Two Sticks and a Do-Over

Two Sticks and a Do-Over

We were on our way to a shop. The ground was covered by fresh snow, and my two sons (4 yr and 18 mo) were scribbling pictures into snowdrifts with sticks they found under the old chestnut tree. They were laughing, running, having fun. Before we entered the shop, I asked boys to find a place to leave their sticks. Mike, the older one, placed his stick on the stone fence. George followed his...

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Removing Judgment—A Simple Exercise

Removing Judgment—A Simple Exercise

  This really happened: SAY WHAT YOU SEE (SWYS): “You are biting my shirt.”   (I didn’t like that.)   CAN DO: “That’s not OK with me. Must be something else you can bite. Hmm. Here, you can bite this!”   I offered the child the hem of his own shirt. He looked at me, grinned, then bit his own shirt. He walked around with his shirt in his mouth for a few minutes,...

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Rethinking Gratitude

Rethinking Gratitude

Is gratitude missing in your home? This mom thought so until she took a closer look.  QUESTION:   I’ve had identical parenting woe conversations with a few friends recently. We all have only children from 4 to 8-years-old and are struggling with instilling a sense of gratitude within them.   We don’t want to take belongings away as that doesn’t work and is a negative spin....

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Parenting Anger: Is it me or them?

Parenting Anger: Is it me or them?

It had been a day filled with tantrums, power struggles and testing, testing, testing. I felt like I was doing all the right things, listening to my kids’ feelings, validating their experience, and extending my patience well beyond what I should need to do. Yet, everything I did felt like the wrong thing. I cut the toast wrong. Hurried them out the door too quickly.  Buckled the car seat...

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Hidden Cause of Your Reactions

Hidden Cause of Your Reactions

"You make me feel..." is not how it works. We are interrelated. Someone says something and you react, but the mechanism is misunderstood. There is a hidden middle step. We each have our own perceptions of the world, and though it seems that we react to what happens around us, our reactions actually come from our perceptions and interpretations instead.  For example, my Grandmother hated...

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Success Training for Toddler Hitting

Success Training for Toddler Hitting

QUESTION: My 2 YO daughter is struggling with hitting. Before this began she was a very timid girl and at play dates would often get run over.   Four months ago I had a baby, and the first time I witnessed my 2 YO hitting was when she hit the baby. She was giving the baby a hug and started getting a little excited which then turned into getting a little too rough with the baby, and when I...

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