This is a question I’ve been asked many times and it’s one that I spent years trying to figure out for myself.

It’s a question that was in my head most days while my youngest son was going through his swearing phase.

His swearing phase lasted many years and gradually became more dramatic as he explored the full scope of swearing and learned new words. His swearing was almost always directed at me and was literally in my face. How do you react when your 14 year old child calls you a “f**king bitch?

Some would regard this as a…


This is such a wonderful image as it shows the power of Presence. When we are calm and at peace within ourselves we can provide a loving space for the disturbed emotions of our children to be expressed and to pass. That means we can handle the tantrums, the rages, the anxieties and the emotional bonfires.

It’s called “holding space” by some and “co-regulation” by others. Some folks just call it “listening”. I prefer “listening in Presence” as it describes something very special. This is listening and holding space in complete inner peace.

When we listen in Presence nothing needs…


For those of you who are new to home education and may be interested in unschooling, here are some encouraging words:

THE CHOICE TO UNSCHOOL WAS MY GATEWAY TO FREEDOM.

I’m not taking about freedom from all government regulation or freedom from doing the work involved in raising children.

I’m talking about freedom from stress, anxieties, conflict and the roller coaster of emotional reactions that I used to experience.

I’m talking about the freedom to live in the joyful flow of life with people I love and care about as we all grow and learn together.

How did the choice to home educate and unschool lead to all of…


Children playing freely on the beach

If you choose a path of unschooling and you let your child play and learn by following their own interests it’s almost guaranteed that you will freak out from time to time. During my 15 years of unschooling my two sons I freaked out often. One of the top causes of my stress and anxiety was that my children’s natural learning clashed with the beliefs about work that I’d picked up in my own childhood.

Natural learning is a wonder to observe. Anyone who has children has seen it in action. It’s amazing to observe young children learn how to…


Are your children screaming for your attention?
Are they creating a family drama?

Or is it the thoughts in your head that are screaming for your attention and creating drama?

Maybe it’s both!

How do you stay calm while your child is screaming?

Over the years I’ve noticed that it’s the thoughts I have about the situation I’m in or the person I’m with that cause the most stress and turmoil. I often experienced negative thoughts and emotions when one of my sons was screaming or they were fighting with each other (they did that a lot when they were…


You know the scenario; your child does something completely cringeworthy, or violent or rude, and people are glaring at you or rolling their eyes……… and then THAT THOUGHT pops into your head.

“I’m responsible for the way my child is behaving.”

Has that ever happened to you?

It’s certainly happened me often enough. And the results are emotionally painful, especially when the behaviour in question is very challenging.

There have been so many situations, over the last 20 years, that have stirred up this story in my head, the most recent being the choice of my 16 year old son…


I have a long-standing habit of swimming in my local sea pool. I’m there most mornings around 9.30 if the tides and the weather are OK.

This habit has kept me anchored for the 20 years I’ve been a parent. I don’t take my children with me for the morning visit. They’ve sometimes come for a swim later in the day.

There’s a group of folks who swim here almost every morning. Because it’s Wollongong, NSW, about half of these people are migrants from Italy, Britain, South Africa, Bali and beyond and the rest are born in Australia but from…


I think I’d be a lot more popular as a parenting writer if I supported the myth of the law of attraction. The parenting version goes something like this: if you are a really kind, peaceful and conscious parent then your children will always be kind, generous and loving in return, even in their teenage years.

Sadly, I don’t think it’s true that if you keep your vibration high and do all the right things then you will be met with constantly delightful children. That has not been my experience.

I used to get pulled in by those fantasies and…


I watched “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix last night. I kept hearing that it was “something I had to see”. Since I am currently teaching a course entitled “Making peace with screens and gaming” I figured that it wasn’t a bad idea.

It was an interesting documentary, especially as it featured interviews with people involved in designing and running the big social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. …


You know the scenario: someone says something critical about your child’s dreadlocked hair, or the fact that they’ve just hit another child, or that they can’t read fluently at age 9. Your child may, or may not be upset, but you’re devastated. Crushed. Hit by a ton of mum shame.

I felt the weight of that mum shame many, many times. It’s excruciating. What made things worse was what happened after that: I felt like shit and then I projected that onto my child. I passed the criticism on down the line by making some judgmental comment to my child…

Freya Dawson

I help parents live with their children without stress or struggle. Parenting coach, spiritual mentor, unschooling mum and writer.

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