What You Pay Attention to Grows

March 28th, 2020

That old parenting adage is true. What you pay attention to grows. If you focus only on the bad behavior, it will grow. If you reinforce the good behavior, it will grow. When helping your child get over the rough spots, use their strengths to help them overcome their weaknesses. Use your active listening to understand their feelings. Join with them where you can. Supervise their efforts. Some how make the tough stuff fun. Who knows, you might find a teachable moment in there somewhere.

Be Aware of School and Social Influences on Your Child

March 22nd, 2020

Wouldn't it be great if we, as parents, could raise our children by ourselves, in a vacuum devoid of school and social influences on their lives? Yeah, well...uh, no. Our children's lives are so much more enhanced by their interactions and learning experiences with others. We are, however, tasked to give them a firm foundation, both in personality and in life. This gives them opportunity to navigate school and life more successfully. We also need to be aware of the school and social influences they encounter in their lives beyond our family. How can we help them make good choices if we don't at least know the broad strokes of their lives. The trick is to be informed without appearing intrusive. This is where active listening and receiving permission to jointly problem solve helps.

Developmental Stage Influence on Parenting

March 14th, 2020

Parenting tip #6 for parenting success is this: Be aware of developmental stage influence. Parenting is tough enough without taking in all the extraneous variables. One of those variables is developmental stage influence. Throughout our lives, we are in one developmental stage or another. Sometimes, these stages collide with each other if the family. For healthy, positive parenting, know both what developmental stage influences there are in play both for your child and for yourself.

Building Character–Who Will Your Child Become

March 8th, 2020

As parents, our lifelong task is to help our children build character. Through good times and bad, how can we do that? Three functions contribute to this outcome. First use active listening to help convey that you understand what your child is going through. Second, consistently use the Good Kid Chart to give him target behaviors to work on and reward and consequence based on his efforts. Finally, use Restrictions That Work, a process of showing your Judgment, Compassion, and Grace based on how well he gets the impact of his actions on self and other. With your efforts to help him build good character, he will become a responsible, respected, empathetic, and compassionate adult.

Choose Process over Outcome

February 29th, 2020

Kids tend to gravitate toward immediate need gratification. If it isn't "now," what's the point? While we all want need gratification, and the sooner the better, there is a place for advanced preparation in tackling life's challenges. As parents, we can help our children choose process over outcome in their decision-making. While at times, focusing on the process feels like swimming upstream and is a hard sell for kids, the result is stronger character, better decision-making, and learning how to develop a means to a desirable end.

Parental Respect Is Earned

February 22nd, 2020

While many families mistakenly believe that parental respect is a right and deserved regardless, such beliefs put that family at risk. Parental respect is earned by our words and actions. Many parents use fear to command respect from their children. However, we can use active listening, healthy boundaries, and direction to earn the respect of our children. When we fear and power to demand respect, the relationship is lost and kids are just going through the motions to survive a difficult situation. When we focus on relationship, not power, a mutual respect grows and thrives.

Helping Your Child Thru Transitions

February 17th, 2020

Normal daily transitions for all of us include asleep/awake, to/from work or school, coming home, day/night activities, and awake/asleep. These and other unusual or specific transitions all can give us pause, if not trouble. In particular, children are susceptible to disruption around transition activities, unless you plan and prepare for the transitions ahead of time. Usually, a 5-10 minute transition time is sufficient to help smoothen it out.

Number 1 of Top 10 Parenting Tips

February 9th, 2020

Start where your child is. That's tip number 1 of my top 10. Your child's words and actions will give you a hint as to where he is emotionally at the time. As best you can, let him be and give him time. Make observations and offer to be his sounding board. Active listen when you get his permission, but don't try to change him. Help him figure it out for himself. Help him understand the impact of his words and actions on himself and on others. Help him be mindful. Being present where he is forms the foundation of a healthy parenting relationship.

Top Ten Helpful Hints for Successful Parenting

February 5th, 2020

I know you really want to do your best at this parenting thing. With all the distractions, confusion, and mixed messages, successful parenting can be hard. As a quick reference, and to make it a bit easier, consider my top ten helpful hints for successful parenting. These helpful hints will both help you put your concerns in context and also lead you to a strong, relational bond with your children.

Be Kind to your Child

January 26th, 2020

None of us has ever been a parent before we had our first child. Parenting is often doing the best you can in sometimes difficult, trying times. While you do have to set limits, give direction, and follow through on consequences, it also helps to "catch them being good." What does that mean? Well, it's a kindness thing. Kindness comes in three forms: focus on being positive, practice praise, and demonstrate acts of kindness, especially when least expected. Not only are you parenting with kindness, you are also modeling for your children how to be kind to others. That teachable moment is quite a gift.

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