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How to raise an appreciative child

Uncategorized Mar 02, 2021

Have you ever had the horrible realisation that you might be in danger of raising a 'spoilt child'.

I'm not crazy about the word 'spoilt' what I mean is over-indulged by us- but here's a little check list:

  • Are they overly demanding and scream or hit you when they don't get what they want immediately?
  • Do they have an expectation that they say 'jump' and we say 'how high?'
  • Do they want you to drop everything the minute they ask you to do something?
  • Do they expect to be bought things if you go into a shop?
  • Do they expect you to order things they want from the internet?
  • Do they refuse to help with routine things like tidying up or clearing the table and you just give in and do it yourself?
  • Do you find yourself buying them things to make them happy?
  • Do they interrupt a conversation and expect you to give them attention straight away? 

If you can check off a few of these things, I'm not here to point fingers. I've been through them all myself and still have to remind my...

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Will you please STOP WHINING!

Researchers say they may now have scientifically proven that a child whining is one of the most distracting sounds on the planet.

Worse than the unpleasant screeches of a table saw catching repeatedly on a piece of wood. Even harder to ignore than cringe-inducing exaggerated baby-talk of caregivers known as “motherese.”

The sound of a whining child tops them all as the most distracting, according to new research published in the latest edition of the online peer-reviewed Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology.

So short of advising ear defenders, I thought I'd give a bit of background info.

  • When your child whines - it is usually out of habit - they don't know how to get their needs met without using that tone.
  • They know that that tone gets a reaction from us, so the whining does work. It gives them the attention they want.
  • They don't distinguish between positive and negative attention - any attention is good.
  • We often get in a cycle of responding...
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Creating Rules that Work

One of the questions I get asked the most frequently is 'Why won't my child just the simple things like brushing her teeth or getting in the bath?'


Do you have these frustrations?


As many of you know, when Nico my eldest was 2 ½ we got help with our parenting as he was such a challenging child. It was suggested that we have some clearer rules around the house.

I didn’t like the idea of having rules as it felt too much like school and I wanted him to feel ‘free’ at home and for us to have some 'spontaneity' and anyway, I thought he should just know what's expected.

After all, we asked the same thing of him every day 'get dressed, eat breakfast, stay in bed at bedtime...' so shouldn't he just do it?

What I realised through the coaching we got was that we had an expectation that he would do what we asked without a fuss, and when he didn’t we’d ask 5 times or more, each time getting more and more frustrated until we’d wind up...

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Mummy, when you shout it means you don't love me

avoid shouting Jan 12, 2021

I don’t know about you but I never planned to be the kind of parent that shouted at my children.

I planned to be chilled, calm, patient and kind.

Yet I found that my anger and impatience would boil up like a pressure cooker.

And I’d wind up shouting.

It would usually be after I’d asked the kids what felt like 10 times to do something routine and they’d ignored me.

Or maybe it was in response to incessant whining when they had to so something they didn’t want to do.

Does this sound familiar?

I felt that shouting was my only option - "what choice do I have if they only respond when I shout?"

I was walking along the street one day with Alice, my youngest when she was 3.

We witnessed a little boy banging his bike into his mother who screamed at him ‘Look what you are doing, why are you so clumsy!!!’

It seemed like an over-reaction to me, so I said in passing ‘I think that mum is having a bad day’

Alice stopped and looked up at me...

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How to stay sane in the face of adversity

ways to stay sane Jan 05, 2021

We are going through hugely stressful situations. 

The worst many of us will have ever experienced and yet we still have a choice.

We can get into a vicious cycle of feeling negative, irritated by our children and then snapping at them for the tiniest thing. 

They then feel unloved and judged and will often react by behaving badly.

Or we can choose to respond more positively.  It makes the whole family feel so much better. 

Not only is negativity bad for the family but there is a huge amount of evidence to show that stress depletes the immune system and we all need strong immune systems at the moment so it is vital to try to change our mindset.

What parents typically do is try to do too much

We strive for perfection

We set ourselves an impossible standards to meet and then feel like failures when we don't meet them

The result is so often we crack.

Is this familiar to you? You try to juggle so many balls at once – compare yourselves to...

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Family Christmas rituals

Uncategorized Dec 22, 2020

If you are worried about disappointing your children on Christmas day - read on for inspiration for rituals that don't cost you anything

Remember, a month or two after Christmas you’ll find that your children barely ever remember what they have been given.  What they do remember is the feeling of being together and the rituals you have created. This is why I will always say - buy less and spend as much time creating family moments as you can.

You might be in a panic that you missed the shops and you don’t have enough. If that’s you. Please don’t beat yourself up. Even if your kids are disappointed on Christmas day – they will be ok. Focus on some of the things below and you’ll find that is what they remember.  

So here is a list of 10 family rituals, I hope that you might get some inspiration for some of them and take them on as your own.

  1. From an early age, it is really good to instil the idea of giving. No matter how small...
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Helping kids to want to give

Uncategorized Dec 15, 2020

It is unrealistic to expect our kids not to get excited about we might give them at this time of year, rather than what they might give us.   They are so often asked what they want or what they are getting, they are bombarded with advertisements showing them happy children receiving gifts and they are encouraged to write lists to ask for what they want. 

There are actually quite a few things you can do to help create a culture of giving.  It is good to start early with these things to really embed the right values.

  • Have them understand that giving a small gift is about the effort that is put into the gift. Encourage them to do a drawing, make a little book and decorate the cover, write a note of appreciation, bake some biscuits or put a photo in a frame to give to friends or relatives.
  • Hand made cards are always appreciated. You can make pretty cards as collages with bits of pretty wrapping paper and use glitter or spray paint leaves with gold paint. While you...
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How DARE you speak to me like that?

Uncategorized Nov 25, 2020

‘How DARE you speak to me like that?’

Have you said this to your child?

When children are rude to us it lights a touch paper and makes our blood boil.

How can someone so small have the audacity to speak to an adult like that – namely their parents?

Often we don’t see what happens in other people’s houses so we assume no one else’s children are behaving this way (they usually are).

If our child is are rude in front of others it is excruciating. Especially if it is in front of grandparents or other relations. Have you had that?

So what I mean by rude is that they;

Scream or shout in your face that they want something

Interrupt when you are trying to speak on the phone

Say ‘shut up’

Call you dumb or stupid

Use swear words

Demand that you give them what they want

Shout at you while banging your arm or leg

Tell you your food is disgusting


And all the time you are thinking – 'I’d never have spoken to my parents like...

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You must NOT hit your brother!

We were really happy when Felix, our second child came along. Nico was so sweet with him. 

At first.

He wanted to hold him, stroke him, show him off.

We felt like we’d done it all right. 

That we'd produced a lovely playmate for him.

We felt that because we’d been so positive about the baby’s arrival that we’d avoided the kind of jealousy that we had heard about.


Felix was about 7 or 8 months old and Nico seemed to sprout horns.

This loving brother would snatch away the baby’s rattle. He’d say ‘That’s mine you can’t have it' 

He’d shout in his face ‘Be quiet baby Felix’

He’d pinch his arm or hit him and say ‘He’s stupid’

We were mortified and so worried that our sweet kind toddler was turning into a really nasty little boy.

So how do you deal with all this?  Here are the lessons I learned and some of them I wish I’d known at the time so I could...

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“Just do what I say!”

following instructions Nov 10, 2020

“No one else’s child behaves as badly as mine”

 Have you ever felt that?

You imagine other households and think that their children sit at the table and eat their food without a fuss.

- They don’t run in the opposite direction when it is time to wash their hands.

- They don’t refuse to get dressed in the morning.

I have certainly felt this way on many occasions throughout my years as a parent.

Comparing myself or my kids unfavourably to others has always been a sure-fired way to undermine myself. We all do it but I recommend you steer yourself away from it as it is just so unhelpful.

So I wanted to talk about some tools that have really helped me along the way.

I created rules and routines for the ‘hot spots’

The hot spots are typically getting dressed, leaving the house, mealtimes, tidying up, screen time, bath time and bedtime.

Today’s blog is all about how to have rules and routines that help.

When I first got support with my...

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