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If you are headed in the wrong direction as a parent - you are allowed to make a U-turn.

Whining and crying are employed by kids for the purpose of getting something. If it works, then it was worth the effort and will be repeated.

You cannot reason with someone who is being unreasonable.

If there is no relationship - nothing else matters !

Removing a child from a traumatic environment does not remove the trauma from the child's memory.

The quickest way to change your child’s behaviour is to first change your own.

The best inheritance  parents can give their children is a few minutes of their time each day.

Don't wait for him to turn 10 before you reveal that you are not in fact the hired help whose job it is to clean up after him.

Parenting style matters - a lot!

If you (parents) tend to overreact to your child's misbehaviour - your child learns that he can't trust you. Mom, Dad, stay regulated!

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Not All Blended Families Look Like the Brady Bunch


Not all blended families look like the Brady Bunch – in fact not very many do ! The Brady Bunch was a TV sitcom (1969-1973) showing the blending of 2 families. Dad brought 3 boys and mom brought 3 girls into a new blended family. The first season depicted typical adjustments, accommodations and resentments inherent in blended families but in a humorous way with all issues being resolved in 1/2 hour. Later seasons focused on typical family issues such as sibling rivalry, puppy love, self-image, character building, responsibility and teen separation issues again resolving all problems in 1/2 hour. This TV blended family came to look like a natural nuclear family in a little over one year.

Real life blended families seldom follow this same script. Over the years I have been asked to assist numerous blended families adjust to their new reality. Below are some quotes from parents and children from some of those families:

  • “My husband (wife) doesn’t love my child”
  • “Your child doesn’t respect me”
  • “Why can’t my stepchild accept me?”
  • “Your not my mom (or dad). I don’t have to listen to you”
  • “I have more chores than your son does”
  • “Just because he doesn’t live here all the time doesn’t make that fair”
  • “I’m blamed for everything”
  • “She gets away with everything”
  • “You’re the one who wanted to put these two families together – not me”
  • “Why can’t you kids just get along”

If this sounds familiar to you, know that you are in the majority of families who are starting over after a marriage breakup. All family members are building a new lifestyle not necessarily as comfortable to them as the one they left behind. Your new spouse may not be a welcome addition for your children. They were probably not looking for another parent or more brothers and sisters. Compatibility of family personalities often seems an elusive dream for many blended families. It is a difficult task requiring a great deal of perseverance to develop the family feeling the marriage partners expected.


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+ Behaviour Management

This full day or 2 evening workshop will introduce you [...]

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+ Lick Your Kids

  “Lick Your Kids” (figuratively not literally) (2 hours) First [...]

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+ A Parent’s Guide to the Teenage Brain

  A teenager’s brain is not just an adult brain [...]

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+ Reading Rescue

A program for children with reading problems

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+ Taming a Toddler

Many parents wonder what hit them when their sweet little baby turns into an unreasonable toddler – ideas for dealing with mealtime, bedtime, temper tanturms, toilet training, noncompliance, etc.

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See more of our workshops


2720 Rath Street, Putnam, Ontario

Phone: (519) 485-4678
Fax: (519) 485-0281

Email: info@rickharper.ca


Parents' Comments

“We were so naive. We thought our son’s poor behaviour was just a phase he was passing through. Thankfully you led us ‘out of the wilderness’”

(N.S. – London)