeling vocabulary they will be more likely to communicate with words instead of tantrums or meltdowns. Although this may seem like a basic preschool lesson, if you’ve got older kids you know they too need to re-learn this basic skill (and maybe your honey needs a refresher too)

Here are 3 creative ways to help your child to develop a feelings vocabulary so they can learn to self-calm:

  • Create a feelings matching game. Create index cards with images cut out from magazine, or hand drawn. Label the feelings and make two sets of matching cards. Mix the cards up and place them face down and try to match each pair.

 

  • Create a feelings game. Create a game like chutes and ladders (or any other type of board game). Add images or words identifying different situations and feelings. Make words or images on the “chutes” about poor choices and negative feelings, and the “ladders” positive choices and positive feelings. For example, add a ladder with words/ images “I helped my brother clean-up, I feel proud”

 

  • Create feelings photos. Take pictures of exaggerated expressions using a polaroid instant camera, or print out images and label them (this is also fun to do using instagram). You can velcro these on to a feelings board, add them to popsicle sticks, or make funny feelings puppets out of the faces. Then use these to help your child identify what they are feeling and disrupt the meltdown before it becomes full-blown.

If you need more support, please reach out and we can find the resources to help you.

In March you can receive individualized support in several ways:

*Join the LIVE Event: To Medicate or Not:What Choices Do I Have? Q& A with Heather Chauvin http://heatherchauvin2.eventbrite.ca

*or Join the IPPC Support Call Challenging Kids, Stuck Families, Difficult Cases: Creative Support for Child Quandaries  https://thecreativityqueen.com/ippc/


What happens when it’s not the fairytale you expected?

March 5th, 2013

I went to a conference last weekend and met a person who worked at Disney. She shared with me that Mickey Mouse’s character costume has been changed countless times because of children’s responses to Mickey. Interesting.
A clinician I worked with once shared that the most abused and projected upon toy in his child therapy office was Mickey Mouse. Hmmm.

It got me thinking about Mickey and what would cause such a stir. Mickey is a simple non-threatening kinda mouse, it seems like he’s friendly enough since he has friends, and even a girlfriend. Why would there be Mickey-haters or those scared of the Mouse?

My therapist colleague explained that many of the children who projected their anger onto Mickey were children who were robbed of their fairytale. They had experienced loss, abuse, sadness, anger, hurt, upheaval, bullying, let-downs. Their lives were not the way they were supposed to be, and they were mad/sad, and Mickey is an easy target for all those feelings.

I wonder how many children feel like they didn’t get a fairytale life. How many princesses have been let down to find that prince charming doesn’t make her whole, how many kids were out-casted to the role of Goofy, or that they never felt like they belonged and had to create their own internal magical kingdom build up with big walls and a moat for protection.

As adults we look to protect children, to shield them from the dragons (or at least minimize the impact). Yet, it’s in these moments of loss, change, struggle, when a child feels helpless and hopeless that everyone else got the pass to the fairytale and they didn’t, is when your presence matters the most.

Your Presence.

Not your words, not what you do to solve the problems, not how you try to help them fix it- but your presence.

Mickey Mouse doesn’t speak, he’s a witness to the tides of feelings that flow from children who cannot put into words the pain they are feeling. A witness who doesn’t ask the child to be different in the moment or try to fix, diminish, explain the child’s feelings away.

Art is a safe witness for many children a place where they can explore, express, escape. Just observe as a child picks up art materials and knows without guidance or direction how to express themselves. Then notice what happens as they get older, how their creativity gets squashed or marginalized and they start to express they are not good enough. Throughout their lives they are in need of a safe witness for their feelings.

How can you channel you inner Mickey Mouse and be a safe witness for your child?

If you need more support, please reach out and we can find the resources to help you.

In March you can receive individualized support in several ways:

*Join the LIVE Event: To Medicate or Not:What Choices Do I Have? Q& A with Heather Chauvin http://heatherchauvin2.eventbrite.ca

*or Join the IPPC Support Call Challenging Kids, Stuck Families, Difficult Cases: Creative Support for Child Quandaries  https://thecreativityqueen.com/ippc/