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What’s Next? How About a Mind Flip

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Handling the Halloween Howls Using the Hand in Hand Tools

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This week: Handling Halloween Using the Hand in Hand Tools

So, your kids are fighting over the Halloween candy stash, and their sugar highs (and begging for more) send your blood pressure soaring. Maybe you have a child who is scarred by scare season’s ghosts and ghouls – or simply refuses to be a part of the festivities.

Have no fear!

Elle and Abigail show you how to handle common Halloween howls using the Hand in Hand tools. Settle back with your pumpkin latte and get tricks you can use to make Halloween the family-centred treat you deserve.

Take a sneak peek into this week’s podcast:

  • Why Halloween can bring out the worst in our kids
  • What happens to a child’s brain when they are melting down and how you can respond in a way that reaches and nurtures
  • Which Hand in Hand tools are most useful for handling the Halloween howls
  • Abigail’s genius route to peaceful resolutions when two or more kids are going at it
  • How to play your way out of scare season fear and even anger

Listen now!

Get more great resources for handling Halloween with calm and confidence:

Free Guide to Sibling Rivalry

Fights over candy, toys, time and your attention? You need this free guide on Surviving Sibling Rivalry using Hand in Hand Parenting tools and ideas.

Sign up to Abigail’s New Podcast

Every week Abigail will walk along with a parent, right in their shoes, working with them to flip their parenting challenges. Visit


You’re Invited To The Celebration – 100th Episode Podcast Party Starring YOU

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Happy 100!

This week – for our 100th episode – we turned the microphone over to you all.

And we are SO excited to share this episode.

You’ll hear just what led parents to the Hand in Hand podcast, the breathtaking transformations you have seen happen in your parenting, and the different ways you all use the podcast from week to week.

We’re thrilled and humbled by the community that has gathered since we started the Hand in Hand Parenting podcast two years ago!

This Week We Listen To Your Voices

Take a listen and see if you hear yourself!

There’s comments that’ll make you laugh, comments that’ll have you nodding your head in agreement, and comments that will surely tug at your heartstrings.

But at the centre of it all is immense caring, movement and community.

And it’s so powerful!

Your good work is a force for change. You’re telling us how your perspectives are shifting, and with them, your struggles. We hear how you are becoming more playful with your kids and more understanding.

You are embracing being the parents you knew you could be.

Triple yee-haa!

We wanted to thank you so much for being with us each week because you are as much of this podcast as us.

Get ready to be uplifted hearing all that you are and all that you aspire to be. Listen to You’re Invited To The Celebration now. We can’t wait for you to hear this.

Oh, and a million hugs and thanks for everyone who sent messages and emails to be included in this episode. We are touched and honored by your contributions

More Resources for Getting The Support You Need As A Parent

This episode shows just how valuable regular support and guidance can be to your parenting. Do these three things to ensure that you get that support for yourself:

  1. Join our Group. Did you know you can dive into our free Parent Connect group? Our instructors are in there daily sharing tools, ideas and advice on Hand in Hand Parenting. Not on Facebook? We hear you, but this was the most accessible platform we could find. We think it’s worth joining just for this group.
  2. Keep up with Abigail. Abigail is about ready to release her own podcast. Every week she’ll be walking along with one parent, right in their shoes, working with them to flip their parenting challenges. Visit to see when it’s happening.
  3. Get weekly Hand in Hand Parenting inspiration right to your inbox. Every week we highlight strategies around a parenting challenge, share freebies and checklists, new videos and interviews, and show you how to make the most of Hand in Hand Parenting. You’ll also be the first to know when the podcast returns for its second series. Get it here


So, How Far Have You Come in Your Parenting?

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Where were you two years ago in parenting?

Sometimes we get so caught up in the present-day challenges we forget to look back and see the progress we’ve made. 

And we should! 

A week before the 100th episode of the Hand in Hand Parenting Podcast,  Elle and Abigail do just that, with an affectionate look back over the last two years they’ve been making the podcast.

Abigail talks about how her kids have adopted, rely on, and now take ownership of the tools, and Elle recalls the sleeping and eating challenges they’ve overcome, plus how emotionally aware her kids are since the tools have become a regular feature of family life.

Now, your turn!

Here’s why we need to look back sometimes…

This episode serves as a reminder of all the miraculous change and good you are doing now and can expect more of in the future.

Listen this week and then scan back over your own milestones, challenges and successes and drink in how far you’ve come. 

How many can you chalk up?

Listen to So, How Far Have Your Come in Your Parenting?

Come celebrate the amazing work you are doing as parents. 

More support for your parenting

Get these five ideas to make parenting less stressful to keep close when things get hard

Read A Love Letter to Parents

Can’t chalk up any recent high points? Listen to Are You Headed for Parent Burnout?

Stay connected

We’d love to hear about your parenting challenges. You can follow Hand in Hand on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Be sure to drop Elle and Abigail a message at [email protected]

Get weekly tips, ideas, and inspiration for your parenting in our newsletter



The Best Ways to Rise Strong After Mom Shame

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Your heart sinks as you join the long line of people snaking the aisle at the grocery store.

Your baby is already making those noises she makes when she wants you to hold her, and there are about 15 minutes until she needs feeding.

You are pretty sure this line will take double that.

How did this happen?

You tried to get out to the store all day, but between your friend dropping in, the late nap, and your toddler refusing to get on his shoes you arrived late. (There’s 15 playful ideas for getting out the house here). 

Now, he’s begging for snacks, your baby’s cries are escalating and this line doesn’t seem to be moving. You pull your baby out of the cart and land her on your hips and she quiets for a few minutes.

But with about three people ahead of you, she’s screaming again. She’s late for her feed. You notice your son has dumped a few fistfuls of candy bars into the cart, and he wails as your dump them back out. The baby cries harder, and you quickly unbutton your shirt so she can feed, you can pay, and you can all get to the car.

You fumble in your bag for the dried apples your son likes and hand him one. 

You breathe. It’s going to be ok…

An Already Hard Situation Gets Harder

And then a stranger taps you on the shoulder.

“The feeding room is over there,” she nods. “You shouldn’t breastfeed here. It’s offensive.”

The Best Ways to Rise Strong after Mom Shame 

Have you ever been mom-shamed? Or felt judgment in your parenting choices? That moment when things are already feel bad and some person moves in and just makes things feel a hundred times worse?

Join us this week as Abigail describes the gut-wrenching time she got mom-shamed smack bang during one of her most desperate times in parenting.

She explains the exact advice she got that helped her rise strong and move on from mom shame, and we talk about how you can too. 

  • See mom-shaming for what it really is
  • Who to turn to when you’ve been mom-shamed
  • Why you deserve support when parenting gets hard
  • Small but mighty ways you can help empower other moms and pass mom caring on

Bounce back from parent shame. Join us this week for The Best Ways to Rise Strong After Mom Shame.

Get More Resouces For Rising Strong After Mom Shame

Abigail invites you to join this intimate call with five of the wonderful mom’s she’s worked with. Find out what transformations they made in their families, and how you can too.

Sign up now – spots are limited.

Join here:


What happens when you want to walk out on parenting?

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So, today we’re talking about the less sunny side of parenting. And when we say less sunny, we really mean those dark, never-ending winter-like days that are bleak, lonely and cold.

They hurt.

Some of us live in denial of these days – and it’s easy to see why. In a world of social media where every picture seems to radiate warmth and snuggly good feeling, saying your experience is any different can open doors to shame and judgment.

Even when we admit it, it’s often as whispers while we’re alone. “I want to walk out on parenting,” is not something you’d usually proclaim at your mom and toddler group.

If you wanted to keep going, anyways.

But today we’re plummeting those depths in honor of us and in honor of you, because if you have no place else (and we sincerely hope you do – listen to suggestions in the podcast) this should be a safe space.

You all are working so hard at being kind, calm parents – and everyone needs a space to rage.

On the podcast this week, we’re shedding light on:

  • Why parenting gets so hard
  • At least three things you can try when things get tough
  • How to find peace in parenting lightly when life is overwhelming
  • One tool you must try to find hope in the hard moments

If you’ve ever dared think you can’t go on with parenting, or if you’ve stuffed those feelings down so long you can barely feel them, we ask you to listen in this week.

Join Abigail’s Free Class on Anxiety

Catch Abigail’s free class on anxiety. Click here to get practical tips on flipping anxiety and living a freer happier life. Join class. 



Powerful Ways To Banish Fear of the Dark (and other things that kids say go bump in the night)

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Powerful ways To Solve Your child’s sleep issues using the Hand in Hand Tools

Your kid is going crazy about taking a bath. Just won’t. You wrangle and wrestle. It’s nearly bedtime after all. You are sooo close!

Then when you finally make it to the bedroom, your child refuses to put on pyjamas. Then requests a drink. And then another. Doesn’t want to brush their teeth. Needs a certain toy who, yes, you guessed it, is missing. 

Will sleep ever come?

Finally, your child makes it under the covers but as you go to turn off the light, your child screams, “No!” I’m scared of the dark.”

“Mama. Don’t go.”

Should You Stay or Should You Go?

And you are left with the question, do you stay or will you go? (Or at least try?)

We called this podcast powerful ways to solve your child’s sleep issues because, oh boy, if there was ever a parenting challenge made to test, it’s this. 

The end of the day. 

Alone time insight. 

A moments peace or a chance to rest yourself. 

Sleep looms bright in our minds. 

But so many times looms dark for our kids. 

Why Do Some Kids Just Hate Bedtime?

Today we’re talking why kids have such a hard time with bedtime. (And why we do!). And why sleep issues can be easy to dismiss. Know this – they are MUCH MORE to do with us than our kids. 

On Powerful Ways to Banish Fear of the Dark (and other things kids say go bump in the night) we cover:

  • Lights? Music? Do distractions work?
  • How to take tiny steps toward fear
  • One key thing about leaning in and connecting 
  • The counteractive way to banish bedtime blues
  • Hunting down the feelings behind your child’s words

Listen now to Powerful Ways to Banish Fear of the Dark More Resources to Solve Your Child’s Sleep Issues

Like this thinking? Read Three Gentle Ways to Fight A Child’s Resistance to Bedtime or Sleep and The One Question You Need To Ask To Help a Child Sleep Better

Get more pre-bedtime games here: Five Games to Help with Bedtime Refusal

Take inspiration from this mom’s story about how she used play when her child got scared at bedtime

Last chance to transform your parenting in Parent Club. Grab your spot now, doors close Wednesday. Click here to discover your bonuses, and everything else Parent Club offers you.


How to help Kids Manage Their Friendships

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So there it is. An invitation. Your child is waving it in your face with a grin brighter than gold.  

And you?

Does your heart soar?

Or sink?

  • Acceptance
  • Similarity
  • Belonging
  • Self-worth
  • Influence
  • Betrayal

Here’s Why OUR Friendships Matter

Friendships can arouse big feelings – in us as well as our kids – and how we approach the joys and the ickiness friendships can bring requires us to separate. We need to remove the “us” from the “them.”

But it can be tough untangling our own feelings when we invite friends into our families. (or they invite us). 

This week, we’re inviting you to spend a minute or two thinking about the friends your child has, and the common challenges that come up when kids make friends (or don’t!).

From Friends to Frenemies – the good, the bad and the ugly with kids and friends

  • An explanation about why kids exclude others that you may not have considered
  • Why friendships are fluid and how to use the Hand in Hand Tools to anchor relationships
  • When to get involved in friendships and drama, and when to let go
  • Why your friendships influence how you handle children, friends and their fallouts
  • One tool you can use to ease your children’s friendships along
  • One conversation to try when your child is getting controlled in a friendship

Helping Kids Get Along: How Laughter Can Bring Friends Together highlights a great way to help kids build bridges. 

Need New Friends?

It can feel lonely parenting in a new way. And it’s hard to forge a new path without support. It’s why we created the Parent Club, a daily online spot where you can go find your tribe. Get answers from instructors, tailor the tools to your own family, take classes, get coaching, and meet together for weekly and monthly Lives with instructors (and our founder Patty). 

The Parent Club is open now – for one week only!

From September 19 to 25th, you can join the Parent Club. Click here to learn more. 


How to Keep Your Family Strong and Loving after Divorce

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Coping with divorce?

When today’s guest, instructor Kristen Zuzek Volk, found Hand in Hand, she’d almost written off a loving relationship with her daughter.

After divorcing, her two kids were screaming, crying and acting out, her daughter sometimes for nine hours a day.

Coping? Not really.

Kristen was hard on them, and harder on herself.

Even therapy didn’t work, so a parenting philosophy like Hand in Hand was the last thing she thought would help.

She was wrong. 

Find Peace in Your Parenting After Divorce

Hand in Hand’s tools brought dramatic change to Kristen’s family. She learned how to see through her kids’ “crazy” behavior to the deep hurt causing it, and she found she could heal that hurt using the tools.

Today her kids are teens.

And they are also a tight, bonded, happy unit.

If you’re coping with life after divorce, find out how you can use the tools to reach your kids. How to hold them. Anchor them.

Learn how Kristen dealt with custody transitions, differing parenting styles, and upsets that came with separation.

And learn how she navigated Special Time and Staylistening as a single parent.

If you are separated or divorced, if you are co-parenting or raising your kids mostly on your own,  if you feel isolated, or live with a partner whose parenting style is drastically different to yours, there’s support for you in this week’s podcast.

Listen to How to Keep Your Family Strong and Loving after Divorce. 

More Resources for Parenting After Separation or Divorce

Helping Children with Divorce or Separation is a wonderful resource.

If you loved Kristen’s reminder to herself “Do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way,” print this poster for your fridge. (Wait! You’re a dad? Then you’ll want this copy!). 

There are 12 Books for Children Dealing With Divorce here

Work with Kristen

Kristen Zuzek Volk is based in Colorado and works with parents in person and online. You can email Kristen directly here. 


How to Handle Your Child’s Negative Words

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You probably never imagined words like these erupting from your child’s mouth. 



Hurtful words. 

But here they are. 

“I hate you!”

Or worse. “I hate myself.”

“I want to die.”

Words that make us want to curl up and cry. Admit defeat. Give up parenting altogether. Except, of course, we can’t. 

Even piling on hugs and love often doesn’t appear to soothe a child hurling those words (and thoughts) in those moments. 

So what’s an emotionally-drained parent to do?

This week on the podcast, we’re talking about the times our kid’s words get hurtful, whether they’re aimed at us or themselves.

  • Where these words come from
  • When to take notice, when to take action
  • Ways you can respond that shift those thoughts and feelings
  • When play works better than words

When kids say stuff like this, it’s hard. It’s worse when it feels like yours are the only ones saying them. They aren’t. Join us this week for support and suggestions for how to move on when your kid’s words get hurtful. 

More resources for when kids words get negative:

For more about how kids acquire harsh language, read this article

You can listen to negative language as you would a child cry when you staylisten. Here’s the science behind the tool and how it works.

What is Hand in Hand Parenting? All you need to know about the listening tools.

Become Mother-Flipping-Awesome!

Join Abigail’s rocking new community and be mother-flipping-awesome. Go here to get registered now.

Stay connected

We’d love to hear about your parenting challenges. You can follow Hand in Hand on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Be sure to drop Elle and Abigail a message at [email protected]

Get weekly tips, ideas, and inspiration for your parenting in our newsletter