Stop reasoning with the unreasonable

Posted by Samantha on January 8, 2015 in Being consistent, Character, Consequences, Consistency, penalties, Respect, Spirited Children

On the last morning of her Christmas holidays, my daughter Nia (8) came into my bedroom to say good morning.  She climbed up on my lap and we’d a snuggle and started to chat.  Soon we were on the subject of bedtime.  I was saying that I thought she needed to go to bed earlier.  […]

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Choosing Your Battles

Posted by Samantha on March 28, 2014 in Boundaries, Character, Over-control, Spirited Children

Last night my daughter and I achieved a milestone.  For the first time, EVER, she was able to go with my suggestions about how to make an Easter card for her teacher. Nia, as usual, had her own very clear ideas about what to make and how to do it.  I had different ideas which […]

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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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Should we say sorry to our children?

Posted by Samantha on May 28, 2012 in Character, Communication, Connection, Mistakes, Parenting Dilemmas, Relationships, Respect

I was recently asked what my position on saying sorry to children was. Personally, I say sorry to my children on a regular basis.  I do this because like every parent, I make mistakes.  I still say and do things I regret and wish to make amends for.  Most recently, I did it yesterday at […]

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Should you punish disrespectful behaviour?

Yesterday, my daughter taught me another great lesson. If we fail to discipline our children for being disrespectful, we are not serving them well. Nia tried Judo for the first time yesterday.  She loved it.  However, afterwards, she was cranky and rude to me.  I told her that hunger and tiredness were no excuse for […]


Mummy, am I a crybaby?

This was what my 7 year old son asked me last night just before bedtime.  I paused for long enough (was it half a second or was it longer?) to realise that my answer was going to be really significant and that it better cut the mustard. (To tell the truth I’m not totally sure […]

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Have the courage to be true to yourself

Posted by Samantha on July 25, 2011 in Character, Courage

The principle of right living is not about legalism or adhering to the letter of the law.  Rather, sound character is all about being true to yourself. Robi Sonderegger, Australian clinical psychologist    Two days ago I was returning to the UK from Granada in Spain.  A series of red traffic lights and an elderly […]


Be careful how you speak in front of them

Posted by Samantha on January 3, 2011 in Character, Feelings, Respect, Thought for the day

… every word spoken within the hearing of little children tends toward the formation of character. Let parents bear this ever in mind. Hosea Ballou, US clergyman and writer (1771 – 1852) I used to like telling stories of bath-time battles and school-run woes.  I liked hearing them too.  It helped me to feel normal.  I […]

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