Parenting the holy grail of a hand book. Three thoughts to guide you.

Dam I can not tell you how many hours I have burnt through listening to parenting podcasts, reading parenting books, surveying my friends about their parenting approach.

I was driven to go big on parenting research because I worried every day that I was not being a great mum. That I was missing the mark for my kids and worse still I did not even know it because I did not have the measures right. The ones which would predict who happy their lives would turn out to be.

I got myself lost at times in the contradicting advice. Naughty steps are important, naughty steps are damaging. You should never go back on your decision, going back on your decision teaches flexibility. This list went on…

Well after years of research and a good hit of therapy I have landed on these three factors which allow me to parent my way confidently every day…


Your family values should be at the heart of how you parent.

Know your core values, what matters most to you. Perhaps it is discipline, maybe it is fun. I have shared a list of values below. See which ones jump out at you as being important to you in your parenting style.

  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Responsibility
  • Kindness
  • Gratitude
  • Empathy
  • Courage
  • Resilience
  • Optimism
  • Self-discipline

Whatever your values focus on nurturing these in your day to day and family relationships. Speak to your partner about which they aspire to hold. When I did this with my husband they were very different.


Children do thrive with boundaries and everyone’s boundaries will be different. In my experience boundaries also change over time. My teenager has very different boundaries to my six year old. Boundaries can be physical, ‘you must stay within the park’, behavioural ‘you must speak with a kind voice’, or other types ‘you must be home before it gets dark.’


The final piece of the equation I have found is environment. And this one I am still very much learning to shape. Environment can be physical the home in which they live school which they go to but it can also be things like structure or routine.

If you give kids the space they need to grow in, the access to the right tools, set clear boundaries and let them explore whilst nurturing a set of values, you won’t go far wrong.

Do you have any parenting hacks? I am always on the hunt please comment with any below.


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