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  • Writer's pictureRyan Wilson

Dogs, kids and filters

Of the many qualities that dogs and children share, one of the most important is that they both look to you to create a loving caring home for them to grow in.


The younger the child, the more sensitive we are to the stress levels of our caregivers, because just as the dog is entirely dependent on its owner for survival, so is the child.

Unfortunately, as children, we don’t know what to do with all the energy

kids and parent stress

As children in this situation, we might develop stomach aches, get fussy, clingy, maybe even separation anxiety or start arguing, fighting, hitting, shouting or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Some will become stoic and take on a lot of responsibility and carry others, take responsibility for the welfare of others, at far too young of an age. When we do this, we tend to get labeled as being “strong”, “responsible” which ultimately can be equally damaging as we take on more and more over time until we burn out.

kid yelling at parent

The unfortunate response to all of this though, is that the

head in sand

When we are told a particular story about who we are, starting at a young age, by people who matter (i.e., parents or primary caregivers), repeatedly and in many contexts (i.e., not just when people are upset with us), it doesn’t take us long to internalize it. Then, we start telling the same story to ourselves and others, who then tell it back to us. Over time, it seems unlikely that our whole tribe is wrong about us, and the story we have about ourselves gets reinforced, and we continue to live up or down to other people’s expectations of us.


So what to do about all of this? Every change begins with AWARENESS. What stories do you have about yourself? What were you told?

Does investing in those OLD stories vs your OWN story make you weaker or stronger? What do you want to do about that?

See you next week and for more exciting reading, go to, the first Inspired Living Medical sponsored recipient of our Learning for Life start up money!

HOOK Cards: Following strategies from ACT, HOOK Cards give you your favourite defusion strategies at your fingertips, when you need them the most.  Find out more and get your own HOOK Cards at 

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