Coaching Mum

Samantha Dholakia, Local Mum†and the founder of†SPD Tuition and Coaching, is blogging for us about all things coaching†



It's this week!

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It's also not too late to join Mini Minds this week for our launch.

At a special Local Mums price of £5 what are you waiting for?

Come and find out what we are all about as well as meeting other families and their Minis.

Most of all come and have some fun!

Wednesday 7th September†


Riverside Centre Carshalton

For more information, or†to book your space, you can email me directly or†CLICK HERE!!

Founder, Coach, Consultant, Trainer
SPD Tuition And Coaching
Tel: 07884271025


Is your child ready to skip into those school gates?

My goodness, September felt like a long way away, all of a sudden it’s August and our mini humans are about to embark on an exciting (and potentially nerve wracking) adventure…starting “Big School”.

As parents the long-term goal for our children is for them to have positive mental wellbeing, secure social relationships with others and ideally to achieve academically. But where do we get started to support them with this?

We have all seen the many posts about preparing children for school, and yes there is a whole host of great information out there… but they don’t seem to cover the fundamentals of getting your child skipping ready rather than walking!

Just like building a house, children need to be supported by “strong foundations”. These foundational skills come in three main areas: physical development, language and communication, and personal, social and emotional development.

Here are three top tips to ensure your child is physically learning ready, that you may not already know!

  • Practise big muscle movements inside and outdoors - these help develop writing and reading.
  • Play games that involve them using both sides of their body - This helps reading, focus and attention.
  • Give your child opportunities to strengthen their core - This supports attention, focus and their ability to sit for sustained periods of time.

Last month we launched ‘Skipping into September, Primary Prepared’ and have been supporting parents in getting their children truly ready for school. The first session has been so well received we are very excited to be running the next two.

Here are some things parents found useful from our first session, which they are going to try with their children, to help build these ‘strong foundations’:

- Exercises to develop ‘Primal Reflexes’ and motor skills

- Breathing exercises

- Breaking instructions down into shorter, more manageable ‘chunks’

- Using a whiteboard to create Visual Schedules at home

- Creating opportunities for the child to practise asking for help

- Creating a Visual Emotions Board to start developing emotional vocabulary

There will be a whole host new ideas in our next session, focusing on all the things you can do with “a few days to go” until starting “Big School”.

The session is online at 8pm on Wednesday 31st August and you can book now at

Spaces are very limited to ensure we offer the very best to each family and we would love to have you join us!

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For more information, or†to book your space, you can email me directly or†CLICK HERE!!

Founder, Coach, Consultant, Trainer
SPD Tuition And Coaching
Tel: 07884271025

Looking within

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‘What goes up must come down’, an old saying, over time we have come to understand that this is of course set in the science of gravity. The idea that if something goes up into the air, it must come down, is familiar to us. A notion we take for granted, one we teach in our schools as part of understanding the world around us.

So much of our time is spent exploring the world around us, the natural occurrences and theories of that beyond our reach, but for all our learning and teaching of the external world there is still much to understand. It is fascinating how much we can know, whilst knowing not much at all. Which of course, fuels our curiosity and desire to learn and deliberate on that external world even more. And this curiosity is sparked even in our youngest minds…

Like the external world around us, our internal world is full of natural occurrences and concepts beyond our understanding. The way in which our mind, body and behaviour works is not only fascinating but imperative to our progression and development.

How much curiosity and exploration of our internal world is sparked in our children?

The answer, based on my experience within the education system, is very little!

We do not teach our children about our internal world. We do not teach them about their minds and their emotions. About how they are linked and how we can manage and control them with practice. Our internal world, the world that is so crucial to all areas of success in life, remains a mystery to us all.†

How much of a difference could we make if we knew more about it?

Mental health, like physical health, affects all of us. It drives our successes, challenges and failures and yet we sit behind the wheel of our minds without instruction, guidance and awareness. As adults this is something we often do not know and because of this our children follow in our footsteps as behaviours, traumas and struggles are passed down through generations… Ok, it may sound like we are all menatlly doomed but we actually have the power to make the most incredible change.

This is why I do what I do, and why I - with many others in the field - am supporting families, children and educational/care settings in sparking curiosity and teaching children (and grown ups) about the important and incredible internal world.

Sustaining good mental health is all about awareness, reflection and forming habits, so here are some top tips to start to share, explore and help you get to know your internal worlds together as a family.

  • Use your emotions as signposts

We are taught (and still teach) from a young age that we need to ‘use our words’ or ‘stop crying’ ‘don't be mad’ but this not only stifles the processing of our emotions, kicking the metaphorical can down the road, it creates a disconnect that prevents us from understanding our emotions as we develop. Begin to acknowledge, name and describe your emotions - notice when you feel them and share this with each other: ‘ I am feeling frustrated because I wanted to…..but was not able to’.

  • Recognise behaviour as communication

Whether it is our own behaviour as parents or the behaviour of our children the way we behave indicates the emotions we are having. Reflecting and spotting repeated behaviour can help identify our emotional triggers and enable us to make changes. Verbalising things such as ‘ I shouted then, I am feeling angry because….’ gives a positive narrative to our internal world and allows us to process and move forward more quickly.†

  • Guard your thoughts

Our thoughts create our emotions, so choosing what we think deliberately and with purpose can shift a great many of our actions and results. So often we allow our mind to run freely, on uninterrupted loops that trigger our fight or flight responses. This not only prevents us from thinking logically, but also impacts our physical health.† Taking ownership of our emotions through our thoughts is tough but empowering. Recognising and verbalising ‘ I am feeling…. because I am thinking….. rather than ‘I am feeling…..because you/someone did…..’ can change how we experience situations and most importantly how we† sustain connections.†

We can create, and sustain, positive mental health habits through adapting 3 core elements, our physiology, beliefs and internal and external language choices. SPD Tuition and Coaching works to support educational and childcare settings, parents and children in developing the skills, the understanding and the self belief they need in order to self-regulate, and co-regulate emotions. It is through sharing, discussing and exploring these processes that we can spark the interest and excitement that leads to truly mastering our internal worlds, as well as our external.

For more information about our educational and childcare setting training support, family or children programmes, you can contact SPD Tuition and Coaching directly via email at, or via phone on 07884271025. All programmes have habit-building, understanding the science behind behaviour and creating an environment of self and co-regulation at their core.

A quick reminder for anyone with children starting school in September -

I am running some sessions, for parents and practitioners, that support children in getting truly prepared for starting school (see July’s blog below). These sessions are to ensure children entering the new school year, not only have an academic grounding, but a physical and emotional one too!

If you or anyone you know has, or works with, a child that is starting school in September, please do share this with them as we are on a mission to support as many families as we can.

⭐️Dates have just been released!⭐️

For more information, or†to book your space, you can email me directly or†CLICK HERE!!

Founder, Coach, Consultant, Trainer
SPD Tuition And Coaching
Tel: 07884271025


Primary prepared

We may be enjoying (or avoiding) the heat right now, but we all know how time flies and September is just around the corner!

I have some very exciting sessions coming up, for parents and practitioners, that support children in getting truly prepared for starting school. I have teamed up with the amazing speech therapist Charlotte and we are offering accessible sessions to all, with the aim to ensure that children entering the new school year not only have an academic grounding but a physical and emotional one too...

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If you or anyone you know has, or works with, a child that is starting school in September, please do share this blog with them as we are on a mission†to support as many families as we can.

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For more information, or†to book your space, you can email me directly or†CLICK HERE!!

We look forward to supporting you, or those you may know and care for,†during this exciting†transition.

Have a great day, and enjoy the sunshine!

Best wishes,

For more information, or†to book your space, you can email me directly or†CLICK HERE!!

Founder, Coach, Consultant, Trainer
SPD Tuition And Coaching
Tel: 07884271025

‘Oh snap’ parenting

†'You’re not listening! What’s wrong now? Why are you doing that?

Mamas, at some point we’ve heard ourselves say these things!

And despite the best wills in the world, the fact is that ‘losing your temper’ is down to science.

So, why do we ‘snap,’ and how can we make change?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to take a bath or go for a run, although these are useful there’s more to it!

The reason we ‘snap’ is both innate and ingrained! As human beings we are fundamentally built to survive and we snap because we are pulled too tight and are often in survival mode.

Managed by the chimp, the lizard, or more scientifically, the Amygdala, this part of the brain is constantly deciding what to fear.


It only takes one person to make a change so this is why it always starts with us. So let’s look at how we can do that!

Our amygdalas are ‘set off’ through big emotions such as stress, anxiety, anger, frustration, sadness and overwhelm. To start to change our ‘Oh snap’ parenting habitats we first need to understand that without this knowledge, and the tools to make change, our behaviors are subconscious.

It is our nervous system reacting to stress and emotion... and this is the same in our children! Unfortunately, children rely heavily on this part of the brain until around the age of 10 when the ‘logical thinking’ part of the brain, known as the prefrontal cortex, starts to develop, preventing them from managing their own emotions.

Did you know that all emotions come from the thoughts we practice?

Oh yes, it is true! All emotions come from our practiced thoughts - so here’s how we OVERRIDE our brains and make sustainable change.

1.Being aware of what we’re practicing without judging it. Noticing what is there forms the foundation to any change.

2. Choosing one change to practice. Taking on too many changes is overwhelming and causes our brains to retreat.

3. Aiming for progress not perfection. Talking about the changes we want to make supports our momentum.

For anyone experiencing these ‘snap’ moments, wanting to make a change, do email us at††for more information.

How to talk to your kids effectively

Tired of repeating yourself?

Struggling to keep your cool?

Want some strategies to ease the strain of parent life?

You are not alone!

So many of the parents I work with came to us for exactly the same reasons... because good parenting is hard work and can wear you out and grind you down!

If we are not worrying about their safety, their development or their learning, we are battling challenges such as food refusal, emotional meltdowns and sleep deprivation. All of which impacts us not only as parents but in all of our roles!

Perhaps you are you hearing 'NO' a lot?

Or are they requesting one parent over the other at specific times?

All parenting challenges are:

Natural and not personal

Due to an increased desire for independence and control

Part of them understanding, challenging and exploring the world.

My top tips to supporting and empowering our children:

Be clear and compassionate

Children need to hear what is happening step by step. Being clear about what will be happening next is a great way to support them.

Allow them to make choices during routines.

Offering other options such as which story to read, which pjs to wear helps them feel in control and empowered.

Acknowledge and comfort

Standing by your words is important, but showing understanding is even more important! Recognising emotions, talking them through what is happening to give them a safe space, using cuddles and humour to support them.

If you would like more support in how best to talk to your toddlers, teens in betweens with challenges such as bedtime routines, balancing behaviour, effective communication or supporting them in their learning, you can†now book your space on my 'Talking to Toddlers and Beyond' session - Live support session on†6th, 23rd and 30th June, at 8pm. OR Download our pre-recorded parent support session to watch in your own time.

For more information email us at†

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Founder, Coach, Consultant, Trainer
SPD Tuition And Coaching
Tel: 07884271025

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