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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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 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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Essentials for Creating a Calming Kit for Kids

Essentials for Creating a Calming Kit for Kids

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Parenting Solutions, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
“Got anything I can smash around here?” asked my daughter with a crinkly face and closed fists. “I’m bursting with anger!! It’s about the boys you know!! UGH!! I want to smash them you hear me MAMA??!! SMASH THEM. But I walked away! I’m taking a breather! I can’t believe them. Can you? I mean...ugh!!!….” she went on. Then, as  if on auto-pilot, my daughter climbed into my lap. She buried her face into my shoulder and as some big tears streamed, all the tension and anger began to ease up and out of her tiny 5 year old frame. Soon we got up, walked to our calm down basket and picked up a tinker toy. As she held the toy she added angrily,  “It’s so hard to have brothers somedays.…
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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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Teaching Children Respect

Teaching Children Respect

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Teens 13-18 Years, Tweens 10-12 years
"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." - James Baldwin Children are mirrors; they reflect back to us everything we say and do. We now know that 95% of everything children learn, they learn from what is modeled for them. Only 5% of all they learn is from direct instruction. Human beings are like tape recorders. Every word we hear, everything we experience, is permanently recorded in our subconscious. Whenever adults speak, we are being role models for the children in our presence. What we speak is what we teach. Children record every word we ever say to them or in front of them. The language children grow up hearing is the language they will speak. We often…
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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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Discipline: Teaching Through Love Instead of Fear

Discipline: Teaching Through Love Instead of Fear

Family Communication, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting
"However we treat the child, the child will treat the world." - Pam Leo Can you imagine threatening your partner or good friend by counting "One... two... three..." if he or she did not do what you wanted? One of the big issues in schools today is "bullying." Parents and teachers struggle daily with how to stop this behavior. Without realizing it, adults teach bullying behavior to children by modeling it when they use the threat of their physical size or power to make children do things. When I hear a parent counting "One... two" at a young child, I always wonder what the child has been told will happen if the parent gets to three. Is it the threat of a spanking, being yelled at, time out, abandonment (I'm…
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