How to keep your relationship alive after you have kids - Part 2

How to keep your relationship alive after you have kids - Part 2

I’ve got to be honest with you: of all the challenges of parenting, I find trying to keep the spark in my marriage to be the hardest. Where does romance and fun with our partners fit in when life is just consumed by the kids’ needs, the lack of sleep and the mountains of washing?!

I know I’m not alone in finding this a challenge.

So what can we do about it? How can we regain that spark?

The best way to feel better if you’re stressed or down

The best way to feel better if you’re stressed or down

On those days where you’re really feeling anxious or flat, it can be hard to get out of that hole – especially when you just can’t take a break from parenting to do something nice for yourself.

Well, I have a practice to help you feel better on those days - but which will also help you build the skill of feeing good on a daily basis. And it’s proven by science to actually work!

The Science of a Meltdown: Why Do Young Kids Freak Out About Little Things?

The Science of a Meltdown: Why Do Young Kids Freak Out About Little Things?

When we were visiting family friends recently: 5yo Johnny says: “I don’t want the pink plate, I want the green one. Gemma took my green plate!“ Tears, screeching and then hits his sister Gemma.

It’s amazing how little things can so upset a young child, isn’t it?! 

So what’s happening – why do kids react like this? What's actually going on in their brains?!

How Do I Know if What I'm Doing With my Kids is Right?

How Do I Know if What I'm Doing With my Kids is Right?

Does “parenting doubt” plague you? Often wondering whether your parenting choices are the right ones?

It’s hard to feel sure about your choices when you see another parent doing things differently and their child seems so much better behaved than yours. Or when your mother-in-law comments how your child is “a handful, isn’t he?”   

Today I want to help you feel confident about your choices and let go of any nagging doubts. I believe there are two main ways to know if how you’re parenting is ‘right’ or not.

5 Simple Ways to Calm Your Kids Down

5 Simple Ways to Calm Your Kids Down

Do you have times where your kids are just bouncing off the walls or being hyperactive or rough? They don’t seem to listen to anything we say and just do frustrating things like throwing, hitting or running away.

For a tired parent these times can be really challenging. Sticking the kids in front of the TV or iPad can seem like a quick fix, but often they’re even worse when it’s time to turn it off and they have a massive meltdown when you try and switch it off!

So here are five quick and simple ways to calm your kids down when you need it (that don’t involve a screen)!

Why Is My Child Being So DIFFICULT Lately?!

Why Is My Child Being So DIFFICULT Lately?!

Has your child ever gone through a difficult stage - where they have become angry, aggressive, and totally unreasonable for weeks on end..? These phases are usually due to a big life change or a developmental leap that is stressing your child's emotional and physical system.

Parenting is hard enough, so why do we have to deal with these difficult stages and what can we do about it?

5 Ways to Set Limits Without Resorting to Punishment

5 Ways to Set Limits Without Resorting to Punishment

One of the most common questions parents ask me about mindful parenting is whether their child will learn to do what they’re asked - if we're gentle and kind won't they just be spoiled and out of control?!

Mindful parenting is not about being weak and just letting your children do whatever they want! We absolutely need to set firm limits for our children as part of teaching them how to live as a good person in this world.  But how do we set limits without resorting to threats or punishment?

Can the words we use make or break our kids' self esteem?

Can the words we use make or break our kids' self esteem?

Have you heard the modern parenting advice not to say to your kids “You’re a good girl” or “You’re a bad boy”? Instead we are told to focus on the child’s actions.

But saying “good girl” and “good boy” is almost a reflex action for most people of all ages – it’s hard to break. And what really is the harm?

Well, here’s the thing. Your kids don’t have a perception about themselves as a separate entity who is either good, bad, clever or stupid. It’s never occurred to them. So when we use this kind of language we are literally creating their sense of self for them – we are teaching them who they are with our words. 

So what should we say?!

When my child hits another child, shouldn't I give all my attention to the one they've hurt?

When my child hits another child, shouldn't I give all my attention to the one they've hurt?

I was asked a really important question from a mother who wanted to know what's best to do when her child hits or hurts their siblings or other children:

“What about the other child they have hurt? Shouldn’t we be giving them all the attention, not the naughty one?”

The answer is that both need your attention!

Let’s say your child hits his little brother, who is now crying. Here’s what you can do. 

The biggest doubt people have about mindful, connected parenting

The biggest doubt people have about mindful, connected parenting

I want to answer one of the biggest doubts (and most common question) I hear from people about using mindful parenting (especially coming from partners!).

“Aren’t we teaching our kids to be naughty if, every time they act out, we reward them with our attention?”

It’s a good question! And the answer lies in understanding how our children’s minds work and how they develop control over themselves.

Minimising Meltdowns and Getting Kids to Co-operate (With Bonus Cheat Sheet)

Minimising Meltdowns and Getting Kids to Co-operate (With Bonus Cheat Sheet)

According to most parents I talk to, getting kids to co-operate is up there with their biggest challenges. 

Whether you need ideas to simply get your kids out the door peacefully, or help with a hitting or angry child, I’ve put together the definitive mindful parenting guide to managing meltdowns and getting kids to co-operate.

And don't miss the bonus downloadable Cheat Sheet listing the strategies you can use in those tricky situations!  

Simplifying Life #3 – Slowing Down, Making Space and De-Scheduling

Simplifying Life #3 –  Slowing Down, Making Space and De-Scheduling

SIMPLIFYING LIFE #3 – SLOWING DOWN, MAKING SPACE AND DE-SCHEDULING

The next stage in simplifying and making more space in your family life is to slow down the pace of life and schedule less. Read on for some tips for descheduling your children’s and your own lives.

That’s all good, but many parents say to me - how do we do this when we work? Well there are ways to make the down-time much more relaxing so you feel like your life is less hectic – I’ll give you some of these strategies as well. 

Simplifying Life #2 - Reducing Digital Overload and Creating a Calmer Home

Simplifying Life #2 - Reducing Digital Overload and Creating a Calmer Home

Does your mind feel frazzled and full of too many things to juggle? The combination of fast and busy lives and the information overload of so much use of technology is causing your brain to overflow! And our children are suffering from this too.

Well, it’s not too late for you to take charge of your kids’ lives – and your own – to cut down the digital overload and get some headspace. Your children can still have a simpler, creative childhood, but it will take a bit of effort on your part to design it this way. 

Read on for 5 Ways to free up childhood from technology5 Ways to Simplify Your Child’s Home Environment, and finally 5 Ways to Find More Headspace in your own life.

Simplifying Life – 12 Ways to Simplify the Silly Season

Simplifying Life – 12 Ways to Simplify the Silly Season

Are you feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, run down? Life just seems to move ever faster and to be fuller than ever with things to get done. Will it ever slow down?!

Well, only if we actively slow ourselves and our children down by simplifying our lives. I’ve got some great ideas to help you do just this.  Starting with Simplifying Christmas!

Why Crying Can Actually Be a Good Thing!

Why Crying Can Actually Be a Good Thing!

Letting your child cry at the right times can actually be good for them. What’s more, trying to stop your child from crying could actually be doing them more harm than good.  

But there are two key ingredients that mark the difference between crying that’s helpful for their happiness versus potentially damaging: (1) Your connection with them and (2) Your empathy. This blog will give you a step by step process for how to ensure you get these key ingredients right.  

How to Keep Your Relationship Alive After Having a Baby – Part 1

How to Keep Your Relationship Alive After Having a Baby – Part 1

There’s no doubt that having a baby has taken its toll on my romantic relationship with my husband – and I don’t think I’m alone on that! I recently did a survey of parents of young kids about their biggest challenges and the second biggest one, after sleep deprivation, was pressures on their relationship.

All around me friends with kids seem to be breaking up with their partners, or at least fighting a lot. It's damn hard. 

So how do we keep our relationship gong through the hard times?

I’m a Busy Parent, How on Earth Can I Fit in Meditation? And Do I Really Need to Anyway?

I’m a Busy Parent, How on Earth Can I Fit in Meditation? And Do I Really Need to Anyway?

So you’re interested in mindful parenting. Perhaps the idea of feeling calmer and more connected with your kids appeals to you? Or you want to change your angry reactions to loving and wise ones?

So what has meditation got to do with being a mindful parent? Can’t I just do this style of parenting without sitting down to meditate?

How to Handle Sleep Deprivation Using Mindfulness

How to Handle Sleep Deprivation Using Mindfulness

Sleep disruption and tiredness is THE most common challenge facing the parents I speak to and teach. It's natural for small babies to wake regularly at night for feeds and comfort, and most children take two years and sometimes more to regularly sleep through the night. 

So coping with sleep disruption is a fundamental skill for parents of babies and young children! And here's where mindfulness can really help you to cut the stress of sleep loss.