I am just completing a workshop, and on my way home I am contemplating a struggle that many of the parents were having.  It seems to be more and more common place that bright, competent, and capable children get into the habit of calling themselves stupid.

Let’s be clear, they are not stupid.

As parents, we know that they are not stupid.  And we want them to know that they are not stupid.

In fact, we want them to know that they are bright, competent and capable.  We want them to bask in their own greatness.  We want them to feel alive with the miracle of who they are.  We see this precious, wonderful child with all sorts of potential wonderful futures, and we want them to realize how important it is for them to claim this future with a strong self-esteem.

It can’t give them self-esteem!

Many of us fall in the trap, of encouraging our children when they want to argue for their limitations.  They will say something like, “I can’t do it.”

We turn around and argue, “Yes you can.  I know that you can do it.  You’re so smart….you can do anything.”

We end up arguing with them about how smart and competent they are.  They argue that they are stupid and not capable. Read More→

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We all understand that life can be remarkably challenging, and that raising a family makes it more challenging, and having a  strong-willed or difficult child multiples the struggles.  In all situations, we still have to remember the vital importance of maintaining the most impeccable model as parent we can be.  As a parenting coach, I am fond of reminding my clients that “You can’t expect your children to act better than you do.”

How often are we willing to compromise what we know is right to indulge the emotion of the moment?  If we are willing to be reactive like this, then here’s what our children see:

  • When Mom doesn’t get me to do what she wants, she can scream and yell at me.
  • When I don’t listen to Dad, he can throw a tantrum.
  • When Mom and Dad don’t agree, they can fight and yell at one another.

So please understand:  All your child knows is that Mom and Dad can yell, scream and fight with each other if they are unhappy.  In fact, your children may also see you throwing grown-up tantrums; whining, complaining at them and sometimes… even fighting between yourselves (just like siblings). Read More→

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Too much TV

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Too much of anything can turn out to be a bad thing, you’d agree. This would hold true of too many chocolates, too much outdoors, too much of studying etc etc. When any thing however good comes to us in excess we must be aware of certain issues that may arise.

When we talk of the excesses that kids have, the primary issue that comes into focus is the amount of time kids spend watching television.

Too much TV is certainly a huge issue that affects kids.

In the average US household a parent sleep for seven hours, children sleep in eight hours and les than two hours are spent on eating. The TV is tuned on for over seven hours.

If that piece of information was not enough there’s more. Reports suggest that the average school-aged child spends approximately 27 hours weekly watching TV. Overall children sped more time watching TV than they spend at school. They spend more time watching TV than they sleep. They spend more time watching TV than they spend doing any other activity. Read More→

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What if you could prevent those summertime arguments and struggles and meltdowns that bring chaos and frustration to your family during those cherished vacation weeks?

You can prevent those moments that cause you to consider packing up and coming home early by taking action now.  The bad news is that it is tough to recover from these critical mistakes if you’re in the middle of a vacation.  So, the good news is that you can easily make some adjustments before you go on vacation, to ensure a joyful and pleasant family experience.  Let’s review each joy-robbing mistake, and then I will discuss what you can do to preserve your peaceful vacation. Read More→

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What are the most important components of good parenting?  I invite you to consider the power of the calm, caring and consistent parent.

Calm

This is, of course, about remaining calm in the face of difficulty and struggle.  It’s not about remaining calm when things are easy.  Most of us can do that.

When life isn’t giving you what you want, this commitment is about keeping your cool in the face of challenges.  You may often find that your children don’t give you what you want (in terms of behavior and emotion).  When you can stay calm in the face of parenting struggles, you can begin to use reasoning, intellect, and the skills that you’ve learned throughout the years to solve the problem in front of you.  However, when you lose your cool, none of those resources are available to you.  The tools you have learned about all go flying out the window!

Staying calm in the face of turmoil provides an additional benefit.  You provide a healthy model of how to walk through the world.  Read More→

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Your children’s energy flows where your attention goes. When you understand this simple fact and apply the principle consistently, you’ll discover the tremendous capacity you have to influence your children’s behavior and emotions. It isn’t a short-term fix; rather, this principle reflects the power of your attention and love to shape their behavior.

In practical terms, whatever behavior or emotion you consistently give attention to will grow over time. Surprisingly, it doesn’t matter whether the attention you pay is positive or negative. The “automatic learning” part of your child’s brain doesn’t care. All the brain knows is whether or not this particular behavior is being noticed. If you keep noticing it, it will grow. And the more attention you give to a behavior, the more energy your children will put into it. Read More→

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The One-Month Test For Parents

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One of the most effective styles of parenting is investing your energy as well as attention in the behavior that you want, instead of that which you do not want.

The 30-Day Test

For the one next month, cease investing your attention and energy in unpleasant behavior of your kids such as whining, pessimism, and others. When you kids start to show their tantrums or complain for small things, simply WALK AWAY. Do not correct them, nag them, prod or preach them. Also, avoid threatening and scolding your kids when you find them indulging in unwanted behavior. Read More→

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