• Living

    Dealing with conflict at Christmas : taking a kinder path

    Sometimes, some people can really rub us up the wrong way. And there are moments when, consumed with our own thoughts, we’re more prone to taking other people’s offhand comments way too personally. Some days calm and kind feels natural and easy. Other days our emotions are raw, our thinking chaotic and our temper easily triggered. Facing what feels like criticism or judgement, we’re easily drawn into arguments and negativity. Christmas is a time for giving, for sharing and for family. Images of idyllic days enveloped in the loving embrace of said family fill our hearts, our minds and our screens. Expectations soar, while our resources may plummet spectacularly low.…

  • Parenting

    Enjoying Christmas without being good for Santa.

    There’s so much to love about Christmas. The efforts we make to spend time with those we love and check in with those we’ve not seen for a while. Shining lights brighten short winter days, while familiar festive favourites round an open fire warm our bodies and our hearts. But Christmas is an emotional time too. The joy of family gatherings and catching up with our nearest and dearest tinged with sadness as we remember those no longer celebrating alongside us. The weight of expectations, to produce the perfect meal, host the perfect party and source the perfect present. And for children, an added burden and pressure, as the chimes…

  • Living

    Why kindness is the ultimate superpower.

    Kindness can be loud and proud, an exuberant gesture of extreme generosity that wows a crowd. Or quiet and gentle, an unseen act melting the hearts of a solitary someone touched by tenderness. Sometimes mistaken for a weakness or condemned as an empty gesture, kindness is no easy option. In the face of provocation it’s hard to resist the fleeting sense of satisfaction that can come from lashing out in retaliation and spite. Yet the stakes are high as we risk damaging our connection to others and scarring our very souls. Kindness can demand extraordinary courage and a strong resolve. But there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that big…

  • Living

    Reminders to be kinder : 7 fun ways to help you exercise those kindness muscles every single day (and be calmer and more patient too )

        Kindness is a gift. And like all the best gifts, it doesn’t matter if you’re giving or receiving, that warm fuzzy glow feels great. The benefits of kindness are huge. Yet some days, life just happens. We get busy, side-tracked and overwhelmed. And then we forget. On those days we could all use a reminder to be kinder. And today, just for you, I’ve got 7 of them. Some are physical reminders while others are habits we can build into our daily routines. All of them help to sew kindness right into the fabric of our day and help pull us back from the brink when we feel those…

  • Parenting

    Why I never tell my children off (or at least, I try not to…)

    It’s rude and disrespectful. It’s not a nice way to speak to anyone. It won’t help them learn how to communicate well with others. It’s not an effective way to influence their behaviour. Most importantly though, I value my relationship with my children and I want them to feel safe and secure in their relationship with me. If they make a mistake I want them to talk to me.  I want to support them when they need it and for them to feel confident that I’ll help them look for ways to make things better… from clearing up spilt milk to supporting them as adults. If we see our children, or…

  • Parenting

    The worst parenting advice ever? You can’t be their friend.

    I love reading parenting books and blogs and spend a lot of time thinking about how I can get better at this parenting lark. Over the years I’ve heard and read loads of great advice that I’m sure has encouraged and supported me to be a better parent, and has certainly helped me traversing some pretty tricky waters. But so too have I heard some shockingly bad advice about caring for children, often masquerading as good old common-sense. While pondering the good and bad that’s helped or hindered me over the years, I came up with a pretty long list of ideas that have been unhelpful and potentially damaging. But there was one…