The Secret to a Happy Family:  Kids Discipline Themselves?

The Secret to a Happy Family: Kids Discipline Themselves?

What kind of parent do you want to be? For most parents the quick answer to this question is easy: a great one. Or at least hopefully that’s where most begin their journey. I think it is. But what happens next? What does it really mean to be a great parent? How will you navigate through the turbulent waters of parentinge? How will you handle it when your kids don’t listen? Have you really thought about what it takes? I’m talking about more than just the effort you will put forth. I’m talking about your parenting philosophy, your core values, those things that will anchor you when the weather gets rough. Because it will. The reality is this: we all want to be great parents, but the road to well adjusted young adults is a long one, it’s elusive, it’s fraught with unexpected pitfalls and challenges that didn’t exist yesterday. And around every corner? Parental exhaustion. It would be nice if when you left the hospital they handed you a road map to parenting success and that was all the guidance you needed, but that’s simply not possible. Destination unknown. Your journey will be unique. But with your core values serving as your north star, and a little luck, you’ll hopefully still get there. Just be sure to buckle up because at times it’s going to be bumpy! The good news is there are an abundance of resources and opinions — professional and otherwise — to help you navigate your way. Some of these will certainly be helpful to you. The bad news is that sometimes this avalanche of...
Nobody Listening

Nobody Listening

Quite often while making lunch, a phone will ring, my Sadie (4) will answer, and hand it to me. “It’s Jack Johnson mama, he wants to talk to you”. I hold the orange plastic phone to my ear and glance at her. She’s listening and so is my son, six. Both are big fans of Jack Johnson. They know most of his songs and they know that he contributes 100% of his tour earnings to charity. “Hey man” I say into the phone. “How’s it going? Cool. No, it’s a good time, I’m just making some lunch. How are the waves today?” And then something a little crazy usually happens. I start to tell Jack about my day, about how I wish it were warmer, how I want to feel the sun on my skin “I’ll bet its 80 there in Hawaii!” I say. The kids move on, but, standing by the stove, I keep talking. I tell him how tired I am. How I don’t think I can drink one more cup of tea, but that it’s the only thing keeping me going. How weary I am of worrying about sore throats and coughs. I find myself talking to him like I really am talking to him. Is it because I don’t speak to many adults all day? Perhaps I am slightly delirious from lack of sleep? Or maybe because, with the silence at the other end of the plastic phone, it just feels good to be listened to. A friend of mine here in England is trained in Hand in Hand Parenting, a parenting style developed in...