Archive | Avoiding power struggles with your kids

9 Ways to be More Proactive

Thinking ahead, avoiding problems • Write down your parenting goals. Be specific about behaviors, principles and long-term outcomes that are important to you. It’s easier to anticipate, plan and prevent problems when you know what you’re trying to achieve! • Involve your children in discussions of your family’s goals, values and priorities. • Review your parenting goals […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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,” […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

“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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

6 Reasons to Not Ask “Why”- For Parents

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” […]

Continue Reading

11 Reasons to Use Boundaries- For Parents

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 […]

Continue Reading

9 Things to Remember when Setting Boundaries- For Parents

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 […]

Continue Reading

10 Characteristics of Healthy Adult-Child Relationships

Description of the characteristics Healthy, functional relationships between adults and children (including teacher-student relationships) are characterized by the following. Increasing the presence of these characteristics in your relationships is a great way to improve commitment, communications, cooperation and consideration, and reduce stress and conflict as well! This list applies to parents and care-givers as well […]

Continue Reading