Chasing The Extraordinary

With the holiday season fast approaching, I think that it is important to continue to find ways to slow life down to a pace that satisfies ours and our children’s deepest needs and, to take the pressure off ourselves in as many ways as possible. With that in mind, the theme for December is going to be: Accepting The Ordinary. There is so much pressure on us to be extraordinary today, especially so at this time of year. Pressure to succeed. Pressure to fit it all in. Pressure to be happy. Pressure to make sure that our children don’t miss out. Pressure to get ahead. Pressure to get an extraordinary gift. Pressure to put a HUGE feast on the table. Pressure to escape the concept of ordinary. What is so wrong with ordinary? Why do we need the “extra”? When we strive to make every experience in life extraordinary; do extraordinary things, wear extraordinary clothes, do extraordinarily well, be extraordinary, we put incredible pressure on ourselves to be something that at the end of the day, we might not be capable of and the situation cannot bring us. And, in doing so, we can put extraordinary pressure on our children. …Read more →

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

For me, around now, with the Halloween festivities been and gone, life can start to feel full. I use the word full over busy because I feel it is a less overwhelming perspective! I was chatting to some moms the other night and many of them are feeling similarly and in need of a break. Here’s the reality: If we are feeling this way, the chances are that our kids will be feeling it too. I know that my kids are. There’s more complaining about things and having to go out again. And compared to many, mine really don’t do a lot. With this in mind, I thought that the perfect theme for November would be to find ways to slow down. Taking regular speed checks in order to slow life down to a more compatible pace is a good thing. I think this has to also extend beyond simply slowing our external lives down, to include finding ways to slow our minds down. The mental clutter and constant chatter can be draining. That’s going to be the focus for next week’s “Parenting Tip Of The Week”. Stay tuned. One of my favourite external speed check interventions is going for …Read more →

“You Can’t Control Me, You Are NOT Me, Please Stop”

The theme for October is going to be around the subject of control. I’m guessing that there is probably no parent out there who has not had a run in with it in some way shape or form! In order to understand the patterns of control, we have to dig a little deeper and understand why they might be there. With the best of intentions, because we all want what is best for our child, we turn to control under the clever disguise of: “my child need’s me to do it”, “this is best for my child”, “this will protect my child”, “this makes it easier for my child”. Control wears many hats… We do it to avoid discomfort for ourselves and for our child and we do it because we fear of what might happen if we don’t. “If I don’t do his laces up for him, we are going to be late…”  “If I don’t do his homework for him, he will never finish it…” “If I don’t force him to practice his piano he will fail his exam…” “If I don’t expose him to lots of new things he will never be successful…” “If I don’t put …Read more →

Back To School, It’s Time For YOU?

The kids are back to school and it’s busy… Every year I expect that somehow life will instantaneously and miraculously become easier because the kids are out the house and back at school but it never seems to work out that way! There is so much to do, arrange, organize, buy, set up. The list just never gets shorter. Add to this, for many of us, the schedules then kick in and the driving starts and it can leave us feeling with that urrrggghhhhh feeling all over again. At this time of the year, if we are not careful, WE can get lost in all the busyness. So, with that said, the theme for this month is going to be on how you can create some space for YOU. In order to be on top of our game, both for ourselves and for our children, we have to give to ourselves. I know, you hear “self-care” all the time these days and you know that you should do it, but how many of us actually commit to it? We need to pay attention to this. We need to be aware of how WE are, what we are doing, how much …Read more →

The Biggest Obstruction To The Parent Child Relationship? Parental Fear

The theme this month is going to be on unraveling our FEARS and the HUGE role and impact that fear has on our parenting. You might be thinking to yourself: “Fear, what fears, I’m not scared… What is there to be afraid of?” According to Dr Shefali Tsabary the author of The Conscious Parent, Out of Control and The Awakened Family: “The rise of the parental ego is the fundamental obstruction between parents and their children”. She strongly believes that: “Fear is the cornerstone of all our reactive emotions and reactive energy, especially around our loved ones. Even our angry or worried reactions”. It is our fears that drive our inner voice, our ego and it is for much of the time that this voice drives us. Being conscious of this and being willing to be aware of this is THE only way in which to prevent it. Dr Shefali has really helped me understand this and I hope that I can help you. Our inner voice is always with us. However, it is only when we develop an awareness for it (an inner voice/ego radar detector or EgoGPS) for when it is in the driver’s seat, taking us down …Read more →

Shaping Our Children’s Digital Behaviour

At the beginning of the year when I was putting together this annual parent coaching plan for you I had penciled in “Technology” as being the topic we would explore for July. Over the last week, having spoken to many parents, my hunch was right. Many of you are concerned about how you are going to manage your children’s screen diets during the holidays. With that in mind, welcome July, welcome to the holidays and welcome to the huge subject of Screens and Devices and how we can find ways to live with technology so that we control it and it does not control us. It’s a tough one… Having read books on the subject, advice column after advice column and blog after blog on this topic, there is undoubtedly a lot of great information out there on this subject. However, in many of the “solutions” and “tips” offered on how to manage the impact of this on our family lives, I find that there is often one key piece of information that is missing – the profound effects of role modeling.  More often than not, these “writings” imply that it is our children who have the problem. I believe that …Read more →

Get This Right And Summer With The Kids Just Got A Whole Load Easier

June is here and with all that the end of the school year typically brings and summer on the horizon, I felt that a good theme for us to explore and tease out this month would be the subject of EXPECTATIONS. I’ll take a bet that there is not a parent reading this who expects a relaxing June because, knowing what we do about this time of year, it would be unrealistic! I’ll take another bet that almost every parent reading this has somewhat mixed emotions about the holidays. Yes? Excited but at the same time a tad apprehensive about having the kids around all day every day for two whole months? I hear you. I feel it too. I am hoping that by reading this blog and the following weekly tips pertaining to this, that you will be able to make this summer the best one yet. I believe that with a little bit of planning and organization, the overwhelming, busy, crazy-ness typical of June can be made a little easier. Here are a few ideas for you:  Do not schedule anything that does not HAVE to be done into June View your life as being FULL rather than …Read more →

The Most Successful Families Do This – Do You?

Welcome May and with a new month comes a new topic: Hosting Family Meetings Why is it that Spring always seems to spring upon us so quickly? It feels like we just celebrated the New Year! For many families, Spring usually brings a host of new schedules, a plethora of sports and activities, longer evenings that rapidly fill and for many of us, the novelty of it all soon wears out and it can all become a touch too much. The structures and routines we once had in place, that have sub-consciously brought us some form of comfort, can become lost in the Spring madness and busyness. This time of year can become somewhat overwhelming. So why a family meeting I hear you say! Isn’t there already enough in our diaries without adding more? Yes but no. They are really important and here’s why: When done well, Family Meetings become the backbone and safe place for the family. Think about any successful business or team and you will know where I’m going here. Each player knows their role, knows their position, knows the score, knows what is expected of them, is respectful of their team mates, knows the plan and …Read more →

Honoring and Trusting Enough

I have enough. I am satisfied. I have had enough. I can’t take any more. What is enough? When is enough is enough? How do you know? Enough is a very personal. Enough for one might not be enough for another. And another thing; what a ridiculous sounding word it is. Say it a few times and you might agree: Enough. Enough. Enough. Enough. Eenuff… It’s neither wonder our children find it hard to spell! Who came up with a rule to say that not only does a “ph” sound like an f but a “gh” does too? Enough. Oh to be able to consistently and intuitively know when I have had enough to nurture and nourish yet know when enough is enough in order to set boundaries to protect myself; to be able to recognize within myself when to stop or when to start. That’s heaven enough for me. Whether it be hunger, tolerating noise from my children, having an argument, feeling the rays of sunshine on my skin, sipping a cocktail, hours spent working or asking my child repeatedly to do the same thing over and over, I have to know when I have had enough to stop …Read more →

What All Parents Need To Know About Handling Unacceptable Behavior

For those of you who are signed up to receive my free online Parent Coaching Program, you will know that we have covered three parenting topics this year. January – We looked at ways to become more intentional in our parenting practice February – We focused on the HUGE benefits of Self-Care March – We developed some strategies to help us Shape Our Behavior and become more conscious With April upon us, I’d like to introduce you to the theme for the month and it’s a big one: Decoding And Shaping Our Children’s Behavior  What is behavior? How do you view behavior? How do you deal with unacceptable behavior? Does your approach work? Behavior is a means of communication. How I chose to respond or react to my children’s behavior and shape my resultant behavior will have a big impact on the choices that my children make regarding theirs. Which comes first? Does my child’s behavior trigger my behavior or does my behavior trigger my child’s? Interesting question… Children are not born knowing how to behave. As they develop they will try out many different “behaviors” to establish which ones work and which ones don’t. Their behavior evolves and changes …Read more →