10 surprising ways rewards can backfire

10 surprising ways rewards can backfire

It was one of those proud mama moments. I was watching my little son standing at the sink with a group of adult volunteers, wiping dishes with a tea towel and chattering away (probably inviting them to play science trivia with him or explaining the merits of his...
How to avoid behaviour bear traps

How to avoid behaviour bear traps

Here’s a ridiculous question: would you rather be treated for a bear trap injury, or learn how to avoid one in the first place? It’s a gruesome image, but when I think about some of the most upsetting behavioural problems parents face, it seems pretty apt. When a big...
Mother’s Day: Messy Edition

Mother’s Day: Messy Edition

A lavender card, and some tender words scrawled in crayon. A croissant balanced on a tray, a fresh flower, and a bud vase. When you imagine a proper Mother’s Day, is this what you see? Does your heart ache a little at the thought of this Instagram-worthy display,...

Stop to savour this heroic moment. Maybe you got clocked in the ear with a flying shoe, and you took a deep breath instead of saying the choice word that came to mind. Maybe you smiled and muttered some reassuring words as you mopped a full glass of water off your...
Don’t blame yourself when anger hits

Don’t blame yourself when anger hits

Don’t blame yourself when you start losing your temper. Do this instead. An extra-hard kick to the back of your chair. Your child’s voice shouting: “I don’t care!”  Your great-grandmother’s favourite teacup smashed on the floor. One moment, you’re just annoyed, and...
What truly motivates my child?

What truly motivates my child?

I’m stuck. I can’t persuade him. She won’t listen. She just doesn’t care. As parents, we want to do our absolute best to help our kids. We want them to learn how to get along with others, and make the most of their opportunities. Unfortunately, that can be...

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