Tag Archives: responsibility

“Wait, aren’t I the parent here?” Using Your Parent Authority

The human child remains with a parent until the child is capable of making his own decisions about his health, safety, and well-being. The parent holds authority over this child until that time — usually through the teen years.

That’s the reason for parent authority. It is not to control the child to be who the parent wants or to demand obedience to make life easier for the parent. This leads to power struggles and rebellion or looking to others for authority and approval.

Your job as parent is to insure that your child does what she shouldn’t be expected to do on her own – simply because she’s too young.

Rick Trinkner of the University of New Hampshire has researched the types of families who raise self-confident, self-controlled, respectful children. Trinkner says,

When children consider their parents to be legitimate authority figures, they trust the parent and feel they have an obligation to do what their parents tell them to do. This is an important attribute for any authority figure to possess, as the parent does not have to

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Raising Gratitude

So many parents complain, especially at holiday and birthday time, how ungrateful their children are. It’s hard to put in all the time, effort, and money into our children’s upbringing and wants and desires only to have them take and take and show no appreciation. So how do we turn this around? How do we raise grateful children?

The irony is that when you expect your children to show appreciation—in other words when your button gets pushed because they don’t, and you react anywhere from subtly guilt-tripping to blowing up—they will only get defensive and you will never see it. Yet when you least expect it and never demand it, that’s when you get it.

The most important key to getting started on raising gratitude is to understand that everything you do for your children, everything you buy, every opportunity you provide is your choice. Nobody is making you buy or do anything. Not even the “everybodies” who all have just what your child is demanding.

If you don’t want your child to have what “everybody else has”, don’t get

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If I Don’t Punish or Give Consequences, What DO I Do? How to Use Problem Solving

Even after I outline problem solving to a frustrated parent of a child who just keeps pushing the limits, I get the same reply. “Yeah, okay, but what do I DO?”
It’s hard to understand at first that logical words, emotional understanding and empathy, and asking the child to think is actually DOING anything. We are so accustomed to grounding, time outs, taking away privileges, threatening, and withholding. It’s hard to think a respectful process of working it out is doing something.


What’s hard is dropping the notion that we have to make our children miserable in order to teach lessons.

Break it down. If you do any of the above, you are necessarily causing hurt (understanding behavior). The misguided thinking is that if our children are miserable enough, they will decide not to do the deed again and voila—learning takes place.

Well, yes, learning takes place, but not the kind you are counting on. What they feel is anger, frustration, resentment, misunderstood, unheard. What they learn is:

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10 Ways to Get Respect from Your Child
Parent/child respect
We want our children to grow to be happy and successful, yes — but more specifically, to be responsible, respectful, grateful, honest, kind, empathic, helpful and giving to others. The irony is that traditional methods of parenting — varying degrees of reward and punishment, threats and criticizing — teaches exactly the opposite.

In my 30 years of working with parents on how to better connect with their children (ultimately resulting in better behavior), I have learned one thing over and over and over. It’s all about relationship. In order to get respect from our children, we need to be respectful of them. Nothing else needs to be taught about how to be a good person that consistent work on a gratifying and mutually respectful relationship doesn’t teach. But it’s not simple.

Developing a Respectful Relationship with Your Child Involves:

  1. Understanding the power of connection. Empathizing with and understanding your child’s agenda, instead of telling them what to do and expecting it to be done according to your agenda.
  2. This may be the hardest — stepping back and trusting your
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The Reasons I am a Connective Parent

I choose to be a connective parent because flexibility and self-direction are the two top competencies needed to succeed in the 21st Century.

I choose to empathize with my child because understanding another’s point of view is paramount in establishing good relationships.

I don’t engage in power struggles with my child because a win/lose model never wins.

I don’t use time out because I don’t think it’s right to isolate a child who is having a problem.

I don’t spank or hit because I don’t want to teach my child that using physical force is a way to get what you want.

I don’t take away privileges because I don’t think that intentionally provoking my child’s anger or resentment is the way to gain cooperation.

I don’t ground my child or take away access to what is important to him because it won’t seem fair or logical, and he will assume that I don’t understand him.

I choose to problem solve with my children instead of punish or dole out consequences because it is important for them to express

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Who Can We Blame?

As a follow-up to my recent blog about the amazing personal journey of Gayle Kirschenbaum and her mother that will be available to all of us in her upcoming movie, “Look at Us Now, Mother”, I wanted to post this personal question I got from a parent a long time ago.

Q. I am currently reading your book, “When Your Kids Push Your Buttons” and have a question on something I read. The section called Parent-Blame didn’t sink in with me and I’m hoping you can clarify. It says, “Your parents did the best they could given the knowledge and circumstances they had at the time.” It sounds like we should hold blameless those parents who just don’t do right by their children. On a more personal level, what if my mother had thought to herself as she was parenting that there must be a better way to do this, but, dammit, I have 7 children and it’s just too hard, or, this is the way my mother raised me, so therefore, this is how I am going to raise

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When Your Kids Fight: Entering The Triangle Zone

Nothing is more time consuming, frustrating, worrisome, and annoying than your children’s sibling rivalry. In an nano second, you fear they will never have any meaningful relationships of any kind. You don’t know what to do to change it, you yell at their behavior and maybe send one or both to their rooms. And it starts all over again. The drain on a parent’s psyche is palpable.

So let’s go through the process and make some changes that will not only get you out of the fray, but will give your children the most important life-long skills they can have.

What happens? You hear the inevitable coming from the other room. You immediately fall into step:

1) You think, When will this ever end, I can’t stand this fighting, Why can’t things ever be peaceful, and you assume, They’re going to grow up hating each other, Why can’t I teach them to get along? I don’t know how to handle this. I have to do stop it.

2) Then you go in to intervene fearing bloodshed or at least escalation

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Is Your Graduate Ready for Graduation?

If your child is graduating from kindergarten, elementary school or middle school, the next step is obvious. Worse-case scenario is repeating a grade. Many high school graduates will go on to college. But for those at the end of their academic journey, there is the world at large waiting for them. Most parents are left with the big question at the end of their active parenting years: Will they be embraced or will that world knock them down? For most graduates, anxiety may grow to major proportion: Can I make it? Will I be able to earn a living? Can I afford a place to live? Am I ready for this? Will I fail?

Whether a job is waiting or not, more and more adult children are moving back home for both financial and emotional support. Many situations are positive with another wage earner helping make ends meet. But the growing population of adult children unable to find jobs and continuing to live off mom and dad does not bode well for our economy and the future of our youth.

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