Posts tagged ‘crying’

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!

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October 26, 2009 at 6:44 pm 1 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

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


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