The ‘Perfect Parenting’ Show


My daughter is six now, and many of my Giggle Parenting ideas for younger children are a little worn out now. So now I’m needing to develop new more ‘sophisticated’ ideas!

This is one that she finds hilarious, and works in a number of situations, whenever you feel like your child needs more connection, or you just want to have fun!

So, take an everyday situation like cleaning teeth, or getting ready to leave the house (it could be anything really). Maybe your child is in a grump and doesn’t want to do it, or seems distracted and can’t seem to co-operate.

To begin you just need to role-play that you are a ‘perfect parenting instructor,’ and that you are going to make a video to demonstrate how easy it is to get your child to do what you want with your amazing parenting tips.

So while addressing an imaginary audience say something like;

”hello and welcome to my perfect parenting show. I’m ____ and I’d like to introduce you to my lovely child ___  who always does what I want. I’m going to show you just how easy it is to get your kid to do what you want. So when it comes to cleaning teeth, it’s really very simple, you just put the toothpaste on their brush, hand it to them, and then they just start cleaning.”

This is their cue, to actually not do what you want. My daughter takes great delight, in ‘ruining’ my videos by making funny faces at the imaginary camera, running away when I’m trying to get her to do something. I then act playfully annoyed, pausing the video, or whispering to her so the ‘viewers’ can’t hear, that she’s ruining my reputation as a perfect parenting instructor, by not co-operating.

My daughter has some youtube toy videos she follows and is familiar with the idea of subscribers, so I pretend I’ve looked on my computer and lost subscribers because of her antics, and then she does things, like turns my channel into a singing-dancing one for kids, and I end up getting lots of complaints from parents!

This is a fun role-play that can go in many directions depending on how your child responds. It puts them in the more powerful role, so it is building the connection needed for genuine co-operation. For more info, about the Giggle Parenting approach check out Giggle Parenting: The best discipline tool out there



Giggle Parenting For Getting Your Child Out Of The House!

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On cold January days it can be hard to get motivated sometimes. I know I often feel better once I get out there and see people, but sometimes transitioning out of the house can be hard.

When it comes to our children we can use Giggle Parenting to help. Today I had to get to the Post Office which is literally next door to my house and yet my daughter was reluctant to go.

So I rolled up a blanket, and playfully tried to catch her and wrap it up and pull her to the door in it, while she tried to escape and run away.

We ended up elaborating on this where I pretended that I was making a youtube video, and my channel was for Giggle Parenting fans. So I addressed the audience telling them that I was going to share a simple trick for getting children out the door, and made a big deal of how easy it was and how co-operative my daughter was. Then I’d try it out and she’d wriggle out of the blanket and run away and laugh.

We played this for quite a while, by which time my husband came home and had been to the Post Office for us! But the main thing is we had fun, and I knew that next time I needed to gain my daughter’s co-operation she would be much better connected after this play.

For more tips for getting out of the house check out my  list of 15 tips here 

And if you’d like to shake off the winter blues and become more connected to your children then join my starter class starting 24th January.

Hand in Hand Courses for Just $9!


Today in the US it’s thanksgiving, and to celebrate Hand in Hand Parenting have an amazing sale on all of their online Parent Rescue Squad Courses. I love these and still find them a constant source of inspiration even after years working as an instructor. So whether you are just beginning Hand in Hand Parenting, or want to deepen your understanding they are wonderful.

Use the code THANKS9 at the checkout and you can get all of these online courses for just $9

check out Setting Limits and Building Co-operation…/setting-limits-buildi…

or Help With Aggressive Behaviours…/helping-your-child-wi…

or Helping Young Children Sleep…/helping-your-children…

Taming Sibling Rivalry…/taming-sibling-rivalr…

Each of these courses have videos and reading material from Hand in Hand Parenting founder Patty Wipfler.

This sale is only for today, so act now if you don’t want to miss out!



The 7 Day Listening Partnership Challenge is Back!

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I just came back from a Hand in Hand Parenting instructor retreat in Romania. 26 instructors and instructors to be gathered together to work on our deepest feelings, and fill our cups for the challenging work of parenting.

I came away reminded that so much of what makes parenting hard can be fixed with enough time and listening, that so many of the obstacles in the way belong to the past.

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 the last challenge.

”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 Monday November 6th. 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 Monday November 6th, 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.  Send me a message via facebook with your email address and I will add you to my secret ‘Listening Partnership Challenge’ Facebook group.

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

The Giggle Parenting Guide To Getting Your Child To Listen


Yesterday my daughter was sitting on the sofa watching her ipad, and we needed to leave the house. I kept asking her, and trying to get her attention, and there was no response.

I could feel myself getting impatient, but then I remembered that the most effective way to get through to her is to switch into playful mode.

So I made my hand into a fist to pretend it was a microphone, and said, ”this is an announcement for any child sitting on the black sofa.”

She immediately jumped up and ran across to the white sofa on the opposite side of the room. So then I repeated this game, and told her that I had an announcement for any child on the white sofa. Then she ran across to the other sofa again.

We repeated the game for a while, as she ran to different places, I would make an announcement for the child standing on a wooden floor, on a yoga mat, in the living room. I also tried to playfully block her from escaping the place, so that she would have no choice but to listen to my announcement. This was a lot of fun, with lots of giggles as she had the extra challenge of escaping me. I  always ‘let’ her win eventually.

After a few minutes of fun play she had forgotten all about the ipad, and was ready to listen.

If your child has selective hearing, this is a fun game to play. They get to run off and laugh off any physical and emotional tension, so that their head is clearer to be able to listen to you.

To learn more about Giggle Parenting, check out my introductory article here.  You can also learn more in the laughter chapter of my book, Tears Heal


Giggle Parenting Inspiration: Soft Toy Drop


Last night I was reading my daughter a story before bed, and she seemed fidgety and wriggly. Oh dear I found myself thinking, she’s not tired enough for sleep. And then of course I remembered, Giggle Parenting!

We have a big pile of soft toys in our bedroom and I suggested that she grab a pile of them and run and drop them at her dads feet where he was tidying up in the kitchen. She loves to do this as a ‘Giggle Game’ and her dad always playfully pretends to be annoyed about how the toys suddenly appear as she runs away.

Then we hide under the bed while he chases her to throw the toys back. It’s a lot of fun and laughter, and the perfect way to release last minute energy before bed.

Repeat the game as long as everyone’s got the energy and some laughter-induced sleep will soon follow.

For more suggestions on how to use Giggle Parenting to help with bedtime read The Benefits of Laughter At Bedtime 

And if your’e wondering how on earth letting your children be cheeky at bedtime can be a parenting technique, then check out my blog post here Why You Should Let Your Children Be ‘Naughty’ 

How Listening Partnerships Can Help You Make Parenting Decisions


Have you ever read a parenting article and thought that the advice sounded great, in an ideal world where you had the emotional strength and energy to be the parent you want to be?

Hand in Hand Parenting is different to almost any other parenting approach because we don’t just offer you parenting advice on how to deal with behaviour struggles, we help you to build your own strong foundation of support, so that you actually have the patience and energy to put everything you have learnt into practise. We do this through the tool of listening partnerships where parents take it in turns to talk and listen about how parenting is going and release the feelings that make it hard.

As well as giving you the tools to deal with your child’s behavioural challenges, listening partnerships also serve a wider purpose. They can help you work through your thoughts and feelings about anything you are going through in your life. In fact they are the ideal tool to help you create the life of your dreams!

Ever since my daughter was young, I’ve been using listening partnerships to talk about a few big issues in my life. One is, my thoughts and feelings about the education system, and how I would love to homeschool my daughter. This is difficult where I live in Switzerland, because the country is divided up into ‘cantons’ where each one has a different homeschooling law. There are also other factors to consider like earning a living, having time to myself, and making sure everyone in the family is happy, fulfilled, has enough social connection and isn’t over-stressed.

As well as the school decision, there’s also the fact that I’ve been living abroad for the last 12 years of my life, and would really like to go back to my home country; England. But for many practical reasons this move isn’t possible right now.

I have talked about both of these issues over many listening partnerships for literally years. I have cried about how much I miss my home and would like to be nearer family and old friends. I have cried about my own struggles at school, being bullied, and feeling like school got in the way of my own freedom and creativity. I have cried about my dissatisfaction with a system that doesn’t understand that children can learn reading, writing and maths as naturally as they learn to speak.

The principles of Hand in Hand Parenting are very simple, and are the same for adults and children. When we are full of emotion we can’t think clearly, and make rational decisions. The part of the brain responsible for these – the pre-frontal cortex, doesn’t function well when we are under emotional stress. Once we have released these emotions, through talking, laughing, crying with a listener, our rational mind clicks into gear again, and we can figure out what to do.

This weekend my rational mind finally did just that. While distracted in a German class yesterday morning, I suddenly figured out what we needed to do as a family. I developed a plan in my mind and felt suddenly at peace with our situation. I had this feeling that I had finally done it, and come to acceptance with where we are now, and how things could be in the future.

It wasn’t that it was a perfect dream plan that would magic everything exactly how I wanted it immediately. But it was a practical plan, that I knew would work in time, and would appeal to everyone; my husband who needed to know we’d be financially secure and stable, my daughter whose enjoying her local Kindergarten, but also loves the freedom of the school holidays, and me.

I talked with my daughter and husband and asked them if we could have a family meeting at the dinner table. I wrote out a plan that would help us plan for the future and not take unnecessary risks. Everybody liked the idea!

As a side note, I learnt about the idea of family meetings through Patty Wipfler, the founder of Hand in Hand Parenting who recommends including even the youngest members of our family in talking about the issues that effect our family. Positive Parenting Connection’s Ariadne Brill has written a really useful article about them here, Family Meetings: Make them work for your family 

If you have a big family decision to make you may find yourself going back and forth between choices and being unable to sense what is the right thing to do. This is often because emotions are getting in the way of rational thinking.

It can seem pointless to spend time dwelling on your emotions when it seems like you just need to find a solution and everything will be okay. However when emotions are getting in the way of your thinking, then it’s a sign they need some attention.

We can also avoid our emotions if we feel trapped, miserable and helpless to change our lives. Often these feelings relate to our past experiences when we have been trapped in situations that we really were unable to change. Tracing these feelings back to their roots in our own childhood can help them release them so these old feelings don’t have to cloud our present day thinking.

Once these past feelings have been released we might see solutions that we just couldn’t envisage before because we were so overwhelmed. It can take time. But it is a tried and tested method of finding clarity in your life.

What big parenting challenge are you facing? What would you like to change about your life? Start a listening partnership and you can begin to figure it out today!

You can find a listening partner in the Hand in Hand Parents support group and read more about them in my book Tears Heal: How to listen to our children






Take the Hand in Hand Parenting Sleep Course for just $1 !


There’s an amazing sale on at the Hand in Hand Parenting store at the moment. You can take their online sleep course for just $1!

Sign up here, enter the code SLEEPYONE at the checkout, and you’ll get all of Patty Wipfler’s wonderful videos and reading materials almost for free.

At $1 you can hardly lose, but if you’d like to learn more about why so many parents struggle with sleep, and why Hand in Hand has such a different approach that really works, then check out my article here The Truth About Sleep.

And if you do take this course I’d love to hear about your results!

Giggle Parenting For When You Work From Home


I’ve worked from home since my daughter was a baby and 99% of the time it works well. When her dad is there to take care of her I shut the door to the spare room in our small flat and I am rarely disturbed.

How do I do it? It’s not just about the giggles. When she was younger I spent many hours slowly edging out of the door, staylistening to her feelings about me leaving the room for any tiny reason such as going to the toilet, or having a shower. I used each of the five Hand in Hand Parenting tools to help with separation anxiety so that I could help her release feelings so that she could feel confident, safe and happy without me.

When we give our children time to express feelings about us leaving, they can think more clearly, feeling safe, and confident in the presence of other caregivers, knowing that we will return. They can also even from a young age, understand and respect when we need to be left alone to work.

As well as this listening to big feelings, Giggle Parenting comes in handy for releasing lighter feelings of disconnection that can get in the way of your child respecting your work.

This morning when I started work, my daughter started singing outside the door loudly. Our children are smart. When they need attention, they will seek it. When they are in this attention-seeking mode, our tendency may be to try rationalising and reasoning with them, to explain that we need to work, and that it’s important. But deep down our child probably knows that already, it’s just that their need for attention is also important.

So, I opened the door and I decided to pretend to be annoyed. In an exaggerated tone of voice, I said, ”excuse me, I am doing VERY important work in here, NO singing by the door!” I made sure that she understood, that I was being playful and wasn’t really annoyed, and I chased her away as she laughed. After a few minutes of play,  she said, ”I’m off to do my important work now,” and she was gone.

So if you find yourself trying to work from home and being distracted by giggles, songs, or whines by the door, then find your inner playfully annoyed parent, and chase them away. Exaggerate your frustration, throw your arms up in despair and pretend that you are helpless to prevent these constant interruptions by your child. Repeat as long as they want to play, and then you can get on with your work.

This playfully annoyed parent is perfect for all sorts of situations that test our patience and having this Giggle Parenting tool at the ready can help us to channel our own frustration while building connection with our child.

Do you need more help with dealing with separation anxiety? Check out Hand in Hand Parenting’s online self study course; Healing the Hurt Of Separation You can also read more about dealing with separation anxiety in my book Tears Heal


5 Tips For Raising Kind Children


As parents one of the qualities that we want most for our children is for them to be kind. As our babies grow into toddlers, many of us are looking for ways to minimise the hitting, and maximise the sharing. And as they grow older we hope they’ll grow into kind, caring adults that make friends easily and get on well in life.

But children can be pretty mean to each other at times. How do we deal with behaviour that appears selfish, unkind, and the opposite of everything we’ve hoped and dreamed for our children?

Hand in Hand Parenting is based on the principle that our children are all naturally good, it’s just sometimes their feelings get in the way. Here’s 5 tips based on the Hand in Hand Parenting approach to see your child’s natural kindness shining through.

1.Model kindness – Children are born imitators. Learning through observation and imitation is how they make sense of their world. Modelling kindness towards our children and to others, is one of the most effective ways to ‘teach’ them.

This can be tricky when our child’s behaviour is really pushing our buttons,                         when we are stressed and running on empty, so this is where the Hand in                             Hand parenting tool of listening time comes in handy, When we have                                     somewhere to vent our feelings, to say all those unkind, angry and frustrated                       thoughts then we clear space in our heads to think clearly, and let our own                           natural kindness shine through.

2. Set gentle, firm, limits on off-track behaviour – There are plenty of instances                  where children do things that have not been modelled to them. Toddlers who                      grow up in peaceful, connected households still act out aggressively, or snatch                    toys off others when this is something their parents have never done to them!                      Children are born with a fully developed limbic system (the emotional part of                      their brain), whereas the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for                impulse control is not fully formed till adulthood. So when big feelings get                            trigged a child may act them out in aggression, unkindness or other off-track                        behaviour.

Moving in close, to set firm, but gentle limits, gives children the connection they                  need chance to release any feelings of upset that have been bubbling up. When                  we set limits on behaviour, but allow all feelings, this prevents the likelihood off                -track behaviour happening in the future. You can read more about the Hand in                  Hand Parenting approach to setting limits by downloading a free e-book here.

3. Allow your child to cry for as long as they need to – When children cry we can often get in the track of treating crying as a behavioural issue that we need to fix. We might do this in the gentlest possible way, by getting a child to talk through their problems, or by trying to come up with solutions that will stop the tears.

Crying is a healing process, a natural way for releasing the stress and tension that can come out in unkind words and actions. So when we allow our child to cry or tantrum for as long as they need, they are literally releasing the feelings that get in the way of them being their natural, good, kind, selves. Listening with hugs, and connection, is ‘investment’ parenting, we are helping children with their feelings, so we will deal with less behavioural challenges in the future. That’s always good to keep in the back of our mind, when are dealing with a twenty minute tantrum!

4. Let the giggles flow (without the tickling) Laughter is a wonderful way to build connection, and when children feel well-connected they can more often access their natural, inner kind self. So make a conscious effort to bring more laughter into your family life, through playful roughhousing or general all-round silliness. With my Giggle Parenting approach to behaviour challenges, you can also build co-operation at the same time as having fun with your kids!

When human beings feel good, they are kinder, happier and find it easier to get on with others, so when a child is struggling with stuck, angry feelings, laughter goes a long way to heal the hurt.

5. Spend time doing what your child loves. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes and do some special time with your child. Tell them they can choose to do whatever they like, whether it’s playing Lego, or having a pillow fight. This gift of our time and complete attention, is one of the kindest things we can do for our kids, and we will see that kindness mirrored outwards.

When we parent like this on regular basis, using tools to help our children with their feelings, then they grow up feeling well-connected. As they go out into the world their ’emotional backpack’ will be light, without the heavy weight of unheard feelings. This allows them to be in touch with their natural joy and kindness. It’s the greatest gift we can give our children.

Do you need more help? Check out these Hand in Hand Parenting online self-study courses, Setting Limits and Building Cooperation, and Helping Your Child With Aggression