The Advice Trap

Ever start giving advice to your child or someone you love and sense the more you talk the less they listen? I have, more times than I can count. Today I found myself doing the above with a family member and right before there was an unhealthy disconnect, my coaching skills kicked in so I stopped. Then finished with, “but I’m not sure this will work for you. I don’t know”. Pheeeew! safe! There was a laugh which in most cases is partly to release internal pressure and a sign the attention is fully engaged again. Internal pressure? When someone


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Separate The Child From The Behavior?

If there were just one thing I could teach parents to do, it would be to separate the child from their misbehavior. Love the child, attack the behavior. What is our default when we’re stressed or don’t know what else to do with our children’s misbehavior? For many parents, we attack or ignore the child. Often our only tool is “shame”. Shame is poison to the human soul. “You are such a naughty, bad, little boy!” The problem with this among many is, the approach freezes the child in a state called “bad” to where there is no way out. If this happens


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How To Stop Whining

As I get the kids into the car to run some errands, not only am I stressed because the bank is closing soon, I’m having panic attacks. The anticipation of that obnoxious whining, it’s about to erupt any time now. I can feel it and it’s driving me nuts already. Will the whining stay confined to the car or will there be an outburst in the bank? Will others look at me as if I’m the worst parent in the world? Then the inner voice answers, “probably!”.  Argh! Now we’re way beyond the “this isn’t cute anymore” stage right? Twenty


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Stop The Children Car Fights?

I came across the following image and could instantly see the promising possibilities. Jake White is a clever Dad when it comes to stopping the car fights between his triplets. When I work with behavioral issues, one of the first things I try to adjust is the environment. In most cases, doing so makes the desired outcomes inevitable. Cardboard dividers? Why not? To make it even better, I’d trim the cardboard a bit so not to block the rearview. Maybe even color them or let the children put stickers on their own sides. Some may think this is a joke,


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