Archive for April, 2016

How to Get Kids to Stop Sucking their Thumbs

April 27, 2016

how to get kids to stop sucking their thumbs
A common question I get asked is about
how to get kids to stop sucking their thumbs.
Especially as they grow older
it becomes a concern to parents.

Many kids try and stop, but it’s hard
because it’s a significant source of comfort for them.

As one kid said:
“It feels good when I do it and
I don’t feel good if I don’t do it.”

My tendency is to address things under the surface
so here is how I responded to a parent
who recently asked this question on Facebook:

Watch Out For Shame

One of the most important things in situations like this
is to be careful about creating shame around the activity.

In our efforts to change a behaviour
we can unintentionally create the idea
that we disapprove of them when they are doing it.

To kids this gives the message that
we love and accept them less at those moments.
This translates into being less worthy of love and acceptance.

Let Him Know He’s Wonderful!

So I would work on letting him know that
while you may be trying to reduce the thumb sucking
you still think he’s wonderful and cute and lovely when he does it.

Let him know that the feelings he’s having
are totally natural and you love him and his feelings.

Let him know that there’s nothing wrong with him
for sucking his thumb and that
even if it takes a bit longer that’s totally okay.

We want him to feel comfortable with his inner self.

This is a very delicate time in
the building of his relationship with himself,
his self-image, his self-esteem and self-confidence.

Everything from his work to his relationships,
friendships, body image, relationship to food, drugs…
really everything is being affected by the messages
you give him during these formative years.

Not Condoning Behaviour

I know it might seem like you’re
condoning something you’d like to stop,
but in fact if he’s not anxious and
feeling judged and judgmental about it
he’s more likely able to listen to his own body
and find his natural rhythm to stop.

I hope this helps.


Love, Acceptance, Respect, Admiration and Worship

April 18, 2016
Love, Acceptance,  Respect, Admiration and  Worship
My kid is almost 19.
When she was born I could hear
her non-verbal communication so clearly.
It was like she was speaking to me.
I knew she was fully conscious and aware.
A perfect soul in a little body.
I knew I had to do whatever I could
to give her the love, acceptance,
respect, admiration and
even worship that she deserved.
That has always been the core of my parenting philosophy.

How to Develop More Self-Love

April 13, 2016

How to Develop More Self-Love
How to Develop More Self-Love

I Love That Guy

Today I was talking to a friend and they had me on speakerphone
I heard the echo of my voice and told them so

They said

I said
“It’s no problem,
I love that guy,
he’s so beautiful”

It just came out of me!
That reaction comes from the Self-Love
and self-intimacy work that I do.

It was such a nice surprise to get from myself

My friend asked me for some tips
on how to develop a more
loving relationship with themselves

Here are some of the things I shared with them.
I hope they can be of some service to you.

1) Hug yourself like you’d hug a friend in need
Or a child that needs comforting.

Do it often.
Do it every day if you can.

When we can turn our love inwards
in a physical way
it affect our consciousness.

We can actually bypass the mind
and give ourselves the message that we’re loved.

2) Think of any good things you’ve done,
however small, and thank yourself for it.

Expressing gratitude to oneself is an uncommon act.
This acknowledgement reinforces
the notion that you’re worthy of love.

I just did it for myself as I am writing this
about something that happened this morning.

I said:
“Thank you Vivek for expressing your emotions so freely today.
I know it was vulnerable to do so and
I appreciate you taking the risk and being so open.”

It felt so good to receive that.

3) Observe the innocence of babies
and practice feeling that same innocence in your own heart.

This one can take time
because we’re quite far away from that state,
but it’s a beautiful feeling
once you can get a hold of it.

It is inside every one of us.
From the most violent criminal
to the most loving person,
we all have the same, pure spirit within.

Beyond our experiences, our trauma, our labels and self-identity
There is a wordless, idealess, painless wonder.

You don’t have to live there all the time,
but once in a while close your eyes and see if you can
feel that open and connected sense of yourself.

It is a very healing thing to do
and only takes a few seconds of inward attention.
Sometimes that can be more effective
than 2 hours of meditation!

4) Recognize that your errors, your faults and your pain
come from a desire to love, to serve and to be whole.

Sometimes we get caught up in
the struggle of life and
forget the reason we’re struggling.

This desire to love, to serve and to be whole
is in your core.
It springs from your essence.

Even when you act or react in ways you would rather not
at their root is the desire to love, to serve and to be whole.

Dig deep and find that inner motivation
when you feel like coming down on yourself.

For example, if I lose my temper when driving
(that’s one of my big ones)
I will often feel bad about myself.

Then I realize that I don’t like to be pushed around.
This comes from wanting to protect myself
because I was severely bullied when I was young.

My inner knowing is that no one should be bullied,
no one should be treated with anything but kindness
and I’m fighting against anything that threatens this.

Granted the method is often ineffective.
(due to my pain and triggers),
but the deeper motivation is one of purity.

When we can remember that
love is our root motivation
we can see ourselves as
a fundamentally loving being
and that feels nice.

These ideas are a good start on the journey
to loving and accepting ourselves.
The more intimate and loving a self-relationship we have
The more we’re able to offer love to others
And the more we increase our capacity to enjoy life.

Punishment Dehumanizes

April 12, 2016

punishment dehumanizes
Punishment Dehumanizes.

When parents make
the decision to not punish
they deeply humanize their children.

Hanging Out with my Best Friend

My daughter is almost 19.
Today I was sitting with her on the couch, just hanging.
Suddenly I was overcome by the feeling of closeness that exists between us. I felt so grateful.

I realized that one reason for that closeness is
that I’ve never punished her for anything.
I feel very grateful for that.

I said that to her, that I was happy
I’d never punished her and she just said
“me too”.

It’s Never Too Late to Stop Punishing

Even if you’ve been punishing, it’s never too late to stop.
You’ll look back on the day you stop as one of the best moments of your life.
There are lots of resources on how to work with your kids without punishment.

It deepens your relationship with them and
is actually a much more effective way
to create harmony and cooperation in the home.

If you want some more detailed and personal guidance
contact me for a private lesson.
I call them lessons because I share ideas,
it’s you who has the joy and challenge to implement them!


The Gift of NO

April 9, 2016

the gift of NO
The Gift of NO

Yesterday I asked my daughter
to get something from the car for me.

Her response was:
“No I don’t feel like it.”

Expressing my Gratitude

The next day I went to her in a quiet moment and I said:

“Hey kiddo I want you to know that
when you said no to me yesterday
and in fact every time you say no to me
I consider it a great gift.

It means you are listening to yourself
and honoring yourself.

I love it when you Honour Yourself

As your father, your friend
and your guide
this is the most important thing to me.

This is something I want you to
always pay attention to.

Because it means then that
you know yourself and love yourself.

What better gift could you give your dad?”

I could see that she was moved by this explanation.
This is an attitude I have
held with her from the very beginning.

She is almost 19 and I am still reinforcing this message.

She Feels Safe and Free

Knowing I feel this way allows her to
experience a deep trust and safety with me.
She knows she can be herself
and that I will love and accept her as she is.

This creates such a profound closeness between us.
That relationship is a priceless treasure!


There is a common question people ask
when I talk about supporting my daughter
in saying NO like this.

It is usually something like:

What about serving others?
What about family responsibility?
Aren’t you teaching her to think of herself first?

This is a natural way of looking at it.
This is not what happens though.

In order to understand it try and ask yourself
why you do good things?

Is it because you’ve been told to do good things by an authority figure?
Is it because you’re afraid what will happen to you if you don’t?

Or do you do good things because
it feels right?
It feels good?

Don’t you agree that, even when it really sucks,
when it hurts and is inconvenient…

doing the right thing just feels right,
and we know we really couldn’t have done anything else.

There are times when the right thing isn’t clear,
but when it is clear it’s best to follow it.

Inner Knowing is the Guide

It is this inner sense of rightness,
of knowing and of honouring
that we help develop in our kids
by honouring their NO as equal to their YES.

For only when we have
acceptance and intimacy with both,
when we fear neither,
can we truly hear what is
the right thing in this moment.

We will know when to serve
and we will also know when we need to
protect ourselves and step away.

We can hear the YES and the NO clearly.

When this skill is foundational
then service, responsibility, caring and generosity
arise naturally from the spirit within.