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.

Mistake Number 1:  Working too hard for your children’s happiness.

This might sound a bit unusual, but it’s a common mistake.  We all want to be supportive of our children’s happiness.  This is a given. Read More→

Comments (0)

How many of us have had “a moment” lately?

  • A moment of frustration…
  • A moment of anger…
  • A moment of weakness…
  • A moment of excess emotion…
  • A moment of stupidity…
  • A moment of whining…
  • A moment of one more…
  • A moment of complaining…
  • A moment of unhappiness…
  • A moment of drama…
  • A moment of wanting attention…
  • A moment of wanting something different than what we are getting…

We have all had these moments…just admit it!   Not only have we had our moments, but it’s likely that your kids are having these same moments.  The goal is to teach your kids how to avoid hanging on to such moments…as doing so is teaching them to bring drama into their life.

One of the most powerful gifts that you can give your kids is to teach them to allow their emotions…rather than clinging to their emotions.  The first step…

Empowerment Rule #1:  Don’t rescue them from their everyday upsets.

That’s right!  If you try to rescue them from these moments, you will make one of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a parent.  You teach them that they can’t handle something that they are exquisitely designed to handle.

To be emotionally strong, your kids must learn that it is just a moment… and it will pass. Read More→

Comments (0)

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.

How Does This Work?

Example #1: Eleven-year-old John is watching TV. You ask him to turn off the TV set and come to dinner. No response. You ask a second time. No response. You raise your voice and ask again. You get a grunt. You become frustrated. You yell at John to turn off the TV set and come to dinner. He barely acknowledges you. In a fit of frustration, you threaten to remove TV for life. Resentfully, he turns it off. What behavior of John’s was consistently engaged here? Read More→

Comments (0)

As a Licensed Psychologist and Parenting Specialist, I am often speaking to parents about how to stop tantrums, and how to reduce aggression and anger in children.  I find myself repeatedly pointing to a growing trend in our culture, which helps to explain many issues which childhood anger, temper tantrums, violence and aggression.

This trend reflects a significant division between two categories of children.  Those
“under the spell” of their TV, and those children that aren’t.  For those children that aren’t caught by the spell of their TV, there are significantly less struggles with violence, anger and temper tantrums.  As time goes on, this group tends to watch an hour or so of TV per day, or less, and seem to have a focus on some combination of academic, recreational or social activities in a balanced manner.  These kids generally go forward through high school with relative success, happiness and a bright future.  (Note that this does not happen without parental intervention and guidance however.)

The second category of children is decidedly more at risk, in the early years of temper tantrums and anger.  This can escalate in the later years to more severe aggression and violence.  These children end up watching four or more hours of TV, or video, per day.  This second category of kids is consumed with passive entertainment and spends inordinate amounts of time either looking at a electronic box, playing with a box, or communicating through a box. Read More→

Comments (0)

Does it seem like your kids do more whining than ever?

In my private practice as a licensed  psychologist, I get more and more questions from parents about their kids who seem to be incessantly whining and complaining.  Many parents see this lead to temper tantrums and meltdowns.  While this may or may not be your child’s profile, it’s important to be aware of the dangers inherent in whining as a favorite past time for your son or daughter.

The dangers of whining and temper tantrums.

1.)   Whining is not attractive to anyone.

As your kids get older and older, they’ll find themselves more and more connected with peers who tend to be whiners as well.  Happy, joyful and actively engaged peers will find such incessant whining and complaining unpleasant and will move on.

2.)   Whining often leads to temper tantrums, which destroy happiness.

Toddlers can begin to fall into a pattern that worsens over time.  As these children get older, their whining and temper tantrums become more extreme and violent.

With every tantrum or meltdown, your child’s happiness is depleted.  The emotion is more extreme, more intense and out of proportion with what makes sense.  Whining does not always lead to these extreme tantrums, but often you find the two showing up together.

3.)   Behind the whining and the temper tantrums is a distortion of reality.

While I certainly don’t know your family personally, it’s safe to say that your children live a life that is relatively blessed.  If you’re reading this article, it’s likely they had parents and grandparents who love them, a home in a relatively safe country, and opportunities galore as they look toward their future.  Their room is likely filled with toys, they’re able to get a good education, and you’re there to support them every step along the way.  It is a good life! Read More→

Comments (0)

Why Does Your Child Whine?

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Ever wonder why “whining” is becoming an epidemic in our schools, our homes, and in our culture?

It is easy to understand, when you imagine yourself in this position:

You are in line at the grocery store, with a dozen people surrounding you.  You threaten your daughter that she would get nothing, if she started whining.  You have almost made it…the door is in site!

But then it begins…she sees the chocolate bar, and this reminds her that you said “no” when she asked for the chocolate milk.  She starts in … “Mommy, I want my chocolate milk.”

You say, “No.  I told you we aren’t getting chocolate milk every time we go to the store.”

She says, “But Mom…I really want chocolate milk.  Why are you so mean to me?

You say something like… “Look here.  If you think this is mean, you haven’t seen mean yet.  So just shush…and we can go home and play outside before dark.”

She says, “I don’t want to play if I don’t get my chocolate milk.  Please…. Pleassssseeee… Plesssssseeee Mommmmmmmyyyyyyyy.”

By now, her voice is very loud.  You are embarrassed, frustrated and know that you shouldn’t give in.

Maybe you do.  Maybe you don’t.

Giving in is bad.  J  We know that right.

But guess what?  Either way you are going to lose…if this type of conversation continues.  You will grow a “whiner” regardless of your buying the chocolate or not! Read More→

Comments (0)

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.” Read More→

Comments (0)

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.

Mistake Number 1:  Working too hard for your children’s happiness.

This might sound a bit unusual, but it’s a common mistake.  We all want to be supportive of our children’s happiness.  This is a given.

However, this mistake occurs whenever you feel yourself working harder than your children are at their happiness.  You can determine this very simply by turning to your heart and noticing when you feel yourself doing more and more to try to create happy moments.  And yet, your children seem to become more and more easily disappointed and upset.  In fact, you may notice that they put little effort into their own happiness as you work harder..  If this is where you’re at…you are headed down a path that will ultimately fail them and you..and make both summer and vacation a possible nightmare. Read More→

Comments (0)

All kids go through phases of complaining and whining. This is a normal process of growing up. It is when this type of a behaviour becomes a pattern and carries forward into the growing years that it becomes an issue.

Children tend to complain when they don’t get what they want. It is their way of expressing how they feel. For most parents this is accepted as normal behaviour and they don’t give it much thought. Not until it escalates to a point that kids respond to every thing, even if it’s good with a complaint.

If for example you take your child to Disneyland, spend quite a bit of money on the trip and make sure that you give the best for your kid.  At the end of the trip on the way back if you ask your child if he enjoyed and his response was negative, how would you feel? Imagine if the child says he was bored or that he found the food tasteless or that Disneyland was nothing great, what would your reaction be? This sort of behaviour from your child would be indicative of a complaining attitude. Such children have a negative worldview of life and would find a reason to complain in the best of situations. Needless to say such kids would grow up to be whining adults as well. Read More→

Comments (0)

Does it seem like your kids do more whining than ever?

In my private practice as a licensed  psychologist, I get more and more questions from parents about their kids who seem to be incessantly whining and complaining.  Many parents see this lead to temper tantrums and meltdowns.  While this may or may not be your child’s profile, it’s important to be aware of the dangers inherent in whining as a favorite past time for your son or daughter.

The dangers of whining and temper tantrums.

1.)   Whining is not attractive to anyone.

As your kids get older and older, they’ll find themselves more and more connected with peers who tend to be whiners as well.  Happy, joyful and actively engaged peers will find such incessant whining and complaining unpleasant and will move on.

2.)   Whining often leads to temper tantrums, which destroy happiness.

Toddlers can begin to fall into a pattern that worsens over time.  As these children get older, their whining and temper tantrums become more extreme and violent.

With every tantrum or meltdown, your child’s happiness is depleted.  The emotion is more extreme, more intense and out of proportion with what makes sense.  Whining does not always lead to these extreme tantrums, but often you find the two showing up together. Read More→

Comments (0)

Most Popular Programs

Defiant Behavior

Tantrum Fixer

Help Your Picky Eater

The Confident Child

Terrific ParentingThrough Divorce

Help With Homework Battles

Sibling Solutions