Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!

However you choose to spend your Halloween – dialling up or down on the Scary to suit your children best – have fun together.

Quiet, indoor activities can include drawing & colouring Halloween strings like the one above – & make them as creepy or cuddly as you like.

A good time of the year to remember there’s nothing that’s ever as frightening if we face it together with the ones we love.

ADHD Awareness Month

It’s estimated that in the UK 3-5 % of school aged children have ADHD.

Let’s commit to increasing our awareness, understanding & acceptance of neuro diversity in our families, schools & communities.

‘When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower’ – Alexander Den Heijer.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ to supporting children with ADHD in school, but there are a range of strategies that can help.  This Moffle infographic highlights some suggestions. Good communication between home & school to develop a team approach & consistent intervention, is also very important.

Love is a Creative Act

‘…relationships are not sustained by violence but by love. Love is a creative act. When you love someone, you create a new world for them’.

This is a quote from Trevor Noah, who grew up in the 1990’s, surrounded by brutality & violence, in a newly post-apartheid South Africa. Through all his experiences of racism, beatings, bullying & ostracism, he talks of the sustaining support & love of his mother. He saw that she wanted a better life for him with more opportunities than she had been given. She bought him the books she never got to read & got him an education she never had. He knew that she believed in him.

click here to read more

Improv Wisdom part 2

Here is part 2 of Moffled Improv Wisdom. The maxims are a call to lightening up & living an unscripted life.

These are techniques used by generations of musicians & actors that Dan Hughes recognised could be equally helpful to therapists, parents, teachers & other professionals in their relationships & work with traumatised children.

I like the call to celebrate the obvious & notice everything. It fits so well with the notion of approaching life with a ‘beginner’s mind’. Looking at the world with beginner’s eyes – as if we are seeing everything for the first time – can help us to be more curious & act less hastily. Being in attuned relationships relies on us being mindfully aware of what is happening moment by moment. It is the coordinated dance that can happen between us when we are paying close attention to what is in front of us. And attending to exactly what is in front of us is the true work.

click here to read more

National Adoption Week

In National Adoption Week, we send love to all the different people who are affected by adoption in different ways. It’s a time to celebrate all the joy & happiness that adoption has brought to so many new families. A time to advocate for good support for adoptive families living with the ongoing challenges that relational trauma can bring. And it’s also a time to remember the birth families that have experienced disruption, sadness & loss.

Creative Commons Licence
The Moffles by Mikenda Plant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Improv Wisdom

We’ve Moffled the 13 strategies from the book, Improv Wisdom. Here is part 1. They are a call to lightening up & living an unscripted life.

 I was introduced to them by Dan Hughes many years ago on my DDP training & I have kept a copy on my office wall ever since.  A great prompt to try & stay present in the moment, to remember the importance of attending to exactly what is in front of us, & to keep trying.

These are techniques used by generations of musicians & actors that Dan recognised could be equally helpful to therapists, parents, teachers & other professionals in their relationships & work with traumatised children. A recognition of the artistry we all engage in when we are in attuned relationships.

click here to read more

National Adoption Week

In National Adoption Week, we send love to all the different people who are affected by adoption in different ways. It’s a time to celebrate all the joy & happiness that adoption has brought to so many new families. A time to advocate for good support for adoptive families living with the ongoing challenges that relational trauma can bring. And it’s also a time to remember the birth families that have experienced disruption, sadness & loss.

Since the 1990’s, adoption has become a more open process, with encouragement for children to know & understand their birth history from an early age. There is better support (although this still needs much more investment) for ongoing contact with birth family members & research indicates that any contact works best where there is a clear focus on the needs of the child.

click here to read more

Sidewalk Flowers

A girl in a red coat walks through a grey city with her father. Whilst he is busy she picks wildflowers along the roadside. Then she quietly gifts them to others she meets along the way. As the flowers are shared, the colours on the pages bloom & finally at home, the girl tucks a flower behind her own ear. A book to remind us of the wonder to be found in ordinary things & the beauty of small kindnesses.

One of the delights of this story told only in pictures, is the space we have to weave our own words around it. To explore together how it touches us. When our child has experienced relational trauma in the past, we know this will be harder for them than for other children & so we can more actively take the lead.

click here to read more

Calm is a Superpower!

Staying calm for our child is a very big challenge sometimes. It requires good self-regulation – an awareness of our mind & body; our stressors; the signs we are becoming overstressed & knowing what we need to return to a balanced state.

In the face of competing work & family demands, cultivating calmness & wellbeing can seem like another task for our ‘to do’ list & one that we rarely feel justified in prioritising. Calmness in the face of the storm starts to feel like a superpower & out of the reach of mere mortals. Even more so if we notice that critical inner voice, telling us we ought to be able to do it more often, more quickly, or for longer. Shame becomes like kryptonite.

Reject the pressure to be a superhero & be more like a Moffle instead!

M Make moments matter. Just pausing now & then for a few deep breaths & observing your thoughts, feelings & body can develop your self-awareness.

O Offer yourself some kindness, as you would to a friend who is struggling. Self-compassion isn’t always easy, so notice this, too & take your time.

FFocus on one step at a time, as you work at self-care. Set small, achievable goals. On the days even these goals are too hard, again, try to offer yourself kindness.

FForgive yourself when you mess up. Conflict is an inevitable part of family life. Focus on repair & show your child that you’re invested in reconnecting with them.

LLook for the sparkling moments & celebrate small successes. Try to hold them in your heart. They can help to lighten the hard times.

EEmpathise with yourself, not only your child. Empathy grows when we’re curious about our thoughts & feelings, rather than rushing to judge ourselves.

SSlow down. Whenever you can. We rarely need to respond immediately to anything. Go back to ‘M’ & make moments matter.

Creative Commons Licence
The Moffles by Mikenda Plant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Woven Moffle

Here’s a cardboard Moffle with a woven body of coloured beads & threads.  Different colours to represent different feelings. Children can sometimes find it easier to talk about their thoughts & feelings when they’re focused on arts &crafts. Weaving is an idea for helping to occupy little fingers that like to fiddle! I might playfully ask children I’m working with, ‘What do you think your hands might need right now to help your ears to listen, as we talk together?’ A fiddle toy or activity of some description can often help.  Have fun!