Every child is unique in his or her own way even if they look just like you. Just because you enjoy baseball, dancing, music or reading, doesn’t mean your kids will enjoy the same things. Just because you have a skill or affinity for something doesn’t mean that they will. Just because you are in the same gene pool doesn’t mean you swim in it using the same stroke.
How many times have you seen one of your own “less than favorable” behaviors exhibited by one or more of your kids? It could be something as small as using poor table manners or as significant as lashing out in anger when things don’t go their way. Either way, it is vital for you to understand that children learn how to react from the people in their environment. They mimic the behaviors of their role models. Simply stated, kids emulate adults behaviors until they become anchored and become their own.
When was the last time you sat in a restaurant and became upset that your meal was disturbed by the noisy children a few tables over? How many times have you ranted privately about the poor parenting that's the cause of the latest school shooting or online bullying drama? Like a winter coat to protect yourself from the cold, parents wear judgment of other parents like a shield to protect us from seeing clearly where we might need to improve our own parenting.
By nature, people like be right. We like to be correct. It makes us feel smarter. Kids are people. They like to be right too. Referring back FEAR as addressed in Secret #2, if a kid is afraid to look or sound dumb or un-cool if he or she does something incorrectly, how likely do you think that child is to participate in class, join a club or sport, or try new things?
You probably spent weeks making sure that you had the right car seat, the best stroller, the appropriate clothes and nursery for your child. It takes time and effort to make informed decisions about parenting and about our child’s environment. Today, I would like to ask you to consider an aspect of your child’s environment that you may not have thought about. What is your child’s “sonic environment?” What sounds are they surrounded by? How safe are their toys?
I am best known for teaching kids how to create their own empowering identity. In other words, how do they finish the statement, "I am..." Whether an elementary school student or a corporate CEO, how a person finishes that statement defines who they are, their beliefs about themselves and their world, and the standards they live by. It is their identity. It is the driving force behind the behaviors exhibited both in public and in private. Psychologists and Psychiatrists will tell you that it is nearly impossible for a person to consistently act in a manner that is not congruent with his or her identity. So the question is, how do we get out kids to have identities that empower them rather than hinder them as they grow?
With all the articles about the importance of free play in the lives of our children you may be wondering how to encourage it in your home. Here are some of the best ways to encourage free play in your life with your pre-schooler and school age child, plus a few ways to be a good example by incorporating play into your day. Pre-schoolers 1) Make a fort. Make two forts! Inhabit them with stuffed animals and whoever else is around. Make up stories about who lives in the forts and what they are doing. 2) Make big paintings. This can be as easy as rolling out craft paper on the floor, putting on an old t-shirt for a smock, some brushes and paints and going to town. Cut up sponges and fingers are also great as substitute brushes. Display the results. Wonder together if there is a story or a song or dance that goes with the drawing. 3) Be a band. Make instruments from old cans, combs, whatever you have.
The New York Times reported that over half of the births to US women younger than 30 occurred outside of marriage in 2009. Most of the ongoing rise of births to unmarried women occurred to couples living together but unmarried. So why don't these young women want to get married? New York Times experts speculate on a number of economic reasons in a follow-up article in the Motherlode section. They reported that many young parents said “they would like to be married but not now and not to each other.”
An Old Chinese Proverb states, "Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who tread on their toes." Clearly some form of structure is needed to keep the peace and limit the chaos. With these 3 powerful parenting secrets, you do not need to yell or scold, but you do need to be consistent and firm.
It is well established that free play is vital to the development of our children. You may be wondering what you can do at home to help. How do we cultivate creativity and a sense of play in our children? Here are some ideas. With Babies: 1) Play the musical face game. Assign each part of the face or the body a sound and then “play” those sounds as you touch them. This is a great way to get rid of the crankies! Watch my how to video from our musical parenting course here.
"I am not my child's playmate, I am his parent" a mother announced in our playgroup. Many in the group echoed her thought with similar comments such as, "It is not my job to entertain him all day!" My first thought was, "I can tell you as the mother of an only child I am my son's main playmate." My second thought was, "Wow. Play is really important to me and my son. Am I doing something wrong?"
Since the 1970s, tough love has received a great deal of attention. It's all about creating tough consequences for teens when they make irresponsible or dangerous decisions. Sadly, the term has been used to describe a parenting style that often resembles bully behavior. Parents are struggling with their parenting voice – trying to find a way to be effective parents with teens who are making poor choices. They need help practicing tough love by creating healthy boundaries and external controls for children who are unable to do this for themselves.
My child is three. She is sometimes a terrible three. I have had the typical day most parents have. Not enough time, not enough patience, and not enough sleep and then along comes the unrelenting three-year old terrorist. They ask a million questions, talk over you, cause you to ask people to repeat themself a dozen times over the phone. Then you try to engage the three-year old and she pouts, shouts, and hits. This is where the battle of wits begins. There are many options to redirect the behavior. Some people use guilt, consequences (toys), time outs, and spanking.
I was people-watching at a posh restaurant while waiting for my friend to join me. People with money, power, expensive clothes, cars, and dates arrived. I began wondering what I was doing; was the great food going to somehow make this display of affluence okay? I was underdressed and evaluating that in my mind, when all of a sudden I heard someone laugh. It wasn't the laugh that caught my attention, but rather the lack of laughter from most of the guests there. In fact, prior to her laugh, people had the right clothes and accessories, but none of them looked very happy. These people were what Sidney Sheldon would call social skeletons.
In the "largest-ever study in the United States to examine the relationship between fatherhood and cardiovascular disease," Michael Eisenberg, MD, has found that childless men are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease than fathers.
According to an article in New York magazine, over the last decade the number of women having babies over the age of 50 has doubled. Plus, 25 percent of parents who adopt are over 45. Is this unnatural and unfair to children, or an extension of the women's liberation movement?