Parenting Advice & Tips

Aware Parenting articles By Joss Goulden
Explore my articles which cover how to support our children, how to support ourselves and Aware Parenting and Natural Learning.
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  • Supporting Our Children (30)
  • Supporting Ourselves (11)
  • Homeschooling & Natural Learning (6)

Aware Parenting in a Nutshell

Aware Parenting is a philosophy and approach to parenting that emphasizes understanding and responding to children's needs with compassion and awareness. It was developed by the developmental psychologist and author Dr Aletha Solter. The main aspects of Aware Parenting include: Attachment and Connection: Aware Parenting emphasizes the importance of secure attachment and building strong connected […]
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Helping Children to Stop Thumb-Sucking

It is really common for children to suck their thumbs and for parents to find it frustrating to know how to support them when we want them to stop. In authoritarian parenting styles, children might be punished or shamed into stopping. In more permissive parenting styles, children might just be left to suck their thumb […]
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The 4 Basic Assumptions of Aware Parenting

What does science tell us about children? Dr. Aletha Solter first outlined the 4 assumptions of Aware Parenting in her book The Aware Baby. These assumptions are so helpful for parents to counter some of the misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions about children in the wider culture and to support parents to become really clear about […]
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How our Childhood Affects our Parenting

What we can do when we are activated by our children's behaviour. How do our childhood experiences impact us as adults? Unless you grew up in a family where your feelings were welcomed, where you got to express your needs and know that they would be consistently met, where you felt unconditionally loved regardless of […]
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Dealing with our Children's Challenging Behaviour

The most unenjoyable moments in parenthood are often when our children are behaving in challenging ways. We may feel powerless, frustrated, angry and stuck when our children are uncooperative, emotional, demanding or aggressive. Old styles of parenting in our culture tell us that difficult behaviour is because children don't know how to behave properly and that […]
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Parenting Together in Partnership

Conflict and struggles between parents are part of almost every Aware Parenting consultation I offer. Whatever the unique circumstances of a family, it is inevitable that there will be times of disagreement and disaccord. Clients often want guidance and support on how to get onto the the same page in parenting with their partner or co-parent and […]
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Why I am so passionate about Natural Learning.

This blog is not about Aware Parenting and is not the Aware Parenting perspective. It is my personal opinion about school and the impact schooling has on societies all around the world. I fully respect everyone’s right to choose for themselves what is right for their children and their family. If you or your children […]
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Supporting our Children to Release Accumulated Feelings

When Feelings Seem to Get Stuck. When we discover Aware Parenting, it often immediately makes sense that children have challenging experiences and are able to release and heal the stress and trauma with our support using their natural healing mechanisms of crying with loving support, play and laughter. We understand that children know how to […]
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Helping Children to Learn to Use the Potty or Toilet

Frequently, supporting our children to learn to use the potty or toilet can be really difficult and frustrating for parents. The widely-used term 'Potty Training' implies that our children need to be trained in using a potty or the toilet, and there is a lot of cultural conditioning about when children "should" be using the […]
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How to Stop Siblings Fighting: Bringing more Harmony to your Family.

Conflict between siblings is a common struggle for parents - when I was researching this article, one of the suggested search terms was "How many times an hour do siblings fight"! It is often something that parents find extremely painful and exasperating and parents often feel deep sadness that the relationships between their children is […]
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Happy Mother's Day

It is Mother's Day this weekend in Australia. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. I send you lots of love and acknowledgement. Motherhood is hard work and showing up with loving care for our children everyday deserves respect and admiration, every day! Mothers day is often a gorgeous day of connection and appreciation and […]
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What is Aware Parenting? What Does it Mean to Consciously Raise our Children?

The 10 Principles of Aware Parenting. I am so grateful to Aletha Solter, Ph.D. the founder of the Aware Parenting Institute. Her description of the 3 aspects and 10 principles of Aware Parenting are on her website www.awareparenting.com. These 10 principles clearly outline what Aware Parenting is and how it supports our children and ourselves. They describe […]
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Supporting Ourselves to Listen to Feelings

When our children have big feelings to share, it is difficult for us to learn how to listen. Here are some ways to help you stay calm, loving and grounded so that they feel safe to express their emotions with us and know we are there with them, listening, supporting and loving them.  We use […]
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Regression Play for Healing and Connection

In her book Attachment Play, Aletha Solter Ph.D. describes nine different forms of play that parents can use to build and maintain strong attachment with their children, to elicit cooperation, to promote healing of stress and trauma and to provide a sense of emotional safety. The laughter that these forms of play create, reduces tension, […]
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Repair and Rewind with Teenagers

Power of rewind and repair in relation to mistakes we made long ago. Yesterday in the car with my teenage children and I was again reminded of how much I love aware parenting and how we can trust our children’s timing to heal. My son started teasing me for the way I spoke to both […]
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The Wonderful Power of Listening to Feelings

How crying is misunderstood in our culture: There is a cultural misunderstanding about the purpose of tears. There is also frequently discomfort around feelings and the expression of feelings, whether from other people or in relation to expressing our own feelings. Crying in babies is also often only seen as an expression of immediate need […]
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How Do You Respond When Your Child is Being Aggressive?

When our children act aggressively and hurtfully, it can be some of the most challenging parenting moments we face. We long for our children to be loving and kind, playful with their siblings and non-violent. So when we see them behave aggressively, it can be devastating for us. We might start imaging that there is […]
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Compassion and Aware Parenting

In Aware Parenting, we don’t expect ourselves to be perfect parents and we don’t expect our children to be perfect either. This requires us to be compassionate with ourselves and with our kids. So it's helpful to ask ourselves - How can I be most compassionate right now? To my child? And to myself? Learning […]
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How Aware Parenting Supports us to Heal Ourselves

Healing our layers of pain and wounds from our childhood is a long process. So few of us received the loving listening and support we needed as children, so we are carrying around a lifetime of unheard pain and tears. There are times when it feels like trying to heal the pain is endless and […]
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Control Patterns and Aware Parenting.

What are Control Patterns? Control Patterns (CP’s) are habits we use, often unconsciously, to protect ourselves from painful feelings. They are mechanisms that we start using at times of feeling emotional pain when we didn’t have a compassionate supportive listener there to help us to express and heal that pain, in order to repress the […]
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Laughing Matters! Having More Fun in Parenting.

 How to bring more laughter and joy to parenting: It is now well understood that “Laughter is the best medicine” and this is particularly true for children. Sharing laughter is a core component of Aware Parenting, because of the powerfully transformative healing effects of laughing and because focusing on fun and light-heartedness profoundly deepens our […]
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Parenting Without Punishments or Rewards

Why punishments and rewards don't work and what to do instead: Most conventional approaches to parenting use some form of punishments and rewards to discipline children, to teach them right from wrong and to control their behaviour. This is based on a behaviorist approach to parenting which presumes that we need to teach our children […]
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Getting Support as Parents. Why we Need Support and Why it’s Hard to Ask.

"I need more support in my parenting"! Whilst most of us understand that getting support in parenting is helpful, many of us struggle to ask for help, to receive help and to prioritise our needs for support. But why is that? Surely if it helps us with parenthood – a role that we all find […]
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What can I do when parenting feels hard?

On the days when we are struggling with parenting. We all have really hard days in parenting, where we are exhausted and overwhelmed, pushed right to the edge, where there are a lot of tears and emotion, where we respond harshly to our children and where it all feels impossible and so far away from […]
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The Challenges of Motherhood in Modern Times

It is Mother's Day today in Australia. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. I send you lots of love and acknowledgement. Motherhood is hard work and showing up with loving care for our children everyday deserves respect and admiration, every day!  We were not designed to do this in nuclear families. For […]
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Listening to our Children's Feelings

The Aware parenting perspective is that crying is a natural mechanism for relieving stress, for healing from trauma, and for recovery and relaxation. Our tears contain stress hormones, so crying is literally the process of removing stress from our bodies. In order for this natural system to be effective, feelings must be heard with compassion, […]
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How to Respond to Tantrums.

How tantrums are misunderstood in our culture. Crying, raging and tantrums are misunderstood in our society, seen as something bad, something to eliminate, something to punish. I recently heard from a friend that her son’s school had been in touch with her because her 4 year old who had just started Kindy was having tantrums […]
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Why I am so passionate about Natural Learning.

This blog is not about Aware Parenting and is not the Aware Parenting perspective. It is my personal opinion about school and the impact schooling has on societies all around the world. I fully respect everyone’s right to choose for themselves what is right for their children and their family. If you or your children […]
read more

The Best Way to Help our Children to Cooperate: Loving Limits

Making parenting easier and more enjoyable. How do we support our children to cooperate, to be loving to their siblings, to help in the family, to respond to us with love and ease? Parenting feels so much easier when our children are behaving in these ways than when they are fighting with their siblings, refusing […]
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Raising Happy, Healthy Children; Aware Parenting and Natural Learning.

What’s it like to be raised with Aware Parenting and Natural Learning? What have my children taught me about parenting after 18 years? Parenthood is hard, especially in our small nuclear families without the village around us to support us and share the work of raising our children. But Aware Parenting has been so transformational […]
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Can my children go to University if we Homeschool?

I hear this question so often from clients, family and friends and I used to really worry about this too. I had a very traditional education and went to uni, as was expected of me, and then did post-graduate studies too. And then I taught at university for 10 years doing clinical supervision. So when […]
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What I wish I had known about Homeschooling when I started.

Making homeschooling easier and more enjoyable. When we first chose to homeschool, I never imagined that we would keep doing it all the way through our children’s “school” years. But now, after supporting their learning for 18 years, I look back and see so many things that I wish I had known at the beginning […]
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Special Time

The benefit of giving your child your undivided, loving attention. Just back from a whole weekend of Special time with my beautiful daughter. Now that my kids are teenagers, they are often off on their own adventures and I miss the days when they were little and wanted to be with me everyday and play […]
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Essential tips for Parenting teenagers

Building strong, respectful relationships with teenagers. The teenage years can be really challenging for children and parents. It is a time of significant change and growth and our teens often experience difficult struggles. This can include school stress, exams, peer conflicts, harsh discipline at school, bullying, puberty, dealing with the pressure and stress of social […]
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How do you resolve conflicts in the family?

All families experience conflict and challenges at times. As Aletha Solter, founder of Aware Parenting, says “The mark of a healthy family is not the absence of conflicts, but the manner in which conflicts are resolved”. More traditional parenting approaches that recommend punishments, rewards, strong discipline and authoritarian strategies, create disconnection and resentment. These approaches […]
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What can I do when I shout at my children?

Sometimes we respond harshly to our children, we say mean things, we shout and yell, or we threaten them. Sometimes our children’s behavior brings us face to face with our wounds from our childhood and we explode. Often we were shouted at a lot as children so yelling feels programmed into us. Parenting is the […]
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25 Great Games To Play with our Children.

Attachment Play - How to Solve Behaviour Problems with Play. What is Attachment Play? Attachment play is a core aspect of Aware Parenting, founded by Aletha Solter Ph.d. These ways of playing with our kids support them to release and heal from stress and trauma, strengthens our relationship with our children and helps to solve […]
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Helping our Children to Sleep

Getting our children to go to sleep, and stay asleep, is frequently a source of frustration and is challenging for many parents. By that time of day, most us who are raising our children without a village to help us, are ready to collapse ourselves. So we are often not feeling very patient or resourced […]
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What can I do when my baby cries?

Babies are born with the ability to cry. Crying is their main way of communicating. They cry when they are hungry, tired, uncomfortable, sick or in pain and when they are stressed. On average, young babies cry for almost 3 hours a day, and around 1 in 10 babies cry for a lot longer than […]
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Tips for homeschooling during lockdown

How to Survive and Enjoy Homeschooling During Lockdown. We have homeschooled our children since my first child finished Kindy and my daughter has never been to school. We are passionate about homeschooling and natural learning. However, what parents are having to cope with now during lockdown is a very different challenge to navigate. We used […]
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Aware Parenting is for parents too!

Aware Parenting is for parents too: A core principle of Aware Parenting is prioritising getting support and care for ourselves as parents, in order to be able to support and care for our children. And when our behavior is going off track and we are shouting or feel like we are losing our way, it […]
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Helping to make parenting easier

How can we make parenting easier and more enjoyable? There are times for us all when parenting feels challenging and frustrating. Even though we deeply love our children, sometimes it feels hard - we need more support and we just don’t know how to be the parent we want to be or how to help […]
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Helping Siblings to Get Along

Many of us who have more than one child have this dream that our children will be the best of friends and will love each other always. Sometimes our kids are so connected and loving, which is so touching and beautiful. But there are also times when they fight and argue and it’s often really […]
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Trust: The Next Step

Motherhood provides so many opportunities for us to learn to trust ourselves and to trust our children. It’s not easy though. This quote always deeply resonated for me: “Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves and most of us were taught […]
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They Grow Up So Fast

I Just got home after a beautiful weekend away with my son, hanging out at many of our old favourite places from when he was little. At 17 he is increasingly out on his own adventures and hanging out with his friends so it was precious to have him all to myself for the weekend. […]
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How can you learn more about Aware Parenting?

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Whether you are new to Aware Parenting or ready to dive deeper, whether your child is a baby or a teen, my courses will support you on your journey.
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Communities & Circles

Connect with other parents
Become a part of an online community or circle of other like-minded parents. I offer beautiful, supportive communities and circles. To find out more, connect with me.
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Workshops

Learn about my upcoming workshops
My online workshops explain the theory of Aware Parenting and how to put it into practice in your families. Get in touch with me if you would like to join a workshop or request a topic for a workshop.
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Podcasts

Enjoy my podcast episodes
The Aware Parenting Stories podcast explores the world of parenting through conversations with people who are passionate about parenting and supporting others to parent in this beautiful way.
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Articles

Explore my Aware Parenting articles
My articles describe how to support our children, as well as how to support ourselves. I also write about Homeschooling and Natural Learning.
Read now

Podcasts

Explore my podcast episodes
The Aware Parenting Stories podcast explores the world of parenting through conversations with people who are passionate about parenting and supporting others to parent in this beautiful way.
Listen now

Articles

Explore my Aware Parenting articles
My articles describe how to support our children, as well as how to support ourselves. I also write about Homeschooling and Natural Learning.
Read now

Aware Parenting with Joss

I am so passionate about sharing this beautiful approach with parents. I believe that Aware Parenting is THE solution for so many of the challenges facing the world. - Joss Goulden, Aware Parenting Instructor
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