28 episodi

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

    • Educazione dei figli

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.

    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
    Alain Desmier and Hilary Fyles - Lock down or slow down? TPP22

    Alain Desmier and Hilary Fyles - Lock down or slow down? TPP22

    Are you are in that group of people hit really hard by the current pandemic-enforced lockdown - a parent stuck at home with young children, trying to continue their education or keep them occupied while working yourself? If you’re doing that on your own that brings its own stresses of course but if you’re trying to do it with your partner you may be finding some stresses in the couple relationship too. Anxiety and overwhelm have a way of highlighting fault lines. If you’re currently holed up with your partner, you may start to notice things a little bit more. Everything is amplified in close quarters—their quirks and habits, the things they do that are helpful, and the things they do that might drive you a little batty.
    My guests today are two parents who are currently working from home with small children. Alain Desmier is an entrepreneur and founder of Contact State, a technology platform focused on data privacy.  He's spent the last ten years building internet businesses whilst also working flexibly and remotely so he has some ideas about how to make working from home work, albeit not previously with kids in tow!

    Hilary Fyles is one of the office managers at The Parent Practice, so an essential worker! Her background is in the literature sector but she’s not getting much time for reading books right now!
    Listen to this episode with Alain and Hilary if you want to learn:
    How to use schedules to divide up work and childcare and home schooling, which reflect your individual priorities How it might help to talk with your partner, and the children, about how life is different now and how you’re going to approach it and work out your priorities together About talking to children about the fact that adults may be a bit stressed right now and apologising when we lose it but also setting up time for the adults to keep stress-reducing activities as part of the routine and modelling for the kids how we take care of our emotional wellbeing About the need to talk to children about adult feelings as well as their own How to separate work and home life even if you’re transitioning between the two throughout the weekday and how keeping the weekend for fun time is more important than ever About what role non-verbal signals can have in separating out the different parts of life How mealtimes can be a real focus for family life and preparing meals and eating together more than previously can be a real bonus for this period, with the added improvement to digestion and sleep! How to involve your children in contributing to the management of the household How to look for opportunities to be kind to your partner during this time, show interest, find areas of agreement, express affection and appreciation. Descriptive praise will be one way of doing this. Making time for the other’s interests will be another Ideas for building a united front in this time of stress including having conversations with your partner about shared values. 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. Hilary and Alain share some lovely stories with us, lovely family moments and re-evaluations of what’s important as a family.
    Links:
    Alain
    https://www.alaindesmier.com/
    linkedin.com/in/alaindesmier
    Email: aldesmier@gmail.com
    Twitter:  alaindesmier
    Hilary
    admin@theparentpractice.com

    • 43 min

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