Parents

7 Tips for a Happy, Successful School Year

For many children and their parents, returning to school is a joyful occasion—reconnecting with school friends and families, the excitement of purchasing school supplies and new clothes, the return to the comfort and normalcy of the school routine, and, of course, the gift of a little breathing space for Mom and Dad.
But for many other children, the new school year brings with it a large dose of anxiety: Will I struggle like I did last year? Will I make any new friends? Will I be bullied or isolated? Will the teacher like me?

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Break the Code of Misbehavior

When children are misbehaving, they are speaking to adults in code? A misbehaving child is a discouraged child. The primary goal of all children is to feel a sense of belonging and significance. Too often they form a mistaken belief about how to seek belonging and significance—as explained in the Mistaken Goal Chart. Unless adults know how to break the code—children usually experience the opposite of belonging and significance. Click on this link: Mistaken Goal Chart so you can follow along as I explain the code.

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Limited Choices

Offering limited choices instead of making demands can be very effective. Children often respond to choices when they will not respond to demands, especially when you follow the choice with, "You decide." Choices should be respectful and should focus attention on the needs of the situation.

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Decide What You Will Do

The Jones family is very excited. They have just finished planning a day at the beach. Seven-year-old Jason and five-year-old Jenny have promised that they won’t fight. Mr. Jones, has warned, “If you do, we’ll turn around and come back.” “We won’t, we won’t,” promise Jason and Jenny again.

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7 Ways Busy Parents Can Help Their Children Feel Special

Do you ever wonder, "Will my children suffer because they have a working parent? Will they be deprived?" The answer: That depends on what you believe and what you do.

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Kind and Firm Parenting

A foundation of Positive Discipline is to be kind and firm at the same time. Some parents are kind, but not firm. Others are firm, but not kind. Many parents vacillate between the two—being too kind until they can’t stand their kids (who develop an entitlement attitude) and then being too firm until they can’t stand themselves (feeling like tyrants).

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Family Meetings

It is difficult for me to choose a favorite Positive Discipline parenting tool, but family meetings are at the top. Children learn so much during family meetings, such as listening, respecting differences, verbalizing appreciation, problem-solving, focusing on solutions, and experiencing that mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn. I have a much longer list, but you get the idea. Family meetings also create a family tradition and will create many memories.

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Connection Before Correction

The one Positive Discipline Tool I wish I had used more consistently is this: Connection before Correction. Of course, I didn't know what this meant as a young mother, and didn't create it as a Positive Discipline tool until about five years ago. Now we know it is just brain science: children learn (grow, feel safe, thrive) best when they feel connection—or as Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs taught us, "a sense of belonging and significance".

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What Do You Want For Your Children?

Imagine your child is now 25-years-old and has knocked on your door for a surprise visit. What kind of person do you hope to see in front of you? What characteristics and life skills do you hope he or she has?

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THE ART OF ACTIVE LISTENING

Active (or reflective) listening is an effective tool of communication. One that will serve you well as you parent your child and (sooner than you may think) the adolescent that child will become. Active listening is the art of observing and listening to feelings, then reflecting them back. Active listening does not require that you agree with your child’s feelings, but it allows your child to feel connected and understood—something all people need—and provides an opportunity to explore and clarify those mysterious impulses known as emotions.

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