The Debrief

Trying to download information from a preschooler or school goer can often feel like pulling teeth whilst ending up with no teeth!!

Expectations – First port of call manage them! A preschoolers vocabulary in general can be quiet limited, not to mention their recall and use of descriptive language, therefore its important to not expect too much too soon. In my experience if you push it too much and make it a daily interrogation children will quite cleverly develop a scripted response defaulting on the same answer daily to hopefully complete the experience as quickly as possible.

Differentiate – Remember to approach each child individually. Some love to debrief and spill the beans on themselves and everyone else. Others process the day and themselves differently. Allow for that and avoid comparison. Avoid deciding one way is better or more positive than the other, its just their way and thats ok.

Environment – Some need face to face conversation, eye contact down to their level. Some prefer less confrontational and in the car is their spot to spill. If your hoping to chat tune into that and provide their environment of choice for the best results. I’ve one man who needs the radio off and silence from me and I’ll get the day hour by hour including a conclusion of “so Mom it was my best day” or the opposite as the case maybe!

The Parent Trap – Feeding the child information you assume or decide yourself. We’ve all done it, right? Tell me I’m not kn my own? Be mindful that a child’s world and perception of events is often very different to ours let them tell a story avoid jumping in and making your own of it. Small children in particular are possibly likely to nod or agree with your additions potentially based on your reaction rather than the facts involved.

Limits – Last but not least keep it to one or two questions and leave it at that you want to be a conscious and caring parent, me too i totally get it! You want them to know the floor is open, I’m here to listen and you can tell me whatever you need to but sometimes wishing and trying to execute that can turn us into detectives. I’ve put together some helpful suggestions to maybe open up the conversation a little bit further than “how was your day?”…. “Fine” but just pick one or two off the list every day and see if they suit your style of parenting or perhaps help that post school debrief.

Who was funny in school today?

Was anybody kind today?

What did you laugh at today?

Try anything new today?

What were you proud of today?

Did you learn a new song today?

Did you try anything tricky or difficult today?

Did you help anyone today?

Did you smile at anyone today?

What didn’t you like in your lunch?

What game did you enjoy or dislike in the yard?

What was your favourite lesson in class?

What did you not enjoy today?

Did you have to be brave today?

You get the idea and I’m sure you’ll come up with plenty of your own and more suiting to your own parenting style.

Most importantly take their word for it especially when they are young if they say they had a good day accept it, trust it and enjoy having a contented child the bad days will come too.

Gardening With Kids; activities, ideas and what we can teach and they can learn!

The Gains of Gardening:

– Planting with soil and watering are all great forms of sensory play for every age. 

-Teach them where food actually comes from, you know not the shop!

-Responsibility and resilience some will grow and some won’t learn from your mistakes and move on and make sure enjoy and revel in the wins.

-Science and Maths what do you need for growing, energy, sunlight, water, measuring, sorting, time and patience.

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Parenting Support Workshops Information and Tickets

Please find my online Workshop Information below. There are two online workshops I currently run  

  • Empowering Parent’s – Workshop for a helping hand with Behaviour  
  • Toilet Training Less Stress more Success – Workshop. 

Please find current information, available dates and how to book for each below. I hope to see you on Skype!

Empowering Parent’s – Workshop


  • May 2nd 2020 at 10am to 12:30pm 
  • May 23rd 2020 at 1pm -3:30 pm
  • May 30th 2020 at 10am – 12:30pm

Price: 50pp

Workshop content includes:

-The Wipe the Slate Clean Approach

-Reacting and Managing Strong Emotions

-Reinforcement and how to utilise it correctly.

-Tuning into Preference and Motivation

-The Why: Thinking about the function of behaviours

– Tools for your Tool Box: Tried and tested techniques for every day unwanted behaviour.

-Routine and Predictability their role in anxiety and the “tantrums out of no where”


I’ve limited numbers for all online workshops to 6 spaces to ensure quality and time for everyone to ask questions etc. If you would like to book a workshop please click the link for your preferred date below;

May 23rd 2020 – Empowering Parents Workshop

May 30th 2020 – Empowering Parents Worksho


Toilet Training Less Stress More Success – Workshop 


  • May 2nd 2020 at 10am – 12:30pm 
  • May 23rd 2020 at 10am – 12:30pm
  • May 30th 2020 at 2pm – 3:30pm

Price: 50pp

Workshop content includes:

  • Prepare For Success what to do in the weeks leading up to training to prepare for success
  • Basic Training
  • Reinforcement
  • Nap Times
  • Night time Training
  • Pitfalls
  • Regressions 
  • Bowel Movements
  • Managing Fears with Empathy

I’ve limited numbers for all online workshops to 6 spaces to ensure quality and time for everyone to ask questions etc. If you would like to book a workshop please click the link for your preferred date below;

May 2nd 2020 – Toilet Training Less Stress more Success:

May 23rd 2020 – Toilet Training

May 30th 2020 – Toilet Training


If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me via comment on this post.Email: Instagram @deehollhan


Clonakilty Model Railway Village – A Review

LooWest Cork Model Railway Village may have been the boys favourite day out of the summer! Ned for sure thought it was the best thing sinced slice pan, from the actual model village right down to the playroom which even got a mention when reporting back to Grandad.

It was our first time visiting Clonakilty and it has 100% won us over. Next time we plan to go for two nights though, as one was just not enough for all this part of the country has to offer. Family Friendly Ireland at its best!

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Car Journeys and How I Survive Them With Toddlers!

Surviving Car journeys with babies and toddlers; its important to prepare for success. So often we have such high expectations for the smallest members of our family whilst giving them minimal resources. A ten minute car journey can feel like a week to a young child. An actual long journey like an hour plus needs to be prepared for if you want it to be a peaceful and successful journey. A successful journey will be a great representation to the child of how to behave in the car in future and that car journeys can be tolerated and even enjoyed. Continuous unsuccessful car journeys can begin to create an association and then you’ll be tackling a whole bigger issue. Preparing an achieving successful journeys is akin to a good investment, it will pay off for you in the long run. You’ll have kids that don’t find the car aversive and are very tolerant of journeys long our short.

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