3 Tips for Working with Teenagers


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

Rylaan Gimby

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

Rylaan Gimby

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

Rylaan Gimby

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

Rylaan Gimby

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

Rylaan Gimby

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

Rylaan Gimby

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

Launching Children Into Adulthood


student with the graduation gown and hat hug the parent in congratulation ceremony.

  This month, our eldest child turns 20. He is more or less “launched”, and watching him and his two younger siblings blossom into remarkable young adults has been a fabulous, rewarding, and challenging journey. As I reflect on the past 20 years, I have come up with seven keys to raising perfect little babies into good, decent, respectful people. … Read More

Childhood Resilience & The Role of Rhythm

Hello Websites

46955105 - little boy in a karate lesson

It recently occurred to me why my twelve-year-old son is so settled and calm after attending his karate class. Karate includes movement, pattern, and repetition. Karate provides a sense of rhythm. When we think of rhythm, images of music, drums, dancing, and marching bands are evoked. Rhythm is fun. However, this concept has a much deeper meaning in the role … Read More

Talking To Children About Tragedy


sad teenager looking through car window

The recent tragedy in Las Vegas dominated the news, the water cooler talk, the social media feeds. As the events unfolded, and in the days following, I thought often of what to tell my children, how to ensure I didn’t scare them, and how to make sure they received correct information from a trusted source. I suspect I am not … Read More