Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

Can’t I Discipline Without The Chaos?

Can't I discipline without the chaos?How many times have you asked yourself a similar question “Can’t I discipline without the chaos?”  “Can’t I be a more effective parent?” “I swore I would never parent like I was!”

You want the bad behaviour to stop, but you want to respond in a way that values and enhances your relationship with your children.  You want to build your relationship, not damage it.  You want to create less drama, not more.

How many times have you said I don’t want to discipline like I was?  I know I have quite a few times when I have thought goodness I sound like my mother.  But that is the only type of discipline I know and honestly it is the way that is promoted all the time.  So I feel like I have been at a cross road of how I want to discipline.

The word “discipline” comes directly from the Latin word disciplina which means teaching, learning and giving instruction.  However if discipline is meant to teach, most people associate only punishment or consequences.  Society tends to frown upon parents who do not simply punish their child when they misbehave.

Our children need to learn skills like inhibiting impulses, managing big angry feelings, and considering the impact of their behaviour on others.  Learning these essentials of life and relationships is what they need and if you can provide it for them, you’ll be offering a significant gift not only for your children, but to your whole family and even the rest of society.

It is time to begin to rethink what discipline really means, reclaiming it as a term that’s not about punishment and control, but about teaching and skill building – and doing so from a place of love, respect and emotional connection.  Since I changed my beliefs, put in my professional philosophy with behaviour management of children with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder, I am able to support them through their tough emotions and it has been amazing how quickly they calm when supported.

If you are sick of yelling, doing time out have a look at our program called Challenging Busting Behaviour  program or simply email me at and share how you want to start parenting your children.


Why Can’t My Family Be Just Like Theirs?

Why can't my family be just like theirs?Why can’t my family be just like theirs?  This is a common question that families ask themselves from time to time.  When each day is based on problems after problems and meltdowns after meltdowns, you do look around you and think why can’t my family be just like theirs?

Social media is also adding more self judgement then ever before.  All you see around you is “perfect” families.  This also leads parent’s to the question “why can’t my family be more like theirs?”

Nevertheless, we just see a snap shot of a families 5 seconds that it took to take that photo.  We do not see what happened 5 seconds later or an hour later.  A perfect photo does not show us a families struggles as who will put that up for other’s to see.  If people continually put up amazing posts and photos of what they want people to see, people forget they have struggles.  I saw the perfect photo to illustrate this.

14708200_1213473358720355_2848913311369338979_nWhy can’t my family be just like theirs?

We only see what people want us to see.  As a parent, we may only be “seeing” what we want to see and that may be that everyone’s life is better than ours.  Everyone else can handle things better than me.

If you wanted to make changes in your family what would they be?

I would encourage you to write down any positive changes (which need to be realistic) you would like to make for your family and email me on so we can organise a free 30 minute phone call so that you can start making those changes.


Believe In Your Child’s Future

Believe in your child's futureFor a family who is just starting to learning about the Autism Spectrum Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder, we can feel all the dream’s we have for our child has disappeared.  I urge all parent’s to believe in your child’s future.

When we became pregnant it is extremely natural to dream about what our child might achieve in their future.  When we hold them for the first times we also have dreams of their future.  However, for families after their child has received a diagnosis of Autism or Sensory Processing all of these dreams can be shattered.

However all is not lost! Believe in your child’s future.  You have taken the most important step of getting them help.  You will enrol your child in therapies to help strengthen them.  All of these little steps……….all the ups and downs that will occur….they all lead to bigger things.  Those dreams that we originally had for our children might have never occurred either without the diagnosis.  However it you truly believe in your child and really work on their strengths they can achieve anything in life.

We need to believe in your child’s future!

Make Your Child Eat Their Dinner!


“I am tired of my child not eating dinner”.  The answer is to make your child eat their dinner.  What a fantastic example of conventional behaviour management in regards to eating.

I remember as a child it took me 2 hours to eat an English muffin.  Yep that was 2 hours.  I couldn’t stand the taste, the texture but I was forced to eat it.  I have only just tried one again at 40 and yep still do not like the texture.

We were told that we must finish everything on our plates even if we hated it.  I am sure in many homes this is the case still.  I do not like food being put in the bin either.

However for children who have Sensory Processing Disorder with Defensive modulation, the food area can be extremely challenging.  Her oral area is the worst sensory area.  We did the conventional method of not making her anything different and she chose not eating.  We introduced her new foods.  But nothing worked and believe me it will not work whatever your tried.

For a child who has oral defensiveness, their amygdala part of the brain and is on fight and flight mode 24/7.  Can you imagine what that would be like for her?  Could you imagine being scared of food even if it a carrot when all you are eating was beige foods. For Emma the colour of food can send her running under the table as she is only eating beige foods.  The texture could set her running under the table.  The smell could send her running under the table.

There is a photo of her in Prep on a day the class made jelly for an activity.  All the children were enjoying eating jelly and Emma was hiding under the table.  Even yesterday all of her class had a cinnamon donut in their hand and Emma had the serviette because she did not want to even try it.  It is a really hard world that she lives in.

She is currently seeing an Occupational Therapist who is helping her with an eating program.  This has been a sensational program as the OT also has the same issues and she can explain Emma’s world.  Nevertheless, through this program Emma is eating apples in crumb size.  She is tolerating having something red on her plate.  She is touching food more often.  All of these small steps come to big things.  As my OT explained even at the age of 25, she also has to keep practising with food so that she does not have to start again with the tolerance process.  We take eating for granted and never put ourselves in their shoes.

In a social media group, I read a post about a mum having similar troubles.  The suggestions totally shocked me as there was giving your child tough love, that they manipulate you to get what they want and the list went on.  I am positive your child would want to enjoy their food if they could.  I don’t like making 2-3 different meals each night and I also get frustrated.  But I have to put myself in her shoes.  When she does try something different it is a massive achievement.  Then I had another thought.  Do you make food you do not like every night.  The answer is no.  Yes as parent’s we do from time to time. But we do not do it all the time.  So if we do not eat food we do not like on a daily basis, then why make your child eat the food they do not like?

43271734 - happy asian chinese multi generations family dining at home.

Meal times do not need to be a battle because you will only increase the problems.  Meal times is about connecting with your family.

A great way to regulate your child to reduce their defensiveness are get your child to do some gross motor activity.  Then get them to do some oral exercises like an electric tooth brush or some blowing activities before eating to help desensitise their mouth.


Conventional methods of behaviour management of making your child eat their dinner will only work for those children who do not have any problems with their oral sensory systems.  If it is not working then stop doing it and seek professional assistance like an Occupational therapist to help your child.  They do not want to struggle with their eating either.


I Love You Rituals Help You Through Tough Times

I Love you rituals helps you through tough times








I love you rituals help you through tough times.

What rituals do you and your family already share?  These could include:

  • Sharing dinner
  • Birthdays
  • Religious celebrations
  • Specific times in a day for one on one time
  • Reading bed time stories together
  • Bedtime routines.
  • Making sure that you kiss your partner when you leave and when you get home.

Routines are central parts of our lives and they range from small to large rituals.  Rituals create time to be playful, to explore the meaning of our lives and to rework and rebuild our relationships.

Think of the pleasant rituals from your childhood.
What feelings are evoked as you allow yourself to reminisce?
It is striking how different families are today from twenty-five or fifty years ago. As our society restructures itself with shifting gender roles, blended families, cultural diversity, and economic and political uncertainty, fear is a prevalent emotion. New rituals are needed for families and for children. I Love You Rituals put life in focus, shifting our attention from getting ahead to getting together; from valuing material wealth to valuing one another. They are called “rituals” because they are designed to be part of the day-to-day activities between adults and children.

Rituals are moments taken solely for the purpose of connecting. Rough transitions during the day or week signal times when a ritual is needed. A child who is being picked up from school may whine, complain, or bicker with you or siblings in the car. A calming ritual or a change in rituals is needed. Picking up children at school with the words, “Hi, how did it go? Where’s your coat? Do you have your homework? Hop in the car, we need to stop at the store.” are not a ritual.  Each time the girls come out of school, I give them a welcome and say to them how excited I was to come pick them up.
I love you rituals help you through tough times as it helps to remind you of what is important. Even after a rough day we always end the night by spending time in the girls room to watch them sleep.
You can develop rituals with your child with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder with following your child’s lead.  Have you ever flapped your arms like your child when they have excited?  Have you spun around in circles if your child likes that?  Have you ever simply participated in what your child’s likes to do to unwind?  So often we try and stop the flapping, spinning as they are seen as unwanted behaviours.  But we also miss the perfect opportunity to connect with our children.
I love you rituals help you through tough times.  What rituals can you share in your daily routines?



Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help!

Ask for helpNever be afraid to ask for help! It always amazes me how many people do not ask for help when we need it.  There is no need to go through this journey alone.  Asking for help does not make you an incompetent parent.  No one could ever tell you that they have all the answers because that is rubbish.  Parenthood is a continuous journey of learning.

However, there is sadly the flip side if you ask for help.  You may be told that your child is too hard……your child is an Angel and it is all in your head………….or that they do not have time.  When I hear this through discussions in social media and with clients it really guts me that people would say this when someone asks for help.

I know exactly how hard it can be to ask for help.  I have a degree in Early Childhood and postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies.  I have spent the majority of my working life looking after children.  I thought I was weak if I asked for help because it should have been easy for me.  Where did that get me?  Only with a diagnosis of severe depression.  I learnt the hard way how important it is to ask for help.  I was scared to ask for help because my mum had 4 kids under the age of five.  However, as the saying goes “it take a village to raise a family” but these days no one talks or helps those around each other.

By asking for help you will also improve your overall well being because you are also looking after yourself.  Find a support group that you can ask for help knowing that you are not being judged.  You are not alone!




I Love You Rituals Increase Learning Potential Through Touch

touchAs a mum of a daughter who has severe Sensory Processing Disorder Defensive Modulation touch would have been out the window.  For the first couple of years, we had trouble with affection as she didn’t like it (especially with me).  However, around the age of 2, I noticed that she would press her forehead against mine really hard.  At first I could not understand what she was doing but I knew not to stop her.  This was her way of regulating her body and to let me give her cuddles at the same time.  Our Occupational Therapist has been outstanding in helping her cope with touch and now we have the best cuddles.  I love when we cheek to cheek each other as a form of self regulation.

Nevertheless, how do I love you rituals increase leaning potential through touch?

Touch is the only sense we can’t live without. Your child could be blind and be fine, she could be deaf and be okay, but without touching and being touched, a child will die. In 1920, Dr. Henry Chapin, a New York paediatrician, reported that the death rate for infants under two years of age in institutions across the United States was 100 percent. These infants received adequate food and shelter. What was missing for these babies was caring touch. Chapin concluded that being handled, carried, cuddled, and caressed was necessary for life.

A lot of people do not feel comfortable with touching people in public.  A parent may have been raised by someone who was not affectionate.  This type of behaviour will continue through generation to generation unless we all become comfortable in offering someone a hug.  As awareness of sexual abuse has increased so has the fear of being seen touching a child even if it is appropriate.  I know as a child care educator we were told to tell all staff not to touch children.  Educators are told that they can not make physical contact with a child even if they are upset when a small cuddle or arm around the shoulder would provide the child with care.

Brain research confirms the critical role of touch in our mental and emotional health. When we touch one another, a hormone is released called the nerve growth factor. This hormone is essential to neural function and learning. The brain and the skin develop from the same embryonic tissue. The skin, in essence, is the outside layer of the brain. If we want smart, happy children, we must consciously touch them. It is time to relearn appropriate, caring touch and move past our fear of inappropriate touch. We must embrace touch for its value and function in development and learning.

I remember attending Tony Robbin’s Unleash Your Personal Power seminars and in this seminar you had to hug strangers.  My goodness that felt so weird and you did step back at first.  However, it showed that it improves people’s emotional well being.


Next time you see your partner give them a hug for two minutes and see what happens.

By understanding caring touch, children develop compassion for themselves and others. Hitting becomes hugging, snatching becomes asking, and the difference between caring touch and unwanted, uncomfortable touch is learned.
With my eldest daughter her hug consists of a shoulder into me or her back.  It has taken a long time to actually get her to cuddle front on with me.  Now she comes for a hug when she needs to.  Even though she gave me a shoulder it was a moment to tell her that I love her.  With Emma I have to make sure that she is aware I am going to hug her so she does not become defensive through a firm hand on her shoulder or arm.  I find light touch sends her crazy.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up!

One message I have constantly for parent’s is “Don’t beat yourself up!”  Parenting has its ups and downs for everyone. No parent is perfect no matter what they put up on social media.   There will be days where you have it all going perfectly.  There will be other days where everything is going wrong.  Who hasn’t had those days.

I had one of those days the other day.  I was not connecting with the children.  I was not looking at their triggers and focused on their behaviours.  By the end of the day, I just wanted to crawl into bed.  We all have those days.

Don’t beat yourself up!

Principles such as validating feelings first before correcting their behaviours, focusing on the positive while minimizing attention to the negative, and staying calm and collected in the heat of the moment are all what we strive for, not what we can expect all the time.

I have parents who feel guilty, even horrible, when they lose their cool, yell, threaten, or react before thinking.  These moments will happen occasionally.  If your goals are to focus on the positive, understand and validate, set clear boundaries, and minimize emotional responses to negative behaviour, then this is what you need to keep focused on.

Don’t beat yourself up!

Relax, take a deep breath, and pat yourself on the back for what you are doing right. Nevertheless, always remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE.


Do You Dismiss Emotions?

Do you dismiss emotions by saying the following:

  • Only girl’s cry…………..
  • You will be alright………….
  • Cheer up…………..
  • You should never be angry…………

These types of comments have been past down from generation to generation as a lot of our parenting is based on our past experiences.  I remember with my family we were encouraged not to show our emotions and just deal with it.  When my dad passed away I remember my mum saying “I don’t want you crying at the funeral as you will embarrass me.”  This was how she was parented and it was all that she knew.

Many parents frequently use this approach with their kids, not realizing that there is a better way to manage.  This type of parenting is called Emotion Dismissing or Emotion Disapproving Parents.  If you think that you are doing this, don’t fret because I have to admit that I did that until I learnt that there is a better way to manage emotions.  We can learn better ways so that you do not dismiss emotions anymore.

Emotion dismissing parents are usually not cruel or mean spirited people.  They are often loving, warm and concerned, but are uncomfortable with intense emotions.  They prefer the neutral state and like others to be calm and reasonable.  They dislike anger, rage, sadness, despair.  They are also uncomfortable with intense positive emotions.   It means that you have the best intentions, but are missing opportunities for guidance and connection with your children.

Characteristics of Emotion Dismissing Parents:

  1. They don’t notice lower intensity emotions in themselves or their kids.
  2. They see negative emotions as toxic and want to protect their children from them.
  3. They want kids to be able to change emotions quickly.
  4. They may punish a child or put them in a time out just for being angry, even if there is no misbehaviour.
  5. They prefer cheerful children and want their kids to focus on the positive.  They distract or try to cheer up their kids when they have negative emotions.
  6. They don’t have a detailed vocabulary for emotions.
  7. They want reason to control emotion, therefore are uncomfortable with strong emotions.

I learnt to face my emotions when I was recovering from severe postnatal depression.  I also void that I wouldn’t ignore my child’s emotions.  When they are having a meltdown I am usually silent for a while.  I would encourage you to just sit there for a while whilst your child is upset and just be present.  When they start to calm down I label the emotions that they are feeling and find a good 90% of the time just labelling the emotion helps them to calm down.

When my girls hurt themselves I acknowledge that it would hurt and I would have cried.  I acknowledge when they are angry and help them to express their anger in more appropriate means if they are hurting others.

By making a conscious effort to change the way I manage my own emotions and help through their emotions, I am building a stronger relationship with my girls and sending the message that no matter what happens in life, I am there for them.

If you want to receive help in emotion coaching head over to my Challenging Behaviour Program.  If you want to just do an Emotion Coaching program that can easily be arranged to suit your needs.  Simply drop me an email at


Are You Overwhelmed by your Child’s Behaviour?

Overwhelmed by your child's behaviour

Are you overwhelmed by your child’s behaviour?

Are you wondering why nothing is working?

Do you feel that no one is listening?

One of the hardest things to do is seek help when you are feeling helpless and lost due to your child’s behaviours.  You did not receive a manual for your child when they were born and the majority of behaviour management techniques that you know are based on your own childhood and how you were raised or from helpful professionals that you have been seeing in relation to your child.

As we already know children with Autism’s brains are wired differently from neuro-typical children.  Research is also showing that individuals who participate in “destructive” behaviour brain’s are also wired differently.  Therefore if individual’s brains are wired differently, can we use the same behaviour management techniques that conventional wisdom suggests even though it continually fails our family unit?

You might be thinking that you have tried everything possible to help your child’s behaviour and that you do not want any more suggestions.  Are you still overwhelmed by your child’s behaviour?

It's time to stop blaming parent's for challenging children

Dr Ross Greene Collaborative and Proactive Solutions approach is an evidence based, proven approach to understanding and helping challenging children at home, school etc.  This approach gives parents, teachers and caregivers more understanding on:

  • Why is this child acting out this way?
  • How come what works for other children does not work for mine?
  • What can I do instead?

Throughout my work as an Applied Behaviour Therapist, I always looked at WHY the child was responding the way they were.  There is always a reason for a child’s behaviour and it may not be what you are assuming.

With Collaborative and Proactive Solutions therapy, you will come up together with all the reasons for your child’s behaviours and by knowing exactly what will trigger your child’s challenging behaviours, you will reduce the unwanted behaviours.  Believe me know amount of time outs, taking electronic equipment is going to fix the problems.  If anything you are more likely to increase the unwanted behaviours.

I have been using this technique on my girls for a while now and once you get your head around it and get lots of practice you will see an immense change.  Not only will the challenging behaviours that you are overwhelmed with decrease, you will be communicating with your child at a different level, you will know your child better than ever and you will have a closer relationship.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your child’s behaviour, you do not need to feel like this anymore.  If you would like to know more about my Challenging Behaviour Busting Program.

Rebecca is a Family Relationship Coach for Families with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder.  She facilitates Dr Ross Greene Collaborative and Proactive approach.  Rebecca runs workshops, webinars and privately consults with families.  Rebecca lives in Melbourne and happy to help interstate families through Skype and other platforms. Email: