Rob Pluke - A Practical Guide to Navigating your Son's Emotions

Bio: Rob Pluke

Rob is a Counselling Psychologist, and he has been in private practice for over 18 years. Prior to that he was Senior Psychologist and Vice Principal at St. Christopher's, a school for children with long-term scholastic difficulties. Rob has also been a supervisor on the Psychology Master’s program at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.     

Rob has a special interest in child and adolescent mental health, and parenting. One of his passions is to help people grow through and within the ordinary encounters of family life. His PhD focused on the challenge of recognizing the other in the father-son relationship. Over the years, Rob has given numerous talks and presentations, and he has run several workshops, both for parents and educators. One of his more recent favorites is 'Courage to Connect' - a weekend long program designed to help fathers connect with their teenage sons and daughters.      

Rob enjoys working with schools. He is the consulting psychologist at three schools - Michaelhouse, St.Charles College, and Cordwalles Preparatory School. He also serves on the governing bodies of two local independent schools. Rob is the author of two books: 'Parenting the sensitive child' and 'A son to be proud of'. He has written several articles for parenting magazines, and, periodically, he produces material for Heartlines - a social change organization that encourages people to live out positive values. 

Rob is married and he is the father of three children.

A Son to be Proud of

You love your son. You want to support him, and help him achieve all he can. But it's not always easy. He has his own mind, his own ways, and he doesn't always want your advice. At times like this, what should a dad do? Should he leave his son be, and 'just love him'? Or should he still push a bit? And if he should, what's the best way to do this? These questions sit at the heart of this book - how dads cope when things don't pan out they way they'd hoped they would. Central to this problem, is the seldom explored topic of disappointment in the father-son relationship. The author shows how this challenging, and sometimes gut-wrenching experience can be pivotal to the ways fatherhood can transform us as men. Based on solid research and real life examples, the book gives dads a chance to hear from other dads, to reflect on the expectations we all tend to carry, and to consider some key differences between 'good' and 'bad' pushing. The book also gives fathers a chance to think through the issue of 'difference' between themselves and their sons, and ways this can be taken forward for good.

Parenting the Sensitive Child

In this book, psychologist and parent Dr. Rob Pluke focuses on the sometimes challenging task of parenting an emotionally sensitive child. The book shows how to recognize our child's temperament and it addresses vulnerabilities that can come with sensitivity such as stress, worry and low mood. The book also looks at ways that we can bolster sensitive children's social and emotional health; and how we can build on their unique strengths. A strong emphasis is placed on seeking to understand, respect and work with sensitive children and how mothers and fathers can learn more about themselves in the process.

Author, psychologist, and educator ROB PLUKE is coming to SAA for two events: 1) Sept. 25th reception at 7:00 pm/The Upton's Residence 2) Sept. 26th presentation at 8:30 am/ Ellison Hall


Being a parent on a good day is often a challenge. Am I listening enough? Do I know my children like I think I do? Will they be able to handle hurt, rejection and failure? These and many other questions are the ones author Rob answers in his books.

Rob has written A Son to be Proud of and Parenting the Sensitive Child. He offers guidelines and practices in helping children handle the plethora of emotional situations they are faced with as they mature. His insightful and practical approach to helping our children is encouraging, supportive and informative.

And Fathers.... Rob is especially interested in the Father-Son relationship. One that has increasingly become more complex as we try to best prepare our children for a more complex world. Join me as we take another step together in the ongoing conversation of being the best parents possible for our children.