Boost Your Child's Concentration & Learning | Dr Irina Schurov  26th of November 2019 

Workshop Highlights

The gut is the second brain with 100 million neurons

90% of all genetic material in the human body is microbial.

Gut dysfunction contributes to brain dysfunction. 

So, changing the microbes in our gut can have a significant impact on brain development. 

Just like weeds compete with flowers for space and nutrients in a garden, ‘bad’ bacteria compete with ‘good’ bacteria inside your gut.

What can damage our gut? 

  • Poor diet

  • Alcohol

  • Stress

  • Infections and Disease

  • Medicines

  • Pollution and toxins

Sugar causes a blood glucose roller coaster. This makes it harder for us to concentrate. 

 Be Brain Fit 

  • Eat plenty of SMART fats (i.e. nuts, fish)

  • Eat fermented food and probiotics

  • Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit

  • Drink plenty of water and green tea

  • Have good quality sleep

There is no one size fits all diet. A diet that helps one can harm another. Diets need to change over time. 

How to Shop

  • Eat Organic, Local, Seasonal, Whole, Home-made

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables lose nutrients over time, so eat them as fresh as possible

  • Read food labels and watch out for hidden sugars (i.e. sucrose, dextrose), high fructose corn syrup or preservatives E200s & E300s.

Traffic Light Eating

Green Light Food = GO!

Food grown, not manufactured Eat as much as you want! 

Yellow Light Food = Slow Down!

Provide different vitamins, minerals, & other nutrients - Too much of a good thing is still too much!

Red Light Food = Stop & Think!  

Lower in nutrients. High in sugar andadditives. Includes any processed food. Look for an alternative!

Visit Irina's blog HERE to get more great resources

Book an appointment with  Irina HERE to get personalised advice 

All learning issues are symptoms of functionally disconnected brains

Bilingual Language Development & Disorder | Jessica Gigandet & Julia Dahlet |  12th of November 2019 

Workshop Highlights

Jessica began the workshop by laying a foundation of how language develops in children.

She stressed the fact that no matter how many simultaneous languages a child is learning, milestones are always the same.


A good rule of thumb is 1 word at one-year-old (..e using single words such as mum, dad, milk), 2 words at two-years-old (i.e. putting two words together such as mum sad or big dog), and by six-years-old children should have mastered some grammatical exceptions (such as I run vs. I ran).

She stressed the value of speaking with your child in your own mother tongue language. 

 To learn a language a child needs:  

  • Quantity of Language Input

Enough exposed to the language? 

  • Quality of Language Input

Good quality of instruction, preferably from native speakers? 

  • Context / Environment

Exposure across different contexts & environments

  • Motivation 

A desire to learn & enjoyment of the language

Myths Busting:


  • All children can learn multiple languages   

  • Mixing languages and grammar is normal


  • Bilinguals do NOT start speaking later 

  • Speaking more than one language will NOT confuse a child

Preparing Your Child for Life Outside the Nest | Lydia Eckstein  29th of October 2019 

Workshop Highlights

Lydia's presentation highlighted that students in college and university are reporting and seeking more mental health support than ever before. 

There is a disconnect between what parents wish for their children and the prioritise of schools. While most parents hope to raise happy and resilient children (character markers), most schools focus solely on teaching academic skills as markers of success.

Lydia discussed the eight components of social-emotional maturity that are important to promote in your child. It is never too early to check if your child has these skills and to start promoting them at home. To do this speak openly with your children and model these skills yourself. 

 8 Signs of Social Emotional Maturity 

  • Consciousness

Are you ready to take responsibility for the consequences of your actions? 

  • Self Management 

Are you ready to take over the routine tasks of everyday life in an unstructured environment?

  • Interpersonal Skills 

Are you ready to make friends, deal with room mates, and find suitable social activities?

  • Self-Control

Can you set resist temptations and distractions?

  • Grit

Are you ready to persist in the face of disappointment, frustration, and failure? 

  • Risk Management

Are you ready to have fun without taking too many unnecessary risks?

  • Self Acceptance

Can you accept your faults, tolerate mistakes, and deal with feelings of shame? 

  • Open Mindset / Help Seeking

Are you ready to ask for help when you need it?


Recommended Activities

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Recommended Reading


The Forrest App

More Information coming soon

Social Skills and Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder  | Sinead Botterill & Julia Dahlet  1st of October 2019 

Workshop Highlights

What are social skills? 

​​These are the  skills we use to communicate and interact with others. It includes the way we talk, work and play together. When we smile at someone, hold back comments that might upset them, look at them,  nod to show interest or read their body position to know how they are feeling we are using social skills.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? 

ASD is a developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. Children with ASD need to be explicitly  taught the social skills that they do not naturally develop. 

How parents can support the development of social skills? 

  • Praise and reinforce positive behaviours

  • Modelling and role play

  • Break social skills down into step by step tasks

  • Context cues

  • Social stories

  • Teach emotional awareness

  • Increase opportunities for play with sympathetic peers

  • Communication temptations



An example of early social communication

Parenting with Awareness  | Rylla Resler  17th of September 2019 

Workshop Highlights

The following eight points were the main takeaways from the evening. Which resonate with you?

  • Trust your instincts 

 When we get too caught up in what everyone else tells us to do, we can lose touch with our instincts. There is no one right way to parent and you are the only expert on your family and your child. 

  • Review household rules

Are they your own rules or holdovers from your childhood or societal expectations?

  • Honour your children for who they are 

Strong willed children can be difficult to raise, but they become strong independent adults. 


  • Reflect on strong emotions

Why are you becoming emotional in a situation? Could changing your expectations alter your emotional response? 

  • Support personal expression

Let your children express themselves without fear of repercussion. 

  • Allow your children to come up with their own ideas of how to solve problems 

As soon as we jump in and offer suggestions, we take away their independence.


  • Allow your children to experience natural consequences  

Allowing children to fail within a safe environment will help build their resilience, problem-solving skills and independence.


  • Reframe reprimands and boundaries.

Frame the discussion around your own emotions, ie “I am afraid when you…”, or “I love you and want you to be safe that is why.."

There is no one way to parent and no one else can tell you how to be the perfect parent, you have to try out different strategies to find what works to nourish you and your family.


Try a new strategy with your family today.

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