Category Archives: Blog

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 →

The Thing I Wish I Hadn’t Said

Parenting Habit #2: Saying something and not following through with it Many of the parents I support tell me that they find this habit particularly frustrating and say they do it more during school holidays than term time. This makes me curious! Why more in the holidays? The only thing I can come up with is this. We are often more relaxed and chilled during the holidays. There are usually fewer limits, there is often more freedom, winging it and going with the flow. As a result of this, things can suddenly get pushed too far and BOOM… we snap. Sound familiar? “I wish that I had not said it because I know that I will never be able to follow through with it” I ask them for examples of the sorts of things that they say: “If you do that again we will have to go home… NOW ….” – impossible in the circumstances! “That’s it, you are NEVER using the iPad again…” – as if that’s going to happen! “Next time you go out you will have to come home earlier…” and next time comes round and I forget! If you find yourself nodding your head while reading …Read more →

The Dark Side of Praise and How To Avoid It

We live in such “praizy” (praise and crazy) times it is important that we recognize the ill effects of too much praise on our children. How many times do we hear “Wow, good job”, “You are so clever”, “That’s an amazing painting, “You are a such great artist”. “I am so proud of you”. Phrases full of praise like these are used so frequently that they almost lose their meaning. Children then become dependent on them in order to feel good about themselves. “If we’re going to bring out the best in people, we, too, need to sow seeds of encouragement” – Joel Osteen “A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water” – Rudolph Dreikurs What’s the difference between Encouragement and Praise? Encouragement means: to put courage in, to inspire Encouragement makes one feel good about oneself and therefore believe in oneself as it comes from within – it is an internal motivator Encouragement helps build self-esteem and self-confidence Encouragement focuses on how you get there ie. on the effort, improvement, journey and process Praise means: to speak highly of, to commend, to glorify Praise tends to focus on the end result Praise is positive judgment coming from the …Read more →

How To Juggle Work And Play While The Kids Are On Holiday

The summer holidays can be tough for Moms because quite literally over-night we go from having six hours of so called ‘free’ time to having none! I remember before I had kids of my own I wondered what on earth stay at home moms did all day while their kids were at school – how dare I have had those thoughts! It’s only when you have kids of your own do you really fully understand the commitment, dedication and time required of Moms. And with the turn of that switch and the summer holidays suddenly upon us, thinking about how we are going to get it all done can be a daunting thought. I am by nature a fairly organized person and am structured with my approach to getting things done around the house. Knowing this has definitely helped me get through those days where the kids are at home wanting to be with me whilst at the same time I have work to do. Through trial and error, and a serious refining and tuning of my parenting skills, I have found a way to make this work for me AND for my kids. I want to help you do …Read more →

Re-Energize your Parenting with “The Summer Parenting Cleanse”

Whilst I can’t wait for those long, lazy, hazy days of summer, the lingering smell of sunscreen in the air, a never ending pile of flip flops (how can we have so many?), trips to the beach, back yard slip and slides and lazing around relishing the fact that there is little to rush to, I have to be honest and admit to being just a little bit worried about it. As much as I love the spontaneity; the wing it, whatever, sure, what will be will be days, I am a working Mom, I work from home and with the holidays on the horizon, I do get a bit stressed thinking about how I am going to juggle it all!  If this resonates with you and you are wondering how you are going to get it all done, I am here to help you. Despite my worries (I can’t help it, I’m a Mom) I do know how I am going to do it, I know what has to be done and I also know what works. I am equipped with the parenting tools I need that allow me to balance work and play and over the course of …Read more →

I Spy, With My Little Eye, Something Beginning With J or C?

What do you typically see? The things that bring you Joy and aliveness or the things that are Challenges? Do you sometimes almost feel blinded by the challenges? Many of us, myself included, sometimes need reminded of the fact that there is always joy somewhere, it’s just that maybe we can’t always see it. It might be that we haven’t seen it for a while? Maybe it is being drowned out by the challenges and chaos. “I love watching my child experience something new and see the smile take over her face” “Please can you all clear your clutter off the dining table, there’s a pair of shin guards there, a laptop, Olaf and a bowl from breakfast that you said you would put in the dishwasher, dinner is nearly ready.” “I love the cuddles, hugs and I love yous”  “Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes, please will someone deal with the table?” “I love our life, we are all healthy and have so much fun together” “Dinner will be ready in 5 minutes, PLEASE will you clear the table and set it?” “I love creating things with my kids – from sandcastles in the summer to snowmen in …Read more →