Being the parent of an 11- and 13-year-old, I am shocked at the number of families we know that have a parent with a life-threatening illness. When I was growing up, I don’t remember hearing of friends or classmates who had to handle these types of family challenges or stresses.
At the beginning of a new year, we are motivated to set goals related to what we are going to do more or less of to make ourselves a better or happier person. We often neglect to set clear intentions for our families during this time (or anytime for that matter).
The problem is that setting a goal can lead you down the path towards judgment of how things "should be," and with judgment comes stress, anxiety and even depression.
Are you concerned that your child is “out of control” when they are: acting aggressively, talking over others, grabbing, have difficulty taking turns or simply doing things you have asked them not to? Many parents get frustrated by their child’s lack of self or impulse control, especially when their child knows the rules or the consequences of breaking them.
Using Timeouts is a hot and touchy topic! Most parents tell me it is not effective and is used in a heated moment when they don't know what else to do. That is why I want to share with you new and better ways to use timeouts in your parenting. I was interviewed a while back for a piece in ParentMap Magazine on this topic and also appeared on Fox News in Seattle to answer questions about when, why and how we use timeouts in our parenting. I wanted to make sure I got all of your questions answered about timeouts so that you too can use this intervention more effectively and respectfully.
Emotion Coaching is not just a parenting style. It is also a tool developed by John Gottman to help and teach our children to handle challenges and also a means of developing a relationship with our children based on trust and mutual respect. Emotion coaching helps parents guide their children through life’s ups and downs in a way that builds confidence, resilience and strong relationships. Developed by Dr. John Gottman, author of Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, this process helps children learn how emotions work and how to behave in healthy ways when their feelings are strong. It also teaches the skills that help children to thrive both socially and academically.
What Is An Emotion Coaching Parent?
When we think about raising our children we only want the best for them, whether it is doing well in school, having a large group of friends, or excelling in a sport or area of interest. Most parents will do whatever it takes to support their child in being successful in all three arenas no matter the sacrifice. Parents will step in and advocate, buy the latest gadgets for kids so they fit in, "help" with difficult projects and papers and protect and guide kids every step of the way. As parents, we feel proud and accomplished when our kids are successful. These types of behaviors can often be identified as overprotective or "over-parenting" and have the potential to squelch a child's confidence, undermine a child's opportunity to learn, take responsibility and gain independence.
Incorporating more routine and consistency can help decrease power struggles and increase cooperation and fun in your home!
Every parent at one time or another has either thought about or made a chart for their child. It almost never seems like there is enough time to get out the door in the morning or get kids to bed without power struggles no matter how much time you have. The type of charts that I suggest using are not reward charts, because there are no stickers or prizes that your child identifies or earns. Yet, there are valuable gifts that are received... the gift of life skills and responsibility! Now, who doesn’t feel great about helping their child develop confidence, independence, and responsibility?!
It’s that time again. The summer is quickly coming to an end, and back-to-school is approaching. Just thinking about the transition back to school can induce anxiety not only in kids, but also in parents and teachers. I personally had a mental breakdown last week just trying to figure out how I’m going to get my kids to and from two different schools, schedule and drive to a handful of extracurricular activities, and make dinner each night, all while managing my own work schedule. I spent two hours on calendaring and still haven’t figured out how to make it all happen.
The back-to-school season is quickly approaching, and there’s so much to do! There’s plenty of preparation required to make the transition seamless for kids but they aren’t the only ones who need a little help. Parents need to make big changes, too! Carpools, lunches, work, extracurriculars — the list is endless. So, let’s take a minute to talk about a few things parents can do to get themselves ready for school.
Anger is neither good nor bad; it’s just a normal feeling. How we express our anger is what is most critical. It is an important emotion and can actually be helpful in creating motivation. It can also be dangerous when expressed in an unhealthy way and can lead to bad decisions. You’ve probably heard ideas like telling your child to “count to ten” or “go scream in a pillow”. These are neither practical nor helpful strategies, so here are a few ideas that will help you and your child both manage and express anger is a healthy productive way.
Travel, no matter how near or far, has so many benefits for children. Families often leave the comfort of home to explore new and different people, cultures, environments, and experiences. Not only do family trips create opportunities for families to bond through shared experiences, but they also provide situations that require children to take risks, try something new, and act brave, which can result in courage and greater confidence. But travel isn’t always so easy with kids and can sometimes be a tumultuous experience. Incorporating mindfulness into your travel and adventures is a great way to enhance your family’s experience and teach your children how to appreciate not only the destination, but also the journey. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your trip:
Summer is in full swing now and everyone is embracing the sunshine and the warm weather. With all the fun summer activities, parents tend to get a little more relaxed in their parenting. Being a bit more flexible and going with the flow can be wonderful and liberating, unless you are undoing the habits you worked so hard to maintain the rest of the year. Keeping your parenting consistent with your values during the summer months can definitely be more challenging when everyone is focused on having a fun time. Below are two more ways to be mindful this summer to help keep your family on track and ensure everyone is staying healthy and enjoying themselves.
As we head into summer, it can be helpful to set clear expectations for our kids, in order to avoid challenges and ensure that everyone in the family has fun. The summer months tend to create a relaxed approach to daily life and can often lead to bad habits that then require a lot of time and energy to reverse in the fall. Two ways to maintain consistency and keep things on track are making sure your child gets enough sleep and enforcing clear limits on the use of screens and devices.
Casey invites fellow Positive Discipline Coach, Melissa Benaroya, to discuss surviving Summer Break. In this episode they offer practical tools and solutions to set you and your family up for a successful summer. Two to three months is a long time to keep your kids occupied and stimulated. Get an insight into the importance of boredom and why you don’t have to plan every single second of your children’s vacation. Tune in and learn how routine and summer coexist to help you have fun too!
As Father’s Day approaches, we encourage you to embrace every opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the father figures in your life. Fathers are significant influencers in the lives of their children; they are no longer valued just for bringing home the figurative bacon. The days of detached fathering are becoming a thing of the past. Dads are more involved than ever in all aspects of childrearing. Research has found that men who are fathers are actually happier than their childless peers. Not only do dads benefit from getting involved, but there are huge benefits for children, too! The latest research points to several areas where dads have an especially profound effect on their daughters’ health and wellbeing.
From time to time I will answer readers questions as they come in. I thought I would share this specific one because this question comes up a lot.
Sometimes my 3-year-old can be sort of mean to her dad- like when he goes to get her in the morning she will scream that she only wants mommy or sometimes she pushes him away when he comes over to say to her when he gets home from work. I know she adores my husband and they have so much fun playing together, but I'm not sure why she acts this way towards him sometimes. Any thoughts?
Making time for exercise can make all the difference in how you show up as a parent, partner and professional. It is virtually impossible to be a calm, empathetic and loving parent when you’re depleted. Self-care can also be a win-win; not only do we feel better, we are modeling behavior for our children and creating opportunities for connection.
A child’s anxiety is stressful to the child and can also be stressful for the child’s family. Anxiety can actually be debilitating for kids. Children may spend endless amounts of time and energy fixated on things such as grades, family issues, peer relationships, and performance in sports, as well as disasters they think might happen or dangers that do not actually exist.
Understanding the different types of anxiety and the options for treatment for children and adolescents is really important. Over the course of the last 5 to 10 years, the practice of mindfulness has received significant attention and gained recognition as an effective means of treating and managing childhood anxiety.