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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Positive Parenting: How Being Deliberate and Present Encourages Cooperation

Positive Parenting: How Being Deliberate and Present Encourages Cooperation

Family Communication, Parenting
Being deliberate and present with our children is a wonderful way to encourage cooperation.  I have been thinking and reflecting a lot about being deliberate and present with my children. Even just a few weeks ago, I wasn't focusing on this very well...my distraction was translating into disconnection. Lack of connection with my children lead directly to a terrible string of using disconnected consequences and nagging.  There was also a bit of yelling and even one big  "I hate you MOM!" moment that woke up me!   Having awareness of how I fell off track has helped me stop, refocus, and get back to more peaceful, encouraging interactions. The effort has been so worth it... As I was reading a book, my 6 year old son tapped me on the arm. "Hey mom! How is your…
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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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If Not Punishment, Then What? Three Ideas That Work.

If Not Punishment, Then What? Three Ideas That Work.

Alternatives to Punishment, Parenting, Positive Discipline
What kind of discipline works for a child when they are misbehaving? When children  make a mistake, mess up, break things or say something obscene it might be difficult to decide to how address the situation.  Children really do benefit from having discipline and guidance, but children actually don't learn from pain or shame.  When children misbehave children need parents that are willing to help them find their way back to more positive behaviors. So, what kind of discipline do children need? What kind of discipline helps a child behave well and thrive? Positive Discipline Helps Children Thrive Discipline that teaches and helps a child feel capable and responsible is what really helps a child change unhelpful behaviors into positive choices. With a positive approach to parenting, punishments do not need to be…
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Positive Parenting: Punishing Misbehavior Doesn’t Have to be the Answer

Positive Parenting: Punishing Misbehavior Doesn’t Have to be the Answer

Alternatives to Punishment, Kids 5 - 12 years, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
One morning my four year old daughter and I were getting ready to leave the house when she suddenly yelled “Idiot!” Right at me. As I processed the word, I saw my little girl’s cheeks flush. Tears streamed down her face as she half whispered - half yelled "you are an IDIOT Mama." Total silence followed as we looked at each other. We stared so long, I nearly forgot to breathe out, and in again. Idiot. My daughter called me an idiot. There are many behaviors that really push parent’s buttons. Disrespectful, rude words tend to top the list. The default response for such rude remarks is often a stern “Don’t talk to me like that.” “Mind your words.” Or “How dare you speak to me this way?” But I…
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20 Calm Down Tips for Parents

20 Calm Down Tips for Parents

Family Communication, Help By Age & Stage, Parenting
Have you ever had a day or a moment when you find youself far too angry to respond in a positive, calm, warm way to your child? Even if you know that yelling at your kids is not a good solution, you just feel on edge? Maybe you feel far too angry to deal peacefully with misbehavior and conflicts? A while back, I  asked parents in our Positive Parenting Question & Answer community to answer this question: How do you stay calm when you feel too angry to respond to your child? Here are 20 tips  from other parents on how to calm down when you feel angry: Stop & Breathe Leave the room (and the screaming child) and take some deep breaths. Then I can return with renewed patience and energy to help them…
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Gratitude and The Simple Moments That Matter So Much

Gratitude and The Simple Moments That Matter So Much

Family Communication, Parenting
Gratitude is the heart's memory. Such a powerful idea. For families, memories can be so special and gratitude can have such a positive impact on family life. Once a week, our family has a meeting where we share appreciations, compliments or things we are thankful for - we do this year round - it's simply a great way for us to build memories while giving each family member a time to reflect and have their very own chance to share (if they want) their thoughts with the whole family about, well, anything really. Thinking of the past few meetings some of the things my children have expressed appreciation for have varied from being simple, sweet, profound, touching, funny and beyond. Where I don't mean to label or value one thing…
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Mama, Please Wait!

Mama, Please Wait!

Help By Age & Stage, Parenting
  Sometimes we get caught up in complaining that our children are not responding to us when we would like them to. We think they are dawdling, or taking their “sweet time,” or “dragging their feet” or just being “selfish." Here’s the thing though, how long does it take for us to respond to a request from our children? I know sometimes I am caught up with a sibling or cooking, reading a book or checking something on the computer and my child would like to play a game, read a book, go to the park or make a craft. Sometimes I ask my children to wait a minute or two so I can finish up a task or tend to a sibling's need that came first. Do you ever…
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The Power of Touch: How Physical Affection Helps with Discipline

The Power of Touch: How Physical Affection Helps with Discipline

Parenting, Positive Discipline
Written By Kelly Bartlett A group of fifteen moms and dads were gathering for their weekly parenting class, when one mother shares a moment from the previous week. “My daughter had a fit the other day when I told her it was time to get in the car.” Every head in the room nods in recognition and understanding. Another dad commiserates, “My son once threw Legos at the TV because I said he couldn’t watch TV!” These types of exchanges are shared by the most well meaning parents; despite even the most positive parenting efforts, kids get mad! Their immature brains do not have the capability to remain calm while working through challenging feelings. Author of the Positive Discipline series, Dr. Jane Nelsen educates parents on non-punitive discipline strategies, many…
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Shame Does Not Teach Children to Do Better

Shame Does Not Teach Children to Do Better

Parenting, Positive Discipline
Why Parents May Want to Reconsider Shame as a Parenting Tactic Have you seen the children in the “This is our get along shirt”? What about children with the signs:“Don’t trust me. I am a thief and will steal from you” Or the girl that was made to wear some thrift shop outfits to look like a girl she had been teasing? Shaming and making a child feel badly about stealing, teasing, bullying and other missteps have become such an unfortunate trend in parenting. While it may give parents a sense that they are doing something and teaching their child a lesson, the lessons connected to feeling shame are most often far from helpful: Shame can lead to a child feeling incapable, alone and discouraged – all which have the…
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