The Assertive Child - 5 Role-Plays for Your Dinner Discussions

Girl and Boy Smiling 450
 
How Do Assertive Children Express Themselves?

ARE ASSERTIVE KIDS AGGRESSIVE? Do they dominate conversations or do they speak-up with respect?

An assertive child learns to express himself respectfully because he shares the microphone. He speaks and listens. But what if he needs to defend himself against aggression?

In today’s gift you’ll learn the assertive formula. It includes 3 parts:

  1. Describe what offends you.  
  2. State your feeling.
  3. Suggest a solution.

When you use the formula, respectful communication grows. Teach it during dinner discussions. If you do, they’ll become the teaching moments all kids need.

Assertive Kids 450

In this gift your kids will role-play:  

  1. How Jimmy could respond to Lola when she rolls her eyes.
  2. How one brother shares his frustration when Bobby hogs the ice cream.
  3. How Suzy asks Tammy to quit messing up her room.
  4. How an older sister orders John to quit telling her secrets to his friends.
  5. How Mary tells Sara what she wants her to say instead of cussing.

It is important that children have a simple respectful blueprint for expressing their upsets.

As the parent, use the formula yourself whenever appropriate. Post it on the fridge. Point to it when kids fight. Tell them to cool down. Later, tell them to replay their argument using the formula.

Download the formula now at www.KidsDiscuss.com using the code word:

DISCUSS

Add it to your 3-hole binder to use whenever you need it.

You might also like: How Parents Teach Assertive Skills to Kids

 

 

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With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Parenting the Aggressive Entitled Child to Think Realistically

Boy Crown 800
 
You Can Raise a Kinder Reasonable Child

The entitled child believes everything should go his way. He acts like he’s the king of the universe. Justin was such a boy.

Whenever Justin’s younger brother, Seth, wouldn’t play Justin’s video games with him, he’d punch Seth and yell, “I hate you!” When his mom scolded Justin, he’d sass back, “You always take Seth’s side,” then slam his bedroom door.

If Justin was your son, would you want to hit him? Would you yell, “I’m sick and tired of your angry behavior!” and preach the same old lecture?

Consider having a conversation with Justin when both of you are calm.

Respectful Boy Justin 800
 
Teaching the Entitled Child How to Be Realistic

 

Use yourself as an example. It might go something like this:

Mom: Remember when I arranged a birthday party for Grandpa?

Justin: Yah.

Mom: I was frustrated because only three of our family members came. I really felt mad inside. I wanted to tell those who didn’t come what I thought of them.

Justin: Did you?

Mom: No, because I remembered something Grandpa taught me as a child. He’d say,  “Sally, you’re not the Queen of the Universe. Things don’t have to go your way.”

Justin: How did that help you?

Mom: Can you guess?

Justin: No.

Mom: Because if I was the queen, I could make everybody do what I want.

Justin: But you’re not the queen so you couldn't force everyone to come to Grandpa's party.

Mom: That’s right. How might that thought help you?

Justin: I’m not the King of the Universe so things don't have to go my way either.

Mom: Right. What about Seth not playing your video games?

Justin: Yah.

Mom: How can we remind ourselves that we’re not the king or queen of the universe?

Justin: Let’s make 2 signs that say, “I’m Not the King,” and “I’m Not the Queen” and post them on the fridge.

Mom: And every time we stop ourselves from losing our tempers let’s make a tally mark on our signs.

Conclusion for Helping Entitled Kids Become Reasonable

Entitled kids need to know that life isn’t fair, doesn’t cater to what they want, and can be disappointing at times. You can teach them with reasonable self-talk how to be more rational about life. None of us is the king or queen of the universe. Things often don't go our way. Sometimes we need to be patient and accept that fact. And sometimes it becomes a challenge to creatively overcome the problem.

As the parent, you are the best one to teach him this lesson by being reasonable yourself and having good discussions with him. Start with a true story about when you were angry and irrational. He won't feel like you're pointing a finger at him and he'll like spending private time with you.

A Gift for You:

Reasonable Child 800

Pick Up:

 10 Ways Successful Parents Handle Their Aggressive Child

Insert the code word: AGGRESSIVE and download your gift.

https://www.KidsDiscuss.com 

 

You might also like this brief YouTube video with it's simple technique to teach your child:

How Parents and Kids Discuss Emotions

 

 

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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How to Stop the Big Bad Bully from Hurting Your Child

Miriam Laundry Bully 450
 
Don't Let the Big Bad Bully
Torment Your Child

Big Bad Bullies are Critical Judges. They mess with your child's mind. Their constant put-downs harm self-esteem and prevent their victims from liking themselves. 

 

Miriam Laundry Jack C
 
Jack Canfield & Miriam Laundry

 

In this brand new book, Miriam Laundry teams up with Chicken Soup for the Soul Expert, Jack Canfield. Together they share the story of a girl tormented by a big bad bully who haunted her every move.

One day she found the bully in the school bathroom. Did she stand up to the bully? Or did she run away "like a scared little chicken?" 

In the end, your child will learn a method for dealing with the big bad bully. 

What My 12 Year-Old Granddaughter Thought:

Allyssa 12 Years (2)
 
Allyssa

 

"It tricked me and I thought it was a real girl who was being bullied and I could relate to it. It turned out it was herself and she was her own worst critic. I criticize myself a lot and it turns out nobody is actually paying attention to what I'm insecure about. I'm going to start doing the author's The Positive Mirror Exercise. I think it's going to help me a lot."

Suggestion for Parents:

I suggest you read this beautifully illustrated book with your child. Discuss  and practice The Positive Mirror Exercise together. You'll find 5 other exercises for helping her conquer the bully.  

Don't let your child's self-esteem prevent her from liking herself. Pick up this book at Amazon.com now. It will make a great birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, or 'just because' present.

The Big Bad Bully

https://www.amazon.com/Big-Bad-Bully-Jack-Canfield/dp/0757323081

 

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The Assertive Child - How Parents Empower Kids

Aggressive boy  2 450

 
The Aggressive Child Lacks Friends
 

 

Aggressive kids, like Joey aren't liked. He hated waiting in line at the water fountain. He'd shove the kids lined up ahead of him. They'd fall forward like dominoes. The first child always hit his face while drinking. Joey laughed. I visited his parents and had a glimpse into Joey's life at home. 

The father put his wife down several times during our conversation. She looked straight into my eyes but said nothing. Tears ran down her face.

When parents model meanness, children pick it up. Joey was mean. He didn't know how to relate to others.

I found out that Joey's dad was too busy to spend time with Joey. Joey didn't feel important. He didn't feel love from his dad. As we ended the meeting, Joey's father promised to spend time with him. He and his wife decided to work on their relationship too.

 

Asian Boy Smiling (2) 800

 
Parents Must Model How Children Can Assert Themselves
 

Teaching children how to assert themselves, speak up with respect, and be friendly starts at home. Parents must model how to communicate well. If they don't know how, they can learn. The following article will show how.

 Assertive Children  - How Parents Raise Great Communicators

You'll find:

1. An empowering formula for teaching kids assertiveness skills

2. 5 assertive role-plays to practice at the dinner table

3. A fun family activity 

4. An assertive poem for kids

How Joey Became Assertive

Joey told me with a big smile that his dad playfully put shaving cream on his face and let him shave it off with an empty razor. It made a real difference. Joey, over a matter of weeks, stopped shoving kids and started making friends. A greater respect developed between Joey's parents. Soon they were ready to learn the Assertiveness Formula within this article:

Assertive Children  - How Parents Raise Great Communicators

Father and Son Shaving 800
 
Loving Parents Empower Kids

 

You can raise assertive children by practicing the formula within your family. Advise your kids to use it with others too. If you do, they'll learn to speak up for themselves, make friends, and become respectful communicators too.

Watch our brief video on assertiveness:

 

 

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How Smart Parents Teach Assertive Skills and Stop the Fights - Video

Sister and Brother Fighting 650
 
"Stop Blaming Me!" "Stop Taking My Stuff!"
             Sound Familiar?

 

Do your kids bicker? Is it grating on your nerves? Some quarreling is normal. But if your kids continually fight, it’s a telling sign to “Detour! Danger Ahead!”

My brother and I fought so much that years later my mother told me, “I thought you were going to kill each other.” A slight exaggeration but we did yell, wrestle, and throw some punches. Underneath it all, I really did love him and if anyone criticized him, I ached inside.

When we fought our mother would yell, “Stop!” She’d complain. She’d even lecture. But she had been an only child and never experienced sibling rivalry. She didn’t have a clue how to help us be civil and neither did we.

Assertive Role-Playing

Confused Mom 1000
 
How Do I Teach My Kids Assertive Skills?

 

Assertive role-playing can be taught using “Instant Replay.” This parenting technique is assertive because kids must come up with their own answers and then act them out. It uses Time Out.

I remember being sent to bed after many a fight. It often lasted the whole afternoon, but it didn’t work. I just took long naps.

With Instant Replay you separate your kids and send them to different boring places within your home. They come back to you after each child brainstorms 3 good ways they could have handled their disagreement without fighting. Then you tell them, “Act out the best one. When done, they shake hands and are free to go off to play.

I like this strategy because you’re no longer the judge and jury. You don’t choose who’s right and who’s wrong. You don’t even come up with solutions. Your children solve their own problems.

The Assertive Formula

Brother and Sister Assertive 1000
 
The Assertive Formula Works

 

This formula includes 5 parts:

  1. The Assertive Voice
  2. The Assertive Face
  3. The Assertive Posture
  4. The Assertive Words
  5. The Assertive Role-Play

The video below shows parents and children several simple suggestions to practice within each part.

Before teaching this formula, I suggest practicing it with your partner first. Why? Because your example is the most powerful way for kids to learn.

Watch Now: How Parents Teach Assertiveness Skills




 
Practice One Sibling Solution Per Dinner Discussion

 

 

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Open-Minded Kids – How Parents Open Closed Minds

Brain
 
Broad-Minded Parents Help Kids Think Outside the Box.

 

It’s easier to unlock kid’s brains when parents are open to new ideas.

Today, we’ll look at 3 traps for close-minded parents and 3 advantages for being an open parent. We’ll also share 2 examples from your children’s lives that you can use immediately. They'll help your kids open their minds. At the end you'll find a new SlideShare with 7 open-minded discussion questions. I hope you'll use them with your children.

Narrow-Minded Parents Fall into 3 Traps When They:

  1. Stop listening they end up turning their kids off.
  2. Judge their children harshly when they don't agree.
  3. Demand their kids think the same way they do.

When kids aren’t heard, feel judged, and experience mind control, they can:

  1. Feel resentment toward parents.
  2. Plug their ears.
  3. Keep their real thoughts to themselves.

3 Advantages of Open-Minded Parents

  1. They listen well which gives their children the attention and respect they want.
  2. They receive respect from kids who may open their ears in return.
  3. They find out what their kids really think and can better guide them.

How to Solve 2 Childhood Problems with Open Minds

 

Yawning Boy 800
 
Many Kids Engage in Bedtime Battles.

 

When parents are open to hearing their youngsters ideas, kids can look at bedtime decisions with fresh eyes.

Ask: “Should kids have the same bedtime on weekends as school nights?”

  1. Let them share all their opinions, even if you don’t like them. Just listen.
  2. Ask them to list all the reasons for the opposite side. Just listen.
  3. Tell them to blend the best of both sides so both of you can accept them.
  4. Now it’s your turn to share your opinions and the opposite side. Then blend the best of both.
  5. Search for a compromise with your child. Take all the time you need.

Suggest you both try the new solution for a couple of weeks.

Signs that you both still need to compromise may be:

  1. Your student doesn’t get up on time.
  2. Your child yawns from tiredness at school and home.
  3. Your child is cranky during the day because he’s tired.

Remember, when children get to participate in the rules, they are more likely to follow them.

 

Chores 800
 
Does Your Child Like Responsibilities?

 

Responsibilities restrict freedom. Yet to have a freedom, there is a matching responsibility. Here are some to consider:

  1. Freedom to watch TV or play video games could mean completing homework first.
  2. Freedom to eat a snack could mean cleaning the mess afterward.
  3. Freedom to own a dog means feeding her and taking her for walks.

Discuss with your youngster more freedoms with related responsibilities.

Ask: “Is it important for kids to have responsibilities?”

  1. Listen well as your child shares both pro and con ideas.
  2. Ask questions that help your child think more deeply.
  3. Give your ideas when your student is finished.
  4. Ask, “Is there is a household responsibility you’d like to discuss?” If so, use the 2-sided method we used with the bedtime discussion.
  5. Insist on respect throughtout.

Summary – How Parents Open Closed Minds

The advantages of being an open-minded parent are mutual listening, great discussions and acceptable solutions. Helping your kids see more than their point of view teaches them to become problem solvers and wise compromisers who think outside the box. Their brains won’t be chained to stubborn thinking either.

 

Smart Parents 800
 
Open-Minded Discussions Promote Broad-Minded
Children

 

Enjoy this SlideShare with additional questions for teaching open-mindedness with delightful discussions. The transcript is included. Feel free to copy it.

How Smart Parents Raise Open-Minded Kids

https://www.slideshare.net/JeanTracyMSS/how-smart-parents-raise-open-minded-kids

 

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3 Parenting Tips: How Kids Discuss Making Excuses

"It wasn't my fault."
 
Narrow-minded kids might say, "It wasn't my fault."

 

Narrow-Minded Children Need Open-Minded Parents. Many kids naturally act to gain pleasure and avoid pain (punishment). Open-minded parents can model both calmness and reason. By doing so, they can help their children see both sides of a bigger picture.

In today’s post, we are sharing 3 dinner discussions. They don’t tell your children what to think. That’s not their purpose. The goal is to help your child slow down, think reasonably and see a side other than their own.

Use the dinner discussions to find out what your children really think. Don’t force your ideas. Listen well. Your mission is to open their minds by asking them to give advice to 3 narrow-minded kids.

 

  1. “It Wasn’t My Fault”

12 year-old Josh had been told many times to pick up his things. Yesterday, his 5 year-old brother Tommy, while running down the hall to the bathroom, tripped on Josh’s bookbag. He sprained his wrist in the fall. Josh blurted out, “It wasn’t my fault.”

  1. Did Josh have any responsibility for Tommy’s sprained wrist? Why?
  2. How could Josh blame Tommy for spraining his own wrist?
  3. By blaming Tommy, what could Josh avoid?
  4. What advice would you give Josh?
  5. If Josh followed your advice how might he have reacted differently?

 

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Narrow-Minded Kids Might Say, "I Forgot."

 

  1. “I Forgot”

Whenever 11 year-old Sheila’s mom asked her, “Do you need help with your math homework?” Sheila would answer, “No, it was easy. I did it in school.” Then she’d run out to play.

Sheila received a poor grade in math because she rarely handed-in her homework. When her mother saw the report, she said, “You’re supposed to ask for help when you need it. Why didn’t you?” Sheila said, “I forgot.”

  1. Do you think Sheila was open to getting help? Why?
  2. Did anything stop Sheila’s from doing her homework? If so, what?
  3. If you were Sheila’s mom, would you accept, “I forgot,” for an answer? Why?
  4. What advice would you give Sheila? Why?
  5. If Sheila opened her mind and listened to you, what might she do? 

 

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            Narrow-Minded Kids Might Tell a Parent,                   
"You're So Mean!"

 

  1. “You’re So Mean.”

13 year-old Jerry begged his dad for an expensive new bike. His father asked, “Are you willing to work for it?”

“Do I have to?”, asked Jerry.

“If you really want a bike, you’ll need to keep your room clean, do your chores without complaining, and cut the grass every week this summer. Are you willing to do that?”

Jerry stared at his dad and yelled, “You’re so mean!”

  1. Why did Jerry yell that his dad was mean?
  2. What do you think stopped Jerry from working for a new bike?
  3. If you were Jerry’s Dad, would you give him a bike without expecting anything in return? Why?
  4. How open-minded do you think Jerry was about taking responsible?
  5. Is manipulating others with insults a good strategy? Why? 
  6. If you gave Jerry advice, what would you suggest?

 

Getting children to think reasonably helps them see the bigger picture. Open-minded thinking can slow down their pleasure seeking and speed up accepting responsibility. They might even think before they act.

Becoming reasonable and open-minded won’t happen overnight. Using dinner discussions can start the process.

Here are similar posts you might find helpful:

Character Tips for Parents of Kids Who Whine

Parenting Skills - Turning Your Kids Into Independent Thinkers

 

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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Parenting - 2 Childhood Dilemmas for Teaching Kids Empathy

Boy Cheating
 
Teaching Empathy Through Dilemmas
       Can Be Done

 

Childhood dilemmas help your kids think more deeply about choices.  They can teach empathy too. 

In this post, Carter is a math whiz. But he didn't study for his test and he couldn't remember how to solve some problems. He secretly pulled out his calculator and cheated. 

Ask your child questions like:

1. Can you understand Carter's feelings? Please explain.

2. What thoughts might have helped Carter to avoid cheating?

3. Can you explain Carter's dilemma?

4. What advice would you give Carter? Why?

5. Have you ever faced a difficult dilemma where you had to make a quick choice?

6. Would you like to discuss it?

Having empathy for someone doesn't mean you agree with their behavior. Empathy can soften harsh judgments and can help the person deal with what they've done.

 

IStock_000009721676XSmall.jpg.girl.stealing.cookies
 
Understanding Others Is a Form of Empathy.
 

 

Meredith wanted to see an R rated movie, but her mother disapproved. Meredith's friends were going. So Mededith decided to take her mom's money from the cookie jar and sneak off with her friends. Her mother nabbed her in the act.

Ask your child:

1. Can you understand Meredith's feelings about seeing the movie with her friends?

2. How many solutions can you think of to help Meredith avoid stealing?

3. If Meredith's mom hadn't caught her, how might she have felt about taking the money?

4. What advice would you give Meredith?

5. Have you ever felt a strong desire to do something, but your parents disapproved?

6. If yes, can you talk about it?

Understanding others' problems can help your child forgive others when they've been wronged, enjoy a kinder heart, and accept herself when she makes her own errors in judgment.

When you chat with your child about childhood dilemmas, you teach character, understanding, and empathy for others. 

Father and Son 700
 
Kids Love to Share Their Thoughts with Parents Who
Listen.

 

When kids think through specific dilemmas, it helps them with decisions and choices because a similar problem may occur in their near future. Since they've already considered it in detail, they'll know better which choice to make.

 

Articles with Similar Helpful Content

Social Conscience: How to Use Moral Dilemmas Effectively with Kids

 

How Parents Build Character with Fun Moral Dilemmas

 

 

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How Parents Teach Children Empathy - 7 Steps

Empathy Critical 900
 
Empathy CAN Be Taught

PARENTS CAN TEACH CHILDREN EMPATHY WITH SIMPLE DISCUSSIONS. Today you and your child will find a childhood behavior to discuss, what mindsets to avoid, and 7 easy steps for teaching empathy.  Use it to help your child grow into a caring person who understands others.

Ask your youngster to analyze this situation by asking, “What don’t we know?”

Sarah gave her friend, Jane, a friendly punch. Jane yelled, “Stop it!” and hit Sarah hard.

Ask your child, "What don't we know?"

Hopefully, she answered, “We don’t know why Jane hit Sarah back so hard.”

Many kids might judge Jane and call her names. But that would put Jane on the defensive and make her mad because no one wants to be judged harshly.

Rather than being a critical judge, ask your child to think of some positive reasons why Jane may have hit Sarah. Why positive?

Usually, when someone does something, even if it’s negative,  it’s for a positive reason. We call it the ‘positive intent.’ This is because the doer, (Jane) is getting something positive out of her behavior.

Yelling girls
 
What Positive Reasons Do Kids Have for Acting Badly?

 

Here are some sample reasons:

  1. Maybe Sarah told her class a big secret about Jane's family and Jane found out. Now Jane’s breaking off the friendship.

 

  1. Maybe Sarah has given Jane too many friendly punches that have bruised her in the past. Now Jane’s showing her what it feels like to stop Sarah from punching her again.

 

  1. Maybe Jane was ridiculed by her class for a wrong answer and she thought Sarah’s friendly punch was intended to tease her for it. Jane’s hitting tells Sarah her teasing isn’t funny.

 

Who knows why Jane reacted the way she did? We’re not mind readers. Only Jane really knows. 

But stepping into Jane’s shoes and trying to see the situation from her point of view, your child is on the path to understanding and empathy.

Tell your child, “It’s hard to feel empathy for Jane or anyone else if you’re judging with a mean critical mind.”

Bigstock_Family_Problems_183002
 
Your Child CAN Switch Her Critical Judgments  to
Understanding Thoughts

 

Rather than judge, teach your child to:

  1. Switch your critical thoughts to exploring positive reasons why she did what she did.
  2. Avoid calling names or making accusations.
  3. Ask don't tell. "Why did you...? rather than, "You did it because..."
  4. Listen without judgment.
  5. Try to see her point of view.
  6. Show empathy with understanding comments like, "I can see why you felt that way."
  7. Suggest she apologize, if appropriate.

If you do, she just might follow your suggestion. All because you asked, listened and cared.

Another important point, when someone acts poorly and you understand why they did it, doesn't mean you agree with their negative behavior. It does mean you chose to understand it.

Use these steps, whenever your child tells you about another child’s negative behaviors. Your discussions will be interesting, and you’ll be teaching her to be an empathic person with an understanding character.

Watch this 2 minute video with 5 questions to help your child turn from criticism to empathy.

How Parents Teach Empathy to Kids


 

The Transcript with the 5 Questions is beneath the video at YouTube when you click Show More. 

Bonus Articles with Videos:

7 Ways to Encourage Positive Brain Power in Your Child   

The Positive Child - 18 Top Parenting Tips and Tools 

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Respectful Arguments: How Parents Teach Children Open-Mindedness

Teaching Your Child 800
 
Parents Can Teach  Children  to Disagree with Respect

 

Any parent can teach kids to be open and respectful. But it takes practice. Today we'll share:

  • 9 simple rules for open-minded disagreements 
  • 1 practice example about a sleepover
  • A 90 second video with 5 reasons why children love confiding in you

9 Rules for Conducting Open-Minded Arguments

Have you and your child ever yelled at each other? Did you feel guilty and wish it hadn't happened? I know the feeling.

Moms - Divorce
 
Respectful Disagreements Take Practice

 

If you're like most parents, you'll have many disagreements with your kids. Now you can turn them into opportunities for open-minded discussions. If you do, you'll be teaching your child an important life skill.

How to teach your child 9 simple rules for open-minded respectful disagreements:

  1. Both speak in a calm voice.
  2. Both hear and repeat each other's words or ideas.
  3. Both take time to find the good points in each other's thoughts.
  4. Discuss each other's good points.
  5. Create a compromise in which each side wins. at least, a little. 
  6. Avoid arguing, yelling, walking away, or being sarcastic.
  7. If either side is disrespectful, make a future date to discuss the issue.
  8. Keep that date and stay calm.
  9. Praise your child for her respectful openness during the argument. 

 

Use This Sleepover Example to Role-play:

Your 12 year-old son, George, is begging you to stay overnight with a friend you've never met. He says he doesn't know his mom's name or number. You want to introduce yourself and checkout  the sleepover with her.

Black Dad Discussing with Boy SMALL
 
Teach Your Child to Think Clearly and Stay Calm

 

Use the 9 rules for staying open-minded and come to a consensus. In the end, remember you are still the parent and have the responsibility to make sure your child is safe. The final decision is yours even if your child is unhappy.

5 Reasons Kids Trust Open-Minded Parents

 

 

 

Other Popular Articles You Might Like:

Child Discipline Tips - How to Discipline Kids without Arguments

10 Biggest Listening Mistakes by Parents with 35 Simple Solutions

 

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        3. If either side is becoming disrespectful say, "Let's make a future date, when we are both calm, to discuss 101 Ways to Get Your Children to Cooperate