What is the Difference between Praise and Encouragement?

What is the Difference between Praise and Encouragement?

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years
Did you know too much blanket praise can undermine a child's confidence and motivation? Praise sounds like... "Good girl!" "You are so smart." "You are such a pretty little girl!" "You are strong and handsome." "You are an amazing athlete!" "You are so good at sharing." "You are super good at math." Sounds good, right? Familiar, perhaps, as you praise your child all through the day? Rethinking How and When To Praise Children Consider this, praise of this kind can actually displace just what our children need the most. Yes, displaces. As we give what feels like encouragement to our children in just the above way, we are undermining their ability to be intrinsically motivated--firing from inside themselves as they tap into their strengths and abilities to, on their own,…
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The Special Tool for Replacing Anger and Frustration with Calm Connection

The Special Tool for Replacing Anger and Frustration with Calm Connection

Parenting
I'm sure you know the drill—buttons pushed, kids not listening, fighting in the backseat of the car. Whining, sassing, talking-back, door slamming. And how about that frustrating "last word"? You know, when you have a child who is ultra good at getting in the last word, and it drives you nuts because you want (and feel you deserve because you are the adult...) the last word too? That was my daughter and me. Or maybe you have the teen who is lost in their digital devices and offers up no words at all. That can really get a parent anxious. Or how about the tantrums by both toddlers and teens? Those teen tantrums caught me by surprise. Ever have a sobbing high-schooler in your lap? I have, and it was…
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Are You Responsible For or To Your Children

Are You Responsible For or To Your Children

Parenting
You are not responsible for your children. Stay with me, here. I know this raises a few eyebrows! All that I'm about to share comes from my growth through reading and presenting (and practicing!) what I consider to be one of the most brilliant parenting books of all time--ScreamFree Parenting by Hal Runkel. If you are responsible FOR your children, then you need to start right now in getting them to think, feel, and behave in the 'right' ways. When they make a mistake, struggle, hurt another--if you are responsible FOR them, then you need to somehow fix their mistake, stop their struggle, make them be gentle and kind. Here's the deal, we are growing a person, not fixing a problem. When we are responsible for our kids we are…
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The Mess. The Chaos. The Power of Pause

The Mess. The Chaos. The Power of Pause

Parenting
The Mess. The Chaos. The tearing out of your hair, the constant negative self talk of, "How are my kids going to tick me off today? What's going to blow today?"Maybe it is the getting out the door that leaves you exhausted and frustrated. Maybe it is bedtime and the constant climbing back out of bed or the constant company you have to keep while you think about the million things you still have yet to do--URGH. Maybe it is your tot or teen's constant testing and emphatic NO's or eye rolling or whining and complaining, or sibling fights or hitting or NEVER LISTENING TO YOU. I want you to know, right now, that you have plenty of company when it comes to the Misery of the Mess. I also…
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Letting Calm Confidence Lead the Way

Letting Calm Confidence Lead the Way

Family Communication, Kids 5 - 12 years, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months, Tweens 10-12 years
Techniques galore. Time outs. Behavior charts. Chore charts. Get-out-the-door charts. 1, 2, 3 warnings. Homework first. Cry to sleep. Rock to sleep. Just sleep. "Eyes only" and one finger touches. Unwavering curfew. No reading until your teeth are brushed and jammies on. Be respectful or else. Consequences consequences consequences...and on and on and on. Techniques. All work some of the time. Some may work most of the time. None work all the time. I find parents just want to know what to DO in order to get their child to listen, to behave, to use respectful voices, to practice the piano, to get in the car ON TIME (and without a battle), to sleep on their own...And we are often left--especially as a technique HAS worked suddenly stops working--increasingly frustrated…
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Compassion and Understanding for Public Tantrums

Compassion and Understanding for Public Tantrums

Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
Back-arching, jello legs, hitting, yelling, kicking, sobbing, throwing...a true melt-down or tantrum in progress...not very pretty nor fun and all while: ...in the middle of the cereal aisle in the grocery store--maybe with various items launching themselves out of the cart like one parent mentioned of recent regarding a jar of orange juice...and another, a jar of salsa... ...visiting your in-laws...you know, the ones who always leave you feeling less than adequate as a parent... ...exploring the museum that you finally got your courage up enough to take your child to because you REALLY wanted to show them the cool child-centered, hands-on exhibits that all your friends say are a must to see... ...at the restaurant squeezed into a tiny booth surrounded by dozens of other people enjoying their meals...enough…
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Looking At Behavior Through A Different Lens

Looking At Behavior Through A Different Lens

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Tweens 10-12 years
“What it's like to be a parent: It's one of the hardest things you'll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.” -Nicolas Sparks How you decide to 'look' at your child determines what you experience...and then influences how you interact. Consider these: ~ Your child is the one in a group situation who hangs at the periphery seemingly not engaging at all...and it worries you, "He's missing out!" What is different for you if you see it as your child is an observer who is seeing and feeling lots of things you don't notice--that instead of missing out, they are soaking it up? Now how might you interact with them following this periphery experience? ~ Your child falls apart at the slightest thing--and always has…
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When Children Test Limits and Don’t Accept Choices

When Children Test Limits and Don’t Accept Choices

Family Communication, Positive Discipline, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Understanding why children test limits and sometimes refuse to cooperate with parents even when given choices. So you give your child choice A or B...and they choose C (not a or b but a made up choice by them) Now what? This is where many parents stumble, for really choice A and B were ones that you really wanted them to take to make it easy for you. And darn it all, they choose C. You know--it is time to leave so you ask, "Are you going to put on your shoes all by yourself (choice A) or would you like my help (choice B)? Reasonable choices and typically it is a slam dunk and out the door you go. But today, your child ignores you...runs away...picks up their shoes…
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Positive Parenting: Rethinking “You Have To Share That!”

Positive Parenting: Rethinking “You Have To Share That!”

Family Communication, Parenting, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Let's talk sharing. I found myself lingering in our local library yesterday, enjoying the new 'learn, play, read' area they've created for infants to preschoolers. I watched how parents quietly sat on the floor and stayed present to their exploring little ones. I loved the access to so many fabulous books. And I heard the inevitable "Share!" "No, no, be nice, you have to share." "You can't have that, you have to share it." This sharing deal? It really is more about us than our children. Think about it. Developmentally it is between 3 and 5 that children really grasp what sharing is all about. Yet we demand our toddlers and young preschoolers to somehow just 'know' how to do it. And whew, wouldn't it be nice if they did!…
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Teenagers: Competent & Capable

Teenagers: Competent & Capable

Parenting, Teens 13-18 Years
Often the struggles we find ourselves caught in with our children can be eased by recognizing and honoring their age appropriate capabilities. And with their capable, competent selves appreciated and affirmed, we can now build a strong foundation for the future independent and successful adult we all hope for. Isn?t this just what our parenting journey is all about? Growing an adult ready and able to live well? Just what does capable and competent look like through the ages? This series at positive parenting connection covers the different ages & stages from Babies on up, bringing you great information about each phase of childhood! This is the last part in the series: Teens! A tumultuous and terrific time! On the verge of adulthood and incredibly competent and capable...often much to…
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