Q&A sessions can feel a little like an out of body experience.
Whether you’re a parent or an educator (or both!), child behavior is at the top of your concerns at some point in each day. In the latest section of our read along series, What If Everybody Understood Child Development?: Straight Talk About Bettering Education and Children’s Lives (affiliate link), Rae Pica explores several topics surrounding our adult approaches to managing child behavior. She shares a key concept that is at the heart of what I teach about Positive Guidance : [Read more…]
Maybe you’ve noticed the latest trend in the running commentary on parenting. “Parents today are too soft. They’re raising spoiled kids who’ve never heard the word “NO”. Parents need to show their kids who’s in control here.”
While I’m sure you could find plenty of examples to validate each perspective, I tend to wince a bit whenever I hear these tendencies to frame parenting in the extremes. Take in enough of these stories and it would seem that as a parent, you have two choices. You can either be a spineless push-over or a heavy-handed dictator. But the truth of the matter is that we know from research that the majority of kids thrive in that sweet spot in between. [Read more…]
I remember that Sunday almost 8 years ago. My family was settled in on a bench for a church service, a fantastic feat in and of itself, considering our 2 very young, very lively boys around ages 2 and 3 1/2 (details during those years are a bit hazy for obvious reasons). In that phase Sunday church service was often a futile exercise in just keeping our boys in the ballpark of socially appropriate. (OK, honestly we usually aim for the same goal these days.) Just a few notches below a toddler-sized mosh pit. We were never the perfect row of quiet angels, and that was OK, but this Sunday was different, and I was stressed out about it.
I sat in the shallow end of the pool, shadowing my toddler as I watched my older boys take their turns on the water slide. We would need to go home soon, so I was calling to each one as they surfaced from their plunge and giving them a 5 minute warning.
I was working with some elementary aged children recently, helping them with their Mother’s Day/ Father’s Day writing assignments. They were all following the same skeleton for their poetry, using personal details to fill in the blank spaces.
When my oldest was about 6 months old, he reverted to waking every two hours at night. I felt like a zombie.
Ah, March Madness! It’s a fun extended family tradition in our house, connecting siblings and cousins across generations and across the US as we share our best guesses (and a lot of random selections) in our personal brackets. All for bragging rights, and maybe some free ice cream.
We got our boys in on the action this year, with our ten year-old checking out the ranking system (coupled with some of his personal team loyalties), our eight year-old comparing team colors, our five year-old showing we may need to brush up on our Geographic awareness as he selected “Virgeorgia” as one of his teams, and our two year-old showing a clear penchant for the underdog, selecting a #10 team to take it all home. (I guess that’s what happens when you fill out the bracket with a series of “this or that” questions.)
Filling out the brackets as a family made for some questionable life lessons, such as my husband’s comment that, “You don’t have to make a good choice, you just have to make a choice.” But one of the lessons March Madness always brings to my mind is the importance of a good coach and what time outs should really look like.
Trust me. It really does have something to do with child development. (Incidentally, this basketball analogy may be the post most frequently referred from wives to husbands. Go figure.) [Read more…]
I’ve spent a lot of time reading, writing, and teaching about positive parenting. It’s not all selfless professionalism, of course. I’m a mom to four awesome boys. Four awesome boys who make my heart explode with happiness. And four awesome boys who sometimes make my head explode with craziness.
No one gets out of parenthood challenge-free. And so, I — and many other parents I know — spend a lot of time reading up on the latest advice and all the oldest tricks in the book. Anything to help us feel like we just might be getting the hang of this parenting gig.
I’ve read (and written) pages upon pages of well laid out and even complicated theories on development and parenting. I’ve picked up tool upon tool from hours of studying and training. I value every opportunity for learning and growth — even the ones that come in the form of challenges.
And yet, I find that some of the very best tools for parenting are some of the simplest. I don’t regret hours of hitting the books, attending conferences, or sitting in university classes, but intertwined with that learning shines the simplicity of truths I’ve learned from a variety of sources: professors and experts, yes, but also friends, family, and life itself.
Here are a few of the top pieces of parenting advice that just happen to be some of the simplest. [Read more…]
Challenging child behavior comes from a variety of causes (you can read more about how to get to the root of those causes here). Because the causes are so varied, we have to have a variety of tools at the ready to help us respond appropriately. Just as Bob Vila carries more than just a hammer in his tool belt for addressing the variety of challenges presented in a home, parents and teachers need more than one tool for responding to behavior.
In my ecourse, Parenting with Positive Guidance, I teach 10+ tools for building positive discipline — the type of discipline that encourages both positive behavior and healthy relationships. Here is an introduction to one of my favorite tools: Redirection. [Read more…]