Stay updated! Subscribe to our Newsletter

Our Courses, Seminars and Workshops

 

Amazing Adolescence
Adolescence by its very definition is a time of profound change – physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially, our sons and daughters transform before our very eyes.  The process is exciting and wonderful on the one hand but also puzzling and even exasperating!    We’ll talk about how your child is changing and how you can help them as they navigate these new and sometimes choppy waters and face the issues of peer pressure and identity, sexual development and curiosity, organization and motivation, emotional well-being and communication at home.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Baby Calming: How to soothe your crying baby
Bonding with your baby is depicted as a time of bliss between parent and child. But what if you’ve got a “fussy baby” who is hard to soothe, hard to feed, or who doesn’t sleep easily or for long? Maternity nurse and lactation consultant Helen Marshall has accepted our invitation to talk about the early days (and nights) of parenting. Expectant parents and parents of babies under 12 months will find her experience and wisdom helpful – whether parenting for the first time or welcoming yet another addition to the family – no two babies are the same!
Our Expert: Helen Marshall


The Basics of Behaviour
Why do kids do the things they do? How can we, as parents, most effectively influence their behavior? Every parent has a “parenting tool kit” at their disposal: praise, rewards, consequences, incentives, reminders, explanations, even punishments.  We’ll talk about why each tool is only effective in specific situations by looking at the ABC’s of children’s behaviour: what motivates certain behaviours and what curbs others.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Child Care and Education Options


Children’s Activities: Finding Home Abroad


Choosing your Battles
Being a parent is not just a job – it’s a relationship. Teaching our children rules and routines is important, but sometimes we can get caught in a negative cycle with our children where it feels like one battle after another.  The temptation to give up and keep the peace can lead to children learning to get their way through being difficult.  So how can we guide and direct them without over-controlling? In this seminar we will discuss how to identify what’s really important, and how to provide space for autonomy and self-regulation.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Communicating for Cooperation
“My child never listens” often means he or she doesn’t do as I say.  We’ll talk about how small changes in the way you deliver the message can make big changes in the outcome.  Instead of nagging, complaining, threatening, or yelling, there are ways to talk to your child so they will listen and give instructions that are more likely to be followed!  This parenting workshop is designed for parents of children from toddlers to teens to improve communication style.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Dealing with Difficult Behaviour
Sometimes we can feel that our children throw more at us than we know how to handle. Tantrums, whining, defiance, emotional meltdowns, testing the limits – we can get stuck in negative cycles with our children where no one feels happy about the outcomes. We’ll look at developing new responses to our children’s negative behaviours to break the cycle and resolve the issues more quickly and calmly, improving not only their behaviour but the parent-child relationship. This seminar is best suited to parents of children aged 4-12.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


The Dutch Health Care System
The conservative and non-interventionalist approach of the Dutch medical and maternity care has been a great source of concern to many expats. A comprehensive talk by our qualified localised expat will elude to “expat privileges” and new support systems to reassure parents with “inside” information.


Emotions and Expectations
As parents we know that acceptance and unconditional love are key to our children’s healthy self-esteem and thus to their ability to make the best of whatever challenges they may face.  Yet in the real world we also acknowledge that our own feelings, hopes, dreams, and emotions sometimes get in the way.  Whether it’s frustration or disappointment, anxiety or worry, we have to cope with our own feelings on top of those of our children.  For kids with learning challenges or differences, sometimes their educational future can look unclear and we wonder what’s realistic and how best to guide them. We’ll discuss these important issues and make room for our own feelings as parents.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Expat kids, stress and mindfulness
Helping expat kids deal with the inherent stress that comes with their mobile lifestyle is important for their overall happiness and well-being, but also essential so that stress does not block their road to success. The good news is that growing research supports the notion that mindfulness-based practices may be the key to encouraging young people to reach their potential – come and listen to learn how!
Our Expert: Kate Berger


The Expat Teen: Leaving “Home”
Is your child graduating from secondary school and leaving the nest? Whether your child is attending University, embarking on a Gap Year or heading straight into a job this autumn, join us to help learn how to best prepare your child so that they can thrive in this first step into adulthood. Ellen Mahoney, CEO and founder of Sea Change Mentoring, leads this seminar, sharing her expertise in supporting international teens and emerging adults. School counsellor Ellen Mahoney grew up as an expat student, a Third Culture Kid, herself and experienced the shock of returning to her “home” country of the United States to discover that she, and many of her peers, faced emotional and cultural difficulties they were unprepared for. After finishing with a Master’s in Education and working with students in US schools, Ellen threw herself into mentoring research and promotion, founding the exciting Sea Change Mentoring programme – a support to expat students going off to University. For this event, teens aged 16-plus are welcome (but not obliged!) to accompany parents to hear how to help prepare for the next step.
Our Expert: Ellen Mahoney


Families and Food
Food is the fuel for our kids, but it is also the fuel that ignites many family-time fights.  We’ll talk about how to create more pleasant, peaceful mealtimes and also how to promote healthy behaviours and attitudes about food and eating.  We’ll focus on some of the common food-fight issues: coming when called, table manners, sitting still, fussy eaters, trying new foods.  We’ll also touch on how healthy behaviour patterns can help prevent eating disorders like obesity and anorexia.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Families in Global Transition & Expat Kids
A seminar touching on issues such as the “trauma” of leaving a country, cross-cultural childhoods, the grieving process, issues of self-esteem and identity. Our Psychologist will talk parents through the transition process and advise them on how to help their “third culture kids” adjust.


Fathers: Absent or Present, their role in raising children


First Aid & CPR


The Growing Years: Promoting Healthy Development
Nutrition plays a major key role in growth and development. More and more children suffer from poor concentration, impaired sleeping patterns, behavioral problems, food and chemical sensitivities/allergies, etc. Although food doesn’t have to be the root cause, it often plays an important role in provoking symptoms and/or worsening them. Adjusting the diet and the nutritional status – sometimes complemented with supplements – can substantially reduce the symptoms, and improve health, mood and wellbeing. Avivith Stassen works with families to develop a healthy eating plan for children for optimal health. Dr Stephen Buskin is a South African Pediatrician and Homeopathic doctor whose clinic in Wassenaar builds a bridge between conventional and alternative medicine. His holistic approach to the child includes both physical development and symptoms along with behaviour, sleep, and irritability.
Our Experts: Pediatrician Dr. Stephen Buskin and Pediatric Dietician Avivith Stassen


The Happiness Trap
Determined to provide the best for our kids, we parents do almost anything and everything to make their hearts content. We want them to be happy! However, we must beware of the “happiness trap”.  Sometimes the things we do to protect them from unhappiness robs them of the opportunities they need for growth.  Sometimes our efforts at giving them happiness backfires, making parents resentful and producing the opposite effect.  Happiness is an emotion and, like all emotions, is transient;  but confidence, resiliency, and character are gifts that can last a lifetime.  We’ll also talk about how optimism, positive affect (cheerfulness), and an appreciation of joy are great predictors of excellent mental health and how you can pass these on to your children.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Health and Fitness: A Path for Life
With children growing up in an increasingly information age, it means more time spent on computers, tablets, and smartphones and less time that they are engaging in physical activity. Unfortunately, this also means an increase in the risk of pain and other physical problems due to poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle. These issues can grow and become even more problematic in adulthood. Educating children about their health, their bodies, the importance of fitness and nutrition can help them to develop good health habits. This can not only help prevent future health problems, but it can also empower them to make better health decisions throughout their lives.
Our Experts: Ceci Wong & Thomas Halyk


How to Talk with your Child and Teen about Sex
Your child’s body and their sexual feelings, curiosity, and behaviour should be a source of joy and of pride, contributing to a healthy self-esteem and eventually to a meaningful and loving partnership.  But all too often feelings of confusion, anxiety, and embarrassment are uppermost.  Even in families who try to promote a healthy body image and positive attitude towards sexuality, uncomfortable feelings still persist. Why is that?  Chances are, it is rooted in the mixed messages children receive almost from birth about their bodies and about sexuality.

On the one hand, commodifiction and commercialisation of bodies is everywhere – from the scantily-clad lingerie models on the life-size bus-stop advertising poster, to the twerking derrierres of pop-stars, to the tiny waisted yet voluptuous ‘fashion’ dolls in the toy stores with their eye-makeup and pouty lips.  On the other hand, sex and sexuality is still a hush-hush, taboo subject, and often for good reason. Couples keep the sexual side of their relationship private to preserve the intimacy and specialness of their bond. And adults are rightly protective of providing too much information too early to children at the risk of creating anxiety with details their children are not yet developmentally ready to handle. And then there’s the notion of the “innocence” of children that supposedly needs guarding. Into the void, without information and without validation for their curiosity, creep confusion, embarrassment, fear, and a vague sense of shame – feeling things they are not “supposed” to feel or curiosity about questions they are not ‘supposed’  to ask.

Parents inadvertently place responsibility on their children’s shoulders when they say “If there’s anything you want to know or need to ask, you can always ask me anything”. In life, any of us often don’t know what it is that we don’t know, and often don’t know when we’ve been misinformed about something and believe a modern myth to be factual. Secondly, if the subject is slightly embarrassing or uncomfortable, putting the less-informed and more vulnerable person in the relationship in charge about when and what should be discussed might mean the subject never comes up. And finally, as parents we have more than information and facts to share:  we have our own experiences, insights, lessons leaned, values and morals to share.

There is a middle way – talking to teens, and even to kids, about sex in a way that is measured, positive, and developmentally appropriate and that makes them feel accepted and empowered to make good decisions. Key talking points will include bodies and babies, puberty and body image, sexual health, relationship skills your child needs, and pornography and ‘sexting’ among (even young) teen-agers. Parents with children as young as 3 will get a head start in talking with their kids in healthy ways, and this seminar will especially be interesting to parents of children aged 9+
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Limits, with Love
Children need love and acceptance as much as they need clear boundaries and limitations to feel safe and secure.  Is your parenting style indulgent? authoritarian? laissez-faire?  This seminar looks at the impact of parenting style on child development and aims to provide guidance in how to nurture your child emotionally and set realistic and helpful limits and expectations for behaviour.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Nutrition


Organisational Skills
Being and staying organized is the secret shared by students who experience higher success and lower stress. Being organized has to do with how you manage your time, how you manage your stuff, and how you manage your tasks. It’s not a personality trait or a type of character – it’s a set of behaviours and as such it can be taught and it can be learned.  This seminar will show parents how better to teach these essential skills to secondary school children.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Parenting the 2’s and 3’s
Remember when they lay in our arms as tiny babies, or sat safely in the baby-buggy in the park? Those days are gone and now our kids are mobile, verbal, curious, and have wills of their own! As our children grow, so too must we as parents grow and learn new skills for parenting. Parents of toddlers and pre-schoolers will benefit from this informative look at child development from the second birthday through age three. We’ll talk about how to nurture their emerging skills, how to introduce loving limits to their behaviour, and how to enjoy this amazing time together.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Parenting the Love and Logic Way (7 Week Course)
This course provides practical and proven tools for raising respectful, responsible, and happy kids. A parent workbook is included in the cost of the class, and tea and coffee are included. Learn: how to avoid un-winnable power-stuggles and arguments, how to stay calm and empathetic when your kids do incredibly upsetting things, how to set enforceable limits
how to avoid enabling and begin empowering, how to help your kids learn from mistakes rather than repeating them, how to raise kids who are family team members rather than demanding dictators, among other skills
* The Parenting the Love and Logic Way! program was developed by Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.D., and Foster W. Cline, M.D., of the Love and logic Institute, Inc., in Golden, Colorado.
Our Expert: Dr. Katie Boggs


Parents as Partners
Raising kids is the ‘toughest job you’ll ever love’, and it’s a job that’s easier and more effective when you work as a team. Your partnership becomes the template for your children’s future relationships and the atmosphere at home has a profound influence on their well-being. By supporting each other, backing each other up, and finding common ground in team parenting, we create the foundation in which our kids can thrive. This seminar will look at the communication skills, attitudes, and behaviours that help partners in their parenting, and parents in their partnership.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Peer Pressure
“Everybody else can/has/is allowed to…” Even the youngest children compare themselves to their peers, and the result is not always what we, as parents, would want.  We’ll talk about the pitfalls but also the benefits of peer pressure and how to help your child negotiate this territory with their self-concept intact.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Procrastination, Homework and Exams: Can Neuroscience help?
Do you put things off until later, again and again? Does your child? The tendency to procrastinate, or avoid work until deadlines are looming – or past- can cause a great deal of stress and can impact job performance and school achievement. This seminar explores research in brain function that relates to the ability to self-regulate. Executive functions develop over time and the adolescent brain works very differently than the adult brain in this key regard. We’ll also look at what neuroscience can teach us about revision and homework habits that make a difference.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Raising Bilingual Children: Six Building Blocks for Success
Eowyn is an Educational Consultant to schools as well as to individuals and helps parents to develop an all-important Family Language Plan. Do you have one? If not, we highly recommend this seminar. If you live in The Netherlands and are reading this in English, bilingualism is already part of your life – why not learn how to make the most of it? Find out why speaking multiple languages is so valuable for child development and how to go about it the best way.
Our Expert: Eowyn Crisfield


Raising Bilingual Children: Family Language Planning (workshop)
One of the critical six building blocks for success is a Family Language Plan. Bilingualism/multilingualism does not always happen naturally or easily, but with some thought and planning, most families can achieve their language goals for their children. This interactive workshop introduces parents to the tools and process of Family Language Planning, and to the different elements of a successful plan. Parents will leave with the knowledge to make their own Family Language Plan, and an understanding of how/why it may need changing along the way.
This workshop is only open to people who have previously attended the “Raising Bilingual Children: Six building blocks for success” seminar.
Our Expert: Eowyn Crisfield


Raising Confident Children
Self-efficacy – the quality of believing in one’s own abilities – is a trait shared by confident children (and adults).  It is the development of competence and autonomy, and not just a constant stream of praise, that leads to confidence.  This talk will focus on the life-skills that children need to face challenges with confidence and how we, as parents, can help them learn these.  It will be a practical guide for parents wanting to know more about this desirable quality.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Siblings and Rivalry
Children are obsessed with ‘equal’, ‘same’ and ‘fair’, but educational psychologist Katherine Fortier will show that ‘Equal is Less’. Comparisons and roles are perilous and children don’t need to be treated equally, they need to be treated uniquely. Jealousy and competitiveness may be one of parents’ toughest problems to handle and this illuminating seminar will offer strategies and skills to foster cooperative sibling relations. This seminar will be valuable for parents of toddlers to teens.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Social and Emotional Intelligence
Is your child confident and independent?  Is he or she sociable and friendly?  Does your child display empathy towards others and play well in a group?  Can they express their emotions?  Can they control their own moods and behaviours? These important social and emotional skills count as much or more than IQ and academic achievement towards attaining success and happiness in life.  Emotional Intelligence is the gift of being “people smart”: empathy with others, controlling impulses, recognizing and managing moods, solving problems, developing good interpersonal relationships at home, at school and with friends. This parenting workshop is designed to help you understand your child’s social and emotional development, and how to nurture your child’s social and emotional skills.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Supporting School Success – Junior School
We all want our children to learn well and to succeed.  Performing well in school is predictive of future success and security in life, but how to promote positive performance without becoming a “pushy parent”?  How can we help our child find and meet goals without putting undue pressure, and how can we encourage achievement without compromising self-esteem?  This seminar is for parents of primary school students and looks at the activities, the attitudes, and the messages that help children become active, eager learners.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Supporting School Success – Senior School
We all want our children to learn well and to succeed.  Performing well in school is predictive of future success and security in life, but how to promote positive performance without becoming a “pushy parent”?  How can we help our child find and meet goals without putting undue pressure, and how can we encourage achievement without compromising self-esteem?  This seminar is for parents of secondary school students and hopes to provide practical guidance with a “hands-on” approach to nurturing achievement motivation without adding stress.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Teaching Kids about Choices and Consequences
The ability to make wise choices is not inborn but rather develops over the life span.  As children’s cognitive skills develop from toddlerhood through to teenage years, so too does their ability to estimate time and effort, to accurately predict outcomes, to understand cause-effect relationships, to regulate their own behaviour, and to problem-solve across different domains.  We’ll talk about how parents can support this learning and how we help our child at different ages and stages make a link between choices and consequences.
Our Expert: Katherine Fortier


Wills and Testaments for International Families
Every expat parent should have a Dutch will to avoid legal or tax-related problems, should the unthinkable happen. If you die while resident in the Netherlands, your entire estate will be subject to Dutch inheritance tax, no matter where your assets are. The courts will take custody of your children. Our international family law specialist will give parents need-to-know information to get it done quickly and painlessly.
Our Expert: Yolanda Bokhorst