Parenting Blog

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"Isn't there a time and a place for a parent to just plain 'be in charge'?  So often, and especially now, with this new approach, she pretty much does whatever she wants...I don't want my child to be an uncontrollable brat." - Amber

Often, parents get confused about peaceful parenting. They think that if they stop punishing, their child will do whatever she wants. But that assumes there are only two choices -- being permissive or punitive. What about holding to your expectations while at the same time offering your child support and understanding?

Let's say you tell your child that it's time for bed, and she ignores you or says NO! What are your choices?  READ POST

Friday, April 04, 2014 | Permalink

"I read Dr. Laura every day and I can actually feel my brain being rewired. I sense myself making continual progress towards the mother I want to be. I'm learning to love myself unconditionally along the way, too." – MaMammalia

"The main difference between a master and a beginner is that the master practices more." -- Yasha Heifetz, Master Violinist

You've probably noticed that things work better with your child when you're in a good mood. At least half of the time when we get irritated, impatient, or frustrated with our kids, it's because we're already feeling unhappy.  Then there's a spark, our bad mood flares, and before we know it we're in the middle of a firestorm. That's why noticing your own mood as you go through your day, and re-centering yourself when you're out of sorts, transforms your parenting.  READ POST

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 | Permalink

"Sending children away to get control of their anger perpetuates the feeling of 'badness" inside them...Chances are they were already feeling not very good about themselves before the outburst and the isolation just serves to confirm in their own minds that they were right." -- Otto Weininger,Ph.D. Time-In Parenting

When our kids get angry, it pushes buttons for most of us.  We want to be loving parents.  Why is our child lashing out like this?  READ POST

Thursday, September 12, 2013 | Permalink

"Odd as it may seem, children who hit are children who are afraid. The fears that cause trouble for a child who hits usually have their roots in some frightening experience earlier in her life, even though she may not seem frightened at all. To manage her fear, the frightened child develops aggressive behavior that flares any time she feels tense. Instead of crying or saying she feels scared when her fears are triggered, she tightens up, can’t ask for help, and lashes out." -- Patty Wipfler

Most of us feel mortified when our child hits another child. We may know intellectually that he's lashing out because he's overwhelmed or scared, but we still feel like it's an emergency. His aggression triggers our "fight or flight" response -- and suddenly our own child looks like the enemy. We feel an urgent need to take action. Punishing action.  READ POST

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 | Permalink

"I find I’m already 10 steps into reacting and I’ve headed down the “traditional” path with whatever issue is at hand with my kids. When I can remain calm, it certainly helps the situation as opposed to when I get heated up and emotional, which only makes things worse. It makes me sad to know that until now, I have not been a good example of emotional regulation at all.  And it's so disheartening to see my kids doing things that I know they saw us do.....throw something, slam a door...."

Sounds familiar, right?  Regulating our emotions is at the heart of our ability to parent the way we’d like. In fact, it’s at the heart of most of the ways we trip ourselves up, from over-eating to procrastinating to fighting with our spouse.  READ POST

Thursday, May 30, 2013 | Permalink

"Whenever I held my newborn baby in my arms, I used to think that what I said and did to him could have an influence not only on him but on all whom he met, not only for a day or a month or a year, but for all eternity - a very challenging and exciting thought for a mother."  -- Rose Kennedy

Most parents take their job as teachers very seriously.  We teach our kids colors.  ABCs.  Sharing.  Right from wrong.

But sometimes we don't even notice a much more important lesson we're imparting to our children: how to manage their feelings, and therefore their behavior. This is the basis of emotional intelligence (EQ), which will determine their quality of life much more fundamentally than their IQ.  READ POST

Friday, May 24, 2013 | Permalink

"Today I stepped outside to clean up some toys while my kids were eating. My 2 year old ran to the back door and cried out for me. My 4 year old didn't like his screaming and ran over and punched him several times. My 2 year old got so upset he threw up his whole lunch all over me. My 4 year old confessed "Mom, I did a bad thing...I punched S because he was crying and it made me mad." I have been getting very upset, sternly asking my 4 year old "Why do you want to hurt your brother?...I'm very disappointed in you and sad about this."  I typically do 4 minutes timeout and an apology for the bad behavior, then be nice to your brother for 3 days and then you get a superhero movie. Is this wrong?"

Is it a bad thing to use rewards and punishment?  Well, it doesn't actually work as well as emotion coaching and empathic limits to stop your son's hitting, and it doesn't teach the lessons you want to teach. The research says that if your son does stop hitting, it won't be because he has learned that hitting hurts his brother, but because he doesn't want to be punished. Of course, most parents would be willing to accept this, just to stop the hitting. But most kids just keep hitting, because the rewards and punishment don't help them with the underlying feelings or teach them a better way to solve the problem that caused the hitting. They just get sneakier, stop confessing, and start blaming. And it doesn't sound like your rewards and punishment are working, if he's still punching his brother to the point where his brother throws up.  READ POST

Friday, April 26, 2013 | Permalink