Author Archive | Koa


To me, one of the most wondrous aspects of parental love is the sheer unconditionality of it. We fall madly in love with our children before we even know, in any real sense, who our children are. Parental love is wide open, spacious and infinitely curious to discover. It can be tempting, oh so tempting, […]

Continue Reading 0

Good parenting is an artful mix of loving, responsive, sensitive caregiving on one hand, and discipline, raising expectations and teaching new skills on the other. Both are needed. Many of our stuff ups as parents can be understood as getting the mix wrong. Maybe we realise that we expected far too much of our child […]

Continue Reading 0

Just get up earlier

As a psychologist, there is a lot of pop psychology advice that I really hate. One of the simplistic pieces of pop psychology advice that I loathe is the idea that you can easily add new activities to a busy life by simply getting up earlier. Want to meditate? Exercise more? Write a novel? Simple! […]

Continue Reading 0

The mindfulness craze

Mindfulness is the ability to stay psychologically present in the here and now of your life. It is a skill and, like any other skill, you can improve with practice. Just as the psychological sciences are starting to really flesh out the benefits of mindfulness, mindfulness has broken into popular culture and the mindfulness craze […]

Continue Reading 0

Marriage Equality: Vote Yes!

The Australian government is currently conducting a postal survey on marriage equality. I will be voting YES. Same sex attraction is not rare. Although it is experienced by a minority of the population it is a significant minority. People who have experienced same sex attraction are at higher risk of psychosocial distress, with people who […]

Continue Reading 0

If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to make my blood boil it is hearing baby boomers make vague and sweeping claims about the use of technology by the current generation of parents. I’ve heard many horror stories over the years. I’ve even heard these horror stories from experienced health professionals at professional conferences. Horror stories […]

Continue Reading 0

There are plenty of snake oil sellers out there and many of them prey on parents. At the same time, sometimes there is no clear evidence-based solution for the challenge that you are facing and you may find yourself weighing up other options. Asking the following questions can help you to figure out what is […]

Continue Reading 0

There is a classic Star Trek episode (The Enemy Within) in which a transporter malfunction causes Captain Kirk to split into two- a good Kirk and a bad Kirk. With all the darker aspects of his nature distilled out into a separate being, the good Kirk is unable to function. He is weak-willed, indecisive, and […]

Continue Reading 0

Responding to the Critics

Many parents feel bombarded by unwelcome criticism and judgment, from family, friends, professionals, even society at large. How can you learn to cope with criticism without destroying your own confidence or damaging your relationships with others? Firstly, remember that you are the parent. Whatever roles other people have in your child’s life, you are the […]

Continue Reading 0

Everybody makes mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes.  Every parent makes mistakes.  And they aren’t always little ones. So, how do you recover and move on when you recognise that you’ve stuffed up? Start by treating yourself with compassion. Recognise that you aren’t alone. You are an imperfect human being, just like the rest of us and we all stuff […]

Continue Reading 0