Tag Archives: Self-care

Improve Yours and Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence Now

Strong Emotional Intelligence (EQ) help you  get along with others. The earlier your child learns to apologize for hurtful behavior  the better.

How to apologize.

Children can start learning to apologize as soon as you start using time out for violation of the of The Rule of Respect. That rule? Respect all living creatures.

Jo Frost teaches ending time out by having the child apologize: “Once your child has completed the agreed set time on the Naughty Step, crouch down so you’re on the same level, use a low and authoritative tone of voice, and explain why you put her there. Ask her to apologize, and when she does, praise her warmly with a kiss and a cuddle. Say ‘thank you’, go back to what you were doing and forget about the incident. ”

Before the child can talk, the above assures s/he will begin learning the rules needed to get along in life.  Even if s/he does not fully understand the words,  stopping the behavior, punishing it and then giving a  hug and cuddle will end her hurt and your anger. The relationship pain caused by the punishment will be healed.

As the child grows into greater understanding, two things need to be taught. The first: what accidental means, but that it still needs an apology. Do this by not punishing accidents. Explain you know it was not planned behavior, but  also demand an apology.

The second: Apologies must be sincere. This is more difficult to teach, but having the child tell you when apologizing what s/he did that was wrong starts the process.

What if the child smiles when apologizing,  ask “Why are you smiling?”

Sometimes, the smile is happiness at being out of time out, but you need to make sure. Sometimes it is a nervous smile, because the child is not clear on what s/he did wrong. Repeat what was wrong, how it was hurtful, and then give the hug.

As always what you model is what your child learns best. So think about the last time you apologized. Also think about the last time someone felt your behavior was hurtful. Did you apologize or not?

Bonding grows between people when hurts are acknowledged. What about unavoidable hurts we inflict on each other? Think of a child needed a painful shot or more simply not getting what s/he wants for any number of reasons?

Then a quick apology is still in order. Here’s one: “I’m sorry we cannot stay at the playground longer, but I have to get home to make dinner.”

Another? “I know you hate time out. I am sorry about that, but my most important job is teaching you right from wrong.  What you did was wrong and you need to sit and think about how to do better.”


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.



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

Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
The five components of emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(amazon.com)




Parenting a teen whose behavior is unacceptable? Nothing working to improve things? Not even hugs?  Laugh if you can and then read on.

This does not mean letting go of concern or love for the child. It does mean stopping as many efforts to control as possible and working to influence instead.

If you feel this is the course you must follow, the following tips will help.

Parenting Tip One: Is it as bad as your think?   Use this five point scale to decide just how out of control your teen is.

5  Your child has been arrested for a felony, has run away more than once; drinks or drugs; has no friends; dropped out of school; threatens suicide; harms self with cutting or head banging; beaten up by others or has unexplained bruises.
4  None of the above but has been stealing from you, lying, breaking curfew and out all night; possibly having unsafe sex; travels with peers who have been arrested or are known drug users; diets although not fat; sullen and depressed most of the time.
3  None of the above, but lies: at least one friend doing drugs or arrested; breaks curfew and has been out all night at least once; won’t tell you where going or what doing: appears depressed half the time; school problems.
2  None of the above, may tell white lies; needs nagging to do what needs doing; rude to you; depressed some of the time; some school problems, but passing most things; breaks curfew, but never stays out all night; has only one or two friends.
1  You are worried but after taking the test realize you child is basically okay. This may be a sign you are over worrying. Start working on you. Get my eBook Parents Are People Too.

Parenting Tip Two: Make sure you have done all you can do, then let go. When  you have done all you can do and a child  is continuing to spiral out of control, adults must stop trying to control.  That is what is meant by “Letting go.”  This does not mean letting go of concern or love for the child; it does mean changing course.

Parenting Tip Three: Get support. Letting go is not easy and once you start making the necessary changes, the child will  become even more difficult as a way of testing your resolve. You will need lots of help from people who care for you and the child. Some of these service providers may want to serve on the team and this is acceptable only if you feel they are supportive of you as well as the child.

The best way to garner support is to create a Child and Family Team.  Such a team should be made of family, friends, various service providers, professionals, and any one else who knows the child and will support you.  Any school counselors, therapists, or social workers working with child should know you have formed a team and be kept informed of it’s actions.

You might also want to tell the principal of your child’s school.  Why?  The child may complain and try to get you reported to the child abuse hotline.

If the child appears to be engaging in criminal behavior outside the home, adults should befriend the local community affair’s police officer and tell him/her of the above plan.  It would also be wise to share your concerns that the child is engaging in criminal activity, although some parents and care-givers will be reluctant to do so.

Parenting Tip Four: Be very clear about what matters: safety and respect  lead the list. An out of control child is not safe, endangers others,, and has no respect for self, others, or reasonable laws.  Worry when these rules are broken, worry lots less about the smaller rules.

Parenting Tip Five: When rules that matter are broken, strip away a  privilege.  No money even for lunch at school;  no use of telephone including cell phones; no house key; no use of no goodies in his/her bedroom—radio, tv, games.

No listening to explanations, which is a privilege to those who respect others.

If you have been doing the above to no avail, move on to the next tip.

Parenting Tip Five:  Write and deliver a Declaration of Emancipation.  Such a document  give the child freedom from your rules, but make the child fully responsible for her or his life. Detail the  responsibilities you will be turning over to your child. Say something like:

”You seem to feel you are old enough to set your own rules.  I am granting you that right, but know that as an adult you will have to take care of your own needs and accept whatever consequences life hands you.”

 “Because you are not yet eighteen, I am obligated by law to provide you food, minimal clothing, and shelter.  I will not do anything more, including bailing you out if you get arrested or caring for your child should you get pregnant or get someone else pregnant.  You also need to know I will contact the police if you bring any criminal activities into the house or engage in criminal behavior while at home.”

 “I will provide you with life’s necessities, not only because it is required, but because I do care about you. I cannot support some of your behaviors, but  I will always work with you when your requests and behavior are responsible.”

 “I do have to lock the door to stay safe, and I will let you in when you come in at my set curfew or if I hear you, but as you know I sleep soundly.  Also know that the neighbors have told me they will call the police if you create too much noise in trying to wake me.  I understand Covenant House has a shelter that will put you up if you can’t get home by my bedtime or you might sleep  out at a friend’s house.  Do keep yourself safe.”

Use you Child and Family Team to plan when and how to deliver this to the child.  Do not do it alone, you  need  team members with you when you deliver the Declaration to your child.

Parenting Tip Six: When ever the child says s/he will straighten up, do not cave in too quickly. Privileges need to be earned back one by one. Have the  child meet with one of the other adults on your team and draw up a plan for winning and keeping your trust.

Schedule a time for you to hear the plan within a reasonable time frame. Meanwhile, the child must continue living as an adult.

Parenting Tip Seven:  Show you care with small  “niceties” such as:

  1. Cooking a child’s favorite food once in a while. Saying, “I thought you might like this.”
  2. Putting  on child’s type of music or TV show once in a while.
  3. Leaving small and unexpected presents on his/her room on the bed.
  4. Inviting to movies or other family outings.
  5. Celebrating birthday and other holidays as if the child was behaving.
  6. Considering a very small “love allowance.”  Such allowances are given no matter what the child’s behavior.

Parenting Tip Eight: Consider having the child live somewhere else.  

  1. If you and the child’s other parents are not living together, and the child has been living with you, vesting custody with the other parent might work, particularly if that is what the child would like and the other parent agrees and has not been previously found to be a child abuser.  If the child wishes to live with the other parent and the other parent does not agree, don’t get drawn into a fight.  Just tell the child to discuss that idea with the other parent.
  2. A relative who wants the child and the child wants to live with; a friends family.
  3. If you are wealthy, try a private school or a good camp or wilderness experience.  Proceed with caution, as many are unregulated and sometimes abuse their residents.
  4. Placement in a private psychiatric facility – insurances including Medicaid often cover the costs.
  5. consider a drug rehabilitation program if a child drinks or drugs.   The child must admit to using and to be willing to go.
  6. Job core has worked in some situations.
  7. Child welfare agencies might provide  placement. TThe downside? You might be  found to be neglectful, but that is preferable to allowing the child to continue to rule the roost in your home in dangerous and unacceptable ways.
  8. If the child is arrested and in detention, most often Juvenile Justice authorities will want you to take the child back home.  You will need to be in immediate contact with the discharge planning staff.  Make it clear that without lots of support from juvenile justice, you do not feel you can keep him/her out of trouble. With the support of the court and fear of detention, some youth straighten up.
  9. Make the probation department part of your Child and Family Team.
  10. Some children want and can be declared emancipated minors. They can seek help from a legal aid lawyer if this is their choice.

Parenting Tip Nine: Control your feelings.  Out of control children are comforted if you show upset. Some even want you to blow and get abusive. Why? It lets them rationalize their behavior. If you are crazy or abusive then their bad behavior is excusable.

Staying calm when a child is defiant is not easy. My eBook Self-soothing to Create Calm is full of quick and easy exercises that properly learned and practiced keep you from blowing your cool.

Remember you can read Amazon eBooks on any of your devices by using this free application.

Parenting Tip Ten: Not sure this is what you need,  but still worried? Remember this is a last resort. You may not need to follow the advice given above.

However, I suggest taking  what might be helpful and keep the rest for future reference. Hopefully, you won’t need to go the whole ten yards.


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.


This post was inspired by this a WordPress Daily Prompt, Only Sixteen – Tell us all about the person you were when you were sixteen. If you haven’t yet hit sixteen, tell us about the person you want to be at sixteen.

When I was sixteen, I was a Miss Good Two Shoes. Then I fell in love with a bad boy. Drove my parents crazy, but they knew enough to let the romance die a naturally death. It did several years later.


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



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.


Six Ways To Teach Your Children Control

Controlling a baby is like herding cats. You can’t. But as one pundit said, “Who feeds you, controls you.”  FInterested? First, a cartoon about control.

Cartoon about control

Thoughts About Control

The need to be in control motivates us almost as much as the need for air, food, and water. Why? Controlling what we can is a survival skill.  Morevoer, thinking we are in control eases fear and we all like to be less scared.

Problem arise when you  think you are in control and you are not.  You either deny reality, waste time and energy, or damage relationships with useless arguing.

The trick?  Being clear about what you do control and accepting what you do not control. Not easy.  It is generally accepted that people do not control other people.  When it comes to parenting that is true and false. The first lesson of newborns comes with their crying.

If a baby is crying from hunger and you have food to satisfy that need you are in control and can stop the crying.

If a baby is crying from colic, you might figure out how to stop the crying, but just as often you have to wait it out.

Then come the “terrible twos” which really start lots earlier. And after the twos before you know it come the pre-teens and teens. Each stage sees parents with less and less control. What to do?

Parenting tips

Tip one: Know the rules that matter. Those rules: safety for all; respect for all living beings, respect for property, and respect for reasonable laws.

Tip two: Use the power granted you.  Do so wisely and not abusively.  The creator, or creators of all, wisely made children small for a while. Why? So parents and other adults could enforce the rules that matter.

When the “terrible twos” set in you have the power to ignore, the power to pick up and put in time out; doing either is a good use of power.

Research shows that  a pre-school child thinks what s/he is forced to do is right. Robert Kegan in his book “The Evolving Self”  says this is the stage of Might Makes Right.  For a parent is the time to implant the rules that matter and not just by praise, but by using your power.

The best tool for forcing obedience remains Thomas Phenlon’s One, Two, Three Magic approach.  When I just checked his web page it seems everything is on sale. So go there.  The short version: Three strikes, the one, two, three,. and you are out and punished.

The punishments must fit the crime and time out is a good one for most things.  This video of Jo Frost, aka Super Nanny, details the right way to do time out.

Both methods work, but  you work each properly and consistently. If you skipped the video, go back and watch it. Then get one of Phelon’s books.

Tip three: Do not abuse. Punish when important rules are not obeyed, but do not slap, abusively spank, scream and yell, call names, withhold love, or demean until the child submits to your control. Not such wise use of power.

Tip four: Get real. Let go of the idea of control and think influence. The most potent influence on anyone remains, the behavior of people around him, particularly people s/he either admires, is dependent on, fears, or wants to be like. For the young child that is more controllable, but control of who influences diminishes

For a parent that means being the person you want your child to be. And doing as much as possible to keep him or her surrounded with people who share your values. The younger, the child, the easier this is.

One of the puzzles for young parents is figuring not just who they are but what they want their lives to stand for and what they want to teach their children.  My eBook “Know your Mission So You Can Reach Your Goals can help you think more deeply and clearly about this.

Tip five: You will blow your cool now and again, use The Care Response to soften the blow to your child and to make an amends.

The CARE Plan

How to make amends after losing control.

Tip six: None of the above works without strong Emotional Fitness Skills. Which is why I wrote Parents Are People Too, An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents. You can get it for a penny plus shipping and handling. You can also get it as a kindle version for a bit more, but still less than a movie.

Remember you can read Amazon eBooks on any of your devices by using this free application.


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.


This post was not inspired by this a WordPress Daily Prompt, but plays off of yesterday’s Emotional Fitness Training Blog. about Back Seat Driving as a Control Tactic.

However, today’s daily Word Press prompt suggested writing about:   Nothin’ But A Good Time: – Imagine that tomorrow, all of your duties and obligations evaporate for the day. You get the day all to yourself, to do anything you please. What types of fun activities would make your day?

My answer, I would not do much different from what I did today. I am living a good life.


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

Nothin’ But A Good Time
by Krista
Imagine that tomorrow, all of your duties and obligations evaporate for the day. You get the day all to yourself, to do anything you please. What types of fun activities would make your day?


Going with the flow, not letting change throw you around remains an major skill To move ahead on the path to the good life.


Thank you Carl D’Agostino for giving me the privilege of sharing your cartoons

Change starts with birth and ends with death. Before thinking about your child and change, think about you and change. The ability to accept change is partly built into us at birth. Some of us rush to the new and the adventuresome; some wait a bit before joining in, and some would prefer to stay with the old.

This inborn responses to change comes with our genes in the form of temperament traits. Jerome Kagan, retired Harvard researcher and professor, sees  temperament traits as one of the first influences on how we become who we are.

So which are you? Eager Beaver? Careful Cat? Shy Sparrow? Extrovert?  Introvert?  Bigger question? Is your child the same as you or on a totally different wave length. That is what the experts call “fit” as in “goodness of fit.”

Often we pick partners who are our opposite. Eager Beaver? You might pick a Shy Sparrow to hold you back or to make you feel bolder and braver.  A Careful Cat or Shy Sparrow You might pick an Eager Beaver might bring you out a bit.

Two of my grandsons are at the opposite ends of the bold to shy, extravert or introvert ways of being. Guess what? One parent is an Eager Beaver; the other a Shy Sparrow.  And I am more the Shy Sparrow, while my husband is an Eager Beaver.

Two other thoughts before a few suggestions. One thought, people are far more complicated than the above shows; according to Kagan temperament is only one of a hundred things that  explain the way we are. That is good news. With a bit of help, A Shy Sparrow might become if not an Eager Beaver at least a Careful Cat.

I am a Shy Sparrow at heart. Know me in some situations and you’d question that. Look at how I stood up on Oprah. My shy self was in full retreat.  I do not even remember being nervous.  Get me to a party where I know no one, and watch me shudder and try to fade into the woodwork or fly away like the Shy Sparrow I am at heart.

In the Oprah situation, I was sharing knowledge that I was confident I knew. In the second, I didn’t know much about what I could share with socially adept strangers. Context matters.

The second thought related to the above: how our temperament plays out in our lives is not set in stone.  Eager Beavers can be squashed in some situations or by some life events. Think of the Eager Beaver child in a classroom that demands more quiet compliance than the Eager Beaver ordinarily displays.  A Careful Cat will do best in such a class room.

My mother recognized my Shy Sparrow and made things like my appearance on Oprah possible.


Parenting tip number one: Know your child’s temperament traits. Honor them; do not try to force a sparrow to become a beaver.

Parenting tip number two: Know the various temperament traits surrounding your child. Label them as such. That will begin to teach your children how to figure some things out about other people, Figuring people out build’s emotional intelligence. Moreover, it helps the child figure out a bit about him or her self, another building block for emotional intelligence.

Parenting tip number three: Encourage both  the Eager Beaver  and Shy Sparrow to acquire some of the Careful Cat’s ways.  The middle way works best in most situations.

Parenting tip number four: Prod don’t push. The turtle wins more races when trying to teach your child a better way of being. One of my Mom’s mottos was “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gain.” When I was hesitant about something, she’d repeat that and then add, “Try it, you might like it; if not no great loss.”

Parenting tip number five: Strengthen every family members self-soothing skills.  Buy my eBook Self-soothing: Create Calm in Your Life.  Right now it costs less than an ice cream cone  and lasts longer.

Remember you can read Amazon eBooks on any of your devices by using this free application.


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.


This post was not inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt, but by  Facebook Friend Dorian Cole. Thank you Dorian.


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