Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Gift Of Boredom

I see boredom as a gift. I see it as a wonderful opportunity to teach children many valuable life skills. Boredom is the time spent between not knowing what to do and coming up with an idea for something to do. It is ‘seemingly’ having nothing to do. Unfortunately, today it is generally seen as a more of a negative thing. But is it? Why do I see it as a gift? It is a gift because boredom invariably sparks creativity, especially in children. Without the time or space to incubate their thoughts and the opportunity to be bored, children are robbed of a golden opportunity to foster creativity. Boredom sows the seeds for this. Children today are so scheduled, their time filled with prescribed activities and endless sources of entertainment that they rarely have the time to simply be. The minute they are in situations with nothing to do, they are at a loss for what to do. On the odd occasion I remember wailing to my Mom: “I’m b-o-r-e-d. There’s n-o-t-h-i-n-g to do. There’s no-one to play with.” I can’t think of a time where she dropped what she was doing simply to entertain me in my boredom. …Read more →

Oblivious To The Obvious

About four years into life as a Mom, with three kids under four, something I had not thought of, nor anticipated hit me. It was the first time in my life where I had no time to myself. It sounds so obvious now. Like many things in life, it took being in it to really get it. I woke up one day and realized that I was functioning in the red. I was in reserve and had been for some time. Like many Moms, I was taking care of everyone else’s needs and seriously neglecting my own. I was drained. I was taking no time for myself. Doing things for myself seemed selfish. Reaching this point gave me the opportunity to get in touch with what I really needed. Until then, I had never ever given this much thought. As I pondered and reflected upon this, I couldn’t stop thinking about a walk. I remember that walk as if it were yesterday. It was the first time that I had walked without a stroller in years. Free from the confines of the handles, my hands and arms were their own. I could swing them whilst I walked. I felt invigorated. …Read more →

How Accepting the “As Is” Can Transform Your Parenting

Last week I wrote a blog on changing our behavior and subsequently the behaviors of those around us. To initiate this change process we need to first identify our triggers. This week, I wanted to tease out the concept of triggers a bit further. I read an excellent book called “The Conscious Parent” by Dr Shefali Tsabary. In Chapter 5 she discusses many things including triggers and states that most of us are able to identify our triggers on a superficial level. Our triggers will vary, they might be things like: disrespect, being ignored, defiance, dishonesty, some violation of our values, wasting time, rudeness, inefficiency, our children saying they will do something but not do it… The author claims that we have to ask ourselves these questions: What in us is actually being triggered? What, on an elemental level, are we experiencing? “To be triggered is to be in resistance to whatever may be happening in our life” – Dr Shefali Tsabary What this essentially means is that we refuse to accept the current reality around the trigger. She refers to this as refusing to accept the “AS IS” of a situation or moment. In order to be able to …Read more →

“When You Change The Way You Look At Things, The Things You Look At Change” – Dr Wayne W. Dyer

I’ll bet that if you are reading this, you have probably read numerous parenting books and articles? You know what you should do but things don’t really change. It is often easier to just go with the flow and hope that the things we are not happy with in our lives and in our parenting will magically and simply change for the better. How do you make a change? We all make small changes all the time, change is after all, the only constant in our lives, but taking the steps to implement bigger changes can be difficult. I believe that the foundation for all meaningful change is self-change and never more so than in our parenting. Let’s look at shouting. It’s a big one. It’s probably the one thing that I find most overwhelmed and busy Mums wish they could change. “I want to stop shouting” Easier said than done! It’s so hard. Trust me, I know. The key to changing any behavior is to identify your triggers. What is it that makes you shout? A colleague of mine likes to ask her clients to “unpack their thinking” and I love this idea. With any change, comes uncertainty and …Read more →

How Changing One Little Word Can Make A HUGE Difference

IF you eat your vegetables THEN you can have ice cream IF you do your homework THEN you can play on the iPad IF you have a bath THEN you can watch TV Sound familiar but wondering why I wrote what I did? Using the word if essentially turns the request into a form of bribe and reward. In this context, using IF essentially gives a child a choice, the cooperative choice being rewarded. The ice cream, iPad and TV become conditional. If they cooperate and eat their veggies, they get an ice cream. Don’t cooperate = no reward. In the short term, this technique might work (what kid doesn’t want ice cream!) but it is well known that prolonged use of bribes and rewards generally do not bode well for children or the relationships you have with them. For a blog on the perils of using bribes and rewards read here. Let’s look at what happens when you substitute WHEN for IF: WHEN you eat your veggies THEN you can have ice cream WHEN you do your homework THEN you can play on the iPad WHEN you have a bath THEN you can watch TV By simply changing the word IF …Read more →