Problems, as we all know, are a reality of living.
Life can be unpredictable and will most certainly be stressful at one point or another.
But it is how we respond to changes and solve a problem that have the most impact and influence to the quality of our lives, as opposed to the actual problem itself.
In my practice as a Psychotherapist, I have worked with many individuals and families of all ages, ranging from issues as harrowing as psychological trauma in small children to more commonplace issues such as conflict in the workplace, or dating and relationship issues.
Over the years, I have come to realize that a problem is a problem, relative to the unique context of a person’s life and individual phenomenology.
Which is to say that they exist – or do not exist – based on our own personal circumstances and subjective experiences of life.
No matter what our individual circumstances are, there are things that all of us can do – whether we struggle with mental illness, extremely difficult living conditions, anxiety, depression, or just plain old boredom – to promote our psychological and emotional well-being, and therefore the quality of our lives.
I call these the 4 pillars of LIFE:
Validation is one of the most important elements to learn before parenting any child.
Validation allows your child to feel seen, heard, and accepted and to know that what they say matters and is understood.
The first time I can recall the purpose of validation as a parent, was when my son was eleven years old.
We had just spent the day at Universal Studios as a family, and we were having dinner in a restaurant when my son blurted out:
“There is no point in living.
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Summer vacation is a time of both joy and frustration for parents at home with children.
If you have more than one child, sibling conflict is expected during the long days of summer.
If you have more than two children, sibling rivalry comes with a pecking order.
How can you help the natural process of sibling rivalry, so it is doesn’t bring angst and dread to summer vacation?
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What are you (and every other parent) addicted to?
Your child, of course, and the dreams you have before you even hold that baby in your arms.
Those dreams have the power to derail your natural parenting instincts.
I am a recovering parent. I had a vision of how life would be, an ideal image of my children’s bright future.
I was addicted to my children and to their happiness and success.
We live in a world of paradoxical attitudes toward food, eating and body size.
On one hand, we are told we need to be slim down because being overweight is bad for our heath.
But, a moment later, when we order a regular latte, its sheer size (without counting on the contents of the drink) could feed and quench the thirst of an entire family of eight.
We’re all busy!
We all have things we need and want to do.
It’s not uncommon for busy parents to hire babysitters for those times when a date night is in order, or they simply want to sit and see what all their Facebook friends are doing, or cook dinner in peace.
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Are you counting down the days until your newborn reaches 4 months old, so you can commence baby sleep training?
Maybe you’ve grabbed a sleep help book from your local book store and you’re memorizing the steps to train your baby to sleep better.
Maybe you’re compiling advice at your mommy group to formulate your sleep training game plan.
If you’re planning on sleep training your baby, I urge you to stop right now.
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I have the good fortune of being a part-time stay-at-home-mom, so my 23-month old son and I occasionally go to a public drop-in centre in our neighbourhood.
The other attendees vary: Mostly home daycare providers, the odd grandparent, and even a rare dad sighting here and there!
On our last visit, one of the staff members pulled me aside.
No matter how old we are, we value good friendships.
Even at a young age, friendships are important to us- but the closer we get to the teenage years, the more valuable our friendship become.
Some of our children seem to instinctively know how to be a good friends and how to form true friendships.
Other children and teens need a little bit of help navigating this part of their life!
15 Friendship Rules we can teach our children and teens: