When your teen wants a tattoo

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What to do… what to do… I’d imagine myself ruminating over the same thing if I had a daughter with ‘the tattoo itch’. But then being someone who has veered (well, purposefully steered) down the tattoo route herself I might be something of a big oul’ hypocrite if I were to dodge a conversation about this one.

So I organised my thoughts and wrote this for Family Friendly HQ – click if this is relevant to you – and if it is – good luck!#

Blue Monday – truth or myth?

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As I type it’s Blue Monday. Who knew?!

A lot of us apparently. But did you know that the idea that today is “the most depressing day of the year” was completely fabricated by PR company who were employed by a travel company in 2005? In fact a lot of mental health myths were created by PR companies but that’s for another blog post. With regard to this one:
“The formula was devised to help a travel company “analyze when people book holidays and holiday trends,” said Alex Kennedy, spokesperson for Porter Novelli, a London-basedPR agency.”
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Your child’s rage – might it be grief?

www.sallyoreilly.com
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I regularly receive calls from distraught parents who cannot make sense of their child’s anger. Over the years, personal as well as professional experience has taught me that rage is often – if not usually – a cover for fear, sadness and grief.

An effective one at that! So I wrote this piece for FamilyFriendlyHQ and maybe it will assist you in deciphering your child’s anger. Especially so if you’ve had a recent bereavement or loss. It might even assist in understanding your own anger – after all, we’re all adult-sized children! Click on the pic to read the article:

Forget Resolutions – try these instead!

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When a journalist contacted me last year for some quick “Be happier by—” tips for a piece she was doing on the dreaded New Year’s resolution tradition I was not thrilled. I’m really not a huge fan of New Years’ Resolutions.
But then I thought well,  hmm… “Be Happier by -” That’s FAR better than “Be miserable, unrealistic and give up stuff I love up by – “.  And so I replied to her with a list, she wrote the piece and I thought – that’d make a nice little post on my own blog some day. Then in true New Year’s fashion, I forgot all about it!

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“Not puréeing your loved ones – that’s the tricky part!” – Basil Fawlty

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OK, so a lot of us will be joining family for ‘The Dinner’. And for a lot of us that’s super cool and lovely and something we look forward to and truly relish.

For some of us though, that dinner is the most 'Hell' part of Christmas. Sitting with, eating with and spending time with people that drive us nuts, push our buttons, trigger us....at worst, we are sitting with people that are harmful. tweet to another dinner eater

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Why I won’t sell vouchers for therapy

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First the super good news: people are asking for Christmas gift therapy vouchers again this year and I think that’s amazing. It’s a sure sign that mental wellbeing is being taken more seriously than ever before and that therapy is being normalised. When I first started out in private practice this was one of my dreams and honestly, I didn’t think we’d get here.

But here we are!

That said, I won't sell vouchers for therapy. And here's why: #therapyvouchers #therapy #selfcare #christmasgifts #boundaries #relationships Click To Tweet

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Helping your Grieving Child at Christmas

Grieving Child
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Christmas has a way of jerking those tears right out of us doesn’t it? It’s a time where the pressure to be happy is really on – HO HO HO! Jeepers. It’s a cheer fest, that’s for sure.  One that would make the calmest people want to gouge their own eyes out if they are also trying to cope with feeling of loss and loneliness. Feelings that don’t “match” with how we are ‘supposed’ to feel Christmas.

Here’s the thing though:

Grief doesn't take holidays. Broken hearts know neither hour nor date #parentingthroughgrief #bereavement #grief #selfcare #christmasstress #mentalhealth Tweet to someone who might like this

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Lost for a word

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October. It’s infant and pregnancy loss awareness month as designated by Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Did you know?

What strikes me this week is how quietly it’s slipping by, we’re nearly in November. And not much has been said. Is it par for the course? Child loss is one of those things we don’t talk about – that women (and men) often “bear” in stoic silence and secret, private agony. One would think, given the referendum and outpouring of grief and concern for women and their babies that there would have been more said this month. Or maybe it’s because so much has already been said – maybe there is a collective compassion fatigue? Are we just exhausted from it? Because loss is exhausting, there’s no doubt about that. Or maybe there are just too many other things going on this month – it certainly has been busy in the media.

Is it that?

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Have you been hurt by an addicted parent?

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There’s a “syndrome” called ACOA – are you familiar with it? It means Adult Child of Alcoholic, or, as experience has taught me, Adult (or teen) Child of any Addict.

I came across it years ago, before I trained actually. Before I really understood what alcoholism was, or how common it is. I was lucky, I know.  Since then I’ve learned how the idea of ACOA as a collection of “habits” really helps to explain a lot of the thought patterns and behaviours that thousands of adults experience and struggle with every day – every hour maybe. And the people who love them struggle too.

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