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(Don’t) Stay Positive

I wasn’t sure if I would write this week as I have a talk to prepare for and didn’t have a topic burning until I glanced a magazine cover with the quote “When times are tough, stay positive” and it REALLY annoyed me! This message was EVERYWHERE when I was growing up. “Think Positive” “The Power of Positive Thinking” “How to be happy” “The Art of Happiness” There was a constant barrage of resources and messages telling me that I need to be happy and how to be happy. Do you know how I finally became happier than I had…

Kids These Days!

I was recently privy to a conversation about “Kids these days…” and I found myself frozen and unable to sort my thoughts into that fine line between sounding judgmental and being a good advocate for little people. So instead I said nothing and felt rather crappy afterwards. It’s something we’ve heard a million times, right? That admonishing of “Kids these days!” Maybe some of you have even said it yourself. The implication is, of course, that parents these days are too permissive and too lenient and now we have these disrespectful, rude, uncontrollable little brats bound for a life of…

Peaceful Parenting for Non-Peaceful People

I am quite a volatile person. I used to take a lot of pride in this but now it’s a daily tide I have to swim against. I am only 5’2’’ so perhaps it’s a mixture of small person syndrome and having a fierce and wonderful firecracker as my greatest heroine and role model (also known as my Mum) but I always wanted to leave that “Oh, don’t mess with her!” impression. I have always been great with kids and had a very strong connection to them so when I came across Peaceful Parenting, it sat beautifully with me and…

What Does Progress Look Like?

It’s really important to remember that children are always going to be led off-track. There are dysregulating experiences they face every day even if (and this is incredibly unlikely) both you and them have healed every earlier trauma/hurt you’ve experienced. Any activities outside the home (especially day care or school) will most likely cause them to experience social strain, witness or be privy to name calling or physical hurts, as well as any number of small confusions or painful interactions which add to a larger sense of uneasiness. I’m by no means suggesting we bubble-wrap our kids, I am just…

Attention Seeking Behaviour

One of those things you hear so often is “They’re just doing it for attention!” So what should you do with attention seeking behaviour as a parent? Well, this will be a really short article because the answer is to simply give it to them! AND be glad your child is so efficient in communicating their need. It may feel frustrating but it is actually incredibly helpful and emotionally intelligent of your child to send a clear signal that they are feeling off-track. Off-track behaviour is always a signal and as you become more and more of an empathic parent,…

7 EASY Ways To Become A More Empathic Parent

1. Start journaling your parenting experience Writing things down can help you on a number of different levels, one of which is diffusing the situation and often putting your thoughts into words helps you find clarity. It’s also quite cathartic! 2. Come up with some mantras In the heat of the moment one of the best things we can do is take a pause. A physical action like jumping or shaking can help and repeating a mantra such as “My child is not a problem, my child is having a problem.” Or “This is not an emergency…” (as our limbic…

13 Reasons Why: Not Another Teen Drama

NB: As I was writing this post in my head, I had decided to put it somewhere else as I felt too vulnerable and exposed with the idea of putting it on this page with my normal content. As it transpired, I changed my mind as I still feel it’s somewhat of a parenting post even if it covers some controversial topics and some personal information. [UPDATE: I have just watched the “Beyond The Reasons” special and I highly recommend everyone watch that too to really process what they intended.] I hate spoilers. I prefer to go into something with…

Bullying: Be The Change!

Most of us are in agreement that we don’t want our kids to bully or be bullied. Bullying can be deadly and sadly we hear more and more stories about this all the time. If the school your child is at doesn’t have a very clear stance on managing bullying, then that needs to be addressed immediately. However, whilst most schools profess to this on paper, often they are not helpful in practice. I feel this has a lot to do with the punitive nature of school systems often being counter-productive to the cause and also the fact that bullying…

My Own Sliding Doors

Finding it hard to get to the computer in the holiday madness so this is a little deviation from the norm but also a little personal insight into me, Chantal aka Aunty Ask! Somewhere in an alternate universe is a girl. There’s a girl who got on a plane. She fell in love with my husband but fought all her instincts, stuck to her guns and got on a plane. She wasn’t alone. She had one of her best friends in tow and they had an amazing time. They backpacked through Europe and it was literally life changing. She became…