The Power of Connected Relationships

3 minute read Jun 02, 2016

May has flown by and we have had the good fortune of speaking all over KZN over the last six weeks - from Hilton College to Umghlanga College and from the Kinesiologists Association to the Professional Speakers Association, NAPTOSA and Winterton Primary School!

The central tenant of our talks, lately, has been the power of emotions and relationships in our lives. Healthy relationships require a healthy emotional intelligence in order to grow and to feed us in a way that brings out the best in us and those in our lives. This is relevant for parent to child, educator to child, child to child or adult to adult relationships.

Choice breeds respond-ability
When we are aware of our emotional states and we can process and navigate what we are feeling it gives us choice of how to respond. It is in these responses that we often either make or break relationship. Choice breeds respond-ability. Lack of choice breeds reactivity. In our anecdotal research we are clear; flying off the handle never...

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Understanding builds Connection

  1. Have you ever asked your kids what they dream most about?
  2. What the scariest part of their day usually is?
  3. What they would change if they were in charge for a day?
  4. Have you explored with them what gives them the heebiegeebies, or when they feel brave?
  5. Do you know which famous person they would most like to meet or what the kindest thing was that someone did for them lately?

These kinds of questions can lead to connecting conversations. Connection. This is our gateway to peaceful, deeply impactful and empowered parenting. Through connection with our children we are able to literally calm and open up their brains and minds to learning and to being receptive. When our children feel connected to us flow is possible. Its really, really tough to totally ignore, resist or insult someone with whom you are in flow.

Simple not Easy
It’s funny though, the times we most need connection tend to be the times when it is hardest to forge it. Like when

  • we want their homework done, or
  • rooms...
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"People who need to go on parenting courses, shouldn't have children"

"People who need to go on parenting courses, shouldn't have children" This was posted on our Facebook wall recently.  It sparked an interesting conversation.

 Clearly we are in the business of supporting parents to feel more skilled and empowered, yet we also feel like it is more than work for us; it is a calling. Let us explain; we, Candy & Colleen, strive continuously for our own betterment, growth &  empowerment in our lives and our calling is to pass any awareness we gain, on.  So the thinking behind this post was fascinating for us. 

What comes naturally?

  • We procreate as a natural process.
  • We parent as a natural process.  
  • We eat as a natural process.  
  • We breathe as a natural process.
  • We walk as a natural process.

Yet every single one of these things that we all do everyday have science that sits behind them.  

If we don’t know the science behind breathing, or eating does that mean...

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The Day My Parenting Changed Forever

I, Colleen, knew that how I was parenting wasn’t working well and that I wasn’t being the parent that made me feel good inside. I knew something was off. However I didn’t know what the alternatives where.

I started diving a little more deeply into this confounding and challenging world and I saw that there was another way. There were parent specialists out there - who knew?! I started learning different ideas and techniques.

However the parent I always had been kept showing up. I could now see another way yet I could not manage to be another way. More stress. More guilt. More confusion. Until one day I was listening to Dr Laura Markham (a wonderful parent coach and author) and she was talking about how parenting is a RELATIONSHIP.

Now this may seem obvious to you, but it wasn’t to me. Yes there was a relationship. There were shared genes, blood and love - of course there was relationship. This, though, was not what was meant.

It deeply struck me...

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The Art of Discipline

3 minute read discipline Feb 18, 2016

Repeatedly we hear about the very real struggle for parents of managing discipline. Sometimes the questions are voiced out loud and sometimes the silent despair leaves the questions hanging:

  • Am I being too hard? 
  • Am I being too soft? 
  • How do I raise considerate, respectful children who also have the confidence to be independent and let their brilliance shine?
  • Is it even possible to maintain leadership without smacking?

Contemporary Parenting doesn’t offer a formulaic answer to parenting, we see our role as empowering parents with insights to some of the latest findings in the fields of neuroscience, emotional intelligence, attachment and mindfulness so that they are better equipped to make the best decisions for their families.

There are no easy answers in the area of discipline. Each family dynamic is unique. Comparing the process of disciplining to the process of art creation; both the methods and outcomes are unique - the art and the child. So while these ideas...

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The Power of Small Moments

Life isn’t about a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade or our whole life – it is about the parts that make up the whole.

The small moments!

These small moments involve presence and awareness. Awareness of a small moment supports us in finding opportunity in uncomfortable moments and deeper joy in the connecting moments. The idea is that, ‘life is a journey not a destination’ – and never is this more true than in parenting. Our children are growing so fast. Two becomes six, six becomes seven, fourteen and then twenty-one! Lets learn together to steep ourselves in the moments.

So what does it look like?
Small moments are the moments that are literally passing us by all day.

  • From waking in the morning
  • to bedtime in the evening there are dozens of small moments that pass us by.
  • At breakfast, in the car,
  • in how we speak to each other,
  • how we carry out each activity,
  • getting dressed,
  • eating together and clearing away.

Together these small moments make up...

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The Power of Proactive-Reflective Dialogues

We all know the hamster-wheel analogy - doing things like we’ve always done them, getting to the same place we’ve always gone and never a change in scenery. In the home this can mean dealing with the same issues in the same way over and over and getting the same result. Whether it is the siblings at each other’s jugulars year in and year out, or feeling wrung out as each kid grabs a limb and attempts to drag you in opposite directions in their own interest, or yet again pleading wth the family to feed the dog and make their beds and do their chores to mixed reactions - none of them favourable.

Do you feel overwhelmed by trying to get your child to read more, eat less sugar, play nicely with the neighbours kid or just do their homework without a world war in your kitchen? Do you dream of a home where the members have more responsibility and accountability and you all contribute to more peace and joy? Do you want to shift things around but don’t know how to do...

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Sliding towards the end of the Year – 8 tips to make it work

As December looms very close I find life seems like it's moving at double speed. It's busy! The irony is that today's newsletter is a little longer than our usual but packs a great deal of value and offers opportunity for breathing space and presence. It is the Daily News article Colleen wrote that was published on 27 October 2015. Take a read below.

Exciting news is we've also set the dates for 2016 for our work in Durban and Highway. So if you, or someone you know has been wanting to experience our Signature course book here. We have sold out our last two courses and expect to do the same here. Don't miss out on the opportunity to empower you and your family.

Sliding towards the end of the Year – 8 tips to make it work
The slide towards the end of the year can feel more like the kumakazi ride at the waterpark, short, fast and a little hair raising. As parents and kids face this final term that is well endowed with year end fundraisers, shows, displays, meetings, concerts and...

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Sliding towards the end of the year

5 minute read Nov 10, 2015

As December looms very close I find life seems like it's moving at double speed. It's busy! The irony is that today's newsletter is a little longer than our usual but packs a great deal of value and offers opportunity for breathing space and presence. It is the Daily News article Colleen wrote that was published on 27 October 2015. Take a read below.

The slide towards the end of the year can feel more like the kumakazi ride at the waterpark, short, fast and a little hair raising. As parents and kids face this final term that is well endowed with year end fundraisers, shows, displays, meetings, concerts and parent gatherings it can all feel totally overwhelming. For many term 4 is peaked with emotion as it may mark the end of a phase at school or even the end of a season before moving to a new school. It is busy, and potentially quite emotional. Here are some thoughts of how to get the best out of term 4 so that we can face it with a sense of empowerment rather than a sense of...

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Is 'in the moment' the most ideal place to parent?

Do you find yourself parenting 'in the moment' most of the time? Any of these sound familiar?

  • separating bickering siblings with commentary
  • giving a lesson over poor manners at dinner
  • chastising the forgotten duties
  • lecturing on sharing as you break-up a quarrel
  • bemoaning the teacher’s comments on the report card

Have you ever considered how ineffective this seems to be? What happens when your emotion collides with theirs?

Dialogues that can grow the brain and connect hearts. 

We have created a truly effective practice for you to bring into your own homes. It allows for issues, concerns, areas of challenge to be dealt with both proactively or reflectively rather than in the heat of the moment. Let us explain this tool to you using the current school holidays, as bridge between term 3 and term 4, as an example. 

The reflective part of this practice is a conversation with our kids about the term just passed.

  • How was it for you?  This is how it...
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