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.


I realised that there were bad days and hard times and that the mantra alone wasn’t enough – because I certainly didn’t feel like my life was getting better at that moment – through losing my hair, having scars, being drugged and radiated! I knew those things were part of the treatment and ‘necessary’ but hard nonetheless!


So, I came up with my own phrase :

“How can I make ‘this’ the best it can be?”


This turned out to be a most resourceful tool… because instead of focusing on the problem (no hair, being ‘zapped’ being tired etc), I focused on the solution – which actually made me think of ways to improve the situation! And, it led to me travelling through 20 months of treatment with a completely different attitude – which I believe had a significant positive effect on my outcome of successfully completing the treatment.


Seven years later (and cancer free!) I still use this phrase:

“How can I make ‘this’ the best it can be?”

whenever a tough or uncomfortable situation arises. Things like a disagreement with someone, an issue at work, a frustration with a tradesperson etc. Staying angry or upset doesn’t help ….. looking for a solution does!


As a parent and a Parenting Consultant I know that when you are in a relationship, and you are raising children, that there are a variety of issues and ‘problems’ which can happen – anything from spilt milk on your clean floor, to siblings hassling each other ‘all day’, to wondering how you will pay the phone bill and also afford to buy new school shoes for your son.


Making it the best it can be here might include:

  • recognizing that you can teach the child how to clean p the milk so if it happens again they can clean it themselves;
  • or when siblings are hassling maybe it’s time to pack up and go to the park and get out of the house instead;
  • or, maybe you can make arrangements to make a partial payment on the phone and get the shoes now.


I truly believe that having a ‘solution’ focused brain, instead of a ‘problem’ focused brain can help us enormously in our parenting.


And, what a wonderful skill to teach our children!


So, as we march into 2017, and many children head back to school shortly,

ensure that you aim to ‘make it the best it can be’!


Happy Parenting!






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