Building Strength for Life and Love™

Tip of the Week

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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: Connect with your kids

Parenting Principle of the DayChildren's acting-out behaviour usually needs de-coding. It is often a protest against them feeling a loss of connection with their parents. Remember that everyone makes sense all of the time. A child may behave unkindly, which is not ok and needs boundaries, but underneath this behaviour is a need the parent needs to uncover and figure out. Usually when you think about the bigger picture, there are other things going on, like parents fighting a lot for example, Read more [...]

Parenting Principles: Listen to your kids

Here are four more to keep in mind:- "Getting" children is core. (Understanding from the child's viewpoint). Find a way to be in your child's shoes, especially when you find yourself in a power struggle.- Attunement comes from fully listening and fully loving the unique "otherness" of the child. Remind yourself that your child is an other, separate from you. They think, feel, operate, and like things differently that you do. Respect and embrace the differences.- Deep listening is Read more [...]

Parenting Principles: Meet Your Kid’s Needs

I am listing below the principles of parenting. There are 10, so I'm breaking them up, and focusing on a couple at a time. All we can do is keep these in mind and aim to do our best, (remember - increase consciousness, decrease reactivity). Here they are:Children do best when their emotional needs are metThough it can be exhausting, our job as parents is to meet our kids' needs. You know your children well and know what they need. When you witness your child in need, help them work through Read more [...]

Aim to be more conscious

Be less reactive and more conscious! Set this as your goal, and you’re doing a good job. We cannot be responsive, regulated, and available to our kids 100% of the time. Do the best you can to manage you’re reactivity.  #imagoparent #consciousparenting #connectedparentsthrivingkids #gracemcdonaldcounselling


Tip of the week: Parents, work on yourself!

A child who sees his parent in the process of becoming a conscious person will be equipped to do the same in his own life and will contribute to the increasing consciousness of our species ~ Harvelle Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt #imagoparent #consciousparenting #connectedparentsthrivingkids #gracemcdonaldcounselling


Put your oxygen mask on first, then help those around you…

Helping others understand that valuing themselves and prioritizing their mental health is the best way to achieve success is extremely important. It is not being selfish when you put your health and your needs first. When you are healthy, you can be more helpful to those around you. An example I often use with new mothers is to tell them how important self-care is for them and their baby. Mothers are no good to a newborn if they aren’t healthy or are overtired and cranky. The same applies to everyday Read more [...]

To error is human, to forgive is divine

Forgiveness means having compassion and understanding for others - most importantly, for your partner. If there is an incident that you are having trouble letting go of, check in with yourself and see if there has ever been a time when you behaved in a similar way. You may realize that you have some things to work on yourself, and that your partner's behaviour is highlighting an aspect about yourself you don't like. Look at your character and how you contribute to the dynamic of the reoccurring problematic Read more [...]

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