Andrea Nair: Connect-Four Parenting

Apr
11
2014

What To Do When A Child Won't Listen

Tips for encouraging children to follow instructions

Not Listening

One of the most common requests I get from parents is, “I’ve tried everything and my child still won’t listen. What can I do?” There are several factors involved in a child’s willingness to cooperate. A child not doing what she is told is less about “not listening” and more about how able she feels to do what you want her to. Before getting frustrated, try asking yourself the following?

How full is her attachment tank?

Read the whole post

Apr
07
2014

How To Handle Hurtful Comments

Tips for when someone writes or says something cruel

Yelling guy

I remember the first time I got a hurtful comment at the end of one of my articles. My Is It Ever Okay To Spank A Child? article was published in The Atlantic, and I had no idea how far people would go in their comments. Many called me cruel names, challenged my role as a “parenting expert” and one man even called me a “psychopath.” My heart pounded, stomach flipped and a big whooshing feeling of adrenaline soared through my body.

Read the whole post

Mar
27
2014

Please STOP Spanking Babies And Toddlers

The hidden and harmful effects of spanking little ones.

The results of a recent spanking study circulating through the media state that roughly one-third of parents are spanking their babies. As parents are known to under-report spanking, we can assume that the percentage of parents who spank their little ones is actually even higher than this.

Read the whole post

Mar
20
2014

Reduce Parenting Battles With The “When/Then”

A must-have strategy for your parenting toolkit

One simple parenting technique can seriously improve the relationship with your children! This gem is called a “When/Then.” I heard about this technique through Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and author of If I Have To Tell You One More Time…

Read the whole post

Mar
14
2014

Parenting Advice From Moms Of Four Or More Kids

Seven tips to reducing parenting stress from "experienced" moms.

Big family

As a parenting educator, I make a point of sitting in sporting venues or playgrounds and watching parents interact with their children. No, I am not judging you—I am watching and learning. In this watching time, I discovered I could pick out the mothers of many children, because they seemed to be more relaxed and less irritated. I tried to distil what it was about them that made them stand out, and realized they had some traits in common.

Read the whole post

Mar
06
2014

6 Ways To Protect Our Child's Playtime

giving our kids the play space they need

Children need play for positive development. It is how their little bodies release stress, exercise, make sense of things, expand their minds, and nurture a natural love of learning.

Read the whole post

Feb
26
2014

HANDS FREE MAMA Author Event At Indigo Burlington

Come meet Rachel Macy Stafford and me on Wednesday, March 5th.

Book Event

Attention parents in the GTA and Southwestern Ontario areas: we hope you can join Rachel Macy Stafford, author of Hands Free Mama, and myself for an inspirational parenting chat at Indigo Burlington.

This event will be held Wednesday, March 5th at 7pm inside the Indigo Burlington store at 1250 Brant St, Burlington.

Read the whole post

Feb
23
2014
I feel sad

If you are a follower of my Facebook page, you may remember reading these words: “To all the mothers staring out the window with tears in your eyes, wondering how you are going to make it through the day — yet you do get through to nighttime — please know how capable and brave you are.” That was me. I was staring out the window at 8am with tears in my eyes not sure how I was going to get my two young children to school on time and myself through the day. But I knew I would.

Read the whole post

Feb
20
2014

What To Do When A Child Lies

Tips to help understand why children lie and what to do about it.

Child Telling A Lie

A parent submitted a question to this website, and I will answer it here in case any other parents have a similar one.

Read the whole post

Feb
18
2014

Looking to Connect With Your Teen? Do These Things Today!

5 tips for improving the relationship with your teenager

Parenting Teens

The compounding effects of physical awkwardness, their desire for independence, and the mean behaviour of other students can be overwhelming for a teenager. Although it is really hard to offer relationship-rescue information in a short article, I wanted to share five ideas that might help you stay connected with your teen, and to support him or her better through this wild time.

Read the whole post

Jan
28
2014

Handling The "Fournado"

Tips for handling the parenting challenges of raising four-year-olds

Frustrated Boy

My phone has been ringing with requests from frustrated parents of four-year-olds“Help! My child keeps freaking out and nothing I’m doing is working.” To answer this request, I enlisted the help of parenting educator colleagues, Kelly Bartlett and Andy Smithson.

There are many factors which conspire to make parenting children of this age particularly challenging:

Read the whole post

Jan
24
2014

The Opportunity Justin Bieber Has Given To Parents

Using conversation starters to talk about big topics.

Justin Bieber ferrari

Justin Bieber’s recent arrest has caused the usual polarizing reactions of condemning or supporting his behaviour. I will focus on how his choices can be a wonderful opportunity for parents.

This is an opportunity because discussions on the topics of drug use, boundaries, recklessness, consequences and empathy can happen without your child rolling his eyes in anticipation of a lecture.

Read the whole post

Jan
22
2014

How To Be An Empathetic Parent Even When It Feels Hard

putting your own anger and agenda into the background

When empathy is hard

Sometimes when I watch my child crumple into a screeching, sobbing mess at my feet, all I hear in my head is, “You have got to be kidding me! I don’t have time for this!” I can’t feel his pain, I can’t understand his mind, and I can’t find empathy for him.

Read the whole post

Jan
03
2014

Putting Our Children At The Top Of Our Priority List

Suggestions for unplugging from devices and our busy lives so we can reconnect with our kids.

Disconnected Family

I know it can feel hard to treat our children kindly and put them first when we feel distracted, exhausted or worn down by typical childhood behaviour. However, it is important for parents to understand that the way they treat their children does greatly affect their emotional, intellectual, and even physical development. How parents interact with their children influences who those children are.

Read the whole post

Jan
02
2014

Letting Go Of Our Life Before Kids Came Along

Five steps to releasing those things we miss from days without children.

Letting Go

I woke up this morning reminding myself of what to do when exhausted: one son woke me up the first time because he had to pee, the second time with scary dreams and then the other son woke me up at 5:45am because, “my eyes feel funny.” The routine is first to say this mantra until I believe it, “I will not start this day angry.” The next step is to think of one thing I am incredibly grateful for.

Read the whole post

Dec
24
2013

Toddler Marathon Training Regime

This will help your body prepare for raising young children.

Toddler Chaos

A couple of parents on my Facebook page got into a discussion about whether parenting toddlers is the toughest stage and whether it does, in fact "get easier." (I think it certainly does.)

Read the whole post

Dec
12
2013

Seven Steps To Being Less Hard On Our Kids

Tips to shifting thoughts and actions from the negative to the positive.

After reading Rachel Stafford's moving post, "The Bully Too Close To Home," I thought a lot about the choices available moment to moment that make such a difference in our lives and the lives of our children.

Stafford realized she wanted to stop being hard on her children and decided to put that wish into action. Many parents have asked me how to be gentler with kids, which can certainly be hard to do.

Read the whole post

Dec
12
2013

Christmas without My Mom

A story of grief and healing through Christmas time.

Andrea Nair and her Mom

I just looked at my husband and said, “I think my Christmas Spirit is back.” Having grown up with beautifully memorable Christmases, this was a happy revelation for me. The Spirit left the year my Mom passed away and has been slowly making its return.

Read the whole post

Dec
08
2013

My Favourite Parenting Things

Awesome parenting resources!

There are so many wonderful parenting writers and researchers out there, I wanted to provide a list of my go-to sources to make finding them easier. All the people here provide information that I trust. This is information based in solid research that made me shout with joy or move me to tears.

Read the whole post

Dec
02
2013

I remember Christmas the year my second child was born, and my oldest was two-years-old – it wasn’t pretty. The pressures to continue holiday traditions, bake up a storm, send Christmas cards and create memories to last a lifetime were close to getting the better of me.

Read the whole post