Can you help me out here, please…

What do you enjoy about my blog?
How could I make it better?


About Karyn @ kloppenmum

kloppenmum is me, Karyn Van Der Zwet, mother of three and ex-teacher. I'm part of a revolution in parenting, with the aim to raise mature (not sophisticated) and self-assured children. I also know some stuff about adults. I have also had articles printed in The Journal for The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (Children and Young People) and the US parenting magazine, Pathways to Family Wellness, as well I regularly write for World Moms Blog (named as one of the Forbes 100 most useful blogs for women 2012 &2013). You can follow me on facebook (kloppenmum) pinterest (Karyn at Kloppenmum) and twitter (@kloppenmum). I'm also vaguely on LinkedIn (Karyn Van Der Zwet). Thanks to Joe (Mr Hare) for taking the photo. Cheers, son: xxxx.
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31 Responses to Can you help me out here, please…

  1. I like the way you write and the parenting topics. It’s even fun to see your family.

    The only suggestion I would make is to put your home page in chronological order. I see you have a couple of “sticky” posts and I would put those in a page tab. You can copy the whole post into a page (or just have links like I do). That way when someone types in they get the most recent post on top and don’t have to scroll down to find most recent.

    I came here a few times thinking you didn’t have anything more current than the date on the first post….but my google reader said different.

    • kloppenmum says:

      Thank-you for that idea. I will certainly give that a go, when I get a few minutes to play. It’s always a bit nerve wracking for me receiving feedback, so pleased that you like the blog overall. πŸ˜‰

    • I thought the same thing!…that you had no new posts.

      I LOVE the flow of your posts. You have a great tone in your writing and the confidence in which you write about your children is amazing. I bet you are great at telling stories in person πŸ™‚

      You also have a great way of explaining things, so that they don’t get to wordy or confusing.

      Basically, I think you’re awesome!

      • kloppenmum says:

        Wow! Thank-you. Really, no other changes? And yes, I love telling stories, I spent 18 months at Toastmasters and really got to hone my skills. Pleased that the changes I have made are useful and that what is said is easily understood. Cool. You’ve made my day. πŸ™‚

  2. kloppenmum says:

    There you go. That was a great idea and a much better way to organise things. Thanks. πŸ™‚

  3. Looks good! No worries on feedback, you have a great blog. I linked the big fat lie post and got a nice comment on my FB page. πŸ™‚ It’s fun to see what others are doing and how similar we are half a world away.

    • kloppenmum says:

      Absolutely. I was discussing that very thing with Vanda, my writing friend, this afternoon. I’ve had about a dozen referrals from facebook today, so thanks again, appreciate that.

  4. Elena says:

    I love that you write with an inviting, conversational tone and yet I feel like you have a lot of information and wisdom to share. Perfect combination! I’ve just come back to blogging after a few years absence, and you are one of my new favorite blogs.

    • kloppenmum says:

      Thank-you for that. It’s a very un-antipodean thing to do: ask for feedback. There’s a real cultural cringe around compliments, which is making me a little uneasy with all the positives – but also very excited and proud. A bit of extra personal growth, I wasn’t expecting!

  5. klightner says:

    I’ve just found you so have only had a chance to read a few posts. But, I really enjoy what I’ve read so far. I think what you say makes a lot of sense and is very well written. It’s great to find sources of straight-forward common sense tips once you’ve grown well out of the “what to expect…” stage (and where all of the good advice seems to dry up).

    • kloppenmum says:

      Thanks for your feedback. I have tried everything out on our own children, checked it against others and have tons of reading (science) behind me to verify that it all works! It was because of my own frustrations with parenting books that led me to find alternatives, and I’m only to happy to pass them on. Lovely to hear from you.

  6. Sara says:

    Karyn, I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog early in its history and in my parenting career – our oldest is just two and a half. You have both affirmed certain choices we have made as well as challenged us in some other areas. One thing I would LOVE would be recommendations for “further reading” on the topics you discuss – what books, articles, etc, you have found particularly useful and insightful in your research.

    • kloppenmum says:

      Hi Sara,
      That’s a great idea. I read hundreds of thousands of articles and quite a few books – but here’s three to begin with. I know Margot Sunderland’s The Science of Parenting helped me clarify a few things I couldn’t quite understand in the neurology texts. Marie Winn’s The Plug in Drug is a good one to start with the television etc. Daniel Goldman’s Emotional Intelligence is heavy in places, but reading it made me realise that eq is what they used to call maturity. They should all be ones that are easy to track down. Thank-you for your support and comment. Have a great day. πŸ™‚

  7. Samantha says:

    Hi Karyn,

    I like your down to earth thoughts and advice on parenting. It’s very easy to be a neurotic mom, for me at least. You bring me back to sane mothering.

    I especially like your posts on discipline that respects the child’s dignity. I’m always concerned about disciplining in a way that ends up harming my kids. But a lack of discipline is also harmful. You’ve found the middle ground.

    If you homeschool, I’d love to read about that.

    Thanks for your contributions.

    • kloppenmum says:

      Hi Samantha,
      Thanks for your support, pleased I help to keep those neurotic moments under control :). We try and find the middle ground with disciplining our children too: few rules, well enforced. We don’t homeschool, but I can recommend the Parenting Passageway (link on my blogroll) if you’re interested in that side of things. There are other great blogs too, but the information at PP matches the emerging findings in science. Thnak you so much for commenting – hope you do again. πŸ˜‰

  8. QueenArtLady says:


    I agree with everything said above.
    I just wished I had more time to read all the archives and you have more time to write great posts.

  9. lilzbear says:

    I enjoy reading your blog, it is well written and cohesive. I really like your stance on several issues about child rearing. I’d agree with another reader here that a chronologically ordered blog would be easier to read.

  10. Trudy says:

    I like your blog simply because you are discussing areas from experience that I only know through research, observation and theoretically (b/c I am not a parent). Very interesting stuff. I agree w/the comment above about posting chronologically.

  11. Your blog is wonderful to me because you take parenting so seriously. I value that tremendously in people. We can’t over-think everything we do as moms and dads, but we absolutely have to educate, motivate, and push ourselves to learn HOW to be the best parents we can be. This should be every parent’s goal, as parenting is the most important experience one can have, and our impact profound. So I appreciate your deep insight, effort, and knowledge that you share on here πŸ™‚ Thank you! (And I love the way you write too!).

    • kloppenmum says:

      I agree that parenting is a big important job. I do struggle when I see people treating it as a casual event or not reflecting on how things are going…you know the kind of thing…blame the child, but not ask ‘why’ said child is behaving poorly or well for that matter. I appreciate your continued support, so thanks for commenting. πŸ™‚

  12. hakea says:

    Acknowledge the original source of the information (theorist, article, book, research), and write about what you have expanded on from experience and reflection. Your latest post ‘Strategy for repair’ was spot on – source acknowledged and explanation about how it worked for you and your family.

    • kloppenmum says:

      Hehehehe. I knew you were going to mention my referencing.
      And while I agree and yes I will t-r-y, the problem I have is that I literally read hundreds of thousands of articles and it’s all absorbed into my cells. I do acknowledge what you’re saying. Sigh. Aussie-Smozzie.

      • hakea says:

        When you publish all this stuff you will need to reference it. Better to do it as you go along, rather than go back and do it all at the end.

        • kloppenmum says:

          Oh, I have it all written down somewhere…it’s the finding exactly what I want at the time that I’m trying to feed children, do the washing, itch my ear and write something somewhat coherent. In fact, when I had the original m/s assessed I was told I didn’t need to reference every 100 words or so. LOL (And oh, thanks for the thought that it is worth publishing some day. blush.)

          • hakea says:


            It’s my pet peeve, ‘parenting gurus’ who don’t acknowledge the source of their ideas, passing them off as their own and basking in the glory. Whilst the original researchers and theorists studied and worked long and hard in their bunkers, formulating and researching ideas and writing textbooks on their theories, frequently neglecting their own families to bring the light of knowledge to the world. John Bowlby, the ‘father of attachment theory’, was described by his own son as an absent father.

            • kloppenmum says:

              Oh, I see where you’re coming from. I understand that. I just have to work out where I end and they begin and it’ll be all good in the hood.

  13. Sangitha says:

    Missed a few posts. Was thinking about you when we heard of the earthquake.

    I like that I get parenting tips that I can practice. Am a bit tired of motherhood statements (pun unintended!) like ‘be patient’. If I could, I would not be reading blogs for tips now, would I? Also that you understand boys. A big deal! πŸ˜€

    Thanks for sharing all this on your blog. It helps me.

    • kloppenmum says:

      The earthquake was awful: I think the whole country is feeling it. Pleased that these ideas are helpful, Sangitha – I’m a practical kinda girl, so immediately after asking ‘why?’ I tend to ask ‘how?’ And always happy to pass on what I’ve learned through trial and error. Thanks for commenting, pleased you’re back. πŸ™‚

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