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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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How do I help my kids be resilient?

Posted by Samantha on January 21, 2012 in Feelings, Resilience

Resilience is the word psychologists use to talk about the ability to get back up after you’ve been knocked down and keep going.  I think of it as a kind of psychological strength. It’s been found to be a key indicator of who will thrive rather than falter following difficult or traumatic experiences. I think […]

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Helping children withstand bullying

Posted by Samantha on December 2, 2011 in Bullying, Feelings, Resilience, Trust

A 12-year-old boy killed himself in the UK this week.  It’s been suggested that he may have hung himself because he was teased about being autistic.  It’s not clear that he was autistic, just that he was being teased about it. Last year, a 15-year-old boy from Gloucestershire killed himself after teasing about being gay.  […]

 
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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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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 […]

 
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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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When your child says “I HATE you!”…?

Posted by Samantha on August 23, 2011 in Boundaries, Connection, Empathy, Feelings, Parenting Dilemmas, Punishment

Yesterday, after I picked my daughter up from camp, I spent the next few hours fielding a variety of childish behaviour that ranged from a mildly off-putting bossy tone of voice, through an assortment of teenage-style eye-rolling, right up to the entirely unhelpful “I hate you”.  For those who need a reminder, she’s five. A […]

 
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When we feel better, we behave better

Posted by Samantha on February 28, 2011 in Feelings, Guilt, Hope

Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better? Dr Jane Nelson, US child development expert and positive discipline advocate   […]

 
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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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