Blog

The Politics of Parenting

Since the iPhone entered my world, with instant access to a limitless amount of information, I can’t even begin to imagine the number of articles I’ve read about parenting (mostly at 2am). Each day, I flick through at least 10 different opinions, ideas and instructions on how to be the best ever parent. And every so often, one really makes me...

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Laundry Freakout

I hang up little socksI fold up little frocksI wring out little topsDo you know that I’m a doctor? I wipe up pools of sickYour little snots I pickI change your nappies quickDo you know that I’m a doctor? I ‘little piggy’ on your toesI ‘beep, beep’ on your noseI ‘tickle, tickle’ your elbowsDo you know that I’m a doctor? I rock and bounce and...

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All I Want for Christmas is….Me

When I was growing up, our Christmas tradition (on Christmas Eve thanks to my Swedish dad) was to sit down with Glogg and cinnamon buns and take it in turns to unwrap our gifts, carefully and with some thought and discussion about each one. Like I said, my dad is Swedish. Last night, in a break from tradition, my rather more hot-blooded children...

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The Negative Loop

When my daughter was first born I remember reading an article about dealing with ‘difficult’ behaviour. It suggested that one quick trick parents could try was spending 10 minutes a day completely focused on their child, allowing them to take charge of that time. I admit at the time I thought it was ridiculous. Ten minutes a day? I was spending...

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Empty Vessels Make the Most Sound

 It’s been a stressful few months, and as a family we are all now recovering from a tremendously trying house move. The dust has settled, boxes are unpacked, lost things have been found. And there I found myself talking to a friend about how she manages “aggressive” behaviour. My usually serene and compassionate daughter had all of a sudden...

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Right. This. Second.

Something I’ve noticed about parenthood is the immediacy of it. The urgency. Of course there are moments of calm, when your child is happily engaged and you can relax and enjoy watching their pleasure. And there’s nap time. But in between those times, the incessant demand, need and noise can become completely overwhelming.It’s so easy in those...

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Nurturing the Nurturer

Do me a favour. Go and get yourself a cup of tea and settle down. This one may take a little while. A caveat- this post is based around a therapeutic technique and, as such, you may read it and find yourself feeling upset or troubled, or that it raises memories or feelings that you’re not comfortable with. What we’re talking about here is digging...

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Turning the Tide

We’re in the middle of a sea change in parenting culture. Slowly we’re seeing a growth in child-centred practices and increasing criticism of parent driven, punitive and behavioural parenting techniques (I’m looking at you Supernanny).We know now, or at least there is increasing evidence to suggest, that ignoring unwanted behaviour can leave our...

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Who’s Capable?

I was musing this morning, when I awoke to the baby’s babbles on one side and my three year old’s foot in my ear on the other, on the idea of being capable. I remember as my eldest got older, increasingly I would hear statements suggesting I needed to push her forward in her progress. She was capable of spacing her feeds out to every four hours,...

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Controlling the Controller

There’s an idea in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that anxiety is caused by misinterpreting a situation as unsafe.  It’s that fight or flight response again, the adrenaline rush that means when we’re faced with a big bear looming out of the woods, we are pumped up ready to either fight it off or run away as fast as we can. Feeling...

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Truth Telling

I’ve been wondering lately about how open we should be with our children. This came after a few particular incidents when I found myself having to make a choice about whether, how, and how much to inform my 3 year old. The first was a biggie, separating from each other as she started preschool. The staff at her preschool were firmly of the...

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Oh

Let’s face it, the first days of parenthood are far from plain sailing. You’re learning how to completely look after another, very important, human being who cannot tell you what they need, while healing from an often arduous physical feat and dealing with the many changes to your daily life that come alongside. Completely at sea, thrown between...

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Fourmonthitis

(or threemonthitis…or fivemonthitis)The days of pacing up and down the hallway at witching hour are a distant memory. Your baby has naturally fallen into a fairly consistent pattern of feeding and sleeping. You’re feeling proud that you have learned to spot those early signs of tiredness and the unique cues which mean ‘I’m hungry’, ‘I’m bored’ or...

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A Step Ahead

In early pregnancy, looking ahead to the months to come and early babyhood, you’d be forgiven for thinking child development follows a perfectly linear path. Stats are the order of the day. Fetal growth is neatly marked on a graph, head circumference and femur length compared on a percentile chart, birth weight seemingly so important it appears...

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Parenting Algorithms

So I’ve finally accepted that, having two children under three is not very conducive to writing long, well researched articles about aforementioned children’s development (hats off to those of you who manage!) Yet being pregnant and having children, with all of the neurological, psychological and emotional changes that entails, somehow leads to a...

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Ghosts

You bite me.In my headA stern voiceSays ‘Enough’.You run aroundAt bed time.A stern voiceShouts ‘Enough!’You fling foodOn the floorA stern voiceYells ‘Enough’.You cry, againHead thrown backA stern voiceBarks ‘Enough’You wake, againAt 4 amA stern voiceScreams ‘Enough’I breathe deepPull from withinA calm voice‘I am enough’I breathe deepSo you...

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Ghost Busting

“In every nursery there are ghosts. They are the visitors from the unremembered past of the parents; the uninvited guests at the christening” Selma Fraiberg So far, I’ve written a lot about how important it is to trust your instincts. Today, just when you were getting comfortable, I’m going to turn that on its head. Because, while...

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Sleep

A change is as good as a restA shower’s as good as a restA cuppa’s as good as a restA swim is as good as a restFresh air is as good as a restNothing’s as good as a two hour nap

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The Obligatory Sleep Post

Stay awake, don’t rest your headDon’t lie down upon your bedWhile the moon drifts in the skiesStay awake, don’t close your eyesThough the world is fast asleepThough your pillow’s soft and deepYou’re not sleepy as you seemStay awake, don’t nod and dreamMary PoppinsWhat is it with babies and sleep? Get a group of new mums together and soon the...

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The Afterbirth

It’s a sad fact but, after the chaos and commotion of birth and the first few days with a newborn, many women are left with regret and grief about the way their baby arrived in the world. It doesn’t matter how you gave birth, there are many and varied factors that might leave you feeling traumatised. What matters is how you felt about it, and...

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Who Made you the Expert

“…the baby who is fed every time he cries will find it difficult or even impossible to accept the idea that rewards belong to those who work for them. If we teach our offspring to expect everything to be provided upon demand, we must admit the possibility of sowing the seeds of socialism…” Walter W. Sackett, Bringing Up Babies (1962)Maybe...

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Bedtime

There’s washing to be doneAnd still you feed onThere’s dinner to be madeBut you want to be swayedThere’s telly to seeYou won’t let go of meThere are sisters to callYou curl up in a ballThere are parents to SkypeYou grouch and you gripeThere are husbands to seeYou crawl back to meThere are books to writeAre you asleep? Not quiteThere are problems...

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Behind the Blank Slate

“Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper void of all characters, without any ideas. How comes it to be furnished?” (John Locke, 1690)Watching that tiny, wise face, it is hard to believe that there was once a time when we thought of babies as ‘blank slates’ – little packages of nothingness ready to soak up experience only...

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