SoSooper is a finalist in Harvard Business School New Venture Competition for Europe

Sooper Exciting News

Our mobile app for parents has been selected as a finalist in the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition Europe!  There were 26 contestants for 5 places.  We made the cut!

We will be pitching to 100+ business folk about being the best parent we can be.

We are honored to be present, knowing that the discussion will cover both business issues (how will we generate income) as well a matters touching our ingrained beliefs:  

  • Are “good parents” born or can leadership in our homes be learned?
  • How to accompany parents AND allow freedom to create their own, unique family culture?

As my sister says, “Exciting, invigorating, intimidating, energizing, challenging, exhilarating.”

Many thanks to all who support me so well.

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Harvard Business School 2017 New Venture Competition Finalists Europe
Harvard Business School 2017 New Venture Competition Finalists Europe

The Story behind SoSooper

A Mom in Need

As a young mom seeking help to manage four boys under seven years old I wondered:

“Folk can go to a bank or a financial counselor and expose very private information regarding money and request advice and this is conisdered intelligent.

Those same people seek advice regarding relationships…and they have a problem.

Humm. I hope someone will do something to remedy this discrepancy.”

And, today, maybe that someone is…me.

Insights from Cosmetics

When I worked in cosmetics, one brand introduced beauty advice on an iPad.  Customers appreciated the anonimity of these tools.  

They found it more pleasant to admit skin problems to a machine than to a  made-up beauty who agrees you have blackheads on your nose! 

Might the same be true with personal issues?

A New Child

SoSooper, my fifth child, is born. This mobile app helps parents navigate – positively and quickly – challenges with kids.

  • Provides parents with solutions for their Need. NOW.
  • Connects parents with parenting experts and other moms and dads like them
  • Is available on their phone.  Anytime & anywhere.

Read more.

Have great parenting tips?  Share them here.

Our favorite activity about family for a SoSooper New Year!

The Family Feedback

One of our most precious family moments comes after Christmas.  That’s when we share what each person does well and how we can be even stronger as an individual and as a family.

We” means the kids start with the feedback and Mom & Dad L.I.S.T.E.N.

[bctt tweet=”The Family Feedback:  kids share and parents LISTEN.”]

The structured process keeps discussion positive.  Each child gets to share:
ONE THING that Mom or Dad do that they love (and want them to keep doing)
– ONE THING that would hugely improve family life for them.  Parents listen.  

You might be surprised by the suggestions!  It might be a no-brainer “YES.”  (My son asked, “No more lemon cake.”)  Other requests could merit deeper discussion.  (“More screen time.”  “No veggies.”)  Talk it over while everyone is calm and together. 

We tried The Family Feedback

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with teens

Boys grow up

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with kids

parents listening to child

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with tots

listen-mom-son

Click here

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Download Free Tools

SoSooper prepared some worksheets for you:

  • to prepare
  • to succeed
  • to remember

Click here to get your free downloads.

Ask questions & Tell us how it went

We’d love to hear from you.  Give us YOUR feedback too!

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The Family Feedback with little children

How much can your young child tell you about YOUR job as a parent?

Quite a lot.

By listening you share encouraging words for your kids.

The Family Feedback with tots

The Family Feedback is ONE GREAT FAMILY TIME where kids give feedback to parents. They start with the good stuff 🙂 and move onto deeper discussion.  Read more here.

For very young kids, we stick to sharing family highlights.  

You want your kids to associate “family” with “fun”?  Then ask them to tell you about a fun time with Mom or Dad.  This strengthens the neural messaging in their brains so that they can more easily access memories of great times as a family.  

Our brain is amazing…and malleable.

Ask, “Tell me about a time you felt really happy with us.”

“When we played ball together.”

Help your child fully recall with the experience through specific and factual questions.

“What color was our ball?” “Was it before or after lunch?” “Who else was playing with us?”

Then gently probe for what generated the positive emotions.

“What was soooooo great?” “Which part made you feel the most special?”  “What did you do to show you were happy?”

Thank your child.  

“Your telling me when you were happy makes me very happy too.  Thanks, Darling.”

We tried it & loved it

Here’s what one mother shared after a SoSooper workshop where she and her three year old daughter enjoyed such a conversation:

“My daughter was probably a little bit young (only 3) and I think was struggling to really engage with the activities. However, even though she dealt with it on her level, I think she still got a lot out of the experience – and found it nice that it was a time where mummy was ready to listen to her and find out what she found fun and loving about being in our family.

This workshop reminded me that we do all right as a family (eating together, playing together, respecting each other). As I’m sure you know only too well – it’s a tricky job, mummying, and can seem very unrewarding sometimes. If I were a business, (actually I’m a secondary school teacher) I wouldn’t put up with clients who were so demanding and so seemingly ungrateful for all my efforts. I think what you’re doing is so important – just like in any job, you have training for that ‘shot in the arm’ of enthusiasm and clarity to do your job better every day. Parents need that more than anyone!”

Download Free Tools

SoSooper prepared some worksheets for you:

  • to prepare
  • to succeed
  • to remember

Click here to get your free downloads.

Build a Thriving Family Culture

Games are fun.  AND they have a purpose & rules.

What if life–and the culture of our families–were like a game:  

  • fun
  • with a purpose
  • with clear guidelines to know how to excel, to be one’s best together 🙂

Life’s BIG rules are called values.  These foundational principles express an understanding of right & wrong, of helpful vs. harmful.  Communities, like family, thrive with positive and common values.

Families enjoy a culture where everyone thrives when “the way WE do things” is clear, helpful, and practiced by all.

The BUILD A THRIVING FAMILY CULTURE web-workshop enables parents & children, together, BOTH to identify the essential guiding principles for their home AND to put them into action.

What You Gain

Join us as we guide parents & kids in making family life fun, purpose-filled, and a means for all to thrive.  We’ll help you

  • Identify your top KEY VALUES
  • Explore how these principles translate into action
  • Create a personalized and visual reminder to keep practicing those values at home.

 

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Family culture value of hospitality
In our home “Hospitality” is important, </br>and it looks, tastes, and feels like this…

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My_Hospitality_Tree
Family culture is alive, growing, and fruitful…like trees. This hospitality tree branches out: parents are hospitable towards kids when…being hospitable means we keep the home looking…

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What is it?

It’s ½ hour of time well spent in rich parent-child discussion.   This is an online event for parents with their children. You connect through the Internet from the comfort of your couch and cuddle up with your kids.  We guide you in a family discussion and a simple craft.

With SOSOOPER Web-Workshops

– Moms and dads establish a framework .
– Kids get heard.
– Everyone wins.

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With whom? How?  When? How much?

Our online seminars are for parents AND their children.  These facilitated family discussions are led by Denise Dampierre, founder and CEO of SoSooper where we re-open dialogue between parents & kids.

  • Schedule an online seminar just for your family. Send your request and date preferences.  We’ll work it out.  Personalized seminars run $40 per ½ hour.
  • Contact us to ask about group online seminar.  See our Calendar for upcoming dates.  Participation to be discussed.

Sign up for our Build a Thriving Family Culture online seminar to create a family culture where everyone thrives.

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What folks say:
‘Build a Thriving Family Culture’ is SOSOOPER!

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[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Sabrina’ subtitle=’New Thoughts’ link=’http://’ linktext=”]

This is Sabrina here!
I enjoyed the activities a lot!   Our family chose ‘Respect” as main value.   The workshop made me really think about how I should be respectful at different times of the day. I never really thought about the different ways thoroughly.
Thank you for that!

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[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Naomi’ subtitle=’You mean values lead to actions!!!’ link=” linktext=”]

Thank you so much for organizing the activities for us! I found that they really made me think about family values and how i can put them into action. I also found it interesting to hear what my mother, little sister and I thought about the different ways we could be respectful and at different times. The activities made me think about values and respect from a different and deeper perspective!
Thanks.

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[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Mom’ subtitle=’Such positive mother-daughter talk :)’ link=” linktext=”]
Dear Denise,

A gigantic and heartfelt thank-you for last evening’s web workshop! As you must have read between the lines in their respective emails, Naomi and Sabrina were completely and pleasantly surprised as they had barely any clue of what to expect although we had printed out the worksheets together.

What was amazing was how all three of us focused on respect amongst all the values – maybe it was the fact that we keep stressing on the need for this or the fact that we often tend to lose track of it amidst our daily stresses and hectic routines. It was instant agreement on the prized value.

The girls are both committed participants now and you must have received their feedback forms already! Thank you so much for also replying to them instantly and giving them so much encouragement. You are absolutely right in advising us to keep trying even if we stumble and rise again.

I think the big change is that we are learning to remove ourselves from the situation and are learning to view it objectively from various angles. Taking a cue from you, we have also been trying to role play to learn more about our feelings, thoughts and actions!

Thank you again, Denise, for becoming a part of our family life on a day-to-day basis!
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Improve Communication Skills by Speaking Your Message in Multiple Ways

“What did he say?” inquired the American.

“Qu’est ce qu’il a dit?” asked the French. (It means, “What did he say?”)

We roared with laughter all the more at their mutual translations AND growing frustrations.

“What did he say?” “Qu’est ce qu’il a dit?” “WHAT did he say?” “Qu’est ce qu’il a DIT?”

They did not change words, just the volume.  Even so, we could barely hear them we were laughing so loudly.

Here is the moral about communication skills:  If the message isn’t getting across, say it differently.  

[bctt tweet=”If the message isn’t getting across, say it differently.”]

Skateboard championships at base of Eiffel Tower
International skateboarders compete looking out onto the Eiffel Tower
French communication skills: a show
Behind Notre Dame
Teenager commemorating Napoleon
Showing off Napoleonic attire.
World map made of flowers
A globe made from flowers, covered in glass. Alive and fragile.
New York City skyline taken from Empire State
From the top of the Empire State Building
Times Square in New York City
Times Square in New York City
Teenager at Wall in DC
At the Vietman Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Improve Communication Skills by Re-Phrasing Your Message

Do your kids respond, “WHAT?” to “I love you.”  Try, “Daaaaahling, you are so precious to me.”

Repeating the message with different words is a fundamental communication skill taught in multi-cultural contexts.

Are you feeling the generation gap too? Our children are from another culture!  When you don’t understand your kids, ask them to rephrase for you.  Teach them effective communication skills.  “Whatever, Dad” does not cut it.

Hone Communication Skills Using Varying Love Languages

Chores need to be done and calling out her name is not generating the desired response.

  • Is she sensitive to touch? Go to her, give her a 30 second shoulder massage, and tell her it’s time for the chores.
  • She responds better to gifts? Write her a note and fold it up into a paper airplane to remind her dishes are waiting and need to be done quick as air mail.
  • She loves shared moments. “Honey, while you put the dishes in the dishwasher, I’ll ____ (choose from your looooooong list) in the kitchen with you.”

You come up with the ideas for affirmation and acts of service or learn more about love languages, these highly effective communication skills.  They are fascinating.  And they make a difference.

Communicate by Captivating Additional Senses

Have you noticed how at work we “sell ideas” by engaging multiple senses.  PowerPoint is this communication tool par excellence.  Receivers SEE and HEAR simultaneously.

Yet at home we speak instructions (sell ideas?!)  When that does not work, we use more voice.  (Reinvest in our losing strategy?!)  And, if you are like many parents, we scream!

Ooooops.  How does that rank in modeling positive communication skills?!!

Try these Power Pointers show-and-tell guides for your children. Some folk need to see to believe.  The kids may have heard parents repeat it 1000 times, when they see the photo of children brushing teeth, they respond, “Oh, yes.  I do have to brush my teeth.” 

Maybe your child needs to touch it to understand it. One mother walked into her child’s room, tied a string to his bed, and walked out unrolling the string. He got up and followed her! (Pied Piper or Wacky Mother. Either way, it’s worth discovering.)

Improve Your Communication Skills

Hummmm.  This might be embarassing.

Do you sound like a broken down record?  Try to express the same message in a multitude of ways:

  • You probably already tried asking nicely (a.k.a. The Command)
  • As a question
  • With simpler vocabulary
  • As a game (“Time to brush teeth.  Race you to the bathroom!”)
  • Without words (a kiss, taking her hand, and walking to the bathroom together.  When (!!) she resists, pause, smile, get eye contact, and start up again.)
  • With humor (“Dear Wall, Do YOU hear better than my kids?  If I had a magic wand….”)
  • With love.  “Thank you, sweetheart.”

Help Teens Dream…and Make their Goals Come True

Everything I needed to know about parenting teens, I learned at the Harvard Business School.

I’m only kind of kidding. Let’s start with strategy & action plan…

…and market segmentation.  To sign up or go directly to the download , click below.

Continue reading “Help Teens Dream…and Make their Goals Come True”

Watch what your thoughts. They can bring parents and kids up…or WAY DOWN

Positive beliefs can propel us forward.  And looking at the world and ourselves through a negative framework hinders.  Weighs us down.  Immobilizes.

I saw this with one of my teen sons.

The challenge for a parent is that our children don’t wear their beliefs on a sleeve or present them to us on a silver platter.   Our thoughts about our value and our confidence in our abilities are revealed in our actions.

Yep, beliefs impact behavior.

So, what attitudes and actions revealed my son’s negative beliefs?

They relate to school, his efforts, and results.

  • Giving up quickly when he encounters a difficulty
  • Mocking effort
  • Avoiding work and seeking play

 

Handwrestling with mom

Fishing into the night

Dangerous sea

Dangerous sea

Boys bury brother in sand

Out of order

One HUGE hike up

Crooked_building

Watching TV. No talking

 

Of course, my husband and I these behaviors and tried to encourage him.

  • “Honey, you can do it. Your math exercises last week were similar to these.  Review them and you’ll find some hints.  If you need more help, we’re here.”
  • “I reread them and it did not help.”
  • “It’s math, darling. Did you try re-doing the exercises?”
  • “That’s worthless….”

or

  • “How long did you spend trying to work out this problem? What have you tried? 
  • “I sat down at my desk and worked. L
  • “What else can you try?”
  • “Dunno…”
  • “What specific questions do you have? Who can you turn to for help?” 
  • “I asked last week and it did not help…”

And yet, when we explore fun subjects, he brims with creativity, energy, and charisma.  Is this the same person?!

So, last night at dinner we spiced up our regular conversation with what-would-you-do-if questions from a “question book” and enjoyed lively and engaged discussion from all, including from Mr. Dejected-About-Schoolwork.

It was a relief to witness his relaxation and enjoyment and even feeling of value and belonging.  And that’s when it became clear to me that his negative beliefs about work are making him miserable.

So, after the meal, I sneaked into his room for a Rendez-Vous, a one-on-one discussion.

“Hi darling, do you have a moment?”

“Hu…”

“May I share an observation?”

“Errr…”

“Sweetheart, I wonder if you have some beliefs that are making you unhappy.  What we believe impacts what we think about ourselves, about the world, and about our place in this amazing cosmos.  And I wonder if you recognize yourself in these two beliefs:

  • Hard work is no fun
  • If you can’t do it perfectly, it is not worth doing.”

“Yeah…”

“I invite you to challenge those beliefs.  Look around you.  Are these REALLY true?  I have asked myself those same questions and came up with an opposite conclusion.  You want to hear my stories?”

“Go ahead…”

And I shared about the time in college when Miss-Good-Student (that was me) got a “D” in Material Sciences.  It was a required course in my engineering studies where we discover the qualities of varying materials and the implication in construction and utilization.  In our final project, most students reported on some bridge and how it was designed for resistance and sturdiness.  I wanted to explore the thickness of the cast bronze in a Charles Remington statue of a bucking horse.  All the weight of the bronze is on one horse hoof.  What’s the torque?  How does the thickness of the bronze impact the width of the horse hoof?… We did not have access to the Internet in those days, and after fruitless searches in encyclopedias and scientific journals, I gave up and retreated to a report on yet another bridge.

Mom and son Rendez-vous

Remington Bronze statue

frustrated mother

My performance snafus in Material Sciences got me questioning my value.  Am I a loser?

And I described how I went out to a lonely place and debated with God.  “God, if I believe in You and believe that You are perfect, then You did not make a mistake with me.”  (Note the engineering logic patter:  if…and…then!)

Then, I invited him to look at people we know.  Some are under-employed.  How satisfied are they?  If his believe that “Hard work is no fun,” these folk who are not working hard should be having the time of their lives.  And yet, they are filled with worry, question their value, and lack hope for the next steps.

And what about him?  What are some of his most significant lasting memories?  Was it playing a video game, once again?  Or does he thrill over having mastered powerful waves, climbing cliffs, or getting a 20/20 on his group project?

Jumping on sand dunes

Boy riding horse backwards

 

I caught a fish

Boys showing off

Riding_backwards

Handwrestling with mom

Fun and work

Well done at school

Congratulations. Getting diploma

“Yeah…”

“Sweetheart, I love you.  You become what you think.  When you are down, it just might be that you have some negative AND MISLEADING assumptions about you and life.  Remember,

  • ‘You’re worth it’… and l’Oréal asserts it (that tweaked a smile from him)
  • And, as Nike says, ‘Just do it!’” (By now he’s downright smirking and rolling his eyes with humor.)

“Thanks, Mom.”

Cease Fire over School Grades – Parent Prep & Follow Up

 

Pop Quiz for Parents:  What does “Report Card Time” mean in your home ?

  1. When I discover a new facet of my child and how (s)he acts in school
  2. When I am overwhelmed with STRESS. Yes, SOSOOOOOOOPER-STRESSED!
  3. Report Card? What’s that?  When I am interrupted in my TV program to sign a useless piece of paper
  4. When I praise my child
  5. When I criticize my child
  6. When I compare the siblings. Sometimes I do it to movtivate one kid to start working.  Other times I compare and feel so guilty about it but just can’t help myself.
  7. When I despair because my kid does not give his best and does not seem to care about it
  8. When I feel like a good parent because my child gets good grades
  9. When I feel like a good-enough parent because my child gets better grades than his/her buddy
  10. All of the above
  11. None of the above
  12. It changes every day and with every kid and I am confused/frustrated/discouraged.

Mom_Teen_Grades_2a

What if Report Card Time could be a moment of deep sharing and mutual learning?

“Euuuuh.  Hello?”

What if your child could admit his concerns, maybe even fears, and open the door to confidence-building opportunities in your family.

What if your kid would experience your unconditional love for him as a person AND that because you love him you have expectations for his efforts.

Cease Fire Over School Grades

Cease Fire Over School Grades does just that.  This online seminar helps parents and children together

  • recognize achievements
  • clarify goals
  • make a plan to reach them effectively

Mom_Teen_Grades_2b

Sample grade self-evaluation

 

What is it?

It’s ½ hour of time well spent.  Transform weeks of nagging about school work into succinct responsibility-building reminders to help kids be motivated to do their best.

We address three issues:

  • Clarify parental expectations
    We initiate a discussion using cooking analogies to help kids understand how parents define quality work. Is eating raw eggs and flour the same as savoring a freshly baked cake?    In the same way, what’s the difference between presence in class and being an engaged student?
  • Listen to students and have them to explain their position
    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Many students feel they are doing “fine.”  We encourage the kids to define “fine” through a self-evaluation process.  Parents and kids get to explore these predictions together at a time when both are calm.
  • Motivate students to progress
    The child’s self-evaluation provides a benchmark. We prepare the youth and parents to interpret the Report Card in light of this guide.  Where should Mom & Dad give their child more breathing room?  Where is the child’s system (“I’ve got it under control.  Let me do it my way.”) objectively underperforming?

With whom? How?  When? How much?

Our online seminars are for parents AND their children.  These facilitated family discussions are led by Denise Dampierre, founder and CEO of SoSooper Families.

  • Join a group online seminar. See our Calendar for upcoming dates.  Participation is $20 per family.
  • Schedule an online seminar just for your family. Send your request and date preferences.  We’ll work it out.  Personalized seminars run $40 per ½ hour.

Sign up for our Cease Fire over School Grades online seminar to get kids motivated to do their best.

Grow Kindness – Parent Prep & Follow Up

Want more kindness at home?  Make a plan, put it into action, and follow through.

Centered around the Grow Kindness workshop, we help parents to define their goals and to get the kids excited to join in the effort.

We also help moms and dads follow up effectively with their children after the Grow Kindness workshop.

Parent Prep consists of a pre-workshop video.

You can choose to join the follow up webinar or select the personalized option which addresses your specific concerns and needs.

 

Grow Kindness Workshop

What would your home look, feel, and sound like with more kindness?

Nice…Loverrrrly…..ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!

We can always benefit from additional kindness.  How do we get it? How do we grow it?

SoSooper is taking a creative perspective on the richness of kindness.  What if the medium of exchange in our homes were kindness?

Mom offers Son benevolence when he spills his milk and patiently teaches him to clean it up.  Dad listens with forbearance as Child bemoans the broken toy.  When he reminds her that the treasure broke because she and Brother fought over it, he does so tenderly and extending grace.  Parents remain courteous while resolving a conflict.  Daughter accepts to set the table with good will.  Parents affectionately wish their Teen a fun outing AND remind her amiably of her curfew

What You Gain

Join us as we take an entrepreneurial look at growing kindness.  We’ll explore

  • Identify your family’s awesomeness and your behaviors favor the IN-COME of kindness
  • Take stock of the words and actions in your household that are at the EXPENSE of “gentillesse.”  These are your oppertoooniteez to lurn.
  • Plan fun ways for the entire family to BENEFIT from your growing solicitude.

We’ll follow how the B____ kids who, through their ultra-cute lemonade stand, gain more mon(ey), more fun, and more yum(my)…all because they built on the foundation of kindness.

We conclude every seminar with a practical application.  This time, participants make Kindness Gifts.

White boy thanking black woman

What is it?

It’s ½ hour of time well spent in rich parent-child discussion.   This is an online event for parents with their children. You connect through the Internet from the comfort of your couch and cuddle up with your kids.  We guide you in a family discussion and a simple craft.

With SOSOOPER Web-Workshops

– Moms and dads establish a framework .
– Kids get heard.
– Everyone wins.

 With whom? How?  When? How much?

Our online seminars are for parents AND their children.  These facilitated family discussions are led by Denise Dampierre, founder and CEO of SoSooper Families.

  • Join a group online seminar. See our Calendar for upcoming dates.  Participation is $20 per family.
  • Schedule an online seminar just for your family. Send your request and date preferences.  We’ll work it out.  Personalized seminars run $40 per ½ hour.

Sign up for our Grow Kindness online seminar to help family blossom with encouragement and a doable steps to be helpful, considerate, and thankful.

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[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Emma’ subtitle=’Kids Want More’ link=’http://’ linktext=”]
Thank you for the workshop and for your dedication to help our family grow happier and stronger…

We just had a great time together doing this, the children and I loved taking that moment to tell (and write down) to one another that we love eachother and what we appreciate most. The children asked for more of it, so I wish I can find more to print on your web site.
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[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Manu’ subtitle=’Clear. Catchy. Valuable.’ link=” linktext=”]
The workshop was great: the theme was clear and catchy.  I presonally appreciated the parallel with the business development.  It made it clear that the success our family is tied to our input of love and joy.

The illustrated slide show is good too:  clear and simple.   We got your message:  there is value (intangible and even tangible) to investing time together to demonstrating love.

Thanks.
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My daughter was probably a little bit young (only 3) and I think was struggling to really engage with the activities. However, even though she dealt with it on her level, I think she still got a lot out of the experience – and found it nice that it was a time where mummy was ready to listen to her and find out what she found fun and loving about being in our family.

This workshop reminded me that we do all right as a family (eating together, playing together, respecting each other). As I’m sure you know only too well – it’s a tricky job, mummying, and can seem very unrewarding sometimes. If I were a business, (actually I’m a secondary school teacher) I wouldn’t put up with clients who were so demanding and so seemingly ungrateful for all my efforts. I think what you’re doing is so important – just like in any job, you have training for that ‘shot in the arm’ of enthusiasm and clarity to do your job better every day. Parents need that more than anyone!
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Workshop parents and kids together

Exploring Courage: Learning from Heroes

June 6, 2014 marks the 70thanniversary of D-Day. That’s when Allied forces landed on the Normandy beaches to fight for freedom.  9 000 Allied soldiers died on that day.

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Two Free Downloads in this post.  Read on.
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