A Stress Reduction Guide for you and your family

It’s Stress Awareness Month

(A 5 minute read).


Stress can creep up on us silently, without us realising it, manifesting it’s creeping threads in so many different ways, triffid like.  A lot of people I know at the moment are suffering from Stress. The World Health organisation reckon that stress related illnesses will become  the largest health problem by 2020.

I recently gave talks at Tunbridge Wells Mums in Business about The Balance Act for Parentpreneurs, and at Tonbridge Mums in Business about Mum Guilt so I thought I would condense these into a shortened blog post. Having said that, I’ve realised that it’s not so easy to write a blog on a talk! But here is the essence!

The Author Alain de Botton said:

 “there is no such thing as work/life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life” .

Continue reading “A Stress Reduction Guide for you and your family”

Helping Children cope with Change

Change is the only constant

I feel like I’m re-living the lyrics of Paul Young’s hit Wherever I lay my hat at the moment, not because I’m breaking someone’s heart, but because I’m roaming about Kent stopping here and stopping there in holiday lets while our house is being renovated after a flood last year.

Having lived in our house since 1998, I now realise that I don’t do change in my home situation very well, probably because as a child I lived in 9 different houses before I was 18.  As a result I longed to put down roots after I was married and had my children.

Continue reading “Helping Children cope with Change”

Positive Parenting Guide on Toddler Tantrums

Are you at the end of your tether dealing with tantrums?

“Children in a family are like flowers in a bouquet: there’s always one determined to face in an opposite direction from the way the arranger desires” Marcelene Cox




How can a Positive Parenting approach help you deal with Toddler Tantrums?

Positive Parenting is not just a Parenting Strategy, it is a Parenting Philosophy and as such it is more of a holistic approach to the wellbeing of the whole family. In it’s “wholeness”, it embraces emotional intelligence, emotional resilience and nurtures the mindset and wellbeing of all. It is an approach that  looks much deeper into behavioural challenges such as Toddler Tantrums,  by addressing the emotions that are fuelling the behaviour and therefore giving children the opportunity to express their feelings and feel heard. Continue reading “Positive Parenting Guide on Toddler Tantrums”

The Saving Grace of a Garden

Salvias are their own saving grace hence their name being very aptly derived from “salvere”, which is Latin for “to save” or “to heal”.

The Saving Grace of a Garden

Caroline Arnold in her TEDxTunbridgeWells presentation talks about her idea of the Saving grace of nature, the benefits of being outdoors and noticing nature for our wellbeing and mental health.  I love the bit where she suggests that we all make an effort in our lunchbreak to go outside, and hug a tree. Caroline runs a successful project in Sussex called Grow to Grow, where vulnerable young people who have dis-engaged from school can participate in growing and selling produce alongside receiving education in core subjects.

The effects of being outdoors have been well documented and evidenced for looking after ourselves and a powerful remedy for stress, anxiety and depression. Continue reading “The Saving Grace of a Garden”

My type of Coaching: How I can help

The Pathway to my kinda  Coaching

It all started buying a new pair of glasses! I blindly (excuse the pun) expected to purchase a pair of glasses with little ado….eye test done, new frames chosen….voila! But then a protracted dilemma was drawn out by the choice and quality of lenses. I expect a pair of lenses to help me see, but I didn’t know that the quality of lenses, the thickness, the curvature, the coating, blah, blah, blah, would “enhance my sight even further, if I upgraded from the bronze quality to the gold quality. Whaaaat? The lengthy explanation that I would be able to see better for night driving…well yes, to see better would be most helpful! I started to feel anxious. In fact the whole process fed into my anxious brain…which presumably this selling psychology is supposed to do, to persuade me to spend far more money in upgrading from a lense that I might not be able to see the road in high definition, to one where I have super duper night road vision so that I don’t crash and die! Of course I ended up paying a stupid amount of money for the “premium” lense, as I long for the best vision possible, not to crash and die and I don’t want a pair of glasses that look like a pair of swimming goggles.

This process of what I now reflect upon as a form of insidious “selling” psychology seems to have permeated across the board . I think the official term is “upselling”. I have been busy trying to get into the “business lingo” while doing my business plan. Researching for my business plan….yes, I know I have started the business, but that’s me I tend to do everything backwards, leap in and learn along the way. Anyway, in my research I have been surprised at the amount of “business terminology” and upselling packages, in what is a people, not a product driven environment. I am quite baffled as to why anyone in the “helping people” sector are offering for example, the same models as for buying glasses, that is, a Bronze, Silver or Gold selection or a “VIP” package, because to me that gives the impression that the Bronze service is an “inferior” service to the Gold package or I’m not a VIP, because I can’t afford to be one. As a potential client I would be dismayed to think that a bracket of money would only entitle me to a part of a full service….again feeding into my “anxious” brain, that I could possibly be missing out on the advantages of the full  “VIP” or “Gold” package.  Using the very language of Bronze, Silver and Gold or anything similar has subliminal links with Competitive activities and the corporate world.

My Style, My Brand

During the last ten years of coaching vulnerable adults and children, they have always got the very best from me, there were all VIP’s in my eyes, people that needed extra TLC and support and I would constantly brainstorm in the most creative ways how to connect with each individual, no matter how challenging, to facilitate some form of “lightbulb” moments. Even when some told me to “f***k  o** I would wait for another opportunity, usually involving the art supplies.

I truly hope that you won’t feel the need to use expletives as my approach to coaching is that everyone gets 100% of The Weller Way, I have a flat fee for which in return I hope you will feel that you have gained personal reflection and a valuable insight into the most important job in the world.  There is no upselling with me, because that in my opinion is disingenuous. Generally people seek help from Coaches because they feel they are “not performing” in an area of their life, using competitive jargon in my opinion is counter productive. “Not performing well enough” is an indictment on our society’s fast paced, perfection seeking,  driven , ambitious culture and this is sadly filtering into our attitude about parenting. We strive to be the best parents that we can be, and that is natural, but not at the expense of beating ourselves up that we are not good enough because we are constantly making comparisons with others. Children are wonderfully forgiving, for most of the time, because they are hard-wired to seek a strong attachment with us, as long as we remember to apologise when we get it wrong. The Weller Way encourages and helps you to re-frame your thought processes from a stance of not good enough and feeling unable to juggle the demands of family life to feeling good enough, that you have a strong and secure connection with your child through which you can implement effective boundaries that are respected and can withstand whatever challenges are thrown your way.

 Parenting is Tough

as the Duchess of Cambridge reminded us recently , but it isn’t a competition, it’s a warts and all journey of unconditional love and building connection that can be strengthened by a little bit of coaching.

The Weller Way can guide you along a pathway, which encourages the following components to create a fully functional family:

P for Partnership

A for Authenticity

T for Trust

H for Heart.

Whether it’s a few sessions, or the full Circle of Security training,  I can help you feel more confident in ambling along your unique path. I hope that you can discover that being a real and not a perfect parent is something to aim for.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a     river moving in you, a joy.



How Mindfulness can help improve Family Life.

This article is written by Melissa Benaroya on her Mind Yeti blog published March 18 2017 and I have re-posted.

A child’s anxiety is stressful to the child and can also be stressful for the child’s family. Anxiety can actually be debilitating for kids. Children may spend endless amounts of time and energy fixated on things such as grades, family issues, peer relationships, and performance in sports, as well as disasters they think might happen or dangers that do not actually exist.

Understanding the different types of anxiety and the options for treatment for children and adolescents is really important. Over the course of the last 5 to 10 years, the practice of mindfulness has received significant attention and gained recognition as an effective means of treating and managing childhood anxiety.

Mindfulness is defined as the ability to pay attention to the present moment with kindness and curiosity and without judgment. The goal of mindfulness is to intentionally draw awareness to thoughts, feelings, or sensations as they happen from moment to moment. Mindfulness helps children pay attention to the here and now, which allows them to distance themselves from what is upsetting them.

And the benefits of mindfulness practice are significant! Here are just a few of the many benefits of using mindfulness with children who are anxious:

  • Helps bring attention back to the present, away from worries about the future
  • Reduces stress
  • Breaks the cycle of worry, where one fear feeds on another until it snowballs into full-blown anxiety or even a panic attack
  • Teaches children to identify and accept emotions, rather than feel consumed by them
  • Allows children to practice awareness and acceptance without judgment

Incorporating mindfulness into your family life can be quite simple. Parents don’t need previous experience to start using mindfulness with children. Begin by introducing your child to the practice and explaining how you will use it. You can let them know that mindfulness can be as short as three minutes or as long as an hour and that there are a range of styles and topics. My favorite Mind Yeti sessions for anxious kids include: Anchor Your Boat,  Candle Can Do and Tree In The City, but you should explore all the sessions and chose the ones you and your child like best.

Once you have discussed mindfulness with your child, come up with a plan together for how you will use this . You can offer some choices concerning the length of their first session or the topic. By allowing your child to choose and help come up with the plan, you increase their buy-in to implement and participate in the practice. The more consistently and frequently you practice, the better. By practicing at the same time each day, you ensure consistency and increase efficacy.

Want some more ideas on how to help your child manage their anxiety.  Check out these tips from my conversation with Karen Young, psychologist and Hey Sigmundfounder: 

5 Ways to help children who struggle with Self Control.


Children who struggle with self control and resort to challenging behaviours often have trouble coping with everyday tasks or situations. These are 5 ways to help them develop coping strategies to help control their emotions and reactions.

  1. Give Words to feelings: Name it to tame it.
  2. Find the triggers: Track and observe
  3. Anticipate transitions: Be one step ahead
  4. Use what they love doing as a coping strategy: Not bribes or rewards
  5. Be present and understanding: Use active listening and ask relevant questions.                                                                                                                                                                                                           If you would like advice on how to implement these strategies how about booking a one to one discovery session?  I can help you discover how to manage challenging behaviours in a more positive way which will strengthen the relationship between you and your child.

Letter from a Teenager

Another glorious piece of writing from The Circle of Security International.

The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You
by Gretchen Schmelzer

Dear Parent:

This is the letter that I wish I could write.

This fight we are in right now. I need it. I need this fight. I can’t tell you this because I don’t have the language for it and it wouldn’t make sense anyway. But I need this fight. Badly. I need to hate you right now and I need you to survive it. I need you to survive my hating you and you hating me. I need this fight even though I hate it too. It doesn’t matter what this fight is even about: curfew, homework, laundry, my messy room, going out, staying in, leaving, not leaving, boyfriend, girlfriend, no friends, bad friends. It doesn’t matter. I need to fight you on it and I need you to fight me back.

I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in. I used to know who I was, who you were, who we were. But right now I don’t. Right now I am looking for my edges and I can sometimes only find them when I am pulling on you. When I push everything I used to know to its edge. Then I feel like I exist and for a minute I can breathe. I know you long for the sweeter kid that I was. I know this because I long for that kid too, and some of that longing is what is so painful for me right now.

I need this fight and I need to see that no matter how bad or big my feelings are—they won’t destroy you or me. I need you to love me even at my worst, even when it looks like I don’t love you. I need you to love yourself and me for the both of us right now. I know it sucks to be disliked and labeled the bad guy. I feel the same way on the inside, but I need you to tolerate it and get other grownups to help you. Because I can’t right now. If you want to get all of your grown up friends together and have a ‘surviving-your-teenager-support-group-rage-fest’ that’s fine with me. Or talk about me behind my back–I don’t care. Just don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on this fight. I need it.

This is the fight that will teach me that my shadow is not bigger than my light. This is the fight that will teach me that bad feelings don’t mean the end of a relationship. This is the fight that will teach me how to listen to myself, even when it might disappoint others.

And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.

I know there is nothing inherently satisfying in this job for you. I know I will likely never thank you for it or even acknowledge your side of it. In fact I will probably criticize you for all this hard work. It will seem like nothing you do will be enough. And yet, I am relying entirely on your ability to stay in this fight. No matter how much I argue. No matter how much I sulk. No matter how silent I get.

Please hang on to the other end of the rope. And know that you are doing the most important job that anyone could possibly be doing for me right now.


Your Teenager

if you are confused as to how you can best support your teenager or are struggling to connect please contact me for some Wellerway strategies.


“Mothers’ Wit” Quotes on Motherhood

Quotes on Motherhood

I thought I’d keep it light hearted for this one as we are approaching Easter and thought some of you Mum’s out there might need a bit of humour and encouragement  to survive the Easter holidays…..and breathe!  Are the children driving you potty? Laughter is like changing a baby’s nappy, it doesn’t permanently solve any problems, but it makes things a lot more acceptable for a while. So here are some of my favourite  quotes relating to Parenthood.

If your kids are giving you a headache, follow the instructions on the aspirin bottle, especially the part that says ‘Keep away from children’. (Susan Savannah)

Remember, when they have a tantrum, don’t have one of your own (Dr Judith Kuriansky)

Children in a family are like flowers in a bouquet, there’s always one determined to face in an opposite direction from the way the arranger desires.(Marcelene Cox)

The word no carries a lot more meaning when spoken by a parent who knows how to say yes. (Joyce Maynard)

My teenage son is half man, half mattress. (Val Valentine)

One mother…was taken aback when she called as her daughter was going out the door, ‘Have a good time’ and her daughter angrily replied, ‘Stop telling me what to do’ (Nancy Saladin)

The patience of a mother might be likened to a tube of toothpaste….it’s never quite all gone! (Anon)

When you feel neglected, think of the female salmon who lays 3,000,000 eggs but no one remembers her on Mothers day! (Sam Ewing).

And finally….

Motherhood is:

knowing when to be the wind in your child’s sails and when to calm the waters.

laughing at their jokes though they are not very funny and listening to their problems though they are not very serious.

like living with a bowling alley in your brain

never refusing their home made cakes.

I wish you all peace and joy this Eastertide: “clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever greviances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:12).

All extracts are from and with thanks to “Mothers’ Wit” by Allison Vale and Alison Rattle.

Can Less-Than-Perfect Really Be Enough?

Usually the need to be perfect comes from a bit of anxiety. Worried that something might go wrong, a person tries to figure out the situation and apply the best approach so the chance of success is higher. If you can figure it out and it works, there is relief and satisfaction. Job well done! But then the next situation starts and you have to get back at it. And life gets more complex and there are multiple situations at the same time. You don’t always get it right and that is embarrassing so you have to try harder and harder. It gets exhausting.

People may start to notice is how hard you are working but something about it isn’t quite working. The desire to make everything right is there, but the outcome of everything being all right isn’t there.

It can be so confusing.

Being “good enough” doesn’t actually sound good enough on the surface. When you are used to overachieving, it no longer feels like over-achieving. It just feels like the normal amount of effort required.

In parenting, we worry that if we are only good enough parents, our children won’t have the same opportunities or success that other children seem to have. Our children deserve the best so we must be the best. Except….

Good enough parenting is actually what our children need from us. This is backed up by research (“Raising A Secure Child” is a book dedicated to explaining this). Good enough parenting is when we can hold on to two things: first, that we are willing to hold onto our children’s best interests and second, that we will mess it up… probably pretty often.

There is nothing clean about raising children. It will get messy in more than one way. Being good enough takes the pressure and anxiety out of the equation. When we know that we will mess it up, we aren’t trying to anticipate the situation for the “exact right way”. We are just in the situation, present to it and to our children. If it starts to get off track, we will notice it sooner and pause to see where it got off track. We may have to take charge and make a decision. We may have to apologize for not getting it and ask for clarification. We may have to figure it out together and come up with a compromise.

No matter how the situation gets resolved, being good enough will feel better for both you and the other person. Being a good enough parent will teach your child that you love them, want the best for them and are willing to get messy while you figure it out. It will teach your child that there are many ways to work something out and that you are in it together with them. You will come from a place of comfortable figuring-it-out-together instead of a place of uncomfortable have-to-figure-it-all-out-perfectly-now.

Blogpost  taken From Circle of Security.net.