Archive | Parenting

Product: “Pads” on the Back

Like Getting a Hug on Paper by Dr. Jane Bluestein & Dr. Lynn Collins Now available as Post-It® Notes! After selling the last of thousands of the original product, we decided to reprint these “Pads,” this time as a set of sticky notes. The new pads are now available in 5 packs of 50 sheets, and […]

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9 Ways to Encourage Your Children’s Individuality

Appreciating your children’s uniqueness Even if your children are the spitting image of you, unless they are clones, you know that they are going to be different from you. And if you do indeed have more than one, they are going to be different from one another. This uniqueness contributes to the “personality” of your family, a potential […]

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Presentation: Parents in a Pressure Cooker

A comprehensive and positive approach for parents and caregivers Dozens of practical, positive, and effective strategies to help parents build kids’ cooperation, responsibility, and self-management in a caring, mutually-respectful, win-win environment. This program was designed as a half-day, full-day, or multi-day training to combine the discipline issues and power dynamics addressed in “You Can’t Make Me!”, with […]

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Playing Well With Others

Not all it’s cracked up to be When I was in second grade, I got a minus next to “plays well with others.” In my family, this was a terrible thing, worse even than getting a bad grade in the content areas. (This also wasn’t allowed, but somehow getting a “B”— the equivalent of failure […]

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“Making Someone Wrong”

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

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

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?

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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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