Building Strength for Life and Love™

Grace McDonald

Author Archives

Assess your relationships

Imago Relationships Work has recently come up with 7 different short quizzes people can take to assess how they are doing in their relationships. It's worth taking a minute a seeing how you're doing, as it may bring some awareness to what you are doing well and what you may want to change. So, take a quiz, look at your results, and ask yourself what you're willing to change in how you show up in relationship. Here are two good ones to start with:  RELATIONSHIP QUIZ: Is your Family Healthy Read more [...]

Don’t we all want to Raise Caring, Courageous Kids?

The Greater Good Science Centre at UC Berkeley has created a series of videos for parents that provide research-based tools to help guide you in raising empathetic, kind, independent, and thriving children. Parenting can be a tough, humbling, and puzzling, and education tools can be really helpful. Please click below and be sure to watch the whole series!Read more [...]

Three Little Things to Help You Not Take Each Other for Granted

Here are 3 fabulous relationship tips to try at home with your partner, written by Rock Solid Relationship Solutions.  If you’ve experienced the feeling of being invisible to your partner, you’re not the only one.Early on, you likely spent time focusing on, strengthening, building, and supporting the growth of your relationship. But then that foundation was solidified as a marriage. And you turned to other things. Your career, the children, even self-care.Life can be a lot Read more [...]

Are You in a Relationship Dance?

Here's some good relationship reading by Kim Saft, PhD, LCSW, Certified Imago Relationship Therapist We all get caught in a dance with our partner, a power struggle, that leaves us feeling stuck and frustrated. Kim brings awareness to this dynamic and strategies on how we can all show up differently and become unstuck. She also discusses differentiation, an important concept for us all to understand, and look at how it plays a part in our relationships. Try to name the dance in your relationship, Read more [...]

How do I know if I have a healthy relationship?

Healthy relationships don't just happen, they are built and both partners must work on improving themselves first as well as the partnership. Here are 10 important characteristics of a healthy relationship:Time Together - The very definition of a relationship: "the way in which two people are connected." Go on dates, video chat, and make each other a priority with time. Time Apart - It's also healthy to have separate interests, friendships, and hobbies too. You'll both grow as individuals Read more [...]

Our Need for Connection

Relationships are critical to our development.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 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 M.O.V.E. 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. I have many opportunities to practice M.O.V.E. with my kids and so will you. 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 see 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 [...]

The Importance of empathy

EmpathyEmpathy supports the development of emotional self-awareness. When we, as parents, regularly empathize with our kids, we teach lifelong tools to process feelings. Our job is to help them experience their emotions as appropriate to the situation. We can allow them to own their feelings without shame. We can also normalize feelings, helping them understand that most people would feel the same way in a similar situation.  In addition, we can assist them to develop language for identifying 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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