A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
Whether we like it or not, when we became parents, we became leaders. Children cant help but take their lead from the older people around them. Neuroscientists have proven this at a cellular level detecting microscopic mirror neurons in a child's brain that soak up the messages we give them and use it to build their nerve pathways for the future. And society demonstrates it at a macro level; we cannot help but be affected by the culture in which we live. For parents this can be a sobering thought!
As parent we cannot not influence. Frustrating sometimes isn't it! The good news is that when we make mistakes, we can show our disappointment and demonstrate that we are sorry for our actions. Being sorry for mistakes is an essential lifeskill our children need to see modelled. And the sunny-side of parenting is that forgiveness and acceptance is something you can practice too. Children do it well!
As parents we are not only leaders; we are learners too. And some of the best life lessons are taught to us by our own children.
Here is an ancient text (source unknown) that has helped me to become a better parent.
Watch you thoughts, they become your words
For tips on children's behaviour, download a free toolkit titled
Behaviour 10 Top Tips
A taste of the international state of children and families
We have just returned from a couple of weeks of meetings and conferences in Germany, Netherlands and Scotland. This trip was primarily a chance for Dawson to present an aspect of his PhD project at two international gatherings: the International Congress on Mentalization Based Treatment and the World Infant Mental Health Congress (over 1600 participants!). Attending these conferences also gave us valuable learning from leading practitioners and researchers from around the globe.
During our travels we came across some wonderful nature playgrounds in Berlin with lots of Dads out playing with their children. We thoroughly enjoyed time together - knowing our children were in the safe and loving care of grandparents. Thanks team family!
Now back in Perth we are more eager than ever to provide support to families so children can have the best possible start to life.
Dawson & Sharon
Is your child calm, focussed and learning? Children are exposed to all sorts of stimulation in their environment, both positive and challenging. How your child deals with their environment depends on your child's capacity to self-regulate. Stimulation can come in all shapes and sizes that stir a different responses in a child's thinking, feeling and body. For example, one child might find loud music energising, another might find it overwhelming. Even though a child may be raised in a similar setting as a sibling; they may well have differing abilities to understand and manage strong emotions and impulses.
Protecting children from excessive stress and helping them to manage strong emotions provides a foundation for healthy development and learning. Check out this short video by Dr Jack Shonkoff.
We designed the Expecting Masterclass to give pregnant couples a crash course in what to expect when they get home with their baby. Another important part of the Masterclass is the opportunity to reflect on early child development and the critical parent-infant relationship. A key mechanism of building this relationship and fostering optimum brain development is sensitive responsivness - described in this video as 'serve & return'. This is just one of the messages we explore in the 1 day Masterclass.
There is something very special about the way a child experiences the excitement and adventure of a relationship with their Dad.
When I see a child with sleep problems, the first question I ask is; does your child snore? Many parents are surprised, not knowing the link between snoring and night-waking.
Let me explain. Snoring in small children is most commonly caused by swollen tonsils and adenoids. During the child's deep sleep when they are most rested...
Here Maggie Dent does a great job at explaining why some children have angry outbursts after school. Its clear, accurate and hits the spot. Well done Maggie!