The Importance of Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child: Erika Brodnock (Transcript)

Erika Brodnock at TEDxHackney

Here is the full text of Karisma Kidz founder Erika Brodnock’s talk: The Importance of Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child at TEDxHackney event conference.

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Hello! Great. So I am Erika Brodnock and I’m the CEO and founder of a company called Karisma Kidz.

So I started Karisma Kidz, because about five years ago, I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. So I was told by the doctors that I needed to take medication every day for the rest of my life.

And I refused to accept that.

So what that meant was that I went on a journey. And on that journey, I found some amazing easy-to-learn, simple-to-use techniques that enabled me to completely turn my life around.

So I went back and I was certified WELL… and although I’m not sure they got that right.

And I started to have a look at the effects that my illness had had on my own children and how I could teach them the tools and techniques that I’ve learned in the most easy, fun and engaging way.

So I also had a child at that time, she was 5; she’s 10 now. But she was 5 then, and there wasn’t a day that I’d gone to school for the hall of reception all of year one and into year two, that I hadn’t had some sort of complaint about Lexis’ behavior from the teachers and them saying that you know she didn’t have a good day today, and she didn’t have a good day today and she didn’t have a good day today.

And it got to the point where I was like right I’m going to need to do something about this, because otherwise she’s going to end up just like me. And that was the worst possible outcome for her in my eyes.

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So I went to the doctors, and after about 12 weeks of badgering them, they said “Okay, we’ll do a referral to CAMHS.”

So I waited and waited and waited and after about six months she had an assessment at CAMHS and back came the results. And they said that she wasn’t bad enough for them to take her on and help her in any way shape or form.

It turns out that children need to be either a danger to themselves, or to other people before any interaction is usually taken or they need to be assessed.

So I started to do some research and I had to look at some figures. And these are just from the Office of National Statistics. And one in four children is experiencing anxiety, stress or depression before they reach in their adult lives, and then one in ten is actually being diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

And I just thought: how can this be, how can it be that we’re looking at how we can do all sorts of other things in the world but we’re not taking care of our children’s mental health?

So I started to look at how many children that actually meant. And there are 4.3 million children below the age of ten in the UK at the moment. So that’s more than a million children experiencing the effects of stress.

And the thing with it is that it’s not discriminatory. So it’s not that you need to be from a certain race, or a certain background, or a certain demographic to have these issues. It affects everyone.

So I started to look at the definition of stress. And according to Richard Lazarus, stress is a perception that someone holds that they’re unable to meet the demands that they face because they don’t have the resources to do that.

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