Parenting for Your Child’s Rhythm

Each one of my children is a beautiful human being. I love to spend time with them, watch them learn, and notice what they are interested in. I enjoy their company but some days I find this hard to keep in perspective because I’m just not up to it. This is when I try to remember that time is fleeting. While some days seem long, months and years pass by quickly. 

Child's Rythm

As much as I feel so blessed to enjoy this time with them and experience how precious they are, what I really want is to ensure they feel how precious they are and get to know themselves really well. So, even though I want to give them confidence, love, and a feeling of worth what is more important is that they are learning to give this to themselves.

I would like to ensure that my children are not drawing their self-esteem from what I want for them but from what they want for themselves. They can do this by finding the feeling of confidence that comes from spending time with themselves and following their own rhythm.

This can be interrupted so easily by the busyness of life, rushing children out the door, and placing too much weight on socializing with others. You have the chance to let your children become strong in themselves before sending them out into the world. When they have a true sense of themselves they will also have what they need when it is time.           

To help your children have this feeling you can learn to follow them. Test it out slowly by going at they’re pace just a little bit more often. This might mean going a little slower at times or speeding things up, giving them extra time to play around the sink when they are washing their hands, allowing them to take time when getting their chores done and taking into consideration their desired schedule.

Sometimes children doddle because they are enjoying themselves and other times it is because they are feeling controlled. When you follow them you learn to see the difference and realize that both are about needs that are important to them. Understand that they have their own sense of how they would like to move through their day and they often don’t get to follow it.

By giving your children chances to follow their own rhythm they are finding resources within that give them a certainty that the way they naturally move through life is valid and valued. By giving your children chances to enjoy time with them selves they are building strength in who they are. This is what brings them the confidence to be who they are, to be authentic in relationships with others and put themselves forward in all their endeavours. 


Kaeli Van Regan is the founder of Living Inside Out. I combine my love of life and nature with education in Child and Youth Work, Life Coaching and Energy Healing to provide coaching to expand yourself and uplift your family. I live in beautiful Old Ottawa East with my husband and three children. There are tips and tools on the website with a lot more coming in the next couple of months as information comes out about my upcoming book and program Parenting Your Way.

Twitter: @kaeli_van


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The Baby Show in Ottawa!

When I was pregnant with my first, I was so scared about labour and birth that I neglected to do any kind of preparation for life with a baby. I didn't read any parenting books, I didn't visit any baby shows and I certainly didn't research the available resources for new parents here in our city. So it's no wonder that parenting hit me like a Mack truck :) Now as a doula, I spend a lot of time with my clients talking about what happens after the baby arrives - breastfeeeding, postpartum recovery, sleep issues, and building a relationship with your baby (and keeping the relationship with your partner alive!!)

Luckily here in Ottawa we have SO many wonderful businesses and organizations dedicated to making life with a baby FUN. Many of these people will be at the upcoming Baby Show here in Ottawa, May 3rd and 4th at the Ottawa Convention Centre. If you are expecting a baby OR raising a young family, I would definitely recommend you check it out!

Here are just a few of my favourite businesses you'll find at the show:

Anna Belanger and Associates - with three clinics around Ottawa, there's no excuse not to try a massage with this fantastic local business!

Little Lotus Yoga - with class options for adults and children of all ages! Amanda will be doing a prenatal yoga demonstration on the main stage.

Dr. Alexis Reid with Eco Chic Movement has created her own skin care line, and has great tips for dealing with pregnancy discomforts. Plus, she works at the Ottawa Integrative Health Centre, with a team of fantastic Naturopathic doctors!

Andrea Strang with Kinder Sleep - we all need sleep, right? Sometimes babies don't agree! Andrea offers essential support and information for implementing gentle sleep methods.

There will also be a TON of amazing vendors set up to answer your questions about their products or services. And for the kiddos, Barney will be there, along with a meet and greet with Pinkalicious.

Head on over and get your tickets now! Use the code ONEWEEK for $2 off your tickets.

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Making Time

The other day I wrote about making evenings work for myself and my husband. This got me brainstorming about ways to also make time for myself. Pregnant with my first child, I never fully appreciated the total lack of time I would have to give to myself as a parent. Both of our children haven't been great sleepers, so we've spent the past 5 years doing both daytime parenting and exhaustive nighttime parenting. So the snippets of time I've managed to find for myself have been spent trying to eat something (mostly chocolate), or collapsing on the couch.

Lately, though, the intensity of parenting during the early years has slowed down (just a bit!). My oldest daughter is becoming more independent, and we've been working hard with my youngest to get more sleep.

Of course, it's easy for this extra time to be frittered away by scrolling through my Facebook timeline or watching television. And hey, I love me some TV and Facebook, but I'm also hoping to focus on my own personal wellness - something that a screen doesn't usually help with.

Here are some ways I've been making time for me:

  • I joined the gym! There is a gym at my work, and although it's certainly not pretty or modern, it does the trick. I do a quick 45 minute workout at lunch.
  • I take meandering walks. We back onto a ravine, and on my days working from home, I'll take the dog out into the ravine and make my way slowly through the bush. This quiet time to myself has allowed me to do a lot of thinking!
  • Instead of pouring myself a big glass of wine when I get home from work, I've been trying to take time to brew a nice cup of herbal tea. I sip on this while getting dinner prepped or doing the dishes.
  • I joined a yoga class. Although it's only once per week, I'm LOVING the time I have to stretch and move mindfully

All of these things are so simple, and don't seem like much. But they've made a world of difference. I feel happier, and more grounded. Of course I have goals for finding even more time for myself too :) At some point I'm hoping I'll feel rested enough to get up early in the morning and practice meditation or yoga. I have a ways to go yet, but I think progress has been made.

How do you make time for yourself as a parent?


Artkiving your kids artwork

by Lara I don't know about you but the amount of artwork that goes through my house from all three of my kids - from school, from daycare, from home, from playdates....  it's overwhelming.

As much as I'd like to be the mom who carefully kept the most precious ones and then put them into a nice album, I'm not.  So I did what I usually do to solve my problems - I looked up a solution online!

What I found was a great app - Artkive.

It lets me take photos of my kids'  art, categorize it by kid, and add comments.

3.5 year old artwork

Then, I can share it with circles of people.  I have my husband and grandparents linked in to the app and they get an email of the artwork I think they'd like to see.

The best part is one I haven't tried yet but that I'm really excited about - you can have them print the artwork into a book for you!

Check it out!

How do you guys archive your kids art?


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Cheo moms and dads

by Lara Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

As parents in Ottawa I don't think many of us don't have a lot appreciation for CHEO.  The staff is amazing, caring and the way they deal with my children when we have to go in always amazes me.


When CHEO approached me to be a contributor on their new parenting blog I was thrilled to be a part of it.  Creating community online is one of my passions.  Creating a space where parents can talk about parenting connected to our children's hospital - win!

My first post is up today.  Go and check it out and say hello to some of the other new bloggers.

And if you're visiting from the CHEO blog - welcome! Have a look around, we talk about everything from activities for kids, to food to crafts to parenting tips and we're happy to have you!



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