Tag Archives: Relationship

Join Kimberly For An Interactive Twitter Party!

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Are you tired of this freezing weather?! When the the sun is only an occasional visitor and the temperatures have us running for the indoors, we often just want to be at home. Home fills us with those comforting and cozy feelings of welcome and warmth. We can cuddle up on the sofa with a book, light candles and sip tea in front of a crackling fire place; an escape from the harsh real world. Home is where our loved ones gather and together we can feast on home cooked meals in an elegant family dining room. Our bedrooms provide us with a safe haven for rest and sweet dreams. Have you created a “nest” for your family? Need inspiration? Look no further than Urban Barn!

To help everyone create their own perfect nesting space and to celebrate the re-opening of the revamped Urban Barn Leaside which is opening on Saturday, February 21st, Kimberly is having a Twitter Party!!

We hope you can join Kimberly as she will talk all kinds of tips and tricks to making the most of your family time as well as one-on -one time right at home!  Of course, what would a Twitter Party be without prizes!!  So much fun!  Mark your calendar right now – this party is happening this Thursday night and we’d really like to see you there!

Here are all those details again so you don’t miss a thing!

Date: Thursday Feb. 19th at 8 PM EST

Follow: @urban_barn, @KimberlyMoffit & @SassyModernMom

Hashtag: #UrbanBarnLeaside

Please RSVP using the linky below.  See you soon!

*Please be sure to enter your Twitter Handle “@yourTwitterhandle” in the Link/Blog Title field, and your Twitter URL “www.twitter.com/yourtwitterhandle” in the Link Field*



Staying Connected To Your Tween

The-best-top-desktop-purple-wallpapers-purple-wallpaper-purple-background-hd-28If you’re the parent of a tween, you may look at parents of younger kids, out for a walk at the mall or on their way to school, and see the little ones willingly reach for Mom or Dad’s hand…and cry a little on the inside.  You may find yourself butting heads with your 10 year old and think, what happened to the little guy who was easily distracted by a hug and a game of Uno?  Gone are the days when you begged the kids to go play in the other room because you needed some peace and quiet!  Now you’re the one being shooed out of the room.  Sigh.  We know they’re growing up, but did it have to happen so soon??  We typically expect teens to be much more connected to and interested in their friends than in their parents.  But we need to not give up on them, because friends are not a good replacement for parents.  We need to stay connected, even if that connection evolves, so that we can continue parenting and leading our kids.  And that evolution starts well before they actually hit the teen years.

Step one: spend some good time together.  Between homework and racing kids to activities, it can be easy to become disconnected.  Start by making sure that not every interaction you have with them is a negative one!  If the only time you really seem to have their attention is when you’re disciplining them, you’ve got a problem on your hands.  A few kind words in the morning, leaving little love notes for each other, a little chat over tea in the evening, interesting discussions at the dinner table, and turning off the TV and the electronics during all those windows take little time but can pay back big dividends in a relationship.  It doesn’t have to be anything big, but create some good times together. Building in regular time with you and/or as a family – weekly game nights, perhaps lessons in a sport you can do as together – helps to give you all something in common.

Spend time getting to know your kids’ friends.  If you don’t know who your tween’s best friend is, make a point of learning, pronto.  Including friends in some of your fun family outings is generally painless and informative (and may make your tween more interested in participating!).  And as far as that goes, find out more of your tween’s other “favourites”.  Nothing makes a kid sigh in exasperation louder than having his parent go on about his favourite food/tv show/singer/movie, when the kid has already moved on and has a new favourite.  Don’t get hung up on who you think your child is; you might be clinging to an idea that’s outdated, which might lead him to feel that you really don’t get him at all.  Be curious about your kids and their evolving ideas and tastes.  It’s these little things that help kids to feel as though you’re really on their side, and that you’re okay with the independence they’re developing.

Your child is turning into an adult, so don’t be afraid to change the way you relate to him or her.  Share more of yourself; talk about your day, what your “favourites” are, what you’d really like to do over the next year.  I’m not saying you should talk to her like you would your best friend, but you might be pleasantly surprised by the insight and personality that’s developing in your not-so-little one.  And the relationship you cultivate now will keep you closer and more connected in a few years when she’s just that much older.

By: Andrea Ramsay Speers

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7 Things He Wants You to Know About Dating

keep-an-open-mind-101-happy-quotes-and-tipsDating can be fun, frustrating, exciting, and miserable all at the same time.  After failed attempts to
make it to relationship status, we often ask ourselves, “What are they thinking?!” Ladies, fret no more, here is what he wants you to know about dating.

1. “Playing hard to get is a turn off to a mature man and like a crack addiction for boys.”

My dad always told me, “Men value what they earn.” Although true, it sounds like we need to make sure we give them the opportunity to earn it.  One man explained “We like the chase but don’t forget you agreed to meet. Don’t be afraid to show some interest.”

2.  “Give your honest opinion about date ideas.”

Many of the men I asked shared their frustration with women either not helping to provide date ideas, not having opinions on their date ideas, or giving too many date ideas. One fellow reported, “If a guy asks a gal’s opinion on date options, be honest.  It’s hard enough to guess what she likes, let alone what she could be allergic/scared of”.

3. “It’s just a date.  Lighten up.”

This seems like something we all know but with so much pressure to “find the one”, all your friends walking down the aisle, and the goal to not hit geriatric pregnancy age by the time we are ready to have kids, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to hook the guy.  One man wanted to remind us, “We already like you (thus the date).  We’re asking questions because we are interested in more than your looks.”

4. “Don’t talk about your ex.”

One man explained “On the first date, only bring up history if we ask.  We don’t really care at this point about your ex or dating history.”

5. “Less is more”

Trends tell us we look best with long flowing hair (hair extensions), thick bushy lashes (lash extensions), tan skin (fake tan), and perfect skin (foundation).  But keep in mind that trends that women enjoy are different than what guys necessarily find attractive.  I guess he isn’t just sweet
talking you when he says you are beautiful when you wake up.

6. “Ask us questions”

Guys said they know the importance of asking questions on a date, especially to keep
conversation flowing, but that it can be a turn off if ladies spend the date only sharing about
themselves.  In fact, some men reported a ladies’ interest and ability to ask questions is a turn
on.  So ladies, try to make that convo 50/50.

7. “An offer to pay goes a long way”

Men agreed that women should offer to pay, but also that you should only let them pay if you
are interested.  They also recognized that more women are practicing “casual dating” than in
the past and if that’s the case, more power to you, but transparency is appreciated prior to
letting them fork up the cash.

By: Ashley Callahan

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Coming Out to Family & Friends

Getting Over BreakupWow!

Congratulations on making this decision!  But isn’t it terrifying too?! Every experience of deciding to tell your social circle you are gay, lesbian or bisexual is different. It is also unpredictable. You may assume it will be okay because you have an open-minded parent, BUT there is a difference between being open to anyone else being LGBT and your own child. This can be a challenge for any parent.

I do not say this to scare you, but to prepare you. You will need to have either a trusted person in your life to talk to during this process or a professional to support you. This is especially the case if you come from a faith community or culture in which being LGBT is simply not accepted. It is important to keep in mind that this time is not just about you. Please recognize that you may be changing the perceptions and worldview of the people in your life. This will take time. Please be compassionate but ALWAYS expect and insist on being treated with personal respect.

If you have a family that is willing to work it through with you, you will need to create a safe place for the people in your life to say and ask what they need to in order to take this new information into their spirit.

Examples:

  • Your mother may wonder what she did wrong.
  • Your sibling may feel there is an important part of you they have never known and need to grieve this.
  • Your grandmother may worry about you and you being judged by others.

Yes, there are some stereotypes inherent here and it will be easy for you get angry. However, these are also real feelings and concerns for your friends and family members. If a safe place is created to explore this together, this can be a time to strengthen yourself and your family.

However, if the reality of your family is that it is not accepted, please remember that you deserve love and respect. There is support out there. I wish you love and light!

By: Lisa Shouldice

Lisa Shouldice

 

3 Ways To Get Into A Positive Dating Mindset

a-purple_tulips_cup_of_coffee-1514218After being stuck in the dating scene for a while and probably experiencing some rejection, many people become jaded about the dating process. While dating is definitely not always an easy or pleasant experience, there are a few ways to develop a positive attitude and make dating a bit more enjoyable.

1. Focus on you before the date

Do what you need to do to feel great about yourself. Participating in some self care is a great way to relax and pamper yourself. Try to keep your mind off the date so that you can avoid becoming too anxious. Tell yourself that anyone would be lucky to go on a date with you and take the time to prepare to present the best version of yourself. Get pumped to some invigorating music while you are getting ready and celebrate you.

2. Decide that you are going to have a great time

Having a positive attitude about yourself and the potential of the date is beneficial for you and attractive to your date. Being engaging is key. Ask your date lots of questions, smile and act at ease as much as you can. We might feel like giving up when a date does not meet our expectations, however, you are still spending time with another human being so make the most of that time. Treat even a person you know you will reject with lots of respect and kindness. Have a great time because you are great company even if your date is not.

3. Share with your friends after the date

Talking about a date afterwards can be cathartic and free some of the tension that built up. If the date went horribly, seek the support of your friends and try to think that you now have a new bad date story to add to your list as most people do.

By: Danielle Taylor

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10 Relationship Issues That Can Benefit From Professional Counselling

toronto-couples-relationship-counselling.jpgHave you been having relationship problems with your partner, family, friends or someone important in your life lately? In life, complications between the people we love arise and there are ways to solve those complications through many different ways. There are healthy and appropriate ways to solve those complications and two of the options are through counselling or psychotherapy.

Sometimes we ask ourselves, “Am I the only one having problems with the people around me?” Everyone has different circumstances throughout life, and its common for most people to go through rough patches as well as periods of joy throughout their life. It is important for us to recognize that no healthy relationship can avoid conflicts! Issues are created while having interaction with people but that shouldn’t stop us from having relationships with others.

There are many different reasons to why we may not be getting along with the people around us. Have you gone through any of the following lately?

1. Trust Issues
2. Difficulty Communicating
3. Personality Differences
4. Money Problems
5. Life Transitions (Minor or Major)
6. Overcoming Grief and Loss
7. Dating/Lack of Intimacy/Ending of a Relationship
8. Parenting/Controlling or Needy Partners
9. Coping with Each Other’s Extended Family/Blended Family
10. Household Responsibilities/Toxic or Judgemental Household Climate

Sometimes, all we need is to chat things over with a friend or family member, or even have some time to think on our own about the issue. Other times, therapy is a great option to explore why we’re having relationship issues and work out skills and coping strategies so we don’t end up in the situation again.

In Counselling and Therapy, we learn to:
1. Recognize the problem, treat it and become stable (emotionally and mentally)
2. Develop skills to work out obstacles in a lively and appropriate way
3. Learn to listen, process, and understand others
4. Establish skills to say what you want in a assertive way without being disoriented by emotions such as anger or resentment
5. Develop full capability to realize how the other person feels and what they want

At KMA Therapy we offer different types of services for Relationship Issues, such as:

– Counselling for Relationships
– Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
– Relationship Therapy
– Relationship Management Counselling

If you’re interested in any of these services, please contact us and we’ll be thrilled to help. Have a great day!

By: Kimberly Moffit

Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Professional

Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Professional

 

Creativity- Benefiting You And Your Relationships

Purple-EyesIn our busy lives, much of our focus goes to family and work and our personal creative hobbies sometimes get pushed aside or even forgotten. Having a creative outlet that is rewarding and fun can be a great way to engage in self-care and self-development. Self- expression is also an excellent way to channel negative emotions we might have and create something with them.

However, it is easy to make excuses. How many times have we said?

“I’m not artistic, I can’t draw.”

“I’m tone deaf, I can’t sing.”

“I’m not musical, I never had piano lessons.”

“I can’t write.”

“I never know which colours look good together.”

Remember, take part in creative hobbies for yourself and not necessarily for the benefit of others. Do an activity just for the sole purpose of your own enjoyment. Do you like every painting in an art gallery? Not everyone will like your art and that is okay. Remind yourself that even though you may not be the best singer, singing has health benefits for the heart and lungs and can also lower stress. In addition, learning an instrument exercises and develops certain areas of the brain. So be creative for your own mind and body. You may even discover hidden talents!

Not sure what activity to take up? Think back to what you used to enjoy as a child. Did you draw? Build with Lego? Sing? See if those things bring you the same happiness now. On the other hand, it can be wonderful to try something completely new! No matter what you choose, the main idea is that you are setting some time for some self-care.

Keeping in touch with our creative side keeps the child inside us alive and therefore can keep us happy and playful. Finding creative ways to express ourselves also can do wonders for our well-being and mental health because creating something that is an extension of ourselves can be deeply satisfying.

If you are single, signing up for a new class is also a great way to meet new people with similar interests. You never know who will be there! Another additional perk to creative hobbies is that it keeps you interesting. This is important for your relationships early on in dating and throughout the relationship. Hobbies help define and develop our individuality, are outlets for our energy and emotions and can help attract people with similar interests. Seeing if you have similar interests when dating is a great way to discover if you and another person can connect and explore compatibility. In addition, having your own hobbies shows that you are independent and do not rely completely on your relationship for entertainment. If you are already in a long-term relationship, participating in a creative activity together with your partner can create a memorable bonding experience.

Here are some examples of popular creative expressions:

Painting, drawing

Music playing

Singing

Gardening

Writing

Decorating a room

Knitting, sewing

Sculpture, woodworking

Jewelry making, beading

Photography

Enjoy!

By: Danielle Taylor

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6 Things to Keep in Mind During a Breakup

heart-broken-purple-loveBreakups can be a terribly painful experience. If you are currently going through one, my heart goes out to you. It’s the worst. Our thoughts and feelings can often turn into a chaotic mess of negativity and ice cream doesn’t always help us feel better.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re breaking up:

1. We need to accept our feelings

After feeling sadness, anger and other negative emotions for longer than we feel we should, it can sometimes be easy to turn the negative feelings towards ourselves. Try to accept that your feelings are normal and try not to beat yourself up for feeling a certain way. Give yourself credit for investing yourself in someone else and giving enough that the feelings of loss are painful. It means that you truly tried and know how to give a relationship a real effort. This is good news for your future relationship(s).

2. Sometimes we never completely get over a person

Each person we have a relationship has unique qualities that may be impossible to find in someone else. If you didn’t have a reason to dislike a feature in a person anymore those feelings may not change so easily. This isn’t saying to not try to let go of the failed relationship. We must learn to cope without it. However, we may need to learn to live without it rather than getting over it to the point that it no longer is meaningful. Sometimes relationships are so impactful that they leave a mark on our hearts forever. This is okay to accept and it is important to realize that these types of significant events become part of who we are.

3. It is okay to lean on others during grieving

Breakups are time when it is completely normal and healthy to lean on our friends and family. As much as it feels at time to shut the world out, try to allow in the people who want to be there for you. It can be very cathartic to talk about your breakup to your friends and family if you need to process what happened.

4. We do not have to listen to people telling you to “get over it”

While you are in a vulnerable state it is important to choose who you want support from. Occasionally, there are people will not be able to relate to your pain. They may not understand where you are coming from and tell you things like “just get over it” and “try to stop thinking about him/her”. It isn’t helpful when others tell you how you should feel and what you should do. Finding friends and family who accept your fragile state and can offer proper empathy, sensitivity and relatedness is key. Sometimes finding support from a therapist can provide hugely beneficial guidance as well.

5. There is only so much we can expect from others (our strength will ultimately come from within)

While we can definitely lean on others, it’s important to keep in mind that as much as they can listen and empathize, they cannot ultimately take the pain away. Our strength to be able to cope comes from within even it takes a while to show up. Try to remind yourself of your positive qualities everyday and tell yourself that you do not need others to validate those qualities.

6. Be a friend to yourself

After you have given too much love to someone else it’s possible to feel so empty that you feel as though you lost yourself. Remind yourself that you still have you. When you feel yourself fading from someone’s memory it can start to feel like you are disappearing. Remind yourself that you are still here and take care of yourself. Do things that you like and that make you happy. Find yourself again be there to comfort yourself during this time of grieving. It can also be therapeutic to channel our negative energy into something productive and or creative.

Grieving after a breakup is a normal process and it is not always a straightforward path. Temporary relapses may occur but time and space will dull the pain. If it seems as though there is no end in sight for your tears, the guidance of a therapist may help you process your situation and bring you back to feeling more like yourself again.

By: Danielle Taylor

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15 Relationship Questions You Must Ask Your Partner Before Marriage

WeddingRings-PurpleFlowersMarriage. It’s a simple term. This term, however, creates a serious legal and emotional bond between both parties. Being married means sharing your life with the other person and accepting to be fully committed to one another, “in sickness or in health, for richer or poorer.”  Do you believe that you are ready to be fully committed to one person for the rest of your life? Marriage is most definitely going to cause ups and downs in your life but for so many of us, it’s worth it!

Here are the top 15 questions you MUST ask your partner before marriage:
1. FINANCE: Are you financially stable? Will we be able to make a living together?
2. EDUCATION: How much education have you had in the past and do you want to have more education in the future?
3. CAREER: How ambitious are you in your career field? How do you see yourself professionally, 5-10 years from now?
4. CHILDREN: How many children do you want or do you want none?
5. RELIGION/VALUE: What is your religion? What do you value?
6. GENDER ROLE: What do you think about chores and home responsibilities?
7. ADDICTIONS: Do you have any addictions like gambling, alcohol, gaming, working, drugs, etc?
8. SEXUAL DRIVE: How is your sexual drive? Do you have any expectations?
9. PRIORITIES: How will you prioritize your life? (i.e. working, spouse, child(s))
10. HEALTH: How is your health? Any medical conditions?
11. TRANSPORTATION: How will you use transportation? (i.e. car, bicycle, subway, bus)
12. FAMILY: Extended Families – How will we spend holidays, birthdays, other events? (Who, what, where, when)
13. HOBBIES: Do you have any particular hobbies or activities that you take part in?
14. OTHER TOPICS: Do you want any pets? What is your point of view on the topic politics? (Any other questions that you would like to ask your partner)
15. CULTURE: How will we deal with our cultural differences? (option)

The base of every relationship must be set up well to create a long-lasting, non-destructive relationship. The questions listed below may show you how well your groundwork between the two is set up.
– Do you trust your mate to be loyal to you and in general? (Trust is the foundation of every relationship)
– Do you love him/her? If its arranged marriage (still happens today) do you believe love can grow with respect?
– Are you understanding of your partner and can you tolerate your partner’s negative traits?
– Are you two compatible? (i.e. sports, music, movies) Compatibility can go a long way.

If you and your partner need pre-marital counselling or help, don’t hesitate to contact us at KMA Therapy 🙂

Have a great one!

By: Kimberly Moffit

 

4 Important Ways to Cultivate a Deeper Emotional Connection in your Relationship

Learning-disabilities-toronto-psychologistPerhaps you are enjoying the freshness of a new relationship. Everything seems so exciting and romantic. Maybe you want to start laying the foundation for something potentially more serious. Without leaving behind the fun and playfulness, how do we start connecting on a deeper emotional level? Everyone knows that communication is one of the primary ingredients of a successful relationship. How do you specifically utilize our communication skills to create a deeper bond? Here are some important ways to nourish your relationship and deepen your emotional connection.

Actively Listen

Proper listening is at the heart of successful communication. Do you really listen when your partner talks to you? It is not only important to be focused and give your partner your full attention but the best communication comes from participating actively while listening. When your partner is speaking to you, practice active listening by:

· Watching your partner’s body language and gestures

· Making a conscious effort to hear the message your partner is communicating

· Paraphrase or restate what you hear so that you are able to confirm with him/her that you understand what he/she is saying.

Active listening will help you get to know you partner’s personality as a whole. The more you actively listen, the more you will understand and be able to strengthen the emotional connection.

Empathize

Empathy is the ability to recognize, share and understand the feelings of another person. Do you have an idea of how your partner is feeling most of the time? Practicing empathy leads to a better understanding of your partner’s perspective. This allows you to learn more about how your partner thinks and feels and what moods and patterns they experience therefore opening a door into their emotional tendencies. To share empathy with your partner it is necessary to share feelings and emotions associated with specific experiences. Sometimes open-ended questions are needed to explore unexpressed emotions:

· What was it like for you when….

· Tell me more about what was going on for you when….

· What were you experiencing when…

Empathy allows you to be present with your partner and actively show that you care. Empathy also lets you to be supportive when your partner is experiencing negative situations, thoughts and emotions.

Appreciate

Showing appreciation is a way of displaying affection verbally. This is just as important as showing affection physically. What do you value about your partner? Do you thank your partner for his or her positive qualities? It is an important part of communication to verbally show your appreciation. Small expressions of gratitude and politeness such as saying please and thank you go a long way. Frequent compliments and flirtation are nice ways to keep the spark in a relationship going too.

· Thank you for ….

· It means a lot to me that you….

· I love when you….

Self- Disclose

To have a good emotional connection in a relationship you must be able to self-disclose. This allows your partner into your world and lets him/her truly get to know the “real” you while gradually sharing your vulnerabilities.

Examples of this type of self-disclosure include:

· Telling stories and experiences from your childhood

· Sharing your dreams and passions

· Talking about the significant people in your life

· Explaining some of your fears

Proper communication has the power to create strong feelings of trust, love, bonding and satisfaction in your relationship.

Of course, for a relationship to be successful you should be receiving all of the above from your partner. If you find yourself practicing the above list without much in return, it might be time to reevaluate the relationship.

By: Danielle Taylor

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