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Running to the Core Podcast

Dec 21, 2023

Angela North joins Dianne for a second podcast about Mindfulness at Play: Parenting healthy, happy children with old wisdom and new science, a book co-written with Dr Stephen McKenzie, published by Exisle Publishing in 2023.

With 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents and their families, Angela employs play therapy, and is passionate about sharing strategies with parents, so that they may respond therapeutically to their own children’s needs.

We discuss “Our child, our mirror”, which Angela writes about in the book. If we had a difficult time in our childhood, then we might struggle when our child reaches the same age.

Developing an awareness of this helps you to become “a cycle breaker”, which is an idea that resonates with a lot of new parents.

To assist with this, Angela suggests tools to develop your self-awareness further as you look at some of the events and experiences of your own childhood and reflect on how this may affect your parenting, bringing positive experiences and traits that you have now.

We can start by focusing on ourselves, asking questions on where have I come from, what have I experienced, what has this done to my way of relating, and what are the potential hurdles that I might reach at my child’s different ages depending on the kind of care that I received at that time?

Angela advises that we can shift our focus on strategies that affect the neural pathways in our brain and reduce the effect of stress hormones in our body, and Mindfulness at Play is all about this.

“It is all about shifting stress in our own bodies and how we shift it with our children”.  

One of her tips is to “Choose a little less structure and a little more silliness, remembering to add in fun, as sometimes we can come to parenting as an extreme sport”.

One book she recommends is The Power of Fun by Katherine Price – especially if you can’t remember the last time you just had fun, and laughed your head off.

Angela emphasizes the importance of community and support as a parent, and not doing it alone, mentioning the book Radical intimacy by Sophie Rosa, which explores this further.

Mindfulness at Play: Parenting healthy, happy children with old wisdom and new science, by Dr Stephen McKenzie and Angela North is available from Exisle Publishing at

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