Posts tagged ‘coping skills’

Parent Coaching Tip: Referees Beware!

I'm Not Having Fun Now!

I'm Not Having Fun Now!

It seems kids are always bickering with each other.  How do we stop it?  In 3 words: Step In Less.  When you solve for X in their equations and struggles, you deny them practice they need to learn to work things out. 

Imagine it:  Three boys 6-8 playing hide n seek.  One gets smack happy and the other two start saying that “as a consequence” they will count very quickly or with their eyes open because they are not happy with this treatment.  Things quickly deteriorate.                                                                             

Would You:

A.  Say nothing; let them work it out (unless it comes to blows)

B.  Tell the one who was hitting to cut it out

C.  Tell the “victims’ to move on and stop being mean

D.  Offer to guide them in working it out, until they can do this part on their own

A, B and C all miss out on the group empowerment available in option D.  But Referees beware, don’t try this without proper training or you just end up enabling them to wait for the hero to save them from conflict.  Handling conflict is, BTW, the main skill being developed here. 

The Actual Conversation That Helped:

Are you all having fun?  No.  Do you need to give consequences to each other?  No.  What do you sound like?  A Parent.  What could you do instead?  Ask to make new Agreements.  OK, Who’s first?  They each offered an Agreement:  Hands Off, Count Slow, and Close Eyes.  They all agreed and then were off to the races. 

Two of the three kids families know the Licensed2Parent program, so at this point, these talks go much more quickly nowadays.  This could be you and yours!

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August 11, 2009 at 11:36 pm 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: 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

See Dawn Roth Live! The 6 Min Look At Her Parenting Crash Course

The calendar is booking up with folks wanting their community to experience The Parenting Crash Course.  We will be appearing at private schools, preschools, birth centers, womanhood/pregnancy spas, mom’s groups, performing arts schools, women’s conferences, community centers, transitional living centers for foster care youth and many more.

To see if your group can get a spot, share this link then contact us for details. 

It is a no cost way to offer value to your families and give them a way to create peace and teamwork at home.  In this economy how valuable would that be?  One Mom just reported this:  4 Days in Orlando, 3 Parks, 2 kids under 6, 1 privilege at risk = 0 POWER STRUGGLES!  Find out what that is all about.

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March 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm 2 comments

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 Tip: Use Agreements, Lose Rules

This video is hilarious!  What a talented way to illustrate why we coach parents to make agreements with kids instead of thinking up the next “great” rule then telling your family about it.  Funny is funny because it hits close to home.  Unfortunately, this 3 minute string of Mom-isms shows how we come off sounding when we rely on rules, nagging and “SHOULD sandwiches with MUSTard!” to get the parenting  job done.

Open your parenting mind and see what other options you have to raise a person with coping skills… but first enjoy this video because it is true fun!  Hint: educate yourself about making Agreements instead.  Totally cool & way better results!

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December 16, 2008 at 6:25 pm 1 comment


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