In Conversation #5: Hypnotherapy for kids

"Hypnotherapy can help kids overcome behavioral changes"

Before I delve into today's "In Conversation", I just wanted to say that my blog is not just about mummies and stuff. More often than not, the experiences I share here are The Man and my parenting experience. Just that The Man prefers not to make any writing appearance on the blog. Oh well.

Having said that, I will be speaking with fathers as part of the my "In Conversation" series. The parenting perspective from dads can be helpful for us mums to take a leaf from. Yes? 

Today, I am extremely excited to have Samuel Tan, single dad to a Primary 2 girl who interestingly is also certified in hypnotherapy! 

Read on to find out why he took up the discipline, and what he uses it for. 


1) Can you share how you manage work and spending time with your daughter?

I thank God that I have been blessed with very kind and understanding bosses who don't insist that I put in extra hours after office hours. Instead, I am very much empowered and entrusted with flexibility so I do plan my own time most of the time but I ensure that if deliveries are required, I will work from home after my daughter goes to bed at night. If I have to attend official events that stretched beyond office hours, I will explain to my 8 year old "CEO" on my need to be away.

My mum  is also always there to support me in my absence. And currently, I have someone who will dedicate her personal time to assist me in coaching my daughter in some of her studies. This frees me up mentally and physically so I can make strategic plans to optimize whatever time we have left with the little one. I also realize that with her in primary school, time management is even more critical. For example, I no longer enjoy the luxury of reading my newspapers in the morning but to rush out of home to send my daughter to school. 

My daugher, Sarah, on the other hand has to cope with her homework and additional assessment work. It is no wonder one day Sarah came to me and said that "life being a child is tough".

When I am not working, then most of my time would be Sarah's. When she was younger awe would spend a lot of time bonding,sometimes for an ice cream or to the arcade together. Now, I try to choose activities that gives me more time to bond with her as well as to develop other skills and competencies. We would now spend time doing activities such as movies (and we talk about the movies after that...), ice-skating, cycling and swimming. Such activities help develop her social skills as well as other motor skills. 

Like in the show Blended that came out this year, Drew and Adam both agreed that 99% of time is now for the kids and the 1% left is only for yourself, as a parent.

2) What would you say was the most difficult part about bringing up a girl?

This is a very interesting question. I dont think there is a most difficult part in bringing up a girl. At different stages, there are different challenges we just have to find ways to adapt or find alternatives.

When Sarah was 4 years old, when her mother left to work overseas,  the first thing I had to learn was to engage in playtime. When Sarah said she wanted to play doll house and I almost fell off my chair. I only remember growing up playing cars, trains, toy soldiers. So I asked her to teach me how to. After a while, I started modifying the scenarios we did with the dolls like using the dolls to teach certain values in situations which requires learning of patience, or perseverance.  Or using the dolls to emphasize on basic courtesy and even important principles in life such as integrity and honesty.

As Sarah grew, there were other things I had to learn like giving her hygiene care when we were out. There would be times when she would just say "Daddy, I need to do number two" and that could be in the middle of our mealtime. So during those times, I had to scurry to find a proper place for her.

To answer your question, I would say that my greatest challenge had got to be constantly adaptive to her needs at each stage as they change so fast. Very soon, I will need to prep myself  for those 'growing up' type of questions, if you know what I mean.

3) If there is only one value you can pass on to your child, what would that be?

I am quite torn. As a parent, especially a Singaporean Kiasu parent, I dont think I can say one is more important than the others and I'd like to teach her all that I have learnt. I like to teach her about resilience, hard work etc. But if there really was one, I would say, honesty. 

4) I hear you are a certified hypnotherapist. Tell us more about what hypnotherapy is and how it can help manage our kids when they are growing up?

Oh Yes, I have been certified as a hypnotherapist since 2013. As a hypnotherapist, I help other people create a subconscious change in their thoughts, behaviors or feelings through the use of hypnosis. 

We all know that our conscious minds controls most of what we do on a daily basis, such as critical thinking, ethical thinking, decision making. Consciously, you wouldn't match pink shoes with a green dress and blue bag. This is where we can optimise the use of our subconscious mind. Very little is being understood about the subconscious and even lesser known about how to harness the resources within. One such way is through the relaxation of the mind through hypnosis.

Hypnosis has been defined to be in a state where the person is relaxed and more open to positive suggestion by the (certified) therapist. Someone under hypnosis will not be "asleep" but the person will be in a very relaxed state so the subconscious mind is able to take in suggestions to relief pain, to break a habit, overcome insomnia and many other medical and psychological benefits. And contrary to what you watch on the movies, hypnosis DOES NOT & WILL NOT make you quack like a chicken . In fact, in some medical research, it states that hypnotists are like coaches or tour-guides that help the person get into a relaxed state of hypnosis so that focused attention of the areas of concern can be reached, just like a walk in the park. Hypnotherapist work on techniques such as visualisation and meditation, amongst many others, depending on the need and the susceptibility of the client.

From here, you can also find that almost 90% of us are hypnotized at some point or another in our lives. If you have ever been in deep thoughts and forgot to turn out of the expressway you were intending to, chances are you were in a state of hypnosis. If you were looking at something repetitive, and you feel that you have lost track of time, chances are you have been in that state. Daydreaming is a form of hypnosis. 

Hypnosis happens to us many times daily without even us knowing it. If you ever used the phrase "its all in the mind" or "mind over body', then you are really acceptable and susceptible to hypnosis. It is not dangerous, it is natural and it is most definitely effective. Simple mind exercises such as visualization are considered a form of hypnosis. I have started cycling more regularly and I find the motion of peddling in a consistent and focussed manner is very therapeutic. No wonder the increase in cycling as a hobby.  Almost anyone and everyone can benefit from this safe and natural way of treatment.

I decided that this was a competency as I was curious and worried that my daughter one day will feel mentally stressed in life due to my situation and wanted to know how I can help her when the time comes. That's where I stumbled into research in this field. But then I realized the potential of this technique. In fact, I spoke about sports hypnotherapy in Sports & Fitness Asia 2013 about how hypnosis can help to optimize the full potential of competitive sportspeople. 

Hypnotherapy has been used by many to help children overcome certain behaviour changes. Children are now growing up feeling hurt or misunderstood, having split personality and even suicidal at a tender age. Parents wonder why and how this could happen and always blame on the media. Yes, mass communications and internet has fuelled the trends of behavioural change but has it ever occurred that it could be the hurting words of parents words the parents which could have scarred them or children being in an embarrassing situations which they "carry" with them till adulthood. Some traits evolved into socially unacceptable behaviour such as rebelliousness and in some serous cases, even schizophrenia. Everyone needs an avenue of release and there are many things that the parent can do to reduce the possibilities of a behavioural deficit in their children's life. 

The below two are also good read about what people like me can help in school going children

It is difficult to pin-point how it can help with the managing of the child as they grow up. I would always work with both the child and the parent to understand the issue and work to help both the child and parent get back on track.


Personally, I am quite intrigued by the benefits of hypnotherapy! I wouldn't mind being in a state of hypnosis if it helps with stress management! 


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