Tag Archives: school anxiety

Willful Defiance: A Lesson for Parents and Teachers

Defiant ChildWe live in a school culture within a parenting culture that expects its children to fit in and embrace that culture.

For many children acculturation happens seamlessly. But for at least 1 in 5 children*, it requires giving up oneself, shifting off base, and surrendering to a non-nurturing authority. In other words, understanding that you are wrong and the other is right. Parents are expected to take on the role of enforcer using consequences, threats, punishment, withdrawal of what is most cherished—coercive tactics to manipulate children into being who they are expected to be. 

These are the children we see as defiant and oppositional. The square pegs society tries to fit into its round holes. And if they don’t adjust enough, they become the troublemakers, the problems, the ones we fear our children will grow up to be. These are the children who are tough to raise and who cause problems in classrooms. 

At home, they fight the rules and argue every direction given. Parents complain they never listen, won’t do as they’re told and refuse to comply. At school Read more…

3 Ways to Solve Being Late to School

Sleeping girlQ. How should I respond to a child (12yo) who is always late (takes too long to get dressed, takes long showers, keeps skipping breakfast because she takes too long to get ready for school) and she responds: “I am lazy”. What can I do to assist her in being more motivated to be on time?

A. The cause of being late likely has one of three motivating factors. Motivating her to be on time will require a dig into why she is always late rather than focusing on simply the fact that she is. The phrase “she takes too long” leads me to think that you are setting an expectation that she cannot meet right now—and making a judgement that she is wrong. We typically look at behavior and define it as good or bad and react to the behavior accordingly. In doing so we miss the most important factor: what provoked the behavior.

To determine what the motivating factor is in this case, you want to know:

1) Is it school she is resisting?

2) Is the transition Read more…

6 Ingredients to Set Your Child Up for School Success

 Child feeling successful in school   With a new school year approaching, it’s time to start thinking about helping your children be as successful in school as they can be.

That includes resisting the temptation either to push children beyond their means so they fear never meeting up to your expectations or to neglect staying involved so they feel unimportant. In other words it means meeting your child where he is — be it deep in anxiety and school resistance or excited for new challenges.

Meeting our children in the present can be the toughest challenge of parenting. Fears keep us setting expectations for the child we want rather than the child we have. School success becomes unlikely. Fully accepting your child — right now — puts you in a more influential place.

In my book, Confident Parents, Remarkable Kids: 8 Principles for Raising Kids You’ll Love to Live With, one principle states, “Behavior is your clue”. Behavior is what we have to tell us how our children are doing — whether or not they feel in balance with themselves and with their world. When Read more…