Being a P.A.R.E.N.T.

Over 40 years the small European country of Denmark has consistently ranked as the having the world’s most happy people. Numerous studies have been done to ascertain why this is the case. Many believe it stems from their rich childhood, where children are valued, where they are ‘allowed’ to be children and ‘just play’, and where formal schooling doesn’t start till around age 7 years.

The Danes also have ‘hygge’. Hygge is a Danish word which can’t readily be translated in to English as there is no counterpart. The best explanation is around the cosy, warm and friendly feeling of their homes – they are very welcoming and you feel relaxed there. Hygge extends to how you treat others too – that you are welcoming to them.

 

I’ve been reading a book which I think many parents would enjoy, about how the Danes rear their children. It’s called : “The Danish Way of Parenting” by Jessica Alexander and Iben Sandahl. Read more

The Parental Crown  – Are you Wearing it or is Your Child?

When parents approach me regarding difficulties with their child/ children, I listen to their stories of what’s going on. Stories about what the child does (yells, demands, whines, ignores, defies, hurts)  and what they don’t do (don’t help when asked, don’t get ready for bed, don’t do their chores). The parents are presenting the idea to me that their child is the problem – that they are difficult and non-compliant and often parents believe that there’s something ‘wrong’ with the child.

 

I then ask: “How do you manage these situations?”  “What do you do/ say?”

 

This is where it gets interesting….. Read more

growing a parent

‘Growing’ a Parent

When we become pregnant, there is so much focus on the developing foetus – the size, the gender, the health etc. Health professionals and family members encourage the pregnant Mother to eat well, avoid toxins such as smoke, and to get enough rest. These factors (and others) can contribute to the birth of a healthy baby.

When the baby is born there are regular check-ins with community nurses to monitor the progress of the new child. There is a lot of attention on the well-being and growth of the child.

What about the growth of the parent?

What does it take to ‘grow’ a healthy happy parent? Read more

Whinging Child

Whinging Kids – What Do I With Them?

Nerida asked via our Facebook page:
What do I do with my whinge-y 2 year old son?

We’ve all had those days as parents where it’s seemed like a battle field at home, with tears and tantrums all around and that can be from the parents as well as the child – when it all gets too much and you want to run away!

The first thing – and this may seem blunt – is to remember that you are the adult here! If you are struggling to deal with this physically and emotionally, and you’re an adult – then imagine how hard it is to feel so overwrought and at 2 you don’t have the capacity to self regulate.

Self regulation is the ability to feel stressed emotionally, and yet be able to manage it rather than lash out, eg when a driver in front of you keeps cutting in, changing lanes without indicating, and is gesturing at you and other drivers. We may feel enraged by this, but generally we’ve learnt that the best thing is to give them space and let them get away. If we react, it may be detrimental! This is self-regulation.

Read more

Finding GRATITUDE In Every Single Day! (And show your children how to do it too!)

 

Today is a special day for me – it’s my 8th anniversary of being cancer free. For those of you who’ve walked that path, or supported someone along that journey, you would know that there are no guarantees about whether you will make it or not. I lost a friend during my treatment time and have lost four friends since I went through it.

With good medical intervention, support from family and friends and my own personal attitude and strength I did make it successfully out the other side of cancer. I know others who possessed the same support and personal qualities and yet didn’t make it.

Someone said to me at towards the end of my treatment: ‘Sonja, you’ve been given a second chance at LIFE.’ And, that is true on many levels….

Firstly, I’m alive – and for that I’m very grateful!

Secondly, I stress a less…. Most annoyances are just that!

Thirdly, one of the biggest things for me is, that I notice more the beauty around me – the sunshine, laughter, a smile, a call from one of my children, my favourite cup, nature and so much more. When I notice these things I often smile and say a silent: ‘Thank you’ in gratitude.

I believe that in every day there are things to be grateful for,

and that it’s important to notice them. Read more

Parenting: A BIG step out of our Comfort Zone!

Think back to when you were pregnant with your first child. You may have been excited, or scared. You may have wondered about what the child would look like or be like. You may have been sad about your pregnancy – particularly if it was an unexpected pregnancy. You may have been beaming with excitement.

 

Then the baby arrived – some will have had an ‘easy’ birth, some harder but still okay and some may have had a difficult birth. After being in the hospital or with your midwife for a while, you were then be alone with this new little human – learning to do all that needed to be done whilst recovering from the birth and coping with interrupted sleep.

 

For many of us, there was a time when we thought: ‘I have no idea what to do here’; or ‘I’ve tried everything and he’s still unsettled’ or ‘Help, I can’t do this’.

 

At this point in time the reality is that you have stepped outside your Comfort Zone, and you are in a space/ situation which is uncomfortable for you, and this is because it is very unfamiliar – it’s something you’ve not done before. Read more

The Importance of Nurturing Your Baby’s Amazing Brain

Did you know, that when a baby is born, his brain is ½ the size of an adult brain? By the time he is 3 years old, his brain has grown to 80% size of an adult brain. This is incredible growth, in just 3 years.

How does the brain work, and how can we foster this development?

The Working Brain

Within the brain are billions of nerve cells, known as neurons. The neurons have to connect with other brain cells in order to work. Some of these connections are present from birth – for example, the ability to breathe, to suck, to cry, and others occur as the baby grows and develops. The connections occur when experiences or skills are repeated over and over.

Read more

You can Encourage Problem Solving Skills in Your Children!

Last week I spoke about some strategies adults can utilise when they have a problem or an issue to deal with, in an attempt to move through the issue.

 

Today, let’s look at how we can help children to start to learn problem solving skills in their own life.

 

The first way to help is by YOU not helping! Let me explain….. Read more

Love – how to show it, and how to teach it to your children.

This week includes Valentines’ Day – a day where couples traditionally express their affection for one another – often in the form of flowers, gifts or evenings out. All to show their love for one another. Cynics will says it’s a big marketing ploy! Either way, it’s all focused on LOVE.

 

‘Love’ is a word we use in so many ways….  We say we ‘love’ our morning coffee, and we ‘love’ when we get a bargain at the shops, or that we ‘love’ a roast dinner at Mum’s on Sundays. We also use the word love to express affection eg ‘I love you’ or ‘I love it when you hug me’.

 

We know that love is really about strong affection and caring for someone else whether it is a partner, children, parents, siblings or great friends. We also know that love can be shown in different ways – through touch, words, gifts, and spending time with someone. Through these gestures we show the other person that we care for them and hopefully they feel it also.

 

 What do children know about love? Read more

Living in the Moment – or How to be Childlike!

Last week my playgroup families met in a local park for our first session of 2017. This park has mega slides, climbing equipment, a static train, and a small track they can ride their bikes on. The children always love it, as well as the parents who get to catch up with each other, whilst watching their children play.

On this particular day, as we got ready to go there, there were a few spots of rain – nothing of concern as no rain was predicted…. 26 degrees said the weather forecast. As we arrived there was light drizzle, and then more drizzle, and then rain.

At first no one was perturbed, as it looked like it would or should ease up.

The children got on with their adventures – climbing the steep hill to the top of the slide and taking the ride down the slippery slope. As the rain became more steady, they continued their fun – now enjoying a faster ride as the slide became slipperier. And then it was even more fun when the ground became a bit muddy and the bottom of the slide had a puddle to end up in. The children were having a ball! They didn’t even seem to notice the rain or the fact that they were wet – they just enjoyed the fun the rain bought. Read more