Monthly Archives: March 2014


It is said that mindfulness gives us the ability to sustain happiness. So what exactly is it? Mindfulness is about learning to direct our attention to our experience as it unfolds with an open mind, curiosity and kindness. The benefits of mindfulness are numerous and have been scientifically proven and include the following: Help you achieve peak performance in whatever it is you do Improve physical health Improve sleep Improve focus and concentration Lower stress Optimize creativity It is thought that our minds spend up to 50% of the time rehashing the past or projecting the future, paying little attention to the present. In developing mindfulness, we need to learn how to shift our minds from the dominant thinking mode to the sensory mode and then develop the capacity to keep the volume turned up on our senses to focus on the here and now. As the saying goes: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift we call the present” In short, we need to FEEL the DOING and encourage our children to do this, to focus on their senses and take the time to appreciate the effects of them; really hear the sounds, see …Read more →


We all live such busy lives that there are many times we find ourselves doing things for our children that they are more than capable of doing for themselves. If, for example, we consider the routine of getting our kids ready for school in the mornings…… we wake them up, we make them their breakfast, we pack their snack, we make their lunch, we pack their backpack, we remind them when they have to leave. We have to ask ourselves why we continue to do it all? Maybe it’s because it is easier, quicker and habit for us to just do it. When our children are younger, we have to do more for them but as they grow up, we often still find ourselves doing things for them that they are really perfectly capable of doing for themselves. In the long run, this does not serve or teach our children well. Regardless of the reason, if we as parents are too quick to step in and do things for our children, solve their problems, give them the answers and over-manage them and their lives, we effectively rob them of adequate opportunities to prove themselves capable. Being too good a “PA” …Read more →


I have been reading a book called: Teach your Kids Well by Madeline Levine It ties into my previous two blogs nicely in that it is about parenting for success. Where I examined ways in which we can implement good parenting strategies into our homes on our quest to become more successful parents, Levine takes a look at how society now defines success and how it is influencing us, in her opinion, negatively, with disastrous results. In her book she makes it abundantly clear that she believes success today is often defined by very narrow and restrictive parameters largely based on academic performance. Success is much much more than that, it is all about developing values and coping skills. These are the platform for what will really determine and drive true success. If a child does not have a good set of values and coping skills, in the long term, they will not do well no matter what their current status quo might suggest. For example, a child might have got an A, but achieved it from being pushed from the wrong platform, one perhaps by pressure, bribes and rewards over the development of intrinsic motivation and core values. Today, …Read more →


This is the second of a two-part blog on exploring ways in which you can become a more democratic or backbone parent and continue to parent with success. In my last blog I looked at CONNECTION, RESPECT, ENCOURAGEMENT, using GUIDANCE in your DISCIPLINE PLAN all the while being FIRM and KIND. In this blog I will be adding to these, looking specifically at SETTING LIMITS, CONSEQUENCES, BEHAVIOR, SELF REGULATION, EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, MISTAKES, GRATITUDE and FAMILY MEETINGS and how you can incorporate them into your parenting style to make it more successful. Commit to SETTING LIMITS and using CONSEQUENCES Children need limits and boundaries and need to develop the capacity to be able to stay within them. Children need to learn this skill first within the confines of their own homes so that they can then apply them at school, in the community at large and in their relationships. Working within limits helps children learn how to tolerate frustration and delay gratification which are important life skills. It is never too late to start setting clear limits and boundaries. Research has shown that one of the main factors involved in adolescent dysfunction is a lack of firm limits – Madeline Levine …Read more →