All Posts by Jackie Hall - Admin

10 rules for parenting on the same page & resolving conflict

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This topic would have to be one of the biggest challenges that parent face due to the gap between the old school and the new school that I very briefly touched on in yesterday’s lesson.

As a society, we are in complete confusion of how to best raise our children. There are studies that say this, parents that say that, grandparents who swear by their way, attachment parents that swear by theirs.

We have labels for all sorts of parents too – helicopter parents, dependent, isolated, polarised narcissistic, overprotective, the super parent, the aggressive coach parent, the anything goes parent, the I could do it better parent, the spotless house parent. That’s just some of the labels out there that are getting judged and celebrated.

Then we have the different styles of parenting too – positive parenting, attachment parenting, conscious parenting, spiritual parenting, slow parenting (or nurturant parenting), authoritative and authoritarian parenting (yes they are two completely different styles), neglectful, or narcissistic parenting and toxic parenting (obviously three styles of parenting we don’t want to be categorised as, but it’s still recognised as a style of parenting) and more!

The old school follows the ‘my way or the highway’ and ‘children should be seen and not heard’ and if they do something wrong, they need to be smacked approach.

The new school wants to understand, talk, nurture, give kids a say, communicate, negotiate, compromise, but still wants to teach respect and good manners, just like the old school.

THEN we have the different personality traits of females and males, some of which we have talked about today, alongside the messages boys and girls are getting from society as they are raised, and the changes in society that are happening so much quicker than ever before – the ones I spoke about that are affecting relationships like women’s liberation, financial pressures, technology advances, more competition etc. Guess what? They’re affecting how you raise your children too!

And THEN on top of that we have the parents themselves and their beliefs on what is the right way and what is the wrong way.

Some parents want to read all this research and parent in accordance to the experts. Others want to parent instinctively. Some want to follow the old rules exclusively and don’t see a need for change. Some only want to follow the new rules and ditch all the old rules, and some are aimlessly trying to strike a balance between everything they’ve read and heard.

OMG I’m confused already!!

There is so much research out there on how to be the best parent. It’s little wonder there is so much confusion in the parenting community.

Who’s doing the best job?

How do I do it better?

Am I ruining my child’s life if I don’t do it this way or that?

The issue of raising children can be a major cause of arguments between couples.

You and your partner may have both been brought up by your own parents in a completely different way, and this can come out in how you wish to discipline your own children.

We know how we were raised and what that did for us on a very personal level, and this will strongly dictate how you want to treat your own children.

For example, you or your partner may have had a very physical form of discipline while growing up, and you may either feel that it worked for you because ‘I turned out alright’, or because of the way it made you feel, you have vowed NEVER to allow that to happen to your kids.

For various reasons you may find that you both feel very strongly about how a child should be disciplined, so there needs to be some deliberate conversation about what each of your standpoints are on this matter, so you can decide how to handle it before the situation presents itself.

Here are some suggestions to tackling the issue of raising children and parenting on the same page

These are my 9, maybe 10 rules (depending on whether you consider the tenth one as a rule or not)
that’s going to help you to tackle the issue of raising children


Rule #1 – Do not criticise your partner’s approach. There are reasons why they want to parent that way. I’m not saying you can’t disagree with it. I’m saying that if you criticise it outright, you are going to lose their willingness to discuss the issue at all. No one is ever going to be open to negotiations and compromise when they feel judged, ridiculed, put down or made out to be wrong when they believe they are right!

Rule #2 – You need to get an understanding of the reasons why each of you believe your discipline method is the ‘right’ way. When you understand each other’s points of view and where you’re coming from, you may discover that the reason they are so adamant to parent that way, may be from a past hurt that has been experienced, and compassion can be factored into the equation when discussing this issue.

Rule #3 – Get clear on what you’re both wanting. There is one reason why each parent feels so strongly that their way is the right way – because they BOTH want what is best for their kids! They BOTH want to raise happy, independent adults able to cope in the world. Both parents are doing the best they can with the information they have.

Perhaps start by answering this question individually: 

“If our child grows up to be ____________, I will be happy that I’ve done a great job.”

(Fill in the blanks to gauge what you each want for your children. I bet your answers have the same theme or similar ones).

Rule #4 - Educate yourself on specifically tried and tested alternatives to what you are both doing, if you feel it is detrimental to your child to continue the current way. If you want to try something else, don’t go to your partner with ‘you’re wrong and I’m right’. Go to them with ‘what if we tried this instead. Are you willing to give this a shot if it meant we were able to reach the same goal?’

Rule #5 – When implementing your new technique, run with it for an agreed period of time. If it doesn’t work within that time frame, then agree on trying another one for another period of time. It may be that you need to try your partner’s technique of discipline to really see if it works, or that he may need to give your method a try for a while and wait for the results.

At this point, because you’ve not criticised your partner’s stand point, but took the approach of understanding it and understanding the objective, it’s likely that your partner is going to be more open to trying something new, if it is promising the same results. Chances are if the technique they are using is causing conflict, if they new a better way to get the same result, they’re probably likely to be open to it.

Rule #6 – What if your partner isn’t open to it, even though you’ve found a better way? Try drawing upon the knowledge you have of their upbringing and ask questions like, “When your parents did ‘x’, how did that make you feel? If your child was feeling that way when you do that, would you want to know and change it?” or “What didn’t you like about how your parents handled things and what would you want to do differently?” Or “Sometimes my parent’s approach used to make me feel ‘x’, did your parents ever make you feel crap to teach you a lesson? If there was another way to teach that lesson would you rather they used that instead?” 

What you’re trying to do here is marry up their pain that they don’t want to repeat in their children, with your alternative solution, without making them feel bad for repeating their parents mistakes (which is often what they’ve unknowingly done). 

You’re just asking the questions. They are the ones who are joining the dots. You may need to have these conversations separately to discussing the new technique. Let it sit for a bit and then come back and say, “hey, I found this new technique that’s meant to teach kids…… wanna try it? It might help us get to …… instead of US (include yourself, don’t blame) getting cranky all the time.”

Rule #7 - Be very aware of why YOU are disciplining your child when you do. Are you trying to be right, or are you trying to control and get them to obey you? Or are you trying to teach them social and moral boundaries and respect for others? Discuss with your partner what your intentions are when administering your type of discipline. Discuss how your method effectively creates the education that your child needs, that you both want your child to have, and get your partner to do the same.

Rule #8 - Put yourself in your child’s shoes or help your partner do the same (again without criticising). How do they feel when they are receiving this method of discipline? How would you feel, if as an adult, you received this kind of approach from a work colleague or a friend or loved one? Now think about it from a young ignorant child who’s brain you are literally writing upon so that they hold onto these beliefs about self-worth for life (unless they actively work to change them). If you think they are feeling hurt, humiliated, not loved by either parent, or getting literally physically or emotionally scarred, then another method must be found.

Which brings me to the next rule…

Rule #9 - You as a parent must also feel that your child is well loved and taken care of. If for any reason you feel that your child is being abused either physically, mentally, sexually or emotionally then in my opinion, there is no negotiation. This is a deal breaker and you need to get your child away from that situation straight away. If you cannot get your partner to change their behaviour from administering discipline in this way, then it is your responsibility to help your child get away from that cycle, as this is against the law and VERY damaging for your child!

All relationships are complicated. There’s no one way to align on your parenting. There’s no one way to parent. It’s about communication, respecting the other parent’s beliefs, values, morals and how they too want THEIR child to be raised too. It’s not just about you.

Don’t think that just because they’re not doing it your way that it’s the wrong way. Sometimes they have knowledge that you don’t. Look to who they are as a person for how they might be able to raise their children. I remember my husband being a little harsher to my kids than I would have liked. I remember arguing with my husband about how he approached it. Keep in mind that it wasn’t physical or nasty, it was just harsh. I would have preferred a lovely chat about it over a hot chocolate, lol.

I vividly remember my husband say to me… “Jac, school is tough for boys. I’ve been a boy. I know what it’s like. You need to trust me that I know how to raise my boys and I have a different approach that’s going to help them that isn’t going to be a female way of doing things, but it’s a way that’s going to help them.”

I looked at the man my husband was – strong, balanced emotionally, kind, rational, assertive when he needed to be, permissive when he needed to be, non-confrontational, polite and more. I loved the man that he was and what he stood for. I stepped back more.

Sometimes I had to recognise that he had parenting skills too and my way wasn’t necessarily the right way. 

Perhaps this might even be rule #10, or at least the #10 perspective to consider when thinking about the way you discipline your child.

At the end of the day, like everything in your relationship, you need to have a discussion and align on a decision. Try something different and see if it works. This is not a right and wrong game, it’s a trial and error one.

Every child is different, as we know, and you may go through a few discipline techniques before you find the one that works for your child. The key is to stay aligned with each other.

Discipline fails when two parents are not providing a united front for their kids. Never undermine each other, but if you have a problem, then fix it at a separate time when the kids aren’t around. Kids are very perceptive about when parents are unaligned and will exploit that whenever they can.

The whole point to keep in mind when handling issues that arise within a relationship, is that this is a team effort – your partner is NOT the enemy.

You cannot handle these issues in a selfish way, nor allow your partner to. You are two individuals that are integrating your lives and your beliefs, into a partnership that will allow you to be the individuals, couple and parents that you both desire to be. Even though the way you do this may be different, you can always negotiate how you can both get what you want and become a dynamic couple and a united front for your kids.

Once you start practicing communication without judgement, criticism, selfishness, ‘woe is me’, I’m right, you’re wrong, give me what I want or else, and begin communicating with compassion, respect for another person’s right to be happy and have an opinion, in the spirit of union, fairness, compromise and flexibility about how you achieve what you want, then you will start to see a more affectionate, united & happy relationship.

Now let’s face it, isn’t that what you are both trying to achieve?

6 Communication Rules To Stop Mums & Dads from Marital Conflict

Don't have time to read?  Listen to this article instead by clicking here (12 min)


It is so easy for men and women to misunderstand each other when they are talking because their love languages are so very different. Our interpretations of life are so very different, as we’ve been exploring.

So in this lesson, we’re going to turn the table and give you some specific tips for effectively communicating with men and/or women. This will be handy even to know for how you relate to your children.

Due to the format of this program, I have had to cull my usually longer list down to just six communication tips each, but there are plenty more that can help you, which I discuss in my Truce Program (more on that later).

These are the most important ones, I believe.

So here they are:

Top Six General rules of communication for
MEN TALKING TO WOMEN


When communicating with women it is important to remember these key concepts, which we have discussed already in one way or another:

  • Women talk about their problems to connect with you.
  • Talking about problems helps her to feel better about herself.
  • The quality of her relationships is what makes her feel worthy.
  • She is looking for understanding, support and proof that she is loved, nurtured and cared for.

Her primal fear is that she is not lovable or that you don’t love her.


Before speaking ask yourself:
Is what I’m about to say going to come across as being unloving?

With that in mind, here are some other tips on how to effectively communicate with a woman:

  1. The only reason a woman would stop talking to someone is because she doesn’t want anything to do with them and no longer cares for that person. When you stop talking to her she deems that to mean you feel that way about her. If you do need your space, just communicate to her that your space is about you, not about her. 

  2. Share your feelings as often as you can because it makes her feel more connected with you and that you love her. She doesn’t understand when you close down on her. Ask her for support. This is what she thrives on – supporting others. She will feel very loved if you ask her to support what you want. Just be sure to be clear about how you want her to do that so that she doesn’t come across as telling you what to do and thus leave you feeling disrespected, unappreciated, criticised or incompetent. 

  3. Don’t try to fix her. When she’s talking, she’s often just looking to vent and share her problems to feel better and connect with you. If you aren’t sure if she wants your advice, ask first: “Is there anything I can do to help?” or “Do you want me to offer a solution here, or are you just venting?” She’ll let you know if she wants your advice. 

  4. “You’re not listening” or “you never listen to me”. This actually means “I don’t think you understood what I was just saying” or “I don’t feel like you care about how I feel.” 

    Be mindful of statements she’ll make like ‘never’, ‘always’ or words that imply that something occurs all of the time, as opposed to sometimes or often. Women say them to express themselves, knowing that she’s not being literal. However, men tend to take these statements literally, due the fact that men are often black and white. She uses it as a way to express and emphasise her feelings. 

    For example, when I say to my husband “I have nothing to wear” what I’m really saying is “there’s nothing that I think I’ll look good in”. Steve often takes it literally and probably thinks it’s a stupid statement to make, given how many clothes I have in my cupboard. He’ll say, “You’ve got heaps of clothes” is often his frustrated response. What I really need him to say is, “I understand. We need to look at getting you some more clothes you feel good in, don’t we? You’ll look good in anything you wear.” Corny, I know, and she might mock you for being corny, but if you are genuine, she will be grateful for your understanding, or at the very least it will be a bit of a joke. 

  5. If you are making huge efforts and are still feeling disrespected or unappreciated, you might say, “I feel like I’m trying to show you that I love you more and do things that are more supportive, but maybe I’m getting it wrong. Is there something that I could be doing differently to help you feel more supported?” 

    Ask her how you can love her the way she wants to be loved. It’s possible that it’s not your efforts that’s the problem, but your approach. Repeat back what she just said in your words to reassure her that you understood and so you can be clear about what you have to do to support her. She will be touched at your desire to want to make her happy because she’ll feel like you care. 

  6. Help her with her self-worth issues by: 

    a) Acknowledging when you think she looks nice or when she’s done something different in an attempt to look nice. 

    b) Praise and encourage her job as a mother and/or as a working woman, and how she’s doing a great job at managing both if this is the case. Parenting is supposed to be her gender’s forte and these days women are very critical of their own parenting abilities. Your reassurance of her skills will go a long way. 

    c) Tell her you are proud of the way she handled something or how she parents or manages the balance d) Speak highly of her in front of others.

Top 6 General rules of communication
FOR WOMEN TALKING TO MEN

When communicating with a man, remember that appreciation is paramount for a man to feel respected. Learn to acknowledge and appreciate his:

  • Work ethic
  • His desire to protect and provide
  • His desire to be the expert or the leader
  • His need for sexuality
  • His need for personal space and to ‘run with wolves’
  • His need to fix problems and make you happy

His biggest fear is that he is not good enough – that his ability to achieve in any aspect of life is lacking.


Before speaking ask yourself:
Is what I’m about to say going to come across as being critical, disrespectful or unappreciative?

Here are your best tips for effective communication with a man.

  1. He lacks the capacity to cope with loads of problems at once, so be mindful of when you are complaining about multiple issues and whether he is getting frustrated. His frustration is coming from his perceived inability to help you or make you happy.

  2. When you are just venting, say so, because he will want to automatically fix you or talk about a solution. While you are venting, be sure to validate that it’s not his fault. “I just feel like the house is never clean. I’m not saying it’s your fault. I’m just telling you how I feel.”

  3. Be clear about what you want and how you say it. The biggest confusion for men is trying to determine what women are really saying behind their words. Say what you mean! Men are very literal. Don’t exaggerate or catastrophise a situation. If you are feeling overwhelmed right now, then say “This is overwhelming right now.” Don’t make it an absolute. 

    Rather than saying, “I’m always overwhelmed. Nothing ever goes right for me.” He won’t know how to fix that and will feel overwhelmed too.

  4. When asking for help, regardless of whether you think he should be doing it anyway or not, you will get a much more amicable response when you make it sound like it is a favour to you. Men like to be needed but they don’t like to be told what to do. Could you do me a favour?” or “Would you mind doing….” will likely be received a lot better than “When you’ve done that, do this next?”

    This tip can be difficult for some women stuck in the fight of equal opportunities, however I urge you to ask yourself again: “Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?” Do you want the help, or do you want to keep fighting for the help. Even if it is a ‘favour’, isn’t he doing it because he loves you?

  5. Don’t assume full stop! Women are big on analysing what men say because we are often so cryptic ourselves. “You women think too much” is something you’ll often hear men say because men are very literal. 

    Unless he is literally saying he doesn’t love you or care about you then his disengagement is most likely to be about something else. If he is disengaging from you, it’s probably not because he doesn’t care for you, but because he doesn’t feel like the way he does things is good enough. 

    Let him know it is by acknowledging how he does care for and look after you and the family, he’ll likely re-engage with you.

  6. There’s a lot of pressure on a man to be an achiever, especially when it comes to money. Fearing he may not be good enough is where his self-worth issues lie. You can help him by:

    a) Acknowledging how hard he works, either at work or around the house, or just something he works hard at in general.

    b) Encouraging him to be more of a leader and rely on him more for his decisions.

    c) Trust his ability to be the provider and nurturer you know he can be.

    d) Allow him to make decisions and not judging or ridiculing him for his mistakes.

    e) Appreciate the little things he does even when they are things you would expect in a relationship. Just because you think he ‘should’ do it, doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate him when he does!

    f) Asking him for tips and advice. He’ll love to share his knowledge with you.

    g) Praise and appreciate his good decisions.


Today’s homework

Okay, time to take these bits and pieces out for a test drive. Like I mentioned, this is not an exhaustive list of ways to communicate with men and women, but there are some really important ones, and enough that should get you seeing even just the slightest shift in how you communicate with your partner and the response you get.

Keep in mind what your partner's wants, needs and insecurities are and help them feel good about themselves. This really is the core of making the shift to improve your relationship. If you’ve been having repetitive problems, then your partner likely has reference points of you being hurtful or critical, as do you.

Someone has to break the cycle!!

This is your chance to change his/her reference points and become aware of how much better things are when someone begins to break that ‘I’ll hurt you because you hurt me’ cycle.

4 Common Mistakes that cause marital conflict in parents

Don't have time to read?  Listen to this article instead by clicking here (12 min)


Eleven years ago, I was a stay at home mum to a 2 year old and a 6 month old and I was a nightmare to live with.

It took me a while to realise it, but thank goodness I did, because I know my husband was certainly not game to tell me so at the time (although he will openly admit it now!).

You see, I was feeling like there was a gross imbalance in workload from what I had to do, compared to he had to do. I felt that I was too tired, overworked, overwhelmed, never got any me time, had to think of everything – what meals to cook, groceries to buy, sleep, eat and bath routines, housework, the business book keeping and marketing, arranging appointments, paying all the bills, basically thinking of everything to do with running the household.

And really, when we fast forward 11 years, not much has really changed in that department either.

When on earth was there any time for me?!!

Little did I know, that my husband was also feeling the pressures of life with two little children too.

Yes, he got to eat his lunch with little or no interruptions and he got left alone with his thoughts when commuting the 45minute drive to and from work, but what was he thinking during those times?

How tired HE was, having the kids wake him up (even though he wasn’t getting up to them) and then having to go and do a physical job with little sleep (then a shade sail installer) and whether he was going to have enough money to pay the bills (severe anxiety emerged from those worries), and how he was going to help the family get ahead.

He was thinking about how stressed I was and why he wasn’t able to make me happy anymore and if the truth be told, he was ‘effing’ over my whingeing and carrying on about all the chores I had to do and how tired I was.

He didn’t know how to help me anymore and to be honest he was dreading coming home to me because when he got home, he was handed a child, grunted at and told what to do (which he hated) and his day would end with falling asleep exhausted on the couch after the kids were in bed, dragging himself to bed, only to then get up at 4am and do it all over again.

Weekends, if he wasn’t working, involved taking care of the kids (his version of it – very different to mine), helping around the house (his version of helping), looking after the 1 acre yard and all that involves – pool cleaning, gardens, mowing, general maintenance, renovations etc. And listening to – as well as not knowing how to fix – his screaming, crying and tantrum driven children, and worn out wife.

Were either of us enjoying ourselves? I’m sure we were at times, but it all stacked up for both of us pretty quickly.

The point is, we both had our gripes. We were both under pressure. We both felt hard done by in our own ways, and had we not had good communication skills at that point, things could’ve been a whole lot worse.

Thankfully, out of my own overwhelm and eventually mental and emotional breakdown (but that’s another story), I began saturating myself with personal development information that forced me to take an objective, hard look at myself and also the relationship dynamics around me.

I quickly learnt what was causing so many of the arguments, disconnection and conflict that was starting to frequent our relationship, and I wanted to share them with you today, and over the next 9 days.

So where to start?

Well, the beginning is really all about YOU!

Now I know that you’re not going to like that very much because you know, you want your partner to change and when we have gripes with our partner, we’re in that point of view that they need to change as well, and that could very well be true.

So I’m not saying that you are the only person that needs to always change in the relationship.

Yes, the other side may need to change as well, but I’m only talking to you right now. I’m working with you, and you can only working with you. Because there is one thing you absolutely MUST do if you intend on getting anything out of this program. That is…

TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS

You cannot control your partner’s action, but you can always control yours. How you think, how you feel and how you act and react, is ALWAYS up to you. Mindset is going to be EVERYTHING if you wish to improve your relationship.

So here are the top 4 things you have to take responsibility for and
STOP YOURSELF FROM DOING if you want to improve your relationship.


Don’t think about whether your partner is doing it or not, or whether they even should do it or not. Just YOU do it first and see what happens.


1. Get out of victim / poor me viewpoint.

The mind will always find more and more evidence of what you have your attention on. So often, we get stuck viewpoints that only show us how bad we have it and how someone is doing something TO us. From this place, there are no solutions, there are no pathways out. We become victims of our circumstances and no changes occur. You’ve got to stop this. Now, I’m not talking about just accepting where you’re at and putting up with it, doing nothing about it. Far from it. I’m talking about the mindset that wants to do, what I call, ‘Roll in the mud’ and only whinges, complains, moans, judges, criticises, blames, and makes everything the fault of the other person. They’re doing ‘that’ TO ME.

You are a part of the relationship too, as we will be exploring, so you want to start taking responsibility for your part and thinking about how you can also become part of the solution, rather than stuck in the problem and how you ‘can’t do anything about it’.

Think in a solution focussed way instead. What do I want? How can I get it? Where is the answer here? Questions like that help the mind to be a lot more productive in getting results.

2. Don’t stack until you crack

I remember at around 4pm every afternoon, making a mental list of all the shit things that had happened in my day, wrapping them up into a nice tight little mental ball, and throwing it right at Steve as he walked through the door so he could understand how hard I had it that day. As I stacked up these ‘shit things’, I would also get crankier and crankier.

We often stack until we crack with our partners and what we think they’re doing wrong, with our kids and how many times they’ve annoyed us or been naughty, or how many chores we need to do, or how much we’re not getting done, or how hard we’ve had it all of our lives because of bad experiences. We live our lives as if these bad things are the only things that have happened to us.

We continue to stack up these lists of negativity that cause us to feel angry, annoyed, tired, overwhelmed and more! Then we project that at our partners and become a nightmare to live with and they’re probably doing the same thing to you, but someone has to break the cycle and this is why we’re starting with you because you’re the one who’s doing the program. Today, become aware of when you do this and try to stop yourself from doing it and see if it makes a difference to how you feel and how you respond to your partner.

3. We personalize and make assumptions.

Your partner comments about how dirty the fan is. All of a sudden, that comment means that you’re not doing a good enough job at cleaning the house, you’re a shit parent and you’re not good enough at taking care of the family. You should be doing more than you are!

You create this whole story that just came from this one comment about a fan being dirty.

We assume that our partner’s comment = a personal judgement or an attack.

Does that sound familiar?

Recognise today how often you personalise or make assumptions about your partner’s comments or actions, when you really don’t know what’s going on inside their head.

Are you looking through old reference points you have of them, or making assumptions based on past behaviours or opinions your partner has had before? The mind loves to put things in boxes like that and it experiences as if it’s happening in real time, and often, it’s not!

4. We only view life from our beliefs, perspectives and experiences.

We are ALL guilty of this one, because that’s how the brain thinks. It’s always thinking – what does this mean and what does it mean about me? It’s looking to understand a situation, so we can decide what to feel and do about it.

When we forget to look objectively at a situation or only view it through the filters of our beliefs and judgements, we can miss key information and solutions that create alignment in your relationship.


So today, your homework is to recognise these 4 mistakes that we make, and think about how you can stop yourself from making those mistakes today and moving forward. Take note of how much difference just this small effort makes to the usual outcome with your partner, or even with your kids.

Today’s lesson is all about personal responsibility and BEing the change you wish to see in your relationship.

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