Posts filed under ‘“Good” Parenting Skills’

It Just Takes A Moment…Either Way

How long does it take to begin to change your parenting to get results you can be proud of?  Just a moment. 

How long does it take to reinforce a behavior that you wish would go away?  Again, just a moment.

If I could ambush coach the mom I just saw at a coffee shop, it would make a simple impact with huge long term results.  She did not break any parenting codes, there was no UTube-worthy parenting fail.  Just a simple interaction, almost automatic for both, that is going to drive her crazy over time…so unnecessarily.

Little guy is 2ish.  Mom hands him the bag with muffin to hold.  He does so, very well in fact.  When she is done doctoring her latte, she reaches down for the bag and takes it from him.  He instantly siren screams, a piercing wail that is as practiced as it is effective.  Mom pauses, and then quickly hands it back to him.  He stops the wail then walks out with “his way” clutched in his hands, not even triumphant; just with a look that things are restored to as they should be (to his way of thinking.)

Behavior reinforced:  You piss me off, I threaten a temper tantrum, you cave, I relent.  OK then, see you next time.  Score one for Inappropriate Power.

Opportunity missed:  You have two choices here;  One is give appropraite power by either letting him keep the bag out to the car, as long as he manages it well OR when you think to take it back, request it.  If he wants to keep it, accept his no thanks, as long as it is nicely given,  (not screeched at you.)

The second option is your default reaction everytime your child uses the scream, tantrum, or yell to get what they want.  Everytime.  Stop or pause in giving them what they want; even if it is easier/quieter, or you don’t mind, or you were going to anyway!  Direct them to stop asking that way and model a more acceptable request.   Coffee Mom could have just said, “Honey, no fussing, just say, please Mommy.”  Wait until you see the switch before you comply & only then.  If they do not stop the  fuss, no giving in. 

It may be harder that time, but each time thereafter will get way better.  JAT

February 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coach Tips: Parenting In Public

Toddler Smack Down

Toddler Smack Down

It happened again.  I’m at a bagel joint minding my own business when the 2 year old at the next table hauls off and whacks mom in the face.  I get that sinking feeling that I get when I know I’m about to watch 1) a woman go parental 2)a child be stripped of all dignity 3) I get a front row seat.  Let the inner moan begin…

But wait, what’s that I see?  Did Mom just say firmly, yet quietly, You Do Not Hit! as she moved the wee one away from her to the next seat and effectively stopped being a target?  Yes!  And when the toddler puts on her best face of horror and begins the crying that fully involves her bottom lip, am I mistaken that mom is unmoved and turns her attention to the other people, talking with them until the girl quiets down?  No I am not!  I am enthralled…

What I am witnessing is impeccable parenting, technically sound reactions and skill building lessons that this child (and her new baby brother) will benefit from for their lifetime and beyond.  Hurrah!  But wait there’s more…now mom turns her attention back to her calm child and asks if she is done.  With a meek yes, she is scooped back up to an embrace and the loving interactions continue as if nothing happened.  It was nothing short of breathtaking.

How many times have we seen nails-on-chalkboard parenting in public that has us warring inside between speaking up, getting involved and butting out?  People ask all the time what to do.  Emotionally, you want to respond but it may make things worse for the child later.  Responsibily, you are compelled to act, yet it seems you are passing judgement if you do.  Practically, it is not appropriate to offer unsolicited advice or redirect a struggling parent.  In the case of extreme violence, you know what to do.  If someone’s parenting style doesn’t gel with yours, the line is more blurred.

Here’s what I suggest; look for, seek out, encourage and notice the parenting marvels around you.  When you see something done well, go out of your way to let them know you noticed.  I went over to the table, complimented the baby, asked the sister’s name, then looked into that mom’s eyes and told her the way she handled her child just now, was just… beautiful.  We both teared up in the moment.   

Teacher use praise to motivate behavior we want to see more of, but it must be specific, not Good Job.  In sharing exactly what was so impressive, she got valuable feedback.  Find the parents like her, tell them how happy you are they are rocking it.  It feels awesome!

October 26, 2009 at 6:44 pm 1 comment

Parent Coach Tips: Who Wants A Parenting Makeover?

Your Parenting Cheat Sheet

Your Parenting Cheat Sheet

You don’t have to be ugly to benefit from a beauty makeover.  Parenting is the same.  You can freshen your outlook and results with a few tricks of the trade and simple tools that will stop your minor parenting issues in their tracks. 

Go Live. At a parent conference, workshop or course, you can get so much accomplished.  See how you are making power struggles last longer and more frequent due to a parent’s bad habits.  Communication Gears clear up so many repetitive conversations.  You get to ask questions and hear the coaching of other parents which in turn may help your family.

Read & Think.  If you are a contemplative parent or going through a divorce with emotional ups and downs; a book, blog, audio product or DVD may be a good bet.  You pick the where and when yet can stop at will.  This helps you understand parenting issues at the basic level.  You may miss how to structure a useful A + B = C Statement to manage tantrums with a child, but when it is reviewable, things start to gel so your parenting moments are smoother.

Talk Shop.  Do you use conversation to make a change or decision?  Then get with the Parent Coaching Hotline.  This is so hot, so new, so unheard of, parents don’t get it.  For under $96, you become a member plus get the eBook and Home Starter Kit.  Then, just $16 a month gives you access to a Parent Coach for unlimited topics, 30 minutes per topic!  One Dad called to check in on his idea to use his daughter’s Birthday party as privilege for how she was relating to the new family after his marriage.  In minutes, he had a confident, empowered plan that worked!

 

Your Family Can Work, Beautifully!

Your Family Can Work, Beautifully!

Cheat Sheet. Feel like you forget the logic you know when you get triggered by your child?  Parenting discipline includes having a structure  that is there for your “family” even when you are off.  The Home Starter Kit has it all posted for you.  Keep track of the current Agreements that work for your family, refer to the four Communication Gears when your child is Demanding the *%$@ out of you, manage your chosen Privileges to motivate behavior choices (and they do NOT have to match the neighbors), avoid sounding like an idiot in public with your iron clad Rights worked out, let them know where you will not negotiate with Parent In Charge situations, but give lots of appropriate power through the Child In Charge list.  If you haven’t seen it you gotta check it out!

Open The Door.  Ever wished Supernanny could come to your house?  It’s certainly possible.  What you don’t realize is how much your parenting can improve even if the family is not in crisis.  A Parent Coach can see so many patterns at work in your family that are hidden to you.  It takes usually 4 hours over 2 sessions.  Go from parenting fail to parenting that amazes even you!

http://www.licensed2parent.com/self_navigation_parenting.html

October 19, 2009 at 5:45 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coaching: Want a child who is a pleasure?

Is Your Child Good?

Is Your Child Good?

Hmmm. Words I wish could be surgically deleted from the vocabulary of the human race:  GOOD   BAD   RIGHT  WRONG   SHOULD   SHOULDN’T  & TRY  We wouldn’t even miss them much.  Except when we need to correct a magazine quiz or send back some turned meat.  

If you are relying on these words to explain the behavior of people in (or out) of your family;  you are unwittingly stuck in a trap.  A trap built of judgement and sprung by something different than how you see yourself.  Watch this.

Picking up a child at school/daycare:  Were you good today?  Child asking for mini golf:  Well, let’s see if you can be good all week.  Grandma serving dessert:  You’ve been so good today…

Labeling children or their behavior as Good points out very subtly, but surely, that they are capable of being BAD.  Even if you never say it.  Raising your child to gain your approval to be Good (OR not Bad) has long term effects that you are probably still dealing with yourself from childhood. 

So what’s an alternative?  (Note that it is not the right thing to do, just a suggestion to consider…)  Talk about what “Works for your family.”  Be clear what does not work for your family.  Note that different families have different agreements that work for them.  This is true tolerance. 

Expect and teach your child to be a pleasure, play a game that you will have no parenting moments, tell them when they have truly impressed you and acknowledge them for being the amazing creatures they are. 

Yesterday I told my son that while I could pick up his breakfast dish for him out of pure love, I chose to have him come do it so he would not drive his future wife crazy.  He respected that.  So will she…

August 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coaching Tip: Bust Out Of The Victim Parent Trap

Fill in the blank.  My child is ________________. 

What are you dealing with?  My child is sneaky, stubborn, demanding, lazy, sensitive, ungrateful…  sigh.

Think about who fills in the blank.  That’s you!  A mindful, skilled parent sees a stubborn child and knows that they can fill in the blank with another skill too!  How about cooperative?  Considerate?  Inspired?  Independent?  Industrious? 

You can't choose your neighbors

You can't choose your neighbors

The trick or game of parenting is to see what is needed in the blank and then provide experiences, opportunities and practice with those things.  It is a whole different approach to bringing up a child.  You are creating an adult by the way.  One that may work for me, marry into my family, buy a house next door or cause a fender bender on my way to work.  The experience I have with that adult you produce will be informed by what you have put into your own little blank.  Choose well.  And thanks in advance.

March 4, 2009 at 3:15 am Leave a comment

Parent Coaching: No You Share!

Must a Child Share?  Do You?

Must a Child Share? Do You?

You’re in the park and another child wants the toy your child is currently playing with.  Quick, what  would you do?  Be honest, how many times have you encouraged, expected, begged, coerced or forced your child to share?  Now ask, why you would do that?  To save face,  to impress the other parent, to teach your child to be nice or considerate? 

Next question:  would you lend your car keys, purse or husband to just anyone?  Even your best friend would know to ask nicely and expect nothing.  And some things are off limits.  Period.  So are adults really sharing in the way that we ask our kids to share?  Not really.  Yet the prevailing opinion is that sharing is good, being selfish is bad.  So what can a thoughtful parent do?

Stop making kids share is a good start.  If you want to teach consideration in a real world context, explore Trading as a replacement.  Instead of insisting that one child arbitrarily loses some power by giving up a toy or a turn to another, ask them to find something of value to trade.  When the deals start being made you have a whole new lesson to enjoy!

Kids who have trading skills have practiced finding things others will value, making powerful requests, accepting no as an answer, negotiating creative counter offers and finding a way to solve conflict without force.  Not bad for a day at the park!

Start your trading coaching right now.  To balance and include altruistic giving experiences for your child, get connected with a charity your family is passionate about.  Share your love, not your toys!

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January 18, 2009 at 4:39 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coaching: Do Parents Keep Agreements?

Who Parents The Parents?

Who Parents The Parents?

Yes, but not the same ones as your kids!  When House Rules are made by a family, it seems only fair that the adults and the kids are responsible for keeping them, right?  Not so much!

This may fly in the face of the way you have been doing things at home, but check it out:  The Agreements exist so that the children are taught a standard of behavior they are working on.  Take Being Grateful.   Kids need lots of practice with this one.  How about using a quiet voice inside?  Mom still struggling with that one?  No.

Think of the hundreds of Agreements parents are currently managing and those they have mastered over time; compare that to the Agreements listed for your family.  You figured out Be Gentle decades ago, right?  The Agreements are there to guide your child and provide a measurement for them to compare choices in the moment. 

When rules are broken, it begs a corresponding punishment.  Agreements are different.  If you don’t keep your agreement, you measure yourself (or your parent coaches you) and you choose again, knowing the consequences.  To encourage or expect a child to monitor adult behavior, point out when it is lacking and Demand a price be paid if  parent breaks their word is inappropriate power.  If you do it you are feeding the monster you are working to slay.

Adults manage their own agreements:  Speed limits, fidelity, businesses, mortages, bills, ethical and legal concerns are real and present.  Adults experience natural consequences for keeping them or not.   That is the real world, to do otherwise gives kids practice with an artificial world they can’t use to cope later on. 

There is more to learn, get the Audio Download on Agreements (and a bunch of other cool topics) here.  Five dollars for one/ 8 for $25. http://www.licensed2parent.com/services.html

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January 15, 2009 at 2:10 am Leave a comment

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Dawn Roth

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