Parent Coaching Tip: Are You To Blame? YES!

Do you take credit for the job you do?

Do you take credit for the job you do?

I have news for parents.  It IS all your fault. 

Your children are not flawed or incapable of minding you.  But parents do care about how kids turn out, so it is hard to stand there and say; I did this, I’m the reason I don’t like my own child.  As a Parent Coach, I hear many excuses for kid’s behavior.  Sick, tired, big day coming up, letters next to their name.  This keeps the pressure off the parents when the fan is on and things are hitting it.  I get that. 

What I don’t get is the opposite effect.  When parents I coach get results, (happens everytime, yes, everytime) they will “blame” something else for the turnaround they created!

One client visited an extended family who’s parenting they admire, and was surprised when the Aunt gave them a glowing parenting compliment, then shared it around the family!  They insisted it was just luck that it was a quiet day for their child!  NOT!

I just got off the phone with someone who’s two year old hit in frustration and had a meltdown 3 times a week.  It was so hard for Mom to endure.  Now this child may hit when thwarted, but then without a word, they go off to the sit spot for some thinking time on their own then stay there until invited back.  WOW!  Dad felt the hitting should be over by now, PLUS they had not realized or congratulated themselves on major progress!  This child has stopped losing control and is trusting the system they put in place.

I’m getting to work making sure parents know they are both the reason and solution for their parenting struggles; furthermore, they need to feel OK  to claim bragging rights when they become the rocking parents they dreamed they could be!  Find some rocking parents yourself and compliment them today.  But don’t let them tell you it’s the weather or the economy…

July 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coaching: The Art of the Powerful Request

Use Parenting Skills That Work

Use Parenting Skills That Work

I love to tell this story.  My son asked me to work out of my office so he could watch a movie in the living room. I said, No Thanks to his Request and suggested he watch in the other room.  After a traditional begging round, I asked; did he want some coaching on a Request that might work?  Here’s the parenting talk of a Powerful Request:

It’s Not About You– Why would Mom not choose to move?  Too much trouble?  Consider her perspective, or ask…

Solve It– What can you do to show you are willing to go out of your way to give her a hand with the issue she has?

Tit For Tat- Are you asking a parent for a straight out favor?  What can a child do to sweeten the deal?  Think of a valuable thing to offer in kind.

Now he was ready;  he planned to help me move my work things into the office AND help unload the dishwasher too!  I encouraged him to use the new, improved Powerful Request for way better results.

He chose to watch his movie in the other room. 🙂  Was it a parenting fail?  NOT!

But get this:  I got to stay put, he got to powerfully choose the other room, he learned HOW to Powerfully Request in a way he will remember, he got Appropriate Power without bickering, arguing, Domination, head games, begging, or tantrums.  Very cool.

Try it!  Parenting that works is a thrill.

June 27, 2009 at 2:46 am Leave a comment

Parents In The News: Kid On Subway

What Is Your Subway?

What Is Your Subway?

So Izzy was on a NY subway alone.  As a parent coach, people ask my opinion.  Parents want to hear me say either; Mom should never have let a child do that OR It was fine for a NY Mom to do that.  The real answer lies elsewhere for me.  I need more info.  So my Counter Offer is to give, not so much an opinion, but my thoughts on the issues, intentions and impacts of the story. 

The Lead In  I’m curious about the conversations discussed and lessons provided to prepare Izzy for such a task.  Is he prepared for what could go wrong?  Getting lost, stranger snatching, injury, losing his nerve, or poor judgement are all realities that would do well to be covered.  The trick is to be realistic of the hazards without casuing paralyzing fear.  Assume Mom did this; point of fact, he made it home.

The Event Imagine you are Izzy.  What is going through your head as you locate, ride on and then leave the subway for home?  You are feeling trusted, accomplished, capable, powerful and special.  Talk about Appropriate Power! These feelings are not to be scoffed at.  If sending your child on the subway is not in the cards for you, find a way to recreate them for your child.  This is the element of parenting that Mom points up as being missing in the lives of kids today.  We know that, yet are scared to put them out there, thinking the stakes are too high.  What’s your version of the subway?

The Impact Its National News and Judgement for the Mom.  It’s not my place to say if she should or shouldn’t have made that choice, she is in charge of that.  I feel less concerned than when I hear a child was left or fogotten on a subway.  That is evidence of a parent being too concered with other things.  I never got that feeling with this Mom.  It is clear to me she is parenting Izzy in a way that is Intentional not Automatic, Aware not Unconscious, Considering not Past Based.  I am gad to see that. 

What About You?  Your personal opinion does not matter (about this), and that’s democracy, baby.  Instead, spend some time looking at where you have traded your child’s independence for safety without looking deeper.  Where can you foster some new skills for them?  Where are you ready to grow and (gasp) give them back some time to themselves?  Here’s my suggestion:  Instead of setting out to protect them from every danger and mishap (which is in the end utterly impossible), spend some real time literally and figuratively preparing them for WHATEVER happens.  I am clear I cannot promise my child that nothing bad will ever happen, but he knows this; WHATEVER happens, he can handle it, because I promise to raise him with the practical skills and information to do that.  Plus, I’ll be here when he needs me (which is less and less now,) but still very important.

One last thing  IF I were to put my son at the same age, in a similar situation, I would opt for the cell phone; but that’s what I’m in charge of with my little guy.   That’s about the best you’ll get from me.  To Izzy’s Mom, you’re on to something, keep digging.

June 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coaching Tip: Do You Do Too Much For Your Kid?

No Doubt About Their Skills

No Doubt About Their Skills

Oh come on, you know what I’m talking about…clearing dishes, tidying up, carrying bags for them, all the little niceties that you just do naturally as a way to say I love you.  There is a downside to treating a child this way that you need to know about.  They learn that the world is a magic place where things are taken care of for them with no concerete idea how clean laundry ACTUALLY gets back into the drawer.  But wait there’s more…and it’s worse!

When you manage your kids lives, run the routine, skipper the schedule, you send a message to your child = You Can’t Handle This.  Not only are you training them to be lazy, entitled, dependent and unskilled (gasp!)  They honestly begin to feel that there must be a good reason they manage nothing, they conclude they must not be capable.

The Fix?  Step back, fight the urge to do for them and invite them to handle things.  If that makes you cringe…that’s your first clue this is necessary.  Look for this behavior: they tell you what’s wrong (they are hungry or tired or bored) and wait expectantly for you to solve that for them.  Now, you will reply:  Thanks for letting me know.  Anything else?  (Don’t forget to smile!)  Until they make a real Request, Do Not Act. 

Let kids struggle, fall short, fail, be confused, get uncomfortable, feel frustrated and wonder how it will all turn out.  You can offer sage guidance but do it from the side, letting them know it is ultimately up to them to manage.  Use the word Manage; as in, “You can manage that, I know it.”  This gives them real world practice in problem solving and the golden ring of self esteem building:  actual accomplishment!

May 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm 2 comments

Parent Coaching Tip: The Moment of Choice

The System My Program Teaches- It Is Different From What You Are Used To!

The System My Program Teaches- It Is Different From What You Are Used To!

I just checked…I’ve appeared 10 times in the last 2 months to deliver The Parenting Crash Course.  I open it with a 3 Question Pop Quiz.  I continue to be astonished by the overwhelming response to my last item.  I ask parents to raise their hand if they consequence their child when they break a rule.  98% of all hands go up EVERYTIME!  Is yours up?

I believe this is one of the things that is broken about parenting!  I call it the Scales of Justice Model.  When you approach discipline as an out of balance equation that requires a consequence, you are being dominating!  Too bad if you don’t like it, it is a fact.  Consider this; you have a job that needs you there by 9am daily.  After weeks of on time arrivals, you get there after 9am.  Regardless of calling to let them know or the reason, YOU ARE FIRED!  How would that feel?  How fearful of being late would you be in your next job?  It is not realistic in the adult world, but we do it to children all the time.

Imagine being a kid.  Stepping out of line is part of the process (remember learning to walk or feed yourself?) but everytime you mess up, you have an upset parent who takes your stuff. Are you living in fear?  You bet you are!  What effect does that have on your enjoyment of life?  How about your ability to cooperate and be a pleasure?  After 14 years we accuse teens of being sullen.  How would you react?  How did you? 

Learn about the A+B=C system and get another option.  Kids need a moment of choice from a calm parent who expects some corrections then provides guidance needed to develop coping skills.  Having the confidence to deliver that system means you both can have shorter and fewer Parenting Moments and get back to what matters, fun!

May 18, 2009 at 9:02 pm Leave a comment

Parent Coach Releases The Official Parenting Handbook!

I'm Wowed By This!

I'm Wowed By This!

On Mother’s Day:  A gift to every parent out there!

Even I’ve been wondering where I’ve been!  I just released (with the amazing assistance of my brilliant and truly patient husband, Daniel) The Official Parenting Handbook.  Here’s what you need to know:

You can read it in AN HOUR!

It will upgrade your parenting from OK to killer!

It’s a Reference book on the Study of Power Struggles

There is lots more info here:

http://www.licensed2parent.com/official_parenting_handbook_land.htm

May 10, 2009 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Parent Coaching Tip: Types Of Crying & Then What?

What Type Is This?

What Type Is This?

There are 6 Types of Crying if you care to learn them.  BTW the crying behavior looks different at different ages, so by crying I also mean, whining, fussing, yelling, bickering, complaining, name calling, and general verbal outbursts.  This could turn your Power Struggles around instantly. 

Sad or Hurt Crying is when you need to respond.  Don’t assume though, ask.  Are you hurt crying?  Are you sad about your friend moving?  If they are, provide kisses, bandaids, ice, hugs, comfort, listen and sympathize at will.  This is when they need you and need to deal with a feeling to get it out. 

Happy Crying is just like it sounds.  When they are that Happy, join them!  If you happen to be the one weeping with joy, say that so they don’t fret over you!

Tired Crying or Attention Crying are a means to an end that you may be able to help them with.  Think long car trips with cranky kids or upsets when you are on the phone and you see the problem.  It’s not what they need, it’s how they ask.  Teach them to say, “I’m tired,” when they need help settling down or the activity to quiet.  Model for them saying, “I want attention,” when they crave a piece of you.  Let them know that you will indulge them unless you absolutely can’t but they need to ask another way.  This works amazingly, try it!

Silly Crying is when they are trying to manipulate those around them to a different result.  Think of this type of behavior as a fire which must be starved of any and all oxygen in order to smother it!  As soon as you have a cryer, make sure it is not another type, if they just want something they can’t get (at the moment), that’s TBSS (Too Bad SO Sad).  This is where our parenting backbone is tested.  Be clear that if they use this crying, NOTHING will happen and NOTHING will go their way.  Be confident and do not undermine yourself!  Let’em wail and wait it out (preferably in another room) when they have self control back, you talk.  Not before.

April 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm Leave a comment

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Dawn Roth

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