3 Tips to Connect with Your Child

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“Wow, he’s finally getting out of the house for the weekend,” my husband and I remarked to each other this morning, after our almost 15-year-old son left for his high school band camp. This isn’t a statement I expected to make when I had teenagers. Our society not only emphasizes the autonomous nature of adolescence, but goes as far as … Read More

Teens and Technology: 6 Strategies to Curb the Compulsion

Luke Whitmore

My parents are so stupid. I can’t believe they are making me meet with you. This f..king sucks. They think I am addicted to video games. She’s on her phone all the time! So begin many of my initial meetings with families.  Parental and caregiver concerns over their child’s relationship with technology is a very common theme in my practice … Read More

4 Tips for Navigating Family Conflict

Luke Whitmore

Conflict is usually seen as negative or something to be avoided. There is even a myth that there is no place for conflict in a happy or “functional” family. However, the truth is that conflict exists, and it can be a healthy part of engaging with others. While poorly handled conflict can break ties, decrease trust, and damage communication, conflict … Read More

3 Tips for Working with Teenagers

cindy

In my household this school year, both of my kids are entering pivotal times in their young lives. My son is in grade 12 and will be expected to make some big decisions about what he will be doing with his life post-graduation. My daughter, however, is in grade 9 and is at the very beginning of her high school … Read More

10 Keys to Building a Strong Family

Luke Whitmore

A strong family is not just the sum of its parts. Like an orchestra, it has synergy when all work together. My three children all play a stringed instrument. They have spent countless hours practicing and performing with the community orchestra. The conductor centres her attention on what the group can create when they come together. My children also take … Read More

Anxious Children – 4 Ways to Help

Luke Whitmore

I am a mother to two sons, Jackson, age 11, and Jesse, age 12.  In the early years of my social work career, I worked in child welfare and children/youth mental health as a crisis response counsellor.  As both parent and professional, I care deeply about the mental health and overall well-being of children and youth in our families and … Read More

How To Talk About Sex: 10 Tips From Youth

Luke Whitmore

portrait of joyful father and son fishing together on lake

I’ve always aimed for transparent and honest conversations with my children. When they were younger, I felt secure in talking about almost anything. When it came to sexuality, we named body parts correctly, looked at anatomy books and discussed the bodily changes they could anticipate. Then the game changed. The rules changed. And my children changed. Puberty arrived! What they … Read More

Children Under Construction – Supporting Development

Luke Whitmore

When we lose our understanding of how a child develops, we no longer provide or support appropriate opportunities for learning. I think back to my own daughter, who is now almost 14 years old. Ten years ago, I was the volunteer soccer coach for our community association team. The practices we had once a week were a lot of fun. … Read More

Children and Trauma: Strategies for Supporting

Luke Whitmore

beautiful smiling girl with labrador dog on the grass

Dogs have long been considered our most faithful companions. I did not fully understand the rewards of being a dog owner until my son and daughter, at the time ages 13 and 10, convinced me it was time to find a canine companion. We decided to adopt the first dog we met through a local rescue agency. Enter Judy, a … Read More

5 Important Things to Know About Self-Injury

Luke Whitmore

young brazilian teenager sad and upset in bedroom

“What do I do now?” whispers the mom through her tears as the reality of what I have just disclosed begins to sink in.  Her daughter is cutting, and has been secretly doing so for months.  A combination of disbelief, panic, anger and despair ripple across her face. As a counselor, I find myself walking alongside the parents of youth … Read More