Behaviour Matters

Creative Expression with Children and Teens

The creative process is a powerful tool for self-exploration and expression. Art Therapy is for all who seek an outlet, and a way of expressing those internal thoughts and feelings that may be difficult to verbalize. The connection and relationship between the tactile art-making process, combined with discussion with a professional Art Therapist is what makes this process unique and meaningful.

Raising Confident Girls

Girls in 2018 face an interesting dichotomy. They are told that there is nothing they can't do professionally while simultaneously being judged first on their looks and their abilities second. The message that society is sending is confusing at best, creating a scene in which many girls face the never ending dilemma of being told to speak up and be themselves, while all the while being constantly reminded of the elusive beauty ideals that are never quite in reach. How do we as professionals, parents and adults even BEGIN to face this? Well perhaps we can take solace in at least a few of these strategies.

4 Ways to Teach Emotional Regulation

It's four thirty pm and your nine year old walks off the bus and through the door. Immediately, she kicks off her boots, throws off her coat, and proceeds to let out a blood curling scream. Before you even have a chance to react, she runs immediately to the couch and sinks her face into it, proclaiming that you can't 'make her' do her homework. As a parent, what would you do? Tell your child that homework is nonnegotiable and that they MUST do it? Demand that they stand up and put their boots away properly and hang up their coat? Perhaps there might be an instinct to take away a privilege in an effort to set boundaries and show your child that this type of behavior will NOT be tolerated. But it's clear that something is fueling your child's anger that happened long before she stepped in the door.

Five Ways to Teach Your Kids To: Use Your Words

Isn't it funny how our knee jerk reaction is to tell children to "use their words" when they are having a tantrum when that is the VERY thing that they are having difficulty with? As parents, caregivers, and helping professionals we are SO tuned into the idea of wanting to 'fix' the situation immediately for the child that we forget a fundamental detail: many young children don't have the words to describe how they are feeling, so they tend to 'show us' their anger. As adults, our role is to act as 'translators' and teach children to convert their confusing feelings into tangible emotions with names.

Deep Breathing Techniques

When you teach your child “calm breathing”, you are using a technique that works to slow down his/her breathing, combatting upset, stressed and anxious feelings. Teaching a child to use calm breathing to regulate their emotions is important because it shows them how to change their breathing to minimize the effects of their emotions. Your child can learn to change short, shallow breaths that can cause hyperventilation to deep, long breaths that help create a feeling of internal calmness. Short, shallow breaths tend to make feelings of anxiety and anger worse, hence calm breathing can give your child a sense of control and relief. Once your child learns these methods and techniques, they can eventually regulate their breathing and ease anxiety and anger on their own, as well as minimize the intensity of “big emotions”.

4 Tips on Teaching Problem Solving

The scene is all too familiar. You come home from work only to find your child in tears about something that might seem trivial to you, but is everything to them. You brace yourself for the story, willing yourself to not show an exasperated expression on your face. Or maybe you feel upset by the story, wanting to jump right in and fix the problem for your child. It can be hard to wrap your mind around the idea of allowing them to fix the problem themselves, but doing so will pay in dividends. Here are four ways that teach problem solving skills in a way that is palatable and allows children to feel a sense of autonomy and resiliency.

Signs & Strategies of Cyberbullying

In today’s day and age, our children and youth are growing up immersed in digital media where they are exposed to media in all forms such as TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets and other screens. While social media allows children and teens opportunities to be connected by creating and sharing information, navigating the ever-changing platforms can be challenging for both the children and their parents.

Stress Management

Now more than ever, stress runs extremely high in schools. Teenagers are very aware of the mounting expectations of prospective universities, and the necessity for some to work while in high school in order to afford the high costs of daily life. We see teens every day look overtired, angry, and otherwise anxious but many of us feel paralyzed in terms of how we can find our way into their world. It can be easy to feel as though a teenager is just being defiant, without considering the steps that can be taken in terms of "lightening the load" of their stress and working together for a positive future.

Coping with Grief

Losing a loved one is hard for everyone, but it can be particularly upsetting and confusing for children and youth. Children’s response to grief and loss tends to vary according to their age, developmental level, cultural beliefs, and past experiences.

3 Ways to Calm an Anxious Child

Here are three techniques that you can use to calm an anxious child that promote collaboration and problem solving capacities as well as help children to feel less overwhelmed by the feelings that they have.

How to Avoid Self-Sabotaging

Is your child their own worst enemy? Do they practice in self-destructive behavior and self-sabotage themselves, against there better judgment and self-interest? Many of us have a critical voice; this voice does not help us create positive self-worth or a positive sense of self. This critical voice turns against us, it feels like its anti-us, it makes us doubt and question our capabilities. This ultimately makes us avoid our goals and keeps us from working towards what we really dream of and desire.

Making Meaningful Choices

How many opportunities does your child have to make meaningful choices during an average day? As adults, we often complain about the number of decisions we need to make each day, and may feel overwhelmed by the burden of our responsibilities.

Take Control of Your Time, So it Doesn't Control You

Do you find yourself asking why are there never enough hours in the day? We all have the same 24 hours, but some people seem to get a lot more done than others. Good time management is the reason some people are so much more efficient. The highest achievers manage their time extremely well, and you can too.

20 Alternatives to Telling Children to Calm Down

A wise one once said: "Never in the history of calming down did telling someone to calm down actually cause them to calm down." What to do instead? Here are twenty things you can say to an anxious child instead.

ASD & Social Skills

ASD & Social Skills

Talking to Teens about Dating

Talking to Teens about Dating

5 Tips for Parents Who Have A Child With ADHD

5 Tips for Parents Who Have A Child With ADHD

3 Signs Your Child Might Be Battling A Mental Health Issue

Mental health can affect anyone, anywhere, at any age - and according to Stats Canada, mental health issues affect 1.2 million children and youth in Canada. It can range from anxiety to ADHD, poor emotional regulation and depression. At Behaviour Matters, all of our students, clients and family members are affected by it. Do you know what symptoms and signs to look out for in your child or teen? Below are 3 signs to look out for when considering if mental health could be a factor.