Adolescents, Young Adults

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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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