Changing Dietary Habits for Fussy Eaters

In a recent post on our blog, we discussed the links between diet and mental health.

The nutritional content of the foods we consume (or lack of) have shown to have varying impacts on our cognitive processes including memory, and our experiences of anxiety, depression and happiness.

Many parents are accustomed to fussy eaters in the family…

But some are more stubborn than others, and some show genuine aversions to specific (often healthy) foods.

So how do we get deal with fussy eaters, and encourage them to consume more nutrient-rich foods, for both their mental and physical wellbeing? 

Read more…

How to Become a Better Listener

A concept that comes up a lot on this blog and in our dealings with children and parents is the importance of listening. 

Really listening to your children is an integral way to build or maintain a healthy and mutually respectful relationship.

And especially for adolescents, having someone to talk to openly and honestly about the challenges you are facing can make all the difference…

For parents, actively listening to your children helps you to understand where they’re coming from in all matter of issues, from bullying to problematic behaviour or depression and anxiety

And this can help you to make better choices in your interactions with them going forward.

But how do we know if we’re being good listeners? 

And how can we become better listeners?

Read more…

The Side-Effects of Teenage Sleepiness

We all know what a bad night sleep can do to our mood and ability to function throughout the day.

But for working adults, we’re generally forced to self-motivate and get on with things, often with the help of caffeine.

For teenagers, on the other hand, sleepiness can have more ongoingly detrimental consequences at school.

Read more…

Are You Monitoring Your Own Technology Usage?

Are you concerned that your child is addicted to technology, or spends too much time looking at screens?

You may want to take a look at your own digital usage…

A recent study in the US found that parents spend on average 9 hours and 22 minutes a day looking at digital screens.

And only an hour and a half of that time was for work!

Read more…

Why Parents Should Feel Good About Saying ‘NO’ to Their Children

Saying ‘no’ frequently to your young children may be the opposite of your parental instincts.

But according to Georgia Manning ‑ counsellor, psychotherapist and the director of Wellbeing For Kids ‑ saying ‘no’ to your kids is one of the best things you can do for them.

Manning puts this down to the fact that many parents have shied away from saying ‘no’ to their children because of the ‘self-esteem movement’, where anything that could potentially damage a child’s self-esteem was frowned upon.

But as a result, ‘the pendulum has swung too far’.

‘We’ve gone from not being emotionally attuned with our children to thinking that protecting them from any discomfort or things that they don’t want to do is a way of showing love.’

Read more…

6 Things to Do if You Don’t Like Your Children’s Friends

We just posted on the blog some Dos and Don’ts of getting involved in your children’s friendships…

But what do you do if you just really don’t like one of their friends?

As a parent, there is a strong likelihood that your feelings are coming from a gut instinct that the friend in question is not a good influence on your child, in one way or another.

But as we discussed in the last post, the best thing you can do for your child is to help them navigate their friendships, rather than taking control over them.

The latter would not only be detrimental to your child’s social life and skills, but also to your relationship with them.

So then how do we deal with our own feelings towards our child’s friends?

Read more…

Should Parents Get Involved in Their Kid’s Friendships?

All parents want to protect their children from the challenges that life throws at them.

And navigating the complicated and highly emotional world of friendship-forming is no different.

But like most ongoing processes of life and growing up, there’s only so much you can do to support their journey, and getting too involved can often do more harm than good.

‘Parents need to view these situations as opportunities to teach their child valuable life lessons‘, says friendship expert Dana Kerford.

Read more…

VCE Motivation: Bribery, Threats and Restrictions, but at what cost?

Our staff psychologist Christina Rigoli was quoted on page 3 of The Age today, discussing the tactics parents use to motivate their kids to study.

Among them — bribing with $18,000 holidays, threats of boarding school, and house-wide technology freezes!

The parents confessing to these ‘motivation tactics’ said their efforts paid off, but this is more a matter of chance than formula.

The key distinction in this equation is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to motivation…

What may work in encouraging one child could backfire and have the opposite affect on another.

So how do you know what the right method of motivation is for your child?

Read more…

Does Your Child have a Technology Addiction?

We recently addressed the issue of ‘screen time’ in children’s and adolescents on the blog.

Most of us are guilty of becoming increasingly reliant on our telephones and computers for communicating, working, paying bills and even getting from A to B…

But there is a difference between reliance on technology and addiction to technology.

And if you think your child may be in the latter category, the sooner you address it the better.

So what are the signs of a technology addiction, in children in particular?

Read more…

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