Andrea Nair: Connect-Four Parenting

Nov
26
2013

Tips to Help Grow Positive Self-Esteem In Your Daughter

Empowering Girls to Be Unstoppable On The Schoolyard

girls in school yard

In the morning we hug our daughters and watch them get swallowed up by the mass of kids on the schoolyard. I’m sure many of us wonder if we have really prepared them for the “mean girls” and cliques that are also out there.

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Nov
25
2013

Is All Yelling Harmful?

Understanding the differences between loud and hurtful yelling.

Nov
20
2013

Santa Trauma is a Real Phenomenon

Tips for preventing Santa-story scars

Scared of Santa

Pictures with Santa have started popping up on social media, including some showing children in obvious distress. I admit it—I laugh at those—but I feel badly because I know I shouldn’t be laughing.

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Nov
12
2013

Is Homework Stressing Your Kids (And You) Out? We Can Help.

How to work with your child's teacher to decrease homework issues

tips to handle homework stress

I remember the first time I really started questioning whether homework the way we knew it from our childhood was relevant today. The September 15th, 2006 cover story of MacLean’s Magazine was staring at me, Homework Is Killing Our Kids with the dramatic picture of a girl hunched over her books. I nodded, “Yes, it is.”

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Nov
11
2013

Techniques For Smooth Toddler Transitions

Switching activities with your toddler without the freak-out

Smooth Toddler Transitions

Continuing on with my tantrum series, we can't talk about tantrums without talking about transitions. It is likely that some of the most challenging moments with young children are during a “transition.” A transition is when you are moving from one activity to the next.

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Nov
04
2013

What To Do While Your Child Is Having A Tantrum

Steps to shifting into "tantrum tolerance" mode

Oct
28
2013

Preventing Tantrum Escalation

Using empathy to help your child with big feelings

Angry child

Here is the second installment in my series about tantrums/meltdowns.

Last week I posted the questions I ask parents to consider when their children are having lots of tantrums. This week's topic is how to de-escalate a tantrum.

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Oct
22
2013

When Your Child Has Many Tantrums

Questions to ask yourself when your child just keeps melting down.

screaming child

I recently asked the parents on my Facebook page to share their biggest challenges. Many parents explained that tantrums and the crazy-making behaviour of young children was the hardest thing for them right now. Yes, I too have cut "the wrong end of the freezie" so I understand what crazy-making means!

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Oct
17
2013

How To Create A Book With Your Children

Start this family project now to create a lovely gift for the holidays.

I usually have my parenting educator hat on but today I wanted to share a project I did with my boys that served many wonderful purposes. We had fun, got closer, were creative together, provided a personalized gift for many people, and saved money!

I am sharing this now because it is a wonderful holiday gift idea, but depending how involved you want to make it, you will need lots of time to go through all the steps. It took us two months from start to printed product in our hands. (Although you could do it faster than us)

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Oct
07
2013

Keeping Children Safe In This Digital Era

Enjoying The “Lightweb”—And Protecting Our Children From The "Darkweb"

Social Media Safety

Each time I posted pictures of my children on Facebook, I felt joy knowing my family members and friends could see my boys' smiling faces.

I put my privacy settings on the highest settings, feeling secure that I could safely post pictures of my children and know they would not meet stranger's eyes. I gasped in shock when I came across this quote while reading Raffi Cavoukian's new book Lightweb Darkweb, on the need for social media reform:

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Sep
24
2013

Have you heard this phrase, “You can’t control how another person reacts, but you can control how you react?” Easier said than done—but it IS possible!

I know how hard it is to stay cool when others around you are melting down or freaking out. Really, I do—I have the hole in my laundry room wall to prove it. As a psychotherapist with anger management tools, I was shocked how hard it was to stay calm when my young children were blowing their tops. I think they missed that section in the anger management books.

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Sep
20
2013

Is Your Teen Getting Enough Sleep?

Tips to help your teen have sweet dreams

Here’s a little sleep quiz:

1) Do you know the number of hours of sleep that teens need to function properly and for good health?

2) Do you know the number of hours of sleep most teens are actually getting?

3) Do you know why most teens are sleep deprived?

Answers:

1)   9

2)   7

3)   They have mobile devices/laptops/computers in their bedrooms overnight.

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Sep
09
2013

Important Suicide Prevention Information For Parents

Thursday September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day

Thursday, September 10, 2015 is World Suicide Prevention Day. This is an initiative held on the same day each year by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization. Their goal is to raise awareness that suicide is preventable, and to improve education about suicide to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

From press release on World Suicide Prevention Day: 

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Sep
04
2013

How To Build A Strong Parent-Teacher Relationship

Ways to start off on the right foot with your kid's teachers.

The relationship between a parent and their child's teachers is important for that child's development and fostering a life-long love of learning. It helps children relax when they know the various people they spend all day with are on the same page. Also, you don't want to be known as a rude, absent or obnoxious parent!

Having been a high-school teacher for ten years before becoming a psychotherapist, I witnessed parent-teacher relationships go well, but also very, very badly.

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Sep
03
2013

Help For Toddler Biting

Tips to reducing a toddler's aggressive behaviour.

Most toddlers do some biting, and this behaviour is well within the normal, yet painful, things that toddlers do. Although a common phenomenon, it is still important to nip biting in the bud.

There are four main reasons that toddlers bite. I will list those below with suggestions to help in each case.

1. It looks like fun:

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Aug
22
2013

Getting Out The Door On Time

Reduce battles and get out the door when you need to

Here are some tips to get you and your family out the door without battles and on time:

Create a schedule and post it.

The easiest way to get everyone moving, particularly in the morning, is to have a predictable ROUTINE. This routine needs to include a list of tasks and an order to complete them. I like to call the list of these things "jobs." For example, our morning job list is: pee, eat, get dressed, brush teeth, gather things. Keep the language simple!

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Aug
19
2013

Filling Your Child's "Attachment Tank"

Tips to building a strong connection with your child

Most people have heard of the term "attachment" through the phrase "attachment parenting." Separate of that parenting style, the word attachment, according to psychologist Mary Ainsworth is "defined as an affectional tie that one person or animal forms between himself and another specific one — a tie that binds them together in space and endures over time."

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Aug
13
2013

When Parents Don't Agree

Coming together to raise children the way you both want to.

A common challenge parents have is what to do when two partners cannot agree on things like discipline styles, communication methods or co-sleeping.

The most stark difference I have seen is when one parent does not spank the children, but the other does. Regardless of my opinion on spanking, which you can read about here, this parenting difference is bound to cause problems.

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Aug
05
2013

Support For Parents Of Young Children

Tips for parents and partners to handle the challenges of raising little ones.

I had a wonderful conversation with Erica Ehm, the owner of this publication, after that post came out. We talked about how parents probably needed to be validated in their struggles and to know that even us "experts" have rough days, and in my case, actual conditions like postpartum depression.

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Jul
28
2013

Learning From The Loss Of Lisa Gibson And Her Children

Getting honest about raising young kids

The unfolding story of Lisa Gibson, aged 32, of Winnipeg, MB and the death of her two young children is preoccupying my mind. We cannot assume that this mother drowned her children, as the information is incomplete. But I can hear the judging by others that is likely happening, "What kind of mother would harm her own children?" I'll tell you what kind—a normal kind, with an abnormal moment in time.

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