Parenting kids with out-of-control emotions is difficult. If you’re frazzled and your emotions flare up, I have a solution for you and your children.
Before I tell you more, here are 3 questions:
Are you shouting at one another and feeling shame?
Are you or your children sad or depressed?
Are you anxious that your family will get the COVID-19 virus?
Did you answer “Yes” to any of the questions? If so, this slide share is just what you need. I suggest you practice it and experience how it works. Then teach it to your children.
How the Emotion Scale Works
No one knows when the pandemic will end. This makes some people jumpy and anxious. Others are yearning to see family members. Many want our governors to open-up our schools. Children long to see their teachers and friends. Parents need to work, afford food, and pay rent. Not knowing leads us to out-of-control feelings.
Make It a Habit!
With this simple parenting tool, quickly turn overwhelming emotions like, rage, anxiety, depression, and shame into more peaceful feelings. Use this Emotion Scale to decrease emotional stress and increase family harmony.
Listening to tattling is like scratching a swollen mosquito bite. If you listen to it over and over, it will get worse. Tattling becomes your child’s habit. Screaming becomes your cure, but only for the moment.
There is a better way. Today we’ll show a video to stop the tattling. You’ll see within the video a father who asks his daughter,
“Are you trying to help or hurt your sister?”
If she’s tattling to get her sister in trouble, he tells her:
“Please try to solve the problem yourself. Then come back and tell me how you solved it.”
Two Parenting Goals for Problem-Solving
To increase problem-solving with your positive attention.
To decrease tattling.
Listening Is the Gift Your Child Wants
The Problem-Solving Gift
Imagine you’re the girl’s father. When she returns to share her solution, listen. Good listening is a hug without words. It is filled with your attention. It is peaceful and loving. It is your gift to her.
How Listening Shows Caring:
Good listening avoids judging or arguing. It really wants to know your child’s thoughts and feelings. If there is something you don’t understand, ask questions after she’s done speaking.
Here is what you might say when your child shares her solution:
Let’s talk about your solution.
What voice did you use and what did you say?
How did it end?
How did you feel after you solved it?
What do you need to do to avoid a conflict next time?
What do you think of your becoming a problem-solver?
Can you guess how proud I am of you?
In the end, you want your child to be able to say, “ You really listened. You really care about how I think.”
Listening is a gift that can be used over and over in many different situations, not just tattling. Why? Because listening with love is what your child wants. It creates a bond with your child and harmony in your home. Yes, it takes more time and it is rewarding. It is a great way to teach problem-solving.
This brief video shares more ways to stop the tattling:
Disaster news is everywhere. TV, newspapers, social media and even billboard reminders are appearing in some places.
Children are home. Parents are home. Everyone is scared.
Today's 3 Practical Parenting Steps:
Review the 9 listening skills.
Learn the drawing technique by using it to calm yourself first.
Teach the drawing technique to your child.
9 Listening Skills Effective Parents Need
Review the following listening tips:
Listen with direct eye contact, a caring smile and both ears.
Ask questions to be sure you understand.
Be patient. Give enough time for your child to form thoughts.
Repeat your child's ideas in your own words. Follow up with, “Is that correct?”
Encourage continued sharing by saying, “Tell me more.”
Walk in your child's shoes. With empathy try to feel what he’s feeling.
Avoid interrupting or jumping to conclusions. Listen to the end.
Share your thoughts after your child's finished..
Begin by reflecting feelings. “It sounds like you’re (upset or sad or confused, etc.).”
You Are the Best Counselor for Your Kids
Kids Trust Parents to Help Them
As a counselor for many years, I’ve used the drawing strategy below with children and adults. It works. Why? Because it's a unique way of understanding feelings, especially fears.
When you listen well, teach practical skills and show caring, your child trusts you and feels loved. Love and trust make you the most powerful counselor of all.
9 Ways Parents Can Calm Themselves and Their Children
Drawing Calms Your Kid's Anxiety
Ask your boy or girl to, “Draw a picture of the fear.”
Probe Gently: “What does your picture mean to you?”
Say, “Tell me more,” several times until you hear all the anxious thoughts.
Say, “Draw how you would like to feel.” Then say, “Tell me about your new picture.”
Suggest, “Let's brainstorm what you could do to make your picture come true.” Wait patiently for your child’s ideas first.
Say, “Write down 3 small ways you can make your positive picture come true.
Say, “Pick one little step to try now."
Instruct your child, "Visualize your new picture clearly. Feel it and give it a positive title. Then post it on the fridge." Give your child all the time he or she needs.
Praise your child for calming his fear.
Discuss the second and third small steps in the following days to reinforce over time what has been learned.
Drawing an optimistic picture gives your child power over the fear. By visualizing it, feeling it and giving it a positive title, your child changes his scary mindset. Posting it on the fridge becomes a strong reminder to "stay calm and carry on." Use this technique as often as your child needs.
Consider applying it for any painful emotion your child may experience. You could even use it as a home schooling strategy.
You might like this video because it also reinforces the steps:
How Parents Help Anxious Kids Feel Confident
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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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
“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.”
Did Josh have any responsibility for Tommy’s sprained wrist? Why?
How could Josh blame Tommy for spraining his own wrist?
By blaming Tommy, what could Josh avoid?
What advice would you give Josh?
If Josh followed your advice how might he have reacted differently?
Narrow-Minded Kids Might Say, "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.”
Do you think Sheila was open to getting help? Why?
Did anything stop Sheila’s from doing her homework? If so, what?
If you were Sheila’s mom, would you accept, “I forgot,” for an answer? Why?
What advice would you give Sheila? Why?
If Sheila opened her mind and listened to you, what might she do?
Narrow-Minded Kids Might Tell a Parent,
"You're So Mean!"
“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!”
Why did Jerry yell that his dad was mean?
What do you think stopped Jerry from working for a new bike?
If you were Jerry’s Dad, would you give him a bike without expecting anything in return? Why?
How open-minded do you think Jerry was about taking responsible?
Is manipulating others with insults a good strategy? Why?
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.
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.
What Positive Reasons Do Kids Have for Acting Badly?
Here are some sample reasons:
Maybe Sarah told her class a big secret about Jane's family and Jane found out. Now Jane’s breaking off the friendship.
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.
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.”
Your Child CAN Switch Her Critical Judgments to
Rather than judge, teach your child to:
Switch your critical thoughts to exploring positive reasons why she did what she did.
Avoid calling names or making accusations.
Ask don't tell. "Why did you...? rather than, "You did it because..."
Listen without judgment.
Try to see her point of view.
Show empathy with understanding comments like, "I can see why you felt that way."
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.
Closed-minded children, like adults, only want things their way. They won’t consider opposing evidence. They won’t admit when they're wrong. How do parents open kids' minds to other points of view?
Parents CAN Open Kids Minds
Today’s brand new video shows you how to raise open-minded thinkers. You’ll find out exactly what parents can do.
For example, discuss topics kids can relate to, like:
Make questions out of the topics and ask children to give two sides. The side they agree with and the side they oppose. They must give good reasons for each side. Finally, they must decide which side is best. They are free to compromise by blending the best ideas from each side.
Open-Minded Kids Consider Different Viewpoints
One huge goal is to help children understand why people think differently. Could appreciating opposing views be one way to learn cooperation, collaboration, and preserve freedom of expression? You be the judge.