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.

The Moment I Missed My Son’s Graduation - Because I was Too Busy Recording It

Larissa Dann Blog post 6th May, 2016

Do you find yourself whipping out your phone or camera at every opportunity, ready to record those myriad of unique events in your child’s life?  I did. Now my child is a young adult, I look back and reflect. I love the memories that my photos evoke. At the same time, I am reminded of what I missed.

Fear or Regard – Why Do Our Children Respect Us?

Larissa Dann blog post 26 April 2016    Image courtesy Shutterstock

“Shouldn’t we be teaching our children to respect us?” said a father in a session of my parenting class.  “I certainly respected my father – I always did what he said. How can you get a child to respect you if you don’t use punishment or rewards?”

Whoa. A parent was confronting me with a question that had hovered in my sub-conscious for years, but which I had not examined because it was too difficult, too challenging.  What was ‘respect’? How would I answer him?

I teach, and try to live by, an approach to parenting called Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.).  When I write or speak about P.E.T., I summarise the course as ‘helping parents and children to develop a relationship of mutual respect’.  I emphasise that P.E.T. differentiates itself because it helps parents avoid the use of rewards and punishment.

Now I was faced with a vexed question: “Are there different types of respect, and why do I think it is important in parenting?” .  Read on for the full article.

A Tail Of Furstration: Would P.E.T. Parenting Skills Work With My Pets? (Was I Barking Mad?)

Larissa Dann

This is a tale of two dogs and one owner, who, in the depths of desperation, tried to bring her parenting skills to bear on her pets. Sad, I know.  What drove her to this state of affairs? And what was the outcome?

Parenting Children, Caring for Parents: A Job Description.

Larissa Dann

‘Sandwich generation’ refers to people who are bringing up children (typically adolescents) while also caring for their aging parents. At the moment I’m the vegemite in that sandwich, my time and energy thinly spread between my parents, my children, and occasionally my long-suffering partner.

Avoiding the Phrase 'Makes Me', and What to Say Instead.

Blog post by Larissa Dann 17 November 2015, on Gordon Training International         Photo courtesy Shutterstock

We use the phrase “makes me” in situations where we are impacted by things our children do – by their actions, or their behaviour.  Often, we’ll say, “makes me” with the best of intentions – we just want our children to know how we feel.

My question is: does my child’s action make me feel something? Or do I feel an emotion in response to my child’s behaviour?  Am I a passive victim of their behaviour, or will I actively own my feelings about their behaviour?

I think there can be hidden consequences when we use “makes me” with our children. Read on for the full article.

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