Posts Tagged ‘temper tantrum’

Resolving to Get What You Want

January 4, 2012

Did you make a New Year’s resolution having to do with parenting?   Or, are you like me… a resolution-avoider?  Regardless,  I heard a great quote today.  Although it was used in the terms of healthy eating, it applies to much more, including parenting.  Here it is:

Don’t trade what you want most for what you want at this moment.

There is a lot to think about in that short little statement, but what first came to my mind was discipline.  Many of our courses talk about choosing discipline techniques that make sense in terms of brain development and building skills such as self-control, empathy, cause and effect thinking, ability to let go of control and impulse control.  While we get a lot of agreement that yes, pull close parenting types of discipline do manage the child’s behavior while building those skills, we find that for many of us (ourselves included at times!) what we want right now, in that moment, sometimes gets in the way.

Take the example of a younger child who is throwing a temper tantrum.  The science of brain development tells us that the ability to regulate one’s emotions is learned through someone else helping keep your emotions regulated.  We also know that we have to be present to help the child calm and regulate that mad feeling.  And yet, there is still a temptation to do something that makes them stop crying or throwing a fit right now!!!   …even if “making it all stop” works against what you really want… a child who will ultimately be able to handle their own angry feelings appropriately.

So, take a moment and ask yourself:

What are my goals for my child?
How do I get there?  Do I know how to get there?
What do I need to get there?

Heart of the Matter Seminars

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Discipline: “We’re in this together!”

March 25, 2011

Katie’s “The Best Way to Struggle” post got me thinking about discipline responses and how the words we choose when interacting with our kids can help us to “struggle together” or “struggle against” our child.  I think responses that help us “struggle together”  towards success have some common elements.

  1. They are focused on the present and future.
  2. They are stated as positively as possible
  3. They include  some action (big or small) on the parent’s  part.

Here’s one example:

You never pick up your clothes!  Every day the pile gets higher!”  (Focuses on the past and = struggling against your child.)

Your room is a mess.”  (Focuses on the present and might be true, but isn’t very positive, doesn’t look to the future, and lacks action.)

Let’s get started on cleaning up your room.  We are both going to feel better when it is done.”  (Focuses on the present and future, and is positively stated.   This one for me = joining the struggle with my child to help them succeed.)

and another:

Isn’t your homework done yet?  What on earth have you been doing?”  (past and negative)

You are still working on your homework?!”  (present and negative)

You’re not as far along as I thought you’d be.  Let’s move to the  kitchen with that so I can help you get back on track while I make dinner.”  (This one is focused on present and future, is positively stated and includes an action.)

and one more…

“You have been whining all day!”  (past and negative)

“Stop whining!”  (present and negative—This one also sets  up a power struggle because we really can not make a child stop whining.)

“You are having a rough day!  Come walk close to me so I can help you. “ (present and future  focused, positive and includes action)

I’m trying this myself and have to say it’s a challenge (at least for me) to stay out of the past!  Give it a try yourself  during your parenting interactions today.  Listen to yourself as you interact with your child.  Do the words you choose help to create a spirit of “we’re in this together” or do they encourage more of a  “it’s me against you” feeling?

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What Not to Do (parenting)

April 27, 2010

Although in my profession I provide adoption education and information about what I believe to be overall good parenting, I truly try to turn off the work stuff when I’m not working.  This is tough given that I live what I work since I am parenting two kids.  It’s also tough because it’s not like you can get away from other people who are parenting–at least not in the places I am likely to frequent with my own child/ren in tow.

Anyway, I really do try to just live my life and not obsess on parenting technique but something happened in Target earlier this week that made me cringe, sigh and want to immediately provide a free, live seminar in the middle of the store!  LOL (more…)

Making a Parent Plan

March 25, 2010

I’ve been thinking a lot about planning lately.   We plan a lot of things in our lives.  Here are a few that have been on my mind just over the past couple of weeks:

  • Planning high school courses for my oldest child who will be a freshman next year.  They encourage not just planning for high school, but for after high school and to start planning now!
  • Strategic planning for Heart of the Matter Seminars–I have to say that this isn’t something I would normally be all into, but  I attended a really great workshop on this topic at the Joint Council on International Children’s Services conference last week that motivated me.
  • Planning meals–blah!  One of my least favorite chores, but better than going to the store every night.
  • Planning by the calendar… isn’t it amazing how quickly the weeks and weekends fill up?
  • Planning my garden and flower beds.

About a dozen years ago, when Julie and I were in the beginning stages of Heart of the Matter Seminars, she wanted to be sure to talk about making a plan regarding how you intend to parent.  Honestly, my initial reaction (being “the Science Girl”) was to go yeah, yeah, nice touchy feely stuff, but let’s really talk about the issues and what to do about them.   However, I soon came to realize how right she really was about how important making a parenting plan is.

Our Because They Waited system helps parents make a parenting plan that is based on research and science.  Just like strategic planning for business, it is less about specific techniques or how to get something done, but really deciding where you want to go and then choosing how you are going to get there.   Here’s an example: (more…)

Public Tantruming

February 13, 2010

Our family was at Barnes & Noble yesterday evening.  As O. and I were making our way to the checkout we (and the whole store) heard this horrendous, gutteral screaming and crying begin accompanied by such phrases as, “NO!  BUT I WANT IT!!!  AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!” (more…)


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