Liptember- Perk up your pout and help out!

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You’ll know by now that I am an avid supporter when it comes to mental health awareness. I have shared my journey through parenting a child with severe anxiety and PTSD, a journey that has opened my eyes to what support is available and what isn’t. Hence why I am taking part in Liptember 2020!  Even if I’m still stuck at home, with biscuit crumbs in my hair, dog tired of remote learning, I’ll be doing the whole of September in my brightest lippy to raise much needed funds for mental health charities!!! 

What is Liptember?

Liptember, if you haven’t heard, is a campaign dedicated to raising funds and awareness for women’s mental health, harnessing the true potential of the collective, encouraging and inspiring people to listen, share, and learn.

Helping start the conversation off by popping a little colour on; individuals are encouraged to register online and seek sponsorship from family, friends and co-workers for committing to wear lippy throughout September.

Funds raised during the month of September are donated to the Centre for Women’s Mental Health, Lifeline, Batyr, The Jean Hailes Foundation, The Pretty Foundation and The Magpie Nest Women’s Program.

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It’s so easy for you and your gals to get involved in Liptember. All you need to do is, decide whether you’re going to smash this as a team or go it alone and take all the glory! Then you need to register, commit to wearing a fabulous bold lippy for a day, a week or even the whole month of September (**Yes you can) and show your support to women who need it most!

Become a part of our community and help raise funds to positively impact women’s mental health across Australia- Liptember

It’s as easy as this:

lipsPurchase a Liptember lipstick from any Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist or My Beauty Spot store.

lipsRegister online and start fundraising to add to the $2million already raised.

lipsRock your lippy throughout September! **Wooohoooo!! (As if we need to be asked more than once!)

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So grab your gal pals, create your plan, buy some of the most insanely gorgeous lippy you can get your hands on and support women’s mental health!

There are some great ‘Fundraising Resources’ here!

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You can follow my journey this September by clicking onto my socials. If you’re a kind soul you can also support my Liptember fundraising here!

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Being Brave with the Girls

Since reviewing their first novel ‘Being Brave’ I have been following Sema & Hester’s journey and sharing their 1st book with all my friends who have daughters. I got to chat to the ‘Being Brave Girls’ this week, and asked them for their advice on how we can encourage our daughters to be brave during these uncertain times.

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The Being Brave Girls

Hester Leung and Sema Musson are the co-authors of Being Brave and Being Brave Too, middle grade novels and personal development guides for girls on being brave. These books are inspired by their friendship and their daughters’ friendships.

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The inception of our series began through the many years of talking about everything and anything. Our daughters are friends, and so we became friends! We have shared our life stories and struggles, from parenting to being working mothers, from stressors when we were growing up to relationships now. Therefore, our friendship led to the creation of Being Brave.

At the time of writing our second book Being Brave Too we find ourselves in quite unusual times. It’s like a parallel universe. We are in a world of social distancing. We are all at home. We are working from home. Our daughters have been schooled from home. We have replaced our weekend catch-ups with virtual coffees and lots of phone calls and messages. When before we looked forward to seeing each other on Saturdays at our daughters’ sports, we now look forward to connecting in a totally new way, more than ever needing to support each other in a most unusual year.

Social media becomes more pronounced as we think about what our new normal will be – one where we interact more online, where social media has an increased role for connecting with friends. We want to equip girls to manage the use of these tools positively. Our second book focuses more on this theme.

During this time we discovered that we need to remain soft and strong. We need to remain kind to others and be confident that everything is going to be okay. We need to stop the negative self-talk, that little voice inside that tells us we can’t do something or that we will fail if we try.

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Here are our top five tips to help all the mums and daughters who need a little support on being B-R-A-V-E at this time.

Breathe — Breathing helps calms your mind and is a good way to relax. Try this simple exercise. Place one hand on your upper chest and one hand below your rib cage. Breathe in and count to 4, hold for 4 and breathe out for 4. Feel your tummy expand as you breathe in and shrink as you breathe out.

Relationships — Family and friendships are so important. They support and encourage you in times of joy and distress. They can give you a little confidence boost when you need it most. Give someone special a call today or send them a message to check in with them.

Affirm — Positive affirmations are statements that can overcome that little negative voice on your shoulder. When you repeat them and believe in them they can help you to make a productive change. Try these — I am kind, I am capable and I am worthy.

Visualise — What is the best thing that could happen? How would it feel? How would it sound? Using positive visualisation makes it easier to achieve your goals. In your mind it will be as if you’ve done it before! It makes your goals much more familiar and achievable.

Energise — Do what you love. For each of us, there are things that bring you energy and those things that zap your energy away. Find those things that fuel you and bring them into your day.

Sending you a little bit of hope and motivation at this time. We see you and we’re here for each other.


Find The Being Brave Girls at thebeingbravegirls.com or follow along on their socials.

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You can buy their book here

Being Brave Too is due to be released late September 2020.

Small Biz Shout Out #4 – Rainbow Light Therapies

I’m so thrilled to be gifting you this article as part of my ‘Small Biz Shout Out’ series. As the parent of a child who suffers with anxiety, it was comforting to chat to Kim from Rainbow Light Therapies to get a better understanding of how we can help our children process the plethora of information we’re faced with right now, without overwhelming them.

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I know how fantastic Kim’s work is, as my own family have worked with her, and have had great success through her gentle and effective guidance. I trust Kim implicitly to give us all the best information when it comes to helping our children, so here it is.

Kim – Rainbow Light Therapies

Firstly, how are you feeling Kim, and how do you manage your emotions in the face of this unprecedented pandemic?

I am actually grieving at the moment. Grieving for a holiday that was 12 months in the planning and will now be cancelled. We were scheduled to go to Italy for 3.5 weeks in June/July this year.
Whilst grieving for that holiday I am trying to focus on ‘the good’ that may come out of this and to practise ‘gratitude’ wherever I can.  Hopefully we will see a huge shift in humanity and, a shift that will bring us back to ‘us’ and ‘we’ rather than the ‘me’ mentality we seem to be in.
Managing emotions is tough, if like me, you are empathic, counselling people and are bombarded with Corona Virus news wherever you look.

TURN OFF SOCIAL MEDIA.  Set strict boundaries and stick to them- Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

How can we talk to our children about Covid-19 in the right way?

Talking to our children about Covid-19 is a personal thing.  It’s like telling the kids the truth about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.  It can be very individual.  My advice is to keep it simple and factual.  Kids have fantastic ‘bullshit monitors’ and will know when you are sidestepping or trying to cover up the truth.  Tell them the facts in age appropriate language that they understand and then ask them questions.  Test that they have understood what you have told them.

Do you think there should be a limit to what we are telling them? 

I cannot reiterate enough that we need to tell the truth.  Don’t tell them it is just the flu OR that it is not even as bad as the flu.  What do you think is going to happen next winter when you the parent end up with the flu and your child remembers all those people dying last year from Covid-19?  Dying from a virus that was the ‘flu’ or not even as bad as the flu?

I am passionate about working with children and families to heal, empower and inspire them to manage their stress and anxiety in a natural, holistic way – Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

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Do you have any great resources you can recommend for parents who need a hand with calming children who are feeling worried at the moment?

Here is a list of free resources that I have written and produced to help our anxious kids and teens.

Articles for Parents to Read

Top 9 Stress Busters for Kids and Teens
https://rainbowlighttherapies.com.au/top-9-stress-busters-…/

More Stress Busters for Kids and Teens
https://rainbowlighttherapies.com.au/more-stress-busters-f…/

5 Tips for a Calmer Sleep
https://kiddipedia.com.au/5-tips-for-a-calmer-sleep/

Article for Teens and Adults to Read

Just Breathe (Breathing Techniques for Kids, Teens and Adults)
https://kiddipedia.com.au/just-breathe/

Managing Teen Angst (A Guide for Teens and Parents)
https://rainbowlighttherapies.com.au/managing-teen-angst-a…/

Meditations for Kids

Secret Garden Meditation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFdk3OFRA60&t=100s

Happy Place Meditation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGBkPC_Gt1E&t=432s

Meditations for Kids, Teens and Adults

Progressive Muscle Relaxation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ogoK18lnBA&t=3s

One Minute Meditation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IRaKHc8azs&t=79s

I also suggest Cosmic Kids Yoga for yoga stories and meditations.
https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

Jason Stephenson has some wonderful kids meditations also.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDmAYm1rH8TZpwHyiav8npnsSmkHcwSCw

 

Obviously some children will feel worried about the pandemic, however when would you recommend that parents seek further help for their child? What signs should they be keeping an eye out for?

It’s important to keep an eye out for any changes in behaviour eg: onset of nail biting, more frequent stomach aches and/or headaches, trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, angry outbursts, withdrawal from the family, loss of confidence, negative talking etc.  Just to name a few.Keep the lines of communication open, ask open-ended questions (questions that require more than a one word response). If you feel you need help then get it. The strategies I outline really do work – I have a son with autism and high anxiety and they work on him.

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I am working online at this time providing counselling for kids, teens and adults as are a lot of other folk.  I am also running “Parenting Strategy” sessions online -Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

What can parents do to better manage their emotions and therefore help stop their children’s feelings escalating?

Monkey see Monkey do!  Your kids will emulate exactly what you do.  Parents need to set a good example.  Set healthy boundaries like turning off social media.  Don’t watch the news coverage 24hours per day.  Exercise.  Eat well.  Keep to a routine.  Even just a basic routine will help as we all suffer less anxiety when we know what is going to happen next, so, set up a daily planner and stick to it (allowing for fun time, downtime and blocks of time for things to go pear shaped).

Stay home BUT stay connected.  Get the kids to show you how to do a group chat online via Skype or Zoom so that you can “see” your tribe and stay connected.  Think outside the box.  Setup games nights, birthday parties and other celebrations via online methods.  Research shows that connection lowers stress, anxiety and depression – Kim, Rainbow Light Therapies

Kim is working online at the moment. She offers a range of services including Kids and Teens Group and Individual Managing Anxiety Sessions, Kids, Teens and Adults Reiki Workshops and Intuitive Healings, Kids, Teens and Adults Spiritual Development Workshops and Individual and Family Counselling Sessions for the whole family.

You can get in touch with Kim by emailing her – kim@rainbowlighttherapies.com.au

You can check out more from Kim via her website, and by finding her on InstagramFacebook & YouTube


 

Thank You!

Whilst many, many small businesses are letting go of staff, and popping the ‘closed’ sign on the door for the last time, thousands more are trying their absolute best not to become a victim of the Covid-19 Pandemic. That is why it is crucially important that we all make sure we are researching before buying and making a real point of ‘shopping small’. By sharing these posts you are sharing this small business with your friends and you are creating a chain of exposure for each and every business we feature. Imagine the difference you could make, just with the click of a button!!

Who can you support next?

Liv xx

 

The Being Brave Book: A Novel And Guide

The following book review was written by me and first published on KidTown Melbourne

The Being Brave Book: A novel & guide about finding courage and strength by Sema Musson and Hester Leung.

I have recently enjoyed this delightful book with my 11-year-old daughter, who herself has moved schools and walked, in many ways, in the shoes of the main characters. Not only did it encourage us to discuss the power of positive thinking, but also started conversations on the importance of being determined, brave, honest, imaginative, and best of all, kind. Lessons that we could all take on board and talk to our children about a little more frequently.

‘Ellie and Alyssa have been best friends since pre-school. One chatty, one shy, one adventurous, the other considered, one Australian, one with Chinese heritage, both supportive and giving. It’s easy together. Then they change schools.’

Being Brave is a novel and personal development guide for young girls with themes on self-esteem and resilience. It’s the first novel/guide we have read and I’m glad we did!

We are all aware of the challenges children face while growing up, but it’s stories like this that teach us all how to put one foot in front of the other regardless of how big the climb! It’s an important read for youngsters as it confirms their feelings are not out of the ordinary, and therefore they’re not alone.

Please grab a copy and join Ellie and Alyssa on this important journey through the everyday pressures of school and family life in this all-Australian girls’ adventure story, where girls triumph and the main characters reflect Australia’s wonderful ethnic diversity.

Get a copy, cuddle up with your girl, and take some time out to enjoy the togetherness whilst learning some positive personal development tips!

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Check out the Being Brave Girls on Facebook

The Being Brave Book: A Novel And Guide By: Sema Musson and Hester Leung is available to buy online at Booktopia and other leading book stores.BB5.jpg

RRP $19.95

‘It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are!’

Liv xxx 

Don’t ban mobile phones, teach children the importance of honesty! 

I have two children at Primary school. I am “one of those mums” who hasn’t let either of them have a phone yet. Why would I? My son is 7, and my grade 6 daughter is 10. They’re never really in a situation where they need a phone. Not only that, I don’t want them to be able to access any form of social media without me being there. I don’t believe children under the age of 16 have anywhere near the right capabilities to understand or use social media in the right way! They’re still learning social etiquette in the playground for goodness sake, so why open up a whole other world where a simple “No!” can be completely misconstrued.

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Aside to the misunderstandings that come about from a simple text message, smartphones and social media can have seriously detrimental effects on our children’s emotional wellbeing. Alongside increased stress and anxiety levels, children have been shown to have dramatic changes in how they see themselves and measure their self-worth. So why would Primary Schools allow mobile phones through the gates? Well, how the hell can they stop it? This week (three weeks after I wrote this article) it seems that the Victorian Government are finally taking steps to ban mobile phones in all Victorian schools. This has caused lots of chat, mostly from parents who are understandably concerned about their children being left without any way of contacting them.

Just like most primary schools, our school has a “no mobile phone” policy. It’s all very clear! When you come into school, you switch your phone off and hand it to your teacher, who locks it away until the end of the day. Or, you can hide it! You can leave it on, hide it in your bag and bring it out at school swimming when you and your mates want to make a TikTok video. Or you can sneak it into your bag when you go on grade 4 camp, and make Instagram stories of your mates being silly in their underwear. Come on, who cares who’s watching our 9 year olds running around half naked?  Oh hell, let’s go the whole 9 yards and make some Instagram posts with our girlfriends in front of the mirror in the change rooms. Who cares that poor old Sally is nude in the background? Her mum won’t mind!!

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It’s all good and well for primary aged child to have a phone so that parents know they’re safe when they’re walking home, however, when our children are at school, I think we’re allowed to expect that they are safe too, and not being subjected to all the nightmares of social media and the internet? It should go without saying that they aren’t being filmed for Instagram, or photographed for Snap Chat shouldn’t it?

I think as parents, we’re well within our rights to know that when the bell goes, and school begins, children are not uploading to their socials, taking photographs or subjecting other children knowingly or not, to any kind of online activity.

According to Bully Zero Australia Foundation, one in eight Australians experience cyberbullying.

It’s not about being paranoid; it’s about keeping our whole community safe.

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Do we need to send primary aged children through metal detectors at the school gate? Probably not. Do we have an all-out ban on phones, and expect our children to walk home with no way of being contacted? No, absolutely not. Do we need to stop our most vulnerable children accessing the help they need through a device, no way! Therefore, the only way teachers can ever get a handle on mobile phone usage at school is by us parents taking control. Now!

We need to talk to our children about their devices and how they are using them. We need to make sure our children are being honest and using their phones in a safe and respectful way. We need to teach our children the importance of handing their devices to a member of staff, and absolutely make it their responsibility to do so. If they can’t be responsible enough to do that, they shouldn’t have a phone!

Mobile phones can take bullying out of the playground and into the home.

You only have to scroll apps like TikTok to see how many children (and I mean Primary aged) are using their devices in school time. It’s not only a worry for the safety of your own child, but for the children in the background who are completely oblivious to the fact they are “Insta famous”.

We mustn’t ever underestimate privacy. It’s supremely important when it comes to our very young children. “Private accounts “still reveal all sorts of information about a child, and do not stop online bullying!

Of course there’s a limit to what schools can do about children who sneak their devices into the playground. Without bag searches, metal detectors or honesty, teachers are being blindsided every day. This is resulting in our children not having a completely safe environment in which to learn, away from the pressures of social media and the worst of the internet.

The village needs you!

Our primary school children don’t understand the dramatic implications of their online behaviour. They don’t see the harm in hiding their phone in their bag and taking the odd picture of their friends in the playground. We don’t need an all out ban, we need to teach our children the importance of honesty!

It’s our responsibility as parents, to keep our children safe, however, it’s also our responsibility to make sure the children around them are safe too.


It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless – L.R. Knost

Liv xxx

 

Suncorp ‘Team Girls Rally Cry’ encourages and motivates young girls to embrace life confidently!

Do your daughters play sport? Are you struggling to keep them engaged in sport as they get older. Well, it seems like you aren’t alone! We were invited to watch the Vixens play netball a few weeks ago and to witness the powerful launch of Suncorp Team Girls!

Suncorp recently revealed the shocking findings of the ‘2019 Australian Youth Confidence Report’, revealing more than half of parents are concerned about their daughter’s self-esteem. Hands up who can relate to this!

I was so shocked to learn that these findings coincide with 46% of Australian teen girls turning their back on sport by the age of 17, despite two-thirds acknowledging that sport can make them feel more confident. Why are our young women giving up on sport when they know it makes them feel great?

The national survey of over 1000 Australian parents and teenagers conducted as part of the Suncorp Team Girls initiative, also revealed that confidence and the perception of themselves is one of the most commonly discussed topics in their home.

 Sport plays a pivotal role in building confidence in all areas of life, and it’s so important that we are getting and giving the support our daughters need to keep them on the court. For all of us with daughter’s who still play on a team, we know just how beneficial it is, in so many ways. The confidence I see in my own daughter when she is on the netball court is proof alone, that playing sport is a valuable weapon in combatting a mental health condition. 

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Have a Hero – Poppy & her hero Caitlin Thwaites

“Our research tells us participation in team sport nurtures perseverance, resilience and confidence; essential skills teen girls need now and in the future. This, in turn, can have a real positive impact on their health and wellbeing, career prospects and financial security moving forwards,” Suncorp’s Executive General Manager Brand & Marketing, Mim Haysom

“We are Team Girls – hear us roar!”

In response to the new findings and to drive awareness of the plight that parents and young girls face, Suncorp has launched a new Team Girls Rally Cry to encourage and motivate young girls to embrace life confidently, on and off the court. Championing the cause and inspiring Australian girls to stay in the game, is Australian electronic music songstress, Thandi Phoenix, a rising star of an equally male-dominated scene.

Suncorp’s research draws a direct link for girls of all ages between being confident and achieving success in a range of life dimensions, including their work and social lives. The benefits of sports are widely recognised to have lifetime impacts, as sport is felt to build fundamental life skills like team building, leadership and resilience.


Suncorp Team Girls Ambassador Rebecca Sparrow – teen Agony Aunt, podcast host and author of ‘Game On! A Team Girls Guide to Getting Active’. offers her tips on what parents can do boost participation:

  • Encourage girls to try sports their friends are playing as they will be more willing to get involved.  If your daughter’s friends are playing netball or hockey or AFL — talk to your daughter about joining their team for a season. Or start playing a new sport with a friend.

  • Become a fan. Get your daughter excited about the sport by following the national league and experiencing the excitement of a live game. Introduce your daughter to a terrific role model like netball’s Gabi Simpson and Gretel Tippett, AFL’s Tayla Harris and Moana Hope or cricket’s Ellyse Perry. Start following the players on social media.

  • Chill out. Many kids cringe at their parents’ sideline behaviour.  Keep the focus on fun rather than form and leave the feedback to the coaches.  The goal is for kids to have fun and be active.

  • Allow them to try different sports. Some kids take a while to find the sport which ignites them.  Trying a few different sports is a great way to find the right fit.

  • If your daughter suddenly wants to quit her team sport, listen to her reasons and explore whether joining a less competitive team would be of interest.

 

 “Sport actively builds that inner grit we all need to handle life.” Rebecca Sparrow


Key Findings of the ‘2019 Suncorp Australian Youth and Confidence Report’:

  • Only 55 per cent of Australian girls age 11-17 play sport in a typical week, compared to 69 per cent of boys of the same age

  • 15-17-year-old girls are significantly more likely to be playing less sport (46 per cent) in the last 12 months or to have completely stopped, compared to 15-17 boys (30 per cent)

  • 11-17-year-old girls are significantly less active (-1 hr 18 mins) than boys of the same age in a typical week

  • 15% of girls don’t like playing sport because they don’t think they’re ‘any good’, a close second to ‘having too much schoolwork’

  • Two-thirds (67 per cent) of girls age 11-17 acknowledged that sport can make them feel confident or ‘good about themselves’

  • 54% of boys aged 11 -17 feel confident as a result of playing team sport compared to 37 per cent of girls in the same age group

  • The findings highlight the importance of peers and loved ones to drive their confidence; 9 in 10 girls aged 11 – 17 admit to deriving confidence through support from friends and family

  • 8 in 10 girls believe that it is important for girls to support one another.

  • Girl’s favourite sports include dance (24 per cent), swimming (18 per cent), netball (16 per cent), basketball, soccer and gym (all 10 per cent)

If you are struggling to keep your daughter in sport, have a read of the ultimate guide for parents to teach your teens and tweens about the benefits of playing sports.

 


 

Stay positive, stay fighting, stay brave, stay ambitious, stay focussed, stay strong!

Liv xxx