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,

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,

"This is not a playful suggestion as such, but is one of the most respectful ways to get our children's attention. I can't emphasise enough how important it is to remember that almost everything we ask of our children (and we do it a LOT!), is really our own agenda. So when we feel that inward sigh as we're feeling ignored yet again, we must remind ourselves that it is us, not our child, that wants this (yes, even if it's to take them out to the park which you know they love), so the onus is on us as parents to do the best we can to respectfully connect and engage with our children."

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author Emilie Leeks,

Things have shifted in our house over the last few years, since we discovered Hand in Hand Parenting. We have found recognition for the hard work we do as parents, and understanding about just how difficult it is to parent in such isolation as we do in our society. We have found ways to work through issues we are having, so that we can think clearly and creatively about how to move forwards. And we have practical tools we can use with our children, to build connection, and to increase joy and calm in our home.

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author Emilie Leeks,

Sometimes we get really stuck in a negative reaction to a particular behaviour our children bring to us. I'm so thankful to have discovered Playlistening which allows me to approach challenging behaviours in a playful, but very...

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