I am Bonny and it is fair to say I have been a student of human behaviour my entire life – originally at school and University, in the corporate context and in the parenting arena. I have studied motivation, leadership, culture change, developmental psychology, constellation therapy, assertiveness, coaching, management and marketing. I have managed people individually and through teams and currently work as a Women’s Coach and Parenting Coach at Smart Parenting. Since starting a family of my own, I have studied under and been influenced by many parenting experts including Noel Janis-Norton, Artie Wu, Lisa Smith, Dr Laura Markham, Dr Caroline Penn (the HANDLE technique), Hand in Hand Parenting, Huddl, Rachel Mary Stafford (Hands Free Revolution), Sharron Wardman-Browne (expert children and young person’s therapist), among others. I have also done lots of work on my own development as a person, as a partner and as a parent including the Hoffman Process, Imago therapy, gentle parenting, how to resolve inter-generational trauma, how to resolve trauma in kids, attachment parenting, HLP (High Learning Potential), Sensory Processing Disorder, Retained Reflexes, how to regulate sleeping, eating, resting, exercising… I’ve looked at the effects of using strict rules and structure versus no rules and no structure. I’ve looked at the benefits and the drawbacks of praise, the importance of meditation, of breathing, of appropriate cognitive stimulation … the list goes on.
Of course I’ve looked at my own kids and how my husband and I interact with them, but we are still far from perfect. The truth is, as you know yourself, nobody is perfect and nobody has the one right answer for every child. Our Trademark system at Smart Parenting comes about as close as it is possible to get to a definitive answer, precisely BECAUSE it does not tell you what the answer is but shows you how to find YOUR answer.
At Smart Parenting we have chosen to work with parents of kids aged 5-9 because we believe that is when the wrongs can be righted. That is when we can make a difference to how our children form their future relationships. That is when we have enough influence over them still to make a difference and it is before the huge angst of growing up hits them. Drawing on the benefits of our joint experience, Susanna and I offer you prevention of problems rather than cure, a system that you can adapt to your own needs, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.
I’m Susanna, mother of three, grandmother of four, experienced healthcare practitioner and believer in all things natural and holistic. I have also worked as a business leader, educationalist, university lecturer, published author and parenting coach. Surely parenting is one of the most challenging and most rewarding jobs we can do – and astonishingly one for which very few of us have had any training.
I grew up in an old-fashioned family home with very strict rules. As a child, it was just how things were. But as an adult, I realised that if I wanted to parent a different way, I’d have to learn! This led me to do a great deal of study and soul-searching – I began to understand how to pass on the positives and not the negatives of my own experiences to my children. I spent a number of years living communally with a dozen or so other families: this gave me an insight into how differing family environments and community activities can help children flourish (or otherwise). By contrast I have also lived in a traditional nuclear family structure with all its more familiar pros and cons.
A natural researcher with a highly practical mindset, I have a particular interest in how people develop as they absorb new subjects, especially when they are required to make a significant shift in their approach. This was the focus of my Masters Degree – and, many years later, it is also the underpinning to Smart Parenting. During my working life I have designed and delivered a wide range of courses for small and large groups, from foundation level to degree level, in a variety of subjects around personal development, small business and medicine. But, ultimately, children – my own and other people’s, grandchildren and family life – have always held centre stage for me, and all my qualifications and life experiences have fed back into this.
Smart Parenting – the distillation of Bonny’s and my lengthy experience – is an adaptable parenting system giving children the foundation of resilience and self-respect they need to move on safely and with confidence into their tweens, teens and beyond. It is a course parents can use on the job, so to speak, using their daily lives as the stage for developing new and highly effective parenting skills that their families will benefit from for the rest of their lives.