Are you coach or referee at home?

Do you find you are playing referee a lot in your child’s life?  

  • Blowing the whistle.
  • Yellow carding the extreme behaviours?
  • Red carding the worse behaviours?  

Are you constantly making a call on tussles:

  • Penalising and awarding penalties?  
  • Are you sure that your call is accurate and fair?
  • Did you have all the information to make the call?
  • Is making a call is the right thing to do?  

Being a referee is an incredibly stressful vocation. 

A ref is the official who watches a game (the game of our children’s lives perhaps) closely to ensure that the rules are adhered to and to arbitrate on matters arising from the play.

What we are suggesting is that we switch from referee to coach. 

Sports coaching can be defined as the process of motivating, guiding and training an individual in preparation for something. If we grow this definition to include that of life coaches then …

  • Coaches assist in the setting and...
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The art of good decisions in a world of excess choices

Do you know there is an art, or skill to making good decisions? 

In a world where the buffet of choices and opportunities is expanding exponentially, how well you make decisions dramatically influences your life.  If it is important for us, as adults, then it’s even more important for our children. Getting good at this is a core gift to pass on to our children.  Access to opportunities is a wonderful gift and brings with it certain costs that are powerful to be aware of. 

Everyone has 24 hours in a day

How you spend your day is up to your values, priorities and what feels important.  While in times gone by it may have been easy to choose between watching live sport, a movie, series or animal planet.  Now you have Netflix, Showmax, apple TV, DSTV etc….  

The reality of this is that in the past it was an easy choice between what you like and what you don’t.  Now it’s between what you like or value a lot, a little...

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The Value of Patience

Reflecting on the year ahead. What is it we would most like our children to emerge with at the end of 2017?

There is an interview (which you can view here) going around on social media with Simon Sinek talking about the Millennial generation. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth a watch. The two key concepts he highlights to overcome their self-esteem trap are connection and patience.

The first of these - connection - is the spine of all our work. It’s the gateway to strong relationships and therefore fulfilment. If you want to know more about how to bring this into your life and home join us at our upcoming Signature parenting course (details here), follow us on Facebook here or read our previous blog post on The Power of Connected Relationships

Let us focus on the key skill of patience and how we can coach our children to strengthen their patience muscle.

Seeds and Switches
We live in a society where switches are the norm;

  • one click and we have a book to read
  • one...
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The Power of Connected Relationships

3 minute read Jun 02, 2016

May has flown by and we have had the good fortune of speaking all over KZN over the last six weeks - from Hilton College to Umghlanga College and from the Kinesiologists Association to the Professional Speakers Association, NAPTOSA and Winterton Primary School!

The central tenant of our talks, lately, has been the power of emotions and relationships in our lives. Healthy relationships require a healthy emotional intelligence in order to grow and to feed us in a way that brings out the best in us and those in our lives. This is relevant for parent to child, educator to child, child to child or adult to adult relationships.

Choice breeds respond-ability
When we are aware of our emotional states and we can process and navigate what we are feeling it gives us choice of how to respond. It is in these responses that we often either make or break relationship. Choice breeds respond-ability. Lack of choice breeds reactivity. In our anecdotal research we are clear; flying off the handle never...

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Understanding builds Connection

  1. Have you ever asked your kids what they dream most about?
  2. What the scariest part of their day usually is?
  3. What they would change if they were in charge for a day?
  4. Have you explored with them what gives them the heebiegeebies, or when they feel brave?
  5. Do you know which famous person they would most like to meet or what the kindest thing was that someone did for them lately?

These kinds of questions can lead to connecting conversations. Connection. This is our gateway to peaceful, deeply impactful and empowered parenting. Through connection with our children we are able to literally calm and open up their brains and minds to learning and to being receptive. When our children feel connected to us flow is possible. Its really, really tough to totally ignore, resist or insult someone with whom you are in flow.

Simple not Easy
It’s funny though, the times we most need connection tend to be the times when it is hardest to forge it. Like when

  • we want their homework done, or
  • rooms...
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"People who need to go on parenting courses, shouldn't have children"

"People who need to go on parenting courses, shouldn't have children" This was posted on our Facebook wall recently.  It sparked an interesting conversation.

 Clearly we are in the business of supporting parents to feel more skilled and empowered, yet we also feel like it is more than work for us; it is a calling. Let us explain; we, Candy & Colleen, strive continuously for our own betterment, growth &  empowerment in our lives and our calling is to pass any awareness we gain, on.  So the thinking behind this post was fascinating for us. 

What comes naturally?

  • We procreate as a natural process.
  • We parent as a natural process.  
  • We eat as a natural process.  
  • We breathe as a natural process.
  • We walk as a natural process.

Yet every single one of these things that we all do everyday have science that sits behind them.  

If we don’t know the science behind breathing, or eating does that mean...

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The Art of Discipline

3 minute read discipline Feb 18, 2016

Repeatedly we hear about the very real struggle for parents of managing discipline. Sometimes the questions are voiced out loud and sometimes the silent despair leaves the questions hanging:

  • Am I being too hard? 
  • Am I being too soft? 
  • How do I raise considerate, respectful children who also have the confidence to be independent and let their brilliance shine?
  • Is it even possible to maintain leadership without smacking?

Contemporary Parenting doesn’t offer a formulaic answer to parenting, we see our role as empowering parents with insights to some of the latest findings in the fields of neuroscience, emotional intelligence, attachment and mindfulness so that they are better equipped to make the best decisions for their families.

There are no easy answers in the area of discipline. Each family dynamic is unique. Comparing the process of disciplining to the process of art creation; both the methods and outcomes are unique - the art and the child. So while these ideas...

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Is 'in the moment' the most ideal place to parent?

Do you find yourself parenting 'in the moment' most of the time? Any of these sound familiar?

  • separating bickering siblings with commentary
  • giving a lesson over poor manners at dinner
  • chastising the forgotten duties
  • lecturing on sharing as you break-up a quarrel
  • bemoaning the teacher’s comments on the report card

Have you ever considered how ineffective this seems to be? What happens when your emotion collides with theirs?

Dialogues that can grow the brain and connect hearts. 

We have created a truly effective practice for you to bring into your own homes. It allows for issues, concerns, areas of challenge to be dealt with both proactively or reflectively rather than in the heat of the moment. Let us explain this tool to you using the current school holidays, as bridge between term 3 and term 4, as an example. 

The reflective part of this practice is a conversation with our kids about the term just passed.

  • How was it for you?  This is how it...
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The Art of Slowing Down

3 minute read Jul 02, 2015

This holiday (if you are indeed on holiday now as we are in Kwa Zulu Natal - and…. even if you’re not) what if your only goal was, to SLOW DOWN. How would life feel different? What happens when you are totally present and slow down the pace? Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Sit down and eat an apple from beginning to end.
  • Drink a cup of hot chocolate with your kids in the sunshine.
  • Watch them play.
  • Take time to delight in the joy, the innocence, the creativity, the curiosity and the love of life that children exude.

Slow down! There are no lunches to make, frantic lift clubs.

When we are slow and present to our kids we do some wonderful things to our bodies and theirs.

We lower our cortisol levels and boost our immunity.

We oxygenate our bodies more as we tend to breathe more deeply.

We shift our entire neurological system for the better and we gift our children by teaching them to be present, slow and aware.

This holiday see what happens if you do the following:

  1. Slow...
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Seven ideas for a more peaceful holiday

3 minute read Apr 02, 2015

The holidays can be a mixed bag. It is great to be free of making school lunches, of homework challenges and negotiating school traffic while testing spelling! But it can also be an overwhelming time with kids' demands and requirements, sibling friction as they get on each other’s nerves, parental exhaustion and, sometimes, more shouting rather than less.

Here are our seven peaceful holiday tips:

1. Self Care
In order to manage your own reactivity make sure you build in some time for yourself everyday. Nap, read, pray, meditate, visit a friend, go for a treatment or simply be present to your self and your needs in moments throughout the day. Remember kids are well served to know we don’t constellate around them 24 hours a day

2. Use Goals
Set a goal to achieve to do that ‘one big thing’ your kids are asking for; a new movie, to attend that party, to go to the water-slides, or to have that group sleep over. Decide what you most want to teach or achieve and set...

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