Archive for October, 2008

Parent Coaching Tip – How to Parent Your Neighbor’s Kids

Parenting is at first a physical challenge, then slowly, it morphs into a mental challenge. As you begin to unravel the intricacies of this central relationship, you may notice there are natural laws at play. You hear just how closely you are observed when your choicest words fly from your child’s mouth. You watch them test the boundries over and over with amazing stamina and endurance. Still they are special beings, they belong to your family in a way, and at times, you wonder about the miracle of it all.
Until they bring the neighbor kid over. Or a new friend from school. There is nothing quite like getting a glimpse into the world of another family than to hang out with their kid without them. It all seems to go very well at first. They play nicely, get along, take turns, but at some point you need to step in to be the authority. This can be a sticky moment. The reaction can be surprisingly good, or turn sour when you least expect it. It seems the measure of a successful playdate might be how many times I was called upon to have a parenting moment with your child.
For my sister, it was an older child who brought her Demand to a halt with one little question. As he began to take a helmet style toy outside, she told him to choose something else since that was an inside toy. He turned and asked “Why?”
She scrambled, her two were a few years younger so her skills were not up to speed with his cunning and diversionary tactics. As she began to explain her reasoning to a 7 year old, she realized she had stepped into his trap. A moment later she saw an even bigger dilemma. Now that she had aswered his query, he was sharing his differing opinion and she was forced to PUT HER FOOT DOWN so to speak. Her concern lay not in getting him to do it, but in his retelling of the incident to his mother later. Not knowing her very well, she wanted to seem like a reasonable mom, of course.
Later she asked me for parent coaching for that situation. What I worked out with her has worked so well, she shares it often when others complain about simlar expereinces.
We began by assuming some intentions:
The right to parent your child is sacred between that child and their own parents.
By sending a child over to another household, you include that parent in your authority equation.
Having a plan within your own house makes it very simple and clear when parenting a visiting child.
You want them to have fun, learn and keep the agreements, but not walk all over you.
Any retelling of interactions must seems logical and reasonable yet not pass judgement on the child’s home base.
Step One-Before Parenting Moment: Declare
When the child arrives, you state the basic agreement you need to have. In this case it was, “Hey Garrett, nice to see you. While you are playing we have an agreement in our family to Listen the first time. Can you do that while you are here?” Garrett agrees. “OK, if you forget, I’ll remind you once that you made the agreement and you can choose what to do next. If you don’t keep the agreement, you can go play at home and come back another day. Got it?” He does.
Step Two- During Parenting Moment: Act
When the parent sees the need to use their authority as a Demand. Garrett either keeps the agreement and gets praised for remembering (Hey Garrett, great job remembering the, listen the first time agreement!) or doesn’t. Let’s say the same scenario happens:
“Keep that toy inside, please.”
“Why?”
“Choose to keep it inside or not. Then we will discuss why if you like.”
OR
(Garrett, remember that agreement about listening? This would be what I was talking about, what do you choose?)
Notice that the Why? is more of a diversion to buy time and avoid that he was told to do something.
Step Three-After Parenting Moment: Consistency
If Garrett choose to listen he is free to play.
If he takes the toy out or continues to haggle, “Garrett, it was nice to see you today. You can come back another day. Bye now!”
Can you imagine that when he goes home there is no worry that he will turn the story around to make you look incompetent? You can easily explain the steps you took to his parent. Impressive. The best outcome is that on the next visit, you will be listened to the first time, since his experience is that you do what you say.
Here’s the best part, in managing this moment with a child she was not emotionally attached to, my sister saw that her own children were getting away with asking Why? of a demand instead of choosing their behavior. She immediately began to respond newly to this with awesome results. If you are too close emotionally to figure your way out of a Parenting Moment, switch kids with a friend and try out some new skills. You will get a whole new perspective on your family!
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October 28, 2008 at 5:39 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coaching Tip- Learn From Children’s Lies

Awesome insight today about lying. I usually share with audiences the insanity that we expect kids to always share when we don’t and never lie when they see us use it often. This starts an intriguing conversation about the function of lying in our society. Morality aside, I am most concerned with the Parenting Opportunities available.
Up until now I have seen lying as Golden Opportunities in a few ways. A child is lying to cover up something they can’t or won’t deal with. That is good info to pay attention to and if you focus on how to extinugish the lying, you will miss out. The other thing to consider is that during some past reaction to being told the truth it didn’t go so well, now you are being told a lie to avoid that. Another nugget to consider! Keep in mind that as a child grows and expresses themselves freely, you have reactions that range from benign to heated and that informs your child of how to share with you in the future.
This weekend my son came back from an awesome sleepover and did NOT want to come home. When he said as much, my husband and I were stung but kept those feelings to ourselves. Instead, we shared how we had felt the same way and still struggle with the the grass is greener concept as adults. Modeling being able to hear the truth, even uncomfortable truths, allows us to enjoy the Privilege of our son being able to say what he thinks, now and when he is older.
SO back to the insight. Just like I say there are different types of crying: Sad Crying, Hurt Crying, Silly Crying, that inform the parent and shape the reaction, there are different types of lies! In speaking to a number of people today, we identified these: Tricking (Fun Lying), Scared Lying (Avoiding Trouble), Mean Lying (Getting Someone in Trouble), Kind Lying (Considering Others), Matched Lying (Saying What They Want to Hear). So imagine that a child says something that is suspect. Instead of having to focus on stopping the lying, you can have a conversation that models how to have a healthy relationship to lying. Ask, “Are you tricking or scared lying?” This gives the child freedom to say they lied and then you can move into solutions without punishment.
I’m excited about this one…no lie!
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October 24, 2008 at 6:01 pm Leave a comment

Licensed 2 Parent Backstory

Dawn Roth

Telling the background story of Licensed 2 Parent gives a sense of the past, present and future of the vision. Parents often ask me how I learned what I coach them to integrate into their families. The answer seems a little silly. I was the teenage babysitter that you told all your friends about (or kept for your own little secret). After you left, I taught them something educational, organized some aspect of your home and when you got home I usually had a little coaching for you about a behavior I noticed. Who was that teenager? I had plenty of work for a decade.

As an undergrad, I also worked full-time as a child care teacher. I would daily coach parents and they would get great results. Parents would spent 30 minutes chatting and wait around for me to finish with the parent ahead of them to discuss their latest challenge. As a natural observer of family behavior and a student of development, it fascinated me to see what worked or didn’t.

With my BA in Elementary Education, I taught for 9 years. That was where I put to practice so many of the concepts that became the essence of the program. But had I not diversified into my Organizing Consulting business, Get Squared Away, Inc. I would not have added the critical aspect of practical application. For the past seven years (and now through trained consultants) I worked with people in their homes and offices on how to get things done and consistently get results. Each of my clients with family connections also got Parenting Coaching as an added benefit.

It was these amazing people and the friends and associates who saw my passion for families and knack for results who demanded I begin collecting my ideas into a program families could learn. They are a stand my first book gets written because this message is not sitting on a shelf somewhere, yet. (I am 1/3 complete with that project!)

The future? Licensed 2 Parent. I have a team, tools, products, events, and a growing web presence to guide families but I want more. I see parents who don’t need a licensed mastering the 31 Parent Skills to earn the first ones, so that we can prove the benefits over time. Once this happens, we attract the interest of public and private sectors to provide incentives and rewards for those families that are struggling to raise contributing individuals. These rewards could be tax breaks, school vouchers, reduced child care costs, health care credits for Licensed Parents. When we get to that point, I am fine if my program is not the one chosen to provide licensing, my mark on the world will be that we raise the standard on raising children.

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October 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm 1 comment


Dawn Roth

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