How to Handle Chores in Your Household

July 27th, 2019

In a healthy family, chores are not only essential to family functioning, they provide opportunity to show responsibility, pride, cooperation, and negotiation. Children even as young as 18 months can participate by helping to put up stuffed toys. As your children get older, chores get more involved. When you get blowback about doing chores, use your active listening skills to help calm your child down. After their emotional fever has subsided, get input about how they want to complete the task. Not doing chores is not an option, but how and when they are done may be. Make chore completion a fun thing. Crank up the music. Do each of your chores at the same time. Saturday morning? The celebrate with a fun activity afterwards. Doing family chores together is both essential, relationship-building, and chock full of teachable moments.

Building Character by Saying No

July 25th, 2019

No parent likes saying no to their child, but it comes with the job. Effective, healthy parenting includes strategically saying no to your child. If you always said yes, your child would end up with a sense of entitlement. That is, believing that she can have and do what ever she wants, and with no consequences. Wow! That would be a disaster waiting to happen. So, stick to your guns. Set healthy boundaries, When you get blow-back, active listen your child's feelings. When she settles down, explain your rationale if you want to. Then help her implement your decision and take responsibility for her part. In this fashion, your saying no to her is part of her building healthy, responsible character and a very teachable moment.

What, Me Worry?

July 23rd, 2019

Worrying is common problem for all of us. It's helpful in considering all the possibilities, but it's not helpful when it gets us stuck in a downward spiral. For both parents and teens, getting unstuck from worry involves turning your "what if" thoughts into "i wonder" images. What if keeps you still, while I wonder gets you moving. For extra motivation, add a reasonable, possible, positive outcome to your efforts. So, what if I fail the test tomorrow, becomes, I wonder how well I will do on the test tomorrow. This generated curiosity creates energy toward achieving that curious positive outcome. As the parent, after helping settle your child's feelings with active listening, ask for permission to share your thoughts and then, with permission, help him turn what if's into I wonders and make a plan for getting the outcome he hopes for. With your help, his worry can become a teachable moment.

How Much Space to Give Your Teen

July 21st, 2019

Launching our teens into adulthood is a major accomplishment for all parents. As they try to sort out who they want to be as an adult, forming their own individual identity, sometimes that results in way too much alone time in their rooms. While we want to acknowledge their need for their privacy, that need is not at the expense of being a part of the family. Use your active listening to help him sort feelings out. Get permission to offer thoughts and perspective. If your asking questions seems to fall on deaf ears, stop offering essay questions and use the multiple choice variety. You know your teen well enough to come up with some options that will resonate. How much space to give your teen? Just enough for privacy and thinking through things, but not so much that he uses his privacy to escape family and responsibilities.

What to do When He’s Out of Control

July 19th, 2019

       No matter how wonderful and angelic your child is, nonetheless it is likely that he will throw a fit at some point. When its in public, how embarrassing! If your power options don't work, go to active listening. He's throwing the fit for some reason, and reflecting his feelings will help him calm down. If he is out of control, to where you fear for safety and property, then consider physical restraint. The Nurturing Holding Procedure (NHP) is a safe, compassionate physical restraint where your child understands that you are helping him stay safe and not be destructive, by controlling him physically only until he can control himself. Tantrums are never fun, even exhausting both for your child and for you. But even tantrums can lead to teachable moments, if you manage them effectively.

You Count Too, You Know!

July 9th, 2019

If your life in your family happens at a break-neck, frantic pace all the time, you need to build into your schedule some "me time."  Of course, crises of all shapes and sizes will continue to happen, but with priortizing, delegating, healthy boundaries, and reinforcing, you can get through the crises better and build me time into your day. Some moms of pre-schoolers have actually tole me that they can't even get me time on the toilet behind a closed bathroom door! Rough. Guess what, moms, when you are always available, you will always be counted on. Indespensibility can be a curse! Talk with your spouse and set up a family meeting to pave the way. Also, carving out me time is not just for you. Each person in a family needs to learn the value of how to be alone and occupy their own time productively. In healthy families, everybody counts. You count too, you know.

A Very Special Time for You and your Child

July 7th, 2019

As a parent, settle down time is an opportunity you never want to miss. This is your child's bedtime. Not all parents get it right, but when you do, you enhance the love and relationship you have with your child. For pre-schoolers who may stall to have more time with you, after about 15-20 minutes of settling down, introduce her to the snuggle bunny. This metaphor helps her be still and quiet. Within minutes she will be sound asleep. Enjoy your settle down time at the end of each day with your child.

Do You Have A Round Tuit?

June 21st, 2019

When it's hard to change old habits that don't work for you, you may need to get a round tuit. Mine is a kitchen potholder that says, "here's what you need when you are not doing what you need to do, and you need to get a round to it."  After helping your child sort out his difficulty, using your active listening, ask permission to brainstorm possibilities with him. After he puts together a workable plan, the "Round Tuit" is a humorous prompt to help him put his plan into action. Don't we all need a round tuit at times?

Up for a Challenge? Say “No.”

June 19th, 2019

Part of effective, healthy parenting is your ability to say "no," mean it, and stick by it. Confronting bad behavior, setting boundaries, and role modeling all require your ability to say "no."  Put your hand up in stop sign fashion and firmly tell her "no." When you get blowback, use your active listening to soothe your child's upset, but maintain the "no." Remind your child to accept your decision to avoid further consequences. This will be hard the first several times, especially if you're "the cool parent." Stick to your guns and both of you will survive. Saying "no" is a big part of healthy parenting.

The Best…Time…Ever with your Child

June 17th, 2019

When do you reflect, "Ahh. This is what parenting is all about." Those are the best times ever. You don't have to wait to win the lottery or to go on your dream vacation. These best times ever happen daily when you get to soothe your child and impart your wisdom as well. You see your child's eyes light up. They are calmed and they get it. Teachable moments occur at any time on your life's journey, in good times and even in bad times, depending on how you reach out to her. Don't miss having the best...times...ever with your child.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »