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Notes from the Wild + Brave Club RSS

How I self-published a children's book

There are many paths to self-publishing a children's book. I'm sharing my story here since I often have people ask me how I brought my book to life. my book baby, "Strong, Smart, Kind and Brave" Writing is something that has been in my blood since birth. I was writing existential short stories in elementary school (I found one recently, titled “The Rowboat”, about someone alone in a boat at the end of the world - and she DIES at the end - I wonder what my grade six teacher thought??)Then in high school, I wrote diaries full of angsty love letters and poems and manifestos. I helped organize poetry cafes and readings in our high school gym. I even had a...

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What's your reminder?

This is my phone screen lock photo. It’s a picture of my hand holding a heart-shaped clover leaf; it is a gift I was given by one of my boys on a particularly trying day a few years ago. It’s also my reminder. On that day (like many days before and since), there was yelling - by adult and child.There were Words Exchanged. There was yelling. And shouting. And stomping.There were slammed doors.Then, there was cooling off.There were apologies - by adult and child.There were hugs and connection and then, this gift. To remind me that he loves me (his words).It’s so easy to focus on a child's negative behaviours, their defiance, their anger.So this is my own daily reminder...

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Strong, Smart, Kind and Brave: the story behind the title

I wrote the book "Strong, Smart, Kind and Brave" in 2021, but the seed for the book was planted years ago.  When my two sons were younger and wanted me to tell them *personalized* bedtime stories every night, I’d always begin the stories the same way: “Once upon a time there was a boy named _______, and he was strong, smart, kind and brave.” Those are traits I feel are important to believe about yourself and I loved giving them this small reminder each night. I had a half-formed concept of a children’s picture book for years but I wasn't sure what it was going to turn into. Then, one night in March 2021 I couldn’t sleep - which is very...

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Changing my parenting lens

Three ways to become a more empathetic + patient parent I am almost nine years into this parenting gig, and it is true what they say: I was a much better parent before I had my own kids. My own children have taught me more than I paid to learn in university. Kids are constantly teaching us, we just have to be quiet and listen. When parenting children with challenging behaviour, I have found it easy to slide into anger, frustration, pity parties, and yelling. In the book “The Explosive Child” by clinical child psychologist Dr. Ross Greene, he talks about making a “lens change”. Our lenses are the beliefs we hold about our children’s behaviour and our role as...

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Accept, don't fix

“Mom, I don’t want my ADHD fixed.” We were hanging out in my son’s room before bed, while he got ready for sleep (maddeningly slowly, as usual). It had been a tough day and honestly I just wanted him to be tucked in so I could collapse on the couch downstairs and watch tv and maybe text back a friend (I seem to constantly drop the texting-back-ball). His comment came out of nowhere and stopped me in my tracks.“Fix? What do you mean, buddy?”“I like my ADHD. It makes me different. I like how I think.”“I like how you think too. I don’t want to fix anything about you.”We don’t talk about “fixing” anyone in our family. We talk about growth,...

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