Proactive Parenting’s Blog

Emotional Energy. Is Gasoline Involved?

by Sharon Silver on January 21, 2015

Mom with ??.285Today’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 stating what my answer will and will not apply to. My answer will not apply to: #1: The snuggly times when everything is calm and happy. #2: The times when you’re explaining a concept that has nothing to do with misbehavior like, “Why the sky is blue?” *Don’t use the process I’m suggesting during these types of situations or it will confuse your child. She’ll perceive you as emotionally distant and that will cause many other issues that we can discuss in another post. My answer will apply to: #1: The moments when you need to correct misbehavior. #2: The moments when your child can’t seem to hear you because both of you are reacting and the room is filled with emotional chaos.

Here’s a scenario we’ve all seen. A child is crying and a parent is lecturing the child about what he or she has done. The child doesn’t seem to listening, yet the parent drones on hoping that the longer she talks the sooner the child will stop crying and begin understanding.

It all begins when a child is an infant. Infants communicate by using the energy of emotions since they don’t have the capability to use language. Babies use their emotions and crying to let you know how they feel. Parents consciously and unconsciously use emotions to communicate with their baby, too.

The preverbal years teach a child to rely on the emotional energy that’s emitted by words, gestures, and actions as they’re learning about language and emotional intelligence. The non-verbal interactions are intense and filled with many clues for a child. Because you’re an adult, living in the verbal world, you may not be aware of how intense and impactful the emotional output of words, gestures and actions actually are.

Imagine you’re using a loud commanding voice around your infant. The infant hears, but more importantly feels, the intensity of the emotions being expressed by the loud voice and cries. When you use a sweet tender voice your baby doesn’t just smile, she moves her body in alignment with the emotion; almost as if she’s riding along with the emotions you, her beloved parent, are projecting.

Fast forward several years and your sweet one has just hauled off and hit her brother. Or he flat out refuses to clean up his toys, or do his homework, or whatever the issue is. You react using your big booming “parent voice.” Your child reacts and yells back. The emotions are palpable, you can almost see them flowing back and forth between you and your child.

So what’s the answer to this week’s question? How does a parent “stay in the moment” and deal with the complex layers of communication?

When you and your child are emotional and reacting, stop, take a breath and pull your emotional energy back, instead of diving into your emotions and projecting their full intensity outward in a reaction.

Parents also need to realize that when a child’s brain, or anyone’s brain for that matter, is processing the emotions they’re feeling they’re only capable of absorbing so much information.

So, the best thing to do when a child is processing emotions is to reduce the amount of words you say, and pull your emotional energy back. Make one statement, or give one command, or share one bit of information, and then go silent and wait. Stay present in the moment. Breathe. Watch for a change. Once you see your child calming a bit, go ahead and acknowledge the emotions you see by saying something like, “I hear how mad you are.” And then share a tiny bit of information, “I need you to sit down, when you’re seated we’ll talk.” Then wait in silence as your child does what she needs to do to manage her emotions. After she calms a bit more she’ll remember that you asked her to simply have a seat and wait. She’ll cooperate much faster because you aren’t giving her too much information to process when she’s emotional.                                                                                                                                                                                                            And that’s the key—when emotions are present, use fewer words. 

Being aware of the energetics of emotions not only helps a child regain control after being emotional, it also helps you too by buying you both the time needed to manage the emotions present. You’re able to do as the question asked, remain focused in the moment, and peel away each emotional layer, one by one, till you can both come to a resolution.

I hope that helps and made sense.  If not send me your question. See you next week.

Now, go hug your kids!

 

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The Secret Sauce That Stop Reactions!

by Sharon Silver on January 13, 2015

Breathe rocks400Take a deep breath.

A real … long … three … second … breath.

Really experience how long three seconds is.

One-one thousand. Two-one thousand. Three-one thousand.

It’s that long.

Three seconds is your window of opportunity.

Three seconds is your moment to stop your reaction.

So what do you do while you’re taking a three second breath? You take three seconds to think.

No, really.

What do you think about? You think about what will happen next if you react.

Will your reaction help the situation?

Will your reaction intensify your emotional exhaustion?

Will your reactive words cause the situation to get better or worse?

Will your reaction emotionally empower your child to learn from the situation or manage things more effectively, or will your reaction emotionally shut your child down?

If you realize that your reaction will not make things better, then stop yourself. Walk away. Stand in silence. Take more breaths. But. Do. Not. Proceed.

Why?

Dictionary.com states that indignant means “expressing strong displeasure” and righteous means “morally right or justifiable.” And I just spoke with a parent who reminded me that reacting is like “the boy who cried wolf.” 

If you keep reacting, yelling, and saying things in the name of correcting behavior that are reactive, then when you need to be righteously indignant, and there comes a time in every parents’ life when you do need to lay down the law by expressing your morally justifiable strong displeasure, then you won’t be heard. You won’t be heard because you will have been classified by your child as the parent who cried wolf, the parent who always yells, even at the little things, so why should I bother really listening!

And no parent wants that.

So take three breaths. Think about whether your reaction is helpful to the situation at hand, or whether your reaction will ignite more belligerence and animosity.

And if your reaction would indeed make things worse, look in your child’s eyes to see what’s really motivating him or her.

Is she afraid?

Does he fully understand what he’s done?

Is she expressing her needs through misbehavior instead of using her words because she’s just too young to know any better?

Or she old enough to know better, but emotionally consumed due to the situation so she’s lashing out. 

If you see any of that in his or her eyes, focus on love and empathy as you correct her. Fill the needs instead of reacting, and watch the magic.

Do you wonder when it would be helpful to be empathetic, and when it would be helpful to your child’s learning to lay down the law? Do you wonder what words to use in either circumstance?  

Everything Proactive Parenting offers has the thread of how to respond, instead of react woven into it. My books and The BreakThrough Series are filled with concepts, sample conversations, tips and ideas that help you stop reacting and start responding as you raise kids.

Just thought you’d want to know. 

 

 

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When Parents Fight About How to Correct Behavior

by Sharon Silver on November 12, 2014

Reaction Parents FightQ: What can be done when there are two different parents with different temperaments and different ways of handling things?

A: #1: Tell your kids that mom and dad handle things differently, and that you will not tolerate being played against each other.

Children are exposed to different people and different rules all the time. Your rules are different than your child’s teacher’s rules, yet your kids comply with both sets of rules every day. Admittedly, a great many things can go wrong when parents adopt this way of parenting, but it’s better than constant parental fighting about rules or damaging your relationship.

#2: Both parents discuss and choose to agree to three basic concepts when correcting behavior. Agreeing to these three concepts creates a united front for your kids, even though each of you will be using your own words and unique style to correct behavior.

Step One: The End Result

Misbehavior is the end result, not the beginning point. All misbehavior has it roots in unexpressed or unacknowledged feelings. When a child’s feelings go unacknowledged (s)he has no other choice but to use some kind behavior to express the unsaid feelings. Children do this because we have inadvertently shown them, time and time again, that they gain more of our “full” attention when they misbehave than at other time during the day. Look up Parent PieTM in Stop Reacting and Start Responding for the full explanation of this concept. Based on previous experiences, their still-developing mind makes an unconscious decision to send up a red flag to call attention to the unsaid feelings. That red flag is misbehavior. This is an unconscious habit young children use daily.  

If a parent waits until a child misbehaves to address the unsaid feelings, you’ll find yourself angry and incapable of teaching. However, if both parents agree to stop waiting until misbehavior occurs before they get involved, and both agree to address their child’s feelings when they first occur, then it doesn’t matter if they use different styles because they’ll both be able to address things calmly. This is concept #2 and fully explained in “Why Is Yelling My Go To Tool?” and Proactive Parenting’s free gift with purchase.

Step Two: Empathy and Connecting

Some parents’ fear that acknowledging a child’s feelings about a correction or a consequence will make things worse. Or they fear their empathy will be translated as having revoked a consequence that’s already been made. That doesn’t have to be the case.

Be empathetic with your child after you have handed over the bad news about a consequence. Let her know, “Yes, it’s not fun that you’re grounded or that you lost desert today.” And when she says, “If you know it's not fun then why are you doing it?” Simply tell the truth, “Because my love, that’s what happens in this house when you …  and you agreed to it, remember?” Then stick to your decision.

Don’t forget to send a connection message too. Tell your child how you’ll be connecting after the consequence is over. Try saying, “We can read or play a game as soon as you clean up the mess.” This tells your child that you’re not going to stay mad at her, you’re just enforcing the consequence, and that’s comforting to her.

Step Three: Expectations

Some parents believe that a rule is not truly enforced unless a child is filled with remorse or feels guilty for having done whatever (s)he did.

Other parents believe that a rule has not been truly enforced unless the child calmly accepts the consequence without any anger or argument.

Some parents feel that if a child objects, shows anger, or isn’t remorseful enough after being corrected, then the parent is required to pile on consequence after consequence until the child walks away feeling appropriately defeated and dejected.

There’s no need to emotionally make your child pay for his or her behavior, however being a parent does mean teaching your child about behavior. Your children will learn a lot more from your empathy and connection than from your distance and anger. I know it seems counterintuitive, but it’s a known psychological fact.

Every child handles being corrected, given a consequence, or being caught for misbehaving, differently. Unless, your child is openly hostel or is making a clear concerted effort to up the ante, they understand that they were wrong when given a calm, empathetic consequence.

The lashing out they do, the anger they express, is their immature way of stating, “I don’t like this” or “I think it’s unfair” or “You hurt my feelings,” or all of the above. Don’t engage in their reaction or you’ve just created another layer of conflict.

When a child gets angry or sulks off after being given a consequence, both parents regardless of parenting style, need to agree not to punish further. Agree that you both will silently stand your ground and always support the parent who handed out the correction. Unless of course, the parent’s anger is over the top, or there’s a physical aspect to the correction. And if your child can't tolerate the silence, use as few words as possible so they don't get even more anxious. 

Your calm silence expresses your authority, tells your child it’s okay to be mad at the correction, while showing them that their anger doesn’t have the power to sway your decision. Believe it or not your silent authority is comforting to your child. Kids need you to be strong when they can’t.

Agreeing to these three concepts, in a form that works for your family, allows you to present a united front to your kids, regardless of parenting style differences.

There are many, many more examples of how to apply these concepts in The Digital Proactive Parent where you'll find our annual holiday sale offering! 

Go to Proactive Parenting to see everything we offer. Click read about The BreakThrough Series and Stop Reacting and Start Responding so you can read what's included in the Digital Proactive Parent Package.

Now go hug your kids.

Sharon

 

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How Yelling Keeps Kids From Listening

by Sharon Silver on November 2, 2014

 


27e5971a7645f544_quiet_sign.previewParenting and yelling, for many parents they seem to go hand in hand.

The problem with yelling is it doesn't do what parents think it does.

Yelling actually stops a child from listening.

Yelling prevents the correction a parent is trying to make from registering with a child.

Yelling slows the process of correcting behavior down by causing the child to focus in another direction. 

My article, How Yelling Keeps Kids From Listening on PopSugar explains how yelling sets the correction process on hold. Read http://www.popsugar.com/moms/How-Do-You-Get-Kids-Listen-27330539?ref=35921580 then let me know what you think. 

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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?

September 18, 2014
*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 […]
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A Disrespectful Child: The Pressure of Silence

September 15, 2014
*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 […]
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Connecting or the Drain-Train: What will you choose?

August 19, 2014
LIFE 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 […]
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Your Family’s Mission Impossible!

August 1, 2014
THIS 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, […]
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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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