Summer days, school holidays and happy children

File:Felicidade A very happy boy.jpg

Summer is the ideal time to picnic with friends and let the children run free. Happy children are a joy to behold and bringing out the best in your children needn’t be hard work.

Allow your child to express their emotions, do not laugh, ridicule or humiliate them. Even if they are expressing emotions you find difficult to handle, do not withdraw or withhold your love. Ensure your child knows what you expect from him or her. Try not to send confusing and unclear messages. Remember, children are not mind readers. If you have a partner make sure that you are both singing from the same hymn sheet. Set clear rules and boundaries. We all like to know where we stand. Do not make idle threats. If you do impose sanctions, make sure you always carry them through, that way your child will know you mean business and they will learn to trust you.

Do not compete with your child or try to get one better over them. If you have broken up with the child’s other parent, do not say unkind, hurtful or critical things about them. No matter how unkind they may be, or how much you may be hurting. Fighting and point scoring can be a major source of anxiety to a child.

Sooner or later all children will express thoughts or emotions different from your own. Encourage them to be inquisitive and to explore new things and have experiences that you may never have experienced. This is how they learn. Your self esteem should not be linked to your child’s appearance, behaviour or how well they do academically. By all means, give praise for things well done, but do not punish or withhold love and approval if they do not do well.

When your children are misbehaving, remember they are not “bad” children. It is merely their behaviour that is “bad.” All behaviour means something. Step back and see if you can spot the meaning. Finally – Remember that children and adults have different needs and expectations. Children are not “mini grown-ups.” They want different things.

Until next time. Steve

You may wish to know that Steve is now offering therapy sessions via Skype Please contact us through our website @

Visit our facebook sites:

Twitter @cbt4you

Steve Clifford                                                                                                                           Senior Accredited Integrative Psychotherapist.                                                                       Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.