As some of you would have seen I’ve recently begun a partnership with Josie Taylor (Positive Parenting with Josie),  I thought I’d elaborate a little bit on why we want to work together.

Like many parents, my confidence has grown over the years.  In my case I have been winging it for 5 years now but I do have a lot more moments of clarity and confidence than I probably did at the beginning.

That first year obviously flew by as everyone says it does.  I was overwhelmed at times with lack of sleep, decisions about bottles / breastfeeding / was the colour of his poo ok!/ sleeping/ what should they wear/ are they too hot are they too cold/ when should I wean/ should they be left to cry or cuddled to sleep etc etc.  But ultimately we survived!

At around 9 months to 18 months my gorgeous son, was not (in my eyes at that point) a baby any more.  He wanted to touch everything, he would hit me , he wanted to run everywhere and climb on everything, he could meltdown with frustration at most things.

And where as before with the feeding / sleeping etc, I had trusted my gut after some research and I felt I had some element of control over the outcomes (apart from sleep – someone please figure that one out and share the magic secret with me!) with some of the new ‘behaviours’  and emotions I felt quite confused.

When ‘babies’ start to act more like toddlers, there are so many possible ways that you can deal with things.  And when you are an over thinker, like I am, it’s hard to make a decision as to which way you should act in the spur of the moment, because ultimately, anything could work.

For example:

He’d cry when I left him at nursery, like scream the place down.  Or if I left him at a grandparents.

-Was I meant to run out the door, or stay to comfort him?  Did I prepare him before hand or would that build it up so that he was anticipating the separation?

He might push others over at soft play and it genuinely felt at times like no other kids did this!

– was I meant to say gentle and show him gentle hands? Was I meant to remove him from there? Was I meant to ignore it and not give it attention? Did he even know he was doing it?

He’d have a tantrums, which could be about anything…

– did I hug him? did I ignore and not give the tantrum attention? did I give in and do what he wanted?  Was I being too soft or too strict?


-If he took a toy did I make him give it back (that goes down so well), did I tell him ‘no’ firmly, did I softly say sweetheart ‘we share don’t we’, did I let him have it and give the other child something else (because let’s face it it’s rarely about the toy itself!), was it better to take turns?

At times It felt like all I ever said was NO!

This new stage as a new parent really threw me, if i’m honest.   What happened to that baby stage! I’d obsessively watched supernanny and three day nanny and all of those types of programmes for a long time pre parenthood, smugly thinking I would have it all nailed at the point it was my time,  but here I was, I had an extremely active, inquisitive boy and just trying to keep up with him was exhausting enough, never mind all these things that were going around in my head on a daily/ hourly basis!  My gut told me this was all normal and I didn’t have to tell him off but I also felt a lot of pressure to act on it when around others.  I found the line of discipline very ambiguous at this age, was he a baby still or did he understand?  I never thought I’d feel ‘played’ by a one year old but at times he seemed so clever!

I’d give each thing some thought and think, this is how I’m going to handle it, only to change my mind very quickly after seeing how someone else does it, or getting advice from well meaning friends or family.

Or, a new challenge would rear it’s ugly head when I was least expecting it (and always infront of a bloody  audience) and I’d have to think on my feet!

I often felt the pressure to ‘nip it in the bud’, ‘teach him so he knows right and wrong’ etc whilst also wanting to make sure he was ok and not upset him when I knew he couldn’t help a lot of what was going on. Whilst some people are great at just trusting their instincts and going with it, I think I would want to ‘fix’ a lot of problems there and then and would almost panic at times if things didn’t work.  I never knew if I was making something worse, or ‘fixing’ it slowly, so I’d change to something else before I could find out.

I think (with hindsight) what happened, is the poor boy didn’t know whether he was coming or going!  I have to be honest, I don’t think I had the most consistent parenting approach in my first two years.  I tried everything!

Then, after having my second son, and struggling with a new business and a new larger family, I luckily became friends with Josie Taylor and managed to attend her workshops to learn so much about her wonderful approach to parenting.  The focus, is on connection with your children, on understanding their worlds, on being firm but fair and above all else, trust what you are going to do and see it through.  All of the things my gut would tell me to do but my (scrambled/ tired/ panicked) head would ignore because I felt ‘he needed to learn and quick’).

To say it was life changing is possibly a dramatic thing to say.  But I actually think it was for me within my parenting and family life.

Josie teaches a ‘positive discipline’/parenting approach which totally feeds into my love of psychology and really sums up how I want to parent.

The primary thinking is that children only behave ‘badly’ when they feel bad and that the key is to fix whatever is causing that bad feeling in order to have long term improvements in the behaviour.  So, for example, when we were experiencing perfectly normal (but at times difficult) tantrums or attention seeking behaviour after his baby brother arrived, I was able to figure out the specifics of what was actually going on to cause this in our daily routine, reconnect with him and then correct the behaviours afterwards.  As my kids have got older we’ve experienced the odd challenging time and the tools I’ve got from Josie have really helped me understand why they’re happening and work through them without much stress.


Most of the people that have used her just want to understand their kids a bit better, whether they are challenging or not.  I for one have learnt some amazing tools to help with the day to day dramas!

However, I know so many people that have used her when going through tougher times; a divorce, or if there children have difficulty settling into school or any of those common life events that can throw children off balance and affect their behaviour and happiness.

It made a real difference to me, not because it stopped my kids from doing any of these things I mentioned as babies.  Nor has it made them angels that never push the boundaries as they’ve got older, It’s all normal. They’re perfect but not always perfectly behaved, they never will be! I don’t want them to be either (although they could perhaps pick their moments from time to time!).

It gave me an understanding of what I wanted to do and most importantly why they are doing it.  And I think knowing what you are going to do in certain situations gives you so much power as a parent (or anything in life) that it takes a lot of the stress away.

We all want to be the best possible parent we can be and we all suffer similar challenges and experience periods of ‘what the actual hell do I do here?’ so if you’d like to check out her workshops – there’s some coming up soon I believe.

Although I know that the hardest years are yet to come, I am really pleased I have worked on my confidence to be the best version of ‘mummy’ that I can be and I have actually met some great friends through her workshops too – bonus!

Josie has a few workshops coming up if you’d like to check them out.

For parents or babies 12 months and under click here

For parents of preschoolers click here

Check out the rest of her workshops here

Josie Taylor