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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Should children have best friends?

Posted by Samantha on May 3, 2013 in Happiness, Over-control, Relationships, Trust

Earlier this week I was musing with my husband about whether all this well-meaning parental interference in our children’s friendships was hampering the development of those friendships and in particular, best-friend relationships. I’ve had plenty of conversations with parents who have said that their children do not yet have a solid best-friend. I recall that […]


When play looks risky should you control or let go?

Posted by Samantha on November 8, 2012 in Letting Go, Over-control, Play, Safety, Worry

I think all parents occasionally worry about their children.  It’s a natural, though frequently unhelpful, result of our great love for them. Who among us, can watch our children cycling  or climbing or skateboarding or performing without feeling somewhat anxious?  Not me anyway (yet….). Last week, on Halloween, my daughter and her friend were in […]

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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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Battery-reared Kids: S.O.S

Posted by Samantha on April 2, 2012 in Over-control, Safety

For years now I’ve been going on and on to my husband about our society’s obsession with eliminating physical risk for our children. I’ve also believed for years that our efforts to eliminate physical risk for children actually puts them at increased psychological risk. The evidence is mounting that my opinion is valid and based […]

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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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Letting children test their limits

Posted by Samantha on September 26, 2011 in Boundaries, Over-control, Play, Resilience, Safety

Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence Henri F. Amiel, Swiss philosopher and poet (1821 – 1881) Where are all our children gone?  Last week I began to feel like I was in Vulgaria from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – a land where children are forbidden.  It used […]

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