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…
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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…
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One Important Step To Take After Correcting Misbehavior

One Important Step To Take After Correcting Misbehavior

Kids 5 - 12 years, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
Books went flying down to the ground. Screams filled the dining room. My heart skipped a beat as I quickly assessed the situation for injuries and damages. You know that feelings when you aren't so sure if all your kids are alright? Realizing that nobody was hurt I moved on to understanding what had happened. Two boys had just happened.  Two lively, energetic and playful boys had struck a bookshelf with a soccer ball knocking down books and shattering a flower vase. Our family rules are clear about balls. Outdoors or in the playroom, that's it. The books mixed with water, glass and droopy flowers all over the floor made it clear as to why we have that rule in the first place. Rules get broken when children are growing. Limits get…
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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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Why Preschoolers Know Much Better Than They Behave

Why Preschoolers Know Much Better Than They Behave

Alternatives to Punishment, Parenting, Parenting Solutions, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
Parents are routinely confused when their preschooler (aged 2 to 5) promises they won’t hit or scream only to turn around and hit or scream again. Part of the problem is young children don’t think twice nor contemplate the consequences of their actions in the heat of the moment. I can assure you this is not part of a secret plot to drive parents crazy and it isn’t personal either. Preschoolers know much better than they can behave and are impulsive by design. The parts of the brain responsible for self-control are still under development in young children. The brain is only 20% developed at birth and will ideally become more integrated in the first 6 years of life. In other words, the brain is still forming connections that will…
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Your Child May Have The Best Solution For Unwanted Behavior

Your Child May Have The Best Solution For Unwanted Behavior

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Positive Discipline, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
My then 3-year old son and I were at our favorite family camp one summer. My son loved to play in the woods – grabbing handfuls of red earth, and throwing them up in the air like fireworks. The beautiful color and sound filled him with joy as the dirt rained down over his head and body. I, on the other hand, felt no joy when he laid his dirt-filled head of hair onto the pillow that night. I told him that if he wanted to play in the dirt, that was fine, but he’d have to take a shower after so that we could get the dirt out of his hair. Seems like a very logical consequence, right? However, my son hated the shower. He screamed, cried, and hollered…
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When your Child Says: I Hate You!

When your Child Says: I Hate You!

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
The Most Helpful Parenting Response When a Child Says "I Hate You." When children feel disappointed, frustrated, angry or other difficult emotions, they may say hurtful words. Sometimes those words are  "I HATE YOU!" or "I hate you so much mom!" That small phrase packs quite the emotional punch - especially the very first time you hear it. Last summer, while on vacation, my four year old son asked for a toy at a store and I declined to buy it. My son's eyes squinted and his face tensed up as he said ever so clearly  "I hate you!" I had never heard such words from my son before and it was quite the surprise. The secret message behind your child's hurtful words "I hate you" is often code for something beyond…
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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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The Stress Free Picky Eating Solution You Will Love

The Stress Free Picky Eating Solution You Will Love

Babies 0-12 months, Nutrition, Parenting, Toddlers 12- 36 months
It's pretty normal for children to be selective about what they eat. Picky eating can be just a phase, especially in the toddler and preschool years.  Even if it's normal, picky eating can bring up worries, frustration and big power struggles. Here is the good news: There are ways for you to encourage healthy eating habits, without resorting to demands, struggles or bribes. None of that works in the long run anyways and usually leads to kids dreading meal times. Parents tell me they love this picky eating solution because it's simple, clear and actually something they can follow through. Following through with a solution is often the hardest part of solving parenting challenges right? So Here we go... If you want to feel calmer and more confident about meal times, this information from Elly's Satter, a…
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How to Discipline When A New Baby Arrives and Siblings Act Out

How to Discipline When A New Baby Arrives and Siblings Act Out

Babies 0-12 months, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
I'm having a very trying time with my three-year-old at the moment. He is a very bright, highly spirited and sensitive little boy. His baby brother was born just a month ago so I appreciate he has had a lot of change to deal with lately. But to be frank I am running out of ideas! He is very physical and often hurts me and the baby. I came under a lot of pressure from certain family members to take a firmer stand with him as they believed I was being too soft and rewarding bad behaviour. So reluctantly, I have started using time out even though it doesn't fit with my ethos and I know it is not particularly effective either. I am simply at the end of my…
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