Category Archives: Teens

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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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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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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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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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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My kids don’t listen to me—ever.
Kid Not Listening

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 rest of the world goes away. So instead of taking yourself down the rabbit hole of “never listening”, add in at least 3 or 4 minutes per child to the process of gaining their attention.

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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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Teaching Your Children Self-Control

You come home at the end of the day. Maybe you’ve picked up one child from daycare and another from a playdate. Your tired, you don’t have anything prepared for dinner, and you long for some space.

And your kids go at it. Even if its loud fun screaming, it’s draining. But if it’s fighting or demanding, you just don’t have any dealing power. You end up shouting for them to be quiet, to just get along and stop bothering you. Of course you know that won’t work. They will come at you harder. But you can’t even think straight. You need quiet and time.

You know that, but your kids don’t. This is why parenting is the hardest job on the planet. You must continually twist your perspective to understand what your kids understand. Not many parents do that. You tell them what to do—or else….

The expectations on your kids, the messages they hear is they should know better, they should be more considerate of your needs, they listen and do what you say.

What you are

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Why Building Connection Early Can Save Battles with Teens
Mom and Son

 

I often read Meghan Leahy’s advice in her column On Parenting for The Washington Post. I saw this headline, How do I connect with my teen son while respecting his independence, and had to read what she would say to this mom. After all, this is totally my wheelhouse. She said it so well that I wanted to share it with you. I hope that parents of little children read it as well. Focus on connection shouldn’t wait for the teen years. 

I work with so many parents of teens who were able to get them to do what they were told as younger children. These parents thought they were doing the right thing, but controlling, coercive methods of parenting—like time outs, threats, removing favorite things, grounding—tend to backfire when the child reaches the age of realization that they don’t have to do what they’re told anymore. They can even switch their allegiance from annoying parents to peer groups.

To be the parent your kids still look to for support and guidance, connection and problem solving rather than threats, blame

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Why Rules Feed Resistance and Agreements Build Respect
Mom and Son

Q. I’ve been a long time subscriber and benefitted on how to handle parenting issues mostly when my kids were very young. Now my son has turned 18 and feels entitled to stay out as long as he wants. For me and my husband, we still think that house rules apply but I’m finding it very difficult to give logical reasons why my son should abide by some rules when my husband does the exact same thing. Is there any better way to handle this or what reasons will be valid in this situation?

A. The reason you are having a hard time coming up with logical reasons is because there are none when it comes to holding authority over your 18 year old. He should be in a place by now where he has authority over himself. That comes from slowly and gradually pulling back your authority from your child as he becomes able to handle things on his own.

Children live with parents for as long as they do because of all the things they must do that

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