MindSense Blog

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Well here I am back from a big blogging break. I’ve been practicing doing nothing in the evenings and benefited from it quite a lot. I have put my feet up, spent some time getting over feeling guilty and just recharged my batteries. Now I felt it is timely to do a blog post on […]

How do working parents organise our lives in the school holidays? Well if you are the one who carries the lions share of child care and house hold care…it’s a hell of a lot of juggling!

Sometimes I think it would just be easier to put the kids in a school holiday programme. However, I know my children would not like to be in a programme. My kids are pretty free range and like to be able to plan their own time. One of them is just too old for school holiday clubs.

As they get older they manage to organise their own play dates, hang outs etc. I am just the contact person, the food person, the taxi driver, the sock finder, the injury attender and the emotions soother.

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Parenting in a way that keeps rules and boundaries alive but doesn’t kill your relationship with your children!

It’s about how we encourage the rules, boundaries and routines in our families that is important. Read more

It can be difficult to be aware of and to show our appreciation and gratefulness for our children sometimes as we let the pace of life take over. We can let stress push in and start to pressure us. When this happens parents can tend to focus on problems and difficulties rather than on what is working and what we are grateful for.

When I look at my beautiful children I often think about just how precious they are to me and how grateful I am that they continue to grow into really great individual and unique human beings who have so many good qualities. Read more

What a fabulous time of year to talk about making great memories for your children!

Vacation time – or as we say in New Zealand, ‘holiday time’ – is the perfect opportunity for us parents to think about how we can help our children create great memories of their childhood.

It doesn’t have to be huge and dosn’t have to be amazing but just doing something different together as a family is so important. Read more

Recently my youngest son (8 years old) came home from school saying that the teacher wants them to watch the News on Television so they can talk about it in class.

Now normally I wouldn’t think anything of this as they do need to have some knowledge and interest in the world around them. Read more

I have wanted to write for some time about something that perplexes me. I feel angry, frustrated and very sad when I think about it.

It’s about the issue of Animal Welfare support and Child Welfare support.

I see a lot of support shown in people’s ideology around animal welfare. It seems to be growing and a big thing now. I see posts constantly on Facebook of abused animals, or protests around the poor treatment of animals. Read more

The other night I had a mini family therapy session with my own family. It was a wee problem I had noticed with the way the kids were talking to each other. There was starting to be a bit of rudeness and name-calling. Although it wasn’t a huge issue yet, I decided to ‘nip-it-in-the-bud’ before it became one.

I’ve had a lot of conversations with parents recently around when is the time to get help for their children, or parenting. It’s an important question and something that has driven my work for many years. Read more

So I haven’t been working on my blogs for a while as I’ve been really busy with other projects. I’ve been neglecting blogging!

But I thought it is time to put fingers to the keyboard with some thoughts…about fingers on the keyboards….

Is parental screen time, whether it be smartphones, tablets, computers, tv, gaming, really worse than parents chatting to friends and phone calls like the old days. Really a lot of screen time is social interaction or relaxation time isn’t it? Read more

‘That I should do everything for my children’

I’ve come across this parenting belief many times.

I don’t think that anybody would admit to believing that they should do everything for their children…however many parents actually do waaay to much for their children. Read more

Today I thought I would sneak into the kitchen from my sick bed and whip up some food ready for dinner tonight. You know get a head start on things so that dinner and therefore bed time is not a late one.

However as I entered the kitchen I realised that my 8 year old is rostered on for dinner tonight. Usually this means he helps me, but I had a flashback of his happy little face some time ago when he cooked dinner for us all, mostly by himself. He cooked beef stew and vegetables with mashed potato. Read more

This is my new category ‘Deconstructing Parenting’, where I will take apart some common parental beliefs that might get parents into strife from time to time. I have just chosen 8 here, but I am sure there are many more.

I think it is important to think about how these misconceptions or ‘false beliefs’ can make us feel when we fail to be able to achieve them, as we will as they are not realistic. Read more


It both amuses me, and sometimes upsets me, that parents are so harshly judged. The amusement comes because parents are the biggest culprits themselves of judging other parents, yet don’t like it when they themselves are judged.

And it upsets me when I am the victim – of course. But then, like the title, you might say that none of us are exempt from being the judge and the judged. It is particularly rife amongst the parenting world don’t you think? Read more

I confess that I am a bit of a food snob, a food diva, maybe even a bit of a drama queen about food.

I have a few rules for myself such as I won’t eat left overs in general, maybe sometimes but not often. I hate mince and sausages, it’s a sirloin steak for me! Vegetables must be eaten raw, I cannot stand beautiful vegetables that have been boiled to within an inch of their little lives. I do not eat chocolate or cakes, or many sweet things at all really (Because I don’t like them rather than the sugar issue). And I absolutely will not drink instant coffee even though I am a coffee girl! Read more

Recently I was watching a TV programme about a teenager who fell in love with a Facebook “friend” who ended up not being who he said he was and actually was a perverted stalker set out to ruin young girls lives.

It is the very thing that puts fear into parents all over the world. For this young girl, her adolescent years from 15 years old until about 20 years, life was taken over and she was harassed, stalked, verbally and psychologically abused. All during the very years she would be developing her sense of herself as an adult and also when her adolescent brain was not functioning at its optimum. Read more


To carry on the theme of sleep from my last post….I have just woken up from a speed nap. This is a very necessary skill for a mother and I would highly recommend it, to be able to power nap in a short amount of time, recharging and ready to go for the next round.

This photo above is me speed napping 2 years ago on Xmas day in Dunsborough WA. (note the flat tummy book I got for Xmas! Hmmm). Read more

Sleep is a subject which I am pretty passionate about. I absolutely love my sleep.
I have the most comfortable bed in the world! I am, however, a bit of a night owl though. I am most definitely not a morning person, but can get up early if I feel motivated to get things done. With the help of a few cups of caffeine in the mornings I’m reasonable…I think!?

Apart from the fact that I love sleep, I also know the significant health benefits of sleep.
Throughout my work career I have become convinced that most children are just not getting enough sleep. In my recent work in youth suicide prevention, sleep was a significant issue for depressed teens. Read more