Tag: Parenting Expert 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’s Up With The Mom Shaming?

By: Natasha Sharma

I have the good fortune of being a part time stay-at-home-mom, so my 2-year old son and I occasionally used to go to a public drop-in center in our neighborhood. The other attendees varied: Mostly home daycare providers, some moms, the odd grandparent, and even a rare dad sighting here and there! On one of our visits, a staff member suddenly pulled me aside. Apparently, another woman had been complaining – to staff and any other person who would listen – about my giving my son a snack at 11:30 am because all the other kids eat a snack at 10:30 am. My son and I would usually show up at 11.

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What Is A Psychoeducational Assessment? 16 Signs Your Child May Need One

By Natasha Sharma

When a child grapples with behaviour and/or learning issues, it can be a challenge not only for the child but also for parents and teachers. To make things more complicated, children can struggle in one specific area of learning or subject area, or they may present with difficulties in general with their learning or behaviour. This can make things confusing to parents and teachers, and an assessment is often recommended to parents. So what is a Psychoeducational Assessment? And when does your child need one?

If a child struggles at school or in an area of learning, it doesn’t mean that the child necessarily has a learning disorder or other developmental issue. Indeed, it’s been widely observed that sleep deprivation almost perfectly mimics the symptoms of ADHD. Therefore just because a child or student has challenges with focus, concentration, and holding attention doesn’t mean that they have ADHD.

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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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“I’ll do it tomorrow…” 4 Tips for How to Avoid Procrastination and Get Things Done!

By Natasha Sharma

A stunningly high number of clients I see in my practice complain about the dreaded P-word: Procrastination. They have ideas, goals, small tasks and large ones, and never seem to complete any of them. When I ask them what gets in the way, the answer is often “I don’t know.” Procrastination – aka the ‘art’ of putting things off until another day – is incredibly common. Not that big of a deal for things that actually can wait, but perfectly annoying when there are things we genuinely need to get done sooner rather than later. It’s a problem that plagues the busy and the not-so-busy, over-achievers and under-achievers, the younger and the older. Why is this?

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How to be Happy and Get the Most Out of Life!

By Natasha Sharma

Problems, as we all know, are a reality of living. Life can be unpredictable and will most certainly be stressful at one point or another. But it is how we respond to changes and solve a problem that have the most impact and influence to the quality of our lives, as opposed to the actual problem itself. In my practice as a Psychotherapist, I have worked with many individuals and families of all ages, ranging from issues as harrowing as psychological trauma in small children to more commonplace issues such as conflict in the workplace, or dating and relationship issues. Over the years, I have 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 own personal circumstances and subjective experiences of life.

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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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Does Everyone Have a Mental Illness?

By Natasha Sharma

The answer to this question of course is ‘No.’ Nevertheless the percentage of people diagnosed and dealing with a mental illness increases with each passing year. Certainly over the years, due to advances in society and technology, we have become more aware of the biological and psychological markers of mental illness, and more willing to recognize it. Another reason put forth to explain the rise of mental illness is the idea that we currently live “in more difficult times” than previously. I don’t agree with this. The reality is we now live in arguably the easiest times in the course of human history, and we seem to have lost some of our “toughness.” But I’ll save that last point for another article. Sure, we have our fair share of problems (faster pace of life, career burnout, environmental concerns), but I wouldn’t trade these problems in for the ones our ancestors had (such as world war and widespread disease) any time soon. And we are no more pre-disposed to mental health issues now than we were then. So what is really going on here? Are we all getting sicker? Or do we simply need to understand the difference between a mental illness and a normal response to the experience of life? I think it’s the latter.

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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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