5 Tips For Surviving Toothbrush Time

I read recently that tooth decay in children is at an all time high in the UK, with sugary drinks being among the biggest culprits – so much so that the NHS is looking to ban fizzy drinks and juices with added sugar in hospitals from some point this year, and the government is will be introducing a sugar tax from April.

We all know that sugar isn’t healthy, and can actually lead to real health complications.  One of the issues that’s causing real problems is tooth decay and tooth extraction as a result of tooth decay is the most common cause for hospitalisation of children under five.toothbrush survival

Read more: 5 Tips For Surviving Toothbrush Time

5 Ways Busy Parents Forget to Take Care of Themselves

We take care of our little ones and in doing so we forget about ourselves. Sound familiar? It’s true. And it manifests itself in some funny and not so funny ways. Half of UK parents polled said they often forget to apply sunscreen on themselves, even while they remember to apply it on their children.

But parents neglect ourselves all the time, not just when it comes to sunscreen application. The following are five ways that parents frequently put ourselves on the backburner, and the harm that can come about as they do so.

Put personal friendships on hold

You used to hang out every week, but now times with friends seem more like a distant memory. Some extent of this is natural and can be expected as a new parent, but be careful that this doesn’t turn into a habit. Friendships provide you with emotional support to weather difficult life events. In all the busyness of being a parent, hold on to those friendships that matter to you. Even if you need to take it down a notch for a while, don’t shut that door entirely. Explain your current situation to your friends. Don’t let them guess at why you aren’t hanging out anymore.

Forget to go to the dentistdentist-1025338_960_720

Read more: 5 Ways Busy Parents Forget to Take Care of Themselves

Positive Parenting in Action, Rebecca Eanes And Laura Ling {Book Review}

Positive Parenting in ActionHave you ever found yourself agreeing whole heartedly with an idea, but having no clue how to actually put it into practice? For example, the whole idea of positive parenting sounds just fab, doesn’t it? But when your four year old is making you want to tear your hair out and your one year old won’t stop whining and crying, how on earth do you parent them calmly, positively and with no regrets? Or does that only happen in my house? Say it isn’t so!

Well, I’ve read a lot of books on parenting over the years, but when the food I’ve just made at great pains is flung down with a ‘Yuk! I don’t like it!’… it can be very hard to stop and remember steps, or practice previously rehearsed mantras.

That’s where one of the first sentences I highlighted in Positive Parenting in Action, by Rebecca Eanes and Laura Ling comes in:

The first step in successful positive parenting is changing your mindset.

And that involves rewiring your brain from the way most of us were raised, and understanding the difference between the different parenting ‘styles’ (authoritarian, permissive and authoritative) and understanding the vast differences in what each of them means, looks like, and results in.

One of the first thing people always say to me when I say that we don’t hit, or we try to parent gently, is that children ‘have to learn’, and that is incredibly true. Of course we don’t want either rebellious teens fighting against strict parents, or brats, used to getting their own way – but there is a middle ground, and that is the ground that this book covers, lays out, explains and then helps the reader to really get to grips with, and relate to their own child and parenting.

PPiA2This book is not going to change your child’s behaviour. It’s not going to work a miracle in what they do, but it will, if you let it, equip you with tools to really change the dynamic and atmosphere in your home.  I absolutely love one of the lines in this book, where it talks about parenting in a way where “all emotions are allowed, but not all behaviours; one where love is unconditional.”

Positive Parenting in Action starts with a bit of background about the theory of positive parenting and dispelling the idea that ‘positive’ equals no discipline.

Then it goes into 15 sections of the types of things parents deal with: exploring (dealing specifically with potentially dangerous situations like trying to cross a road), tantrums, whining, lying (oh, this was eye opening for me! especially the explanation of lying because they are trying to manipulate, or lying because they wish things already were as they say they are! and with understanding, it makes so very much sense now!), meal times, potty learning, and more.

PPiAEach section offers scenarios. This is so useful! It has given me the opportunity to relate it to my child, and to her behaviours. I already want to reread all the scenarios, so that they will become part of my thinking – a shift in my expectation and paradigms! – and help me parent more consciously. 

This really is my  heart’s desire, and I’m very grateful to the authors of this book for laying it out so nicely and taking it from the vagaries of ‘well, we don’t hit but … we kind of muddle through‘ to using our words with purpose, and understanding our children’s perceptions of the world and lowering our expectations too, realising they are actually only four and one! It’s already had an impact on our home, and with it our harmony as a family.


PPiA4Positive Parenting In Action is part of the Essential Parenting Collection, offered by my affiliate partner, Mindful Nurturing. You can get this lovely eBook, paired with 34 other quality eProducts for only $49.97/£30.45/AU$55.78.

Alternatively, you can get the module on Mindful Guidance  for $19.97/£12.17/AU$22.29, giving you:

  • Positive Parenting in Action
  • Setting Limits with Young Children
  • The ABCs of Conscious Parenting
  • Raising Mindful Kids
  • Parenting Softly
  • A Survival Guide. Positive Parenting for Children with ASD
  • Keep Your Cool – How to Stop Yelling, Spanking and Punishing: What to Do InsteadBuy the Bundlebutton (4)

Positive Parenting in Action





Friday Feature: ‘Monday Morning Coffee’ And ‘Kitchen Witch’

Monday Morning Coffee is a simply gorgeous blog. It’s pretty much a photo journal of the kind that makes me want to retake the photography course I did about ten years ago.  Her pictures evoke emotion. They are bits of art, each and every one.  Reading – or watching – Monday Morning Coffee unfold is like reading the pages of someone’s diary, but without guilt, because they’ve handed it to you. It’s beautiful and peaceful. It’s a privilege to be invited in.

Jenni has a large family and step family (five kids from baby to 17 year old!), many of whom have food intolerances and allergies, so when my gluten and dairy free friend comes to visit, you’ll find me perusing MMC for a recipe for our dinner!

Monday Morning Coffee is still quite a young blog, started in August last year, with a small following, but deserving of a larger one. I highly recommend that you visit this website – you’ll leave feeling like you’ve just had coffee with a friend.


Kitchen Witch is an incredible blog that I’ve been a silent reader of for a very long time. Joni Rae is an awesomely talented woman – you can see that in her blog design and creative doodles. She is also a passionate activist in a number of arenas – like breastfeeding – and speaks with a fervour and intensity that makes you sit up and listen.

Joni is also deeply honest about her life, her past, her depression and her battle with body image. She also doesn’t mind standing up for her beliefs in the face of possible criticism. For example, there are many in the AP circles that don’t believe in praising children too much, and many have written on the ‘dangers’ of ‘good job!’ But Joni tells her kids when she thinks they’re doing a good job. (I do too. And I tell my daughter she’s beautiful… daily!)

But once in a while?  A kid just wants to say “Look what I can do!” and stand on their hands before they run off to play again.  That’s when a “that’s fantastic!  Great job!” is all they are asking for.  A quick stamp of approval.  A small bit of praise that conveys “I acknowledge what you are showing me and it is awesome!”  They aren’t looking for a long-winded “I love the way you placed your hands on the floor and the way you are able to hold you body so straight! You are very strong!” because that would cut into whatever game is in play in the backyard.

I agree wholeheartedly. When my child says ‘look mama, at what I can do’, it’s her way of making sure I’m still paying attention to her, still conscious of her and still ‘with’ her, even if I’m busy with something else.

Joni’s husband weighs in on this by saying:

Good job to a five year old is the equivalent of a quick ‘I love you’ to a grown up.  We don’t have to wax poetic about the depth and breadth of our love, we just want to acknowledge that it is there.  Do these same people not want their spouse or partner to say “I love you” before they hang up the phone or turn over to go to sleep at night? ‘Good job’ is a quick snapshot, a verbal thumbs up.

It was a real relief to me, to find someone else in the AP society who doesn’t have a problem with praising her children.

Kitchen Witch is a Pagan blog, so our belief systems are different, but our styles of raising our children, our belief in nature and in doing the best for our families are so similar, that I feel an affinity with Joni Rae, and a little bit of envy at how beautiful she is able to make her corner of the web.


A Baby Led Weaning Story

One of the things I really like about baby led weaning is the theory that a baby will only eat what isn’t bad for them. According to this theory, when a baby won’t eat something, they will generally later be found to have an intolerance or allergy to it.

Read more: A Baby Led Weaning Story

Upstream Parenting

Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have waxed poetic about how their parenting has inspired others, or how others have inspired them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I often think of salmon, swimming upstream. I think of how hard it must be to swim against the current all the time. How tiring. I guess if it were one single fishy, swimming up river, it would be an impossible task, but for a school of them, swimming together, fighting the current as one, the tired riding in the slipstream of the strong, it’s a different story.

I never intended to be an activist on anything, least of all things relating to children.
Read more: Upstream Parenting