Blog

Letting Go: Morning Hassles and Responsibility

"Jimmy, time to get up! C'mon, Jimmy, get up now! This is the last time I'm going to call you!"

Sound familiar? Mornings in Jimmy's home are much like mornings in other homes around the world—hectic, argumentative, and full of hassles. Jimmy has not learned to be responsible because Mom is too busy being responsible for him. It gets worse as the morning continues.

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Limit Screen Time

There was once a segment on Oprah in which families where challenged to give up electronics for a week, including TV. It was interesting to watch how difficult it was for parents, as well as their children, to give up all of their screens. One scene was particularly difficult to watch. A five-year-old boy could hardly stand it to give up playing video games. His temper tantrums were quite dramatic. His mother shared that she was embarrassed when she realized he had been playing video games for five hours a day. The good news was that after the whole family went through “media withdrawal,” they discovered how to replace screen time with family activities that increased their family closeness and enjoyment.

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Sense of Humor

No one ever said parenting had to be boring or unpleasant. Laughter is often the best way to approach a situation. Try saying, “Here comes the tickle monster to get children who don’t pick up their toys.” Learn to laugh together and to create games to get unpleasant jobs done quickly. Humor is one of the best (and most enjoyable) parenting tools.

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Control Your Behavior

The Positive Discipline Tool Card of "Control Your Behavior" is sometimes easier said than done. Have you ever lost control of your behavior with your children? Listen to the following audio excerpt from Building Self-Esteem Through Positive Discipline as I discuss a time when I completely lost control with my daughter.

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Sibling Fights: Putting Kids in the Same Boat

If you can’t stand to stay out of your children’s fights, and decide to become involved, the most effective way is to put your children in the same boat. Do not take sides or try to decide who is at fault. Chances are you wouldn’t be right, because you never see everything that goes on.

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Pay Attention

All of these Positive Discipline Tool Cards are valuable, but some of them seem to resonate a little bit more with me. When I turned over this "Pay Attention" tool card it had a profound impact on me.

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Greetings

Greeting students personally creates an immediate connection with each student.

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Divorce

“I want to get a divorce, but I'm so afraid it will hurt my children.  Should I stay in my marriage for the sake of the children?”

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CURIOSITY QUESTIONS

Helping children explore the consequences of their choices is much different from imposing consequences on them. Exploring invites the participation of children to think for themselves and figure out the consequences of their choice, to decide what is important to them, and how to achieve what they want. The end result is focusing on solutions to the problem instead of focusing on consequences.

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ASK FOR HELP

Mothers (and fathers) don’t realize how much they can damage their children’s character when they do too much for them in the name of being a good parent, and in the name of love.

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