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"I just don't believe that kids learn to do what's right by us giving them hugs. The only reason I ever did my homework was the strap waiting if I brought home a bad report card." -- Jack

It's true. Kids need our hugs, but that's not what teaches them to do right. How do kids learn?

Our modeling. When we take responsibility, when we apologize, when we regulate our own emotions so we aren't yelling at them, children learn to take responsibility, to apologize, to regulate their own emotions and treat others with respect.

Our guidance. When we talk with them about the choices in their lives, kids learn. Should he lie about his age to get a cheaper admission price at the amusement park?  Can she break a date with a friend when she gets a more exciting offer? Should he help pay to replace his sister's toy that he broke?  Talk about the fact that ethical choices are worth making, even when it costs you...And what ethical choice doesn't cost you?

Our family habits.  When kids get used to "repair" rather than punishment, they automatically look to make things better after a fight with their sibling. When they learn that everyone has big feelings, but emotions aren't an emergency, they learn to take responsibility for their emotions and their behavior.

Kids really do learn what they live. We teach them what's right every day, by the example we set and the family culture we create.   READ POST

Thursday, March 13, 2014 | Permalink

"Children who have been responded to, led to believe - in a healthy way - that their voice is valued, that all they have to do is object and action will be taken - they will push boundaries. And this is really healthy behaviour. Compliance? They've learned there's no point arguing because their voice isn't valued." - Alison Roy

Most parents feel embarrassed when their child doesn't obey them. When we say jump, they're supposed to jump, right?  If they don't, isn't that evidence that we're lousy parents?  READ POST

Thursday, June 14, 2012 | Permalink

"There's one thing you've touched on over the years that I can happily say is now integrated in my soul, and that is that ultimately my children want my love and acceptance. I no longer have to remember this on an academic level, and repeat it as a mantra. It is there inside me naturally, and surfaces often when I feel uncertain how to proceed with a conflict. My girls are 6 and 7 and I've noticed that lately they respond with a dramatic "No!!!" when I ask them to do something they don't want to do. Instead of reacting to the "No!" as a power struggle and a test of my authority which would inevitably came out in a forceful and angry tone, I calmly repeat the request and expand on the reason, knowing all the while that they ultimately want to do what's right. I have to say, they always do what I want. When I hear another mother say that she doesn't tolerate a verbal "No" from her children and reminds them that she's the "boss", I cringe." --Terry

Most of us wish our kids would obey our every request without a fuss. But that would mean we were raising automatons who weren't thinking for themselves.  There will be many times in your child's teen years where having practiced saying No! could save her life. Your child isn't wrong to say No!; she has a reason.  It may not be what you consider a good reason, but she certainly thinks it is.  READ POST

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Permalink