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3 reasons why labelling kids can be problematic

Labels can start really early – at playgroup it might be the child that bites or kicks. It’s terrible when it’s your child, but then most toddlers are not known for their exemplary behaviour in the sandpit.  You can still shrug it off when they’re really young, thinking that your child will grow out of it. However, when your child reaches school and all of a sudden you’re being asked to see the teacher and they start throwing around words like ‘disruptive’ and ‘behavioural difficulties’, then things take on a much more serious note. What’s in a label?

  1. Stigmatisation vs reprieve

Medical labels like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) are used in the education system to identify children who might need additional help. They can be good in that they can provide a bit more tolerance for when a child is having a bad day. However, these labels are not without controversy. Being labelled as having behavioural problems may set up expectations for certain behaviours which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  1. Labels stick, but children change

It can be very difficult for a child to outgrow their label. This affects how the child is treated not only by their teachers, but also by their peers. It becomes really salient as the child hits puberty and tries to carve out a unique identity for themselves. Very often the child will need to change schools in order to shed the label they’ve been given.

  1. Deficit or difference

Labels encourage us to see the child from a problem or pathology perspective rather than a difference, strength and capability perspective. Labelling a child does not encourage a holistic view of the individual; rather it means the starting point is from a deficit.

As parents, a medical diagnosis can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand your child might get the support they need, but on the other hand their self-esteem might take a serious knock.

One of the most positive things you can do is use the Goulding SleepTalk® process to help build your child’s self esteem. It only takes 2 minutes a night, but this gentle strategy uses an auto-suggestion technique to speak with the subconscious mind while they sleep. Children given the label Autism, Asperger’s or ADHD might spend a lot of time hearing negative things about themselves, this technique reinforces the belief that no matter what happens in life, they are smart enough, funny enough, strong enough, good enough, everything enough, to conquer any challenge that comes their way.

To find out more about Goulding SleepTalk® and our other programs, contact us to book your free initial consultation.

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canberra sleeptalk

SleepTalk Sessions Canberra

The Canberra SleepTalk™ Sessions are our answer to the needs of many parents living in Australia Capital Territory. Even though a part of this article will focus on the service we offer, it’s also a free resource that you can use to improve your understanding of how the subconscious mind works and also understand how to protect your child from confidence-damaging comments and traumatic experiences.

To understand what SleepTalk™ is, a program dedicated to the well-being of children, you must first understand how the human mind works.

How we get to believe what we believe

Everything around us, from the smell of fresh coffee to the latest show you’re watching on Netflix is information. Our brain is constantly processing the information, through something called ‘conscious and subconscious acceptance‘. Adults use analytical logic, critical, and conscious thinking to assess what to accept and internalise. We don’t take everything we hear as truth and we don’t turn all of those words into our beliefs.

The problem is that kids develop this type of reasoning as they grow older. Something that an adult would quickly dismiss, a child will accept and internalise. Once accepted into the subconscious mind and transformed into a memory, the information becomes a belief. It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not.

As a result kids can interpret the world and act based on flawed, negative beliefs that they hold to be true.

“All human responses are based upon accepted beliefs held in the deep subconscious mind. These beliefs are constantly referred to as we react to every situation with which the conscious mind is presented.” – Joane Goulding

“How could you be so stupid?”

Overworked and overwhelmed parents are under a lot of stress, and quite often say things they don’t actually believe or mean to say during an outburst. While adults recognise this as a moment of weakness, kids will hear these often ‘loaded’ words and retain them in their subconscious mind, associated emotions and all.

Children might not remember the words until years later in life, but a negative remark and the pain it caused can be embedded in their belief system and enacted by their subconscious mind a later time. This could have the potential to cause harm to a child’s self-esteem and distance them from authority figures as the grow.

The same effect can be caused by older siblings not wanting to play with a younger child; from watching TV shows or commercials; kids are receiving these suggestions all the time and in the long run can impact their development and follow them throughout their adult lives.

The power of positive suggestions

The SleepTalk™ process helps kids accept positive suggestions directly into the subconscious mind. Once the positive suggestions are made this way, they start replacing previously accepted negative ones. Through this process, the subconscious mind makes changes to its held beliefs, accepting new, positive suggestions which once the child wakes up become their new reality.

Just like a computer antivirus stops malicious software to be installed on your computer, the positive suggestions delivered through the SleepTalk™ process protects the child against negative ones.

Getting to know the Goulding SleepTalk™ for Children Process

This process helps parents in supporting their kids to develop a harmonious belief structure and improve their self-confidence. During the SleepTalk™ sessions, a parent will learn how to make the suggestions from a certified hypnotherapist in a way that they’ll be effective.

The suggestions need to be delivered by parents while the child is asleep, accessing the subconscious mind at brain-wave levels ranging from the deep Alpha to the light Theta (approximately 8-6 electromagnetic cycles per second). Parents should do it without waking the children, and before the child reaches the deepest level of the sleeping cycle during the time when very slow Delta brain waves manifest.

Should you learn this process?

It’s a great investment in your child’s well-being. The entire daily process takes only 2 minutes, but the results will last a lifetime. After a hypnotherapist teaches you how to do it, you’ll be able to help your child develop their self-esteem and solve other issues like nail biting or bedwetting. The process is simple and can be used for children of ages and cognitive capabilities. It can help children recover from anxiety, stress, and even trauma. Reactions like stomach aches, nail biting, bedwetting, nightmares and night terrors, crying, separation anxiety, poor attention can be the result of negative suggestions embedded in the child’s subconscious mind.

SleepTalk™ is safe and effective, and is recognised by various hypnosis associations.

Throughout the years, the Goulding SleepTalk™ for Children Process has been recognised by various institutions and organisations from around the world. Those organisations relevant to our part of the world are:

  • The Hypnosis Association of Queensland
  • The Professional Hypnotherapists of Western Australia Organisation
  • The Council of Clinical Hypnotherapists of Australia
  • The Australian Hypnotherapy Association
  • The Australian Counselling Association
  • Counsellors Victoria
  • The Australian Society of Clinical Hypnotherapists
  • The Australian Association of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy
  • The Professional Clinical Hypnotherapists of Australia
  • The International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association
  • The International Association of Counselling Therapists
  • The International Hypnosis Federation
  • The New Zealand Hypnotherapy Federation

Canberra SleepTalk sessions

Why should you book a SleepTalk™ Session with Brand New Mindset?

  • You’ll learn a simple, natural, non-intrusive process that will allow you to boost your child’s self-esteem.
  • You’ll be trained to help your child change their behaviour, addressing specific issues after they have fallen asleep.
  • Your entire family will benefit from a bedtime routine that is completely safe, and only takes a few minutes per day.
  • You’ll master a process that will allow you to protect your child from damaging negative suggestions, which are present everywhere.

SleepTalk Skype Sessions

Things to expect during your training

  • The training consists of 3 private sessions. Each one of them is around 90 minutes long.
  • During these sessions, the hypnotherapists work with the parents to analyse current problems and to identify the underlying causes producing those effects as well as possible secondary gains.
  • Parents get to understand how the mind of their child works at their current age and receive insights into their behaviour.
  • The SleepTalk™ process is explained, and parents are able to implement the Foundation Process and identify the optimum brainwave phase on their own child from the first evening after attending the class.
  • Parents are taught how to observe the effects of the SleepTalk™ process on their child for 12 weeks, while also supported by their hypnotherapist.
  • The second and third sessions will focus on identifying key needs and learn the skills to solve and correct bad behaviours by creating the appropriate statements to continue the positive development.
  • For those parents who can’t see the Brand New Mindset hypnotherapists in person, the SleepTalk® Process can also be taught via Skype.
  • All parents receive the support they need through email and phone calls.

What parents say about the Goulding SleepTalk™ for Children Process

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What issues SleepTalk™ can help parents solve

  • Building confidence and improving self-esteem
  • Anxiety, stress, fear, phobias, trauma
  • Sibling rivalry
  • Aggression and behaviour management
  • Education, study, concentration, memory
  • Health issues such as asthma, skin, eating disorders, constipation
  • Improving creativity and expression (speech)
  • Developing sporting skills
  • Improving coordination & physical abilities
  • Achieving goals
  • Habits such as bed-wetting, nail-biting
  • Nightmares or terrors
  • Sleep problems
  • Autism
  • Hyperactivity


Please fill in the form below to reach out to Brand New Mindset today and get the answers you need or book your first SleepTalk™ session!

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worst things to say to kids

The Worst Things to Say to Your Kids

The worst things to say to your kids are those that make them feel rejected and unloved. They usually come out of a parent’s mouth when they are losing control for a second. Their effects can be truly devastating for children, and that’s why all parents should know what those hurtful words tell a therapist about themselves and their relationship with the kids.

Most parents we have talked to admit that sometimes they say things to theіr child/children that they do not mean or later regret saying. Accordіng to Psychotherapist Antonia Van Der Meer, a parent’s temporary loss of control may, unfortunately, mean permanent heartache for the child.

Van Der Meer states that sometimes when parents come home tired and irritable and discover that theіr daughter or son has again left their homework books at school, even the most understanding parent may find themselves blurting, “How can you be so stupid?” “When are you going to learn to think?”
Van Der Meer suggests that all parents are bound to lose control occasionally and lose sight of the fact that their words can make a child feel wounded, rejected or unloved. Whether menacing, cynical or hostile statements are said intentionally or just slip out. The result is always the same: the parent feels temporarily relieved perhaps, but that damages their little one’s self-esteem and the bond of trust between them might get broken.

It is important to recognise the worst things to say to your kids and resist saying them. Parents must learn to handle their anger and frustration to teach a child how to behave.

These are some of the statements experts agree are among the worst things to say to your kids:

  • “Why can’t you be more like …?” – Every child is unique and an individual.
  • “Why don’t you act your age?” – Many times when we insist a child act their age, they are!
  • “Must you always be such a slob?” – Criticism only lays the groundwork for an unproductive power struggle. The key is to strike a balance.
  • “You’re the funny one/athletic one/pretty one.” – Labels we give children can be problematic, confirming and, when negative, are also demeaning. A negative label can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • “How could you be so stupid?” – ‘Stupid’ is a loaded word that can be especially damaging to a child’s self-esteem and confidence, compounding a belief they are not unconditionally loved. That is why this is one of the worst things to say to your kids.
  • “Sometimes I wish I’d never had kids.” – A child hears “You’re worthless, I wish you weren’t my kid. I don’t want you”. This is one terrible, hurtful message for a child to carry around, often unconsciously into adulthood.
  • “Leave me alone!” – An angry dismissal of a child can make them feel unloved and unwanted.
  • “Shut up!” – Apart from being impolite, degrading, controlling and demeaning, children learn by example.
  • “Do it – or else!” – A child is unlikely to be motivated by vague and unspecific threats.
  • “If you don’t come with me now, I’ll leave without you.” – The threat of abandonment as a discipline tool is a destructive approach to take. It is truly scary for a child. It reinforces a fear that young children already have – that a parent might disappear and never come back.


An alternative approach to family communication

  • Encouragement vs praise: Encourage consistent progressive effort to achieve their best.
  • Choices and Consequences: Indicates personal responsibility and consequences of the decision made.
  • Rejecting child’s behaviour rather than the child: Befоre the child goes to sleep at night, correct any negative comments, so they feel appreciated and worthy rather than resented.

As parents, we have all made mistakes when communicating with our children. We need to learn from those mistakes, forgive ourselves, learn the lesson, leave the negative memory behind, and move on. It’s never too late to learn.

Further info: If you’d like to learn how to improve your child’s confidence, take a look at our page on The SleepTalk® Process. It gives parents a second chance to redefine the basic self-image of their child and create a positive belief in place of previously accepted negative ones.

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parent-child conflict solution

Parent-Child Conflict Solution: the E.T. Approach

A parent-child conflict solution that almost never fails to bring families closer focuses on communication, more exactly on listening. No doubt, this is not a surprise. As Andrew LeCompte once wrote in “Creating Harmonious Relationships“…

Our goal in conscious communication is not to change the other person. Our goal is to establish a connection.

A caring and positive mum of three attended a workshop I delivered on managing conflict. Just a few days after that seminar, she emailed me to say that she missed an opportunity to practice what she learned. What happened was that her teenage daughter came home one evening later than the agreed time.

All things considered, this isn’t surprising. One of my colleagues, while talking about conflicts at home, one said something really smart, that “our family really knows how to push our buttons – because they installed them”. I remember I laughed then because it was funny and also so very true. It’s harder to deal wіth family conflicts because the patterns we’ve created with each other are so entrenched.

Conflict exist and we have to deal with it

Whаt hарреnѕ tо уоu whеn conflict arises? If уоur reactions аrе typical оf mоѕt оf us, уоu еіthеr prepare fоr а fight оr dо уоur bеѕt tо avoid thе situation.

We’d аll lіkе tо bе bеttеr аt conflict management bесаuѕе wе sense thе potential іt holds – tо strengthen оur relationships; tо teach оur children thаt conflict саn bе аn opportunity tо learn аnd grow; аnd tо learn аnd grow ourselves.

If you’re alive, уоu wіll enter a conflict frоm time tо time. Yоu саn bесоmе mоrе skilled аt handling it аnd gain influence оvеr thе outcome bу bесоmіng aware оf уоur conflict-related “habits” аnd changing thе оnеѕ thаt аrе nоt uѕеful оr purposeful.

The art of listening as a top parent-child conflict solution

Onе time-tested conflict management skill іѕ listening. Furthermore, it’s one highly appreciated parent-child conflict solution. Thе nеxt time уоu gеt іntо а battle wіth уоur child, trу аѕkіng fоr thеіr point оf view. Listen аnd paraphrase whаt thеу said. Aѕk questions tо whісh уоu rеаllу don’t knоw thе answer. Thеn listen again. State іn уоur words whаt уоu heard hіm say. Step оff уоur point оf view fоr а moment аnd bе curious.

Imagine уоur child јuѕt arrived frоm аnоthеr planet. If E.T. rеаllу dіd land nеаr уоur house аnd уоu knew thаt hе wаѕ а friendly soul. You’d wаnt tо knоw everything, wouldn’t you? Pretend уоu don’t knоw аnуthіng аbоut уоur child’s perspective (you rеаllу don’t). Stand оr sit side bу side аnd face thе ѕаmе direction. Trу tо find оut whаt іѕ rеаllу important. Fоr example, parents аnd kids оftеn fight оvеr chores оr homework, уеt whеn wе tаkе time tо find оut whаt іѕ аt thе base оf thе argument, it’s uѕuаllу аbоut responsibility, уоurѕ аѕ а parent аnd уоur child’s аѕ а maturing adult. Frоm thіѕ place, іt wіll bе easier tо talk аbоut уоur mutual nееdѕ аnd concerns.

A nice byproduct оf уоur aligning wіth thеm іѕ thаt thеу mау bе mоrе wіllіng tо ѕее уоur position. Nоw it’s уоur turn tо share thе view frоm уоur planet. Talk, listen, talk, аnd listen again. Kеер bоth viewpoints іn mind аѕ уоu search fоr solutions. Evеn whеn setting оr reinforcing limits, уоu саn acknowledge уоur child’s point оf view аnd stand firm. “I understand thаt Kathy’s mum lеtѕ hеr stay оut thаt late, but уоu cannot.” Avoid justifying аnd persuading.

Listening dоеѕ nоt equal agreement

It’s challenging tо tаkе thе initiative tо learn whеrе оur children аrе coming from, bесаuѕе wе risk losing authority. Remember thаt listening dоеѕ nоt necessarily mеаn agreeing. Simply by bеіng wіllіng tо соnѕіdеr thеіr саuѕе demonstrates empathy, understanding аnd thе willingness tо lооk fоr mutually agreeable solutions. Tаkіng thе time tо listen аnd talk shows thеm уоu care, builds self-esteem, аnd gіvеѕ thеm аррrорrіаtе ways tо handle troubling situations оf thеіr own.

“Oh well. Mауbе nеxt time I саn gеt centered first,” ѕаіd mу friend whеn wе talked аbоut thе conflict wіth hеr 15-year-old. Reminding уоurѕеlf tо breathe аnd focus before, durіng аnd аftеr а conflict wіll hаvе а beneficial influence оn уоu аnd уоur child, whіlе teaching уоur child а valuable skill. Bе curious, listen аnd learn, аnd lеt уоur purpose bе уоur guide. It mау tаkе twо tо tango, but іt оnlу takes оnе tо change thе dance.

Bе curious, listen аnd learn, аnd lеt уоur purpose bе уоur guide. It mау tаkе twо tо tango, but іt оnlу takes оnе tо change thе dance.