All posts by Drs. Carolina Sleijffers

‘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

(Almost) Back To School!

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Although the majority of children are still very much enjoying their summer holidays, you may want to consider the following: In order to prevent a ‘mini-jetlag’ during the first ever so exciting and important day (and week) of the new school year, you may want to start working towards your kids’ regular bedtimes a week prior to this day (even when they say “I’m not tiiiired yet!!”). Having them go to bed 10-15 minutes earlier each night for a week will make all the difference! Should they be sleeping in, this would be the perfect time to have them start using their alarm clocks again and/or start waking them up earlier. P.S. Apologies to the Dutch kids and parents in the Amsterdam region.. Next year, this will be posted a week earlier!

Time to Talk in televisieprogramma ‘Business Class’

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Zondag 4 januari 2015 om 10.30 uur op RTL 7 zal ik bij Harry Mens aan tafel plaatsnemen om te vertellen over het ‘waarom’ en ‘hoe’ achter Time to Talk.

“Iedere zondag bespreekt presentator Harry Mens de actualiteit op zakelijk, politiek en financieel-economisch gebied met bekende en minder bekende gasten.” (Bron: http://www.business-class.nl/nl/uitzendingen/artikel/q/onderwerp/time_to_talk/id/1090).