Archive for April, 2013

It’s Not Just For ‘Bad Parents!’

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Are you a manager or business owner in denial?

• Are you one of those managers or business owner who denies that your personal life is creating havoc for you?
• Do you deny the impact that your personal life’s challenges is having on your work and business environment?
• Do you take your personal situation out on your colleagues, staff and team members or associates?
• Have you become the office bully because you can’t see another way out?
• Do you find that the pretence of having a perfect home life is weighing you down?
• Is the façade or pretence distracting you from your business priorities and success?
• Are your business and working relationships starting to fall apart too?
• Do you recognise how much you are making your work colleagues lives life miserable by your actions or inactions?
• Are others walking on egg shells and tip toeing around you right now for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing that might upset you?

Most people seem to think that because I work with parents, it must mean that I work with ‘bad parents’ or ‘troubled families’ or ‘parents whose teenagers have gone wild’. The truth is I work with ALL PARENTS!

I had a client in the past who was a successful businessman and who had different challenges going on in his personal and business life. His personal challenge regarding his children caused him the greatest anguish and had been for a number of years. This situation had also spilled over into his workplace and clearly affected the working environment and the strain he endured was evident to his staff.

When we first worked together he shared both challenges and his natural reaction was to work on the working relationship situation challenging him at work. Once he had the clarity he needed regarding his work situation, he didn’t think for one minute (or he couldn’t bring himself to ask for help) that he could use the same coaching process to get clarity and solutions relating to his personal situation!

Thankfully, after our discussion he could see how my 3 Month Parent and Relationship Liberation Programme could help him.

Is this you too? Do you plod along with your head in the sand hoping that your personal situation will sort itself out? Or do you not allow yourself to recognise that you even have a personal challenge that needs attention?

I was speaking to a very good associate and contact of mine who is a business coach and he revealed that one of his main challenges with his clients is their personal life! Whilst he could only support them so much regarding their business challenges, goals and breakthroughs, he recognized that all of that work could be to no avail because their lives were having such a detrimental impact on their business life, to the extend where things could go ‘belly up’ but unfortunately his business owner clients do nothing about it. Is this you?

Do you know, we all have ‘stuff’ going on in our lives, no matter who we are or what we are? We wouldn’t be humans if we didn’t. What matters most is how we deal with the ‘stuff’ or challenges that we face on a regular basis.

Even the greatest of the greats and most successful people among us have personal challenges and ‘stuff’ going on! How they handle it is what matters most.

“The coaching helped me to focus on what I need to prioritise in my life and how to effectively achieve these changes. Jennifer challenged me and took me to the edge of my comfort zone at times which is exactly what I needed.”
Ali Murray, Ignition Training & Development

“I have made massive changes to my lifestyle already by making
a positive decision to move to Northern Ireland, actually taking steps to arrange accommodation, applying for employment and organising to rent my home out in Birmingham. This has all taken place within approximately 4 weeks. Jennifer made me sit up and do something positive about it, to actually improve my life for me and for once in my life to actually put
myself first. I am extremely grateful to Jennifer to give me the strength and courage to take these steps. Jennifer has helped me to turn my life around for the better.”
Jackie Scott

“It’s not just work-focused coaching that people need. They need a balance as other things affect people’s performance.”
David Battersby, Manager, Midland Heart

Children With School Refusal Behaviour

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

School refusal stems from emotional distress and anxiety which could be related to a range of issues either at home, school or both. A recent study reveals that 1 in 5 British children experience phobia or school refusal which has shown to be more prevalent in children’s age groups aged 5 – 6 and 10 – 11 years.

The research also revealed that many parents were not aware of the conditions and those who were aware of it, experienced a major lack of information.

School refusal does and can bring about a range of physical challenges and symptoms for the child or young person and these include:

– stomach aches

– vomiting

– headaches

– trembling

– joint pains

From a behavioural perspective, the symptoms show up as: tantrums, threats of self harm, crying or angry outbursts. These symptoms are likely to subside once the child feels safe and secure, generally in the home environment and/or once they’ve been allowed to stay at home.

School refusal may be triggered by a number of reasons, children of any age may be refusing to go to school for fear of losing their last remaining parent (or main care giver). Their parents may have separated or they might be a bereaved child and the fear of even more loss, keeps them at home and in a ‘protective role’ and with separation anxiety.

As well as anxiety, other stress related situations at home, school or with peers may also be a trigger for school refusal.

From an emotional perspective, symptoms of school refusal include panic attacks, fearfulness, depression and occurs with both genders.

One of my sons had a change of primary schools and the new primary school that he moved to was a trigger for his school refusal right from the first day of school.

He was evidently emotionally distressed by going to that school, was crying and wouldn’t get dressed in the mornings. He said that the school was too big, which I didn’t understand but his deep reaction and distress to attending that school was more than enough for me to take heed. Within a week he had moved yet again to another primary school and was evidently happier, brighter with smiles all round, which brought about the swift end to his short-lived school refusal.

School refusal and a range of other behaviours from children and young people is merely a form of communication that something is not right. This calls for school staff and parents to look more closely at what is not being said. What is their behaviour telling you?

There is always a reason for children’s behaviour and it is invaluable piece of communication for adults.

How Can You Help Children With School Refusal Behaviour?

Doctors, Parents, Educators, and other professionals can all assist in supporting a child or young person back to school, individually or as a team.

Some ways of helping include:


  1. Identify whether the behaviour relates to school refusal for reasons such as those above or whether it relates to truancy. The distinction between the two generally lies on the child’s focus and/or interest in their school work once their anxiety or fear of school attendance and other related symptoms have subsided. That is, how do they behave once they feel safe and secure at home? Do they focus on their school work or is there a total dis-interest and general negative attitude towards school? Another distinction is the extent of their emotional distress relating to attending school versus being indifferent about school attendance.
  2. Explore best possible options of moving the child towards re-entering the school environment as quickly as possible, yet in a supportive manner. This could include making changes, where possible, to conditions at home which might be triggering the school refusal and engendering collaborative approach between parents, doctor, school and mental health professional/therapist. As some of the presenting symptoms are physical, it is important to involve physicians who may also be able to make referrals to relevant therapists.
  3. Research has shown cognitive behaviour therapy to be particularly beneficial and successful in helping pupils to manage their mindsets, depression and returning to school.
  4. Parental involvement to improve school attendance has also shown to be helpful.
  5. Undertake proper preparation at school for the pupil to be re-integrated and positively supported back into the normal school environment
  6. Foster on-going parent-school communication, collaboration and joint support of the child.
  7. Planned, gradual, assisted exposure to the school environment
  8. Relaxation remedies including visualisation.
  9. Positive reinforcements relating to school environment and attendance.


Do you have pupils who refuse to attend school?

Which of the above strategies would work for them?

Which strategies have you yet to try or test out?

Send us your examples of school refusal and how you dealt with it to:
Find out how our courses can assist you in getting a better understanding of children and young people’s behaviour here: