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Your family

Parenting young children isn't easy and when things aren't working as well as you’d like, and you're stressed and tired, it's even harder to see what to do to make things better.

The internet is awash with great information about children and about parenting but one thing it can't do is take into account your personal circumstances and challenges. 

While families, parenting styles and beliefs about children differ wildly what doesn’t differ very much are the developmental needs of children.

What I can do, together with you is to match your parenting goals to the needs of your children and your family as a whole. What’s realistically achievable? What’s your top priority? What bothers you the most?

Individual consultations

My service is aimed at parents like you who want to use a Montessori-inspired approach to parenting and create a family home which nurtures the potential of the early years.

Instead of generalised advice, one to one consultations with me deal with the precise circumstances of your family and together we will create a parenting plan tailored to the specific needs of your family.

Working with people to unpack, understand and create solutions to things that are worrying them is what I love to do, it's the very reason I started even better parenting.

Changing habits isn't easy

Change isn't easy and change without support is especially hard. However if you have the right support you are far more likely to succeed. In all walks of life people with support do better than those without, parenting is no different.

Because I understand the issues families face and the needs of young children I can guide you step by step to successfully make the changes you have been trying to make alone.

Call me

If you would like to make a parenting plan, if there's something you’d like to do differently or anything at all you'd like to discuss, just call me and we can have a no-obligation chat and take it from there.

Parenting gold

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This piece of parenting gold is for parents who are experiencing frustration because they can't get their kids to do what they ask.

Following through is the key to getting a child to do what you ask.

When you consistently follow through with natural consequences, delivered lovingly, your child will know you mean what you say.

Natural consequences are not punishments they are ones that occur naturally as a result of the action, to understand more about natural consequences and how they differ to punishments click here.

Why does it matter?

Consistency is incredibly important as it strengthens your credibility and reinforces your trustworthiness.

It shows you're dependable and makes your child feel more secure as they know they can trust you mean what you say.

It will also mean they are less likely to be argumentative.

Now we all know following through is easier said than done, especially at the start.

“I’ve tried but it just doesn’t seem to work”

It really will work and if you feel like it won’t here’s something to help you try again.

When you click this link you’ll find a step by step practical example of following through. It’s guide and can be applied in many everyday situations.

If you pick one or two areas to target, preferably things which are currently really annoying you and do this consistently for a month and you’ll be amazed by the positive results.

Click the button below for more practical parenting strategies on a wide range of parenting topics:

If you’d like some individual advice please contact me, I’d love to help.

Marie Kondo and Maria Montessori have a lot in common

The day I read this Domain article I was immediately struck by the similarities between the KonMari method and Montessori principles and practises.

Montessori advocated for children to be surrounded by beauty, the beauty of good, simple design in an attractive, ordered environment. She believed such an environment necessary if the young child is to fully experience (inner) peace and engagement.

We also know through an increasing body of research that children do better with fewer rather than more toys.

The best environment for our children:

With that information in mind how can we provide the best possible environment for our children in the important early years?

A favourite Montessori slogan is "Help me to do it myself" and as adults that's precisely our job, to help the child in their quest for independence.  We do this through the creation of an environment which supports rather than hinders those needs.

It's not always easy, the toddler years can be very testing as your child is driven, by their strong desire for independence, to do things by themselves at their own pace, a pace which is not always practical or convenient! 

Supporting the development of independence:

What we can do is support the development of independence though an ordered play-area and through organised age-appropriate tools and toys.

If the child is (for example) driven to do some cutting and knows where to find the scissors and the cutting paper, and they have a place to work, they are freed from dependence on the adult and can do this even when adults are busy with other tasks.

When a child is overwhelmed by clutter and frustrated in their quest is it any wonder they can become cranky?

It's so important that the adults surrounding the child are partners, rather than obstacles on on the child's journey to independence.

Physical changes really will make a huge difference

Creating order in your child's play-area/bedroom and developing a streamlined, practical storage system is a great place to start, as an investment it will pay dividends.

I can only agree with the final paragraph in the Domain article:

  • "There’s a real sense of calm in an ordered home and it transmits to everyone living there (sounds woo-woo, but it’s true.)

  • Getting a professional in is always worth it!"

I'm a professional, an early childhood specialist, with decades of experience creating beautiful, practical spaces for pre-school children.

If you'd like to create calm beautiful order in your home contact me here, I'd love to help you.

The results will be truly remarkable.

Want to change your child's behaviour? Ask these 6 questions

It’s a new year and traditionally it’s the time when we think about things we’d like to change and many of us make resolutions about what we’re going to do differently in the coming year.

To be successful these resolutions need to realistically achievable and most importantly, accompanied by a practical plan of action.

Recently I came across this great article and just had to share it with you.

6 questions Montessori teachers ask when they want to change behaviour

You don’t have to be a teacher or follower of Montessori’s philosophy, if your child has some behaviours you’d like to change, you can ask the same 6 questions.

The questions will help you to focus on what’s really happening and then provide the basis of a practical plan for change.

If you’d like some help to implement your planned changes please contact me, I’d really love to help.

Register with email and follow me on Facebook to be sure you don’t miss out on more great articles.

Link to article

Happy New Year! 😃


Your pathway to a happy, contented family life - Montessori inspired parenting

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Over many years I have worked extensively with the families of young children, providing information, practical advice; equipping parents with strategies, skills and knowledge about how to create the best home environment for their child and for the family as a whole.

Again and again parents told me the strategies I taught them worked and understanding more about the developmental needs of their child really helped them to make some changes which made family life more enjoyable for everyone.

The purpose of even better parenting is to help families use the tools of a Montessori-inspired approach to parenting, enabling them to parent with confidence, contentment, creativity and joy.

Using a practical Montessori-inspired approach in your home doesn't require expensive specialist Montessori equipment, nor does it require parental perfection. 

It’s not home schooling, it’s a positive and practical approach to everyday parenting which meets the developmental needs of the child.

Learn more here:

Realistic expectations - Understanding what drives your child

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Why is it important?

When adult expectations are realistic and in tune with a child’s developmental drivers it is easy for the child to experience success and enjoy a sense of achievement. It’s also likely they’ll be more cooperative and easier to get along with.

No matter how carefully or how many times you explain it, a young child cannot understand adult values, adult problems or time scales, they can’t, they really really can’t.

Very often this mismatch of expectations and capabilities causes tension and unhappiness for both adult and child.

The big difference between children and adults

It doesn't matter to a young child that their parent will be late for work as they’re taking too long to put on their shoes or that spilling juice will ‘ruin’ the carpet or that their brand new top is stained by paint.

The child is intensely driven by a completely different motive, the quest for independence. The young child really does need to put their shoes on themselves and to pour their own drink, feed themselves.

It’s the job of the adult to understand the needs of the child and to work out how the needs of the parent and the child can both be met, most of the time.

What drives the young child?

From birth the child is powered by their internal timetable, each step along the way is a step toward the goal of independence and self direction. 

Children are absolutely desperate to do things for themselves almost as soon as they grasp the idea of what it is that needs doing.

As adults it's our job to create an environment where the child can, wherever possible, succeed in their ever-growing quest for independence and understanding of the world around them.

Practical ideas to support independence:

"Help me to do it myself" is often used as a short-hand way to describe the Montessori approach to meeting the child’s developmental needs, it’s a practical approach which can be used at home to create pathways toward independence.

As the toddler starts to want to do things for themselves here are some simple things you can do: 

  1. Open shelves at child height with activities categorised and organised with all components needed. These activities are age and interest specific, put away everything that does not fit that criteria.

  2. A child sized table and chair or a Tripp Trapp chair (google it, they're fantastic) so the child can use the dining table.

  3. A step to allow access to the hand-basin / toilet. A hand-towel at the right height.

  4. A learning tower in the kitchen to provide safe access to kitchen benches for easy involvement in the preparation of food.

  5. Child safe kitchen utensils and a child sized chopping board, plus a place to work.

  6. Organising practical storage so the child can access appropriate clothing and shoes.

  7. Purchasing clothing and shoes which make it easy for the child to dress themselves and go to the toilet.

  8. Walk at a pace that allows the young child to explore their surroundings.

  9. Time - allow enough time for the child to be successful and enough time and space for you to observe and really understand what your child is ‘telling’ you.

The more activities the young child can do by themselves for themselves the happier and more content the child will be and so too the parent as life will be much less of a battle.

Children are most content when their developmental needs are met.

What the child cannot do is understand or appreciate adult priorities and time frames, and it’s not their job. Their job is to strive for independence and ever increasing control, and when adults help them to do that everyone is happier.

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The weekend is here and you have an active toddler

The weekend is here, the weather forecast mostly fine (here in Melbourne) and you have an active toddler.

I remembered about an article I read ages ago which listed lots of practical ways for toddlers to use their developing bodies and abundant energy so decided to write short list of my own.

Toddlers love big work!

Here's a taste to inspire you.

Ways that toddlers can exert maximum effort 

Here are a few easy ones -- 

  1. Carrying round a large bag or backpack

  2. Using large foam blocks (the Melbourne Museum Children's Gallery has fantastic large blocks)

  3. Carrying wood

  4. Walking over pillows

  5. Move a bucket or watering can of water

  6. Pushing or carrying a loaded laundry basket

  7. Lift a large(ish) suitcase with some weight in it

  8. Move a piece of furniture

  9. Taking the largest steps possible (stepping stones)

  10. Carrying a large box

  11. Digging and filling a bucket with sand then moving that to a new location .....

I hope you find several ideas which help to make your weekend even more enjoyable for you and your toddler.

You can send me your ideas and photos to my Facebook page

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