Proactive Parenting

Proactive Parenting Prevents Panic!

What exactly is Proactive Parenting?

It sounds like a word you would find in business books, that’s because it is.

I’ve found that we have to approach parenting sometimes, like running a successful business, if we want to be a success at it and produce successful children.

After all, our children are our business.

We can’t leave how they turn out to chance, or allow anyone else to take credit or responsibility for who they become either. As parents we have the most power and control to influence them, and if we do so positively, we will end up with happy, healthy and successful children.

Simply put, being proactive is taking action in advance, and pre-emp-ting our children’s moves and emotions. In essence, its hands-on parenting.

A lot of us parents are reactive.

We react to situations and our children’s behaviour in the moment. Now I’m an advocate of what I call ‘Present Parenting’, which is all about living in the present moment and being conscious of the time we spend with our children, but what I witness on a daily basis is far from that.

I see parents reacting unconsciously, out of habit, to unwanted behaviour and situations, usually fuelled with emotions.

As busy parents its hard not to react this way, but as proactive parents, we want to prevent those circumstances arising in the first place.

I know it’s hard not to get upset and angry with our children sometimes, but we can lessen the chances of that happening by, pre-empting problems before they affect our children and planning ahead in advance. Taking -action to prevent problems, as opposed to dealing with them or reacting once they have occurred.

It’s thinking ahead of situations and how they may affect our children, and being sensitive to their individual needs and emotions. 

This approach enables us to take steps to make things easier, not only for our children, but ourselves too. Helping us to feel more organised and in control, and as a result, increases our self- confidence.

Resulting in a lot less stress for everyone.

As a childminder, caring for children varying in ages, from eleven months to eleven years and over, being proactive is a necessity.

I have to be one step ahead at all times, as a matter of health and safety.

A simple day out at the beach, can be like a military operation.


A simple day out at the beach, can be like a military operation.

But always, all the children know;

  • How I expect them to behave?
  • What will we do before, during and after our visit?
  • What to do if there’s a problem, such as someone goes missing or is lost.

Thankfully and lucky enough, that has never happened to a child I care for (other than my own).

But if it did or should it do so in the future, I know I would have told all the children what to do in the event of that happening.

It’s not being paranoid or overly anxious, it’s being proactive.

Now you may only have one child to care for, so may not feel a back-up plan necessary on an outing?

But there’s been numerous times where I have found many lost toddlers, wandering around a supermarket in tears, while their parents are frantically searching for them.

It happens every -day.

A simple; ‘If you can’t find me, go straight to the security guard on the door dressed like a policeman’ Helps reduce this stress, and prevents our children crying to a random stranger or wandering out to the car park to find us, where, different danger could present itself.

I say this because it happened to me with my own child, when they were younger. And I don’t want it to happen to you, if you can avoid it.

I can still feel that panic as I realised, I didn’t know where my child was, what they were doing or who they are with?

As a parent, I bet you can imagine that feeling now?

It’s a sinking, sick feeling of impending doom and disaster, as a whole host of catastrophic images flash through your mind.

Then relief suddenly washes over you, as you spot them holding hands with a lovely lady, who’s helping them search for you.

While your little one’s innocently smiling, clutching at a bag of sweets that had tempted them to wander off!

Stay Present,

Em x

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Happy Birthday Dylan

I have to thank you Dylan. You were easy from the start.

Easy conception, easy pregnancy, easy birth and easy to love.

Today on this special 13th birthday, celebrating you becoming a teenager, I also want to thank you for making me a more present parent.

First time around, as a new mum everything’s new and frightening. You just don’t really know what to expect or know what you are doing?

It’s a learning process full of doubts, tears and fears!

So caught up in dirty nappies, sleepless nights and parenting anxiety, it’s hard to enjoy those first few years as a new mum.

But by the second child most of us are feeling a bit more confident, but alas, sadly for some, complacent and busy.

You taught me how to enjoy being a mum. And how to appreciate every minute as special.

Your love makes ordinary moments most would take for granted, as precious and unique.

You made me notice them.

You made me present to the joy of being a parent and of being your Mum. A privilege I’ll always hold dear.

Such as the time when you were just three years young. I was taking you to the Dentist, when as we were holding hands and crossing the road, out of the blue you said;

 ‘I love you Mum.’

I can still remember to this day, thinking that this was such a good moment in my life.  I wanted my mind to photograph it forever, so that when we were both older, we could look back upon that ordinary moment, with fondness.

A great time, when we were both truly present together, enjoying one another’s company.

We were just going about our daily business. Yet, it was such an extraordinary, emotional moment for me. So much so that, I can still feel those positive, loving, warm, fuzzy feelings deep inside me, whenever I recall that moment now.

Even now, you still greet me on the school yard every day with a kiss, hug, pat on the back and a ‘I love you.’

I know I’ve said you don’t need to do that in public now, in case it’s embarrassing?

And you said ‘No I want to. It’s not embarrassing’.

And I melt inside with pride, that you are not afraid to openly show your love.

I don’t know what I have done to deserve such beautiful, loving children but I’m glad I’ve be blessed with you both.

As normal and mundane as a trip to the dentist with your child may sound, I can guarantee that in years to come, you too will realise how special those everyday moments in time really are. Even if those moments do not feel like it today.

One day, those simple everyday memories, will be where you will linger longingly, wishing you could go back to. 

Noticing, appreciating and being fully present in those moments we are spending with our children today, is what Present Parenting is all about. Because one day those moments, will be some of the best moments in our lives.

They truly are priceless, irreplaceable nuggets of time.

Time we all too often take for granted, because we are disillusioned by the concept that, the work and worries that occupy our minds, are the things that need our attention the most. Yet, neither now nor in the future, will anyone or anything, ever bring us the joy, fulfilment or happiness that our children do.

It’s who we are with, and the love and time we give that counts! 

If today was the only time we had left on Planet Earth, chances are we would not want to clean our house or work overtime, schmoozing our boss for a pay rise?

Chances are, we would want to spend our time with our loved ones?

Having fun and letting them know how much we love them. While appreciating, how much we too, are loved by them.

We don’t always remember the dates or details in life, but we always remember how we felt. This is what our children will always remember too.

It doesn’t matter what we have or achieve in life, it’s all a waste of time, it’s who we are with and the love and time we give, that counts! 

Childhood doesn’t last forever. When our children reach their teens, it’s going to be too late to regret, not having had the time to; paint, play, cook, read, sing, dance and enjoy our time with them, while young.

Make the most of now, and start to live in and enjoy each and every moment with your child, from now on. 

Tomorrow is promised to no one, stay present and be generous with that time.

If you knew this was your last day ever with your child, you would hang on to their every word and not waste a single second of that time. Always keep in mind, one day will be the last day you spend together.

There’s no time like the present, and no present like time!

Happy Birth- days!

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My Little Welsh Girl

Happy St David’s Day!

When my daughter was young, she had a Traditional Welsh Girl outfit. It had a lovely black bonnet with white ribbon that she loved.

She loved it so much so that, she kept nagging me to let her wear it to bed at night.

Of course, this would end up in a huge argument, as I tried to convince her to take it off and put her pyjama’s on!

Then one night, after much debate, I decided to use a little reverse psychology and agreed to let her wear it to bed. 

After about ten minutes, she came running out of her bedroom.

Asking me to take it off her and put her pyjamas on, as it was so itchy and uncomfortable.

Job done, I’d given in and won!

When we allow our children to make their own choices, they lack resistance. And when given the option, they usually choose not to do the things, they thought they originally wanted to do.

They must feel free to make the choice though. It’s important that they feel that we have no resistance or strong preference what they do, either way.

They then realize they no longer need to fight against us, as there is nothing to fight about.

When there’s no resistance, everyone wins.

But if we always say ‘No!’

Or we get confrontational, our children will persist and inevitably someone will lose.

Choosing our battles wisely, enables us to identify the times when it’s ok to let them have their own way.

Choose Your Battles Wisely

Our children have a reason behind how they behave. They just can’t always articulate or understand it.

That’s why it’s best to choose our battles wisely.

If we follow the footprints in the snow, we’ll usually find the Gruffalo, but often discover there’s a different story at play.

We need to get a clear perspective of the situation first, by staying Present and Proactive.

This will help us to find out the reasons behind our childrens behaviour, rather than focusing on the behaviour itself.

Then when we discover the source of their behaviour, we’ll know how best to coach them in another direction, or when not to get involved.