Tag: Family Counselling Toronto

Parenting Means Partnership: A New Approach for How To Potty Train Your Toddler

Natasha Sharma is a personal development and happiness expert, and author of internationally featured “The Kindness Journal,”  a guided interactive journal for cultivating a happier and more positive life.

I’m a mom. Of two very sweet boys. The second who joined us a mere three months ago! Having been a member of the MOB (mom of boys) squad for some time now, I’m already well versed in the nuances that come with changing baby boy diapers: The moving aside of the ‘bits and pieces’, the always-when-you’re-not-expecting-it pee pee spray, and have I just been living in a house of boys for too long or does their ‘business’ really smell worse than girls?!

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What Tragedy Can Teach Us in the Land where Grass is Greener

By Natasha Sharma

The first thing I saw was his feet. Tiny and limp, encased in familiar looking dark blue Velcro-strap shoes. Much like the dark blue Velcro-strap shoes I struggle to get onto my 2-year old son’s feet every day. Then I saw his little legs. I had just sat down for a coffee break. As I finally registered that what I was looking at on the cover page of Metro Toronto was a policeman carrying a drowned toddler on a beach, I experienced a jolt. Probably like most of the world when they saw the same image. I quickly put the paper down. Then I threw it in the trash so I wouldn’t be tempted to read it. As a Psychotherapist, I’m well in tune with what can impact me emotionally on a personal level, and I had clients to continue seeing after my short break for whom I needed to be clear headed and unaffected.

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Pregnancy: Is it Really ‘All That?’ 4 Tips for Keeping it Real.

By Natasha Sharma

I have a confession to make: I did not enjoy being pregnant. There. I said it. And I’m pretty sure I’m far from the only person who feels this way. But you won’t hear people admit it. That’s because we live in a society where women are taught that being pregnant – and all that goes with it – is supposed to be the most beautiful and glorious time of your life. A time when you feel energetic and alive, when you are “glowing” from the inside out, and when you sit on a proverbial lily pad all day while doves coo at you and deer eat out of the palm of your hand. Ok, I’m being a little facetious, but heaven forbid if a woman should admit that she secretly felt anything less than total and utter bliss when with child. Notwithstanding the fabulous monologue delivered by one Elizabeth Banks in the film “What to Expect when you’re Expecting” in which she proclaims “pregnancy sucks” while her younger counterpart played by Brooklyn Decker appears pleased as punch with pregnancy (and didn’t we all just want to Deck-her at some point?!).

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Is There a ‘Right’ Time to Have a Baby?

By Natasha Sharma

At least twice a week in my practice, I will have a young, bright, and ambitious 20-something year old woman sitting across from me. We’ll ponder life together: Career, friends, hobbies, and relationships. And invariably at least once a week, one of them will tell me that she has a life plan, which includes having kids before the age of 30. The closer they might be to said age without the prospect of procreation in sight, the more angst they feel about ‘missing the deadline.’ When I inquire as to why the deadline is age 30, the response is usually that having kids over the age of 30 is “too old.” Other female clients of mine feel the opposite; they are in no rush and instead state that they in fact prefer to have kids much later in life. Still others, albeit a much smaller percentage, report that they know they never want to have kids and that, my friends, is totally fine (hey, it’s 2015!) But for the ones who know they want them, which is still likely to be most, it raises an interesting question: Is there such a thing as the right time to have children in life? Since 2013, the average age at which Canadian women had their first child topped 30 years. Assuming planned pregnancies by couples and/or otherwise stable familial units, I looked at the pros of having children under age 30 and of having them over age 30 (30 truly seems to be a demarcation point for so many in life, and on so many levels!). Here goes:

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Top 4 Ways Social Media Is Killing Your Relationship

By Natasha Sharma

How many times in the last hour have you checked in with any Social Media platform on which you have a profile? Once? Twice? More than 10?? Studies show that people between the ages of 18 and 64 currently spend an average of about 3 hours per day on Social Media sites. That’s a little over 11 minutes each hour, figuring a 16-hour day. That works out to an average of about a minute for every 5 minutes. And that equals almost 20% of our waking lives! If we are going to dedicate that much of our precious time to something, it would be wise to understand and evaluate the quality of our experience.

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Relax! It’s OK for Your Kids to be Angry with You

By Natasha Sharma

Early on in my practice as a psychotherapist, I worked with a lovely but troubled young family from Maryland. These were parents of an 8-year old child who struggled with his mood. He often had emotional ‘melt-downs’ at school and home that involved severe tantrums and oppositional behaviour. One evening when they came to see me for an appointment, the boy was wearing a t-shirt that read: “My Family is Afraid of Me.” Funny enough in a tongue in cheek sort of way. But for this family it spoke volumes about their issues. This was a trio where the power dynamics were consistently in favor of the child. Every effort was made by his parents to ensure he wouldn’t become upset or angry or dislike the outcome of something, even if that meant never saying the word “no” to him. When I gently confronted his parents about this, their response was simple enough: “We don’t want him to be mad at us.”

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5 Quick Tips to Boost Your Mood

By Natasha Sharma

As the summer starts drawing to its inevitable close, many people find themselves feeling a little glum. And who can blame them? There’s something about warm wind and long, lazy days in the sun that seem to make time slow down. And for a few short months, it seems we all gain the ability to mentally stand still for a moment. We stop fretting over the past, and worrying about the future. We get outside more, we see friends and family more, and there are endless opportunities for pure, unadulterated fun! For a change, we can be light, carefree, and almost entirely in the present. Whatever gets you down here and there, it’s worth noting that everyone feels a little ‘blue’ at times. In moderation and when proportionate, it’s as natural a part of the human condition as almost any other emotion. Slight downturns in mood usually pass within 1 or 2 days, and this reminder in and of itself is often helpful. In those moments where we could use more of a pick me up, here are some tips for a booster shot to the old amygdala:

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5 Ways to Rejuvenate your Marriage

By Natasha Sharma

Marriage is a (hopefully) long and deeply fulfilling relationship that many of us choose to embark on. But a good marriage – indeed a great one – is not all strawberries with cream. In my practice, I often work with couples in long-term relationships, and one of the key points I am always emphasizing is that marriage is a journey, consisting of times when we feel incredibly connected . . . and other times when we feel less so.

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The 4 Pillars of LIFE: What we can ALL do to promote our own Mental Health

By Natasha Sharma

In my clinical practice as a Psychotherapist, I’ve worked with many individuals and families of all ages, ranging from issues as harrowing as psychological trauma in small children to those as commonplace as conflict in the workplace. Over the years I’ve come to realize that a problem is a problem, relative to the unique context of a person’s life and individual phenomenology. Which is to say that they exist – or do not exist – based on our circumstances and subjective experience of life.

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The Human Condition and Mourning the Loss of Empathy

By Natasha Sharma

It’s been several weeks since the public funeral of Elijah Marsh, a Toronto toddler who wandered out into the snow in the middle of the night and died of hypothermia. In the aftermath of this heartbreaking tragedy, many an opinion has been expressed in the media about it, ranging from criticism of the amount of money raised for the Marsh family in an online fundraising campaign to cover funeral expenses, to criticism of the perceived cultural phenomenon of mourning the loss of people we don’t know. As a Psychotherapist and mental health expert, and after reading various articles in the media, most notably, a recent piece from a well-known Globe & Mail reporter, I felt compelled to respond with a different perspective on this matter.

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