author Emilie Leeks,

"As parents, we often find ourselves up against a situation which challenges us Every. Single. Time. And it's so hard to feel like we banging our heads against a wall as we try and try to resolve an persistent issue. One of the things I love about Hand in Hand Parenting, is that it gives me options that I can try, rather than just trying the same old idea again and again - one of the tools which has brought a huge change in our own family live has been Playlistening."

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author Emilie Leeks,

"That ability to let go, in that moment, of my own agenda, and instead find peace with the reality of what was happening, has been a long time coming for me. But when I look at my vision, if you like, for my family, it is peace, it is gratitude, it is acceptance - and if I can't live it, then we will never be it. So it has been worth the journey - worth the effort - to get here. I slip up often - a lot more than I want to - but the changes keep coming, and that is enough for me."

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author Emilie Leeks,

"It's so hard as a parent. We work long hours with little support - whether that's all day at home, or heading into the office and then back again to continue with the work of parenting. There's too much to do (or we just want some alone time) so we go to bed late. And then 9 out of 10 times (if we're lucky!) our kids wake us multiple times in the night. Or if not that, then far earlier than we'd like. We're always on the back foot."

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author Emilie Leeks,

Sometimes as a parent it can be difficult to get our children to engage in activities that we think are important. At these times, it is always worth looking at the activity in question and having a good think about whether it's something we truly need to enforce - after all, our children are people too, and have their own interests and priorities and desires, and if we can cater for those if at all possible, we should be trying to do so. But most of us will have some activities that are very important to us. In these cases, it helps to have ideas to make the activity more palatable to our children - and connecting play is a wonderful way to do this.

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author Emilie Leeks,

What I'm talking about here is acceptance. Not the resigning-myself-to-my-fate, doom-and-gloom sort of acceptance, but instead a hopeful, forward-looking, getting unstuck sort of acceptance. If I can sit, in those supremely challenging moments, with the feelings that come up for me ('this is impossible' 'nothing will ever change' 'I've wrecked my kids' - whatever it might be), but not be simultaneously faced with the burden of having to change it right now, I can find a little peace.

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