Alyson Schafer
Alyson Schafer is a recognized media personality. She is one of Canada's leading authorities on parenting and is the resident expert for CTV News, CBC's The World This Weekend, The Marilyn Denis Show as well as sitting on the health advisory board for Chatelaine Magazine, and being an ask the expert columnist for Today's Parent Magazine. She has been recognized as one of the top 25 Canadians to follow on Twitter.

Alyson is a best selling author of three parenting books: Breaking The Good Mom Myth, Honey, I Wrecked The Kids, and Ain't Misbehavin'. An international speaker, Alyson presented at the inaugural TedxKids talks in Belgium last year and is now looking forward to her upcoming speaking tour in Japan.

Probably her best credentials and testimonial: Alyson is the mother of two teenage daughters who think she is doing a great job!

Entries by Alyson Schafer

Case Of The Blues Or Teen Depression? Know The Signs

(1) Comments | Posted September 15, 2016 | 11:54 AM

frame of mind banner

We all have ups and downs. Some people are very moody and emotionally intense. How does a parent separate the normal swings of a youth's tumultuous life from a real depression that needs treatment?

Given that the Canadian Mental Health...

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Walking To School Alone: How To Prep Your Kids For This Big Step

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2016 | 3:53 PM

School is back and for many families this is the big year: the year their kids are going to start walking to school alone! It’s both a scary and exciting milestone. How do we make sure our children are ready? What do they need to know to be safe?

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10 Back To School Sanity Savers

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2016 | 1:24 PM

September marks the beginning of the new school year and that usually means mayhem after a long, slow summer. Here are some ways to regain a calm house and peace of mind:
1.     Stay organized
The first month of school is all about getting...

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School Anxiety: Surprising Signs Your Kid Is Uneasy About Going Back

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2016 | 11:23 AM

This week I ended up in the walk-in clinic with my daughter. She was tired, achy and had sore muscles and a tight chest. She thought it felt like pneumonia. After all of the rule outs, it was decided she might have some flu-type symptoms, but she was basically told...

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Parenting Advice: How To Recover After Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2016 | 9:00 AM

This past week I freaked out on my daughter. It has been so miserably hot, and I have been running around trying to get packed up and off on our summer holiday and, well, I lost my s*it on her.

Let’s face it, we have all had those parenting...

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Online Safety: Why Parents Should Never Snoop On Their Kid's Phone

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2016 | 4:27 PM

When I first started as a family counsellor, back in the “analogue days,” parents would sheepishly confess that they'd found their child’s diary and read a few entries. Today’s digital equivalent is parents reading text messages on their kids’ phone, or creeping them on social media.

The platform has...

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Alyson Schafer Advice: 12 Easy Ways To Simplify Your Kid's Childhood

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2016 | 3:27 PM

The research is clear: our kids are stressed to the point of developing pathology, while parents are running around like chickens with their heads cut off and suffering the same. Nobody is happy. We know we need to heed the advice to just SLOW DOWN… but just how...

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First Period: Dos and Don'ts Of Navigating This Milestone

(3) Comments | Posted July 25, 2016 | 2:30 PM

“So… tell me the story of getting your first period.” That was all I asked at the restaurant where I was having dinner with some moms.

These women were so eager to talk about this crazy memory from their adolescence. It was like swapping stories of car accidents, each...

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How To Discipline A Child: 3 Common Parenting Tactics That Need To Stop

(6) Comments | Posted July 18, 2016 | 12:49 PM

Many agree that shaming our children is hurtful and spanking them could soon be illegal in Canada. While these two discipline tactics are often on the no-no list, there are other common behaviours that also have negative consequences for children. And they need to stop.

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Kids Watching Porn: It's Happening Much Earlier Than You Think

(8) Comments | Posted July 8, 2016 | 2:53 PM

We all know that eventually our kids are going to see some porn. What you might NOT be aware of is how young they are going to be. What is a parent to say and do when they discover their child’s recent search on Instagram includes the hashtag #pornphoto?

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Gifted Kids: Parents Need To Watch For This Serious Downside

(29) Comments | Posted June 30, 2016 | 2:58 PM

Who doesn’t love the thought of having a bright child? Maybe even gifted. Perhaps you have gone so far as to have your child tested and he or she meets the criteria for the gifted program at school. This is a proud parenting moment for many.


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Alyson Schafer Advice: How To Raise Tolerant Kids

(24) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 11:54 AM

June is Pride Month. Gay pride parades are taking place in almost every town and rainbow banners can be seen everywhere! What better time to challenge ourselves as parents to ensure we help foster positive attitude in our children.

We want to raise children who are not...

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Public Shaming: Why We Feel The Need To Judge Parents Online

(2) Comments | Posted June 14, 2016 | 2:19 PM

Last week was an epic week for parent shaming on social media. Between the three-year-old getting into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and the reports from Japan of a seven-year-old boy turfed from his parents' car and lost for days in the woods, it’s...

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Alyson Schafer Advice: 8 Ways NOT To Raise A Sore Loser

(0) Comments | Posted June 7, 2016 | 1:29 PM

I bought my niece her first board game. It was a version of Chutes and Ladders. She loved rolling the dice and counting the squares. Whoosh, a ladder! Up you go!

I was so excited watching her advance until she finally landed on the last square. I gave her...

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Anxiety In Children: 8 Steps To Calming An Anxious Kid

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2016 | 2:57 PM

It is natural and healthy to experience some anxiousness in our lives. It’s an evolutionary safety survival mechanism, like a smoke detector. You want the warning if there is danger to be avoided.

But for about 20 per cent of children, that smoke detector is set just...

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UNICEF Report On Canadian Kids' Unhappiness Is A Wake-Up Call

(2) Comments | Posted May 16, 2016 | 2:07 PM

Did you know that Canadian children are basically unhappy?

The latest report card on children’s well-being from UNICEF measured children’s perceived life satisfaction. They reported this shocking finding: almost one in 10 Canadian children ranked life a four out of 10 on a scale where zero means...

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Alyson Schafer: Stop Worrying About CAS And Give Your Kids Independence

(3) Comments | Posted May 9, 2016 | 9:58 AM

Abduction used to be parents' biggest worry about letting their children walk or play alone. Now parents fear something else: being charged with neglect.

There have been more and more news stories of police involvement in parenting practices. Remember the mother who let her 9 year old ride the...

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Alyson Schafer: Teaching Sexual Consent Starts In Preschool

(11) Comments | Posted April 27, 2016 | 8:41 AM

The recent Jian Ghomeshi trial has the topic of consent on everyone’s mind. How can parents teach children about sexual consent so that abuse never happens? If you wait until your child is sexually active, you’ll wish you had started the process when they were younger....

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Chores For Kids: How To Teach Them To LOVE Housework

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 4:03 PM

I asked my eldest daughter, Zoe, if she would be willing to help me out. I threw open the doors to the front hall closet and showed her a disaster zone of overflowing sports equipment, mismatched mittens and winter boots mixed in with summer sandals.

“You have such a...

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Alyson Schafer: 10 Signs You're Doing Too Much For Your Kids

(13) Comments | Posted April 8, 2016 | 2:23 PM

Who doesn’t want to be an awesome mom or dad? Of course we all do, but sometimes our passion and enthusiasm leads to an ambitious approach which can cross the line.

Sadly, over-functioning parents produce complementary under-functioning children. If parents do too much for their children, the kids evade...

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