larissa's blog

‘Phubbing’ And Other Wisdoms: A Family Forming Memories

Larissa Dann 25th April 2017 (updated 27th April 2017)

Four people (three generations) in a car for five days, travelling over 2,000 kilometres along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. This was our family, investing time in laying down memories for the future, while fulfilling one of the items on my Dad’s bucket list.

Fathers Participating In Parenting Groups – My Experience With Parent Effectiveness Training (PET)

By Larissa Dann. 9 April, 2017

Dads (fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and foster parents) have a reputation for not attending parenting classes.  My experience as a parent educator, however, belies this stereotyping of men as reluctant starters in learning how to parent. I’ve found fathers attending my courses to be enthusiastic advocates of the skills and approach in Parent Effectiveness Training (PET), even writing testimonials on the effect of the course on their lives.

‘One Day’ May Be Too Late. Why We Need To Thank Our Friends And Family Now.

By Larissa Dann.  5th April, 2017.

A week before writing this blog, a dear friend of mine died suddenly and unexpectedly. Her death has shaken me to my core.

As I sat writing for her memorial service, I read and re-read my final paragraph.

‘Thank you.  For everything.  For being your complex self, and a supportive friend. I’m so sorry I never thought to say this to you earlier.  Thank you.’

Questions For Your Parents: Encouraging Their Reflections On A Life Lived

By Larissa Dann.

1 April, 2017

(printable version of questions here)

 

My father recently celebrated his 85th birthday.  For me, the occasion was particularly poignant.  He has metastatic cancer, and has had two hip replacements, pneumonia and numerous other hospital stays over the last 18 months.  I did not think he would make the distance.

Five Reasons I Won’t Virtually Track My Child

Larissa Dann 6th March 2017

One balmy summer evening I sat amongst other parents in the blue school library, fanning my face as I cooled myself physically - and emotionally. I was attending a high school information night, and my blood was boiling.

I learned that our school had a virtual system that would allow us, as guardians, to sign in to view our children’s work – to prowl through their essays, make edits, monitor progress, look at their emails.  And we could do this all without our children’s agreement.

Respectful Parenting: Helping To Immunise Against Narcissism?

Blog post by Larissa Dann  19th August 2014 (updated 9 February 2017)        Image used under license Shutterstock

Narcissism seems to be the topic of the day.  But what is narcissism?  And (the big question) - can this personality disorder be prevented?  Could a mutually respectful parenting approach reduce the prevalence of narcissism in our society, and instead help our children grow up as empathic, nurturing human beings?

Parenting Without Punishment Or Reward . . . Really?

Blog post Larissa Dann 23 January 2017                  Image:Shutterstock

Warm, pliable and soft, caked in afterbirth, my newborn snuggled onto my chest. As he locked his wise eyes onto mine, I discovered a love unimaginable, a future unknowable. A new person breathed gently on my skin, and I was overwhelmed. For the next couple of decades, I would be responsible for helping him meet many of his needs – his physical and emotional needs, his nutrition, his safe passage through life.  How would I bring up this future citizen of the world?

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. 

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