Tag Archives: family

5 Tips to Help Deal with Sassy Kids

kids-on-grass-2It seems to be that there comes a time in every child’s life when they transition from a cute and loving child, to a snarky and sassy tween or teen.  In this phase, kids go from good-natured to short-tempered, accommodating to resisting, happy to hold your hand to embarrassed to even be seen with you.


Let the eye-rolling begin.

Some parents roll with this change with remarkable good humour and grace; the rest of us may end up resorting to less-than-helpful responses to our kids.  If you think you may fall into that second category, here are five tips for getting your relationship back onto a better path.

1. Take a deep breath and don’t take it personally. 

Yes, it’s true that sometimes our kids can find just the right thing to say to cut us to the quick.  But they’re not necessarily trying to wound us that deeply, they’re often just trying out different ways of relating to others and seeing which ones give them a feeling of control and confidence.  It’s ok to respond calmly with something like, “That was very disrespectful.  I don’t like being spoken to that way, and I’m going to leave the room until we can agree that we’ll speak to each other more pleasantly.”

2. Harness the power of role modelling. 

As much as parents like to joke about the “do as I say, not as I do” method of parenting, children don’t tend to see the humour in it.  While there’s no doubt they can quite effectively push our buttons, a part of them is watching us to see how we’ll handle it.  Our kids look to us to learn how to behave in the world, and if we respond to them with anger, or an attempt at control by trying to put them in their place, then they learn that this is an effective way of responding to someone who is upsetting them.  While it might not seem like it in the moment, continuing to model respectful behavior towards our kids (and ourselves) does give them a blueprint for how to stand up for themselves appropriately and how to navigate difficult conversations.

3. Take a time out. 

We often get into the habit of believing that every parenting issue must be dealt with immediately.  But the reality is that sometimes we all need space to cool down, before we can get a real handle on the situation and think about the big picture.  It’s ok to tell your children, “We’ll talk about this later,” and then follow through and do it.

4. Catch them being good. 

You may have heard this phrase before; it’s something of a staple in parenting.  If we catch more flies with honey, than we want to be on the look-out for opportunities to acknowledge and appreciate those times when our kids express themselves assertively while still being respectful.  They don’t have to be talking to you; if you happen to overhear a conversation between two of your children, or one of your kids and a friend, it’s ok to pull your child aside later and quietly let them know that you thought she handled herself very well in that difficult situation.

5. Keep a healthy perspective.

While you may worry that the attitude demonstrated at home may be transported out there into the world at large, you can breathe easy knowing that it typically isn’t the case.  Kids generally reserve their worst behavior for family (lucky us), and they have a pretty good idea of what would and wouldn’t be considered acceptable with friends and other adults.

These little moments may not be the best part of parenting, but hang in there.  Keep in mind that a strong relationship is your best insurance against the dismissive and disrespectful attitude from our children, so don’t lose touch with them.  Find opportunities to chat and share, create little moments of connection, and soon the scales will start to tip in the other direction.

 By: Andrea Ramsay Speers

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Boost Your Happiness With Relationships

toronto-couples-relationship-counselling.jpgStudies show that people with close relationships to family and friends are HAPPIER. That’s right. It doesn’t matter if you have 30 of these close relationships or 3. The point is: you have people in your life who you love. More importantly, you interact with these people regularly.

In relationships where people are experiencing marital distress, both individuals are likely to experience more depressive symptoms. It’s easy to understand how relationships impact our wellbeing so directly, because we’ve all experienced it!

You can become a happier version of yourself by cultivating these key characteristics:

1. Maintain strong relationships

Haven’t heard from your mom in awhile? Give her a call! Haven’t made time to catch up with your BFF in a couple of weeks? Make time for coffee with them then! The greatest gift you can give yourself is time to nurture and preserve the important relationships that you’ve built up over the course of your life.

2. Give social support

Happiness doesn’t just come from receiving social support. We are happier when we GIVE social support to others! That’s why careers in social service — social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists often rate their professions as highly rewarding. If you don’t have a career in these fields, consider volunteering at local homeless shelter, a meal program or any other program where you get face-to-face contact with people you’re helping.

Everyone has busy schedules. It’s easy to become wrapped up in the so-called ‘necessities’ and things that HAVE to get done. Over the course of your life, the MOST important necessity is your relationships. They’re who you spend wonderful nights and difficult nights with. They’re who help you through the rough patches and who cheer you on through the wonderful times.

By: Kaya Quinsey

Kaya Quinsey

How To Be Kinder To Your Loved Ones Without Saying A Word

toronto-psychotherapistHave you ever noticed how promoting kindness seems to be seasonal? The concepts of compassion and being kind are touted in abundance during the holidays. Why is kindness not heralded year-round? What if movies chose kindness as a theme regardless of it being “in season?” Or a more apropos question: When is kindness ever not in season? The answer: Never. This fact is especially true in relation to your family and loved ones.

Opportunities to cultivate kindness towards your loved ones are ever-present. And, believe it or not, you don’t have to say a single word to any of your loved ones in order to demonstrate being kinder.

-It Starts With You-

If you want to work on your relationships and on being kinder to others, first work on yourself. By working on yourself I mean dedicate time to get to know you and to reflect upon how you can be kind to yourself.  This inner moment frees you to let go of your judgments about yourself and fosters a willingness to extend kindness to others.

Sounds complicated, right? Well, it isn’t. It’s actually very simple.  Simplicity does not hold our attention. We give our rapt focus to complexity without pause. Complexity means change and simplicity equates with consistency.

Who of us desires consistency? Very few of us are comfortable without change, but do not to worry. There is a meaningful way to add consistency and therefore present moment awareness of being kind, to our daily lives.

-Lucky Number 7-

Here are 7 affirmations, ideally one for each day of the week, but be kind to yourself if you forget. Don’t mix-up the order though. Just start at the 1st and progress until you reach the 7th, regardless of the actual day of the week.

Consistent practice will lead you to apply this new healthy habit. You will only need a few minutes of dedicated time each day.  The purpose of these exercises is to quiet the chatter of judgment within your mind so as to bring the present moment into your focus, allowing you to see the possibility to be kind.

Our practice session initiates with you taking 3 deep breaths. On the next breath, your 4th inhale, close your eyes and repeat the affirmation of the day to yourself. Repeat this process 2 more times. By this time, you will have taken 6 total deep breaths. On your next breath, the 7th as you inhale visualize yourself being kind and compassionate from the center of your being.  Then, exhale out all feelings of judgment.

-Ask, Pause, And Listen-

How do you feel after this process? Does that feeling remain with you during the day? Do you feel more aware of the present moment? What is it like to carve out time just for you to be kind to you? These are just a few of the myriad of questions you may pose to yourself after your affirmations each day.

Whenever anything distressing arises throughout your day close your eyes for a moment and recall the day’s affirmation. Being kind to you and practicing the affirmations does not guarantee anything in your outside world will change. It may or may not. But, your internal world and your ability to experience inner peace will dramatically improve.

Being kind to you empowers you to face any hiccup in your life with kindness as your guide. You will see possibilities rather than limitations. You will be kinder towards others because your actions are guided by kindness. Without saying a word, those closest to you will recognize your intentions as kind. Like attracts like; love attracts love; kind attracts kind. Maybe being consistently kind really does pay-off… Let’s get started.

7 Affirmations For You Journeying Towards Being Kinder:

Monday: “Being kind is letting go of judgment.”
Tuesday: “Judgment is not kind.”
Wednesday: “I choose to be led by the gentle guide of kindness.”
Thursday: “Kindness is always an option I may choose.”
Friday: “Everyone is worthy of receiving kindness.”
Saturday: “Kindness demonstrates love.”
Sunday: “I choose to share kindness with everyone.”

-Timeless Journey-

There is no set timeframe for this practice. There is no urgency or hurry. Trust that you will know when you are ready and trust that you will be willing to demonstrate being kinder to anyone, in any circumstance.

One kind hint though: when you find comfort in the consistency of the practice, you are ready to let go of it and to move forward.

How do you share kindness with others? How does it differ from how you share kindness with you or does it? 

By: Nanci Besser