Category Archives: Expectations

How to Raise a Child with Self-Confidence, Not Entitlement

Confident KidAs far as I can tell, most parents want their children to reach launch-age fully capable of conducting their lives with responsibility and respect. When they leave the safety of their nests with self-confidence, feeling competent and resilient, with 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.

Most of all we want our children to feel inspired and fulfilled in their lives, doing what they love, able to reach their potential, and in mutually respectful relationships with others. 

Does this sound fairy-tale-ish?

Especially when right now you struggle with demanding kids who seem oblivious to your requests and inconsiderate of other’s needs? 

Even though your struggles today are very real and very exhausting, this is the time, no matter how young your child is, to focus on the journey of reaching the goal of 100% authority over themselves instead of being the entitled Read more…

A Fresh Start: Spring Cleaning Your Daily Routine for Family Harmony
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 SnugglesMorning 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 Read more…

Why Kids Lie and How To Handle It to Motivate Honesty and Trust
Why DO kids lie? It’s pretty straightforward but anything but obvious. Here’s the break down on why kids lie and what you can do about it.

Kids playing legosQ. My eight-year-old daughter has taken to lying and I don’t know what to do. The other day I was driving her home from a friend’s house. I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw her playing with legos that were not hers. Her friend has quite a collection. I asked her where she got them, and she told me that a friend at school had given them to her. I said that we had not brought them to her friend’s. She said she had put them in the car earlier to play with on the way home. Her brother told me later that she had taken them from her friend’s house. What is my next step?

A. Let’s start with understanding how badly she wanted the legos. To influence her with the right way of handling the situation, you will make better progress by connecting with her first. Try:

“I see you have Read more…

What Are the Secrets that Make Children Successful?

Confident KidAs 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 Read more…

How to Find Acceptance When Your Children Are Different from You

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 Read more…

The Difference Between Limits and Boundaries and Why It’s so Important

parent and childIf you want your children to become respectful, responsible people, you must model that behavior. With poor boundaries, this is hard to do.

Contrary to popular opinion, boundaries and limits are very different from one another, although many use the words interchangeably. The word boundary is often used to refer to setting limits. Kids “push boundaries” or they won’t “listen to the boundaries”. It is the rare parent who understands the true meaning of boundaries. And it’s no wonder. Many of us were not brought up with them.

When we say someone doesn’t have good boundaries, we are talking about a dividing line between two people and their personal space and responsibilities. 

When people blame others or situations for how they feel or for their life circumstances, they have crossed that line, taking no responsibility for themselves. They have poor boundaries. 

Good boundaries are essential for a family to work cooperatively as a team.

Limits

Limits are what you impose to keep your children safe and behaving appropriately. Limits are parameters you set around your children’s behavior using your parental Read more…

Unlock Positive Change in Your Child When You Adjust Your Expectations

Grumpy SonQ. My son is 11 and an only child. His first reaction to everything is negative, a sigh, makes a face and moans. This is the reaction to every meal (even stuff he likes), an outing he likes or even just being asked to watch tv with us. When we try to do fun family stuff he moans. Nearly every time he enjoys the activity and tells us afterwards, when we ask, that he loved it. He just wants to be playing on his iPad or watching TV on his own in his room. He says these activities take time from his gaming. I get frustrated because I plan these family activities around what he likes to do and yet he moans about going. Then it causes a row because no matter what we do he never gets excited or happy.

A. Constant negativity is very wearing. Especially if you take it personally. What I mean by that is: Does your frustration stem from thinking you have failed to raise a happy kid? Do you think his negativity is your Read more…

Why Kids Lie to Parents and What Helps

Q. I am currently feeling like a failure as a parent. My 12 year old daughter is smart, well behaved, does well in school. However, there are 2 main areas where we fight and tempers flare resulting in a tense hostile environment at home. 

1) She sneaks food. She loves junk food like cookies and chips. We have a policy at home where the kids get to choose 2 junk items from the pantry as snack after school. And the deal is they don’t eat anything later. It works in most part, but she ends up taking 1-2 extra things on the side to her room. I am worried about the impact of constant junking on her teeth & overall health. She just cannot stop herself from eating. I cannot constantly monitor her and increasing the ‘allowed’ unhealthy stuff on a daily basis is not an option. Sneaking Screentime

2) The other is her watching You Tube, again without my knowledge. She has to use the laptop for homework, and I cannot baby sit while she is doing that as I have Read more…