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One-day workshop for Dads and Daughters, Gr. 7 & 8

his one day workshop was developed by a Registered Psychologist, with a passion for fun education with a preventative focus.  If you are a father of a tween daughter and you want to keep the communication lines open during the teen years, sign up for my next engaging Dad & Daughter workshop.

What you will learn:

  • Strengthen your relationship with your daughter
  • Join in discussions related to navigating the teen years with success
  • Learn what the latest brain science tells us about the adolescent brain and how best to guide our children
  • Learn hands-on ways to keep a strong Dad/Daughter relationship
  • We will get active too so wear comfortable clothing

Place: Living Spirit United Church, 629 49th Ave. SW,Calgary, AB

Cost: $400 per Dad/Daughter pair (lunch provided)


XX Tasha

Registered Psychologist, Calgary, Alberta

P.S. Read my Blog: Dad & Daughters: A Vital Relationship



By | Workshops | No Comments

From my own experience being raised by a single Mom, I know first-hand how profound an impact it can have on a developing girl, if her father is absent. The hole can be echoed throughout a whole lifetime if it is missing.

All the research points to the vital role a Dad play in a daughter’s healthy development. Daughters with good relationships with their father are less likely to develop eating disorders, have a reduced risk of early puberty, risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy.

The fathering role is unique and serves a different purpose for girls than that of a mother. It seems that a Mom provides security to the developing child, while the Dad provides the self-esteem that persists into adulthood. Well-fathered girls are usually more confident and self-reliant, do better in school and in their careers than poorly fathered-girls.  Raising Girls, Steve Biddulph.

5 Tips to Stay Connected:

  1. Listen to your daughter and accept her unique perspective. Make guesses about the emotion she is feeling and then listen some more. Stay away from doing the dude thing and launch into problem-solving; This is a big communication roadblock.
  2. Girls need physical touch from their Dads, so don’t stop hugging your daughter just because she is a teenager. A pat on the shoulder says, “I love you” and will support your daughter’s growing confidence. Research shows that girls who get appropriate physical affection from their father are less likely to engage in early sexual relations.
  3. Build special one-to-one rituals into your relationship with your daughter, so she has the memory of having you all to herself. This could a walk with the dog to your favourite view, a camping trip or breakfast together.
  4. Write love notes. Tuck a note in your daughter’s lunch, send a thoughtful text or leave a surprise letter under your daughte’s pillow. Let her know how intelligent and worthy she is, simply for being who she is and how proud of her you feel. She may roll her eyes initially, but I guarantee, these love notes will be reread in times of feeling low, after a break up or failing an exam, when she questions her own value.
  5. Dads, you are role modeling to your daughters all the time and setting the bar for future men in her life. The way your daughter watches you treat women has a profound impact on how she will see men later in her life. The hope is that she aspires to find a man as trustworthy and respectful as yourself.

Lastly, if you are a Dad that is reading this blog and worries that too much distance has grown between you and your tween/teen daughter, know it is never too late to reconnect and know that deep in your daughter’s heart, she is desperately waiting for this affirmation and connection to you.

Being a connected, present father is a pay-it-forward investment in your daughter!!

To learn more about counselling services I offer through my Private Practice, and my upcoming Dad & Daughter Workshops, go to WWW.TASHABELIX.COM


XX Tasha


By | Parenting | No Comments

Before graduating high school, nearly one out of three adolescent girls will experience depression, anxiety disorders, or eating disorders, approximately twice the rate of boys.” (Commonwealth Fund, 1999)

These statistics are unacceptable to me and sadly, have not changed since being published.   Where are we going wrong in our approach to raising the next generation of young women? Of course, we can point to the media for blame and how derogatory images of women pollute our belief about how and what we can grow up to be, but I think the problem runs deeper.

As parents, we have the most powerful influence over our children’s core beliefs and value of self-worth. In the parenting role, we need to take a step back and really think hard about the subtle messages we are giving our girls each day… in the way we talk about other women, with our own inner gossip that may say, “we are not good enough” and how we choose to talk with our children (or not) about the subtle gender messages from their favourite media programs. “Did she really need to show cleavage when she won the court case?” “What might it say about a woman’s ability to create an argument on merit and intelligence alone?”

Next time you look in the mirror and mutter, “yikes, how did I get these wrinkles around my eyes” or “I need to lose 5 pounds so I look good better in my jeans”, imagine a young girl is watching you. Your behavior speaks louder than you may think. What subtle messages are you giving her about “what give you value” “what gives you worth” “what qualities make a woman beautiful”? As Moms, we are leadership modeling all the time. It is essential to build awareness around the messages we may be unconsciously sending. The most important thing a woman can do to help girls build a foundation of confidence and self-esteem, is to lead by example, by allowing young girls to see that you are confident in your own skin, SO BE JOYFUL ABOUT WHO YOU ARE (Dove research, 2011).

As always, I love to hear about how this information has been impactful in your family and please bug me to write about topics that are relevant to your experiences with your tween/teen.


XX Tasha



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A Mom recently asked for some advice on how to support her transformed 13-year-old daughter, who seems to have morphed into an Angry Hermit overnight. Up until now, this teen has been compliant with her Diabetes treatments since diagnosis at age 2. The daily regimen of frequent blood sugar checks and insulin injections had been tolerated, but as a teen, this daughter is now angry much of the time, often isolating herself in her bedroom and resistive to the necessary, life-sustaining treatment; hence, the new descriptor “Angry Hermit”.

This shift to resistance is pretty typical of teens that have previously adhered to persistent medical regimens. Teens are at a developmental stage that is epitomized by pushing boundaries and resisting control by adults, whether it is parents, teachers or medical professionals.

This family’s struggle is the perfect vehicle to walk parents through the 5-Steps of Emotion Coaching. Mom, your first clue to how to support your daughter, is with your description of your daughter as Angry much of the time. And this is where Emotional Coaching comes in beautifully!!

Face the facts, there really is nothing a parent can do to change the Diabetes diagnosis, treatment regimen or how her daughter feels about this problem. Accept it, as parents there are countless situations where we are powerless to take away a child’s pain or fix a problem in their life. You are however in control of how you respond to your daughter’s emotional material. Your response and how you tackle this situation can vastly impact the outcome. How you attend, label and validate the emotion, can actually help to soothe your daughter’s physiological response! How cool is that!


Here are the 5-Steps to Emotion Coaching:

  1. Attend to Emotion.

“I see you”  Stop what you’re doing, face your teen and give her your full attention.

  1. Label and Express the Emotion.

“You are really angry”  “I understand you”

  1. Validate the Emotion.

“You feel something really big”  “What you feel is valid”  “If I were you, I’d feel the same way”

  1. Meet the need.

“Tell me what you’d like to do with this anger?” “What would you say to Diabetes if you could meet it face-to-face?” “What does your body want to do right now?” Mom, stay with your daughter’s emotion and tolerate her bigness. By honoring what she is feeling and allowing her to share her emotional world with you, you are actually helping to regulate her body and the anger will de-crescendo more quickly than if you were to redirect her to the reality of her situation or shut down the tantrum.

  1. Problem-solve, Re-direct, and Fix it. (Only go to #5 after completing steps 1-4 and even then very rarely. In most instances, repeat steps 1 to 4)

“I am here to help you sort this out if you need me”

Often parents don’t want to address the emotion that is right in front of them, for fear that it will make things worse, but I assure you, it does quite the opposite when emotion is given voice and space to be “heard” and “seen”. It is in these moments of deep inner connection that relationship grows -this is where you teen FEELS FELT. And it is through a strong relational connection that parents are in a position to guide decisions and teach their values.

We want our teens to utter a sigh of relief, “They get me”. Once a parent shows they understand, you have your teen that knows you are in their corner. After the anger runs it course, you will likely have a teen, who crumples in your arms and allows you to stroke her hair and pat her back as she sobs and shares her sadness around a medical condition that will never go away. “Mom, I know I have to follow my treatment, but it just sucks sometimes that I can’t be like my friends. It’s so unfair!” Keep listening and attending to the sadness with loving touch and comfort. Let your teen do the talking or stay with the silence if she just needs you close.

Ultimately, we want our daughters to bring their big emotions to us and for them to know that we can handle their loud, confusing and messy emotional material, no matter what. For this to happen, we need to learn the skills of emotion focused parenting and to grow big shoulders, so our teen doesn’t mistakenly push down what she really feels and keep us firmly out of her internal life.

Let me ask you a question…what do you think your daughter learns about herself when she is scared to share her true feelings with you?


XX Tasha