Category

Connection

Dear Alison, I know you’ll have effective ideas for me because I remember how good your workshop ones were. You helped me see how important the connection with my son is. I would like to move a step forward by asking specifically – How do we as parents and caregivers adjust to and cope with children who are new to the school system? Those children who come home utterly exhausted, showing new behaviors or emotions that have never been present before. How can we guide them and be completely available to their needs when we only see them just in the evening? The needs we aren’t available to fulfill during the day. It can be hard to accept the changes in personality and behaviors in our children when we have laid a strong foundation already. I’ve worked really hard at it. He has a fantastic teacher and there is great communication…

Have you ever gazed at your sleeping child, and wondered how she got so big, so fast? As a parent, do you find that certain days drag on, but the years pass too quickly? If only we could press pause on the perfect moments. Remember those long, lazy days when we were kids? When we did so much, yet accomplished little? We ended the day feeling tired and fulfilled. We played hard; simply living in the moment. Here’s how to capture that joyful feeling, while slowing time. This may sound too simple, but this one action will make each day feel gratifyingly full, and life will seem less hurried. Choose any random time in your day. Stop. Notice the sights, sounds, smells, as well as sensations. Once you focus exclusively on the wonder of that particular moment, time appears to slow a little. But that’s not all. Create several of…

When The Whining Starts It’s close to bedtime here. My kindergartner comes partway down the stairs to tell me about how he hurt himself. He used that whiny voice that grates on a parent’s nerves so easily. “Why is he telling me this?? It’s only a little bump!” I found myself starting to say in my head. Flashback to when I first started parenting–and even way back to when I was teaching public school–the typical recommended response was to discourage the “whining” and “attention seeking” by reassuring the child he’s fine or even ignoring it all together. The idea was that if they got no attention (i.e. reinforcement) of that behaviour, then eventually the behaviour would be extinguished. Kinda makes sense, right? Uh, yeah. Maybe for dogs. Guess what? It never extinguished the behaviour in students nor my kids. If anything, it became more frequent! And I’ll tell you why.…

We want to be good parents and we want to give our children as much of our focus and time as we can. We know that giving our children our time is important for their optimal development. Yet we’re swamped with demands and juggling our family’s schedules and individual needs. We can certainly look for areas to simplify and be conscious of how we are prioritizing our time as much as we can. Yet, beyond the basics of keeping our children safe and healthy, we know we’ve also got a duty to care for their mental, social and emotional needs. As a conscious and dedicated parent, we expend significant energy observing our children’s behaviour and needs, evaluating our parenting strategies and adjusting our approach, while also managing ourselves. That’s a lot on our plates. Is there anything we can do to make better use of time with our kids? To…

These last few weeks have been a big adjustment for our family, as I imagine it has for many others. We have had a major work change for one member, public school starting for another and our youngest has started his first foray into public, group childcare. Needless to say, we have seen more than a few effects from these big changes. For our youngest, it has been difficult adjusting to being away from his home and family. It became apparent through his meltdowns at home and his clinging, begging and crying at drop-off, that he was struggling. Add to that, he outright told us that he did not like daycare! We made sure there was no actual problem with the choice of childcare venue, of course. But since he was drawing on every argument and method of convincing us that a small human could muster, and every day he…