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Category: Connection

Looking down on two different color shoes to symbolize empathy, standing in someone else's shoes

Empathy and Teens: Raising Kids Who Care

“I’d like you to close your eyes,” I often say at workshops that I facilitate across the country. “Now visualize the kind of adults you hope your children become.” I add that I am not interested in them conjuring up logistical visions, for example, where they hope their children go to school or the kind…  Read More

Parent helping child deal with stressful event by rubbing their hands.

Helping Young Children Cope With Stressful Events

For families experiencing stress following a traumatic event in their community or in the world more broadly, it is important to remember that children’s feelings are rarely mediated by conversation alone. If young children are feeling (or absorbing) stress or uncertainty, we would do well to think and notice what they do with what they’ve…  Read More

Why Exploring Nature With Children is Good for Their Brains

I was waist deep in muskeg (a fancy name for stinky swamp mud in canoe country), a wood-canvas canoe perched on my barely 16-year-old shoulders, and mosquitoes buzzed hungrily in my ears – a challenging, but not atypical, portage in the Canadian wilderness. “Why do you do that?” my friends asked me. Yet every adolescent…  Read More

Parent frustrated while setting limits

7 Ways Setting Limits Can Go Awry

And what to try instead

“Sometimes I feel like my kids are out of control,” worried one parent. Another quickly added, “My daughter knows just how to push my buttons.” A third chimed in with, “I’m always in a power struggle with my four-year-old son.” Comments like these are common in parenting workshops, and I’ve uttered versions of my own…  Read More

Dads spending time creating emotional memories with their kids

What Will Your Children Remember About The Holidays?

Holiday spirit or holiday madness? It is December and the holidays are in full swing. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or something else, the break from school and work can be a great opportunity for togetherness, reflection and family. It can also be a time of way-too-many-things-to-do and way-too-little-time-to-do-them. It doesn’t help that stores started…  Read More

Child playing with letters on floor that spell "thank you" symbolizing gratitude

Teaching Kids Gratitude

Why kids need more than just good manners to be truly grateful

“What do you say to Grandpa for making us this big dinner?” we asked the kids, perched precariously on booster seats at the far end of the table. “Thank you!” they cheered enthusiastically. We parents looked at one another, pleased as punch with our children, especially because moments earlier my niece threw a fork and…  Read More

Illustrations of emotions emerging from brain

Why Your Child or Teen Needs An Emotion Coach

And Why You Are the Person for the Job

At a recent workshop on emotion coaching I asked parents to share something about their children that they were really proud of – not in terms of accomplishments, but in terms of behaviors they have been working on. This distinction is important. You no doubt feel proud if your child makes the honor roll or…  Read More

Child crying who needs an emotion coach to help handle his feelings

Be an Emotion Coach: 5 Simple Steps

Emotion coaching helps kids learn how to manage powerful emotions and turns would-be power struggles into learning opportunities. Whether or not you know it, your children already sees you as their emotion coach. So here are five steps to start honing your coaching skills. Listen. Pay attention to your child or teen. What are they…  Read More

Child experiencing digital wellbeing while listening to music and working on laptop

The Three Pillars of Digital Wellbeing

What is digital wellbeing? It is certainly an elusive term, as digital technologies keep changing the way we live and communicate at breathtaking speed. Children and youth today spend more time tethered to technology than any other activity in their waking hours. It is transforming the way that they learn, share, connect and grow. We’ve…  Read More

kids playing outside in the snow

Why Small Changes Can Have Big Benefits

Choosing small, but high impact, parenting changes can make all the difference in the world

“No!!! Noooooo!!!!” my 2-year-old screams as I wrestle him into his snow pants. In the past month, getting out the door in the morning has become an epic battle. Mittens seem to fly off the moment they go on and legs kick in protest. At first glance the logistical goals of a morning routine seem…  Read More