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

The Parenting Café 2017

Welcome back. Well, after a Summer (here in Australia) sojourn for the Christmas and holiday break, we are ready for sharing with you again.

As some of you have become new subscribers to our newsletter over the past year, and some read the information via facebook, I thought I’d take the opportunity to introduce myself, and explain what we offer at The Parenting Cafe.

 

Basically parents are seeking information about their children and about parenting. They do this either because they are information gatherers, or because they feel they have a ‘problem’ or an ‘issue’ with their child and are seeking information, advice and support.

 

This is perfect… as that’s exactly what we do! Read more

9 Tips for New Mums

So, you’ve recently had a baby. Congratulations!

 

You know when you started a new role at work, people understood that it would take you a little while to settle in, and there would be someone whom you could ask for help – a support person.

 

Mmmm not sure that always happens with Parenthood!

 

So, what can you do to make the first few weeks, or months much smoother so that you have a happy baby and Mum!

 

  • Firstly, take any help that is offered, whether it is cooking meals, doing the washing, house cleaning or helping with shopping. This is a wonderful blessing and will allow you a little time to rest…. which is the second thing….

 

  • Sleep or rest whenever you can. It’s normal for newborns to wake several times during the night for a feed, which means you get disrupted sleep. To reduce the chances of you feeling like a zombie for weeks, take a nap during the day when the baby does. Don’t just rest in front of the TV, actually lie down on the bed and sleep. Yes, there may be things you ‘need’ to do, but maybe every second day is catch up on sleep day. It can be done – especially if you are fortunate enough to have family or friends who can help out with household tasks.

Read more

Every day when I spend time with you, my life gets better and better.

Yesterday as I was walking along the street in the mall area, I was walking near a Mother and her daughter aged about 4. They were holding hands, and the Mum looked at the little girl and said: “Every day when I spend time with you, my life gets better and better.” The daughter beamed a big smile to her Mum.

 

I said to the mother: “What a beautiful thing you just said to her – it’s such a positive message.’ And the Mum beamed back to me.

 

There are two things which are truly wonderful about the happening…..

 

The first is that the mother clearly cares deeply about her daughter and is taking steps to ensure that the daughter knows she is loved and valued, on a regularly basis. She told her daughter that this continues to happen each and every day – giving her daughter the message that their love and connection will continue, and that it is an important thing. Read more

Ahhhhh, silence!

You know that wonderful feeling you have when the children have gone to bed, and all is quiet in the house?  – a sigh comes from your lips, a sense of calm takes place, and a smile comes to your face as you relish the ‘nothingness.’ I believe these times are very important to us as humans. We live in a very busy and noisy world. We are always on the go and surrounded by noise – and often intrusive, louder noises eg the TV, cars and trucks driving past our house, the clatter of our saucepans and the chatter of voices.

 

How often in a day do you have moments of silence?

How often in a day do you wish for some quiet time?

 

When I was in active parenting (my children are older now and have flown the nest!), they attended the same country school which I taught at. Some days I would get them to take the bus home, rather than come in the car with me. The car trip home took 30 minutes, and the bus took 60 minutes. So, I got 30 minutes of quiet time in the car to switch from Teacher mode, to Mummy mode…. And I got a cup of hot coffee in peace before they arrived home – full of energy, busting to tell me what happened today, and of course saying: ‘What’s to eat?’ This quiet time refreshed me, bought a sense of peace, and enabled me to go forward into several hours of busy-ness with play, dinner and bed time reading. Read more

19 Ways to be a Positive Parent – Part 3

I’m sure as you’ve read the previous two articles covering this topic, you’ve realized that you are already doing many things which fall into the ‘positive parenting’ realm. My intention was to offer you a range (19 in fact!) so that you can add a few more to your Parenting Toolkit!  Let’s continue…..

 

10 Provide Incidental Teaching: When you are playing blocks with them, mention the colour names; when making a salad, tell them what you are doing and see if they’d like to help; when crossing the road, explain why you look both ways, and why they need to hold your hand. Almost every situation is an opportunity to share a simple fact with them – not to overload point, just a bit of information.

 

11 Clear Ground Rules: Keep rules simple. Have just a few general ones rather than a l-o-n-g list (which no-one can stick to!) Rules might be things like We don’t hurt people; We are careful with others possessions; and We speak ‘nicely’… change the wording to suit the age of the child. Read more

19 Ways to be a Positive Parent – continued

Last week we started delving into the many ways that you can show positivity in your parenting.

We looked at:

  • Spend quality time
  • Talk with your child
  • Listen to your child
  • Show affection

Let’s continue…..

Give Descriptive Praise. Often we acknowledge our children’s actions, we say: “good boy” or “you’re such a good girl”, without actually telling the child what specifically they did which was ‘good’. Is it because in the last few minutes they helped their sister pick up the toys, because they put them in the right place, or because they did it without being told????

If I say to you know: ‘You’re such a good parent’… what does that mean? Is it because you speak gently to your children? Or because you read to them each night? Or because you provide nutritious food to them? Or because you show them affection? Read more