Scout first snow

Scout was out early today and was surprised the door needed so much force to get open then he froze looking at the white, when he got out he loved it -

as Miranda’s mother would say – Such Fun

is that a rat

Visit to friends in summer….

teenagers risk

I have just watched 127 hours, which I had saved for that moment where there was nothing else to do and I was not in the mood to read. Basically when you bypass most of what you need to do in favour of the least involved “lean back” entertainment.

The reason I had not been overly interested in seeing this film made by Danny Boyle is that I am blatantly aware of the ending. I knew about the ending as soon as the film was near release. It was a bit like when watching the film Titanic, I wonder how it is going to turn out? Will they have a trouble free trip across the Atlantic? Will it be a gripping near miss and all get rescued?

However back to 127 hours, as someone parenting a child, in fact parenting boys (although I do know girls who are very adventurous and into dangerous sports and risk taking), I feel this film may deserve a mention for a completely different reason. Sure the ending is well known but the trauma, stress and context are not or at least they weren’t to me. In terms of teenagers at risk is your youth at risk?

There is a very strong emotionally driven message about personal safety consciously woven throughout the fabric of the film. There are risks and risk taking activities which are, not just appropriate but, needed for our development. We know that teenagers’ brains are re-wiring and spend some time in a format that makes their ability to assess risk and perform basic risk assessment woefully inadequate at times.

He showed a fantastically resourceful attitude and was incredibly adaptable in his catalogue and subsequent use of his resources. In itself this and the ability to keep your head together in a crisis is in itself a valuable lesson for any young person. He clearly had great strength of character to get himself out of that position is there a link between depression and risky behaviour? If so most young people who get themselves into these situations may not have the self belief to get themselves out.

The main character in the film handles this bluntly during the period of duress as he speaks to camera of the time anyone will take to find out he is missing. It is not about the fact that he has an independent streak of not communicating to anyone his intentions about where he is going, it is that he might not be reported missing until being late for work triggers a report to the police who won’t react for a 24 hour period. The question is would not turning up to work on one day create a question to the police or might it take 2 or 3. As he had been trapped for 3+ days before he was due to be at work – I am not sure this would have been in time to help. The location too was a major issue as he was truly off the beaten track and not likely to meet any others in that location.

This film would be fantastic for any teen old enough to handle the emotional trauma that goes with the hard lesson that underpins the film. Most of us struggle to teach our problem teenagers with their teenage brain about how to behave in a safe and responsible way. In my experience a lot of parents use the “do what you are told” method of teaching risk – “stop ! do not do that its dangerous” . While believing this is behaviour modification it tends to backfire. Certainly when I was a teen it forced me into a need to prove a parent wrong. Although I was not considered to have teenage problems I was a handful. I aim to handle this differently through my parenting development but that will be another post.

–Truly recommended and my 15 year old will get it this week.

into the fire

From the old days of dive rolling over bomb fires and picnic tables my son has heard the stories and seen me do a few bits a couple of years back, therefore with a safer first attempt he cleared it with huge room to spare height and length. So next time what age before social services stop complaining about 4 foot flames.

the real point of it all

I think my son has the art skills of his mother

Jack Sparrow

£50 voucher for new google adwords account

Today I managed to secure any new online advertising clients working with a £50 voucher each for use with Google adwords.  So anyone looking for an online advertising jumpstart head over to appdesc and see how easily we can take the stress out of the process.

I know it is an old bit of cringe but really I am quite excited to be able to help.

Together Everyone Achieves More


Conflict with our kids

Lets get past the belief that we are right if we become emotional when in conflict with children

As one of my friends will insist I clarify I am not saying emotion is wrong and I am not talking about the positive emotions we get in our relationships with our children. I am thinking of those times when we feel quite negative and under stress from those lovely little devils……………………….

have the emotion and express it when appropriate and to someone appropriate – just control your reaction at a time when you are in conflict with your kids

If you are emotional in the pursuit of dealing with children your ability to deal in a proportionate way is compromised by your need not to feel outdone. Remember who the grown up is meant to be.

Through the work I do I quite consistently end up in conversations of parenting. In our society we as parents have a tendency to control our children’s lives and actions with a “do as I say” mentality. There is a large inherent flaw with this kind of thinking, we are developing our children do not be able to make their own decisions. Making decisions is in itself a reasonably advanced skill, you find it difficult enough with years of being an adult. If we continuously teach children to do what they’re told rather than to learn how to make decisions good and bad we are stifling independent thinking.

A child spends most of their formative years hearing the word no, being chastised the things that they are doing, being shouted at to not do those things. If we only tell our children no and stop we are not educating them in the process of making decisions.

A very large percentage of parents that I have spoken to through my work are under the impression that it’s important for them to win and for the child to do what they are told so that the child can learn. This in itself misses the opportunities each of these interactions create for a parent to develop their relationship with their child. For it is through these moments of conflict that the relationship consolidates. Many parents are hellbent on winning and being right, they believe apologising shows weakness and the child is always wrong.

But the child never wins and never feels that they have won. Some parents would seem to prefer they would rather the child becomes a passive member of the pack doing what they are told and not making decisions for themselves. The child can grow into this role of letting other people make decisions for them.

The child’s relationship with the parent forms in those moments.  I should say that again as it is sooo important. What will be the stories they tell their friends when they grow up? When your child grows up and their friends come round to your house should their friends be looking at you thinking about how mean and hard you were to their friend?

For me my relationship with my children is more important than me winning. There are many occasions where I have seen other parents roll their eyes at my behaviour, muttering under their breath that I should be harder, I am giving in or letting the child get away with it or reinforcing bad behaviour. Yet it is in these moments that my relationship with my child and the education I give my child about conflict management is formed.

I see many parents unable to deal with their difficult teenagers. It annoys me how society seems to think the teens must have a problem as they cannot conform to what the parents want. There is at least one culture on the planet that does not recognise the concept of teenager, they do not see it as a difficult time. Young people assume adulthood when they can reproduce and receive the responsibilities commensurate with that position.

My children are currently 15 and 10. Judge the results my wife and I produce in the longer term.




des cooke

des cooke

D.ESCAL8 (de-escalate)

rethinking restrictive practices