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“Pay Attention!” – A New Perspective on Child Focus


When trying to get our kids to focus, we often say “pay attention!” to help them attend to the task at hand. Sometimes it can be very effective and helpful, but other times it can shift their focus and attention in a way that increases their overwhelm or anxiety, especially for sensitive children. Also, it can actually reduce their ability to be mindful and self-reliant in their lives. Today I’m sharing with you insights and strategies for how to support your child to develop his ability to focus independently.

Wilderness School – Supporting Inner Calm and Focus

My son attended Wilderness School Camp for 5 days and nights during the summer, and when he returned, I noticed an improvement in his ability to maintain his own inner focus and calmness as he pursued activities he loved, along with a renewed burst of creative energy as he began to draw again–something he had done very little of from his own inspiration for several months. He was a lot more motivated, and even asked less frequently for video game time! He also came back with stories that had inspired him, self-confidence, and a renewed spark in his eyes–the kind of look you get when you have been totally immersed in something that ignites your passion. The leaders at Wilderness School endeavour to create community, and they teach and mentor the students in survival skills,  learning from the natural world, as well as learning how to care for the natural world. I have enrolled my son in Wilderness School for 1 day a week for the next 9 weeks–and I’m so excited for his journey. If this is something that may be a fit for your child, check out their programs, or please share the information. Being in nature supports our children to thrive!

Victoria – Thriving Roots Wilderness School

Vancouver – Soaring Eagle Nature School 

Duvall, Washington, USA – Wilderness Survival School

Caesar Salad Dressing – GF, DF, Egg-Free

…and delicious, if I do say so myself. For a long time after we stopped eating dairy and eggs, I missed caesar salad. I finally got down to creating a recipe that I’m happy with. It’s actually a lot better than I imagined it could be without parmesan cheese. If you or your friends have food sensitivities–check it out! And let me know what you think.

½ cup macadamia nuts

¼ cup water

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

½ teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon sea salt

7-10 capers

1 clove garlic

2 – 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Anchovy paste*—I squeeze 2-3” from the tube (1-1.5 tsp)


Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend for 2-3 minutes until thick and smooth. Start with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and add more to taste if needed. I also have success making this in a tall narrow glass, using my bamix hand blender.

This makes enough dressing for 1 very large head of romaine, or 2 small heads.

If you like croutons, we make them by cutting 1-2 slices of GF, DF bread into 1/4″ cubes, and sautéing them in vegan butter, garlic, and a sprinkle of herbamare (herb-flavoured sea salt available at Lifestyle Market in Victoria). It’s easy to get them crispy in a cast iron frying pan.

*Omit anchovy paste for vegan


I’d love to hear from you! Please leave your comments and questions in the space below.