The difference between two

I wasn’t a happy bunny yesterday. Or the day before. Call it hormonal, having clients cancel last minute, feeling like a maid, banker, cook, decorator etc in my own home or simply, I was having a bad few days!

And that’s ok. As long as I don’t wallow in the crap and move on out of it sooner rather than later.

We all have bad hours, minutes, days and that’s life. I will say that again, we all have bad days. How we respond to those is where the difference lies. But this post ain’t about that.

It’s about how others deal with your bad mood.

My two sons were home yesterday and I rarely get in a mood as such. I’m aware that I’m ‘on one’ and presently warn both my boys to leave me well alone.

The eldest immediately takes this on as a problem with him. I’m being rude and unhelpful and he’s wanting x and y and why am I being such a bitch?

Needless to say he did suffer for his insistence to take on my mood. To challenge it. To say ‘how dare you be a moody bitch’.

The youngest? He simply acknowledged what I said. Gave me space. Asked, after an outburst, if I was okay. He left me to wallow in my shit, be a moody bitch as he realised it wasn’t about him.

The difference in emotional intelligence was very obvious last night. One child can see the mood and accept it and let it go. The other could not, would not and ended up joining me in a mood!

What this highlighted for me was MY need to back off more then my kids are having a bad day. Or others for that matter. Their mood is NOT about me. It’s about them. I can be absent yet supportive. Give them space to be yet be there if they need to talk.

The complete difference in how my boys handled my mood was very evident and provided me with an insight into how I respond to their moods! How’s that for an eye opener!

So next time someone has a bad day, cut them some slack. Give them space yet let them know you’re there for them if they need you.

We are all human. We all need to respect that we fuck up!

Space. Respect. Support.


Namaste 🙏

Roll With It

I fell off my bike this morning – thankfully on the way back from dropping my son off at school. It was my fault. I hit the kerb wrong and the bike slid from under me, leaving me sprawled on the floor in a lot of pain I can say! I picked myself up, relieved that no one else was witness to my fall from grace and mounted my bike, saddle skewed and rode home somewhat downbeat.

The painful lesson I learned this morning – to slow down when mounting a kerb and not to abuse my rights as a cyclist. I’d been going down a one-way street at the time – the wrong way. Now if I’d seen a motorist do the same when I was on my bike……

This painful experience got me thinking. When something goes wrong in our lives it is all too easy to blame everybody else, the Universe and it’s mother (nature?) than it is for us to accept some, if not full responsibility for what has happened. It’s all too easy to carry round our pain (emotional) as badges of honour as to how unfair the world really is.

Okay your ex was a cheating b***d and your friend takes you for granted, but what can you learn from these experiences that will allow you to leave them in the past and move on a little wiser into the bargain?

I truly believe that every experience or encounter we have in life can teach us a lesson, whether it be good or bad, if we are willing to learn. I always tell my kids and my clients that what people do and how they treat other people is their responsibility, how you respond is yours.

If your partner cheated, then what made them cheat? Are they a serial cheater or was it more about your inability to show love and affection that drove them away? If it was the first then show them the door, and if it was the second, then learn from the experience and move on. Find ways to open up more in your relationship or future relationships to avoid the same thing happening again.

There is always a reason for cheating. It may not be your fault but you chose your partner and I’m sorry to have to say this, but yes, there are usually always signs when someone is being unfaithful, and if you choose to overlook them, rather than deal with then, you will face the consequences at some point. If you choose to live with someone who disrespects you then you are equally to blame.

Failing relationships, prejudice, altercations with others, are all signs that you need to learn something about yourself. I recently had a heated debate with someone regarding messaging. I love texting but it’s not a big thing for me, however, for the other person it was their way of seeking reassurance through regular texting. Both of us felt the other was at fault (one for not texting enough and the other for texting too much), so angry words and some upset later, nothing was resolved.

As I sat fuming, I realised there was nothing I could do to change the other person so I needed to learn something about how I responded in this situation instead, only then would I stop going over the conversation in my head!

So what did the experience teach me? That people have different expectations when it comes to relationships and that that in itself is okay. However, my response was anything but okay. I allowed myself to get upset about someone’s expectations of how I should behave. They have a right to their expectations as I do mine and if their expectations differ to such an extent that it makes me feel uncomfortable, then I need to accept responsibility for this not them! Either I accept these differences and live with them, or I move on.

So I now know that I don’t ‘do’ needy people very well and that I, not them, need to address this. After all, if they are happy with who they are and what they do, how could I change that, or indeed, why did I feel I had the right to ask them to change? I needed to understand that this individual had reasons for wanting regular texts, just as I had reasons for being averse to regular and timely texting!

We all have different expectations of one another and that’s okay. We all have different life experiences, which have led us to be the unique individuals we are today and that’s great. However, we need to learn that whilst we are all different, we are all unique and awesome in our own right and no one has the right to take that away from us.

Learning from broken relationships, arguments, disagreements and other people can not only change how we deal with people but ourselves too. When we learn to see the issues we carry around with us daily, we can begin to understand that others too have their own issues to deal with. How we deal with people is our responsibility. How we treat ourselves is mirrored by how others treat us.

So learn to respect yourself and people will learn to respect you. Learn to respect others and they will learn to respect you. You may not agree with what they do but I guarantee they will probably not agree with what you do either.

So learn wisely and move on. We cannot change others, we can only change ourselves and how we respond to others. By realizing we are all different, we can gain some advantage in how we handle those people who perhaps push our buttons. After all, they can only upset us if we allow them too.

Celebrate you uniqueness and respect others’ uniqueness too and who knows, the world may become a whole lot more peaceful.

Is Obesity An Illness?

I read an article in the Daily Mail (‘Labelling obesity a disease is an excuse not to diet’) and it highlighted a very worrying trend. As a Weight Management Consultant I have helped countless people lose and maintain weight loss and the main emphasis of my program is health and responsibility. I help my clients to change habits, behaviours and even what foods they find appealing, yet they are clear on one point – they have been responsible for their weight gain and accordingly, they will also be responsible for their weight loss too.

There are, more often than no,t emotional triggers to overeating and this is one of the first things I tackle with my clients, however, regardless of whether their triggers are conscious or unconscious – they still have a choice. Each and every time you put something in your mouth you have a choice. Each and every time you drive to the shops or school – that is your choice. When you say yes to that third piece of cake – that is your choice – no one else’s.

I have no doubt that if I told my clients that obesity is an illness the results I would obtain would be far from the excellent ones I get now! Labelling obesity as an illness does change the mind-set of most people (not all I hasten to add). It gives obese people a ‘legitimate’ reason as to why they are overweight and gives them a ‘valid’ excuse to do absolutely nothing about tackling their obesity (which this article highlighted).

Basically labelling obesity as an illness is a cop out clause – ‘I’m overweight because I have an illness’, ‘I can’t control what I eat – it’s an illness and there’s nothing I can do about it’, ‘I’d love to be slim but I’m ill’ and so the excuses go on and on.

By labelling obesity as an illness you are taking away the crucial component of any successful weight loss – responsibility. In order to lose weight you have to accept that you and only you are responsible for your excess weight – not McDonalds, not KFC or even your partner for cooking unhealthy meals – you are 100% responsible for your weight – no-one else.

That’s a scary prospect to many obese people as it means that they actually have to do something about their life style in order to lose weight – they have to make some serious choices in order to shift their excess weight and that means two things – they have to reduce calorific intake and increase activity level – there is no other way to lose weight. And whilst change can be scary – it can also be uplifting – imagine being slim and healthy and feeling more and more confident and positive each and every day? That is a choice too!

And if you are prone to sitting all day eating and blaming everyone and the world for your obesity – well that’s an easy alternative to face than some major life style choices, however, is an early death an easy choice to make? Is the prospect of diabetes, liver disease or cancer an easy option to face? What about choosing to be slim, healthy and focusing on enjoying life – that’s a choice too?

Obesity is a life style choice and it has been proved time after time that there really is no biological reason for obesity (the elusive fat gene). The cause of obesity is pure and simple – it’s a compulsion to overeat.

Whilst there may be many reasons why people feel compelled to overeat (and I have felt compelled on many an occasion!) you still need to accept that it is you that is overeating or responding to those cravings! Once you deal with your compulsion, you will find that your eating habits become more healthier naturally and with little effort.

Anyone can overcome emotional eating and I would rather have the hope that I could overcome something than be told that it’s an ‘illness’ and there is nothing I can do about it (to be honest even then I would still do something!) It is your choice whether your remain overweight and face a future of complications due to your obesity (proper illnesses such as diabetes and coronary heart disease) or do something about it now.

Chose a healthier lifestyle – it is your choice – or chose to blame your ‘illness’ – your choice. I know which one I would choose – no matter how daunting that may be.

If you would like more information on how to overcome your emotional eating then visit or try my new Be Slim Weight Loss Hypnosis CD available on Amazon uk (

Luck or Lifestyle?

I am lucky in that unlike many women I know, I do not have to ‘watch my weight’ as such. Many of my friends appear to be on lifelong diets whilst some have given up completely on reaching their ideal weight. They bemoan how once again their weight loss isn’t enough or how they cant stop eating those crisps in the evenings or biscuits with their tea and I can sympathize with them. Losing weight can be hard! I know – I have been there.

However today (certainly not in my past) I consider myself to be lucky in that I don’t have to count the calories or watch what I eat. My weight remains pretty static no matter what I eat and it’s great! But it hasn’t always been that way. And when I think about how things used to be for me – perhaps it isn’t purely down to ‘luck’ that I am slim, perhaps it is more about ‘lifestyle’ choices.

Weight loss is a full time commitment – if you want to lose weight and remain slim – you have to be committed full time to being slim and healthy. That means that you need to put in place a lifestyle that can support weight loss maintenance long term. Dieting will only ever be a short term commitment and will only ever produce short term results, if any, so in order to lose weight and remain slim, you will have to change your diet and lifestyle permanently.

Whilst that sounds daunting – it makes sense. If you begin to eat healthily and exercise regularly, you will begin to change your outdated habits which lead to you being overweight in the first place, and you will find that you naturally begin to lose weight and keep it off.

Those people who have successfully reached and maintained their ideal weight, have all made successful lifestyle changes – there are very few ‘lucky’ people out there who are just naturally slim. There is usually a lifestyle to back it up behind them! If you want permanent weight loss then forget the ‘magic’ pills and ‘low fat’ ready made dinners and make a commitment today to change your diet and lifestyle to one which supports a healthier and slimmer you.

Research had concluded that those who list health as their number one priority for losing weight are more likely to put in place appropriate long term lifestyle changes, and as a result are more likely to maintain weight loss. So make health your main weight loss objective and hey, if you look amazing too after a couple of months – then all the better! So forget about luck and think about health and a life long commitment to looking and feeling sensational. When you begin to eat healthily – yes you will lose weight – but you will also feel better emotionally too, due to your improved eating habits.

So when people tell me how lucky I am that I remain slim – I know technically that luck has no part in the equation – it is about lifestyle choices. I am slim because I eat healthily most of the time and avoid meat and dairy. My food choices are limited so I am never tempted to snack on a Mars bar or cream cake. I am active – I walk daily and exercise most days too. I try and run around 3 or 4 times each week – even when I don’t want to (like this morning) I still run. I eat chocolate (Green and Blacks!) and drink wine – so yes I indulge every now and again but not all day everyday. My lifestyle choices have ensured that I remain slim and relatively healthy. It has nothing to do with luck!

And the most amazing part is – is that my lifestyle is who I am now. I don’t feel as though I am missing out on anything as I enjoy salads and vegetarian cooking. I still get the munchies every now and again and snack on chocolate and the odd biscuit and no, I don’t feel bad about it as for the majority of the time my diet is healthy. I don’t think about what I ‘do’ – I just do it!

When you change your lifestyle you may find it hard going to begin with but persevere – it only takes around 30 days to change a habit. If you have a bad day – get straight back on the wagon the next day. But by making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle you will ensure you put in place appropriate strategies and lifestyle choices to ensure you not only shed your excess weight but maintain it too. You have a right to be slim and healthy – so make that commitment to be healthy and slim right now.

You are worth it – so do it!

Stop! And Smell The Roses

I am sure I am not alone when I say that some days, when everything seems to go wrong, I wished I had have stayed in bed.

I had one of those days this week which kicked off with my son having a melt down over getting a later bus, closely followed by his brother refusing to get out of bed. A while later a client cancelled at the last minute and the offer I had just received on my house wasn’t quite as much as I had hoped it would be. I lost my car keys (well couldn’t remember where I put them is more precise) and so ended up arriving late for work and the day had barely started!

I felt exhausted and I still had the day ahead of me. I was feeling disappointed with my boys for spoiling my morning, angry with myself for misplacing my keys and frustrated that the offer on my house meant I would have to rethink my buying options once again. As I sat and prepared for my first client of the day, I could feel my anger and frustration brewing and I hadn’t even had time for a cup of tea that morning, no thanks to the kids!

As I went over the events of the morning I became more and more upset until I had literally had enough of listening to my own whining voice in my head! Enough is enough! Did I want to continue to feel upset and get even angrier because my son refused to get out of bed or that my client cancelled last minute or did I want to feel better?

I wanted to feel better. So what if my son had a melt down about the bus, that had nothing to do with me so why was I taking it personally? And I’m not surprised the youngest wanted to stay in bed that morning as it was a Monday and we’d had a hectic weekend. Once I realized that life is not always about me – I was able to release all that frustration. And besides, no-one had upset me – I had upset myself by taking on board everyone else’s issues.

Sometimes we can get lost in our doom and gloom and it could be easy for us to remain bitter about things that happen in our life – things that for the most part – aren’t actually important. However it could be just as easy for us to move on and leave the past where it belongs and take a different slant on life. The choice is ours.

You are the only person who can allow yourself to get upset and by focusing on the ‘wrong doings’ that others have seemingly done to you, you are handing them your power. People can be rude – that’s their issue. People can be thoughtless – that’s their issue. People can loose it over tiny things – again that’s their issue so why make it yours?

If you want to feel positive, happier or more fulfilled then focus on what is going right in your life, focus on what you want out of life and allow others the space to do, say and be who they want to be. You can not control other people however you can control how you respond to them.

My son had a meltdown because he feels anxious about any changes to his daily routine. My other son was tired. My client either changed their mind about therapy or was really sick. These things I can not change but I can change how I deal with them. I can reassure my son that he will be fine on the later bus, I can gently coax my youngest out of bed and I can empathize with my sick client and hope that another (higher!) offer comes in for my house.

Life is what you make it and if you make it miserable inside your head then it will be miserable outside in the real world too. So STOP those negative thoughts and focus on something positive instead and notice how you begin to feel happier, brighter and more positive.

Stop and smell the roses because they don’t stay in bloom all year long.

Feel Good Or Bad – Your Choice

I am in the process of getting a program together to help people realize their true potential – to enable people to see how awesome they truly are – and it’s been an exciting project so far.

I have become more and more aware, due to the nature of my job and life itself, that we chose the life we want – that’s right – we chose the life we want! Every second of the day we make life choices which not only affect how we feel from moment to moment, but also our future too,

All to many people focus on the bad things in life and fail to see the abundance of beauty that surrounds them every single second of every single day – and why? Because they have chosen to be ‘miserable’ – it has become a habit for them. They feel ‘safe’ being miserable and it becomes comfortable – just like an old comfy sweater – worn out and holey! They resent happy people and go out of their way to hurt others – because in some way – it makes them feel better temporarily.

And when you ask said people how they are – they will no doubt moan and groan about this and that and when you ask them if they are happy in their life – amazingly they will say yes!! And why? Because we all strive to be happy – but how we go about that may not be working!

We chose our moods – no one else choses them for us – how can they? Seriously? No-one can get inside your head except you and I mean no-one. You chose whether you get upset about the mindless comment made by a colleague – you chose to get upset. It has absolutely nothing to do with what anyone says – it is about whether you wish to ‘accept’ what your colleague has said and get upset or whether you chose to ignore it or deal with it.

Surely you know that what people say (about you) is about them and where they are at – and has absolutely nothing to do with you? Yes, your boss can give you some feedback – and you can take it as just that – feedback – a way to improve your performance. Or you could take it as a personal sleight and spend days and weeks brooding. Again – your choice.

When we begin to realize that everything about our life is a choice – it makes it all the more easier to change it! Think about it – if you react to everyone in your life, to what people say or do – you are handing others control over your life.

However if  you acknowledge what is happening in your life and chose whether or not to react (and again it’s a choice whether your react positively or negatively here too!) you maintain control over your life and believe me – it feels incredible!

If you chose anger – then expect anger in return. If you chose hate then expect hate in return. If you chose victim then expect to be abused. But if you chose love you get love in return. If you chose tolerance you will receive tolerance and if you chose fun – how much better will your life be?

So stop blaming others for the way you feel and for once in your life – make a commitment to change your life for the better by acknowledging your personal power. You have so much personal power which lies dormant – wake it up, shake it out and chose a better life!!

After all it literally is your choice.

Anger Management For Kids

Anger is a choice and you and your children need to realize that you can respond to situations in any way you choose. Some responses may be automatic (anger) however that does not make them right or mean that you are not responsible, it just means that you need a strategy in place to help manage and release unwanted behavioural responses.

My son has struggled with anger and tantrums since birth and as a result the impact on our family can be devastating. ADHD has it’s advantages but with it comes the anger, frustration and ‘down’ time.

Anger is linked to ADHD however that does not mean that we as a family need to accept anger outbursts or that my son has to learn that loosing control is part of who he is. Quite the opposite.

Anger is a positive emotion which tells us that someone has crossed the line so to speak and it provides us with an opportunity to express how we feel. Anger becomes a problem when we express how we feel in a threatening, aggressive and excessive way.

Everyone is aware when they have lost control though many people will legitimise their actions by blaming the ‘other’ person and it’s easy to do this. I have done it and I am pretty sure that everyone else of the planet has done so too at some point in their lives, however our anger is our responsibility, NOT anyone else’s. So if this is you – wise up! You get angry because you chose to!!! No one makes you.

If your child has an issue with anger then they need to be aware that this is their issue and that they are responsible. (However before you go down this route – ensure good parenting tactics are in place first!! There is no point pointing out responsibility for anger if you are giving mixed messages all the time – not only will this cause confusion but also frustration!)

Firstly, in order to get your child or indeed anyone to accept responsibility for their anger you need to take responsibility for yours too, or else how are they going to learn? Illustrate good anger management by doing it yourself.

Maybe even point out to your child a time when you were really angry and how you managed it.

Always apologise for loosing control too as this shows your child that no-one is perfect and every now and again we are all human can lose it! It shows that even when you do loose control by saying sorry you are accepting responsibility for your actions.

Secondly point out the times when they have lost control (obviously some time later when they are calm and not every single time!) and go through the situation with them. Point out the various choices that they had (to lose it or ignore it). Point out that when someone is rude to them that says more about the other person than them.

Show empathy. ‘I can appreciate how upset you must have been when XXX said XXX however it’s better if you ignore it and walk away because that way your show them that you are better than that’ etc

Thirdly, get them to notice the ‘trigger’ in their body which signals ‘angers’ arrival. It may be a feeling in their head, or a tightness in the chest. When they notice the sign that alerts them to angers arrival this is great because they can now begin to control their response to anger.

Now give them a coping strategy. Tell them to take a deep breath in whenever they feel the anger rising – whenever they get the sign that anger is boiling up. Get them to focus on their breathing whilst counting to 10 in their head before responding to the situation.

The best breathing technique to use which creates calm almost immediately is the diaphragmatic breathing technique. For this you take a deep breath in through your nose (point out that their tummy should rise not just their chest), hold the breath for a count of 4 before breathing out SLOWLY through the mouth. (slowly controls the breath and the mind!) Do this with them so they can see you do it.

Lastly chose a key word that you can use to help your child recognise he or she is loosing control if they haven’t done so themselves. Let them choose the word – it could be ‘breathe’ for example but a better word would be one that is associated with something humorous as this can obviously help to diffuse a possible heated situation. Saying something funny can literally stop an anger outburst instantly! Try it.

If they still lose it – walk away and to not add to the flames. When calm talk to them and how they can change their response next time. Always, always let them know that this is about their behaviour and not about them personally. Reassure them of how much you love them and how you are always there for them – to talk to etc

Remember you as a parent are there to show your children the right way to behave so lead by example. you are also there to help them with issues they find difficult and give them ways to cope. There is no point telling a child to stop getting angry if they don’t know how!! There is no point telling a child to remain calm if you scream all day and all night. So be reasonable here. Before your child can accept responsibility for his anger you have to do the same.

Remember anger is a choice.

Good luck!

Pride, Respect and a Little Thought

Pride is a double-edged sword, too much and you appear pompous and false and too little and you appear unkempt and slovenly, so where it the elusive ‘happy medium’?

Pride is what lies beneath our self-esteem – pride in who we are and what we do and this pride is essential to both our self-confidence and self-esteem. However too much pride borders on the edge of arrogance and even aggression. Yes it’s great to feel pride in what you have accomplished but pride is not shouting about it from the rooftops or forcing your opinions on others!

Taking pride in our appearance (clean and tidy) shows we respect ourselves however spending hours and too many pounds on looking good indicates quite the opposite. It shows the outside world that we don’t accept or respect ourselves for who we are or even who we think we can become. Low self-esteem is tied into poor body image and the need to impress others and is reflected in those who ‘take too much pride in their appearance’ (and notice how they will always justify this by pointing our your lack of pride in your appearance!)

Respect is inextricably linked to pride. When we respect ourselves as human beings we take pride in what we do. Ultimately those who respect themselves are more than likely going to respect others too. Why? Because in order to accept and respect ourselves we need to accept the good with the bad (we all have things we’re no good at right? And that’s okay!) and by doing so we learn to appreciate the flaws in others too.

However those who refuse to accept their flaws will take every opportunity to hide them whether that be through appearance, arrogance or anger. So taking a good look at yourself and noticing that you aren’t perfect is okay. Because no-one is perfect are they and by being unique we create diversity amongst the human race?

So the next time you feel the need to impress someone – ask yourself what it is about yourself that you feel ashamed of? What is it that you wished were different? And if you can change it or improve it then great, but if it’s something that really isn’t that important or you feel you will only be doing it to impress others, then accept it as part of who you are and instead focus on those things that you do well instead!

So focus on what you do well and acknowledge that you are not perfect as this lessens the anxiety we place on ourselves to always be the best. Strive to do your best at those things that you wish to achieve and enjoy and leave the rest to those that can do it better!

The Sun is Shining…..

………However not for everyone this morning it seems!

A typical fraught Monday morning in our house and just about out on time for school, with my eldest choosing to walk behind in a sulk (he had to get his books ready for school much to his disgust!) A lovely morning with the sun shining and a biting wind – it looks like spring even if it feels like winter.

Coming to a road, we waited to cross however the woman in the car stopped and waved us across, so we smiled and showed our appreciation. My son commented on how nice it was that ‘that lady’ let us cross and I agreed.

Coming to another side road my son was about to cross when I told him to wait. He wrongly presumed that because the other woman had stopped and let us cross that this person would too! She didn’t, in fact I had a sneaky suspicion that if she could have mounted the pavement she would have, so vexed her face appeared.

I warned my son that he should always stop and wait to cross the road and to NEVER assume that people would stop. So should I have waved on the kind woman previously and not crossed or should I hope that my son has the common sense to see that not everyone is necessarily kind or thoughtful enough to let you cross?

He has to learn for himself! We all have good and bad days however it’s a choice how we respond to people or situations so ultimately it is our choice whether we have a good or bad day too! I chose to get upset with my son this morning – my choice. I chose to change my grumpy mood and ‘lighten’ up, just as the kind woman chose to stop and let us cross.

It’s not other people’s fault when I’m in a bad mood is it? Likewise I shouldn’t have to depend on others ‘making my day’ either. We are responsible for what goes on in our heads and the thoughts we think so that means that we are ultimately responsible for how we feel and interact with others.

So next time you find yourself giving off to about the car in front or glaring at that mad woman for being so bloody happy, remember, you have no right to force your feelings onto someone else! Likewise those happy chappies who believe we should be cheerful all day long can not expect us to be happy 24/7 if we choose not to be!

Yes I would rather be happy than miserable and yes middle lane drives infuriate me but those are my thoughts, my opinions and I need to respect that other people have their own opinions too. After all that’s what makes the world go round!

So if you want to smile, smile and if you want to be miserable then be miserable just don’t take your ‘mood’ out on the rest of us!!!

A Simple Choice

It can be a very fulfilling ‘career’ being a parent however, just like your job, you need to continually update your skills to improve performance and get better results!

One very simple trick to use with children and indeed any individual who likes to be in control, is to give them the illusion of choice. If you think about it realistically, we feel more valued as human beings if we believe that others are listening to what we want, don’t we? How important is it to you that someone listen to what you want instead of informing you what you should do? Well guess what, that’s the same for kids too!

Let your children know that their opinions count and that they do have a right to chose what they want in life, with exceptions of course! So if they want to wear that skirt with that top and it really doesn’t match does it really matter? isn’t it better to let your child feel more empowered by making their own choices? And you’ll also be helping them to be better decision makers as they get older too.

Ultimately there will be issues where choice is not an option and for these areas you can create the element of choice by introducing the ‘double bind’. A double bind is where we give a person a chose of two (or more but two is ample!) options, with the understanding that they will chose one. So they get a choice, however those choices are set out by you and obviously incorporate what you want your child to accomplish!

So for example, if bed times usually present problems for you, then allow your kids to choose their ‘own’ bed time. This will change the atmosphere altogether, as you get what you want (the kids in bed when you want them to be) and the kids get what they want, to be heard and for their opinions to be valued! So instead of ‘get into bed now or else’, simply ask your kids ‘would you prefer to go to bed at 8 o’clock and have a story or would you prefer to go straight to bed at 8.30?’ They get to choose which they prefer and you get your results!

I remember the first time I used this tactic with my kids – it was amazing! They had a great chat about the pros and cons of each suggestion and eventually made their own choices, both deciding on different options. This meant that not only did they get a choice to do what they wanted, but they also got some independence too. They could chose what they wanted to do regardless of what the other chose and that is equally as important.

Likewise if your child struggles getting dressed, ask them whether they wish to wear this outfit or that one? Whether they wish to get dressed now and have 10 minutes watching TV before school or get dressed later and miss out on TV? Any option they choose will ultimately mean they do what you want them to do and because you have given them the illusion of choice, along with the knowledge that their opinions matter (kids just want to know sometimes that they are heard just like ourselves!!), they will feel more valued too. So you will both benefit and that’s got to be better than demanding your kid to something, hasn’t it?

You can also use the double bind (subtly) with adults too. If your friend can never decide what to do on your night out offer two choices ‘we could either go to …….. or ………. Which would you prefer? You’ll be surprised at how many people are unaware that they have been persuaded to do something that you would prefer to do as they are too busy considering what option to choose!

So lighten up on your kids and let them make more choices, making sure that some of these choices are real choices too, such as choosing what to wear or what to eat as a snack or even where they want to go for a day out. Let your kids feel valued and who knows, you may notice a difference in how they relate to you too!