The Benefits of Regular Date Nights

I will never forget the day I tucked little 5 year old Ali into bed. I had known her since before she was born and babysat her and her siblings every week. This particular night was like many other where we had dinner, played imaginative games, and read books before I tucked her in. I pulled up her covers and made sure she had her “nigh-nee” blanket. I pulled her hair behind her ears, gave her a soft kiss on her forehead, and said, “I love you.”

But as I turned to leave she called out, “What?” To be honest, it was past her bedtime and I wanted to leave the room so she could get enough rest, but of course I turned around to her sweet voice. She began to ask me why I said, “I love you.” I told her that I said it because I truly loved her. Ali had a confused look on her face and asked, “But why? You aren’t my family. You don’t have to love me.” And I told her that she was right. I didn’t have to, but I chose to.

The H.A.L.T Parent

“Tony, if you don’t eat your dinner, there will be no TV for you later.” You say exasperated. It is a constant nightly battle just to feed the little one.
“Gina, put on your coat and shoes now, we are going.” 10 minutes later. “GINA! PUT ON YOUR SHOE NOW!” And still the toddler is nowhere to be seen.

5 Ways to be a More Present Parent

‘Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans’. How true. Especially for today’s busy modern parent. The trouble is, most of us don’t realise this except in retrospect, and then life has already happened. Whether it’s juggling the demands of a career, maintaining a household, or organising and scheduling children, our focus seems to always lie elsewhere, and are caught up simply ‘getting through’ the busyness of daily life, never taking a moment to really stop and be in the moment.

What does being present parent actually mean? It’s about being mindful – a state of active, open attention on the present. Instead of letting your life pass you by unnoticed, mindfulness means living in the moment and the experience.

How NOT to Potty Train Your Child

As a parent you can very easily become saturated with information telling you the best way to do just about everything from getting a baby to sleep to getting your teenager out of bed in the morning. One topic that certainly takes up many selves in the “How to be the perfect parent library” is potty training.
Just discussing it can cause anxiety for some parents, it’s a process that all children have to go through and before you start it can seem overwhelming. Much of the anxiety comes from the endless variety of strategies that “guarantee” to get the job done.
There are some books and programs that claim to get your child dry within days and others that promote a more relaxed laid back approach to the task in hand. There are some advocates of potty training from birth (Elimination communication) and others that insist waiting till your child’s 3rd birthday.

The Basics of Behavior Modification, and Why You Should Try It Out

You are probably more familiar with behavior modification than you think! The basic principles were created by the famous psychologist B.F. Skinner in the 1950s. He observed that behaviors are more likely to be repeated if they are reinforced with a reward, and other behaviors would stop occurring if punished with a consequence. It’s important to note that reinforcers, also called rewards, must be something that is rewarding to the child. And punishments, also know as a consequences, must be negative, such as a spanking or losing a toy for the rest of the day.

The emptiness of being a mum

Last night while snuggled up with my wife we were having a conversation replaying in our minds the day. It was very interesting as she said, “Jessica was very good today, we went to the library, had a picnic, went to the park. She had all her meals without fuss.”

After a short run summary of the events, I asked, “So how do you feel?”

Much to my surprise she felt unfulfilled. She said, “I feel so lost. At work, there are deadlines, project goals to reach, things to do which I can check off my list. Whereas being a stay at home mum, there is no sense accomplishment, no feeling like I have done anything useful, no way to measure any form of progress.”

5 Things Parents Elite Athletes Have In Common

You may not be competing in the next Olympics, hiking to the top of Mount Everest, or training for the Tour De France, but being a parent has a lot more in common with an elite athlete than you think! We’ve found 5 characteristics that elite athletes and parents have in common;

– Goal focussed – just an as athlete is striving towards gold medal acclaim, successfully completing yet another sleep deprived day single-handedly keeping a small person alive and happy is equivalent to hitting a home run. Or at the very least a well-earned glass of wine and soaking your tired muscles in a hot bath to end your day

The worry and guilt of motherhood

A friend of mine is 14 weeks pregnant with her first child and already it’s begun. She ate Brie cheese before someone told her she shouldn’t. She had an argument with her husband. She went for a long walk and perhaps it was too much. Already she feels worried and guilty about what harm she might be causing her baby.

I want to tell her not to feel guilty; not to worry. But I know that won’t help. For many of us mothers, and perhaps some fathers too, it just seems to come with the territory.

How to Train Your Brain to be a Happy Parent

Parenting can be described as hard and overwhelming, but it can also be described as exhilarating and beautiful, it’s all about your perspective. The good news is that it is possible to control your thoughts and feelings. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts too often, don’t worry, your brain can be rewired, just like a computer.

Rick Hanson a leading neurophysiologist explains that our brain is hardwired with a “negative bias.” He provides us with insight about how the brain works like “Velcro for the bad but Teflon for the good” which means to sustain a happy life we need to work at making the positive stick or else we find ourselves feeling stressed, anxious and sad when we don’t need to.

4 Parenting Styles According to Psychologists

In the tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Goldilocks goes to take a nap after eating porridge and breaking chairs. But discovers that Papa Bear’s bed is too hard, Mama Bear’s bed is too soft, but Baby Bear’s bed is just right. In the same way, Diana Baumrind, a well known developmental psychologist in the 1960s, classified parenting into three different styles: Authoritarian/Strict (“too hard”), Permissive/Indulgent (“too soft”), and Authoritative (“just right”). Later, the Uninvolved (“too distant”) style was added to complete the set.
Which type of parenting style do you currently exhibit, and which would you like to display?