Building Strength for Life and Love™

Our Need for Connection

The brain needs connection to develop to its fullest emotional potential. The limbic brain, in charge of emotional development, needs environmental stimulation (that's us parents) to function well. Good limbic functioning means successfully learning to connect with others and identify and regulate feelings. Research has found that extended eye contact affects blood pressure and heart rate, supporting that our brains crave connection.The brain is primed to connect, so babies are born ready Read more [...]

M.O.V.E. Tool for communicating with your kids

M.O.V.E. is an acronym for a communication tool to address the immediate, emotional needs of your child. What I like about MOVE is that it gives you something easy to remember and implement when you are having a hard time with your child and can't think clearly. My son is 2 1/2, and full of emotion, so I have many opportunities to practice MOVE. Here are the four things to keep in mind:Mirror: When your child is speaking to you, (or screaming), listen to their words, and mirror back what you Read more [...]

Supporting Your Toddler’s Stage of Development

My older son is full of energy and curiosity, as he's in the exploration stage of development (18 months to 3 years old). I sometimes struggle with my expectations of his behaviour and being mindful what's appropriate for the stage of development he's currently in. Here's a quick summary of this stage:Your toddler's tasks in this stage - development of motor skills (running, using a fork), environmental discovery, and  differentiation (maintaining a sense of self as an independent individual, Read more [...]

Mindful Monday: Empathy

Empathy supports the development of emotional self-awareness. When we, as parents, regularly empathize with our kids, we help them experience their emotions as appropriate to the situation and allow them to own their feelings without shame. We normalize feelings, help them understand that most people would feel the same way in a similar situation, and that's its ok to feel different emotions. We assist them to develop language for identifying and expressing their emotions, which are lifelong tools Read more [...]

Parenting Principles: Instill competence in your kids

Parenting Principle of the Day - It is our goal, as parents, to nurture competence rather than compliance. We are teaching our kids how to be successful in the world in all areas of life. This means facilitating their development of self-esteem and confidence and giving our kids the message that they are capable. Point out and praise their strengths and talents. Support and believe in their decisions. Give them lots of opportunities to practice new skills, make mistakes, and learn how to recover Read more [...]

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