Avoid Power Struggles using this Problem Solving Script

Avoid Power Struggles using this Problem Solving Script

Family Communication, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Tweens 10-12 years
The bathroom is getting steamy. The water has been flowing for minutes, and your child is still fully clothed, refusing to budge. Every night it’s the same battle. You say that he needs to shower. He refuses to shower. A power struggle begins. Some nights, you try to wrestle him out of his clothes. Other nights you turn off the water and let him go to bed dirty. What does discipline look like when you and your child have conflicting opinions about what is important? Problem Solving Together The next morning, you pour two bowls of cereal and sit down with your child. “I’ve noticed that you HATE taking a shower!” you say with a light tone and a smile. “What’s up?” Glancing up from his cereal, he replies, “I…
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When Your Child Acts Out Using Empathy Can Help You Both Ride Out The Emotional Storm

When Your Child Acts Out Using Empathy Can Help You Both Ride Out The Emotional Storm

Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Parenting Solutions, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
 Parenting Your Child through Big Emotions Can be Challenging. “You’re disappointed with my decision,” you say empathetically. “Yeah! It’s not fair! Everyone else gets to go...except me!” your child yells back. You extend your arms as a peace offering, attempting to connect through this difficult situation. Glaring at you, yelling, “This is the worst day ever!” your child slams the bedroom door.   That’s it. That’s the last straw. You’ve tried being empathetic, you’ve tried offering comfort, and your child is still upset. And acting out!  What do you do now? Understanding the Storm Feelings are complex. Sometimes, your child may feel such a surge of relief when you offer empathy, that they gush with tears, and the feeling passes relatively quickly. Like a small wave lapping on the beach. Sometimes, when…
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How to Be a Confident Parent

How to Be a Confident Parent

Family Communication, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months, Tweens 10-12 years
Your son is on the floor, arms and legs flailing. Crying and screaming at the top of his lungs. He’s been like this for 10 minutes already. If you could read his mind in this moment, he might be thinking, “Mom! Please help me! I’m feeling so disappointed. I want to stop crying, but I don’t know how. Help!” Your daughter gets in the car after school. You can tell something’s not quite right, but she says  she doesn’t want to talk. If you could read her mind in this moment, she might be thinking: “I want to tell you, but I’m not sure you can handle it. Remember last time, you started crying? I need to protect you.” Your kids need you. But not just any “you.” They need…
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What to Say When You Don’t Know WHAT to Say to Your Kids

What to Say When You Don’t Know WHAT to Say to Your Kids

Family Communication, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
Sometimes, our kids come to us with big problems. Big worries. Big confessions or difficult questions.  In a perfect world, we would have all of the answers. We’d know exactly how to respond and we’d say it with the ideal inflection and corresponding body language. But, in reality, big topics often turn into disastrous conversations because we jump in with a solution, misunderstand, or blow the issue out of proportion. Parenting is full of gray areas -- some of which show up packed into random questions, comments and remarks from our kids! Instead of being worried about doing or saying the wrong thing, here are some tips to give you some time to process before you respond. What do you say to your child when you don’t know what to…
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How To Use Brainstorming To Encourage Your Child To Cooperate

How To Use Brainstorming To Encourage Your Child To Cooperate

Alternatives to Punishment, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Parenting Solutions
When done well, brainstorming can create an atmosphere of cooperation in your home. It teaches kids to think critically about problems, consider the thoughts and feelings of others, and to explore a variety of solutions. Even at a young age, kids can create fantastic solutions to everyday problems and challenges if we give them the opportunity. Here is an example: “This is not working out.” I reluctantly told my girls. “It looks like clean clothes are getting into the dirty laundry basket. I do a lot of laundry, and I’d rather not wash clothes that are actually clean.” “Can you help me brainstorm a solution to this problem?” Within a few minutes, the ideas started flowing:  “We could have 2 baskets, one for clean and one for dirty clothes!” “We…
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Helping your Child through Change or Difficult Transitions

Helping your Child through Change or Difficult Transitions

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
Moving house, starting a new school, the birth of a sibling or any other changes and transitions can be very challenging for some children. Change can bring on tears, fears, anxiety, worry and even "misbehaviors" or "acting out." While parents often see the importance of helping their children through big transitions, such as the birth of a sibling or the parents’ divorce, many overlook the “little” transitions. Things like starting a new day care, meeting a new teacher, or trying a new sport. Even these “little” transitions can be difficult for some children. If we are aware that our child is struggling, we have the opportunity to support and encourage them through this challenging time. Providing them with skills and strategies will help them get through transitions they may face in the…
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How To Calm Your Biggest Parenting Fears

How To Calm Your Biggest Parenting Fears

Parenting, Parenting Solutions
The world is a scary place. There’s no denying the fact that there are thousands of potentially dangerous, unknown hazards and challenging obstacles facing us at any given moment. When we think about fears related to our kids and parenting, the list may get pretty long.  If we really stop and think about it, there are a lot of reasons to be afraid. Having a healthy dose of fear helps us make good choices. It keeps us from getting into dangerous situations or acting impulsively. However, fear can become too big. It can start to overshadow reality. It can start to leak into our everyday life and impact the relationship with our family, friends and even our kids. So, how do we hold onto a healthy understanding of fear while also…
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Using Empathy to Connect with Your Kids

Using Empathy to Connect with Your Kids

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Positive parenting educators and mental health therapists talk a lot about empathy. When when parents want to know how to respond when their kids are angry or anxious, I suggest responding with empathy first. I tell parents to think of empathy as “finding the feeling” in what their child is saying or experiencing. If your child is upset, you could say, “You’re so mad that Sophie took the marker without asking!” When you respond with empathy, you help your child put their feelings into words and make them feel that you understand. Many parents are good at responding with empathy when their child is a little sad or a little upset. Empathy gets a bit trickier when your child is in the thick of a giant meltdown! Parents often start…
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Your Child Wants You

Your Child Wants You

Babies 0-12 months, Kids 5 - 12 years, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
It's easy to think that video games, new clothes and ice cream cones are the way to a child's heart. Parents often mistake a child's longing for toys or begging for snacks as their way of saying what's important. Some kids act out, whine or cry, other kids are more subtle, but the desire is the same -- to know that they are important, loved, respected and an irreplaceable member of the family. And one of the best way to get this message across: Spending quality time together. Barriers to Quality Time Some of you may doubt that your child wants to spend time with you; your child grunts answers to your questions, ignores your requests or spends more time with their friends than at home. It may seem contradictory,…
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Seven Essential Steps to Help Your Child Manage Unhelpful Habits Like Chewing, Nail Biting and Nose Picking

Seven Essential Steps to Help Your Child Manage Unhelpful Habits Like Chewing, Nail Biting and Nose Picking

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
  Does your child fidget with everything, chew on their shirt sleeves, bite their nails, make noises with their mouth? It is challenging to know how to address these problems without making your child feel embarrassed or defensive about their behavior. My daughter is a chewer. She chews on everything -- shirt sleeves, blankets, markers, even her hair. At times, I’ve felt like I was constantly nagging and reminding her to stop chewing. Instead of being motivating and helpful, my “reminders” were causing friction between us. She started trying to hide her chewing to avoid my nagging. I would notice wet spot on her clothes or toys and begin to feel frustrated. We needed a better plan. Here are Seven Steps to Help Your Child Manage Unhelpful Habits such as Nose…
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