On staying together for the sake of the kids

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“What caught him off guard though was that at some level he felt ‘programmed’ to bring conflict and drama into the relationship. Even where there was no evidence of cheating he suspected it. Even though he loved her free spirit he felt he should curtail it in case she ran off. Even though he admired her intelligence he found himself calling her stupid. When things were good he was waiting for something to go wrong – enjoying peace and fun felt alien and weird.
So if it didn’t ‘go’ wrong, he’d make it go wrong.”

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Happy International Women’s Day! (but not for all of us)

Violence against Women
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So, here we are again. Every Year since 1908 we have celebrated International Women’s Day and while we have made huge strides in some areas, we have a very long way to go. 

Much has been written in the lead up to today. And much of it grim. I won’t go into the Tuam babies thing here.. (2018 edit –  Weinstein, #MeToo, Repeal the 8th debate, the women-being-ordained question, the sordid details of the rape (victim) trial, the pick-your-own-horror-story… ).To mark the day I thought I’d post a compilation of important pieces about how women are (still) being treated in the 21st century. It’s not terrifically cheery reading so you might want to stop now. I understand, I really do.

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Talking to your child about about sexting

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In my last piece I asked a scary question – Is your child sexting?

And here is the follow-up piece with some suggestions on how to introduce the conversation to your child. And even though it says ‘teen’ in the title – I wrote this with younger children in mind too.

Sexting figures
Sexting figures – I don’t like the word ‘admitted’ but you see where I’m going..

 

Because as you may or may not know, children as young as ten are accessing porn and are being pressured into sexting. So it’s a very real concern that has a lot pf parents worried and feeling powerless. Hopefully, this will help. And if you have any other tips from your own experience and wisdom please do share them below.

             Click here to read the post

Warmly,

Sally O'Reilly Counselling & Psychotherapy

Parenting through a divorce or separation

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“Maybe you saw it coming, maybe you’re in shock. Either way, a separation is extraordinarily painful, even if it’s also a relief.

Sanity and loss aside, your worries will quickly turn to your kids – How will they cope? How will this affect their future relationships? Will they hate you or your spouse? Perhaps themselves? How will things change financially? How will things change?”

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How to discipline more effectively

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I have a bit of a fascination with the origins of words. As I grew up every new word I asked about was explained to me by my mother in terms of its origin – origin, from the Latin ‘Origo’, meaning beginning, source, rise. You get my drift…

The word ‘discipline’ originates from the Latin to teach, or instruct. When the Middle English folk came along it morphed somewhat into the punishment, ‘mortification’ scourge flavour we are more familiar with today.

Falling on deaf ears
Falling on deaf ears

And I find that the words discipline and punishment (from the French Punir meaning rough handling) are often used interchangeably. Which isn’t a great thing, because we now know that punishment isn’t necessarily a good way to discipline. So I prefer the original meaning of discipline, it’s more effective as a means of changing or adjusting behaviour in the long term. FAR more effective.

So I wrote a piece on the (real life and practical) differences between discipline and punishment, with some ideas on how to do the former more effectively.

You can read it here and I hope it’s helpful!

Sally O'Reilly Counselling & Psychotherapy

 

When Leaving Cert results are disappointing.

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So the results are out!

For some, many I hope, today brings a sense of relief, achievement and celebration.

YAY!

But for some there is mild to utterly devastating disappointment.

For some, LC results bring a sense of relief, achievement & celebration. Yay! But for others there is mild or utterly devastating disappointment. How to cope: #leavingcert17 #parenting share with another LC student or parent

DisappointingResults

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Managing “post-exam stress” – it’s a real thing!

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Well, that flew didn’t it??!

So, the exams will be over in three days and you’re thinking “Yay! Stress? Nah – done, distant memory, ‘be grand now!”

And it is done for some, but for others a new and unexpected stress has already kicked in. It’s a little trickier than pre-exam stress, because the people around you might assume all students are now the embodiment of Zen and relaxation, because technically the exams are over.

So you might feel a little less inclined to talk about it because at some level you believe you should be calm now. And thinking we should be OK is a great way to silence ourselves when we’re absolutely not OK.

im-fine
I’m (not) fine!!

 

But it’s fine, really. Post-exam stress is absolutely normal, albeit unpleasant.

Let’s look at how to deal with it with some ‘Do and Don’t’ suggestions:

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