Proactive Parenting’s Blog

Q&A: Allow Sibling Fights, but Stop the Rivalry

by Sharon Silver on October 21, 2014

siblings without rivalryQuestion: How to maintain my own inner calm while my kids (4 yr old girl and 8 yr old boy) have their emotional upheavals, arguments and dramas. I try several calm techniques to help them work through things and when those don't work I yell and they stop or figure out how to work it out….but it almost feels like the yell just bursts out of me. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: This is a great question and I applaud your use of calming techniques. It’s so helpful to use deep breathing techniques so you don’t feel emotionally drained by sibling fights.

Here are some practical and doable ways to help you, and others deal with the sibling wars; oops, I mean relationship. “Leave me alone!” “Get away from me!” That’s mine!” Those words, when screamed at a volume that can shatter an eardrum, tend to throw a parent into a state of emergency. Your state of emergency triggers the fight, flight or freeze reaction, and you begin yelling. It’s normal. But does it have to be? No.

Change your mind

Reconsider what’s being expressed when siblings fight. Instead of thinking sibling fights must be stopped at all costs, recognize that a fight is the expression of a deeper need that’s surfacing so your child can learn some new skills to handle situations like this. Making this shift in thinking will immediately calm things down.  

Kids Learn from Fighting

When you look at a family tree you see that all siblings are recorded on the same arm of the family tree. That symbolizes their equal status in a family. The sibling relationship is a child’s first opportunity to learn about, and prepare for, long-term adult relationships. Brothers and sisters teach each other about give and take, even when they don’t want to. Each fight allows siblings to practice how to love a person, even when you don’t like what that person did. Siblings are constantly learning tolerance, patience, and kindness. Most of all siblings are learning about conflict resolution and parents have to guide and teach them, not resolve things for them.

There’s a Big Difference Between Fighting and Rivalry

As I’ve stated sibling fights teach valuable skills, however sibling rivalry can damage a relationship if allowed to continue.

Help siblings resolve things

Most parents think that part of their job entails being both judge and jury. The problem with that is the kids don’t learn the life skills needed to resolve things for themselves. When a parent decides who is right, and who is wrong and what should be done about that, one child remains angry, and one feels like the winner. They’re not working together to practice the resolution skills they’ll need to be successful in life.

Be a facilitator

In order for kids to resolve things by themselves, they need you to help facilitate and guide them toward resolution so they don’t continue to fight. You do that by teaching your kids how to express the feelings that motivated the fight in the first place. You do that by asking the same question to both children until resolution has occurred.

Mom: “Molly, why are you mad?”

Mom:  “Sam, why are you mad?”

Mom:  “Molly, please give me three ideas to work this out.”

Mom:  “Sam, what are your three ideas?”

To learn the art of parental facilitating read, Siblings without Rivalry by Faber and Mazlish.

New Rule: We DO NOT hurt those we love!

Since kids are immature thinkers, the best way to enforce this rule is to define it further. It might sound like, “Sometimes someone gets hurt by accident during agree upon play. And sometimes someone uses his or her body as a weapon in a fight. Which one is against the law in our house?”

Comparing and the Message it sends

Comparing promotes competition and ends up making one child feel unappreciated and unloved by you. Comparing never makes a child rise up to work harder. Some kids increase the fighting with a sibling when they feel compared to him or her. Other kids swallow those feelings and seethe with resentment and lack of self worth.

Here are some examples of comparing, the message a child hears and what you could say instead.

1. Statement: “Why can’t you keep your hair neat like your sister does?”

What the child hears: Be more like your sister. Unless you act differently than you’re comfortable with, or capable of, I won’t accept you.

Consider Saying: “I like the barrette you chose today. Do you need any help getting all of your hair in a pony tail?”

2. Statement: “What did you do to her?”  

The child hears: Since your older you’ll always be blamed when your sibling cries, your mistakes will no longer be tolerated.

Consider Saying: “Do you have any thoughts about why your sister is crying?”

3. Statement: “Give that doll back to her!”

The child hears: Her happiness and a calm environment is more important than your needs.

Consider Saying: “I see your sister wants the doll, can you share when you’re done?”

The new way of addressing the examples is subtle, but powerful. One way promotes rivalry, and one way promotes communication, equality and leads to resolution. If the needs of each individual child are not honored the feelings will fester until there is an attack, either verbal or physical, so the unexpressed feelings can be aired.To learn more about how to deal with sibling rivalry, look at pages 55, 91 and 201 in my book Stop Reacting and Start Responding at Proactive Parenting.

If you'd like to ask a one or two line question, go to Proactive Parenting and opt-in. I hope these ideas help you as you deal with the siblings in your family. We’ll talk again next week! Now, go hug your kids!

Sharon

 

 

 

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“Fixing” Your Child

by on October 12, 2014

Sulking Girl Seatbealted 300So many times we try and fix whatever's upsetting our kids, secretly hoping that fixing things will stop the "big" emotions.

Trying to fix what's upsetting your child sends the wrong message.

It says, we, the adults, the most power people in your world, have to fix you, because you can't fix yourself. 

Kids need to learn how to "fix" themselves, and it's our job to teach them how, not do it for them. 

Here are four steps to help you teach your child how to manage the "big" feelings. 

1. Always begin by acknowledging feelings, giving the feeling a name. If appropriate, make it clear what the rules are when you feel such "big" emotions.                                                                                              "I see how mad you are. It's okay to feel mad, it's not okay to spread your mad feelings to other people or hurt them" or "Sounds like you're really sad, that's okay, I would be sad too."

2. Show your child how to survive the feelings they're expereincing by doing some deep breathing. "I know you're upset, please take a big breath and then pretend to blow out some birthday candles. Do this 5 times, then we'll talk." For older kids ask them to take 10 deep belly breaths. This teaches them basic deep breathing. The taking in and releasing of the breath calms the mind and the body.

3. Intense, all consuming feelings don't magically dissipate, it takes a few minutes. Show your child how to manage the feelings as she's calming down by having her slowly count to ten.  

4. Finally, show your child how to shake it off; how to release the feelings from his body. Have him run back and forth in the yard 5 times, or play basketball, or punch a pillow.

This sequence helps your child learn how to manage the "big" feelings they'll be dealing with in life, just like we all have to do. Just thought you'd want to know.

 

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The Heart

by Sharon Silver on October 9, 2014

heartRipples 400This week has been hard for me. No real problems, lots of growth, some pain, but no “real” problems. As I spoke to others, I realized this week has been hard for many of you as well.

We are a community. Small as we may be, those who read what comes from Proactive Parenting, we are a community. We have shared experiences, even though we do not “know” each other. In truth, we do know each other, without really knowing each other. How is that possible? We parent.

We are entrusted with the most precious resource there is on this planet, the heart. Love. Pure. Simple. Complex. Love. We feel it, because we parent.

Love is our mission. Love is our goal. We, each and every one of us, long to feel connected and love allows us to do that. The moment that tiny baby was placed in your arms your heart expanded in a way you didn’t even know was possible. Sleep deprived, angry, resentful, defeated, depleted, regardless of how old your child is, you rely on, and are invigorated by, that invisible thing that courses through all of us, love. We parent.

The love we feel for one another is complicated by all the other emotions. It is complicated by anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, sadness, guilt, lack of self worth, and shame. The love we feel is complicated by the responsibility of being “in charge” of another person. The love we feel is complicated by the stress in our lives, the pain in our bodies, the loss of dreams, and of dreams realized. We parent.

I know I spend a great deal of time speaking about anger, yelling, reacting and the like. But what you may, or may not have realized, is I do this because I want the heart to rise, for love to surface, and for anger to diminish and stop hurting people. I do what I do because I want the realization that we are all connected to be something more than just a catch phrase. I want the truth of what it really means to be connected to be embraced by everyone, so it can inform us, and guide us through each and every day. I want the purity of the love we feel for our children to extend to everyone else in our family, our extended family, and to those across the world. I want this world to realize, and remember that we are one, because we parent.

Am I a silly woman dreaming an impossible dream? No, I’m not. Check out what your heart feels at this moment? If I have done my job correctly, you feel a spark of love. You feel a shred of hope, and you feel those things despite whatever else is going on in your life. That’s the power of love. It trumps anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, sadness, guilt, lack of self worth, and shame.

We need to teach our children that our love is bigger than their misbehavior. We need to teach our children that our love understands that they're learning, and is in every action we take to correct them. We need to teach our children that our love will never hurt them.

I will, of course, return to talking about all the barriers we face as we parent next week. But this week, all I can muster is a tiny plea that you focus and feel love.

Go hug your kids, and I hope you have everything you need to make it through whatever is going on in your lives.

 

 

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I’ve lost my patience, again! Help!

by Sharon Silver on October 1, 2014

Hands head Orig 400Parent Question: How do you hold on to your patience? I seem to lose mine throughout the day.”

Answer:  My initial response to how to increase your patience was, “Even great parents are impatient from time to time!” Then I realized, that true as that statement may be, my answer would frustrate you so I decided to push on. Here are 5 things I think will help.

#1: Change the way you see your patience

Be honest with yourself. It’s pretty rare that someone is impatient 100% of the time. I know it certainly feels that way. But are you really impatient from sun up to sun down? It’s easy to blame yourself. However, shaming and blaming will not increase your patience.

Solution: Give yourself a break. You’re not a bad person. You’re a human being whose focus is spread way too thin.

#2: Live in the moment

Stop focusing on what will be on your plate in 20 minutes. Instead focus on what’s on your plate right now. This will help you far more than you realize. Your brain is crowded, and that causes your emotions to remain stuck on overdrive. Then when your sweet one innocently has a need, you explode because you can’t handle one-more-thing in that moment. Your brain and emotions are full.

Solution: Stop. Breathe. See what really requires your attention in the moment and spend your energy on that, and only that. Try this for one week. Frame it as an exercise. That way the cynical part of you that says, “She’s nuts. This won’t work. She doesn’t live the life I live.” can have a timeout for a week as you try this.

#3: Sleep

You’re tired. I know your pain. New research [Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence News, “How the brain ‘takes out the trash’ while we sleep”] shows us that our brains have a cleaning system that is only activated in our sleep. It washes away, so to speak, what isn’t needed that’s accumulated during the day. So it follows that lack of sleep keeps our brains full causing our patience levels run dry.

Solution: If you can’t get more sleep during the week, then take turns on the weekends so each of you gets one day to sleep late.

Take a nap. “A short but intentional period of sleep during the day…produces measurable improvements in mood, alertness and performance.” [The Telegraph] Keep the nap to 15 minutes and no longer than 30, and watch your patience level increase.

Added sleep allows you to feel more like yourself, and that, in and of itself will increase your patience level.  

#4: Expectations

What expectations do you have about family life? Do you believe that children shouldn’t misbehave? Do you believe children should listen the first time?

Solution: If any of that rings true, please read our free eBook, Why is Yelling My Go-To Tool? AND purchase Stop Reacting and Start Responding so you get a reality check on kids, parenting and solutions to help. Knowing what can and can’t be expected when raising kids will truly increase your patience.

#5: Emotions

Any parenting expert will tell you that unacknowledged emotions are the motivation behind misbehavior.

Solution: Look for the source of the feeling, what’s happening that’s causing your child to be sad, mad, frustrated, scared, etc. Don’t just pay attention to the end result, the misbehavior. When you get into the habit of looking for the emotions that motivate misbehavior you’ll not only have more patience, you’ll also be able to handle things in a much calmer way.

Parenting is not a perfect science. It changes from moment to moment. By staying in the now, getting more sleep, watching your expectations and paying attention to your child’s feelings, your patience will increase.

For 108 ideas that can help, read Stop Reacting and Start Responding: 108 Ways to Discipline Consciously and Become the Parent You Want to Be. For an in-depth roadmap for raising kids ages 5-18 listen to The BreakThrough Series, it address the details your questions reflect.

Happy Parenting! Go hug your kids! 

Sharon

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Video Games: Suck Hole or Valuable?

by Sharon Silver on September 18, 2014

Mom with ??.285*If you’d like to send in a 1-2 sentence parenting question, to be answered anonymously in our newsletter, in this blog, and in a YouTube video, and receive our FREE gift, Why is Yelling My Go-To Tool? go to http://proactiveparenting.net/free-gift  All questions will be answered in the order they arrive.

Video Games: Suck hole or Valuable?

Parent Question: “I’m facing a child that has been spending too much time on the computer and is not interested in balancing his time spent with other activities. I have made the mistake of not creating boundaries and am wondering how to back track while respecting his passion for gaming (and his potential lapse in confidence to face the world).”

Answer: 
The first thing you need to do is separate the two issues. There is his “potential lapse in confidence” and there is his gaming. Unless you distignish between the two, for yourself and when you speak to him, he won’t cooperate with you. 

Let’s talk gaming first. I hated video games. Hated them! I had one child who happily played outside each day, and one who only wanted to play video games. One day, when I was at work, (It was a time when I had another job other than just being a parenting educator. Shocking, I know!)  I went in to talk to our IT guy. I asked him how he learned about computers? He said, “video games!” I was relieved and frustrated at the same time. My son was really good at video games. At 8 yrs. old he could beat any adult, and almost every kid he played with. I had hoards of kids in the house competing with him. So I decided to work with that, instead of fight with that. Here are some suggestions. 

Have a family meeting and bring up your concerns. Praise your son for his success with video games. These days life revolves around technology. Who knows what his future profession with turn out to be? Both of my son’s work in the tech industry, and it started with video games! Allow your son to have input into the rules that will regulate his video game time. 

Violence: Look on each game for the ESRB (Electronic Software Rating Board) rating. They use ratings like EC for early childhood etc. Create a rule that says, if there are no ratings, or there’s a very violent rating, then I will not purchase that game. Make time to discuss the violence that is part of video games. These ongoing discussions will allow you and your husband/partner to share how you feel about violence, guns, war, etc. These ongoing talks are a great opportunity to pass on your values in a way that will most likely hold his interest. As he gets older it may seem like he isn’t hearing what you have to say about your values, but trust me, the information is getting in there. If he refuses to participate, use the video game as currency. Tell him the video games are suspended until he’s willing to fully participate in a family discussion violence etc. 

Types of games played: Just because your child’s peer group only talks about the “cool” games doesn’t mean that’s all they’re playing. During your family meeting create a rule that says he must rotate between academic games and fun games. If he won’t, then the game is unplugged and he can try again tomorrow. Challenge him with the academic games. Let him play chess, geography games, advanced math, whatever holds his interest. 

Time spent Playing video games: Video games are solitary and sedentary. To help offset this fact, do an activity trade. This will also help him with his “lapse in self confidence.” For every 30 minutes, or whatever you decide is appropriate, of large muscle activity, i.e. running, bike riding, basketball, he can earn 10-20 minutes of video game time. Another thing you can do is purchase games that promote movement, things like dancing, or exercise games. 

Declare Nonelectronic Days: I’m on the computer every-single-day and I’ve noticed that my body, my brain, my eyes need a break, and so does my soul. I need fresh air, human interaction, and nature to balance me. Kids do too. Create nonelectronic family days. No cell phones, no TV, no computers, nothing. Do something as a family and enjoy!

Aggression: You didn’t mention this in your question, but others may have this issue. Some kids overload on video games and get aggressive as a result. Figure out what your child’s aggression point is. Let him play video games for 5 minutes. Then he has to go outside for 15 minutes. Increase the amount of video game to outdoor activity ratio, until he becomes aggressive. That’s his aggression point. Now you know what his time limit is and you can adjust the rules to fit his personal saturation point. 

For younger kids: When you ask a child to turn off a video game and he screams, “it’s not done!” it’s time to introduce him to the “save game” function. Teach him he can stop the game, without losing anything, and return tomorrow. This will stop a lot of fights. 

Lapse in confidence: This is something both boys and girls go through. Since you’re writing about your son, I will focus there. Not every young boy is confident right out of the gate. We all want our kids to be confident, some just need more time than others. Is his “lapse in confidence” your assessment of his abilities? Or has he stated that he doesn’t feel confident? Once you’ve established who’s perception of this you’re dealing with, try asking him what he’s interested in now, other than video games. Also ask him what he’s always wished he could try. One young boy wanted to join the circus. His mom found acrobat classes at a local kids center. Once he found others who held similar interests he blossomed into a very confident kid. There are the regular activities, and there are activities that are off the beaten path. Things like book binding, drawing, painting, blacksmithing, gardening, cooking, fencing, swiming, boating, rowing, and so much more. I hope this helps.

*If you like what you read here, download two free chapters of Proactive Parenting’s book, Stop Reacting and Start Responding at http://proactiveparenting.net/about-the-book-2

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A Disrespectful Child: The Pressure of Silence

by Sharon Silver on September 15, 2014

eBook-Cover-285*If you would like to send in a 1-2 sentence parenting question, to be answered anonymously in our newsletter, in this blog, and in a YouTube video, and receive our FREE gift, Why is Yelling My Go-To Tool? go to http://proactiveparenting.net/free-gift  All questions will be answered in the order they arrive.

 A Disrespectful Child: The Pressure of Silence

Parent Question: “My 5 yr. old is talking back and has disrespectful behavior. Recently it has escalated to swearing, we don’t know where he is getting it from.”

Answer: 
This is a very common problem at this age. The developmental stage he is in motivates him to find ways to be big and powerful. That’s why superheroes are such a big hit at this age.

He probably heard a friend or a child in school swear or act disrespectfully, and then saw the reaction the child got from the adults. When a parent corrects a child, the parent focuses all of their attention on the child. Since children have immature ways of looking at things, they can easily misinterpret and misunderstand the full focus a parent uses when correcting behavior and decide, “Wow, I have mom’s full attention, so I guess misbehaving is a  great way to get her attention.” The full explanation for this phenomenon will appear again and again in this blog as I answer questions.

After this 5 yr. old saw how the adults reacted, he unconsciously decided to try the same thing to see what your reaction would be.

Why would he do this?

Each time a child completes a new developmental stage, he feels like a brand new person with a fresh new perspective. His unconscious motivates him to do something he knows he’s not supposed to do so he can find out if his parents, and the rules, are the same today as they were yesterday, before he gained his new “older” way of seeing how the world works.

This new perspective, the “older” way of looking at the world, is the result of rapid brain development after the developmental phase is complete. 

Finding out that his parents, and the rules are the same from day-to-day regardless of how much he changes, gives him a sense of safety during a time of tremendous internal growth and change.

This sequence of events, after each developmental stage, teaches him that he can count on his parents to be a stable force in his life, even when he grows and changes. Knowing his parents will always hold the boundary and adhere to the rules becomes invaluable to him as his life experiences become more and more complex.

Does this mean his behavior is bad? Does this mean you should yell and punish him? Does this mean you shouldn’t correct his behavior or show him that swearing is not allowed?          Heavens no!



So what should you do? 

I suggest you remain calm, and simply stand beside him as you firmly say, “Try again!” Then say nothing more. Of course the first few times you say “Try Again” you’ll need to first explain the concept to him. 
You do that by saying, “When I say ‘try again’ I am asking you to stop and think about what you just said, and say it again without using swear words or being disrespectful.” The parent needs to remain silent until the child rephrases what he said. Let the pressure of silence work for you. It shows the child you mean business and stops you from yelling.

After hearing that explanation a few times you’ll be able to simple say, “Try Again” and he’ll understand what you mean. If he is swearing at school, well, that’s another question for another day.

The words “Try again” are like a do over, a reset button showing a child there will be no talking until you realize what you’ve done or said and either rephrase your statement or repair the situation. This method works well with any age group, and is especially valuable with tweens and teens!

*If you like what you read here, download two free chapters of Proactive Parenting’s book, Stop Reacting and Start Responding at http://proactiveparenting.net/about-the-book-2

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Connecting or the Drain-Train: What will you choose?

by Sharon Silver on August 19, 2014

4 Thngs can't recoverLIFE QUESTION TUESDAY:

How is the pace of daily life affecting your emotional intensity with the kids?

When was the last time you were talking with someone and got lost in the conversation? When was the last time 30 minutes or an hour flew by becasue you were having fun? When was the last time you really felt like yourself? Think about…I’ll wait a moment…it was that long ago, huh? I know, it sucks doesn’t it!

The truth is life is about the connections we make. The connections we make to one another. The connections we make to ourselves. And the connections we make to our kids. The sad thing is our kids are counting on us to connect with them. They need to feel connected in order to floursh and grow. We need that too, only we think because we live in the big bad fast paced world with all our technology that we don’t need true authentic connections, but we do.

Facebook, Twitter and Google + are fine, and they have their place, but social media doesn’t look you in the eye. Social media doesn’t have an energy that radiates back and forth between people. When human beings feel isolated they lash out. They become intense and begin loosing a part of themselves, bit by bit. Don’t let that happen. Don’t let that happen between you and your kids.

Now, let me ask you again, and this time be honest with yourself, “How is the pace of daily life affecting your emotional intensity with the kids?”

I hear people say this all the time, “There’s nothing I can do about my workload? The pace of my life is too intense! I’m only one person, I can’t do it all!” I hear you. And you may or may not be able to make any changes, I don’t know you, so I beleive you. BUT…what about connections. Connections feed the fire, fuel the heart, and energize the body, mind and spirit. You need to feel connected to others in order to live at the pace you’re living at.

So let me challenge you. If you are tired, overworked, rushed, cranky, feeling shortchanged, resentful, not feeling like yourself, what will you do to change it?

You have the power to change! You do.

Begin with small steps. Reach out and connect with a friend or co-worker. Have breakfast for dinner and snuggles for desert, so you and the kids can connect instead of fighting about the veggies. Call a freind instead of texting. Have coffee instead of connecting on social media. Really feel what it feels like to truly connect again. Once you’ve expereinced that invigorating and nourishing feeling, go connect with your kids. As you connect with the kids I think you’ll feel the emotional intensity you’ve been feeling for a while now, you know the drain-train that has been causing you to react and yell, begin to soften.

Let me know what you’re going to do to connect. Yes, I want you to connect by writing a comment. Let me know how this goes. Take your personal power back and connect with friends and loved ones!

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Your Family’s Mission Impossible!

by Sharon Silver on August 1, 2014

Home-Page-Photo-Moma-and-BoyTHIS WEEKEND: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to purposefully CONNECT with your child.

Practice unconditional love and watch how connected you and your child become. Tend to feelings before you address behavior. To get you started here are 4 different things you can do.

1. Start and end with love. Ask yourself, "Is this most loving way I can handle this?" Be kind and attentive, and watch what happens.

2. Make your child feel unique. The best way to do this is to use specific, not global praise. Focus on the little details when you send praise your child's way. Things like, "I like the fact that you used every single color in the box to make this drawing!" That tells him/her you're actually paying attention. And that my friends, is what creates high self-esteem. 

3. Give your child some freedom and power. With "Freedom Comes Responsibility." The way to let go, without feeling like you need to be a helicopter parent in order to keep him/her safe, is to surround freedom with clear boundaries, AND the willingness to let him/her learn from the results of his/her actions. When you show your child you trust their decision making skills, they realize they must dig deep and remember all that you have taught them without reminders from you. That immediately gives them a sense of personal responsibiltiy, makes them feel connected to you, and proud of themselves. 

4. Raise the bar a little bit by doing something a little more grownup this weekend. Maybe take in a museum, have dinner at a "real" restaurant. Do something that says, "i believe in your ability to handle yourself well in public. Doing things like that asks your child to self regulate and tells him/her why you constantly say, "There is a reason I ask you not to burp at the dinner table! It's so we can go to a real restaurant one of these days." Well one of these days could be this weekend!

Have a great weekend. Let me know how things work out! 

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A Sh#t Detector for Kids?

July 22, 2014
Today’s email brought me an announcement from Oprah, Deepak Chopra and Marie Forleo about intuition and meditation. That got me thinking about a question a parent asked me, “What is the best way for me to introduce intuition to my child?”  Hmmm. There are many ways to introduce the concept of intuition to a child. […]
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The Impossibility of Consistency

June 23, 2014
Have you read the HuffPo article, What If Consistency Isn’t the Key to Good Parenting? http://huff.to/1m63vfv. Author Beth Woolsey challenges the concept of consistency. She states, “I think I’ve read it in every parenting book. Heard it from the lips of all the parenting experts. Consistency is the key to good parenting, they say, and […]
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I Thought I Really Did Some Damage!

June 16, 2014
I thought it might too late. I was afraid I’d really done some damage this time. I’m not a person who likes the dentist. No, really, I-don’t-like-the-dentist! So when I noticed that it was time to have my teeth cleaned, I began to think, no thanks, I think I’ll wait. And wait I did. And […]
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I Want Magic, Now!

June 3, 2014
I want magic, plain and simple! I want my kids to listen to every word I say, without question. And I want it now! That’s usually the unexpressed dream most parents have. I know you have it, because I had the same dream! Even with all I know about parenting, I still wanted my kids […]
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Great Example of How to Shift From Reacting To Responding

March 28, 2014
Story: A mom with 2 kids is standing on the beach yelling as her kids run in and out of the approaching surf. The kids would run after the retreating surf and Mom would yell, "Move back! Don't get wet, you have your dinner clothes on! Don't make me say it again!" as the surf […]
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Tip #4: The Words You Use Determine Whether or Not They Listen

March 1, 2014
Each and every one of us has been impacted by the words someone said to us at one time or another in our lives. Sometimes the words inspire, applaud or affirm us in some way. Other times the words are hurtful, demeaning or judgmental and play like a broken record over and over again in […]
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Tip #3: Body Placement and Listening

February 28, 2014
  Tip #3 may seem obvious, however, when a parent is in the midst of reacting they often forget the impact their reaction has on their child's ability to listen. 
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Tip #2: Listen Differences

February 27, 2014
Day #2 Listening Differences Today's tip will change your parenting perspective! This tip explains why girls cry and say, "You're yelling at me!" and why boys seem to be ignoring you!  Did you enjoy this tip? If so, please share it friends. Also, consider opting-in to Proactive Parenting (dot) net so you can recieve tips like […]
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The Listening Series: 5 Days of Tips

February 26, 2014
  Have you ever wondered how to *increase* your child's ability to #listen to you?  Each day this week, I'm posting a tip about #listening.    If you're looking for more tips like this: check out my book Stop Reacting and Start Responding: Revised Version @ http://proactiveparenting.net/about-the-book-2.  To download two tips, go to the bottom of […]
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Words Linger

February 22, 2014
This is so true. Parents tell me all the time, our home seems to be a constant battlefield. Always correcting, always yelling and punishing. Consider for a moment that words have power. They provoke feelings that sting. If you want to live in a peaceful envirnoment, think about what the photo says.  And if your […]
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Unconditional Love Through Your Behavior

February 14, 2014
          Having tech problems. Sorry about the look of this.  How do children learn to correct mistakes?                                                                       […]
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Unconditional Love and Honesty

February 13, 2014
Unconditional love is a form of honesty.  Looking through the eyes of uncondtional love allows you to honestly see what your child is experiencing when (s)he is having a hard time.  Seeing through the lens of unconditional love helps you decide if you need to intervene, or stand by, or say something that needs to […]
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