Managing Stress & Encouraging Resilience in Your Family

April 26th, 2020

Whew! We are all under the gun. This COVID-19 pandemic has each one of us scrambling to stay safe and trying to do our part. Stress management strategies are at a premium in these tentative times. As parents, we all need to model effective stress management and promote resilience with our kids. Included in this podcast are four suggestions for dealing with our current crisis. Also, remember, find the blessing in the tough times. What a great time to really meaningfully connect with your kids. How are you gonna do that?

Budget Needs First, then Wants

April 19th, 2020

Many of us, sadly, tend to live beyond our means. That's a problem for two reasons. First, it's an easy way to find trouble. Second, it's a poor role model for your children. If you start keeping a budget early in your marriage, then when kids come along, it's easier to keep the budget going. Kids learn to manage their money as well. To avoid living beyond your means, budget your needs first. Then, and only then, factor in your wants with the money left over. If you are living hand to mouth, practice saving, scrimping, and planning ahead. Where you come up short and wants are out the window, use a family meeting to let the kids know the circumstances, active listen their frustrations to lower their emotional fever, and then brainstorm options for living within your means.

Expanding Your Parenting Resources

April 12th, 2020

News flash!! You don't have to do this parenting thing alone. Even if you are not lucky enough to have a village, even if you are a single parent, the buck may stop with you, but there are lots of options along the way. As you are able to expand your parenting resources, both you get relief and are able to manage your stress better, and also your children learn new things and experience new relationships. Of my top 10 tips for parenting success, tip number 10 is this: Draw on and draw in other resources in your children's lives.

Failure? Or Blessing in Disguise

April 4th, 2020

You know what? Stuff happens. It happens to you, to me, to your children. It's not the stuff, but rather, what we do with the stuff after it happens that matters. As parents, we are constantly teaching our kids about how to be good people. Most all of those lessons come from helping them turn failures into blessings in disguise. Many parents kneejerk their reaction to their child's pratfalls. Instead, I encourage you to take a breath, comfort, active listen, and then help her problem-solve to turn that failure into a blessing in disguise.

Pandemic? Don’t Be Discouraged

April 1st, 2020

With the current stress of pandemic on all of our lives, and possibility for discouragement as our routines are disrupted, I'm breaking into my top 10 parenting tips to help out. Our new normal, shelter-in-place, can lead to parents and children going bonkers! Or we can adapt, do our part to stop the spread of this killer virus, and make the most out of difficult times. In this podcast, I give you 4 suggestions for keeping stress and discouragement at bay, while also finding quality time with your family. What a great opportunity for emotional intimacy and teachable moments!

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.

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