Resources for Parents and Caregivers
Whether struggling to support the behavioural or emotion needs of their child/loved one, or lost in a spiral of fear, shame, helplessness or hopelessness, parents and caregivers can absolutely still be the strongest allies on their loved one's journey to health. In this video, Dr. Adele Lafrance, outlines some of the key reasons why we want YOU. Even if you are feeling like you are the last one who should be helping.
In line with Emotion-Focused Family Therapy – an innovative and evidence-based treatment – our caregiving video series is now available to support caregivers interested in "prevention parenting" or who are struggling with the behavioural or emotional needs of their child/loved one. Viewers will be exposed to practical skills and techniques for advanced caregiving. Parents and caregivers will also be exposed to education and skills to manage their own emotional reactions - including feelings of burn-out, guilt and resentment.
Advanced Caregiving for Eating Disorders - 3-part Video Series
Are you the parent of a teenager or an adult child with an eating disorder? Is your spouse suffering? In this 2-part video series, caregivers will learn how to respond to some of the common statements that come up along the journey, including coaching scripts for meal support and symptom interruption.
Does your child—young or adult—suffer from anxiety, depression, substance use problems, an eating disorder, or other mental health concern? Do you struggle with their behavior and/or setting limits? Join Dr. Adele Lafrance for a caregiver workshop. For more information, including registration, click below.
Our Favourite Handouts
Is your child a super-feeler? A super-feeler has a very sensitive radar for emotion. They can pick up on your sadness, anger or stress, even when you’ve made a point not to talk about it. And when they experience emotions, they tend to be quite intense. Not surprisingly, it can be hard to be a super-feeler. Click here for more information and a handout for caregiver and loved one.
Are you in need of tips to increase your child's compliance to requests - no matter their age? Click here for a simple guide. Keep in mind, however, that validation is a necessary step and be sure to refer to the emotion coaching/validation resources to further refine your skills. Parents of younger ones - do you struggle to differentiate "normal" behavior from "acting-out" behavior? Click here for a great article on this very topic.
If you are struggling to respond to your child’s emotion in a way that reduces the intensity of their pain, but also leads to their eventual adoption of these strategies, click here for more information. You may also want to read this great article that describes the science of emotion processing in children using a simple analogy that you can share with your co-parent and child.
And if you're serious about getting started - click here for short-cuts and sentence starters.
Ready for the ultimate challenge in emotion coaching? Learn to validate your loved one's anger - especially if directed toward you. The ability to do so can be a powerful gateway to mental health. Click here for a handout to guide your efforts, or here for a parenting video on the Healing Power of Anger.
Dr. Janet Treasure and her colleagues have developed beautiful animal analogies to help identify parenting patterns that may require transformation. Remember – the goal is always to strive to become the St. Bernard in the face of your child's emotion and the Dolphin when guiding them through life and its challenges. Click here for more information.
Are you interested in transforming parenting patterns that may get in the way of your best efforts? Complete this self-assessment and determine where you can begin this process. First, download the file here. Then, place a checkmark where you fit on each of the lines with regard to the different parenting dimensions. Next, identify your relative extremes – in other words – the top 3 dimensions where you marked yourself the farthest from the middle. Then, try to identify one behavior that will help you to make your way closer to that middle. For example, if you never apologize, offer a sincere apology to one of your children. If you never criticize your children, make it a point to offer them constructive feedback. This can be a powerful tool to guide change in your family unit starting today.
Our Favourite Books
Dr. Brené Brown invites us on a journey to transform the lives of parents and children alike. Drawing on her 12 years of research on vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame, she presents ten guideposts to creating what she describes as "wholehearted" families where each of us can continually learn and grow as we reach our full potential
Dr. John Gottman explores the emotional relationship between parents and children, and offers insight into parenting styles and emotional self-awareness, including the steps to emotion coaching. Chapters also cover divorce, fathering, and age-based emotional development.
In this groundbreaking exploration of the brain mechanisms behind healthy caregiving, attachment specialist, Daniel A. Hughes and veteran clinical psychologist, Jonathan Baylin guide readers through the intricate web of neuronal processes, hormones, and chemicals that drive―and sometimes thwart―our caregiving impulses, uncovering the mysteries of the parental brain.
“No Bad Kids” provides a practical tool for parents who are anticipating or experiencing those critical years when toddlers are developmentally obliged to test the limits of our patience and love.
Focusing on the special role of the caregiver in recovery, this empowering guide offers parents practical, evidence-based, and theory-driven strategies for helping children to overcome anxiety, even if they resist treatment.
From birth or adoption to the empty nest, The Mother Dance teaches the basic lessons of motherhood: that we are not in control of what happens to our children, that most of what we worry about doesn't happen, and that our children will love us with all our imperfections if we can do the same for them.
Based on the latest research on brain development, Dr. Laura Markham’s approach is as simple as it is effective. Her message: Fostering emotional connection with your child creates real and lasting change. When you have that vital connection, you don’t need to threaten, nag, plead, bribe—or even punish.
Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Dr. Gabor Mate explore the cause for and impact of "peer orientation" - when children look to peers, rather than to adults for direction. Along with shedding light on the sources of breakdown of parental influence, they offer ways to re-connect with kids in order to reestablish a healthy caregiving relationship.
This book starts with one of our favourite concepts – we should help children deal with their emotions before jumping in "to fix". Oftentimes, strong emotions, especially negative ones, cannot be brushed aside or “fixed” by another. Instead, children need our help learning to deal with them and this book provides a framework to do so.
This book offers parents the practical tools they need to cope with conflict, encourage cooperation, reduce competition, and make it possible for children to experience the joys of their special relationships with one another.
Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson explain the new neuroscience about children's brains - how they are wired and mature. They make the information relatable and give tangible examples of how parents can support right and left brain integration, which helps foster vital growth for children's success.
Dr. Daniel Siegel explains how parents and teens alike can better understand the neurological changes that occur during adolescence (ages 12-24) in order to decrease conflict and form closer relationships.
Dan Siegel & Tina Payne
When facing challenges, unpleasant tasks, and contentious issues such as homework, screen time, food choices, and bedtime, children often act out or shut down, responding with reactivity instead of receptivity. But, our kids can be taught to approach life with openness and curiosity. Parents can foster their children’s ability to say yes to the world and welcome all that life has to offer, even during difficult times.
Defining the true meaning of the “d” word (to instruct, not to shout or reprimand), the authors explain how to reach your child, redirect emotions, and transform a meltdown into an opportunity for growth. By doing so, the cycle of negative behavior (and punishment) is essentially brought to a halt, as problem solving becomes a win/win situation.
Everyday Blessings remains one of the few books on parenting that embraces the emotional, intuitive, and deeply personal experience of being a parent, applying the groundbreaking "mind/body connection" expertise from global mindfulness leader, Jon Kabat-Zinn and his wife, Myla Kabat-Zinn.
Our Favourite Videos
Thich Nhat Hanh on Compassionate Listening
Thich Nhat Hanh on Compassionate Listening
"Validation wisdom with Phil Dun-empa-phy"
Brene Brown on Empathy
It's Not About the Nail
Dr. Gabor Mate - No two children have the same parent
Anger is a basic emotion experienced by all. Like every emotion, for anger to run its course, it needs to be expressed and then validated, and preferably by a trusted other. We are now just learning about the power of its role in mental health. For example, issues with anger can lead to an increased risk for symptoms of anxiety, depression, OCD and eating disorders - even self-harm behaviors and suicidality. Anger can also be used to transform problematic thoughts, urges and behaviors. As such, this webinar provides caregivers with a new framework and specific skills to respond to anger in order to harness its healing power. Strategies are also shared for those whose loved one's anger is easily accessible (read: overflowing) or beneath the surface (read: not sure if it's even there).
Learn to respond to “I give up”, “Nobody likes me” & “You love my sister more” and live to tell about it!
Inspired by Emotion-Focused Family Therapy – and with a dose of humor - this parenting webinar will provide you with education and skills to respond to these common scenarios - and from the comfort of your home. Want help in responding to eating disorder struggles? Visit our ED parenting webinars here. Find it useful? Click here to access the 3-part series at no charge.
Dr Adele Lafrance - co-developer of the EFFT model - writes and publishes a newsletter for caregivers interested in topics related to emotion, family, caregiving and mental health.