Hold on dear, its s temporary Pain. By Lukonge Achilees

I know you are having a really hard time right now. And I know that “really hard” doesn’t truly sum it up…not in the least. If we are being real here, I know that right now you are feeling pretty devastated. You are hurting, both inside and out, and you can’t figure out how to make the pain go away. Your thoughts feel way too heavy and overbearing, and you don’t know what to do. You can’t figure out how to make things okay again, or how to convince yourself that it’s okay to be happy, or that there are things to be happy about. Instead, here you are, curled up in a ball on your bed, just trying to make your way through the darkness. Hurting on your own, while the rest of the world keeps moving on around you. I know how much it hurts, and how fatigued you are from just trying to keep your head above the water. I know how exhausted you are from holding the tears back and I know how scared you are feeling to be so alone and lonely in this dark space. You want help and support, but you don’t know what kind of support you need. You don’t know who to turn to or what to ask for, because you just don’t know what will help. You have no ideas left as to what will lift this heavy haze, this immeasurable sadness. You would love for someone to throw you a life preserver, but of course, it’s not that easy. You would love to take a Tylenol or get a good night of sleep to wash away the hurt, but you know that neither of these will fix the problem. You know that this is no quick fix. So you continue to tread water, and pray that someone or something will send you a “cure” to this immense pain.

I can’t fix what hurts. And I have no magical dust that will bring you immediate relief. But I can bring you hope. Or at least, I can encourage you to remember that hope exists. I can remind you of how loved and cared you are, despite the pain you are in. I can remind you that you are still loved and cared for, even when you are sad. And I can tell you that I hope things will be better for you soon. I can have hope for you, in the hopes that you will try your hardest to also have hope. And believe me, I know how difficult it can be to find hope when everything feels so very dark. I know what it feels like to have nothing to hold onto, nothing to steady yourself with, and nothing to believe in. But I still urge you to try. Try to be open to having hope. Because above all, even when things are awful and heavy and even when life feels insurmountable, the secret is learning how to have hope. It is learning that faith exists and that faith is real. It’s reminding yourself, over and over again, that you can have faith in tomorrow. It’s learning that the load will ease up in time. It’s learning that life ebbs and flows and that the goodness will outweigh the darkness in due time. All I ask of you is that you try your very hardest to trust that things won’t feel this way forever. Because they won’t. And knowing that things will get better will give you something to fight for.

And sometimes you have to remember that the universe is huge, and you are tiny, and that something somewhere out there in that vast open sky, is watching over you. Maybe it’s God, or the heavens. Maybe it’s a supernatural spirit. Maybe it’s magic, or maybe it’s your loved one looking down on you through the light in the sky. Or, maybe it’s just the stars and the sky and that bright shimmering moon that are shining light on you, letting you know that you are safe, that you will be okay.

And please know that even when you are sad, you are still so very special. Even when your heart is burnt out and your soul is tired, you are still so brave and strong. Your light still shines, even when the hurt is reflected in your eyes. And when you are sad, I hope you remember that you are something so precious that the universe made only one of you. And when things are hard, I hope you don’t forget this. I hope you don’t become so afraid of life that you forget how to live at all. Or that you forget to believe in yourself. To believe that you are capable of healing.

So if you are struggling right now, know this. Know that even though life can be so intensely painful, even though it can hurt more than you could’ve imagined, it won’t be this bad forever. The pain won’t stab you so hard forever. Eventually, it will subside. And you will be okay again. You will be you again. And know that even though you may feel like you have nothing left to live for, you always always always have something to live for. You are so loved. And there are many people out there just waiting to know you and love you. So hold on. Pain ends. Fear ends. Anxiety ends. And in time, the sunset will look much more like a sunrise. In time, the nights won’t be quite as terrifyingly lonely. And in time, you will find your way again.

This is Why friendship is a must in your Life

Friends come and go in our lives and our tribe is always changing. It is like the phrase “for a reason or a season.” As you grow and change, so do the people you choose to surround yourself with.

At times, all your friends will mesh together well and then there will be times when you have to hang out with different groups at different times. We can’t always make pieces of different puzzles fit together seamlessly.

Friendships teach us a lot about ourselves, about others and about the way we view the world we live in. They are our support when we feel alone, those we laugh with over the most ridiculous things and shoulders to cry on when we need it most.

There is no coincidence to the timing of when certain people come into or out of our lives. Good friendships, as we move towards adulthood, are the ones that no matter how much time has passed since we last talked, we pick up right where we left off.

Friends are our chosen family. Those we choose to let in. Those we choose to help. Those we choose to share in life experiences with. They teach us love. They bring light. They instill in us an attitude of gratitude. Choose them wisely. Hug them hard but when it’s time to let one go, cherish the time for what it was. Wait for what’s to come and see what beautiful friendships can be formed from it and the benefits it can bring to all your friends’ lives as well as our own for years to come.

Creating beautiful bonds with each other means the world to you because it is the family you’ve created, and it becomes the tribe you always wanted and didn’t know you needed in your life.

The importance of having a true friend

As human beings, it is the inevitable truth that people will be in and out of our lives. As we grow as individuals, who we associate ourselves with constantly evolves. Who we keep around becomes based off our shared interests, time spent together, and what characteristics we find valuable in individuals.

During this evolution, casualties are bound to happen. Friends you might have died for years ago are now nothing more than a chapter in your long story of life. The memories of the times you shared are nothing more than that — memories. No matter how much we long for that feeling to return when you would just spend hours with each other can never be salvaged. Even if you were put in a room with said person, the likelihood you’re able to pick up where you left off is slim to none. The unfortunate reality of it is that it’s no one’s fault. That’s just how life is.

With so many people coming and going, it’s easy to view friends as just blimps on the radar. You slowly become cold to the fact that one day you might never talk to this person again. In fact, more often than not, we just ignore this fact. We choose to live in blissful ignorance believing that, even if you hold a friendship with someone, the bonfire will slowly trickle to a flame. Next thing you know, you’re exchanging stories at the 20th high school reunion and trying to catch up on each other’s lives. It almost makes having meaningful friendships worthless.

Through all of this, though, it’s important to construct a long term bond with at least one friend in your life. Almost everyone has that one person they still chat with at least a few times a month on a regular basis. A friend that you can actually sit back and remember the “good times” with. This will be the person that you more than likely will have in your wedding party or who will be there to see your children be born. As easy as your friendship with this person may be, it will also probably be one of the most important relationships you ever have in your life.

This person will help keep you grounded. They tether you to the fact that, in a world filled with cold and calculating people, there’s some good out there to be found. They remind you that genuine human connection is a thing to be celebrated, and that even though not all friendships last, they all can mean something. When you mature into your years, they remind you of just how far you’ve come. Depending on circumstances, they can even be a figure of your past to show you that you’ve come a long way and should be proud of yourself.

Every human on this planet is just trying to figure this world out. Through the tears and the grinding, having that one friend can be the most comforting thing in the world. You feel like you’re not alone in your struggles. Tackling your strives together can be an empowering motivator to not only help yourself but them as well. As conversations turn to those of earlier years, both friends can congratulate the other on the great things they’ve done.

At the end of it all, the most important thing to realize is that the friend the chooses to stick around was the one worth having all this time in the first place. This person has watched you change before their very eyes. They’ve seen you at your best, and they’ve surely seen you at your worst. Despite all of this, they’ve stuck by your side through it all, and at the end of the day, isn’t that all we really want? A friend, someone who will be there through thick and thin.

I am Ready to take care of my twins. The young Mother who gave birth at 16 Vowed.

I am A social Worker, no daubt about that, i am Author, i am working with young mother, I would like their stories to be heard and their faces to be seen: to portray teen mothers in their living and working environments, collect their testimonies and show the consequences of early pregnancy.

During interview with the young mother, she expressed her life story.

And the moment that I have been anticipating for days, months, and years even has come. I took a deep breath and pushed down my baby with own power while I followed my body. Before my breath finished, my first baby came sliding out of me and the next follows. While I exhaled, I quietly said that they are born. They put my twin into my arms even before cutting their umbilical cord. They were warm, wet, soft, and smelled sweet. They screamed joyfully, and I thanked them repeatedly for giving me this wonderful experience. The doctors and nurses were looking on at that remarkable moment when our twin joined my family, confused, happy, and teary eyed. They stared at us with questioning expressions because they had just watched a birth so vastly different from the fearful births they had witnessed in the past—fearfulness that resulted from the negative birth stories that have been handed down to women for years especially women who passed through difficult life and have eroded their confidence and power regarding birth. How had it come to this?

In the beginning of 2017, my father died, following the mother, who was deceased before, the elder sisters suggested that everyone was to start living on his or her own. Being the last born at the age of 18, I decided to come to kampala to look for some work to do. Later got a job as a maid; I only managed to work for few months since I was always suffering from a severe headache and brutality from my bosses. Later I went back to village where I met a man aged 23 who promised to take good care of me. I came to town with a man and lived together for one week. Later, I went to look for another job. After some few weeks i realized that, I missed my periods that I am pregnant, I went back to a man’s place to tell him about the news. The man denied the pregnancy and told me never to come back looking for him.

By that time, no jobs, and lost focus and hope, I started living on streets and in churches. I went to the village. Elder sisters got mad about the pregnancy and they advised to abort. I resisted, not killing the innocent baby, I was chased away from home,I felt that everything was over, no hope, no money, and no any assistance.

I went back to Kampala but no where to stay, I started living in churches like Christian life church of pastor Jackson Ssenyonga in Bwaise, and Miracle center cathedral of Pastor Robert Kayanja Lubaga where I was receiving some help from the volunteers.

So, the matter worsens, she went back to streets, sleeping on verandas, and tree shades for couple of weeks, she met a woman called Musawo Jane in Bwaise, she gave her tea and what to eat, she told a bodaboda rider to take her to Lubaga miracle center cathedral of Pastor Robert Kayanja, she spent their 2 weeks since they was still chased because it is prohibited to deliver from church, she went again back on streets.

I walked with my baby inside right from Lubaga heading where I don’t know, sometimes the sunshine and heavy rain barely hit, stopped on the church called worship house of pastor Wilson Bugembe, slept there one day, and heading to a health center called Kawempe Mulago where she stayed 5 days getting medicine and other post natal care for free, because I explained my story to doctor, he was touched and decided to help me for free. From there, I continued the Journey, walking while sleeping on people’s retail shops, petrol stations, verandas, and streets; I went back to Christian life church.

Forty weeks and 5 days into the pregnancy, my Twins and I were still together. In life I don’t wished anyone to live in, I felt their movements less now—they were smaller than they had been but stronger. My friends on streets, in churches, at least 20 people checking on me every day where I used to sleep on cement to ask when I will give birth and scaring me by saying things like, “What if something’s wrong with the baby?” no one among my brothers and sisters wanted to know about my life, My mother and Father up in the sky/heaven may be were watching and praying for me, and waiting impatiently for their first grandson, constantly saying, “It’s high time the baby made an appearance.” Because they used to say that when they are still alive, they loved me so much. I became so fed up, especially in the last 10 days of my pregnancy. I suggested to the close friends-to-be that they not tell anyone the approximate birth date to avoid similar experiences.

I made myself believe that my Twins would be born in the night, having heard somewhere that animals that sleep in the daytime birth in the night and vice versa (which seemed to show that privacy and protection are important in nature.) In the weeks and days leading up to my due date, I tried my best to go to sleep in people’s houses, or people’s veranders early every day so as not to be tired when I finally went into labor. I would fall asleep rubbing my abdomen and thinking, “Maybe I’ll smell you tonight babies.” But when morning came, I would wake to find my babies was still saying, “Good morning, mommy!” from my womb.

It was another such morning when I went to the toilet of one of good Samaritan and saw the first thrilling sign that the birth was finally going to happen. I had to go to nearby church to pray, There came a lady dressed well, totally in the same age group, she was from Pelletier teenage mothers foundation (PTMOF) it was the first sign that Miracle exists, and God is always there for the poor, she told me about the services they are offering, at first I was in fear of strangers but finally I trusted her since we met at the church.

She leads me to where she stay, I found older woman at home, to find that she was the mother of that lady I met, but I told them everything I passed through, then, after, they tried to link me to my older brothers and sisters who chased me, but all in vain, in the end, they sent me back to my Sister Called Namatovu Zaina to first deliver, then I will come back to acquire skills. Since the organization don’t accommodate mothers due to its little facilities.

Reaching to My Sisters home, Waves from my other sisters and brothers ordering my sister to chase me from her home, because I was pregnant at young age. Looking to the situation, at home, I developed feelings to escape from my sister’s home to go back to street. On the street, the contractions became more frequent. I put my hand on my abdomen and could feel uterine contractions, but they were not bothering me at all.

At around 2:00 a.m., I put my hand on my abdomen. Because of the stories of labor pains that I still had in my mind, however, I didn’t think they could be birth contractions. I went to church of Pastor Jackson Ssenyonaga.

While at the church, I suddenly felt nauseous and vomited I could sense an amazing cocktail of hormones flowing through my body. I had never felt so happy, energetic, and motivated. These were the last moments of my babies inside me, and I was enjoying it! I went to Mulago hospital. The on-duty doctor put a hand on my abdomen and said, “The contractions are severe. I think I should examine you.” I lay on the examination couch and he made a vaginal examination. The doctor told me that they are Twins! I said what!?

This is exactly what happened in my birth. Overcome by a sensation like the thrill you get at the moment you parachute off a mountainside and shout out with joy at the top of your voice, I screamed uncontrollably.

Realizing that the doctor, Mrs Alice from PTMOF was already in the house and the nurse were all staring at me in amazement, I told them, “Everything’s okay, don’t worry. There is no pain, just a sudden adrenaline rush. I settled myself back onto the bed and felt the urge to push. My body position was as straight as possible. I took a deep breath and pushed my first baby downward with all my power. “Push slowly,” my birth doctor warned me. “The baby’s coming too fast. After few minutes, I pushed the second baby! Doctor told me! Again “Push slowly,” I’ll have to do an episiotomy.” But I just could not slow myself down. In my terms, it was a natural birth throughout.

I was in a state of shock after the delivery, unable to believe my Twins was now in my arms. It was 3:15 a.m. Just 25 minutes had passed since I had gone into the delivery room. The birth was not the way some people had described it. It was totally painless, joyful, exciting, and quick. My Twins was so good, Looking healthy. At first, They greeted the world with loud screams, presumably because of the effects of the hormone cocktail, but they calmed down after they was cradled in my arms and heard me say, “Welcome, my Twins. I have been waiting for you for so long. I love you so much, do not cry.” They began looking around curiously with their eyes wide open. One named Wasswa Miracle and the other named Kato Favour.

From hospital, I came with Madam Alice at the centre, where I was given a room to look after my little young ones, as well as learning hairdressing to be equipped with skills. It is now a year living at Pelletier teenage mothers foundation, my twin’s looks very heathy and energetic, I am glad to be part of my new family.
I am thankfu for all the support. May God bless you!

After told me the story I Asked about her dreams, she mentions two things: she would love to raise her twins well, and be able one day to return to school. She cannot afford either.

Unfortunately every year the same tragedy touches thousands of Ugandan girls: 39% of women in Uganda under the age of 19 have already had a child or are pregnant. Most pregnancies are the result of rape or other sexual abuses, including survival sex. The consequences are extremely serious: school drop-outs, mental health problems, family and social rejection, forced marriage, domestic violence, increased poverty and children sent away as restavecs (a modern type of slavery). The impact is also considerable on the well-being and functioning of society as a whole.

Some time ago I started meeting women, young girls and older women, who became mothers much too early. I wanted to listen to their life stories and look into their eyes, which often say more than words.
These women are one of the reasons I came to Nansana Uganda and joined the mission. Being aware of the daily struggles of Ugandans is very important and motivational for my work.

I would like their stories to be heard and their faces to be seen by others as well, which is why I started the “My GIHAPOAF” project. The objective is to portray teen mothers in their living and working environments, collect their testimonies and show the consequences of early pregnancy.
I also ask women about their dreams. “These are usually very ‘ordinary’: return to school, have the family together, find a job, ensure a better future for their kids, stop being abused, be happy.”
I truly believe that we should, and can, strive to make these ‘ordinary’ dreams come true.

The first best way to understand Parenting is by Understanding your child development stages.

Welcome, Lets look into the content of the book “Make Me understand, Family, Parenting and Health.

CHAPTER ONE-

This first edition of the book of Parenting and health appears at a time that is momentous in the history of parenting. The family generally, and parenting specifically, are today in a greater state efflux, question, and redefinition than perhaps ever before. We are witnessing the emergence of striking permutations on the theme of parenting: blended families, teen versus Fifties first-time moms and dads. One cannot but be awed on the biological front by technology that now renders postmenopausal women capable of childbearing and with the possibility of designing babies. Similarly, on the sociological front, single parenthood is a modern-day fact of life, adult–child dependency is on the rise, and parents are ever less certain of their roles, even in the face of rising environmental and institutional demands that they take increasing responsibility for their offspring.

The book of Parenting is concerned with all facets of parenting. Despite the fact that most people become parents and everyone who has ever lived has had parents, parenting remains a most mystifying subject. Who is ultimately responsible for parenting? Does parenting come naturally, or must we learn how to parent? How do parents conceive of parenting?

What do theories in psychology (psychosexual stages of Sigmund Freud, psychosocial stages of Erik Erikson, moral understanding theory of Lawrence Kohlberg, Jean Piaget’s cognitive development stage theory, and Urie Bronfenbrenner ecological system theory for example) contribute to our understanding of parenting? What should parents do with each stage? For their children?

These are some of the questions and many more addressed in this first edition of the Handbook of parenting… for this is a book on how to parents much as it is one on what being a parent is all about.
Put succinctly, parents create people. It is the entrusted and abiding task of parents to prepare their offspring for the physical, psychosocial, and economic conditions in which they will eventu-ally fare and, it is hoped, flourish. Amidst the many influences on child development, parents are the “final common pathway “to children’s development and stature, adjustment and success.

BRIEFLY;
This book is divided into five parts, First consists of only one Chapter,( I) Child development theories, and Birth story from a Teen Mother, Second Part has Three Chapters, (II,III,IV) Infant development, Infant parenting & Infant safety, Third Part has Five Chapters, (V,VI,VII,VIII,IX) Development during Early Childhood, Parenting toddler, Early childhood Toilet Training, Discipling your Toddler & Nurturing your Toddler. Fourth Part has Three Chapters (X,XI,XII) Nurturing your middle childhood, Middle childhood safety & education, Middle childhood Discipline and guidance. Last Fifth Part has Three chapters, (XIII, XIV) Adolescence development theory and Children & internet addiction.

OVER VIEW

The goals of this part is to discuss what is known about how children develop from birth through adolescence, and to offer tips on how to use this developmental knowledge to improve parenting skills. In this part you will survey what is known about how children develop between birth and age 24 months, a period known as infancy.
Children develop in many different ways at the same time. Different aspects of children’s development are never at rest or waiting for other parts to catch up.

Instead, development is simultaneous. While physical growth and maturity are the most obvious signs that development is occurring, children also develop cognitively (mentally), socially, emotionally, and sexually. This part is organized so that each type of development is described separately and nothing important is left out.

The milestones of development are discussed in terms of easy to understand measurements such as weight, height, or the presence or absence of reflexes. However, not all important aspects of development can be easily measured. Mental and emotional development is difficult to measure directly. This part describes the best available theories to understand what is occurring inside each child’s head.

The works of five theorists work are considered in the course of this book: Freud, Erikson, Kohlberg, Piaget, and Bronfenbrenner. Among these theorists, the works of Piaget and Erikson speak most directly to the infancy period of life covered here. Infancy corresponds to Piaget’s “Sensorimotor” stage of cognitive development, and to two of Erikson’s stages; the “trust vs. mistrust” stage during the first year of life, and the “autonomy vs. shame and doubt” stage that follows closely after. Piaget’s work describes how infants come to understand their world through their bodies and senses. Erikson’s work describes how children develop an appreciation of both their individuality and simultaneous dependency on others, and how children’s attitudes towards themselves and others are influenced by their experiences and by the type of support and nurturing they receive.

Development is often described by referring to particular developmental milestones that are significant achievements of one sort or another such as crawling, walking, or first words. Developmental milestones are presented as occurring at particular ages. Even though developmental milestones do commonly occur at particular ages, children develop at their own pace.

Introduction;

This chapter provides a review of theories of child development.
When babies arrive in the world, they are tiny, helpless people who depend entirely on adults to take care of all their needs and wants. Somehow, with the proper loving nurturing and care over the next 22 years, they grow to become independent adults who can take care of themselves and others. The journey from infancy to adulthood is an amazing time when children soak up everything in the world around them and mix it with the qualities they are born with in order to mature bit by bit, in every way.

Over the years, people who study children have created theories to explain how children develop. While these theorists realize that every child is special and grow in his or her unique way, they also have recognized that there are general patterns children tend t0 follow as they grow up, and they have documented these patterns in their theories. This chapter will cover child developmental theory and applications such as parenting skills, will attempt to explain these fascinating but detailed theories so as to make them more understandable. Specifically, this chapter will outline the various areas, or channels, of child development that have been recognized, to explain how children tend to develop through each of these channels over time, and to state in simple language the observations of the child development field’s most important theorists.

Developmental channels and Theories of development
First, it is important to understand that children have to grow and develop in many different areas in order to become healthy, happy, productive members of adult society. There are four main areas or channels in which children grow: physical, psychological and cognitive, social and emotional, and sexuality and gender identity.

First, the physical channel is most obvious. Children’s bodies grow in height and weight over the years and change appearance during puberty. Children also develop certain physical abilities during their progression towards adulthood, including crawling, walking, running and (possibly) writing or kicking a ball.

Secondly, children also develop psychologically and cognitively as their brains absorb more information and they learn how to use that information.
Literally, children have to learn how to think on purpose and to process or organize all the information that comes to them from the environment. They must learn how to solve problems, to talk, and to complete mental tasks such as remembering telephone numbers or using computers.

Thirdly, children grow socially and emotionally. They learn how to interact, play, work, and live with other people such as family, friends, teachers, and employers. They learn how to understand both their own feelings and others’ emotions. They also learn ways of dealing with strong emotions. In order to function well as independent adults, children must develop a sense of self-esteem as they go through the long process of figuring out what shape their identity, or who they are, will take. They develop a sense of morality as they learn the difference between right and wrong.

Finally, children have to develop sexually and form a gender identity. This developmental channel is unique because it spans developments across the other physical, psychological, and social channels. Early on, children learn how their bodies work and look and what it means to be a boy or a girl; they learn how boys and girls are different. As they grow older and enter adolescence and puberty, they continue to learn how their bodies work sexually and how to responsibly handle their sexuality so as to balance their sexual desires and appropriate behavior. They continue to decide for themselves what it means to be masculine or feminine throughout their lifespan.

DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES MILESTONES OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Child Development Stages vs. Continuous Development
Different theorists have come to different conclusions concerning how exactly children develop across the various developmental channels. Some theorists believe that children develop smoothly and continuously, but other theorists believe that children develop more discretely in a series of stages, each of which is fairly stable.

Theorists who believe children grow continuously believe that kids constantly add new lessons and skills on top of old lessons and skills as they get older. They believe that children grow at a steady, uniform speed. Even though parents can’t see it with their eyes, children are growing all the time right in front of them. Their bodies make new cells. Their minds learn new skills as they play and interact with other people every day.
On the other hand, theorists who believe children grow discontinuously believe children grow in stages as they seem to develop chunks of abilities and to experience events at certain times in life. To some parents, it may seem that their children learn to do things all of the sudden, like when a baby goes from only being able to crawl to being able to toddle around on two feet almost overnight. Or, parents of young teenagers may say that they were amazed how their children went from thinking that kids of the opposite sex had “cooties” to constantly daydreaming about them. It seems as if these kids are growing lots in spurts at special times and then are not growing so fast for a while in between the spurts.

Both camps, continuous development and staged development, are correct in its own way, of course. While it is true that development is a continuous process that never stops, it is also true that there are stages to growth and those developments unfold at predictable times across the life span. The real difference between the two camps is likely the degree of magnification that each applies to its study, with the stage theorists taking a more distant but broader stance and the continuous theorists viewing things from up close.

This chapter will present child development as though it happens in stages. By thinking about stages, child development can be summarized in general groupings that can be more easily understood.

Developmental Stages and Milestones of Child Development
Often, developmental stages are defined by milestones. A milestone is a sort of marker that tells you where you are while traveling. The term is drawn from literal stone markers that were used to mark the passage of each mile on early roads. Today, the term milestone is used more figuratively, to indicate that a developmental stage has been achieved. Often, special milestones mark children’s accomplishments, such as walking in infancy and entering school in early childhood, and these milestones can help Mark children’s movement inside and between developmental stages.
Children build new skills and developments on top of old skills and developments from stage to stage; each stage is cumulative. A child is able to run bases in a game of baseball in the middle childhood phase because she was first able to walk near the end of her infancy stage.

Entry and exit from the various developmental stages tends to occur at particular ages. Often, a child’s stage of development can be figured out by a child’s age because children generally experience the same stages at the same ages. However a child’s age only provides a clue as to his stage; it does not determine it. Every child develops at his or her own speed. It is the tasks and skills children master that truly identify what stage they are in. Because of this, different children of the same age can be expected to be at different developmental stages.

Children’s development does not happen uniformly, but rather, it progresses along at its own rate. Just because one child is potty trained at age three and his neighbor is potty trained at age three and a half does not mean that one is brighter than the other. Furthermore, children can develop the different channels at different rates. For example, a twelve-year-olds body may have already gone through puberty and look like adolescence’s body, but that child may not have the cognitive and social abilities of an adolescent quite yet. It will take a little longer for their mind to catch up with her body.

Keep this lack of developmental sameness in mind as you read the chapter in this book. Whenever a document suggests ages that children reach specific milestones, keep in mind that these are general average ages that research has found children develop these skills. In reality, children reach milestones across a wide range of ages. Sometimes children will appear to even skip an entire developmental stage in some channels as they advance quickly in a short amount of time.

Also keep in mind that there are some situations in which children become severely inhibited and unable to reach certain milestones within an acceptable time frame. Developmental delays in a child’s functioning caused by disease, injury, mental disability, problems developing in the womb, environmental reasons, trauma or unknown causes can keep some children from developing properly or can even cause children to regress and go backward into some stages in some channels.

Sensitive periods in child development
In order to understand how children move between stages, it’s important to understand how children take in stimuli from the environment and use it to grow. Most theorists agree that there are periods in children’s lives in which they become biologically mature enough to gain certain skills that they could not have easily picked up prior to that maturation. For example, research has shown that babies and toddlers’ brains are more flexible with regard to learning to understand and use language than are older children’s brains.

Children are ready and open to develop certain things during specific stages; however, it doesn’t just happen. Instead, they need proper environmental stimuli to develop these abilities. For example, babies have the ability to grow in length and weight in amazing amounts during the first year, but if they’re not fed and nurtured enough during that time, they will not have the tools and building blocks to grow and will not grow and thrive. This is why it’s so important for parents and caregivers to understand how their children are growing in all ways and channels and to know what stimuli, or stuff, they need to give their children to help them thrive.

From time to time children without any cognitive or physical problems at birth may not be able to develop certain milestones during the stage or time period they are most receptive. There may be an injury, illness, caregiver neglect or abuse, or a shortage of needs such as food or medical care, that make it difficult for a child to absorb all the basic building blocks and stimulation they need to gain certain abilities at certain times in life. When this occurs, affected children will generally have a harder time gaining those abilities even if they later get special attention and resources designed to help them compensate. It’s like children have a window of opportunity when they are ready to grow in certain ways if they have the right stuff and tools in their environment. When that window closes, it will never be as easy to grow in those ways again. Theorists disagree about how important it is for children to have those special stimuli at each growing stage in order to reach their milestones. Some theorists call these times critical periods, but other theorists call them sensitive periods.

The difference between critical periods and sensitive periods is subtle. Theorists who believe in critical periods believe that children who do not get special stimulation during their window of receptivity are going to be “stuck” forever and never gain the abilities they should have gained in that period. However, other theorists believe that those very sensitive times in a child’s life are just sensitive periods. They agree that children who do not get the right nurturing at the right times to jumpstart their developmental potential are going to have problems later in life, but they do not think that this inability to develop is permanent.

For example, infancy is the time when children first learn they can trust an adult or parent to take care of all their needs, keep them safe, and give them love. Some infants live in orphanages where there are far too many babies for the few nurses and staff members to take care of them. These children go through their first years with hardly any touch or affection that would teach them to trust and to show affection to caregivers. If these children are eventually adopted by a loving family later on in their childhood, they often have trouble adjusting to having an affectionate, loving parent. There have been many cases in which children who start out in that kind of orphanage environment never gain the ability to show affection and emotion toward family or even the ability to show remorse or compassion toward other people, no matter how loving and nurturing their adoptive family was being in their middle childhood and on. Such a child’s ability to trust and love would have essentially become “stuck” in infancy, even though the rest of their body continued to grow. The question of whether the critical period idea or the sensitive period idea is more correct boils down to whether this stuckness can be overcome, in full or in part, in the child’s later life.

Theorists who support sensitive periods believe that while it will be far more difficult for the child and the child’s teachers and caregivers to learn what was not learned during the window of opportunity, these children can still develop the missing capacities and skills later that they did not develop earlier. While some children do seem to get stuck permanently, there is evidence to support the sensitive period idea as well.

Some children born in the same understaffed orphanages who are later adopted do go on to learn to love, to trust, and to show affection to their family and friends. In these situations, the families have to have extreme patience and perseverance as they nurture these older children because they are not going to be able to learn that trust and love as fast and as easily as infants.

However, it’s also important to remember that critical or sensitive periods can also affect children in other ways than just neglect or deprivation. For example, there is a critical or sensitive period for language acquisition that occurs during infancy. Children begin learning how to understand and create language from the time they’re born. They will absorb and copy the language they hear all around them during that critical or sensitive period early in life. However, for many different reasons, children, and adults, may leave their original home and move to a new country or region where people speak a different language. They will need to learn to understand and create the new language, even though they were not exposed to it during that early important period. However, while it will take more time and special tutoring, many children, and adults, can learn a new language proficiently later in life. (Different parts of the brain are used for sensitive period learning, vs. later learning, but both can get the job done)

MAJOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT THEORIES AND THEORISTS
Though many scientists and researchers have approached the study of child development over the last hundred or so many years, only a few of the theories that have resulted have stood the test of time and have proven to be widely influential. Among this core group of theories are five that will serve as the basis for the documents in this book. These are:

  1. Freud’s psychosexual stage theory
  2. Erikson’s psychosocial stage theory
  3. Kohlberg’s moral understanding stage theory
  4. Piaget’s cognitive development stage theory
  5. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory

Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual stages of development theory

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a Viennese doctor who came to believe that the way parents dealt with children’s basic sexual and aggressive desires would determine how their personalities developed and whether or not they would end up well-adjusted as adults. Freud described children as going through multiple stages of sexual development, which he labeled Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency, and Genital.
In Freud’s view, each stage focused on sexual activity and the pleasure received from a particular area of the body. In the oral phase, children are focused on the pleasures that they receive from sucking and biting with their mouth. In the Anal phase, this focus shifts to the anus as they begin toilet training and attempt to control their bowels. In the Phallic stage, the focus moves to genital stimulation and the sexual identification that comes with having or not having a penis.

During this phase, Freud thought that children turn their interest and love toward their parent of the opposite sex and begin to strongly resent the parent of the same sex. He called this idea the Oedipus complex as it closely mirrored the events of an ancient Greek tragic play in which a king named Oedipus manages to marry his mother and kill his father. The Phallic/Oedipus stage was thought to be followed by a period of Latency during which sexual urges and interest were temporarily nonexistent. Finally, children were thought to enter and remain in a final Genital stage in which adult sexual interests and activities come to dominate.

Another part of Freud’s theory focused on identifying the parts of consciousness. Freud thought that all babies are initially dominated by unconscious, instinctual and selfish urges for immediate gratification which he labeled the Id. As babies attempt and fail to get all their whims met, they develop a more realistic appreciation of what is realistic and possible, which Freud called the “Ego”. Over time, babies also learn about and come to internalize and represent their parents’ values and rules. These internalized rules, which he called the “Super-Ego”, are the basis for the developing child’s conscience that struggles with the concepts of right and wrong and works with the Ego to control the immediate gratification urges of the Id.

By today’s rigorous scientific standards, Freud’s psychosexual theory is not considered to be very accurate. However, it is still important and influential today because it was the first stage development theory that gained real attention, and many other theorists used it as a starting place.

Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stage theory

Erik Erikson (1902-1994) used Freud’s work as a starting place to develop a theory about human stage development from birth to death. In contrast to Freud’s focus on sexuality, Erikson focused on how peoples’ sense of identity develops; how people develop or fail to develop abilities and beliefs about themselves which allow them to become productive, satisfied members of society. Because Erikson’s theory combines how people develop beliefs psychologically and mentally with how they learn to exist within a larger community of people, it’s called a ‘psychosocial’ theory.

Erikson’s stages are, in chronological order in which they unfold: trust versus mistrust; autonomy versus shame and doubt; initiative versus guilt; industry versus inferiority; identity versus identity confusion; intimacy versus isolation; generativity versus stagnation; and integrity versus despair. Each stage is associated with a time of life and a general age span. For each stage, Erikson’s theory explains what types of stimulation children need to master that stage and become productive and well-adjusted members of society and explains the types of problems and developmental delays that can result when this stimulation does not occur.

For example, the first psychosocial stage is trust versus mistrust, and it spans from birth to about age one year. During this phase, if children are consistently provided all their basic needs such as food, clean diapers, warmth, and loving affection and soothing from caregivers, they will learn that they can trust other people in their environment to love them and to take care of them, and they will believe the world is good. If infants are neglected and not given these things consistently or if they are taken care of roughly and unpredictably, they will learn to question their caretakers and to believe that others will not always be there to support them when it’s needed.

Learning to trust others is the first necessary step to learning how to have loving, supportive relationships with others and to have a positive self-image.
The second stage, autonomy versus shame and doubt, spans ages one to three years. When children are autonomous, they feel confident that they can make their own choices and decisions and that they will be positive experiences. Young children become autonomous when caregivers are supportive and give children the safe space to make their own decisions and to experiment with their bodies and problem-solving skills without shaming or ridiculing the child. When children feel shame and doubt, they believe that they are not capable of making valid decisions and not capable of doing everyday tasks. This will begin stunting a positive self-esteem as these small children start seeing themselves as “stupid.”

The third stage, initiative versus guilt, spans ages three to six years. When children develop initiative, they continue to develop their self-concept and gain a desire to try new things and to learn new things while being responsible for their actions to some extent. If caregivers continue to give children a safe space to experiment and appropriate stimuli to learn, the children will continue to find their purpose. However, if caregivers try to create too many strict boundaries around what children can do and to force too much responsibility on kids, children will feel extreme guilt for their inability to complete tasks perfectly.
This is just a taste of Erickson’s ideas. Hopefully, these paragraphs will help explain his way of thinking and organizing development. The rest of Erikson’s stages will be outlined in detail in future documents in this book as they become age-related.

Lawrence Kohlberg’s moral understanding stage theory

Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) described three stages of moral development which described the process through which people learn to discriminate right from wrong and to develop increasingly sophisticated appreciations of morality. He believed that his stages were cumulative; each built off understanding and abilities gained in prior stages. According to Kohlberg, moral development is a lifelong task, and many people fail to develop the more advanced stages of moral understanding.

Kohlberg’s first ‘preconventional’ level describes children whose understanding of morality is essentially only driven by consequences. Essentially, “might makes right” to a preconventional mind, and they worry about what is right in wrong so they don’t get in trouble. Second stage ‘conventional’ morality describes people who act in moral ways because they believe that following the rules is the best way to promote good personal relationships and a healthy community. A conventional morality person believes it is wrong to steal not just because he doesn’t want to get punished but also because he doesn’t want his friends or family to be harmed.

The final ‘post conventional’ level describes people whose view of morality transcend what the rules or laws say. Instead of just following rules without questioning them, ‘post conventional’ stage people determine what is moral based on a set of values or beliefs they think are right all the time. For example, during the Vietnam War, many Americans who were drafted to be soldiers opposed the war on moral grounds and fled to Canada rather than fight. Even though this behavior was against the law, these people decided that these particular laws did not follow the higher rules they believed in, and they chose to follow their higher rules instead of the law.

Jean Piaget’s cognitive development stage theory

Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1990), created a cognitive-developmental stage theory that described how children’s ways of thinking developed as they interacted with the world around them. Infants and young children understand the world much differently than adults do, and as they play and explore, their mind learns how to think in ways that better fit with reality.

Piaget’s theory has four stages: Sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational. During the Sensorimotor stage, which often lasts from birth to age two, children are just beginning to learn how to learn. Though language development, and thus thought, does begin during this time, the more major tasks occurring during this period involve children figuring out how to make use of their bodies. They do this by experiencing everything with their five senses, hence “sensory,” and by learning to crawl and then walk point and then grasp, hence, “motor.”
During the preoperational stage, which often lasts from ages two though seven, children start to use mental symbols to understand and to interact with the world, and they begin to learn language and to engage in pretend play. In the concrete operational stage that follows, lasting from ages seven through eleven, children gain the ability to think logically to solve problems and to organize information they learn. However, they remain limited to considering only concrete, not abstract, information because at this stage the capability for abstract thought isn’t well developed yet. Finally, during the formal operational stage, which often lasts from age eleven on, adolescents learn how to think more abstractly to solve problems and to think symbolically, e.g., about things that aren’t really there concretely in front of them. As is the case with Erikson and Kohlberg, Piaget’s ideas will be developed in greater depth in future documents.

Urie Bronfenbrenner ecological system theory
Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917-2005) developed the ecological systems theory to explain how everything in a child and the child’s environment affects how a child grows and develops.
He labeled different aspects or levels of the environment that influence children’s development, including the:

  1. Microsystem.
  2. Mesosystem.
  3. Exosystem.
  4. Macrosystem.
  5. The Microsystem

The Microsystem is the small, immediate environment the child lives in. Children’s Microsystems will include any immediate relationships or organizations they interact with, such as their immediate family or caregivers and their school or daycare.

How these groups or organizations interact with the child will have an effect on how the child grows; the more encouraging and nurturing these relationships and places are, the better the child will be able to grow.

Furthermore, how a child acts or reacts to these people in the Microsystem will affect how they treat her in return. Each child’s special genetic and biologically influenced personality traits, what is known as temperament, end up affecting how others treat them. This idea will be discussed further in later chapters about child temperament.

The Mesosystem
Bronfenbrenner’s next level, the Mesosystem, describes how the different parts of a child’s Microsystem work together for the sake of the child.
For example, if a child’s caregivers take an active role in a child’s school, such as going to parent-teacher conferences and watching their child’s soccer games, this will help ensure the child’s overall growth. In contrast, if the child’s two sets of caretakers, mom with step-dad and dad with step-mom, disagree how to best raise the child and give the child
Conflicting lessons when they see him, this will hinder the child’s growth in different channels.

The Exosystem
The Exosystem level includes the other people and places that the child herself may not interact with often herself but that still have a large affect on her, such as parents’ workplaces, extended family members, the neighborhood, etc.
For example, if a child’s parent gets laid off from work, that may have negative effects on the child if her parents are unable to pay rent or to buy groceries; however, if her parent receives a promotion and a raise at work, this may have a positive effect on the child because her parents will be better able to give her physical needs.

The Macro system
Bronfenbrenner’s final level is the macro system, which is the largest and most remote set of people and things to a child but which still has a great influence over the child .
The Macrosystem includes things such as the relative freedoms permitted by the national government, cultural values, the economy, wars, etc. These things can also affect a child either positively or negatively.

Conclusion.
All of these theorists’ ideas will influence and inspire the coming chapters in this book the chapters will concern child development, both from theoretical perspectives, and also from applied perspectives, in the form of parenting skills coverage. Chapters cover four stages of child development, defined for the purpose of this book to be:
Infancy (covering birth to age two)
Early Childhood (covering ages two to seven)
Middle Childhood (covering ages seven to eleven)
Adolescence (covering ages eleven to twenty-two)

This breakdown of ages provides rough correspondence with the stage theories of Piaget, Erikson, and Bronfenbrenner too. Within each stage, a ‘theory’ document will describe how development typically proceeds through the major developmental channels, including physical, mental, emotional and social, and sexual developments. A second ‘applied’ document will address appropriate parenting skills in light of what is known about children’s development within each stage.
It’s important to remember that while these documents will make general statements about when developments occur in a child’s life, each child will nevertheless develop at his or her own speed, and that even within a given child, certain channels may progress faster than others. For example, a twelve-year-old may have the physical growth and change of an adolescent but mentally still be in the concrete operational stage. This is normal because often one aspect of a child’s being will mature faster than another. Most of the time, given the right nurturing and stimuli, everything will catch up in the end.

These ages are just an average and should be looked at as a general guide rather than a rule. When babies are in infancy, they are changing from being totally dependent on caregivers to learning to walk, to talk, to play alongside others, and are realizing they are their individual selves. When children enter early childhood, they continue to improve their large and small motor skills as they run and move more smoothly. They also grow mentally and socially as they enter school and other places where they interact with children. During middle childhood, children continue to grow and improve physically, while also growing mentally as they attend school. They maintain friendships in large same-sex groups and begin forming ideas about gender roles and jobs. During adolescence, people go through puberty as their bodies mature and become capable to reproduce. Teens attempt to assert their individual identity while still needing rules and limits to continue to help them make good life decisions. During later adolescence, young adults begin the tasks of finding a life calling or job and of finding or creating their own next-generation family.
Even more milestones and more in-depth information will be explained in future
Chapters. Hopefully, they will give you the tools that as a caregiver you need to give your children the best possible basis to grow and to succeed

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Make me understand family, parenting and health by Lukonge Achilees

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18509557.Lukonge_Achilees

The Best Book for Parents and Social Science Students. Make Me Understand Family, Parenting and Health is now near to you.

Welcome to a comprehensive book guide from strategist designed to make you an expert. Here, a book recommended by everyone, and it hits the list of all well executed fascinating parenting books ever written by experts.

Make Me Understand about Family, Parenting and Health by Lukonge Achilees.

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Best of the Best Parenting Books recommended, this Book hitted

How to talk so kids will losten and listen so kids will talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, Siblings without Rivalry by Adele faber and Elaine Mazlish, Peaceful parent, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham, Playful Parenting, by Lawrence J Cohen, Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn, Toddler Discipline For Every age and stage by Aubrey Hargis, The whole Brain child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina payne Bryson, No drama discipline by Daniel J Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. Two year old by Louise Bates Ames, Becoming attached by Robert Karen, All joy and No fun by Jennifer Senior, When pattners become parents by Carolyn pape Cowan and Phillip A cowan, Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, The child, The Family and the outside world by D. W. Winnicott, No Bad Kids by Janet Lansbury, Second Shift by Arlie Hochschild, The drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller, Queen Bees wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman, How to hug a porcupine by Julie A. Ross, M. A, Unequal Childhoods by Annet Lareau, Super Nomal by Meg Jay, The body keeps the Score by Bessel Van der kolk, The gardener and the carpenter by Alison Gopnik, Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik.

All these books are good, really classy but all has one common thing, they are specific to one or two stages of development, Kids, or Toddlers.

Then this book Make me Understand Family, Parenting and health, written by Lukonge Achilees, is the only book ever written by a black Author that can have a space in all those books mentioned above, really it comes in number 15

Many things that can place this book over the others namely,

It is comprehensive, gives you the content you need to raise and parent from Infant to Adolescence, no book covers all the stages, well and in good simple English good to understand, it has 776 pages.

It is written like a novel, Author takes you into a journey of parenting without skiping a single stage, written in a story like, not boring, very entertaining filled with examples and illustrations well printed in coloured. and is very educative.

The Book Content

From the Author

Book description, Why he wrote this book.

Are you eager to know more about the Author, Worry not.

This book has insightful step by step guide that show you what you can do and expect from Child development and parenting Infants 0-2 year, Child development and parenting Early Childhood, Child development and Parenting 3-7 years, Child development and parenting Midle childhood, 8-11 year, Child development and parenting Adolescents 13-24 years, and the last part of Children and Internet addiction in families.

The Author start showing you simple tips that can give you a hook to the journey of the book.

Tips illustrated by Author

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Monday is knocking! How to Beat Anxiety at Work Tips from MRU Experts

I’ve been staring at this computer screen for what seems like several hours. It hasn’t been.

I keep getting interrupted. And with each knock at the door, I can feel my blood pressure spike.

How am I supposed to get any work done?

As I sit in my chair staring at the screen, my muscles tense. I begin to reach for my phone; maybe some music will alleviate this overwhelming feeling.

There’s another knock at the door.

The way today is going, I will need some expert help in how to overcome anxiety at work.

As a social worker, I’ve helped dozens find ways to self-soothe. It can be difficult for us to find our own effective ways, however.

We all have a personal blind spot that can obstruct our ability to conceptualize solutions to our emotional wellness.

To help us see through these personal blind spots, our health bloggers will provide their best tips to overcome anxiety at work.

Marion Akatusaasira.

She knows a lot about beating anxiety and has been featured in many great resources. In fact, she has even developed an amazing eWorkbook to help you with just that!

“As a therapist it seems even more important to make sure I’m handling my stress at work, since I am there to support my clients who are working through their own difficulties and anxiety. I try to remember that my own wellness is just as important and one of the biggest tools I have for helping others, so I make sure to take short breaks in between sessions to stretch or make a warm drink. I also take walks during longer breaks to clear my mind, make sure I am involved in regular supervision, and check in with myself regularly to identify what my needs are in that moment.”

Joan Kirabo
This is a biggie for me. I am the type of person who gets stressed out extremely easy. As a woman in recovery, this can lead to bad decisions that I will later regret. At work, it’s not possible to simply grab a journal or go to town on a punching bag. I have had to learn not to take everything personally and be defensive because that’s how I always was. Now in situations that lead to anxiety and stress, I simply take a time out even if it’s for 30 seconds. Take a deep breath or two or three and tell myself that if this is the worse thing that happens today then I will be fine, it’s nothing. I collect my thoughts, refocus, and carry on with my work duties. It has done wonders for my mental health and letting my anxiety get the best of me.”

Doroth Namagembe
I try to step back and recognize where a situation that is causing me stress falls on the spectrum of seriousness. Is it a life-threatening crises or a bump in the road? Most things that get in the way are bumps in the road that respond to self-care. When I’m taking care of myself stressors are easier to manage and move past. Did I sleep enough? Exercise? Eat? I use grounding techniques and mindfulness, may take several deep breaths and distract myself by doing a different task, or even roll my eyes and let out a couple properly placed expletives. And then I make a plan for how to deal with the situation and move on. Life is too short to get knocked off track by a bump.”

Waliggo Keneth
“I struggle terribly with anxiety at work, not helped by the fact I work in an open plan office so it’s hard to shut myself away. I find when I’m stuck at my desk and can’t take a walk to a quieter part of the building, I put my headphones in and listening to calming music or a podcast to drown out all the internal and external chatter and focus my energy on one thing.”

Luswata Shafik

“I work from home, blogging full-time and swear by taking regular breaks to stop myself from getting overwhelmed. During these breaks, I’ll go for a walk, make a hot drink, or simply go for a wander around my house. Getting a workout in as soon as I wake up has also helped my anxiety (and depression) TONS this year. Making time for self-care, such as keeping up with personal hygiene, eating regular meals, and getting the right amount of sleep, is also crucial.”

Namatovu safinah
“Feeling anxious at work is a common, but difficult problem to address. Everyone has different work environments and some tips work better than others. When I have anxiety at work I like to try breathing exercises, as long as it doesn’t interfere with my work (if in customer service, try these when you have some down-time or don’t have to address customers right away). To feel more energized, try breathing in slowly as deep as you can and then release about 2/3 of that breath and repeat. This is known to increase adrenaline (but may not help all forms of anxiety). Another breathing exercise is box-breathing, taught to me by a former therapist. She mentioned soldiers in the army are even taught box-breathing to help them relax and focus in stressful situations! To start, breathe in slowly for a 4 second count, then hold your breath for 4 seconds. Exhale slowly for a 4 second count and then hold your breath again for about 4 seconds. You can picture drawing each side of a box in your mind to help you stay mindful during this activity. If I am unable to complete breathing exercises, I like to make gratitude lists or to-do lists so I feel happier and more accomplished during my work day, relieving some of my anxiety. In need of one more tip if you’ve tried these before? Talk to someone- yes, it’s simple but very effective. Don’t bottle up your emotions and expect them to go away, or better yet, expect everyone to understand why you are anxious. Share how you feel! Hopefully some of these tips apply to your work environment and help you throughout your work day

Betty Kwagala
A simple way to handle stress is to rate your feelings from 1-10. Start by identifying it at 1 and 2 when the stress is minimal. As it increases to a 3 or 4, pay attention. Most people can feel themselves getting upset but tend to ignore it hoping the feelings will go away on their own. The earlier you can identify what’s happening, the more likely you will prevent the stress from escalating into hurtful behavior. Focus on identifying one or two early warning signs like an increased heart rate or muscle tension to signal when you need to practice self-care. Create a self-care plan with a list of soothing activities to help you calm down in the heat of the moment.
Goreth
Because I work from home, I have a lot of freedom when it comes to handling my stress and anxiety. When I’m stressed, I’ll use some lavender and bergamot essential oils in my oil diffuser, turn on my Himalayan salt lamp, and play meditative music in the background. I also like to have my healing crystals near me, such as amazonite, rose quartz, and amethyst. I know these things are kind of far out there for most people, but they truly help ground and relax me!”

Janet
My motto is to try everything! At the same time! Different things work for different people and the more tools you have in your anti-anxiety arsenal, the more likely you are to succeed. Here are a few of my favorite tools for starters: A) Monitor your body for tension and shallow breathing B) Balance work stress with self care C) Establish healthy boundaries D) Do your best to remain objective and avoid catastrophizing whatever is going on E) Visualize yourself as a calm and confident person (I know this one sounds woo-woo, but just try it!
) With that being said, I have to say that what has made the BIGGEST difference for me has been changing jobs. Battling anxiety while performing tasks that you’re not into, with people you don’t click with, and under pressure to give more than is healthy is a giant suck-fest. But facing your fears so that you can pursue your passion and purpose is a battle that’s actually worth fighting!”

Ben Okot
Feeling overwhelmed and anxious at work is difficult to manage. One way that I’ve found to be very helpful is to switch tasks. This allows my energy to be focused into something neutral so my mental fortitude is rebuilt. If I can’t change tasks, I will change my work environment- maybe the client and I will go for a walk during our session or I could complete paperwork sitting in a different work area. These tricks have done wonders for overcoming anxiety at work.

These 10 experts have found various ways to defeat those feelings of overwhelm at work. So what advice have you taken from their tips?

There are some clear similarities, yet each person has tied in something unique that enhances their personal values.

I encourage you to give these tips a try. Don’t be afraid to make it about you.

What is it that you need in that moment?

Inevitably, when we can slow ourselves down and make a meaningful change, we regain those feelings of self-control and overcome feelings of anxiety.

What tips do you have to manage your anxiety at work? Leave a comment for others!

As a social worker, should I keep sharing personal stories with the families I am working with?

As part of a learning day for my course to become a practice educator we were required to speak with students about experiences and challenges around boundaries.

The day focused on the dynamic between professionalism and relationship building. We focus on this a lot in social work education, but do we come back to this in practice?

What do we share and what do we not? How do we maintain professionalism yet build a warm, relationship which is compassionate? We can of course do both but perhaps not in every context. How do we approach those difficulties where the personal infringes on the professional? How do we prevent the barrier being created or is there always going to be a barrier? I thought deeply about this and realised that I perhaps had not been thinking much about this in recent practice.

During an assessment with a family in the last few weeks the father asked me if I had a partner. I froze and became a little flustered. I explained poorly that I didn’t want our working relationship to be affected. It was a clumsy response, which I realised in the moment.

‘Too informal’

I explained that I was conscious of our relationship becoming too informal, which may have a detrimental impact further down the line if my assessment concluded that he may have posed a risk to his child in respect of violence in his relationship with his partner.

He understood my point, but I couldn’t help thinking I could have reacted better and could have been better prepared. I remembered that when I was first qualified I thought about potential questions that may crop up when working with families and how best to respond in a manner which was professional, yet open and respectful.

I realised I had become possibly complacent in my practice where I had not thought about expectation setting in terms of the relationship with this family. I had spent time with the family, talking with them about how they wanted me to raise any concerns I had and how best to do this in a manner which was respectful for them. But I realised I had not had a conversation about how we talk with one another and possible dilemmas that may have come up relating to this.

This was particularly relevant with this family as we were meeting weekly. I am aware that I use stories around my own background to build rapport with people that I work with, but had become complacent by not giving sufficient thought to how this contributes to the context of interactions with families. In sharing stories about myself I was inviting a tone to the interaction.

I hadn’t thought deeply enough about how this may lead to questions that may freeze me. I was conscious when reflecting that I didn’t change how I practised i.e. to move away from sharing parts of me as I do feel it is important.

Stop sharing stories?

What I realised was that I need to think more deeply about how this may lead to me facing questions that I may not feel comfortable answering. This leads to somewhat of a practice dilemma for me, how I can expect families to share personal intimate stories from their lives but then freeze when I am asked in return? Do I dispense with sharing stories about me? Stories for example about my own experiences of parenting and how I may resolve conflict?

I am aware that a lot of people may argue yes I should and that advice and strategies can be shared without the link to my personal life but I’m unsure. I feel from experience it can help reduce the impact of the power imbalance inherent in the practitioner-client relationship.

I think that each relationship is different but what I find useful is “warming the context” and “relational reflexivity”. Two ideas from the systemic family therapy thinker, John Burnham, both focus on the need to think about “talking about the talk”. Warming the context relates to thinking with families how you wish to work with one another and taking time to think about how this may pan out. Relational reflexivity is similar but focuses specifically on the relationship.

What frustrates me is that more recently I have not practiced what I have preached; I am aware of the importance of warming the context and relational reflexivity but this has not always translated to action.

Sometimes social work can become more about doing than thinking, with the nature of the system creating fast-paced, action-based practice.

Power

I have thought about the importance of supervision in bringing you back to curious thinking and how practising potential conversations with families is hugely beneficial. There tends to be this belief that more experienced practitioners are more skilled in practice. This may be true in terms of knowledge, but we are not all perfect, and every family practitioners have the privilege of working alongside is different with new challenges in conversations.

There is a need to continually develop skills in conversation and within relationships; to balance the power and curiosity needed to be an excellent practitioner is a challenge at any level of experience.

The power imparted in the social work role leads me to be the one who sets the tone of the interactions. I need to be mindful that my approach in using stories about me will invoke certain responses.

Most questions would be fine with me but asking about my own relationship clearly provoked discomfort in this case. I attempted to use my learning in this area with the family I was working with; at a later stage in the assessment I made the point of sharing with the family how I respected and welcomed their openness about their private lives especially as this was an in-depth assessment where I had not known the family for very long.

I spoke with the family about my dilemmas and my frustration in how I responded in the moment; I felt it necessary to be transparent considering the influence I have over conversations.

The process of reflection in this area has been useful; it has helped realise how important the need to engage in thinking about what I bring to interactions and how to talk about the talk is necessary on a regular basis. This cannot be merely tokenistic and I need to guard against complacency.

In saying this, it is important to remember that social workers are not robots; we are humans working with humans considering deeply emotive issues. The responsibility invested in the role leads itself to be challenging, if we have supportive structures around us to continually be thinking curiously then we can hopefully be of help to children and families.

Lukonge Achilles is a proffesional social worker working with PTMOF and MADIPHA