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Expert Parenting Advice from This Single Mom about Noisy Kids and the Phone

Would you like expert parenting advice when you're on the phone and your kids are noisy? Louise, a single mom, is my close friend.

Louise's Parenting Advice about Using the Phone with Noisy Kids

" Draw a picture of a phone with the word "important." Talk to the kids ahead of time about keeping quiet when they see the picture and the word. Role play by asking the kids to fuss until you pretend to use the phone on an important call. Create a simple refrigerator chart.

When you are talking to a customer, hold up the picture. Give each child a sticker for their charts when they've been quiet.

If you have a job at home that requires kids to be quiet when you're on the phone, try Louise's tip.

Do you like this parenting tip? Why?

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Motivation: How These Parents Share Goals with Their Child

Motivation makes sense to kids when parents share how they motivate themselves. One couple do just that. Listen to Keyuri. Perhaps you'll be inspired to use her strategy.

...that visualization of retirement is what keeps me going:

Way up high on the mountain tops with meditative views and an occasional black bear peering through the grand windows of my dream home. Now that is my motivation! I feel it down to my bones and share it with my son.

That real life glimpse that he has of me gives him a sense of the reality of my goals and my journey toward them. With a  little help from me and his dad,  we can get him to visualize, hear, and "feel" his goals too!

We take it a little further and ask:

  • Who is there with you?
  • What are you doing to celebrate?
  • What stories about this journey do you think you will share with others?
  • What 2 things did you do that you are most proud of? and so on

I like Keyuri's strategy because she shares her vision with her son. He gets a sense of how strongly she visualizes it.

With the support of her husband they ask their son about the goals he wants to move toward. Then they use questions to help him visualize them more fully.

What do you think of Keyuri's strategy? Why? Can you see yourself using it to motivate your kids. Please post your comments in the link below.

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Expert Parenting Advice about Kids and Child Discipline

This parenting tip is from my friend, Beau. Beau is one of the kindest and most personable men I know. He and his wife, Rosalie, raised two fine sons. They have two granddaughters to dote on too.

Beau's Parenting Advice about Kids and  Child Discipline:

Create a United Front:

"If you disagree about how your partner is handling a discipline problem, talk with your partner later. Why? You need to have a united front so your child won't manipulate you."

Beau's parenting tip reminds me of numerous parents I've counseled. They'd be at odds with each other's stand on a parenting issue. Often one parent was too firm and the other was too easy. They'd argue in front of their children. There kids were all ears and soon realized who to manipulate.

What Do You Think?

I agree with Beau. Do you agree too? Why?

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Parenting Advice: Avoid Shaming Kids

Parents, Disapprove of Misbehavior, Not Kids

My friend, Nina, is a nurse with a PhD. She is a dynamic counselor with a long waiting list. Nina's wisdom is nourished by her love for hiking, cooking, and writing. I'm always enriched after chatting about ideas with Nina.

Nina's Tip about Not Shaming Kids

"Avoid showing disappointment in your child. Let your child know when you are disapproving of the behavior, not him."

Filling a child with shame can cut deeply into his sense of self. This leads to self-hatred, especially when your approval means so much.

It's important to tell your child what you think about the misbehavior. This is a delicate balance. You need to mentally separate your child from his misbehaviors before you correct him.

Thoughts like, 'My child isn't his behavior. He's a wonderful human being. My role is to guide him.'

Words like, "This behavior is must stop. Please...(Tell him something better to do.)" are one of dozens of ways to avoid shaming your child.

A tactic I like to use as soon as possible after the correction is to 'catch the child being good'. It worked as a teacher in the classroom and with my boys. Why? Because children want our approval."Catching them being good" increases the likelihood they'll increase their positive behaviors. It also creates a good feeling between you and your child.

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What Do You Think? What do you say to avoid shaming your child?

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Parenting Tip: Tell Your Kids You Love Them

Kids Love to be Loved

My friend, Mercy babysat my boys. Her firm discipline, loving manner, and sense of humor endear them to her to this day. Now Mercy and I get together twice a month and have fun with our grandsons. Like my boys, I love being with Mercy.

This Is Mercy's Tip

"Tell them you love them. When my boys were growing up, I didn't wait until they did something good to tell them I loved them. They heard  it often. Now they keep in touch every day. They love to tease me too.

By letting them know how much I loved them when they were growing up, I feel loved right back by them today."

Family life has always been a top priority with Mercy. Whether it was attending baseball games, parent-teacher conferences, or school events, Mercy was always there. Family dinners were a must with Mercy. You can be sure there was a lot of laughter around the table as each member tuned into each other's activities.

Mercy gave and still gives her boys what every child wants - attention, appreciation, and affection. No wonder they love being around her today. I have to say that Mercy and her husband, Chuck, have created one of the closest knit families I've ever seen.

What Do You Think?

Can you tell your kids, "I love you," too often? Should they just know you love them without telling them?  Please share your comments in the comment link below.

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Parenting Advice from a Determined Mom: No TV!

This parenting tip comes from my cousin, Michele. She told me she feels deeply about the harmful effects of television. This is her tip:

"No TV! Don't let them get addicted when they're little. They'll find more interesting things to do. They'll become more creative. They'll cooperate more because you won't be interrupting their programs. They'll have longer attention spans too. If you never start TV, you won't have to take it away."

Yikes! Michele raised her boys with a firm yet kind hand. They're outstanding students, wonderful communicators, and excited about life. I love talking with them. They're creative thinkers too. Michele's glad they weren't bombarded with TV ads and programs that are poorly suited for kids.

What Do You Think?

Is it better to turn off the TV completely? How easy is it for you to monitor what your kids see?  Please share your comments in the comment link below.

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Parenting Advice: How to Listen, Bond, and Make Kids Feel Special

How a Parent Who Listens Bonds with Kids

Do you feel out of step with your child? Would you like to be closer? Let's find out a fun way to bond and feel close.

This parenting tip comes from my cousin, Carol. Carol raised 4 boys and 1 girl. She has the kind of experience I admire. Here's Carol's tip:

Parents, Here's How to Enjoy Your Child

"Take each child individually out to dinner. Listen more than talk. Use this as bonding time."

Parents, years ago when my son, Brian, was 15, I did exactly what Carol suggested. Every Tuesday I would take him to his guitar lesson. Then we went out to dinner. Brian is the quieter of my two sons. I knew I had to get him to talk. It took effort on my part to say very little and leave long pauses in our conversations.

I didn't grill him on his friends. I didn't ask what happened at the latest teenage party. I listened instead. Sure enough, Brian began to talk. Much of the conversation centered on his current interest, his music. It wasn't exactly what I wanted to know but I kept listening.

After one dinner, Brian said something that shocked me. "Mom, you're my best friend." Now Brian's an adult and we remain close friends. In fact, he created my website, www.KidsDiscuss.com

I'm glad I took Carol's advice. It feels good being in step with Brian. Going out to dinner with him is one of my most cherished memories.

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What Do You Think?

Do you spend bonding time with each child? What do you do? Please comment in the comment link below.

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