“How to raise successful kids – without overparenting”

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“By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren’t actually helping. At least, that’s how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case…”



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Workshop leader: Carolina Sleijffers MSc, founder of Time To Talk

“Mission Possible ??
As young children, most of you thought anything and everything was possible until a more ‘serious’ life began. There was still room for curiosity, creativity and day-dreaming, but soon enough homework and grades (and nagging parents 😉 were on the menu as well. On top of that, you’re growing up in a society that mostly teaches you to feel comfortable with the familiar way of doing things, leading to most people not daring to Think Big.

But what if you have this great ‘unrealistic’ idea? Do you let go of it, because society doesn’t believe you can do it? Or do you hang on to it, just knowing you can make it happen?

By joining this workshop, you’ll learn how to stay in touch with your gut feeling that always knows best, so that you get to live your what-if-anything-is-possible story!”


Article for ToTen Newspaper: “How to survive puberty?”, by Drs. Carolina Sleijffers

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Google ‘puberty/books/parents’ and you get about 1.440.000 hits. This is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. Puberty can be quite a confusing and taxing time for all. A bit of extra guidance will therefore be welcome for most parents.

But what about the adolescents themselves? How are they supposed to ‘survive’ their parents, who, at times, seem to think and want the complete opposite of what they have in mind?


‘The power of open-mindedness’

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Due to busy lifestyles, high demands, massive amounts of (digital) input and poor diets, we tend to take ‘short cuts’ to keep things manageable. I think it’ll serve you -no matter what you do- but especially when working with big little miracles like kids (whether you’re a parent, auntie, teacher, psychologist), to try to keep an open mind despite the current circumstances, by taking these into account as well, instead of looking at a child in a vacuum.

Whenever problematic behaviour occurs, try to ask yourself why it may occur instead of judging/labeling it straight away (‘because there’s already too much on your plate.. which.. to be honest.. isn’t or shouldn’t become the child’s problem).

Be your own devils’ advocate and try to see the child in the environment it grows up in, as well as seeing what his/her strengths are, next to the behaviour you wish to see less of.

Behaviour, especially when they’re still tiny, is a wonderful tool for kids to express themselves. If it’s (very) problematic, the child (and you) may need high quality support, not poor quality limited thinking, to get to the core of the situation and to a long term solution.

Self-reflect every once in a while. What can you do differently that will impact this situation positively? Focus more on the good? Ignore more of the annoying but not necessarily ‘to be corrected’ behaviour? Go to bed earlier?

It may be somewhat confrontational but taking a closer look at yourself, often gives you a clearer picture of the child(ren) around you.

‘The Joys of Doing Nothing’

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“It starts off innocently: a playdate or two for your toddler, maybe a gym class once week. By the time he’s in second grade, he’s taking art lessons and playing pee-wee baseball and soccer. A few years later he makes the travel soccer team, which conflicts at times with basketball. But he still manages to squeeze in Boy Scout meetings and saxophone lessons before tackling his homework. You cheer him on during games, even though it may mean sitting in the bleachers, cell phone in hand, as you field calls from your office. You joke that you feel more at home on the road than in your living room. In fact, you are running as fast as you can toward that elusive goal of raising a well-rounded child.”

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/creativity-play/joys-doing-nothing

“How ‘helicopter parenting’ is ruining America’s children” by author Julie Lythcott-Haims

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“With the best of intentions, we’re fostering dependance. Parents are trying to do their best but have gotten a bit misguided about what our long-term goal as parents should be, which is to put ourselves out of a job and raise our kids to have the wherewithal to fend for themselves.”
– Julie Lythcott-Haims

Interview and article: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-morrison-lythcott-haims-20151028-column.html