Archive for the ‘Teens’ Category

Of course, you want to explain the great “whys” in life to your kid, just not when you are trying to get out of the door in the morning. So save the elaborations for a time when your child needs more guidance. When you want something to happen, like getting to school before the morning bell rings, be direct and specific. Kids need concrete information, so instead of a vague “Get ready for school,” which leaves too much room for them to dawdle, give them direct instructions: “It is time to put on your coat and your backpack.” Getting specific works well in other situations too. Instead of “I want you on your best behavior in the restaurant,” you can say, “Please use your indoor voice at the table.”

See this post on getting kids to behave. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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On Facebook you shared the small things you can not help but agree to.

  • Pillow-fort night, with every pillow, blanket, stuffed animal, and comforter in the house.
  • Letting my 2-year-old choose her own outfit. It may clash and include a tiara, but hey, a girl has to accessorize!
  • Bubbles, even indoors.
  • My 8-year-olds strip of pink hair.
  • Mud puddles, always!
  • Baths, no matter what time of day. Sometimes you just need a bath to feel good.
  • Writing in shaving cream on the shower wall.
  • Indoor camping, complete with tent and s’mores!
  • Letting my 4-year-old polish my nails.
  • Breakfast in bed, just because!

Have you seen our series on NO? Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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yes

When you finish X, you may enjoy Y.

As is the case in just about every household I know with kids, no two weekdays look alike. But every day, at some point, I allow my kids to watch one TV show. It is the some point that causes the problem. My first grader, David, has difficulty figuring out when he is going to be allowed his precious TV time. Every day, the minute we walk into the house, whether it is 2 P.M. or 6 P.M., he wants to know “When can I watch TV?” And I can not stand the daily barrage of begging, whining, and pleading that inevitably leads me to say no over and over again.

This is where I instituted the when/then strategy. When all the must do activities are finished, then David can have TV time. Because David’s TV time also depends in part on his siblings’ commitments, I lay out the full schedule for the day for him. “Jenna has gymnastics today, so when we get home from dropping her off, you and Joe need to clean up the playroom, and then yes you can watch a TV show.

Once David has the information for the day, he does not feel insecure about whether TV is going to happen or not. He is no longer constantly checking in with me because he now knows exactly what needs to happen, and I find I am saying yes a lot more often. I am successfully using when/then at other tricky times of the day too. For instance, when you brush your teeth, then we can read a book together and at mealtime when the dinner plates are cleared, then we will serve dessert. Here you can check out part 1 of this series.

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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“You are really growing up! From now on, I am going to let you be responsible for certain things.”

Jenna’s school bus comes at 6:50 A.M., which is just way too early for our family. I was always a bit thankful that my children didn’t rise with the sun, but the flip side is that getting Jenna motivated in the morning is a bit difficult. I am badgering her from the minute I wake her to the moment she is out the door: take a bath, to get dressed, eat, put on her shoes. Anything that she requests is met with a swift NO. I barely even have time to talk to her, as I am so busy just trying to get her ready and out the door.

However, children as young as 4 or 5 can learn to get up on their own and manage their morning routine, with a little pregame planning with your help. For example, setting an alarm clock with her, putting cups, bowls, and cereal in a low cabinet where she can reach them in the morning. Jenna is almost 10 now and I am still waking her. Right now the morning is my problem. I need to make it Jenna’s problem by turning over the responsibility .We don’t give out kids enough legitimate control over their own lives. Parents spend so much time ordering, correcting, and fixing that children do not feel in control. They need to feel empowered by making their own choices.

I suggested that we get Jenna a digital watch with a multiple alarm setting. An alarm clock or iPod can also do the job. Then we will let Jenna decide what time she wants to get up in the morning. She is to set 3 alarms: one to wake, one to be dressed and downstairs, and the final one to be out the door. When I presented our new routine to Jenna in a positive light, as a privilege she has earned. “You are old enough to get yourself up, dressed, and downstairs,” I told Jenna. “You have proven to me how responsible you can be, so we are going to get you your own special watch. Now, you are in charge of your morning.” Jenna lights up with pride and excitement. Over the weekend, together we buy the watch and write out her new schedule.

On Monday morning, to my astonishment, Jenna wakes up on her own, gets dressed herself, eats her breakfast, gets her things together, and is out the door, all on time. Because she is responsible for making it all happen, it does and we even have time to chat. The morning like the others that follow is peaceful, pleasant, and organized. It is amazing that such an easy fix created such a dramatic positive change. Now, instead of nudging Jenna through the morning routine, the alarm reminds her when to get ready, and she takes pride in feeling so capable. You can also use the alarm system for issues around bedtime, homework, making difficult transitions and more. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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So after careful consideration and realizing that I do have good, generally well-behaved children. I am not struggling with any major issues with my kids, just normal everyday stuff. Still, I must confess that sometimes I can not handle all of their requests, and saying “no” works. Simply saying no or barking orders about what kids should be doing can be expedient in the moment. However, it does not foster their sense of capability or independence and can make the situation ripe for power struggles. If I want to achieve the goal of being more positive, I would have to give more power and responsibility over to my kids. Positive discipline does not mean that kids always get their way or that you say yes to everything. It means giving kids opportunities to have some age appropriate control over their own world, within the firm and loving boundaries you feel comfortable with. Sounds like a good plan, right? In our upcoming posts, we will give you 3 strategies to use when you struggle with no the most. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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You are as tired of the word as your kids are of hearing it. Follow a parenting expert’s strategies for getting kids to behave by saying yes more often. Then sit back and enjoy the positive results.

At the end, of a busy weekend of baseball practice, birthday parties, and grocery shopping, we have family friends over for dinner. The kids are, simply put, crazy. Running around, pulling toys out of every basket, and jumping from couch to chair and then back again. My three sons come to me every 3 minutes with a different request. “No,” I say, barely listening to them. But then my 10-year-old makes a statement that does catch my attention. “My dad says no all the time,” he tells his buddy. Hearing my son describe me as a 24/7 “no” dad was surprised and a bit hurtful. I have to admit I do resort to the reflexive no, particularly during stressful times of the day, like the morning rush to get my oldest out the door for school and in the evening crunch around bedtime. Still, I do not want my kids to think I am not listening or considering their needs and requests. I want them to know they have a voice, a say in our family. So in an attempt to address my “no-ness,” I decided to reach out for a bit of assistance. Let’s face it, we all need it from time to time. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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