Building Strength for Life and Love™

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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