How to Get Your Teenager to Clean his/her Room

There is something all parents should know right from the start – clean room is never going to be your child’s priority, unless they already have it in them to be clean and organised.

Quite often the problem is not whether we can get our children to clean their rooms or not, it’s having the unrealistic expectation they will do it because it’s important for us.

The most effective way I have found to raise my teenager’s motivation level to clean his room has been when he asks me to do something for him. Thankfully there is always something our children need from us and soon they get the message that their rooms’ cleanliness is important to us.

The greater their need from us the more opportunity we have to teach them how to do it well : ) . However, it is important to remember to never cause frustration or resentment while applying discipline in this way. The relationship is the most important aspect of parenting, once that is damaged it becomes difficult to repair it.

The way to avoid resentment is to let them know well in advance this is how it will be from now on – if they don’t keep their room clean, next time they need something you will wait till they have cleaned and then you will do their request.

If any parent has a better way to get their teenager to clean their room I would love to know about it. Please leave your comment below!

Should managers be more approachable?

How to retain good team members

A research conducted with employees from various companies showed a very interesting result. It was found the most common reason a person remained in their current job was not because they were paid the highest possible wage, it was because they felt satisfaction and pride in what they were contributing (as well as receiving good pay).

In order of priority, the following points were found to be the main causes for people to change jobs;

  • Bad relationship with management and/or co-workers
  • Job dissatisfaction, lack of creativity
  • Lack of potential to grow
  • Proximity to home
  • uncomfortable or unpleasant working conditions.

Creating a culture of acceptance, supportive and collaborating team work will help promote safe and relaxed atmosphere where creativity can flow freely.

Workshops are useful tools in getting everyone on the same page, while clarifying expectations.

To book an obligation free consultation please send your request or inquiry to;

Why Some Relationships Fail

Causes For Depression and Anxiety

We’re born with a personality, but what events occur in our lives and how we interpret them will determine how we relate, react and think about situations.

Our brain is continually forming pathways that determine our thinking and behaviour, and we behave mostly based on our emotions.

Separation anxiety lives in our emotion from a young age, often caused by the trauma of losing a loved one. For this reason we may fear abandonment every time we begin a new relationship, while hoping it will last forever.

So what causes separation anxiety?

The most ideal environment for a child to grow healthy is within a caring family environment where their parents care for each other and care for them, and to know this will never change.

A person becomes prone to depression and anxiety when either one of these conditions are missing in their life. In most cases they will over-react when they perceive things aren’t going well with the relationship, and will leave rather than go through the pain of being abandoned.  

The good news is there is hope when such trauma has taken place. Through counselling and therapy benefits can be healing and life transforming.


To teach the future generations is such an honour and at the same time a great responsibility. We cannot have narrow view of education to mean literacy and numeracy competences alone.

As more and more parents are needing to work, a vacuum is created in some aspects of the child’s healthy development. That vacuum is compounded as more and more grandparents are also working well beyond their age of retirement. This means the child is left to be raised by carers who are not a family member. Granted, some carers could be better trained to look after these children than most parents (as parents don’t need to qualify to raise a child), there’s also the risk of a child being brought up by carers who may not be as attentive to the child’s needs as a parent or grandparent could be.

Both parents needing to work means the children of today are growing up with parents who are tired and stressed after a long day at work. Patience often runs thin in these situations, and children could end up bearing the brunt of the parents’ releasing the pressure of the day’s stresses and frustrations.

To be healthy, whole, well adjusted, the child needs unconditional love alongside discipline. For discipline to be done in a healthy way the adult needs to have the child’s best interest at heart, and not lash out because of frustration and impatience due to tiredness.

It has been my experience that when we are tired and stressed it becomes more difficult to be patient, compassionate and thoughtful about our actions. It can also be difficult to be mindful and intuitive about what the child really needs, or is trying to communicate through their tantrums.

Perhaps allocating a period during school hours for students to do their homework, rather than doing them at home would be a more practical way of ensuring they have support and supervision. This would also greatly reduce the stress at home, especially for working parents.

Another option would be to abolish homework altogether in primary, and much less homework for high school – as it’s been done in Finland (please see the documentary below).

Families do need to have a more relaxed time with each other, and this would be possible when the pressures and stresses of the day end the minute work and school has ended.

We need to take a look at the teaching methods of the world’s top ranking students and education system found in Finland. Their students in senior high school do no more than 20 minutes of revision – as one student said “When you have fully understood the lesson you don’t need to keep studying it, you only need to revise it once”.

Drawing In The Disengaged Student

Teachers have so much demand placed on them in today’s education which can take away the ability to be attuned to their students needs. Although we do need teaching standards, the issue remains meeting the level of demand verses having time to be creative and enjoy the process.

Children can be unpredictable, varied and as unique as our fingerprints. In all of this it’s not easy to cater for each students’ individual educational and emotional needs. When emotional needs are not met it compromises the cognitive development.

Teachers are not trained as psychologists, therefore they are not equipped to manage and teach students who have experienced trauma. Trauma changes the way our brain functions and trauma can be caused by something as common as neglect by a parent who doesn’t have time for their child because their time and responsibility is divided between other children. There are many more common circumstances as well as severe cases that impede learning ability.

For this reason we have created a course for teachers so they have the knowledge and the skill to know how to manage and help increase their students capacity to learn.

We believe psychology needs to become part of teacher’s training as this would contribute toward achieving one of the goals of education, which is for “All young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.”(Melb. declaration, 2008).


In today’s Western society are we missing the point of education? We have more free education available for every individual than ever before, more choices in career than ever before, we are wealthier society in comparison to the rest of the world, so why is mental illness and loneliness on the increase at an epidemic level?

In the UK the government has allocated a ministry to help the lonely in society.

When we peel back the layers to have a look at why individuals are lonely and what makes a person happy it seems to boil down to one thing – relationships.

The following extract from the American Psychological Association press release shows a summary of the contributing factors to the loneliness epidemic;

“Such “epidemics,” while not confined to rich countries, are linked to prominent features of affluent culture: longer life expectancy, decreasing marriage rates, people having fewer children, more people getting divorced, and more people living alone. “ stated Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University. (APA, 2017)

The article went on to say – Holt-Lunstad recommended a greater priority be placed on research and resources to tackle this public health threat from the societal to the individual level. For instance, greater emphasis could be placed on social skills training for children in schools and doctors should be encouraged to include social connectedness in medical screening (APA, 2017).

In Europe, Middle East as well as in Asia people appear to be happier than those of us in the Western countries.

With closer observation we notice the major difference in those Nations is the way the family unit relates and remains together.

A typical Italian family lives close to each other, gets together for family celebrations such as birthdays  and anniversaries a lot more frequently than we do. When young couple get married they can depend on their parents financial support as well as physical support for when grandchildren arrive on the scene.

The same can be said about Middle Eastern families and families in Asia. Family members don’t always get along nicely but they are always involved in each other’s lives – for better or for worse. This gives the individual a sense of knowing that if they are ever in a difficulty family will be there to support them. Parents often think about the financial future of their children when they are working hard and accumulating wealth. Unless there is war, the wealth of the family is passed down increasingly from generation to generation. For this reason cutting off family relationships are rare.

Imagine if there were certain relationship skills that could be taught where families could sustainably relate with one another in a healthier way.

What would it mean for a Society if families were to stay together throughout their life? If more couples were able to remain committed to one another, raising children who could depend on their parents to always be there for them through thick and thin., I wonder if it would decrease mental illness, depression and anxiety. I wonder if loneliness would be dramatically reduced. And what it would mean for the health and well-being of the individual.

Essential yet unique relationship skills required for lifelong relationships could be taught to every individual in society. The kind of relationship skills that would promote emotional intelligence and resolving conflicts effectively.

As human beings we are relational creatures. Unless we are in healthy relationships it is not easy for us to find happiness and fulfillment, even with the most successful career we could possibly have.

This is the vision for which Grassroots Approach program is designed. For every individual to learn essential and unique relational skills to create, as well as maintain, healthy lifelong relationships.

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this subject. Please feel free to share on the page below;

Opposite Sex Friendships

Is it possible to be friends with the opposite sex?

Admittedly, in my research I have found this is easier for girls than it is for boys (not men).

As men and women do mature and develop the capacity to make better judgements, it becomes more obvious that it is better to first become friends with the opposite sex, and only when both parties feel it’s right the friendship can then move into a romantic relationship.

Friendships don’t always develop into romance.

Friendships don’t always develop into romantic relationships. It is possible to want to be friends with someone and not necessarily want to go into a romantic relationship with them. But at least take the opportunity to make an informed decision rather than go straight into a romantic relationship, as the cost of separation can be too high.

Why not have multiple romantic relationships?

It’s always a good idea to think about the end from the beginning, so let’s consider the possible outcomes of going into a casual romantic relationship with someone you don’t necessarily want to spend the rest of your life with;

a) You could end up falling in love but the feeling may not be mutual.
b) The other person could fall in love with you but they’re not who you want to be with.
c) They leave you for someone else because they were never in the relationship for the long term.
d) You want to break up but they don’t, and they begin to threaten about things they’ll do if you leave.
e) Or you could both end up falling in love with each other.

Whenever there’s a break-up there’s pain associated with the rejection you or they experience. The wounds may heal ,but what about the scar?

Ripple affect of broken relationships…

Whether we have experienced it firsthand, or have observed children who are going through the marriage break-up of their parents, there’s no denying the pain it causes.

The ripple effects of divorce are far reaching as divorce is costly in more ways than we can imagine. Apart from the heartache the couple go through the effects on children are often not noticed until it’s too late.

One of the first signs could be that school work is greatly affected. Change in behavior such as lack of motivation, lack of concentration, depression, sense of helplessness and/or hopelessness can become challenging and difficult to cope with for the student, the parent, their classmates as well as the teachers.  As the divorce rate rises it has become necessary for schools to invest more and more in counselors and psychologists.

Most of the services are band-aid solutions to a deep problem that often begins at home – the relationship between the couple.  By addressing the problems at Grass-root level (a bottom up approach) a healthier foundation is built within society, and the  outcome on health could change substantially.

Comparison of High and Low-Distress Marriages

Journal of Marriage and Family 69 (August 2007):621-638
Paul R. Amato and Bryndl Hohmann-Marriott: Pennsylvania State University.


Comparison of High and Low-Distress Marriages

That End in Divorce (summarized)


A study was conducted in United States in 2007 by Paul Amato and Bryndl Hohmann-Marriott to compare high and low distress marriages that end in divorce in order to understand why married couples get divorced.
They wanted to see if the popular belief that only couples who fight frequently, becoming increasingly disengaged from one another emotionally, causing marital happiness to decline are generally the couples that end up getting divorced.
In a series of publications Amato, Booth and Loomis presented evidence that many couples do not experience high level of discord and marital unhappiness prior to divorce. Contrary to the pattern described before, couples appear to end their marriage for reasons that only partly reflect the quality of their marriage.
Levinger’s commonly applied theory for divorce is based on three components; attraction, barriers and alternatives. First he suggests that attraction is based proportionately to the rewards received minus the costs involved (costs reflect the negative aspects of the relationship such as verbal and physical aggression). Although low level of rewards may lead to thoughts of divorce, spouses who wish to end their marriage must overcome a variety of barriers which include moral or religious values, concerns about social stigma, legal restrictions and financial dependence. At times the lack of alternatives can reinforce stability in the marriage. Of course some spouses may prefer living alone rather than be in an unrewarding marriage.

Another central construct in exchange theory is the comparison level for alternatives. Spouses who enter marriage with low level of expectation for personal fulfilment may be happier than a spouse who has a high level of expectations.

Johnson distinguishes between three forms of commitment; Personal commitment where partners enjoy each other’s company. Moral commitment is based on feelings of obligation, that one should remain in a relationship despite existence of problems and finally structural commitment which is based on constraints or lack of good alternatives to the current situation.

Recent surveys carried out in the US indicate that cultural changes in society have affected the attractions, barriers and commitment for marital stability. Survey of college students in the 1950’s and 60’s indicate that marriage was valued because it provided a home, a stable and economically secure life and the opportunity to raise children. In contrast, more recent surveys indicate that college students value marriage because they expect it to provide a deep source of love and emotional fulfillment – which is a more individualistic approach to marriage. According to this perspective many people now expect marriage to serve as a vehicle for personal growth and self-actualization. Marriages that do not meet these deeply personal needs may be viewed as failures, despite other benefits that these unions may provide. All things being equal, as people’s expectations of marriage increase, an increasing number of people will be unsatisfied with their marriage. Divorce becomes more of an issue of low level of commitment to the marriage rather than a case of getting out of a deeply unsatisfying and distressing relationship.
Surveys have shown that individuals in high-distress marriages experience improvements in subjective well-being, whereas individuals in low level distress marriages experience decline in subjective well-being. This hypotheses is based on the assumption that individuals in moderately happy marriages that end in divorce may not fully anticipate the difficulties and stresses that often accompany and follow marital dissolution.
A quantitative survey done in the 1980’s reveal decreases in the extent to which people have confidence in religious answers to important questions, place trust in religious authorities, and pray or read religious materials. This decline in religious influence is likely to have undermined people’s beliefs about the sacred nature of marriage and its importance as a religious commitment. Moreover the massive shift of married women into the workforce has meant they are less financially dependent on their spouses, hence making it easier for them to leave low to moderately unhappy marriages which would not have happened in 1950’s and 60’s.

In conclusion it is possible that many of these couples have been influenced by the belief that a good marriage should provide a high level of personal growth and self-actualization, criteria that many, perhaps most marriages cannot meet. Given the high rate of divorce and its implications on economic and social well-being of parents and children more research and exploration of possibilities on how to prevent the breakdown of the family unit are clearly warranted.