larissa's blog

When My Baby Sprouts A Beard. The Bitter-Sweet Of Waving ‘Good Luck’ To My Child Moving Overseas.

Larissa Dann

I gaze at my son across the table. His lean face concentrates on the screen in front of him, the lower half of his face covered carefully in just-the-right-length male fuzz. He looks up and his blue eyes pierce mine, trusting and innocent in their expectations of our relationship. His tenor voice fills me in on the current difficulty he is having booking a flight.

My child. My boy. My young man. My son.

I am as awed now as when I first met this person newly emerged from my body.

When Cancer Touches Someone You Know

Larissa Dann

When someone you know has had cancer, please be mindful. There is never really a ‘had’ when cancer is involved. ‘Had’ implies finished, final, gone.

‘I had cancer’ is not like ‘I had a cold’.

Being in remission is not the same as being cured.

My Phone and Me - A Story of Despair and Discovery

Larissa Dann

In this story I discover the depth of my attachment to an inanimate object (my smart phone), and through its loss regain some perspective.

Putting Peaceful Parenting into Practice with Very Young Children.

Larissa Dann

‘You can’t reason with a very young child. The only way to make them change their behaviour is to use rewards or punishment!’ These are sentiments I often hear, or read, when there is a discussion on disciplining small children.

However, my experience as both a parent, and parent educator, is that when given the chance, young children can respond impressively to empathy, explanation and reasoning. They can even join us in problem solving.

Sometimes, I wonder if we, unintentionally, restrict the ability of our very young children to show us their full potential, because we are hampered by developmental expectations, or the expectations and judgements of others.

The Hardest Lesson: Helping Our Young Ones Learn From Their Mistakes

Larissa Dann 28 May 2017

How often have we found ourselves gritting our teeth when our child says:

‘It wasn’t my fault’?

‘It wasn’t my fault that the last piece of chocolate smeared itself all over my face.’

‘It wasn’t my fault that those pretty pictures suddenly appeared on the lounge chair’

'It wasn't my fault that the dishes piled up in my room - you just expect me to do everything!'

Frustrating, huh?

Parenting Without Rewards or Punishment. Podcast with Larissa Dann.

Wondering whether it really is possible to bring up responsible, caring children without using rewards and punishment?  Or what you can do to help you and your children have a mutually respectful, peaceful relationship? Listen to this podcast by Casey O'Roarty of Joyful Courage, where Casey and I discuss practical parenting skills and examples, and why avoiding punishment and rewards is beneficial in the long term.

In this podcast, I share my experience of raising my children with the skills and principles of Parent Effectiveness Training (PET), supplemented by feedback from parents who have attended my PET classes.

‘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.

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