This month’s blog is on “Creative Families”. Right on cue once again the universe provides 🙂 I open up my email and I found this sitting in my inbox:

Subject: Creative Thinking

“Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution.” Stanley Arnold “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” – Decouvertes

Instead of creating lots of ideas, options and solutions, try to list lots of questions. Then you can work on each question individually. There is so much power in questions. Questions are more open-ended and cover so many possibilities while the answers are more limiting and focused.”

So even though the universe supplied, I was still lost on this blog. My article was sent back because it was too all over the place, as I suspected it would be. I am worn out, over tired, working until late most nights, run down and sick for the umpteenth time this winter, and we have moved into Spring!

Creativity is a big thing in our house – I luuuurve being creative, whether it’s for work or pleasure. I also use it regularly as a distraction when my daughter is irritable and bored and wanting some attention. It can feel like we are in the middle of World War III with one another and I take a deep breath, a step back and ask my daughter if she would like to do craft together, or bake or play a game, or sing and dance to One Direction – and suddenly all seems right in the world again. Thank goodness! Not only does the war stop, but we both calm down and reconnect and usually even manage to find our “inner silly” together.

When it comes to creative parenting – there are a lot of questions being asked, and a lot of different behavioural patterns happening and in all honesty I often just feel lost. I regularly have to pinch myself and ask am I really a parent and this 5 year old girl is my daughter, my responsibility? I feel too young to be a mum. I see others out and about and find out they are similar age yet they seem so much older and hold such a stance of togetherness and wisdom. I wonder how long it will take for me to get there?

I was out walking with a girlfriend the other day and we were discussing a situation where the worst behaved girl in my child’s class wanted to come for a play date. Here was a 5 year old grinning from ear to ear asking me directly if she could come and play at my daughter’s house. This same girl had just last week threatened to hit my daughter if she didn’t hand over her lunch. It was unexpected and I was put on the spot – but I am 38 years old – surely I can handle this? I couldn’t think of any diplomatic way to say no and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I had this vision of my daughter getting in with the wrong crowd from age 5 and in jail by age 10. Okay, probably a bit extreme?

So this month I would like to put it out there to all parents, to help me build a table: A table of situations that your children get into or things they ask – maybe split into different age brackets, that are important…how did you or would you respond? I would love to hear from you. Whether it’s on health or relationships, homework or body parts or just trying to stay clear of play dates with the badly behaved child. Let’s hear it! Please!! Just add your comments below and we’ll see what we can come up with together.

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Michelle Woolley is a qualified nanny, has worked in hospitality, accounts and advertising, and is now studying Bachelor of Social Work full-time, working part-time as a support worker for people with disabilities. In her teens, she volunteered at kids' camps and listened to real life stories, dried the tears of many young girls struggling with living in a broken family. She didn’t realise that one day she would be drying the tears of her own child while parenting alone. Join her as she writes about her journey.

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