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No-one really wins a power struggle

Posted by Samantha on January 24, 2013 in Boundaries, Empathy, Relationships

I live very close to a primary school.  One morning as I came out my front door, Henry*, and his Granny and Grandad were getting out of their car.  Henry started whining. “I don’t want to park here”, Henry moaned at his Granny.  My ears started tingling.  “How will Granny handle this?” I wondered. “Well, […]

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How much should we talk about divorce with our kids?

Posted by Samantha on October 12, 2012 in Divorce, Empathy, Parenting Dilemmas, Separation and Divorce, Telling the truth

Last week my children got home and there were still two books on my kitchen table from a cuppa earlier that day with a friend.  That friend has a family member about to separate from their partner with whom they have a 4 year old child. For the adults: What about the children?” by Julie […]

 
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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 […]

 
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Time Out….For Parents

Posted by Samantha on May 10, 2012 in Anger, Communication, Connection, Empathy, Relationships, Self-care

Here’s a story from a Mum I was working with this week. This Mum’s attention was attracted by the sound of her 10 month old daughter crying.  She followed the sound and discovered her two daughters in the bathroom.  The baby’s head and shoulders were covered in talcum powder.  Her four year old daughter was […]

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“He did it deliberately!” Dealing with sibling woes

Posted by Samantha on March 21, 2012 in Connection, Empathy

Here’s a story from yesterday.  It’s post-school and pre-dinner.  Never the greatest time of day for my two hungry children! I’m preparing our meal in the kitchen and the next thing I know there’s a 5 year old year old girl standing wailing at me.  It seems her 7 year old brother has knocked over […]

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Help! My kids won’t let me go out…

Posted by Samantha on March 10, 2012 in Babysitters, Empathy

I remember when my husband finally noticed the pattern between our children’s response to being left with a babysitter and HIS behaviour earlier in the day! If he’d had a great day hanging out with them and generally been attentive to them then they bid us good-bye with kisses and waves and proclamations of love […]

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Help! It’s pass the parcel!

Posted by Samantha on December 12, 2011 in Empathy, Love, Over-control, Resilience

Here’s a quote from The Telegraph last weekend “Pass the parcel must be ruthlessly rigged to avoid tears”. I guess the parent who thought of putting a packet of sweets between the layers of pass the parcel was very pleased with the innovation.  I remember when I first encountered it I thought “oh, nice idea!” […]

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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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When your child is unhappy

Posted by Samantha on October 5, 2011 in Empathy, Feelings, Happiness, Unhappiness

Our goal in parenting is to guide our children to peaceful and contented lives.  It’s a long-term goal.  Our children may be desperately unhappy in the moment but that doesn’t mean we’re not still guiding them towards happiness. In fact, if we’re doing our job right and keeping our long-term goal in mind, then it’s […]

 
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Let’s tell our children the truth

Posted by Samantha on August 24, 2011 in Empathy, Feelings, Love, Telling the truth

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it…always Mahatma Gandhi, ideological leader of the Indian independence movement (1869 – 1948) When […]

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