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,

Our youngest (2 1/2 years at the time of writing), is generally quite a cheerful, easy-going little boy, but he has never really liked having his teeth brushed - some days are easier than others, and if he is distracted you can sometimes get in and do it without him really noticing. But we really wanted to tackle the root of the problem - even though we didn't have a clue what that was!

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author Emilie Leeks,

At the end, they all came rushing up to me triumphantly, showing off the PJs they had managed to put on, and breathing their minty breath at me! I'm not sure when we last got them ready for bed that quickly and with so much fun, and it has really inspired me to do more of the same - we all enjoyed it, and there was no nagging or fuss, just lots of laughter.

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author Emilie Leeks,

It can be so hard to tolerate behaviours from our children that would have been frowned upon in our own childhoods. This wonderful member of our Journeys in Parenting community shares with us about a behaviour which would be a challenge for most of us! She had taken some time to consider whether the behaviours really are a problem ('How will my child turn out if I allow this?!!') and to move to a place of working with her son through the behaviour, using fun and laughter - with great results!

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author Emilie Leeks,

I'm sitting reading in the bedroom as our children drift off to sleep one by one. After a while, the youngest two children, 5 and 4,  are breathing deeply and comfortably - they won't be woken again now. But a little voice comes...

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