”It’s Not About The Ice-Cream Maker”


Yesterday I was watching an episode of The Gilmore Girls where Lorelei is trying to return an ice-cream maker that she was given as anonymous wedding present – for a wedding that she’d called off.

As she’s frantically phoning distant relatives to find the giver, her friend Suki confronts her saying, ‘’it’s not about the ice-cream maker.’’

She recognised that her desperation to return the gift had more to do with her feelings about her relationship than trying to return the gift.

Whether we are adults or children our feelings work in the same way. We often have huge feelings about something going on in the present, often without conscious understanding of what the issue is really about.

In fact as human beings we rarely live in ‘present time’ – our feelings are often related more to past hurts, and future worries than they are to do with what’s going on in the here and now.

And when it comes to parenting the good news is that it’s often not what’s going on in the present day that’s the real challenge, but the past baggage that’s making things seem harder.

Would you like to spend 9 weeks taking a deep dive into learning to untangle the present from the past?

In my Tears Heal book club we’ll spend each week work talking about present day parenting challenges, and tracing them back to their roots in the past.

This process of reading, being listened to, and getting all your parenting questions answered can help you be the parent you want to be, without stress and baggage weighing you down.

The Tears Heal book club
Date: Monday 2nd March
Time: 9.30am
Cost: £130
Contact me if you’d like to sign up or have any questions.

Photo Credit: Sheri Silver

Holiday Listening Support next week!


December has crept up on me and suddenly it’s time to be thinking about buying presents, and spending time with extended family!

If you’d like to bring more presence as well as presents to this holiday season, then check out my latest offering.

3 holiday themed support calls to help you through this stressful time.

1. De-stress before the holiday season. Exchange listening time, and support around the stress that comes up at this time of year. Learn some strategies to go within and find strength to stay present amidst the busyness.
Tuesday 10th December – 7pm UK time, 2pm EST, 11am Pacific time

2. Dealing with children’s challenging emotions and behaviour. Support, advice and listening for any parenting challenges to bring more peace and joy to this festive season.
Wednesday 11th December – 7pm UK time, 2pm EST, 11am Pacific time

3. Listening to relatives. Hand in Hand Parenting tools work with adults too 😉 Get listening and strategies for extended family challenges so you have the strength to cope with them.

Thursday 12th December – 7pm UK time, 2pm EST, 11am Pacific time

Location: Online Zoom call.

£10 each, with £5 off if you sign up for all 3. Each call is for a maximum of six people and lasts 1-1.5 hours depending on the number of participants. Contact me if you’d like to reserve your place.

Three ways Hand in Hand Parenting helped me find peace as a one child family

Photo Credit: Irina Murza 

Are you the parent of a single child? Was it by choice or by circumstance? If you’re anything like me you’ll know there are many doubts and anxieties along the way. But also lots of joy, and moments of feeling that peace, that yes, you made the right decision, (if it was a decision), and yes your family size is perfect, just the way it is.

There is so much implicit negativity in our culture about ‘only’ children, about how they’re lonely or selfish, don’t know how to share, or interact with other children, because they are deprived of siblings.

I thought I’d write this post to share just how much Hand in Hand Parenting has helped me feel at peace with being the parent of a single child.

  1. Your child’s kindness, and generosity is not dependent on the number of siblings they have. Children are born naturally good. They want to get on well with others and when they feel good, they are able to be their natural, kind selves.

Upset feelings are what gets in the way of that, and Hand in Hand Parenting gives you listening tools to help children process their feelings, through laughter, play and knowing how to handle tantrums. Listening is the key, to seeing your child’s natural goodness shining through.

I’ve written before about how Hand in Hand Parenting can help with feelings of entitlement, and raising kind children (will leave links in the comments).

  1. Connection is what prevents loneliness, not siblings.

Lets face it kids love to play with other kids. No matter how much adults get down on the floor and spend time doing child orientated activities, that will never go away, and they need time interacting with other children. No adult can replace that.

However children get lonely from time to time, whether they have siblings or not. What children need as well as other children around them, is someone that really sees them, someone who really notices their feelings and when their behaviour goes off-track because they aren’t feeling good. Children need 1-1 time with adults too, who can really listen to their needs and follow their lead.

  1. You can build a village for your child

Having an single child can have it’s difficult moments, probably like having 2 or 3 children has it’s own unique challenges. And one of the hardest things for me, as been my own anxieties about giving my daughter time with other children. I often feel like it’s not the size of our families that are the problem but that we don’t live in close communities supporting each other, like we might have done in previous generations.

One of the tools that has helped me a lot with this, is ‘listening time,’ (one of the Hand in Hand tools where we talk and listen to how parenting is going). Listening time, has helped me find the strength and courage to make new friends, after multiple overseas moves, and build community wherever I go. The principles of listening are something I’ve taken into my own life, to overcome my own loneliness and find connections. Because yes, parenting gets lonely sometimes for us adults too, but Hand in Hand Parenting is here to support you.

For more info about Hand in Hand Parenting resources check out my book Tears Heal: How to listen to our children.

You can also learn more about Listening Partnerships with Hand in Hand Parenting’s Building A Listening Partnership online course.

Get 18 Parenting Courses For The Price Of one!


I thought I’d share this offer as it’s such good value. Sumitha Bhandarker of A Fine Parent, has such a gift for gathering together the best resources in positive parenting. She is offering a bundle 18 online parenting courses, for just $97. This bundle includes to Hand in Hand Parenting courses; Listening Partnership Course For Reducing Stress, and Tosha Schore, ‘Setting Loving Limits: A Positive Discipline Course. The bundle is onsale for three days starting October 22nd, and is an amazing opportunity to get your hands on over $1000 worth of parenting courses for under $100.

Here is the full range of courses you get.

Positive Parenting Conference 2019 Recording Package

Communication for Imperfect Families Course

Step Into Your Light- A Self Development Course For Busy Parents

Handling Difficult Behavior in Kids with Anxiety or OCD

Strong Bodies, Strong Minds

Positive Parenting Course with Suzanne Tucker

Parenting ADHD Experts Library, Volume 2

Peaceful Potty Training

Mama’s Anger Management

Language of Listening® Basic Coaching Skills Course

Listening Partnerships Course for Reducing Parenting Stress

Confident to Carry On: The Growth Mindset Workshop

6 Mistakes Most People Make When Setting Boundaries

Birds & Bees Made Easy

Good Science: Sleep Guides

Teaching Values with Alexander’s Amazing Adventures

Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss

Setting Loving Limits: A Positive Discipline Course

Simply sign up here, and you’ll get a notification when the sale beings.

The one thing that all parents struggle with and what you can do to get help

There is something that always stands in the way of being the parent you want to be, no matter how many parenting books you’ve read, no matter how many courses you’ve taken, and how many tips you have at your fingertips to use.

It’s something that effects all of us, and it will never go away, no matter how many years of training you do to do it ‘right.’

It’s that your cup will always be emptying out, as a parent you will always be giving, always striving to give your child the attention they need to thrive, in a world that doesn’t support parents well.

This is why Hand in Hand Parenting offers something different. We want to invite you to be part of a community of parents supporting each other so that you can keep your cup from getting empty.

Through learning the practice of listening time (a method of talks no and listening with another parent about how parenting is going) you can learn how to get your needs met, so you can be more present for your children.

If you’re ready to get started with listening partnerships, or deepen your understanding of the Hand in Hand Parenting tools, then join me for my next Tears Heal book club!

Contact me if you’d like one of the remaining places.


The Tears Heal Book Club is Back!


Do you ever feel like your children are using you as a ‘punchbag’ for all their negative feelings? Do you ever feel worn out by the anger, whining, and meltdowns, and feel like you can’t take anymore? Do you ever wonder what you are doing ‘wrong’ to attract such negativity from your children?

If this this sounds like a common scenario in your household, then don’t despair. The fact that your child actually shows their more challenging feelings to you, is a really good sign! It actually means they feel safe to share how they feel, rather than hide and suppress your emotions.

But it’s challenging for us parents who often find our own emotions getting in the way of supporting our children. Our own emotions can make it hard to think straight, and figure out when we need to set limits on behaviour, and when we need to simply allow feelings and listen.

Luckily, there’s a way out of this situation.
1. Listening time – Hand in Hand Parenting, is one of the very few (perhaps only!) parenting approaches that puts supporting parents at the centre of our philosophy. We know that the first step to feeling, and thinking well as a parent is to have enough support for ourselves. Listening time is a simple exchange of talking and listening between two parents, that helps you to release negative feelings that get in the way of being the parent you want to be.
2. Good parenting advice. We have tools to help you handle those negative feelings, so that children can come out the other side feeling (and behaving better)
You can learn all this in my book Tears Heal: How to listen to our children.

And if you want to start learning about these tools I will be running an online book club, starting next month.  We’ll spend 9 weeks reading a couple of chapters of the book each week, and then putting them into practise. Each week we’ll meet on Zoom to discuss how it’s all going and do listening time together. You’ll get to meet other parents, and feel part of the Hand in Hand Parenting community.

New dates starting Monday 8th October, 9.30am GMT. Space is limited to six parents, so contact me now if you’d like to book a place or have any questions.

Fill your cup for summer with the 7 Day Listening Challenge!

listening7 (1)

The 7 Day Listening Partnership is where you get the chance to connect with other parents around the world who have all committed to having listening time for seven days straight. The last challenge was a great success with parents making long-term connections with each other, and experiencing the life-changing effects of listening partnerships.

Here’s some feedback I received about my other challenges.

”Thanks to Kate for this challenge. I have a regular LP but we don’t talk nearly enough and I was already aware of needing more LP time, this week has confirmed that for me. I love all the tools but I don’t think i can do the others nearly as effectively as I need to if I don’t up my LP time, especially since I have an emotional project in the works for each of my kids. Thanks to all who have listened to me and talked with me this week. This has been the best week I’ve had in a long time, and I’m feeling so hopeful for the future and happy to have found at least one new regular partner. I hope everyone is getting as much out of this as I am, and if not I hope you keep trying until you find a good fit in a Listening Partner. 

”I wanted to thank Kate and all of my listening partners over the last week. I had never done a Listening Partnership before and before this week I was looking for every excuse to back out. I am so happy I didn’t. It felt amazing to be heard and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed listening. It let me know that there are so many amazing moms out there who love their kids so deeply.
After a listening time, I walked away feeling connected and calm. There is something powerful about being 100% honest about your feelings and actions and listening to someone else be 100% honest with you. There is rarely a point in the day when I can be totally myself without fear of judgement and I was able to release emotions and finally start working on some things after my listening partnership. It is so wonderful to know I have other moms out there I can reach out to at anytime. 
I know it is already positively impacting my parenting. I am able to be less reactive in the moment and more aware of trying to build connection with daughters throughout the day – instead of thinking of ‘consequences’ for behavior. It has also helped my friendships and marriage by not trying to make everyone else in my life my listening partner – which was not working so well! Thanks again! I wish everyone the best!”

”Can I just say thank you to Kate for bringing us all together? I’ve had an amazing week so far and it’s really got me thinking as to how I can bring intense bursts of daily LPs into my life more (if not all the time!). THANK YOU Kate Orson :)”

”Hi! Thank you Kate for organizing this wonderful challenge! I feel so relaxed even in stressful situations! :)”

”Thank you for setting up this challenge! I was apprehensive before about the idea of opening up to people I have never met, and different people each day. I have been surprised with how easy and mutual it has been. Feeling very supported. :-)”

”i love the way I can learn how to listen better by doing LP with a number of people. I am touched by the personal sharing and it makes me feel like part of a greater family. At first I thought I’d have to explain my life history to each one. Actually I could start with what’s going on now and sometimes it lead back to the past but I didn’t need to explain anything. I think it’s a great tool. I was amazed to see how many people were ready to do this challenge.”

”Thank you for setting up the challenge. It’s been great getting to know other women this week so far and telling my story to new people. I also realized how far I have come since a year ago. Always room for improvement but still!”

”Looking forward to this new day of listening! I had great meetings and met some amazing people ( you know who you are!). Thanks Kate for putting together this event! Hugs!”

The next challenge will start on Friday June 21st. If you’d like to join here’s what you need to do.

1. Make sure you’ve read either Tears Heal or Listen by Friday June 21st, so you are familiar with Hand in Hand Parenting, and how listening partnerships work.

2. Be ready to commit to listening time of at least 10 minutes each way for 7 days. (subject to the availability of the other participants who join)

3.  Follow the link to join the closed facebook group for the challenge.

4. On the group you’ll find the link to a doodle poll where you can add your availability.

5. You can then connect with fellow parents who are available at the time you need, and hopefully set up 7 listening times with participants around the world.

6. I’ll post daily topics on the facebook group, that you can discuss in your listening time, or simply follow where your mind goes. You can post about how it’s all going, and if your schedule changes you can look for listening partners.

If you’re open to making new connections, and seeing where this leads, then please sign up! And please share with any friends who might be interested.

If you’re completely new to the idea of listening time then you can read my introductory post here

Tears Heal Book Club


When I first began my training to be a Hand in Hand Parenting instructor, I immersed myself in the Hand in Hand tools for a whole year. I had weekly calls with an experienced instructor, and an online forum where every one of my parenting questions could be answered.

The support was amazing, it allowed me to internalise how to use these tools fully, and although it wasn’t a magic wand that turned me into the perfect parent, it did give me a map to know where I was going, and show me the way, even if getting there wasn’t always completely easy.

Experiencing that intensive level of support gave me faith in this approach, that no matter what we are going through, there is always an answer that we can figure out with enough listening time, along the way.

Whether you are just beginning your Hand in Hand Parenting journey, or you’re feeling like you need a refresher, I’m offering a whole nine week book club to focus on your parenting.

We’ll work through reading my book Tears Heal: How to listen to our children at a rate of two chapters a week, allowing you to gradually build up your Hand in Hand toolkit, or re-inspire you if you’d like to deepen the connection with your child.

Spaces are filling up fast, so if you’d like to join me please contact me to reserve yours!

Have a Sibling-Rivalry Free Holiday Season For Just $9!!


Would you like a peaceful holiday season free of sibling rivalry?

Hand in Hand Parenting’s Taming Sibling Rivalry online course is only $9 for this weekend.

Use the code: ‘peace’ at the checkout.

I love this course, even as the parent of an only child, because these tools can work pretty well for friendship challenges as well as siblings!

If this time of year is overwhelming, then take a break and listen to Patty Wipfler’s soothing voice, as she explains how you can bring some peace to sibling squabbles with the power of connection.

Sign up here before the end of the weekend.

Giggle Parenting: Channel Mummy


When it comes to our kids wanting screentime, it’s always good to look at what’s going on in the moment. Is their need for screentime because they need something to escape feelings of boredom, to zone out, or numb themselves?

Most of the time, what children want and need more than screentime is connection. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t have screens in our lives. Screens can be a great educational resource for learning about the world, TV shows can tell stories, and enrich our lives. Also, lets be honest, screens can act as babysitters when we are overwhelmed and just feel like we need a break.

However it’s great to substitute screentime when you notice your child is disconnected. And it’s great to remember that no matter how much your child is asking for screentime, what will benefit them more is connection with you.

So this Giggle Parenting game is called ‘Channel Mummy’ (or daddy). It can be used when you need to set a limit with TV, or the iPad, and your child perhaps sneaks away and turns it on.

Get close to your child, in between the electronic device, and them. Make eye contact. Be playful. Say something really silly like, ”hello, and welcome to channel Mummy, I’m here to entertain you today!”

Let your child try to escape, and keep coming back to get connection. Wrestle in between their arms and the ipad, so that they see you and not the screen. Keep talking and pretending to be a tv channel, setting a limit but in a playful way; for example, ”I’m sorry but channel mummy is the only channel on today, we’ve had to cancel the other ones. We are SO sorry and we hope you do enjoy watching.”

Your child may find it hilarious and enjoy wrestling and laughing much more fun than watching the screen.

You might also like The Giggle Parenting Guide To ipad Wrestling and What to do when your child just wants to watch TV