Toddle About Blog

Is your Child an Orchid or a Dandelion?

The Orchid and The DandelionHave you ever asked yourself why some children’s lives are filled with satisfaction and happiness whilst others experience frustration and despair? Or why some children succeed and others struggle?

Following twenty-five years of revolutionary research, Dr Tom Boyce, one of the world’s foremost doctors in paediatric health reveals in his new book that children are either orchids or they’re dandelions. Some children (like orchids) are more sensitive and susceptible to their surroundings, while others (like dandelions) are more likely to be hardy and resilient, able to thrive easily regardless of the conditions around them.

Dr Boyce suggests that by better understanding more sensitive children and the adults they become, parents have the potential to make a positive lasting difference on their lives.

If you are wondering whether your child might be an orchid, take a look at these statements to see which resonate: 

  1. Your child finds it difficult to handle simple critique and disapproval, but generally responds positively to gentle correction.
  2. Your child seems to think of unusual solutions to problems that their siblings or peers would probably not have devised.
  3. Your child can have a physical pain-like reaction to non-physical activity, such as social conflict resulting in stomach ache.
  4. Your child feels things very strongly and is quick to display emotion.
  5. Your child is affected by changes in the physical environment, e.g. lighting, sound, temperature.

Continue reading

Hide and Seek as Therapy

Hiding BoyBy Jeff Thomas – Registrar, Play Therapy UK

Children of all ages love to play hide-and-seek and it can play a very powerful role in their emotional development.

When parents play Peekaboo, this facilitates attunement and attachment – showing her baby, with a loving gaze, that she understands and meets their needs. When the mother disappears in the game, the infant may experience both anxiety and the pleasurable anticipation of reunion with her. This, in turn, increases the infant’s capacity to tolerate separation.

Interestingly, when children are referred for therapy, they often initiate hide-and-seek games over and over again.

As Hide-and-seek games consist of separating and reuniting, it is likely that the child’s attachment schema is triggered. The repetition of this game allows the opportunity for the connection and comfort of face-to-face relationships that they may have missed out on. For children who have experienced attachment difficulties, trauma, anxiety and loss, hide-and-seek games are extremely important. The children initiate this game so they will be found and thereby begin to heal wounds of feeling ‘left’, ‘abandoned’, ‘bad’ or ‘unimportant’. Continue reading

Does your child suffer from Bedwetting? Then you need to read this

World Bedwetting Day – 30 May, 2017. Time to Take Action

bedwettingday

The World Bedwetting Day Steering Committee (WBD-SC) has launched simplified practical guidelines to help healthcare professionals understand how best to treat bedwetting.

About Bedwetting

Bedwetting affects 1 in 15 seven year olds1

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is an uncontrollable leakage of urine while asleep[7]. In most cases it is caused by over-production of urine at night or reduced capacity of the bladder3. An inability to wake up can be another cause3. Bedwetting does not have a psychological cause3. Bedwetting is a common childhood medical condition, with approximately 5–10% of 7 year-olds regularly wetting their beds and the problem may persist into teenage and adulthood1. Continue reading

Doll’s House Therapy: A way to help heal Children’s Emotional and Psychological problems

By Play Therapy UK

Doll's House

By watching a child play with a doll’s house, a therapist can discover a lot about them as the child’s unconscious mind expresses itself through play.

How the classic doll’s house is being used in play therapy to help heal emotional and psychological problems in children.

The toolkit of a Play Therapist is made up of toys and a wide range of creative arts materials which allow children to play, create and express themselves in a way of their choosing. Play therapy utilises these props to heal children’s emotional, behavioural and other psychological problems.

The toys vary widely and represent different things such as real life, fantasy, scary scenarios or sensory exploration. Examples include puppets, figurines, animals, cars, swords, dolls, medical kits and more. They allow the children to explore all sorts of ideas and situations in a safe and supportive environment. Continue reading

Presence – The Key to Healing Children’s Emotional Problems

Play Therapy UK

The therapist’s role is to provide the best conditions for clients to be able to heal themselves.

By Play Therapy UK

Parents can learn from Play Therapists.
At the very heart of Play Therapists’ work is the belief that our clients have a natural biological tendency towards healing, health and well-being – not just physically but psychologically as well.  The power to change resides within the child and is not mainly a result of direction, advice or information that a practitioner or parent might have to offer. The therapist’s, role is to provide the best conditions for clients to be able to heal themselves.  Parents can do this as well.

Most important of all is to establish an empathetic therapeutic relationship between client and therapist.  Although parents should not be therapists to their own children they can apply some of their principles.

Play Therapists trained to Play Therapy UK standards use Axline’s principles of non-directive play therapy, where the child chooses what they want to play with.  The therapist then communicates with the child using the ‘medium’ such as drawing, sand tray worlds, clay, music, puppets etc. Continue reading

The Road to Resilience: How to Help your Child Develop their Inner Strength

Life can be challenging for Children as well as Adults

What can you do as a parent to build resilience in your child?

By Nicola Masters – Head of Early Years & KS1 at Akeley Wood Junior School and Nursery

Do you ever just wish you could press pause on your hectic lifestyle?  I’ve learnt over the years as a working mum, it’s OK to admit that life can sometimes be stressful and challenging.  But have you ever considered that children can feel equally overwhelmed by different life experiences, such as sudden changes or their action-packed schedules?

We are all born with a capacity for resilience, but research shows that if we really want to become happy, healthy and successful human beings, resilience is something we need to instil in our children early on.

So what can you do as a parent to build resilience in your child?

One of the most important things you can do is help your child to develop secure bonds with adults, providing them with positive role models in their life.  You should also provide opportunities for your children to regularly learn new skills and, more importantly, take risks! Continue reading

Children’s Emotional and Behaviour Problems: How can you help?

Play Therapy UK finds the best therapy to help your needs

Younger children often cannot or do not want to talk about their problems so therapies that use play and the creative arts are more suitable for them.

By Play Therapy UK

The problems that affect children’s emotional well-being are many and varied. Over 60 have been identified with autistic spectrum and ADHD at the top of the list. Sometimes it is not obvious – a child may become shy because of lack of self-esteem or quiet and withdrawn because of traumatic experiences.

You are not alone as a parent if your child has one of these issues. 10% of UK children have a mental health problem and another 10% are estimated to have an emotional or behaviour problem that prevents them reaching their full potential. Continue reading

5 Essential Top Tips for Taking Your Toddler Swimming for the First Time

By Ali Beckman, Technical Director and Head Teacher at Puddle Ducks

Toddler Swimming - copyright Puddle Ducks

When your child can swim, there are so many benefits, from safety and confidence to simply having more fun on holiday!

There are so many reasons to take the plunge with your toddler and start swimming with them; water confidence, respect for water and essential water safety skills are the obvious ones. However, so many other aspects of life are improved by teaching your toddler to swim; family holidays are more enjoyable, you and your toddler will meet people and make friends plus there are physical and mental benefits to swimming.

Whilst there are many things to consider when you go swimming for the first time, don’t be put off by the logistics – it will be worth it!  Be prepared and don’t try to do any other activity that day. 15-30 minutes in the pool will be enough for their first time – you know your toddler best!

Here are my 5 essential top tips Continue reading

How you can have a calm and enjoyable birth experience with HypnoBirthing

hypnobirthing-pic-web

For the uninitiated, HypnoBirthing often conjures up images of swinging watches and hypnotic trances, but nothing could be further from the truth.

By Helen Discombe, Born Smiling.

When Fearne Cotton gave birth to her daughter, Honey, in September last year, she described it as “the most intense and euphoric experience ever”. She went on to say, “My first birth was a different story so I’ve experienced varying sides of birth and glad for both. Although all we want is a healthy baby I think we should remember how amazing the female body is and the strength of a woman. Obviously there is no right or wrong birth and they can be magical in many ways I just feel blessed to have had this experience thanks to hypnobirthing”. Continue reading

A Natural Education – How Forest Schools help children to develop

By Nicola Valentino, Akeley Wood School

Playing out until sundown in the fields and woods surrounding home is unlikely to be something that small akeley-2children get to enjoy too much in today’s fast paced, safety conscious society. Weekend clubs and events can take up such a large part of a small child’s diary that interacting with nature can sometimes fall to second place.

The introduction of a Forest School, a facility that sits on site at school, can help to bridge the gap by bringing outdoor learning, resilience and self-esteem development into the school day. Continue reading