The Problem with Praise

Praise focuses on external value instead of internal value.  I'm (only) of value 
when someone else validates me or thinks I'm of value, which increases being susceptible to peer pressure and needing the acceptance of others rather than being able to feel good about themselves and listen to their own internal voice, or to have confidence in themselves outside of what others' think.    
Keep in mind it's important to have more positive than negative interactions in all relationships.

Make Homework Easier

Make Homework Easier

Homework is a source of conflict in many homes. Here are some strategies to help reduce conflict and use it as an opportunity for building life skills.

1-Change Homework time to "Study Time"

One way kids avoid homework is to "not have any," not remember, or forget it at school. If there is a regular study time, regardless of homework, those arguments don't work.

When no homework is due tomorrow, study time can be used to work on a project due in the future, study for a test, review notes, reading, or organize school work or backpack.

2- Regular Routine

Keep study time in the same location of the house and same time of day as much as possible. The more regularity, the less hassles you will have.

3- Set-up

Teach kids to "set-up" or prepare before starting homework. Have them check to see if they have their supplies, water, etc., before starting. With help, this habit can carry over to all areas of life, reducing their dependance on you.

4- Use a Timer

Teaching Kids about Money

  • Should kids get allowance?
  • If so, should the allowance be tied to chores, grades, or other performance?  
  • Should allowance be given without any attachment, just because they are part of the family?
  • What about purchases children want, beg for?
  • What if I negotiate/bribe/etc., to give them money if they do what I want them to do?
  • How do I teach my child financial responsibility and making wise choices?    
Given  that there are many things we want to teach our children about money,  there have to be different strategies used at different times to succeed.

Putting the Cell Phone to Bed

One of my 15 year old clients began to see that his behavior with is cell phone was all consuming and addictive.  In his words,     
      "I used to text all the time, including when trying to sleep, during meals, homework, and classes.  I had to sneak because if I got caught, I'd lose my phone. I sent hundreds (maybe even thousands) of texts a day. It absorbed my time and attention. I could even text in my pants pocket, without ever pulling the phone out and looking at it. 

Holiday Stress Meltdown Tips

1- Be gentle and patient with yourself and your children
* Grant space for what ever feelings may come up.
* There doesn't have to be a right way or wrong way to do things.
* The 'things' that matter most are not things at all.  They are the quality of how we live our life and the relationships we have. * Relax and enjoy who you are with.... including yourself. 

2- When upset, take time out.

3 Ideas for Getting to School in the Mornings

   Some are eager to get up, but many resist it.  And once people are up, getting ready and out the door on time is another matter.  Here are some simple ways to help make it easier.
1- Start with a conversation
Talk with your child (or spouse) about how mornings are going, and how you would like them to go instead.  Get their ideas.  Create a positive problem-solving atmosphere and get an agreement to try to make it positive for everyone.  Making it a game helps! 

Chore Wars ~ 5 Ways to Help Your Child

We can handicap our children when we don't teach them important life skills through chores. Chores can be used to build self-esteem, confidence, responsibility, sense of importance and value, respect, and more. How do we get kids to do chores and not have Chore Wars?

Transitions - 3 Ways to Help Your Child

      When you get off work or get home from a trip, you may find that you a few moments of down time to transition from the previous activity before being ready to jump into the next activity.  Our children have the same need and will function better if we help them meet that need.  Doing so will actually save time because you'll have fewer 'melt-downs' due to inability to handle any more.  How can we help them do that? 
1- Plan transition time into the daily schedule. 
The biggest time is right after school. Plan 10-30 minutes with your child of down time before jumping into homework or chores. 

5 ways to help your child Getting Out the Door On Time.

   Is it possible?  I actually remember getting in trouble as a child for "making us late."  You may too. What would have helped me then?  

Kid's Anger 5 ways to help your child

    Anger isn't bad, and can actually serve a valuable purpose, warning us when our boundaries may be crossed.  However, sometimes that warning system is over-reactive, like a dog barking at everyone that passes by.  As parents, we are part of our children's emotional regulation system until they develop it for themselves.
How can you help your child when they're upset?

1- Don't problem-solve when upset.  The more upset anyone becomes, the less they can think rationally.  Our brain goes "offline."  Trying to reason with an upset person can be like trying to problem-solve with a drunk. It doesn't work, and usually makes things worse.

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