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Health and Wellness Parenting Personal Development

The Art of Parenting: Balancing Fear and Encouragement as Kids Journey to Adulthood

The Art of Parenting: Balancing Fear and Encouragement as Kids Journey to Adulthood Have you ever questioned if you’re treating your children fairly? The passage of time can be perplexing. The little ones you once held in your arms now stand before you, independent individuals. In the narrative of parenthood, the query arises: “Are You A Bad Parent For Treating Your Kids Differently?”

Recollections of childhood and growth are as poignant as a melody from “Fiddler on the Roof.” The musical’s lyrics echo the sentiments of parents everywhere:

“Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play? I don’t remember growing older, When did they?”

The story of Tevye, a Jewish milkman with five daughters, encapsulates the profound transformations parenthood ushers in. As his eldest daughter walks down the aisle, Tevye and his wife croon the lyrics to a tender lullaby.

When did she grow to be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall? Wasn’t it yesterday when they were small?


The journey of parenting is marked by moments of joy, anxiety, and contemplation. How do you feel as you witness your children’s evolution into adults? Do hope and excitement fill your heart, or do you find traces of fear and trepidation?


The Complex Dynamic: Parenting and Differential Treatment

Modern parents, faced with the inevitability of their children’s growth, often grapple with complex emotions. A study from the American Family Survey divulges that parents establish arbitrary milestones to grapple with the unease surrounding their children’s transition to adulthood, inadvertently delaying their independence.

When asked about appropriate ages for kids to engage in unsupervised activities like playing at a park or walking home alone, the response was commonly age 13. Curiously, these same parents indicated they would permit their children to pursue employment or go on dates within a mere two years of that age.

These figures point to a deeper sentiment—fear. What underlies parental hesitation? Let’s explore:

    • Fear of danger: The foremost concern for parents is the safety of their offspring, including “How to Help Children Manage Fears”. This apprehension is natural, yet confining children to an overly sheltered existence isn’t the solution.
    • Fear of the future: The unpredictability of life, as exemplified by the abrupt shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, triggers anxiety. While safeguarding children’s happiness is a priority, much remains beyond parental control.
    • Fear of separation or letting go: Observing children transition to adulthood can evoke powerful emotions of solitude and insignificance. Guiding them toward autonomy, including addressing the topic of “Fear of My Kids Growing Up,” is an essential parental duty.

Navigating the Path: Overcoming Apprehensions

Acknowledging parental apprehensions is the initial step to conquering them. Confronting these fears, not only for your sake but also for your children’s, is a rewarding endeavor.

Consider these five strategies:

    • Be a beacon of positivity: Children often mirror their parents’ emotions. Demonstrating confidence and assurance sets the tone for their own feelings of security as they navigate life’s uncertainties.
    • Offer encouragement: Adolescence can be a tumultuous period. Remember your own insecurities during those years. Providing unwavering support and conveying that emotions are transient can be immensely reassuring, addressing the query of “Why do parents treat their kids differently.”
    • Honesty matters: While encouragement is vital, it must be rooted in reality. Sugarcoating life’s challenges won’t serve your child’s development. Addressing the truth, even if uncomfortable, equips them with resilience.
    • Embrace communication: Open dialogue bridges gaps. Sharing your concerns and expectations establishes mutual understanding. Finding common ground—like agreeing on safety protocols—fosters trust.
    • Presence speaks volumes: Above all, let your children know they’re never alone. Your availability, willingness to listen, and empathy create a haven for them in a world of uncertainties.

As you ponder the ever-evolving journey of parenting, remember that nurturing your children’s growth doesn’t make you a bad parent. Embrace the transformation, and guide them with wisdom, care, and love. In the intricate dance of parenting, the paradox of nurturing is unveiled. The journey, rife with anticipation and unease, necessitates a delicate balance of guidance and release. The question—Are You A Bad Parent For Treating Your Kids Differently?—gains resonance. Our fears are not indictments of our capabilities but rather echoes of our deep-rooted love. By treading these paths—being mirrors of positivity, addressing why parents treat their kids differently, embracing the Fear of My Kids Growing Up, offering genuine encouragement, fostering honesty, nurturing communication, and embodying unwavering presence—we sculpt a roadmap to traverse the terrain of parenthood. Amidst these strategies, we unearth the remarkable truth that growing up is not solely for our children; it’s a journey we, as parents, embark upon too.

Love and Blessings, Katherine

Health and Wellness Parenting Personal Development

Breaking Generational Patterns: Letting Go of Childhood Baggage

Best Practices Culture Parenting

Dear Katherine: My two girls are in competition over everything!

Hello, Conscious Parents! Welcome to “Dear Katherine,” a Q&A with real-life parents/caregivers. If you’d like to submit a question of your own, email me at katherine@consciousparentingrevolution.com.

Dear Katherine,

Two young sisters, aged 8 and 11, seem to be in constant competition, and their parent, “Looking for Peace of Mind,” is concerned about how to handle competitive siblings and why kids are competitive with siblings. They contend over everything, from the size of the pie slices to finishing homework fastest and even who gets to take a shower first. “Looking for Peace of Mind” recognizes that sibling rivalry is a normal phenomenon, but she is eager to find ways to handle sibling rivalry and reduce competition between siblings. Can you offer some guidance on how to reduce competition between siblings and how to handle sibling rivalry?

— Seeking Solutions for Sibling Rivalry

Dear Seeking Solutions for Sibling Rivalry,

The challenge you’re facing is a familiar one for many parents. Sibling rivalry has been a part of family dynamics throughout history, and it remains prevalent today. While the competition your daughters engage in is not as dramatic as the biblical tale of Joseph and his brothers, the underlying reasons are similar—they both desire parental attention and recognition.

To reduce competition between your girls and handle their sibling rivalry, it’s crucial to act as a mediator, impartially listening to their perspectives and helping them communicate effectively. Avoid taking sides, as it can exacerbate the situation, leaving one child feeling misunderstood or unimportant. Instead, strive to interact with them on equal footing, demonstrating effective communication and modeling the behavior you wish to see in them.

As parents, showing equal love and support to our children is essential, though it may be challenging to balance interactions according to their unique personalities and needs. Each child is different, and acknowledging and celebrating their individuality can foster a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of favoritism.

Encourage your daughters to pursue their distinct interests and talents. By celebrating their uniqueness, you affirm their contributions to the family and instill confidence in their abilities.

When disagreements arise, allow them the space to calm down before facilitating a discussion. Encourage open and loving communication, helping them express their feelings and understand each other’s perspectives. Is one sister hurt because the other didn’t want to share a favorite toy? Does the younger one feel insecure when seeing her older sibling do things without supervision? Teaching your daughters loving and open communication will foster a better mutual understanding and reduce competition between them.

Amidst the busyness of life, create moments for bonding with your children. Even dedicating just 15 minutes to cuddling or reading a bedtime story will do wonders for your relationship with your children —and their relationship with each other.

Fostering a supportive and empathetic environment will enable your daughters to navigate their differences and build a stronger sibling relationship. With patience, understanding, and effective communication, you can reduce competition between siblings and handle sibling rivalry, bringing more peace to your home.

I hope these suggestions prove helpful in creating a more harmonious family atmosphere.

Love and blessings,


Advice Parenting Skills

Supporting Your Child’s Journey

Dear Parents,

At Conscious Parenting Revolution, we are dedicated allies of the LGTBQIA2S+ community and committed to supporting parents through the journey of raising children. As parents, we understand that guiding our children through various changes can be a challenging task, particularly when it comes to transitions and transformations that we may not have personally experienced. Parenting during the teenage years can evoke a range of emotions— pride and worry, joy and frustration. This phase of life can be equally demanding for parents as it is for their children.

The parent-child relationship undergoes a fundamental shift as our children embark on the journey to young adulthood. Witnessing this transformation is rewarding, but it also requires us to adapt our parenting style. We need to transition from being mere managers to becoming trusted consultants.

The Transformation From Childhood to Youth

Many parents fear that they may lose their connection with their children during the challenging teenage years. Society often portrays teenagers as having difficult attitudes and wanting little to do with their parents, but this depiction fails to capture the whole story.

In reality, teenagers are going through a process known as individuation—a phase where they form their own independent identities. Although these changes can be normal, they may also be confusing, hurtful, and even a little scary for even the most understanding parent. Creating a safe space for our child’s individuation process becomes crucial for maintaining a happy and healthy parenting relationship. 

How to Help Young Children Transition Into Young Adults

While it may seem like our teenagers are pushing us away, the truth is that they still need us during this tumultuous phase of their lives. They face high-stakes decisions daily, from navigating peer pressure and romantic relationships to choosing their paths after graduation.

During this time, they require someone they trust to guide them through these decisions, and that someone can be us. However, here’s the catch-22: the more we try to manage their obstacles or impose our decisions, the more our teenagers will distance themselves. They need to feel independent and autonomous, and failing to acknowledge this need can lead them astray.

Transition from Childhood to Adolescence

So, how should our behavior evolve to best support our teenagers? Here are a few suggestions:

  • The Changing Transition to Adulthood :Make your home a judgment-free zone. Our children absorb cues, often unnoticed by us. Have we unintentionally conveyed that we view failing a test as a sign of weakness? If so, our teenagers will be less likely to seek our help when facing academic challenges. Let’s be mindful of how we express our feelings and opinions, ensuring that we don’t discourage open conversations.
  • The Transformation From Childhood to Youth: Spend quality time together. Engage in simple activities like running errands or sharing meals. These moments create space for open communication between us and our children. The more available we are without them having to seek us out, the more opportunities they’ll have to open up to us.
  • How to Help Young Children Transition Into Young Adults: Respect boundaries. While it’s crucial to be available for our teenagers, it’s equally important not to take it personally when they are not interested in talking. Let’s respect their need for space by refraining from prying or forcing conversations. Sometimes, what they need most is peace and quiet, and honoring that can provide them with the support they require.
  • Transition from Childhood to Adolescence: Reinforce your support. We all need reminders that the people who love us are there for us. Teenagers are no exception. Every now and then, remind your child that you are a safe person they can turn to for conversations or guidance.

Supporting our children through the transition from childhood to adolescence involves creating an environment where they feel comfortable approaching us. Taking the initiative to adjust our own behavior will help build their trust in us as reliable confidantes.

The Changing Transition to Adulthood

Evolving our parenting role from managers to consultants requires letting go. It means granting our children more autonomy to be their authentic selves, even if it means relinquishing some of our control in the process.

This journey is no small feat, and wherever you are in this process, we applaud you. Together, let’s celebrate our children and provide them with the support they need as they navigate the changing transition to adulthood.

Love and Blessings,


Want to hear more? Watch my interview with Daily Flash TV where I discuss accepting your teen! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss a thing.

Advice Negotiating Parenting

How Do You Discipline a Child That Doesn’t Listen? Tips from a Parenting Expert

As a parenting expert, one of the most common concerns that I hear from parents is how to discipline their children when they don’t listen. It can be frustrating and overwhelming to feel like you’re losing control, especially when you’ve tried different methods to get your child to follow your instructions. However, it’s important to recognize that controlling our children’s behavior isn’t the answer. Instead, we need to approach discipline with consideration and understanding of our children’s needs and capacities and skills for managing their emotions and responses.

Here are some tips on how to manage when your child doesn’t listen to what you say:

  • Have a solution-focused mindset: When approaching a meltdown, is there a specific time of day when your child is falling apart? Are they tired? Hungry? Need some closeness? you can begin to see positive changes in your child’s behavior when you support them to meet their needs and develop skills to regulate their emotions.
  • Address underlying issues: Sometimes, a child’s behavior is related to an underlying issue such as ADHD. If you suspect that your child may have ADHD, consult a healthcare professional for guidance.
  • Identify the root cause of “disrespectful” behavior: It’s important to address the underlying causes: Is your child feeling neglected or ignored? Are they struggling with a difficult situation at school? By addressing the root cause of their behavior, you can help your child develop better problem-solving skills and improve their behavior. To keep your own feelings in balance avoid thinking judgmentally and stay curious.
  • Approach the situation calmly: Yelling and losing your temper will only undermine your child’s self-confidence and lead to further behavior issues. Take a deep breath, apply the oxygen mask to you first, and approach the situation calmly and assertively when you’re ready.
  • Be flexible with your approach: Be open to trying new methods and approaches to see what works best for your child. Guidance approach to discipline is about supporting your kids to be the masters of their emotions and for them to learn how to be present to the outer voices in their world and speak up assertively for any conflicts occuring inside them so that they can meet their needs too.

Remember, disciplining your child is not about controlling their behavior, but about finding a balance between their desires and your expectations. Healthy and positive ways to discipline your child include setting clear expectations, catching them doing it right and acknowledging, highlighting and verifying that, and modeling the behavior you want to see. By approaching discipline with consideration and understanding, you can create a more positive and close relationship with your child.

So, are you struggling with a child who doesn’t listen to you? It can be frustrating for any parent, but there are ways to discipline your child without resorting to harsh punishment. The first step is to identify what works and what doesn’t. Observe your child’s behavior and see if there is a particular time of day when they are more receptive to problem solving. The rule of thumb is to listen to their side when they are resistant to your directions. Listening to them doesn’t mean you agree with their perspective, but, ignoring their perspective and repeating your own is guaranteed not to work.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some children may have underlying issues, such as ADHD, or an irritation in their nervous systems from an allergy to gluten or red dye or sugar or dairy, inflammation too can make it difficult for them to focus, think clearly, and follow instructions. If you suspect that your child may have an underlying condition, seek the advice of a healthcare professional who can provide proper diagnosis and treatment. Getting a neuropsych evaluation is always helpful!

When your child is being “disrespectful” it’s important to identify the root cause of their behavior and address it directly. Are they feeling neglected or ignored? Are they struggling with a difficult situation at school? By addressing the underlying cause of their behavior, you can help your child develop better problem-solving skills and that gives rise to feeling better and will improve their overall behavior.

Losing your temper and yelling at your child may seem like the only way to get their attention, but this can damage their self-esteem and lead to more behavioral problems. Not to mention, it can result in you feeling yucky about you! Instead, be assertive about meeting your needs and approach the situation with a clear mind.

Remember that discipline is not a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one child may not work for another, so be open to trying new approaches. Healthy and positive ways to discipline your child include setting clear expectations, providing acknowledgement, and modeling good behavior. Setting clear expectations helps your child understand what is expected of them and encourages them to meet those expectations. Acknowledgment can help build your child’s self-confidence as they learn to be more aware of their own traits and capacities. Modeling good behavior sets a positive example for your child to follow.

Disciplining a child who doesn’t listen requires a solution-focused approach. By observing what works, addressing underlying issues, and utilizing healthy and positive discipline methods, you can develop a positive relationship with your child and help them become confident and well-behaved individuals.

Love and blessings,


P.S. Looking for more weekly guidance? Join me in my private Facebook group for tips every Tuesday!



Culture Parenting Skills

Dear Katherine: My two girls are in competition over everything!

Hello, Conscious Parents! Welcome to “Dear Katherine,” a monthly Q&A with real-life parents/caregivers. If you’d like to submit a question of your own, email me at katherine@consciousparentingrevolution.com.

Dear Katherine,

My two girls, aged 8 and 11, won’t stop fighting! It’s like they’re in competition for everything: who gets the bigger piece of pie, who can finish their homework fastest, even who gets to take a shower first! I know sibling rivalry is normal, but I just want them to stop squabbling. Can you help me?

— Looking for Peace of Mind


Dear Looking for Peace of Mind,

You’re definitely not alone. Siblings have always butted heads—and they probably always will. Even the Bible features a well-known story about a boy named Joseph whose 11 older brothers sold him into slavery after their father gifted him with a multicolored coat. Talk about green with envy!

The rivalry your girls are experiencing is completely normal (and thankfully less dramatic than Joseph’s), but I certainly understand your plea to stop the squabbling. First, it’s important to realize that sibling competition is rooted in a fight for parental attention. Simply put, your kids are vying to be #1 in your eyes. A lot of times we can make it worse if we pick to take one child’s side, leaving the other feeling like they weren’t understood. The key here is to be the mediator between them, helping them and listening to their side stories on an equal footing on how to interact with them and teach effective communication.

As parents and caregivers, of course, we love our children equally. The hard part is determining how to interact with them according to their unique personalities and needs. If our kids are “belongers” who don’t want to risk your disapproval, it can be easier to be with them than our autonomous kids who are so self-directed and do risk our disapproval! To the autonomous child, it can feel like you favor the other. In turn, this can make the acting out even more severe. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy—”see, you always take her side,” “see, you do love her more than me.”

How do you show your daughters that they’re special to you, each in their own way?

Celebrate uniqueness. Children need to know that they have distinctive gifts as individuals. Encourage your daughters to hone and develop their hobbies and interests. If one loves to sing and the other plays the piano, why not stage a duet? Find ways to demonstrate that their individuality contributes to a richer family life.

Teach effective communication. When a fight erupts, give your children space to calm down. Once they’re ready, bring them together to discuss what triggered the conflict. Was one sister hurt that the other didn’t want to share a favorite toy? Does the little one feel insecure seeing her older sibling do things without supervision? Teaching your daughters loving and open communication will foster a better mutual understanding so they can respond to each other with empathy, learn how to interact with them and teach effective communication and listen to their side stories.

Create moments for bonding. Life is busy, but in the midst of the chaos, kids still crave warmth and attention. And purposeful bonding is important for parents, too. Even just 15 minutes of cuddling or reading a bedtime story will do wonders for your relationship with your children—and their relationship with each other.

I hope these suggestions help bring more peace to your home. Sibling relationships can be complex, but with patience, understanding, and effective communication, your daughters can learn to navigate their differences and develop a stronger bond.

Love and Blessings,

Advice Best Practices Culture Parenting

The Ultimate Guide to Repairing Your Parenting Relationship: 5 Proven Ways to Become Better Partners

Troubled relationships with parenting partners are all too common. Whether parenting with a partner who sleeps next to you at night, co-parenting with an ex, or even sharing the responsibility of raising a child with grandparents, it is normal to experience ups and downs in the relationship. If you are struggling with parenting together, it is important to work towards repairing your parenting relationship in order to become better partners. Parenting is fraught with daily stresses, and our conversations can very easily sound like this:

Didn’t I tell you they need to get dressed by 8am? It’s 8:30!
How can you let them watch TV when I literally just said they can’t?!

Why do I feel like I’m doing everything and you’re doing nothing?

Sound familiar? You might find it increasingly challenging to manage workingkeeping house, and managing your child’s extracurricular activities. And because of that, your relationship with your parenting partner may be on the rocks. Here are 5 ways to help you repair that relationship and become a better parenting partner:

  1. Practice effective communication. Effective communication is key. Instead of using negative language or showing frustration, try kind and clear communication to raise healthy and secure kids. For example, instead of yelling, “You never help me when I need you to!”, try calmly saying, “I feel overwhelmed because I have a meeting in five minutes. Can you help me by [insert your specific request]?” Repairing your parenting relationship starts with effective communication.
  2. Be strategic.Strategic planning is another important aspect of parenting together. Treat your parenting tasks like business goals, especially when issues arise. Create a schedule, prepare an agenda, have objectives, exchange relevant information with your partner, and keep them in the loop. Work together to come up with solutions that benefit both partners. Repairing your parenting relationship means being strategic in your approach.
  3. Cultivate an atmosphere of respect. Communicating with respect is one of the fundamental values of conscious parenting. As parenting partners, model respectful behavior in how you talk to and about each other. Avoid trash-talking your partner or undermining their authority, especially in front of your child. Repairing your parenting relationship starts with respect for each other.
  4. Agree to be consistent. Consistency is also crucial. Consistency is key for children. Shifting from one set of rules and expectations to another can be confusing for them. Apply consistency to bedtimes, chores, and study and play periods. Get on the same page about what’s permitted and what isn’t. Once you’ve made your decisions, stick to them and be consistent. Repairing your parenting relationship requires consistency in your approach.
  5. Chill out. Lastly, taking time to relax is important. Overextending yourself in too many directions can make you tired, overwhelmed, and cranky. For the sake of your partner, child, and yourself, create time in your schedule to kick back and relax. Even a few minutes of quiet time can make a big difference in diffusing high-emotion moments and bringing peace to your home life. Repairing your parenting relationship also means taking care of yourself and each other.

Parenting together can be challenging, but by using effective communication, strategic planning, cultivating an atmosphere of respect, being consistent, and taking time to relax, you can minimize meltdowns, create successful outcomes, and bring peace to your household. By repairing your parenting relationship, you and your partner can become better partners and raise healthy and happy children together.

Love and Blessings,


P.S.: Looking for more weekly guidance? Join me in my private Facebook group for tips every Tuesday!


Body Language Parenting Skills Women In Business

Compassionate Communication: A Primer on Conscious Parenting Language

With President’s Weekend in my home country, the United States, upon us, I wanted to touch on communication. Whether you’re leading a household or a country, great leadership stems from great communication.

There’s a verse in the Bible that states, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” This proverb encapsulates what we already know to be true: words hold a lot of weight. What we say—and how we say it—can have an enormous effect on those around us.

At the Conscious Parenting Revolution, one of our core teachings is effective and compassionate communication. We repair family relationships by teaching parents and children methods and tools for listening with love and speaking from the heart.

Our conscious parenting vocabulary revolves around supportive communication. The goal of this approach is to build others up and never tear them down no matter what situation you find yourself in—calm or stressful, charged or joyful.

If you often find yourself at a loss for words when communicating with your children, here is some basic conscious parenting language to use for effective, life-giving communication.

Compassionate Communication: A Primer on Conscious Parenting Language

Situation: You’re caught in an argument or a tense circumstance

CPR Language: Instead of “You always” or “You never,” say “It seems/feels.” 

When you find yourself at what could be the start of a heated argument with your child, take a moment to step back and reframe what you’re about to say.

Instead of the usual accusatory, “You never clean your room,” try something less aggressive like, “It seems that you’re having a hard time keeping your room tidy.”

Words like “never” and “always” put your child in defensive mode, which could result in them shutting you out. Rephrase your words so your kid feels encouraged to open up and tell you the true root of the problem.

Situation: A celebratory occasion, such as your child receiving high grades at school

CPR Language: Instead of, “You’re so smart,” say, “Congratulations! I admire how hard you worked on that!” 

One of the communication methods we teach is using acknowledgement instead of praise.

Praising a child for their intelligence or outward appearance teaches them to measure their self-worth based on superficial traits and external factors.

Acknowledgement, on the other hand, allows a child to connect to their own sense of accomplishment. It helps them become self-aware of their competencies and tap into how they feel about themselves. 

Situation: Your child exhibited bad behavior

CPR Language: Instead of, “As punishment you’ll…,” say, “Can you tell me what made you act/react in this way?”

Simply punishing bad behavior never addresses the root of the problem. Rather than resorting to punishment, ask your child why they acted a certain way.

Was there a misunderstanding? Did they feel unheard, unseen, hungry, sad, or some other negative emotion? Once your child explains what caused their behavior, work on finding a solution together.

Situation: Describing your kid’s behavior

CPR Language: Instead of, “You’re a mess,” say, “You made a mess.”

There’s a big difference between telling your child their behavior was irresponsible and making them feel like they are irresponsible.

Your words have a major impact on your children! So use non-blameful descriptions of their behavior and avoid labeling them in a negative way that can undermine their self-confidence or self-love.

Situation: You lost your temper/lashed out/made a mistake

CPR Language: “I’m sorry.”

Traditional parenting says that parents should never apologize to their children. But our kids are human, too, and they deserve an apology when we’re in the wrong.

Saying the words, “I’m sorry,” lets your kid know that their parent is, in fact, human. It also sets you both on a path of mending and healing.

Words have the power to bring comfort and devastation, joy and pain. Let’s do our best to communicate with our children with the love and compassion they deserve.

Love and Blessings,


P.S. Want a chance to practice your new Conscious Parenting vocabulary? Join our private Facebook group to connect with like-minded parents around the world. We run live impromptu Tips for Parents in that private facebook group, join and request to be alerted when we go live and you can ask your individual questions.



Body Language Growth Leadership Negotiations Parenting

Are You Listening to Your Child’s Side of the Story?

Stop me if this scenario sounds familiar:

You’re minding your own business when suddenly the phone rings.

The person on the other end of the line—perhaps a teacher or a camp counselor—has called to inform you that your child is acting out.

Your face flushes with shame and humiliation and embarrassment. You assume their account must be accurate.

When our children display inappropriate behavior in public (getting into a fight at soccer practice or throwing a toy at a daycare teacher), our first impulse is often to apologize on their behalf, then shamefully slink away to reprimand or punish them at home.

How often do you stop and ask for your child’s side of the story?

Anger and Shame Prevent Parents from Listening to Their Kids

I remember a time when I was on my way to my daughter Pia’s Girl Scout camp.

There had been a fight with another girl in which Pia allegedly shoved her. To punish Pia, the camp counselor put her in “detention” in one of the cottages.

I drove to the campground upset and concerned.

I know my daughter, and she doesn’t just push people out of nowhere.

What was Pia’s unheard side of the story? How was she managing her feelings about being isolated, made to think she was the “bad one”?

I wondered what could have been the catalyst in order for this response to be evoked.

As soon as I saw Pia, upset and sitting alone, I knew my gut feeling had been spot on.

When I asked  “Honey, what happened?” between her tears she said, “I just want to go, I just want to go!”

Even though she just wanted to get out of there, I knew that if we did, she would leave with her tail between her legs.

Her side of the story would never be acknowledged or understood,  At such a young age, she would already begin to develop a bad reputation.

This is when I used what we call the protective use of force.

I said, “I won’t let you develop a negative reputation, and I know your side of the situation and your perspective has not been heard or understood. I will take you home, but we can’t leave until your side is understood too.”

“Mom, she was bullying me and calling me names in front of all the other girls. I was so embarrassed and humiliated, and I asked her over and over again to stop calling me names. But she wouldn’t stop bullying me!” Pia explained between her big sobs.

“I didn’t know what else to do and so I swung my arm out and said stop it! Then I was the one who got in trouble!!” My daughter sobbed and sobbed. She was so confused about what she should have done when someone was bullying her.

You can imagine what happened next.

I talked to the camp counselor (who didn’t think of asking my daughter her side of the story!) and facilitated a reconciliation between the two girls.

Needless to say, Pia didn’t need to be put into detention.

I learned a valuable life lesson that day: there are two sides to every story.

If I had barged into the scene angry and humiliated, Pia would have felt attacked and more misunderstood and she wouldn’t have trusted me enough to tell me what really happened.

That’s not to say that every time your child does something “wrong” it will be a misunderstanding or an honest mistake.

But there will be an unmet need causing their behavior.

If you can get their side of the story, you’ll find ways to resolve the situation and move forward.

As parents, it’s our duty to put aside our own feelings of shame about what other people might think and always, always listen to our children.

Love and Blessings,


P.S. The wise Brené Brown says “shame cannot survive being spoken.” If you’ve got shame or guilt you need to unburden, check out our private Facebook group to find a safe environment of other parents ready to support you.

Human Resources Parenting Personal Development Skills

5 Mindfulness techniques you can use with your kids

What is mindfulness? If it’s something you have never tried before, it’s a way of focusing your awareness on the present moment. And at the same time, you calmly acknowledge and accept your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It’s used as a therapeutic technique. So right now, it’s something that can really help you stay calm as we deal with all the uncertainty around us.

Mindfulness has lots of amazing benefits. From decreasing your stress to improving your mood. It can also help with emotional regulation. And that’s not just for adults. Your child can experience these benefits, as well. However, you are no doubt thinking, ‘Get my kids to sit down and meditate? Are you crazy?’ Well, there are ways you can help your children be mindful. You just have to make it fun.

While your kids don’t have the same stresses as adults, they often don’t connect with their feelings. With all the activities they do and the time they spend on their phones and tablets, they are often mindlessly going through the day. This means the only time they are checking in with themselves is when they have a tantrum or meltdown. And that leads to you being even more stressed out than you were before.

Mindfulness can help your children check in with their emotions and recognize them. Research shows that practicing mindfulness with children helps them increase their focus, decrease stress and anxiety, and can enable positive prosocial behavior. It can also be a great way to connect with your child and find a moment of tranquility. And they can be few and far between right now.

Here are five great ways you can introduce mindfulness to your children. And you will both reap the rewards.

5 Easy Mindfulness Techniques For Your Kids

  1. Breathing exercise

Meditation is essentially about sitting down and focusing on your own breath. What does it feel and sound like? Now your child might struggle with sitting still for longer than a matter of seconds. How do you combat that? You can use colorful pillows and play some soft music to create an atmosphere of calm and love. This will also get them interested. You can ask them to pretend they can smell something really nice, like flowers or a cake. As they take a deep breath in, they can then pretend to blow out candles or a ‘dandelion clock’ as they breathe out. Ask your child to think about their tummy rising and falling. Start by keeping it short, aim for 10. Then you can increase the time.

  1. Notice 5 things around you

When you consciously notice the world around you, it can help bring you back to the present. This is very helpful when you are feeling overwhelmed by stress or emotion. Noticing five things you can see brings you back to the present.

You can turn this into a game for your kids. Sit down with your child wherever you are and explain you want to play the “notice five things” game. Then you call out five things you can see around you, and ask your child to try it too. Then you can explain this can help if they are ever feeling upset. You can also try saying, noticing five things you can hear.

This game brings your child back to the now. It works really effectively if your kids are already relaxed and ready to learn. With regular practice, your child will soon be calling on this tool to help with stress or losing control.

  1. Encourage your child to embrace all their feelings

No matter how hard you try to keep your children calm, they w

ill, at some point, throw a tantrum. Mindfulness can enable them to learn how to accept their feelings without judgement. As a parent, you need to set an example in this.

Of course, if your child is in the middle of the grocery store screaming blue murder, you are just as upset as they are. So easier said than done. But if you try and see past their behavior, acknowledge your reaction, take some deep breaths yourself, that is the first step to calming everything down.=

Don’t try and get them to do meditative breathing while they are throwing a hissy fit. This will not go down well! And it won’t work. Instead, wait until they have calmed down a little. Then talk to them about their feelings, and the unmet needs behind those feelings. You can then do some breathing and discuss how you can both look at solutions for dealing with it the next time. And there will be more than likely, next time!

  1. Drop anchor

In this exercise, you stand across from your child. Stand with your feet firmly on the floor around shoulder-width apart, and show them how to do it. Then demonstrate how to push down through your feet so you can feel the ground steady beneath you. Ask, ‘How do your leg muscles feel when you push down?’

Then ask your child to tune in to different parts of their body

, starting with the head. Ask, “How does it feel?’ You work down through the whole body so your child can feel the weight of gravity connecting them to the earth.

Once you have done that together, ask what they can notice around them. This is essentially a way of linking back to the earth around you and feeling more grounded in the present.

  1. Silence game

The silence game has been practiced in Montessori classrooms around the world for many years. This mindfulness practice asks children to be as quiet as they can. And it’s not just with their voices, it’s with their bodies as well. It’s good to aim for a minute, to begin with, asking kids to be as quiet and still as they can.

When the game ends, speak in a soft voice and ask your kids what they heard or saw while they experienced the quiet. Then ask them to keep that calm, peaceful feeling during their next activity, and if they can for the rest of the day.

In conclusion, these simple games and activities are an excellent way for you and your child to connect differently. They will help them build tools to center themselves when they feel stressed or out of sorts.

Mindfulness is a way you and your child can experience calm to

gether. It will also alleviate those feelings of nervousness and anxiety, which we are all dealing with during the coronavirus.

Don’t approach mindfulness with too many expectations. This means you’re living in the future, and mindfulness is about the present.

But if you encourage your child to embrace these methods, they will also start learning the necessary tools to self-regulate. If you practice regularly, your kids will feel happier and more peaceful. And so will you.

Love and Blessings,

Katherine Sellery

PS: It’s a crazy time of year – the overstimulation, the weather changes, the time off from school. Read my entry on how to introduce structure to your children’s life if you are dealing with chaos. Click on the link here now.