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parent – child relationship

Beyond “Do your best”: Three Ways to Lessen Your Child’s Anxiety about School

schoolanxiety_FacebookWhen I first started working with 12 year-old Sarah*, she was the picture of anxiety. Sticking close to her mom, her hair covering her face, she sat in the waiting room as I came out to say hello. She muttered a “hi”, and we walked back to my office. We talked for a few minutes about movies, then–knowing her parents had brought her to my office because of her anxiety about grades–I asked her about school. Sarah burst into tears as she described just how anxious she felt.

“I feel like I have to be perfect; I have to make straight A’s”, she told me. “I don’t know when to stop, I study all the time. It takes me so much longer to finish my homework than my friends. And if I get a B or worse, I freak out.” Read More

Playing to Prevent Power Struggles

Kids playing independently!  Parents celebrate when kids will finally play on their own or with a sibling.  Finally – a few minutes of breathing room for mom and dad to get some things done around the house! Independent play is important for your child’s development and should be encouraged, however, playing WITH your kids on a daily basis will do you and your kids a world of good.  It will even fend off some of the most frustrating power struggles.

Playing WITH your kids doesn’t have to be elaborate or take a lot of time. It can be as simple as throwing a ball or role-playing with dolls or action figures.  “Playing” with a teenager can be a game of backgammon, UNO, or a round of Wii Golf.  “Playing” is what ever your CHILD likes to do for fun. Read More

Kids Clamming Up? Try These 3 Strategies

Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get my kids to share ANYTHING! I’ll ask a question and get one word answers or their body language will tell me they’re not at all interested in discussing whatever I’m asking. Sometimes they’re tired or hungry or cranky and just don’t feel like talking. But there are other times when I recognize that my communication style is actually causing them to clam up.

I’ve found that I’m more successful in getting my kids to open up and have a real conversation if I use the following 3 strategies: 

 Read More

Simple Words to Avoid Power Struggles

avoid power strugglesDid you know the average child hears 432 negative comments or words per day versus 32 positive ones? (Source: K. Kvols, Redirecting Children’s Behavior)

If there were a hidden camera in your house, how many times per day would you catch yourself saying “No” or “Don’t” to your kids?

NO or DON’T commands create several problems, especially for young kids… Read More

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

Ten-Things-Revised_3D-low-res-217x300 This week we welcome Ellen Notbohm to the blog! Ellen is the author of the book, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew. We chose a question asked by our Facebook community for Ellen to answer in her special guest post. Ellen’s advice is always helpful for parents of children with autism as well parents of typically developing children.

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“Date Night”

mother and son photo

When I mention “date night” to my husband, he gets a very happy look on his face! In this article, I’m talking about a different kind of date – one between you and your child.

I encourage you to “schedule dates” with your children on a regular basis. A “date” is defined as a “one-on-one outing between parent and child.”

That’s ONE parent and ONE child. The benefits to date nights/days with your kids are as follows:

  • While family time is important also – one-on-one dates give the child an opportunity to have mom or dad ALL to himself. He doesn’t have to compete with a sibling or your spouse for your time and attention. It’s a HUGE dose of positive attention!
  • The “outing” gets you “out of the house” and away from the distractions/demands of the home and office and allows you to focus on each other.
  • Strengthens the relationship between parent and child
  • Provides memories that the child will remember into adulthood

A date night doesn’t have to be elaborate or cost a lot of money. It can be going to a park or taking a hike.

There are only three “requirements” for your date night/day:

  • planned in advance – gives you and the child something special to talk about and look forward to
  • the location is “out of the house”
  • something the child will enjoy doing

Today (Friday), Brent and I are going on a date to Sbarro for lunch (his fav) and to the new LEGO store at our local mall! (He has birthday money burning a hole in his wallet!)

I sent him this silly “email invitation” earlier this week:

Dear Brent,

I would be honored if you would join me on Friday, July 10th for lunch at Sbarro and a trip to the new Lego Store at Crabtree Mall.

Can we make it a date?

Please RSVP if you can attend.

Cordially yours, Your loving mother

Here was his response to my invitation:

Totally with a capital T, I can’t wait!

And another email yesterday:

Hi Mommy,

I can’t wait for tomorrow. It’s going to be a blast. Thanks for taking me.

Love, Brent

mother and son photo

I encourage you to plan a date with each of your children. If you have several children – have one date per week and rotate them throughout the month. Your kids will love it and you will be creating memories they will keep forever!

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