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What rules keep you safe?

What rules are unhelpful, hurtful or pointless?

What rules let you be heard and have your needs met?


All families have rules - and for good reason. Lots of rules are helpful and we need them to care for ourselves and our families safely. Helpful rules are realistic and fexible. But not all rules fall into this category.


At Breaking the Rules we are interested in exploring ‘unhelpful’ rules. For example:

- Never eat sweets after school

- Always eat “healthy food” before fun food

- Screen time should only be a prize for good behaviour or finishing tasks

Why are these unhelpful rules? Unhelpful rules are usually meant to be helpful and come from a place of care. However they are unhelpful because they are rigid and judgemental. We can spot this in the language used to express them. Here are some examples parents might recognise:

- Your child has some sweets with a friend during a playdate after school. One might feel the need to make a negative comment when actually the child is exhibiting normal social and eating behaviour.

- Or if a child is tired after a day’s playing they may ask to watch television. The rule around television may dictate that, even though you recognise the need for rest on the sofa, you sigh with disappointment, “OK, if you must”.

We believe that this rigidity is not helpful in supporting children learning to listen, value and follow through with their needs.


Our Aim: In this workshop we will look at managing family rules so that they truly benefit everyone: children and parents too! We will help you identify rules that respond to everyone’s needs and can be followed through with kindness and care.

We are Natalie Chambers and Marissa-Catherine Carrarini - and together we run Breaking the Rules: a project designed to support people in stepping away from restrictive beliefs and behaviours, and confidently embrace their perfectly imperfect selves.


Natalie is a Counselling Psychologist with a particular interest in fostering people’s self-esteem. She sees her role as supporting people to deepen self-awareness, find steadiness in self- acceptance, and initiate meaningful change.


Marissa is a Non-Diet Nutritional Therapist who works in mental health, including issues such as disordered eating. Marissa is a gentle, compassionate practitioner who uses scientific evidence and her 10+ years of clinical experience to help clients find their own, individual well-being.

Breaking the Rules

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