Hello wonderful people,
I was invited to attend a talk by Maggie Dent, I didn’t know exactly what I was in for, but I’m super glad I went, it was much more than I could have imagined.
Who is Maggie?
Widely known as The Queen of Common Sense, Maggie is in high demand as a speaker and author and advocates for children of all ages. She grew up in rural West Australia and has raised her own four boys. She worked for decades with families and children building resilience in different ways. Her wide ranging background (and general amazingness) means she communicates her own sensible level headed wisdom in the most funny and down to earth way.
So why is she my #1?
Simply, because she is an all-round legend. Maggie solidified concepts that I wasn’t able to put into words myself, she really ‘gets’ the dynamics of families, her lighthearted observations of human behaviour have absolutely no judgement, she radiates love & understanding. More than all of that, she is able to explain why challenging behaviour happens and has simple suggestions for how to connect (or re-connect) with children and partners. She shares straight-forward, common-sense advice and it is truly groundbreaking. She is a prolific writer and has a lot of free support online - have a look at her website, youtube & list of free resources.
This particular seminar was called “Boys, Boys, Boys” and focussed particularly on the boys in our lives and how we can help them grow into great men. In her talk, Maggie advocated for boys of all ages and shared her humorous and down to earth advice (from experience growing her own four boys, and from working with troubled teens). She ‘translated’ from boy-speak to mum-speak and had the (sold out) audience in fits of laughter. She talked to mums about why their sons might be acting up and suggested ways that mums could give their boys the benefit of the doubt. There is a great synopsis here with “the one question mums of sons should ask”.
The thing that has stayed with me the most is one simple suggestion Maggie made, particularly because it is achievable for parents from very early on. The suggestion is to have micro-moments of connection (or love bridges) over the course of each day. This might be a wink, back tickle, smile, or words of love incorporated into a bedtime routine. These love-bridges are simple, quick and personalised and their beauty is in their simplicity. You are able to communicate love with your child in a nonverbal way that is much less embarrassing than, for example, a kiss on the cheek or a verbal “I love you” in a school yard but holds just as much meaning. If these micro-moments of connection are started early, they continue as a family habit and could be the bridge that you need when words are too hard.
If you would like to read more, I highly recommend her free resources page, with hundreds of simple and easy suggestions. If you are interested in going along to her Boys, Boys, Boys seminar, there is another one in December advertised on her events page.