Parent or Friend?

Parent or Friend?

Over the years of being a Parenting Consultant, I’ve spoken with may parents about what they see as their role, and what they want for their children. So many parents have said, that they want to be their child’s friend.

I believe that when you gave birth, you became a parent, and that is your role!

Over their lifetime, your children will (hopefully) have many friends – some short term, some long term, but they will only ever have you as parents – that is your role!

All children need parents to guide, teach and encourage them – and that is your role.

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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.

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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

The Midnight Phone Call

Last night I got one of those midnight phone calls – you know the ones, the ones you dread! Now most people might go into panic mode – what’s wrong? Or who’s sick? Or who’s died?

Me… to be honest my first thought was: Who’s interrupting my sleep! – especially when it came up as an unknown number. I debated whether to answer it or not, thinking it was probably some person from overseas wanting to sell me something, or it might even be a wrong number. But, I decided to answer it, and, I am glad I did – it was a friend in need! She’d rung on a new phone and so it appeared as unknown number to me.

 

She was in tears with a situation at home and where she knew she was sinking further and further into depressive thoughts and misery – and the never-ending circle that sometimes comes with that. She was crying and apologising for calling me in the same breath. Without sharing any of her personal details, I thanked her for recognising that she wasn’t coping and said that I knew it took great courage to reach out for help.

 

How often do we think that if we admit that we are going through a rough time is an admission of failure? And rather than ask for help, we quietly ‘soldier on’ and often our ability to cope becomes more of an issue until finally we collapse – in sickness, in mental health etc. We all know life can be tough at times.

 

Having a friend to walk beside you makes all the difference. 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

Problem Solving for Adults– How Do We Do It?

Have you ever had a situation as an adult where you are unsure what to do about a certain situation or problem? It could be about a relationship issue, or money worries. It could be about a career choice or a family situation.

 

When we are worried or stressed about an issue or problem it can affect what happens in the household, and may have an impact on the children.  When we are stressed we may not be as calm as we normally are with the children, or we may spend less time playing or engaging with them. Also, children seem to very quickly pick up that something isn’t quite right. Have you noticed that at times when you’ve been stressed, that the children seem to be a little more demanding of you – they move closer to you as they sense a change in how you are responding to them. So, the quicker we work through these issues, the better for us (as we have a plan) and the better for the children as they get ‘normal’ Mum back again – whatever ‘normal’ is!

 

As adults there are often times where we feel (or felt) perplexed as to what to do. How do you solve it? Do you have a system or a strategy to solve an issue? Read more

Could this be your Parenting Mantra for 2017? “How can I make this the best it can be?”

 

 In 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, which ended up being a journey of 20 months including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and side effects including pericarditis and pneumonia. I also left my home, lost a good friend to cancer and lost my job! A pretty challenging time that’s for sure.

 

I realised that in order to get through this, that maintaining a positive attitude was vital. A colleague suggested the phrase/ mantra: ‘Every day, in every way, my life gets better and better.’ And, I must say that it really helped to turn things around – along of course with wonderful medical treatment and enormous support and care from family and friends.

 

But, essentially it was up to me… I was the only one

who could ‘make’ me have a positive attitude. Read more