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!

 

 

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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:

THEY ALL HAD LIBRARIES.

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.

HAPPY SUMMER READING!

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

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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

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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!

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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

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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. 

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

by Sharon Silver on June 2, 2015

Woman YellingYesterday 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 standing next to my boy, I instantly changed my tune. I could clearly see my son was terrified. His head was down, his shoulders were slummed, I knew that stance very well—he was scared to death!

As soon as we pulled up my son, and his terrified face, glanced in our direction. He obviously needed to connect with us. He’d never been in a situation like this before. He was scared to death and reaching out for support. That was the moment it all became crystal clear. I took a deep breath and reflected on how I was really feeling, right here, right now. Once I assessed how I felt in this moment, not how I felt five minutes ago, I knew what I had to do.

Instantly love and empathy replaced my overwhelming anger. Was I still angry? Yes, I was. Was I still going to do something about this, oh you betcha! But now I was able to think again, and that was what I needed. I needed to move from my overwhelming reaction, to a response that I could live with, and one my son could learn from.

I continued to take deep breaths as I slowly walked up to the damaged car. Since I was calm, I was able to notice that the police officer watching me walk up to the car as well.

When I arrived I touched my son’s arm and said, “Are you okay? Was anyone hurt?” The police officer said, “No one was hurt.” and then there was an uncomfortable silent.

I knew this was a defining moment for me, for my son, and for the police officer. Was I going to lash out and begin yelling at my son? Or was I able to remain calm so I could teach him?

I began shaking my head as I looked at the car, and then looked up at my son and said, “Wow, I am so sorry this happened to you. And I’m even sorrier that 100% of your graduation money will be going toward fixing the damage from this accident, and that you’ll need to get a job to pay for the rest of the damage. This certainly changes your summer plans, and that sucks!”

At this point my son looked directly into my eyes. He was looking for a way to argue, but what he saw was a calm clear firmness on my face. He unconsciously took a deep breath. He seemed relieved by my reaction. The child inside the almost grown young man was grateful that I gave him a way to accept what he already knew was true, this was his fault, and he knew it was his responsibly to fix it. He felt safe again.

The police officer looked at my son and said, “I was going to give you a ticket, but I can see that your mom has this well in hand. You’re a lucky young man to have a mom like that. I’d like to hear you to tell your mom that you understand, and will be respectful and take responsibility for the damage. Oh, and mom, if he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain I’d be happy to issue him a ticket, just let me know.”

Had I yelled and reacted when I arrived several things would have most likely happened instead.

The police officer would have given him a ticket thinking he was the one who had to teach my son this life lesson because an angry parent wasn’t able to do the job.

Since my son was already going thought a rebellious phase, he would have found a way to focus on my anger and yelling instead of taking responsibility for the accident, thereby learning nothing.

Because I was calm enough to handle things, right here and right now, he knew that 100% of his graduation money would go toward fixing the damage, and he’d have to get a summer job to pay for the rest, so there was very little chance he’d argue with me about this when the estimate came in.

Finally, since I was calm enough to teach my child the true lesson immediately, the backup the police officer gave us, stating that if my son failed to be responsible and respectful in any way that he would issue a ticket, was the perfect addition to the lesson. It taught my son that sometimes you have to abide by society’s rules, not just mom and dad’s rules.

You may be wondering if my son was able to follow through with his agreement? Yes, he was! Was there an argument about the need to use his graduation money to fix his car? No, there wasn’t. Did he ever find out how angry we were? Oh, yes he did. Was being truthful about our anger considered reacting? No, we were able to calmly express our anger and disappointment so he could hear it. Our anger was our truth and part of the reality he had to learn! Did he accept all of this because I’m a parent educator? No. He accepted all of this because we’d been teaching both of our kids this way since they were in preschool.

What does all this mean to you?

The truth is…

            You, too, can have all the skills I used — today. You can learn them at your pace, in small sections about 15 minutes long. 

             And you can have it at a ridiculously low price of $97.00, not the original price of $197.00, because it’s our Schools Out Sale. Forgive my sounding like a car dealer here!

Your kids will be out of school in a week or two. That means you’ll be dealing with camp, or daycare, or the neighborhood kids and their influences. You’ll experience some new behavior that comes with summer freedom and attitudes, as well as all that reactions that pop-up as the new school year approaches. I know you’re sick of reacting, repeating your requests, and oh so tired of yelling.

Proactive Parenting’s BreakThrough Series can and will teach you another way.

This master class will:

Teach you new skills to correct behavior so you’re not constantly feeling drained by yelling and reacting.

Share new ways to respond that increase listening, respect, cooperation and will inspire you to handle things so you can think when situations arise.

Reshape your connection to your kids so you can be empathetic as well as firm as you face the challenges all parents deal with when summer arrives and the coming school year rounds the bend.

Apply to kids of all ages because all examples are broken out into three groups, one for preschoolers, one for grade school kids, and one for tweens/teens.

But you have to hurry. This sale for 12 days only, AND the BreakThrough Series really is being taken off the website on June 12th at midnight!

Click here to read all about The BreakThrough Series.

Kids do misbehave, and parents do get mad as a result, that’s a fact of life. The key to changing your child’s behavior isn’t about hiding your anger; it’s about how to express any anger or frustration you feel, honestly, as you calmly and firmly correct behavior without reacting.

Click here to learn more about this special parenting roadmap.

I know, some people say, “This product is going away forever” and they never take the produce down. But I am taking it down! I am a woman of my word, ask my kids!

Remember: The BreakThrough Series will be gone forever tonight, June 12th at Midnight!

Get your Breakthrough Series today and begin listening when you have time, so you’re ready to enjoy summer!

Click here to learn more NOW.

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I Failed My Kid: I’m Coming Clean

by Sharon Silver on June 1, 2015

Teen-cookie-sbs 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 eye isn’t? Be honest, everyone likes to read a good failure story! Well, here’s one I think you’ll relate too. Read this story to its conclusion, part one and part two, because the end turns out a bit different than you might guess.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know my advice to parents is to allow your kids to learn from their choices. Stand beside them, be empathetic, and support them, but let them learn from the inside out.

Well, I’ve been known to react. There I said it! I’ve been known to lose it and react big time! And more than once!

I’ve been known to let my fear and emotions get the best of me. My reactions can be way over the top. At times my reactions are loud and filled with yelling. So for me, in my life, I consider that a failure. I know you want to hear about it, so here’s the story.

First, Let Me set The Stage 

It was about one week before son #2 was to graduate from high school. Said child was going through a rebellious phase, unusual for him, but there it was. Everything we said to him seemed to be met with a snarky teenage attitude. One that sent the silent message … "What do you know?!"

Now, I know you’re kids are not teens—but hang in there with me, this story will be relatable, I promise!

Back To My Story!

It was a warm sunny day as hubby and I waited in line at our favorite breakfast place. We’d literally just been seated when our son called. He said that on the way home from graduation rehearsal his cell phone rang, and I think you know what happened next, he looked down for a split second and ran into the car in front of him.

I was livid. I was a jumble of mad and blame all mushed up together. I wanted to read him the riot act. I wanted to ground him. I wanted to take his car away! I wanted to lock him in his room for being so reckless. We’d told him again and again — n.e.v.e.r look at the phone when driving. I was so mad that I really had no idea what to do.

That’s when I began to feel like a failure. My mind was filled with rage, yes I was that mad! I was reacting big time! And as a result, I couldn’t think! I was drawing a blank.

As we drove up and saw several police cars another emotion blasted through. I was terrified. Was he hurt? Was someone else hurt? Now my mind was filled anger and fear! I had no idea what to do. My heart was racing. My anger was boiling. I was madder than I had been in years! I was a mess!

So when I tell you in newsletters and emails that I know what reacting does to you, trust me I do. This story is a perfect example of what reacting does to you.

It doesn’t matter what the situation is, or how old your kids are, when you’re reacting, you can’t think! And when you can’t think, yelling makes sense; it feels like the perfect release. Yelling takes on a life of it’s own, it can make you feel empowered with divine authority and cause you to throw threats and punishment at your child without stopping to take a breath!

Even though you may feel justified to yell, scream, threaten and punish, is it the best course of action, usually not.

You have to ask yourself, will my child really learn what to do instead of what he’s done if I scream at him? Will my child really understand all the reasons why: This. Is. Not. Okay. AND You. Should. Never. Ever. Do. This. Again!

Have you ever reacted like that? Have you ever reacted with an intensity that scared you? Scared your child? Caused you to stop thinking? I know you have. We all have!

What To Do 

Wouldn’t you like to know what to say instead?

Wouldn’t you like to know what to say to buy yourself some time so you can calm down?

Wouldn’t you like to know how to handle any situation, from preschooler to school age to tweens and teens, so you don’t draw a blank like I did?

Well, I can show you.

I know that’s a tall order, but here’s the truth. I can share a new perspective, a new way to look at reaction triggers, and you can pair that with your intuition, wisdom, and rules so you can change things. I could share the words, and you could use the words, at the right time, to turn a reaction into a response.

Tomorrow I will share part two of the story, the resolution, what I said and did when I got out of the car. And tomorrow I will explain why I placed "can" and "could" in italics.  

The BreakThrough Series will be taken down tonight June 12th at Midnight and will be gone forever. Read all about it 

 

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