Life has been changing – fast, and the 21st Century has brought a more rapid pace of change than ever experienced in our lifetimes up to this. We need to adjust and cope with these changes.

In her recent book – “A Mind of Their Own” – Katharine Hill – Director of Care For the Family in the UK has written what Rob Parsons describes as “… One of the most important parenting books of our time…” It has the tagline of ‘Building your child’s emotion wellbeing in a post pandemic world’ (Covid 19)
Katharine is a central figure in this series of six Programmes, as she unpacks the research that went into her book and the conclusions she has drawn. Her book is full of practical advise.
It can be purchased here from Care for the Family, or from Amazon and many good bookstores

This is a summary of the content of the six programmes

In Episode 1 – “Key Building Blocks” – We are introduced to Katharine, hear her reasons for writing this book, and we get to meet our audience panel of Barry and Joanne Condon, and Farad and Fiona Raisa from Cork.

The Programme includes

  • Katharine’s background as a family lawyer, author and conference speaker, and often guest on radio shows throughout the UK
  • The three key building blocks for our children’s emotional well-being
  • The power of words and effective and authentic praise
  • Praising character is essential and the power words have to build and to tear down
  • Building a sense of well-being into the life of another person – especially your child.

In Episode 2 – “Building Up your Child with Authentic Praise and a Realistic View of Themselves” – We hear Katharine and the panel speak of the need for praise to be both authentic and realistic. By definition ‘ordinary’ or ‘average’ is just that. Not every child is exceptional or brilliant at everything. Applauding where they have talents and gifts, nurtures those talents and gifts and leads to greater success

The Programme includes

  • It’s OK to be ‘ordinary’ (and our children know they are ‘ordinary’ at many things)
  • Applauding our children in their area of giftedness / talents – strengthens them and their self confidence
  • Praise needs to be authentic (not phoney). Be realistic
  • Praise for good character builds good character
  • Overcoming negative words and talk. Positive praise works

In Episode 3 – “Being Realistic and Developing a Growth Mindset” – Life is challenging! If we have the right attitude and are willing to learn and grow, in a supportive and realistic home, we will do well in facing life’s challenges (which are sure to come) Parents play an essential role in nurturing the atmosphere for growth in the home.

The Programme includes

  • The 3rd building block of emotional well-being – having a growth mindset
  • Learning from adversity is essential for growth
  • Be realistic. You will fail from time to time – but it is not the end. Learn and improve and move on.
  • Having a realistic view of themselves, with positive input from parents, helps children to be realistic and to learn from life
  • Parents can and should set the ‘temperature’ in the home (warm, supportive, nurturing) so that our children are secure and learn and grow

In Episode 4 – “Emotions and Brain Development” – We continue the conversation with Katharine where she unpacks for us some of the more recent discoveries of scientific research into brain development, and what is going on. She has written more extensively about this in her book – These discoveries are especially relevant to the teenage years. 

The Programme includes

  • More recent learning from research about the development of the brain, especially in the teen years
  • the opportunity for parents to carefully and thoughtfully set the temperature in the home
  • Lessons to be learned and applied to our parenting of teens especially
  • Sensible parenting and the internet.
  • Parenting of teens can be a delight – Enjoy the journey …

In Episode 5 – “Taking Charge of your Brain Development and Growth” – Katharine continues to unpack for us the real and meaningful prospect of actually taking charge of our brain’s development. Shaping and re-shaping the patterns of thinking that our brains are accustomed to, and developing fresh and new neural pathways in the brain. If we are proactive and choose to alter our patterns of thinking, this will result in changed attitudes, behaviours, and altered (…. and one hopes improved) outcomes in our lives.

The Programme includes

  • The impact of patterns of thought and neural pathways – New neural pathways can be learned
  • Changing from ‘blue’ to ‘true’ thinking – improving life’s outcomes
  • Resilience can be developed and adversity is an opportunity to grow
  • Take the first steps to change and begin to grow

In Episode 6 – “Building Self-Worth and Positive Identity in your child” – In this final episode we focus on Building Self-Worth and positive Identity in your child. Stephen speaks with Katharine about the value of intentional moments spent with our children, which build their identity and a positive sense of belonging.

The Programme includes

  • Intentional moments are never forgotten building blocks in the life of our children in terms how they see their value, and thus develop self-worth
  • Helping your child discover their unique identity
  • The power of influence from ‘friends’
  • The power of parental example. A living ‘faith’ is a powerful example to a child
  • The difference between character and temperament.
  • Instilling a positive identity in your child