The Most Powerful And Punishment Free Way To Better Behavior

The Most Powerful And Punishment Free Way To Better Behavior

Alternatives to Punishment, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Parenting Solutions, Positive Discipline, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Discipline that teaches your child's heart and mind at the same time. When my son was four years old, he was sweet, funny and quite mischievous. Just a moment unsupervised and something was likely to get opened, spilled or broken. Most days my son was content to play with his toys, in the garden or to make an art project. Other days, it seemed like he was set on pushing every boundary and breaking every rule. If you have a young and energetic child at home I'm sure you know what this is like. One time, I found him in the bathroom with several open containers of shampoo and soap. The shower doors completely white with suds. "Beau-full" art he told me very excited. Another time he cracked open magic…
Read More
What To Do When Consequences Don’t Work

What To Do When Consequences Don’t Work

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Three Parenting Strategies To Try when Consequences Stop Working and your Child is Misbehaving Does this scenario feel familiar? It’s getting close to the end of the day, and you are expecting your child to clean up toys, wash up, help set the table, get ready for bed and go to sleep. Only problem is, every step of the way includes ignored requests and power struggles. Toy clean up is not done. There is a fuss about dinner. Just getting into PJ's is a twenty minute orderdeal... With the best intentions to teach your child, you find yourself dishing out consequences. But the consequences only make things worse. Not better. Your child is upset and whiny "Why are you taking my toys away....moooooom! You are so mean!" You are thinking...this totally DESERVED…
Read More
What You Need To Know To Navigate Tantrums Beyond Toddlerhood

What You Need To Know To Navigate Tantrums Beyond Toddlerhood

Alternatives to Punishment, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
People expect tantrums to disappear after the toddler years, but that's just not how it works. Have you ever seen an adult screaming about something meaningless?!?!? Big kid tantrum! Tantrums for older kids are often wrapped up in unspoken fear, frustration, sadness, or anxiety explains Katie Hurley, child and adolescent psychotherapist and author of "The Happy Kid Handbook." Has your four, five, six or even ten year old ever melted down into a pile of tears or flung into a fit of rage? Do you occasionally have to deal with anger, fits of screaming, kicking or door slamming? Ever wonder if Tantrums Past the Age of Three Normal? Many parents worry about tantrums and big emotional outbursts past toddler-hood. You may have asked yourself if tantrums after the age of three are even normal. Or you may…
Read More
How To Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child

How To Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Emotionally intelligent children not only recognize and manage their own feelings, they are also able to understand emotional states of others. Emotional intelligence is also important for healthy development, especially in the early years. "In the last decade or so, science has discovered a tremendous amount about the role emotions play in our lives. Researchers have found that even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships." --John Gottman,  Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child When children are able to recognize their own emotions, they are also more likely to be able to express what they need in order to keep their cool. For parents this is good news because it not only promotes healthy development it…
Read More
Positive Parenting: What Really Helps Children During Tantrums

Positive Parenting: What Really Helps Children During Tantrums

Help By Age & Stage, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Children have tantrums. It's practically inevitable. Even if you set out to parent in a kind and connected way, tantrums can happen. They happen because tantrums are a sign of emotional overload. Tantrums are a request for loving guidance. Tantrums are emotional outbursts. During a tantrum a child may meltdown, cry and scream. Sometimes children also hit, kick, bite and bang things during a tantrum.  Tantrums happen when children are overwhelmed. Overwhelm can come from being scared, frustrated, tired, hungry, confused and uncomfortable. Children of all ages can have tantrums, but toddlers in particular are more likely to have tantrums. This happens because the toddler brain is still very immature and impulsive. It is not a sign that they are naughty, bad or spoiled. Tantrums don't have to rule the…
Read More
Essentials for Parenting Stubborn and Determined Children

Essentials for Parenting Stubborn and Determined Children

Help By Age & Stage, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
At the dinner table, my two year old asked for water. I poured some into the glass that was at her place setting and she started protesting. The glass in front of her was not the purple fairy cup she wanted. She said “I don’t want that one…no no no…I not eating or drink until the fairy cup [is] on the table." While I think it’s wonderful that my daughter has an opinion and a wish for a different cup, dinner was already underway. I paused to think for a moment... Would you fetch a new cup to avoid a meltdown? Stand your ground and refuse to get a new cup? Is there an alternative to either giving in or standing your ground? Some parents may say that water is water…
Read More
Raising Kids Who Are Critical Thinkers and Problem Solvers

Raising Kids Who Are Critical Thinkers and Problem Solvers

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting
Not too long ago, I was walking and juggling overflowing baskets of laundry, when my seven year old said: "Mom. I made a mistake". As the word mistake echoed around the two of us, I stopped walking. I looked at my son, noticing his face scrunched up in concentration. Curious about this mistake I sat down with him. Shoulder to shoulder with my son I said  "I’m listening." "Well, I'm still thinking." He replied. In that moment, I so wanted to spring up and tackle the never ending laundry. But I stopped my own hurry and said "Ok. I'll keep you company while you think.” And then I waited. I waited because I hoped that with some time and patience, my son would figure out what to do about this mistake he was still thinking about. Time…
Read More
How To Stop Toddler Defiance with Positive Guidance

How To Stop Toddler Defiance with Positive Guidance

Alternatives to Punishment, Parenting, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Defiant toddlers are often mislabeled as having a behavior problem.  In most cases, toddler defiance is actually just a sign of healthy development. Toddlers that like to say NO and “put their foot down” are not only developing well, they are actively exploring their emotional intelligence. Positive guidance can help toddlers grow well and thrive.  Mauren Healy, author and expert on highly sensitive children says “The act of defiance is displaying an inordinately high level of emotional intelligence --- your children are actually listening to their inner wisdom.” Toddler defiance is usually age appropriate and at the same time very challenging. "Gena is constantly climbing on our garden rocks. No matter how much I say no, put her in time out or explain she is going to get hurt, the next day, I find…
Read More
How to Discipline Through Connection Using Your Child’s Love Language

How to Discipline Through Connection Using Your Child’s Love Language

Alternatives to Punishment, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
My arms were still sore from scrubbing the dark streaks of marker my toddler had happily scribbled, off our porous pine dining table. I turned toward my oldest daughter. “I just told you not to leave your special (read; nonwashable) markers out where your little brother can reach them!” Had I been talking to a brick wall? I knew I had indeed been lecturing my very own blue-eyed spirited little girl, as she had reminded me with intermittent wiggles and rebuttals throughout. I had in fact been speaking to her, but I was not speaking in her language, or in a way she would best connect with and process. What was missing Often parents mistakenly employ ‘one size fits all’ parenting strategies, whether they be the same techniques our own…
Read More
Positive Parenting: Better Behavior Without Punishment Is Possible

Positive Parenting: Better Behavior Without Punishment Is Possible

Alternatives to Punishment, Family Communication, Parenting, Positive Discipline
A few years ago, my 3 year old daughter ripped her brothers' picture. She did it on purpose and with the intent to get back at her brother. Many parents believe that such "acting out"  needs to be managed with swift discipline. A punishment like time out or some kind of consequence to teach a lesson. In the moments when I feel my buttons getting pushed, sometimes I fall into thinking about that too.  I've seen over the years with my children and working with so many families that such measures simply don't help children behave better. But there positive strategies that do. Instead of putting my daughter into time out, we did something else.  Control and disconnected consequences tend to make a child's behavior worse. Because children don't respond positively to…
Read More