Chore Card Tip - Moms Don't Yell nor Kids Rebel

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Building Family Teams and Life Skills

Mothers meltdown when they’re stressed, overworked, and exhausted. When  patience flies out the window,  rage stomps through the door. The yelling begins.

  1. “Who left their dirty dishes in the sink?”
  2. “Who spilled juice all over the floor?”
  3. “Who left their bike in the rain?”
  4. “You kids are so lazy!”
  5. “Get in here and clean this mess up!”

Who can blame frazzled moms? They’re out of patience, energy, and practical solutions. Yelling comes easy and it works when kids jump up to help.

But when rage happens too often, kids get used to it. They stop jumping up. They pout and fume inside. They blame the yeller.

Unless moms solve the problems with a practical plan, rage will stamp out good will and everyone will be angry. Home life becomes miserable.

Problem Solving Plan for Kids' Chores:

Write chores on separate cards for each child to complete before dinner. Lay the cards on the kitchen counter.  You can make chore cards for different days of the week or for regular daily chores. 

To Do Tasks 624
Chore Cards Name Each Child's Task


Lined 4" X 6" Chore Cards work well too. They  don't have to be fancy.

Sample Chores for Kids:

  1. Clean sink and counter after snacks.
  2. Do homework.
  3. Make bed.
  4. Put toys away.
  5. Feed animals.

The chores you choose are up to you. Why not involve the kids in creating the list at a family meeting? When kids have input, they're more likely to cooperate.

You may even choose to create a chore card for after dinner cleanup.

  1. Clear table.
  2. Put leftovers away.
  3. Scrape dishes.
  4. Put dishes in dishwasher.
  5. Empty Garbage.

Be Reasonable:

  1. Don't add so many chores that kids can't relax or play. They need both.
  2. Avoid discouraging your child by adding chores that are too difficult.
  3. Let teachers know when their homework load is turning your child's love for learning into hate for school.

Advantages of Chore Cards:

The beauty of Chore Cards is parents don't need to remind kids what to do. Kids just look at the cards and complete the tasks on their own time. 

Chore Cards are an easy way to build a family team and teach kids the skills they need for life. 

Learning Tools You May Like:

Frustrated Moms - 10 Temper Triggers with Solutions

Chore Chart Kit


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Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS


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How Loving Families Promote Self-Esteem - a SlideShare Activity


Slideshare Happy Family Compliments

Many busy parents want fun-loving activities for building character and raising caring children. This brief SlideShare gives parents an easy way to teach kids to notice the good in each other. When youngsters are trained to search for, remember, and tell each other compliments, everybody wins.

Those who receive praise love hearing it. Those who give praise develop a positive mindset toward others. Positive thinkers live happier lives. They attract friendships and spread good will to others.

It is hoped that this activity will lessen tattling, blaming, and whining.

Below this SlideShare you can copy the short script to use as a guide. I suggest you add it to a binder to use whenever you need it.

Please watch it and share it on your social media sites.

Please let me know if this was helpful by commenting below:

Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS


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Parenting Gift: 7 Kind Comments Boost Family Harmony

Asian Family SMALL

 If you want to encourage family unity, give genuine praise. Here's a weekly practice that each family member can easily do. Once a week each parent and child puts his name in a small box. Place it in the middle of the dinner table. Each member picks a name and tells what positive behavior they noticed in that person during the past week.

Put your family's names in a small box.


In this parenting gift you will find 7 honest compliments given by each member of a family team. Read them aloud to use as an example of what to say to each other.

Ask your family if they’d like to do this activity once a week. Vote on which day is best for everyone. Then make it a habit.

I suggest you put this family gift idea in a binder to use as a reminder for making your excellent family even greater.

Pick it up by inserting the word:



Kids Discuss



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Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS


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5 Family Meetings Tips for Building a Happy Home + YouTube

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Today's Family Meetings Differ from Yesterday's


If you grew up with family meetings, chances are they hurt your feelings. Often good-meaning parents used them to scold kids. They hoped these sessions would help their children improve their behaviors.

Some youngsters were scared. Some felt guilty and many stiffened inside with anger.

Parents didn't know how to use family meetings effectively. They didn't know how to create a family team.

In today's article you'll find 5 steps for holding family meetings that motivate your child, bind your family in love, and help your members grow.

First, watch our YouTube Video, 5 Family Meeting Tips for Creating a Happy Home.

It outlines the 5 steps.

Second, you'll be directed to the article for easy step-by-step detail on holding effective family meetings.



Read our full article with its 5 simple steps that share:

  • 3 listening skills
  • 3 speaking skills
  • 4 compliments that set the positive tone
  • How to solve a problem or plan a fun event
  • How to vote and discuss the topic
  • How to make commitments to make the family better

To Get the Full Article with Step-by-Step Detail, Go to:

5 Best Parenting Tips for Effective Family Meetings


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5 Best Parenting Tips for Effective Family Meetings - See more at:

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Jean Tracy, MSS


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6 Steps Parents Can Take to Deal with Kids and Car Fights

Angry Father Driving
 When Kids Fight, Parents Get Distracted!

If you're like most parents, your kids fight. Find out the 6 steps you can take that will help your kids and you. Our parenting expert and blogger, Ellen Galinsky, wrote Mind in the Making. She will tell us the 6 steps she took to overcome car fights.

Parenting Advice from Ellen's Perspective:

I used to drive my children back and forth from school when they were little, and they often fought in the backseat of the car, making the drive anything but pleasant. When I saw that part of my responsibility was to teach my children to be with others, my view of my role as a parent was transformed.

First, I began to accept that sibling rivalry was a fact of life. I used to want it to disappear, so I reacted to it that way. "Stop fighting!" I would say again and again, to little avail.

Instead, I shifted my own perspective and began to see their fights as opportunities to help them learn to deal with conflict, rather than as a burden to me. I began to realize how few of us ever learn to deal with conflict directly. So I called a family meeting.

Ellen's Family Meeting:

My daughter was about four and my son was nine. I said, "The fighting in the car when I am taking you to school makes it hard for me to drive safely. I'm not interested in who started the fights and I'm not interested in whose fault it is. I am only interested in who has a good idea for stopping the fights. I am going to write down all of your ideas so that we can try out some of them."

It took a while for my kids to get over trying to blame each other, but the piece of paper for writing down good ideas did wonders. I also used what I now think of as a:

 Problem - or Dilemma - Resolving Technique:

1. Identify the dilemma, problem, or issue.

2. Determine the goal.

3. Come up with alternative solutions might work. After writing down each idea, go back and ask them what would work and what wouldn't work about each idea. This helps them learn to evaluate the pros and cons of solutions.

5. Select a solution to try. After trying the solution out for a while, have another family meeting to discuss what's working and what isn't working about this solution.

6. Evaluate the outcome, and if the solution isn't working, try something else. When things start to fall apart, as they inevitably do, try to figure out why, repeat the process, and come up with another solution to try.

What Ellen Really Taught Her Children:

As you can see, I was teaching my children perspective taking along with problem solving. When evaluating each solution on the list, they had to think about it from their own and from the others perspectives. pages 89-91


Let's thank Ellen Galinsky for her 6 steps on problem solving by teaching her kids the others perspective. The family meeting was the perfect place.

Ellen GalinskyApplause_18229118

 Ellen Galinsky

Her book Mind In The Making - The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs is available at

Cover ~ Mind in the Making
Sit back, relax, and then share your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for problem solving with your kids? Please answer in the comment link below. We want to hear from you.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Social Skills for Kids: The Apology Formula You Can Easily Teach Your Kids


When Kids Don't Know How to Apologize, They Lack an Essential Social Skill 

"I won't apologize to grandpa," yelled Connor."You can't make me."

"Why are you so stubborn?" yelled his mom.

Conner had just pointed to his grandfather and said,

"You don't know anything 'cuz' you're so old!"

His grandfather's ashen face and drooping eyes told Connor he had gone to far. Grandfather had left the room.

Now Connor's mother bugged him to apologize. But Connor wouldn't budge. He didn't know how to apologize. He didn't know how easy it is to learn the Apology Formula.

The Key to Apologizing

Imagine a key ring with a large silver key. "Apologize" is engraved on that key.

Learning to apologize can be the silver key to reopen doors to relationships with relatives, friends, and future colleagues when we've hurt them. All kids need to apologize sometime. Read on to find out how to teach your kids this important social skill.

How to Teach the Apology Formula for Kids:

You'll need:

1. A stack of 3" by 5" blank cards

2. The victim's name

3. The word "I"

4. The specific negative behavior

5. What the offender promises to do to change

What Connor dictated to his mom for his card:

Grandpa, I'm sorry for saying, "You don't know anything 'cuz' you're so old. I promise to talk to you with respect from now on."

Ask your kids to name the parts from the above 2-5 numbers in the following examples:

1. Mom, I'm sorry for hitting Lily. I promise to walk away next time she teases me.

2. Miss Smith (teacher), I'm sorry for not doing my homework. Next time I promise to do it before I play.

3. Victoria, I'm sorry for telling our class you flunked your test. I promise to say nice things about you from now on.

4. Ryan, I'm sorry for tipping your bike over. I promise to be more careful.

5. Dad, I'm sorry for scraping your car. I promise to work it off with the tasks you give me.

Listen. You'll need to make sure your kids are sincere. Tell them to mean what they say and to shake hands if the victim is willing.

Your Action Step for Teaching Kids Too Stubborn to Apologize:

1. At a family meeting ask them to think about something they regret doing and the family member they would like to apologize to.

2. Give each member a blank card to write their apology using the 5 part formula.

3. Have each person role-play their apology.

4. End each apology by shaking hands.

5. Remind them to use the Apology Formula whenever they need it.

Remember, you are giving them the silver key to repairing relationships now and in the future. You're building character too.

Let me know how it works for your family by commenting in the comment link below.

Please comment in the comment link below.  Don't forget to add your email so I can send you 101 Jokes from Kids and for Kids. Imagine the laughter and the friends your kids will make with their fun sense of humor. Use these jokes at dinner time too.

 With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS  

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Social Skills Kit for Kids

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Family Conversations~No Fail Strategies from Expert Parent

Family conversations, when done well, build character in kids. But how do you stop them from becoming gripe fests? Our parenting expert today is Janet Powell, from Mentor Maestro. She'll tell us how to run effective meetings.

Family Conversations Janet Powell

  Janet Powell

"I believe family meetings are a great way to connect often and in a meaningful way. These are get-togethers where the expectation is that the whole family will attend.

A regular time is set and a democratic discussion follows where everyone has their say. It's not a complaints-fest but a time to share information, make plans, discuss problems, teach values and rejoice in achievements.

Around the dinner table is one place to have a family meeting. Lots of reflective listening will be done by the parents!"

To learn more from Parenting Coach, Janet Powell, visit

Jean's Response:

I like Janet's ideas for the family meeting. It's a place to learn life skills for listening, speaking, problem solving, and planning fun events. The family meeting builds character in kids because parents share their values too.

Jean's 3 Essential Rules for Listening at Family Meetings:

1. No interrupting.

2. Look directly at the speaker.

3. Pay attention to what the speaker says.

Jean's 3 Essential Rules for Speaking at Family Meetings:

1. Pick up the discussion where the last speaker left off.

2. Speak with a confident voice and use gestures to show what you mean.

3. Use a timer so you don’t “over-talk” and everyone gets a turn.


What Do You Think?

Please comment in the comment link below. Don't forget to add your email so I can separately email you 21 of the Best Parenting Tips Ever! from parents like yourself.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Jean's Website ~

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Parenting Tips ~ Teaching Kids about Respect with the Teachable Moments

Would you like to teach your kids about respect using the teachable moment? Imagine being alert at the time things happen instead of months later. Keep reading to find 3 ways for being alert to the teachable moments in your child's life.

Teachable moments are events that happen right before your eyes and the eyes of your child. They are teachable because they are so fresh and can make a positive impact on your child's learning.

This tip on teaching respect with teachable moments comes from Nita Talwar, a certified parenting coach. Nita says,

"I believe in the importance of the teachable moment.' When you observe something or see an act that you believe can 'teach' your children something . positive or negative it is important to be aware and have a chat with your child in the moment." Nita Talwar, PCI Certified Parenting Coach, 

I like Nita's use of the teachable moment. If you can chat with your child in the moment, do so. But if there's too much going on, you may have to discuss the teachable moment later. Here are 3 simple ways to discuss it later:

1. Keep a notebook handy to write down what you and your child observed.
   a. Discuss the incident at the dinner table.
   b. Make the discussion for the teachable moment at a family meeting.
   c. Chat about the problem while taking your child to an appointment.

2. Start the discussion by asking your child what what he thought about the incident.
    a. Listen without interrupting.
    b. Appreciate your child's best thoughts and let him know why you liked them.
    c. Avoid criticizing your child's thoughts. Rather ask more questions to clarify what he meant.

3. When watching TV together and you see something you need to discuss, use commercial time.
    a. Perhaps there was a violent scene, mute the TV and use number 2's question and method.
    b. Maybe a commercial is selling toys to your kids. Discuss the tricks in the commercial to get kids to beg parents to buy it.
    c. Using a toy commercial again, you might ask if that toy would really make a kid happy and why.

Chat about the teachable moment in the moment whenever you can. Otherwise, remember it and discuss it later.

What Do You Think?

Please comment in the comment link below. When you do, I'll send you a gift with 7 Parenting Tips for Encouraging Respectful Behavior.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Interview about Respect and Manners ~ How Parents Teach Kids to Be Polite

Do your kids show respect to others? Or are their manners so bad they embarrass you? Let's find out how to teach kids to be polite from today's expert and my friend, Colleen Holbrook, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Child Mental Health Specialist.
"When I think about helping parents raise respectful children I imagine conversations I've had with parents. 
Lead by example.  Let your children see you talk to people respectfully, especially when you may be annoyed such as when driving or dissatisfied with the food or service with a restaurant staff person.  Just remember you are always teaching your children by your example.   Here are some manners I consider important:

6 Specific Manners for Teaching Kids Respect and Manners

1. Talk to your children with respect. It's nice for parents to say please, thank you,  and excuse me to their kids.  It becomes normal and it will be how they talk too.

2. Teach them to open and hold doors for others.  This is about being considerate.  If your child is first to the door and there are others behind him, teach him to hold it open. 
3. Teach them to give their seat up for the elderly or pregnant women at a bus stop or anywhere where there is a bench or seating.
4.  Don't allow your kids to push themselves into crowds in public functions.  Teach them to wait their turn and to say, "Excuse me," whenever they bump into someone.
6. Teach them to make eye contact, smile, and say, "hello and good bye.”   Depending on the child's age and personality it may be a victory just to get the hello out.  That's okay.  Again, you lead by example and they will be more comfortable when they need to use this.

When you teach your children manners, expect them to use them.  Manners don't just happen. They take practice and follow through.
3 Practical Ways for Teaching Kids to Be Respectful and Polite:

 1. Make time to discuss the importance of manners.  Read bedtime books with themes around taking turns, asking instead of talking, and other important skills little kids need to learn.  Make it fun.
2. Ask your children to make up their own examples of when they or someone else used or didn't use their manners.  They can draw pictures and make up a story if they like.
3. If kids act disrespectfully, respond instantly.  Never allow this bad habit to creep into your relationships with your kids. If someone gets really upset and makes this mistake, there needs to be acknowledgement, an apology, a consequence and forgiveness to move on, but not before the others steps.

Too often parents want to avoid conflict and will "ignore" a disrespectful comment or snip from a child or teen.  Let them know in no uncertain terms what is acceptable and what is not.  Being rude to a parent is most certainly not.
Sometimes when siblings have ongoing battles that seem to keep repeating themselves, I will have them role-play what happens typically and then do it another way that includes manners.  This is especially helpful around asking instead of grabbing.

Some families get so busy that they rarely have time to come together.  A weekly family meeting where everyone is expected to attend can remedy the break down in communication that often results when family members get too busy. 

Much has been written about family meetings, but to put it simply it's an opportunity to talk about how all family member are doing.  It's a time to reinforce the family rules and expectations.  I often hear of one sibling getting mad at another for getting into their things.  Addressing this at a family meeting would mean the issue could be solved instead of being ignored and doomed to repeat itself thus creating more family conflict.

Family Meetings can be as casual or as formal as the family wants.  It's an excellent way to build cohesiveness among the members. ~ Colleen Holbrook, LICSW, CMHS

What about you? What do you think?
Please comment in the comment link below. When you do, I'll send you a gift with 7 Parenting Tips for Encouraging Respectful Behavior.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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The Family Meeting ~ 7 Commitments Your Kids Must Make


Parenting Skills Blog shares character, parenting, and family solutions from Jean Tracy, MSS ~ Website ~


Would you like your children to be loyal, loving, and helpful? If you knew how, would you teach them to make your family better? Look inside to find out how.

Some people are givers. Some people are takers. The givers make things better. The takers are selfish. To teach your kids to give more and take less your family meetings can help.

Family meetings end with everyone commiting to make the family better in some way. Leisurely sit down with your kids. Discuss how commitments improve the life of the family. Share the 7 commitments below as examples of what you mean. Ask for their ideas too.

7 Commitments Kids Can Make:

  • To make the family better, I will set the table without being told.
  • To make the family better, I will fold my laundry and put it away.
  • To make the family better, I will clean the kitty litter.
  • To make the family better, I will do my homework before I play.
  • To make the family better, I will talk nicely to my brother.
  • To make the family better, I will take turns sharing the TV controller.
  • To make the family better, I will talk respectfully to my parents.
  • Imagine how much better your family could be with family meeting commitments.  Things would run more smoothly. Your kids would give more and take less. Everyone would be strengthening the family.

    At the end of the meeting, write down the all commitments. As reminders, post them where everyone can see. At the beginning of the next meeting review how each member kept their commitments.

    Let us know how you involve your children in making your family stronger and your kids more loyal. Your ideas are valuable. Just click on the comment link below.

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