Posted in Weekly Blog

Raising Children and Teenagers with Confidence


Today we welcomed Jen from The City of Edinburgh Council who came to answer people’s questions around parenting.  She discussed how certain behaviours are common across most teenagers which is helpful to know because sometimes parents can think it is just them.  For example, they may isolate a lot or be embarrassed to be seen with their parents. This is quite typical for many teenagers, and it is helpful to remember the effect hormones can have on us.

With regard to managing children’s behaviour, Jen spoke about really encouraging good behaviour, and when behaviour becomes challenging to acknowledge it and to give yourself time and space to think of an appropriate response e.g by saying…”What you have done has really upset me and has taken a lot of time to sort out, I need to think about how you can make this up to me.”  Jen spoke about communication being key in any part of our relationships with children and teenagers and emphasised that it is never too late to being building a healthy relationship and learning how to communicate well.

The group enjoyed chatting with Jen about how to deal with particular issues, and, as we always like to encourage, it is good to look after your own mental health, as this will help give confidence for all of the above.

Posted in Weekly Blog

Healing the inner child


Today at the group we discussed how traumatic experiences from childhood can still have a negative impact on us today.  Even now as adults, the child inside us can still prove to be the more dominant voice.  Because of this, people may grow up thinking they are bad and have guilt.  As these were issues group members could relate to we looked at ways which could help nurture the inner child, assisting the adult to have more compassion for their younger self.  One of the ideas was to write a letter to your inner child, making sure it was being comforted and saying “it’s not your fault”, “you’re not a bad person”. By doing this you are showing the same compassion for your inner child just like you would e.g  for  your own children.

Below are excerpts from

It is said that every grown up person has a child hidden inside him or her. In our day to day activities we behave as adults because we are adults and have to behave like adults. However, the childhood that we lived and experienced still lies inside us in the form of memories. For some of us, these memories are sweet, for some they are not so sweet.

Depending upon how we have spent our childhood, the child inside us may be happy, sad, adventurous, timid, brave, frightened, extrovert or introvert. It has been observed that our adult behaviour can be a reflection of our inner child. If you wish to change your adult behaviour, then affirmations for the inner child can help you.

The inner child is often described as the artistic, creative, imaginative and dreamer part of us. It is the fun loving, playful, wonder seeking entity that resides within us.

Why does the inner child still reside inside us even after we have grown up? Why does it still need attention? There could be many reasons. Some of us had to grow up very fast and the child in us never got enough time to grow up. In some cases the small child had to play the roles of ‘mum’ and ‘dad’. It never did get to be the child that it really was. Some children were abused. Their hurt was never healed. So many reasons are possible.

If the inner child is not fully healed, we may take life too seriously. Play, fun and laughter become alien to us. We may even find it difficult to enjoy with our own children. Life becomes a chore. So, healing the inner child is important. 

Posted in Weekly Blog

Learning to believe in yourself


In the group today we further explored assertiveness.  Feeling comfortable enough to be able to say “Yes” or “No” without feeling bad can be a challenging prospect due to learnt experiences.  In order for people to have more self-compassion and to be more assertive when required the group now use a “Bill of Rights” which focuses on respect for oneself and others.  (Please see  below)

Everyone’s Bill of Rights

To be treated with respect

as a capable and equal human being

To have and express your own feelings, values and opinions

Without having to justify or make apologies

To be listened to, and taken seriously

To set your own priorities and state your own needs

and to be yourself; not necessarily what other people expect or what you to be

To say “Yes” or “No” for yourself

without feeling guilty or selfish

To have the right to make mistakes

and to change your mind sometimes

To ask for what you want

while accepting that asking does not always mean getting

To say “I don’t understand”

To choose not to assert yourself

Posted in Weekly Blog

What does the word “suicide”conjure up in people?


We started a discussion today about the way we talk about ‘Suicide’.  The word itself can cause shock and shame, perpetuating the taboo around speaking about suicide.  We still commonly hear the phrase ‘Commit Suicide’ even though it was decriminalized in 1961 to attempt suicide.  We are beginning to discuss the language that we use, is it helpful?  How do we feel when we talk about it in these terms?  Does the language create stigma?

Changing the language can change the culture; we used to talk about addiction, now we also speak about recovery as moving away from addiction, this shift has enabled recovery to be something that is supported, visible and possible.  Maybe its time to start speaking differently about suicide.

People shared how before having their own experiences it could be really shocking to hear the word suicide and you wanted to push the subject right away.  It is important that we deal with the taboo and allow people to talk about it.  It is important that we educate as this helps people to gain a better understanding.  We need to change perceptions around this word.  By encouraging others to say how they feel without shame or ridicule can lead to a positive change in society.