Is it possible to have romance and kids?

Top 3 Tips For Getting And Keeping Relationship

I was chatting with the gorgeous Danny Smith online about relationships the other day, so we thought we’d talk about it on his drive time radio show on Radio Verulam.

Missed us?  You can listen in here (5.30-6pm).

Now I’ve talked about relationships LOADS at times on this blog.  But I was thinking, what are the Top 3 tips for finding and keeping a relationship?  Here is what I came up with:

 

1) Love Yourself And Be Clear On What You Deserve

Cake

Oh I know it’s cliched.  But you need to know why you are wonderful.  If you don’t, how will you make sure people treat you right?

There are lots of gorgeous cakes in the bakery – but why are you the perfect treat for your next partner?

I’d like you to write down a couple of sheets of A4 with SPECIFIC reasons why you are great.  Look at what you are like physically, socially, your family, your job, your financial situation, what you know about and your spiritual beliefs.  They are all a unique combination that makes you the ONLY you.

Look around you and realise that in the real world, it’s not so easy to find someone to settle down with sometimes.  Especially to find someone just like you.

I sat down with one of my very ‘hot’ (someone else’s words!) and very clever member of my team this afternoon.  She could only come up with a few reasons why she was wonderful.  It took me only a few minutes to write 4 times the number she had written, and I know that there are more.

You need to love yourself so much that you won’t compromise.  Be OK in your own company.  Be OK on your own.

Take care of yourself.  What would you like to improve, or learn, or spend time on?  Not so that you can get a partner, but so that you can feel even better about yourself.

Be clear on what you want or need from a partner.  I’m not talking about ridiculous long lists, I’m talking about the important things like: affection, security, fun, sense of humour, loyalty.  What do you deserve?  What will make you unhappy if you compromise on it?

 

2) Be Yourself

PhoneGame playing is ridiculous, it won’t get you anywhere.  So ignore the rules about how many days after seeing someone you can text etc!

However, being too available doesn’t make you appear valuable either.  So don’t chase people desperately and behave pathetically (your friends will be able to tell you if you are over doing it).  If you are looking for a long term relationship, behave like it; i.e. don’t give up the goods too soon (I know it’s 2014, but things don’t change that much!).  Keep your dignity and remember you are valuable; expect people to treat you as though you are.

Be careful of using persona’s to get someone – you won’t be able to keep up the charade, so there is no point.

Be careful of using persona’s to push people away – you might miss out on someone lovely because you are pretending to be cool!

Basically treat someone just as you would like to be treated; honestly, spontaneously, kindly, thoughtfully and caringly.  Don’t play power games or stalk them!

 

3) Behave As Though You Are Secure

Is it possible to have romance and kids?
A hug

We all get our anxious moments, or the moments when we want to panic and push people away.  But if you become more aware of your emotions, you can learn to control them and instead behave in a secure way.

Say how you feel and speak up before you get angry and throw a fit.  This stops you from being a high maintenance drama queen who threatens things in the heat of the moment.

Stand up for yourself and be clear on behaviour that is inappropriate.  If you keep quiet when someone does something you don’t like, it might be a one off.  But what if they take it as a sign that they can mistreat you?  If they are a decent human being they will be mortified that they hurt you.

I’ve recently read a book by Dr Amir Levine called ‘Attached’, which I really recommend.  It describes 3 relationship styles: Anxious (clingy, texts lots), Avoidant (mixed messages, pushes people away when they get close) and Secure (expects the best, and is happy expressing how they feel).  I really recommend anyone about to start a relationship reads it, so that they can recognise the different styles and anyone struggling a little in a relationship reads it for tips on how to deal with different styles!

I wrote some tips on this post on how to express ourselves more clearly, and explain our feelings rather than cause a full blown argument.  I also wrote my top 10 favourite books for when we are overwhelmed or stressed, which might help you to become more secure.

 

So what do you think to my tips?  I ignored the obvious one ‘wear deodorant’!  But I assumed that you guys probably knew that?

 

 

Some Pictures To Inspire You To Remember To Ask For Help

I realised something last week, which is that sometimes we actually have to bite the bullet and ask for help.  This might seem obvious for some people, but it’s been quite a new concept for me; so, I’ve spent the last 10 days very sick and finding all sorts of different ways of asking for help, and do you know what, it’s not so bad.  so I thought I’d post some pictures to inspire you to ask for help too.

If you feel guilty about asking for help, look at it from your family and the people you ask’s point of view.  Your family just want you happy and being yourself.  The people you ask will either earn money, or feel that they are worth something, because they have been asked.

When the in laws came to help out, it was brilliant for their bond with the kids.  My 4yr old son and his granddad really bonded, with his granddad appearing to come alive and become really fun.  Meanwhile, my baby girl was very comfy and secure on her grandma’s shoulder.  Grandparents are important to children, and it’s even more important that they themselves understand this, because it gives them a reason to be.  It might have been tiring for them, but having a ‘reason to be’, keeps us going, gives us purpose, and boosts our health.  They probably hadn’t realised until now how important they still are to the growing family.  Memories were created over the last couple of weeks, that will stay with my kids forever, thats a great thing and worth getting sick for.

So if it’s a family problem hows about asking a friend/ neighbour/ relative?  Is there someone you have helped in the past, who is really keen to get the opportunity to help back?  Is there an online forum or community that can give you some info?  There are many specialists out there on the net, who are happy to give quick and free help.  You can pay for help or for people training up e.g. there are Au Pairs, Au Pair Plus (older, more experienced, do more cleaning), Mothers Helps, Nannies, Child Minders, Day Nurseries, Cleaners, Dog Walkers.  There are even alternative and medical options, just to help you get through the day.

For instance, I’ve been complaining that I couldn’t find anyone to help out with the last couple of hours of the day (see previous post about feeling guilty about asking for help), but I wasn’t actually asking, because I hadn’t actually put an advert anywhere.  It seems I was weirdly expecting them to appear, just because I had thought about it, doh!  Now I’m inundated with options.

When the inlaws left, we asked a girl called Victoria to come and help us tidy the house.  She’d interviewed for the job as a part-time mothers help, which we sadly probably can’t give her, but she did get a generous bonus for coming at short notice.  Even better was that when my baby girl cried, she took one look at me (looking very lumpy and sick), and took her off me, popping her on her back: a truly amazing and lovely girl!  Look at this picture of Willow happily asleep, just gorgeous.

I’ve asked for advice on facebook and got over 40 comments, some incredibly comprehensive and time consuming for the people who filled them in.  Now people love to give advice, but they often give it inappropriately, especially in my business, as us healer/coach/therapist types tend to get very enthusiastic and want to share all our knowledge with the whole world.  But this was definitely a chance for extremely well received and appreciated information.

Asking for help has shown me how lucky I am, in my friends, family, resources, connections; just everywhere.  There are downsides or costs to everything, but if you think it through beforehand, you can manage them all.  You won’t always get the response that you hoped for, so do try asking without expecting the ‘ideal’ response, and remember that you can always ask again or ask someone else.  If I hadn’t have asked for help, I would definitely be sicker, and possibly in hospital as the only real fix has been lieing down.  Now the cost of a showing a bit of vulnerability, paying some money, and learning how to ask for the simplest things to be done for me, has paid off.

So don’t feel guilty about asking for help.  Think about the people you ask and your family will gain from it.  As they say ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’; so this isn’t rocket science, but I thought I would share anyway!

(p.s. remember to say ‘thank you’ though, and look for times to reciprocate in the future, otherwise, you might not get such helpful responses another time).

Re-igniting Sexual Desire

I read a couple of heart-rending mummy blogs recently, where two Mums were asking for advice about their lack of sex life and wondering how come their partners appeared not to be interested.  They were distressed because society gives off the impression that men only think about sex, so now they are wondering why their partner’s are not thinking about sex with them.  I also read a fascinating article in the Daily Mail by a sex therapist, which offered some really simple start off advice, like just trying to hold hands and spend time together for a bit <click here for more>.  Of course there are also many Mums out there who have totally lost interest in having sex themselves, either due to giving birth, or the stress of general family life.

Now, this is just a quick blog with some ideas to help out.  I probably won’t be able to cover the whole subject in one go, especially as I have a 2 week old baby sitting next to me, who is bound to wake up very soon!  So bear with me, and if I haven’t covered a particular scenario, just pop a comment at the bottom and I’ll cover it next time ;o)

Step 1 – What’s your priority on what to fix?

One of the blogs was from a lovely Mum, who has two little girls, and has been looking at loads of ‘problems’ like her weight, getting her inner sparkle back, going back to work, and of course her sex life.  Having thought about her situation and how my clients like to tackle things, my advice is to remember that sometimes we can only sort out one problem at a time.  It was a very wise actress/writer client of mine who one day halted my enthusiasm for her coming on another workshop of mine, by saying ‘give me a chance Lisa, I’m just sorting out this other area of life at the moment’!  She was sooooo right.  I might have workshops and services for any problem, but that to attempt to fix everything in a couple of months would be very disorientating for my clients.

So I also advise people generally to take their ‘fixing’ gently and just focus on one or two areas at a time.  Little steps, will still get you there.

So list all the ‘problems’ you have, and then prioritise them; not in the order that you ‘should’ tackle them, but into the order of the amount of ‘brain noise’ they create for you.  Also, look at the potential dangers from them not being fixed in the next 2 months, and then reconsider the order.  For instance, if you are looking at going back to work now, then tackle that one first.  But if there is a chance that your relationship is about to break up any minute, then put work on the back burner and tackle the sex issue.

Step 2 – Is the issue the lack of sex, or something else creating stress?

Now, from Step 1 you have a list of problems or issues.  Have a look at them.  Is it possible that one of them is the actual cause of the stress and lack of intimacy between the two of you?  In which case, tackle that first and you might well ‘kill two birds with one stone’!

For instance, are you lacking in confidence due to your body image?  Hows about going out and finding yourself a FUN exercise class.  (Combining fun and exercise is much more effective, than just exercise).  For instance, I recommend belly dancing, pole dancing, any kind of general dancing, walking with other mums.  Do you need a hair cut?  Do you remember to cleanse & moisturise your face every day?  Do your clothes make you feel rubbish?  Do you drink water every day?

Is it your husband worrying about his body image?  Then hows about getting him into a hobby that will just take up a couple of hours a week, and help him to feel more masculine?  My husband needs some time to himself every week, otherwise he will feel suffocated.  Bike riding works for him.  Others might like martial arts, or to go to the gym or to play football with some mates.

Is your balance of work/life/rest/play out of whack?  That is, do you have any rest or play, not do you have as much time resting and playing?  If you don’t get 1hr for a bath a week, then of course you aren’t going to feel relaxed enough for sex.  Do you have any fun?  We are not talking about quantity, but quality?  Does your partner have any fun during the week?

Whatever you think the problem is, create an action plan for tackling it, and put a time scale to it.  Now double the time scale to make sure it is achievable!  Then it’s time to start, and each week have a look back and adjust your action plans if things change.

Step 3 – Make Time

Take your time, and make time is another good hint.  Little things like saying ‘thank you’ or ‘you look great today’ or giving them a kiss goodnight can help.  With the stress of the family, do you forget to look at each other in the eye when you talk to each other, because you are barking orders, whilst keeping an eye on the kids (don’t feel guilty, we’ve all done it!).

Is there a chance you could go out for dinner and just talk; don’t put pressure on to have sex, you are just aiming to chat and reconnect with each other.  If not, hows about lunch?  If not, hows about a take away and a bottle of wine?  I know you are tired, but will 1hr really make a difference?  Hows about getting a film and sitting on the sofa together holding hands, with some pop corn?

Step 4- Finances

FINANCES arrgghh, they are so often the cause behind lack of intimacy.  The reason is because it creates stress, but also, it they are used as secret power weapons in the relationship.  Now, I’m going to give you a big secret weapon in another blog, but there is some preparatory work for that, so if it is money that is causing your problem, then make sure that you have signed up for my free newsletter (don’t worry, I don’t send out lots of spam) and read the ebooks on values and finances, and listen to the audios.

Step 5 – Be Caring

This also needs a much bigger blog, and again if you really want to know how to switch on your partner’s buttons, then you totally need to understand how they tick and how you can press their buttons.  But first, you need to get my introduction to values, which arrives free when you join my email list.

Here’s a couple of things to think about – being caring is not about doing things for people, it is about doing things that they like!  BOTH women and men are easily turned on by appealing to their values, it’s a mental thing for both of them, not just men, and it’s a piece of cake if you know them well.  But we don’t know our partner’s very well, we often just make huge assumptions (again, this is just the way that we are, so no criticism is meant).

Right, got to go, little pink is waking up.  Feel free to ask questions for more information, but please don’t leave comments about what is missing from the blog, because there is bound to be stuff missing as it isn’t a book ;o)

Coming soon:

  • The secret weapon to stopping money getting in the way of sex
  • What ‘creates’ sexual desire – it’s not what you think.
  • How to tackle more indepth sexual issues

Never Say Never – Just In Case

So last night twitterville took off whilst watching Cutting Edge’s program on 8yr old girls going to boarding school.  Now I admit that I’m way too hormonal (No2 is more than imminent, she’s literally seconds away!), so I only managed 5 minutes and had to turn off.  But I chatted to a couple of Mums and thought it through a little afterwards, and regained a more balanced perspective, because there are Pro’s and Con’s to all options.

For one thing ‘Never say never‘;  It does tend to come back to haunt you!

I remember saying that I thought it was pointless to pay for Primary School education, when there was perfectly good state education available, and that I would ‘never’ pay for a 4yr old to go to school!  Ahem – oops!  So what am I about to do, oh yes, you know it, I’m totally about to send my 4-5yr old to a private primary.  Now thats a whole other story, as the the whys and wherefores, which I’m not getting into now.  However, it’s a good example of this very old and wise saying.  Whilst searching through all the local private schools, many of which are part boarding, one headmaster waxed lyrical about their very flexible boarding system.  He looked at all our rather naive and horrified faces, and rather wisely said ‘I know at this moment it is the furthest thing from your mind, however, in another 4yrs time that very well might change!’.  Then in the process of chatting to a mum on twitter last night, I remember actually requesting to become a boarder as a child.  Now I was older than eight, so it would obviously have been less difficult for me.  But still, looking back I can see that if my parents had gone ahead with it, I would have been gained a more stable environment, with much less heavy responsibility.  I wouldn’t change my childhood now for all the tea in china, but I can see how a ‘strong’ parent would make a difficult decision and sacrifice what they might prefer for the sake of a child’s stability and education.  It gave me an interesting and different perspective; after all, we all do things that make our children cry, because we know we have to in order to protect them from something else.  There are those of us who refuse to ever hurt or challenge our children, but does that work?  Nope, it creates spoilt, over-protected monsters, who are dependant and incapable of coping on their own.  So I go back to my rather repetitive advice of balancing support and challenge to your child.  If you find that you do end up boarding your child, then rather than panic with guilt, instead look for proactive ways of ensuring that you are creating a balance elsewhere.

These last couple of weeks have been full of husbands in the media having affairs as well, it’s been quite bizarre how many have been found out: From Tiger Woods, to John Terry, to most shockingly Vernon Kay (sorry mate, skype and texts do count), and potentially Ewan Mcgregor.  Of course, loads of husbands have been saying ‘I would never do that’.  But I warn them to think again (plus read all my blogs about affairs), because if you are naive about the potential for temptation and the predatory nature of some ‘other women’, then you are not going to be prepared for trouble.  There is no doubt that this is what happened to Vernon, who probably trusted himself as much as Tess did, and then when he got into trouble, it just spiralled out of control, partially I suspect because he couldn’t work out how come he had ended up there.

I remember warning one wife, that if she didn’t get her head around her husbands infidelities totally, then within a couple of years, she would find out how come it happens.  Have you ever noticed that?  You find yourself thinking ‘I would never do that, how on earth did they get themselves into such a situation’, to find yourself there within a few short blinks of an eye.  It can be anything from affairs, to drinking/eating unhealthily, to making ridiculous business/financial decisions, to picking the wrong relationships.

This is because of a very ironic rule of life that I was taught by my mentor, which is short and not very poetic, but the ramifications are huge when you really think about it: ‘Whatever you condemn, you breed, attract or become‘.  What it means is that judge someone or something, and you will either end up doing exactly the same thing yourself, or a close person in your life will do it, or your children will.  It’s as though life is trying to teach us the other side of the story, and because we weren’t open to learn about it ourselves, it provides us with the opportunity of experience instead. I’m not even suggesting that this is a ‘punishment’ or ‘karma’ gig; just that it is purely about seeing both sides of the story and gaining more understanding for life.

The other thing about ‘never say never’, is that however shocking it seems, we all have our price.  The price might be massive, and often not financial, but instead an alternative type of price that matches our value systems (our values are what we really love about life); but there will be a price.  Here’s me pregnant with No2, talking about not being available for work for a long time after she is born, and thinking about ways of making sure that she gets as much time with me as No1 did.  But then the phone rings, and someone offers me something that would absolutely catapult my blog, my book, my business, my mission, everything, and so yes, I am totally considering it and looking for ways to achieve it and balance out the potential ramifications.

If there is no price that can push us, there can be pressures.  Many people are terribly shocked the first time that someone who is close to them succumbs to depression, or a break down, or any kind of mental illness.  They wonder how on earth someone could let things get so bad that they would prefer to commit suicide (often considered a ‘selfish’ act).  But I can totally understand how suddenly it can feel as though your life has fallen apart, and your head becomes so full of noise that you can’t think straight.  I can’t imagine how parents can go one step further, either from anger or desperation, to take the lives of their children, but I suspect that it is similar, just magnified.  So next time you hear of someone struggling with mental illness, remember that the official statistics are that 1 in 4 of us will experience some kind of mental illness during our lives.  So rather than judge, you might want to think ‘there but for the grace of God go I’.

So remember, be careful when you find yourself say ‘I’d never do that’, because it might just come back to bite you in the butt!

Swap Guilt/Pain From Affairs For A Bright Future

Blimey, what’s going on with the celebrities this month, we have Tiger Woods and his addictions, John Terry and the girls desperate to become WAGs, and now Vernon Kay with his daft texts.  I feel for anyone who discovers that their partner has been unfaithful in any manner, but I particularly feel for these women, as the whole drama will get played out infront of the media.  It must be much harder in some ways, because they also have to face the most massive public humiliation.  The only upside is that so many of their compatriots will be able to help out, whereas in a more ‘normal’ life these things are often kept secret.  So as BabyNo2 is still preferring the warmth of my tummy, rather than the snow outside, I’ve written this blog, for those women who find it when they are in pain, to show them that there is a chance of a pain free future.

Lets play the ‘Society Says’ game …

  • Society says that affairs are wrong.
  • Society says that the ‘adulterer’ should feel guilty.
  • Society says and the poor ‘victim’ left behind will feel devastated.
  • Society says that ‘other person’ was a predatory horrible person.
  • Society says that if you stay together the relationship will never be the same again.
  • Society says that if you don’t, all your future relationships will be tainted by the pain of the past.
  • Society says that the guilt and bad start means that if the affair continues, it will eventually dissolve disastrously.

Are you planning on playing a life like the game ‘Simon says’ from our childhood?  Do you know how much conditioning of how we are meant to feel affects us?  Hows about ignoring what everyone else says, and instead look for the potential that could come out from the events of your past?  Someone once told me ‘Out of great destruction, comes great creation‘, maybe that would be a more useful mantra?

Now don’t get me wrong; I am not belittling the pain of feeling like your life is falling apart, or the shock of discovering that your partner is not who you thought they were.  There is the feeling of being a total fool, either because you didn’t guess, or because you did, but were willing to be persuaded you were wrong.  There are so many painful thoughts that go through the heads of the people involved, that I couldn’t possibly do them justice here.  However, I don’t need to, because the market is jam packed with books and material about ‘victims’, ‘surviving affairs’, and pain, pain, pain, pain.

My plan is add to the less frequent voice of people suggesting that there can be opportunity, miracle, transformation and an extremely bright future once the storm has passed.  The reason that I go for this camp, is because what I care about is that everyone involved in the affair is able to have a life full of potential, where they can see the opportunities ahead of them.  There are the couples who could remain together, and go on to have a relationship which is stronger and more fabulous than before.  There are the couples who could split up and go on to have the most incredibly relationship of their lives.  There is the opportunity to mentor to our kids that they will survive even the toughest of challenges, so that there is no need to fear pain in the future.  There is the shift in the people involved reminding them of their potential to create outside of the relationship as well.  All of these opportunities will be stifled by fear and guilt.

I’m suggesting that this is possible, not just because it sounds like a ‘nice’ idea, but having had 10yrs of training, loads of clients, and my own experiences.  Some people are able to achieve this all on their own, which is a truly brave and courageous feat.  However, because of the heavy pressure of ‘society says’, many will need some assistance, and it might take some time.  But, that time will be little in comparison to the amount of potential years ahead, so I thoroughly encourage you to be open to the fact that maybe it won’t do us any good to berate the ‘guilty’ or sympathise with the ‘victim’.  I’ve used those terms in my previous posts I admit, so that I could win over your trust and hope that you would continue to listen to me when I got a little more controversial.

Now how I help people through this process is a little complicated to discuss in a post, but I’m going to give you a little insight into some of the steps involved.

  1. It’s important to be sure about why we feel guilty or are upset.  People assume that everyone who experiences the same problem feel the same, but actually we don’t.  If we dig deeper, we’ll find out that we have a very specific description of how we feel about it.  (This is not about the story, but about the character traits or description of the actions of the parties involved).
  2. The other thing that blanks us is to imagine that we ‘would never’ or ‘have never’ done the same thing and that the ‘guilty’ party is totally guilty.  What helps is to see that no one is ‘totally’ a particular characteristic in every area of life, and neither are we quite as perfect and untainted as we might imagine!  Some people call this ‘reflection’; it is the theory that the reason one thing upsets person A, but not person B is because person A is reminded of themselves and by something they have done somewhere in their life.
  3. The next most vital steps in the process are looking for those ‘opportunities’ that I mentioned before.  These are the ‘silver linings’ behind the clouds, and the reasons why we didn’t just gain from the experience, but when we look at reality, we actually don’t want to change the way it worked out.  (Now, don’t throw things at me and say ‘how could you say that’; just imagine how it could feel if I proved it to you!).

Now, I don’t really think that you need loads more complicated detail about the steps involved, but if you would really like to know a load more about the methods I use, then there is much more in depth information on my ‘Dance of Life‘ website and blogs, which are all purely focussed on the Demartini Method.  I can also recommend a book called ‘The Heart of Love’ by Dr John F Demartini.  I also recommend that you read the rest of my blogs under the category of affairs; there will be more to come too!

For the rest of you, I hope that I have opened you up your eyes to the potential of hope and an extremely bright future. You don’t have to fear it happening to you, because if you believe I might be talking sense, you know you will be OK.   For those who have experienced an affair; It’s Ok to be a miserable mess or still held back from either guilt or pain, but if at some point you would like to have a future free of the past, I’m here to tell you that it is possible.

What's The Motivation Behind The 'Other Woman/Man'?

So why do people go for someone who is already ‘taken’ when there are so many single people available?

Well, I’m going to explain some of the most obvious reasons, but basically the motivation for anyone’s behaviour is their value set (the hierarchy of what they love to get from life and do in life).  So the ‘unfaithful’ person will get involved because it appears that the new person matches their values more than the old one, and the ‘other person’ will get involved because it basically works for them.  If you would like to know more about working out your own value set, or that of the people around you, I give a free introductory ebook and audio when people join my email list for my newsletter.

The problem is that society puts such a lot of charge onto affairs, that people look for HUGE reasons why they happen, and often there is no obvious answer or problem to explain it, so it can be confusing (see my other blogs). Also, people are so sure that it is ‘bad’ to be the ‘other woman/man’, that they don’t look deeply into how come often very ‘nice’ people can get themselves into a difficult situation.  Mind you, there are also the less ‘nice’ reasons for it too ;o)

Infatuation: What Is It?

The reason why ‘nice’ people get all twiddled up in an affair is purely because they become so infatuated that they are totally controlled by their passion.  Ironically, I could ‘cure’ them of this within a few hours given a chance, because all I need to do is take off their rose tinted glasses (and I have the cruel tools to be able to do so!).  They will only see the fabulous things about this new person in their life, and will completely ignore the things that the partner sees; like snoring, farting, looking rubbish in the morning, being grumpy, being lazy, or being high maintenance (the list is endless, because we all have less attractive sides to us!).  Then they will be totally convinced that this person is bringing something to their life that they have either never experienced elsewhere or could never experience elsewhere.  So it is just a matter of showing them that they already have everything that they think they are missing, they are just not appreciating where it is.  I bet the partner would love to be sexy too, given the chance, or spend loads of time at the gym and become gorgeous.  Given a bit of caring attention, the current partner would probably be up for being less grumpy and more fun to live with as well (or whatever the complaint is about something being missing)!  Plus, there is always a hidden cost to the infatuation.  For some it is the loss of pension or half their savings.  For others it would be the loss of regular contact with their children, or losing friends or the disappointment of relatives.  It’s always there!

Addiction

With Tiger Woods in the media at the moment, the subject of ‘addiction’ also comes up.  Now this is a more complicated subject that I will blog about at another point.  But it’s like the most extreme infatuation that you can imagine to either the romance of new relationships, or the lust of sexual desire.  It is totally fixable, but it would take more than a couple of hours, and would be more in depth than what I described for the general infatuation cycle.

Being Invincible

There are a few people (either the partner or the other person), who just generally believe that they will get away with anything, can charm anyone, and either won’t get caught or will always be able to get out of a situation or problem.  It’s a type of narcicism/big ego syndrome, which many famous people probably suffer from (aka a few footballers), plus a few of those people often termed ‘lovable rogues’ or ‘charming’.  If this is the problem that the unfaithful partner faces, then without help, they are unlikely to change their behaviour, and they are unlikely to ask for help, because they don’t see what is wrong with what they are doing.  Unfortunately, they need to learn from their mistakes by paying a big price, i.e. seeing one of their values hit big time.

The people who therefore have affairs with these types, are probably either easily led or easily charmed.  When in a good mood, a narcisist will make you feel a hundred dollars.  Just remember, that if they can do that, they can also do the opposite and make you feel like you are bankrupt!

They Have Already Proved They Can Commit

If the ‘other woman or man’ would like to be in a relationship, they can be pretty sure that it is also in the values of the person that they have the affair with, as they have already proved their ability to be in a relationship!  (The logic of wanting a relationship with someone who has the ability to be unfaithful as well, doesn’t tend to figure!).  Society gets very shocked when a woman gets involved with a married man with children.  However, he has already proved that he would like to commit, and procreate, so he is a good bet, especially if it is possible he could afford the maintenance and a new wife!  These people will be able to ‘sniff’ out someone who likes being in a relationship, but is currently dissatisfied with their partner, and offer themselves as a much more attractive option.

I’ve noticed similar behaviour in my coaching/therapy business!  I often assist my mentor at large events that have a couple of hundred people attending, including my own clients.  What is interesting is that sometimes I have noticed my compatriots shamelessly targeting my clients, rather than ‘fresh blood’.  It might seem unprofessional, however, you can see the logic to it, because they have already proved that they are willing to spend money to change their lives, so they are a good bet!

Outright Ambition

The previous option of finding someone who has already shown they can commit, can become a conscious and very ambitious, purposeful strategy.  These people are competitive, will have a strategy, and will make it very difficult for the committed person to resist them.  They don’t just target footballers and golfers either!  Basically, they will target anyone who could give them the lifestyle they are after, plus still afford to pay off the first partner.  In a previous post I suggested that sometimes we need to watch over our partners and almost ‘protect’ them from impossible temptations.  Lets put it another way;  If it is possible that you could be competing with people like this, then make sure you are not holding yourself back, because they will make sure that your partner knows they will do anything to get them, so are you showing that you are willing to do anything to keep them?  (I’m not suggesting you do anything that would belittle yourself, or that you don’t want to do.  But there is always a compromise, you just need to really know them well and what their values are, so that you can tick enough boxes!).

I know that you will think that this is outrageous behaviour on their part, but think about it this way; Hundreds of years ago, these people would have made fabulous adventurers, providers, hunters and protectors.  I suppose that they are frustrated predators.

Not Looking For Something Serious

Then of course there are people whose values mean that they would currently prefer to not be in a relationship that is heavy or heading towards marriage.  If someone is already in a relationship, then they make the perfect option.  It’s all about fun, and none of the boring suburban stuff.  They are obviously very attractive to the person in the relationship, because they appear to be offering ‘no strings’, and appear strong because they are not ‘needy’!  These people are unlikely to want to get found out or caught, unless they also have a high value on danger.  Sometimes, it might be because they are just trying on the concept of a long term relationship for size, so this is their half-way house enroute to finding their own partner.

Sometimes the unfaithful partner gets attracted into relationships like this because they can’t manage to see their partner as both a sexual being and a long term partner.  There are some cultures around the world, where it is deemed perfectly reasonable for a husband to have a wife and a mistress, as long as they behave respectfully.  It would be possible in this situation to help both parties to get over any ‘issues’ they have and combine the roles together.

A Word of Warning/Comfort

If your relationship fell apart due to an affair, be assured that ‘what comes around, goes around’, which is how come so few relationships survive when they start off with unfaithfulness.  Even if it doesn’t hit their relationship, it will hit them somewhere important in their lives.

If you were party to splitting up a relationship, then you might want to consider getting some assistance to work through the guilt of it, and the fear of it happening to you.  Because it is that guilt or fear that will attract the same situation back into your life.  This is not due to a judgmental ‘karma’, it is just so that you get to understand what it feels like on both sides of the story.

Are There Ways To Tell If They Will Be Unfaithful Again?

So the media will be keeping a beady eye on Tiger Woods and John Terry from now on, but if you don’t have that option, then what guarantees do you have that your partner will not be unfaithful again?

Sorry – How Much Does That Mean?

There is no doubt that the ‘injured’ party will need to hear the word ‘sorry’ from their partner, along with huge piles of remorse and possibly some explanations.  Some people find going to counselling is helpful, because it gives an opportunity to get all the anger out in a ‘safe’ scenario, with a mediator.  I must admit this is not my favourite method of dealing with problems, but for some people it would definitely be a good starting point.  (At some stage though, it is likely to be necessary to go for something more practical or involved, like relationship coaching, or the methods that I am trained in: The Demartini Method).

However, ‘Sorry’ doesn’t mean ‘I won’t do it again’.  Being willing to say it, and to listen to the hurt of their partner, definitely is a step in the right direction.  But it mainly means ‘I’m making an initial effort’ or ‘Sorry I got caught’ or ‘I’m feeling really guilty’.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

It’s great if your unfaithful partner is saying all the right things, but more important that they are backing it up with actions.  For instance, being willing to listen to your hurts (not for 20yrs, but for a reasonable while).  Potentially cutting off all contact with the ‘other person’.  Maybe even going as far as changing mobile numbers, and blocking people from their email accounts.  They might need to invest time in some relationship coaching or counselling, to show how important a change is to them.

Be warned, that many people would love to be totally faithful, and definitely mean it when they say that they will be.  BUT, they may not know themselves very well, or have realistic expectations of themselves.  So they are not purposely misleading you, they are just falling foul of romantic conceptions of what they are capable of.  Hence, the importance of them managing to show with their actions, over a prolonged period of time, that there is a change in their psyche.  (Mind you there are some people who are very manipulative and will be purposely misleading you, but I’m assuming that you’ll know if you have one of those!).

Collapse of Infatuation

Many of us have never been taught how to tackle the ‘grass is greener’ temptation, or how to reduce an infatuation (I will blog about this when I get a chance) and give it a breath of reality.  Hence, we actually have to experience the infatuation, and then get threatened with the loss of what we weren’t appreciating, in order to regain our perspective.  you might think that this is very ‘stupid’, however, it is the way that many of us work.

So, are there obvious signs that your partner’s infatuation with being with someone else has been well and truly broken?  Can you now see that they had problems with taking responsibility for their lives and the bits that they didn’t like about it?  This often translates to thinking that it is the partner’s fault that they are in a job that they don’t like, or having to do boring jobs around the house.  Basically, they will blame everyone else and feel victimised for their ‘tough’ lives!  So have they gotten over it?  Do they now appreciate their lives more, and realise that no one else is making them do anything?

A Willingness To Wait For Trust To Be Rebuilt

The person who was unfaithful needs to have a reality check about how long it will take for their partner to rebuild their trust levels, plus the price that they will probably have to pay.  There will be instances when their partner will become insecure and need additional support.  Plus there maybe times when the infidelity will be thrown into their faces in arguments.  I recommend that their partner attempts to get assistance to work through their issues, so that this doesn’t go on for the rest of their lives, however it would be unreasonable to expect it to never happen.

However, there is another side to the story of trust.  We may trust our partners implicitly, but many of us have no idea of the amount of temptation out there, because it might just not be in our value or belief systems to consider getting involved in a relationship with someone else’s partner.  You don’t have to be Tiger Woods or John Terry to be attractive to another woman.  I’m going to write another blog as soon as I get a chance on the different reasons why the ‘other woman’ gets involved, but in the meantime, here is a little reality check; trusting your partner is fine and it avoids suffocating them.  However there is a fine line between ‘trusting’ and ‘taking for granted’.  Plus there is a fine line between reasonable and unreasonable expectations.  For example, put me in a room of chocolate for a day and you won’t be able to trust me not to eat some.  I’d probably be able to last 30 minutes, but not much longer!  I’m one of those people who need serious closeness with someone before I can get jiggy, so I’d be very trustworthy on a night out alone.  However, goodness knows what I would do if Hugh Jackman told me I was sexy and started stalking me!  Maybe it’s just a typical Leo’s reaction to protecting her family, but I wouldn’t be putting my husband into temptations way purposely.

How Long Can You Wait?

There is also another perspective.  How long can you wait, until they become trustworthy, and what kind of trustworthy are you looking for?  Have you got to know them so well, that you know that in their current job or at their current age, they are very unlikely to be able to resist temptation?  However, you know that you can trust them to love you, and wish to remain with you forever?  If you can manage to separate out the two sides to your partner, and maintain your confidence levels, then possibly it is worth considering waiting.  A great example of this is Sharon Osbourne, who is obviously loved deeply by Ozzy, and he is now definitely faithful, but she did have to wait a while!  Potentially, depending on who you are, and what kind of life you would love to have, it might be worth playing the waiting game.  A controversial thought I know, but if you would love to stay and are sure that you can count on their commitment to you (if not sexual faithfulness), then don’t cut off your nose to spite your face just because society says you should.

Note: Affairs are obviously a controversial and painful subject and this is just a quick blog post.  I recommend that if you are interested, you take some time to read my other posts, and subscribe to this blog, so that you know when I have written more.

Why Do Affairs Hurt Some People More Than Others?

We all assume that affairs hurt everyone, in exactly the same way, but in fact they don’t and it is NOT because one person loved their partner more than the other person did.  I remember when I lived in Lincolnshire there was a sudden flurry of partner’s being discovered to be unfaithful, followed by divorces.  I watched as some of the wives were so heart broken that their lives fell apart, whereas others seemed to have an ability to quickly find a new rythmn for their life.

There are a couple of reasons why this is so, and therefore even if you find yourself in the extremely distressed camp, you can switch to the less painful camp.

1) A Balanced Mix Of Interests In Different Areas Of Life

You can split life into 7 areas:

  • Spiritual – having a sense of purpose, bigger reason to be, or religious views
  • Mental – continuing to learn new things however old you are
  • Vocational – job or clear role in life
  • Financial – understanding of our financial value, even if we are not bringing in money
  • Social – having a strong, wide, network of people in different groups/places
  • Familial – our family and relationships
  • Physical – health, taking care of ourselves, exercising, eating well

A person who focusses on just a one or two areas of life, like their family and their physical appearance, will be hit terribly hard by the discovery of what they see as ‘betrayal’ from their partner.  Whereas, someone who has lots of interests and a perception of a degree of ability of power in more areas, will be less harshly affected.  This is the difference from feeling like the rug has been pulled out from your whole life, and feeling as though there is still a strong future for yourself.

So if your rug has been pulled, then there is something that you can do; get out there and start doing something about the other areas of your life.  I promise you that you are a valuable and fabulous human being.  I know you don’t feel it right now, but the beginning step is to fake it until you make it.

2) Having A Strong Belief/Value That Gets Hit

If you have a strong romantic streak, and belief that there will be ‘one’ person for you, it will be tremendously hard to handle affairs.  It’s amazing how many people I’ve had to help because of the new ‘Twilight’ series of books.  I love them too, but there is a significant downside with the message of love for eternity and lack of focus on the downside on that kind of incredible infatuation.  Also, people who have a tremendously strong belief in the strength of vows for either religious or moral reasons, will be not only shocked, but also deeply mortified by their partner’s unfaithfulness.

Sadly a lack of reality check is one of the biggest causes of pain for people.  We focus on how life ‘should’ be, rather on how humans actually behave.  We ignore reality, and have unrealistic expectations for the people that we love, which means that they are bound to let us down.  For instance, put a toddler in a room full of chocolate, and there is no doubt that some will be able to resist because they have a stronger people pleasing and rule awareness.  But put my son in there and he will come out with a face covered in chocolate and a VERY long story about how his invisible friend forced him to eat the chocolate because otherwise the world would have blown up!

I totally get your love of fantasy or these beliefs, but they are causing you pain.  Let them go.  The real world, really isn’t that bad, at least you won’t get shocked or distressed by it.  (Check out my free ebook on Values, which you get if you sign up for my email newsletter).

3) Seeing the Silver Lining

The whole premise behind the methods that I’ve trained in for the past 10yrs is to empower people, not leave them as ‘victims’ of their past pain.  It’s fine to get to the point where you are just ‘over it’ or indifferent.  Some therapies can even get you to the point of ‘acceptance’ or ‘forgiveness’.  But I am ambitious!  I get people to the point where they are free of their past, and it doesn’t affect their future, apart from the fact that they would never want their past to be any different and they are totally grateful for it.  ‘How the hell do you do that’ you maybe asking?  Well, it’s not easy, obviously, but it is totally possible, and it is totally possible very quickly.  Jo Wood is a particularly good example of the first step, which is to look for the silver lining, which is always there.  She admits that she would never have left her husband Ronnie, but that her life has taken off incredibly since he left her.

So literally, it’s about looking at our lives and looking over a period of time for what we have gained, how we benefited, or how we have come out better for the experience.  By keeping stacking them up, over and over again, we will really start to appreciate our lives, get stronger, and have a future filled with potential.  When we are full of hurt and pain, we unfortunately ignore and miss the opportunities that life offers us.  Whereas when we can see that there is tonnes of stuff in our lives to be grateful for, we will be not be held back by our past, but will ready for the rest of our lives with vigour.

In Conclusion (for now!)

Affairs are a complicated subject obviously, so I’ll be blogging lots about them over a period of time.  I recommend you check out my other blogs under the category of relationships or with a tag of affair.

(Also, please note, that in most of the things that I blog about, I’m nearly always stressing how capable we are of sorting our own lives out.  But affairs are one of the things that are considered so socially unacceptable that it can be very difficult to cope alone, especially if the couple are attempting to remain together.  If you would like to know more about how I work, or people trained similarly to myself, then feel free to contact me directly, and check out my other blogs and websites).

The Power of Perception to Cloud Your Views

You walk into a room with a pile of people, and what do you see?  An opportunity to meet and get to know people, or almost instantly a judgement description on each person in the room and a worry about what they will think about you?

There’s no getting away from it, we will all judge everyone we meet immediately we meet them.  However, where we go from there is up to us.  Your perception creates your reality, which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with actuality.  What I mean is, what you think is going on, will affect how you behave and come across, so it will affect what happens, more than anything else.

We judge things according to our values (values are what we believe are important in our lives), and we all have a totally different set of values.  When we meet people who appear to match some of our values, we open up to them and feel all warm about them.  When we meet people who don’t match our values, then we tend to judge them as wrong and not be willing to get to know them or listen to what they may have to say.

The problem is that we let these perceptions rule our lives and affect our future.

Two people walk into a bank, which gets robbed and they both get shot in the arm.  One says ‘blimey that was lucky, we could have been shot somewhere much worse’.  The other one says ‘How unlucky are we, these things ALWAYS happen to me’.  Which are you?

Two people walk into a new group of women; a very intimidating experience!  One becomes painfully aware of what she doesn’t have and immediately assumes they wouldn’t be interested in her.  Eventually, her belief becomes reality.  Not because she wasn’t the same, but because she will have behaved in a way that is uncomfortable and unattractive to be around, especially if it is a habit of hers and she has that ‘chip on the shoulder’ kind of attitude.  The other woman takes some time to assess the situation and watches carefully.  Eventually, she will see that things are not always as they seem, and as she gains confidence, she will be able to connect to the group.

For example, is there a Mum in your school ground who appears to blank you and is a bit scary?  It’s quite possible, that she is actually very stressed, with a ‘difficult’ child that she can’t handle, and is therefore putting on a front in order to protect herself.  What about the gorgeous Mum, who is so well dressed and gorgeous that you think she wouldn’t be interested in you?  Well, actually, if she is totally confident in the way that she is, then she won’t worry about what you look like.  It’s only the Mums that are underneath worried that they don’t have the right clothes/shoes/sunglasses, that will judge you for also not having the right ones.

Let me give you a personal example.  I recently went back to the states to retake the advanced certification course in the Demartini Method (my background) as part of continuing professional development.  On the first day, I’m hormonal (pregnant) and jetlagged, and one of the first to be called upon to do a presentation to the group (no warning!).  I’d seen the woman before get pulled to pieces, and I was immediately nervous, plus I was a bit flummoxed by having to do something differently from the way I traditionally do it, and finally, I knew that my plans for my business might not be in my mentor’s (Dr John Demartini) ideal plans for me!  So I totally fluffed it, and ended up stamping my feet, crying and having a big argument with John.  Afterwards, I sat down and did some used my training to change my perception of him, me and the value that I had to give.  The next day I had my Senior certification interview with John, and passed with flying colours.  I had total clarity on what I was doing, why I was doing it, and why I was of value to his organisation.  Same person.  Just a different perception in my head.

Here’s another example that you will all have seen.  A woman starts to worry that her partner will leave her, because she isn’t good enough for him.  Despite his trying to show her that she is fab, she keeps on.  Eventually, she becomes such a pain in the neck, that he does leave.  It was nothing to do with the fact that she ‘wasn’t good enough’, but more because she became such a pain.  It was her lack of belief in herself that caused the problem, because that is what people pick up on.

When my son joined a new nursery a couple of months back, I was taken aback by the number of rather gorgeous Mums, with rather posh cars, and did feel a little nervous.  But, I realised that they didn’t know me at all, so they wouldn’t really know any particular reason why I wasn’t interesting to meet – I just had to pretend that I was interesting, that’s all ;o)  As time progressed, I realised that it wasn’t one big group of women, but there are about 4 groups.  Some Mums you never see, because they drop the children off early, so to meet them, I popped notes in their children’s bags to arrange play dates.  Some Mums were always late, and much less of the ‘yummy’ type, so to meet them I would pick a day where I didn’t have clients and make sure I hung around a little.  The other group of Mums were totally confident in how they looked, so they don’t mind about me not having the right sun glasses at all.  If I smiled at them and was friendly, they were totally friendly back.  Then the final group of Mums actually appeared less confident in themselves, so I looked for something that we would have in common and then started up a conversation when an opportunity arose.  I’m perfectly aware of the fact that in life only about 50% of people will like you, so I’m not attempting to be liked by everyone.  But heh, that leaves 50% to like me, not bad odds heh!

I know other Mums who have been faced with the same sort of situation, but because they believed that they didn’t have enough money and didn’t fit in, that’s basically what happened.  There might be a small number of mums who wouldn’t be interested for that reason.  But to generalise about a whole town or city, is just daft, it’s not possible for all of them to be only interested in rich friends.

I know several Mums who are from other countries e.g. America or Russia.  Some of them were always worried that they wouldn’t fit in, because they were not english.  They assumed that everyone already had friends, and no one would be interested in them.  The others realised that actually there are plenty of Mums who are a little isolated, and coming from a different country can actually make you interesting to be around.  The first set of Mums are lonely.  The second set of Mums have loads of friends.

What are you worrying about?  Is it affecting how you come across in that situation – work/home/socially?

Have a think about yourself.  Rather than thinking about what you don’t have, concentrate on what you do have?  For work, think about all your past jobs, projects, skills, qualifications, characteristics, and strengths.  Write a really detailed list, until you understand what you are good at and can value yourself more.  For home, think about everything that you do at home, and why you are fabulous to have around?  Socially, think about why people like being around you, is it because you are a good listener, or are you the life and soul of the party, what is it about you that people love?  I’m not suggesting you get big headed about yourself, because that can go the other way!  I’m just suggesting you learn to appreciate why you are wonderful and fantastic.

(Just adding a quick line to help me submit my blog to technorati JYY278WUKM2J)

Bullying Pt 13 – Ideas on Strategies To Employ

So, I realised that I have talked a lot about what creates the whole bullying situation and how it can be addressed at home.  But I haven’t gone into lots of detail about how to identify what kind of strategies to teach your kids.  I am assuming that you have at least read my two summaries on Bullying before reading this one, so I’m not going to duplicate the details in there.

Bullying : Summary of What to Do

Bullying: Summary of Concepts

 

That means, that by the point you are reading this blog, you have worked through:

Step 1 – Deal with your issues first

Step 2 – Stand back & objectively have a look at the Support/Challenge

Step 3 – What are they getting from it on both sides?

Step 4 – Devise a strategy

a) Where can you help to re-balance the support/challenge in your child’s life?

b) Help your child learn directly, what they have been learning indirectly.

c) Involve the school

d) Create a plan of action & monitor it

Help your child learn directly, what they have been learning indirectly.

So you know how I look at bullying from a different perspective and suggest that the bullied child is being given a hint about the fact that there is an area of their life that needs strengthening or something they need to learn?  What I’m going to talk about is how to identify what your child needs to learn and then how to implement it.

There are seven areas of life, which if translated into a child/teenager’s world would look like this:

1) Spiritual – Views about what life means, religion, spirituality, ideas about a bigger picture.  For children, this is likely to be noticeable to other children by obvious differences like clothing or food choice, possibly colour, although that will depend on where they live.  When they get older, it will become more obvious, especially when views get expressed and discussed.

2) Mental – When younger is likely to be mainly to do with language and how vocal kids are.  Then as they got older it will change more towards how clever they are at different subjects.

3) Vocational – Now obviously a toddler doesn’t really have a ‘job’, so think instead of their purpose in life, do they feel as though they have a value.  Job’s may kick in as they get older, either as a badge of honour (working in a pub!), or as an embarrassment because of not being available.  Plus the parent’s jobs will have an effect.

4) Financial – Again a toddler doesn’t really have their own dosh, and I suspect that only a teeny tiny percentage will actually notice clothes/cars etc, but they will quickly become aware of who has what toys.  As they get older, this becomes very important, to teens because of clothes, phones and gadgets!

5) Family – is their relationships at home and later as teens, their romantic relationships.

6) Social – is their general understanding of social etiquette, handling different male/female different situations and how confident or over-confident they are in a group situation.  This is incredibly important to all kids and teens in most cases, as often from a very young age, seeing their friends is a priority to them.

7) Physical – Finally, this is all about strength, looks, health, comparisons etc.

 

What happens in the case of a child being bullied, is that they are weak in one of these areas of life.  Ironically, being strong or weak in an area of life, is not actually anything to do with ‘reality’, but instead perception i.e. how we feel or view about ourselves.  A girl can be beautiful, but just not appreciate herself (or in the case of my school, vice versa!).  Someone can be fabulous at maths, but desperately unhappy because they are not so good at english.  Some could be terribly aware of their differences to the other children and others, just walk in totally unaware and oblivious.

I’m going to blog about perception in a different post (so I definitely recommend you checking that one out as well), but here we are going to focus on how to help your child become stronger.

Firstly, why would you bother?  After all, your child is really bright, why does it matter that they feel physically weak?  The reason is because you are looking (I assume!), to give your child a safe and bright future.  Have you ever wondered how come one person gets made redundant and their life falls apart, whereas someone else is hardly effected?  Same for divorce or relationship issues, and all sorts of problems?  One reason is because if someone has varied interests across all areas of life (I’m not talking about being a star in all of them, just that there is something going on in each area), then when a key area of life gets tackled by a trauma or tragedy, they have all the other areas to keep them going and give them a reason for being.  Whereas someone who only focusses on two areas, will be devastated if something goes wrong in one of those areas.

Now, there are hundreds of potential strategies, and I am not going to go into detail into each and everyone, because you and your family are unique.  But if you have been following all my other guides, you will be feeling pretty calm about the whole issue, so you will easily be able to find the strategy that will work for you.

The most important thing to NOT do, is tell them that the bully is bad, and that they are the victim of the whole scenario, because that will just weaken them even more.  Plus you don’t want to sit there and say ‘what did you do?’, as though it is their fault, as that won’t work either.

Let’s ignore ‘fault’ for a moment and instead come up with a strategy to make a difference:

Spiritual:

everyone needs to learn when to speak up about their views and when not too.  Young kids can be very self-righteous about beliefs, so it might be an idea to teach them discernment.  If they are being bullied due to religious issues etc, then have a look for children with families who would not behave in that manner, or maybe focus on teaching them a thicker skin, where it really doesn’t matter what some kids think.

Mental:

Where are they really brilliant?  Focus on that, I bet there is somewhere.  You may want to help them out with some additional assistance at home, or an extra class in something that would interest them (e.g. drama).

Financial:

It can undoubtedly be tough if a child feels inadequate because they don’t ‘have’ the same things that other kids have.  But stick with it and be certain.  Find them stories of famous people in the same situation, show them how it will benefit them in the long run.  There are literally hundreds of examples of situations where spoilt kids end up financially broke, because they never learn to handle money.

Vocational:

Where could they be given a sense of purpose and importance within the family?  Is there a little job that they could be doing in order to earn their pocket money or improve their financial status?

Familial:

Focus on why they are lucky to have the family structure that they have.  Does it mean that they get more quality time separately with each parent?  Does it mean the grand parents are more involved?  Look at the families that are so called ‘ideal’, I bet you that with a little close inspection, they are not ideal at all.  Help your child be sure of how lucky they are to have what they have.  With relationships, well that’s a whole kettle of trouble for them as they grow up, so lots of preparation with talking about relationships in the early years, will help you keep tabs on things as they age.

Social:

Use books, DVD’s, role playing, games, talking, or maybe extra-curricular classes to help your child gain confidence socially.  What is their value?  What is special about them?  Do they know how to handle social situations?  Social confidence will pretty much overcome any other problem that they face, because if they know that they have a value socially, then they know their purpose in their social group!  Remind them that it is an odd situation to have to get on with other kids purely because of their age; whereas when they go to work it will be more down to interest.

Physical:

If they are rubbish at sport as I was, try a broader perspective because now a days there are HUGE numbers of different activities available.  Remember, they maybe slow to learn, but given a chance, they can still learn to tackle something, somewhere.  There was a wonderful story on pride of britain this year, about a Mum who took her daughter to martial arts classes, after she was bullied at school due to her artificial legs; Fantastic approach!  I know a gorgeous girl with no hair, who is so strong and so confident, that having wigs has never appeared to cause her problems.  However impossible it appears, keep your eyes open for places that they can gain some confidence.  Remember, many people are amazingly attractive, even though their physical appearance is not gorgeous.  (Cases such as anorexia are obviously much more complicated, and when I get a chance, I’ll give some ideas for them as well).

So in summary, you are going to help your child empower and strengthen the area of life, that the bully has highlighted to you could do with some strengthening.  I’ve written 2 blogs on my own sons experiences so far, and will continue to do so as he grows and faces different types of bullying.