Little People, Big Feelings by Gen Muir OUT NOW

Itā€™s not about 'the bananaā€™ - the magic that stops a meltdown

littlekids meltdown toddler Apr 22, 2024

When little kids have big feelings, it can be extra confusing because it often appears to be about something that makes ‘no sense’….

Like snatching whatever the baby touches then completely falling apart when corrected....

Or having a complete public meltdown because they didn’t get to push button in a lift.

When I was around 10 days postpartum with my fourth child my two year old asked me for a banana. As I was peeling the banana I did what you should never, ever do to a toddler.

I accidentally BROKE IT IN HALF.

Anyone who has known a two year old knows this is an absolute no no when it comes to toddlers.

My son was devastated….

He was screaming over and over: “Banana broken”.

I didn't have anymore bananas so I initially tried to console him with logic…. “it tastes just the same”

Then facts… “Look in the bowl - I have apples, but I don’t have any more bananas”

 I tried to fix it:...

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How to talk to your kids about what happened at Bondi Junction

Uncategorized Apr 15, 2024

This weekend following the absolutely horrific events at Bondi Westfield many parents may want help with whether to tell their kids about what happens and if so, what is the best way to do that.

When events happen both in Australia, and globally it is understandable when parents feel confused about how much we should protect our kids from these events.  

One very strong instinct is to completely shield them from it. When it comes to the news and social media, we are right to limit what our kids see right now simply because their brains are not able to process these images in the way we can as adults.

Just like the quick thinking and courageous dad who protected his children by physically shielded his children’s eyes with eye masks. This is a reminder to all of us that our kids who may see images on the news, or though social media that they won’t be able to ‘un-see’ and we should absolutely strive to protect our kids from these potentially distressing...

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When Grown Ups have BIG feelings - 6 tips for repair with your child

connection emotion family Apr 09, 2024

We all know that little kids have BIG feelings.......but what about us?

Sometimes we lose it too.

Sometimes BIG people have BIG feelings. 

Despite our very best intentions.

I’ve yet to meet a parent that doesn’t loose it sometimes.

It might be in the kitchen at 5 pm trying to cook dinner....

With two small humans that WONT GET OFF YOUR LEGS.

Who are not responding to redirection no matter what you try. 

A hot frying pan cooking dinner that could hurt someone, one of the kids cries, another child asks to be picked up which isn’t safe while cooking and BOOM you lose it.

You snap, or freeze, or yell…..

And then you feel terrible.....

The good news is our kids do not need perfect parents who don’t make mistakes. In fact, evidence shows they begin to learn from their mistakes by watching us learn from ours.

It’s totally ok that you lose it. You are human.

There isn't a parent on earth that doesn't muck up. 

Kids don't need...

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Never enough. How to ditch that heavy parenting mental load.

#newbaby #parenting Mar 25, 2024

I was chatting to the most gorgeous new dad of a newborn baby girl this week. He was overjoyed to be a new father…learning to swaddle, supporting his partner, and absolutely smitten with his baby. There was one thing he was struggling the most with… constant worry about getting it wrong.

 He told me this:

‘the highs are so high, and there are really low lows, it’s a rollercoaster - but the hardest part of all is when she cries and we can’t help her or when feeding is hard and then this worry creeps in that maybe we are already stuffing everything up’.

Nothing could have prepared this dad for the underlying, nagging worry that maybe somehow despite trying his best he was already ‘getting it wrong.’ 

I reflected that in the last five years within the hospital environment I am seeing more and more parents who feel so worried, so heightened, so anxious about 'getting it wrong' before they've even begun. 

 And the...

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How can I help my BIG feeling child build resilience?

Uncategorized Mar 11, 2024

My son who is no longer a toddler started year 7 this year.

A big change with lots to adjust to. Around week three one Friday afternoon out of nowhere my happy go lucky, cruisy, resilient 12-year-old burst into tears over the smallest thing.

The likes of which I hadn’t seen since he was a toddler… and he wasn’t able to just pull it together despite the fact the timing wasn’t ideal.

I was a little surprised at first, and I remembered this same thing happening when my eldest started year 7. In times of change we can often see kids pushed to their emotional limits.

I knew what to do: to let him cry and let him know that adjusting to high school is huge, and feeling exhausted and emotional makes sense.  

 Later I shared with him that I bet lots of kids were feeling the same about now and that I too remember the struggle as I adjusted to year 7.

This is all true, I do remember how tiring year 7 was and I also know from experience of raising my...

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Five top tips for more joyful Christmas with Little Kids

Uncategorized Dec 11, 2023

For most parents with young kids, Christmas Day can be unpredictable. Sure, we love the idea of the presents, Santa, the time with family and friends, but the reality of the day can wind up with its challenges when our little kids miss the memo and wind up struggling with new food, new faces a lack of sleep and a load of sugar!

When we think about it, it makes sense: From an exciting morning opening presents from Santa, to gathering with family and friends, and potentially traveling to multiple places our kids, who really prefer the rhythm and routine of a standard day can wind up feeling overwhelmed and all it takes is their cousin to touch their new toy truck and its game over!

The key to a smoother Christmas with toddlers and kids may be as simple of lowering OUR expectations.

Read on for my top five tips for bringing more peace and joy to your home at Christmas.

1. Prepare as though you are EXPECTING them to struggle

 So often we forget that change and new environments...

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Starting BIG school - Four tips to help prepare your little one for the beginning of their school journey

As 2023 rapidly draws to a close there are many kids and parents starting to get exited and maybe a little nervous as they embark on their journey into formal education. AKA 'BIG school.'

The excitement builds as we farewell pre-school with end of year concerts and as we purchase new uniforms, huge backpacks, and new name label stickers for drink bottles and lunch boxes. We say 'bye' to daycare fees (hooray!) And hello to school readers and a whole new system of doing things. However, for many kids and parents the anticipation of big school can have us a bit nervous. 

The nerves make sense. For parents it’s a big step into our child being more independent, and it can be emotional seeing your baby, in their new uniform, hidden under the enormous school hat and huge backpack that you can’t ever imagine will fit them. We worry – will they fit in? What if they need help, will they be able to ask?

For our kids it’s a time of much excitement and some...

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Five game changing chores you can get your kids doing (without a struggle).

Uncategorized Nov 22, 2023

In my home growing up we all knew the dreaded sound of mum banging on all of our bedroom doors telling us it was “SATURDAY MORNING CLEANUP”. She would sing this song at the top of her voice about it being a ‘good morning’ and we’d all groan and moan.

BUT we all knew there was no getting out of the house to see friends until the chores were done.  My mum worked full time, there were no cleaners in those days and so we did the whole house as a group. My sister was responsible for bathrooms my brother would often have to vacuum the house and being the youngest I would unpack the lowest rack of the dishwasher and clean the skirting boards.

Research indicates that kids who regularly help around the home with chores may perform better academically and have better executive function, self-esteem and stronger problem-solving skills.

This research isn’t new, a Harvard Grant Study, which has been running since 1938 to present (the longest running...

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Research shows kids who do chores are more successfulā€¦.. but how do you ACTUALLY get your child to do them?

#parenting Nov 14, 2023

Last week I went away for a girl’s weekend. Much to my surprise and delight I came home to a SPOTLESS home. The washing was done, the lawns were mowed, even my car was washed! I looked at my hubby in disbelief and he said with a smile: “I found a new trick… I wrote each boy a list of 2/3 chores on a post it note and handed it to them. I told them chores before anything else and they just …..did it!”

He was pleased with his ‘dad hack’ - and I couldn’t believe it. Because it’s not always simple to get four different personalities doing chores as asked in our home.

At the same time: we both also know from our experience of raising four boys why this technique did in fact work so much better than the usual ask, then nag and then yell approach that let’s be honest, we all occasionally slip into.

I’ve seen a lot of buzz this week on social media about new research that indicates that children who regularly help around the...

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A magic solution for big feelings in little (and not so little) kids

Uncategorized Nov 05, 2023

On some days it can feel like you are walking on eggshells.

Your child is struggling, you are struggling and feels like if you make one wrong move, like giving the wrong-coloured cup or peeling a cheese stick when your child wanted to "do it myself” - and BAM you’ve ruined your child’s day.

 Kids have big feelings, and in case you are worried it’s just your kid?

I promise you, it’s not.

Little kids and BIG kids all experience big feelings because their brains are still developing. Essentially when these big feelings build up and children lack key skills manage this in a way that looks resilient.

Put simply, their brains are still developing and the pre-frontal cortex that helps them be reasonable, rational and regulated is not fully developed until well into your child’s mid 20’s. (Yep, you heard right!)

Tantrums and meltdowns are normal and healthy. Tantrums and meltdowns are not a choice our children make, but a state of emotional...

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