Parenting is a balancing act

Written by Ollie Coach trainee Margie Kieran

My son has three very, young children and the middle child who is an adorable little girl, (3yrs 9mths) can occasionally be moody, if things do not go her way. My son tries hard re the child psychology approach but often cannot think of anything that will move her mindset from sulking.

It is only recently during my training as an Ollie Coach that I have really begun to completely understand why my gorgeous grandchild is struggling on these occasions. I had a chat with my son, and he is going to try a different approach. I explained that when a child is so young, they do not have the life experience or catalogue of skills that we have as adults stashed away in our ‘library’, or subconscious. You must have been in a situation where you ‘have put your foot in it’ or ‘spoken without thinking first’. You perhaps feel embarrassed, ashamed, or even guilty, but you dig around in your library and hopefully come up with some way of exiting the uncomfortable situation, gracefully.

This little girl ‘who has dug her heels in’ and is now ‘in a mood’ needs help because she can’t go to an extensive library, like adults can, to find a way out of her predicament. She does not have the stored experiences in her library, so she just sticks to what she knows, sulking. I think back to when I was a child, my older siblings used to taunt me ‘Margie’s in a mood’, singing and repeating the taunt. My dear Mother would protect me, in a clever way, although this was natural to her and not a skill learned on a training course. She would say ‘Leave Margie alone, she is NOT in a mood, she just needs some time to think, and then she will join us.’ This was my exit strategy; it wasn’t me that was in a mood, it was a part of me, and I needed help to get that part to change and move forward. My Mother’s words were like a pair of soft arms surrounding me. She was making sure that I had time to work things out and to return to my siblings with my head help up because I just needed time to think and work out how to control that small part of me causing me a problem.

As parents we can help our children understand that it is not them, the whole person, that we are displeased with, but a small part of them, that they can control if they want to. Give your child time to think about what you say and make sure that your manner is calm, controlled and not confrontational. Children need good role models.

Training as an Ollie Coach has given me the clear understanding and explanation for many unwanted behaviours that present themselves in both children and adults. I now know that we can definitely help children to help themselves, control their emotions and not feel overwhelmed by having no strategies or library (subconscious) to rely on.

Margie Kieran, Ollie Coach trainee

Margie is a trainee Ollie Coach and fully qualified teacher with extensive expertise in the Primary Sector of Education. She has spent time working in Asia, and in the State and Independent Sector of Education in the U.K. She is passionate about helping young children to recognise their own strengths and to understand they have the power within them to change for the better. 

To get in contact with Margie, email