larissa's blog

Never Too Late: Grandparents Enhancing Their Parenting Skills

Larissa Dann Blog Post 7th January, 2017

‘I’m going to be looking after my grandchildren soon, when their parents go back to work.  It’s been so long since I was a parent of little kids - I’d like to know what’s changed.’  This was a query I heard a number of times as a telephone counsellor on a parent helpline.  Then there was this. ‘I’ve been given care of my grandchild.  I’m worried.  I don’t want to make the same mistakes again.’  And this. ‘I’m looking after my grandchildren, but I feel so alone.  How can I meet others doing the same thing?’

When Your Child Leaves Home: Some Pitfalls and Positives of Electronic Communication

Larissa Dann Blog Post 21  December 2106                             Image: Shutterstock

I’ve been seduced by Technology and its offspring, Electronic Communication and the Internet.  I’ve been tempted by the offer to save time, enticed by the convenience and ease of use, lured by the promise of instant gratification.

There is, however, a cost to my embracing of texting in its many electronic forms.  I wonder whether my reliance on these media is reducing the quality of connection with my young adult child.

Teaching Children Skills to Peacefully Resolve Conflict

by Larissa Dann Blog post 10th November 2015 (updated 6th December, 2016).  Adapted from ‘Sorting Sibling Squabbles

At the end of my son’s pre-school year, his teacher came up to have a chat.

“Larissa” she said “Normally, my assistant and I spend a lot of time in the cubby house sorting out squabbles between children.  This year, we spent much less time dealing with fighting children.  We discovered that your son was mediating the arguments.  We watched him say things like “Do you have any ideas about how you both can be happy?” and then the children would get on and play”.

You could have knocked me down with a feather!  At that time, my son was the only child of a single mother.  I was a big fan of Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.), and was attempting to use these gentle parenting skills with him, as often as possible. The skills included no-lose (win-win) conflict resolution.

This blog helps you develop the peace making capacities of children. 

Learning To Parent Is As Important As Preparing For Birth

Larissa Dann 21 November, 2016 (updated 16 December 2016)                                 Image:Shutterstock

 

When I was pregnant I planned. I prepared for the birth by attending antenatal classes, where I learned about stages of labour, and how to breathe through pain. I thought I was ready . . . to have a baby. But was I ready to be a parent?

How A Parenting Course Helped Our Family. Stories from Parents Putting Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) into Practice.

Blog post Larissa Dann 10th November, 2016                            Image: Shutterstock

As a parent educator, I find coaching parents, carers and grandparents an indescribable privilege.  I meet people who love their children deeply, who have compassion, curiosity, humility, self-awareness, an eagerness to learn, and a sense of humour.  I meet people who may, at times, struggle with their role as a parent or carer.

Loss and Grief. Supporting Our Children When Dementia, Disease or Death Visits a Family

Larissa Dann 23rd October 2016

In western culture death, and diseases such as dementia and cancer, seem to be hidden away, not generally discussed – because ‘it won’t happen to us’.  Inevitably, though, the unthinkable will occur.  How can we help our children cope with loss and grief, when a loved relative starts to fail in mind or body, or dies?

In My Ideal World, This is How I’d Like To Communicate With My Teenage Daughter.

Blog post Larissa Dann.  17 October 2016                                  Shutterstock

Parenting a teenager can be tricky. On the one hand, there is the excitement, humour, passion and freshness of the emerging adult living with you.  On the other hand, there are the eye rolls, the ‘go away’s, (followed immediately by the ‘come here’s), and the silences.  How do you guide your teen gently to adulthood, when inside you might just want to scream?  How do you maintain a relationship of mutual respect?

P.E.T on a Page: a Summary of the Skills and Principles of Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.).

Larissa Dann 4th September, 2016

Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) is a gentle, peaceful parenting approach that helps develop a relationship of warmth and respect, between children and their parents or carers. Importantly, P.E.T does not use punishment and reward to change a child’s behaviour. In my opinion, the skills and philosophy of P.E.T underpin many modern parenting practices, including gentle, peaceful or attachment parenting.

The positive outcomes for children, parents and families who adopt the skills taught in P.E.T. are now, I believe, strongly backed by research and evidence. You can read more in ‘How the Evidence of Today Supports the Wisdom of Yesterday’, and read real stories from parents putting P.E.T into practice here.

My Day at an Election Booth: Why I Encourage My Kids to Vote. Democracy Rocks!

Blog post Larissa Dann 20 July, 2016                                          Image supplied by the AEC.

My weary eyes open to the dark of an early morning Saturday. Gulping a quick coffee, I douse the frosty car windows with warm water and leap in. Today is Election Day for the entire country, and I’m working at a voting booth.  I’m so excited!

The Danger of Taking Your Child’s Behaviour Personally.

Larissa Dann Blog Post 16 May 2016

My journey as a parent has required openness to new ideas, learning from my best teachers (my children), and a lot of personal reflection. Sometimes, the most unlikely of situations can offer opportunities for discovery.

My most recent light-bulb parenting moment was recognising the strong connection between me taking behaviour personally, and my anger.

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