author Emilie Leeks,

Writing is what I do as part of my long-awaiting, much-needed self care - it's what lights me up and keeps me learning and growing. But it's taken me a long time to get here - a long time to be able to say 'The chores can wait'.

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author Emilie Leeks,

We have so many pressures weighing on us, so many distractions to drag us away, that spending our day trying to balance these demands, whilst also putting our focus fully onto each of our children, can mean playing ends up seeming like just another 'must do' on the list. And when we don't manage it? We can end up feeling guilty that we're not giving them everything that we could, not giving them our best. So what if there were a way, in just a few minutes each day, to know that we have really given our children some fantastic quality time, which will really fill their cup - and ours as well?

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author Emilie Leeks,

deserve to be here in this world, and that we have a right to be loved and cared for by others. In short, we love ourselves. But gradually we lose this sense of our 'right' to be here, of our self love, and when we talk to ourselves it is with a negative inner voice, that points out to us all that we are doing wrong, all that we are that is not good enough. So our listener brings us back to that inner voice, becomes that inner voice - that voice that quietly whispers through their mere presence that we are worth it, that we are good, that we are enough just as we are.

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author Emilie Leeks,

So, even though it is incredibly tough some days, and even though we risk failure on a regular and heart-breaking basis, we also risk success; we risk change - and it might be exactly the change our family needs to turn the hard stuff on its head and to shift us into a new groove. A groove that will pull our family dynamic into a more joyful, more peaceful, more contented way of being.

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author Emilie Leeks,

Oh, how things have changed since writing this! Our whole family dynamic has shifted hugely since we started using the Hand in Hand tools - things are so much more peaceful, joyful and calm than they once were, for all of us, and a big part of that has been learning to be more playful! Specifically in relation to our autistic child, we have found playfulness to be a wonderfully useful tool in our belt - in can help bring things back from the brink of overwhelming feelings, and boosts connection between family members.

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