How to Talk with our Kids when Terrible Things Happen

As a country, we are deeply affected by the terrible, terrible loss of and injury to the players and staff from the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. Now, on April 24th, we are reeling from the shock of yesterday’s terrible event in Toronto. As parents and caring adults, how do we talk with the children and teens in our lives when these terrible things happen? Here are some tips for talking with kids.

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Let’s Get Outside and Play!

Let’s get outside and play! It sounds simple, but we often tend to see outside time as only for our kids. For parents, it’s not always a priority. We might squeeze in a quick walk, but if this is the only way we enjoy the outdoors, we are missing a wonderful and easy way of nurturing our relationship with our kids.

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Building Connection: CORE Parenting Skills

Building connection is at the CORE of our parenting skills. Our ability to accurately read and respond to the needs, feelings, interests, strengths, and personalities of our children (regardless of age) are the most important skills we bring to our parenting. They can also be the toughest to learn!

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Parent and adult child smiling to the camera.

Adult Children Living at Home

There are so many reasons why our adult children stay home or why they come back after they have moved out. Struggles with finding independence, relationship breakdown, affordable housing issues, lingering post-secondary education: there are lots of reasons. Really, though, it doesn’t matter how; they just are and I think the answer is to navigate a new way of living together.

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Parenting from Fear

I had many a moment in my parenting when I realized I was parenting from fear. My stomach was often in knots worrying if I was being too hard on my children. This fear was with me a lot, particularly when I felt judged about my parenting ability—by others as well as by myself. In reality, this fear was coming from self-doubt.

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Screen Time and Chore Issues?

Setting limits around screen time is something that my husband and I are learning to navigate as our boys get older. A recent family meeting helped us get input from our boys and come up with a great plan.

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Saying “No” Says “I Love You”

Over my years as a parent, I finally learned the importance of saying “no” (and sticking to it). I learned that the structure those boundaries give is very important for our children—no matter how old they are.

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Understanding Big Emotions

What happens when BIG EMOTIONS take over? We’ve been there. Maybe your face turns all red. Maybe you stomp your feet. Maybe you get a sick feeling in your gut or your head starts to hurt. We all have different ways of reacting when our big emotions have taken over but a couple of things are very common in these moments—our body is distressed and we are not thinking with our full ability.

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Connection Matters

Many parenting books and websites focus on the importance of the parent-child attachment and emphasize the role of connection in our parenting. We intuitively know that our relationships with our babies, children, teens—and adult children—are important but, why? Why does connection matter?

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The Joys and Challenges of Parenting

To me, parenting is the most important and the most unpredictable part of my life. For my husband and I, parenting brings us our greatest joys and our greatest challenges. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Staying Connected with our Teens

Even though our teens look to their friends for some of their attachment needs, they still look to us as parents to be their “safe haven”- to be their source of safety, comfort and closeness. Despite what their behaviour might hint at, they still need us. Here are some tips to strengthen your parent teen attachment and help you stay connected with your teenager.

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I’m Sorry

I’m sorry. Those little words are so much a part of our everyday conversations. Yet how we say these words can have a very big effect on our relationships.

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Managing Meltdowns

No need to explain what a meltdown is! As parents, we have all experienced those moments when our child becomes overwhelmed by emotions and seems to lose complete control of their behaviour. We have also, likely, experienced feeling overwhelmed and powerless in these moments ourselves.

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