Category Archives: Everyday Parenting

Healthy Boundaries are Necessary to Set Good Limits
Family Discussion

Boundaries refer to the separation of responsibilities between me and my child. Limits refer to what behaviors I am ok with and what I am not. To have appropriate limits, it is essential to establish healthy boundaries.

Your child’s thoughts, emotions and behavior are NOT your responsibility. 

Your thoughts, emotions and behavior are your responsibility, never your child’s.

You are not responsible for your child’s happiness. You are 100% responsible for everything you say and do.

This principle of responsibility underlies the effective and successful application of any and all of your parenting. This is a strong boundary.

But do you look at your children’s behavior as a reflection of your parenting? Do you see acting out behavior as a sign of your inadequacy? Do you feel resentful when you do so much and get so little appreciation? If yes, your boundaries need some shoring up.

Healthy Boundaries 

A boundary is the dividing line between me and my child (or anyone). On my side of the boundary, I know what my problems, emotions, behavior, and responsibilities are. And I do

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A Fresh Start: Spring Cleaning Your Daily Routine for Family Harmony
Reading at Bedtime
Let’s do a little spring cleaning of your day. Think of these steps as working toward a goal. Constructing your daily routine will have ripple effects on your children’s well-being and create a more peaceful home. Your children thrive on predictability and anticipated expectations they can meet successfully.

Morning Daily Routine:

The goal is to encourage your children to do what is expected without nagging and frustration spiraling into yelling and threatening. Mornings are important connecting times so everyone starts the day off feeling grounded. If your kids are stressed from morning fights, they will be less able to focus and learn at school.

Get up early enough for quiet time to prepare for your day.
If you are waking a child, give it enough snuggle time to wake calmly and gently.
Get older kids using alarm clocks to take responsibility for themselves. If you allow the consequences of sleeping thru an alarm, it will likely not happen again.
Make lists (dry erase boards, etc.) using words or visuals with boxes your kids can check off when done. Include brushing

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What Are the Secrets that Make Children Successful?
Confident Kid

As far as I can tell, most parents want to raise successful children to reach launch-age fully capable of conducting their lives with responsibility and respect. When they leave the safety of their nests feeling self-confident, competent, resilient, and have the drive to contribute positively to the world, they are ready to greet whatever comes at them. We want our children to go out into the world capable of finding success yet able to weather the bumps and storms with a strong sense of self. But, what are the secrets that make children successful?

We do not want our kids to launch with the attitude that the world owes them, they are separate from the rules others must follow, and they shouldn’t have to work hard for what they want. We want them to create interdependent relationships with others and not use their individual power to push others out of their way.

Most of all we want our children to feel inspired and fulfilled in their lives, doing what they love, satisfied with most of their choices and in mutually

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How to Find Acceptance When Your Children Are Different from You
Resting child

Q. I have two daughters, 12 and 10. We have a wonderful, respectful, open relationship. The older is very much an introvert, like me and my husband. She works hard academically, achieves well, and has a mind that races along a million miles per hour. She is always up to something constructive, is very comfortable in her own company.

The younger one is a quiet extrovert and wants to be entertained all the time. Academics come easily to her, and she gives up if something is hard. She seems to have little drive to do much at all. Being on her own is like a form of torture. We do a lot together as a family—board games, walks, parks, doing crafts together, cooking and eating together etc. I am strict on minimizing screen time.

I have a very hard time seeing her lie around doing nothing, watching everything I do. I feel under pressure to entertain her but want her to entertain herself. If I suggest anything for her to do alone, she says no. I don’t want her to

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5 Step Guide to Setting Successful Family Values
Family Values

Your goal for your children is to raise strong, self-confident, resilient, independent humans who contribute to society, right? This doesn’t just happen somewhere in the teen years. It starts from setting family values that begin with love, acceptance, support, and security from which they launch into their adult lives. This is their foundation. 

Your family values may need some intentional focus and repair to find the peace and cooperation you are looking for. Things don’t change by simply hoping they will. Raising a happy family takes intentional planning and work.

Look at the following elements of parenting to see where your focus needs to be now. Family values can change. Don’t take the whole job on at once. 

A. The Foundation: You, the parent. 

  1. Your modeling is the most important teacher for your child. It’s not what you say but what you do, who you are that teaches children how to be. You must behave in the way you hope your children to behave.
  2. Your self-control ultimately determines your child’s self-control. If you are a yeller, take your child’s behavior
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Gratitude from Your Child’s Perspective
mom and infant

“My child is so ungrateful.” 

“Why can’t he ever appreciate anything?”

“She has no consideration for anyone but herself.”

Gratitude isn’t something to be taught but to be experienced. I’m coming to understand that gratitude is hard to come by without love. It’s hard to feel gratitude or consideration for others when one feels unloved or unlovable. As Mr. Rogers said, “All anyone wants is to feel loved and know they are capable of loving.”

Love must involve feeling unconditionally accepted for who you are. That is the work for all parents. Once you can accept your child for who he is—that means not sending the message you wish he were different, she was more like her sister, he can’t meet up to your expectations, there’s something wrong with her—you never need worry about whether this child will be grateful or considerate of others. It doesn’t mean accepting behavior. It does mean accepting that this child at this moment in time is behaving this way because she can’t help it—because she is having a problem. 

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How to Resist the “Toughen Up Trap”
Mom Yelling

The family is a nurturing ground, not a training ground. When I hear parents say, “My job is to prepare him to deal with the real world. People out there aren’t going to care how he feels about what he has to do,” I hear a justification for traditional, authoritarian parenting, and I want to counter it to expose the moving parts.

This all-too-common argument about the responsibility of parents offers license to the threats, punishments, and blame that get dished out, and has forever been dished out, to ensure children’s compliance to what the parents want. When the adults in that family have been brought up under similar punitive tactics, those adults must justify the reasoning behind those tactics. To carry on with the same methods hated and dreaded by those adults as children, they must create a belief in their ultimate worth. “It’s for your own good.”

What good comes of authoritarian coercion? Answer: The continuation of this way of raising children. This is called generational trauma as patterns of parenting pass on through the generations and allow

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It’s Okay To Parent Differently
Two Parents with Son

Q. My husband and I see the world—and parenting—differently. He is a type B personality (always looking for his keys), and my son and I are type A personalities (we never misplace anything because there’s a place or “home” for everything and everything in its place. How do we raise our son with two different and most times opposing parenting styles? Do we go by Mom’s style when Dad’s at work and Dad’s way when Mom’s at work. I figure that our son is learning to be flexible and learning that different rules apply at different homes or with different people. My husband, on the other hand, thinks we’re confusing him. He and my son seem to butt heads more often than our son and I do. When this happens, my husband thinks we are ganging up on him.

A. I know of no families where mom and dad have exactly the same parenting styles. And most are very different. What you describe here are different personalities—inborn temperament styles. You are different people with different blueprints and will parent your

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8 Steps of a True Apology
Sorry

It’s really easy to get down on yourself for behaving regretfully toward your child. What’s hard is forgiving yourself because you’re human and making amends. 

Repairing mistakes is one of the best skills you can teach your child. Isn’t this what we want them to be able to do? Repairing, apologizing, owning up and being accountable for your behavior is the sign of a strong, responsible person—exactly what you want your child to become.

But it’s hard for many parents to own mistakes and make repairs. When you have learned through your childhood that apologizing, showing vulnerability by admitting mistakes is a sign of weakness, it is hard to do it with your child. It can feel like admitting defeat, losing authority, giving in. But the opposite is true.

Coming down off a righteous pedestal to apologize, to say I see it differently now and wish I hadn’t said what I did, to admit wrong-doing, is not backing down or being inconsistent and wishy-washy. On the contrary, it is the powerful thing to do.

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How To Ask A Controlling Grandparent to Back Off
Indulgant Grandmother

Q. I am the mother of two kids, 6 and 8. My mother’s overprotectiveness and interfering nature drives me nuts. She is a fixer for sure and has even called my boss when I shared problems I was having at work. It’s like she is my children’s parent, and I am the nanny. She tells me what to do and what they need. My parents are hugely helpful as my husband and I work from home and the kids are with them 4 days a week. But they give the kids way too much sugar and buy them things without consulting us. I don’t feel like I can tell them not to because they do so much for us. My husband thinks they don’t trust him to look after us. They are always dropping off things they think we will need. I feel angry and guilty and don’t know what to do. 

A. I hope that grandparenting will one day become as popular a topic as parenting has become. Grandparenting is not parenting—unless the grandparent has had to assume that

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