Play Therapy!

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So, alhamdulilah, I ended up going to the weekend StoryPlay workshop! Haha. No takers for my tickets, which meant I was meant to go, after all. I am so glad! I learned SO much. We were swimming in metaphors the whole weekend, which made my heart smile ❤

Dr Joyce Mills is a warm, empathic and playful storyteller who was so happy to share her stories with us. And that’s exactly what she is – an incredible storyteller who loves children.

Dr Joyce spent a lot of time on the topic of self-care, which is so, so important for all caretakers. We can’t give from an empty cup. She asked us  – “How do you nourish yourself, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically?” Good question. If I’ve had regular breaks, I definitely feel a lot more compassionate, especially at the end of a looong day with small kids. Even 5 minutes in the garden, or sipping a warm cup of tea – this all helps.

I really appreciated her approach of staying in the playful, present moment with our children/clients/families. This isn’t to minimise trauma – because she is resiliency-focused, she encouraged us to ask, “We only have a bit of time together – what do you want?” Ah. So simple, and yet so freeing.

Some gems from Dr Joyce Mills:

  • “Scars are a marker of where I’ve been, not where I’m going.”
  • “What makes your heart smile?”
  • “The child has autism/any other diagnosis – it’s always the child first. He is not his diagnosis.”
  • “This is a strengths-based approach.”

I’d like the thank the wonderful HilsLearning team for organising such a wonderful and transformative event. I am especially grateful for the nursing room they provided. My baby and I had a happy lunch time reunion there ❤ Every little bit of support makes a huge difference.

Play Therapy spot in KL!

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Is anyone keen on attending a 2 day play therapy workshop this weekend, titled: “Improving Behaviour Through Expressive Methods with Dr. Joyce Mills”?

I bought earlybird tickets but am unable to go as my babies and I are unwell, and we are flying overseas next week, inshaAllah. Earlybird pricing for both days is 800 RM, and I can sell it for cheaper. If you are keen, please let me know ASAP so I can notify the organisers before their deadline of 12 pm tomorrow. Thanks in advance!

Help fund my writing!

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Greetings of peace! I’m Raidah, and I write and draw comics. I also happen to be raising my two daughters. Because of these adorable little humans who run my life, I have stopped working outside my home. On good days, I love the flexibility of writing and sketching from the privacy of my room. On bad days, I miss interacting with emotionally regulated human beings. My husband, Irfan, helps as much as he can, but let’s be honest, he gets to leave the house every day. Enough said.

Your financial support will help me fund my creativity/sanity bucket. You will give me the gift of online shopping where I can binge on Book Depository, buy tasty treats to fund my endless breastfeeding hunger and fund my other kind of hunger – I am addicted to studying Udemy courses about writing, drawing, and everything else. You will also help me keep my webcomics free. My webcomics chronicle my motherhood adventures in Malaysia, as an introverted Australian-Malay artist and writer. With your support, I can branch into other themes. I am also slowly but surely completing several writing projects: fictional short stories, a creative non-fiction, poetry chapbook and a Young Adult novel. Irfan says I should stick to one. I agree. I wish my process would agree with him too. Ha.

My family thanks you, because a creatively-supported me is a much-less-cranky me 🙂 Please click on the top-right hand side of my blog. Thank you for funding my art!

 

CoMeL and Fay Khoo Award!

 

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Today has been a big day. Alhamdulilah.

  1. I managed to attend the wonderfully inspiring CoMeL event with my baby and mum-in-law, with my husband looking after my eldest. I FINALLY GOT TO SEE HARITH ISKANDER LIVE!! And read my poem to Anse Tamara Grey! I will blog more about this soon, hopefully.
  1. While my daughters were asleep, I finally finished, edited and submitted my personal narrative for the Fay Khoo Award! It closes tomorrow, so there’s still time! Now I really should sleep. Sleeeeep.

Aha! Parenting Course

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If you’re a parent wondering HOW DO I DO THIS PARENTING GIG AND NOT IMPODE/EXPLODE – please check out Aha! Parenting’s Parenting course! I’m on Week 2 and am looooving the support and resources. Trust me. I’ve desperate-read like alltheparentingbookseva, and Dr Laura Markham’s books have been my absolute favourite. Especially if you have more than one kid. Because that, my friend, is a whole new world of pain/gain. (Note: If you have a strong-willed child, this book may save your sanity – Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka.)

I love how much emphasis this course places on self-regulation. So instead of looking outwards and blaming my kids for “making me angry”- I need to look inwards first and figure out why I’m getting so rattled in the first place. I need to accept my feelings of overwhelm/anger/helpless/etc, choose to respond from a place of calm, and not react from my own triggered lizard brain. Yup, easy to say, hard to do. But the beauty of this approach is the more I practice pausing while one (or both) of my little girls are screaming/crying/wailing/etc, then the easier it’ll be. I’m telling you, kids under the age of 5 are Zen masters who can train you to be one too, but only if you don’t terrify them into compliance. Be open. There’s a lesson in there.

Special note: It’s so hard not to yell at your kids when you’re angry, or when they don’t cooperate. JUST LISTEN! OBEY ME! NOW! DON’T SHOUT AT ME! Gah. Now research shows how harmful that is.

But it’s so hard not to get mad at kids! I know, I know. I’m not saying don’t get mad, because every day offers plenty of opportunities of button-pushing behaviour…I’m just saying don’t yell, don’t spank, don’t emotionally blackmail/abuse..that kinda stuff. Find another way to discharge that stress. Just not on your kid(s). I’ve seen what happens in the long-run. Said kid will grow up and not want to be around you anymore. BUT when you inevitably mess up and lose it, which every parent does at some point because we are HUMAN…just say sorry. Hug. That teaches your kids something too – how to apologise when you mess up, and how to make things right. Valuable life lesson.

Why No Child Needs Punishment

The Secret of Not Yelling When You’re Having a Bad Day

If you’re a chronic yeller, then something isn’t balanced in your life. Yelling like that every day is exhausting for you, your spouse, and your kids. There is a better way of living. And you can learn how. And your kids will cooperate without you needing to shout! As impossible as that future feels right now (I’m in the thick of it) – one day, our kids will grow up into adults and move away. How far away depends on how connected they feel to us, right now, when they’re still little. So. Hang in there. This is hard work. It’s every day. It’s relentless. But this chaos can also be fun, joyful, and full of wonderful surprises.

Here’s the course outline:

Week 1
Peaceful Parenting 101
In this session, I’ll introduce you to the 3 big ideas that will change your life as a parent and shift your family, over the next 12 weeks, to less drama and more love.

Week 2
Regulating Your Own Emotions
You’ll learn tools this week to notice when you’re getting close to the edge, and powerful practices to return yourself to calm. If you’re a yeller, here’s where you take your Vow of Yellibacy.

Week 3
Connecting with Your Child
Parenting is 80% connection and only 20% guidance, because until children feel connected they have no reason to follow our guidance. In this session, you’ll learn best practices for staying connected with your child, and specific tools for reconnecting after tough times.

Week 4
Parenting for Emotional Intelligence
This week you’ll learn how emotions work, including some secrets about anger that most people don’t know, how to help your child empty a full emotional backpack, and how to heal even the most turbulent emotions. We’ll practice using empathy, your magic wand, to give your child’s brain the best possible environment to learn to self-regulate.

Week 5
Discipline
In this session, we’ll discuss why children misbehave and what the research says about the best way to guide your child and teach the important lessons. You’ll learn how children develop self-discipline and impulse control and why time-in works while time-out doesn’t. We’ll practice setting limits that stick, without power struggles or drama.

Week 6
Preventive Maintenance
You know those problems that always seem to blow up in your face and land your family in the breakdown lane? You can avoid most of those surprises with preventive maintenance. This week we’ll explore the power of routines, empathy, special time, scheduled meltdowns and other preventive maintenance practices.

Week 7
Tips for the Transition to Peaceful Parenting
If you’ve been relying on bribes, threats and punishment to get your child to cooperate, you can expect some bumps as you and your children learn new patterns of relating. This week you’ll learn some tips to make this transition easier for your family.

Week 8
Self-Care
You can only give your kids what you have inside. This week, you’ll create a self-care plan to keep your cup full, so you can be emotionally generous with others. We’ll focus a lot on emotional self-care, or how to parent yourself!

Week 9
Mastery: Developing resilience, self-discipline and grit.
This week we explore how children develop the fortitude that leads to mastery. We’ll practice encouraging rather than praising, and learn how to find the sweet spot between free range and helicoptering.

Week 10
Healing Your Triggers
Those times when you say or do something you later regret? They’re always when you’re triggered, so you get hijacked by anger. This week, I’ll guide you to begin identifying and healing those triggers, so you don’t get upset so often, and can recover more quickly when you do.

Week 11
Siblings
This week, we’ll apply the peaceful parenting principles to raising siblings, so you can stop the fighting and raise children who will be friends for life. You’ll learn simple yet powerful ways to foster a loving, supportive bond between siblings, and teach your kids to navigate conflict constructively.

Week 12
Putting it all together
This week, Dr. Laura answers questions from Course participants in a Live Call. We’ll celebrate how far you’ve come! And we’ll help you put together a plan to use what you’ve learned, every day, to stay on track in the future.

Click here to get notified when the course open next on November 19!

Call For Entries 2018: Fay Khoo Award

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Image Source: https://www.thefaykhooaward.com/

My ASEAN peeps, the Fay Khoo award ends in 19 days (Sep 30)! You can read about it here, download the Terms & Conditions here. For further information, you can email thefaykhooaward@gmail.com

I had no idea this competition existed, until Sharon Bakar brought  this to my attention. Again lol. Just like the D.K. Dutt award, I didn’t know about it until Sharon’s very concerned post on the Malaysian Writer’s FB group. She makes the same point now, with the Fay Khoo award – if local writers don’t submit, then competitions will shut down. End of story.

I’ve lived and written in Jordan, Australia and Malaysia, and let me tell you that the local writing scene here is SUPER SUPPORTIVE. Like, unbelievably. I’m so grateful for this, and so happy, and am going to start on my Fay Khoo submission after I write this blog post. Really.

My DK Dutt Competition backstory: After stumbling across Sharon’s post on FB, I frantically wrote up my piece while my then 1+ year old daughter kept waking up at night, cried while I wrote it out of sheer frustration and postpartum exhaustion and hormones,  finished it just before the deadline, submitted it, and didn’t expect to win anything. I wanted to keep the local competition alive, and to my absolute surprise and delight, my entry was short-listed, and now it’s the second story in the gorgeous anthology Bitter Roots, Sweet Fruits.

Moral of the story (ha) – each of us makes a difference. So write! Edit! Submit! Good editors don’t expect a perfect piece, but they do want a polished one. And if your story has potential, they’ll help you make it shine. OK now I’m reallly gonna go start working on my entry.