Weekend Inspiration – Trauma prevention

I saw this headline in the Daily Mail this week Channel 5 slammed for airing Watership Down on Easter Sunday

And was immediately transported back to my childhood, and how I cried calling upstairs to my Mum over the music alone (which for many years would make me cry). I read the article and saw the images from the film (thankfully long forgotten). This is the least grisly of the pics in the article:

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What can I say? To be reminded of this film brought tears to my eyes, and I felt sorry for little me as a child who watched it. I would have been seven years old when it came out in 1978, and I don’t know what age I was when it was shown on the TV. I was left alone to watch it, as I was with so much else in those days that I shouldn’t have seen, because TV wasn’t regulated then like it is today. The censor has come out and said that today Watership Down would have been a PG rated film, and not a U: Watership Down would be a PG if it were released today says chief censor

A lot of commenters said that parents were bringing up a generation of namby-pamby kids by saying this film is too traumatic for their age-group. I wonder how they would feel about the ‘blooding’ ritual that some girls from my private school when through when they first went fox-hunting? Today we would say that was barbaric!

So I just want to leave you with a few points which I hope will help you in preventing childhood trauma!

I would have liked my parents to have watched this first to decide if it was suitable for me – that is a good idea, or watch it with the child to explain, or even to stop the film. Kids take things in, and often won’t ask a parent afterwards about something unpleasant they’ve seen, but will think about it and worry about it in silence. We know as adults that this isn’t necessarily rational, but how many children have gone on from a parental break-up only to blame themselves for it? That isn’t rational either, but childhood is where you find out about the world, and it’s formative.

Ask yourself if your child is especially impressionable or empathic. If they are, then films like this which can be upsetting and are entertainment only (not educational) should be avoided, in my view. Empathy is the state of being able to feel the pain of others. It’s the reason I used to avoid programmes like Animal Hospital – they would have me in tears in minutes! I don’t even watch TV anymore (but not for that reason).

Is it educational? If it is, that’s different – you shouldn’t protect your child from the real world, and from factual information, but be sure it is helpful, and if it’s going to be nasty in any way, be there, and don’t leave them alone to watch it. Talk them through what they are seeing, so they understand it.

It is amazing the impression these thing can have on children – parents need to have a conversation about trauma prevention. I know that I would never have allowed any child to watch that film after the pain I felt watching it.

Finally, it’s worth noting that almost every Disney film that I (thankfully) avoided as a child is full of just these kinds of traumas. I have never seen Bambi, thankfully, but there’s a scene in there we’ve all heard about, where Bambi’s mother get’s killed.

This cannot be there for educational purposes – let’s face it, the film has talking animals in it?

Some have even postulated that these kinds of cartoon films with these kinds of traumas in have been designed to traumatise children. I can’t imagine why anyone would release a film that would do that, but I do know I’m not alone in feeling upset at the thought of that scene in Bambi.

I’m not, of course, saying that all childhood trauma can be prevented, but that which comes from entertainment should be limited as far as possible, in my view. The real world is bad enough, without drama and over-emotionality being wrung from us by scenes like these. How does that help anyone?

So let’s take steps to assess kids correctly before simply allowing the TV to act as child-minder.

Have a great weekend!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach


Weekend Inspiration – Extreme parenting


This is a delightful alternative to keeping kids wrapped up in cotton wool – and if done carefully could have huge benefits for the child as they grow up. I quote from the article: (Link)

Mr Castrission has been a keen adventurer all his life, crossing the Tasman sea by kayak and Antarctica by foot in his earlier days.

Now he hopes Jack will follow in his footsteps and frequently exposes the toddler to the perils nature has to offer.

The little boy has propelled himself over a 100-metre cliff with his father and has dived off a boulder into water with floaties on his back to stop him sinking.

Ms Castrission admits she expects him to come home with scratches and bruises due to the nature of the adventures, but believes her three-year-old has the ability to assess the danger in each scenario.

‘Our kids have the the ability to assess risk, more than we give them credit for. I think they’re smarter than we think they are and I think we need to respect their ability to trust themselves, at where they pull back,’ she said. 

The pair also believe extreme stunts lead to ‘developmental benefits’ in young children.

‘A huge body of research has come out showing a direct correlation with spending time in nature, pushing a kids boundaries and a whole lot of great developmental benefits,’ Mr Castrission said.

What do you think? I think if I’d had some experiences like these as a youngster I might have felt more able to do all kinds of things that I would never dream of doing today!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach


Weekend Inspiration – Jenny Turner

Jenny TurnerThis lady has been a nurse for 60 years. Yes, you read that right – 60 years! She is now 76, and still working in a hospital treating and supporting patients. This lady is truly inspirational – how wonderful not just to be active at 76, but able to work and even teach other staff new technologies she herself has had to learn.

I quote from the Daily Mail: (Click!)

“Susan Field, head of nursing at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, who has been a nurse herself for more than 30 years, described Mrs Turner as an inspiration.

She said: ‘She is absolutely amazing. Her experience and ability to assess patients and provide care is incredible.

‘The younger nurses are truly gobsmacked by it all. Her experience and expertise really does rub off.’

The hospital matron, Linda Edwards, added: ‘I think it’s absolutely fantastic what she has managed to achieve over the years.

‘She’s really very caring, compassionate and hard-working, and she adapted to new technology so well that she is teaching other staff.

‘She’s very much part of the team.'”

While there is a lot more to life than work, it’s wonderful to see someone so active and productive right into their seventies.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach


Weekend Inspiration – reverse parking a lorry

This might not sound that good – I mean people do this every day, right? Well when you see the video, you’ll be impressed! Perhaps you’ll want to be a lorry driver.



(Note: Daily Mail is a website which is best with parental supervision)

Weekend Inspiration – Jordan Daykin

This story should be an inspiration to many! Your youngster might have a brilliant idea – a new invention or a way things could be done, and within you as a parent you have the ability to shape, advise and help your child to do something just as amazing as Jordan has done. He had his dear Grandad to help him on the road to success. Success takes more than just a good idea. It requires a team around you who are right behind you and your idea.

I hope you find the story inspiring!

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Here’s the link to read the full story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3459388/From-Pitches-Riches-Entrepreneur-10million-business-20-youngest-person-funding-Dragon-s-Den-appears-new-featuring-biggest-winners-losers.html

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach


Weekend Inspiration – organisation stations!

Getting the children ready for school isn’t the easiest, is it? Chaotic mornings see the gym kit left behind in the kitchen and books left by the TV. Are there easier ways? Well I saw this article (Click!) and thought of you readers, and thought I would share it and some thoughts.


Look at that for a tidy hallway – each child has their organisation station, and everything gets put there the night before except lunches. Sounds great, and there are some other great pictures in the article linked above.

My thoughts – this is brilliant for small children, but avoid making the area look like the Kindergarten cloakroom. I saw one in the article with hooks on the wall and their pictures or names next to the hooks, and I remember that from school – yuck! I would have HATED that when I was a child because I hated school, so keep the style of your home, and get a unit that doesn’t look like their school lockers either!

Secondly they are going to grow out of this really quickly – with several children I can see them not wanting to leave their school bags where their siblings can look in them! A simple solution for older children is a box just inside the bedroom door – it keeps it private, and will help them to learn to be responsible in making sure they have everything in there they need each night.

I’m not an advocate for houses being overly tidy (anyone who knows me knows that), but organisation can be part of your home routine, and is a good trait to teach children.

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach


Weekend Inspiration – Switch off your screens!

With technology becoming ubiquitous and almost unavoidable, parents have become the unwitting lab assistants in a giant experiment on their children – the tablet computer, and the smart phone now seem to rule an almost zombie-like generation, and now even the tiniest children are given the iPad to play with. Yet we don’t know the long term effects.

Sue Palmer says in her article here (Click!) that screen time for children is already having damaging effects on them – not least from lack of exercise! I quote:

“Today, on average, children spend five to six hours a day staring at screens. And they’re often on two or more screens at once – for example, watching TV while playing on an iPad.

Because technology moves so fast, and children have embraced it so quickly, it’s been difficult for parents to control it. And when it comes to spending a childhood in front of a screen, this generation are like lab rats. The long-term impact is not known.

Even before iPads hit the market in 2010, experts were warning that 80 per cent of children arrived at school with poor co-ordination, due to a sedentary lifestyle.

Along with colleagues in the field of child development, I’d seen a rise in prescriptions for Ritalin, a drug for attention deficit and hyperactivity – a four-fold increase in less than a decade.”

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She also recounts seeing this phenomenon:

“When the little girl pointed at the sweets at the checkout, her mother said: ‘No, they’re bad for your teeth.’ So her daughter, who was no more than two, did what small children often do at such times. She threw a tantrum.

What happened next horrified me. The embarrassed mother found her iPad in her bag and thrust it into her daughter’s hands. Peace was restored immediately.

This incident, which happened three years ago, was the first time I saw a tablet computer used as a pacifier. It certainly wasn’t the last. Since then, I’ve seen many tiny children barely able to toddle yet expertly swiping an iPad – not to mention countless teenagers, smartphone in hand, lost to the real world as they tap out texts.”

So what can parents do, when they’ve already witnessed the reduction in concentration their kids are displaying, and the constant reaching for the smart phone to text the friend who is sitting next to them?

Don’t give up parenting! Don’t stop because they’re 13 – no! Don’t stop until they are legally adults! Why do I say this? You have a chance to influence them for the better, even if you’ve been late to the realisation of the harm too much screen-time is having. Explain, and put a stop to it. Don’t be bullied – if your children can bully you, you need to consider what kind of adults they will make outside your home! That’s a scary thought perhaps. Be strong and PARENT them, because once they leave home they will have to parent themselves. Help them while they still listen to you!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach


Weekend Inspiration – 22 Facts That Prove The World Is Stranger Than You Think

Here’s just a taster:


To find out what that picture is all about and see some other wonderful sights explained, go and take a look at the article here: Link (I do not recommend Buzzfeed be visited unsupervised).

Have a great weekend!

Best wishes

Lis Goodwin, your voice coach