Interview with Parenting Expert Sue Atkins
Describe yourself in a 5 words.
Enthusiastic, passionate, empathetic, lively and sincere
What inspires you?
Making a difference in the lives of families around the world.
I’m good at…
Talking, listening, motivating, writing, teaching
I’m bad at…
What are the highlights of your career thus far?
Appearing on the ITV ‘ This Morning’ sofa lots of times and being invited to Downing Street & The House of Commons to give a speech, & giving a Keynote Speech at The Sunday Times Festival of Education
What are your goals for the next 5 years?
To have my own ‘Parenting Made Easy’ TV and Radio Show travelling round the UK & USA in a black London taxi and a New York yellow cab giving parents advice in shopping malls, play centres and parks !
What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
The difference I can make to family life so everyone relaxes, has more fun and builds long lasting happy memories that last a lifetime.
What inspired you to become a Parenting Coach?
When I did my training with Paul McKenna to become an NLP Master Practitioner & Trainer I knew I wanted to apply what I had learnt to transform & enhance family life.
What are your top 5 parenting advice?
- Children spell LOVE T-I-M-E so spend quality time with each of your children every day to fill up their emotional tank and build happy memories that will last a lifetime.
- Play, talk & really listen to your kids turn off the telly, turn and face them and give them the gift of your attention.
- Nuture your child’s self esteem and self confidence every day and make deposits in their wellbeing.
- I always say A smile is a curve that puts a lot of things straight so relax, stay upbreat and positive and laugh often with your kids.
- Get plenty of Me-Time it will help you relax, & stay positive and you will replenish, rejuvenate and enhance your patience and you’ll keep your sense of perspective about bringing up your kids.
Where do you think parents go ‘wrong’?
I don’t like finger pointing, judging or blaming parents as we are all a work in progress – most parents love their kids and are doing the best they can. But if there was one thing I’d say to parents it is ‘Don’t be your child’s friend’ be their parent’ put boundaries around things that are important and don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ to your kids sometimes.
When is according to you the right age for introducing kids to modern technology and gadgets?
Well, I’ve worked with 2 year olds who are addicted to their parents ipad so be careful when you introduce technology to your children and like bedtimes put in boundaries and rules that carry consequences if they don’t conform to your rules.
Is there any right age when you can leave your kids home alone?
The law doesn’t say an age when you can leave a child on their own, but it’s not a good idea to leave children under 12 as they are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time. It’s a good idea to ponder
* Your child’s level of maturity and understanding
* The place where your child will be left
* How long and how often your child will be left alone
* Whether or not there are any other children with your child.
What is your best advice for single parents?
I am recently a single parent myself so I would say get support from friends and family, keep your own life going with hobbies and interests and make sure you are a great positive role model to your kids as they are learning, listening and watching you all the time.
How do you go about asking your child to sleep in their own room when they are in their tweenage years and sleep with their parents?
I run workshops on this very topic http://sueatkinsparentingcoach.com/registration/
Using my One Page Profile Process http://sueatkinsparentingcoach.com/are-your-childrens-sleep-habits-driving-you-to-the-point-of-madness-and-exhaustion/
The first thing is not ‘to ask’ kids – you need to ‘tell’ them – not in a rude way just with authority and confidence and you need to look at your body language, your tone of voice and whether you appear to ‘mean business’ in what you are saying. It’s all about simple routines, long term consistency and staying focused on the long term goal which is to get your child to stay in their own bed all night.
What can parents do to stay calm and understand their kids more?
I teach my One Point Technique which is a simple, quick and easy way to stay grounded, calm and relaxed at all those flash points ! It’s in all of my MP3’s and CDs
What has been the most exciting collaboration you’ve worked on so far?
Working with Helen Sanderson on developing One Page Profiles within families going through divorce as it is a such a powerful way to help children stay at the centre of this challenging and traumatic time.
Also working with the very charismatic Erika Brodnock of the fantastic Karisma Kidz is just a pleasure http://www.karismakidz.co.uk/
Are there any areas that are particularly difficult or challenging?
Finding the right people behind the scenes to do the admin and technology can prove challenging at times !
What do you believe sets your skills and knowledge apart from your competitors?
Well to start with I actually have 2 children of my own unlike Super Nanny and Gina Ford and I have been a Deputy Head and Class Teacher for over 22 years before taking my expertise into writing books, broadcasting and running workshops for parents and kids so I suppose that makes me a bit different.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on getting my MP3’s back into tangible CDs so parents can buy them in shops and at kids classes and I am working with Helen Sanderson to transform the way divorce is handled here in the UK and globally by using the very simple but really powerful One Page Profiles with families experiencing divorce and change.
Do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to pass on?
‘A smile is a curve that puts a lot of things straight’ and remember to build bridges not walls between you and your children
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
‘Be so good they can’t ignore you!’
What is your most treasured possession?
A lovely photo of my Mum & Dad who are no longer with me.
What is your must-have item for next season?
Red high heels !
Who’s your favourite Style Icon?
Don’t have one – I just like to be myself
Most inspirational person you have met?
Erika Brodnock for sure her vision, passion and determination to make a big difference in the world inspires me every time I speak with her.
Your favourite location?
On a sunny beach sipping a Tequila Sunrise J
In a nutshell, your philosophy is…
Life is what YOU make it !