Focus on what you want

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Focus on what you want I was working with a 16 yo recently and he had been making major gains. He was a great kid and had lots of the stuff that would typically be attractive to others. Yet he found friendships difficult and often felt on the outer. He identified in our sessions that he was too easily disappointed …

Broken record when the conversation is broken

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Broken record when the conversation is broken. I have written previously about the importance of conversing as a way of understanding and being understood; it is a pre-requisite to repairing ruptures between people. As parents we often need to lead the way with, “I want to understand you”, and then offering your child, “Would you like to understand me?” These …

W.A.I.T.ing: in their own time

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

“W.A.I.T.ing”: In their own time I took my cautious 5 year-old son to a BMX track recently. He was keen to be there, but for the first few minutes he just stood and watched the other kids zipping around the track. I felt like calling out, “Go on mate”, but I kept my mouth shut. He then moved onto the …

Mind your language

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Mind Your Language The words we use are powerful, and can be helpful or unhelpful when thinking about the people you love and trying to create change. Is your child lazy, or are they struggling to initiate. Are they being fun, or are they being silly. Are they assertive, or are they opinionated. In the context of this newsletter, do …

Device use with teenagers

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Parents often ask me in therapy sessions my opinion regarding the time their teenager spends on electronic devices of all kinds. Device use is a very recent phenomenon in human history, and there is a relative lack of certainty about how to manage them and what the limits around them should be. How are you to measure whether your particular …

What we obtain too cheaply we esteem too lightly

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

“What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly” Thomas Paine (1737-1809)   Many children get lots of things without much effort. If you look through bedrooms or playrooms, you will probably find many items that have been not treated with respect. Children are often showered with gifts at birthdays, Christmas, and it is increasingly common for them to receive …

Bullying, Misunderstanding and Humbling

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

It is common in my practice when talking with a young person to hear that they have been bullied.  The experience of being bullied produces doubts about whether they are safe enough, good enough or whether they will get enough.  And the emotions produced include fear, anger and emptiness responses (reptile brain) as well as insecurity and demoralisation (stuck with …

Don’t gang up on your child

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Unity is important; “I” is ok, but “we” is stronger. Your love for your child is personal (“I love you”).  But when it comes to boundaries, “we” is a better option. Saying no to a child’s request usually leads to disappointment. The anger coming your way will tend to be less intense with, “Dad and I have talked and we …

Being evenhanded

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

The younger a child is, the more they tend to focus on only one part of a problem, and the more certain they are that they are right.  One of our roles as a parent is to gently but firmly help our kids be evenhanded and discover there are two sides to most things.  When they come home angry or …

Conversations with your child’s teacher

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Vanessa and I have just sent the manuscript for “The Good Enough Teacher” to our wonderful editor Miriam Cannell, so hopefully it will be coming out this year sometime.  Thanks to all who have given feedback on the initial drafts, or who attended the teacher seminars and gave feedback.  It didn’t happen over night…but it did happen. Communicating well with your child’s …