Be A Better Parent

Looking to make positive changes in how you parent and communicate? If so, we can help! Over the years we have complied quite a large list of parenting articles and resources and have summarized all of them for you here.

Handling Sibling Rivalry Successfully – Sibling rivalry is certainly one of the most prevalent problem parent’s face. Every family (with more than one child) faces it, and every child participates in it. There just isn’t any way to get away from it if you have more than one child.

Listen to Me! – Are you frustrated when your kids don’t listen? This is a common challenge for us parents and I see this frequently in my coaching. Active listening provides many benefits in our relationships and in daily conversations. By actively listening, you will better understand what is being discussed and be better equipped to provide valuable input at the appropriate time.

Setting Realistic Expectations for Ourselves & Kids – As the excitement over New Year resolutions is fading away the talk about goals and expectations seems to lessen. Yet, many of us know that setting realistic expectations for our families is more than a New Year's resolution. It’s important for the health and well being of our children as well as the adults in the family. But, how do we set realistic expectations that are fair and reasonable? How do we know if we are doing it “right”?

The Power of Encouragement – Have you ever consider how meaningful a word of encouragement is for a tired mom, an exhausted dad or a frustrated child? It makes a huge difference when we support each other especially when it comes to figuring out how to deal with pressures, challenges and new lessons that help us grow as people.

The Rules of Engagement – I believe that even the smallest children can benefit from having a family meeting, a friendly, fun opportunity to discuss the expectations that everyone has and discuss ways to implement agreed-upon changes. By doing that, we can set up rules in a way that makes sense to everyone, and can develop into the “Family Rules”.

5 Tips to Getting Your Child to Listen – This topic gets a lot of attention! I often speak at MOPS groups and when I open up time for Q & A this topic comes up in one form or another. It is frustrating – no one likes to be talking and feel like no one is listening, especially moms who are trying to get everyone to do their part. This is a hot button for me, when I feel like my kids are not listening, just blowing me off or missing important instruction because they seemingly just don’t care, I often evaluate what part I am playing. Often times, we both are contributing to the frustration.

 Being Intentional About How You Communicate with Your Kids and Spouse – “Is your homework done?” “Your room is a mess! Clean it up now!” “Did you remember the milk?” “You’re not just going to sit there all night, are you?” Does this sound like your family? Let’s face it. Life is hard. Families are busy and there are days when it seems all we have to say to each other are complaints, desperate pleas for help, or tactical questions of who is doing what. Every family has days like these. But families with purpose manage to go beyond the day to day talk of snide complaints and fire drill tactics to foster a deeper level of communicating.

Establishing Good Relationships with Your Child's Teacher – Teachers have one of the most important jobs on the planet — molding, encouraging, teaching young minds. As parents, our relationship with our children’s teacher can have a profound impact on the success of both the teacher and the student.

Creating Confidence in Our Selves and Kids – Think about where your confidence or perhaps lack of confidence developed. Perhaps you think it is linked to recent happenings in your life, but actually confidence begins to develop at a very early age.

Winning the Bedtime Battle – It seems that two areas that seem to become a battle field for moms are the morning routine and the bedtime routine. You can end up becoming a drill sergeant, yelling out orders and trying to “get” your kids to do their tasks OR you can find ways to help your child develop skills which will help them become self-reliant.

4 Tips for Helping Your Kids Make Friends – Worried about your kids making friends at school? You’re not alone. In a recent poll conducted by the folks at iVillage (www.iVillage.com), 63% of those surveyed are worried about their kids making friends and a whopping 70% feel their kids have a hard time developing new friendships.

High Expectations = Responsible Adults – It has become clear to me as I am raising 3 – well…. now hopefully 4 adults, that high but realistic expectations are essential to raising successful adults. With one child about to graduate and move forward with life outside the home, I am so grateful that I listened to my gut and mothering intuition instead of those around me who perhaps were asking me if I was expecting too much.

Creating Trust With Our Children – When it comes to relationships and love, our children are definitely near the top of the list. It’s important to remember that we are our children’s first relationship experience and they learn a great deal about love and care and nurturing from their interaction with us. But how do we create that bond, that connection that is so essential for our children’s emotional well being?

Learning to Say No – This time of the year, many of us we find ourselves busier than ever, sometimes overcommitted and stressed. The expectations we have of creating “the perfect holiday” can make the most calm, cool and rational mom want to leave the planet altogether! No wonder we may feel like screaming!

The Benefits of Nagging – We all do it….. or at least started out our mothering journey nagging and reminding our kids, we figured it was something we had to do. I know, I did the same thing. Asking my kids if they brushed their teeth for the third time, reminding them for the fifth time to take out the trash or telling them to buckle their seatbelt. It all seems to go in one ear and out the other.

Trusting Your Own Wisdom – I remember being a first time mom, devouring everything in sight on parenting, breastfeeding, sleeping habits, reading Dr Sears, Dr. Borba and the like. I would read anything anyone recommended, subscribed to on-line newsletters, attended local mommy groups, listened to CD’s and felt guilty about the CD’s I didn’t listen to.

The Art of Discipline – Today, discipline and punishment are two words often used interchangeably by parents, care providers as well as teachers and even health care providers. And although they both involved how we interact with our children when they are not behaving the way we want them to, they are not the same.

The Power of Consequences – I just finished an amazing 3 days of training to become a Scream-Free Certified Leader. What an amazing journey of learning that was! I know that not all of us use screaming as a tool to attempt to discipline our children. Some of us loose our cool in other ways: we withdraw, we humiliate, we punish physically or we simply dismiss the misbehavior. In the end, if I am not putting the responsibility back on my child not only for the behavior but for its consequences, I am not doing a very good job of guiding her into the adult I want her to become.

Helping Your Child Make the Right Choices – One of the main ideas that I try to share with the parents I work with in my coaching is the basic fundamental truth that you cannot control your child. Now, usually when a parent comes to me with a parenting concern they are looking for a way to change their child’s behavior – QUICK! Unfortunately I have to pop that bubble of hope and explain that as parents we only really do have control over our own actions and when we realize that and start relating to our children remembering they have a mind and will of their own we can start to move forward.

Make Sure Your Expectations are Realistic – While a good idea for everyone, if you, your child or even your whole family have Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it is critical that you set realistic expectations of yourselves and each other. By doing this, you will be more likely to experience success and be ready for your next move forward.

Values vs. Beliefs – One of the most surprising realizations for me as a parent was the awareness that I had jumped into the job of mom without clearly understanding my own strengths and my own personal values. I recognize today that in order for me to be as effective as I want to be as a mom, I need to not so much determine what kind of mom I want to be but rather what kind of family I envision for myself.

Simple Everyday Tools to Have a More Productive (and Fun) Parenting Experience – In the busy world of running errands, soccer practice, piano lessons and birthday parties, parents find themselves stretched to many limits. We find ourselves tired and feeling like things are spinning and we are desperately trying to keep the balance. It’s bad enough when your child is out of control, with a tantrum or a meltdown. When we in turn react to all that bad behavior, we end up feeling crazy and out of control. Anger, pleading, blame, guilt, and other emotional reactions to our child’s actions are not only ineffective as parenting tools but make you feel stressed out, inadequate and horrible as a parent for hours if not days afterward.

Fresh Start for Your Blended Family – Did you have a frustrating 2009 in your blended or stepfamily? Was it a year you’d prefer to forget? Well, it’s a New Year and time for new beginnings, new opportunities and new experiences.

Parenting Tools for the New Year – As 2010 has come seemingly out of nowhere, many of us are taking some time to look at what we want this year to look like in all different areas of our lives. The start of the year is a great opportunity for many of us to set up goals and intentions to carry us through the next 365 days. If you have decided to make your parenting experience a powerful and meaningful one this year, you’ve come to the right place.