Tag Archives: children

5 Tips for Leading Your Cubs to the Good Life

Like it or not, if you are a parent, you are the leader of a pack. You owe it to your children to know the how the best leaders lead. First a laugh.

chicken360feedback

TY Doug for giving me a laugh, something to think about, and something to share.

Did you laugh? Then you know the drill about being asked for feedback and then being keel-hauled.  Bad leadership. Very bad leadership. What to do? These tips and the books mentioned offer the best leadership advice for parents.

Parenting tip one: Learn the difference between abuse and punishment.  I have worked in the Child Welfare field. I know the difference, Many people do not.

What is report-able abuse? Physical abuse involves inflicting harm on a child that leaves marks. Even then there are degrees of abuse. A hard slap leaves a red mark, so that is abuse; but when reported, circumstances may make it unfounded. Why? The mark has usually faded by the time the child protective worker visits. If the slap occurs in public however, and the police are involved quickly, then it may result in what is called founded abuse. The parents will have to go to court and prove their are not abusive.

Spankings are not abuse. Only when a spanking is really a beating that leaves marks  it is abuse. This runs counter to much of the ranting by many parenting gurus, but most spankings do not leave marks and are the sign of frustrated parenting.

Emotional abuse is a bit more complicated and much harder to prove.  Briefly it is  commonly defined as  behavior by parents or caregivers that keeps a child from growing normally. It includes: ignoring, rejecting, isolating the child, corrupting the child. verbally assaulting, terrorizing, neglecting the child’s education,  health or mental health.

Parenting tip two: Remember as Gregory Bateson noted: “Communication is response. ” 

Try this memory exercise; it will explain Bateson’s idea.  Think back to your childhood? Find the times you knew you had better behave or else.  The look from my mother came first and when not heeded, an angry word attack.  Others have reported

  • “Pointing at the closet where the strap hung.”
  •  “A raised hand.”
  •  “My full name.”
  • “Grabbing my shoulder and pinching.”
  • “A mean laugh.”
  • “The words, “Cruising for a bruising?

Effective punishments results in changed behavior. All the punishments are effective, when the unwanted behavior stops.

Parenting tip three:  Remember the three things make punishment less effective:

  1. The child cannot do what he or she is being asked to do. Why age and stage matter, not just physical age, but also chronological or mental age.
  2. The child’s temperament varies the response. A sensitive child may need only “The Look” to obey; a bold child may need much more before he responds positively to a punishment
  3. The child has become habituated to the punishment. We get used to almost anything. Have you heard about the frog put in a pan of cold water that eventually becomes so hot the frog dies?  The more often a certain punishment is used, the less it works. Why it is good to mix things up.

Parenting tip four: These books should be read by all parents.

  1. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard – A quick read that covers all the basics needed to be a great leader.
  2. Parents Are People Too by Katherine Gordy Levine – My emotional fitness program for parents. You need to stay calm and in control of your emotions is you are going to put Blanchard’s advice into practice.  You can get a used copy for a penny plus shipping or an eBook copy. I think it is a book to keep around and dip into off and on as your child is growing.  I wrote it after realizing as a foster mother providing short-term care to troubled teens that if I didn’t control my feelings it was useless to expect my kids to control theirs.
  3. These three books relate to Age and Stage:
  4. This link takes you to  books and videos by Jean Tracy  She is my favorite modern-day parenting guru and  provides sound problem solving approaches for the many problems and dilemmas facing most parents. Follow her blog.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Didn’t like it?  Comment and tell me why and how to improve.

Katherine

Word Press’ DAILY PROMPT inspired this post with this question. Dear Leader: If your government (local or national) accomplishes one thing this year, what would you like that to be?

Train all parents in the above leadership skills.

LINKS OF INTEREST

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Three Tips for Indulgng But Not Spoiling a Child

Parents just want their kids to have fun and be happy, every day, all day. Not possible; besides  a parent’s  job is training to their kids to survive in real life.

Thank you, Carl D'Agastino for being one of my Cartoonist friends who lets me have my way with their cartoons.

Thank you, Carl D’Agastino for being one of my cartoonist friends who lets me have my way with their cartoons. Laughing keeps us strong.

Surviving in real life means tolerating the times things don’t go you way, you get bitten by a bumble bee, or visited by a traumatic life blow.

I did a recent Emotional Fitness Training Post about Practicing Imperfection. Before moving on to some the rest of this blog, you might want to read that post. Why? Too many parenting gurus have  raised the goal post for good enough parenting so high, we all fail. The end result? Too many kids have wandered on to the Victim-hood Path.

Parenting thoughts and tip

Fun matters. In fact as many of you know, Laugh and Play is one of my Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises.  Moreover, play with your child promotes bonding. Why else did nature make grownups so eager to play peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake with babies, not just their own but with almost any baby they see that smiles at them.

Two  major schools (the behaviorists and the followers of Freud) when trying to explain human behavior agree only on  one thing – behavior is driven by the need to avoid pain and feel pleasure.  One of Freud’s followers goes so far as to say you can trace any unacceptable behavior back to pain of some sort or the fear of a future pain of some sort.

I agree with this theorist and challenged my student to present me with any behavior they did not understand and I would related it to pain or fear of pain. I promised a quick A in the course, if I failed to convince most in the class I had failed. No  one got such an A.

The trick of course, is broadening your understanding of what causes pain. The big four  include:

  1. Deprivation of a physical  need – food, warmth, shelter, sexual release.
  2. Physical pain either through accident, assault, or illness.
  3. Emotional pain –  including feeling unloved, unworthy, dissed from another; but just as easily feeling beset by your own conscience and thinking you are inadequate, stupid, not in control, or bad; but also can involve feeling you have been treated unjustly.
  4. Uncertainty – which is often fear of future pain but just as often can be related  in one way or another to the above sources of pain.

How does this related to parenting? Parents need to focus as much on helping their children develop the ability to tolerate discomfort and pain. Doing so is far  more important than trying to see that you child is always happy.

Parenting tip one:  As always you need to model what you teach. Bad news? Not really for by teaching these skills strengthens them.  As you teach your child, you will increase your ability to tolerate pain and add to your ability to enjoy the good

Parenting tip two: Teach how to rate things including how to rate pain.   As always you need to model what you teach. Bad news? Not really for by teaching these skills strengthens them.  As you teach your child, you will increase your ability to tolerate pain and add to your ability to enjoy the good.  As this poster coach shows, anything can be rated.

Rating scale poster

Teaching a child how to rate  physical pains can begin as soon as the child learns to walk and talk. Applaud tumbles when the child gets up and goes on. But if the child cries rate the pain for the child. Here is a useful rating scale:

  • Immobilized by pain and cannot even come to you for comfort say, “Big, big pain.”
  • Rushes to you and has a hard time calming down, say, “Big Pain.”
  • Calms down easily once in your lap, say, “Middle-size Pain.”
  • Stops crying without coming to you  say, “Small Pain.”
  • As the pain decreases note “Pain getting smaller” and then “Pain  gone.”

If you haven’t done this and your child is in school or a teen, worry not. Just take a more direct approach.

Parenting tip three: Teach and model what matters.  The media makes it seem like all that matters are how we look or what we own, the grades we get, or the awards we win. Not true. As I so often notice the researchers and the sages of the ages know that matters most is practicing kindness. That means first being kind to yourself, but also being kind to others.

Being kind to others does not mean allowing abuse, that needs to be made clear which is why I also preach teaching your children self-defense skills.

These tips are not magic, but following them will keep your children off the victim path so you can indulge them when and how you are able.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness right now is to share this post with someone who will find it inspiring. Thank you.

Katherine

inspiration for this post

This word press daily prompt inspired this post – You, the Sandwich  If a restaurant were to name something after you, what would it be? Describe it. (Bonus points if you give us a recipe!)

The Name for my sandwich would be Healthy Indulgence Sandwich.  The recipe? Any whole grain bread,  two slices of Swiss cheese, tomato slices and arugula, all slathered with avocado mayonnaise.

That would be so healthy you could later indulge in my favorite night-time treat.  A Sweet and Salty Sundae.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream, covered generously with lite maple syrup then sprinkled with salt and covered with whip cream.

For other healthy indulgences visit this EFTI Pinterest page. 

FREE POSTER COACHES

Like any coach, EFTI’s poster coaches inspire, teach, motivate, and reinforce thinking about what matters. Poster Coaches can also be used at Family Meetings to start a discussion about what matters. Most are free now, but I do plan to start charging for most in the near future.

To use, print up in color and post there it will be seen often. If not soon if for you, let me know and I will give it priority status or email a copy.

 

LAUGH AND TEACH

A parent? You need to laugh, first at yourself, then with your child,  and sometimes at life. You also need to cry when crying helps. First some humor:

New Parent

Laughing keeps all strong, but when you can’t laugh, it is a sure sign things are bad. Some talk about the “Day the music died,” but laugher dies it is also a clear sign of trauma or a life-blow.

For new parents such times run from the terrible – the baby is still-born or seriously handicapped to the smaller and quick recover times such as exhaustion has you by its teeth. One takes a lifetime to deal with; the other a good night’s sleep.

PARENTING ADVICE

Knowing the difference between the everyday ups and downs of life and trauma of life blows is a major step in maintaining perspective.  Albert Ellis, founder of Rational Emotive Therapy, speaks of the tendency of all humans to “Awfulize” Think of the teenager who has one zit, no one notices, but refuses to leave the house in fear his or her life will be ruined.

Embed  in your brain, the capacity to sort out mundane hurt from life blows.  Rating skills help. This poster coach shows how to rate anything. The more you can rate your bad, mad, or sad feelings, the less likely you will awfulize the trivial.

Rating scale poster

How to practice  Emotional Fitness Training’s Rating Exercise: Every time you feel tempted to complain, rate the complaint: Trivial is one; Life Changing trauma is ten. Hurts but not for long is five.

TEACHING RATING SKILLS

Rating scales can be taught to a child as soon as he or she begins toddling. Rate the bumps and bruises that go along with learning to walk with one of these phases:

  1. Big hurt if the child is crying inconsolably.
  2. Smaller hurt for small weeping moments.
  3. Tiny hurt for when child complains but seems able to comfort self.

For the big hurts, keep saying “Big Hurt” as you comfort the child.  For big and Smaller hurts when the child stops crying, smile, hug,  and say “Good job.”

For tiny hurts, ignore or say “Tiny Hurt, well handled.”

By the time a child is beginning to read, you can help him or her make a personal feeling thermometer.  Read this to learn How to Create a Personal Feeling Thermometer

As the teen years approach, have conversations about what matters with your child. Knowing what matters reduces pain. Family meetings are good for doing that. Don’t hold Family Meetings?  Get my book How to Hold Successful Family Meetings.  Well run family business meetings strengthen kids, give them important life skills and are stress reducing skills for all parents.

 THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness now is to share this post with someone who will find it inspiring.  Thank you.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

 FREE POSTER COACHES 

Like any coach, EFTI’s poster coaches inspire, teach, motivate, and reinforce thinking about what matters.  To use, print up in color and post there it will be seen often.  Poster Coaches can also be used at  Family Meetings to start a discussion about what matters.

DAILY PROMPT

Ha Ha Ha Tell us a joke! Knock-knock joke, long story with an unexpected punchline, great zinger — all jokes are welcome!

The post says it all.

SIX TIPS FOR MAKING THINGS RIGHT

Children get hurt and rush for a hug or a cuddle. Helpful, but hugs do always help, particularly as the child becomes a teen; then knowing what matters does.

To get the good, you need to endure the pain

Parenting tips

Parenting tip one: Self-soothing is an essential skill when it comes to enduring life’s slings and arrows.

When teaching, remember age and stage. Infants need to learn the ABC’s of self’-soothing.  That is done by not rushing to comfort. Sleep is the best time to ignore cries for help. Most night-time criers will cry themselves to sleep or back to sleep and wake up happy and cheerful.  

When language develops more direct teaching can begin.  Teaching Calming Breath starts the process.  See the Breathing Buddies link below.

Parenting tip two:  Learning to rate physical pains can begin as soon as the child is learning to walk and talk. Applaud tumbles when the child gets up and goes on. But if the child cries rate the pain for the child. Here is a useful rating scale:

  • Immobilized by pain and cannot even come to you for comfort say =  Very Big Pain
  • Rushes to you, but has a hard time calming down, say = Big Pain
  • Calms down easily once in your lap, say  = Middle-size Pain.
  • Stops crying as soon as in your lap, say  =  Small Pain

As the pain decreases note “Pain getting smaller.”

Parenting tip three: By the time a child enters school you can start teaching that life brings pain and learning to tolerate pain matters.  Start by teaching what matters most on getting to the good life; that means  teaching the Golden Rule in one of its many variations.

Parenting tip four: As pain can lead to anger and the wish to hurt others, teach how to vent anger without hitting out. 

Abuse cannot be  tolerated. Learning to defend yourself as the karate teaching Peace Dojo‘s do stops abuse.  Their way channels anger onto positive paths while strengthening a child’s ability to defend against those who attack physically. Good for all in the family. 

Parenting tip five: Teach making amends, forgiveness and letting to.  

Parenting tip six:  Teach and follow the Five in One Rule. That rule? For every prick there must be five kisses or the equivalent of kisses.

 LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

THIS DAILY POST PROMPT INSPIRED THIS POST

 Set It To Rights by Michelle W: Think of a time you let something slide, only for it to eat away at you later. Tell us how you’d fix it today.