How To Reduce Power Struggles and Find More Happiness In The Holiday Season

How To Reduce Power Struggles and Find More Happiness In The Holiday Season

Alternatives to Punishment, Family Communication, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
A store cashier asked my daughter recently, “Are you being a good girl for Santa?”  And then a few minutes later in the parking garage an elderly couple asked her same question. After a quick smile she turned to me.  Her face was all twisted up, eyes looking far away with a hint of overwhelm. The holiday season puts so much focus on children being good. Well-behaved. Picture Perfect. The Elves are reporting.  And Santa is checking his list... twice.  Having well behaved kids is a top priority for many families. And that this is one of the very reasons that many families experience an increase in power struggles and temper trantrums this time of year. Children are expected to be happy,  grateful, cheerful and just like those elves in the workshop, very, very helpful. Sharing…
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How I Helped My Son Understand His Misbehavior Without Relying on Punishments

How I Helped My Son Understand His Misbehavior Without Relying on Punishments

Alternatives to Punishment, Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Parenting Solutions, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
When my son was four,  I took him on a day trip to sled and play in the snow.  It was a beautiful cold yet sunny day.  Up on a mountain,  with the alps in the background we climbed up and sled down a hill some 25 times in a row. When I was a feeling cold and tired, I let my son know I would be sitting down for a break. Within seconds I felt a sharp,  freezing blow to my face. My eye hurt terribly. There was a strange mixture of cold and burning pain going on and I was totally dazed. As I processed what had happened,  I came to understand that my son had thrown a chunk of snow covered ice right into my face. Except he…
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3 Examples of Positive Parenting in Practice

3 Examples of Positive Parenting in Practice

Alternatives to Punishment, Parenting, Parenting Solutions, Positive Discipline
Positive Parenting tools can help you prevent power struggles and encourage your child to be cooperative. Do you like the idea of positive parenting but not sure how to put into practice in every day interactions?  Like  most families, in my home there are moments that are challenging. Sometimes downright difficult because what my children want, and I what I expect are not necessarily in sync. Sticking to a connection based approach to discipline, I am often able to defer  power struggles, nagging and meltdowns and restore peace - so here are three examples from my daily life with kids as I practice positive parenting: Power Struggle vs. Encouraging Capability #1 The Case of I don’t wanna One morning, my six year old kept asking when breakfast was going to be ready. He didn’t…
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Help Your Child With After School Meltdowns

Help Your Child With After School Meltdowns

Alternatives to Punishment, Family Communication, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Tweens 10-12 years
After school meltdowns are quite normal for children from preschool to middle school. Here is what you need to know to handle these after school meltdowns and help your child feel better again. Children can experience quite the emotional ups and downs while away from you.  Maybe a  classmate didn’t want to share a toy,  an assignment felt just a bit more challenging than expected and recess was way to short.  Your child puts on a brave face, deals with it all and keeps on trekking through the day. Then...when they get home all those feelings they managed to hold on to just spill right out. Everything is Stupid, Annoying or Just not Right... Has your child ever come home from school and started complaining? Everything is stupid or the smallest little…
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Why Choosing Positive Guidance over Punishment Helps Reduce Attention Seeking and Other Unhelpful Behaviors

Why Choosing Positive Guidance over Punishment Helps Reduce Attention Seeking and Other Unhelpful Behaviors

Alternatives to Punishment, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Parenting Solutions
Children often seek attention in mistaken ways. When you offer guidance, you can help your child feel connected, understood and ready to make better choices. As children grow they become very skilled at figuring out really clever ways to get adults to pay attention to them. Sometimes the requests for attention are cute and wonderful. Does your child like making funny faces, telling you a joke, giving you sweet hugs and smiles? This kind of attention and connection seeking is just wonderful right? Other times, children seek attention in not so wonderful ways. Some typically unhelpful attention seeking behaviors are: Whining, crying, tantrums, back talk, defiance, and aggression. These are all very unhelpful and typically thought of as misbehavior. These are also ways in which children mistakenly work towards getting the…
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Encouraging Better Behavior When Your Child Acts Out

Encouraging Better Behavior When Your Child Acts Out

Alternatives to Punishment, Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Positive Discipline
How to help a child who is acting out by setting clear, kind limits and offering positive guidance.  Walking out of school, I noticed my son had an envelope in his hand. As he handed it to me with a shy but determined smile he said: “Mom, this is for you. I wrote you an an apology letter. I was so angry and I am really, really sorry for what I said this morning.” Just a few hours earlier we had had an unusually challenging morning. Where normally everyone follows a routine, we chat over breakfast and get ready for school and work without much fuss, this morning was so different. It was tense and so very trying. There was eye rolling, frowns and demands. It all culminated in an ugly, disconnected…
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Helping Your Toddler Manage Anger and Aggression

Helping Your Toddler Manage Anger and Aggression

Alternatives to Punishment, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
On a sunny, beautiful morning, Mariah was on the floor, in a pile of tears. Her little hands stretched wide reaching desperately for Jenny. More accurately, reaching for the apple and egg in Jenny’s hands. Because for Mariah, in that moment, only those two play food items were the right ones. All other toys in our beautifully stocked play area we're just not what Mariah wanted. Mariah was so upset by this situation, she had resorted to crying and flailing her legs. Jenny was not phased by the tears. Soon Mariah stood up, walked over to Jenny and tried to kick her. Mariah and Jenny are three and four years old. Playgroup isn’t always easy for them. Mariah in particular tends to get angry quickly when things don’t go exactly…
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Dance Break: An Awesome Alternative to Time-Out

Dance Break: An Awesome Alternative to Time-Out

Alternatives to Punishment, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
Adults teach children in three important ways: The first is by example, the second is by example, the third is by example.~Albert Schweitzer A few weeks ago, we discovered something at our house that has allowed us to diffuse a number of melt-downs. Just when we see one of the kids or ourselves start to lose it, we cry “Dance Break!” We take all the kids to the kitchen, crank up the stereo and rock out. It is amazing how much better we all feel after a dance break. We all are a little winded, and have forgotten why we were so upset in the first place. Depending on the time of day it can be helpful to get them to sleep too! I’ve been battling insomnia lately, but after…
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If Not Punishment, Then What? Three Ideas That Work.

If Not Punishment, Then What? Three Ideas That Work.

Alternatives to Punishment, Parenting, Positive Discipline
What kind of discipline works for a child when they are misbehaving? When children  make a mistake, mess up, break things or say something obscene it might be difficult to decide to how address the situation.  Children really do benefit from having discipline and guidance, but children actually don't learn from pain or shame.  When children misbehave children need parents that are willing to help them find their way back to more positive behaviors. So, what kind of discipline do children need? What kind of discipline helps a child behave well and thrive? Positive Discipline Helps Children Thrive Discipline that teaches and helps a child feel capable and responsible is what really helps a child change unhelpful behaviors into positive choices. With a positive approach to parenting, punishments do not need to be…
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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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