Category Archives: Questions and Answers

Why Kids Lie and How To Handle It to Motivate Honesty and Trust
Self Defense
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.

Q. 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

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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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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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How To Get Your Kids to Listen-The First Time
Kid Not Listening

How to get your kids to listen (the first time you ask!), without the frustration of yelling, nagging, or asking the same question again and again and again, takes connecting with them-before you start asking.

Q. My kids don’t listen to me—ever. I end up shouting till I’m hoarse, even when I’m in the same room. I didn’t bargain for having to go through this every time I need them to come to a meal, get ready for school or even go for a playdate or something else they love. I would have been grounded and spanked if I didn’t become a yes-man to my parents with everything they said. I don’t do that, but I do expect at least some respect and cooperation. They seem to think they can be anyway they want with me.

A. Next time you have that mental reaction of “They never listen”, intentionally switch your focus and think about what they’re doing. Are they engaged in something (whether or not you approve) that is holding their attention?

When children are focused on something the

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Unlock Positive Change in Your Child When You Adjust Your Expectations

Q. 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

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What do you do when your child “talks back”?
Kid Feeling Misunderstood

Q. My 8 year old son is constantly talking back to me and using vulgar language. I tell him that is not acceptable, and he keeps doing it. He argues and doesn’t listen to authority—my authority anyway. He’s fine at school. Teachers love him. When I was young, I would have been smacked if I said half of what he does. I’m at a loss. What do I do to stop this constant talking back and throwing crude words at me?

A. I, like you, was brought up to respect my elders—at any cost. I wasn’t allowed to say what I wanted, what I thought about anything, or express my opinion. Only adults had opinions. Having an opinion was never encouraged, never asked for, never listened to. If one came out, it was ignored or highly criticized as talking back. Life was about doing what grown-ups told you to do. Children were second-class citizens. Fortunately (I guess) my temperament kept me from ever expressing anger at my parents for keeping me quiet. I just simply stayed quiet. But my brother

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Helping Children Confront A Bully
Bullied Child

Q. Ines, 8, is a very sweet playing, sporty, capable but gentle friend. On the playground one of her better friends at school is starting to bully her. Tonight she was crying as the girl was telling her to go into a dark shed in the playground. Ines said she didn’t want to as she was afraid of the dark. The friend teased her for being a cry baby and insisted etc. My question is what do I do? I encouraged her to say STOP! and that you don’t like the way she is treating you, but she says that is not kind and she doesn’t want to be like her friend. I said to her that she needs to say stop for her friend’s sake too. She ‘practiced’ saying it but sounded like a mouse… that’s not going to transmit a message of strength. She’s going to a party tomorrow and this friend will be there. Ines is afraid that this girl will insist that the room be dark. I know the parents well and could talk to them

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Self-confident Kids are Best Prepared for Success
Teen With Father

 

Q. I have enjoyed reading many things on your website. My husband and I are the owners of 1 integrity child and 1 harmony child. The first makes me nearly lose my mind as I am an integrity person as well. My question is how do you help them understand that the world doesn’t revolve around their perceived needs? My own experiences were tough, and it took counseling to finally work through my own self esteem challenges. It is and has always been exhausting. He is 18 and a good boy. He is polite, smart, well-adjusted, and has tremendous integrity BUT argues with us over nearly anything not being done his way. We try to get in his head and help him, but life will not always accommodate that, and he fears failure. I would love any insight you could provide.

A. The fact that your son is polite, well-adjusted with tremendous integrity says that you have raised him respectfully. But your fears of the outside world not accommodating his temperament are misplaced. He will learn from experience what tracks

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From “Toilet Talk” to Curse Words: How Forbidding Turns Curiosity into Weaponry
silyl faces

Q. We have a 4-year-old turning 5 next month, and we have a lot of toilet talk going on. We’ve tried ignoring it, explaining why it’s not okay and that it’s not okay to use in our house. Nothing seems to work. He just lays around and says: penis, boobies, vagina and other words. No swear words but typical toilet talk. Also he’ll poke me or others and say I can see your booby, bum bum etc. Also with his 1-year-old sister and dogs. Any advice would be appreciated as it’s starting to be such a theme and hard to help him know that it’s not okay to yell this and say it all the time.

A. Actually, it’s you who needs to know it is okay. Your son is right on target developmentally when it comes to “toilet talk.” Four and five-year-old’s have curiosity about their bodies, compare themselves to others, especially the opposite sex, and want to discover what bodies do and what makes them different. Because they are this age, they get silly about it all.

Unfortunately,

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