Guest, Natasha Wellfare: get children “learning whilst moving!”

In this episode of the Parent Podcast (#tips for #parents with children aged 5-11), I talk to Natasha Wellfare. Natasha is a Mental Health Counsellor and Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher. She also worked for many years as a Montessori teacher.  These days she specialises in working people who are feeling stuck and overwhelmed.  Natasha is the founder of a parent support group – the OK Parent Project – which supports parents with common parenting challenges. This episode was recorded during UK lockdown. I asked Natasha for 3 tips for parents.

Her first tip was about the importance of #movement for children. Natasha was emphatic that children need to move. I see that need to move with my daughter. Natasha, and made a couple of great suggestions to combine movement and learning. She gives examples of going on learning walks, or to throw a ball whilst learning times tables.

For her second tip she explored the concept of choice. She made the point that “if f we step into the shoes of children they really don’t have a huge amount of choice about their life … they have to go to school, they have to wear a certain school uniform, they have to do their homework, somebody else gets to choose where they live, so I think giving children choice even if the choice leads to the same outcome is really powerful.” What follows is not my finest podcasting moment where I offer the example of giving my daughter choice in which banana she wants to eat – and after what seems like an absolute age she makes a decision. I know the importance of giving choice, I know that it can sometimes seem like a slow process – but ultimately it gives a child ownership and commitment to their choice. Which I guess is why I persist with offering choice where I can.

For her third tip, Natasha introduced a concept known as “freedom within boundaries” – of setting the boundary (for example a tidy room), but allowing your child freedom to complete the task, with a choice of cleaning products, with music playing, etc.

More information

· Take a look at The OK Parent Project Facebook Group which Natasha’s created as a safe space for parents to support each other

· Her full range of services can be found on The Wellness Project:

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