21 February 2014

Keeping Parenting Simple

As a parent, and as a person who helps other parents, I sometimes get sucked into the latest parenting trends, or the hottest parenting tips. I want to somehow use someone else’s parenting success that they had with their children on my own. Forgetting that my children and other parents’ children are unique individuals, and what works with one doesn’t necessarily work with another.

My observation with these latest trends and tips is that if you put them into a pot and boil them down to their main ingredients, they relate back to ‘The Attitude’ that Dr. Daniel Hughes uses in his attachment work. ‘The Attitude’ is being a parent who creates a safe environment for a child by being: Playful, Loving, Accepting, Curious and Empathetic; or PLACE.

Being playful with a child means that as a parent you are willing to get down on the ground and engage in the world of your child. But it also means at times disciplining in a playful way. For example, when my daughter is mad and slams her bedroom door, I tell her that it is a three slamming door. She will with rage slam the door again, and again, and by the third time, she is still mad, but has a cheerful smile.

Loving a child is not always easy; especially when they have jammed crackers in the blu-ray player, or spilled juice on your shirt. Showing tenderness and compassion in those moments is important, especially during moments of correction. This is the unconditional love that is often spoken about, which is separate from the love that comes with trust.

Being accepting of your child, is simply just that, accept them. Whatever the situation, whatever their behaviour, accept them. They may be more into arts than you or more into sports than you, accept them. Whatever they do or are, accept them.

This often leads to being curious about your child. If they like something, match their interest with your curiosity about the topic. Or just be curious like they are as they explore their world.

Empathy is being able to understand a child’s current emotions from your own past experience or putting yourself in their shoes, not to be confused with sympathy, which is acknowledging the emotion with support. As an example, this means when a child steps on Lego, instead of saying, “That must have hurt, next time you will remember to pick those up so you don’t get hurt,” you’d say, with empathy, and maybe even at eye level, “That hurts” and share the emotion.

If I may add one more that is being present (which probably would happen on its own if you are using ‘the Attitude’). Sometimes in our society we have to quickly jump to the latest sound or blinking light on our mobile device. When we engage as parents using ‘the Attitude’ of PLACE, be present. If you are putting your child to bed, be there with them. If you are playing a game with them, be there.

Using PLACE is not always easy, but as you practice it, it will come more naturally. The goal is to parent using ‘the Attitude’ more often than not.

Let’s get back to the basics of parenting and keep it simple instead of over complicating it by being: Playful, Loving, Accepting, Curious and Empathetic.

20 February 2014

Jian Ghomeshi - When going for gold goes too far

I have always enjoyed Jian Ghomeshi and his insights. I have also been a huge fan of the winter olympics. Jian's latest piece about going for gold, I couldn't agree more. I have always cheered and hope that our olympians get medals, but more importantly I hope that they perform to their best, set personal records and represent our country.

Go Canada!

17 February 2014

Anxiety Awareness Presentation

Coming up on February 20th and April 10th are Anxiety Awareness Presentations for Parents in Cranbrook BC. Particularly for those who know their child is experiencing anxiety.

Over 50 participants have registered for February 20th, not to mention the various other presentation requests for community professionals.

The response for this event has been overwhelming, but also a realization that we will be addressing an important issue for parents.

As such, I feel it is important to acknowledge our partners and sponsors:

12 February 2014

The Family as the Answer to Poverty

This is Family Watch International's 3rd video in their three lecture series about "The Family as the Answer to World Problems"

11 February 2014

Family Capital - The Key to International Development

Family Watch International released three lectures on "The Family as the Answer to World Problems"

This is lecture two:

10 February 2014

Mainstreaming the Family in the Sustainable Development Goals

Family Watch International shared three lectures in their series "The Family as the Answer to World Problems"

This is lecture 1 of 3.

09 February 2014

Tired of Winter? Expedia commercial

I love this commercial, as it really shows how winter weather can really get to some people.

05 February 2014

Meaghan Smith - Have a Heart

I have been a fan of Canadian singer and song writer Meaghan Smith since her first album, Crickets Orchestra. She is releasing her second (or third if you count the Christmas Album). The following is the first song released from her upcoming album:

04 February 2014

Alzheimer Poems

The following are more Alzheimer poems written by my mom on the University of Waterloo Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program page:

Sitting in the Dr.'s Office,
He tells me I am terminal,
Terminal, Terminal, Terminal,
it echoes in my ears.
Knew it was coming, but to hear it.
No Cure, No Cure, No Cure,
it echoes in my ears.
What will I remember
I have early on -set Alzheimer’s and so I ponder;
What will I forget, Who will I remember?
I will remember my children, my spouse and grandchildren
but I will forget ME.  

02 February 2014

The Wreck of Home Ec

It is unfortunate to see the dismantling of the Faculty of Human Ecology at the University of Manitoba. I wish the faculty could have stayed intact, whether as a college or a department.

I agree with Past-President of MAHE Debora Durnin-Richards when she said:

"So what is the solution? Society, external to the University of Manitoba, says the professional educational study of Human Ecology is valued and should be retained. I dare say that there are proponents within the institution that would also agree. The President wants fewer Faculties. He is in support of clustering. So why is the dismantling of a well respected Faculty even being considered? So the proposal should be to cluster the Faculty of Human Ecology with another Faculty. Just like all the other clustering proposals. In no other scenario is an existing Faculty being dismantled! Clustering is the approach the University needs to consider. #SaveHomeEc by having the Human Ecology program of study clustered with another faculty that can bring greater synergies for both - each retaining their identity and status in society."

01 February 2014

Healthy Food Cravings

I am uncertain of the research behind it, but the idea of eating healthier food when craving unhealthy foods is beneficial and worth trying...