Q: I am a Mom of 3 and have just learned about your website. Although I believe that a person of any age can learn these techniques, what a head start it gives people to learn them as young as possible. When my oldest was 5 (now 11) I took a course called "developing capable people" it had to do with empowering young children for better choice making and behavior. I feel it is much easier to build a child than to fix an adult. My questions for you is:

How does one implement this in the school?

A: Thanks so much for your message. I can tell you've given a lot of thought to how you can help your children gain self esteem and choose feelings, attitudes and actions that serve them positively in their lives. This is the first year that Mind Power for Children programs have been available in North America. I am most eager to get this work into the schools and that starts with parents like yourself who also want to make it happen. I have done a very successful pilot program in a Richmond school in B.C. and now that the school year is fully underway, expect to be doing more in the new year. As you may know from our website, this program has been taught to thousand of children overseas for the past ten years with spectacular results. Our website details the format of the Mind Power for Children program for parents, teachers and children themselves. If you would like support to get a program started in your childrens' school, please let me know and I will be delighted to send information to your parent advisory council or school principal.

Q: I watched John Kehoe on City TV last night and thought that you have great ideas. Unfortunately, I have two sons that have very low self esteem. Although my husband and I try to encourage them and tell them they can do things and make friends they are very self conscious. We also face very difficult and stressful problems every day due to the fact that we have another son with Cerebral Palsy and he is legally blind. I feel that this is causing some of the problems with our other sons as they think we expect them to deal with life differently than we do ourselves because we are very depressed and upset most of the time, but we try not to pass this on. I know children are smart enough to sense these things and sometimes they hear conversations that we don't want them to. It seems that in my family, not only do the children need the mind power but so do the parents.
Can you offer some suggestions that will help?
A: Thanks so much for your message.
It's true that our children learn much more about how to deal with situations in life by watching how we behalf rather than by what we tell them. I have found, though, that when our lives are especially challenging, like yours is at the moment, that honesty is the best policy with children. Children are very compassionate and understanding even with their limited experience. Perhaps you might be interested in creating a "Mind Power" program for your whole family. In other words, engage your sons as partners in the process. You might want to choose a few affirmations together that you can all use. An example might be: "Everyday, great things happen in our family". At first this may seem a bit awkward and certainly untrue at the moment, but that's the beauty of Mind Power. It doesn't matter. That positive statement will create positive feelings and actually attract "great things" to happen in your family. Mind Power is about re-training your mind to see the possibilities of life in a very positive way. It takes time and it takes practice. When you sit together at dinner, take a few minutes to recap the great things that happened during your day. Let your children lead the game, you might be surprised with what they come up with. At times like this, when you are feeling relaxed and less hurried, you will find opportune moments to give them positive messages like: “Wow, you sure have some terrific ideas.” Or, “You really know how to make me feel great!”

I really encourage you to get a copy of our book and read it together as a family. It may appear difficult at first and making the time might seem like a big deal, but it will be worth it many times over. Your two sons will feel empowered knowing that they are helping the family feel better. They may find themselves reminding you of the affirmation (and please ask them to do so!) just when you need it the most. It might result in more hugs, more laughter and badly needed breaks in the pattern of worry and despair.

Q: My daughter recently began ballet classes at a local dance school. After a few weeks she announced that she wanted to quit. I can’t figure out what’s wrong. My feeling is that if she commits to something, she must follow through.

What can I do?

A: It’s very common for children to want to give up on projects they start. If it is important to you that she follows through on her commitments, then getting to the bottom of why she wants to quit is the most effective way to begin. You might be surprised by her answers. Given that your agreement with her is to continue ballet, find out what thoughts she has about the class that prevent her from enjoying herself. Is she willing to change her thoughts to make the class more enjoyable? Let’s say she has trouble keeping up with the teacher and therefore thinks she is a “poor dancer”. An affirmation like “I am a beautiful dancer” will certainly help. If she enjoys dancing at home then it could be” I am a beautiful dancer wherever I am”. This is where acknowledging comes in and visualizations as well. Reinforce her new look at herself as a “beautiful dancer”. Engaging the help from her teacher can also work wonders. And have fun with “elephant ears” acknowledging... it really works!