Gerard Egan is the king of problem solving. His influential book published in the seventies: The Skilled Helper, is still taught in universities around the world. One of Egan’s ideas that we really love here at Your Feeding Team, is his concept of coping as a goal. It can be transformative.

What is coping as a goal?

When we hear someone say they are ‘coping’ this can give the impression that they are getting by, but nothing more. They are scraping through on the bare minimum and things could be a whole lot better. When coping is a goal in itself though, suddenly you can feel a whole lot better about all that you do.

When times are tough

Have you ever been in a situation when you have so much work you are behind on, your house is a mess and your kids are not getting the attention you know they deserve? Maybe dinner is just what you can find in the freezer because you have no time for shopping or meal planning. Perhaps the best you can do in terms of stimulating and engaging your child is switching on Netflix.

If you recognise this, we invite you to reframe coping:

Instead of aiming to get your house tidy, reach inbox-zero, set up multiple enriching, craft-based activities for your child, aim to COPE. Because when you lay your head on your pillow at the end of the day, you can feel good about what you have achieved, rather than bad.

Tell yourself:

“I made it to the end of today without completely losing my sh*t”

“I got three meals on the table!”

“I turned up to that Zoom meeting!”

Coping and picky eating

Let’s take a look at what coping might look like if you have a picky eater you are trying to support:

  • Maybe you have a couple of meal plans that you rotate so that you’re not spending hours thinking up new menu options
  • Maybe you don’t worry too much about exposing them to a wide array of wonderful foods and instead, you expose them to quick and simple dishes with minimal prep and minimal tidying up.
  • Keep your goals attainable – forget food chaining and work on just staying calm and connected with your child during meals.
  • Give yourself an official break! If you have big changes looming, like a house move or your child starting school, keep everything very simple and press ‘pause’ on working on your child’s eating for a while.


Self care is SO important. If you’re not looking after yourself, it’s very difficult to feel like you’re coping. Here are some ideas from our facebook page that may help.

If life is challenging at the moment, we invite you to look at things differently and feel great about yourself when you look back at your day and say:

“I coped. And that is enough.”

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