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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Eight common misconceptions about ADHD

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A parent whose child has ADHD knows in no uncertain terms that their child has ADHD. How can they not know? Poor concentration, extreme hyperactivity, and impulsivity says it all. Normal parenting techniques do not work with this child.

The nature of this neurological disorder can leave the ADHD child misunderstood as the naughty, defiant difficult child who deliberately behaves inappropriately. To the contrary, this is a child with a serious neurological condition. However, no matter how much you try to explain the condition to some people – they are instead, committed to misunderstanding ADHD, and opinions different from their own.

Stereotypes associated with the disorder still exist. From my understanding – it is always the people who have never experienced ADHD at its worst, who will most likely question the ADHD diagnosis.

Misconception number 1#

  • Children diagnosed with ADHD are defiant, head strong, and want to be naughty.

Before a diagnosis of ADHD is made, numerous reports are collated by the child’s class teachers, parent/ or parent’s. A Reports is developed over a period of six months.  This report discusses the child’s hyperactivity, impulsivity and ability to concentrate.

Misconception number 2#

  • ADHD children eat too much sugar:

ADHD is a neurological disorder characterised by the extremity of the behaviour. Silly behaviour exacerbated by sugar will ware off – returning the child without ADHD, to a normal state of mind. However, a child with a severe case of ADHD will be ridiculously hyperactive, too silly, too loud, too distracted, and completely inattentive all throughout the day, with or without sugar.

 Misconception number 3#

  • A Parent whose child has been diagnosed with ADHD doesn’t discipline their child:

Parents with ADHD will tell you that their child is the most disciplined child in the room. Disciplining an ADHD child too much will have the opposite effect, and will cause more trouble than it is worth.

Misconception number 4#

  • ADHD children are spoilt children who have no boundaries: 

There is absolutely no correlation between boundaries and concentration. The brain of an ADHD child is wired differently to that of a non- ADHD child.

ADHD children have lower levels of dopamine, which means they find mundane tasks boring. These children cannot get dressed, cannot tie up their shoe laces – and simply cannot finish a task without medication. Its too hard. Their brains need highly stimulating activities to function.

A Spoilt child may be a difficult child. However, regardless of being spoilt, their brain is designed for concentration and consistency. A spoilt child can make choices around their own behaviour. They can think before they act; which means fewer incidents of impulsivity. Entitlement is a personality trait, and has little do with the way a brain functions.

Misconception number 5# 

  • Medicating children leads to drug addiction:

If a child is not medicated in childhood, consequences can be dire. The result of not medicating your child may include drug addiction and time spent in gaol. Mental health disorders including conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, or oppositional defiance disorder may result.

Medicated children are not just given medication to stop ADHD symptoms. They are also encouraged to commit to a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program, which will show the child, while on medication, how to behave.

Misconception number 6#

  • Dysfunctional adults have ADHD children:

ADHD is hereditary. However, there are many dysfunctional adults  with fully functional children. There are also many ADHD adults who do have ADHD children. However, this does not mean that these adults are completely dysfunctional. Dysfunctional behaviour is often largely dependant on upbringing, values handed down, and support. Dysfunctional behaviour also depends on the severity of the ADHD, which can broken down into three types of ADHD.

Three types of ADHD:

Inattentive: An inability to concentrate

Hyperactive/ Impulsive: An extreme amount of energy, and an eagerness to act without thought.

Combined: All three of the above elements.

Misconception number 7#

  • A child with an ADHD diagnosis does not need to be medicated:

There is no evidence that food elimination diets actually work. However, evidence exists that medication improves focus and concentration.

Misconception number 8#

  • There is no proof that ADHD exists:

Numerous studies have been carried out on the ADHD brain. Significant studies suggest that the ADHD brain is smaller in size, has more grey matter around the cerebal cortex, and has smaller frontal lobes than a non- ADHD brain. Other studies show that the ADHD brain has lower levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.

Some organisations, doctors, and neuroscientists still argue that ADHD doesn’t exist. To these people, I guess it is a debatable issue. However, for a parent with a child with a serious strain of ADHD, there is no debate about it.

 

 

 

 

 

Ten common misconceptions about single mothers

Believe it or not, single mothers are quite often misunderstood, and judged for being the sole parents they have had no choice but to become. I would have thought we would be applauded instead.

I have had many a judgemental comment made about my apparent ‘choice‘ to go it alone. I have seen faces drop when people find out I am a single parent (especially from the older generation), comments whispered, and assumptions laid out before me. There is nothing nice about it. However, I know me, I know the debacle I was in – and I personally applaud the women all over the world who have the guts to say no to abuse, and to go it alone.

Common misconception number 1#

  • Kids need their dad’s.

What a thing to say to the single mother who just left the abusive husband/ father from hell.

Common misconception number 2#

  •  Single mothers have lots of sex with lots of different men.

Culturally, morally, religiously, and ethically we’re all different – just like married people.

Common misconception number 3#

  • We party when our children’s father has them for the weekend.

I am sure that some single mothers do like to let their hair down every now and again. Why shouldn’t they?

We have these children day in day out, night after night. We are the nurse, tutor, cook, councillor, driver, nurturer, and mother.

Once again, we’re all different. Some of us wine and dine, tour the art Galleries, theatres or the local cinema.

I personally couldn’t think of anything worse than going out to the pub to get hammered whenever the opportunity surfaces.

Common misconception number 4#

  • We left our husbands for no good reason.

Single motherhood is not a choice. I don’t know one single mother who took on board the sole parenting of her children for no reason. Seriously? Who wants to spend countless days, months and years alone, twiddling their thumbs, listening to the heightened pervasive sound of deafening inner thoughts, while their children are asleep?

A partner brings to a relationship a sense of comfort, someone to run your thoughts by, and support. I don’t know a single mother alive who would trade in a fantastic relationship to spend night after night alone, looking for things to do.

The choice, as you may call it, to become a single mother is one selfless decision, based on keeping our children safe from any further damage.

Common misconception number 5#

  • Boys need their fathers.

I have heard this statement many a time.

Do people honestly think that a single mother wants her son to grow up without his dad?

This is one narrow-minded comment.

Hello people. We are not in the 1950’s where women are obliged to stay with abusive men for the sake of our boys.

Why would we want our little boys around men who don’t respect them or us?

Common misconception number 6 #

  • Women can’t bring up boys on their own.

There are enough men in authoritarian positions who can teach our boys how to be men. Coaches, teachers, cousins, uncles, and grandfathers can all aid in making good men out of our boys.

Common misconception number 7#

  • Single mothers go from one relationship to the next.

Well, the next bloke better be fantastic.  That is all I have to say! Once bitten, twice shy.

Common misconception number 8#

  • We’re not fussy with who we have sex with.

Oh dear! It amazes me how judged and misunderstood we are. We are who we are – stemming from our values and belief systems on sex, and sexual relationships.

Common misconception number 9#

  • We keep having children in single parent circumstances just for the pension.

Really? Ummmm no. Most of us have to work to fund our expensive children, thank you very much.

Common misconception number 10#

  •  We spend the child support on ourselves.

This is a belief common to many father’s paying  child support.

Child support doesn’t even begin to cover the expenses. Calculate thoroughly before making this assumption please.

 

 

Moving forward after bullying

Moving forward after being bullied is extremely difficult. It will take persistence and determination to ride through the emotional pain.

Whoever came up with the phrase ‘sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me,’ has obviously never been bullied.

Bullying begins when the perpetrator intentionally creates a dominance bond with the victim. A cold demeanour from the bully, along with chronic harassment, will ultimately impact the victim’s self – esteem, and overall productivity. The bully’s critical view of the victim calls for the victim to reassess their value, and to question their self – worth.

For children being bullied, it often becomes a question of ‘what did I do to draw attention to myself? And what is wrong with me?’  rather than ‘What is wrong with the bully?’

The biggest breakthrough for children when having come into contact with a bully, is when they realise that the bully bullied them because the bully is a troubled child (”Healing the shame that binds you ). Up until the bullied child comes to this conclusion, recovery can be difficult, yet not impossible.

How can children recover from the effects of bullying?

  • Counselling
  • Changing schools
  • Accepting that the bully is troubled
  • Make like-minded friends within a group setting (groups of children often deter bullying)
  • Learn techniques which empower the child to continue on, standing tall
  • Find new ways to handle the bullying effectively
  • By talking about the bullying with understanding friends, family and the school councillor

 

Daily affirmations to attract your soulmate to you

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Positive affirmations can pave the way for positive experiences, little miracles, coincidences, and unexpected opportunities. After my first introduction to ‘the secret’ five years ago, I am now a full-time believer in positive thinking.

I recently went in search of ‘soulmate stories,’ about women who have gone on extraordinary inward journeys to find their soul mate.  Eventually, they have successfully found the person they believe was always the one for them.  These women now describe what they have with this person as feeling in sync, being in love, and feeling completely adored.

For so many years now I have closed my mind off to the idea of love. I have replaced positive thoughts about finding a decent guy with negative thoughts, which describe all men as heart – breakers, rock spiders and wolves.

I think about being alone, being lonely, and maybe never finding my soulmate. So, of course I’m not meeting anyone. A gigantic wall barricades my heart from the opposite sex. Anxiety and fear keeps me entirely out of the attraction zone, and away from what I desire the most – a soulmate.

Deep down, I know that if I practise these positive affirmations everyday, and actually believe them – I will find my soulmate, the one I was always meant to meet.

Just being grateful can lift you into a higher frequency. Just being happy about the wonderful life that you have been given can make your day brighter and more positive. Gratitude creates miracles, and has the power to make you a happier, more grateful you.

Break the walls down with positive affirmations

Once you begin to positively affirm that you will attract your soulmate, and you reaffirm it on a day to day basis; you will notice your heart slowly begin to open up to the prospect of love.

By making this practice a part of your daily routine, you will literally begin to pull down the walls around your heart. People are generally more open to dating, going out to parties, and participating in date nights or social occasions, once they learn how to design these situations to feature in their mind as positive experiences.

Twenty positive love affirmations

  1. I am currently attracting my soulmate.
  2. I believe in my ability to attract my soulmate.
  3. I have attracted the most loving person I could possibly attract.
  4. My heart is open to love.
  5. I will now attract the perfect partner into my life.
  6. I attract love in all that I do.
  7. I trust my head to lead me straight towards my soulmate.
  8. I draw love and romance into my life.
  9. My soulmate brings peace to my mind.
  10. My life is filled with passion and romance.
  11. My soulmate is magnetised to me, and finds me irresistable.
  12. I develop loving relationships easily.
  13. I open my heart, and have trust that true love will arrive.
  14. I attract the love that I desire.
  15. Love is all around me, everyday, in every way.
  16. My partner is my perfect match for me. Our love for one another is pure and eternal.
  17. My spirit is ready to meet my soulmate, and to find my perfect partner.
  18. I have made room in my life for my soulmate.
  19. The partner I am seeking out is also seeking me out.
  20. It is my destiny to be with my soulmate.

 

 

Single mothers: Have we failed? Or, have we conquered something amazing?

I am one of the many single mothers in this world that had a lapse in character judgement when choosing a father for my children. My childhood dream to marry a wonderful man, and raise our children together, didn’t go to plan.

Have I failed because I made a mistake? Or have I conquered something extraordinary?

Single mothers are often judged for leaving their children’s father to raise children on their own. For a lot of us, single mother hood was not  a choice – it was the only way out of a toxic situation. Eternal chaos is no way to bring up a child.

Gone are the days where an unmarried woman is completely shunned, and looked down upon for leaving a man who is detrimental to the mental health of herself, and her children.

Yet, unfortunately, single mothers are still judged. It was only two weeks ago that I heard a male make the comment that single mothers are easy women who only want sex.

Not only is this derogatory – but the statement implies that we are somehow lessor beings than married woman, and that we don’t value sexual intimacy, or ourselves for that matter.

Not only is this a disgusting observation, but it implies that married women are of a higher status than us, because they apparently chose the perfect father for their children. They have a family – where as we apparently only have half of a family, or a single parent family, which is somehow doomed.

We as single mothers have only done what many married women need to do – but are simply too afraid to do, for reasons of their own.

I have gone out into the world alone with my children.  I have sat in what would feel like a place of  never ending loneliness and despair. I I have been fearless, said ‘I don’t care’ to the stereotypes, and walked out. Why? So my children  wouldn’t have to endure a childhood of pure chaos and dysfunction, all because one parent refused to carry their fifty percent of the partnership.

‘We are fearless conquerers.’

Have we failed because we chose men incapable of love, incapable of fulfilling their role, and incapable of sustaining a partnership? No! Millions of married women all over the planet still reside in situations with men exactly like this.

We have succeeded! We have empowered women everywhere! We have done what many are afraid to do. We’ve made lemonade out lemons, and we’ve refused to tolerate bad behaviour.

We have left men who didn’t cut it- only to be stereotyped, judged and ridiculed for saving our children , and ourselves from a world of pain.

Single mothers that leave the family home, divide up the assets and put their children first over a relationship with a dysfunctional, problematic father figure, should be applauded. This is one selfless woman.

We haven’t failed! We have conquered something extraordinary. We have modelled to many a married woman that is too scared to leave, that it can be done. We have shown these women that single mothers can have wonderful fulfilling lives, without dysfunctional men.

We have chosen mental health over wealth!

We have left men who were unable to show our boys how to love, how to adore their future wives, and how to treat their sisters.

We have taught our little girls not to take any rubbish, and that women deserve the utmost respect.

Our children now know that it is ok to get it wrong, and to make a bad choice.  They also know that it is never ok to mistreat a woman, and it is never ok to settle for second best.

We have not adhered to prehistorical marriage values. We have said no to outdated beliefs, and dysfunctional marital situations. We have laid it all out on the pavement, and made it known to the world that we have been mistreated, and will not put up with it any longer.

We have changed history for our children

Of course we’re judged by men who don’t understand us. Of course we’re judged for being outspoken, and for refusing to hide the truth of what was once a destructive marriage.

Its unusual! Sixty years ago, holding dysfunctional men accountable for poor behaviour was unheard of. It was unacceptable to stand up for yourself, and to walk away from potentially damaging husbands.

We have empowered women all over the world! It is because of our courage that women everywhere are finally beginning to stand up for themselves.

Bullying: The people who turn a blind eye

 

Friends, siblings, co-workers, and other children who look the other way when their friend or loved one is persistently being bullied honestly need to re-evaluate their position and stance on bullying.

Why is it so common for people to stand by and watch while a victim is being bullied, instead of calling the perpetrator out on their behaviour?

The answer: The bystander most likely does not want to become the bully’s next victim.

The people who turn a blind eye to the bully’s bad behaviour are part of the bullying epidemic. Bystanders to bullying  are one of the major reasons why bullying has become such a big problem because they refuse to step in.

‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ Edmund Burke

Bystanders may feel as though the bullying of their best friend, beloved sibling, or co-worker has nothing to do with them, and is not their problem. However, the bystander officially became a problematic dynamic in the cycle of abuse, as well as an accomplice of sorts when they made the choice not to support the target in holding the bully accountable for their behaviour.

Standing by and watching the bully abuse their target only helps the bully, not the bullied.

As human beings, we’re all in this together – and our integrity lies with the bullied, not  the perpetrator.

If enough people asked the bully to stop, stood up for the bullied, and said no to the bullies unacceptable behaviour, the bully would need to stop. Their social life would depend on it.

There is nothing worse for a target of bullying than when a bystander can see that the bully is playing mind games, only for the bystander to enable the problem, rather than stand against the problem. Pretending that the bully is ok, that their behaviour is ok, and that the bystander is not at all phased by how the bully treats other people enables the bully, contributes to the abuse of the target, and perpetuates the problem.

The choice made by the bystander to look out for themselves instead of the bullied helps the oppressor, not the oppressed.  In these situations it becomes a case of the ’emperors new clothes.’ Everybody can see it, but refuses to bring to the surface the bully’s behaviour.

Some bystanders are simply too scared to speak up. Its not deliberate on their part. They most likely do have a lot of empathy for the bullied – however, they may just feel disempowered.

A lot of bystanders simply do not feel as though they should need to make a choice in regard to the bully or the bullied – and would like to remain neutral between bully and victim; even when they know that the bully’s behaviour is potentially destroying the victim’s mental health.

However, there are also bystanders who simply just don’t care about the impact the bully is having on the victim. Neither scenario is ok.

We need to stand together against bullying.

Bullying is a severe form of mental abuse that ruptures confidence, traumatises some people for life, ruins the childhoods of many, can cause severe mental health disorders such as PTSD, and in the worst case scenario bullying can end in the suicide of the target.

Both of you? Or just the bully?

Have you ever had a misinformed, or lazy parent (who won’t put your bullying sibling in their place) tell you after you’ve protested about the bully’s behaviour that it is apparently ‘both of you?’ This is one of the biggest cop-outs I’ve ever heard, and the words of an abuse apologist.

Does it really take two to tango?

The one phrase I cannot stand is ‘it takes two to tango.’ From what I’ve seen, a professional bully can tango on their own.

So, let me get this straight. Is the target supposed to stand there and let a bully treat them badly without standing up for themselves? If they retaliate because the bully won’t stop berating them, are they both doing the tango? Or, did the bully just drag them onto the dance floor?  Isn’t asking someone to stop bullying them, or trying to discuss the problem a human right?

When are people going to stop blaming both people, and start questioning the bully’s obsession with the tango?

If a bully is consistently consistent in goading their target until they snap, are both people fighting? Or, are they both doing the tango? (which, by the way is a dance about love, not hate) Or,  is the bully verging on psychopathy, and in desperate need of help?

Can you both stop fighting? 

Can we please start checking in on what is really going on between our own children, and the kids in the schoolyard? A bully at heart will push and push until a child snaps. This is not two children fighting. This is one difficult child doing whatever it takes to get a response from another child.

Children are human too! One child can only take so much.

Can we all please stop excusing and condoning bullying behaviour?Our children are in desperate need of our help to stop the enabling of the bullying epidemic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why does the school yard bully do what they do?

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The school yard bully is a mean, self – centred, insecure control freak who enjoys the thrill gained from bullying, intimidating, and having power over other children. They don’t just target the different child, the nerdy child, or the less confident child. Another common target is the child the bully is jealous of.

Less capable people bully, it is just how it goes…..

Simply put, the school yard bully is insecure, and has low self-esteem.

Who becomes targeted?

Anyone can fit the description of a perfect target. However, target’s are usually selected due to a particular vulnerability. The bully is on the hunt for vulnerable children lacking in sound emotional skills, confidence and assertiveness – children who are very quiet, and children or teenagers who identify as gay or lesbian.

Popular children aren’t safe from bullying either. If the bully becomes jealous of this child, watch out!

Factors which eliminate someone from the bullies list: 

  • Large groups of friends often deter bullies.
  • The more confident and assertive a child is, the less likely they will be bullied.

Why do they do it?

plain and simple! Bullies don’t like themselves. Why else would they do it? Happy people don’t go around bullying other people, or trying to control them. They don’t need to. They have a deep sense of security, and a place in the world. Children who feel loved have more friends than enemies.

The bully is one angry, unhappy person, who wants to drop their inner shame all over some one else. These children are seething. They can’t contain the pain anymore, so they go and dump it all over some other kid. What goes in must come out!

‘How dare you be a happy!  I’ll show you..’ 

The power of the bully

For the bully, bullying  is a sick, twisted, sadistic game of power and control. A game where they choose the rules, and the target endures.

‘I don’t like you, and you can’t do anything about it! Ha ha ha!’

What an unequal distribution of power this is, and sadism at it’s best. They’ve distributed all the power, and the target has none.

A bully is a puppeteer pulling all the strings, often turning other children against the target, making up lies to discredit them, and doing everything they can to make the target feel as incompetent and inferior as they feel.

Bullies withhold from their target what every child wants; love, attention, and the bullies approval. For the victim, its like being in a torture chamber!

Targets will do almost anything to make them stop! They may try to appease the bully, seek their approval, do lovely things for the bully. Yet, nothing works! Alternatively, the bully gleefully refuses to back down, and will most likely bully the target for years to come.

School playgrounds are like miniature war zones where nasty words are like tiny grenades being hurled left right and centre, in hope of piercing the soul.

Childhood bullies may never know how unlovable, and how defected they have made their target feel. Ultimately these children will most likely never know the nightmares had, the tears shed, and the anxiety experienced in fear of this perpetrator.

‘One thing I know to be true is that this is not about you! Its all about the bully!’ 

Bullies want their targets to think the issue had with them is in fact about them! Ultimately, the bully wants their target to feel inadequate, insignificant, unimportant and defected, because this is how they feel.

This is the only way a bully knows how to release their pain and suffering.

One thing every bully should know, is that they do not know who they are bullying! Full stop…..

Nice clothes, good grades, and a smiley face does not mean someone has a good life, and is free from emotional pain. Some nasty little person could be bullying the most mentally and physically abused person in the classroom, and may never know it.

For all they know, the victim has already been rejected a zillion times over, and may never get up again once this bully is done with them.

Kids are mean, its plain and simple. They say nasty things, don’t think before they speak, and generally, they lack understanding.

A child who bullies is quite simply unaware of the impact their behaviour is having on their target.

What the bullied must understand is that the bully is in pain. Somebody is bullying them (and its most likely a parent).  Evidence suggests that bullies are really quite broken, and may end up abusing drugs and alcohol.

Most likely, the school yard bully is dying inside, comes from the school of hard knocks, and can’t fathom that anyone would be stupid enough to take them seriously.  For them, the concept that their existence matters enough for their words, thoughts and opinions to actually affect another person, is hard to comprehend.

Not all children who bully others continue the behaviour into adulthood. A lot of adults deeply regret having ever bullied any of their peers that they once went to school with.

Yet, never the less, the cycle of passing the buck, or passing the pain, hurt, and suffering onwards, continues. What goes in must come out!