on self-forgiveness and sass

Kia ora friends

Here we go, 2024.

So I’ve employed my dad’s excellent life advice to wait till you’ve had two sleeps after a difficult situation, in order to decide whether to succumb to despair, or not.

Two days ago I attended a fraught public meeting in my community, surrounded by neighbours and facing off against a villainous bunch of corporate bad guys. I was reminded of Mr Burns from the Simpsons (in vibe, not in looks). I feel like I am living inside a Disney movie. The health of our river is under threat, and I cannot be dispassionate about it.

here’s me by the river in question, a couple of years ago before I let all my silver tinsel hair grow in ūüėČ

So yeah, I got a little sassy at the meeting. My best, highest self found it difficult to engage, and with the hindsight of two sleeps and my knowledge of neurobiology and homeostasis, I say “no wonder” – it was really hot in the sun without shade, it was rolling on to dinner time and my blood sugar was dangerously low, and the neurosequential model will remind you that the effective functioning of our prefrontal cortex is at risk when our limbic systems are raging. Which they’ll do when our homes and happiness are under threat!

All this to say, I have forgiven myself for my public display of imperfection and I acknowledge that I would not be the person I am if I was unwilling to call out nonsense when I see it and hear it. It’s one of my best qualities, I think, so I stand by it. In fact, I call on that trait right now as I share links with y’all

First up, here is a link to a write up about a great piece of qualitative research out of Auckland, it is based on interviews with parents of adolescents and YUP it’s about phone use. I emailed the lead author and congratulated her, told her I’d be quoting the following passage in my thesis:

“The narrative in the media now is tending to be all about how tech can be good and bad, implying a balance. However, the evidence‚ÄĒwhether from our study or the US Surgeon General‚Äôs review [9]‚ÄĒincreasingly supports the idea that the harms seem to outweigh the positives.”

Yup. Consider the Ledger of Harms from our friends at the Center for Humane Tech, consider the untrustworthiness of social media platforms, consider how liberating it is for our young people to be free from phones at school, and then read this updated version of the excellent “Disrupted Childhood” report from 5rights in the UK.

Then, we gotta finish up by looking for the helpers. Those who are working hard to heal and repair and be positive and create goodness.

productive procrastination

Kia Ora lovelies,

I think the key to productivity is to ensure that you have something useful to be cracking on with while you are procrastinating from another thing. Not in the mood to exercise? Work on your conference presentation. Don’t feel like working on that? Do some reading and note taking. Can’t face that job? Go for a brisk walk. OH LOOK … now you’re doing the exercise you didn’t want to do in the first place! Ta-dah!

A few links to share today, then I’ve gotta get back to work. Submitted an article this morn, plenty more missions awaiting my attention!

First up: Tomorrow is Phone Free Day, a surefire way to lessen procrastination! Shout out to my pals at the UCDeFLab for rallying the troops. You could think of this as a lovely warm up for Screen Free Week!!

Good timing for many: check out this article from the Washington Post about the side effects of a year lived onscreen for kids in the US, and here is a write up about research highlighting the need to resist the behavioural crutch of giving screens to tiny children. They might seem to settle now, but really they’re just delaying their ability to develop self-settling skills. Meanwhile, work from researchers in South Australia concludes that excessive screen time is delaying school readiness.

Let ’em play! Unplug the devices and PLAY!

I’m hoping you saw this piece from Stuff, about awesome MńĀori dads. For more about the biologically respectful practices of traditional parenting by tangata whenua, check this out.

Some random bits and pieces, now: an excellent essay about understanding TikTok by Kyle Chayka (I understand this: it’s another mechanism for harvesting data!), a new post by the folk at Sensible Screen Use about privacy in schools (and I understand this: Google classroom = more harvesting of data!) and a kinda cool bit about libraries extending their services outdoors during the pandemic.

Here is a cool site I’ve just discovered which shares tech stories from around the world (it’s called “rest of world” which tells you quite a lot, really!) AND because it’s cooling down in New Zealand we are all about firewood around here – so I’m sharing these beautiful images of covetous living rooms with lovely fireplaces x xx ENJOY x x x x

Happy Screen Free Week, y’all

Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 1.03.54 PM¬†Here are Little Girl and I promoting Screen Free Week 2019 in our local paper.¬† The Week’s begun here in NZ, so I’ll make this snappy and save the multitude of awesome new links till next time!¬† Enjoy your week offline, I know I will.¬† Arohanui x x

many links to … enjoy?

As is oft the case, my geeky brothers & sisters, a great many of the things I’m about to share with you might not exactly be *enjoyable*.¬† But mate, they are important nonetheless.

So while the clock’s tickin’ and time’s a-wasting, I’ll just commence the link dump, shall I?

First, a really useful piece about being trauma informed ¬†in the classroom, and while we’re in the classroom, here is a lovely li’l something about the role of self-compassion in academic performance.¬† Important, because look how harrowing grad school can be.

A few more screen-y links: here is something about the risks of choosing electronic socialisation over the kanohi ki te kanohi, face to face type, and the Guardian reminds parents not to let children take screens into bedrooms.

Here are a couple of research articles to seek out: this one carves a line between screen time and developmental screening scores, (which is problematic: check out THIS ¬†from the Independent pointing to how much more time the littles are spending on screens than they did even 15 or so years ago) … and this work points out how screen use during daily routines is contributing to social-emotional delays.¬† As a counter, you might LEAN IN to the routines, thusly.¬†¬†

Reasons to resist, continued!  In this interview,  Chamath Palihapitiya (a former Facebook exec) says:

¬†“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we‚Äôve created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. You are being programmed”

 

Other stuff now … HERE you will find an article about the ways that early development (specifically behaviour) points to earning power in adulthood, this is a piece from Psychology Today about the spotlight effect¬†(how I love a research project that involves Barry Manilow!) and here is some goodness from Rick Hansen about taking in the good.

Speaking of good, check out this project that keeps people bicycling at all ages, here are five ways to nurture compassion in kids, and this is a slew of treats for the simplifier in your life.¬† This is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen – haiku meet the Supreme Court of the US… and a¬†final bit of inspiring reading is to be found here, and it is about self-definition.¬† Yeah!

super fast roller coaster, with a deliberately chilled out soundtrack

oh babe new septKia Ora e hoa ma,

What a day.¬† What a week!¬† A week in which the pictured issue of OHbaby! was released, there is an article in there that I wrote about our Minds … with deep and humble respect to Dan Siegel!¬†¬†

And there was this luscious bit: last Monday I heard (shout out to the hardest working researcher in showbiz!¬†¬†TńďnńĀ koe, Keryn!)¬†that Sue, Executive Director extraordinaire of¬†Brainwave ¬†Trust Aotearoa¬†had shared some goodies with our Prime Minister, new mum Jacinda Ardern.¬† Well, blow me down … one of the three articles she passed along is one that I had written some years back.¬† It still stands up, I’m stoked.¬† I could barely be more excited … I long for some sit down conversation with Jacinda, and until then, this will do nicely!

I had a useful couple of meetings at university, I got a truckload of work done here in my office (aka my happy place) and as I type this, my kitchen is undergoing a long awaited massage!  This means I am without an oven for the foreseeable future.  Bring on the weird dinners!!

Also today, I watched the most recent webinar by the Children’s Screen Time Action Network, featuring the authors of the book Screen Schooled.¬† ¬†It was all sorta energizing, kinda depressing.

HEY: For face-to-face training of a different ilk (love that word) then won’t you please check out this offering¬†‚ÄúThe Approach of Dr Emmi Pikler in AotearoaNew Zealand‚ÄĚ … I’m confident that anyone attending will be inspired, educated, and will find community.¬† It’s in October, in the central bit of Te Ika a Maui.

A few random links to finish: this is Evolutionary Parenting, which I love, and one of the peeps on the webinar today shared this link, which is some interesting research dealing with how long it takes us to get back in the groove when we’re interrupted.

This is an interesting article from Mothering Mag, reporting on a study about how our workplace interactions can overflow into our homes (and it’s the kids who cop it!) .¬† Speaking of kids copping it (!!!) here is a call for more thoughtful design in high rise apartments, and this is a most fascinating something from Harvard about sleep deprivation and subsequent possible effects.¬† Nap time, anyone?

sharing, by clearing (tabs)

Sooner or later I’m going to have to learn how to use some of the tools at my disposal.¬† I can barely use my computer, I’m not sure I could even thread up my sewing machine, and I’m terrified of the new software I need to master.¬† To reference, graph, and get my shit together.¬†

I’m so mad at tech.¬† How will I learn to love her?¬† Appreciate the good bits.¬† Get playful with leaning new software.¬† Play with the wonderful communicative bits.

Like sharing stuff.  That is a cool gift.  Access to all the stuff.  I need to share some:

Here is an awesome article (with some blue language, look out) from Esquire magazine, about Fred Rogers.¬† The man is a hero.¬† Apparently there is a new movie coming out about Mr Rogers’ life.¬† If I was a diligent blogger I’d go find you a link, but I’m due at a school assembly, and my computer is running slow!

Very good resource here, based around¬†Bruce Perry’s Regulate, Relate, Reason, which is some life changing stuff.¬† Ain’t foolin.

Now here is an article from the Huffington Post, about how we are all checking our smartphones more than we know.¬† It’s becoming apparent to me that the ‘checking behaviour’ is possibly more an indicator of worrisome stuff than just straight ‘time on screen’ measures.

More on that later.

Hey, anyone lucky enough to be near Sydney in September could go hear Stuart Shanker.¬† How about all the S’s in that sentence!¬† Here is a gift from his blog, about defiant children and diagnoses.¬†¬†

Last year, I had cause to spend a lot of time in an ICU.  I was the family person in charge of an intense scenario.  I am so glad that there are people working to make that scene less weird and terrifying.  

Here is a cool 2 minute video intro to Roots of Empathy.¬† If you don’t know what¬† I am talking about, you needa watch it.

I am obsessed with this photo and this bathmat.

The more my iPhone plays music to me and the less I look at it, the better.  Singing rules.

school holidays = best and worst times of a mama’s life!

Hello my friends,

All is sunny and cold on this bit of my island.¬† We plan a road trip, hubby and gals and I, business mixing with (what I hope will be) some pleasure.¬† I am struggling because I really would rather my kids looked out the window, bickered and grizzled and “are we there yet?”-ed, but everyone else – from the kids themselves to my goodly husband to the lady who waxes my legs – insists that it’s oK to use devices on road trips.

Aeroplanes – fine.¬† But road trips?¬† Through devastatingly beautiful scenery?¬† Aargh … I cannot find peace around that one.¬† Not today, at least.¬† Ask me tomorrow, 5 hours in to the 6 hour drive.

ANYWAY.¬† Some links for the baby geeks among us.¬† First, some shame and outrage.¬† The current government of the USA just seem determined to be the baddies of the world.¬† Not only did they oppose the WHO’s resolution to support breastfeeding, they bullied Ecuador like a bunch of corporate loving monsters.¬† I want to be loving to all humanity, really I do.¬† But if I had the chance to poke the 45th prez in the eye, I’d do it.¬† If I could shove his cronies into icy river water, I’d do it.¬† If I could push him down a flight of stairs, I would.¬† If I’m doing the pushing, shoving and poking out of love for others, does that make it ethically OK?

NOW, in other news, here is a cornucopia of goodness from Stuart Shanker (who I have met, and did not push in a river or poke in the eye, but rather shook his hand) and his Canadian crew.¬† It is a slew of resources about self-regulation¬†and I think you’ll love ’em.

Also, a trifecta of resources dealing with the same thing: here is the original report from the London School of Economics, this is an article from the Guardian which summarises the findings,  and here is a recent opinion piece  which references them both.  What are we dealing with?  The case for banning cellphones in schools, and the demonstrated gains in academic performance that would flow from this bravery Рespecially for poorer performing students.

This is a piece from the Harvard Medical School which celebrates the work of one of their whńĀnau, elevating the importance of mental health care (why, yes!) and this is a youtube video in which Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal theory¬†(which is amazing, important, and brain-achy)¬†is made most understandable.¬† Enjoy!

 

Waiau, Lincoln, and in between

If I were a cleverer geek I’d be able to insert a nice graphic from Saturday’s ECE Expo. ¬†Alas, I am supremely human (ie: flawed as can be!) so I’ll ask you to just tolerate one of the ultra uncool, non-web-wonderful posts that are my default setting.

What a time it’s been. ¬†I never reported back on the excellence of a visit to Waiau with the glorious Dr. Jackie and the extraordinary Steph from the Brainwave Trust Aotearoa. ¬†What an amazing opportunity to connect with a warm, authentic, courageous group of families. ¬†I honour the whole darned lot of yiz.

And this weekend was also an utter treat: Libby and her crew organised a professional and enriching day and I greatly cherished being able to present. ¬†The folks in my session were open and engaged and willing … we had some fun, eh?

If you’d like to hear more from Dr. Perry and his profoundly transformative recipe: ¬†“Regulate, Relate, Reason”, check out this link, which includes a podcast. ¬†Listen while you prep dinner!

And here is a link to the Buddhify app, which is just one of a quadrillion breath/meditation type helpers. ¬†I adore it. ¬†And give Adriene’s “Yoga Quickies” a try, for if you’ve just got a few minutes and need a reboot. ¬†Love her! ¬†Amazing!

(*btw two things I should have referenced on the day: the line “set yourself up for greatness” is one of Adriene’s, and the Imaginary Extra Day activity was inspired by a book called¬†‚ÄúThe Gift of Play: Why Adult Women Stop Playing and How to Start Again‚ÄĚ, by author Barbara Brannen. )

Also I referred to the awesomeness of Dr. Rick Hanson, you can find more about him here.¬†¬†I enjoy all of his writing, including his weekly newsletters, and I subscribe to his podcast, too. ¬†Check out Episode 4 for more of that “noticing that you are already oK” practice. ¬†SO YUMMY AND WISE.

In other news, a couple here from Scientific American, first a graphic look at the impact of poverty on the brain (ugh) and this article expands the ideas represented in the first.

Another one from the “What the HECK?” file, this is a piece from Harvard Medical School about the far reaching benefits and implications of supporting breastfeeding. ¬†American data, but interesting nonetheless.

This episode of the podcast ‘On Being’ blew my mind, and now I’m going to have to check out more from Anil Dash, because he might be the hope for a generation. ¬† The latest episode of On Being has an interview with Bessel Van der Kolk, he of the Body Keeps the Score. ¬†Y’know, I keep trying to get everyone to read it! ¬†Can’t wait to listen to that one.

Another podcast in my queue, recommended by one of my favourite gals, and from one of my favourite ‘casts! ¬†This looks awesome, from Radiolab.

Oh, and did I share this yet? ¬†It’s about parenting teens. ¬†Love them! ¬†Trust them! ¬†Cuddle their big bodies whenever they let you!

I haven’t time for much else this morning. ¬†But look after yourself, please. ¬†And look after your people. ¬†And look after our beautiful land that we love as much as we love our people!

Playcentre, baby

Kia Ora Geeks, what’s up? ¬†So Little Girl and I started our week with a beautiful visit to the Playcentre in Leithfield. ¬†I wanted to follow up with a few links from our conversation there.

First: May I say how much I love Playcentre as a movement, a philosophy, and a thing in general. ¬†It’s uniquely kiwi, supportive of families (therefore is grounded in Bioecological theories of human development, whoop whoop!) and it is a monument to play. ¬†And play rules. ¬†That’s that. As I told the lovely Kate, who is writing about the morning for a Playcentre publication, being in a Playcentre makes me proud to be a New Zealander.

I also happen to adore Kay Henson, who runs that Monday morning session at Leithfield Playcentre.  What a lucky little village.  And what lovely, devoted mamas all hanging out that day.  I am grateful to have spent some time with you all.

I see the way you attend so patiently, selflessly, (exhaustedly!) to your settled, loved, inquisitive children.  I see you.

Some of the things I wanted to follow up:

This is a good intro to temperament theory, and, to follow on, here is an article about the concept of Goodness of Fit.  And this article does a lovely job of explaining Self Regulation and highlights the link between it and Goodness of Fit.  Good times!

An extension of our temperament conversation led us into talking about Elaine Aron and her Highly Sensitive Person work.  Check out more here.

A couple of musical links now: first with regards to behaviour. ¬†This is Accentuate the Positive, which is more than just a classic tune. ¬†It’s also a great strategy for dealing with our families. ¬†It’s a behaviour management anthem, about choosing your battles, and celebrating the bits that are going well!

The next musical link is a live version of Dixie Chicken by Little Feat, from the year of our Lord, 1977. ¬†It’s for Dixie and her mama.

What else? ¬†Here is a link to learn more about Madga Gerber, this is a book I highly recommend, this is one of the Buddhist inspired parenting books I wouldn’t live without (I chatted with one mama about this),¬†and won’t you please have a peruse of my writing page for many expansions of some of the topics we discussed.

Finally, this is a random and cool link from Mothering mag¬†about baby birds and the power of song … ooooh.

Speaking of birds, I’m off to give my poorly chook a spa treatment. ¬†I wish I was kidding.

is jet lag an agent of disregulation, or is it just me?

 

Kia ora te whńĀnau … whaddup homies

Got back from beautiful Banff yesterday, where I spent a little too much of the remarkable International Symposium for the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics stumbling about in an overtired state, searching for English Breakfast tea, or fighting back tears.  Oh, unless it was one of those moments where I simply succumbed and had a wee cry.

Perhaps I could apply Dr Perry’s excellent awareness of biological rhythms and accept that fluffing around with the circadian rhythm of wake/sleep (not to mention leaping across the equator and confusing summer/winter) is bound to create discombobulation.

So more links will follow when I have caught up with myself. ¬†Right now I’m practicing compassion, and housework. ¬†x x x