Before Nicole came to work with us, I had a two year old and a new born. Life was tough, very very tough. My two year old was having constant meltdowns, one after the other. In fact, I opened the door to Nicole in tears as he was in the midst of yet another tantrum that seemed to have begun the moment he woke up. I was nervous to take him out anywhere and he clearly sensed my judgement as he often didn’t want to be around me. It was heart breaking. This was not how I wanted my family to be.
Surprisingly, my newborn was doing ok in amongst this chaos, probably because Nicole had previously taught me the importance of helping a baby learn to self settle to sleep and to leave it to play by itself. These skills, to this day, have been priceless for both my children (and our sanity).
Despite being a psychologist, I had grossly underestimated the importance of actively supporting the healthy development of self regulation in children. I’ve worked with many adults who have needed to be ‘retrained’ in self regulation but I’d never been in the situation of supporting someone to learn how to self regulate from scratch, until Nicole helped me realise it could quite possibly be the most important skill they will ever learn. Although at times it is devastatingly hard to watch my children struggle, I know I am doing them a wonderful favour by supporting them to learn how to regulate their emotions so that they can move through and on from whatever discomfort they are feeling and get on with life (which doesn’t stop just because we are unhappy we don’t get the green bowl...).
With the gift of self regulation came the gift of flexibility. My two year old had to have things done his way or we all knew about it. He needed control over everything. Nicole helped me learn this was his way of feeling safe and secure because he wasn’t able to self regulate. He didnt cope when things didnt go exactly as he wanted and a ferocious meltdown would follow that would last for ages....it’s still a work in progress, but now this gorgeous little guy is able to say “oh ok” when it’s not quite as he would want. He’ll even accept “next time” as a reason not to do something or agree to listen to his music on the way home and Mummy’s on the way there. These differences are life changing.
My now nineteen month old is just hitting the stage of wanting things done his way. I’ve been much better at setting a clear boundary with him and following through and just being with him through the upset that follows. Because of this, his upsets pass pretty quickly and he gets on with his business of playing and having fun. This has just been further evidence that starting to support the development of healthy self regulation early is so beneficial.
Having Nicole work with our family has been priceless. Completely and utterly life changing and I can’t possibly thank her enough.
We have four children, each with very different personalities and temperaments, and all very lovely. However, sometimes the challenges of simply living together as a family, have left us feeling overwhelmed. With Nicole's help, we've been able to identify the roots of our problems and work on creating a positive, supportive environment to support each individual family member and strengthen the healthy relationships between us all.
Through working with Nicole as a family, we now have skills to help us avoid unhelpful interactions, as well as a common language to use when ever discussion on behaviours or situations is required. The children are so independent and basically look after themselves now, so we can sit back and enjoy them so much more. They solve problems and direct themselves, all while we maintain a loving and connected relationship. Thanks to Nicole's guidance, we have been able to foster and sustain healthier and happier relationships. Thank you, Nicole.
It has been three months now since Nicole came into our home and saved our family. It was an instant transformation for us all - absolutely amazing!
We lived for so long, all stuck in such a negative place, wanting so desperately for things to change, but it seemed the harder we tried, the worse things became. Every little thing was a struggle, all day long. It was so draining. I would try to pull myself together each morning and ‘start fresh’ but when every day for me started by waking up to hysterical screaming and unreasonable demands, leading into back to back tantrums, it was just impossible. Not to mention the fact that no day ever really started fresh anyway, as these behaviours would often continue on and off throughout the night. The constant worry, that something was wrong, how could I fix it? The guilt that my 2-year-old was spending the majority of her time screaming and yelling, crying and being generally unhappy. The guilt that my 5-year-old was subjected to this turmoil. The guilt that I was not able to be the Mum I wanted to be, to enjoy time with my children, and life in general, due to the stress.
After having my own meltdown, I eventually booked an appointment with the paediatrician. Going down that path really didn't sit right with me - I was sure that they would slap some label on my daughter and medicate her (which, by the way, even some of our close friends and family had said she would need!). It was a backup plan, because I knew we could not continue living the way we had been, I was really starting to lose my mind!
Admittedly, I am unfortunately a natural born 'worry wart', but of course, I only want the best for my children and I could feel deep down that this was not the life destined for our family, and it was on me to get to the bottom of it! Thank goodness I had heard of Nicole and her amazing success stories. She arrived, and believe it or not, within a couple of hours, it was like my daughter had been set free! She absolutely embraced her newfound independence and now looks to us for boundaries and rules, to make her feel safe.
The program is so simple, it makes so much sense, yet it is so easily and commonly missed. I often now see children and their parents in a power struggle at a park, at a birthday party, or in the supermarket, and think to myself how their lives could change if they were to put Nicole’s process in place. We can all get so caught up and involved when there is a problem, trying to do more, in order to fix it. This only fuels the fire. We need to have faith in the foundations we have created for our children, and trust that if we can just give them the space they need, not only are they capable of dealing with many of the challenges life throws their way, they actually thrive on being given this opportunity. In turn, this builds trust and strengthens the relationship, and our children then truly feel that we are there for them, and they will come to us when they need our help with the big things.
It took me a while to get past expecting the dream to end at any moment. Actually, on the first night after Nicole left, I felt really scared!! It seems funny now, when I look back on it, but I certainly was not laughing at the time! I was scared of my 2-year-old. Well, when I think about it - scared that something would happen, and our lives would spiral back into the dark place we had come to know too well. But as each day passed I felt more confident, and I soon had complete faith that this was our normal, this was us, at our best. My head is so much clearer now, without the constant wondering and worrying about what could possibly be going on with our daughter, at only 2 years old - somehow projecting this attitude/behaviour onto the whole family and making us all (including herself) so unhappy all the time.
Our life as a family now is amazing. We all enjoy each other’s company, and have fun together. We relax together. Some days I am enjoying my daughter’s company so much that I don’t want to take her to Child Care. A few months back, I would have never imagined I would ever feel that way! These school holidays, she has had a couple of 11am drop offs to Child Care, because she and her sister are having so much fun playing “mums and babies” together.
My husband and I have started doing a few things for ourselves – I’m playing netball again after 6 years off, we are getting work done around the house, my husband catches up with his mates regularly. We are both happy to be on our own with the girls now, because they are so much more pleasant to be around. Now, we can actually have a bit of time out to ourselves every now and again, without feeling guilty that the other person is stuck at home dealing with World War 3.
We are now living, and loving life, not just getting through each day. Thanks again Nicole, you truly are a lifesaver!
We were blessed to meet Nicole through a friend of a friend, who suggested she might be able to help us with some enormous behavioural issues we were dealing with for both our boys aged 4 and 5 at the time. Our eldest had been recently diagnosed with autism and this didn't sit well with me at all, my heart was telling me something different and that this wasn't the path for my child. His younger brother copied everything he did, and if one had a bad day the other joined in. It was exhausting, emotionally draining and challenging in every aspect.
I believed the issues were connected to what was happening at home, and somehow connected to me. The behaviours were extreme, 3 hour tantrums, yelling and screaming and demanding of me all the time, refusal to be around their dad, not eating properly, the eldest was still in nappies and bedtime was our biggest difficulty. I'd been surviving, just scraping through on about 3 hours broken sleep for weeks, months and years! My boys would wake between 6-9 times per night, screaming for no reason for hours, and it would take me until almost midnight every night to get them to sleep! I was exhausted, we were living day by day, my sons behaviour dictated what we did as a family ... We were all miserable! And living in crisis! There was nothing normal about our days, and dare I say it I hated being with my children because all their behaviour was heightened around me, they were controlling, demanding and relentless. I was desperate for help, and desperate for someone to come into my home, where I needed the help most.
I spoke with Nicole, she seemed to understand, she seemed certain she could help ... My heart filled with hope. I couldn't wait for her to arrive. We didn't know what to expect when she came, and I was prepared to do absolutely anything she asked. The process was beyond simple, right there in front of us the whole time ... We simply needed the right guidance, the right instruction and the right tools to bring enormous change into our home. Nicole brings an amazing presence and calmness when she visits, just having her in our home meant we were calmer too. She really is one of a kind, thank you for being you! and helping us with the wealth of knowledge and understanding you hold.
I watched my sons behaviours and difficulties disappear within a few hours ... Things we'd struggled with for ever, simply went away. Hard to believe I know! My eldest went without a nappy from the very first night, and hasn't used one since! Despite being advised he didn't have the understanding to go without them. Amongst countless other changes. Our boys were just being little boys, enjoying all the usual things little boys liked to do. The yelling stopped, the behaviours disappeared and life became so much more pleasurable.
It didn't end there, Nicole offered persistent and compassionate continued support for 6 or more months afterwards, and we still keep in touch. Thank you Nicole for finding your way to us, for sharing your amazing life skills, and for being part of our family in such an amazing way.