"There's Something about Love that Builds Up and Is Creative."
Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted his four little children (and all people) judged by the "content of their character," not "the color of their skin." Dr. King believed in love not hate. Find out how character, judgment and love fit together in a way Dr. King might approve.
Effective parents teach children to judge. Not by skin color but by searching for the good.
Today, I’ll share how this love works through the story of Gabby, a family activity, and an activity that increases others’ self-esteem. It creates friendships too.
Practice it in your home. I guarantee it will boost your family’s love. Then watch it spread outward from your family to others.
Dad, I like how you take the time to play UNO with me.
The Story of Gabby
(To protect privacy, all the names are changed because the people are real.)
Gabriella, 13 years-old, is taking a peer coaching class. She assists Mrs. Matlin, who teaches 10 special needs children, like:
Daniel, who repeatedly runs around the room
Lucas, who lets out blood curdling screams that make everyone jump.
Olivia, who stutters and gets mad if asked questions she doesn’t want to answer.
"I said, don't call on me.!"
Find out how Gabby's family activity influenced her with these special needs children. Then consider adopting their simple family ritual:
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.
Aggressive kids, like Joey aren't liked. He hated waiting in line at the water fountain. He'd shove the kids lined up ahead of him. They'd fall forward like dominoes. The first child always hit his face while drinking. Joey laughed. I visited his parents and had a glimpse into Joey's life at home.
The father put his wife down several times during our conversation. She looked straight into my eyes but said nothing. Tears ran down her face.
When parents model meanness, children pick it up. Joey was mean. He didn't know how to relate to others.
I found out that Joey's dad was too busy to spend time with Joey. Joey didn't feel important. He didn't feel love from his dad. As we ended the meeting, Joey's father promised to spend time with him. He and his wife decided to work on their relationship too.
Parents Must Model How Children Can Assert Themselves
Teaching children how to assert themselves, speak up with respect, and be friendly starts at home. Parents must model how to communicate well. If they don't know how, they can learn. The following article will show how.
1. An empowering formula for teaching kids assertiveness skills
2. 5 assertive role-plays to practice at the dinner table
3. A fun family activity
4. An assertive poem for kids
How Joey Became Assertive
Joey told me with a big smile that his dad playfully put shaving cream on his face and let him shave it off with an empty razor. It made a real difference. Joey, over a matter of weeks, stopped shoving kids and started making friends. A greater respect developed between Joey's parents. Soon they were ready to learn the Assertiveness Formula within this article:
You can raise assertive children by practicing the formula within your family. Advise your kids to use it with others too. If you do, they'll learn to speak up for themselves, make friends, and become respectful communicators too.
Watch our brief video on assertiveness:
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Do your kids bicker? Is it grating on your nerves? Some quarreling is normal. But if your kids continually fight, it’s a telling sign to “Detour! Danger Ahead!”
My brother and I fought so much that years later my mother told me, “I thought you were going to kill each other.” A slight exaggeration but we did yell, wrestle, and throw some punches. Underneath it all, I really did love him and if anyone criticized him, I ached inside.
When we fought our mother would yell, “Stop!” She’d complain. She’d even lecture. But she had been an only child and never experienced sibling rivalry. She didn’t have a clue how to help us be civil and neither did we.
How Do I Teach My Kids Assertive Skills?
Assertive role-playing can be taught using “Instant Replay.” This parenting technique is assertive because kids must come up with their own answers and then act them out. It uses Time Out.
I remember being sent to bed after many a fight. It often lasted the whole afternoon, but it didn’t work. I just took long naps.
With Instant Replay you separate your kids and send them to different boring places within your home. They come back to you after each child brainstorms 3 good ways they could have handled their disagreement without fighting. Then you tell them, “Act out the best one. When done, they shake hands and are free to go off to play.
I like this strategy because you’re no longer the judge and jury. You don’t choose who’s right and who’s wrong. You don’t even come up with solutions. Your children solve their own problems.
The Assertive Formula
The Assertive Formula Works
This formula includes 5 parts:
The Assertive Voice
The Assertive Face
The Assertive Posture
The Assertive Words
The Assertive Role-Play
The video below shows parents and children several simple suggestions to practice within each part.
Before teaching this formula, I suggest practicing it with your partner first. Why? Because your example is the most powerful way for kids to learn.
Parents Can Teach Children to Disagree with Respect
Any parent can teach kids to be open and respectful. But it takes practice. Today we'll share:
9 simple rules for open-minded disagreements
1 practice example about a sleepover
A 90 second video with 5 reasons why children love confiding in you
9 Rules for Conducting Open-Minded Arguments
Have you and your child ever yelled at each other? Did you feel guilty and wish it hadn't happened? I know the feeling.
Respectful Disagreements Take Practice
If you're like most parents, you'll have many disagreements with your kids. Now you can turn them into opportunities for open-minded discussions. If you do, you'll be teaching your child an important life skill.
How to teach your child 9 simple rules for open-minded respectful disagreements:
Both speak in a calm voice.
Both hear and repeat each other's words or ideas.
Both take time to find the good points in each other's thoughts.
Discuss each other's good points.
Create a compromise in which each side wins. at least, a little.
Avoid arguing, yelling, walking away, or being sarcastic.
If either side is disrespectful, make a future date to discuss the issue.
Keep that date and stay calm.
Praise your child for her respectful openness during the argument.
Use This Sleepover Example to Role-play:
Your 12 year-old son, George, is begging you to stay overnight with a friend you've never met. He says he doesn't know his mom's name or number. You want to introduce yourself and checkout the sleepover with her.
Teach Your Child to Think Clearly and Stay Calm
Use the 9 rules for staying open-minded and come to a consensus. In the end, remember you are still the parent and have the responsibility to make sure your child is safe. The final decision is yours even if your child is unhappy.
THINK OF HANDLING STUBBORN CHILDREN LIKE METAL BEADS AND A MAGNET. Your child's stubborn behaviors are the metal beads. Your reactions are the magnet. Each stubborn behavior can cause a swift and powerful clash if you let yourself explode with emotion. This doesn't have to happen.
Consider Using Logic by Asking Yourself 3 Questions:
1. What are the consequences to our relationship if I consistently blow-up?
When I continually react with anger, his stubbornness hardens even more. Respect dies.
2. What are better ways of reacting to his stubbornness?
I can use a kind, firm, and self-controlled voice. With time and repetition, mutual respect could grow.
3. Are there specific ways to be the respectful parent and turn his headstrong behaviors into cooperative ones?
If you draw a blank, watch our 1 minute video below. You'll find 5 solutions you can start using today.
Please remember, no parent is perfect. We all get over-stressed and lose our tempers. Don't get down on yourself if this happens to you. Just reconfirm your commitment to be a respectful parent.
One more thing, you CAN make the magnetic pull between you and your child into a pleasant and positive relationship.
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Listening Is the Parenting Skill that Brings Kids Close
When parents interrupt by talking louder than children to make their point, kids feel angry, unheard, and closed down. If you've ever been interrupted, talked down to, or over-talked, remember how you felt.
Listening doesn't mean you agree with what your child said. It just means you listened. Of course, if you disagree, don't charge into your child with loud disagreement. Calmly ask questions and listen some more. The better you understand the better your child may listen to you.
Arguing doesn't solves problems. It just cements each side's opinions. We see this in the news every day. I bet there have been times you turned it off. Who wants to hear people fight?
Today's parenting gift offers rhymes as reminders to listen. You'll find 10 altogether. Pick the one you may need and save the others in a 3-hole binder in case you need them in the future. Here are two more of the rhyming reminders:
IF YOU’RE A BUSY PARENT AND YOU KEEP SAYING to your child, "I don't have time to talk," or “Not now,” there could be some parenting consequences.
Not having time could send him the message, “You don’t count. What I’m doing is more important than you are.” Of course, it’s not what you mean but it could be the message he receives. What can you do?
In our parenting video today, the first big tip deals with your lack of time. Let’s say you really can’t talk because you’re on an important phone call. Say, “Just a moment” to the caller. Tell your child when you can talk with him by saying something like, “Give me 15 minutes. Then, let’s talk.”
By your following through, your child will learn 2 things:
Waiting is not the end of the world.
Trusting you to keep your word is worth it.
You are the most important person in your child’s life. Giving him time to talk increases his love for you because your attention and approval are what he seeks.
WANT THE 10 BEST BULLY DISCUSSIONS FOR CHATS WITH CHILDREN?
Whether your child is a bully or not, you can raise your child's social consciousness. All you need are the right conversations.
Discover Today’s Parenting Gift to Help Kids Discuss Questions Like:
If you were bullied, how would you feel and why?
Why do some kids bully others?
Tell me 3 things you could do to help a bullied kid?
The 10 questions are simple and easy to ask. Notice they are open-ended, meaning they require more than one-word answers. They don’t have a specific solution. Such questions give children the freedom to share their own fresh ideas. They might even tell you about a bullying situation at school.
3 Listening Tips for Parents:
Ignore distractions like cell phones.
Avoid interrupting your child.
Don’t judge your child’s thoughts. Encourage them.
Find Out What He Really Thinks
When you give your child your full attention, he’ll feel free to tell you what he really thinks. Once you hear your child’s answers, appreciate his good ideas, and ask more questions to make sure you understand. Then you can make helpful suggestions.
By listening well to your child first, you’ll be setting up the situation for him to accept your ideas too. Enjoy the discussion.
Pick up your parenting gift by inserting the Code Word: