parenting

Too Much Television? How to Curb Your Kids’ TV Time

8 year old girl lying down on carpet watching tv
8 year old girl lying down on carpet watching tv

8 year old girl lying down on carpet watching tv

Maybe it’s the Paw Patrol theme song on constant repeat in your head or the fact that your daughter knows every word, song, and dance move to Descendents 1, 2 and 3.

It could be your teenager’s infatuation with all million Marvel movies (they’re still making more?) or encyclopedic knowledge of all 800+ characters from the Pokémon shows and films. 

In any of these cases, it’s possible your kids are watching too much TV. 

In today’s technology and entertainment-focused world, the variety of television programming and instant streaming (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) is basically limitless. In the past two decades, shows have become a quick download away and are ever-focused on a growing target audience—our kids.

Instantly streamable kid movies and shows are not only prolific—they are fiercely competitive and lucrative. Some may be solely entertaining, while others aim to be moral and educational. 

Some even captivate and amuse the parents (while others, no doubt, annoy). 

Marvel movies, as mentioned above, aren’t even family movies per se—but kids love them. In any genre, the goal of television programming is to be wildly entertaining and addictive to audiences.

For our children, it is undeniably both.

It may start small, with your kindergartener watching an extra episode of Fancy Nancy or your teenager negotiating an extra 15 minutes of Spider-Man Homecoming. But then, all of a sudden, your kids are spending multiple hours a day glued to the screen. 

Whether it’s too much television throughout the year or just during certain times, most parents are conscientious enough to know that children shouldn’t spend an exorbitant amount of time in front of the TV. 

But do you feel powerless to curb the habit? Is the thought of enforcing stricter limits overwhelming to both you and your kids?

The good news is that there is hope. It will take some dedication, but with a few simple strategies, you can guide your kids back to a reasonable amount of screen time. 

First of All, How Much Is Too Much TV?

I get it. Television is a great way for kids to zone out and relax after school, in the evenings, or on lazy weekend mornings. 

And let’s be honest, it also provides parents a much-needed break. After all, there are only so many crafts you can come up with or board games you can play when the weather’s extreme and you’re entertaining stir-crazy kids

Sometimes, we just need to occupy children so we can finish those long-put-off chores or work from home. 

Honestly, it’s no wonder many of us give in to looser television limits—we need to get stuff done and stay sane! 

The point is, without limits, television usage can be a slippery slope. 

It’s hard to quantify exactly what constitutes too much television for children. It depends on a variety of factors, including a child’s personality and age. What is certain is that kids are watching more television than ever before and excessive usage can invite a host of negative effects

Just like you, your kids need to live well-balanced lives. Setting television limits and parental controls is a great starting point. It’s also important to remain aware of what your kids are watching and how shows might be affecting them. 

The best way to tell if television (and technology in general) has become problematic for your child is to look for troublesome warning signs. 

 Note: For Positive Parenting Solutions Members, please visit/review the Specialty Module, “Family Technology Survival Plan.”

Signs of Television Addiction 

Television addiction can exhibit the same signs as any other kind of addiction:

  • If you are setting limits on screen time and find that your children are concealing usage or regularly breaking the rules, they are probably addicted. 
  • If children throw tantrums, become irritable, or act uncontrollably when you remove the television, this is a clear indication of an unhealthy dependence. 
  • If children are suffering in school, consider whether or not television might have something to do with it. 
  • If your child is consistently staying up late and losing sleep due to television, this is a clear sign of addiction. Irregular sleep patterns and consistent loss of sleep can affect a child’s learning and cognitive abilities and needs to be addressed immediately. 
  • If your child always chooses television over other traditionally fun and social activities, he or she has probably reached an unhealthy level of screen-time dependence. 

If you notice any of the signs above, it is time for a television intervention. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to regain control of the tube. 

Setting Healthy Limits on Television

If you’re like most families, taking television away altogether isn’t realistic or desirable. I can also tell you, that as long as you maintain healthy control over it, it isn’t necessary. 

The main objective is to help your kids refrain from binge-watching and not let television detract from either their responsibilities or their mental, physical, and social well-being. 

Implementing When-Then Routines Before TV Time

If your kids are used to watching television and not getting their rudimentary tasks done first (like family contributions, homework, music practice, etc.), consider using When-Then terminology with them. 

When-Then is one of the 37 tools you’ll learn through our online course at Positive Parenting Solutions. Click here to join me for a free class and learn one of our other wildly popular tools—the 5Rs to fair and effective consequences.

When you are done emptying the dishwasher and taking out the trash, Kyle, then you can watch your show.”

When you are done with all of your homework, Jasmine, then you can download that new movie on iTunes.”

When-Then is a great way to put the responsibility in your kids’ laps. They know what they need to do to watch the television. They can control when that happens by deciding to accomplish the less-than-desirable task first, on their terms. 

When-Then becomes even more powerful when you establish it as part of a routine. If Kyle knows he has to empty the dishwasher every day, there will be a point when you no longer even have to say “When-Then.” He’ll just do it. The routine becomes the boss, you get your dishes put away, and Kyle gets to watch his television after being a more productive member of the family. 

Please Note: Make sure you don’t present television usage as a special reward. This will make tasks feel more like unbearable chores. When-Then Routines work best if the goal is an already-established privilege that can only be enjoyed after necessary tasks are completed.  

Nixing the Nagging/Negotiating

When-Then Routines also eliminate the need for you to nag and negotiate with your kids. 

Nagging your children to stop or start doing something usually turns into a power struggle. They feel belittled because they don’t think you believe they can accomplish things without your reminders (and maybe you really do think this!). This will make them feel annoyed, defensive, and less likely to cooperate. 

Also, if in a moment of weakness you give in when your child tries to bargain with you, you send the message that everything is up for negotiation. You might think that allowing a few more minutes of television isn’t a big deal, but a few months down the road you could have a child glued to a screen all day. 

Avoid getting dragged into a negotiation, listening to whining, or being sucked into a power struggle by simply stating When-Then, and walking away. After all, if you stick around, you provide an audience for the badgering and you may find yourself giving in! 

Stay strong, and your kids will learn that no amount of whining will change your mind. Case closed.

Leading by Example

If we place a lot of value in our own TV viewing, our kids will learn the same. It’s certainly fine to have our adult TV time (after all, we deserve to relax AND need to stay relevant for the next adult dinner party), but it’s best not to consistently “veg” in front of the television while our children are watching. 

If we enjoy the great outdoors, like to read, cook fun meals, or play an instrument or sport, our kids will catch on and be influenced by these healthy hobbies. The earlier we can introduce our kids to these non-electronic alternatives, the better. 

It’s so easy to become hypocritical and allow our personal actions to fall contrary to the expectations we have of our children. Just stay vigilant and try to “practice what you preach.”

Offering One-on-One Parent/Child Time

You can always encourage less television viewing by suggesting one-on-one time with your child, doing something she chooses.

Spending undistracted, quality time with our children is incredibly empowering for kids. It gives them a sense of importance and value that they crave. It’s personal attention, a chance for connection, and a FUN activity. Used routinely and correctly, your kids will become addicted to it—perhaps even more so than television.

You can suggest kicking a soccer ball back and forth, playing a game of Uno, taking a walk to the park, or even going on a mini scavenger hunt around the house. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or well planned-out (unless you’d like it to be)—it just needs to be at least 10-15 minutes of daily, child-directed, personal time with your kids.

This may seem unrealistic to those of you with withdrawn teenagers. But believe me—they need this one-on-one time just as much as the toddlers in your life. Don’t stop encouraging it or finding the time and means to implement it. 

Please Note: If your child wants to use television as your one-on-one activity, this is okay every once in a while within the following limits: make sure you are watching the television together; make sure you are discussing what you’re watching; and try to keep it educational for little tykes. 

Limiting Instantaneous Downloads (in an Age of Entitlement)

Have you tried introducing some of your favorite older movies to your kids, only to hear them say, “This is so boring.” “Why is this so slow?”Is this seriously in black and white?” 

Our current era of instant gratification can make viewing older movies with slower plot lines and less special effects a real drag for kids. We know how fun and action-packed television and movies are these days.

Even playing a DVD seems archaic to today’s kids. Despite quickly finding the DVD and fast-forwarding through the pre-programmed previews to the menu screen, a (mere) minute later, your kids are wondering what took so long. 

A lack of patience and inability to be bored are just smaller signs of the entitlement epidemic facing kids today. 

(In my book, The “Me Me Me” Epidemic, I discuss at length not only why many of today’s children believe in inherently special treatment—but also how we can combat it.)

A quote about the entitlement epidemic
It may not seem like instant digital downloads can have that much of an effect on a child’s expectations or actions in life, but it certainly does play into the idea that today’s kids don’t have to wait for a payoff. 

Working and waiting for desired outcomes is something our youngsters still need to learn. Maybe now more than ever. 

If you’re worried about creating entitled kids, implementing control over the television can make a difference.

Try making them wait until the weekend for a special movie night—a movie that you all take turns choosing. Since they’ve had to wait all week it may make them more receptive to watching something they didn’t pick out (or something from your youth that is now apparently ancient).

Final Thoughts

Television, my friend, is here to stay. Maybe futuristic TVs will fly around the house for special effect, morph into IMAX screens, or automatically lower the volume during commercials (you never know). But beyond bigger and better entertainment value, the presence of television is most likely permanent.  

Instead, we need to focus on managing television’s addictive qualities and not let it affect our children’s health, progress, and goals. 

I realize it’s easier said than done. After all, I raised two kids in the digital age. But I also know from experience that you can reset your television rules for the benefit of all. 

So there you have it. Now’s the time to get you and your kids on track for manageable, guiltless, and worry-free screen time. And we’re here to guide you every step of the way. 

For more tools, I encourage you to check out my FREE ONLINE CLASS. You’ll learn the 5Rs for implementing effective consequences for misbehaviors—including the excessive or inappropriate use of technology.

Title Image: Alena Ozerova / Shutterstock www.shutterstock.com/photos

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4 Mistakes Parents Make That Fuel Tantrums

frustrated mom sitting on couch with toddler having a tantrum
frustrated mom sitting on couch with toddler having a tantrum

frustrated mom sitting on couch with toddler having a tantrum

Temper tantrums.

Are there any two more cringe-worthy words in the entire English language? Probably not—for parents at least.

Yet, it’s a fact of life. Temper tantrums happen—in children of all ages, no less! (And sometimes even in adults!)

You’ve been there. After spending a full day running errands with your toddler, you suddenly realize you’ve blown right past both lunch and naptime. 

You look at your child sitting peacefully in the back seat. He seems okay now, but you know from experience a storm is brewing. He’s a ticking time bomb, ready to explode at the slightest provocation. 

Ideally, you’d want to stop the incoming tantrum before it’s even begun. But sometimes that just isn’t possible. So what do you do? 

Or better yet, what shouldn’t you do?

Believe it or not, parents play as much of a role in temper tantrums as the kids themselves. The next time your child dives into the heat of a terrible tantrum, just know that you hold the power to determine how quickly it will end and how often it will reappear.

It all comes down to your response.

Here are four mistakes parents typically make that actually fuel temper tantrums rather than end them.

Parents play a role in temper tantrums quote

Mistake #1: Trying to Reason

You’re standing in the middle of aisle seven at your local supermarket; your red-faced four-year-old is screaming at the top of her lungs as her little body thrashes across the white tile floor. You just told her you wouldn’t be buying her favorite sugary cereal and she is not taking the news well.

Embarrassed, you look straight at your tantruming daughter, willing yourself to ignore all of the judgmental stares being sent your way.

“Sweetheart, please get off the floor,” you say quietly. “We don’t act like this.”

You’re met with nothing but more screaming. Your mind starts to panic as you try to think of ways to talk her off the ledge.

“It’s okay, everything is going to be alright.”

Still more screaming.

“Honey, this isn’t a big deal,” you reassure her. “It’s just cereal.”

Your logic is sound. It really isn’t a big dealto you. But to your daughter? There is no bigger deal in the entire universe right now.

Finding reason in a stressful situation comes natural to most adults. Why not? Haven’t we spent our entire lives learning to do so? 

But trying to reason with your child during the heat of a tantrum—especially when it happens to be playing out in a public space—simply doesn’t work.

Why? Because in the midst of a tantrum, your child is in a state of heightened emotion where the ability to think rationally is furthest from her mind. You may be continuing the conversation in hopes of bringing her around, but that does nothing to help her come out of the tantrum. 

Instead, stay calm and remove yourselves from the area. Try to help her work through her big emotions by practicing deep breathing techniques, singing a song, or shifting her focus elsewhere. 

Mistake #2: Giving In

You know your son isn’t allowed to play video games until he has finished his homework and you’ve stood your ground—so far. 

In the past—and on better days—you’ve firmly upheld the rule: No video games before homework. But you’re so tired. It’s been a rough day, dinner still needs to be cooked, and he simply won’t stop with the begging. The pleading. The whining!

“Please mom!” he moans. “Just one game!”

“I’m sorry,” you say. “Not until your homework is finished.”

“Just one! I promise.”

“No, honey. You know the rule.”

“But all of my friends can play before their homework.”

“The answer is no.”

“Please, mom. Please! Just this one time!”

You sigh, utterly exhausted. You’ve stayed strong, but your son is relentless and you can feel a tantrum coming on. 

You start to think, “Would it really hurt to let him break that rule just this one time?”

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. It can absolutely hurt. 

Believe me, I get it. At times it seems nothing is worse than having to tell your child “no,” especially at the end of a long day when all you want to do is settle in and relax. However, by standing firm and then giving in you’re sending your son a very clear message: If you are persistent with your begging, eventually I’ll give in to your demand.

You know that despite his pleading and promising, it won’t  be “just this one time.” Giving in now will pave the way for your son to ask the same thing again tomorrow night, and the next, and the next. 

Do yourself a favor and stop that train in its tracks. Stand firm in your resolve and stick to the rule.

You won’t regret it in the long run.

Pro Tip: Use these 3 words to end nagging and negotiating!

Join Amy for a Free Class

Mistake #3: Losing It

As the old adage goes, “It takes two to tango.” And nowhere is this more clear than in the midst of a temper tantrum.

Staying calm when your child is having a tantrum may seem like an impossible task. When emotions are running high, it can be so easy to get swept up in the storm rather than calming it. 

Perhaps you asked your four-year-old to put the Legos away and get ready for dinner before he was ready. Now he’s sitting on the floor, screaming at the top of his lungs, and throwing Legos across the room.

Your first instinct may be to give him a quick spank on the bottom or shout, “Go to your room, young man!” But I promise you would only be adding fuel to an already blazing fire.

That’s because this particular temper tantrum is manipulative; a deliberate act on your son’s part because he knows he can use it to get his way. When you lose your own temper and resort to yelling, spanking, or getting physically involved, you are showing your son that his actions upset you. This gives him a huge hit of power. 

The attention you gave him may have been negative attention, but it was attention nonetheless—all the more reason to do the same thing in the future, right?

Mistake #4: Bribery

It’s the first day of school and your son would rather sleep in than make it to first bell. The fight started the moment you woke him up and his attitude has only worsened throughout the morning.

Now you’re stuck in the school drop-off line with a fuming child in the backseat, arms crossed, refusing to get out of the car.

You start to hear the honks coming from behind you. You’re holding up the line. 

Mortified you turn to your son and beg him to get out of the car and go to school. Still, he refuses. 

You feel a mixture of embarrassment, panic, and rage bubbling up inside you, but, more than anything, it’s desperation that truly grips you. 

“Fine,” you say. “If you get out of the car and go to school, I’ll take you out for pizza tonight.” 

You’re not proud to have resorted to bribery, but your son relents. Begrudgingly, he gets out of the car and walks into the school, leaving you free to exit the drop off line.

It worked. Or did it?

As tempting as it can be to bribe your child or offer a reward to stop a tantrum, it can actually backfire in a very big way. Now, in your child’s mind, you’ve reinforced the idea that if they throw a big enough tantrum, they will be offered something they want.

Final Thoughts

When times are calm, it’s easy to say how we, as parents, would respond to our child’s tantrums. Then, in the heat of the moment, all of our well-intended ideas go flying out the window and everything changes.

We try to reason. We give in. We bribe. We lose our temper. And then…we feel guilty.

I want to encourage you, because there is help! The Positive Parenting Solutions course was designed for parents just like you who are looking for tools they can use to help with the toughest parenting challenges—tantrums included!

Curious if the course is right for you? Check out our Course Tour

Still not sure? JOIN ME FOR A FREE ONLINE CLASS where I’ll teach you how to get your kids to listen—no nagging, yelling, or reminding required.

We wish you every success in your parenting journey and are here to help you every step of the way!

Title Image: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock www.shutterstock.com/photos

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Is Spanking an Effective Disciplinary Method?

Sad little boy with arms crossed sitting against a wall

Your son just bit his sister. Your daughter ran her bike into your parked car. They both smeared toothpaste all over the bathroom walls. Oh, and when you stepped away for a few moments, they tried to stick a fork in an electrical outlet. 

The lowdown is—whether by accident or on purpose—kids are going to make bad choices. No matter how exasperating those choices are, it’s part of growing up. 

We certainly made mistakes in our youth—probably many of the same ones our kids are making now. We know it’s part of the human experience. 

The real questions are: How do we help our kids learn from these mistakes? What will help them be better human beings and keep them safe? Is there a particular discipline strategy that will have a lasting impact? 

Many people turn to spanking when these questions arise. Maybe you were spanked as a kid and it feels instinctual. Maybe you were spanked and think, “I turned out ok.” Or maybe you think the war against spanking has gone a little overboard and is just politically-correct, generational propaganda. 

Whether or not you’d like to keep spanking in your arsenal of disciplinary tools, it’s important to consider its usefulness. 

Is spanking your child actually improving her behavior, or is it compounding it? Even if spanking makes her stop her actions momentarily, is she learning what she should do differently next time?

Proactive vs. Reactive Discipline: Which is More Effective?

Parents can handle a misbehavior in one of two ways—through punishment or discipline.

In our online course here at Positive Parenting Solutions, we help parents understand the ideological differences between “discipline” and “punishment.” 

From a Positive Discipline perspective, the main discrepancy is actually quite simple. Discipline focuses on instructing and training our children in a PROACTIVE way, while punishment focuses on inflicting blame, shame, or pain for a past offence in a REACTIVE way. 

Because spanking responds to a behavior after it occurs, it falls into the reactive category.

Unfortunately, being reactive isn’t a great way to address the root cause of a misbehavior; nor does it stop a misbehavior from reoccurring. 

Being proactive, on the other hand, helps target the source of the misbehavior and focuses on creating a more sustainable solution.

Is Spanking an Effective Long-Term Solution?

Let’s say your daughter loves playing hide-and-seek. She’s young, precocious, and especially loves hiding in public places. The last time you went to the mall together, you turned your head for one minute and the next minute she was gone. You were scared to death when you couldn’t find her.

The panic and fear of losing a child is unbearable. So, when she finally comes out of the clothing rack she was hiding in, you’re relieved but also angry. You want to hug her, but then you want to spank her to ensure you won’t ever find yourselves in the same situation again. 

Think for a moment; if you do decide to spank your daughter for playing one-sided hide-and-seek with you, are you actually teaching her what she did wrong? 

Even if you take the time to explain to your daughter before or after you spank her that she scared you and she could have been lost (or kidnapped!), will she even remember or be listening? 

When kids are processing the pain, fear, and shame that spanking can bring, they aren’t learning for the future. They aren’t thinking about how to make a better decision next time or why their decision was wrong in the first place. They are in self-defense mode, plain and simple, and are not internalizing the lesson you are trying to convey.

Maybe the pain and humiliation from spanking is enough for some kids not to repeat their actions. For many kids, though, spanking just fuels their fiery furnaces. It can make them more obstinate and determined to fight back. Either way, spanking doesn’t help kids understand why their action was wrong or what they should do differently next time.

Because spanking is a form of punishment—and because punishment doesn’t address the core reason behind misbehavior—it’s not an effective long-term solution.

If spanking isn’t an effective long-term solution, is it an appropriate discipline strategy—even in the short term? To answer this question, let’s review the goals of discipline …

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Goal of Discipline #1: Target the Underlying Causes of Behavior

As a positive parenting educator, there is one principle from Adlerian Psychology that we base ALL our strategies on and it is this: No behavior is random. There is always an underlying reason for misbehavior.

Here are some of the underlying reasons kids misbehave:

Lack of Impulse Control

Parents often expect kids to act like and reason like adults. We fail to understand why kids can’t comply to even the simplest requests and we become frustrated and even mad at their misbehavior.

One key thing to remember is that misbehavior doesn’t always stem from a negative, defiant place. It can stem from a basic lack of impulse control. 

The 4-year-old that tramples your neighbor’s pristine garden to pick a daisy isn’t aware of the trail of crushed plants she’s leaving behind. Nor is she predicting the scolding the neighbor may soon unleash upon you both. She just sees a pretty flower and wants to touch it, smell it, and keep it.

The 6-year-old who whacks his younger brother for destroying, in a matter of seconds, the sand castle it took him two hours to create, may be suffering from the same lack of impulse control.

If we spank children for trampling the neighbor’s garden, or even hitting a sibling, imagine what must be going through their minds. “Don’t you always say you love me more than anything in the world? Why are you doing this to me? I’m not sure how, but I must be a really bad person.”

When we spank our kids in the heat of the moment out of frustration and anger, it’s also a reflection of our own lack of impulse control. It makes sense that we don’t want to model that behavior—especially when it’s exactly what we’re teaching our kids NOT to do.

Attention

Every child has a need for attention. While it seems counterintuitive, when a child’s innate need for attention isn’t met, he will oftentimes seek it out in negative ways.

A toddler whining and begging for you to look at his latest LEGO DUPLO creation may decide to pick it up and throw it at you to finally catch your gaze. Your 8-year-old that is fed up with you doting on her little brother may decide to give him an obvious little pinch to bring the attention back towards her. 

We must be aware that to a child, even negative attention is better than no attention at all. In this case, spanking definitely won’t stop the misbehavior—it will likely continue it. 

Power

The misbehavior could also be rooted in your child’s need for power. Just like adults, children like to feel in control of their lives. 

You’re probably wondering, “how does spanking my child fill his power bucket? Doesn’t it only show him that I’m in charge?”

Children get a huge hit of power when they are able to ruffle an adult’s feathers. Even when ruffled feathers results in a spanking, being able to trigger an adult to the point of losing their cool is a hit of power to a child. Spanking only ensures these power struggles will continue. 

Revenge

With repeated punishment, discouragement and anger can build to the point where the child’s behavior escalates to revenge.

Intensified misbehavior and hurt feelings from both the parent and the child are signs that your child’s root cause of misbehavior has taken a darker turn.  

If you’re using spanking as a tool and suspect your child is starting to act out of revenge towards you, consider that your method could be aggravating—rather than alleviating—the issues. 

Goal of Discipline #2: Protect the Parent-Child Relationship

Much to our dismay, it isn’t possible to remain ever-popular with our children. Perhaps you’re already experiencing this. If not, go find a parent of tweens or teens! Unfortunately, parenting often means enforcing difficult lessons. 

If this “tough love” often translates into spanking, however, consider if it is worth the potential damage to your parent-child bond. 

Once again, when children are being spanked, they aren’t learning how or why their behavior is wrong. They aren’t learning any new skills they can use in the future. They’re learning that mom and dad are going to punish them for their actions. This can slowly erode parent-child trust. Then later, when you’re trying to communicate with them in a positive way, they may be less receptive. 

If we focus on punishment, rather than discipline, resentment continues to fester and you’ll find yourself the target of an increasing number of power struggles. As your child becomes more and more defensive, future disciplinary methods become harder to enforce, and the relationship that you so desperately want to protect may become vulnerable.

If we focus on punishment, rather than discipline resentment continues to fester

Goal of Discipline #3: Promote Open Communication

Let’s say you’re still not convinced. All of the arguments above seem valid, but you think spanking has still worked for you and your child. 

Consider, instead, one of the potential side effects—spanking increases the tendency for children to lie

We already know that spanking makes kids defensive. And what’s a common way to defend bad behavior and avoid punishment? Lie about it.

Dishonesty can be a slippery slope. What may start as a little white lie to circumvent a spanking can turn into a steady pattern of untruths and omissions. 

As punishment increases, so will secrecy and deception. 

Inevitably, the lie is impossible to maintain, the truth spills out, and your reaction to the event will be worse than ever. 

Ultimately, punishment proves ineffective at encouraging open and honest communication between you and your children. This, in turn, creates a vicious cycle of misunderstanding and misbehavior. 

Final Thoughts

We’ve all heard the common phrase, “this will hurt me more than it hurts you.” While spanking may hurt you in the short term, it will negatively impact your child and your relationship with your child in the long run.

I know parenting isn’t easy. It’s likely the hardest job of all. But I don’t want your efforts to be in vain. 

After my many years as a parent educator and, most importantly, as a mom, I advise you to make parenting easier and more effective by choosing discipline over punishment. 

This is exactly what I did over 15 years ago when I said “so long” to yelling and punishment and spent years researching alternative methods. After seeing the life-changing effects on my own family, I knew I had to share them with others—that’s how Positive Parenting Solutions was born.

If you’d like to learn how to get your kids to listen—without yelling or spanking—I’d love for you to JOIN ME FOR A FREE ONLINE CLASS.

Be proactive by finding long-term solutions. Find the root cause of the misbehavior. Focus on your parent-child relationship. Promote the best possible communication.

And say “so long!” to spanking.

Title image: Sharomka / Shutterstock www.shutterstock.com/photos

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Teen Dating: 5 Tips for Talking to Your Teen

Teen boy and girl dressed for dance laughing
Teen boy and girl dressed for dance laughing

Teen boy and girl dressed for dance laughing

Just imagine. It’s breakfast time on a beautiful Monday morning. The sun is shining in through the open window, the smell of warm coffee fills the air. It seems like the perfect start to the week.

You call up the stairs to your 15-year-old daughter, “Come on down to breakfast, honey! We need to leave for school in 15 minutes.”

You expect the typical power struggle to get her out the door but are happily surprised when you hear her immediately begin marching down the stairs. 

However, your happiness is short lived when she makes it to the kitchen. There in front of you stands your daughter—your little girl—wearing…is that makeup?

Honestly, you’ve seen this coming for a while now. You’ve noticed the eye shadow and smelled the perfume. You’ve listened as her conversations gradually shifted from school and friends to boys and…well…more boys. 

Still, it seems impossible. Wasn’t she just playing tea party with her dolls a moment ago? 

“Mom?” she asks quietly. 

“Yes?”

“I was wondering if it would be okay for me to go out on a date sometime?”

And there you have it. The question you have been dreading since the moment you brought her home from the hospital has finally been asked.

Your daughter wants to start dating.

Of course, you want to shout “No!” But, because you’re trying to play it cool, you fight the urge to take her straight up to her room, wipe off the makeup, and lock her away until she’s 30. 

The truth of the matter is your daughter is growing up, which means having real-world, real-life conversations about dating is now a necessity on your parenting to-do list. 

However, if you’re like most parents of teenagers, you’ve probably had other important conversations that haven’t gone so well. You know the reality of tackling tough topics with a teen can involve a lot of eye rolls, sighs, and attitude. 

But, you know this topic can’t be ignored. More than anything, you want her to listen, because what you have to say about dating is important.

It’s no secret that your daughter is navigating some tough waters and will be for some time. The teen years are filled with hormone-driven dilemmas and you are going to need to be on the front lines, ready to help in a way only a parent can.

So where do you start?

First and foremost, you must establish a judgment-free zone.

That’s right. As much as it may pain you to do so, the only way you’re going to build trust with your teen is by providing them with the comfort and knowledge that what they tell you is safe from judgment from you or anyone else.

Now that the lines of communication are wide open, let’s talk strategy. Here are 5 tips for navigating this topic so you can ensure you and your teen get the most out of this very important conversation.

Establish a judgement free zone
1. Start Small. Start Early.

First and foremost, it must be said: It is never too early to start having conversations about dating with your child.

Because the mere concept of dating can range widely in interpretation from person to person, it’s important that your kids have a very clear idea of what they can expect from the dating world before ever stepping foot inside.

Now, as awkward as it may be talking about dating and relationships with your twelve-year-old, the conversations you have early on are critical. This is where you can dive in and gain a better understanding of what your child thinks dating will be like when he’s older. It also gives you a wonderful opportunity to lay some ground rules before he walks off hand-in-hand with his new crush.

Start small. There’s no need to get into the heavy intimacy discussion quite yet. 

Try asking, “What does dating mean to you?”, “What do you think happens on a date?” , or “What would be your idea of the perfect date?”

Perhaps, for your child, a date means hanging out with a group of friends, going out for ice cream, or riding bikes to the park together. Use this time to talk about how you get to know someone better and what qualities he will look for in another person when he wants to start dating.

Now is also the time to lay the groundwork for the expectations you’ll have for them when they do begin dating.

Will the date be chaperoned? What hours and days are they allowed to go out on? Will you meet their date’s parents first? When will they be allowed to go on car dates?

Setting the rules early on will not only provide you with a concrete plan to fall back on when the time comes, but it will also give your child less reason to push back down the road because they know what is expected of them.

Hopefully, you’ve been having these conversations all along. However, should you find yourself blindsided by a teen who is ready to, or already has, entered the dating world, here are some tips you can use to help take the terror out of teen dating.

2. Manage Expectations.

As tempting as it may be to launch into a long lecture on teen pregnancy the moment your daughter asks permission to date, it’s best to ditch the birds and the bees talk—at least for now. 

As you already know, having any conversation with a teen is tricky enough, so it’s best to start on a lighter note.

So here you are, the big question has been asked: Can your daughter go on a date this weekend? 

Your answer may come easily. A “yes” would certainly make your daughter happy. Moreover, a “no” would probably ensure your happiness. But try not to be so quick on the trigger—this is a big decision!

Instead, answer her question with some questions of your own. 

“Tell us about the person you want to go out with.””

“What is your idea of the perfect date?”

Now, the purpose of asking these questions is not to nag or pry, so try not to go overboard. This is simply a strategy for getting your daughter to open up about what she thinks dating entails and helping her manage those expectations ahead of time.

Having a clear understanding of what she wants out of a date will give her great insight into her own dating desires. As an added bonus, it will help you get to know her a little better.

Remember, this conversation should never feel forced, awkward, or uncomfortable for either of you. Take out the judgment, drop the inquisition, and, above all else, keep the lines open. 

Trust me, taking an active role in making sure your daughter is comfortable with the conversation now will pave the way for her to bring other issues to you in the future. 

3. Plan in Advance.

It’s a concept that seems old-fashioned to us, but there was a time when the perfect date consisted of burgers at the local diner downtown, an early movie, and drop-off at home by 10 PM. 

Yes, long gone are the days when teen dating was simple.

Now, when you ask your son about his upcoming date this weekend, you’re met with a slight shrug and a nonchalant, “I don’t know. We’re just going to hang out.” 

How frustrating!

Of course, this is a very typical response, especially for a teenage boy. Still, if you want to help lessen the dating terror—on your end, anyway—try encouraging your son to plan his date in advance.

Again, you want to proceed with caution, without encroaching on that nagging or prying territory. Keep the conversation light and aimed at helping him set out a plan for the date ahead. No need to be exceptionally detailed. Just try to help him answer a few important questions:

“Where will the date take place?”

“When will you be home?”

“Will there be any adult supervision?”

Also, think about a few different scenarios he may face and ask him to come up with possible solutions. 

For example:

“What would you do if your date suggests sneaking into her parents’ liquor cabinet?”

“How would you react if she lies to her parents about where the two of you are going?”

Giving your son ample time to think through his responses means he will be better equipped to handle these situations in a mature fashion should they come up. 

Yes, you can certainly expect to receive some pushback from your teen, but do not back down. Instead, remind him that dating is a privilege and the only way he can expect to enjoy it is by having this plan laid out now. 

You’ll soon see that those eye rolls and attitude are a very small price to pay for your peace of mind.

4. Set Physical Boundaries.

In today’s society, particularly with the #MeToo movement, we have seen so many examples of men and women speaking up about their own experiences with abuse and sexual harassment

When it comes to dating, sons and daughters alike need to know well in advance what they consider to be their own personal boundaries. Knowing what their comfort levels are, how far they are willing to take things, and the consequences of their actions should be at the forefront of your teen’s mind when starting to date.

I get it! This is a difficult topic to approach. But trust me when I say having a conversation about relationship boundaries with your teen is absolutely crucial to ensuring both their safety and your peace of mind.

A few possible conversation starters may include:

“Tell me what you know about consent.”

“How do you feel about respecting your date’s boundaries?”

“What would you do if you felt your boundaries being pushed?”

As a parent, I know all too well how hard this conversation can be. After all, having your teen enter into the dating world opens them up to a lot of new experiences—some of which may not be ideal. 

Make sure you know which situations they could face that would make them even the slightest bit uncomfortable. Even more importantly, make sure they know how to get out of them safely. 

5. Come Up With an Exit Strategy

A particularly ingenious example of an exit strategy is what is known as the X-Plan

In a viral online post, one father, Bert Fulks, explained how he and his teen came up with a simple, yet brilliant exit strategy of their own. A simple “X” in a text message would be enough of a signal for Bert to come remove his teen from any situation that made him feel uncomfortable, compromised, or in danger—no questions asked! 

Parents around the world are now employing the same tactic with their teens. Not only does it provide teens with a graceful way out of any situation they are uncomfortable with, it also enables them to save face socially.

However, please remember that “no questions asked” means exactly that. Any and all conversations you have with your teen need to be done in a safe environment, free from any judgment or shame. 

When it’s clear to your teen that you love them unconditionally and will always have their back, you’ll find that these deep, important conversations become more open, honest, and frequent.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the teen dating world can be a daunting task for any parent. But there is no reason you can’t ENJOY this time as well!

By maintaining a strong focus on establishing trust and communication with your teen AND utilizing these strategies, you can absolutely take this journey from terrifying to terrific. 

For more information on this and other ways you can help your teen make the best decisions in life, please be sure to check out our other Positive Parenting Solutions resources.

Want to know if Positive Parenting Solutions is a good fit for your family?

JOIN ME FOR A FREE ONLINE CLASS where I’ll teach you how to get your kids to listen—no nagging, yelling, or reminding required.

As always, we wish you the best of luck on your parenting journey!

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5 Pitfalls To Avoid With Your Tween or Teen

Mom and Teen Daughter Hugging in Mountains
Mom and Teen Daughter Hugging in Mountains

Mom and Teen Daughter Hugging  in Mountains

Are you experiencing an influx of eye rolls, annoyed sighs, and slammed doors? 

Have you repeatedly been told you know nothing, despite the fact that you’ve been around for decades? Maybe you’re freshly naive to music trends and just generally uncool?

If so, chances are you have a tween or teen in your house.

The tween and teen years are notorious, and not without reason. It can be a turbulent time for both you and your young adult, and your relationship may be continually tested.

Tweens, or kids between the ages of 8-12, are starting to experience puberty, societal pressure, and additional responsibility. Teenagers are experiencing these same problems, while also increasingly identifying outside the family unit. 

Maneuvering through these new obstacles is all part of your child’s individualization process, and although it can be painful for all parties involved, it’s a necessary step towards adulthood. 

Knowing these growing pains are normal may not make it easier, but there are a few common parenting mistakes that unwittingly worsen the process. Becoming familiar with these pitfalls can give you and your tween or teen a better chance at surviving these years unscathed.

Pitfall #1: Maintaining Too Much Control

Kids in the tween and teen years are ready for increasing amounts of responsibility and privilege. Understandably though, parents can be terrified of letting go. As a result, we tend to “clamp down” and exert more control over our kids. This is where a lot of heated power struggles arise.

Instead of tightening your grip, respect your child’s need for autonomy and let go more and more as he grows older. Look for opportunities to give him more responsibility and let him practice his decision-making skills. 

You could encourage your child to decide any of the following: after-school activities he’d like to participate in; which dinner he’d like to help cook each week; or when and how he’d like to complete his homework each evening.  

When we empower our kids with age-appropriate choices, we give them a strong sense of confidence. 

Make sure he knows the kind of behavior you expect from him, as well as what will happen if he decides to test your limits. The more he succeeds, however, the more leeway you can offer. With a little more control over his life, your tween or teen will thrive—and you’ll love seeing his confidence and independence grow.

Pitfall #2: Nagging and Directing

Why do even the most well-intentioned parents feel required to nag, direct, and get bossy with their kids? 

Because if we don’t, nothing gets done. Am I right? 

As frustrating as it is, this is the reality for most families.

Unfortunately, all of our well-intended reminding and directing usually results in those eye rolls, exasperated huffs, and slammed doors.

That’s because we fail to understand a fundamental truth bomb of parenting: Parent priorities are not the same as tween and teen priorities

This seems completely obvious, but it’s at the core of most power struggles with your tween or teen. Think about it—they aren’t concerned about messy rooms, unloaded dishwashers, or piles of dirty laundry stacked in the closet. Those are parent priorities. 

Your teen’s priorities are next week’s chemistry exam, posting her Instagram story in time to get plenty of views, and finding a dress for the Homecoming dance. The ins and outs of maintaining an orderly and chaos-free home don’t even register on her radar.  

Parent Priorities are not the same as teen priorities
While it’s our job to teach our kids responsibility, if we try to do this by nagging and directing, we won’t get very far. In fact, we’ll have more power struggles than we ever bargained for. 

If we want our kids to respect us, we need to respect them.

Ensure your requests are reasonable and phrased in a calm voice. Use phrases like, “What is your plan for completing (x)?” This demonstrates faith that they already have a plan in place. And even if they don’t, they can quickly save face and come up with a game plan on the spot.

You can still hold your child accountable for what you ask, but do so in a way that empowers her to learn from her choices.

Also, be sure to show appreciation when your tween/teen helps out—even if it’s for an “expected” job. Everyone wants to know they make a difference, and showing gratitude will go a long way in fostering a team spirit in your family. 

Along those lines, I encourage parents to ditch the word “chores” and instead label tasks as “Family Contributions.” This simple change in terminology reminds kids that what they do to help out around the house is beneficial to the entire family—even if they don’t want to do it. 

If you’re still having trouble getting your tween or teen to comply, here are 4 of my favorite strategies to increase your child’s cooperation

Pitfall #3: Allowing a Loss in Connection

It may seem like our tweens and teens don’t want to have anything to do with us. To a certain degree, this may be true. And yes, we need to start allowing them more independence. 

But, during the transition from childhood to adulthood, our kids still need our guidance. Perhaps we have to sit shotgun and stop driving the car (literally and figuratively), but knowing we’re there to give directions—only if requested, of course—is crucial to their peace of mind.  

Make sure your presence and availability is known, even if it feels like your kids are pushing you away. The backtalk may be unbearable, or their attitude hurtful, but it’s best not to completely retreat. If you see any openings in connection, seize them. 

You can leave sticky notes around the house to remind them that you’re thinking of them or send them encouraging texts throughout the day—maybe in preparation for a big soccer game or play audition…or maybe just because. And why not stay relevant in the latest forms of communication and send a funny Snapchat while you’re at it?

Technology can actually be a great avenue for bonding with your kids—just be aware of how technology may be negatively affecting your family, too. With cell phones, video games, TV, and computers, kids—especially tweens and teens—spend an exorbitant amount of time staring at screens. If you notice technology taking the place of one-on-one quality time with your kids, start limiting usage to maintain that connection. 

I know. Limiting usage will make you unpopular. But your one-on-one time together doesn’t need to be long (unless you both want it to be!). Just 10-15 minutes of undivided time between you and your child each day will do wonders for your connection with one other. Make sure you’re doing something that your child wants to do to ensure participation (unless, of course, all she wants to do with you is still stare at her phone).

Also, don’t abandon the “tuck in” concept. Yes, “tucking kids in” may be something we just do with our little ones, but the idea of spending quality time with our tweens and teens before bed—and setting them up for positive, peaceful sleep—is still relevant. We can read them a chapter from a chapter book, talk about their favorite—and least favorite—parts of the day, and even sneak in a cuddle. Whatever your tween or teen might suggest doing during this quiet time before bed is an amazing opportunity to connect. 

Pitfall #4: Fearing Failure

Anxiety is a leading problem in young adults today. Elementary school, middle school, and high school standards have only increased in recent years. Extracurricular activities and schedules have been amplified to an almost unmanageable pace. College applications, volunteer requirements, testing, scholarships…the pressures kids face are intense.

It’s tempting for parents to be overly invested in their kids’ success and rescue them from their struggles or intervene with teachers or coaches on their behalf.

Again, we need to have faith in our kids’ abilities and loosen the reins during this time. We need to step back and let our kids handle the increased responsibility. We need to let them learn to succeed on their own

We also need to let them fail.

Added pressure and unreasonable expectations from parents may make your tweens and teens feel like failure is unacceptable, but embracing defeat is a crucial skill. Because failure of varying degrees will be an inevitable part of their lives, learning the skills to overcome adversity might be the most important lesson of all.


As hard as it might be, let your flailing science student fail a test. Let him understand that even though a bad grade isn’t ideal, the world isn’t going to end. Also, know that most kids will receive enough pressure from their teachers, peers, and countless others to make their failure memorable. Instead, focus on creating a safe space between you and your child where failure can be embraced, reflected upon, and surpassed.

Pitfall #5: Forgetting That It’s Not About YOU

You may be heartbroken because the little girl who used to pick you flowers and hold your hand now has KEEP OUT posted on her door. Or maybe you lie awake at night because the little boy who asked if he could marry you now asks you to drop him off, unseen, a block away from school.

When our tweens and teens are distant towards us, short-tempered, uncommunicative, and just different than they were before, we tend to take it personally. 

Remember, kids are prioritizing their friends during this time of their lives. They’re also just struggling with growing up. It’s hard, stressful—hormonal—and all of this can manifest into negative attitudes and behaviors. It may feel personal, and it can really hurt your feelings, but it’s not about you

Your daughter could be stressing over exams, a recent break-up, an ill-timed pimple, or college applications. It’s easy to be defensive when she takes all her stress out on you. A better tactic is to try to see things from her perspective. You can also rest assured that she still needs your love and support—it just may be harder for her to show it.

By remembering that it’s not about us, we can adapt our feelings, expectations, and strategies to focus on our kids and what they need. 

And I promise—one day they’ll thank you for it. 

Final Thoughts

I know what’s it’s like to have tweens and teens in the house and the frustration you may be feeling. I designed my course, Positive Parenting Solutions, to help parents like you find a way through these challenges. 

Even if your “kids” are older and just a few years away from “leaving the nest,” I encourage you to try my FREE CLASS and learn more tools to use on your parenting adventures.

By avoiding common pitfalls and adding more positive parenting tactics, the roller coaster of parenting—which is far from over—will soon become smooth sailing. 

And who knows? In your tween or teen’s eyes, you might even become cool again.

Slightly.

Title Image: Alena Ozerova / Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/photos

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4 Strategies to Stop Tantrums Before They Start

Little boy in super man shirt throwing a tantrum on the grass
Little boy in super man shirt throwing a tantrum on the grass

Little boy in super man shirt throwing a tantrum on the grass

It’s 5 PM. You’re standing in line in the middle of a crowded grocery store when you hear it: “Mommy, can I get a candy bar?” 

You look down at your four-year-old son standing beside the cart, his eyes zoned in on the candy display next to you. You know it’s much too close to dinner time for him to be eating candy.

“No, sweetie,” you say. “Not today.”

You watch as your son’s face contorts in displeasure; his lip pouts out and his eyes widen.

“But I want one!” he demands, stomping his foot on the ground.

Unfortunately, you’ve been here before—many times—and know what’s coming. In a panic, you look ahead at the slowly moving line. Stuck, you feel you have no choice but to brace for impact and wait for it to start.

The tantrum.

In all my years as a parenting educator, I’ve yet to meet a parent who hasn’t experienced this exact situation, or one very similar to it. Tantrums—like sleepless nights and picky eating—are one of those parenting predicaments it seems no one is immune to. 

Fortunately, there is hope! Of course, there are strategies you can use to stop tantrums in their tracks. BUT what if I told you there are tools you could be using right now to prevent tantrums from happening at all? 

It may seem impossible, but I promise, it is absolutely within your reach.

Stopping Tantrums Before They Start

Sure, you can walk on eggshells all the time, hoping to avoid triggering an outburst. 

Or, you can never leave the house. But, really, what kind of life is that?

Why not be proactive and stop tantrums before they start? After all, you know your child better than anyone else; what makes him tick and what sets him off. 

By using any one of these four strategies, you can take charge and think ahead, preventing tantrums from brewing before they ever have a chance to start. As an added bonus, you’ll be amazed at how these simple strategies will bring out the best in your child’s behavior at other times as well.

Strategy #1: Mind, Body, and Soul Time (MBST)

Mind, Body, and Soul Time (MBST) is one of the most powerful and beneficial tools in the Positive Parenting Solutions Toolbox for raising well-behaved kids. 

Mind, Body and Soul Time is spending 10-15 intentional minutes each day, one-on-one with your child, doing whatever your child wants to do. Within 2 or 3 days of using this power-packed tool you’ll begin to see magnificent changes in his behavior!

Why? Because Mind, Body and Soul Time—as short as it may seem—does wonders for filling your child’s attention bucket. It strengthens emotional connection, and reminds him that nothing is more important than him during your special time together. Almost magically, it seems, attention-seeking behaviors and tantrums are reduced.

Here’s how Mind, Body and Soul Time works … every day, let your child choose the special activity they would like to do with just you during that 10 or 15 minutes. Then do it! Play with Legos, read a book, bake a cake, go for a bike ride. Let him make all of the decisions. 

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that couldn’t be more true here. I promise, just 10 minutes of your time each day will be enough to fill your child’s need for attention and cut down on the number of tantrums you see later on.

But don’t forget to keep yourself emotionally available. That means ditch your smartphone, computer, and mental to-do list—basically, anything that would keep you from being fully present in the moment with your child. You just sit back, enjoy your time, and reap the rewards.

Note: Concerned about how to fit Mind, Body and Soul Time into your already too-busy day? For Positive Parenting Solutions Members, review Session 1 to learn the ins and outs of MBST and also see the advanced module, “The Busy Parent’s Guide to Mind, Body, and Soul Time.” 

We have the power to control our child's environment

Strategy #2: Control the Environment

It’s 100° outside. Your son missed his nap and his snack was left sitting at home on the kitchen table. He’s cranky, hot, and hungry.

It’s the perfect storm.

If you’re like me, there’s a good chance you’ve been here before. You know, one of those days where everything aligned (or misaligned) to lay the groundwork for the mother of all tantrums to rear her ugly head?

So many times we feel like these moments sneak up on us, only to realize later on we actually could have changed the outcome by doing a few small things differently from the very beginning.

As parents, we have the power to control our child’s environment—to remove the triggers that can cause a perfectly good day to go sideways. And, in doing so, we can have a greater influence on their attitude and behavior throughout the day.

For instance, if you know your son absolutely needs his afternoon nap, make sure not to schedule anything during naptime that would prevent him from getting the sleep his body craves.

Likewise, if you know your daughter gets cranky when hungry and is more inclined to outbursts, check and make sure you have a healthy snack on hand before you leave the house for the day.

Each morning, take a moment to think about and plan out your day. Know where you and your children are going, what you will be doing, and plan accordingly. By taking the time to control the environment, you’ll be able to avoid many tantrum-inducing situations. 

Just rememberlife happens! Sometimes naps are missed and meals are skipped and that is perfectly okay. When things go a bit astray, just make sure to manage your expectations and focus on implementing the next strategy.

Strategy #3: Give Clear Expectations 

This won’t come as a shock to you, but children are not mind readers. And the ability to read subtle cues? Forget about it.

If you truly want your kids to do as you ask, lay out your expectations and make sure they are clear and concise.

Say, for instance, you’re taking your son to a birthday party for one of the kids in his preschool class. You know your son is friendly and usually gets along fairly well with others, but he also has a tendency to get overwhelmed when a lot of other kids are around. You want him to enjoy the birthday party, but you also want to avoid any potential meltdowns that may ruin the fun for everyone.

The car ride to the party is a wonderful time to reveal in advance your expectations for his behavior. Not only is it quiet and away from any distractions, but it provides the perfect opportunity for you to grab your son’s attention and hold onto it. 

Let him know what he can expect from the party and also how you expect him to behave. Additionally, make sure you inform him of any consequences that will occur if he doesn’t.

Once you’ve made your expectations clearly known, the ball is in his court. Could he still end up losing control and falling into that dreaded tantrum territory? Yes. But you can rest a little easier knowing you took the right preventative steps to help stop a tantrum that may have been in the works. 

Join Amy for a Free Class

Strategy #4: Provide Positive Power

Children thrive on the power that comes from being independent and having some age-appropriate control over their own lives.

If kids are not given legitimate opportunities to exert positive power, they may seek power in negative ways. This is where backtalk, button pushing, and, of course, tantrums come into play.

To avoid these negative power struggles, the best thing you can do is provide your child with a daily dose of positive power

Empower your child by giving her the freedom to make her own positive choices throughout the day. Try letting your daughter pick out her outfit for that day or ask her what she would like for breakfast that morning.

Worried you’re casting too wide a net with her choices? Not to worry. Simply pick two options you already approve of BUT let the final decision be hers.

“Would you rather have the pink cup or the purple cup?” 

“Would you like to ride your bike to the park or the library?”

Now, obviously, you don’t want to let your daughter decide if she wants to take her medicine or brush her teeth—those are non-negotiables. But, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day for her to exert power and independence in positive ways.

Once her need for positive power is met, you’ll find that any negative behavior, such as tantrums, will be less likely to occur later on.

Final Thoughts

There’s no denying it. Tantrums happen. And when they do, it feels like nothing could be more frustrating, terrifying, and embarrassing in that moment.

Hopefully, now you can see there is hope. Not just in ending tantrums but avoiding them in the first place.

These four simple and effective strategies are yours for the using. 

And for more Positive Parenting Solutions strategies for tantrums and many other discipline dilemmas, check out our Course Tour to see if our online course is a good fit for you.

Want to dip your toes in the water before diving in? I’d love for you to JOIN ME FOR A FREE ONLINE CLASS where I’ll teach you how to get your kids to listen—no nagging, yelling, or reminding required.

Parenting is a tough journey. We’d love to walk by your side and support you every step of the way.

Title Image: Kendall Clark / Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/photos

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