"What I have learned from this book (Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting) has already improved my relationship
with my eight year old son. My son thanked me this morning for reading
this book. He said I am turning into the mom he always wanted. 'Even if
it means you don't always get your way?' I asked. He replied, 'It's easy
to learn from my mistakes when you aren't yelling at me about them.' I
almost burst into tears."- Shannon
Kids like to get their way. But there's something every child wants even more: Someone who loves you, no matter what. Someone who doesn't yell when you make mistakes. Who loves you even when you're mad or whining, who listens and empathizes ...even when you're wrong, even when you were so upset you were rude, even when you hit your sister. Someone who loves you enough to overcome their own upsets to help you through yours. Someone who holds a vision of you as your best self, even when you can't find that self. READ POST
"Dr Laura....I'm trying stop yelling, but I can't. And I can't imagine getting my kids to listen if I don't yell at them. ...Can you move in with me for a week?!” - Cheralynn
Like Cheralynn, most parents think they "should" stop yelling, but they don't believe there's another way to get their child's attention. After all, it's our job to teach them, and how else can we get them to listen? It’s not like yelling hurts them; they barely listen, they roll their eyes. Of course they know we love them, even if we yell. Right?
Wrong. The truth is that yelling scares kids. It makes them harden their hearts to us. And when we yell, kids go into fight, flight or freeze, so they stop learning whatever we're trying to teach. What's more, when we yell, it trains kids not to listen to us until we raise our voice. And it trains them to yell at us. READ POST
"Dr. Laura....I've already given up on my New
Year's Resolution to be a more peaceful mother because I've blown it
over and over...and it's only the first week of the year! -- Sylvia
How are you doing at keeping your New Year's resolution?
(b) Not so great.
(c) I've given up on keeping my resolution.
(d) I gave up making resolutions a long time ago because they always fail.
If you answered anything other than (a), join the club. Change is hard. If it were easy, we wouldn't have invented the idea of using the new year to give us some momentum. READ POST
"The moment one commits oneself, then Providence
moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never
otherwise have occurred...Whatever you can do, or dream you can do,
begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." -
Did you make a New Years Resolution to stop yelling? Surveys show that's the #1 Resolution for parents everywhere.
Or maybe your resolution was to transform your relationship with your son or daughter because you know that's the first step toward your child changing. Or maybe you're working to shift the tone in your house from sniping and snotty to laughing and loving.
While we have the ability to create change at any time, there's something about the symbolic fresh start of the new year that gives us a little extra momentum. But if you're like most of us, you've had the experience of making resolutions only to give up in frustration and self-disgust within a few weeks. You may even feel like giving up already, and it's only January 8!
The truth is, most new year's resolutions fail. Not because we're not good enough, or we don't try hard enough. But because what we're trying to do is HARD. And often we don't know how to support ourselves with a step-by-step plan, or we don’t revise our plan to accommodate reality when we hit a wall. Or maybe we never really commit ourselves aloud and in public, so our resolution never gets the chance to grow roots, much less flower.
So resolutions are not enough. Habits are hard to break, and resolutions by themselves are a wish without a plan. Intention by itself is a great beginning, but it's only the first step of the journey.
But there are a few lucky folks who actually make their New Year's resolutions come true. What can we learn from them? READ POST
Years ago, I read a book that Dr. Dan Siegel wrote with Mary Hartzell, which is called Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive. I became an instant fan, and still constantly recommend this book. Since then, I can't wait to read each of Dr. Siegel's books as soon as they come out.
So I'm excited that today's the launch of Dr. Siegel's new book: Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain. And I'm delighted to be able to give you a gift from Dan Siegel himself -- An audio interview in which he talks about the brain. In fact, he was gracious enough to let me interview him twice -- once about teens, and once about emotion in younger children. So you get to take your pick between these two audios -- or, I suspect, you'll want to listen to both! READ POST
"Dr. Laura....My new year's resolution is to be more patient. But when I told my family, they reminded me that I made the same resolution last year. I feel like a failure, even though I know I've become a better mother over the past year." -- Christina
If you make the same resolution every year, join the club. That doesn't mean you're a failure. It means you're headed in the right direction, and you aren't perfect yet. (Shocking, I know!)
The bad news is, you won't be perfect this year either. The good news is, you don't have to be! Kids don't need perfection from parents. What they need is a parent who accepts them with all their imperfections, models compassion and respect, and apologizes and reconnects when things go wrong -- as they inevitably do.
This is tough work, because it's about regulating ourselves. That's why resolving to be more patient rarely works. By the time we're gritting our teeth to stay "patient" we're already sliding into the stress response of fight, flight or freeze.
But if you want to become a more patient parent – and a happier person – it’s completely possible. Here are 5 Resolutions to support you in that goal. Practicing these is the work of a lifetime, so you still won't be perfect in a year -- in fact, you might make these same resolutions next year! But I guarantee you'll be a more peaceful parent, with a happier, more cooperative child. READ POST
“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential.” - Ellen Goodman
In the United States, New Years is not really a family holiday. Too often it's an adults-only event, more focused on alcohol than reflection, no deeper than watching TV waiting for the ball to drop.
But kids are actually fascinated by the passage of time, which seems magical to them. They LOVE the idea of a new year, a fresh start, a celebration of life. And every family deserves the regular opportunity to pause and consider their life. Why not celebrate the new year by connecting with your family about the meaning of life?
Some ideas to give your kids both roots and wings as they head into the new year: READ POST