Self-regulation is Adult Business

Parents often ask me for help in getting their kids to “self regulate.” These parents report that their eight year-old tells them he hates them, that their eleven year-old slammed the door after a rough day at school or that their five year-old has tantrums that last an hour. Firstly, I need to make this…

Read more...

Looking for More Nuance than Secure/Insecure/Avoidant?

Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s model of the six attachment roots provides us with a rich understanding of how attachment is meant to unfold. If all is going well, this can unfold in the first six years of life with each year opening up the capacity to attach at a deeper level, but for many children (and…

Read more...

Is Your Child Armored?

Thank goodness for defenses. While we sometimes view defenses in an adversarial way (“We’ve got to tear down those defenses!”), they actually exist for very good reasons. Their job is to protect us from vulnerability that would be too much for us to bear (in general, or in that moment). And, also, there is a…

Read more...

Adolescence is a Bridge

A common way to conceptualize adolescence is as a phase or a stage. These words imply that it is something that will inevitably pass and that adulthood will come; an understandably hopeful and comforting thought to us parents of teens. These words imply that if we, as parents, can somehow sit back, hold on and…

Read more...

Playing with Alarm

Tummy aches and monsters in the closet. Headaches and risky behaviour. Frequent hand-washing and repetitive behaviors. These are all manifestations of alarm. Thinking about this list of manifestation probably doesn’t make any of us feel very playful, however play is often just what is needed to keep our children’s alarm system healthy and well-functioning.  …

Read more...