“Get a move on!” Road safety and parental rudeness

Posted by Samantha on September 18, 2015 in Communication, Conditioning, Consequences, Safety, Worry

I pulled to a stop at a red traffic light the other day. Two teachers began ushering a long line of primary school kids across the road right in front of my car bonnet. All the children wore those bright-yellow high-visibility jackets and were around six and seven years old. The teachers were so close […]

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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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What do you do when your child’s behaviour sucks? Use consequences…

Posted by Samantha on March 22, 2013 in Boundaries, Conditioning, Courage

Parents: Yes, it is reasonable to be upset and angry if your children are being persistently defiant.  I know, it’s unfashionable to call it defiance.  But whatever we call it – not cooperating / not going with the flow / being rude / being a pain in the ass / being disrespectful / being a […]

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Do you shout when you get mad?

Posted by Samantha on February 15, 2013 in Anger, Conditioning, Consequences, Feelings

My experience working with parents has shown me that lots of us use dumping (think ranting/shouting/lecturing) as a way of managing our uncomfortable feelings. Learning how to stop dumping my own feelings (on my husband, my children, my parents, my siblings, my friends) has been one of my most uncomfortable and difficult lessons in life. […]

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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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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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