Wood's Homes Blog

How to talk to your child about COVID-19

March 20, 2020

Knowing how to speak to a child about real-world problems at the best of times can be tricky – and when it feels to like nothing is normal and you’re having a hard time managing your own anxiety, it can be even harder. Here are some guidelines for what you’re aiming for when you’re talking to your child about the coronavirus (COVID-19). You might have to change exactly what to say depending on their age, but your goals should stay the same.

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Validate your child's feelings now more than ever

March 17, 2020

As a working professional and parent returning from a trip abroad, it is abundantly clear that the social landscape of the country I left a week ago, looks markedly different from the one I arrived home to 24 hours ago. Like countless other Canadians I am currently self-quarantined and trying to manage my work and family obligations, especially now that my two sons have been ordered to remain home from their schools as well.

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A mother says thank you

March 06, 2020

We are proud to share a note received from a mother expressing her gratitude to staff at our Emergency Room Outreach (ERO) program for the care provided to her daughter.

Staff at ERO supported the family throughout treatment while educating them on how to best be there for their child during her journey. The mother expressed how she hopes her message will help other parents and families as they navigate the mental health challenges faced by their children.

This message the first of a series we will be running on our blog – stay tuned for more.

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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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