Mastering Concentration: 2 Parenting Techniques for Homework Success

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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

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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:

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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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Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

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:
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 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.

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"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.

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'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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Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy

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15 Engaging Car Chats for Your Family Vacations

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Car Talk: Building Memories on the Road


Family vacations are an excellent opportunity for meaningful conversations with your children. Engaging in conversation starters allows your kids to express their thoughts. They give you a chance to understand their perspectives. Likewise, it provides a platform for your children to hear your thoughts as well.

In this blog post, we will explore a family's car chats. Use them to make your family vacations memorable and enjoyable for everyone. Pick up our fifteen conversation starters with your special code before you go.

Boy Watch Timing
Timing Family's Thoughts


Kickstart your conversations with a little friendly competition. Set a timer and allocate a specific duration. Two minutes for each person to speak is good. The rule is simple: "No Interrupting!"  These two techniques ensure that everyone gets a turn to express themselves.

Fact: Research shows that active listening and effective communication within families can strengthen bonds and enhance understanding.

Quote: “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” –Michael J. Fox

First Conversation Starter:

Boy Thinking Chin
Making Memories Together


Encourage thoughtful responses. Urge your child to think before they speak. This prompts the child to take a moment to organize their thoughts before starting the timer. It helps develop their communication skills and encourages mindful expression.

Metaphor: Just as a sculptor meticulously shapes their creation, let your child carefully sculpt their words before sharing their thoughts.

Quote: “The most important thing in the world is family and love.” –John Wooden

Second Conversation Starter:

Girl looking up Thinking
Using The Power of Visualization


Stimulate the power of visualization by asking your child to imagine their response before speaking. This technique allows them to tap into their creativity and promotes imaginative thinking. It adds a fun twist to the conversation, making it engaging for everyone involved.

Conversation Tip:

If a member wishes to choose a previous person's topic, time them for two minutes to provide equal speaking opportunities. This fun twist adds a touch of excitement and ensures everyone's ideas are heard.

Quote: “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” –Barbara Bush

Third Conversation Starter:

Fostering Family Communication and Interest


Reflect on your earliest memory and share why it has remained significant to you. This question allows Mom to take a nostalgic journey, reminiscing about a special moment from her past. The family gets to learn something about Mom they never knew.

Quote: “Family gives you the roots to stand tall and strong.”

Fourth Conversation Starter:

 Uniting Families through Shared Stories



Explore what Dad loves most about the family and why. This prompt encourages Dad to express his appreciation for the unique qualities and bonds shared within the family unit.

Are you going on a family trip, enjoying a car ride, or spending a cozy night at home? These conversation openers can create a warm and engaging atmosphere within your family. Remember, the key is to have fun and cherish the moments spent together.

To make our fifteen conversation starters (below) easily accessible, consider placing them in an envelope, a glove compartment, purse, or a backpack. Why? To ensure they are within reach whenever a conversation inspiration strikes.

Enjoy our enhanced conversation starters. Explore the enriching conversations that await you!

Conversation Starters Conclusion:

Utilizing conversation starters during family vacations can create cherished memories and foster meaningful connections. They give each family member an equal chance to express their thoughts. These conversation starters enhance communication within the family unit. So, make sure to pack the free conversation starters below for your next trip or even a cozy night at home. Remember, a happy family vacation is all about having fun together.

Fact: Engaging in regular family conversations has been linked to improved child development and overall family well-being.

Quote: “The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.” –Lee Iacocca

Don't miss out! Visit and enter the code "CAR" to download all fifteen conversation starters for free. Also, feel free to comment and share this post with your friends on social media.

You might also like to learn more about travel benefits for children from my friend, John Bramer:

Family Travel: The Positive Developmental Impact of Travel on Kids

It's an easy delightful read and matches our ideas nicely.

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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Jean Tracy

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Turn Your Sad Child into a Happy Thinker – 5 Easy Steps

Frustrated boy SMALL
"Nobody likes me."


This sad boy talks to himself constantly. He tells himself self-pity thoughts. Find out how to help him.
People talk to themselves a lot. Often, they’re not aware of what they tell themselves.
When their thoughts are happy and healthy, they feel strong and positive.
When their thoughts are sad and filled with self-pity, they feel weak and miserable.

Girl laughing
You CAN help your child choose how to think.


How can you help your child become

a strong happy thinker? Here’s how:

Pick up your free Happy Thinker Exercise at  Insert the code word - THINKER and download your gift.

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With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy

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How Children Learn Goal-Setting with Positive Self-Talk

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Children CAN learn to control their self-talk.

Lou Tice, speaker, motivator and founder of the Pacific Institute, taught the 3 parts in goal-setting. He said that good goal-setting starts with the thought, then the picture, and then the emotions that go with them. When we put them altogether, they become our self-talk. He said  "Control your self-talk and you control your life."

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Speaker and

Many years ago, I viewed a film in which he taught goal-setting. Immediately, I saw its value. I knew I could teach this technique to adults and children in my counseling practice. The following is an example:

Frustrated boy SMALL
I can't.

Fearful Negative Self-Talk

  1. The thought - “I can’t give my book report in front of the class.”
  2. The picture – the class is making fun of me.
  3. The emotion - fear

When we say, see, and sense it altogether and keep recycling it, it becomes our painful reality. As Lou Tice said, “We move toward our pictures (the pictures in our head).

We don’t have to think negatively. We can control our lives with positive self-talk. We can teach our children to set goals with positive self-talk too. But how? I'll show you soon.

Brave Positive Self-Talk

  1. The thought - “I am giving my book report with confidence.” (Use “I am” as if it is happening now.)
  2. The picture – The class is listening and smiling. (Look at what you would see, not yourself – see your class.)
  3. The emotion - confidence.
  4. Finally, put the positive thought, picture and emotion all together in one moment and do it each morning and night. This is the way to set goals, be successful and create a happier life.

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We can control our destiny by controlling our self-talk. Let’s instruct our minds to create positive pictures with positive self-talk using this simple method.

This video shows you how:




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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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With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS


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How Kids Create School Goals with Mojo

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 Mojo Mindsets Helps Kids Succeed

Achieving goals is easy when your child creates a mojo mindset. Just be sure his goals are realistic. 

Tell Your Child:

Pick one goal like –

  • I am getting a good grade on my next math test.
  • I am giving my book report with confidence.
  • I am making a friend at school.

Clear your mind and relax with 5 deep breaths.

  1. See clearly by looking outward at your goal not at yourself.
  2. Sense it with a strong feeling like focusing, confidence, friendliness etc.
  3. Say it starting with the words, “I am… as if you already have it.

   Mojo 4

  1. Put the picture, the feeling, and the words all together in one magic moment.
  2. Do this before getting out of bed each morning and before falling asleep at night.
  3. Take the action to make it happen like studying, practicing your book report, smiling and saying “Hi!”

Enjoy using this mojo mindset to help your child achieve his goals. You can use it too.

My special gift to you:

Download this gift to use whenever it's needed by inserting the code word, MOJO at:


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With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS


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Is Your Child an I Can't Kid? Solutions Are Here

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Help Your Child Become an "I Can" Kid.

I can’t kids feel sad, weak, and fearful. They don’t want to try. They fear failure. They say:

  1. I can’t
  2. It’s too hard.
  3. I don’t know how.
  4. I don’t want to.
  5. You can’t make me.
Boy crying
"I Can't" Boy with Negative


I can’t kids have a losing mindset. They protect themselves from failure. They lose opportunities to succeed.

Today’s article shows you how to turn self-defeating words into a positive mindset.

This method uses two little words. Instead of future failure they promote present success. So simple.

Asian Boys 900
"I Can" Kids with Positive Mindsets.


Find out here:

Goal Setting for Kids – These 2 Little Words Work

Help your kids feel happy and succeed.

How do you help your kids think positive? Please share your tips below.


Please comment and share it with your friends on social media.

Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS


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Goals - 2 Ways Kids Create Winning Feelings

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You can teach your child how to choose winning

Healthy character building teachers children to choose their thoughts. Your kids can choose their feelings too. Inside you’ll find 2 ways to help your children choose winning feelings and build character too.

Building Character in Kids that Develop the Feelings of Joy and Enthusiasm:

"When we accept tough jobs as a challenge. . . and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen." - Arland Gilbert

Your child becomes a winner when he approaches life with joy and enthusiasm. But when your child’s spirits are down, he won't want to try. Goal setting offers him a way to learn the magic of optimism. Here are two ways you can help him feel the magic.

Why Brad Chooses to Try


2 Parenting Tips – How Brad Creates a Winning Spirit

Let's say your Brad loves soccer but he's an average player. His last practice was a disaster. He's told you that he'll be standing on the sidelines this season. Now he mopes around the house. Your heart goes out to him. You ask him if he'd like a way to create winning feelings. He nods. Here's what to do:

Goals - 2 Ways Kids Create Winning Feelings 

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Jean Tracy, MSS


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