ANXIETY / FEAR, Behaviour, LOVE, Us Time

10 Seconds to Increase Your Bond with Your Child

Lockdown may have kept some of us apart but if you are fortunate to live with people you love, then give them a hug right now (but please, do not hug just yet those who live outside of your home due to Covid-19).

Hopefully it wont be for long, but for now keep the hugs for your kids!

Did you know that a 10 second hug releases oxytocin, increasing your bond with your child and decreasing anxiety?

That’s why this hormone is known as ‘The love’ hormone.

And that’s why, the next time our little ones push our angry buttons, it’s better for everyone to have a hug.


When our children constantly want and nag and fight for our attention, what they’re really craving is that human, loving, connection. A simple kiss, cuddle and a long hug is all it takes to bring us present together, in the moment.

Being a Present Parent means we are not just there physically, but in mind and energy too. We are focused on one another completely. Everything we do for our children is an act of love. Even listening to them chat about their day at school or childcare or reading them a story. Those things all mean more than money or possessions. But we need to be paying attention, or we’ll miss out as much as our children on some (much cherished in years to come) Us Time (you can learn more about Us Time and The U URSELF Routine in my book The Confident Parent’s Guide to Raising a Happy, Healthy & Successful Child and on Present Parenting in The Powerful Proactive Parent’s Guide to Present Parenting, both books are available now from all good book stockists such as, Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble.

Just Click the button below to find out more.

Love equals Time and Attention, and that’s the most loving investment we can make in our children’s lives. We can always buy more stuff, but we can never buy more time. Once spent, it’s gone forever.

Love in the moment.

This moment is all that counts. And all those loving moments soon add up!


Our childrens unwanted behaviour is not their fault, they’re not being difficult, annoying, ungrateful or selfish, it’s just more loving ‘Us Time’ they’re really seeking.

It’s not how our children behave or the things that happen to us in life that’s the problem, it’s how we choose to deal with what happens.

Problems and disagreements are part and parcel of parenting, which we can’t eliminate, but we can learn how to deal with and overcome them.

Offering a reassuring hug, kiss or smile is all it takes to repair a kink in the chain of love that connects us.

Disagreements will always occur in loving relationships, but if we take action to resolve things as soon as possible and are willing and able to work through issues with our children, we strengthen our bonds. 

I know this can be difficult when they wake us at two am in the morning, we may know that there are no monsters under the bed, but a three-year-old may not.

At those times, particularly when we are tired and angry, we can unintentionally miss the opportunity to give them an explanation, hug or a kiss, and to make them feel better, especially if they are behaving undesirably. 

Yet this is when they are crying out for help, and yes, attention.

Ironically, it’s those times when they misbehave and don’t understand their own emotions that, we end up getting upset and angry with them, when all they really want and need is a cuddle.

Each time we find ourselves overreacting, we can stop and try to shift direction, and replace that in the moment reaction with a hug. It means bringing our awareness back to the present moment, and acting from a place of love. Not automatically reacting unconsciously in the heat of them moment, trying to stop our childrens behaviour.

Once upon a time, we were our children’s number one fan, we adored everything they did. Even a poo on the potty was cause for celebration and hugs of proud appreciation, but as they grow, the focus changes.

But is it our children who change, or is it us who change how we view our children?


It’s those everyday acts of love such as cooking them tea and chatting about their day, that strengthens the bond we share with our children.

Expressing our love a little longer than expected, reinforces our love.

Next time, try hugging your child a couple of minutes longer than usual and feel the love transmitted back and forth.

That’s our bonds strengthening and reconnecting us to one another.


Stay Present,

Em x


STRONGER than Before

Cancer doesn’t care if you are a mum, dad, sister, brother, daughter, son, husband or wife?

A nice person or a bad person?

It doesn’t discriminate, so it can feel like there’s nothing we can do to prevent it destroying lives.

Since losing my Nan who raised me to cancer in 2001 and then my Brother to Cancer in 2015 and various close family members having cancer at around the same time, it’s a subject I wanted to learn more about.

In essence I want to understand it.


Because education is key.

Prevention is better than cure.

And being proactive is better than living in fear.

I myself have had pre-cancerous cells and numerous large polyps removed surgically and have undergone genetic testing.

As part of the genetic testing process, I had to go through what they call a family tree with a consultant at the hospital. This family tree showed all the other members in my close family, highlighting those who have had cancer, and which type of cancer. The Doctor had accessed my Mothers’ medical records (with her written permission) in order to do this. I can’t tell you my shock when it was revealed to me that in 2004, while I was giving birth to my first child, my Mum had been diagnosed with bladder cancer and years before she had also had cervical cancer! How I didn’t know, I don’t know????

Had I not undergone this testing process, I probably would never have found out?

Genetic testing can impact you in ways you never expected and can uncover things you may or may not want to find out?

I’m lucky, I found out that my brothers’ cancer was not genetical. I could temporarily take a sigh of relief on hearing that news…. Then I realised as over ninety percent of cancers are due to environmental factors and not genetical, I now had more control and responsibility over whether I increased or decreased my chances of getting it.

I don’t know which thought is scarier, having no control or having an element of control and responsibility?

All I knew was it was time to understand the disease from a molecular perspective, so I studied advanced cancer biology.

 I was being proactive.

I don’t have cancer, so I have the time and inclination to do this, but what about someone going through this experience?

 Chances are they won’t have either of those things.

Time as a cancer patient is taken up on consultations, treatment appointments and worry.

Leaving most patients full of unanswered questions, that they haven’t thought to ask or may not have felt appropriate to ask a doctor?

It can feel like you’re given a diagnosis and then you are left to discover what that actually means?

But one of the best books I’ve read, written on the subject of cancer since Rebecca Skloots ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is Alison Porters book ‘STRONGER than Before Take Charge of your Healing to Survive and Thrive with Breast Cancer.

Alison was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.
She is also the world’s leading self-help publisher Hay House’s, very worthy winner of their Writers Workshop 2016
In 1951 Henrietta Lacks was the first cancer patient to have cells taken from her and grown in a lab, without her or her family’s knowledge or permission! These cells are apparently still growing today and are considered immortal and are the most common cells used in research today.

A Proactive Informative Approach to Healing

Alison’s book is a practical yet loving guide book that offers a proactive, informative approach to managing breast cancer. That places the person at the centre, not the illness. Showing there is freedom to make informed choices, suited to each individual. Early detection of cancer is vital, but as Alison points out, weighing up all the options and taking some breathing space before deciding on treatment is a must.

Her book focuses on being unique and individual in your approach to your illness and its treatment. This is important because there are different types of breast cancer and every person is different in how and why they are affected and their treatment?

Genetic testing can help doctors to provide a more personalised treatment for a specific sub type and its cause. So, knowing all the options is vital.

Conversations with Family and Friends supporting a Loved one through Breast Cancer

I wish I had read the part on ‘Conversations with Family and Friends supporting a Loved one through Breast Cancer’ while my Brother and also my Friend, were going through their journey’s with cancer.

Alison’s advice in this section of the book applies to all people going through any type of cancer, or even any type of serious illness for that matter. It helps you to see things from the other persons point of view and offers some great suggestions on what to do and say?

I feel that’s so important for friends and loved ones to have an insight into, as it’s really hard to know what to say?

You know the person living with cancer that you care about is having an awful time in their lives. Yet, you think you are doing them a favour by acting normal?

And sometimes you are.

But I’m sure there are times when all they want is to let out how they are feeling with those closest to them and this can be so hard to do when they’re worrying about other people’s feelings too. I know when I found out about my friend’s diagnosis, the first thing I did was book us afternoon tea and prosecco in a nice hotel, to help take her mind off things.

Looking back, I can see how me going on about staying positive and offering books and meditations to my Brother, may not have always been what he needed at that time. I mean, given only months to live, I can now see how impossible staying positive would have been for him. But Pre-cancer diagnoses that is what we always did for one another. We boosted each other up with positivity and we always searched for that silver lining.

I guess old habits were hard to break?

On reflection, I wonder if there were times when he just wanted to let it all out and release how he felt?

Although he was always so strong, proud and private, I think this would have been hard for him to do. Especially as he was my big brother who always tried to fix things and look after me.

Listen & Trust

The exercises, meditations and suggestions on self -care and love, scattered throughout Alison’s book, help you to stay more present. Enabling you to listen to yourself and your body, while learning to trust what you feel and hear. All these combined seem to hold your hand and guide you down an uncertain road, laced with fear and anxiety. Helping to shed light and love on a dark journey, to discovering who you really are and what you really want from life?

She encourages you to see your illness as a transformational journey.

And this is exactly what my friend Selena did. Selena was diagnosed with HER2 positive stage 2, grade 4, breast cancer on December the 6th 2016. When I asked her recently what she had learnt from her experience with cancer this is what she said;

‘Overcoming breast cancer has shown me to appreciate all the little things we take for granted in our life. I have grown more confident and stronger through my experience. I live for today. Embrace everyday as life is a gift…it is precious!’

Freedom to Change

As Alison also discovered herself, you will change, but those changes can be for the better?

Although honestly admitting that even after recovery the fear never goes away. But feeling that fear and carrying on with life on purpose, will help to set you free on a path you may never have dreamed of pre-cancer. Knowing there will come a time when you can free yourself from identifying with cancer and move forward. Showing it’s never too late to start over and reclaim your life by changing your mindset, and positively supporting your body to return to balance.

Alison asks;

‘What have you learnt from your dance with breast cancer?’
And that lesson or insight, I believe, is the key takeaway from her book.





It’s that time of year again that loved up hopeless romantic’s love, and lonely singletons loathe – Valentine’s Day!

But whether you’re single, in the honeymoon period of a new relationship, or have been married for years, there’s one person that deserves your love more than anyone else – YOU!

‘You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.’ Buddha

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.’ Buddha


Over the years as we grow up, we start listening to other people’s opinions about us, and any criticism received we tend to remember.

Then when things go wrong or we make mistakes, we tell ourselves that others peoples negative views were right. We then add to them by mentally berating ourselves, turning other people’s false opinions of us, into self -fulfilling prophecies i.e. a reality.

But we can all be more loving towards ourselves. By remembering that any criticism from another person is just their opinion. And as long as we don’t believe it and join in with the hate campaign, then it’s not true.

This means not ruminating over or joining in with that negative mental chatter that goes on in our own minds, that never seems to shut up!

Instead practice talking to yourself lovingly. Affirmations are a great way to practice loving yourself more, they are simply positive statements said in the present tense.

For example, whenever you make a mistake, instead of calling yourself ‘Stupid!’

Reassure yourself that you are always doing your best and say;

‘I am doing the best that I can at this time, and my best is always good enough’

And repeat this affirmation often.

You can say it quietly in your mind or you can proclaim it out loud, whatever makes you feel the most comfortable?

But never underestimate the power of your words on your subconscious mind, affirmations work!


It’s a good idea to take loving care of our physical bodies too.

After all, its the only body that we will ever own?

If we can start to notice the good parts of our body, more than the bits we don’t like, then we can learn to love the skin we are in.

Take a look at your body each morning in the mirror and focus on the bits you love.

You might have nice legs or a nice smile?

Whatever you like focus on that. The more you can love and accept yourself exactly as you are today, the more likely you are to attract someone who also loves you as you are.

And the more inclined you will be to take care of your physically body. That means if there’s bits you dislike now, then in the future with time and loving care, they will soon change for the better.

Focusing on our negative aspects only makes us feel worse about ourselves. And when we don’t feel good, we are more inclined to poison ourselves with alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and junk food.


If we can form a healthy, loving, relationship with food too.

Such as choosing to eat healthy, nutritious, natural foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and fish, and drinking plenty of water.

Then food will love us back.

If we eat well then food will give us energy and nutrients to keep us slim and trim. If we constantly eat junk food however, we will gain excess weight through empty calories and will feel tired, sluggish, and irritable.


When we act and feel this way as well as looking and feeling unfit, we can lack health and vitality, and may find it hard to really love ourselves.

To burn calories, increase our energy levels and release feel good chemicals in our bodies, then we need to keep as active as we can, on a daily basis.

Our bodies are designed to move about, so move whenever you can.

You don’t need to go to the gym to keep fit, just move.

Doing house work, walking the dog, dancing, playing with the children, all burn calories. So, we have no excuse not to get up and get going now!

Your body will love you for it!


No Valentine to take you to the cinema?

Then go it alone, or make time for yourself to do those things you love that simply make ‘YOU’ happy.

A soak in a bubble bath with a magazine, a cuppa and a good book, painting, fishing, football, knitting, whatever you choose to do, schedule time in your diary to prioritise YOU Time!


A treat once in a while can make us feel good!

You may not have a partner to spoil you this Valentine’s Day?

But you are still worth treating, so spoil yourself.

A treat once in a while can make us feel good.

So, go and buy yourself some chocolate, perfume, aftershave, flowers, beer or bubbly and a take- away, and curl up on the sofa with yourself.

This way at least someone loves you. And you’ll never leave you if you love yourself right.

And once you truly love yourself, others will love you too!