All Posts by A Donaldson

What is conscious parenting and how do you become one?

In recent years the term ‘Conscious Parent’ has started to gather momentum, but what does it actually mean?

In simple terms, it’s about being aware of how you parent. Being conscious means to be aware.

But it’s not enough to be aware. I mean, what are you being aware of?

Okay, so with awareness I just noticed that I yelled at my child, that I’m frustrated as all hell because no one is listening to me and I’m aware that I don’t know how else to deal with it, that I’m seeing my child out of control and can’t do squat about it.

I’m aware that I feel like a crap parent because of how my child is behaving and that when I react to it I am aware that I feel so guilty because I reacted and because I also don’t know how to react different.

Does that make me a conscious parent?

Surely not, you conclude.

So, what is conscious parenting?

It’s about USING the conscious part of your brain to not only be aware of what’s going on in the present moment but using the conscious part of the brain to EFFECT CHANGE!
Conscious parenting is about AWARENESS AND ADJUSTMENT!

Let me explain why this is important.

Your brain is essentially divided into the subconscious and the conscious parts of the brain.

The subconscious is made up of your habits of thinking. From the age of zero to seven, your mind had no analytical abilities, no conscious abilities. Everything that was going on in your environment was being downloaded into the subconscious.

You observed your parent’s behaviour and reactions to life, their words, their sounds, their beliefs etc. Basically, everything they did, you perceived with your subconscious mind. With repetition of seeing these behaviours and responses to life, your subconscious mind started to develop those very same programs, and you began to create your personality.

Now this explains a lot why you’re suddenly finding yourself parenting way too much like your parents for your liking. The programming on how to be a parent has been sitting in your subconscious for all of these years, waiting for the conditions of your environment (ie becoming a parent) to trigger these learnt responses, beliefs and reactions!

You may have already been playing out some of these habitual personality traits in other areas of your life for years too.

Your conscious mind on the other hand, is where you are aware. It’s where creativity lives. It’s where logic and reasoning occur. It’s where the analytical mind becomes the doorway between the conscious and the subconscious. You can deliberately (ie consciously) direct the mind in any way you desire, but you have to be aware to do it.

You can choose to be happy for example, if you are consciously directing your mind to look for happiness and think thoughts that trigger the chemicals (emotions) that make you feel happy.

So why aren’t you doing that already?

Why are you ‘choosing’ to stay angry and reactive and give into your subconscious mind.

Because the subconscious mind is made up of 95% of how much you think!

The conscious mind is only made up of 5%.

I use the analogy of a steering wheel of the car being the conscious part of the mind (the 5%) and the sat nav / autopilot of a motor vehicle being the subconscious.
When you are consciously steering your mind in the direction you want to go (ie you’re using logic, reasoning, will, desire – all parts of the conscious mind – to direct your life), you will lead in that direction.

However, if you take your hands off the steering wheel, the sat nav / autopilot will kick in and take you in the direction you’ve been programmed to go.

In other words, the subconscious takes over and you start acting in those pre-programmed, well-practiced (sometimes for years) ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.

This is why you find yourself parenting from a reactive state and in the complete opposite to the parent you want to become.

It’s because you’re not parenting Consciously.

Now back to my original definition of Conscious Parenting.

Conscious parenting is about AWARENESS & ADJUSTMENT.

It’s not enough to become aware of the programs you’re running that are triggering your behaviours and emotions. Sometimes being aware can weaken the habitual connection, but when you’re breaking a habit, you have to replace it with another.

This is where ADJUSTMENT comes in.

You have retrain your mind to change.

There are two ways you do this
a) Repetition
b) Hypnosis

When you’re in hypnosis, your mind is put to sleep (no different than you going to sleep at night time) and you are downloading the information you want your subconscious to be programmed to think habitually.

If you do that with repetition you can retrain your subconscious mind to change.

But you don’t even need to see a hypnotist to do that. You can do it while you sleep!

There are lots of downloads you can purchase that will help you to train your brain while you sleep by putting some headphones in your ears and listening to the hypnosis.
I love using as they have thousands of cheap downloads that will help you to do exactly this.

However, hypnosis is not the only thing you can do and in fact I believe you need to do more than just that if you wish to accelerate the rate of change in your thoughts, feelings and actions.

You see, you can go into hypnosis at night time, and start programming your mind, and that will work over time, but if you wake up and start to play out the same mental thoughts, feelings, behaviours etc, you’re going to be strengthening your current programs, and the new program has to keep competing with this well-practiced old programming, so it elongates the time it takes to change.

But what if you could use your conscious mind to accelerate the process? Now this is where we come in. We teach parents how to use their conscious mind to train their subconscious to be calm, connected and happier parents.

This is where REPETITION kicks in to help you with the ingredients of AWARENESS AND ADJUSTMENT that make up change.

What if you were able to become aware of the pattern of your thoughts that keep coming up in your day to day interactions with your kids, and adjust that thinking over and over again, thereby training your subconscious to a new mind?

This is exactly what we do at the PSC.

We teach you the science behind neuro-plasticity (changing your brain) and teach you how to take a complex task like breaking the habits of thinking negatively and getting stuck in painful emotions, and simplify it, so you have the knowledge, the skills and the support (from us) to EFFECT CHANGE.

Most people think that their external environment (like their children misbehaving) needs to change so that they can change their internal environment.

A lot of parents think that if they can just control their child’s behaviour, they will feel better, calmer and more composed. We hear this all the time – “Maybe if my child would just do as they are told, I wouldn’t have to lose my s**t”.

But it’s actually the other way around!

When you change your internal environment, you will watch your external environment start to change and we hear THAT all the time too – “I can’t believe how different my child is behaving just by me changing my reactions.”

For some parents, none of this is new. We’ve all seen the influence our good moods have on our child’s behaviour (and our bad ones).

But for others, they can be so entrenched in their own subconscious negative thinking/feeling/behaviour loops that they been practicing for years, it feels almost impossible to EFFECT CHANGE.

But this is where we make it simple for you and help you to do this through our programs.

Now one more thing I want to mention.

The reason why you’re not being an effective parent when you’re stuck in those stressful emotions that are triggering your reactive behaviour, is not because you’re a stupid, hopeless parent who doesn’t know how to parent.

It’s because when your body goes into stress, it’s like being chased by a lion. Your body goes into fight or flight mode. It starts to make physical changes to your body so that certain areas of your mind and body are shut down so that you can conserve energy ready for the fight or flight.

One of those areas is the creative centre of the brain – the conscious mind. If you’re being chased by a lion is it time to create something new (like new thoughts or behaviours)? Is it time to use your logic and reasoning abilities?

No! It’s time to RUN or HIDE! It’s time to protect yourself. The area of your brain that gets activated is your hind brain that’s going to protect you. This is why you’re getting reactive.

You’re not activating the centre of your brain that helps you to change. In fact, the learning part of your brain has shut down altogether!! (FYI, this also happens to your kids when they are experiencing hormones of stress).

So, it’s not that you can’t be a calm parent who knows how to help your child with their behaviour.

It’s more just that because the stress hormones are being activated in your body, due to those habitual negative thoughts and feelings, the part of your brain you need to be activated to be more rational (rationale is another part of the conscious brain) has shut down and no new behaviours can be exhibited.

So, can you see how trapped we can be in our subconscious thinking/feeling/behaviour loops that keep reinforcing the same thinking/feeling/behaviour loops?
Can you see why, to date, you have not changed even though you wanted too?

I want to help you to turn all this around.

You don’t have to stay stuck.

But what it’s going to take to change, is you guessed it, AWARENESS & ADJUSTMENT with REPETITION.

We will give you the tools to do this.

We will help you to become so aware that no subconscious thoughts slip past your awareness with you identifying it and then teach you how to ADJUST those thoughts and with repetition, effectively help you to retrain your subconscious mind how to think/feel and react.

AND we teach you to do all of these in the context of being a parent, something a lot of traditional self-help information are not doing.

Our programs teach you how to become aware of the thinking that’s triggering your stress and teaching you how to adjust your mindset when faced with those common challenges of parenting.

And then we teach you how to apply that information to child behaviour, loss of identity, anger management, relationships, time management and more.

So, if you’re ready to break the habit of parenting like your parents did, or to break your personal habits that are triggering you to become stuck in emotions of stress as a parent.

And if you’re ready to reactivate the logical, rationale and creative centres of your brain that will enable you to become the parent that you want to be, then we are ready to show you how.

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

A Self-Harmer Taught Me An Important Lesson

I was working with a young 17 year old girl with depression and a history of self-harming and she taught me such a valuable lesson in parenting that I want to share with as many parents as possible.

She said:

“My mum just doesn’t get it.  She always wants to fix me and tell me what to do to fix my problems. But sometimes she can’t fix them. I just need to work them out from myself. Sometimes I don’t need her to try and fix me or tell me what I am doing wrong. Sometimes I just want her to love me, cuddle me, sit on the bed together and watch a movie and say nothing….But she just doesn’t get it.”

WOW! What an eye opener that was for me. Now I don’t have girls, but I certainly remember being a teenage girl and I remember my mum doing the same thing.

This is because as parents, we take on this ‘fixer’ role with our kids. We want to take away their pain. We want to help them and get them to the other side of our struggles. But sometimes we need to recognise that helping them to work through things themselves by just being there is just as valuable to them.

Sometimes they just need their soft place to fall and maybe even the place where they can get away from their problems.

How frustrating is it for women when they often try talking to a male and they don’t listen. They just try and fix things. Women often feel unheard, not validated and unloved. This is often what parents unknowingly do for their kids too.

Teenagers are naturally trying to find their independence, so perhaps begin to ask your teenager what they need from you when they’re experiencing something difficult. Perhaps ask them if they want your help to find the solution?  That way you are giving them exactly what they need.

Remember that their problems do not mean their life is going wrong. It is simply an experience they are learning from and sometimes the experience is exactly what they need for their personal development.

Work WITH your child, not FOR them.

Letting your children find their wings…



"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

Eliminating Disrespect (Part B)

In my last article – Why Your Kids Disrespect You, we looked at some of the reasons why disrespect occurs between a parent and a child. Now let’s look at how you can turn it all around.

Your children will not respect you until you demand that they respect you.

By that, I don’t mean ranting and raving about how they don’t respect you and how they don’t care about what you do for them. I mean when you teach them a standard of treatment that you expect from them and issue serious consequences for them if this expectation is not met.

Human beings operate with the agenda of pursue pleasure and avoid pain.  If you set the standard and issue consequences for behaving less than the standard, and those consequences are painful (meaning they don’t like them or it means they have to lose something they want or experience something they don’t like), then they will learn not to behave that way.

This doesn’t just work for respect, this works for anything you are trying to teach your children (FYI, it doesn’t always have to be punishment either, you can motivate using the pursuit of pleasure – i.e., rewards for co-operation or good behaviour).

Just remember what you’re doing it for. What is it that you’re actually trying to teach? What is the life lesson or life skill you are trying to teach? Make sure it’s for those reasons, as opposed to just obeying so you get what you want…as tempting as that is, lol.

One final point….


Is it really disrespect? Is it really about you at all?

Keep in mind that often, our child’s behaviour has nothing to do with you at all. We can be so quick to make our child’s behaviour personal and jump onto the “My children don’t respect me train” but often it’s not because they don’t respect you at all, it’s because they’re learning how to deal with their frustrations, they are learning a new skill or using you as a venting board because they don’t know what else to do.

It’s important to take your self-worth away from your child’s behaviour and start to look at what’s going on in the child’s mind behind the behaviour.

When you do this, you might just see that they need your help to deal with a situation differently. You can still address the fact that they are treating you rudely or inappropriately, but make sure you give them some tools to help them deal with the actual problem differently too.

If you don’t know how to help them, then maybe you can sit down together and work it out.

Dealing with the problem by finding solutions….

If you would like more information on how to communicate more effectively with your child, change the way your family interacts with each other, or how to lower the stress levels in the home, our Stress Free Parenting program can teach you all that and more.

Warm Regards,



"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

Why Your Kids Disrespect You (Part A)

I wish I had a dollar for every time a parent said to me “Why doesn’t my child respect me?”, so I thought I would dedicate the next couple of days to understanding some of the reasons why they don’t and how you can change them.

Here are three reasons why your child might disrespect you:

  1. They don’t know how to respect! I know that sounds really funny, but often our children don’t know what respect is or how to show it, particularly if you have not had anyone specifically show them.Often, we are so busy complaining about what they’re NOT doing, that we aren’t showing them what we do want them to do. We just keep saying things like, “You don’t respect me,”  “You’re speaking rudely to me,” “Don’t speak to me like that.” But nowhere in there are you telling them what you want them to do. We expect it to be obvious, but the reality is, it may not be.
  2. Do you deserve their respect? Whoa, I know that’s a confronting question, however, a valid one. Just because you do things for your children, does not mean they will automatically respect you. Respect has to be learnt and earned – often being earned because of the way you are treating them. Respect is a two-way street so sometimes that means taking a good look at your own behaviour.How is your treatment towards them? Are you treating them with respect? Are you recognising and validating their thoughts, opinions, suggestions and wants and needs as a result or are you just demanding they treat you nicely and obey your rules regardless of how you are treating them?

    The thing is, you can go down that road, but you won’t be getting respect. You’ll be getting compliance and a child who obeys you.

  3. You teach people how to treat you! There are several ways we can unconsciously allow our children to disrespect us and then wonder why we do. Here is a few of them.
  • You ignore them when they speak rudely to you, or there are no consequences. You merely say “We don’t speak to each other like that” and then go on your way, issuing no motivational reasons why they shouldn’t speak to them that way.
  • You think that you have to do everything for them and you have your self-worth on them needing you, so you worry that if you take that away from them they won’t love you as much, thus you don’t want to issue consequences. This also goes hand in hand with “I don’t want to see them unhappy”. The reality is that pain is how we learn. I don’t mean you should go around inflicting physical pain on your kids, but I mean the pain of not getting what we want can often teach us how to get what we want.
  • You don’t feel worthy of respect and therefore are used to people treating you poorly, thus your kids follow suit and you don’t think of doing something to change that. It has become the norm that people treat you like that. (They may even be following suit with how someone else in the family treats you and is copying them).

If you can’t relate to any of the above reasons why you are being disrespected, I urge you to think about how it got set up for your child to treat you this way. What was your contribution to it? What is your reaction to it? What might be going on for them to make them want to treat you this way? Is there another issue going on for them that might be resulting in you being the punching bag.

The bottom line is that if disrespect is a problem in your home, that is your reality right now. It’s time to figure out why, so we can then work out what to do about it.

More on this in the Part B – Eliminating Disrespect

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

Money Stress Makes Me An Unhappy Parent

A constant theme that runs through the info that you read in my programs, is this:

“Stress is never caused by events. It’s how you perceive those events and what you perceive them to mean about you/your life!”

Money, or the lack of it as the case may be, is not causing your unhappiness. It’s what you think the lack of money means about you, your life, or your kids’ life. My proof of that is, does everyone who is not rich feel the same sense of lack and the stress that comes with this feeling?

If it were lack of money causing people stress, then wouldn’t everyone who were poor feel unhappy? But that’s not true. Sure it may be the majority, but there’s still a minority who really don’t care about their financial status. They have other things that they’re focusing on that make them happen. So it can’t be the money that causes unhappiness.

And therein lies my point.

What this minority are focusing on is ‘something else’. They don’t even have their attention on the lack.

Your stress over money doesn’t even come from your money situation. It comes from your perception of the lack. It’s a classic missing out lens. Look at what I don’t have. Look at what I’m missing out on because of that lack. I’m missing out on how life should be.

But this may be the very perception that is keeping you stuck in this current financial position.

This thinking is in conflict with reality! Your financial position is your financial position. That’s reality. Your judgment is what causes the stress.

So, what to do now you realise that?

Figure out what you want. What would be the ideal scenario for you in regards to money? Be specific. What impact would this ideal have on your life? What would life look like if you had this ideal?

Immerse yourself in the imaginative process of how it would feel to have a different financial picture going on in your life.

Now, how can you get it? Where is the information, the resources, the tools and the experts that can teach you how to get where you want to be?

See how you are now a lot more solution focused about how to get ahead, rather than rolling in your story of how bad or lacking your life is?

You won’t change your position by wishing it wasn’t so. You’re at where you’re at. Period. So what are you going to do about it now you’re here?

Stop holding yourself back by thinking…



Get It Right. You HAVE To Be Perfect.

Who on earth made that rule?!! Umm, I hate to say this…but you did.

We often hear in the parenting community that there is so much pressure on parents to get it right and do everything perfectly.

But who’s actually judging whether you’re doing it right or not?

The thing about judgment is that someone may have an opinion about what is right or not, but your reaction to their opinion comes from your beliefs, not from theirs.

No one can MAKE you feel any particular way. What they do though, is trigger something that already exists within you! They trigger the beliefs that you already hold about yourself and your life.

If you are feeling pressured, it’s because YOU believe you have to meet a certain standard in order to look good or be perceived a certain way.

YOU are the one setting the bar, so you can be the one to change it.

The only reason why other parents don’t succumb to the pressure of parenting is because they have a mindset that believes that they aren’t perfect. They know they are doing the best they can. They are continually looking for solutions to their problems. They don’t think it means anything about them if they can’t get it to be perfect or if they have an off day and they don’t believe other people’s opinions define who they are as a parent.

So when they hear about the ‘pressure of parents today’, it doesn’t trigger a response.

Adopt this mindset too, and your world will be a much more relaxed space.

Change your beliefs and you’ll change your reactions…


"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

Children Want To Have An Opinion. Don’t You?

Today’s society is not like when you or I were growing up. The “children should be seen and not heard” rule doesn’t really seem to apply in today’s society. Or if it does, it seems to be to the detriment of the connection between the parent and the child.

This is because children are growing up in society that encourages them to speak up, be honest about their feelings, and that it’s okay to have an opinion.

On one hand, we encourage them to be this way, but on the other, if it doesn’t match what we believe is right we can get all riled up at times.

So are we giving our children mixed messages? Do you want them to have an opinion or not?

I think for most of us, we want to raise confident, happy children who feel free to express themselves. We just want them to do it in a respectful way.

The other day, I said to my 8 year old son Ryan:

“Ryan, you are getting to an age where you won’t always agree with me or like what I’m telling you to do. That’s completely fine and I’m open to talking to you about our differences but I won’t be spoken to rudely, nor will I speak to you when you are yelling, throwing yourself on the ground or whingeing about the problem. We need to discuss things calmly.  

It doesn’t always mean that you will get your own way, but I will explain why you can’t have your own way and why it’s in your best interests. But on the other hand, you might have an idea that I haven’t thought of and maybe you can get what you want by doing it differently. The point is that we can discuss the problem and focus on a solution, rather than fighting with each other.”

He was pretty happy with that and it set the platform for future discussions, rather than arguments. It makes him feel empowered over his life, rather than feeling like his life is being controlled and dictated.

Think about what you want in your life. Don’t you want to have your opinion heard? Don’t you want to discuss how your life is going to be run? Wouldn’t you want to know why you can’t do something you really want to do?

We need to treat our children as equals because the superior/inferior trends of the olden day parent/child relationship doesn’t suit today’s societal messages.

If you try to stick to the ‘old school’ way, it won’t be a wrong way to parent, so there’s no judgment. But it is possible that your children may not be as close to you as you would like, because they grow up to feel unheard or that their opinion doesn’t matter to you.

It is for you to decide though, how you wish to handle your child’s relationship. I’m just here to present some ideas for contemplation.

Open the communication channels…



"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

What Are You Like To Live With?

Spinning back in time and I am observing me in the heat of arsenic hour when my kids were 2 and 3 years old.

They were whinging, clinging, the house was a mess, dishes everywhere, dinner trying to be cooked, I’m tired. I don’t want to be dealing with any of this. It’s been a long day and I’m hanging for my husband to come home to help take the load off.

Cue the telephone call from hubby.

“I’m going to be late.”  Those 5 dreaded words that no worn out stay-at-home parent wants to hear when they are so desperately needing a break.

“Oh, whatever then!” was my unappreciative, rude and short reply before I hung up in disgust, acting like he meant to be late from work. Like he didn’t give a damn about what I was going through. Doesn’t he know that I need help over here?!!!

Fast forward an hour or so and hubby walked through the door to a pissed off wife, a grunt as I handed over a child to be washed and as I continued to do the relentless amount of chores needing to be done.

What must it have been like to live with me back then? A nightmare! And my husband is not afraid to tell me so.

So today, I want you to think about what you are like to live with? If you work from home, or perhaps go to work during the day and at the end of the day you are tired, what is it like for the other people in your family to have to deal with you?

I want you to think about this because quite often, we look to others to blame them for how they are treating us and what they are doing to make us unhappy. But how often do we turn those pointed fingers back around to ourselves and see the part that we play in our relationships?

What if, today when you got home, or your partner gets home, you greet them with a smile, a ‘how was your day’, a “I really missed you today”  and a warmth that serves to mix things up a bit.

Make an effort and you might just find that those ‘feral’ times of the day, don’t have to be so feral.

Taking Responsibility,


Drowning In Parenthood? Start Here.

Quite often I read the posts of people introducing themselves on my Live programs, and I think “Wow, you’ve got so much going on.  Where should we start first.”

So this post is to help those of you who are feeling this way about your life and parenthood.

What do you want?

A seemingly simple question, yet one that is not often answered with specifics, or if it is, it is answered as more than a wish then a serious goal or expectation.

But this by far is the most important question to ask yourself when you feel like you’re drowning, because we often get sucked into the vortex of seeing everything we don’t have.

I can tell you that there are no solutions down that road.

What is it that you want in your parenting experience?
What is it that you want in your relationships?
What sort of relationship do you want with your kids, your family, etc.?
What does the ideal work/life balance look like?
What sort of person do you want to be?

Sit down with yourself and look at every area of your life and think about what the ideal would look like. What sort of life do you want to create for yourself? What would make you happy?

When you’ve done that, ask yourself whether you have been specific about these wants. When you look at those wants, would you be able to tell that you had achieved them?  Or can you be even more specific?

Knowing what you want is the first step to changing your life, because it gives you a direction to go in.  From this point, you can then begin to focus on how to get this information, where you can find the information that will help you to get there and who can teach it to you.

Struggles in life don’t mean a failed life. They just mean you lost your direction, or you haven’t yet learnt the skills required to get you there. Don’t waste time thinking about that though, just focus on what you want and how to learn so you can get there!

Free yourself and redesign your life.



"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

5 Steps to Being Organised

Because your perception is of being time poor, I’m just going to give you those 5 steps straight up.

  1. What do you want? Be specific. What does organised look like? Write it down.
  2. Write down everything that is in your day/week that needs attention and how much time that would take to get those things done.
  3. Write down other things that you’d like to have time to do and allocate time for that.
  4. What do you need in order to reach this goal? Support? More outside help?
  5. What is your plan of attack? How can you get these things into a schedule that’s do able?

I ask you, in those five steps, how many times did I ask you to tell me:

  • How much time you DON’T have
  • What you DON”T want
  • How everything else always takes priority and no one cares about you
  • How you never get anything done.

Yet how often do we roll in that story? It’s time to get solution focused. There are organised people out there and you could be one of them. It all starts with focusing on what you want and then creating opportunities and planning your life to get what you want.

Create a plan and take action!


"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

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