Articles

Here are a few articles that may be of interest to you!
  • 29 Nov 2015 8:00 PM | Susan Howson (Administrator)

    A powerful, positive tool that supports social and emotional intelligence in mindfulness, a word that is gaining recognition in classrooms and homes for a good reason.  Research on social and emotional intelligence has shown that students that are more self aware, are more self motivated and successful in school.  

    Mindfulness is the moment by moment awareness of our internal state and external environment.  Picture if you will, a classroom where teachers their students listen to them or a CD that encourages them to lay on their backs with their arms on their sides and become aware of their breathing.  They are lead through a series of breathing exercises that helps them calm down and stay focussed.  How does this relate to research and social and emotional intelligence?  It has been shown that the neural circuity that allows us to pay attention, calm ourselves and be aware of other’s feelings all takes shape in the first two decades of life.  And the stress that kids experience often interferes with the healthy development this circuitry.  The symptoms of unmanaged stress in students are often mistaken as unacceptable behaviour that needs to be stopped.  What mindfulness does is help build resilience and self knowledge of what is going on inside through exercises like the one above.  Teaching kids tools to support their social and emotional intelligence helps to counteract the negative forces in their lives, helping them to become more successful in school and life.  These tools are a major component in what is taught in the award winning Kids Coaching Connection program.  This program is a fully approved program with the International Coach Federation. 

    If you are interested in more information on the Kids Coaching Connection program or if you have a question please email me at susan@magnificentcreations.com.

  • 29 Nov 2015 7:57 PM | Susan Howson (Administrator)

    If we are to create real peace in the world...we must begin with the children

    M. Ghandi

    I have had several questions about how life coaching supports kids, families and schools.  Although the practice of personal and professional coaching is a fairly new entity in the world, it is one that is being embraced at warp speed.  This is because the results that are being found both personally and professionally for individuals, families, schools and organizations are very positive.  

    Research has shown that the present generation of kids worldwide is demonstrating more emotional needs than the last.  Educational and recreational programs and families are recognizing that kids are more angry and unruly, more lonely and depressed, more impulsive and aggressive, more stressed and nervous.   And this has an impact in how they do in school and the relationships they have at home.  A powerful, positive strategy to support kids and youth and creates a positive learning culture in the schools and home is life coaching.  

    A survey by the International Coaching Federation reports that people who have a coach show greater success at setting and achieving goals, increased self-awareness, and lowered stress levels.  Increased self-awareness often results from examining one’s emotions, behaviors, values and life purpose.  This self-awareness helps when making decisions and when having to take action.  Self-awareness is one of the foundational requirements of emotional intelligence and is a strong component in academic success.  In the current reality of educational and familial change, if coaching is so powerful for the adult population, imagine what it could be like for kids.  Research shows that the most influential learning experiences for teachers derives from ongoing and job-embedded support from a coach who understands the unique challenges educators face every day as well as specific coaching training for teachers. There is a significant positive impact on a school’s culture and effectiveness when schools and teachers apply coaching strategies.  Other positive outcomes of coaching with kids and youth include increased self control, increased self confidence, increased empathy and increased interpersonal skills. And when parents apply coaching skills at home, the consistency between home and school supports deeper and more effective relationships. 

    Kids Coaching Connection is a Coaching program developed to help adults help kids and youth become more prepared for life.  The focus is on helping to develop the whole kid, recognizing that all aspects of his/her life affect a kid’s being.  We have a new vision for working with kids and youth that brings together the mind and the heart for in doing so we provide kids and youth with the values and virtues that will guide them to becoming more productive and fulfilled adults.  Our vision to change the world with kids!  We encourage you to join our movement.  Learn how to engage with kids and youth at a deeper, more meaningful level by taking the Kids Coaching Connection program. 

    If you have any questions or would like to register for the program, please contact me at susan@magnificentcreations.com.

  • 29 Nov 2015 7:54 PM | Susan Howson (Administrator)

    Most people understand the importance of daily physical exercise to their health.  A fabulous book by Thomas Ratey talks about how exercise has a “profound impact on cognitive abilities”.  He goes even further by stating that exercise “is simply one of the best treatments we have for most psychiatric problems” because exercise boosts levels of serotonin and norepinephrine.  And if we could get more kids off medication and exercising what a blessing that would be.  

    Whether you are a parent or a teacher, encouraging and participating in getting the kids in your life to be active will support them in having a healthy mind and healthy body.  So if exercise boosts cognitive abilities, an important component of success in school and life, how do we get kids out of the house and active outside?  As adults, we are a role model for our kids, whether at home or at school.  Research has shown that both kids and adults are feeling more stress in their lives, have become less physically active and more overweight.  The evidence of the relationship between mind and body Ratey’s book shows seems obvious and is a wake up call.  One of the tools we use as a coach is to look at the motivating reason we do things.  This motivating factor is what brings us to action.  When I coach families and teachers one of their major motivating factors is wanting their kids and the kids they work with to become more successful and mindful.  From what Ratey is telling us, getting kids physically active is one way of supporting success and mindfulness.  So get out your running shoes, put your coat on and get active with your kids.  Take them out of the running, bike strollers and let them run around. Their bodies and mind will be thrilled you did.  And so will yours!

    If you have a question, want coaching on how to motivate your kids to be more active, or want to learn coaching skills so you can support the highest level of success for your students/kids, contact me at susan@magnificentcreations.com.

  • 29 Nov 2015 7:52 PM | Susan Howson (Administrator)

    Two situations I observed promoted this blog.  The first was of a 5 year old who saw another child crying because they dropped their ice cream.  The 5 year old went over and offered the other child their ice cream cone.  Another child (toddler) saw a child crying and went over to them and gave them a big hug, then sat down beside them until they stopped crying (I wish I had a video camera!).

    Empathizing with someone means you have an understanding of what another person is feeling, as well as being able to express what you would feel like if you were in the other person’s situation. Like these young kids, it’s about helping someone who has fallen down, giving someone a hug when they are feeling down.  These are critical life skills.  It is a place where education has fallen with rules about “no touch”.

    Empathy requires an awareness that others think of themselves in ways that are both similar to and different from themselves.  It creates kids/youth who are nurturing, caring and self aware and makes the world a better place for all.

    Empathy is a skill that kids/youth and adults can learn. It has an incredible impact on a kid/youth’s success in a variety of present and future situations.  Kids/youth who are empathetic tend to do better in school, in social situations, and in their adult careers. Children who demonstrate empathy are viewed as leaders by their peers.  And as always, it begins with us.  How, as an adult are you modelling empathy for the kids in your life, whether they be your own, one’s you teach or the kid next door.

    I would love to hear about how you demonstrate and encourage empathy in the world.  Send me an email at susan@magnificentcreations.com

  • 29 Nov 2015 7:32 PM | Susan Howson (Administrator)

    Love Languages of Children (c)

    Being appreciated and loved are central human emotional needs that help determine the emotional health of our children.  Research shows that when children feel that they belong and are wanted they are more likely to develop into responsible adults and become more successful.  Gary Chapman quotes Dr. Ross Campbell who states, “inside every child is an ‘emotional tank’ waiting to be filled with love.  When a child really feels loved, they will develop typically, and when the love tank is empty, you will see it in the child’s behavior.  It is important to understand that much of the acting out behavior of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty ‘love tank’.”  

    The idea of an emotional love tank provides a powerful metaphor when addressing the emotional needs of children.  Being aware of whether a child’s love tank is full or running on empty provides insight to the type of communication, interactions and behavior of children.  When a child’s emotional love tank is full they feel more secure in themselves and are more willing to work towards reaching their fullest potential and greatest Magnificence.

    In his research, Gary Chapman has discovered that most people’s love tanks get filled in at least one of five ways.  These ways are known as the five “love languages”.  These “love languages” include:

    1.  Words of Affirmation - These include compliments, words of encouragement and praise.  They increase self worth of the child and brings out their full potential.  They focus on what values, characters and virtues the child demonstrates through their behavior.

    2.  Quality Time - This includes spending quality time with your child, giving your undivided attention by sharing thoughts and feelings, listening intently and participating in activities that have meaning to your child.  Interacting with your child at their level, even for a few minutes a day speaks the language of Quality Time to your child.

    3. Receiving Gifts
    - Whether made or purchased, gifts show that you care and that you value your relationship.  The value of the gift is not important.  It can be a note left in their bag or an award at a social event.  Receiving gifts is also about refusing to give the child something you feel is inappropriate (e.g. free reign on internet sites). 

    4. Acts of Service - This about doing something specifically for your child (e.g. helping with homework).  When performing an Act of Service remember to tell them you are doing it because you appreciate them.

    5.  Physical Touch - This is a powerful form of communication to show appreciation and belonging.  It can be as simple as a pat on the shoulder, holding hands, a high five or “yes”, giving tickles, or a hug.  Consider the age, personality and temperament of each child to determine the type of physical affirmation that works best.

    When a child’s emotional love tank is depleted or empty their perspective on the world is bleak.  The likelihood that they will reach their potential for good in the world is thereby diminished.  As a parent, understanding your own “love language” also gives insight into potential areas for self-regulation.  As parents, it is also important that your love tank is full.  Interacting with children in the emotional manner that fills their love tank helps to develop a stronger, more trusting relationship.  This is easier to do when your  love tank is full too.  When a child’s emotional love tank is full they feel better about themselves and are able to deal with difficult situations more effectively.

    If you are not clear about the primary love language of your child/ren don’t fret.  Speak all five love languages regularly.  With time, they will reveal the love language that most effectively fills their love tank.  Not sure what your primary love language is?  Ask yourself, “What makes me feel loved by others”?  Your answer will reveal your primary love language.  

    The more you speak our children’s love language and the more your own love language is spoken, the more positive, powerful, fulfilled and happy your connection with your children and others will be, bringing more Peace, Love and Harmony to your life.

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