Author Archive

Modern-day parents do not have villages

The adage “it takes a village to raise a child” is true, but the reality is that modern-day or western world parents do not always have villages to draw from.

Families are strewn all over the world, many children grow up without grandparents or uncles or aunts around them, and the demands that life places upon parents to provide for their families often diminish our villages due to a lack of time or resources.

As a result, overwhelmed and overextended are two words synonymous with parenting in the 21st century.

According to psychologists:

Parenting stress is the distress you experience when you feel you just can’t cope as a parent. The demands being placed on you are too high. You don’t have the resources to meet them (Deater-Deckard 1998; Holly et al 2019).

Consider the following results from a meta-analyses conducted by S. Katherine Nelson and her colleagues (Nelson et al  2014; Nelson et al 2013).

  • Sometimes parents report higher levels of wellbeing than do childless adults. But only when their burdens are relatively light.
  • Parents report greater well-being if they have high levels of social support, and/or kids with no problems (children with easy temperaments, in good physical and emotional health).
  • Any one of these following conditions may however cause heightened levels of stress:
  • The study also confirms how these, and other stressors can affect your parenting. You can read the full article here
    • having at least one child with a difficult temperament;
    • having at least one child with medical, emotional, or behaviour problems;
    • having only low levels of social support;
    • being a single parent;
    • having a young child.

The study also confirms how these, and other stressors can affect your parenting. You can read the full article here

How parent coaching can help

Parenting coaches are a wonderful resource for parents who find themselves spread thin.  Perhaps it might be awkward at first to ask a complete stranger for help with your unique family dynamics and challenges, but the input of an objective and well-qualified individual may be exactly what you need to gain perspective on your challenges.

Our coaches often become an extension of the families they work with, as many of our clients have built wonderful relationships and even friendships with them, as they journey through the different ages and stages of their families together.

Our parent coaching services include home visits, virtual consultations and coffee consultations.

We recently added a new offering for busy parents, who may need resources that can fit into their busy schedules, with the added benefit of a 1-hour virtual consultation included in the package price, to discuss any questions or further interventions.

The packages are in audio (interviews with Super Granny, Andalene Salvesen) and e-pub format (our parenting books) so parents can listen in their own time, or read the books on their mobile devices.


What to expect in the first year


Taming those tantrums


Good listening


Preparing for adolescence


Permission to parent


 To learn more or purchase one of these packages, visit our online store.


Coach Timann Esterhuizen Banner

We reached out to Munchkins in a desperate attempt to get some help with our two-year-old son’s sleeping (or lack thereof). They recommended Timann because she too has two active little boys, one of which is a similar age to our son.

We first met Timann on Sunday 21 July and from the start she made us feel at ease. She slowly and carefully guided us through what we needed to do and gave us the encouragement we needed when things felt a little tough and overwhelming. She was amazing with our son – calm and kind and caring and he took to her immediately.

Since then – every time we have had any questions, or needed tips or encouragement, Timann has been unwaveringly willing and happy to answer all our (many, many) questions. She has seen us through the ups and downs through this process and we are eternally grateful for her guidance and support!

As a mom with an active, non-stop little boy who is my whole world and who just needed some help with getting him to sleep – I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to recommend her!!

Kerryn Anderson

As parents, we all long for our children to be happy, well-adjusted kids. But happiness is something so fleeting and circumstantial. Joy is the emotional homeostasis we are truly trying to achieve. When your child has joy, they don’t sweat the small stuff so much. They are able to weather the storms of life and grow from their failures. Happiness is purely dependent on external factors, which tend to fluctuate up and down through various seasons in our lives. Joy, on the other hand, brings resilience, hope and optimism.

So how do we help our children to find real joy? Here are 7 steps that parents can work on to help their children get there:

Second Child

I first saw Andalene about 8 months after my twins were born almost 4 years ago. At that point, I was just wanting to “win” the whole motherhood thing. Then I realised the person who was losing the most was in fact me. I had all but surrendered to the brain fog and routine.

We looked like we were managing but we were in fact crumbling. Seeing Andalene has given me hope and lifted my spirit. I see that we even small changes my family is more peaceful. We have a long way to go but I am ever so grateful to Andalene for making me listen to reason, for giving me the confidence to do things I hadn’t tried and considered.

My twins will turn four tomorrow and my heart is full of love, excitement and more self-belief than I have had in years.  With much appreciation, respect and affection


Permission to Parent Event Banner

I’ll certainly spread the word about your wonderful talk and the positive feedback we received from parents after the event.

I had parents stopping me in the parking lot saying how they enjoyed the evening and how beneficial it was. They commented that they would really appreciate and enjoy more talks arranged in the future. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Marjo Prins | Early Learning School Headmistress | Reddam House 


Let’s begin with a quick quiz!

Which description sounds most like you as a parent?

  1. I love to cuddle my children, I go out of my way to meet their every need and I tend to indulge them.
  2. I keep a firm grip on my children and enforce many rules in my home.
  3. I oversee my children’s lives, teaching them life skills and helping them apply these lessons.
  4. I support my children in everything they do, but I stand on the sideline and let them take ownership of their own lives.
  5. I love having fun with my children and spending time with them like I do with my friends.

Can you see yourself in one of these? Are more than one applicable to you?

Most of us have a preferred parenting style – a way of childrearing that comes most naturally to us. Yet, most of us can (and should learn to) adapt our style according to a given situation and our children’s developmental age.

Okay, so let’s unpack the differing styles and see where you fit in most comfortably.

Parenting Talks Andalene and Celeste

Andalene came to our home when our twins were about 18 months old.  I was exhausted and they were terrors.  They wouldn’t stay in bed, they would not sleep in the night, they wouldn’t listen to me, they bit each other, they pulled all the keys off my laptop (to list a few things…)

Not only did Andalene give us the tools to put us back in the driver’s seat, she also showed us how much MORE we could expect from our children.  How much more capable they were than we had realised and how much they thrive on boundaries, consistency and discipline done in a calm and controlled environment.

They are now confident and happy children that listen to me, eat and sleep well, play alone, play together and are a pleasure to be with.  They have their moments, but I know what to do and I KNOW we have peace in our home because of Super Granny, Andalene Salvesen.

Kate Holbrook

Timann Esterhuizen

Dear Timann

I can’t thank you enough!! I don’t know where to begin!!

No.1 – for YOU!! Thank you for the wonderful, bubbly, energetic, motivated, positive woman that you are!! I am SO inspired!!  Seeing that our boys are of similar ages, I could totally relate to each story and totally understand and see why the methods you teach, works so so well!! You are AMAZING!!!

No.2 – for the teaching!!  It has made SUCH a HUGE difference in Arthur – my 5-year old’s life!!  He is SUPER inspired by his Positive Pirate Pete Chart and strives to excel in his Listening Skills every day!! He is super proud and so encouraged, I am totally amazed at how he has improved and how excited he is now to listen to Mom!!  :-)  

William, being the stronger extrovert, is more of a challenge! He is taking some time to catch onto his brother’s excitement, but he is getting the idea of consequences to bad behavior.  He is sleeping better, and like you said, not too keen on his “not so yummy milk” drink at night!

Your advice and guidance has really hit a home run with me! I think the biggest was that I have the permission to parent! As a single parent, there are extra pressure and demands, and feelings of guilt some time, but I remember, that my children needs me to be a good parent! I also believe that God has placed me and my children right here where we are and has sent and placed His Warriors in my life to equip me with the strength and wisdom to raise these boys successfully. 

We still have a LOT of fun, I think even more now, because it’s quicker and easier to get from fun and play mode to listen and do mode!! :-)

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! I hope and pray that more parents see the value in the Munchkins work and make use thereof, it is life changing!!

Lots of love and best wishes,


The new school year comes with many stresses for parents (especially the newbies): lunchboxes to pack, school fees to pay, carpools to organise, school uniforms to launder, homework to help with…. and on top of that extra-curricular activities to choose and manage.

The latter troubles many parents due to the pressure these ventures place on our time, finances and sometimes even on the relationship with our children. We may ask, “What is enough or too much? Which activities are essential?”, and this uncertainty only adds to the tension.

Maybe we could simplify the matter. Let’s start by asking why we let our children participate in such activities in the first place?

Timann Esterhuizen

I am so grateful to Timann. She has brought sanity to my household all the way in Dubai via technology-based consults, and just in time before our second baby is born in 6 weeks!

My 2.5-year-old was sleeping in the bed with my husband and me, and none of us could get a proper night’s rest no matter what we tried. Timann’s sleep training and discipline techniques for constant tantrums have made such a huge difference and contributed to a much happier household! I feel equipped to handle difficult situations with my toddler now.

Our little girl is now a different person now that she’s getting a solid nights rest and I even have to wake her in the mornings!!

I definitely recommend getting in touch with Timann no matter where you are in the world, she will be able to help you and your family!

Amy Heath