21. Good parenting tools: crafty props

Posted under 30 Days of Awesome Parenting

good parenting

30 DAYS of AWESOME PARENTING  (read about the adventure here) Tip 21: Good parenting tools: crafty props I’ve spent years looking for good parenting ‘tools’ but the one I have found to be most effective BY FAR is to use a crafty prop. This is kind of lucky for me as I LOVE crafts!  But anyone with two hands, two eyes,…

20. Positive discipline tool: Use the energy

Posted under 30 Days of Awesome Parenting, Make

positive discipline

30 DAYS of AWESOME PARENTING  (read about the adventure here) Tip 20: Positive discipline tool- Use the energy   If there is one thing I’m not a fan of in normal school, preschool and kindergarten settings, it is the idea that disciplining children should involve a ‘time out’.  I’m not quite sure how ‘disciplining’ a child in this way actually teaches…

19. Positive parenting tool: redirection

Posted under 30 Days of Awesome Parenting

positive parenting

  30 DAYS of AWESOME PARENTING  (read about the adventure here) Tip 19:  My number one positive parenting tool: Redirection   As a mum, but especially as a teacher of young children, I have learned that there is ALWAYS a moment before an incident occurs where I have an opportunity to intervene before things escalate out of control. I might not…

TV or not to TV?

Posted under Practical Advice


Last month, I was interviewed by Katie Cincotta for ‘The Age’ about living in a TV-free household. Katie’s article was published this week. It seems a recent poll has found that 2% of households, that is 141,000 HOUSEHOLDS, have decided not to upgrade to digital tv when the switch is complete, so we’re definitely not alone. It seems more and…

Developmental Guides for Young Children

Posted under Practical Advice


Years ago, I read a book that I can no longer remember the title of.  I remember and put into practice one thing from this book. It was called the 5 Point Review or something similar. (If anyone knows the original source and name of this book, please let me know) Basically, at the end of each week, you ask…

A spoonful of sugar: Making jobs fun for children

Posted under Educator Inspiration


“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down“  Last week, it was raining when Ned and I arrived at preschool. This meant that instead of beginning outside and playing in his beloved sandpit, the class began inside. What greeted the children was a table full of tiny puddles of flour, one in front of each child’s seat.  But these were not…

Transforming gun play, Part Two.

Posted under Storytelling


A few days ago, I wrote an article about the idea of ‘transforming’ gun (and sword) play. Interestingly, someone found the idea that I would want to change a child’s gun play (and therefore, something that arises from their true nature) into something else, a little bit offensive. (This was interesting to hear, not least because in my examples of…

How to stop or transform ‘gun’ play in young children

Posted under Storytelling


  In my many years of working with young children, I have learned to ‘look behind’ outward behaviours to try to understand the archetype of what a particular behaviour might really be about.   When I have an inkling of what the child might be striving for with a particular play style or game, it can be a dual win….

The importance of order for the 3 year old child

Posted under Practical Advice


Yesterday, I participated in a workshop on the 3 year old child with my friend and colleague, Connie Grawert. One of the key focuses of this workshop was to learn practical ways to manage three year olds by understanding their very different experience of consciousness to that of an adult. To give us some idea of what it is like to…

Managing Sibling Rivalry

Posted under Practical Advice


  When it came time to writing a chapter on sibling rivalry, I had to call in the ‘experts’. Yep, that’s right, a survey of about 50 parents to find out what strategies have worked, or not worked, for them.  Whilst there were lots of creative ideas, mostly parents were at their wits end… At the time of the survey,…

Creative tips for dealing with anxious, nervous, hyperactive or difficult children

Posted under Practical Advice


Trisha Scott shared some helpful tips that she has gleaned through her work of dealing with and supporting anxious, nervous, hyperactive and difficult children over the years. (Funnily enough, I’ve just finished the final edits of Chapter 6 of the book I am working on and this deals with creative discipline strategies too.  But now I’m chapter 7, and into…