Parenting

“Making Someone Wrong”

April 23, 2014 Building responsibility

What does that really mean? It was just a little editorial comment in the column of the manuscript for my last book. I was explaining the power of conditional access to positive consequences, noting that it was not necessary to “make [kids] wrong or point out the error of their ways when they blow it” […]

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The 7 Worst Things to Say to Your Kids During a Divorce

February 9, 2014 Counselors

Helping children make the transition By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller When you said the words, “I do,” on your wedding day, the idea of divorce probably never entered your mind. Nor was it even a fleeting thought when you witnessed the birth of your first child. Chances are it never occurred to you at […]

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It’s Only Disrespect if I Think it’s Disrespect

November 12, 2013 Avoiding power struggles

Attitudes are in the eye— and ear— of the beholder Do you have snarky people in your life? This post was adapted from material originally written for beginning teachers. The same ideas and strategies are equally effective in home and work environments, as well as any educational setting. Just substitute “student” (or “kid”) for “child,” […]

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Presentation: Bouncing Back: Resiliency

October 24, 2013 Behavior Management

Building Resiliency and Persistence in Our Students Presentation by Dr. Jane Bluestein How often do we see students struggling with a new challenge and just give up? Some don’t even try, and can invent all sorts of excuses— sometimes with their parents’ support— to avoid the risk we all need to take when we’re learning […]

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Curfew Blues?

September 4, 2013 Avoiding power struggles with your kids

Time to Agree about Time Do you get pushback from your kids when you try to enforce a curfew time? If so, you’re in good company. This is an area of conflict for many families and very often, the automatic response to a child’s negative response— whether sulking, arguing, complaining, or flat-out defiance— tends to […]

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Good Parenting or Effective Parenting?

June 9, 2013 Avoiding power struggles with your kids

What is the Difference? Good parents control their children. Right? When a child is throwing a temper tantrum at the supermarket, everyone is thinking, “If they were good parents, they’d control that kid!” Well, perhaps not everyone thinks that, but when it’s our child and we are the ones on center stage, it usually feels […]

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Is Control the Goal? with Tammy Cox

June 9, 2013 Avoiding power struggles with your kids

The high price of trying to control children Episode Summary: Power is an intrinsic need we all have from day one! When it comes to adult-child relationships, power struggles are consistently at the top of the list. We all know that kids need limits and structure to grow into responsible adults, but there is also an […]

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Thumbs up, thumbs down

May 31, 2013 Feedback and encouragement

The importance of meaningful feedback My husband just came in to read a bit of consumer feedback on a product he was researching. The book received rave reviews but the reviewer gave the author three out of five stars because “the box was dented.” We’ve all seen this kind of feedback. Excellent restaurants downgraded because […]

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5 Characteristics of a Good Boundary- For Parents

March 31, 2013 Avoiding power struggles with your kids

And why they are better than rules Boundaries are tools for building cooperation in relationships, for letting others know what you want, and for letting them know which options are available to them (for getting what they want). Set boundaries when you want behaviors to change and wish to avoid negative, stressful behaviors such as […]

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“Magic” Sentences for Effective Communication

March 28, 2013 Avoiding power struggles

Positive language for avoiding conflict, negotiating agreements, and taking care of yourself “Magic Sentences” are key phrases that offer practical ways to use specific language to prevent, minimize, or de-escalate conflicts with others. Different sentences will be useful in different situations. These examples represent a win-win approach to relationships, and while they were originally developed for […]

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10 Dangers of Encouraging Obedience and People-Pleasing

February 9, 2013 Behavior Management

It’s not as desirable as it sounds! Parents can’t choose the mates of their children or the behavior of their children. You actually can’t choose anything for your children without disempowering them. —Abraham* Most of the parents and teachers with whom I work come to my presentations (especially ones like “You Can’t Make Me!” and […]

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What’s Wrong with I-Messages?

January 14, 2013 Avoiding power struggles

Problems with a popular formula © 1991, 1999, 2003, 2013 This article was originally written for an issue of Families in Recovery, a parenting magazine that is no longer in print. Although the examples primarily feature parent-child interactions, the dynamics, issues, and alternatives are applicable to any relationship. A man in one of my workshops […]

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How to Avoid Meltdowns in Public

January 5, 2013 Avoiding power struggles with your kids

Practical tips for preventing (and handling) tantrums Most every parent fears that inevitable moment in the store when all eyes are on them because their adorable child is having a full-fledged temper tantrum.  Many parents will go to great lengths to avoid having these meltdowns in public, even giving into every unreasonable demand the non-rational […]

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Picking up the Pieces

December 23, 2012 Blog

Reclaiming our essence “I can never read your writing.” “That was awful. Maybe you should leave the athletics to your sister.” “I can’t tell what this drawing is supposed to be.” “You’ll never be any good at…” Do any of these sound familiar? I know very few adults who grew up without at least some […]

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The Power of Discouragement

December 20, 2012 Avoiding burnout

The impact of feedback on achievement Years ago working in Slovenia, I met an art teacher, Andrej Grošelj, who over the years, stayed in touch and became a friend until his recent and sudden death. With the help of Google’s Language Tools, I was able to translate email messages he occasionally sent in his native tongue. One […]

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6 Reasons to Not Ask “Why”- For Parents

December 10, 2012 Avoiding power struggles with your kids

No more excuses! This post is about not asking for excuses by asking your kids to explain why they did something wrong or forgot to do something they were supposed to do (or had agreed to do). This is a common pattern that will create problems and can undermine your authority. Here’s why asking “why” […]

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11 Reasons to Use Boundaries- For Parents

December 10, 2012 Avoiding power struggles with your kids

Establishing your authority with boundaries * Boundaries allow you to express your limits and to communicate the conditions or availability of certain privileges that your children desire. * Boundaries prevent conflict and build win-win power structures. They help you take care of yourself while attempting to accommodate your children’s needs or desires. * Boundaries build […]

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9 Things to Remember when Setting Boundaries- For Parents

December 10, 2012 Avoiding power struggles with your kids

Practical tips for making boundaries work * Use boundaries to let your children know your limits and tolerances, your availability, the conditions under which you will participate in some activity, which privileges are available, or the conditions under which a privilege is available to your children. Use boundaries to give your children information they can […]

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