Stuck for acceptable consequences? Try lines…

Posted by Samantha on September 20, 2013 in Anger, Boundaries, Change, Character, Conditioning, Consequences, Discipline, Respect, Responsibility

“I will not burp in class.” Bart Simpson, The Simpsons, episode 3 I recently told the story of how I happened upon a new consequence for ridding my house of pestering: the consequence for persistent pestering would be to write a gratitude list of things-mummy-has-done-for-me-lately. It worked. But this is actually part of a wider […]

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Helping kids with big changes – moving house, school or country

Posted by Samantha on June 10, 2013 in Change, Communication, Feelings, Moving house

How should we prepare children for big moves – like a new school, or a new house, or living in a new country? There’s a lot of advice out there: keep children involved in the process, get them to imagine the change, have them keep a diary of all the steps along the way, talk […]

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When will the squabbling STOP?!

Posted by Samantha on August 30, 2012 in Change, Conditioning, Ignoring Behaviour, Letting Go, Over-control, Safety, Teasing

The day before yesterday, I had a bit of a breakthrough about my kids squabbling. They were in the garden and I was in the kitchen, but I could still hear it: “Stop, stooooooooooooooop, give it baaaack, Flynn, noooooooooo, give it baaaaaaaaaaaack”. If you’ve got more than one kid, and particularly if the age-gap is […]

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Is disapproving of our kids ok?

Posted by Samantha on November 17, 2011 in Boundaries, Change, Disapproval, Discipline, Mistakes

In the past week I’ve really noticed how much disapproval is expressed in our world. Yesterday I overheard someone complaining and disapproving because a car had stopped to let a passenger out in an inappropriate spot.  A second person, to whom the passenger apologised as they got their bags together, graciously said “It’s ok, you’re […]


Stop saying “Be good”, say “Have fun” instead

Posted by Samantha on November 12, 2011 in Change, Communication, Consequences, Expectations

This week I’ve been noticing how many parents are still using negative language with their children. This focus on the negative rather than the positive is rife in our society so it’s not at all surprising that it permeates our parenting as well. For the past three years I’ve been practicing transforming my language so […]


Scolding and lecturing don’t work

Posted by Samantha on October 13, 2011 in Change, Disapproval, Discipline, Punishment

Parents deceive themselves when they think they are getting through to kids when they scold, lecture, humiliate and punish. Jane Nelson, Riki Intner & Lynn Lott I write as a parent who scolded, lectured, humiliated and punished despite being on the receiving end of those as a child and vowing I wouldn’t do it to […]


Can you love your kids without getting tired?

Posted by Samantha on September 16, 2011 in Boundaries, Change, Love, Self-care

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.  What we need is to love without getting tired. Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic nun and Nobel Peace prize winning humanitarian.  20th century saint (1910 – 1997) It’s hard for me to love without getting tired. Some mummy-friends of mine refer to […]


Do you allow your children be angry?

Posted by Samantha on September 14, 2011 in Anger, Change, Feelings

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger….Let a man overcome anger by love. Buddha This is a tough lesson but the truth of it is entirely inescapable. As a child I was taught in religion classes in school that I would be punished FOR my anger.  And […]


When your parenting instincts suck

Posted by Samantha on August 25, 2011 in Change, Conditioning, Parenting Dilemmas

It’s been 65 years since Dr Spock’s Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care was first published.  This hugely influential book opens with the lines “Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do.” How many parents are there out there like me, who knew that this advice wouldn’t work for them because […]


Your child isn’t TRYING to drive you to distraction – think again…

Posted by Samantha on August 5, 2011 in Change, Conditioning

Natural logic forbids belief in the evolution of a species with the characteristic of driving its parents to distraction by the millions. Jean Liedloff, American writer and psychotherapist (1926 – 2011) Why do we keep up the pretence that children are either sweetness and light or that they are specifically designed to drive us to […]

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