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…
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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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Rethinking Consequences: 3 Steps that Help Children Change Unacceptable Behaviors

Rethinking Consequences: 3 Steps that Help Children Change Unacceptable Behaviors

Alternatives to Punishment, Help By Age & Stage
There were jeans and inside out t-shirts scattered between legos and nerf darts. It was almost the end of the day and my son hadn't picked up his room. I had asked earlier (probably more than once!) As I walked through the house looking for my son I thought to myself..If he is on his tablet, I am so taking it away for a week!!! I noticed I was really tense and annoyed and took a few breaths to calm down. That's when  I spotted him on the couch with his sister giggling up a storm. "I noticed your room isn't ready yet. Did you have a plan for getting it done as we agreed?" "Oh...big ooops mom. You asked me and  I didn't do it. I can do it now,…
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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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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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Simple Steps To Help Your Child Stop Interrupting

Simple Steps To Help Your Child Stop Interrupting

Help By Age & Stage
Why Do Children Interrupt Adults So Often? How Can You Help Your Child Stop Interrupting? I remember just a few years ago, trying to have a conversation on the phone with a friend. All I could hear was "BLUE CRAYON MAMA! BLUE CRAYON!" My little one was just 22 months old and excited to have figured out the color blue. I really wanted to finish the conversation with my friend. Although interrupting can be perfectly normal behavior for young children it is possible to help children develop patience and polite ways to join a conversation. Why do children interrupt anyways? Mostly children interrupt to share information they deem interesting or relevant. Toddlers  often interrupt  because they are still learning to regulate their impulses. When a toddler has a great thought…
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Three Important Steps To Take After Yelling At Your Kids

Three Important Steps To Take After Yelling At Your Kids

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage
Yelling at Kids: How to Recover from a Total Disconnect from Your Child Mama, you are yelling at me and I don't appreciate that!  - my five year old Sometimes, no matter how positive and peaceful we intend to be... we react. Sometimes we react badly...we yell! we say mean things! we wish for a break!!!!! Then we end up totally disconnected from our kids. If you ever do that, yell and then feel terrible, or defeated, or guilty, you are not alone. In a survey  from the University of New Hampshire, out of 1,000 parents 90% admitted to yelling when they felt at the end of their rope. That 90% is a big number so if you find yourself yelling, even if it's not what you wish you were doing,…
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One of The Most Wonderful Gifts You Can Give Your Child

One of The Most Wonderful Gifts You Can Give Your Child

Kids 5 - 12 years, Positive Discipline
One of the best gifts you can give your child this Holiday Season can't be found at a store. You can’t wrap it up, and they won’t be asking for it.  But they need it more than anything, and it doesn’t cost a dime. A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water. - Rudolf Dreikurs Think of someone in your life who was encouraging.  What did they do?  What did they say?  How did they see you? When I ask this question in parenting classes, the responses look something like this: they noticed my strengths they spent time with me they believed in me they loved me unconditionally they helped me learn new skills they really listened to me And yet, when our kids are messing up or misbehaving, it’s so easy to slip…
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The Very Important Reason Children Need To Learn To Stand Up To Bullies

The Very Important Reason Children Need To Learn To Stand Up To Bullies

Family Communication, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting
At the playground on a sunny afternoon, my six year old son was waiting for a turn on the slide. Ahead of him was a little girl, no older than three, fiercely determined to get up all by herself. While she struggled a bit the other children waited patiently. Except for the last boy in line. After groaning and shouting out some mean words, that last boy got out of the line and shoved my son to the side. Then the boy started reaching and tugging at the little girls legs and calling her a "stinky baby." Stop that right now! I heard as I walked over. Stop. I want you to stop hurting her. My son stood calmly but confidently in place looking right at the boy. The other children…
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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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