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Like many families, the horror of what happened in Manchester, UK at the Ariana Grande show has dominated conversation in our house. We are music fans and concert goers and this senseless attack hit us hard. The images of mostly teenage girls running, injured and scared while their parents were frantic, are devastating. So we talk. We talk not only about the news as it comes in, but also about "now what?" And we came up with a plan.
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We want to prepare and protect our child against something dangerous. Our protective role is clear. So the truly complicating factor that makes talking to your children about divorce so difficult is that the parents are the source of the pain.
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As a child and family therapist I have been assisting parents in having difficult conversations with their children on a variety of topics. As a parent I have had to have these same conversations with my own children.
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I guess one could say that my professional background makes me well qualified for this parenting job, but I must admit that I have had my fair share of humbling moments when it comes to parenting. Sometimes I have moments when I feel I rock it as a parent, and then other moments when I hang my head and know I could have handled something much better. Yes, there is certainly room for improvement.
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Nothing can cause an argument faster in a group of parents than when someone brings up sleep training. Opinions range from "do it as early as possible" to "only terrible parents sleep train." With so many myths about sleep training out there, who do you believe? Let's examine the eight most common myths about sleep training and see what holds up.
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Parents model behaviour to their children, and children watch very closely. My dad taught me not to give money on the street, but if someone asked, we should treat them with complete, sincere dignity and take the time to offer them whatever it is they need. It can be inconvenient -- taking a stranger out for lunch and hearing their story, spending an extra 5 minutes buying someone groceries, giving someone our own mittens in the dead of winter, or perhaps giving someone a ride that is out of our way.
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Navigating safe online behaviour has become a huge concern for parents of kids today, as they try to find the balance between allowing their children to access online information for fun and for educational reasons, while protecting them from being taken advantage of by sexual predators and other online risks, from a very early age.
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I feel that parenting is my responsibility, but I do not feel that my role of mother or wife or daughter is my purpose. I do not feel my role of counsellor or teacher, author or business woman is my purpose. My purpose does not feel as though it can be defined by a role, any role, in my life.
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I was just a little girl, but you had a barbed tongue. Oh, you always couched your cruelty in humour. As if comedy was a disinfectant that redeems meanness. Time and again, I asked Mommy, "Please, tell Daddy to stop teasing me. It hurts my feelings." But you wouldn't or couldn't stop.
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Have we told you lately that we love you? Have we told you lately that we appreciate all that you do? Because we do. We really, really do. Have we mentioned that your strength, dedication and tenderness never cease to amaze us? We want you to know that the love that you show all of us never goes unnoticed.
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"Careful" is a helicopter parent's mantra. These kids have grown up in the shadows of fear, always too afraid to take risks, too cautious to make sound decisions alone and too callous to stand up for themselves as they have never had to. In their childhood their parents made all their decisions and as young adults they have no clue how to fend for themselves.
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I realize now that you're not coming from a place of goodness. You don't like that I'm not complaining, that I'm not struggling, that I'm not suffering. You can't stand the fact that I am actually enjoying my role as a full-time mom.
Our children need to develop and equip their own tool box -- we cannot do it for them. This is not our job, nor should we be trying to make our children's happiness and success our goals. This generation of parents is much too eager to do their children's work for them, and therein lies the problem.