I'd like to say a warm hello to all of you reading this newsletter.
2 of the things that enable me to live a fulfilling life are honesty and connecting with like minded people. I hope over the coming months to inspire you with things you can make use of in your own life, and something you can connect with and make sense of. There are a number of ways this may occur.
By developing different perspectives through Mandy and Caylees update on events and learning from their forthcoming book. (Oh by the way Caylees my daughter.) I believe strongly in honesty and having 'real'conversations with people so this will hopefully show in the book. It is also exciting to think that some of you may follow me and Caylee on our journey as the book continues to unfold.
By receiving ideas and coping techniques through Mandy's mailbag.
By getting your teeth into some good reading from the book section.
By attending some of the courses kNOw Limits offers.
By sharing some learning from my clients.

Letter of the week

Dear Mandy's Mail bag.
I'm getting really fed up of asking my son how his day was at school to the reply of 'grunts'or 'yeah alright'. On the other hand I don't want to sound like I'm interrogating him with lots of questions. I want to show him I am interested. Do you have any advice?

Mandy says
First of all make sure you give him some wind down time so don't ask any questions at all. Make his space comfortable and check if there's anything he needs. Most adults donate want to talk in detail about their day at work so why should we expect any different from our kids doing a hard day at school.
Tell him you would like to play a game with him which is challenging for you both. E.g. Say to him 'we've only got 2 questions each we can ask each other. They have to be as funny as you can make them.'The more detailed you can make your questions the better response you are more likely to get. Tell him after that both of you won't be able to use questions in your conversation for 30 minutes. Also perhaps make a load of them up to have to hand like playing cards and you pick at random. This can then take the emphasis off having to think too much.
Also set time aside where you both focus on each other. No television, no answering the phone. If you can do something together such as a game, collage, going out together even better. This will enable any conversation to flow more naturally. Its no different to when 2 adults make an effort to go out together. You tend to make more of an effort with your conversation.
Oh and don't forget to e-mail me with how it went.




Uncommon Sense for Parents with Teenagers.
Micheal Riera

1995 Celestial Arts. ISBN 0-89087-749-1

Review By Mandy Gutsell


I found this book to be very relevant to parents and teens. It focuses on the need to move from 'manager' to 'consultant role'. It makes clear distinctions for parents on the role they are aspiring to .e.g. A manger parent tries to ensure that his child makes the best decisions. A consultant parent focuses on helping her teenager develop and exercise 'decision making muscles'. I liked the difference shown between some of the questions. E.g. 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' Changes to 'What kind of person do you want to be when you grow up?'
I found the structures that were attached to working out consequences useful and the idea that teens can still have some control over influencing the course of consequences.
On the downside I did find some of the 'American Language' difficult to understand and would have liked the UK equivalent e.g. high school, third grade etc.
Overall I liked the way the book was introduced as a series of questions and responses NOT answers. I would recommend it is a worthwhile buy.


Caylee gutsell's book report

Be yourself by Michelle Magorian I like the book, Be Yourself because it contains lots of short, real life stories and it makes you think about if you were in that situation, how would you deal with it, what would you do.
One example of this is in the book Be Yourself. There is a story about a boy who does a sponsored swim and he asked his so called 'friends'to do it with him but they don't turn up. In the end a lady helps him find confidence and strength within himself. Eventually he finishes his swim , it is a great achievement. He gets to give the money to charity he felt over the moon.
This is a great book and I think everyone should be given the chance to read it children and adults. Go on try it you know you want to!


As someone whom I could only describe as having their own 'personal library'! it seemed inevitable I would consider writing a book at some point in my life. However like many I'm sure I just as quickly dismissed the idea deciding every coach seems to want to write a book at the moment. This was particularly important to me as another one of my highest values is being different and pioneering. But alas I was not to be let off the hook!
I was sitting one Friday in Pizza Hut with my daughter Caylee when she said she had a brilliant idea. I should write a book! She then went on to say this book would help other parents and their sons and daughters to have positive relationships with each other. It could help others look at how to cope and realise they are not on their own. I decided as Caylee was so inspired by this that I would have to do something about it. Over the next few months I thought about ideas while Caylee also suggested we could do something together. Suddenly things began to take shape. This was unique. To use the 7 ways coaching program I had been trained to learn and actively apply the process with my daughter. Not only that but to journal our thoughts on the process and the learning that could come out of this was immense. And so the journey has begun...

Biggest learning so far.
To focus on all the 7 ways and have questions daily to focus on was too much. It also meant there were times when we were skimming through for the sake of doing it to the expense of the learning. So.....we are now focusing on 1 way for about a month at a time. We have just moved from respect being the first way to Listening.
Setting time aside and sticking to it for both of us takes a lot of discipline...
..and when we do it so much learning comes out of it.
The importance of finding new and fun ways to keep ourselves inspired. We have done collages, poems, challenging questions...and are now considering writing a song about one of the ways.
The fact that Caylee showed she appreciated me far more than I show her. I was quite surprised by this and realised we can think things in our minds so often it can almost feel as if we have made our feelings obvious.
The importance we place on things that need to be done and the time frame is very different. And we don't have to make each other right or wrong over it.
That to do this takes a lot of honesty on both our parts. It can actually feel at times as if it causes more friction as we are being more honest with each other.
The process will enable us to have a 'real and honest' relationship with each other. Something that if I am really honest I can't say I always had with my own mum.

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