Before I had children, I felt prepared for parenting.
I’d worked in education and play for many years, and had a background in Psychology.
(Plus I’d watched COUNTLESS episodes of nanny programmes.)
I was NOT prepared for being a parent.
Not the exhaustion. Not the behaviour. Not the constant interruptions to every toilet break.
I’d tried reward charts. Time outs. My kind voice. My stern voice.
None of it worked.
When I discovered conscious parenting, I was relieved, but frustrated…
Here was a method of parenting that treated my child like a human being. That aimed to deal with conflicts assertively and kindly, without the usual shaming, blaming, threats and bribes.
But there were still so many gaps.
I loved the theory of conscious parenting, but I needed more practical tools.
Like when my son would reply to ‘feelings’ questions with a simple “poo”. And he wouldn’t cry in my arms to release his pent-up feelings as the books said he would.
Maybe your child’s the same. He doesn’t follow the textbook examples.
She’s more strong-willed. Or more sensitive. Or both.
I used all my experience in Forest Schools, Psychology and play work. I read more books. Went on more education courses.
I mean, I never usually curl my hair.
Actually I’m more likely to be covered in avocado smears and mud.
Just letting you know, in case we Skype some time.
And if you bump into me, I’m probably more likely to have suncream and leaves in my hair, rather than bouncy curls!
I learned to deal with conflicts, behavioural problems and anxiety through play, stories and adventure.
Because children learn best through play, tailored to their passions and interests.
Instead of bribing my son to get dressed or threatening him, we invented getting dressed games where we were superheroes, fire fighters and knights (I’m going to bring you a little book of getting dressed games soon).
We rode dragons to school and played Rocket Bottoms when we were running late, setting various levels of botty speed!
I made mistakes. Lots of them (and I’ll share them with you so you don’t have to make the same ones!).
Mistakes led to breakthroughs
Like when my eldest son turned three (though he’s now seven!):
- Invented his own getting dressed games, like ‘Vet dressed’, where animals popped up and told him what to put on next
- Went to bed without a hitch after I made up a magical bedtime adventure with a forgetful lion
Put himself in Time In after getting super energetic at the dinner table: “Mummy, I know, I’ll read a book in the calm spot” (cue cheering in my head!)
And when I told my son that I felt angry, and he offered me a cuddle, then brought me my ‘Calm Down’ Box (he was getting better at this than we were!).
I saw the techniques working when I used them in school too. Conflicts between children were resolved more quickly and with genuine apologies.
The biggest transformation? Me.
I feel happier. Calmer. More creative.
More like me again.
Parenting that feels like you (not a stern nanny)
I’ll be bringing you fun game ideas, podcasts with experts (including relationship and play experts), child-friendly meditations and a whole lot more.
Make sure you’re signed up to the blog so you get my parenting tools and the free Peace Tree meditation.
For less stress and guilt. More love and laughter.
This is parenting that feels right.
My qualifications include:
- More than seven years experience in education and play, including outdoor education (Forest Schools Leader NVQ Level 3), working with families and a wide range of children, from pre-schoolers to young adults, helping to build confidence, social skills and self-esteem through play
- I’ve worked with children and adults with disabilities and special needs, including children with autism and ADHD, and I’m a qualified Disability Awareness Trainer
- A broad range of relevant training and experience, from conflict management and leadership, to storytelling and puppetry (and oddly, I’ve combined those skills, using puppets to diffuse conflicts… perhaps not to be tried in a Die Hard hostage negotiation)
- A degree in Psychology BSc, plus further studies in Child Psychology and Child Development
- Most importantly, I’m a parent of two boys and I have first-hand experience of raising a child on the spectrum
Think I can help you and your family? Find out more about one on one coaching, including free sessions.
Feel exhausted or overwhelmed? You don’t have to do this alone. Head on over to my Services page to find out how I can support you.
We’ll work together to create a set of tools for you and your situation, including:
- Fun ways to tackle the worst parts of your day
- Practical tools to heal relationships (with partners, parents and even ourselves)
- How to make time for you when you already have a super-packed schedule (and even the thought of making time for you fills you with stress!)
- Ways to control your anger, even when you’re exhausted, and your child’s pressing every trigger button
- Techniques to deal with anxiety and aggression
- Ways to build up your child’s confidence, in ways that aren’t often talked about
Find out how you can be supported in being the happiest, most fun and self-loving you. Head on over to Services.
She has a great ability to suggest or help me to discover simple, concrete practices to break down habitual, unhelpful patterns of thinking, and to make working on the most painful experiences into an exciting and creative challenge.