For anyone who lives or works with children, from toddlers to 12-year-olds.

Every single child ever born is a one-off miracle. And each of those little miracles is influenced by a whole lot of stuff, including their gender, their temperament and personality, their family situation, their developmental age and stage, the experiences they have had, and so much more.

Parenting can be a bit like detective work, as we try to understand what lies beneath our children’s sometimes unfathomable behaviours.

In this very special live event coming to three cities, one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors, Maggie Dent, is joined by one of Canada’s favourite parenting authors and experts, Dr Vanessa Lapointe, to explore:

How we can better understand our children, and how to respond to them with love … and boundaries.

This is a rare opportunity to see these two incredible speakers in one room, sharing their wisdom and experience to help you parent with more calmness and connection.

Dr Vanessa will present:

Connection, Discipline and Swagger

  • Do you ever walk away from a heated moment with your child and think, “Well, that didn’t go how I wanted it to”?
  • Do you find yourself losing patience with your child, or struggling to understand where their behaviour is coming from?
  • Do you feel your child is pulling away, rather than leaning into you, when life starts to feel stressful?

Join Dr. Vanessa as she delves into the transformative power of connection – with ourselves and with our children – when it comes to discipline and everything else to do with healthy child development.

Discover how fostering genuine connection can profoundly impact our parenting practices and our child’s wellbeing.

In this enlightening presentation, Dr. Vanessa will emphasise the vital role that relationships play in our interactions with our children. By exploring the effects of altering our words and tone, she will unveil the immense potential for positive change, even during our most heated moments.

Dr. Vanessa will shed light on the sense of security that arises when we assume the role of a firm, yet compassionate, guide for our children. She will also reveal the effectiveness and lasting impact of a disciplinary approach rooted in connection rather than the now obsolete and traditional punitive methods like consequences, time outs, and reward systems.

Maggie will present:

Giving Young Girls and Boys the Best Start: Respecting and understanding the influence of gender in childhood.

Our children form mindsets and a sense of self during the incredibly important early years developmental window and these are consolidated throughout primary school.

In this presentation, Maggie will explore the research, as well as her practical experience as a mother/grandmother, teacher and counsellor to challenge unhelpful social conditionings and stereotypes, particularly in relation to gender, which impact how our children feel about themselves.

Maggie will explore how we can ensure all children are guided and supported to feel seen, heard, valued and understood despite the social and cultural limitations that often create invisible barriers, and which can have long term impacts.

Maggie first met Dr Vanessa at an early years’ conference in Canada in 2012 and they have since become not just trusted colleagues but firm friends with a shared vision of a better world for our families. This is Vanessa’s third visit to Australia with Maggie, with her second visit in cut short due to the pandemic.

Dr Vanessa Lapointe

Author, parenting educator, counsellor

Maggie Dent

Parenting author, educator, resilience specialist

About Dr Vanessa

Dr. Vanessa Lapointe is a mum, counsellor, parenting educator, best-selling author, international speaker, and regularly invited media guest based in Canada. She is the founder of North Star Developmental Clinic and has supported families and children for almost 20 years as a psychologist, as well as having previous experience in community mental health and the school system.

Dr. Vanessa is known for bringing a sense of nurturing understanding and humanity to all of her work. Her passion is in walking alongside parents, teachers, care providers, and other big people to really see the world through the child’s eyes. She believes that if we can do this, we are beautifully positioned to grow up our children in the best possible way.

About Maggie

Maggie Dent is one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators, with a particular interest in the early years, adolescence and resilience – as well as being an undisputed ‘boy champion’. Maggie’s experience includes teaching, counselling, and working in the palliative care/funeral services and suicide prevention. She is the author of nine major books, including her 2022 book Girlhood: Raising our little girls to be healthy, happy and heard, the bestselling Mothering Our Boys and the 2020 release From Boys to Men. She hosts the ABC podcast, Parental As Anything and in July 2021 released a book of the same name.

Tickets $100

Group bookings (two or more tix booked in same transaction): $75

Concession/Full-time students: $65

A delicious morning tea will be included.

Certificates of attendance available.

Time: Doors open at 8.15am for a prompt 9am-12.30pm seminar including an audience Q&A.

Please note: Seating is general allocation… there are no fixed seat numbers.

While babes in arms are welcome, this event is not suitable for toddlers and older children.

Please choose the seminar you would like to attend:


PLEASE NOTE Vanessa is also doing two stand-alone events, her Discipline Without Damage seminar, in Brisbane and Perth. Click here for more information.

Event inquiries: