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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Three Tips For Getting Kids Ready and Out the Door Struggle Free

Three Tips For Getting Kids Ready and Out the Door Struggle Free

Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Tweens 10-12 years
Do mornings at your house look like a scene from a stressful Groundhog's day video?  The same level of stress, the same rushing, and the same power struggles with your children day in and day out?  If it does, you are not alone!  One of the biggest challenges modern families seems to face is getting everyone out the door in the morning.  Of course it is physically easy to accomplish, but the biggest complaint I hear from the families I work with is that it is a constant struggle and can feel combative.  So what can you do? Three Tips for Getting Kids To Feel Cooperative and Capable in the Morning 1. Create and Keep a Routine Your Kid Will Want to Follow  In order to simplify, start by creating…
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Four Tips Backed By Positive Discipline That Will Make Your Kids Routine Charts Actually Work

Four Tips Backed By Positive Discipline That Will Make Your Kids Routine Charts Actually Work

Parenting, Parenting Solutions, Positive Discipline, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Tweens 10-12 years
Over the summer, my 9 year old daughter began having trouble falling asleep. "I just can't sleep!!" she whined (and she really meant it.) After several weeks of trying to talk her out of her insomnia, I decided a new bedtime routine was in order. We brainstormed the steps, and decided to include a short foot massage in the routine. We also brought back lullabies, which we hadn't sung in years. We wrote it down with colorful markers and I'll be darned if that new routine didn't do the trick. Why are routines, and more specifically routine charts one of the most effective tools you can find to reduce morning, bedtime and homework battles? Many reasons! First, when practiced regularly, routines become automatic. We no longer have to expend energy…
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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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The Discipline Solution For Back Talk That Actually Worked

The Discipline Solution For Back Talk That Actually Worked

Family Communication, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Parenting Solutions
“May I please have two extra minutes to try and get across? I am just so close. If I can’t do it in two minutes, I will jump off, no matter what. Deal?” My son was referring to the monkey bars and hoping my announcement that we were leaving the park might be flexible. It was a nice to hear such a polite and reasonable request. Because there was a time when negotiating, say for staying at the park or for more screen time (ok, particularly screen time) sounded more like No fair...come on… ugh! I'm not going....I don't care....Come on...mom!! That kind of communication wasn't at all helpful to our relationship. It felt an awful lot like back talk and nagging. So I decided that instead of getting into…
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Children Are Wired For Empathy And Insisting On Apologies Is Not Nescessary

Children Are Wired For Empathy And Insisting On Apologies Is Not Nescessary

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
Knowing how to make amends is a very valuable life skill.  As children grow they have many opportunities to apologize and make amends. While we would like children to know how to say "I am sorry", often children will apologize in their own way. Wired for Empathy Children are born with the capacity for empathy, understanding and love.  It is how to navigate social norms and how to meet  parental expectations surrounding apologies that isn’t always clear. I am Sorry  These are important words we wish for our children to learn to use but teaching children to say sorry and really mean it is not so much about insisting on specific words. Feelings of remorse and a genuine willingness to make amends is much more than just repeating words. In fact, insisting on an…
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How To Discipline A Child That Breaks The Rules And Doesn’t Listen

How To Discipline A Child That Breaks The Rules And Doesn’t Listen

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Parenting Solutions, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
You broke your own rule mama! You used the car as a closet!  Said my daughter beyond excited to have noticed my forgotten coat, wrinkled and abandoned in the freezing cold car.You are right. And I am so glad you noticed and told me. I offered with a smile. I will be sure to take it inside next time. I said to her. Mom! It's a no biggie!  Can I have a piggyback ride when we arrive? Oh and I bet you will do better next time.  She added with a silly, silly smile. As my daughter had playfully explained that my forgotten coat was not a big deal,  I could hear my words coming through.The very words I strive to use when small mistakes happen and just a hint of guidance will do the trick. But what about…
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