Last Fall, our three-year-old son Nathan’s favourite book was ”The Three Little Pigs.” Many afternoons were spent with Nathan pretending to be the piggy with the straw house while Emma, our five-year-old daughter, was the piggy with the wood house and Mom was the piggy with the brick house (the secure benchmark, the answer to…

Anytime I am working with the parents of adolescents, I am always excited to share insight about the pivotal concept of “counterwill” in the context of healthy development. Understanding this concept can make a tremendous difference in understanding our teenagers, especially when we feel confused or worried about their tendency to push back. First coined…

When a child is born, so is an endless list of parenting duties that changes from one stage to the next. And, while fulfilling our duties makes us responsible parents, if that is all we do then we’re missing the point. As a mother of five, I know this all too well.  It’s so easy…

When my now-fourteen-year-old son finished his first week of Kindergarten, I congratulated him on “finishing his first week!” He responded by asking me how many more weeks he had until he was done. This innocent question was one I couldn’t bear to answer: Was he wondering about weeks until he was done with Kindergarten? Until…

Like some 60 million other kids in Canada and the USA, two of my youngest grandsons are about to go back to school. I find myself thinking about their emotional health and well-being. One of the grandsons doesn’t admit to his wounds very easily – physically or emotionally. He tends to withdraw into a sullen…

Last night I went to my youngest daughter’s final school music concert. It was a phenomenal evening of instrument and song, shared with a packed room of family and community members. Packed, because this school has earned a reputation and tonight would not disappoint. Can you remember the last time you witnessed a standing ovation…

Stress seems to lie around every corner. It is there when change happens to us or when we are up against the things we cannot change. From the losses that are part of life to our unmet needs, how were we meant to find a way through? Gordon Neufeld defines resilience as the “capacity to…

Each year around this time, I get the great honor of helping curate the list of books for the Neufeld Institute’s list of children’s literature recommendations, match-making parents and professionals with outstanding kids’ books. Our list includes more than 200 titles — a mix of picture books, books for the very young, early readers and chapter…

Since this is our first newsletter of the season and thus my first greeting to our newsletter readers, I think a New Year’s greeting is still appropriate. At least indulge me in this, because I want to use this traditional greeting as a launching place for some reflection and as a segue to our upcoming…

I tried preschool for my son. It was traumatic. I lost ten kilograms in eight weeks. My son started having nightmares, hitting himself over the head, biting himself, banging his head on his desk. It was clear this preschool thing had to stop! So I made it stop. I was furious at myself for having…

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