parenting

Hollywood College Admissions Scandal and the Rise of Entitlement

Students secretly passing a note to each other
Students secretly passing a note to each other

Students secretly passing a note to each other
This week’s shocking news of federal charges raining down on celebrity parents and others in a massive college admissions scandal left many people (and certainly parents) shocked and incredulous.

While there is a legitimate reason for shock and awe – this extreme “parenting” as some might call it, puts a spotlight on behavior that has its roots in small, blurred parenting lines.

As parents, we want the best for our kids. But when wanting what’s best for our kids pushes us to take drastic and unethical actions, it makes me wonder—are we REALLY doing what’s best for our kids?

Think about it. Little things like asking for special favors and consideration—from a teacher, coach, director, or anyone in authority when your child has clearly not put in the time, effort, or inclination—is a rung on that blurred parenting ladder.
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4 Positive Parenting Strategies That Work Better Than Yelling

Happy girl with two thumbs up
I get it. You don’t want to yell at your kids.
I’ve been a parenting educator for 15+ years and have never met a parent who felt like yelling was a good strategy. The only reason parents yell is because they are pushed to the brink and don’t have more effective tools to use.

We know from recent studies that yelling can have the same detrimental effects on a child as spanking—including increased anxiety, depression, stress, and other emotional disorders. And while yelling can be useful in some situations, if it is our default discipline strategy, we will fail to experience the long-term behavioral changes we hope to see in our children.

Why isn’t Yelling a Good Long-Term Strategy?

Parenting is a marathon—or more like 18 marathons strung together. When considering different discipline strategies, it’s vital we remember the end-game.

Sure, we’d like our son to walk through the candy aisle without throwing a tantrum. And we’d like our daughter to not wage war at the dinner table over the highly-controversial green vegetable.

The problem is, when we focus on those short-term issues, we have potential to create negative long-term effects. Read More

When Sibling Fights Turn Physical: Ultimate Guide to Success

Two boys fighting
Two boys fighting

Two boys fighting

There are few power struggles that take an emotional toll on parents quite like sibling fighting. We’re not talking about a simple disagreement—“Mom, he took my stuff!” or “She won’t stop repeating me!” Those spats are a normal part of life and growing up.

We’re talking about finding your kids in the thick of a physical altercation—punching, biting, slapping, or even worse. That’s scary stuff for everyone involved—children and parents alike. But the truth is, this behavior is fairly common, especially in younger children who don’t have more appropriate conflict resolutions skills.

Before you throw in the towel (or set up a boxing ring in your living room), let’s talk strategy to create a peaceful home.
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Is Yelling at My Children Harmful? (Here’s What You Need to Know)

Man with megaphone yelling at boy
You’ve just finished packing lunches and are scrambling to get the kids out the door on time to catch the bus.

Your oldest can’t find her shoes.

Your middle needs a paper signed for a field trip and “TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!”

Your toddler just poured a giant box of Cheerios all over the kitchen floor and you haven’t even had a sip of coffee yet.

You tried to hold it together, but in a moment of exasperation, you break.

“I TOLD YOU TO LEAVE YOUR SHOES BY THE FRONT DOOR!”

“WHY DO YOU ALWAYS WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE?! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE?”

“AHHHHH!!! CAN SOMEONE WATCH THE BABY WHILE I CLEAN UP THIS MESS?”

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When Positive Parenting Doesn’t Work: 5 Missteps to Avoid

Children yelling and mother in despair
Children yelling and mother in despair

Children yelling and mother in despair
You’ve tried it—that whole
“Positive Parenting” thing.

You tried not to yell or hand out rewards, but alas, the kids are still running amok all over your house.

Again, you’re left defeated—feeling like threats and punishments are the only way to get your kids to know you’re actually serious and behave in the moment.

I totally get it. I remember (like it was yesterday) feeling at the end of my rope.  Thinking to myself, “Am I even cut out to be a mother?”  “Why is this so difficult for me?” “Why does it feel like my kids are always winning?”

Let’s be honest, friends, there is no more difficult task than raising those tiny humans and doing it WELL!

But what I’ve learned from my own journey of being a daily yeller to a parenting instructor who teaches parents how NOT to yell is that systemic change takes time.
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How to Get Kids to (REALLY) Listen: 7 Steps for Success

Kid with megaphone pointed at another kid
Kid with megaphone pointed at another kid

Kid with megaphone pointed at another kid
You’ve asked your child to do something. Very calmly. Very rationally. And very deliberately.

Instead of action, you get the kid equivalent of crickets. Radio silence.

Maybe they didn’t hear me?” you think. So, you ask again nicely.  Firmly, but nicely.

Nothing.

You feel yourself rapidly falling into the familiar cycle of “Repeat. Remind. Repeat. Remind.”

And then it happens—the fuse blows. In a moment of utter defeat, you’re left screaming the same demands you had requested calmly just minutes ago. The energy escalates and everyone is left frustrated and discouraged.

I get it. So do most parents. I’ve been a parenting educator for 15+ years and can say unequivocally that children “not listening” is the most common frustration I hear from moms and dads.  
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