Author Archives: Trevor


Eight Week Course: Sidestepping the Power Struggle

Discipline means to teach; you do that by using loving, Sidestepping Cover 2014effective methods. Dr. Allison Rees will focus on effective methods of discipline, setting limits and maintaining relationships through clear, healthy boundaries. Developing self-esteem in yourself and your child will also be discussed. This course provides tons of information about why your kids behave a certain way and how to be an effective parent.  How do you teach your child to take responsibility?  What does discipline mean to you? For parents of children aged 1 to 10.


“This course helped me to enjoy my children and take the high road with my parenting.”

“So much more than what I expected.  This course really did take the guess work out of parenting.”

“I enjoyed the presentations, the wonderful leaders and especially all the men facilitating.  I was hesitant to come and be the lone male.”

View upcoming courses

5-Evening Workshop: Mad About You! A Couples Course

Office WEBSITE SIZEFive Monday Evenings:  to be announced

A course for couples who are committed to building a strong relationship.  Couples will be coached to look at patterns buried within their relationship and to develop communication styles that open up discussions and facilitate problem solving.  Topics beyond communication will include, mistaken thoughts, family systems and creating a new vision of your relationship.

Register: 250 –  595-2649

Where:  #217 – 2186 Oak Bay Avenue

when:  Thursday Evenings from 7:00 to 9:00

November 5th to December 10th, 2015

Couple:  $265.00 per couple  or $320.00 if you want to access your extended health care benefits


We are proud to announce that videos of lectures from the 8-week course, SideStepping the Power Struggle, are now available!

An example section, “Heart of Discipline” is available below, as several small sub-sections via low resolution YouTube videos.

For Purchase

I Gotta Be Me DVD

          – includes high quality videos for each of the following topics: $19.99
    1. Temperament
    2. Activity Level
    3. Distractibility
    4. Persistence
    5. Approach/Withdrawal
    6. Adaptability
    7. Emotional Intensity
    8. Regularity
    9. Threshold to Stimuli
    10. Mood

Click on the PayPal link below to order your DVD

    Other chapters coming soon

Free Low Resolution (YouTube) Videos – Heart of Discipline


Ask Alison Articles

Articles by Allison Rees

Recommended Reading

On General Parenting

sidestepping-frontLIFE Seminars first book published in 2007 and entitled “Sidestepping the Power Struggle” contains everything you need to know about your children’s individual temperaments, their stage of development, “normal” and abnormal child behavior at each age, and what events can trigger difficult child behaviors.

It teaches you how to help children take responsibility for their own lives as they mature, and how to help them mature into ethical and competent human beings. It discusses effective and ineffective discipline techniques. If you read and practice everything recommended in this book, it will not only empower you to become a more effective parent, but also enrich the lives of those who matter most. Visit ourbooks and videos page to purchase this book.

On Specific Topics in more depth

unconditional-parenting.gif children-the-challenge.gifIn addition to his book, many renowned books like these form most of the reference material behind the topics discussed in LIFE Seminars. They provide an excellent source for further reading on any given parenting topic.

LIFE Seminars is pleased to have partnered with, to provide you with a convenient way to browse and purchase these excellent books using an amazon based online store. Help LIFE Seminars keep costs down for courses, workshops and other material by purchasing your books through this method, as we make a small (4%) profit from most online purchases.

Here is our list of book references, arranged by topic (you may click on the topic to view all the books in the topic area in more detail):

General Parenting
MILLER, Alison & REES, Allison: Sidestepping the Power Struggle. LIFE Seminars (2007)
MILLER, Alison & REES, Allison: The Parent-Child Connection. LIFE Seminars (2008, in press)

Child Development

AMES, Louise B. & ILG, Frances – have a series of books for various ages

CAPLAN, Frank. The First Twelve Months of Life. Bantam Books (1978)
The Second Twelve Months of Life. Bantam (1982)

LEACH, Penelope. Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five Dorling
Kindersley (2003)


BAYARD, R.T. How to Deal with Your Acting-up Teenager. Evans (1986)

SNYDERMAN, Nancy. Girl in the Mirror (Raising Teen Girls) Hyperion (2002)

Boys and Girls

AYERS, Lauren. Teenage Girls: A Parent’s Survival Manual. Crossroad (1994)

GURIAN, Michael. A Fine Young Man. (Raising Boys) Tarcher/Putnam (1998)

MACKOFF, Barbara. Growing a Girl. Dell (1996)


HICKLING, Meg. Speaking of Sex. Northstone (1996)

HINDMAN, Jan & NOVAK, Tom. A Very Touching Book. Alexandria Associates (1998)


CHESS, Stella & THOMAS, Alexander. Know Your Child. Basic Books (1987)

KURCINKA, Mary. Raising Your Spirited Child. Harper Perennial (1991)

MARTIN, Heather. A Parent’s Guide to Overcoming and Preventing Shyness
from Infancy to Adulthood. McGraw-Hill, 1981

TURECKI, Stanley. The Difficult Child. Bantam (2000)

ZIMBARDO, Philip. The Shy Child. Dolphin (1982)

Parent-Child Attachment

BOWLBY, John. A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human
Development. Basic Books (1988)

KAREN, Robert. Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape
Our Capacity to Love. Oxford University Press (1994)


BRIGGS, Dorothy C. Your Child’s Self-Esteem Main Street (1975)

McKAY, Matthew, FANNING, Patrick. Self-Esteem New Harbinger Publications (2000)

MALLINGER, Allan E. & DeWYZE, Jeannette. Too Perfect: When Being in
Control Gets Out of Control. Fawcett Columbine (1992).

Healthy and Unhealthy Families

BRADSHAW, John. Bradshaw on the Family. HCI (1990)
Healing the Shame that Binds You. HCI (1998)

KHAVARI, Khalil & Sue. Creating a Successful Family. 1989

MILLER, Alice. The Drama of The Gifted Child. Basic Books (1996)
For Your Own Good. Farrar, Straus & Giroux (1990)
Thou Shalt Not Be Aware. Farrar, Straus & Giroux (1998)

MISSILDINE, W. Hugh. Your Inner Child Of The Past. Fireside (1991)

NORTHRUP, Christiane. Mother-Daughter Wisdom. Bantam (2005)

Boundaries in Families

CLOUD, Henry & TOWNSEND, John. Boundaries with Kids. Zondervan (1998)

KATHERINE, ANNE. Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin. Fireside (1993)

RICHO, David. How To Be An Adult. Paulist Press (1991)
How To Be An Adult in Relationships. Shambhala (2002)

LERNER, Harriet. The Dance of Anger. Harper (1997)
The Dance of Fear. Perennial (2005)
The Dance of Intimacy. Perennial (1990)

HALPERN, Howard M. Cutting Loose: An Adult’s Guide to Coming to Terms with your Parents. Fireside (1990)

PAUL, Jordan & Margaret. Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?
Hazelden (2002)
Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?
Berkley (1995)


GOTTMAN, John. Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child. Simon & Shuster (1998)

GREENSPAN, Stanley and Nancy. First Feelings: Milestones in the Emotional Development of Your Baby and Child from Birth to Age Four. Viking Penguin (1985)

GOLEMAN, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence. Bantam (1997)

LENCIONI, Patrick M., BRADBERRY, Travis & GREAVES, Jean. The Emotional
Intelligence Quick Book: Everything You Need to Know to Put Your EQ to Work. Fireside (2003)

McKAY, Matthew & FANNING, Patrick. When Anger Hurts Your Kids. New Harbinger Publications (1996)
McKAY, Matthew, ROGERS, Peter D. & McKAY, Judith. When Anger Hurts:
Quieting the Storm Within. New Harbinger (1989)

Children and Stress

HAZEN, Barbara Shook. Why Did Grandpa Die? Western Publishing Co. (1988)
(for children)

KERSEY, Katharine. Helping Your Child Handle Stress. Berkley (1986)

MONAHON, Cynthia. Children and Trauma: A Parent’s Guide to Helping
Children Heal. Lexington (1993).

SAUNDERS, Antoinette & REMSBERG, Bonnie. The Stress-Proof Child: How
To Recognize Symptoms of Stress in Your Child and What You Should Do About It. New American Library (1986).

Parent-Child Communication

COVEY, Stephen. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Free Press

FABER, Adele & MAZLISH, Elaine. How To Talk So Kids Will Listen &
Listen So Kids Will Talk. Harper Resource (1999)

GINOTT, Haim. Between Parent and Child. Three Rivers (2003)

GORDON, Thomas. Parent Effectiveness Training. Three Rivers (2003)

ROSENBERG, Marshall. Nonviolent Communication. Puddledancer (1999)

TANNEN, Deborah. That’s Not What I Meant: How Conversational Style Makes
or Breaks Relationships. Ballantine (1986)
You Just Don’t Understand: Men and Women in Conversation.
Ballantine (1990)


BETTELHEIM, Bruno. A Good Enough Parent. Knopf (1987)

COLOROSO, Barbara. Kids Are Worth It. Quill Press (1995)

CRARY, Elizabeth. Pick Up Your Socks. Parenting Press (1990)

DREIKURS, Rudolf. Children: The Challenge. Fitzhenry & Whiteside (1964)

Values and Empathy

DOSICK, Wayne D. Golden Rules: The Ten Ethical Values Parents Need to Teach Their Children. HarperCollins (1995)

UNELL, Barbara & WYCKOFF, Jerry. 20 Teachable Virtues: Practical Ways to
Pass on Lessons of Virtue. Berkley (1995)


BAYARD, Robert.T. How to Deal With Your Acting-up Teenager. Evans & Co
(1986) Repeat from Teen section

DODSON, Fitzhugh. How To Parent. (1978)

GREENE, Ross. The Explosive Child. Quill (2001)

LEMAN, Kevin. Making Children Mind, without Losing Yours. Revell (2000)

WYCKOFF, Jerry & UNELL, Barbara. Discipline without Shouting or Spanking. Meadowbrook (1984)

Course Participants

  • It gave me the proper tools to better understand and raise my children. It’s a real “Bible” for good parenting : It changed the relationship with my son. I think this course should be given before we had kids.
  • It has reduced the level of tension at home and helped me to become more patient with my family. It has given me a greater understanding of myself and my children which has helped me to step back, re-evaluate before acting, and helped me gain a greater sense of control over my situation.
  • Each week I have come away from these classes with a set of tools. These tools have enabled me to work with my family to make a better, more open family. Like any new skill, the more I practiced and applied the ‘tools’, the stronger the family became and the smoother it ran. Being the partner of a single parent and a first time ‘instant’ parent, this course provided some very much needed basics for a true neophyte.
  • This course has opened many new doors for me. It has made it possible for me to change things about myself that I was afraid to change. This course has also made me realize that parenting doesn’t always have to seem like a never-ending chore. I am now able to enjoy my children.
  • I have never seen a course offered like this before. This course gives practical advice. It is excellent! The homework makes you think – you discuss problems & successes with other parents that have gone through similar problems. This course also is teaching me how NOT to pass on the dysfunctional upbringing I had.
  • Gives me the theoretical basis for very effective parenting skills, applicable for a “lifetime” of issues and concerns. Allows me to prevent conflict and confrontation with my children and others – thereby preventing future problems which may manifest themselves in more serious family issues.
  • Allowed me to interact with other parents & gain from their experiences; provided me with the knowledge & skills to become a better parent; provided me with weekly opportunities to review, practice and get feedback. This is the best course I have come across. I would recommend it to others, just as it was recommended to me by other parents.
  • I share the skills I’ve learned with other parents because they work!! Currently, I facilitate a group of 10 parents in a “Parents in Crisis” group. What I’ve learned in this course I share with others. The ripple effect of a course like this is enormous.
  • This is my second family. This course has helped me not to ‘mess up’ in the same ways that I previously did.
  • My family is happier, my children are more self-assured and emotionally strong.
  • Courses like this one should be mandatory for all parents.
  • It has helped me to regain positive communications with my teenager – something that was slipping away because I didn’t have the necessary skills. It has also made me more aware of the effect my own upbringing has had on my parenting skills and to avoid making some of the same mistakes in future years. I cannot speak too highly of the course.
  • Prior to attending the seminars I had read dozens of parenting books and spoken to numerous individuals about their own approach or beliefs in regards to child rearing and felt more confused and frustrated at each turn. I knew that I wanted to be the best parent I could but I lacked the necessary tools to do so. Upon leaving the first lecture I felt empowered, that I finally was being offered some alternatives which felt “right” to me. Needless to say my whole approach to parenting has changed and with this change the despair that I felt has been lifted and the relationship that I now have with my daughter is stronger.
  • Since we started the course we have noticed big changes in our family – better understanding, less tension, and more fun – not just in our relationship with our child, but with each other.
  • I am a mother of four children and come from a very abusive past. Needless to say I have had no good parental model… This course opened my eyes to many things in which I have learned and will value for the rest of my life… The entire course was very powerful for me…. These courses, when taken by someone with a past such as my own, can help to prevent child abuse.
  • Alison speaks our language … she’s one of us.
  • I really appreciated Alison using her own situations to make the course real… her personal stories … her humour … enabled me to feel more relaxed in my parenting. There was no need for parents to take everything that was presented as gospel; we were empowered to make our own choices about the material.
  • Individuals from all walks of life come together and by the third week they are sharing intimate details of their lives… the personal connection of the individuals is incredible.


Here are just a few of the  handouts used in LIFE Seminars courses:

  1. Basic traits
  2. Anger
  3. Practice for side stepping the power struggle
  4. Communication
  5. Limits
  6. Preschoolers
  7. ADD
  8. Helping with your childs homework
  9. Maturity
  10. Meal time blues
  11. Teens
  12. Triggers

Betty Tate, Coordinator of Association of Family Serving Agencies

“It goes beyond traditional parenting courses in that it acknowledges the influence of one’s family of origin on parenting styles and behaviors…. As a staff person working with high risk for abuse parents in a community agency … it is the one parenting course in the community I referred parents to that they consistently benefited from and felt welcome and accepted in.”

Elly Linekin, Parents in Crisis sponsor

“[LIFE Seminars’] parenting courses have had a profound effect on the quality of life of countless families in our community. LIFE differs from most parenting courses in that it changes the attitudes of parents towards their children through self knowledge and understanding. At the same time it teaches effective skills that enable parents to guide and support their children’s individual growth.”