Listening to Children Through Play Newsletter January 2015 - What's Up and What's On in Parenting by Connection. Starting School and Separations. Plus courses and resources.  So our messages don't get caught in your spam filter
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What's Up and What's On: Parenting by Connection Newsletter
Madeleine Scott Winter, smiling!
Welcome to our January Newsletter.  As the summer holidays come to an end, we are all thinking about the return to school.  For some of us, this is familiar and known.  But parents I speak to often say that every year, it is like starting school again.  I hope you find some help in the stories and resources here. 

Plus links to free resources, and up-coming courses and events.

Starting School - Over and Over
School ChildrenIs your child beginning Kindergarten next week?  The first few weeks of school can be a big deal for our children.  We usually expect this at the beginning of Kindergarten, but I recently  bumped into my friend whose boy is returning to school in year 3.   She said he was very upset about starting school – even though, generally, he quite likes school.  Parents I talk to tell me that every year feels like starting all over again – whether the child is four or fifteen.

After the long summer without the structure of school, and perhaps having been able to spend more relaxed time together, children often feel strong feelings of separation in the weeks leading up to the start of school, and for the first few weeks of school. 
I think feelings about separation are a bit like a scab - at first very raw, but over time the skin dries out and hardens and the feelings are less available to feel. But every now and again, something brushes against the scab and the feelings are available again. Starting school after the long summer holidays pull up old feelings of separation.  Be kind to yourselves and your children:  leave time for some extra upsets over the next week, as the scab is lifted again, as feelings about school, and about leaving you surface again.  You might also find the free teleseminar (details below) helpful in working through feelings about separation.
Who is Starting School???
Old school with high ceilingsHow are you feeling about the start of school?  You never can tell, as a parent, when you are going to bump into a hard bit: it could be very early parenting, or the “terrible twos”, or when your children are about 8-10 and are not so ready to put up with things. 
For me, it happened when my daughter started school. I felt like I was the one doing the hard thing. When I got anywhere near the playground, I wanted to run away. The strength of these feelings seemed way out of proportion to what was going on. And I seemed to be much more worried about starting school than my daughter!  Yet I did not think that I had had a hard time at school – I had been academically successful and thought I had survived the experience quite well.
What was going on?  Read more HERE
Stuff for free!
 Have you checked out the Hand in Hand Parenting web site recently?
To Read:  I often give this article to families with pre-schoolers starting school in the new year.  It’s a nice story about a mother who listened to her boy's upsets about starting school.  I’d love to know if you find this article helpful.

To Listen: Helping children with Separation Anxiety:  This free teleseminar will help you understand the two different kinds of separation anxiety and learn a simple 7-step process to help your child when they find separation difficult. You’ll also hear about two powerful tools you can use to build your child’s confidence and flexibility to prevent separation anxiety from being a problem.  Presented by Hand in Hand Parenting founder, Patty Wipfler and Jamie Russell, Hand in Hand Trainer and mother of three

Coming Up

GOT CONCERNS ABOUT SLEEP, LIMIT SETTING, AGGRESSION, SIBLING RIVALRIES? If you would like to know more about Parenting by Connection, these self paced online courses are excellent value for money.  Find out more HERE.

PARENTING BY CONNECTION STARTER CLASS: Delivered online and by phone based conference call.  Join me and a small group of parents for six weeks as we explore how Parenting by Connection can work in your family.
  • Starts Friday February 20th 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (AEDT).  Find out more HERE  
PARENTING BY CONNECTION RESOURCE GROUP: Meet with me and a small group of parents to give and get support as you tell your story and think through parenting challenges. 
  • Starts Monday 2nd February for four meetings. Find out more HERE

LIMIT SETTING FOR FATHERS: Dads have a special role to play in their children’s lives, and setting limits can be a positive process that strengthens your relationship with your children and builds co-operation and good judgement.
  • Thursday March 19, 2015 from 6:30-8:30.  Find out more HERE

PROFESSIONALS INTENSIVE: Join with other professionals who work with families to learn about how Parenting by Connection can be used in your practice.
  • Starts in the week of March 30th 2015.  Find out more HERE
INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION: This nine month program, starting in September and ending in June, is open to individuals with the skills and experience to teach, support and mentor parents and child care professionals as they learn the tools of Parenting by Connection.
  • Applications for the 2015-16 programme close 31/5/15.  Find out more HERE 

Please keep in touch!  I'd love to have you with us for one of these groups, check out our Facebook page, or email us with your stories and questions.

And please, feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might be interested.   And good luck if you are starting school this week!

Madeleine Scott Winter
Listening to Children Through Play
You are receiving this email because you have attended, inquired about or referred families to our courses and workshops, or you work with families in your local area.  For information about upcoming courses and workshops, please go to .  If you would like to know more about Parenting by Connection, visit or watch this short video