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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Raising Kids Who Are Critical Thinkers and Problem Solvers

Raising Kids Who Are Critical Thinkers and Problem Solvers

Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting
Not too long ago, I was walking and juggling overflowing baskets of laundry, when my seven year old said: "Mom. I made a mistake". As the word mistake echoed around the two of us, I stopped walking. I looked at my son, noticing his face scrunched up in concentration. Curious about this mistake I sat down with him. Shoulder to shoulder with my son I said  "I’m listening." "Well, I'm still thinking." He replied. In that moment, I so wanted to spring up and tackle the never ending laundry. But I stopped my own hurry and said "Ok. I'll keep you company while you think.” And then I waited. I waited because I hoped that with some time and patience, my son would figure out what to do about this mistake he was still thinking about. Time…
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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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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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Making A Win-Win Parenting Plan

Making A Win-Win Parenting Plan

Help By Age & Stage, Kids 5 - 12 years, Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs
How to Create A Plan to Help Children Overcome Unwanted Behavior  Often parents ask me how to stop frustrating behavior. “My daughter follows me around the house and talks incessantly.” “My toddler won’t stay in his bed at night.” “My child’s tantrums are driving me crazy.” One way to think about ongoing annoying behavior is that it’s really a signal from our kids that their needs aren’t being met. Because we want to give our children what they need, this means that our needs are being threatened too. Think about it. For the mother of the chatty tween, what she really wants is a little bit of peace and quiet for herself. The toddler who won’t stay in bed? Chances are the parents need more sleep. And the tantrums? There are…
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Are Natural Consequences A Good Discipline Choice?

Are Natural Consequences A Good Discipline Choice?

Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5 yrs, Toddlers 12- 36 months
  Natural Consequences are often talked about as the go-to gentle alternative to punitive actions like time-outs or removing privileges. Using natural consequences can, in fact, be an excellent parenting tool, but sometimes resorting to natural consequences may be ineffective and downright dangerous. When used properly, children can learn a lot from natural consequences, however sometimes those consequences might simply not bring about the learning from our child that we wish to see.  Read about how Natural Consequences can be a powerful tool for gentle parenting in my post at Natural Parents Network - Is That Natural Consequence You are Allowing Really a Good Discipline Choice?
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The Positive Parenting Promise: Because Change Begins at Home.

The Positive Parenting Promise: Because Change Begins at Home.

Parenting, Positive Discipline
To my child: I wish for you to live in a world in which peace prevails over violence. Because change begins at home, this is my promise to you: ? I promise to be a kind and loving parent. I will hug you, cherish you, listen to and respect you. ? I promise to encourage you, include you, share with you and learn with you. ? I promise to search and use peaceful and positive alternatives to solve problems that may arise in our family. ? I promise to focus on solutions, cooperation and understanding instead of merely trying to impose my ways.  ? I promise to not force obedience by using violence or punishment including any and all forms of hitting, spanking or “smacking”. ? I promise not to demean you, or humiliate…
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Four Alternatives to Punishment: Positive Solutions in Practice

Help By Age & Stage, Parenting, Positive Discipline
How to punish toddler. Punishment alternatives. Discipline for children. Last week I wrote about our path to becoming a punishment free family. I received quite a few emails and some Facebook comments with questions wondering how being punishment free really worked in our day to day lives. Among other things, we use replacement, choices, playfulness and empathy. Here are four examples from the past week which illustrate how we are practicing finding positive solutions. 1. Replacing Annoying with Acceptable Scenario: My five year old has recently started tapping and poking at my husbands stomach the minute he walks into the door in the evening. Tired and ready for dinner my husband is not so receptive to this behavior (read totally annoyed). Just saying "stop, please don't do that" was getting…
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