I was in a class with children around 10 years old. We were moving between activities (transitions often presenting challenges for children of all ages). I asked that we tidy things up and 3 of the children directly and defiantly refused to cooperate. I hadn’t experienced this with them before and I was surprised and a little shocked. I was racking my brain of how best to handle the situation. I recognized in that moment that I was not sure about what to do. As soon as I recognized this I shared it. ‘Right now I am feeling unsure what to do about this. What do think we should do?’
And that opened the door. "Let’s sit down and talk about what just happened." Recognizing where I was and then sharing this with these young people led us to sit down and have a very real, tough conversation. The sharing was likely the most valuable part of class. The children responded instantly to my ‘getting real’ with them. Getting to understand how they were...
We are continually blown away by the positive feedback from the parents who attend our courses. We also recognise that there are concerns, questions and judgements from people who have not experienced our work.
Who is qualified to help you with your parenting?
A message from Colleen:
It has been said by some that they would never do my parenting courses because of how my children have behaved. I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest that this is exactly why you should attend my courses. They have hurt and been hurt, lashed out, screamed, cried, raged, defied, cursed, struggled, been unkind and made poor choices before.
It has been said by some that they would never do my parenting courses because of how I have parented. I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest that this is exactly why you should attend my courses. I have hurt them and been hurt by them. I’ve lashed out, screamed, cried raged, cursed, struggled, been unkind and impatient and behaved generally poorly before.
This holiday (if you are indeed on holiday now as we are in Kwa Zulu Natal - and…. even if you’re not) what if your only goal was, to SLOW DOWN. How would life feel different? What happens when you are totally present and slow down the pace? Here are a few ideas to try:
Slow down! There are no lunches to make, frantic lift clubs.
When we are slow and present to our kids we do some wonderful things to our bodies and theirs.
We lower our cortisol levels and boost our immunity.
We oxygenate our bodies more as we tend to breathe more deeply.
We shift our entire neurological system for the better and we gift our children by teaching them to be present, slow and aware.
This holiday see what happens if you do the following:
The holidays can be a mixed bag. It is great to be free of making school lunches, of homework challenges and negotiating school traffic while testing spelling! But it can also be an overwhelming time with kids' demands and requirements, sibling friction as they get on each other’s nerves, parental exhaustion and, sometimes, more shouting rather than less.
Here are our seven peaceful holiday tips:
1. Self Care
In order to manage your own reactivity make sure you build in some time for yourself everyday. Nap, read, pray, meditate, visit a friend, go for a treatment or simply be present to your self and your needs in moments throughout the day. Remember kids are well served to know we don’t constellate around them 24 hours a day
2. Use Goals
Set a goal to achieve to do that ‘one big thing’ your kids are asking for; a new movie, to attend that party, to go to the water-slides, or to have that group sleep over. Decide what you most want to teach or achieve and set...
Colleen is freshly returned from the Immersion weekend with Dr Dan Siegal where she and only nineteen other lucky people sat in a room with him in beautiful Santa Monica, California, alongside the Pacific Ocean, soaking up every word spoken for three enlightening days. She's shared the key take-outs with you here;
"The format of the Immersion weekend workshop was that we were each given thirty minutes in which we could personally interview Dan on anything based on our reading of his books namely; The Developing Mind, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, Parenting from the Inside Out, Brainstorm, The Whole Brain Child and his new book, No Drama Discipline. After our inteview the other people in the room were also invited to ask and respond about that particular interview. This weekend was a deep dive into the workings and teachings of this great man. The books all share a common theme, and that is simply about;
Deep gratitude to each one of you who has journeyed with us in 2014. May you have a peaceful and joyful time over the holidays and in the moments that are not peaceful may you be gifted with the presence to still see the little victories.
Colleen posted something recently that has gone viral we thought we'd share it here for those of you who missed it on Facebook.
I SEE YOU
Its a time of badges, certificates, medals, trophies, recognition, awards, prizes and 'seeing' of high achievement. I love seeing the kids that shine at this time of year - a big high heartfelt round of applause to you. You so deserve it for the effort you have put in.
But this message is for the kids that didn't get called up for any of the above… I SEE YOU.
To the child that conquered their fear of heights, or sleeping in the dark, or riding without training wheels or sleeping out for the night for the first time this year, I SEE YOU
To the child that managed to resolve more conflict than they started...
In our experience, when we focus our attention on our own inner world’s and draw awareness to who and how we are, we can start to shift what is not working and emphasis what is. Parenting provides the world’s best (and most testing) platform for this.
Do your children ‘push your buttons’? Do you react differently to your children versus colleagues, friends or other family members? Well then universal design is working! Our children are here to grow us. Our homes provide the greatest opportunity and challenge for our own personal development. Yet we spend a lot of time trying to fix our children instead of taking an honest look at ourselves. Guess what! In many an instance we the parents are the tool that is needed to create the mend, the shift, the transformation. When we are able look at who it is that we are bringing to the relationship, shift happens!
This month we are in Cape Town, the Highway area and Durban. And we’re also running our first...
Do you relish some silence in your busy home?
The truth is that our kids wish for that sometimes too. Do we ever consider how much we talk? Is it fairly continuous, albeit mostly with good intent. Just how much of that is necessary? Is it even useful? When we can learn to mind our words we can really use them more effectively. When we learn to use silence as a practice for letting our kids work stuff out for themselves, it becomes hugely powerful.
Open-hearted golden silence is a powerful presence.
Silence, when it is done in anger, is a form of violent communication. However silence that is held in a space that is loving, open & curious can be quite beautiful. Much of what we say, kids already know but we set them up to not listen by talking and repeating over and over again. When we start to limit our words, kids start to connect more with what we are saying as it is mindful and considered.