Wood's Homes Blog

Part Two: Managing the hard parts of the holidays

December 22, 2019

Although these posts use examples from the upcoming Christian holiday of Christmas, the same ideas can be applied to any holiday you celebrate.  All holidays have certain things in common - celebration, tradition, food and family.  Feel free to substitute and adapt whatever meets your family’s needs!

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Part one: Managing the hard parts of the holidays

December 14, 2019

Years ago, when I was working in a shelter for abused women and children, I often volunteered to work what was called the 'Santa Shift' so that my colleagues could be home with their families on Christmas Eve. I was young and naïve, and had no idea that Christmas Eve is a difficult time for so many. The crisis line we operated was busy with people struggling to get through what can be a very difficult season if you are struggling with depression, social isolation, divorce, unemployment or family violence.

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3 easy steps to developing your descriptive praise

July 25, 2019

I talk with parents quite often about how praising their child is one of the best ways to encourage positive behavior and build strong bonds. In my experience with families, and in becoming familiar with the outcomes that result from positive reinforcement, I’ve noticed a few key strategies that can help parents take their child-praising abilities to the next level.

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Raising Boys To Become Good Fathers

June 14, 2019

Father’s Day can be a complicated occasion for many.  Many children have not had the benefit of a positive relationship with their fathers for varying reasons. It could be family dynamics, mental illness, substance use, separation and divorce, bereavement, immigration and migration (not to mention less than family-friendly work schedules in many male-dominated professions). The diversity of families today means that children may also have multiple Dads, or other father-figures (like Grandfathers, Brothers and Stepfathers) in their lives which we also celebrate.  

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The elephant in the room: Why talking about mental health in families is so hard

May 23, 2019

We like to think of home as where the heart is. In fact, I’ve written on that very topic in the past. But sometimes home can also be where the ‘hard’ is, and that is particularly true when adjusting or living with a family member who is experiencing a mental health issue. Part of what makes that experience so hard, is the perceived and very real threat of stigma that is attached to those labelled with a mental health issue.

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The art of stories and storytelling: How narratives grow us as people

March 12, 2019

I don’t know about you, but when it’s particularly cold outside (and it has been COLD), my favourite thing to do is curl up in front of a fire with a blanket and a good book.

This has always been my go-to for self-care and relaxation, and it has me thinking about the importance of stories in the lives of families and children. Francis Spufford in his book  A Life in Reading, sagely said that “the words we take into ourselves help to shape us,” describing how he developed through reading books, but also how books helped him manage a difficult childhood in many ways.

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The gift of failure: What imperfection can teach kids about success

January 30, 2019

Well, it’s almost the end of January and we all know what that means – many of our New Year’s Resolutions have already lost their way. In fact, a recent study has shown that the majority of such resolutions don’t make it past Jan. 12. If you were one of the 80% of individuals who set unrealistic expectations that you weren’t able to meet, you were not alone.

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Self-care vital when caring for child with mental health issues

November 23, 2018

The latest statistics show that approximately 1.2 million children in Canada have some kind of mental health condition. From depression to anxiety, the Canadian Mental Health Association says that “genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors” can all lead to the development of a mental illness.

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Cannabis: How to talk with your teen after legalization

October 17, 2018

As of October 17, 2018, cannabis for recreational consumption will be legal in Canada.

And, whether you like it or not, your teen (and their friends) will probably try it.

While the minimum age for buying, using, possessing and growing recreational cannabis in Alberta is 18 (the same minimum age for the sale of alcohol and tobacco), it’s very likely that your teen will be exposed to the drug before that age. 

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Back to school: How you can help prepare your child

August 17, 2018

It’s that time of year again! From shopping for school supplies and new indoor shoes, to squeezing in those last few summer adventures before the fall routine sets in, parents are busy getting their children ready for the upcoming school year.

Although going back to school is a very exciting time, we also know it can be a time of increased stress, anxiety and behavioural concerns for both students and their families.

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