Tara's Take - Parenting, Education & Life With Kids

Tara Gratto M.S.Ed, MA, OCT

An experienced educator, former preschool owner and parent, I've spent the last two decades working with children and families in a variety of different roles and responsibilities from preschool to high school.

My passion is making emotional regulation & social emotional well-being understandable, relatable and easy to implement. I'm a big fan of picture books and wrote one with a playful take on brain science called The Adventures of Team Brain!

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This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.

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Kids & FamilyKids & Family

Episodes

Supporting Success in Young Children: The relationship between perfectionism, persistence & failure
28-03-2024
Supporting Success in Young Children: The relationship between perfectionism, persistence & failure
Children are becoming risk-averse and overly focused on perfection. If they can't do it right the first time, or if it requires some perserverance they are quick to give up. Join me in discussion that uncovers how well-meaning intentions might be robbing our kids of their natural tenacity and problem-solving abilities.  As a host deeply invested in fostering resilience, I recount stories from my preschool that champion the philosophy of observing rather than aiding children in their physical explorations, emphasizing the critical life lessons learned through navigating failure and frustration.This episode is a resource for anyone looking to strike a balance between nurturing enjoyment and teaching the vital coping mechanisms to handle life's challenges. We discuss the nuances of brain development and how we can better equip our children to master tasks at their own pace, stressing the importance of allowing them to face disappointments head-on. By creating opportunities for peer learning and individual problem-solving, we propose practical approaches for building a generation that's capable, confident, and ready to face whatever comes their way. ___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Dealing with Disrespectful Behaviour at Home, School and Beyond
12-03-2024
Dealing with Disrespectful Behaviour at Home, School and Beyond
This episode delves into the exhaustion that 'on-call parenting' can induce and how we might be reinforcing disrespect without realizing it. We'll be digging into the subject of teaching everyday respect to our children—a task that requires more than just stern talks about expectations. I underscore the power of leading by example and how everyday dialogues shape the foundations of respect in our kids. It's about showing them that respect is not rooted in fear but in mutual understanding. By weaving respect into the fabric of our daily lives, we not only prepare our children for the world but also open ourselves to the lessons they can teach us. Using my signature framework, The Language of Kindness, I tackle building connected and respectful relationships at home and beyond. This episode is an invitation to parents and guardians alike to reconsider the way we approach respect and the lasting impact it has on our little ones.___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Supporting Parents With Healthy Boundaries: A Chat About Education, Behaviour, and Children with Amy Yeung
23-12-2023
Supporting Parents With Healthy Boundaries: A Chat About Education, Behaviour, and Children with Amy Yeung
Discover the invaluable insights of Amy, a high school guidance counsellor and special education specialist, as she joins me to unravel the complexities of school behaviour, mental health, and parenting in today's fast-paced society. Our discussion sheds light on the heightened challenges educators and students face as the as the year comes to a close.  We delve into the emotional turmoil flooding our classrooms, the silent battles fought within the walls of family homes, and the transformative power of understanding and managing these sometimes overwhelming emotions.Our conversation weaves through the fabric of modern parenting to examine the nuances of setting boundaries and allowing emotional growth. We tackle the paradox of parenting strategies that aim to support children, but are actually shielding them from essential life experiences and building a potential for increased anxiety and maladaptive coping mechanisms. Amy and I share personal reflections on the mental load of parenting, discussing the fine line between guiding and overprotecting our children, all while navigating the deluge of information that constantly barrages today's families.This episode goes beyond the impact of individual families to address  community-wide issues like the impact of funding cuts on school based extracurricular activities. We debate how the balance of structured and unstructured play shapes a child's autonomy and long-term emotional resilience. From the playground to the living room, we confront the intricacies of providing children with choices, respecting the wisdom of elders, and the essential role trust plays in the journey of parenting. Join us for this reflective conversation that promises to offer a deeper comprehension of the interplay between education, mental health, and the art of raising children in our current era.___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Parenting Children and Pre-Teens to be Independent and Organized with Alison Strang
07-12-2023
Parenting Children and Pre-Teens to be Independent and Organized with Alison Strang
Are you navigating the tricky path of parenting through the transition years? As your kids edge towards their preteens, there's an opportunity to do some intentional skill-building that will support developing independence and autonomy in an effective way.With insight from Alison Strang, the founder of Soothing Spaces, the episode begins with a discussion on how to create spaces that truly reflect your children's personalities. We explore the unintentional guilt children may feel about not liking certain items and how to address it. Alison shares valuable advice on toy selection, the significance of decluttering, and how to involve your kids in this process. We also dive deep into the emotional process of passing down toys and how to navigate it. We'll also share some practical approaches to toy organization, including the concept of toy rotation to enhance independent play. Our conversation extends to teaching kids about gift-giving, consumerism, and sustainability. We explore the "sunk cost" concept that comes with decluttering and wrap up with the importance of community giving and toy donation. Be ready to gain new perspectives on parenting and home organization. Alison's contact information:Website: https://soothingspaces.ca/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soothingspaces/___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Building Mutually Respectful and Effective Relationships With Your Children
25-11-2023
Building Mutually Respectful and Effective Relationships With Your Children
Are you giving all your time and energy to your children but still feel like you're missing something? This episode will shed light on what you might be missing: intentional connection. We delve into this concept in parenting, unraveling how just 5-10 minutes of daily engagement can positively impact your relationship with your children. We also tackle the high expectations kids have for parental presence and why being permanently available may not always be best. Instead, we inspire you to create mutually respectful  dynamic where everyone's needs matter.Ever felt 'over-present' yet under-connected with your kid? We've been there too, and that's why we're sharing insightful perspectives on how to authentically connect with your children. In this conversation, we navigate around effective language, turning even the most mundane tasks into opportunities for building respectful relationships. We encourage you to foster an environment where your children can feel heard and understood. We not only share the importance of using effective language but also how to implement it in day-to-day parenting. Tune in, and let's strengthen those parent-child bonds together.___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Birthday Parties & Parent Overwhelm: boundaries, peer pressure & children’s feelings
14-11-2023
Birthday Parties & Parent Overwhelm: boundaries, peer pressure & children’s feelings
Is parenthood overwhelming you, especially in these trying times? What if you could gain insights to better manage emotions, set boundaries, and foster a parenting style that doesn't lead to dissatisfaction, irritation, or self-doubt? This episode delves deep into these issues, emphasizing the importance of creating fresh memories rather than living with the guilt of lost time. We dig into the amplified mental load of parenthood that the pandemic has thrust upon us and the potential repercussions of not dealing with it effectively. We know that birthdays and celebrations can bring out the big feelings in us all, but there’s a silver lining! We take a closer look at how we can turn these events into opportunities for teaching our children healthy coping strategies. We’ll also explore the art of navigating comparison and individuality, building resilience in our children. Finally, we'll discuss the Language of Kindness towards the planet, framing our conversations around values, inclusion, and the delicate balance between equity and equality. Join us, as we journey through the challenging yet rewarding terrain of parenting as we approach the busy holiday season.___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Understanding Individual Education Plans: A Guide for Parents Navigating Ontario's IEP System with Amy Yeung
26-10-2023
Understanding Individual Education Plans: A Guide for Parents Navigating Ontario's IEP System with Amy Yeung
Ever felt puzzled by the term Individual Education Plans (IEPs)? Wondered what it truly means for your child's education? Well, we're pulling back the curtain on this concept with a deep dive into Ontario's IEP system, guided by standing guest expert Amy Yeung, a seasoned high school guidance counsellor and special education specialist. Her two decades of experience promise to shine a light on the real purpose of IEPs while offering invaluable insights for parents navigating these waters.We'll be exploring the process of developing IEPs, illuminating the role of teachers in providing accommodations, and dissecting the approaches of different school boards. You'll learn about the tiered system of services and why a measured approach is key before leaping straight into an IEP. Amy's expert take will reframe your understanding of IEPs, focusing less on extra enrichment and more on providing tailored support to students with diverse learning needs.We'll also delve into the significance of psychological evaluations, their role in identifying learning disabilities and ADHD, the costs, and wait times associated with these evaluations. Our conversation will stretch to curriculum modifications, how they impact a student's ability to earn high school credits and why these changes are often need to be monitored in elementary school. Prepare to be enlightened, reassured, and armed with practical advice for your child's educational journey. With Amy by our side, we're making sense of IEPs, one step at a time.___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Big Feelings & Meltdowns: A Parent's Guide to Emotional Regulation in Kids
10-10-2023
Big Feelings & Meltdowns: A Parent's Guide to Emotional Regulation in Kids
So, your child is having an emotional meltdown and it feels like all eyes are on you. How should you respond? In today's episode, we'll deconstruct the concept of emotional regulation in children and the critical role we as parents play in this process. It's a conversation that debunks the myth that children should be perfect regulators of their emotions and how to set realistic expectations. We'll review the importance of understanding that all feelings are valid, but the key is in teaching our little ones how to express these emotions in ways that aren't harmful to themselves, or to others. An important part of our discussion will be about creating a safe, judgment-free zone for our kids where all feelings, big and small, are welcome. We will also delve into the real-world challenges of dealing with unwanted behaviors like kicking, screaming, and self-harm. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is emotional regulation. It takes time, patience, and consistent practice. The tools we need to develop emotional regulation skills are best modelled in calm and connected moments, not just when the storm hits. And if you're struggling to navigate these waters alone, don't worry - personal one-on-one sessions are now available to provide more personal guidance. Tune in, and let's navigate these emotional waters together.___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Connecting with Children: Unlocking the Power of 'In-Between' Moments in Parenting
26-09-2023
Connecting with Children: Unlocking the Power of 'In-Between' Moments in Parenting
Connecting with your child can feel like a daunting task and it can be tempting to engage in lengthy 'sit-down' conversations with them. The ticket to connection is those 'in-between' moments, such as walks or car rides. These are the situations that can make a world of difference in your parenting journey. To support this, I chat about where  eye contact and physical touch play a part in fostering a relationship of listening, as well as the art of positive, meaningful interactions without 'buts' or 'ands'.As an added bonus I chat about how books aren't just for bedtime.  Incorporating books into other parts of your day can facilitate open conversations with your children, helping them express their worries and thoughts. I reveal my strategies to balance the use of books for creating a dialogue with your children and ways to foster genuine relationships that don't rely on costly activities or outings. Let's confront some  uncomfortable truths about parenting, from the importance of when and how we communicate with our kids, to the critical role of positive reinforcement. In this episode we'll tackle some tricky conversations while unravelling the complexities of parenting together.___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
The Power of Picture Books in Parenting: Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children
11-09-2023
The Power of Picture Books in Parenting: Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children
To transform your parenting approach and boost your child's emotional intelligence, picture books are your secret weapon. As parents, it's easy to overestimate our emotional vocabulary, as well as your child's. This can pose challenges when you aspire to parent differently from how you were raised. Conversations alone fall short in teaching your children about their feelings, but picture books can change the game. Using them as a tool in calm and connection can help children learn to identify their feelings and develop strategies to handle them.In this episode, we highlight the power of picture books in shaping a feelings vocabulary - transforming the learning process into a relatable, enjoyable experience. We'll discuss a few of my favourite books to support you in teaching your child about their feelings outside of tense situations. Tune in and discover how picture books can be instrumental in nurturing your child's emotional development and well-being.___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Surviving & Thriving: A Parent’s Guide to School Transitions
28-08-2023
Surviving & Thriving: A Parent’s Guide to School Transitions
The back-to-school season is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Whether it's the unknowns of starting KG, the big jump  to grade one, or the tumultuous leap into high school, each transition carries its own set of expectations, anxieties, and adjustments. Together with my insightful guest Amy Yeung, we peel back the layers of these transitions, offering you a fresh perspective to better understand and navigate these changes not just for yourself as a parent, but for your children as well. Let's break away from the stereotypical  narratives and focus on what really matters — our children's well-being. How can we equip them with the skills to identify good peers? How do we alleviate pressure of transitions with realistic expectations? Prepare yourself for an episode brimming with practical advice, empathetic discussions, and a fresh perspective on school transitions and friendships. This is not just about surviving the back-to-school season; it's about turning these transitions into opportunities for growth and resilience. Join us for this episode that promises to transform the way you perceive and handle school transitions.This episode offers a glimpse into the Raising Resilient Children membership community - a resource dedicated to fostering resilience in our children. This conversation with Amy Young is not just about transitions and friendships, but also a wealth of knowledge on raising resilient children. Don’t miss out!___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Navigating the Complexities and Consequences of Sharing Your Child's Life Online
14-08-2023
Navigating the Complexities and Consequences of Sharing Your Child's Life Online
What if your sharing about your child online could negatively impact their mental health later in life? In this episode we'll look at some of the possible implications of sharing your child's photos and personal information online. We'll discuss the complexities of parents sharing childhood memories on the digital stage while acknowledging why it happens. Parenthood can be a lonely journey, and social media feels like it provides an avenue for connection, but at what cost? Drawing from my early career interactions with teens worried about their online image, I'm reflecting on the ability of young children to provide consent for online sharing contrasted with a parent's desire to be connected to a community. Join me in navigating the digital dilemmas of sharing about children in the online space.Are you looking for a community of parents to support you with the challenges of parenting in the digital age. Check out the Raising Resilient Children Resource Centre and Community HERE___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
The Dishwasher and Other Unfun Chores: Aligning Our Expectations with Children's Skills
31-07-2023
The Dishwasher and Other Unfun Chores: Aligning Our Expectations with Children's Skills
Ever wondered how the simple task of unloading a dishwasher could equip your children with essential life skills? We'll unveil how transforming chores into responsibilities can empower your little ones and pave their way to becoming competent adults. We'll explore the power of language in molding mindsets, shifting from 'chore' to 'responsibility', and creating a sense of accomplishment in children. This episode is a treasure trove, offering practical tips to help parents navigate the challenging task of inculcating responsibility in kids, all while tackling the dishwasher!Our conversation brings to light the art of breaking down overwhelming tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. Remember, it's not just about getting the dishes done; it's about instilling a sense of responsibility and independence. We'll share insights on setting realistic expectations, handling pushback from older kids, and the subtle impact of our words. Be ready to turn your everyday household tasks into a learning playground for your children.  Parents, let's roll up our sleeves, get those dishes out, and start building responsibility, one plate at a time!___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.
Rethinking Children's Extracurricular Activities:  Parenting Goals vs Reality
16-07-2023
Rethinking Children's Extracurricular Activities: Parenting Goals vs Reality
Are  kids starting extracurricular activities too early? As a society, are we over-prioritizing structured activities in place of downtown and other essential life skills? I'm Tara, and in today's episode, I'll be turning these questions on their heads to navigate the often complicated world of extracurricular activities for children under 7. Together, we'll explore the pressures parents face and delve into the potential unintended consequences of over-scheduling our kids' lives.We'll go beyond the usual discussions about daycare and school, and question the societal norms around what we think our children really need. Brace yourself as we challenge mass group thinking and its impact on our children. We'll also talk about the importance of creating space for them to learn essential life skills and consider the possibility of reducing their extracurricular programming. So join me as we rethink extracurriculars and reevaluate children's developmental needs. It's going to be a thought-provoking journey that promises to help us make better parenting choices for our children's future.___Get your quick and actionable tips, blog/podcast updates and curated children's book recommendations by joining Tara's Take the Newsletter HEREYou can also submit questions directly to me at info@taragratto.ca or by heading to our website HERE------The music for this podcast is written and produced by Jazlyn B with the guidance of Sabine Ndalamba Note: This podcast is created for educational purposes only. Any references links, resources or content are not intended as a substitute for medical or professional mental health advice.