A lovely video about resilience, determination, hope, acceptance, ability and socialisation in playground situations…This video addresses clearly the significant challenges a child with needs face in terms of inclusion and acceptance. The emotions are vividly presented and expressed.
This video could be shown as a part of a project on respect, acceptance and inclusion. It could also be presented to teachers as part of a training workshop to elicit challenges, attitudes, support for children with needs.
As the season of holidays and travelling is coming up for the summer in the Northern Hemisphere, I thought I would share this text I wrote a few years ago (at pascaleparadis.org) about top tips when travelling with children.
Sitting on our flight Melbourne to Los Angeles (July 2016) and thought I would jot down a few points…my persistent mistakes and some helpful ideas!
It is the first time we leave Australia. We are travelling from Melbourne to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to New York, New York to Montreal…a long journey…We have done much shorter journeys over the last 13 years such as London to Montreal, but recently our migration has meant that we are much further away. We did London, Abu Dhabi, Melbourne last time, this time it is a little longer with an extra stop. We are also flying going east which means that we will live the same day twice!
Children got packing yesterday, although they were particularly excited and somehow difficult to manage, I was pretty impressed with their packing skills. I thought to myself that perhaps, over the years, I have given them some good tips and they are now able to pack without thinking about it…it has just become natural…First flights with an infant or a young child are pretty daunting, as children grow older, they learn what to expect, prepare and live on the plane, again it becomes routine…Here are some top tips, tips we have experienced over the years and feel are working well.
Involving the children in packing their bag
I have always packed the children’s cabin luggage and suitcase with them, up to the age of 8-9. Now, we are at a stage where the older two pack all their luggage alone and I check it afterwards to add any items they forgot. In the packing stage, I give them some small and measurable tasks such as “pack 7 pair of pants”. It was beautiful yesterday to see my daughter helping our 3 years old pack his cabin luggage. She knew exactly what to bring, what to think about and what he would need. Involving them means that they know what they have in their luggage for when they get on the plane and during the holiday or at their destination. This really helps them being independent.
Basic essentials in hand luggage
We have experienced a number of situations over the years, lost luggage, delayed flights, delayed or cancelled connection, children being sick on us, spilling food or drinks on us. When experiencing cancellations or delays, we had to stay in a hotel for the night until the next flight. I always pack a t-shirt, some underwear and some basic essentials in my bag and the children’s bag such as a toothbrush and under 100ml basic products so that we are prepared for different situations. I am still luggage less after four days at our destination, my extra t-shirt has been particularly welcomed!
Preparing for a carousel of activities:
Preparing for diverse activities helps when planning the cabin bags and informs my few next points. The journey can be long so the idea of having different and diverse activities helps the children feel stimulated as well as feeling they are passing time having fun. The carousel idea is that you present one activity, this activity lasts around 10-20 minutes, complete the activity when the child is still interested, but when you can see interest is going down slightly, put it away, bring another activity out. Alternate activities, re-introduce earlier activities, also include eating, toilet and self-care, sleeping.
Electronic devices such as DS, Ipad and tablets:
We always bring these. The evolution of this technology has changed our lives. We upload some television programmes and games before travelling. This helps when waiting or for long journeys. It provides an alternative activity/station to the ones available on the flight such as movies, games on the screen, eating, sleeping.
The cabin bag: Books, a bag of little people, colouring pencils, a colouring book, a sticker book
These ‘toys’ are particularly helpful for children 2-7 years old. Many children I know absolutely love ‘sticker books’. A bag of little people also helps bringing diversity to the carousel of activities available to a more imaginative play, a very welcomed change.
Talking about the journey ahead
Reading a book about airports and planes with a young child can help them develop the language related to airports and the journey. I never tell the children (2-7 years old) too long in advance our itinerary and plan to travel so that they do not create weeks of anticipation and expectations. When they become a bit older, I tend to have it on the calendar so that they know when it comes, can prepare, ask questions. I suppose there is a transition here to be made between the younger children becoming able to talk about it and anticipate the event without too much excitement. Telling the children too much in advance make and create lots of feelings and then behaviours that are tricky to manage in the run up of the event. Really everyone wants their sleep and continue the routines as much as possible until the event. Less disruptions will help cope with the journey.
Living on a plane: Snacks, Eating, Sleeping
As my oldest two are older now, I have not thought about bringing snacks for a while. Really I should because it can take a while to be served the first meal on the plane. Really we have needed it. Some flight companies are better than others at providing child friendly foods so having a little reserve of little snacks can help complement the meals. Some sweeties and chewing gums can help children when taking off and landing. It helps stimulate the swallowing reflexes and clear their ears. Similarly, for infants, I have found it very helpful to feed (bottle or breast) them during take off and landing for the same reasons.
For late flights such as leaving Montreal at 7 to 10pm arriving in London at 7am, over the years, we decided to feed the children before we get on the plane and just completely ignore service, buckle our seatbelt over our blankets, so that we all get a night sleep straight as we get on the plane.
Our routines have changed now that we do very long haul flights. For flights to and from Australia to the Northern Hemisphere, we have found that we just need to sleep, eat and relax as much as possible. There is plenty of time to settle in the flight, watch films and sleep. It is important that the children feel relaxed as much as possible so that the journey feels pleasant enough. When they are relaxed and at ease on the flight, it helps them stay on their seat and enjoy their ‘seat environment’ instead of feeling they need to explore the plane.
Establish routines and encourage positive behaviours and manners
Children need to learn the routines of a long flight and the need to relax, take it easy. For the first few journeys, this may take a little more help by talking to them about the routines, model the routines, encourage them to observe others. Soon enough, children realise what to do. I also insist on implementing positive behaviours such as respecting other people’s seat (not kicking the seat in front of them). I also encourage them to be independent. There is not much that can happen on a place so I encourage them to go to the toilet on their own, ask for help independently if they need to.
When travelling as a family, it becomes easier to establish ‘a seat environment’ where children feel they can move, play together, invade each other’s places if needed. I remember travelling with one child on my own and being particularly conscious of disturbing others around me, with cries, or space. Now that we travel 5 of us, we tend to set up a space where the children feel comfortable. We allow them to sleep close to each other, lifting arm rests, and lying down on seats, etc. Basically, they now use the space in their own way, respecting others around, and this helps them feel settle during the flight.
As parents, we relay each other in supporting the younger children, allowing one parent to sleep. We also find it helpful to settle everyone and then sleep when the children sleep.
In airports, flights and during the journey, we encourage children to look at their surrounding, talk about what they see and observe, identify similarities and differences with previous flights and airports. We also encourage them to observe others, think about others’ behaviours so that they feel more confident about being a competent traveller. For example, in the last few flights we experienced, my daughter insisted on going to the toilet when everyone is waiting in line to exit the plane, but this created chaos as she tried to move around the aisles. We discussed best times for going to the toilet, i.e. as they announce preparation for landing, usually half an hour before landing.
There is no doubt that after a long journey, there is a recovery period. Over the years, we have found that the easiest way to recover is to get into the routines of the final destination as soon as possible, such as respecting activities and time of sleeping and eating patterns of the time zone. Having social activities organised in the country of destination also help get back into the routine. We have also enjoyed journeys ending in the evening which means that when arriving at the final destination, it is night time, and after some wind down time, everyone goes to bed for a good night sleep.
There is also a need to expect some disruptions to bodily routines, feeling hungry and feeling sleepy at odd times of the day. Children may feel the jet lag and experience disrupted or shorter sleep patterns. Although difficult, we have found that establishing some ‘after flights’ routines also help. For example, when children get up very early, we tend to insist that this time is a quiet time with low key television and a light breakfast. I insist in helping children understand that ‘it is not fun time’ because it is too early for that. As parents, we relay each other in getting up early when needed, or going for a light nap in the afternoon.
Over time, families adjust to travelling and develop strategies to cope with these adventures. It is important to keep an open mind, try different strategies and be positive about all these global adventures…it is a particularly enriching gift to give to the children.
I am so excited to be launching the School Psychology Resources Webinars Series 1!!!
Webinars are going live, tomorrow, Friday 7th June at 12pm. Two weekly after that.
An hour webinar of 10 different topics and specific to school psychology resources.
Series 2 and 3 to follow later in August.
Recordings and resources (references, ideas, handouts) will be available long after the event. You can continue to register after the launch of the first webinar.
A Facebook group has been created for all participants to connect and support one and other.
Register with payment button as soon as possible so that you can be included in the webinars links.
We are going live!!!
6 sleeps to go until the first webinar!
So exciting to launch the School Psychology Resources Webinars! Just in time for winter when the weather feels like needing a coffee or a cup of tea, curled up in front of the fire…If you are somewhere else on the planet, you can take this time to reflect, pause and think about professional practice in a more summer feel, when we have more time…
Looking forward to connect with you all and learn from many people…
A great opportunity to build an amazing toolkit!
Just watching results from The Australian Elections. All the evening somewhat resonated with me. Good, bad news evening. So much hard work has gone into it all. Lots of conflicting emotions leading up to it all, exciting, overwhelming, chants, support, stress, challenges…
As a child, I have been part of many of these events. I remember it vividly. These experiences form part of whom I am today.
Well done to all involved in elections, politicians, a partner, a child, families, volunteers, whoever who are, you are contributing to democracy…It you are child, yes it may feel strange and exciting…
It’s ok if you win, it’s ok if you lose…so many opportunities will evolve as part of this event…keep fighting for what you believe, keep thinking you can make a difference…
Are you a school counsellor, psychologist, social worker, allied health professional? New to a role working with children and adolescents in schools? Feeling a need to update your skills and knowledge? These webinars will aim to give you lots of ideas and resources. These resources will also be applicable to therapy with children.
Webinars are based on the following text which gained 8000 views and lots of great comments. https://3ppsychologies.com/2018/04/25/essential-toolkit-when-working-in-schools-as-a-psychologist/
Webinars will go beyond and above the information contained in this post and really aim to extend knowledge, resources and strategies on the specific topics set.
|Webinar 1||New in a school?|
What to do? Where to start?
Introduction and model of
|Webinar 2||Essential Toolkit when working |
|Webinar 3||Strengths and needs approach and eliciting children’s views|
|Webinar 4||Learning difficulties|
|Webinar 5||Anxiety and Separation Anxiety|
|Webinar 8||Behavioural issues|
|Webinar 10||Implementing Groups|
The focus of these webinars will be to share resources. It is intended to invite guest speakers for specific topics. To access these webinars and support, you will need to provide your registration and professional qualifications (link to your registration provider). You could be based in Australia or in other countries. Trainees and provisional psychologists are more than welcome. This support is not in replacement of clinical supervision. It will contribute to your continuous professional development goals and plan.
All webinar series include access to a closed Facebook group where all will be able to access information, share with others and exchange ideas. The first series of Webinars will be available in the Facebook group on-line from the 7th June 2019 at a 2 week interval. Series 2 and 3 will be available later in the year. Costs are $150 (Australian) for one series of webinars (10 webinars). Please send your interest at https://3ppsychologies.com/contact
Learn and connect with colleagues!
Make yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy!
If you feel there is a specific topic you would like covered in these webinars, please let us know. There is a plan for a number of series of webinars. If you would like to contribute as a guest speaker, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
Credit to: Smurf TM; photo taken by Dr Pascale Paradis
Disclaimer: The author does not gain any financial benefits from the resources promoted in the Essential Toolkit post or in the Webinars.
Since moving to Australia, it has been hard to find where I fit in, where I belong. Professionally, it was a big hit to my self-esteem and confidence to have to go through a long process of registration (one full year of registration even though I had 6 years of practice and a doctorate). Nevertheless, I soldiered on and felt like I moved mountains. I got on with the process, applying for many jobs, trying to find supervisors. I met some people along the way: some that welcomed me in and helped me flourish, some that are looking from a distance about what I do next (unsure about me, insecure about their own skills?), some that I felt were taking advantage and some that I can no longer trust. It is interesting how people react to welcoming new people in their professional communities.
Did you know I had been feeling incredibly lonely? feeling tearful as I write…”You may say, but Pascale, you are so bubbly and amicable, how could you be so lonely”…”Yes I speak to many. I like social gatherings. I also felt lonely…”
Three long years of sheer hard work, persevering, bouncing back after yet another closed door, reflecting after disappointments about my next steps, constant worries about what I do wrong, whether there are cultural differences that impact on my sense of belonging…
Loneliness should be taken seriously as there is more and more evidence that it contributes to significant difficulties and mental health issues. It also contributes to isolation and social segregation. I was not quite at that point, but also realised that I needed to make changes.
I decided to break this cycle of professional loneliness. I increased my time working in an organisation where I felt valued for my skills and ways of working, where I was able to meet many people working in my field. I also registered to a first conference thinking I needed to meet people working in my field. I went to this conference…all on my own…
At the first conference, I met a lovely group of people who invited me in, who invited me for dinner. They made it clear I belonged because of my professional affiliation. They also explored further steps as to how I could join their team and professional activities. They established routines at the conference so I knew where they would be to find them. This moment was particularly touching and was done in such a natural manner. I also met lots of other people and some in particular who were there at the right time, listened and shared a significant moment.
I came back enthusiastic, invigorated professionally and looked into more conferences. I put myself out there and wrote lots of presentation proposals. In the space of a few months, I had a poster and presentation accepted, and I joined an on-line peer support group. I was inspired by many along the way. I listened, evolved and connected even more. I joined the new team with people from the first conference. A lovely team where I feel I belong and share so many professional interests. It felt as I met my professional tribe.
At the second conference, I connected with many and felt part of the tribe. Some people from the first conference were there again. I was introduced to many by new colleagues and took the time to talk to new people. People thought of me and made connections for me. I presented my poster which gained interest by many. I met some more lovely people who laughed, reflected and joined in with dinner adventures. I felt I belonged. I felt supported. After the conference, I continued to connect with many.
At the third conference, a week in Bangkok, on my own…well…this is the cherry and icing on the cake! The top of the Everest Mountain! The rainbow after the rain! I was not on my own for very long because I met…
…A global migrant tribe like me, thanks to #FIGT2019…
Not only I connected with these people personally, but professionally it was as enriching…
On my return, I came back invigorated, full of energy and ready to take on new projects. I registered to a number of groups and professional organisations to ensure people know about my work and company. I connected with many as I realised how sheltered I was. Social media apps have not stopped buzzing since then. I feel truly connected. It feels like I don’t want it to end…
There are so many new projects evolving: watch this space! Continue to share and follow the 3ppsychologies journey…you are the reason it will be able to flourish, because I went to conferences and came back with a tribe!
I came across this resource at a Families in Global Transition Conference. This book offers interesting content, images and metaphors that can be discussed with a child in preparation to a move abroad or back to their home country. It also presents different activities that can be completed by the child or with the child. Interesting analogies are presented such as ‘Am I a burger’ referring to adding different ingredients of global migration experiences to make a juicy and amazing burger. Activities such as preparing a timeline, checklists before the move, tools about saying goodbyes are also helpful strategies presented in this book. This book explains concepts related to big emotions when moving abroad such as a rollercoaster and other analogies.
Tips and tools for parents are highlighted throughout the book which helps providing practical ideas for parents. References of different resources are also presented at the end of the book. I like the language used such as being a citizen of the world. Similarly, I like the concept of developing a castle to help a child visualise the gift of moving abroad and to many places.
A great find and look forward to use these concepts more in-depth with children I work with.
Chabert d’Hières, F. I’m Citizen of the world. RDM Editions.