Learning Moment for Many

by Sharon Silver on September 16, 2015

imagesSometimes a question a parent posts is a question that leads to a learning moment for many. Two of these types of questions have crossed my path over the last two days, so I thought I'd send my responses to all of you. I'm not posting the actual question I'm paraphrasing. These topics are about consequences and self-control and apply to kids of all ages, not just little ones. So here goes.

Q: My son told his teacher he didn't have to listen to her and refused to do as she asked. Should I give him a consequence when he misbehaves at school? Or should I tell him if he gets good daily progress reports for 1 month he can have a present?

A: I believe what happens in school should stay in school, unless the teacher tells you otherwise. In order to be clear about the teacher’s expectations ask him or her, “Are you informing me, or asking me to do something about this situation?” A lot of teachers want to handle things in school but feel it's important to just inform a parent, and some teachers want parents to correct their child at home as well. It's important to know which type of teacher you have and what the expectations are. 

I believe children need parents to take immediate action when misbehavior occurs, whether it’s in school or at home. Behavior modifications, like charts, are a good thing depending on duration, but rarely create long-term change. For example, expecting a child to change his behavior so he can receive a reward after 30 days of good behavior won't really motivate long-lasting change. Some kids are the exceptions of course, but for most kids nothing changes after the 30 days because actual learning didn’t occur. Sure a carrot was dangled in front of the child, but the child didn’t have to locate the internal resources needed to change his behavior.

I believe in taking immediate action so a child can connect the dots from what they did to what happens when you do that. You could have your child write a note that needs to be delivered the next morning apologizing to his teacher for not listening. That way he will clearly remember what happens when he disrespects his teacher by refusing to do as asked. If you think your child’s temperament requires a bit more firmness in order to learn then he might need to read the note aloud in front of the class.

When a child says he doesn't have to listen, he thinks that way because he’s experienced, time and time again, that nothing actually does happen when he acts out. I know it makes sense to you to offer him 30 days to change his behavior or he won’t get a present. But that type of thinking doesn’t motivate change for a child, too much time goes by between the action and the outcome.

Also getting a gift after a month’s time is a bribe, plain and simple and it will backfire. Sooner, rather than later, he will begin asking, “What do I get if I do what you say?” and no one wants that. Kids learn about how life works, respect for others and how to cooperate, even when they don’t want to, by doing as their parents have asked them to do. I hope this helps.

Q: My question is about self-control. My child is 7 and has a hard time waiting to be heard. She always interrupts while she waits for me to give her my full attention. Sometimes she begins to cry as she waits. 

A. Children ages 5-9 can only process one emotion at a time. The part of her brain that allows her to deal with mixed emotions and self-control hasn't fully formed yet. The age that type of development occurs depends on the child’s individual temperament, and won’t be fully developed until age 20-25. 

When she feels an emotion she can only focus on that feeling, there’s nothing else in her world, that’s why she interrupts you or cries. She’s not only overwhelmed, but due to her developmental phase she thinks her emotion is more important than anything else in the world. She doesn’t have perspective yet and try as you might you can’t force her to understand something her brain hasn’t finished forming yet.

Having said that, here's one thing you can do. Create two special signals to communicate with each other. You will use these signals to communicate when you’re busy and she’s too filled with emotions to logically and respectfully tell you that she needs you.

Maybe she tugs on your leg, or knocks on your knee, or rests her hand on your hand, whatever it is. This gesture will alert you that there’s something she needs from you. THEN instead of telling her to wait a minute, which can cause hurts feelings and feels like it takes forever, you use your signal to let her know “I hear you and I'll talk to you in 1 minute as soon as I'm done doing this.” Maybe you rub your nose or blow a kiss, or put your hand on top of hers, or whatever.

Doing this creates a system of communication a child can rely on. It begins teaching her that self-control is possible without asking her to pull a skill out of thin air that she doesn't even know exists yet. I hope this helps!

Change these ideas to fit you and your family. I just wanted to touch base and share some tips to keep you going until the new products are ready, which will be soon.

Be well and go hug your kids! 


Anxiety and Something New for YOU!

by Sharon Silver on September 2, 2015

Reaction Parents FightIt's been a while since my last blogpost. I hope you had a great summer! BTW, if you don't get our newsletter, make sure to sign up today, lots of news coming soon that you won't want to miss!

Our products have been under construction all summer and things are moving along here at Proactive Parenting, however they're moving a bit slower than I’d hoped. Many things occupied my time this summer so I wasn’t able to crank out as much work as I had hoped by this time of year. Never fear, I’ll keep working and will complete the new Proactive Parenting products soon.

There is one thing available now, more about that in a moment.

I know that school is back in session, and right about now you might be wondering if that's a good thing or a bad thing?

Sure, you have some time to yourself in between laundry, groceries, work, meetings, and pick-up. But you also have rushing, stress, hesitancy and anxiety. 

Today I ran across an article I wanted to share. It's about what to do when you have an anxious child. The reason I'm sharing this particular article is because the tips are applicable for all kids, not just kids who have anxiety issues. 

There are times when a report is due at school, or separation anxiety sets in, or meeting new friends causes some anxiety. When those things happen parents aren't always sure what to do.

Some parents think, I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, so they ignore the anxiety.

Some parents think, I should dive into the feelings regarding the situation, however without solutions exposing feelings can often inspire more anxiety.

Some parents decide their child should be spared any situation that causes anxiety. The problem with that is the child never learns the skills needed to manage anxiety

This article sheds some light on all of it. Here’s the link to the article:  Here is the url in case my linking skills aren't working: http://www.babble.com/parenting/does-your-child-have-an-anxiety-disorder/   I hope it helps. Please share this article with other families who might be facing these issues as well. 

Speaking of sharing, I wanted to take a moment to talk about what's next at Proactive Parenting

Jess Weiner, author of The Confidence Myth, coined the acronym SFSN, "Sounds Fabulous, Says Nothing." I love it! I’m sure by now you know that I truly believe in giving you the opposite of nothing. We've all seen websites that sound like they have fabulous articles and products but once you get into them they don't share very much. :( My webinars, articles, blogs and newsletters share substantive valuable information, and that brings me to what's next from Proactive Parenting

The new products are designed to work with kids all ages, and will be focused on the topics that tend to make things harder when you correct behavior. You know what I mean, the things that block your ability to remain calm, yet authoritative, to respond instead of automatically reacting. The new products will be filled with real-life actionable ways to manage the big emotions, the arguing, the anger, the yelling and much more, all the things that shift your focus and cause you to react. That's why I mentioned getting our newsletter. Only those who are on our list will get first notice, through the newsletter, about the new products and our introductory specails. I'm just sayin!

Since the new products aren’t ready yet, I wanted to reveal what’s available for you TODAY!  Drum roll please … COACHING. Don't stop reading, I think you'll be surprised by what I have to say! 

Life is a mystery. You and your kids are changing constantly, every moment of every day. Sometimes you just need to talk about what’s going on and get a fresh perspective so you can move on. That’s what Proactive Parenting Coaching is all about.

What makes coaching different than therapy? What’s at the core of each session is what makes this different.      

There is nothing wrong with you! You’re not broken and don’t need fixing!  What you want are results, ideas, and solutions so you can take it from there!

Coaching is effective because it gets to the heart of the matter immediately. Coaching acknowledges that you’re the expert in your family, not me, and we proceed from that position. Coaching knows that all you want is someone to listen to you, to support and guide you past the hurdles and stumbling blocks of parenting. Coaching provides a listening ear that share tips and solutions to help you get back on track.

Here’s what some parents have said about their coaching session:

“Thank you so much for your insights and support during our phone conversation last week. It has triggered a wonderful inner transformation for me on many levels. Sending you our appreciation for making this time of life a joy more than a struggle.” Renee Taylor

As we all get off track and need reminder and refreshers at times. Sharon's [coaching] programs have always helped me get back on track and be a better mom over the past years. They have been my go to reference guidance for any development stages with my 2 girls. This is a time when reacting is the natural and easy thing to do. To avoid this, Sharon’s [coaching] programs allow me to refresh and be more aware allowing me to be proactive and not reactive.” Celia Bryfogle

“Sharon is one of the sanest voices out there for parents.” Maria Wood

Why would you choose a coaching session?

No one is 100% prepared for what happens when you have kids. You’re not prepared for the arguing, disagreeing, lack of cooperation or reactions. You’re busy doing life. Because of that, you rarely have the time or the energy to get in touch with your goals for shifting behavior, instituting boundaries, or remaining connected as you navigate the highs and lows of family life. Coaching puts you back in touch with what’s important to you, gives you new skills, and gets you back on track. Coaching also helps you find your own natural authoritative voice so you can stop using your reactionary voice 24/7.

We now offer many different ways to do a coaching session. There’s coaching by the hour or coaching packages that can last 30 minutes or 30 days, whatever works for you!

Take a look at our new coaching packages and schedule one TODAY.

It’s back to work for me!

No go hug your kids!



Making Video Games Healthy for Kids

by Sharon Silver on July 28, 2015

children-video-600These days every kid begs for video games. You hear the begging day in and day out until you’re so worn down you knuckle under and buy the darn thing.

As soon as your kid gets the video game he refuses to stop playing, even though he promised to follow the rules. Or when you ask her to take a break she screams, “But the game isn’t finished!” Now you wonder what in the world have I gotten myself into?

Let’s be real here, electronics are part of your daily life, too. You’re reading this on your computer or iPad, you just got a text on your iPhone, and probably checked Facebook at least twice since you got up.

Like it or not our children need to know how to use electronics and computers in order to be successful in this world.

Did you know that the underlying principal for every video game is…wait for it…math, problem solving, and strategic thinking? Those are the skills your child is using and expanding as they play video games.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think kids belong outside, or reading books, or doing something that uses their imagination.

I used to lock horns with my kids about video games every—single—day, till the day I asked a techie guy, “How did you become a computer tech?” His answer rocked my world, “I played video games.”

After recovering from that news, and doing some research, I did let them play, shocking, I know. And I created some firm unbreakable rules regarding video games, too. Turns out playing video games benefited my kids in the long run as well, they both work in the computer industry, today.

Here are 8 limits you can try so you can create a play-outside-childhood in an electronic world.

1. Research and Check Ratings

Each game should have an ESRB (Electronic Software Rating Board) rating on it, like EC for early childhood. If it doesn’t, don’t buy it. If it looks too violent, it probably is. I really drew the line here.

2. Rotate in Academic Games

Just because your child’s peer group only talks about the “cool” or violent games, doesn’t mean that’s all they’re playing. And saying, “Try it, you’ll like it” to get your kids to try an academic game doesn’t usually work either.

However, if you purchase both types of games, one that focuses on academics and one that all the kids want, you’ll be more successful. A great rule is: In this house we alternate between academic games and fun games, every other day. If they’re unwilling you can say, “I’m guessing you’re too young to play AND follow the rules. We’ll put the game away today and see if you’re able to act older tomorrow.”

3. Try These 3 Rules

Don’t fool yourself; there will be sharing, frustration and time issues. Remember, games are designed to provide a full sensory immersion experience. Use a timer and post rules clearly, so there’s no argument.

Here are three key rules:

Frustration = taking a break, like it or not.

Not Sharing = timers are used to make sure things stay fair.

Negotiations or begging for more time = no play for 24 hours.

4. Set Time Limits

Video games are solitary and sedentary. To help offset this fact, do an activity trade. For every 30 minutes of large muscle activity, i.e. running, bike riding, or basketball, a child earns 10 minutes of video game time.

Another way to get him up and moving is to insist that one game per day be a game that promotes movement, things like dancing, twister, or exercise games. Join him, he’ll love it, and it’s great exercise for you too!

5. Introduce the 'Save Game' Function

Introduce the 'save game' function to your child. Explain to him that games are made to go on and on. That he’ll rarely complete a game by the time the timer goes off. Tell him the 'save game' function saves his place and his points. Let him know ahead of time that it’s okay to turn the game off without a fuss since everything is saved and waiting for him tomorrow.

6. Declare "Non-electronic Days"

Don’t like the idea of games being played everyday? Insist on "electronic days" and "non-electronic days." You can also teach time management by allowing older kids to manage their own game time. For instance, give them the total amount of time they can play this weekend and let them decide how to use it. If they fail, they lose the opportunity to manage themselves next week.

7. Have Them Earn Game Time

Trade chores for extra video time. This teaches kids that you earn your fun in life by working.

8. Figure Out Your Child's "Aggression Point"

Apply the 5/25 Test to find out where your child’s aggression point is. Let him play a video for 5 minutes. Then he has to go outside (or do something else) to play for 25 minutes. Each time he does his other activity for 25 minutes; increase the amount of video time he gets by 5 minutes, keeping the other activity to 25 minutes for each set. Do this until your child’s behavior turns aggressive or frustrated. That’s his saturation point. Deduct 5 minutes from the saturation point time and you’ve got his time limit. Redo the test to adjust the time when you think he’s ready.

We can't forget to insist that our kids play outside and expereince boredom so they create memories by doing the simple fun things that kids have done for generations. The goal is have kids experience things that are relaxing, not stimulating, so they will always be able to refer back to how to relax when they need too. Enjoy your summer!




Summer Reading: An Inspiring Activity

by Sharon Silver on July 23, 2015

Open-book-600Reading: Our Summer Activity of Choice for Parents and Kids Alike

Summer is here for many of us, and just around the corner for the rest. With it comes the inevitable cries of boredom once the initial novelty of pools, no school and lazy summer days wears off–that is unless you’re armed with some great and never-ending entertainment. If it isn’t already there, add reading to your arsenal of summer activities – it’s an activity kids can enjoy, and you as a parent can feel good about.

The number of studies examining the value of reading to children from a young age is impressive, and their findings even more so. For example, one study found that between infancy and preschool, for every year you read to your child you add ~$50,000 a year to their average lifetime earnings. Other research shows that reading aloud to young children positively impacts all facets of their education, and a survey of children found that many “cited reading aloud as a special bonding time with their parents”. Reading to kids brings future wealth, future educational success, but perhaps most importantly, immediate bonding.

But it not just scientific research and studies that point us in the direction of reading as an ideal activity for kids, and their parents. The anecdotal evidence is there too, and perhaps even stronger for many of us than the facts and numbers.

In the 1950s, there was a young, single mother raising her two sons in the ghettos of Detroit. Her boys were both struggling in school, and she herself was gone much of the time, stretched thin from working multiple jobs to make ends meet. One day, while cleaning the house of a wealthy client, she realized something that many of the houses she cleaned had in common:


When she came home from work that night, she turned the TV off, and told her boys that from that point forward they could only watch 3 TV shows per week, and instead they should go to the library. Each week they were responsible to read 2 books and write a book report about each of them for her to read. They went–grudgingly at first–but they went. Both of their grades improved. But it didn’t stop there. The youngest son, Ben, attended Yale University, and then Johns Hopkins where at the age of 33 he became its chief of pediatric neurosurgery and a world-renowned surgeon.

Most parents want what is best for their children. They want them to succeed, to be happy, and feel accomplished in what their pursue in their life. It’s important to recognize, however, that thinking 15-20 years down the line is sometimes hard to do when planning our daily activities.

Reading has some more immediate benefits too. Ones that, if you pick the right books can almost immediately make your life easier. Perhaps the most important of these benefits is that books can teach children how to react appropriately to new situations–in effect, the books can model good behavior and inspire children to behave better, and learn things you’d like them to learn.

C.S. Lewis once said, speaking of children:

“Since it is so likely that they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.”

Children will meet dragons in their life, in a myriad of forms. These dragons are sometimes people, but other times just difficult stages of life or milestones to be achieved. Books can help with potty training, sharing, dealing with bullying, coping with loss, you name it–the list goes on.

Take some time during these long summer days to have your children read, or better yet to read to your children (if age appropriate). Not only can it help your children achieve future financial and academic success, but more importantly it can teach them valuable life lessons and create a deeper and more lasting bond between you.


This post was contributed by Jane Tanner, co-founder of Bookroo, a monthly children’s book subscription service. FYI Bookroo is currently running a Buy One, Give One Promotion. You can learn more about that here: bookroo.com/summer-reading


Summer Games for You and The Kids

by Sharon Silver on July 11, 2015

3 Kids sprinklersSummertime Games that Build Trust and Friendship, by Rudri Bhatt Patel

Proactive Parenting is taking the summer off, so we have a guest blogger for you instead. Enjoy. 

Are you looking for a way to build trust and friendship with your kids, but also want to have fun? Summertime is a great way to gather in the backyard and enjoy games with your family. By picking the right outdoor activities, parents not only show their kids how to have fun, but lay the right building blocks to create bonds forged on friendship, love and trust. Check out the following games for inspiration.

Mine Field

Prior to starting the game, scatter various objects in your backyard. Designate pairs. One person in the pair is blindfolded, while the partner guides him or her to the various objects in the yard. By taking directions, the blindfolded person must trust he or she will receive the right instructions to get to the object first. This game will generate laughs as people try to avoid running into each other on the mine field.

Trust Lean

This is a classic game which requires no equipment and is perfect in a open space. Pair people together who are similar in size and designate one person as the faller and the other as the catcher. The faller must trust the catcher as he or she falls backward. Start with a small fall and then increase the space and as your kids play this game, talk about what makes him or her trust their partner to catch their fall.

Pass the Parcel

This games works well with trying to teach friendship and trust with older kids. Wrap a prized gift (either a box of chocolates, gift card or prize of your choice) and add multiple layers to the parcel. Everyone sits in a circle, the music plays in the background and when it stops, the person who is holding the gift, must unwrap the gift and complete some kind of challenge, like sing a song to the entire group, do 20 sit-ups or reveal an embarrassing moment. Adults and kids will quickly learn who is comfortable sharing and trusting the group with personal information.

Bean Bag Compliments

Form a circle and toss a bean bag from one person to another. Each person must acknowledge the adult or child standing next to him or her and offer a compliment. A positive affirmation like, “You are good listener” or “You make me laugh” is a great way for everyone to learn what others think of them and a fun opportunity to boost friendship and self-esteem.

Slice ‘n Dice

This game is best played outdoors and is suited for a larger group of people. The participants must form two equal lines and face each other to form a corridor by putting their arms out straight. Arms must intersect and the person in the last position will walk through the corridor of arms. Repeat this pattern and each person is required to walk through and rejoin hands. As the person walks through, the people in the corridor are continually swinging their arms up and down in a chopping motion and missing the walker as he goes through. This game teaches trust and cooperation and it is guaranteed to bring out tons of laughter.

Trying to forge a connection with your kids? Make it fun and interactive by inviting your family outdoors for some summertime fun!

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com


Mom, I’m Bored!

by Sharon Silver on July 9, 2015

Bored-400Have you heard the traditional summer outcry yet? "Mom, I'm Bored!"

I believe in boredom! It's a great tool.

Don’t get me wrong, I'm not against TV or technology, well, not completely, it has its place. In fact, both my sons are in the technology field and that learning began with video games.

What I am opposed to is video babysitting. I believe all parents need a break now and then, or they'll go nuts. However, using technology as an automatic go-to  cheats a child out of crucial life skills.

Virtual interactions are in no way the same thing as real interactions. Virtual interactions can't teach a child about the energetic nuances involved in conversation and emotional experiences. Learning to read another person’s face and become introduced to the tug of your intuitive guts, so you can empathize with others, is a life skill all kids need to learn so they can be successful in their future work and personal relationships. Video games can’t teach that skill, but conversation can. Several corporate executives I know have remarked that this generation certainly understands technology, but doesn’t know how to play well or communicate in the workplace. We need to accept the fact that the constant use of technology has, and will continue to have, a profound affect on our children. 

If parents always allow video games or TV in the car instead of using it on rare occasions, a missed opportunity has occurred. If every restaurant experience means passing the time by checking texts, or sharing YouTube videos, no family interacting is happening. No memories are created. No random questions are answered. And the wonderful stories about goofy Uncle Ed weren't shared either! 

Boredom teaches kids many things. When kids space out during a car ride, or daydream because there’s nothing to do, the imagination goes into hyper-drive. Boredom motivates kids to think about the recent interactions they’ve had so they can focus and figure out what needs to be learned from those experiences. Boredom inspires kids to find hobbies that could become a life-long profession or a passion. Boredom triggers a child to consider matters of the soul and ask questions about life. Boredom is relaxing, and in this fast paced world we all could do with a bit more relaxing!

Please don’t rip your kids off this summer. Let them be boredom. Don’t interfere with the boredom process; you may be surprised by what comes of it!


Coloring Inside the Lines

by Sharon Silver on June 15, 2015

Group-with-Date-Post-400I’d like to speak with you about that moment every parent inevitably faces… the sinking feeling that happens when you realize what you are doing isn’t working for you or your family. What happened to all of the fun you imagined having together?
Instead you are tired, uninspired and no matter how many times you repeat yourself, no one seems to be listening. Everyone is talking, or grunting or crying… You are in a constant state of management instead of a gentle place of connection and you wonder how it got to be this way…
Maybe you’ve been attributing the chaos and disconnect to the “terrible twos,” or “teenage rebellion”. “It’s just a phase”, everyone says… but one phase quickly rolls into another and the challenges keep growing and the opportunities to connect and really be present with your kids seem few, and far between.
But there IS good news! These seemingly “normal” stages of parenting no longer need to be normal for you. You can choose to create a whole new “normal”- one that doesn’t feed on chaos and disconnect.
How does that sound?
Just the other day, I was invited to an exciting interview event called Coloring Outside The Lines hosted by Life and Family Coach, Lianne Dixon. Starting on Tuesday, June 16, Lianne is going to be interviewing parenting, personal, and spiritual experts to create an archive of the BEST advice available for parents who are looking for strategies to build better connections with their children. No tricks, just real heart-centered stuff intended to help you explore the many opportunities for deep, meaningful connection.  
When you listen in, you’ll hear from 20+ experts who will offer heart-centered tools and methods that embrace conscious, kind, and present communication. Additionally, this event will include on a number of unconventional activities such as meditation, yoga/breathwork, EFT, guided imagery, and other activities that can contribute to deeper connections and more family fun.
I’ll be participating on the expert panel of this event and as a courtesy to me, Lianne is allowing me to invite all of my subscribers to listen in! If you’d like to learn more about this event and claim your free registration.
All too often, parents believe that a constant state of chaos or disconnect are typical and have to be endured. Are you willing to be wrong about that? Are you willing to uncover what else is possible?
Click on the words to register for free right now.
I’m excited to share my ideas and expand my understanding of the latest alternative parenting strategies that experts in child development are currently advocating for! I hope you’ll join me!
Sharon and Lianne


Shocking: Yelling Isn’t Where a Reaction Begins!

by Sharon Silver on June 8, 2015

stressed mom 1It’s Monday morning at 7:45 am and you’ve already yelled at Suzie Q, shrieked at Timmy, and argued with your spouse! You’re exhausted and wonder what in the world happened to your life?! Sound familiar?

I know you don’t have a drop of energy left at the end of the day to learn new techniques, no matter how valuable they are, I get it.

However, if you keep reacting, not only will you build a wedge between you and your family, you’ll also continue feeling drained and defeated each and every day.

The plain truth is reacting drains your energy, where as responding allows you to retain your energy.

Here’s what one parent had to say, “… responding gives us energy. We let the kids take some responsibility, and we aren’t trying to fix and control everything. The kids seem to be happier and have responded wonderfully to our new parenting style.” Janet Borchert, mother of 4 Lafayette Colorado

Today’s tip is about how a reaction comes to be, and why it drains you so badly. This description and much more about reacting is included in Module #1, section #1 of the BreakThrough Series which is on Sale at a ridiculously low price till Friday June 12th at midnight.

Let me ask you a question, “What’s a reaction?” My guess is your answer would be something like, “It’s when I explode and begin yelling!”

Well, yelling is the end result. Reacting begins before yelling occurs, and has nothing to do with your child! Don’t get me wrong, your child’s behavior is the trigger, but it’s not the point of origin.

I doubt there’s anyone these days who hasn’t heard of the reptilian part of our brain that decides if we go into the fight or flight mode. This was an essential part of our brain when there was a possibility we could be eaten by a Saber Tooth Tiger, oh my! Even though we don’t face that threat any longer, that part of our brain is still active.

When we sit in traffic to and from work, rush to get here and there, work on family and household activities all weekend, and then begin again on Monday, our bodies send the signal to our brain that we’re in stress mode 24/7. When life does not include downtime or some good ole fashioned rest, and our bodies unconsciously send the message to our brain that we’re in constant stress which triggers us to go into, and stay, in the fight or flight mode.

Being in fight or flight mode means your blood is directed away from the digestive tract out toward the limbs so there’s greater ability to run or fight. In today’s society we have heart issues, digestion issues, lack of sleep, aches and pains and if we continue at this level … well you know the rest, and there's more:

1. When you reside in the fight or fight mode, for extended periods of time, your body tends to see everything in your environment as a possible threat  to your survival, even something your spouse, partner or child says, or does, is perceived as a threat.

2. Your unconscious automatically turns stress mode into survival mode and everything feels like a series of short-term emergencies.

3. You actually begin living crisis to crisis and feel like there’s no relief in sight

4. That means that every bout of misbehavior is handled at the same high intensity as a true emergency.

5. When you live at this level of intensity and your child misbehaves, that misbehavior is the straw that broke the camels back, and you react.

That’s what I meant when I said, “your child’s behavior is the trigger, but it’s not the point of origin.”

The good news is, you can do something about it. The BreakThrough Series shares ways to help you:

a. Lower the stress that comes from parenting.

b. Lower stress diminishes your intense feelings.

c. Feeling less intense reduces the possibility that your brain sees you living in crisis mode.

d. When your brain doesn’t think you’re in crisis mode, you stop automatically reacting.

e. Fewer reactions allow you to respond, which gives you energy and the ability to think, so you can teach, instead of react.

Whew, that’s a mouth full!

I hope you now see how a reaction occurs. What can responding do instead? Oh, so much!

Responding always begins with a deep breath, or two or three, if need be. That deep breath immediately sends an unconscious message to your brain that says, “I’ve got this, stand down.” The deep breath also sends several messages to your child as well.

1. It alerts your child to the fact that (s)he misbehaved, versus the need to yell.

2. It tells him or her that getting calm is something people decide to do, it doesn’t just happen.

This is important because you tell your kids every day to “calm down” but have you shown them how to calm down? Your simple deep breath shows your kids, this is step one. 

3. It shows your child you’re serious about the rules, and that breathing resets your parent power so you can focus on what’s happened.

4. And finally, your deep breath shares a very important life lesson, “Think before you act.” and that’s something every parent wants to impart to his or her child. 

All of that comes from an intentional deep breath or two.

Is there more to responding? Yes, and that’s what’s in the BreakThrough Series, the rest of the story, so to speak!

Don’t forget the BreakThrough Series goes away forever Tonight at midnight! Yes, we're really taking it down forever on  Read more. 


I failed My Kid: I’m Coming Clean (part #2)

June 2, 2015
Yesterday I posted a story all parents hope to avoid. Today is the resolution of the story!  If you haven’t read part #1, scroll down below this one. As I said yesterday, I was so mad at my son that I wasn’t sure what to do or say. However, the moment I saw the police officer […]
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I Failed My Kid: I’m Coming Clean

June 1, 2015
 I’ll bet you didn’t know that I’m funny. There are times when I’m absolutely hilarious, ask my family! There are two more things you may not know about me. I’m seriously passionate about the work I do, and I’ve failed. Yes, I failed my kids! The part where I said “I failed” is what caught your […]
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Does Roughhousing Lead to Violence?

May 22, 2015
We’ve talked about bickering between siblings. We’ve talked about the fact that siblings fight over silly things to find out if mom or dad loves a sibling more. Today’s topic is about wrestling, physical play, roughhousing or aggression, call it what you like. I found this section the most difficult to write because of the […]
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Yelling is Emotions on Steroids

May 19, 2015
We’ve all been there, you've had “one of those days!” Those are the days when you fantasize about running away! Before packing your bags, know this, there’s a reason why your kids force you to yell, and a way to change it. Yes, I said it. Your kids force you to yell, but not in the […]
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“He’s Breathing My Air!” Or Fighting Part 2

May 12, 2015
By now you’ve figured out that family life isn’t a fairytale filled with hugs, kisses and sweetness, only. Even though many times it is. By now you’ve realized that family life is complicated. Part one in the fighting series was about bickering. That irritating snippy form of communication that attacks something a sibling has or something she's […]
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Sibling Bickering; It Has An Upside!

May 2, 2015
Yesterday it was in the low 80’s here, and today we’re fogged in and COLD! Big temperature changes remind me of how quickly things can shift between siblings. One minute they’re laughing and the next minute they’re bickering. It happens fast. When situations change quickly it’s hard for parents to do anything but react…unless they have a […]
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Siblings, Cell Phones, NEVER Say That, Bad Things Happen, Timeout

April 24, 2015
Every week you deal with siblings fighting, kids wanting to use your cell phone, words that can damage a fragile tender heart, upsetting situations that your child experiences, and the need to somehow make it clear that You. Are. Not. Allowed. To. Behave. That. Way! And that's just a regular day in most homes!  This week Yahoo and […]
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Warning: Creating Empowerment can Cause Parental Pain!

April 9, 2015
When you sign up to get Proactive Parenting's weekly newsletter, and I hope you do, I invite new followers to send in one parenting question for me to answer in the newsletter, anonymously, of course. If you haven’t done that yet, What are you waiting for? Hint, you get a free e-Book when you do! Here’s this […]
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What’s The Story About Your Life?

April 1, 2015
What is The Story You Tell Yourself about your life? The title is sort of an odd question, I know. But let me ask it again in a different way. What is the story you tell yourself about your life, about your kids, and about yourself? Do you see yourself as a glorious whole being? Or […]
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Is it your job to entertain your kids?

March 12, 2015
This helpful article comes from "Parenting Power" http://parentingpower.ca. Thanks for sharing ladies!    We are constantly hearing about the word 'Busy'. Robert Holden, in his book Success Intelligence, calls 'busy' the new status symbol; wherein appearing busy implies that one has greater status and value.   Perhaps this status symbol is trickling down to our children. It […]
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Chores, Kids and fun – You’ve got to be kidding?!

February 2, 2015
Chores are a hot topic in most households. Parents simply want the kids to do them, and do them without reminders. Chores can easily turn into a constant battle, unless parents first do some basic training during the preschool years. If parents create what I call the foundation of participation then chores become a normal, […]
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Emotional Energy. Is Gasoline Involved?

January 21, 2015
Today’s Question: “How can I stay in the moment, every moment?” AND “If there is a complex situation with several layers of communication and relationships: how can I work myself and my son through this chaos?” My answer is broad and addresses something you may not have thought about—the energetics of emotions. Let me begin by […]
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