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…

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…

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…

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…

“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…

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* So many of the parents and teachers who come to my presentations (especially ones like “You Can’t Make Me!” and Dealing with Difficult Students,…

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…

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…

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…

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…