“Time Out” and “Time In”

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Someone recently asked me about “time out” and whether I thought it was useful.  Like many of my answers, it began with “It depends…” Time out is a particularly useful option if you or your child have fully flipped your lid.  If fear / anger have taken over, then the reptile / survival brain is running the show.  In that …

Punching bags

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

I had an interesting question from a parent about whether a punching bag was a good idea for his angry son.  His idea was that maybe a punching bag was a better idea than the plaster walls, his siblings or the computer. As most questions about responding to human behaviours begin… “It depends”. We know that exercise is good for …

Helping kids after traumas

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Cyclone Debbie was an unwanted visitor during our recent family holiday on Hamilton Island. Fortunately the hotel we were staying at was rated for a category 5 cyclone and well prepared with excellent staff, making the whole experience of lashing rain and 260km winds awe-inspiring, but not frightening. However when walking around the island and talking to people we met …

Blame and wait…the classic mistake

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

I was frustrated with a teenager this week. In the session all she seemed to do was complain about her parents, her friends, her teachers, her homework and her life. When I asked her what she was going to do about it, she threw back at me, “What can I do…it’s their problem!” Once I got over my frustration, I thought,”There …

What’s the point of talking

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Hi to all, I was talking with a patient this week who was fed up. “Why do you want to talk about crap from my past all the time. Can’t you just increase my meds and make me feel better!” In therapy we were gradually getting closer to some painful events. And he didn’t like it and just wanted his …

Choosing to play

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Hi to all, Welcome back to 2017 and my first post of the year. Towards the end of the holidays I was talking with my partner about spending time with our pre-schooler, and how surprisingly difficult it can be to find time to play with him. Focusing on play can be hard when there are so many others things on …

Merry Christmas

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Merry Christmas to all. This is my last post for 2016.  I hope over the last few months you have found these posts useful.  I have enjoyed the experience of putting my thoughts black and white, and  I also want to thank those who have given me feedback on those thoughts.  Everyone has been universally kind (and thankfully not worried …

Children and medication

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Hi to all.   One of my newsletter receivers wanted to know how to work out whether medication could or should be used in their young person. As you can imagine, this is a frequently asked and a very important question.   Being a child psychiatrist, one of the tools I can use to create change is medication. But… We …

Beautiful Vs Good

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Hi to all   When I have a new idea, I tend to play with it for a while. The families I work with don’t know it, but often they are the guinea pigs for these new ideas, and their feedback within the following sessions lets me know if it is going to be a useful idea or not. The …

Reflecting strong emotions: think V.O.5. shampoo

Andrew Wake Newsletter, Parenting

Hi to all, For those who have read the chapter or watched the video on reflecting, you will have heard how tricky it can be to be reflective.  When emotions are high it is so easy and so natural to react. I have always found a structure helps me to keep my mind clear and focussed, and I recently came …