So many parents find themselves consumed by guilt. They often tell me they've felt guilty from pregnancy onwards 'Should I have had the odd glass of wine and soft cheese? Is that why my toddler is so aggressive?'
Do you find the minute you add ‘Should’ you back yourself into a corner?
It’s everywhere – ‘I should be more patient’, ‘I shouldn’t shout’, ‘I should spend more time playing with my kids’
Then there are the shoulds about our child:
‘He shouldn’t watch so much TV’
'She should be potty trained by now'
‘She should just eat what’s there and not complain’
and we think ‘Nobody else has this problem. It must be because I’m a bad parent’ – and at that point we open the door and let guilt step right in.
Guilt is a terrible, useless emotion suffered by so many of us. I have spent many years working on myself to alleviate those awful...
When kids make mistakes, we feel so frustrated and usually say something like:
‘I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN!’
‘WHY DON’T YOU LISTEN TO ME?’
‘NOW LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE. YOU ARE SO XXXX’ (FILL IN THE BLANKS)
So how should we respond?
They have to learn don’t they?
I often think about how I respond when I make a mistake. Sometimes I get defensive and try to blame someone else – my husband usually (!).
Sometimes I feel such shame and frustration about the mistake that I just don’t know what to do.
Other times I dig my heels in and refuse to even acknowledge that it is a mistake.
What we all really want to do is to accept we made a mistake, learn from it and move on.
This process isn’t an easy one though.
From my many years as a parent and from studying and working in the field of parenting, I know that how we handle our kids mistakes is absolutely crucial to a child’s healthy...
Our children have gone through so many changes in the past few months I regularly hear about parents experiencing kids being much more anxious than normal or having unexpected melt-downs and tantrums.
Children are sponges for the world around them. They pick up on everything – the positive and the negative and things will increase their levels of anxiety that we may not have realised. One example is they are seeing so many people wearing masks and that is scary for them. They can’t identify who is behind the mask. So a child starting at a new environment - even if it is the loveliest place - might cause them to be more anxious that you expected.
Do you have a child who clings to you when you drop them off at school?
Teachers will tell you that they usually settle within a few minutes of you going but that doesn’t mean it isn’t so hard to witness.
So here are some great ways to reduce the anxiety of separating from you.
So many parents tell me that mornings are one of the most stressful parts of the day.
If you regularly find yourself losing your temper, resorting to threats, bribes, nagging and shouting and want to take some positive steps in the right direction, read on for easy-to-action solutions for mellow mornings .
My Parenting Solutions 10 top tips for mellow mornings:
As a mother of a baby and toddler I was so determined to get it right and to feel like I could cope.
I don’t know about you but in my struggle to keep going I was slowly running myself in the ground.
When baby no. 2 was 9 months old, I came down with a vicious bug that knocked me for six. This was many years ago, before the terrible Covid 19 that is so devastating to our world, but it wiped me out. For 7 straight days straight I was so weak and feverish that I could barely make it to the bathroom. My husband was away at the time and I had to call on anyone I knew to help me. It took me a long time to regain my strength. I realised that I couldn’t risk feeling like that again.
So the lesson I learnt was that making health a priority is essential for good parenting. It isn’t an ‘Oh yeah – no chance of that’ kind of thing.
It is Vital.
Because if we collapse, everything will collapse around us.
So from doing my research, practicing...
I used to really wrangle with the whole concept that scolding or telling off my kids wasn’t going to help improve behaviour.
This doesn’t mean to say that we can’t be firm or have boundaries. They really need boundaries. It is just how we deal with misbehaviour that makes a huge difference.
If we address the feelings behind behaviour, then we can start to steer them towards taking responsibility.
This is easier said than done and of course I tell my kids off – my teenagers fail to clean the kitchen to my standard and I get really cross about it. However, I get more out of them if I praise them for what they have done, rather than nag them about what they haven’t done. It really helps if I make it absolutely clear what I want done and why and also if I let go of expecting perfection. None of that needs to involve telling them off.
Here are 10 good things to know,
Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. That is an absolute fact and it is the only job for which we receive no training. How mad is that? One way to help is to have a plan to follow so I hope you like this easy-to-follow 10 steps.
My Parenting Solutions 10 point plan to Prepare for Success
Children are born with different temperaments, some are more robust than others but there is a huge amount we can do to ensure even the most sensitive of kids REALLY believe in themselves.
Here are three great ways to raise your child's self-esteem
So what can we do?
My heart goes out to parents of young children navigating the pandemic.
Getting through an incredibly stressful period draws on every ounce of strength. It reminds me of a stage in my life many years ago;
I’d had a toddler and had just endured 9 months of a baby with colic and reflux who screamed most of the day and night.
Once afternoon I lay on the floor and I begged my toddler to let me shut my eyes just for 5 minutes.
If only I could get five minutes sleep then maybe I would be able to recharge my batteries that had been flat for so long. I’m sure you know that feeling.
Less than 3 minutes had gone past before I heard a terrible crash. My toddler had tried to climb onto the table by tugging the table cloth which pulled off the water jug and it smashed all over the floor. That woke the baby who had finally gone to sleep in his pram.
A broken jug isn’t the end of the world but I screamed at Nico
‘What an earth are you doing?’
Some kids cry when...