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Calm is a Superpower.

9 Apr

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If someone is baiting you to argue, don’t take the hook. Swim around and find a calm, creative response rather than a reaction. – Leanne French. Secret 59 from Fairytale Love – How to Love Happily Ever After.

Someone’s got to do it, so why not you?

  • Don’t jump to the conclusion that what’s going on has to be about you.
  • Stay focused on content that makes sense, and try to ignore emotional outbursts.
  • Be willing to check whether they are stressed or tired, and ask how you could make things better.
  • Change the mood of the conversation and trick them into escaping.

We control how we respond.

When we take our time to go within we can respond to the same event with annoyance or anger, or we can search for a more thoughtful way to respond with peace and calmness. Continue reading

The Wild Calms A Child.

4 Apr

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Our backyards are a natural source of wonder, with no electrical sockets in sight.

Gather up your child/children. Make sure to ask their imaginary friends to join you in the backyard, otherwise known as the wild, where you can

  • run faster
  • jump higher
  • squeal louder
  • lay out a blanket to read fairytales
  • paint rocks
  • search for frog princes
  • draw with chalk
  • make a walnut bed for Thumbelina
  • bug hunt
  • chase butterflies
  • make play dough food for a pretend picnic
  • find shapes in the clouds
  • plant a magic beanstalk
  • go on a scavenger hunt
  • create a sellotape nature bracelet

…and my favourite of all, make a magic petal potion where you gather, mash, mix, stir and sniff and turn into any creature you wish.

Let the wild rumpus begin!

(Thanks again to Libby Clews – doesn’t she just have the cutest carnivore kid in town? And to my beloved Wolfie for creating my day by day images.)

Imagination Can Take You Anywhere.

2 Apr

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Join them in their world when they’re little, so you’ll be welcome in their world when they get big. – L. R. Knost.

Thanks to Libby Clews for her “paper bag head child” inspiration, and my beloved Wolfie for making my day by day images x

50 Reflective End of Year Family Questions.

3 Dec

How about introducing a new self reflective ritual into your family? As the year winds down it’s the perfect time to choose an evening or afternoon to gather together and consider things like: How was the past year? What worked and what did not work so well? What do I want to create in the year to come? 

Set the scene, make some popcorn, pour your drinks, ditch all interruptions and distractions and choose one person to ask the questions. Each one of you gets to answer one question as best as you can, without discussion, feedback, justification or defence, and then you move onto the next question. The rules are to listen and speak with Continue reading

Why are Some Homes Predictably Unpredictable?

27 Nov

When a parent is addicted to a substance, home life is often tense and unpredictable, and family members may either try to deny the addicts behaviour, make excuses for it, or attempt to control or stop it. For the one choosing to drink or drug, it’s hard to maintain rewarding healthy connections and be emotionally available.

So much time and energy gets gobbled up trying to either recover, obtain, use, and/or try to keep it secret. Addiction messes with mood and sleep and has personal, social, financial, health, relationship and even legal consequences. 

If one or both parents are emotionally or physically unavailable long term, children can develop a fear of abandonment and learn that holding onto toxic relationships is better than being alone. Drinking and/or drugging is also so boring to grow up around. When the “substance” of choice is the priority, the child isn’t, and that reaffirms their sense of  not really being worthy enough to get to know, listen to, learn about or have an in-depth relationship with.

Growing up around addiction, kids have to guess at what normal is. They are more subjected to chaos and Continue reading

Gruesome Twosome.

1 Nov

Zombie nephews. Photo by Hayley French at feijoadesigns.

Zombie nephews. Photo by Hayley French at feijoadesigns.

These two little treasures look iron depleted and could perhaps do with a good feed of spinach from our lush garden, but it’s Halloween and what they are really after is zombie brains and sweets galore.

Luckily their mother doesn’t belong to the fun police and nor is she a religious fanatic, both of which seem to push harder in the media every year to sanitize the darkness of Halloween. Why people continue to say it’s an Continue reading

Raising A Prince.

27 Jul

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magical moments

This week Prince George of Cambridge was born to proud parents William and Kate.  Whilst you and I may not have a child third in line to the throne of England, those of us raising our own prince or princesses know that they, like any lucky parent, are in for an exciting journey of bravery, truth and Continue reading