Positive Parenting: 5 New Tips to Help Your Kids


Smart Boy 900
Kids Become the Way They Think 


As we enter the New Year, it's the perfect time to reflect on our parenting methods. Let's set positive intentions for our children's growth. One crucial aspect to consider is the development of thinking patterns. Just as a plant needs sunshine and water to survive, your child needs a positive mindset to bloom. Let's examine five toxic thinking habits and how we can help our children overcome them for a brighter future.


Red Haired Girl
Turn Her "I Can'ts" into "I-Cans."


1. The 'I Can't' Dilemma: Is your child trapped in the grip of "I can't" thoughts? This self-limiting belief can slow her progress. She may resort to the easy way out when faced with challenges, saying, "It's too hard." 

The antidote? Encourage her to take small steps and celebrate each achievement. By fostering an “I Can” mindset, she'll realize that every effort contributes to success, no matter how small.


Boy grabbing - Copy
Teach Him that Failure is a Steppingstone to


2. The Mistake Magnifier: Does your child magnify mistakes and stop trying?  Giving up could seem easier. Perhaps he fears failure. The fear of failure can shrink growth. It’s important to emphasize that mistakes are stepping stones to success.

Mistakes help us. Mistakes tell us what doesn't work. They say, "Stop repeating my errors. Try something else." Help your child view errors as ways to learn and grow. Show him how to break down problems into easy steps. You'll be helping him overcome his fear of failure. By accepting his mistakes, he can try new ways. He can start on a journey of continuous growth.


Girl Bigstock Homework.jpg 3046043 - Copy
Turn "I'll Never Understand This" into "I Am
Understanding This Page by Page."


3. The Generalizer: If your child uses sweeping words like "all," "every time," "always," and "never" in negative statements, she might be falling into the trap of generalization. Generalizations exaggerate and are rarely true. Challenge her exaggerated statements by asking her, "Is, 'I'll never understand this really true'?" or is it an exaggeration?" Help her recognize that using such words leads to discouragement.

Teach her to drop her sweeping statements. Then focus her attention on breaking problems into smaller bits. By encouraging clear language, you guide her toward a more positive and realistic view of herself, her problems, and the world.


Boy chores laundry - Copy
Teach Him to Recognize the Truth in Your Compliments.


4. The Compliment Problem: When your child rejects compliments and turns them into personal criticism, it could be a sign of fuzzy thinking. Perhaps he's convinced himself he's not good enough.

Make sure your praise is specific and something he cannot deny. "Doug, I like how you wash your sheets and make your bed each week." Then teach him to accept your approval with a smile. You'll be turning his negative thoughts into honest beliefs about himself. His self-esteem will grow. He'll start to become a clear thinker too. 


Crying girl
Avoid Promoting Helplessness by
Doing Her Work for Her.


5. Mountain or Molehill: Does your child turn everyday chores into mountains? She may even try to prove she is helpless. She needs to face her tasks.

Empower her with honest praise whenever she completes a small responsibility. Use specific words to help her realize she can do things for herself. "I like how carefully you dried and put the dishes away." She will want more of your approval and rely more on her abilities. Keep teaching her more age-appropriate tasks and compliment her with specifics when she achieves them. 

Boosting Positive Mindsets: You are invaluable in shaping your child's attitude. Changing negative thinking into positive mindsets isn't an overnight process but it is worth the effort.  Don't give up.

Here are three puzzles for your child  to unscramble and discuss in fostering positivity this New Year:

  1. Unscramble this word, KIMSATES, and discuss how it can help you grow.
  2. Unscramble this word, SMTEIDNS, and discuss why a positive one is important.
  3. Unscramble this word, LEBOPSRM, and discuss why these help you think.

New Year's Gift blog
Enter Code: POSITIVE at www.KidsDiscuss.com

Answers to the 3 Puzzles:

  1. Mistakes
  2. Mindsets
  3. Problems

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Jean Tracy

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Mastering Concentration: 2 Parenting Techniques for Homework Success

Boys Homework 450


How to Concentrate, Focus, and Achieve

Is homework time turning into a daily battle with your child? It's not a clash between you and your child; rather, it's an internal struggle within their mind to concentrate. We understand the challenges of maintaining focus, and that's why we're here to share two effective strategies with you.

Imagine your child, let's call him Jonas, eagerly yearning for video game adventures while his homework languishes in his backpack. Here's what you can do:

The Homework Station:

Create a designated homework haven away from tech distractions.

  1. Organize supplies within easy reach - computer, paper, pencils, and pens.
  2. Be nearby to offer support and guidance.
  3. Set a consistent homework time each day.

Concentration Technique - The Tent and The Torch:

Assist Jonas in crafting a positive affirmation to combat distractions. For instance: "My torch is in hand. Let my mind expand." or "First homework, then my video game." Then, guide him through this visualization:

White Boy Smiling 900
First Homework, Then Video Games


  1. Close his eyes.
  2. Envision the study space as a protective tent, illuminated by a small flashlight (the torch).
  3. Direct the torch's focus onto the homework.
  4. Prioritize tasks and re-visualize when distractions arise.
  5. Recite the affirmation to dispel disruptions.

Practice this technique together daily until Jonas internalizes it. The Tent and The Torch not only enhances concentration but instills valuable self-discipline, paving the way for future success.

The Focusing Technique - The Puzzle List

Homework Girls 450


Now, imagine your daughter, Maria, who despises homework even more than Jonas but adores her cell phone. Here's a tailored approach:

  1. Discuss homework as a puzzle with a list of tasks.
  2. Guide her in creating a puzzle list for her essay, breaking it down into manageable pieces.
  3. When tempted by her phone, encourage Maria to touch the part of the puzzle list she's working on and recite her chosen affirmation.

4 Sample Affirmations:

  • First homework, then my cell phone.
  • My phone I resist. I'll work on my list.
  • My homework’s in hand. Let my mind expand.
  • I am diving right in. Let the learning begin.

Conclusion for 2 Concentration Techniques:

Tween with cell phone SMALL
Her Well-Deserved Reward


Both Jonas and Maria are on a journey of self-discipline, the cornerstone of success. Jonas's Tent and Torch shield him from distractions, while Maria's Puzzle List keeps her on track. After completing their homework, both can enjoy well-deserved rewards—Jonas with a video game and Maria with her cell phone.

Learning to concentrate is a lifelong gift. By guiding your children to develop this skill, you set the foundation for their future success. Start today!

Puzzle Time:

Unscramble - ncoonictenatr, khroomwe, ssetraegti

Tongue Twisters for your family to say 5 times as quickly as possible:

  1. Kids with grit get a kick out-witting clever quirky homework.
  2. Cleverly crafted assignments create capable, confident kids.
  3. Happy homework helpers help heroes here at home.
  4. Homework habits help me show that I make my skills grow.
  5. Sunny students seek success through their steady homework.


 Short Video Reinforcer: How Parents Motivate Children's Brain Power (just 1 minute, 13 seconds)



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Jean Tracy

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Answers - Puzzle time Unscramble - Concentration, homework, strategies

AI assisted.

Empowering You to Parent with Heart - Effective Communication - 3 Ways

Dad and Son Faces
Parenting with Heart: Your Joyful Journey

Dear Parent!

Your heartfelt love creates an incredible journey with your child. It's filled with joy, laughter, and love. But let's face it, sometimes communicating with our children can be a challenge. We've all had those moments of not understanding their feelings and struggles.

Parenting Struggles:

We get it. Talking with your child can be tough. Balancing everyday life while staying tuned in to your child's world isn't always easy. Distractions, impatience, and finding the right balance between listening and guiding can hurt effective communication. But remember, you're not alone on this journey.


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Parents Face Challenges.


But don't worry! This post is here to help you overcome those struggles and strengthen the deep connection with your child through the power of parenting with heart by 'listening with heart.' 

Practical Tips for Listening with Heart:

  1. Be a Safe and Non-judgmental Parent:

Be a safe space where your child can freely express themselves. Here's how:

  • Look them in the eye.
  • Show open body language.
  • Give them your undivided attention.
  • Remember the 70/30 Rule: Listen 70%. Speak 30%.
  • Be open-minded and caring.

This builds trust and encourages your child to share their thoughts and feelings.

  1. Confirm and Empathize:
Mother loving daughter 1000
 Understand Your Child's Feelings


Support your child's feelings. Use phrases like:

  • "I understand how you feel."
  • "It's okay to feel that way."
  • "I'm sorry that happened."
  • "You seem happy."
  • "What's making you smile?"

By speaking in these ways, you show care and understanding.

Quote from a Child Therapist:

Dr. Haim G. Ginott, a respected child psychologist, once said, "Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression." Your empathetic listening can leave a lasting positive impression on your child's emotional well-being.

  1. Strike the Balance:

Listening with heart doesn't mean being a passive listener. Your child looks up to you for guidance and support. Find the right balance by setting clear boundaries and expectations. Here are three guidelines:

  • Be Respectful: Listen without interruptions, giving each other time to express thoughts and expectations. Expect respect from your child too.
  • Pay Attention: Show you value the conversation by giving your full attention and removing distractions.
  • Encourage Positive Behavior: When children feel heard and confirmed, it encourages positive behavior. It helps them develop a powerful sense of self-worth. It also leads them to healthier relationships and decision-making.

Remember, offer gentle guidance without imposing solutions, and let your child explore their thoughts to find their answers.

A Boy Thinking 1000 4
"I Can Choose"


These guidelines empower children to engage in discussions, fostering understanding, respect, and effective communication. Follow these tips. Your children will share their thoughts and build a stronger relationship with you.

Remember, setting clear boundaries with children is an ongoing process that requires consistency, open communication, and understanding. It helps your child develop structure, responsibility, and respect for themselves and others.

Based on the content of this blog, here is a little quiz:

 Which of the following is NOT a practical tip for "listening with heart"?

  1. a) Show open body language.
  2. b) Use interruptions to guide the conversation.
  3. c) Listen 70% and speak 30%.
  4. d) Be open-minded and caring.

Answer: b) Use interruptions to guide the conversation.

Listening without interruptions is essential for "listening with heart." The other options (a, c, and d) are positive and effective strategies for connecting with your child.


By acknowledging the struggles and challenges of parenting, you can take steps to overcome them. "Listening with heart" is the key to a deeper connection with your child.

Embrace the practical strategies we've shared, create a safe space, affirm their emotions, strike the balance between listening and guiding, and explore creative avenues for communication.

Asian Girl Smiles 542
'Listening with Heart' Helps Her Bond with You


       Please listen - only 1 minute and 11 seconds.


Now, go and strengthen that special bond with your child through the magic of listening!

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With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy

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This Mom Can't Listen - 5 Harmful Mistakes, 5 Easy Solutions

1 mom and daughter
Why won't this daughter listen?

Parents, who cannot listen, are the worst communicators. They cannot teach effective communication because they don’t practice it. 

Hey there! Are you someone who argues instead of listening to your child? Many parents do. Yet, listening is your most important parenting tool. Don't worry, if you decide to, you can always improve it. There are some habits you might have to brush aside before becoming a good listener.

Today I will share:

5 listening mistakes to avoid

5 simple listening habits to increase

1 simple formula for being your child's best counselor

3 fun listening activities for your family. 

5 Harmful Listening Habits to Avoid as a Parent:

Mom asking us to be quiet

Do you ever:

  1. Interrupt your child?
  2. Discount your child's opinions?
  3. Dismiss your child's feelings?
  4. Criticize your child?
  5. Lecture your child?

Don't be overly concerned because here are 5 easy listening habits that you can use right now. They'll quickly improve your listening skills.

5 Listening Habits to Learn, Practice, and Model:

Black Dad Discussing
Father and Son Communicating


  1. Look your child in the eye.
  2. Focus on what they are saying.
  3. Remember the key points.
  4. Repeat those points in your words.
  5. Ask questions to better understand your child.

By practicing these skills, you'll become a better listener. You'll be teaching your child good communication skills too. 

Become Your Child's Best Counselor:

Do you know why counselors are loved by their clients? It's because they are good listeners. They practice the 5 good habits. They also include the 70% Law of Communication, meaning, they listen 70% and speak 30%. As a parent, strive to speak less, listen more, and appreciate your child's thoughts and feelings. As you progress, notice how your relationship with your child strengthens. You'll become your child's best counselor too.

Here are 3 activities to make 'listening' a priority in your family: 

3 Activities for Family Listening:

  1. Post a ‘Listening Habit of the Week’ on your refrigerator. Practice that habit in your home and outside your family. ‘Catch your children being good’ with a compliment when they listen well. 
  2. The Morning Forecast: Tell your child, “Name something you’re looking forward to today.” The Evening Review: Ask, "What are some things you are grateful about today?"
  3. Create free time each day and turn off technology. Use this time to discuss both your day and your child's day. Practice the 70% Law. 

Make 'Listening' a priority in your family. Listening Works!


Video - Short Clip - 1.11 minutes 

Sometimes pictures do speak 1,000 words. What do you think?

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Goal-Setting - How Parents Teach Kids Successful Attitudes

Set Goal Girl Homework 900
Is this what you want your child to yell?
"I can't set goals!"

Parents, give up resolutions! They don’t work because something is missing. Neither you nor your children can reach your goals without it. Today, I will:

  1. Show why resolutions are broken.
  2. Apply what a great leader understood.
  3. Share a 4 minute video showing you and your children the way to achieve goals.

It’s not that you don’t want to achieve your goals or that you’re not strong enough to make them happen.

5 Reasons Resolutions Are Broken:

  1. Losing interest in the goal.
  2. Forgetting about the resolution.
  3. Breaking the goal once and then giving up.
  4. Breaking it for a good reason.
  5. Breaking it at a party or because of a teasing friend.

William James, (1842-1910), the founder of American Psychology, stated:

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”


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William James, 1842-1910

A good resolution includes altering attitudes. Positive attitudes are the foundation for good resolutions. They include clear vision, emotions and the words that describe them.

For example, envision these attitudes:

  1. To embrace exercise rather than dread it -

“I am exercising with vim and vigor.”

  1. To choose healthy foods over unhealthy foods -

“I am eating delicious fruits and vegetables.”

  1. To focus on math rather than give up -

“I am seeing how to problem solve and multiplying with ease.”

  1. To become outgoing rather than shy -

“I am smiling and acting friendly at school.”

  1. To choose patience over impatience -

 “I am looking at my child with loving eyes.”


Mother and Daughter
Resolution: "I am looking at my child with loving eyes."


William James also said:

“It’s our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task that will determine its success.”

Resolutions can be challenging tasks. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need them to improve our lives. Attitudes are the missing piece at the beginning of solid resolutions.

Don’t give up resolutions! They can work.

Today’s simple method gives you and your children an effective way to develop the attitudes to make your goals come true.

Watch this video now:

How Parents Teach Children to Set Smart Goals

Parents CAN Teach Children to Set Goals


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Jean Tracy, MSS


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How Children Turn Out-of-Control Feelings into Calm Emotions

Emotional Kids
The Emotion Scale Works


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. 

Girls Fighting Best
Out-of-Control Tempers


Before I tell you more, here are 3 questions:

  1. Are you shouting at one another and feeling shame?
  2. Are you or your children sad or depressed?
  3. 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.

Boy meditation 703
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.

Emotions Scale 624
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.

Get the Emotion Scale here:

The Emotion Scale



Please write a comment and copy the transcript below it for your own use. 


Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS


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How Parents Raise Honest Children

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The Truth Sets Kids Free


Who can you trust? Who's telling the truth? Today the truth is hard to know.

You want your child to be honest, but how? 

First, go back to your childhood. Remember a time when you told a lie and felt guilty. Were you plagued by regret and fear? Did you worry that you'd be found out and get punished?

Lies can torment your child too.

I remember those feelings. I didn't know how to face up to what I'd done. This article will help you teach your child how to tell the truth and avoid guilt.

You CAN Help Your Child Choose Truth Over Guilt.

Today's article shares:

  • 8 painful results from lying
  • 7 positive effects for being truthful
  • 6 honesty strategies
  • 5 moral dilemmas to discuss
  • 10 self-talk rhymes to repeat

Feel free to choose the ones that are most helpful.



Boy discussing honest with mom 700x467
You Can Help Your Child Choose Honesty.


Your Parenting Tips Are Here:

Arrow curved down

The Honest Child - 35 Parenting Tips Teach Truthfulness


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Stop the Tattling! 6 Positive Parenting Solutions - 7 Helpful Examples

Frustrated Mom 893
You Can't Plug Your Ears to Tattletales.


Frustrated parents dread tattling. The squeals from crying kids disturb peace, upset nerves, and demand attention.

You can’t plug your ears and hope it will go away. You must act. But how?

Today’s Slide Share Offers You:

  • The best question to ask tattlers
  • 6 tips parents can easily use
  • 7 examples that teach kids the difference between tattling and telling

What Tattletale Kids Need to Know:

  1. The purpose of tattling is to get someone in trouble.
  2. The purpose of telling is to help someone in trouble.
  3. Parents don't like tattling. They do like telling.
  4. Kids can solve problems with the right assertiveness tools from parents. See video below.

How Parents Teach Kids The Difference Between Tattling and Telling:

You can give them discussion dilemmas and ask, “Is this tattling or telling?” Here are a few you can use right now.


Boy Student
Is This Tattling or Telling?


  1. Logan’s not playing fair.
  2. Harper got stung by a bee.
  3. Mia’s making fun of me.
  4. Aiden tore up my homework.
  5. Sofia called me a name.
  6. Luke was hit by a rock.
  7. Zoey’s mocking me.
  8. Jack called me a liar.
  9. Sam stole money from grandma’s purse.

Discuss each situation. Find out how your child thinks. If he is wrong, tell him, “I need to know when someone is hurt, in danger, needs help, or did something serious like stealing.”

“But if it’s a squabble between you and the other person, do your best to solve it. Then come and tell me how you did it. I’d like to hear your solution."

You don’t have to plug your ears. You do need to act because your children need to learn the difference between tattling and telling. They need to learn how to solve their tattling problems too.

Your Tattling Slide Share Tips:

For the 6 parenting tips and 7 new examples of tattling or telling go to Stop The Tattling - 6 Positive Parenting Solutions The pictures will help your child decide. 



Frustrated Mom SlideShare
You CAN Stop the Tattling!



You might also like this video because it give kids tools for solving their squabbles:

How Parents Teach Assertiveness Skills to Kids



To refresh the 7 tips for listening to your child's solutions:

These 7 Tips Turn Tattletales into Problem-Solvers


Listening 800 H
Listen to Your Child's Solutions. It's Rewarding!


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Jean Tracy, MSS


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These 7 Parenting Questions Turn Tattletales into Problem-Solvers - Video Included

Listening 800 H
Listening Is the Key to Stopping the Tattling


Parents yell, “Stop Tattling!”

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

  1. To increase problem-solving with your positive attention.
  2. To decrease tattling.
Daughter Listening 900
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:

  1. Let’s talk about your solution.
  2. What voice did you use and what did you say?
  3. How did it end?
  4. How did you feel after you solved it?
  5. What do you need to do to avoid a conflict next time?
  6. What do you think of your becoming a problem-solver?
  7. 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: 

Tattletale Kids: 10 Tips for Frustrated Parents




You might also like this article:

How Parents Stop Kids from Tattling on Sibs


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Jean Tracy, MSS


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How Parents and Kids Conquer Fear - a Powerful Technique

Emotion Meter 800
Conquers Fear in Parents and Children

Imagine fear invading your mind like a virus. It infects your mind with thoughts. It’s all you can think about.

  1. Will I get sick?
  2. Will my kids get sick?
  3. What about my job?

So many thoughts recycling over and over that you:

  1. Forget what you’re about to do.
  2. Talk harshly.
  3. Make mistakes.
  4. Feel tight inside.
  5. Forget to breathe.

Now imagine your child watching you. He’s seen the news. He’s aware that things are bad and wonders:

Self-pity Asian Boy
Kids worry too.


  1. Am I safe?
  2. Will my parents protect me?
  3. What will happen to my family?

Fear has infected him too.

How Parents Are Mentally Stronger than Children:

You’ve battled difficult situations and painful feelings many times in your life. You are a mind warrior because somehow, you’ve come through.

Your child is much less experienced than you and lacks the mental weapons you possess, even if you don’t know you possess them.

Remember this. It’s the frightful thoughts that wage war in your mind and cause your fear. You’ve battled them before. How will you deal with them now?

Today I’ll share the Emotion Meter (Sometimes called the Mood Meter) to use personally and then with your child. Use it as often as needed. Be a warrior again and teach your child to be a warrior too.

Girl Closed Eyes
The Emotion Meter Uses
Your Child's Powerful


Read more




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Jean Tracy, MSS


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