“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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How should we handle teenage bullies?

Posted by Samantha on October 21, 2013 in Bullying, Consequences, Criticism, Punishment, Responsibility, Teasing

Pupils at a school in Yorkshire have assaulted at least 6 of their fellow pupils in an unofficial “Kick a Ginger Kid Day”. The school have called the acts “deplorable” and have “acted swiftly to send a strong message”.  It seems the pupils involved have been strongly reprimanded.  Furthermore, there has been a school-wide warning […]

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The Naughty Step is traumatising our children

Posted by Samantha on October 20, 2012 in Boundaries, Connection, Consequences, Discipline, Punishment, Time Out

This week the participants on my Update Your Parenting workshop were discussing the use of Time Out and the Naughty Step.  I was reminded once again of how much Supernanny has impacted parents since she first aired in 2004.  Just about everyone attending the workshop was using some version of Time Out. My advice to […]


Using consequences with a little toy-thrower

Posted by Samantha on June 15, 2012 in Anger, Boundaries, Consequences, Discipline, Empathy, Rules

Yesterday I heard a great real life example of how boundaries, backed up with fair and reasonable consequences for violating them, provide a sense of safety for children, which results in improved behaviour. Borrowing an idea that had worked for another parent, this Mom told her young boy – who has developed a habit of […]


What really matters?

Posted by Samantha on October 4, 2011 in Consequences, Discipline, Letting Go, Mistakes, Punishment

 Ask yourself this question: “Will this matter a year from now?” Richard Carlson, American psychotherapist and author (1961 – 2006) This is such great, simple advice.  How can we make it work for us in our daily lives as parents? So often, in the heat of the moment, when we’re dealing with children, everything can seem […]


Where does my responsibility end and my child’s begin?

Posted by Samantha on August 3, 2011 in Consequences, Mistakes, Responsibility

I deleted this sentence from my blog yesterday about allowing children to experience the consequences of their actions: We’ve become confused about where my responsibility ends and yours begins; where individual responsibility ends and societal responsibility begins; where a child’s responsibility ends and parental responsibility begins. But that’s another blog. Then today I read this […]


What to say when your kid says “It’s not FAIR!”

Posted by Samantha on August 2, 2011 in Boundaries, Consequences, Parenting Dilemmas

I’ve noticed that our culture has become averse to letting children – and adults – experience the consequences of their actions. But it’s essential to let children experience the true consequences of their actions if they’re to become mature, emotionally healthy human beings. Things get easier when we’re honest about the fact that letting children […]


No adulthood without consequences

Posted by Samantha on July 29, 2011 in Consequences

Adulthood is the ever-shrinking period between childhood and old age. It is the apparent aim of modern industrial societies to reduce this period to a minimum. Thomas S. Szasz, Hungarian psychiatrist and academic (b. 1920)   One of my friend’s boyfriends used take a packed lunch to college each day.  As he opened it he would wonder […]

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