Skip to content

Here’s another one for you Dad …. The House of Lords no less !

February 10, 2011
 The death of my dad over 5 years ago made me look back over our lives together and reflect on what I truly loved and respected about him. He made such a difference—not only in my life, but to all the people he met. He was charismatic, kind, compasionate and great fun to be with.Then it came to me, walking my dogs one day. The most precious gifts he had given me were self- esteem, self confidence and self belief. The ability to believe in myself whatever the circumstances.

And now as I reflect on where I am going tonight for a Charity Event for the wonderful School Home Support   I thank my Dad for that belief in me as it has obviously  led to my passion to help parents, throughout the world, to give that precious and important gift to their children.

My passion is to pass self esteem on – like a ripple in a pond so children everywhere, regardless of their race, colour, background or family circumstances can grow up happy, confident, well -balanced adults – today’s children but tomorrow’s future -free from the crippling effects of low self esteem, self doubt and lack of self confidence.

So as I jump in the taxi tonight and say “Take me to The House of Lords please!”  I will think of my Dad and Mum and remember my Dad’s favourite phrase “Life is what you make it!”

It was the same the Christmas before last when I walked up Downing Street  to the Christmas Party in support of the Million Mums Campaign  which was a truly magical moment for me personally too.

 Read my blog about the Downing Tweet Party here.

And I want you to believe in the beauty of your dreams – whatever they may be, and to feel inspired  to  encourage, believe in and support your children to raise their expectations of what they can achieve – life has no limitations – only the ones you put around yourself !

Oh, and I hope someone Tweets about it and pops up Twitpics as I don’t yet have an i -phone to upload photos instantly but hey ….. you can’t have everything ! LOL 🙂

 

The Sue Atkins Wednesday Story To Ponder !

February 9, 2011

Here’s your Wednesday story from my never ending notebook and everlasting coloured pencil!

Resistance

An electrician who lacked confidence went to a life coach for help. He wondered why other electricians did better than he did. He wondered why many of his classmates at school and college had more successful careers and lives than he had. He blamed the world for not giving him opportunities and he supposed he didn’t get opportunities because he didn’t deserve them.

The coach asked, “What stops you noticing all the opportunities that exist around you?”

He replied,” Fear of failure”

“So what would you like instead?”

“Confidence.”

“So what stops you feeling confident?”

“Fear of failure”

“And what would you like instead?”

“Confidence”

“Notice,” said the coach, “how this loop in your thinking is creating your stuckness. Now may I ask you a question as an expert in what I do, to a man who is an expert with electricity?”

“Sure”

“First of all, I really need to know from you, do you really want to shine? Will you be OK with that? Can you fully commit to this switch? Or perhaps you really do prefer to live a life safe and protected, like a man in a darkened room?”

“Yes, I want to change. I want the confidence to make changes.”

“On a scale of 1-10, how much do you want that?”

“10”

“Sure?”

“Absolutely sure.”

“OK. So let’s imagine a wooden board into which are screwed three lights bulb sockets. Each socket is connected to a common cable that is plugged into the mains. In the first socket is a 10 watt bulb; and in the second is a 100 watt bulb; and in the third is a 1,000 watt bulb. Switch on. Now what’s the difference?”

“Resistance”

The coach remained silent. Slowly a glimmer of recognition glowed in the electrician’s expression, and then a huge smile spread across his face and illuminated his eyes and whole face. The coach looked at him with a quizzical brow. “Well?”

“Now I have an answer to your question about what’s stopping me,” he grinned. The short answer is “no one but me.” My life is like the 10 watt bulb. It’s me who’s resisting opportunity.”

“Yes, it used to be like that. And now?”

“And now it can change. First I’ll plug in a 100 watt version, and then I’ll go for a progressive upgrade!”

“So before you generate some strategies for success, just remind yourself that life, like electricity, consists of pure energy. This same energy – or call it life force or spirit if you prefer – flows through all of us equally. There is no end to this supply and only you can cut this supply off through your own resistance.

“And now that you’ve stopped blaming the external world for your situation, and have accepted full responsibility for yourself and your actions, you can plug into the abundance, wholeness, beauty and completeness of the universe. It flows within us, through us, every moment of every day.”

So ask yourself this week:


• What lessons can I learn from this story today as a parent?


• How can I teach and encourage my children to become 1,000 watt bulbs?


• How can I repair my own short circuit?

 

 

Download your copy of Sue’s Ebook
How to give your kids the gift of self-esteem by clicking here

About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

Join me on these networks

 

 

Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355   M: 07740 622769

www.positive-parents.com

Gatehouse Farm
The Farmhouse
New Chapel
Surrey RH7 6LF

Would you allow your teenager to babysit your toddler?

February 8, 2011

I was on my way to work in a school yesterday when I heard the debate on The Jeremy Vine BBC Radio 2 Show about a Mum who had been given an official police caution for leaving her 14-year-old son in charge of his three-year-old brother.

I rang in to leave my thoughts but I had to go off and teach my “Beat Bullying Confidence Classes for Kids” but it got me pondering:

At what age can children be left at home alone without parental supervision?

It’s a story that would sound alarm bells for many mums and dads.

Any parent who sometimes nips out to the shops, leaving their children to look after each other, will take certainly take note.

Or with the prospect of a rare night out, the couple that offers £20 to a sensible teenage neighbour in return for keeping an eye on their little ones, may now think again.

Here’s the article from BBC News

“A mother-of-three from the Thames Valley area has been cautioned by police after leaving her 14-year-old son at home with his little brother.

Sources quoted in the Sunday Times are reported as saying the mother, in her 40s, was away for 30 minutes, the time passed without “incident” and the toddler was never in any danger.

It’s very rare to hear about cases like this, but is 14 too young to be babysitting and might more parents find themselves facing a caution?

At the heart of this is what all parents of teenagers – and anyone who has ever been a teenager – knows, that one 14-year-old can differ dramatically from another in their maturity and reliability.

The law on this is vague but the police can – and do – use their discretion in judging these cases.

There is no minimum age at which children can be left on their own, nor does the law specify how old someone needs to be to babysit. However, if the babysitter is under 16, then the parent remains legally responsible for the child’s safety.

And, under the Children and Young Persons Act, parents can be prosecuted for wilful neglect if they leave a child unsupervised “in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health”. Punishment ranges from a fine to 10 years’ imprisonment.

Without legally specified ages to guide them, parents may be left scratching their heads over this grey area.

But children’s charity, the NSPCC, advises that children under 13 should not be left at home alone for long periods and children under 16 should not be put in charge of younger children.

Chris Cloke, from the NSPCC, says calls to its Childline helpline showed that being left alone to look after young children can be distressing – one 10-year-old boy called to say he had no idea how to comfort his younger brother to stop him crying.

But Mr Cloke acknowledges the difficulties facing parents making the judgement call.

“What parents need to do is move their children on so they become more independent and of course it’s a question of striking the right balance.

“What’s really important is that parents talk through with their children, discuss the issues and if they are going to leave them at home alone make sure the child feels happy about that and feels confident and knows what to do and who to contact if there’s an emergency.”

‘Best judges’

Jacqui Gilliatt, a barrister at a family law firm, says there are difficulties with bringing in an age barrier as it would only ever be arbitrary and you will never eliminate the need for agencies or authorities to step in if something came to light.

She points out that parents do not have to accept a caution, which indicates an admission of guilt. Instead, she advises seeking legal advice and perhaps putting the case before a magistrate.

Justine Roberts, of Mumsnet website, also accepts there probably isn’t a right age.

“Some Mumsnetters report having children who will never be sufficiently competent to look after a sibling – even when fully grown – but others have 12-year-olds who are hugely responsible.”

Many mothers on Mumsnet mention their own experiences of babysitting, often for money, from the age of 12 and in some cases younger.

One highlights how attitudes are different in Germany and Switzerland where children commonly walk to school alone from the age of six. The mother also says she leaves her eight-year-old and six-year-old children at home when she goes shopping.

Another says the police caution is ridiculous and asks whether a 15-year-old mother can’t look after her own child unsupervised?

Ms Roberts adds: “Ultimately the parents are the best judges, as they know both the caring child and one being cared for – and what their limits are.”

Child development specialist and author of Toxic Childhood Sue Palmer argues that parents, as well as too much legislation in the UK, are part of the problem.

“Children are becoming less competent because they are being treated like carefully protected pets.

“Unless you let them take on chores and take responsibility for their own behaviour and learn to deal with real time, space and people, you won’t be able to leave them in charge of another child.”

But she also says such state interference, including the recent threat of more criminal record checks for people working with children, means people are ceasing to use common sense and losing their own ability to judge other human beings.

“We are almost legislating ourselves into a world built on accountability procedures and bureaucracy and statistics, and that’s a very unpleasant world.”

And this is, she says, fast making the UK a laughing stock among its European neighbours, where a 14-year-old in charge of a three-year-old is considered normal behaviour.”

Download your copy of Sue’s Ebook
How to give your kids the gift of self-esteem by clicking here

About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

Join me on these networks

 

 

Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355   M: 07740 622769

www.positive-parents.com

Gatehouse Farm
The Farmhouse
New Chapel
Surrey RH7 6LF

The Sue Atkins Weekly Parent Coaching Question

February 7, 2011
I have found the best way to make full use of my weekly Parent Coaching Question is to pop it somewhere where you can see it often so you can ponder and reflect on it regularly throughout the week.

If you just allow yourself to be open to possibilities, you might be surprised at what you discover!

I really hope you enjoy asking yourself these questions and find them helpful – as better questions help you to find better solutions.

“Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”

~ Tony Robbins

So relax, reflect and ponder my Parent Coaching Questions to empower you to be the best parent you can be.

How could we have more fun this week?

 

Download your copy of Sue’s Ebook
How to give your kids the gift of self-esteem by clicking here

About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

Join me on these networks

 

 

Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355   M: 07740 622769

www.positive-parents.com

Gatehouse Farm
The Farmhouse
New Chapel
Surrey RH7 6LF

50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)!!

February 6, 2011

I was just enjoying my first cup of tea this morning and watching BBC Breakfast where they were discusssing Cotton Wool Kids and a new book that has caught the imagination of parents in America called  50  Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)”

So it got me pondering …..

How much risk do you allow your kids to have?

Do you let them get muddy, ride bikes, climb trees, go pond dipping?

“50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)”  is the first book from the people who created Tinkering School. With projects, activities, experiences, and skills ranging from “Superglue Your Fingers Together” to “Play with Fire,” along with 48 other great ideas, the book is a great  for kids and parents alike to reclaim the fun and joy of  childhood.

The book is full of easy to follow instructions, fun facts, and challenging undertakings that will engage and inspire your family and get you talking, having fun and discussing danger, having a go and getting curious.

I love looking at TED ( Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world) and the idea for 50 came about as  5 dangerous things just weren’t enough (although the audience at TED thought it was a good starting point). More importantly, there are many “dangerous” things that are interesting, eye-opening, enlightening or just plain fun!

And while there are aspects of danger in virtually everything we do, the trick is to learn how mastery actually minimises danger. Most of us learn how to walk without toppling over at a very young age, so that walking is no longer dangerous. Next we learn to negotiate stairs. Why stop there? Why not practice and become proficient at walking on the roof or walking on a tightrope? These are just a few of the Fifty Dangerous Things that the book invites you to try! Take a peek and step into a world of danger and discovery.  

For me it’s all about getting a balance isn’t it in life – but I do think we have become rather over –  protective of our kids so getting them off the settte and away from the screens in all their forms surely has got to be a good thing!

The author , Gever Tulley was fortunate to grow up in a world full of possibilities and adventures. He and his big brother were free to explore their environment and invent their own projects while growing up in the wide-open rural environs of Northern California and interior British Columbia.

Their curiosity was encouraged by their parents, who instilled early on a sensible approach to their experiments. Gever’s famous rule while babysitting: “If you’re going to play with fire, be sure to do it outside.”

In 2005, Gever founded the Tinkering School to teach kids how to build things. He created the school since he believes we all learn by fooling around.

After years of creating playful hands-on projects for kids of all ages, Gever wanted to share with a wider audience the discovery that comes from this directed “fooling around”.

“50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)”  is his first book on the subject and it’s worth a look ….. specially when  you ponder some of the things I got up to as a child that didn’t do me any harm…. !!!
 

 Here’s an extract from the book curtesy of Mark Frauenfelder of Boing Boing

Watch the video from  => TED

Download your copy of Sue’s Ebook
How to give your kids the gift of self-esteem by clicking here

About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

Join me on these networks

 

 

Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355   M: 07740 622769

www.positive-parents.com

Gatehouse Farm
The Farmhouse
New Chapel
Surrey RH7 6LF

 

The Sue Atkins Inspiring Sunday Saying

February 6, 2011

 The world is becoming a very small place through the power of Twitter, Facebook and social media and I’m delighted to include a wonderful poem by my new friend Rodrick Walters.  I spoke to Rodrick  this week on the phone about his passion for Upbeat Dads after connecting with his great blog through Twitter and put him in touch with Sarah Gorrell from BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex. You can listen to his interview here => He is  on approx 38 mins into the show. http://fb.me/JRANp4Vt

To find out more about Rodrick’s great blogs go to =>   The Upbeat Dad  

A Parent is Forever

By Rodrick Walters
 
When people get together,
With loving in their hearts,
They vow to love each other,
“Till death do us part;”
 
Sometimes for different reasons,
They don’t fulfill their vow,
Their minds change like the seasons,
There’s no love left to show;
 
But a parent is forever,
A spouse may come and go,
This bond is broken never,
It’s one law nature knows;
 
So precious are the children,
The lights that light our homes,
To know them is to love them,
The love that angels know;
 
When marriages are over,
There’s no more home sweet home,
Parents go on forever,
Kids need not feel alone;
 
Parenthood lasts a lifetime,
This truth you cannot doubt,
It’s an unbreakable love-line,
Once in you’re never out;
 
So a parent is forever,
This tie you can’t exchange,
A bond you cannot sever,
One law no man can change. 
 
 
© 2011 Rodrick Walters

Download your copy of Sue’s Ebook
How to give your kids the gift of self-esteem by clicking here

About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

Join me on these networks

 

 

Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355   M: 07740 622769

www.positive-parents.com

Gatehouse Farm
The Farmhouse
New Chapel
Surrey RH7 6LF

The “electric babysitter!”

February 5, 2011

The “Daily Mail” ran a headline on Tuesday about whether our little ones are at risk from the baby TV stations aimed at pre-school kids.

There is concern that some parents are using the TV as a form of easy and stress free babysitting – plonking their babies and little ones in front of a screen for long periods of time as it keeps them quiet.

It’s all about balance and common sense really isn’t it?

Small children need to play and interact if they are to develop their social, verbal and physical skills with other people – whether it’s mum, dad, grandma, brothers and sisters or another little one.

It’s extremely difficult to be a parent without the “electric babysitter” these days especially as some the programmes are really educational. We lead a very different lifestyle than we did 20 years ago and some of the programmes really are great…. but some aren’t!

So while I was a having a coffee in “Java and Jazz” with my great friend Chris today, we got chatting about the amount of time our older kids spend on the Play Station as well as the TV and we chatted about what we thought was a reasonable time per day and what things we allow them to do.

It got me thinking.

Chris allows different things to me and different amounts of time too– but it’s not a competition just what feels right for each of us.

There’s been a great debate for the last number of years concerning violent TV and video games.

There are thousands of studies indicating that there really is a link between violent video images and increased aggressiveness and violence in children.

According to recent study the average child will see 200,000 acts of violence by the time they’re 18!

Common sense just tells me that this isn’t a great statistic but it’s also really difficult to prove the exact and precise impact these images have on kids.

But as a coach who works with parents, I see the frequent power struggles that come up time and time again around video games and TV watching so I just want to ask you:

  • What is a reasonable, balanced amount of time for you?
  • What programmes and games are suitable for your children?
  • What boundaries do you set for your kids and are they flexible as they get older?
  • What’s your gut reaction and instinct to this whole topic?
  • What do you do if you and your partner disagree?
  • Are you able to stand firm and say “no” to your kids…. if not why not?

I just want to get you thinking really and to make a decision about what sort of family culture you want to give your children.

It’s not about me “telling” you what to do as that’s not my job as a coach – I just ask the questions to help you find your own answers.

Our son Will, knows our rules and knows “this is what we do in our house” and also knows I don’t base our rules on what his friend’s mums and dads are doing either!

Just spend a few minutes making up your mind, setting your limits that feel right for you and doing your kids a great service by standing by your limits, consistently – no matter what!

I find it cuts down on the arguments!

Click here to read the Daily Mail’s article.

Download your copy of Sue’s Ebook
How to give your kids the gift of self-esteem by clicking here

About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

Join me on these networks

 

 

Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355   M: 07740 622769

www.positive-parents.com

Gatehouse Farm
The Farmhouse
New Chapel
Surrey RH7 6LF