Brain-based parenting

Daniel Hughes and Jonathan Baylin wrote an interesting book with this title. It is about what neuroscience teaches us about a close bond with your child. With the help of Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy (PACE), parental brain power can be increased, blocked parenthood can be prevented and the bond between educator and child can be strengthened. Blocked parenthood arises when we as a parent are frustrated or stressed. The deeper parts of our brains, which are closely connected to our body, are energetically activated and our ability to self-regulate, self-awareness and empathy is briefly suppressed. We and our children are then at the mercy of our less well-regulated emotions and actions. That does not always go well ... Fortunately, many parents are able to quickly recover from these 'un-parental' moments and they can restore the bond with their children, so that they can prevent lasting fractions in the relationship. Educating is an intense emotional process. Not bad at all to sometimes seek help. Reading this book and / or conversations with a coach can help to improve the relationship with your children.


Mental health - the statistics

Here blog number 2 about the IFES lecture by Maarten Vogelaar. In this blog the most important mental disorders of this moment:

The burnout society

A few months ago we had a congress day organized by IFES Netherlands on this theme. My colleague Maarten Vogelaar, student pastor in Amsterdam, held two lectures. I am grateful that I can process his notes in a number of blogs, because I think it's a very important topic.

What is going on? We live in a society with a number of crazy paradoxes:

-By technology we should have more time, but time has become scarce. Young people are burned out more and more, while you would expect us to win plenty of time through machines, internet and fast communication.

-We never had so much freedom. You can set up your whole life the way you like it. At the same time, we do not want to deviate too much from the group and behave as expected by our friends, parents, boss or ourselves. Appearingly confident, but insecure inside. Depending on likes and feelings.

-There is a lot more money in circulation, but we experience a lack of what people really need. We experience incredible prosperity and wealth, but feel impoverished, dissatisfied and afraid.

-There have never been so many books to read about theology, spirituality and esotericism, but faith seems to slip out of youth after an initial enthusiasm.

These crazy paradoxes betray the fact that the core of our society is not at all as we sometimes think. In fact, we could even speak of a disease that characterizes this time. The disease of this age is not in our body, but in our minds. We are no longer suffering from cholera, typhoid and tbc, but from ADHD, depression, loneliness, burnout and borderline. There is a new generation of young people who become overheated in their sincere endeavor to do the right thing. They have already started working hard. Under the luster of possibilities, talent and positivity, we always talk about fatigue, pressure and stress. That's already beginning at an ever younger age (because there's no time to lose), just like education, where we always see opportunities for even more improvements. To be continued....



Doing nothing doesn't help against stress

Ah, finally, time to relax on the edge of the pool! With that thought, many people start their vacation. Unfortunately, research shows that the idea that a vacation helps you to get rid of work stress isn't completely true. It recharges you, but when you get back into the same stressful situations the holiday effect disappears quickly.

These are resources that you can apply every day that help to restore your brain's mental fatigue.

1. Listen to music

Music relaxes, inspires and regenerates your brain!

2. Move

Moving is a miracle for your brain. So even if you feel tired, put on those hiking shoes and get out!

3. Learn

Learning new things regenerates your brain. So do not sit still if you're mentally tired, but look for new challenges. It sounds difficult, but the result is worth the effort.

4. Sleep

Sleep is very important for your brain. Do it enough, do it on time and do it well. Give sleep priority in your life.

5. Stop multitasking

Multitasking is a stress-trigger. So pick up tasks one by one. Then you keep your brain happy and fit.


"Stress is the difference between what you want and what you can!"


(Thanks to Dr. Erik Scherder of



Happy Holidays!

Bullying - from primary school to elderly home

Recently, I gave an all day seminar about the subject bullying. Unfortunately bullying is more common than we think. It often starts at primary school. Doctoral research of the University of Groningen showed earlier this year that unfortunately teachers are often not capable enough to effectively address bullying. And that while the role of the teacher determines the number of bullied children in the classroom. A worrying new development on which upto now little research has been done is cyber bullying. It's quite dramatic as the bullies follow you through your phone or computer anywhere and even at home you are no longer safe. Recently we were shocked by teens who suffered so much from this that they saw no other escape than death. Bullying is also quite common at the workplace. More than a quarter of the people in the Netherlands are sometimes bullied by colleagues or their managers. Last year, half a million workers were affected. Asscher from the Ministery of Social Affairs and Labour launched a campaign to combat bullying in the workplace. Yes, even in elderly homes bullying is reported. Bullying has great impact on the children / people who are victims of it, but also on the bullies! Both victims and bullies have great need of care and help because the consequences can dramatically affect the rest of their lives. Get help to stop the bullying and to learn dealing with the negative effects of it. Please contact us if you like to talk about it.