Proactive Parenting’s Blog

Clarita-800Every week you deal with siblings fighting, kids wanting to use your cell phone, words that can damage a fragile tender heart, upsetting situations that your child experiences, and the need to somehow make it clear that You. Are. Not. Allowed. To. Behave. That. Way! And that's just a regular day in most homes! 

This week Yahoo and PopSugar ran 5 different articles I either wrote or was quoted in. Each article addresses one of those topics, so I decided to post them all at once. Pass it on to others who may be dealing with these things as well.

The topics include:

Sibling fighting and why that's not always a bad thing.

Whether or not it's a good idea to let a child have a cell phone?

How to make a time-outs work. Since we all know time-outs don't usually do much except give you both a break.

Something you should NEVER say to your child, and why.

And whether or not it's a wise idea to let kids deal with the bad things that happen in their lives. With your support and guidance, of course. 

6 Ways to Prevent Sibling Rivalry

Giving a Kid a Cell Phone: How Young Is Too Young?  

One thing You Should NEVER Say To Your Child

How to Make Time-Outs Work

Why It's Good to let Bad Things Happen to Kids

There seems to be some confusion about what I write and what I don't. I don't write the headlines, sometimes I like them, and sometimes they're a bit more intense than I would post. I can not control all the things that appear in print with my name. Sometimes an editor changes things without my permission, and sometimes the writer adds things to frame my quotes. Just thought you'd want to know. 


Warning: Creating Empowerment can Cause Parental Pain!

by Sharon Silver on April 9, 2015

Win-Child-crop400When you sign up to get Proactive Parenting's weekly newsletter, and I hope you do, I invite new followers to send in one parenting question for me to answer in the newsletter, anonymously, of course. If you haven’t done that yet, What are you waiting for? Hint, you get a free e-Book when you do!

Here’s this week’s Q&A

Q: “[I’m] looking forward to receiving your newsletters. My question regarding parenting is ' How can I improve my child's self esteem?' I know how to do this in obvious ways but I would like to learn other methods. I have three daughters!” 

A: I get different versions of this question All. The. Time.  Other variations of the same question are, “How can you help your child be a strong individual?” Or “How do you create an empowered person?” Or, “How can I help my child become less fearful?” My answer addresses something that’s broader than just giving you a few self-esteem tips, although higher self-esteem will be one of the by-products of applying this principal. Confusing answer? I know…read on.

Let me begin by saying, as far as I know, there isn’t one magic answer here. Even if you do what I’m about to suggest, there are no guarantees that your child will grow up to be strong, empowered, courageous or fearless. All you can do is try. All you can ever do is be the best parent you can be. There are no guarantees in life, of that I am sure.

Each one of us, kids included, have life-lessons to learn. However, these days it seems as if more and more parents are protecting their kids from experiencing, and learning from their life lessons. Parents seem to make excuses for behavior or try to stop their kids from feeling any kind of disappointment or unhappiness. The by-product of that type of parenting is that kids never get to stretch themselves. And stretching yourself is how every one of us learns to be strong, empowered, courageous and fearless, and have high self-esteem.

Think back to a challenging moment in your life, or better yet, a challenging moment in your childhood. When you faced that situation, no one could help you. You had to dig deep and find your own resources to handle the situation. When all was said and done you felt powerful. You felt like you could do anything. You felt yourself smiling from deep inside your soul, you had triumphed.

What you didn’t see, as you went through that experience, is what your parents were feeling. You weren’t aware of their pain or discomfort as they watched you struggle or challenge yourself. My guess is they wanted to rescue you. They wanted to stop your pain. They wanted to scream, ”I told you not to do that, now look at the mess you’re in.” But they were wise, gifted parents and they knew you had to learn for yourself, in spite of the pain they felt letting you do it.

I truly believe that no parent wants his or her child to be in pain. All parents feel tremendous apprehension and pain as they watch their children struggle, but struggle they must. Struggling to learn is what moves a human being forward and allows them to grow.

I’m not saying you should cause pain. I don’t believe in punishment or causing physical or emotional pain of any kind. And of course, being who I am, I don’t believe in spanking.

Having said that, I believe there are ways parents can help their kids become strong, empowered, courageous and fearless.

1. Raise your expectations of what your kids are capable of! Raise the bar, so to speak. Always hold the mindset “I know you can, you just haven’t figured out how yet.”

2. Challenge your kids, and I don’t mean academically. Let them figure out for themselves how to handle the problems and mistakes in their life. Let them face the results of their choices, with your support and empathy of course.

3. Teach them the life/emotional skills they’ll need to be successful in this world. That means you have shift the way you think about behavior. Instead of thinking that mistakes are bad, think of mistakes as learning opportunities.

Most people I know who are strong, empowered, courageous and fearless have high self-esteem, it’s the wonderful by-product I spoke of before.

Use last week’s analogy of spring flowers here, too. When your child was born all the gifts, talents and strengths (s)he will need in life are buried deep within. As (s)he grows you water them with love, empathy and support. You fertilize them by enforcing the boundaries and rules you set. And each season a new bud, a new empowered skill, rises up in all its glory and takes its place within the garden of your child’s life. When (s)he leaves home and goes off to college they take their fully bloomed garden with them and allow it to nurture and empower them forever.

I believe that’s how you create strong, empowered, courageous, fearless kids with high self-esteem.

See you next week. Now go hug your kids!


{ 1 comment }

What’s The Story About Your Life?

by Sharon Silver on April 1, 2015

Spring-flowersWhat is The Story You Tell Yourself about your life?

The title is sort of an odd question, I know. But let me ask it again in a different way. What is the story you tell yourself about your life, about your kids, and about yourself?

Do you see yourself as a glorious whole being? Or a small damaged one?

Do you see your child as a shining light ready to reveal the secrets of who she is? Or do you see her as her behavior, the one who causes chaos all day long?

Do you see your life as a journey, an opportunity to grow and discover who you truly are? Or do you see your life as a series of irritating hurdles you have to face each and every day?

What’s the story you tell yourself about your life?

It’s spring. Even if what you see from your window still looks like winter, it’s spring! Close your eyes and ask yourself, am I looking forward to blooming flowers, longer warmer days and magical nights filled with stars? If you’re looking forward to any of those things, then your internal clock has notified you that spring has sprung.

And now for the “bigger” question—What Will You Do With the Power of Spring?

Spring gives us all a fresh start, a chance to plant new seeds and pluck out the old growth. A chance to let go of old wounds and old habits, a chance to insert new words and refresh our connections with those we love. Spring allows us to begin again.

How will you create yourself anew? What do you want to change?

Do you want to change the way you speak to others? Maybe you want to change the internal dialog you have with yourself? Or the way you extend your purpose into this world? What will bloom for you this spring?

When I see the daffodils in bloom I know they are only here for a short time. They signal an opportunity for me to focus on something I want to change in my life and remind me to get on it.

This week the spring blooms struck me in a way that reminded me to let go. I saw daffodils in perfect bloom surrounded by hundreds of other spring flowers and became inspired to adjust the way I’ve been feeling about a situation in my life. I became aware that old issues have been clouding how I feel. When I saw tender shoots emerging from the ground I realized that, in this situation, old wounds will never be resolved, and in order for me to heal, I need to let go. I need to let the anger stop blooming and let new shoots of love take its place.

Let me ask you again—What Will You Do With the Power of Spring?

Here’s an example of someone who has changed the way they handle a sensitive subject. This conversation is being brought to you by The writer overheard this conversation while getting dinner at Wendy’s. Read her post below first, and then I want to add something, of course!

“Random goodness: at Wendy’s picking up food for dinner. Saw an older man with two boys. The older boy (6-8) says to his I assume grandfather, “I need to go home and change my underwear…”

Grandfather says, “Why?”

The kid looks uncomfortable and shrugs, looking down.

I brace myself for shaming.

Grandfather comes close and says, “Okay, no problem. We’ll swing by the house and change. I shouldn’t have asked you like that. I should have waited until we were in private or just trusted that you know what you need. I’m sorry. I’ll remember next time.”

Those are some pretty respectful words, and a beautiful way to handle a delicate situation. And why shouldn’t a parent or a grandparent treat a situation like this as respectfully as possible? That’s the question, why do we usually handle situations like this with anger, frustration, disappointment or shame? Is it really necessary? Is there another way to teach, empower, and create independence and respect while still being the authority in our child’s lives? Yes, there is. I hope those grandfather’s words will inspire you to change your words and let the connection between you and your child bloom and take center stage in as many situations as possible.

Don’t let my question, What Will You Do With the Power of Spring? wither on vine, so to speak. Focus on it. Look inside and make some changes. Begin by always taking a breath before speaking to your kids.

Happy Spring! Now go hug your kids!



Is it your job to entertain your kids?

by Sharon Silver on March 12, 2015

IMom-Play-with-meThis helpful article comes from "Parenting Power" Thanks for sharing ladies! 
We are constantly hearing about the word 'Busy'. Robert Holden, in his book Success Intelligence, calls 'busy' the new status symbol; wherein appearing busy implies that one has greater status and value.

Perhaps this status symbol is trickling down to our children. It seems that there are more and more classes and events for kids. Weekends, which were once down time, are now just a series of activities – off to the pool or sport ball, birthday party, hockey game, skating session or lesson. 


Many parents tell us that they feel frazzled, spending so much time doing things with their kids that there isn't time to get everything else done. 


Today's question is:


Is it your job to entertain your child?



The answer is: NO. 



Does that mean we just hand off the iPad, turn on the TV or the computer and let technology entertain our kids? Again – NO.



All children 2 and over need to learn independent play. 


Do you need to be watching them if they are toddlers or preschoolers? Yes.


Do you need to be playing with them or showing them how to use a toy? Not all the time. It is perfectly acceptable and in fact, responsible to teach our kids how to entertain themselves without technology.



If your child is older, and still seems to need you every moment of the day, it is never too late to teach that independence. Be aware that as you distance yourself from your child, there may be an increase in attention-getting misbehaviours to bring you right back. 


That's why it can help to teach independent play in steps – setting everyone up for success. Start with small increments of time (really small- something you know that they can handle) – providing something for your child to do while you chop veggies or fold laundry. Return to the child before she fusses and notice, "I knew that you could entertain yourself – you are capable."Gradually increase the duration of time when you are not entertaining your little-one. Ideally, the child will begin to choose his own entertainment. 


If you've got older children, set aside some non-technology time and get your kids to make a list of what they can do that isn't electronic. This is a great thing to do with Spring Break around the corner.


This week: Make time to sit and read a book or the newspaper in a space in your home. You can invite your kids to join you or just be present around them. There is a lot of value of just being present with your kids rather than doing things with them.


PS. Being present with your kids does not mean being on technology around them. Screens are so distracting that we can easily miss something we need to attend to as parents when we 'just check the phone for a second.'



Chores, Kids and fun – You’ve got to be kidding?!

by Sharon Silver on February 2, 2015

250• Window WasherChores are a hot topic in most households. Parents simply want the kids to do them, and do them without reminders.

Chores can easily turn into a constant battle, unless parents first do some basic training during the preschool years. If parents create what I call the foundation of participation then chores become a normal, expected part of family life. Let me explain.

Most parents don’t really think about having preschoolers do chores. They want them to go to school, and play as much as they can. Parents figure there will be plenty of time to insist on chores when they get older.

I agree parents shouldn’t insist that preschoolers do chores. But, if you wait until your child is older before engaging them in chores, you’re missing a golden opportunity, the opportunity to capitalize on your child’s interest in doing what adults do.

Chores have so many benefits it’s hard to focus on just one or two. Many of you asked me questions like, “How can I help my child with impulsivity and transitioning?” “How can I stop my child from hurting her sibling?” “How do I deal with step-kids?”

Being involved with a parent and doing chores can help with all of these issues. When a child is hurting a sibling, she needs to feel like she holds a specail place in the family that her younger sibling doesn't hold. Doing chores her sibling is too young to do will help. Step-kids need to realize they’re all equal, all loved in the same way, in order to feel like a united family, chores will help. Doing daily chores helps with impulsivity and transitioning, too.

In order to gain cooperation with chores let’s go back to the need to create a foundation of participation. The foundation begins with a house rule my sweet husband created many years ago. He said, “We all make the mess, we all clean the mess.” Begin there. Make that your new family rule.

Also begin inviting kids to join you as do chores, around the ages of 3-6. That’s the time in life when kids think the normal everyday chores adults do are fun. They think that chores are what adult’s do when playing. We of course know better. Hey, I’m not going to taint their idea about adult play, are you? I didn’t think so … moving on.

So how do you introduce chores to kids so they don’t become a fight? Treat chores like play, of course. Play is how teachers teach everything in preschool.

Let’s go over the “don’ts” for 3-6 yr. olds.

• Don’t insist they do a chore from start to finish. Let them help out in short bursts. Let them participate till they’re bored, then let them stop and go play. Bailing on an activity before it’s complete is age appropriate. After a few months of inviting them to help out with chores you can begin teaching them to how to stick with an activity, but right now you’re goal is to create a foundation of participation.

• Don't call them chores. Simply ask them to come and help. Save the word "chores" for when they're older.

• Don’t insist they do a chore without you. That’s just not fun. Do things with them.

• Don’t insist they do a chore without a reminder.

• Don’t be sporadic about doing chores. Kids need routine in order to create new habits.

• Don’t punish or remove a precious item if they don’t want to help out. Just keep inviting them to join you, and mix up the chores you invite them to do with you till you find one they enjoy. 

Remember you’re creating a foundation of participation by participating with them. Doing chores independently, without reminders, is something slightly older kids can do easily, if you wait for that developmental time. However, if you argue, nag and punish, chores will always be a fight, and no one wants that.

Here are the “dos” for 3-6 yr. olds.

• Do invite them to do the things you do, but in age appropriate ways. They can wash plastic dishes, sort laundry, unload the dishwasher, wipe off their chair, sort toys, stack plastic containers, plant flowers. If you want a list of things kids can do at this age, visit my Pinterest page under Teaching Life Skills

• Do use blue painters tape to make a square on the floor so little ones have a big area to sweep the mess into.

• Do invite the kids to help out every day, but don’t punish if they refuse. Kids love routine. It makes them feel safe. They also love to do what mom and dad do. That’s why they play house, they want to do “big people” stuff. If they don’t like one chore, invite them to do another. Keep inviting them to help out till you find something they like. When they’re older they can help out with the “real” chores.

•Do expect them to do things in a messy way. They’re learning. They won’t do things as neatly as you would.

• Do expect to feel like it’s easier if you just did it yourself. But think again. Parents have been lead to believe that learning is only done through academics. Fine and gross motor activities activate executive functioning in the brain. Chores help kids with time management, decision-making, planning, and organization, all aspects of executive functioning. Locating and wiping up small crumbs uses fine motor skills. Sweeping and raking leaves use gross motor skills. Deciding where to sweep first, then where to sweep next, activates planning and organizing skills. There’s so much learning that occurs by doing chores, as long as there’s cooperation, not power struggles and threats.

So instead of demanding that your 5 yr. old do a weekly chore by himself, even though he may be capable of it, try building a foundation of participation instead. You’ll thank me in a few years.

Share this on social media if you liked it. And if you want to have these weekly newsletters delivered to your email, go to our optin page and sign up, it's free!

See you soon!


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!


{ 1 comment }

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? 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. 



{ 1 comment }

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.




How Yelling Keeps Kids From Listening

November 2, 2014
  Parenting 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 […]
Read the full article →

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

October 21, 2014
Question: 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 […]
Read the full article →

“Fixing” Your Child

October 12, 2014
So 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 […]
Read the full article →

The Heart

October 9, 2014
This 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 […]
Read the full article →

I’ve lost my patience, again! Help!

October 1, 2014
Parent 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 […]
Read the full article →

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  All questions will be answered in the order they arrive. Video Games: Suck hole or Valuable? Parent Question: “I’m facing […]
Read the full article →

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  All questions will be answered in the order they arrive.  A Disrespectful Child: The Pressure of Silence […]
Read the full article →

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 […]
Read the full article →

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, […]
Read the full article →

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. […]
Read the full article →

The Impossibility of Consistency

June 23, 2014
Have you read the HuffPo article, What If Consistency Isn’t the Key to Good Parenting? 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 […]
Read the full article →

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 […]
Read the full article →