29 épisodes

Welcome to The Parent Practice Podcast, the show for anyone who cares for and about children. We know you want your children to be happy, confident and successful and that you do your best to be a good parent. Sometimes you probably beat yourself up for not being good enough. Good parenting can be simple if you know how. We can support you here by exploring a range of topics to enable you to feel calmer and happier and to help you get that parenting manual you wish you'd had from the beginning.

We are your hosts, Melissa Hood and Elaine Halligan. We’re passionate about positive parenting. We’ve developed expertise built up over many years of working with families. In this podcast we interview a whole range of different people in differing fields from authors, to therapists, to clinicians. They all have fascinating insights into this messy world of raising and educating kids.

We share our experiences of raising our families. Between us we have 5 now-adult children and one and a half grandchildren and we walk the talk every day using these skills with our families.

In the interests of celebrating perfect imperfection in every episode you’ll hear from our guests about one of their own low parenting moments and their top tips for raising happy, confident and successful children.

The Parent Practice Podcast Elaine Halligan and Melissa Hood

    • Famille - parents

Welcome to The Parent Practice Podcast, the show for anyone who cares for and about children. We know you want your children to be happy, confident and successful and that you do your best to be a good parent. Sometimes you probably beat yourself up for not being good enough. Good parenting can be simple if you know how. We can support you here by exploring a range of topics to enable you to feel calmer and happier and to help you get that parenting manual you wish you'd had from the beginning.

We are your hosts, Melissa Hood and Elaine Halligan. We’re passionate about positive parenting. We’ve developed expertise built up over many years of working with families. In this podcast we interview a whole range of different people in differing fields from authors, to therapists, to clinicians. They all have fascinating insights into this messy world of raising and educating kids.

We share our experiences of raising our families. Between us we have 5 now-adult children and one and a half grandchildren and we walk the talk every day using these skills with our families.

In the interests of celebrating perfect imperfection in every episode you’ll hear from our guests about one of their own low parenting moments and their top tips for raising happy, confident and successful children.

    Elizabeth Fletcher - Parenting Apart in Lockdown TPPP28

    Elizabeth Fletcher - Parenting Apart in Lockdown TPPP28

    Right now every couple relationship is being stress-tested. Being forced into close proximity with your other half 24/7 and with other possible anxieties  around work and finances and child care and education and concerns about your own and others’ health may mean that cracks are developing. If your relationship was already under strain before the arrival of this coronavirus it may have reached breaking point now. If you’re listening to this particular episode presumably you have an interest in helping children deal with the breakdown of a relationship, whether that is something that has already happened or is imminent.
    My guest today can help with that. She is Elizabeth Fletcher, a director of Family Law in Partnership and she has a lot of experience working with individuals whose relationship with their partner has broken down and all the emotional upheaval that brings with it for the adult and the children of the relationship. She is very familiar with the problems that come with the end of a relationship where children are involved and guides people through this difficult time with empathy and integrity.
    She is also a mum to two young children herself.
    Listen to this episode with Liz if you your relationship has reached the end of its road or you are already separated or divorced from your partner and you want to learn:
    How to manage the stress of relationship breakdown when it is compounded by the restrictions of lockdown and possibly being still under the same roof as your estranged partner How to manage communication with your partner. Top tip: verbal communication is often more nuanced than the written word What to do if there is physical or other abuse in a relationship, especially if you are living with an abusive partner (for information about reporting abuse click here) What help to get if you are subject to coercive control by a partner What remedies are available under the legal system and through other support agencies to help with these situations About 7 ways to support your children through the trauma of family break up: (see here for details of the Parenting after Parting 3 part workshop developed by TPP in partnership with FLiP –the next series commences on 2nd July) Understand and get support for your own emotional needs Understand your children’s needs and reactions at different stages of development Empathise and provide a safe space for children to express their emotions Reassure the children that the end of the relationship was nothing to do with them and that neither parent will ever stop loving them Support the children to have a positive relationship with both parents Provide the children with many messages that they are valued Provide safety and support at home About the basic rules for contact during lockdown, and otherwise, and what happens if these rules are infringed How mediation can help (even during lockdown) when parents are having trouble communicating and finding solutions to parenting arrangements What to do when communication is really problematic and how to make use of technologies like Our Family Wizard https://www.ourfamilywizard.co.uk How to manage differing points of view about how to deal with the lifting of restrictions What the rules are on moving with a child or taking a child out of jurisdiction and what recourse parents have if they disagree with their partner’s position on travel And as usual we finish with our SUMs. Liz shares with us a Surprising Uplifting Moment, one good thing coming out of this crisis, concerning her daughter’s involvement in an online disco party.
    Links:
    Website: www.flip.co.uk 
    Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/company/family-law-in-partnership/ see their post about kindness in divorce
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/familylawinpartnership
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/FLiPLtd
    Podcast: https://www.flip.co.uk/news-res

    • 38 min
    Sharon Charlton-Thomson - Radical Self care for the real world we live in TPPP27

    Sharon Charlton-Thomson - Radical Self care for the real world we live in TPPP27

    Those of us working in the coaching space right now know that many parents are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and depleted as our expectations of ourselves are through the roof. We’re supervising learning at home and many of us are working from home too; we’re getting the kids off electronic devices and coaxing them to take some exercise; we’re sorting out sibling squabbles and getting them to make their beds and put their clothes in the laundry basket, while also cleaning, shopping and cooking, all in closer proximity to our partners than usual. Never before has the phrase “For better, for worse, but not for lunch” had such great meaning!
    So this is a great time to be talking to Sharon Charlton-Thomas about self-care, radical self-care. You probably know that it’s a good idea to care for yourself, don’t you? But do you prioritise it? No? Why not? Do you think it’s indulgent? Do you not have time for it? Yep, me too. Well Sharon gives you some very strong reasons for changing that thinking. One of those compelling reasons is that we are modelling for our kids how to be kind to themselves. (see TPP’s module on Setting up for Success) Imagine a future where your now-adult child rings you up, distressed because they had made a mistake at work; wouldn’t you want them to show themselves the kind of compassion they would show someone they cared for?
    Sharon has been an executive coach for over 20 years specialising in working with working parents. She is a partner in The Working Parent Company, an organisation the Parent Practice has done a lot of work with, that believes parents are remarkable. (We agree.) She offers a blend of coaching and psychotherapy and mindfulness.
    She is a mum to two adopted children aged 12 and 15.
    Listen to this episode with Sharon if you want to learn:
    What self-care really means, given that the term is so overused Why self-care is so often neglected and how that is a reflection of the busyness and productivity that we value and reward in our society How radical self-care is so different and such a controversial idea for parents who are used to self-sacrifice, being programmed to be a nurturer or provider Why our relationship with ourselves is so critical and how self-exploration is at its core How this reflective capacity can be encouraged through mindfulness About the six steps of self-care: Knowing that caring for myself fundamentally impacts how I treat others, so self-care is in service of something bigger Looking inwards –what do I think about self-care right now? This is examining our beliefs about this –is it self-indulgent? What stops me from making a larger commitment to myself? Checking that our basic physical needs are being fulfilled rather than stuffing more into our day Think about what tires and what inspires your soul - sometimes it’s ourselves, our inner critics, that tire us Practice compassion toward yourself Make self-care a habit to reinforce an identity of who you want to become; focusing on that long term outcome helps form the first steps to forming habits How to be guided by a belief that self-care is a good thing rather than being guided by your inner critic, acknowledging your inner critic rather than trying to get rid of it (which you can’t do) How important it is to reinforce good self-care habits in our children and not placing too much value on busyness Radical self-care is about learning who we are and what our needs and limits are and learning self-compassion; it is about learning to treat myself as I would others that I love.
    And as usual we finish with our SUMs. We are celebrating some Surprising Uplifting Moments, some good things coming out of this crisis. Sharon shares a story about the Head of her children’s school sharing with the school community in a way that was vulnerable and inspiring. That authenticity was an inspirati

    • 42 min
    Verena Dickson - Growing curious, mindful eaters TPPP26

    Verena Dickson - Growing curious, mindful eaters TPPP26

    If you’re a parent you will almost certainly have come across plenty of advice about feeding children, some of it from professionals and some from well-meaning family and friends. Some of that advice will probably have been conflicting and your best efforts to follow it may have left you feeling confused, frustrated and guilty. There is no more primal urge than for a parent to want to nourish their child and when that is challenging we can feel anxious and inadequate. Sometimes feelings of hopelessness can lead to us shouting at and nagging our kids with the result that mealtimes can become fraught and tense.
    If that is you Verena Dickson has plenty of tips to help change all that. She is a registered nutritionist specialising in child nutrition and is the founder of Kinder Nutrition. Her aim is to dispel some common myths and replace some misplaced practices relating to children’s eating habits so that children develop a natural, relaxed relationship with food.
    Verena has a very gentle respectful approach to feeding children that moves away from a coercive model to one based on enthusing children about food and trusting them to take in the nutrients their bodies need. Some of these ideas are very different to how most adults were raised.
    Listen to this episode with Verena if you want to learn:
    Why it works to shift away from WHAT kids eat to establishing more positive feeding and behaviour based strategies, to raise curious, mindful eaters. In other words, we need to relax on WHAT foods we provide, while focusing on HOW we feed the family Why bribing doesn’t work and in fact any form of pressure, including threats or even over the top praise, backfires Why we shouldn’t try to hide vegetables in food How it works better to just present healthy foods and let the children decide what and how much to eat How it matters that the adults be seen to be enjoying the food themselves About the difference in tastes as children mature, particularly bitterness About presenting food in many different ways, trying different sauces or different textures, not to disguise the food but to make it taste good How difficult it is for parents to move away from the approach to food we were brought up with and how learned behaviours can overwrite our bodies’ natural cues About the Division of Responsibility in Feeding and how it works to solve many different kinds of eating challenges Why it matters to give children independence about food and make them responsible for what they eat so that they listen to their own fullness and hunger cues About the research that shows that children are in fact very good at self-regulating How it helps to take longer view of what your child is eating, not just looking at what they eat in one meal How to avoid power struggles at the dinner table How having regular family meals can make all the difference both to children’s eating habits but for social skills and even academic outcomes How getting older kids involved in the planning and cooking process can help them become more interested in food How to cultivate a kinder attitude towards bodies, whether our own or anyone else’s, especially in the language we use around food and bodies, focusing more on positive qualities and the body’s functionality than appearance and exposing children to diverse ideas about body types And as usual we finish with our SUMs. It’s important, now more than ever, to not let anxiety drown out joy. To help us be grateful for the small things in life we are celebrating some Surprising Uplifting Moments, some good things coming out of this crisis. Verena shares what she has appreciated personally about this time in lockdown and the fact that the families she works with have all appreciated having more time to eat together. Verena also shares her top tip for raising happy, confident eaters.
    Links:
    Instagram: https://

    • 38 min
    Caroline Ferguson - Escaping the Parental Guilt Trap TPPP25

    Caroline Ferguson - Escaping the Parental Guilt Trap TPPP25

    Are you over the whole Coronavirus thing? We know you will be experiencing all sorts of feelings and one of them may be guilt. Your perfectionist instincts may be riding you to aspire to unrealistic expectations of perfect at home learning conditions, enriching activities for your children and perfectly baked sourdough bread while carrying out your own job in unfamiliar surroundings with less than perfect tools and resources with a partner who’s not usually under your feet. Do you feel guilty about losing your cool or nagging your kids or your other half? Do you feel guilty about how much time you can give to your children? Or how much time you’re allocating to your work? Do you feel guilty for complaining when you’re still well and you haven’t lost your job?
    Caroline Ferguson is the perfect person to be speaking to in these conditions. She is a mindset trainer, speaker, coach and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist who works with people to bring out their potential. She’s worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and executives, teaching them how to embrace their own promise and ditch self-sabotage habits like thinking small, procrastination and imposter syndrome. Melissa credits her with getting rid of the negative self-beliefs she needed to write her book ‘Real Parenting for Real Kids’. It had been gestating for six years but Caroline helped Melissa have the mindset shift which helped it to come into the world!  Caroline also delivers mindset talks and training to organisations, helping employees create a growth mindset and build the number one life skill of self-awareness
    Listen to this episode with Caroline if you want to learn:
    Why some people beat themselves up and others don’t when faced with similar circumstances; tip: how it’s not the circumstances themselves but the beliefs we have about them that cause the feelings we have How unconscious beliefs like ‘I shouldn’t have to disrupt my child’s life…’ or ‘I should be able to keep my child safe…’ or ‘I should be able to attend to my child’s need for attention…’ are demands of ourselves or of the world which cause us to think ‘or else….I am a bad person/not good enough’ which cause feelings of guilt or shame or anxiety or anger or hurt How essential it is to challenge those beliefs by really tuning into them and becoming self-aware when we are out of equilibrium How many thousands of thoughts a day we have! How while we can’t change the circumstances we can change the way we think about them Why relentless positivity is not necessarily the best course. (What a breath of fresh air this pragmatic approach is!) How to rewrite the stories we tell ourselves that are causing us discomfort A structure that helps that rewriting of the ‘shoulds’ which helps dial down the emotion or change it to a feeling that you can manage How the big difficult emotions prevent us from accessing our adult pre-frontal cortex and our creative solution-focused brain and we get stuck in the feelings and once we deal with our feelings we are able to access our skills and resourcefulness (See our workshop on How to be a Calmer Parent) How setting boundaries and safeguards for ourselves will be part of the solution and encourage children to discuss their own boundaries About the Three Empowering Questions to ask when you feel stuck in challenging feelings to put you back in charge What am I demanding that is causing me to feel like this? What would be a good outcome in this situation? What can I do to make that good outcome happen? And as usual we finish with our SUMs. It’s important, now more than ever, to not let anxiety drown out joy. To help us be grateful for the small things in life we are celebrating some Surprising Uplifting Moments, some good things coming out of this crisis. Caroline shares her own story about finding pleasure in

    • 35 min
    Sue Atkins - Happy Healthy Resilient Kids TPPP24

    Sue Atkins - Happy Healthy Resilient Kids TPPP24

    Are you anxious about how your children are going to emerge from this period of lockdown? Do you worry about gaps in their education? Are you concerned about the loss of social interaction, especially for young children just learning social skills and teenagers who are so dependent on peer interaction? Or do you see this as a period of difficulty from which your children can emerge stronger and more resilient? Resilience is that quality which enables us to weather the difficulties that life throws at us and to learn from them. But how do we encourage resilience in children?
    Sue Atkins is a parenting coach and author with a background in teaching and she is a mum of two adult children. She has many ideas about how to encourage resilience in children.
    Her books for children are:
    The Can-Do Kids Journal Anti-viral and the Virus (with Tina Stubbs) Listen to this episode with Sue if you want to learn:
    How to cultivate happiness in families by what the attitudes that parents model Why it is important to be authentic with children about how everyone is feeling How self-care helps combat anxiety in these stressful times Tips for dealing with worries How to turn ‘what if’ questions into ‘How can I’ questions How accepting uncertainty and calling our current situation ‘different’ rather than ‘difficult’ helps Tips for building up resilience in kids, including the perhaps surprising role of building fun into family life About the role of building competencies to create confidence How to create mindsets or attitudes around tenacity and lifelong learning, especially from mistakes How praise needs to be descriptive if it’s going to have any impact on building mindsets and encouraging good qualities for life How parents can give the gift of self-esteem About The Crucial C’s from Betty-Lou Bettner; connection, competency, counting and courage How to use the current pandemic situation to push a pause button on school work and focus much more on real life learning and each child’s own individual learning needs And as usual we finish with our SUMs. It’s important, now more than ever, to not let anxiety drown out joy. To help us be grateful for the small things in life we are celebrating some Surprising Uplifting Moments, some good things coming out of this crisis. Sue shares what she has noticed about nature and a more natural pace to life. Sue also shares her top tip for raising happy healthy resilient kids.
     
    Links:
    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SueAtkinsTheParentingExpert/
    Twitter https://twitter.com/SueAtkins
    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sueatkins18/feed/
    Email: thesueatkins@gmail.com
    Website: www.thesueatkins.com

    • 36 min
    Victoria Markou - Screentime sanity TPP23

    Victoria Markou - Screentime sanity TPP23

    Do you feel as if you’re going insane at the moment? Being in lockdown with kids has all sorts of challenges associated with it but one of the particular difficulties is managing screens when children need them for school work and want to be on them for leisure and social contact as well. Do we have to throw out the window the previous guidelines we had about moderating screen usage?
    Victoria Markou is a parenting coach and a mum of two teenage boys who is facing these issues day to day and is making it work for her family.
    Listen to this episode with Victoria if you want to learn:
    How you may have to a different approach to your children according to age but also because of their different temperaments and interests How trust can be the basis of screen-regulation when there is real connection between parent and child - how self-regulation begins but does not end with parental regulation What happens when parents try to control and coerce How cooling down routines around screen-withdrawal and getting to sleep matter as much for teens as for younger children That kids also need rules to help them regulate themselves when they can’t yet manage the impulse to be on screens That it’s ok to change your rules as circumstances require That hard and fast rules will never work unless parents understand their kids’ motivations and needs How boundaries can be firm while empathising with the kids for wanting more About the importance of what parents are modelling around screen use How families can have sharing experiences through technology How we need to recognise that social contact is only really possible through tech at the moment The importance of getting involved and understanding what screen interests your children have and how it can be a way to engage in your child’s world rather than being dismissive of their interests How you can engage as a family offline. Top tip: get a dog! You might like to try ‘2 o’clock docs’ as well How family solutions are usually found by trial and error and there is no one correct answer How to get your kids involved in clearing out spaces and cooking That when there is trust present you don’t need to spy on your kids but they are ok with some supervision How important it is to see things from your child’s perspective around screens Why it matters to explain your values to your children and get their input on what the rules should look like How you can use family meetings to help work out issues and find solutions in the family and along the way learn skills like negotiating and compromise And as usual we finish with our SUMs. It’s important, now more than ever, to not let anxiety drown out joy. To help us be grateful for the small things in life we are celebrating some surprising uplifting moments, some good things coming out of this crisis. Victoria shares how much she has enjoyed the lack of rushing about since lockdown and cherished the simple things like Friday family movie night. She’s also found that her very different sons have had to work out stuff between them because there is nowhere else to go!
    Links:
    Facebook www.facebook.com/victoria.markou.9
    Twitter @VictoriaMarkou
    Linkedin.com/in/Victoria-markou
    Email: Victoria@markou.com

    • 39 min

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