Category: Positive Discipline

How to Get Your Child to Listen The First Time With One Simple Strategy

How to Get Your Child to Listen The First Time With One Simple Strategy

One of the most frustrating aspects of parenting is figuring out how to get your child to listen the *first time* you ask them to do something. Nothing is more irritating that feeling like you need to repeat yourself, yell, or resort to punishment over simple requests. If you are struggling with little kids who don’t listen the first time, stick with me for the one simple strategy that actually works.

But first, here’s why it doesn’t work to repeat yourself in the first place:

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A Step-By-Step Guide to Managing Toddler Behaviors

A Step-By-Step Guide to Managing Toddler Behaviors

Ahh, toddlers. You’ve got to love them. Toddlerhood is actually my favorite age of childhood, because it’s a time of such huge growth. One of the most notable changes happening during this phase is child’s desire to be independent… the child’s desire to do things their way.

Sound familiar?

Wanting to do everything their way, along with other major cognitive and social gains creates the perfect storm for negative behaviors (like screaming, hitting, biting, saying “no”) to rear their ugly head.

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The Best Way To Solve Your Child’s Behavior Problems

The Best Way To Solve Your Child’s Behavior Problems

If you asked me a year ago what word best described my parenting, it might have been “rigid.” Being a preschool teacher for so many years had made me a little too good at setting limits and following through. It got to the point where every day with my 3-year-old son was a repeat cycle of tears and unnecessary power struggles. I found myself thinking that I couldn’t let go of one single thing because then, “He’d win.”

But one day it hit me… at what point did he and I stop being on the same team? At what point did I start controlling him instead of guiding him? Of course I should want him to “win.” I want him to win at solving problems. To win at loving others unconditionally. Most importantly, to win in our relationship.

Fast forward to now, and I’m viewing defiance and misbehavior in a whole new light.

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10 Positive Parenting Mantras to Channel Your Inner Calm

10 Positive Parenting Mantras to Channel Your Inner Calm

My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for 2 minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills over him taking a few more bites of food.

“You’re going to be hungry” I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising and even though I’m trying to stay calm, I’m getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but in the moment… there was nothing. Nothing I could do to stay calm, nothing I could do to get this tiny human to eat his food. Tantrums all around.

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The Beginners Guide to Positive Parenting

The Beginners Guide to Positive Parenting

I started learning about positive parenting long before I was actually a parent. When I was getting my MA in early childhood education, everything that I was studying about child development and how children grow up to be well-adjusted and emotionally intelligent… all pointed back to positive parenting.

So once I had my own children, it made perfect sense for me to start putting some of those principles into action. Once I dove in, the first thing I realized is that there is a TON of information out there. Too much information. It’s overwhelming and honestly hard to know where to start.

To help save you time on your journey towards becoming a more positive parent, I’ve compiled this list of 6 core positive parenting principles to live by. Consider this your “starter’s guide,” the “beginner’s manual” to positive parenting. Let’s dive in!

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The 5 Worst Ways to Respond to Your Child’s Tantrum

The 5 Worst Ways to Respond to Your Child’s Tantrum

Think back to the last tantrum your child had. What do you remember about it? There’s a pretty good chance that you can’t remember what it was about, but I bet you remember “that feeling.”

You know what I’m talking about… the sick feeling in the pit of your stomach and the heat rising in your neck and cheeks. The feeling that is a cross between desperately wanting to help your child work through the pain they are experiencing, while also being so incredibly frustrated that you just want to start screaming yourself.

It is so difficult to remain calm when our children are having a meltdown. The most important thing to remember about tantrums are that they are a completely normal part of childhood.

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How Spanking Changes Your Child’s Brain

How Spanking Changes Your Child’s Brain

Spanking is a major hot-button topic these days. Technically, spanking is legal in all 50 states as long as it’s “reasonable discipline” and does not cause the child injury. Some people come from the mindset of “I was spanked as a child, and I turned out okay,” while others feel it borders on child abuse. 

Aside from a couple of swats for truly atrocious behavior, I was not spanked as a child. Generally speaking, my parents opted for taking away privileges or adding chores when I misbehaved. There was a time (before I really started studying child development) that I wanted to believe that spanking was no big deal. It’s what generations upon generations of parents did. It couldn’t be as damaging as so many people made it out to be.

But after I started really looking at the research and learning more about how children’s brains develop in those early years, I have taken a much firmer stance on this issue. Here are some of the unexpected ways that spanking affects the development of young children:

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7 Ways to Raise a Low-Media Child

7 Ways to Raise a Low-Media Child

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer here.

In this high-tech, fast paced world, our family is making a radical move… we’re deliberately going LOW-tech. I’ve always dreamed of a simple, classical childhood for my children. I want them to read books, play outside, explore, go on adventures, build forts, color, and build. And I want them to want to do these things. Not to do them as a way to pass the time before I allow them to watch yet another TV show.

Technology is increasing much faster than research and studies can determine what is actually best for children’s developing brains. The American Academy of Pediatrics already recommends no screen time for children under 2 years, and a 1 hour limit per day of high-quality programs for 2-5 year olds. I always wonder if that limit will become more stringent as time goes on and we can really see the effects of technology over time.

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The One Rule That Will Make Your Child More Polite

The One Rule That Will Make Your Child More Polite

Anyone else tired of dealing with attitude in your little ones? It seems like the minute my son turned three his sass level skyrocketed through the roof and just kept ramping up each day! 

From a very early age kids learn that they can use their words as a means of control over others, because it’s what they’ve seen in adults. Parents are constantly using their words to instruct, redirect, or discipline their children. It’s only natural that our kids would begin to mimic this behavior.

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5 Reasons Why Bribes Don’t Work for Kids

5 Reasons Why Bribes Don’t Work for Kids

We’ve all done it at one point or another…bribing our kids to gain their cooperation. “If you finish your dinner, you can have a cookie.” “Be a good boy at Grandmas house and then we can go to the park.” “If you do your homework, then you can have some TV time.”

It is so easy to fall into the trap of bribing our kids, because it seems like the quickest way to gain their compliance. Parents say “it works” because it gets kids to do what we ask, but bribes can have long-term negative effects on our children’s motivation and behavior. Here are 5 reasons to stop bribing your kids and what to do instead:

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