As one door closes

Its hard to believe that after some 10 years Jack and I have decided to pass the Coaching Parent on to a younger, more dynamic individual #gieniusz – Adam Gieniusz in Poland. Perhaps it was meant to be following the translation of the book into Polish, that other possibilities for entrepreneurs might emerge. I met Adam while delivering an Executive & Corporate coaching workshop in Istanbul. From initial interest some 6 months later we have sold and transferred our interests. The work is in good hands though and the spirit of the idea will not only live on – it will thrive. We wish every success to the new owner. Bye for now. #davidmiskimin

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Budgetting with children

As the global recovery struggles to take shape, most of us continue to be careful with our spending. What to do as an activity when there are many competing items a child might enjoy? One of the simplest things is to simply let them be! One of my grandchildren, without any prompting from me, discovered certain sweets can usefully double as rings. What fun was had and lasting for about 20 minutes too. A bonus when that ended was they could also be eaten! David Miskimin

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Bullying

Bullying is one of the topics we hear about most often in parenting. Recently a wonderful short film has been made called ‘Once Upon A Life’ which tackles the issue from both the bullied and the bully’s perspective. If you want to find out more, see the trailer below: Jack Stewart

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Taking Children Away?

There has been a lot of publicity in the UK about supposed poor or inadequate parents. Unfortunately some of the ‘remedies’ have been draconian and have involved taking children away. One of our book’s great strengths is that David and I don’t agree on everything, and I suspect he wouldn’t agree with me using the term ‘child stealing by the state!’… We concur 100% on the importance of loving, informed and wise parenting, hence our partnership. Taking children from their parents must always be the last, the very last option. And I personally am not now, despite again our having run workshops on coaching, a fan of taking parents out and ‘training’ them. Parental coaching can be learned from reading our book. Coaching your children is a joint project. We never imply what you are doing is flawed. Our starting point is that you are doing it right. You, and all of us, unless we are Bradley Wiggins, can improve how we do things. Surely learning this critical process is worth £15? Have a great 2013. Jack Stewart

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Getting Hotter in Athens

Anne and I have just come back from 10 days in Athens, where it reached 100 degrees [F] on a couple of days. To say the wonderful Greeks are being challenged is the year’s understatement. What really sticks in my throat is the 50% youth unemployment. If this is a ‘price worth paying’ then those advocating this position need certifying. Given the despair many young people are feeling, who can blame those who are leaving. However, I and many others have a knowing that the Greek people will turn this situation around, so we need all those with talent to stay and re-build the country despite the efforts of those wanting servitude and control. And self-evidently this is a critical time for good parenting… Jack Stewart

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Bizarre weather – not complaining!

Not sure whats happening with the weather – March 26th and 19 degrees C, or about 66 degrees F if you prefer. Either way, sun cream needed as its very unexpected. The ladybirds probably thought so too, coming out in swarms. It reminded me when I was a child that once a year a tree stump in a favourite park in Urmston (Manchester, UK), was covered in hundreds of yellow and black striped caterpillars. It always enthralled me and that’s exactly what these ladybirds have done too. David Miskimin

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Spring has truly sprung!

This must be one of the best springtime experiences we have had in England for many many years. Extensive sunshine and the blossom on the trees, has been the fullest I can recall. And what a joy it was to take our four grandchildren to Ness Botanic Gardens on the Wirral (North West England). They had an amazing time frolicking in the blossom, and it was just as much fun for us watching! David Miskimin

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What are you looking forward to?

I was listening to a fascinating conversation on the radio. The DJ asked his nine-year-old caller, who was about to depart for school – “what are you looking forward to about school today?”. The response was immediate and effusive. “My two front teeth came out yesterday and nobody knows – I can’t wait to get to school and show everybody!”.  I thought ‘how wonderful’, and not a moments concern from the caller either. It also reminded me about the importance of looking forward rather than backwards. We can’t change the past, yet we can eagerly anticipate the future, especially if we believe we can influence it by what we do in the present. In The Coaching Parent book we refer to how easy it is to integrate this thinking into coaching. One of the great things with coaching is to create an atmosphere of future expectation. It’s done with the simple statement: “What are you most looking forward to about tomorrow.” It presupposes a number of things: • That you are looking forward to something. • That you are looking forward to more than one thing. • That the future will indeed be positive. And even though you may not have thought of something, the statement forces you to comment on the fact that there will be something you can look forward to. So – a very powerful question. How about asking your family the same question…? David Miskimin

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What’s not to be possible?

How do you construct your reality? If you read the ‘papers’ every day, and watch a lot of ‘news’ programmes, you will probably be suicidal! Like most people, you most likely take what you watch, hear and read with a pinch of salt. I saw a TV programme the other night about a young single mum who gave her young son an Argos catalogue before Xmas. Guess what? He ‘chose’ a list of toys and she went into debt to buy them. She had to declare the equivalent of bankruptcy after being unable to pay the £600 bill. So who created her son’s reality? And her’s? Forget the material stuff for a moment. What would happen if you dispensed with Newtonian cause-and-effect physics? This 400 year old theory underpins media reality, as does the model of a our bodies as machines. Suppose we could influence ‘reality’ to a level unimaginable? Just like da Vinci, Galileo, Newton [in his day], Tesla, Einstein and contemporary innovators. Just exactly what is fixed for ever? Almost nothing. So your reality is co-created with God, the universe, source, or consciousness or whatever you choose to call it. And what kind of reality do you want? And for your children… Jack Stewart

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The [Divine] Feminine?

At what age do you consider it appropriate for your girls to be bombarded with sexual imagery? What kind of role models do they have today? Who or what might inspire them? If you watch television, you will not fail to have noticed that today’s women are obsessed with how they look, how often they can flick their hair, how high the heels are on their shoes and if they can master about six poses and pouts modelled by Posh Spice and Cheryl Cole. Indeed do not these two represent the highest pinnacle of acheivement? And if you get fed up with Cheryl Cole’s face on every vertical urban space, there’s always Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Beyonce. The time is ripe for mothers everywhere to become real role models for daughters. Compassion, kindness, inner strength, resilience, serving others, honesty, down-to-earth, intelligence, grace, patience, humility, love… Or self-obsession, avarice, greed, falseness and talentless irrelevance? These may be the rantings of a grumpy old man. But who would you like your girls to emulate…? Whilst no-one should underestimate the corrupting and corrosive power of the media in all its forms, mothers are the unsung heroes of the next generation. Please use your influence wisely. Jack Stewart

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