Tag Archives: stress

How To Teach Kids To Be Kind – Five Tips

Kids are both kind and cruel. Praising the one and stopping the other is every parent’s job. . Kindness strengthens #emotionalintelligence.

#emotionalintelligence poster coach Practice Kindness

There is much talk about random acts of kindness. and these are good. But better still are practicing deliberate acts as well. The two go together.

Parenting Tips

Parenting Tip One: Start with manners . Manners (not the hoity-toity which spoon goes where manners, but the basic ones) are kindness based.  Holding the door for the person behind you, sharing an umbrella, helping someone across the street, thanking someone who helps you, cleaning up after yourself and others are what I mean by basic manners.

You can start teaching these as soon as you child starts to walk.

I pick up trash along the hiking trails I walk and in various parks. My grandchildren have learned to do the same.

Toddlers can also be taught to the ASL sign for Thank you. Hand to mouth and then down toward the heart.

Saying thank you is an act of deliberate kindessParent Tip Two: Encourage charitable giving. Four and five-year olds love to put coins in charity boxes.  do not pass up an opportunity to teaching giving when you see a charity box. Most cash out counters now include one.

Some families have a charity bank at home and have the kids put part of any money they are given in the box.  Then the kids help give it to some one in need.

Parenting Tip Three: Encourage volunteering for good causes. A teen interested in animals can volunteer at an animal shelter; one interested in becoming a health professional can volunteer at a hospital; one interested in making the world more beautiful can volunteer with the local parks department.

Parenting Tip Four: Have family take part in fund-raising events. Walks are the most common, but others abound and offer family time bonding.

Parenting Tip Five: Teach that kindness is its own reward and not dependent on other people’s response.  As parenting guru David Elkind points out, “Self esteem is built by feeling you are a good person, doing good deeds.


You can get a digital copy of the Kindness poster  free at the EFTI Store.   Download it and post it where you will see it throughout the day. Every time you see it, take a calming breath, recall or plan an act of kindness; feel the warmth kindness creates in your being; take another calming breath, smile, and go about your day seeking always to be kind.

Teach your children to do the same.

Thank you  for all you do

You can practice kindness right now by liking, commenting or sharing. Do so gives me hope that what I do matters and keeps me going.


P.S. This has nothing to do with this Daily WordPress Prompt

Learn how to use feeling thermometers

Feeling awareness and feeling measurement are  major #EmotionalIntelligence skills. The more you help your children identify and rate what feelings are visiting them,  the stronger their ability to deal with appropriately with all mad, bad, and sad feelings. Use this feeling thermometer to aid your efforts.

#emotionalintelligence blog post #anger management feeling thermometer

This blog post inspired by this Daily Prompt: Mad as a Hatter Tell us about a time when you flew into a rage. What is it that made you so incredibly angry?

Parent advice

This is an area where modeling works best. That means of course, you need to be aware of your feelings and able to measure them.  Then you need to share that knowledge with your children.  The sharing should start when the child has mastered talking.

You can get a digital copy of this feeling thermometer free at the EFTI Store.   Download it and post it where you will see it throughout the day. Every time you see it, take a calming breath, then name and rate what you are feeling using this feeling thermometer as a guide. 

When  stress and anger are building, take a mini-time out to self-sooth. Check out these Emotional Fitness easy self-soothing exercises; they will help you keep your cool.


As always practice caring, be grateful for what you have been given, forgive yourself and others for failing to be all that is good as you continue to practice kindness and bring forward a more just world for all.

Thank you for all you do, particularly for sharing and caring EFTI’s ideas on the internet. 


EFTI’s POSTER COACHES:  Most EFTI  posters posted on EFTI’s blog can be obtained at the EFTI Store.  Many are free.

Thank you for all you do and as always stay strong.




Stress proves you are a parent.  If you aren’t stressed as a parent, something is wrong.  Well, maybe if you are very rich or a celebrity parent, you aren’t stressed about parenting.  I suspect, however, even those get stressed.

And you thought it would be easy and all those people telling you how to be a parent also make it seem easy.  Moreover, some of them aren’t even hands-on parents.  Don’t be too harsh on them.  Remember, before you became a parent, you thought you knew the difficulties and you absolutely knew  how to do it right. You were not going to make the mistakes your parents made, not you. Ha! Delusions of grandure.

After you become a parent, you learned to forgive your parents and hoped they forgave you.

After you became a parent, you became buddy-buddy with stress.

Fact: You cannot parent without stress.

This post was sparked by Leo Babauta, the father of six, and his willingness to be both upfront about the stress that children bring to our world as well as able to offer some useful tips. Here is his post:

The way of the peaceful parent

We agree on much and his tips are useful. So read the article.


Tip one: Stress less about stress.  The researchers know stress is not bad.  In fact, a certain amount of stress is good.  What is not good is overwhelming stress.

Tip two: A little know fact: a child’s whining, crying, tugging at you, nagging you and getting mad at you is intended by nature to make you pay attention.  A baby’s cries elevates your blood pressure and can actually make your body hairs stand up—both strong clues that signal something bad is happening and you have to pay attention.  Good signals when baby needs to be fed, not so good when growing child wants to play with grandmother’s antique vase.

Tip three: When you are enforcing rules that keep your child safe, keep others from being hurt, or keep property from being destroyed, you are being a good parent. Remember that. Find a song or a slogan that counters stress.

Tip four: Take me-time. Put yourself in time out for ten minutes. Remember to nap when baby naps, impose a quiet hour at least once a day, twice is even better. Quiet hour is useful when naps no longer work.  Our youngest son needed little sleep and gave up naps early.  His room was safety proof and the rule was, play quietly during what was once nap time.

The general rule: Everyone had to find a quiet activity away from others: read play solitare, build legos, do homework, just don’t bother anyone else.  Not easy to impose but saved my marriage and our sanity when we had a house full of teens.  Quiet time then was from 10:00 P.M. on.  You had to be ready for bed, and in your room.  If the house caught on fire, you could come out, but otherwise it was ‘see you in the morning’.

Tip five: Get very good at amends.  An amends is making up.  Learning to say “I’m sorry” when you are wrong is an amends.  Asking, “What can I do to make up for my bad mood?” is an amends.  Having a cup of soothing tea after a hard day is making an amends to yourself. Having a date night is an amends, so is a night out with friends.  Make such amends planned events. Once a month may be all you can manage, but don’t let a month go by without giving your self a special treat.

Leo ends his article with this worth remembering and worth repeating quote:

You know the only people who are always sure about the proper way to raise children? Those who’ve never had any. 

Bill Cosby


Be kind to  me,  like this post, comment or  share.  You will be helping me stay strong and maybe others as well.  Click here for my free Ebook: The 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Training Exercises.