I just bought Happy Kids and it’s already starting to work. It’s even making us parents calmer.
After reading Daddy’s Little Princess I decided to try Mr Sleep Bear. Last night was the first night my daughter slept in her own bed since she was 9 months old! She’s now 3. Thank you on a personal level for that brilliant tip.
After reading Happy Kids, fingers crossed, things are going well and I’m standing my ground. Thank you for your help and advice.
I have just read your Happy Kids book. I think it is very helpful and pragmatic. I have been too much in the role of a friend, simply trying to ‘be myself’ with my teenage children. I am trying now to take a more parental role. My question is – how much talk and venting of anger should I allow after an incident?
CG: Teenagers, as I’m sure you know, can be very volatile at times. The brain is rewiring and doesn’t completely stabilize until the age of twenty five. They can be very angry one moment and very childlike and vulnerable the next. They will become used to your new boundaries quite quickly. Allow them time to flare up, but not rudely or aggressively, and then put the matter behind you. Remember to give them a big hug and a kiss too. As the parent it is better to remain calm as anger has a habit of escalating, and as the parent we are more responsible so should keep it in check. That’s not so say you can’t express your concerns, of course you should, but try not to get angry. I’m afraid a part of being a parent is being disliked by the children sometimes.
I got your book Happy Kids today and it’s great. I started tonight with bathing the babies at 7.30 and putting them both in the cots at 7.45. We sang a song, then I left them and went to sort the other there children who were messing around. The babies did cry and I went in and resettled them, stroked their heads, and came out. I did this about 8 times and they were asleep by 815.
Happy Mealtimes Is fantastic. I’m studying food and nutrition at university and believe mealtimes are so important. Before going into foster care I never sat at the table to eat a meal with my family, I’d be lucky to have meals. Mealtimes bring the family together. It can make people feel loved and conversations with people that actually care make you feel welcome. Not only is it also healthy to have mealtimes it’s a time you can relax. In my foster home I feel safe and always enjoy mealtimes. Thank you.
CG: Thank you, Daniella. You speak a lot of good sense.
Happy Kids is in depth, makes sense, and the strategies work! There seems to be a lot of psychology behind your methods, this seems to be why they work so well. Where did you learn it all!?
CG: I am pleased you are finding Happy Kids useful. My experience comes from twenty-five years of fostering, foster carer training, and a degree in Education and Psychology.
My husband & I adopted a boy who’s been with us for 9 years. Everything was great until a year ago when his behaviour became bad. Bad language, smashing up our home up, threatening to hurt us, cutting himself, terrible lies, and so on. We are now working with CAMHS. I’ve read all your books and you probably understand how we feel. Please keep us in your prayers.
CG: I am so sorry to hear of the problems you are going through, but pleased you are accessing help from CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service). I assume you are receiving family therapy in addition to your son receiving individually help. Although your son has been with you for most of his life he is on the brink of adolescence – a difficult time for a child anyway. This is the time when a child’s behaviour can change dramatically as the brain ‘rewires’ ready for adulthood, creating so many changes that we have difficulty recognizing the child as our own. For children who are adopted or fostered this can be an especially poignant time as they struggle for an identify and also question those around them. They challenge the boundaries so that the parent has to continually prove how much they love the child. However, his unacceptable behaviour has to be stopped whatever the reason. Can I suggest you read Happy Kids. It was written for parents and carers and contains lots of practical and useful strategies that do work. You don’t have to buy the book unless you want to as it can be borrowed from the library. Have a read and then email me again if you have any questions.
I purchased “Happy Kids”and this book consisted of some very helpful advice. I used the tips on my two younger children and they have worked, so many thanks. I then read “Happy Mealtimes”, again a book with some very useful tips and recipes.
I have a son with aspergers syndrome and ADHD. His school believes he chooses to be naughty and are no help, the medical people have said he is too young to label. But reading your books and using your techniques has really helped and encouraged me to keep going and trying and not to feel like a failure.
Hi Cathy, I need advice, badly. My husband and I received our first foster child 2 months ago, a 12 year old girl. Severely neglected. It’s like teaching a toddler how to take care of herself. Wiping, showering, hand washing, and of course the monthly issue, and the bodily fluids. She won’t eat anything other than meat and then she gorges on it. She can barely talk. So many details I could give you, but my biggest concern is my 13 year old daughter. She stares at her and follows her around. My daughter is hiding in her bedroom. I’m worried about how this is affecting her. I feel like a failure for wanting to give up after only 2 months.
At wits end in Ohio, USA
CG: Dear Karrie, if this is your first foster child then you have been thrown in at the deep end. I hope you are getting some good support. If not ask for it ASAP. This girl has a high level of needs due to severe neglect and she will be like a big toddler. She will need to go through the various developmental and learning stages before she can move on. Don’t struggle on alone, ask for support, therapeutic input and also some respite so that you and your daughter can spend time together. Obviously talk to your daughter and explain why the girl is like she is. Meet with her teachers and discuss strategies. The strategies in my books Happy Kids and Happy Mealtimes For Kids will help. However, progress may be slow to begin with: the longer the neglect, the longer it takes. Your own daughter’s wishes need to be taken into account and it may be that in the end, despite your best efforts, this girl’s needs are beyond what you can reasonably meet. Let me know how you get on.
Hi Cathy, I just wanted you to know that your book Happy Kids is amazing! There are definitely less tears and tantrums now :). My son is very challenging and at present your book has helped me and my husband loads!! I was also pleased to read about the different additives as my son has recently seen a dietician. So thank you for this wonderful book.
I have just finished reading your book Happy Kids. I am not a parent, but work in childcare. I love your 3R’s technique and will be implementing it in my room. When you study to teach they concentrate on the teaching/planning side. Even though I have learnt through experience it is great to learn more. Thank you.
Hi Cathy, I have just finished your book Happy kids and wanted to thank you. I am a mum of 3 and at times have been at my wits end. Since reading and implementing your strategies I have restored order and control once again. I feel for the first time that actually I can do this. I am a business woman running a small company from home employing 6 staff. I consider myself an intelligent woman but was failing my children miserably. I cannot change my past actions but I am sure of the future ahead. I feel a sense of empowerment I never had before. I can honestly say your book has changed my life as a mum. From the bottom of my heart I thank you.
My brother picks on me by calling me fat. I’m not fat at all. I told mum and she says he’s winding me up and does nothing about it.
CG: Dear Kellie-Anne, calling you names won’t mean much to your brother; it’s just a bit of teasing his sister, but I appreciate just how upsetting it must be for you. You need to approach your mum when she isn’t busy and tell her exactly what he is saying and why you are upset, so that she takes the matter seriously. You can also tell your brother that you find his comments upsetting as he is unlikely to be aware of the impact his words are having. Your mother may find reading my book Happy Kids useful, there is a lot of advice on siblings. Have that chat with your mum and let me know how you get on.
HI Cathy, I have a 16 year old granddaughter who I raised on and off since she was 2. My son and his girlfriend are alcoholics/drug addicts. In 7th grade she began acting out and I found out that her Mom’s boyfriend was molesting her. He went to jail. Her Mom introduced her to smoking cigarettes and pot, not sure what else, and piercings. She didn’t do well at school. She is presently living with the last people her mom lived with who have encouraged her to go to school. My husband and I would like our granddaughter to visit more often and be part of our lives. Her mother is not good for her. God Bless you and your family.
CG: Dear Lori, you have done so much for your family and appear to have received little in return. However, all those years of parenting your granddaughter will count for a lot. Believe me. She knows who was there for her. At present she has a lot to contend with and is having little contact with you. My advice would be to keep the lines of communication open but to give her the space she needs. Also a word of warning: don’t be tempted to point out her mother’s faults to her. Children are often fiercely loyal to their mothers regardless of what they have done. She is at a difficult age and appears to be doing okay at present. Knowing you are there will be a great security to her, although she may not say so.
We have an adopted boy who is 9 now, 4 when he joined us. My goodness what a battle it’s been. Family therapy helping now and reading your books about the children gives me such hope!
I have daughters aged 5 and 2. The eldest is always pestering me for food and drink, even if she’s just eaten. If I don’t watch her she takes bottles and food from my younger daughter. Her behaviour is wearing me down.
CG: Hi Carol, I can understand you are concerned about your 5 year old’s behaviour but please be reassured it is not unusual for a 5 year old to want to be a toddler again, which is what your daughter is trying to do. She will have started big school not long ago and as a big girl she no longer has a bottle. Children a lot older then 5 like to suck – hence thumb sucking etc. Also at her age she will be doing a lot of things for herself and while she likes this autonomy and independence she will also be harboring a feeling she would like to be two again and have all the attention that toddlers demand. I suggest you make light of her taking the bottle, let her have one suck if she wants, then say something like ‘I’m so glad you are a big girl now and can eat grown up food. That’s so much more interesting etc.’ Also make sure she is getting enough attention, and play a game with her in the hour after your toddler has gone to bed and before it is her bedtime. You may find reading my book Happy Kids helps, which contains lots of useful strategies for dealing with this type of behaviour.
Hi Cathy I just wanted to say thank you. I got your book and read it in a week. I have been using the techniques in the book and we haven’t had an incident since. It’s been wonderful. I really do appreciate it as she had been a nightmare to deal with for nearly 3 years. It was so distressing not knowing how to deal with it all but as I said she’s on the mend now. Thank
Dear Cathy, I had just placed an order for the Happy Kids book. I try to practice your style with the kids I look after in the Orphanage, and so far so good. The local bookshop here carries all your books. If they are out of stock, they order them from Kuala Lumpur.
Pause For Thought: Children must be taught how to think, not what to think. Margaret Mead