Why Gentle Parenting Will Make You and the Kids Miserable.
Coming right out and not only telling people that a particular parenting style doesn’t work but also why gentle parenting will make you and the kids miserable needs some explanation, I admit. Let’s start with this. A 12- to 15-month-old toddler slaps her mom right in the face. A third person captures mom’s startled but […]
How Income Changes What Parents Worry About
You probably don’t think about it much as it’s not on most people’s radar, but have you ever wondered how income changes what parents worry about and, if so, what are the differences? Surely all parents worry about the same things, don’t they? Worries such as whether or not their child goes to sleep or […]
No Such Thing As The Perfect Parent
Let me say, firstly, that there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. I bet before you became a parent, you had all sorts of ideas about the kind of parent you were going to be. You were going to be patient and thoughtful, even after being woken up at 3 a.m. […]
How Do I Develop My Child’s Talents?
Perhaps you’ve just watched your little one in the school play and you think, “Wow, he can really act and sing too!” The next question you need to ask is, “How do I develop my child’s talents?” Knowing how to develop a child’s talent is an important part of helping children find their place in […]
Child Centered Parenting Doesn’t Work.
I have a great job, though sometimes I have to confess to feeling as though I’m swimming up stream. The prevailing parenting style du jour is child-centered. It may sound unusual for a parenting professional to come right out and say that child-centered parenting doesn’t work, but it doesn’t and I’ll tell you why. Firstly, […]
The Secret of Parenting
So what’s the secret of parenting? Is there even a secret? Well, before I answer that, have you ever watched the movie “Babe?” It’s quite an old film but it’s both brilliant and funny. It’s about a clever pig who turns out to be a fabulous and natural sheep herder. Now, you wouldn’t think that […]
#1 Biggest Parenting Mistake
Seeing an article with the words “#1 Biggest Parenting Mistake” has got to be scary. Suddenly you think, “Yikes! Am I doing that?” Maybe you rush to click on the link, or maybe you don’t, scared by the real possibility that whatever it is, you might be doing it. Maybe you’re afraid of waking up […]
Why Is My Child Unhappy?
Some children are happy with very little. Some spend a lot of time being miserable, no matter what they have. If you are asking yourself, “Why do I have an unhappy child?” you’ve come to the right place because I’m going to tell you a story that you’ll likely see much of your own struggles […]
How Long Is Too Long In A Baby Swing
Hi Annie, My question is how long is too long in a baby swing? We have a 3.5 month old baby girl who is content in a baby swing while we eat or make supper. She is also in the swing on occasion during the day while my wife makes lunch, etc.However, my wife said […]
How to Build Climate Change Resilience in Children
Take a look at this lettuce. Growing against all odds in a less than easy environment. If you want to learn how to build climate change resilience in children, then you need to teach your children the skills necessary to adapt and thrive in what looks to be an increasingly hostile world. We’ve all had […]
These parents need to get their act together!
Hi Annie, Our niece Kaitlyn is about 3 1/2 years old and her parents need to get their act together. She runs the show. Kaitlyn tells her mom and dad what to do. She wants nothing to do with anyone unless she can be the boss; she does not respond to questions from adults (gets […]
Why Kids Need Downtime
I don’t know about you, but when the days get longer, I can’t help but enjoy what it means for the children. It’s a time to hang out and just have fun in the sun after the confines of our cold, rainy, or snowy winter, depending, of course, on where you live. As we start […]
How To Handle a Picky Eater
Knowing how to handle a picky eater can save parents a whole lot of stress because, let’s face it, having a picky eater can drive any parent up the wall. So, if you want to know how to handle a picky eater, you should first consider why you might be getting the behaviour and then […]
Why Raising a Resilient Child Matters
So, if you want to know why raising a resilient child matters, ask yourself this: Are you planning to live forever? No? Oh, I’m glad we got that out of the way. That’s because if you don’t plan to live forever or, frankly, aren’t able to, that means your children will have to fend for […]
My Kids Are My Everything Parent
Are you a “my kids are my everything” parent? I’ve heard parents on many occasions make comments like, “My kids are my everything.” It’s a funny little phrase, but it appears often, and I wonder how many people actually sit down for a moment and think what it really means. As a case in point, […]
The Key To Parenting Is To Keep It Simple
I’m sure you’ve heard the KISS principle, and yes, it certainly applies to parenting. In fact, I’d have to say that the key to parenting is to keep it simple. However, trying to keep it simple often presents us with a problem because it seems as if society at large likes things to be complex. […]
Is Democratic Parenting Good?
Is democratic parenting good? Today we’re going to ask the question, “Is democratic parenting good?” Well, I love democracy. In fact, I’m a huge fan. I cannot imagine not having any input into what goes on around me, even though that input seems to effect less social change over time. Well, to answer that question, let […]
4 Parenting Sentences You Should Watch
In this article, I’ll suggest 4 parenting sentences you should watch in terms of whether or not it’s a good idea to say them. That’s because the sentences I’m going to draw to your attention are very easy to say. In fact, they’re so easy to say that you probably say them all the time […]
Is Happiness All There Is?
There’s a great song I love. It goes like this: “If that’s all there is, then let’s keep dancing. Let’s break out the booze and have a ball.” I couldn’t agree more, especially about breaking out the booze on a warm summer evening, but it does beg the question: is happiness all there is? Is […]
Why We Shouldn’t Judge Parents
Why we shouldn’t judge parents: Everyone makes mistakes! Today I was reminded of exactly how judgmental people can be and why we shouldn’t judge parents. That’s a good thing, because every now and then you need to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. I tried to “nip” into our local bakery with my miniature […]
I Need A Good Night’s Sleep
Hello Annie. Help! I need a good night’s sleep! I have a baby boy who will be 6 months old on January 31, and he is my first child. “What do you do about sleep?” is my question, and I’m not sure if you work with babies this young. My husband and I have read […]
How to deal with aggression
Hi Annie, I’m wondering how to deal with the aggression on the part of my son. My 9-year-old son came home today with a note from his principal and teacher. The teacher listed four aggressive episodes that my son engaged in in the last week and labelled them “violent acts.” I know that every parent […]
Teaching Kids Gratitude
Teaching kids gratitude makes the world go round. All parents hope they will create appreciative children. So when it comes to teaching kids gratitude, let’s face it: nobody wants their child to be the one grabbing their birthday presents in a frenzy, shoving whatever lovely and thoughtful gift they just got aside in a desperate […]
How Do I Improve My Child’s Imagination?
For those of us who had imaginative childhoods, I’m sure one of the biggest questions on any parent’s mind is, “How do I improve my child’s imagination?” To me, there is nothing more beautiful than the imagination of a child. When I was little, in elementary school, I wanted to fly. The dream of flight […]
The Secret To Getting Your Kids To Listen
Would you like to know the secret to getting your kids to listen? Isn’t it funny how words like “ice cream,” “park,” or anything else that strikes kids as fun are heard right away, yet anything boring, like “it’s time to clean up your toys” or “go to bed,” can sail right over their heads […]
Where You Choose To Bring Up Your Kids
Where you choose to bring up your kids, matters a lot. That’s probably not a popular thing to say right about now, as so many of our cities and other living spaces are often, from a kid’s point of view, mind-numbingly boring. Where you choose to bring up your kids: Your environment impacts your children. […]
Parenting The Strong Willed Child
Would you like to know how to parent the strong-willed child? Parenting a strong-willed child is not easy, but I’m going to tell you something wonderful. Even though you may not feel it at times, you’re lucky. You see, I understand. If you’re the parent of a strong-willed or otherwise challenging child, it’s easy to […]
How To Handle A Temper Tantrum In Public
Would you like to know how to handle a temper tantrum in public? Let’s first acknowledge that there is nothing worse than having to handle a temper tantrum in public. All those judgmental stares and half-whispered comments just as you’re standing there with your toddler’s arms and legs flailing all over the sidewalk. So if […]
Parent With Confidence Not Fear
I have a great job though sometimes I have to confess to feeling as though I’m swimming up stream. The reason I often feel that is that my way of helping parents differs somewhat from the prevailing North American parenting philosophy that’s currently in favour. What that ideology is we’ll get to later, but one […]
A Parent’s Guide To Building Resilience
I’ve decided to write this article, a parent’s guide to building resilience in children, because I believe the way we teach resilience now, focused primarily on older age groups, will have long-term impacts on the health of our children. I’ve lost count of the number of articles I’ve read about the importance of developing resilience, […]
Do Parenting Tips Work?
Parenting tips are everywhere, but the question is: do parenting tips work? All around us, they fill magazines, the airwaves, and the internet, and many parents rely on them not just for little snippets of information but for their wholesale parenting approach. Which begs the question: do parenting tips work? And, if they don’t, why […]
How To Get Your Child To Listen
How to get your child to listen is a question that keeps many parents up at night. It’s frustrating when kids simply don’t listen to you, and you end up having to say the same thing over and over again. Here’s a question from Nancy: Hi Annie, I’ve got 3 kids; my oldest is turning […]
Child Behaviour Solutions that Actually Work
Are you looking for child behaviour solutions that actually work? As we approach Thanksgiving, I’ve no doubt there are parents out there trying to drift off to sleep at night with their calm thoughts being interrupted by visions of their preschooler screaming their head off during Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of enjoying warm fuzzies and thoughts […]
My Son Hits My Daughter
Siblings fighting usually drives most parents up a wall, and getting a question like “What do I do when my son hits my daughter?” is an extremely common parenting question. Usually it’s an odd hit or push there, but sometimes the behaviour becomes extreme, and then it becomes a far bigger parent problem to solve. […]
Teaching Gratitude Makes for Happy Kids
Why Teaching Gratitude Makes For Happy Kids: It’s all in the brain. If you want to know why teaching gratitude makes for happy kids, let’s start with the inner workings of the brain. You can think of it like this: All of us have our “big brain” and then our “reptilian brain.” Our “reptilian brain” […]
Ten Tips For Successful Parenting
So there you are, perhaps pregnant or weighed down with diapers, and there’s a snot streak left across your sleeve from your toddler’s nose from the fourth meltdown that morning, and you’ve been wondering thoughts like, “What the heck am I doing?” All of a sudden, you take a glance at your smartphone and notice […]
The Trouble with Online Parenting Advice
So what’s the trouble with online parenting advice? Looking for online parenting advice? Sounds fair enough. So what’s the trouble with online parenting advice? After all, what’s wrong with reaching out for guidance at the end of a night with the kids and looking for help, particularly when any parent I know would much […]
6 tips for well-behaved kids
Ok, 6 tips for well-behaved kids. There’s always a lot of discourse in the parenting world about behaviour. When I start working with parents, they have all kinds of approaches to their children’s behaviour, some of which obviously work better than others. Combine that with all the behaviour tips available online, and parenting can be […]
Want To Be Your Child’s Friend?
Do you want to be your child’s friend? All parents love their kids, and pretty much all of us, I’m sure, have wonderful dreams of doing things together and getting along well as adults. But just as we recognize that it may be great to be your child’s friend when they’re an adult, is it […]
Should You Give Toddlers Choices?
One of the first big questions of parenthood is: Should you give toddlers choices? The answer to that question is yes and no. What do I mean by that? Well, read on, because the answer is two-fold, and getting it right is extremely important to both your peace and that of your toddler. Firstly, if […]
How To Teach Resilience
Resilience is a very “in” word, but the question is, how to teach resilience? As a word, it’s quoted frequently, largely in response to the link made by experts and parents alike about how those who won’t let their children experience failure end up impacting their child’s ability to deal with the bumps of life […]
What To Do With A Child That Hits
If you’re wondering what to do with a child that hits, I just read an article in a parenting magazine that quotes a couple of experts talking about hitting in a way that I think continues some of the sad misconceptions that parents have about children that hit. Unfortunately the parenting advice given was just […]
When To Seek Behaviour Intervention
When to seek behaviour intervention is a question that’s guaranteed to keep parents up at night. It’s tough being a parent, and even more difficult to understand when a child’s behaviour has gone beyond the normal ebb and flow of family life and needs intervention. It’s quite normal to worry about when to seek behaviour […]
How Can I Get My Child To Behave?
The Key To Making a Real Parenting Plan – Understanding Reality. If you’re dealing with multiple temper tantrums and challenging behaviour and you’re asking, “How can I get my child to behave?” then I have a question for you. Firstly, do you believe in magic? Do you think gnomes live under trees in your yard? […]
The Problem With Parenting Today
I made a post on Facebook the other day alluding to the gigantic North American industry known as the “parenting industry.” I call it the problem with parenting today. I bet you didn’t think of parenting as an industry, but it is, and it’s huge. As I alluded to in my post, though, it’s not […]
Thinking Of Calling Nanny 911’s Number?
Are Nanny 911 shows fact or fiction? Are you thinking of calling Nanny 911’s number? We’ve all seen the TV shows. The screaming children, replayed indefinitely. The tantrums, the hitting and biting, and then Nanny comes in wearing some Downton Abbey-style uniform, and in a week, the kids are all sitting there like little princes […]
How To Build Your Child’s Self Esteem
If you’re sitting out there wondering how to build your child’s self-esteem, I want to start with a joke. One of George Carlin’s more endearing moments, language aside, was when he made fun of the parental obsession of refusing to look reality in the face and say those all-important character-building words to your children, along […]
Free Range Parenting
I’ve always loved the concept of “free range parenting.” But I recall one trip a while back when I went skiing for the weekend. I actually went to the ski resort, did a few runs, managed not to kill myself, handed in my equipment, and did what I really wanted to do, which was relax, […]
How To Get A Good Babysitter
If you’re wondering how to a get a good babysitter, I’ve got a suggestion for you. Tap the teenage market and find yourself a terrific babysitter. So what do you look for in a good one? How do you know what’s going on when you go out? What are the secrets to knowing whether you […]
I heard about the story that defines the state of risk in our society. Cardel Place, a fitness facility in Calgary, has been forced to be part of the “defining risk” agenda, and I feel sorry for them. Cardel Place used to “rock” literally. Kids climbed, balanced, and jumped all over the rocks and turned […]
My Child Is Narcissistic
Are you sitting there in a quiet moment, worrying, “My child is narcissistic?” If you are, you’re not alone, and please don’t feel bad. Narcissism is pretty much everywhere you look. Sometimes we even look up to narcissistic people. They’re the go-getters with high self-esteem who take no prisoners. But is narcissism all it’s cracked […]
Everyone Wants To Be A Star
I love humble, don’t you? There’s nothing nicer in the world than meeting someone who is just terrific in whatever way but doesn’t really know it, or at least if they do, they’re humble about their abilities. The trouble is, that’s not what I see. Instead, everyone wants to be a star. A case in […]
What To Do When Your Child Is Bored
Ok, so what to do when your child is bored? Your child is hanging out whining at you and saying, “Mom, I’m bored.” You were having a good day, but now you’re just looking for an answer, any answer. Maybe you’re googling fun games to play or calling a friend over for a playdate. It’s […]
The Sexualization Of Childhood
The other day I was blown away by a CBC documentary called “Sexted Up Kids,” which, as the title suggests, is about the sexualization of childhood. This was no gentle prod about the state of the world, but instead an “in your face” account of the sexualization of childhood and how horribly pervasive it is […]
What’s Wrong With Education?
What’s wrong with education? Well, first let’s look at report cards as an indicator of the health of the system in general. Report cards that dispense with actual comments and instead replace grades with some lovely politically correct words, like “evident” and “emerging,” Words that are pretty hard to understand but certainly don’t hurt anyone’s […]
Ways To Teach Resilience
Every time I think about climate change, I think about Calgary and the floods that ravaged the community in 2013. I have the same thoughts about the BC flood of 2021, from which many communities still haven’t recovered. As I remember how all those flooded areas looked, I think of how the community came together […]
How To Stop Being A Hovering Parent
If you asked a random group of parents in a room, many, if not most, would admit they hover. They’re often uncomfortable doing it but feel they have no other option. So the question is, “How to stop being a hovering parent?” A lot of hovering is actually motivated by fear. Fear of condemnation by […]
Is The Education System Failing Us?
There is a lot of discussion society-wide at the moment with regards to the question of education, namely, is the education system failing us? A while back, Margaret Wente, one of the columnists for the Globe and Mail, was on a roll. First, she lamented our children’s seeming inability to grasp the concepts of math. […]
Ways To Make Your Child Happy
Like any parent, I’m sure you want to know ways to make your child happy. The answer is really quite simple. It’s actually one simple secret, but let me set the stage for you. Recently, I came back from holidays in Europe, where I went to Holland to see and be with all my husband’s […]
Is Risk Taking Good?
Asking the question, “Is risk-taking good for kids?” is critical to changing our society’s paranoid perspective on risk. The bottom line is that if there’s something in our society that we need to change quickly for the health of our children, it’s our perception of children and risk. I don’t know about you, but I […]
How Do You Teach A Child To Be Kind?
First think about why you’re teaching morality? Most parents want their children to be kind, thoughtful, and decent to other people and to know right from wrong. In short, to be moral So the question is, “How do you teach a child to be kind?” All parents are attuned to screams of “I want it; […]
My Child Is Special
Is Your Child Really Special? I have to say something scary is happening to words, and it’s already having a big impact on our kids. If you’re a mom or dad, you’re probably saying it to yourself many times each week. What is it? Well, you’re probably saying, “My child is special.” Whispering to your […]
What To Do When Your Child Gets Hit
Hi Annie, I’m wondering about the best approach when it comes to what to do when your child gets hit by another child. Thanks, Jennifer Hi Jennifer, Being in a situation where your child gets hit by another child happens a lot, yet we often deal in a way that causes even more problems later […]
How Do You Stop A Child Interrupting
Dear Annie, I am looking for some advice or suggestions on how to teach my 6-year-old about personal space. He is a very social child and enjoys being around kids, adults, etc., but he always seems to need to get the attention of others. When he arrives at school, he yells, gives hugs, and just […]
My Child Lives in a Fantasy World.
Dear Annie, My child lives in a fantasy world. She’s five years old and a very cute and adorable girl. I love her so much and treat her as a princess. She was fascinated at first by going to school. However, after a couple of months, she started hating school, and her teacher called us, […]
My Child Is Out Of Control
Hi there! I am a mother of two, and my child is out of control! She is a diva! My son will be 4 in November, and my daughter will be 2 1/2. My husband and I are in our 30s and have really enjoyed parenthood for the most part. My daughter has always been […]
My Child Won’t Stop Hitting People
Hi Annie, My child won’t stop hitting people. My son turned three a few weeks ago. The one thing we are struggling with is anger. When he gets hurt physically, if he bumps his head or falls down, or emotionally, if another child pushes him or screams at him, he will start to cry and […]
I Hate Crafts
Hi Annie, This may seem like a weird question or comment, I guess, but I feel guilty, but I hate crafts. I’m just no good at them, and they bore me! I get that it’s cold and there’s not much else to do, so we meet with my girlfriends and their kids a lot for […]
I Don’t Want To Yell At My Child
Hi Annie, I don’t want to yell at my child, but I’d like to know how to get my eight-year-old boy to do things without me having to yell at him. It’s not like he didn’t hear me the first time. Hi Lesley, I know what you mean. Many parents say to me, […]
How To Help My Child Deal With Change
I’d like to know how to my child deal with change? It is soon summer camp season, and my five-year-old son is excited to attend. Last year we found while he LOVES camps, he is always sad to see them end and becomes anxious about the next one- he really likes routine and for things […]
Child Says Hurtful Things
Would you like to know what to do when your child says hurtful things? One mom below contacted me to tell me that her child says hurtful things. Words can be hurtful, and none more so than when you’re called mean or kids say they hate you. So, if any parent reports that their child […]