Emma Mc Laughlin, Mother, Writer and Speaker

Emma Mc Laughlin,                                                Mother, Writer and Speaker


Hello Parents,

My name is Emma Mc Laughlin. I have 2 children. One in primary and one in second level education.

I have spent more than 10 years dealing with the challenging life of being the parent of school going kids. This can be especially difficult for mothers who end up with so many different roles each day that don’t allow them to be unwell, exhausted, or God forbid, unable to do the school runs, pickups and drop-offs.

The constant cycle of school lunches, homework, after school activities, birthday parties and busy weekends, to mention just a few of the highlights of the school week, can take their toll! I have included some advice that has helped me keep healthy active and on top of things!

Read my tips on staying healthy and energised ….


I believe that there is no student, or child that is being bullied in school that cannot rebound and recover their self-confidence and peace of mind quickly if they know that the bully will be stopped permanently.


I have seen students saddened, bewildered, hurt and embarrassed by the fact that no one among their peers, their teachers, their principals or in the education system is actually stopping the bully from repeatedly bullying them?

Read more on my suggestions on how to stop bullying permanently …


I have selected this video by Denzel Washington to hopefully inspire you and your kids to be you very best, do your best and achieve the best results possible. never settle for second best as you were born to be the best you that you can be.  



Bet you can’t wait for school term to start each year

Are you prepared for the energy sapping rush that accompanies shuffling your kids here, there and everywhere and then making sure the laundry is done, they wear the right clothes, have their sports gear on the correct days and have homework signed and delivered on time, meals prepared and money for this that and the hidden extras that seem to just pop up on the day when you are already running low?

“Where do you get the energy to keep going?”

Are school days really the happiest of our lives?

Or is that just a RUMOUR?

It is said that all young people in school are happy nowadays.

Could it be that the only the ones who live more simply are the happy ones?

Sadly, our teen culture of smoking, drinking, drug taking, self-abuse and bulling tells another story for many.


Should the school calendar be revised?

IN Ireland we seem to have a strong urge to hibernate during the winter months so who came up with the idea that instead of  winding down for winter we should run around like crazed parents frantically trying to keep up with an education system and its students, our children, only to rest for a full 2 or 3 months when the sun is high in the sky and we are filled with an abundance of energy during the summer. Thankfully, as a nation, we have moved on from the days of child labour when children were released from school during July and August to be the free labour on farms for harvesting hay, turf and tending the tillage crops.  Isn’t it time to reschedule schooling so that children are able to avail of the their abundant energy that comes with longer days, warmer weather, better temperaments and much safer driving conditions for us to ferry our children to the endless stream of school runs, after school activities, matches and other events that can be such a struggle in our winter conditions.”

I believe we should consider revising the school calendar to keep schools open during the summer and we should able to relax with our children safely at home and be off the roads for December and January?

Sleep Restores Your Body, Mind and Spirit

Are you getting enough sleep?


Sleep Restores Your Body, Mind and Spirit

but are you getting enough?


Children need at least 10 hours sleep and adults need a minimum of 8 hours unbroken sleep to be at their best.

My advice is to “Feel free to sleep whenever and wherever the opportunity comes your way.”  Be careful not to overdo, as oversleeping can be worse than too little sleep especially if you wake up grumpy and cranky. If this is you every morning then switch to a low GI diet as your blood sugar levels are not balanced when you wake up.

Suggestions: Before You Sleep:

Avoid Checking your phone and email.

Avoid that tempting glass of wine before sleep. It will only will dehydrate you.

Avoid that delicious, tempting bar of chocolate. It may make you feel fat while you sleep!

Avoid an in-depth conversation with your spouse, partner or friends either face to face or on your phone as these can set your mind racing and may stress you so that you don’t sleep.

Sleep Suggestions

Good sleep that allows for mindfulness and leaves you rested and totally refreshed is far easier to have with a good pillow and a supportive bed. A supportive couch and a firm cushion may help for daytime naps.

Good deep sleep often follows an enjoyable read and relaxing music, a nice relaxing tea (regular or herbal) or a simple glass of water. If you are feeling you deserve a real treat drop a slice of lemon or lime into your water 😉



Breathe Easy

“What harm are household odours, air fresheners and fabric freshening scented additives and sprays to yourself and your kids?” you may ask.

Maybe you are unaware that some artificial odours change moods, appetites and can interfere with natural breathing.
Smells can make one feel slightly sickly. Smells can make one feel they need to eat. Smells can make one feel tired and lethargic. Smells can empower and make one feel healthy and peaceful.  However, a few words of caution reminding you that you should use bought odours sparingly.

If babies, children, teenagers and adults like yourself are breathing in a wide range of artificial smells then your lungs are being tainted with a blend of airborne chemicals that we now seem to want and desire in our perfumed shampoos, body washes, hand soaps, detergents, fabric conditioners and even dish washer tablets.  Not to mention the plethora of plugins, sprays and smelly candles that seem to be in every home.

Natural is Best so Avoid the Rest

I suggest that you open your windows at least once a day for a while to clear the air in your home, winter and summer. Cleanse your home, yourself and your family of unnatural smells to reduce the stress on your own and your children’s lungs.

My Suggestion for removing scents from around your house:
Strip all bedding and curtains. Wash without washing powders and at all cost never use conditioners or any other strong-smelling substances!!! Wash at 40 degrees if possible.

Watch all the suds and smells that are trapped in these materials fly out and you are left with a natural material.

Do same with clothes. If stains are present e.g. make up, use simple soap and luke-warm water to remove. Then wash as recommended. Only invest in loose powders or tablets using very small amounts. Through time you might even learn to do without.

Don’t get me wrong, some of them are lovely smells, the washing powders, the sprays, the perfumes and I have no doubt the thought of going without them in your life fills you with bewilderment. Lovely smells or not – Imagine this and how happy your lungs will be and how much happier those tiny lungs and teenage lungs will be. Give the oxygen a chance to travel to your brain.

If you have BO have a shower. If your home smells wash it. If your car smells clean it out., open the windows and it will clear in a matter of hours.

Keep dust out of homes by having wooden and tiled flooring throughout, by hoovering, sweeping and washing with warm water and a few drops of washing liquid. To avoid lingering smells and dust accumulations germ beds and other challenges to the health of your home avoid carpets and rugs.

Wash all surfaces down with warm water and a few drops of washing liquid.

Clean cookers, fridges and bathrooms with Cif or vinegar. Then leave your home to be!

Never burn rubbish in your fire! Never burn a single item! As far as possible don’t burn  turf logs or coal as the dust particles in theoir smoke stays airborne for miles around.  

Remember the great smog of London. In substantial amounts, it has the potential to kill. Remember that lots of small quantities turn into larger quantities! This isn’t extreme or radical just a plea from a parent for the gift of fresh air for my kids and my self.

Open all you windows daily. Circulate your stale air and breath in fresh smokeless air from outside. Then leave one’s lungs to breath in Peace.

Suggestions about your fragrance free personal care

Emma Suggests “do not use perfumes, aerosols, sprays for your body or your home. Do not use smelly candles, things plugged into sockets that squirt out sweet smelling stuff every so often. Do not use car air fresheners. They are known to irritate and cause eczema in young children. In general, do not use anything that is un-natural.

I completely understand some people need manufactured smells for varies reasons. To remind you of a memory, maybe a person you once knew and loved. That is what perfume  was  intended for….Special occasions that make special memories. So keep a bottle of your favourite perfume on your dressing table and use it for special occasions. It will help to make these occasions – special occasions! Use a perfume or cologne every day and it will no longer be special!

If at times you feel the need to fill your home with a scent, go to a reputable health shop and talk to them about healthy alternatives! You can also look at healthy aromatic oils that can  help tp change one’s mood while not disturbing one’s balance. Speak to your alternative practicing health professionals e.g. aromatherapists, acupuncturist etc about healthy scents.

Be as natural as the day you were born. You smelled lovely then and you will smell lovely once again if you give yourself a chance. In turn, you will begin to appreciate the natural materials and fabrics smells that are in your home.

Wash you hair with a perfume free shampoo. Enquire from your hairdresser.

Wash your body with perfume free soap / mild soap. Then leave your body to be , naturally! ”

You Become What You Absorb from Whatever You Eat

Food is the only natural fuel that you run on!

here are some healthy choices.

Add to it. Take away from it. Eat to your mood and energy levels. At all-time make sure that with the budget you are working with that you buy the best quality ingredients that your money can buy. And think of all the saving you already have on sprays and scented candles and air fresheners and miracle washing powders and polishes and wipes that one does not need to buy no more. If an item is 4 euro in one shop and 8 euro in another, there is always a reason. 9 times out of ten unless there is a sale involved it means the item priced at 4 euro is of lesser quality than the item priced at 8 euro.

Drink water every day. Chose a water that taste good to you. All waters are of different ingredients and qualities. The one that tastes right to you is the one that will work best with your body. Always buy water that is bottled at source and preferably always buy glass bottles. Some days you will drink more than others. Plain water is best however If needs be you can have a diluted drink. Check the label to make sure that there is no aspartame in the  ingredients. Aspartame was discovered in 1965 during research to identify new ulcer drugs. It is made up of phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol which breaks down in the body into formaldehyde and is known to be poisonous even in lesser amounts. Aspartic acid has been suggested can overexcite some brain cells to death. Read your food labels.

If at times you feel hungry and you wonder why you are because it’s not long since you ate. Try drinking a glass of water. If one is dehydrated one can feel hungry and sluggish so it is very important to stay well hydrated everyday all year through. One could be more dehydrated on a Christmas Day than one could be in the middle of the scorching summer. Your brain is made up with 70%+ water. Guess what happens when you are dehydrated, your brain stops working! This is very important regarding students. I encourage all schools to allow children free access to water at all time during the day including during lessons. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water. And the lungs are 83% of water.

I suggest eating great foods for 5 days of the week… the other 2 days of the week treat oneself to whatever your heart desires! Have a relationship with your food. Be aware of it and go with your gut in what foods suits you and what foods don’t agree with you. There has been a connection made between the brain and stomach. They now call it your second brain.”

 “Go with your gut. It’s never wrong!”


• All Bran with berries, banana and low-fat milk or Porridge with berries, banana and

low-fat milk. Sprinkle a spoonful of Linseed also.

• Live probiotic yogurt, blended with a banana.

• Bacon, scrambled eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms.

• Tea / Coffee / Herbal Tea/ Glass of luck warm water and Toast (half brown, half

white is suitable alternative to all white) with butter / peanut butter /almond butter



• Soup, especially chicken soup for the soul! If homemade don’t be afraid to drop in a

dollop of cream to taste.

• Turkey with salad by itself or on healthy fresh bread.

• Hummus on crackers.

• Cheese, tomato and green leaf salad e.g. spinach on half brown / half white bread.



Mid-afternoon snack or treat:

An APPLE A ADAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY. This is true! An apple a day protects one’s

lungs and aids to help with anyone who suffers with mucus and sinus trouble.

Digestive biscuits WITHOUT CHOCOLATE on top. They are kinder to one’s teeth than any

other biscuit.

A handful of nuts. Choose your favourite (walnut, brazil etc) look up on line the benefits.

Pick which one best suits your requirements. Nuts are GOOD FATS that the brain requires to

work properly. The brain is the fattiest organ in the body, consisting of a minimum of 60%

fats, hence our need to eat fats, good fats. A great snack for students! Peanuts although

called nuts are not related to the nut family. Peanuts are a legume. Peanuts are also a

healthy food, that includes peanut butter.



• Potato, chicken and carrots

• Potato, meat and broccoli. Preferably superior quality steak!

• Spaghetti bolognaise using mince steak. Use half brown and half white spaghetti.

Half is better than nothing!


• Half brown / half white pasta with cooked chicken and broccoli chopped up and all

ingredients put into one saucepan. Add pesto sauce, either red or green.

• Fresh fish or frozen fish with fresh chips or frozen chips and peas.

One can refer to the HSE food pyramid when choosing the best foods. I however, suggest

that we eat more vegetables in our diet. Vegetables are sugar free and are packed with

vitamins, minerals and fibers. They are fat free. No other food is as beneficial for the bodies

overall health and well-being.

Tip – use the water that you boil your carrots in to make your gravy.

Fruit are also very good, however 4-6 pieces in a day is more than enough. Fruits contain

hidden sugar so must be limited.

Tip – never juice fruit. When you drink fruit that has been juiced the sugars go straight into

the blood stream. Better to eat fruit in its natural state. Eat fruit raw.


Use onions and garlic whenever possible in all meals. If using onions, raw red onions are

best. e.g. In sandwiches and spaghetti bolognaise.

Use lemons and limes to taste. e.g. With fish and in a glass of water.

Use herbs. e.g. Use parsley over scrambled eggs.


Benefits from some foods I’ve mentioned……….

Bananas have a natural antibiotic action to help protect children from infections. A medium sized banana will provide more than half the recommended nutritional intake for kids.

Tomatoes are said to cleanse the liver and purify the blood. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin c which keeps the immune system strong.
Tomatoes are a fruit not a vegetable although I have never seen them added to anyone’s fruit salad ☺

Lemons can help promote weigh loss because they help de-congest the liver and speeds up the digestion of fats and proteins.

Spinach works in the body to keep hormonal balance, making it an excellent superfood for teens. It is also a gentle laxative.

Peas are high in fibre and low in fat, this making them useful in the battle of bulging weight.

Limes are high in an anti-inflammatory bioflavonoid that work with vitamin c.

Turkey is a rich source of protein. Turkey is rich in potassium and loaded with zinc. Regular turkey consumption can help lower cholesterol levels.

Hummus is gluten free, nut free, and dairy free. It is great for anyone who suffers from allergies.

Eggs are natures perfect food. They have protein to aid with recovery e.g. after an

operation. They are cheap. They are easy to prepare.

Live probiotic yogurt helps with the immune system by replenishing beneficial bacteria. It will help to ward off further infection and is suitable for anyone including people that dairy does not suit.


Your lymphatic system provides a variety of immune functions that ward of infection, viruses, injury and…. needed in the winter months, right?

The lymphatic system in our body has no pump of its own and must rely on the movement of the body’s musculo-skeletal system to circulate.

That includes movement e.g. walking. Deep diaphragmatic breathing e.g. yoga.

Rebounding e.g. jumping up and down on a trampoline. Dry skin brushing or effleurage, keep your strokes light to avoid damaging the skin. 

Exercise at least 5 days a week, no less than 30 minutes a day.

Walk beside the beach if possible. Air along the coast is charged with negative ions that allows the body to more easily absorb oxygen. This will allow for a wide range of benefits like decreased stress and better sleep.

Walk in the woods/forest/trees. Japanese have a word for forest bathing. It is shinrin-yoku.

It means losing yourself in the forest. Scents of the forest helps us to be mindful. It may help with depression. It may help lower blood pressure.

Join a class. Children can join programs in gyms such as Cross-Fit programs. These are in a controlled environment and aid overall health and well-being. Teenagers can also join. If they already play a sport they can join a fitness club to enhance their performance and aid with their overall health and well-being.

Everyone can join yoga classes. Young and old. Breathing correctly will give a wide and varied well-being, such as weight loss and more energy.

Again, like everything in life join classes that work for your abilities and needs. Although they do say that when a person has a gym buddy one is more likely to stand the test of time.

However, bear in mind one might meet a new buddy at their chosen class, like minded people who share an interest.

Life is good and the problems our children face at school can be faced with a prepared body and mind. Their backups aka parent, parents, and guardians are also healthier mind and body.

I guess bullies make up around 1% to 3 % of our population. They are not our main concern, though. They are individuals who require someone to genuinely care for them. Someone who is truly listening to their cries for help. Someone who is wise, knowledgeable and educated on the matter to be able to help. Preferably someone in the bully’s own family who truly wants to help or someone who is paid a wage to help.

So much attention is given to the so-called victim of the bully. They are much easier to help. They are kind and compassionate people who want to get on with their lives. They won’t tell the person that is trying to help them to go away because they are the brave young people who has stood up to be counted. They expect the people that has the authority and that are in a position “to help” them because they are fighting for what is right and they know it. The bully is left to their own defenses, never knowing what a day’s happiness is because nobody will take the time to help them. It would take a very long time, a lot of resources and manpower to help the bully. Sadly, I fear that our imaginations and our services do not stretch that far. I call on the government to put more funding into services that will help people who bully, even if it means opening a can of worms. In the meantime, everyone can Help the bully.

We can all help the bully.

Whenever you see the bully coming your way, on their own or with their army of people standing behind and the bully calls you whatever unwise, uneducated and idiotic name that come into their brain waves and then there is silence. You look right into the bully’s eyes and say
” go home this evening and drink a glass of water, then clean your house, wash yourself, then go and get some exercise, eat a healthy dinner, then repeat this process and come back to me in 3 weeks and see by that stage if you have managed to get more oxygen to travel to your brain and thought about why you are bullying ??????????????”

Or if time is limited look at them and say “Your Right” …………………………

Bet they will be stuck for words ☺ ☺ ☺

In this except from their YouTube video on bullying by Pink Floyd with 250 million views you can see that behind every bully is manipulative person who is bullying them and the bully we see in school whether it’s a  student, parent or teacher is being put under pressure elsewhere and acting out by bullying.

Have a quick look at this video excerpt (just over a minute) and reflect on it the next time you want to go hard on the bully that you encounter. Please realise that nothing you could threaten or say might be a deterrent if they too are victims of an unseen bully.  Without solving the bullies problem  you will not stop them from acting out and bullying .


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