Stop Knee-Jerk Habits

Stop Knee-Jerk Habits

When your child scares you, is your knee-jerk reaction a yell or even a swat? Even if you are firmly committed to a peaceful home and a great relationship with your child, if you were raised with yelling and spanking, they can be extremely hard reactions to overcome. Our simple coaching skills can help. In the grocery store this week I saw this play out with a dad and his toddler son....

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Alarmed by a Child’s Cries?

Alarmed by a Child’s Cries?

My first-born's cries actually scared me. Now I know why: Bringing an adult perspective to children's emotions is scary.  Janet Lansbury makes this point brilliantly in her post "I think I've Ruined My Child:" "Their tears, screams and tantrums can be alarming, maddening and guilt-inducing for parents if we make the common mistake of seeing from an adult perspective. Yes, when an adult...

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Getting Back on the Same Team

Getting Back on the Same Team

You know those days with your children when nothing you do or say seems to work, when no validation of their wants is enough, and every tiny thing that comes up turns into a huge drama? I do, and I can assure you it feels so frustrating! There are days I feel like nothing is enough to fill the enormous need for power my kids have, especially my older daughter. There are few things that trigger...

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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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