Thoughts for Parents
Kids act out to get help and are frightened that they will leave home without what they need to deal with the issues in life.
The “old” values turn out to be good values: Children and teens need chores and responsibilities, and consequences when they do not do them. This is a critical lesson parents need to teach their children so that they can be successful in life
Let children know they make decisions all the time, and that they can make different decisions, and that all decisions have consequences
Ask children to help with the concern or issue and let yourself be surprised at the positive reaction – but you have to be sincere
The unconscious cannot resist repetition - any behavior repeated daily for 3 weeks becomes a habit – this is a way to change bad habits
With a kid who is shut-down, stop talking and get physically active
Everybody makes mistakes – we are here to learn – that means we need to make mistakes
Kids will experiment – they are supposed to (remember your own childhood)
Don’t rescue or protect kids – they need to learn that they can do it on their own – that builds confidence and strength
Teens want to be heard so parents need to listen. They don't have to agree but they do have to listen
* Source: Ilene Dillon, MSW et al
13 things parents who raise mentally strong kids refuse to do
Amy Morin, Oct 8, 2017
Raising a mentally strong kid doesn't mean he won't cry when he's sad or that he won't fail sometimes. Mental strength doesn't make you immune to hardship and it's not about suppressing your emotions.
In fact, it's quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks and it gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.
But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common — yet unhealthy — parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, "13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do,” I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid who is equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges.
1. Condoning a victim mentality
Striking out at the baseball game or failing a science test doesn't make a child a victim. Rejection, failure, and unfairness are a part of life.
Refuse to attend your kids' pity parties. Teach them that no matter how tough or unjust their circumstances, they can always take positive action.
2. Parenting out of guilt
Giving into guilty feelings teaches your child that guilt is intolerable. And kids who think guilt is horrible won't be able to say no to someone who says, "Be a friend and let me copy your paper," or, "If you loved me, you'd do this for me."
Show your kids that even though you feel guilty sometimes — and all good parents do — you're not going to allow your uncomfortable emotions to get in the way of making wise decisions.
3. Making their kids the center of the universe
If you make your entire life revolve around your kids, they'll grow up thinking everyone should cater to them. And self-absorbed, entitled adults aren't likely to get very far in life.
Teach your kids to focus on what they have to offer the world, rather than what they can gain from it.
4. Allowing fear to dictate their choices
Although keeping your kids inside a protective bubble will spare you a lot of anxiety — playing it too safe teaches your child that fear must be avoided at all times.
Show your kids that the best way to conquer fear is to face those fears head-on and you'll raise courageous kids who are willing to step outside their comfort zones.
5. Giving their kids p0wer over them
Letting kids dictate what the family is going to eat for dinner or where the family is going on vacation gives kids more power than they are developmentally ready to handle. Treating kids like an equal — or the boss — actually robs them of mental strength.
Give your kids an opportunity to practice taking orders, listening to things they don't want to hear, and doing things they don't want to do. Let your kids make simple choices while maintaining a clear family hierarchy.
6. Expecting perfection
Expecting your kids to perform well is healthy. But expecting them to be perfect will backfire. Teach your kids that it's OK to fail and it's OK not to be great at everything they do.
Kids who strive to become the best version of themselves, rather than the best at everything they do, won't make their self-worth dependent upon how they measure up to others.
7. Letting their kids avoid responsibility
Letting kids skip out on chores or avoid getting an after-school job can be tempting. After all, you likely want your kids to have a carefree childhood.
But, kids who perform age-appropriate duties aren't overburdened. Instead, they're gaining the mental strength they need to become responsible citizens.
8. Shielding their kids from pain
Hurt feelings, sadness, and anxiety are part of life. And letting kids experience those painful feelings gives them opportunities to practice tolerating discomfort.
Provide your kids with the guidance and support they need to deal with pain so they can gain confidence in their ability to handle life's inevitable hardships.
9. Feeling responsible for their kids’ emotions
Cheering your kids up when they're sad and calming them down when they're upset means you take responsibility for regulating their emotions. Kids need to gain emotional competence so they can learn to manage their own feelings.
Proactively teach your child healthy ways to cope with their emotions so they don't depend on others to do it for them.
10 Preventing their kids from making mistakes
Correcting your kids' math homework, double checking to make sure they've packed their lunch, and constantly reminding them to do their chores won't do them any favors. Natural consequences can be some of life's greatest teachers.
Let your kids mess up sometimes and show them how to learn from their mistakes so they can grow wiser and become stronger.
11. Confusing discipline with punishment
Punishment involves making kids suffer for their wrongdoing. Discipline, however, is about teaching them how to do better in the future.
Raising a child who fears "getting in trouble" isn't the same as raising a child who wants to make good choices. Use consequences that help your kids develop the self-discipline they need to make better choices.
12. aking shortcuts to avoid discomfort
Although giving in to a whining child or doing your kids' chores for them will make your life a little easier right now, those shortcuts instill unhealthy habits in your kids.
Role model delayed gratification and show your kids that you can resist tempting shortcuts. You'll teach them that they're strong enough to persevere and even when they want to give up.
13. Losing sight of their values
Many parents aren't instilling the values they hold dear in their children. Instead, they're so wrapped up in the day-to-day chaos of life that they forget to look at the bigger picture.
Make sure your priorities accurately reflect the things you value most in life and you'll give your children the strength to live a meaningful life.
Amy Morin is the author of “13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do” and regularly writes about parenting issues on Inc.com.?
5 Apps That Should Terrify Every Parent
According To Experts If you see these on your teen’s phone, it’s time for a talk.
The internet can be a cesspool of danger for some teenagers, says Sedgrid Lewis, an internet safety expert who blogs under the moniker Spy Parent. Some of the apps that teens favor can expose them to predators and encourage them to engage in unsafe behaviors.
According to the child safety website PureSight, one in five teenagers has received an unwanted sexual solicitation online, and 75 percent of teens share personal information online. In almost all underage sexual predator cases, teens went willingly to meet with the predator.
Which apps do parents of teens most need to be aware of? Here are a few that Lewis and others have flagged:
1. Yubo (formerly Yellow)
Yubo has been called “Tinder for kids,” and is marketed to 13- to 17-year-olds as a way to make new friends. But it also allows young kids “to pretend to be adults and swipe left or right to hook up,” Lewis said. Yubo has more than 15 million users worldwide, despite vocal concerns about allowing children to use it.
The police department in Lenexa, Kansas, issued a warning last summer about the app, noting that “it embodies one of the most dangerous aspects of social media: It allows teens the ability to easily meet people (strangers) outside their parent’s sphere of knowledge or control and ... matching [them] with another person geographically near them, facilitating face-to-face meetings.”
The app changed its name in December from Yellow to Yubo and did some rebranding, but Lewis said the developers may have changed the name “in order to circumvent the accountability.”
Yubo’s creators put in some effort to improve awareness and education on using the app safely, Wayne Denner, an online reputation specialist, wrote on his website Digital Ninja. Since rebranding in December, Yubo added technology to detect fake profile pictures; hired a child online safety consultant; required that users have a mobile number to register, which is recorded and verified; and added an abuse reporting feature to inform the company of inappropriate activity.
But Denner noted there is still no age verification when you create an account. That means that the door is still open for adult sexual predators who lie about their age and create fake profiles to lure children. Fake profiles on all social media platforms remain a huge problem.
Sarahah is an “honesty” app that allows users to send anonymous direct messages to their friends through other apps such Snapchat. It was designed to provide positive encouragement in the workplace, but turned into what Lewis called “the No. 1 cyberbullying app.”
The app was so controversial that it was removed from Apple and Google stores on Feb. 21 because of complaints. A Change.org petition that called for the app’s removal was organized by the mother of a girl who was encouraged to take her own life by a Sarahah user; it garnered 470,000 signatures. But the fact that Sarahah was booted off app stores doesn’t mean that it was taken off anyone’s phone. It just means that people can no longer buy it, which should significantly limit its future spread.
Sarahah was at one point the most popular free download in multiple Apple and Google Play markets around the world, beating out even Facebook, Snapchat, and Netflix. It was introduced in late 2016 by Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq as a website intended for employees to give anonymous, honest feedback to their employers. After some success in Arabic-speaking countries, Tawfiq rolled out an English version that caught on rapidly with teens worldwide ? and may still be on their phones.
Reddit apps that easily enable kids to access inappropriate material should be monitored by parents, said Lewis. Anyone with the official Reddit app can go to the popular subreddit “Reddit Gone Wild” and find a ton of NSFW images and even straight-up porn. Users ? including underage ones ? must click a button saying they’re 18 years old in order to access it, but there’s no verification. And Reddit rules don’t prohibit nude selfies from appearing, as long as they are voluntarily posted by the selfie-taker.
In addition to labeling the app as for ages 18 and up, there are warnings on the Apple Store download page that mention sexual content, nudity and “frequent/intense mature/suggestive themes.” It’s hard to tell if that stops anyone or just makes it that much more tantalizing to lie about your age to use the app.
Lewis said there is nothing to stop a minor from clicking that button saying they are 18 ? except maybe a parent.
Vora is a fasting app that teens with eating disorders are using and abusing. The app blew up at the end of 2017, when “water fasting” — a diet in which followers consume nothing but water, against medical advice ? became a fad. Vice reports water fasters logged their fasts using Vora, sharing their results on Instagram.
While intermittent fasting may have some health benefits, those living with an eating disorder are using the app to celebrate and promote anorexia, said Lewis. They created a community within the app, sharing usernames on “pro-ana” forums to motivate and encourage each other to fast for longer.
Vora isn’t the only health and fitness app being abused. On pro-ana forums, people with eating disorders regularly swap information about their favorite apps, including MyFitnessPal, Eating Thin, Toilet Tracker, CalorieKing, Plant Nanny, Chronometer, and Carrot Fit (an app that encourages weight loss by hurling abuse at users and electrocuting an obese avatar when diet goals aren’t met).
Omegle is a live-streaming video and chat app that exists solely so that strangers can talk to one another. Yes, strangers. It also has a website that can be accessed on a mobile device and is a platform that parents should have on their radar, said Denner. It’s been around since 2008, and remains “not so well-known amongst adults,” he said, but is popular with teens and preteens.
Here’s the app’s description on the Omegle website: “Omegle (oh·meg·ull) is a great way to meet new friends. When you use Omegle, we pick someone else at random and let you talk one-on-one. To help you stay safe, chats are anonymous unless you tell someone who you are (not suggested!), and you can stop a chat at any time. Predators have been known to use Omegle, so please be careful.”
Most parents will go on high alert over that last sentence. And should, said Denner.
Also known as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADD, is not a mental illness but a “brain-wiring” issue that affects 10% of the population. While usually seen in childhood, particularly in school settings, it remains alive and well for many into adulthood and can cause problems in jobs and relationships.
This disorder is a biological condition much like near-sightedness or diabetes and needs to be treated. You would not want your child to have to struggle in school unable to see the board in class; you would make sure he or she had glasses to succeed in school.
While it may seem like your child or teen ignores your requests or forgets to do chores, this is not a case of willful defiance or “laziness” or being “stupid”, it is a symptom of ADHD. Your child or teen does not know what their problem is either except that it upsets their parents and teachers and they feel like they are letting everyone down.
Untreated,AD/HD leads to anxiety and depression which become more serious issues.
Treated, the child becomes more responsive in class, listens to parents at home, does his or her chores and feels better about her or himself,
It is easy for a qualified mental health provider or medical doctor to diagnose AD/HD and to suggest ways, using medication and other behavioral techniques to reduce the effect of the disorder.
If your child or husband or wife is easily distracted, loses things, cannot sit still, starts but doesn’t finish projects or has a difficult time staying organized or even reading a book, taking a look at AD/HD could help to improve everyone’s lives.
How to Use Rewards
Set achievable goals. If your child doesn’t believe they can achieve their goal, they won’t try. A good rule of thumb is that your child should earn their reward about 75% of the time.
Rewards must be desirable. Choose rewards your child actually wants. Whether they admit it or not, most children want the attention of their parents. Never underestimate the power of a smile or a hug. Sometimes these little rewards can be more powerful than anything else.
Praise behaviors instead of traits. For example, if your child gets a good grade, praise their hard work instead of their intelligence. If your child believes they passed a test because of their intelligence, what does it mean when they fail a test? Also, praising a behavior such as hard work will lead to more hard work, but traits like intelligence are outside of your child’s control.
Give rewards regularly and consistently. Instead of offering one big reward for a long-term accomplishment, try offering smaller rewards along the way. Children have a hard time waiting for distant rewards, making them less effective. Regular rewards keep children motivated.
Catch your child being good. Is your hyper child sitting still? Let them know you notice!Try to catch your child being good—no matter how minor it seems—at least 3 times a day. The best way to end a bad behavior is to reward the opposite good behavior.
Always follow through. If you promise a reward but don’t follow through, your child may not take you seriously next time. However, every time you do follow through, your promises gain credibility.
Be clear about rewards and how to earn them. Specify what exactly rewards will be (rather than "extra TV", say "30 minutes of extra TV") and what your child needs to do to earn them (“hang up your clothes, put away toys, and vacuum the floor” rather than "clean your room").
Don’t take away rewards that have already been earned. If your child earns a reward and then gets in trouble for something unrelated, let them keep the reward. You can use a consequence for the negative behavior, but it should not affect the reward. Taking away rewards can lead to a constant sense of defeat when the child works hard but never sees positive outcomes.
Reward good habits instead of good outcomes. For example, reward your child if they study for an hour each night, instead of rewarding them for an “A” on a test. Even though it seems obvious to adults, many children don’t know how to get an “A” on a test. Use rewards to teach your child habits that will eventually lead to the ultimate goal.
How to Use Consequences
Create a few simple and clearly defined rules and consequences. Children have a hard time understanding a long or complex list of rules, and there’s no chance for success if they don’t know what the rules are.
Always follow through. The threat of a consequence will quickly become meaningless if the consequences never actually happen. It’s tempting to feel sympathetic and let your kid off the hook, but this will lead to more problems down the road.
Don’t overdo it. Many parents have a habit of dishing out extreme consequences when they’re upset. When punishments are too extreme, parents often let their children off the hook once they have cooled down, or when the punishment becomes too inconvenient for the parent (e.g. having to monitor the child all day). This tells your child that the consequences are not serious.
It’s okay to be flexible. You want your child to do the dishes, but they’re in the middle of a video game. Instead of telling them to do the dishes “right now”, give them a reasonable timeframe. Try this: “I need you to finish doing the dishes within the next hour”. How would you feel if you were watching your favorite show, and your partner demanded you do the laundry “right now”?
Take away privileges. Removing TV or phone privileges can be very effective. However, avoid taking away things that are beneficial for your child. If your child calms down by playing guitar, or they strive for good grades so they can play on the basketball team, don’t take those away.
Never use corporal punishment, shaming, or humiliation. Children who receive corporal punishment—including spanking—learn that violence is an appropriate response to their problems. They tend to be more aggressive with other children, and they carry this into adulthood. Shaming and humiliating your child can irreparably damage your relationship and cause significant distress.
Don’t give up your leverage. If you take away everything, there’s nothing left to take away. Don’t put your child in a position where they have nothing to lose.
Sometimes it’s better to ignore bad behavior than to punish it. Children may purposefully use bad behavior to get attention. Even negative attention is better than no attention. If your child’s behavior isn’t dangerous or destructive, it’s okay to ignore them until they stop.
Choose your battles. So, your child has picked the clothes up off the floor, and put them in the dresser, but the clothes aren’t folded neatly. Let it go! Ask yourself: “Is this problem really that important right now?”
© 2019 Therapist Aid LLC 2 Provided by TherapistAid.com
Biggest Vaping Study Ever Links E-Cigs With Heart Attacks and Depression
Tobacco smoking adults that use electronic cigarettes have a significantly higher chance of myocardial infarction (a heart attack), as well as coronary heart disease and depression, according to the largest-ever study conducted on the public health effects of what many people refer to as vaping. The research study findings, published in a press release, will be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session in New Orleans, which begins on March 16.
Research on the impacts of vaping has been mixed, with some studies suggesting that vaping could help smokers hooked on traditional cigaretteskick their addiction. But the authors of the research being presented at the upcoming conference note that compared to those who do not smoke, adults that vape are 56% more likely to have a heart attack and are 30% more likely to suffer a stroke. Additionally, when controlling for cardiovascular risk variables such as age and body mass index, e-cigarette users were 55% more likely than nonusers to suffer from depression or anxiety.
“Until now, little has been known about cardiovascular events relative to e-cigarette use,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Mohinder Vindhyal, an assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine Wichita. “These data are a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes.”
An estimated one in 20 Americans now use e-cigarettes, and e-cigs have been linked to a rise in teen smoking for years, due in large part to those tempting vape pen flavors that can lead some teens toward traditional cigarette smoking.
You Need to Teach Your Kids To Fail. Here’s How.
By Caroline Bologna
You Need To Teach Your Kids To Fail. Here’s How.
The Importance Of Failure
“Parents who give permission for kids to fail are building social and emotional skills and qualities that last a lifetime ? persistence, positive self-image, self-confidence, self-control, problem-solving, self-sufficiency, focus and patience,” Kim Metcalfe, a retired professor of early childhood education and psychology and author of Let’s Build ExtraOrdinary Youth Together, told HuffPost.
But allowing your child to fail almost seems to go against nature, noted Jessica Lahey, a teacher, journalist and author of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed.
She said that parents feel bombarded by frightening headlines along the lines of “it’s impossible to get into college today” or “the next generation of kids is unlikely to do better economically than their parents.”
“When faced with those sorts of scary scenarios, we tend to go into ‘protective parent mode,’ which is evolutionarily rational,” Lahey explained. “But we’re reacting to things that aren’t actually threats. It’s not a threat that our child can’t get into Harvard. It’s not a threat that our kid is not the top-scoring player on the soccer team. It’s something that’s beneficial for them to have to experience.”
“Failure is part of life, and if our children don’t have the opportunity to fail or make mistakes, they’ll never realize they can bounce back. That’s what resilience is all about.” - MICHELE BORBA
Because parents have the instinct to protect their children from failure and disappointment, it’s necessary to take a step back and understand what real threats are versus what’s actually just part of growing up.
“Failure is part of life, and if our children don’t have the opportunity to fail or make mistakes, they’ll never realize they can bounce back. That’s what resilience is all about,” said Michele Borba, an educational psychologist and author of UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World. “Your child doesn’t learn to bounce back because you told them they could but because they experienced it. Then when the problems get really huge, they’ve got that gumption inside to realize, ‘Hey I can do this!’”
The Problem With Lawn Mowers
“We can’t plow everything out of the way,” said Lahey. “If this college admissions case is any example, they’ve just set their kids up for failure. Lori Loughlin’s daughter, the Instagram influencer, has become a laughingstock, and now her life is open to scrutiny in a way it wasn’t before.”
Parents who bribe their kids into colleges they’re not equipped to attend are not solving any problems, but rather creating a situation in which their kids will struggle, she continued. This will ultimately erode their sense of competence and self-esteem.
One of the best ways to help a child build his or her sense of self-esteem is to separate your own self-worth as a parent from your children’s accomplishments.
Rather than mowing down obstacles, parents should encourage their children to try and fail and try again.
Like everyone, parents tend to look for concrete indicators of success and progress. But because there are no parenting report cards or performance evaluations, they simply look to their kids’ achievements and co-opt them.
Lahey noted that this is part of what psychology professor Wendy Grolnick calls the “Pressured Parent Phenomenon.”
“Parents think, ‘My child made the traveling soccer team, so that means I get an A for my parenting,’ or ‘They won the science fair. That means I’m an A+ parent,’” Lahey explained, noting that this feeds into the temptation to mow down any obstacles or challenges kids may face and deprive them of the opportunity to fail.
Obviously no one wants to watch their children fail, but they need to in order to learn to react to failure in a positive and constructive way.
“The most effective teaching tools we have require kids to get frustrated and work through it to the other side,” Lahey said, pointing to the concept of “desirable difficulties” ? educational tasks that require a considerable but ultimately desirable amount of effort in order to enhance long-term learning.
“To benefit from desirable difficulties, kids have to be able to get frustrated, redirect themselves, take a breath, reread the instructions and stick with it long enough that they can overcome that frustration and actually feel that sense of competence when they actually work it out,” she noted.
Lahey encouraged moms and dads to parent from a place of trust and focus on “autonomy supportive parenting” (giving kids more control over the details of a task and allowing them to get frustrated and work through it) rather than “directive parenting” (laying out exactly how to do things and making them follow through).
“Parents think, ‘My child made the traveling soccer team, so that means I get an A for my parenting,’ or ‘They won the science fair. That means I’m an A+ parent.’” - JESSICA LAHEY
“We as parents are really good at trying to make our kids feel confident. But confidence is like this empty optimism,” said Lahey. “Competence ? when kids actually push through, figure something out, try something, screw it up, do it again, and get to a place where they really achieve something ? that’s where real self-esteem lies, not in someone telling you you’re smart over and over again.”
How To Teach Failure And Resilience Every Day
Parents can incorporate lessons of failure and resilience for their kids in their everyday lives. For instance, Lahey recommends showing young children how to load the dishwasher and then asking them to do it. Inevitably, they will do something wrong, but it’s a learning opportunity.
“If there’s still egg stuck to one of the plates, you can show it to them and say, ‘Look, because this wasn’t rinsed off, it’s all stuck on there. So let’s work together to get this off, and next time you’ll remember that this sticky yucky egg may still be stuck on there if you don’t rinse first,’” she explained.
When she goes to the airport with her own children, Lahey sometimes budgets extra time so that when they arrive she can turn to them and ask, “OK, where do we go? What do we do first?” That way when they eventually do travel alone, they will feel comfortable navigating an airport.
Lahey acknowledged that these types of experiences often require additional time and planning, but it’s worth it. “Giving them age-appropriate tasks that are fairly low stakes helps them get to a place where when things get to be higher stakes, they’ve got it,” she said.
Parents can incorporate lessons of failure and resilience for their kids into their everyday lives.
Growing up, Lahey’s son loved a local chocolate shop and asked if they could go there one day. She pulled up to the store, handed him a $5 bill and told him to “go for it!” He refused because he didn’t want to go in by himself, so they left. They repeated this exercise many times over the course of a year until finally one day, he decided he could go in by himself.
“That was a turning point for him about being afraid to talk to people in stores,” she recalled. “Now it’s no problem for him, and that was a low-risk, child-friendly way for him to overcome something that really freaked him out.”
Lahey also recommends having older kids fill out their own school forms and call to schedule their own doctors’ appointments. “These are things that feel like stupid busy work to us, but they’re actually great moments of accomplishment for kids,” she said.
Books also provide a great opportunity to teach failure and resilience. Borba is a fan of Fortunately by Remy Charlip, a children’s book about a boy named Ned who finds himself in some tough situations.
“Every time he has an ‘unfortunate,’ he turns it into a ‘fortunate,’” she explained. “Every page is about how to flip the unfortunate into a fortunate, so kids see that everybody has unfortunates.” Other children’s books that teach lessons of failure and resilience include Rosie Revere, Engineer; Whistle for Willie; The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do; The Little Engine That Could; Nobody Is Perfick; I Made a Mistake; Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days! and Mistakes That Worked.
The Power Of Brainstorming
Borba recommends making brainstorming part of kids’ day-to-day experience to help them practice coming up with solutions to problems.
“When your child makes a mistake, don’t berate the child for the mistake but make it into a question of ‘What are you going to learn from it?’ ‘What’s one way you could do that differently?’ or ‘OK, let’s figure out what to do next,’” Borba noted. “If they realize that inside their brains are opportunities to keep thinking of a different option, then they’re less likely to make the mistake again.”
She pointed to what she calls the “pocket problem-solver” method ? using your hand as a brainstorming tool. For your thumb, ask what the problem is. Then name three things you could have done differently for your pointer, middle and ring fingers. Then your pinkie is what you’re going to do next time.
“When your child makes a mistake, don’t berate the child for the mistake but make it into a question of ‘What are you going to learn from it?’ ‘What’s one way you could do that differently?’” - MICHELE BORBA
For older kids and teens, parents can respond to mistakes and failures by saying, “It’s OK, we can do it again. Let’s figure out another option.”
Borba believes they should own up to their mistakes and be involved in the process of figuring out other options or solutions: “Let’s say your teen is failing a class. Ask, ‘What do you want to do? How about setting up a conference with the teacher? How about getting a tutor?’ Involve them in the ‘how abouts.’”
With older kids and teens, Borba also recommended using news stories as a jumping off point for conversations. The college admissions scandal is actually a good example.
“Ask your teen, ‘Have you heard about what these parents did? How would you feel if I did something like that?’ It’s great to get their reaction,” she said. “Often the real news stories, especially if they involve teens, are a way in, and if your kid isn’t opening up, ask, ‘What do your friends think? What are other people saying about it?’ It’s powerful.”
Kids Need To See Their Parents Struggle
Sharing stories of past failures and how you moved on can be beneficial for your children, but what’s even more helpful is keeping your kids in the loop as you face adversity in the present. “Sharing current failures allows parents to share the entire thinking and behavioral processes they engage in, which models persistence but more importantly delivers the message that no matter how old we are, we fail, we persist and we learn,” Metcalfe said. Consistently modeling resilience can help kids develop a glass-half-full attitude.
There are age-appropriate ways to be open about failure and make it clear that mistakes are acceptable in your household. Borba noted that parents don’t necessarily have to admit all their biggest failures to their young children (“Oh no, I’ve just gone completely bankrupt! What do I do?”), but it’s OK to openly say, “Oh gosh, I just messed this project up.”
“The wonderful thing is adding ‘but next time I’ll ....’” Borba explained. “For instance say, ‘Wow, I just completely blew the time frame. I thought I’d be able to get out the door on time, and now I’m so late. But next time I’ll set my alarm earlier!’”
It's helpful for parents to be open about their own mistakes and failures.
In Lahey’s house, they lay out three things they’d each like to accomplish over the next three months, and one has to be “a bit scary.” Her goals have included submitting work to new publications, taking guitar lessons for the first time and even studying Algebra I in her 40s to get over her “math-phobia.”
She believes it’s a powerful learning opportunity for kids to see their parents try new things that are scary and could lead to mistakes and know that it’s OK.
“My kids watched me do it, screw it up and try again,” she said. “That’s the most effective thing we can give them, yet we seem to hide it because we want them to think we’re perfect or something ? which, as many already know, we’re not.”
Ultimately, fostering a growth and resilience mindset in your child is something that takes time and effort. “Realize that a one-time talk isn’t going to change him or her,” Borba said.
Still, these are lessons worth teaching, so keep encouraging your child to try, make mistakes and see failures as a learning opportunity. With time, you’ll raise a human who’s comfortable facing adversity and able to overcome challenges. This is what every parent fundamentally wants ? not a Yale acceptance letter.
Kids aren't growing up: Shocking new poll says parents are killing kids' life skills
Sonja Haller, USA TODAY
Parents are preventing their adult children from growing up by doing things for them, including making appointments and intervening where they work, according to a New York Times/Morning Consult poll.
While we're clucking over the college admissions bribery scandal, those of us with children too young to worry about higher education gaze up from our smartphones and remind our tweens and teens that schoolwork's due Friday and to pack their uniform for practice.
What's wrong with that?
Only that most of us still will be doing it when our children are in college.
Bribing SAT proctors, paying off college officials and lying about kids' athletic credentials is illegal, but it's also part of a pattern of today's parents taking control so their children succeed and avoid disappointment and failure.
A new poll conducted by The New York Times and Morning Consult showed that parents don't stop handling things for their children when they become adults.
We don't stop removing obstacles to child frustration or defeat, thus earning ourselves the moniker of snowplow or lawnmower parents. Meet the 'lawnmower parent,' the new helicopter parents What type of parent are you? Lawnmower? Helicopter? Attachment? Tiger? Free-range?
The poll looked at a nationally representative group of parents of young people ages 18 to 28.
Parents contacting their adult child's boss
Eleven percent of parents of adult children in a New York Times/Morning Consult poll would contact their child's boss if the son or daughter had an issue at work.
By the time kids are old enough for college and way beyond the point they should have graduated, parents — whether wealthy or not — are still doing things children can do for themselves. Such as:
• 76 percent reminded their adult children of deadlines they need to meet, including for schoolwork
• 74 percent made appointments for them, including doctor’s appointments
• 15 percent of parents with children in college had texted or called them to wake them up so they didn’t sleep through a class or test.
One of the most egregious findings of the poll is that 11 percent of parents with adult children will call their child's employer if he or she had an issue at work.
I guess it shouldn't be that surprising in that 8 percent of parents said they had contacted a college professor or administrator about their child’s grades or a problem they were having.
The poll also found among parents of adult children that:
• 22 percent helped them study for a college test
• 16 percent helped write all or part of a job or internship application
• 14 percent told them which career to pursue
• 14 percent helped them get jobs or internships through professional network
• 12 percent gave more than $500 per month for rent or daily expenses
• 11 percent helped write an essay or school assignment
• 4 percent wrote all or part of an essay or other school assignment
Growing up means making mistakes
The problem with this, according to Julie Lythcott-Haims, the former dean of freshmen at Stanford University and author of "How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success," is that parents never let their children grow up. Growing up means making your own decisions, and sometimes, mistakes, she told The Times.
“The point is to prepare the kid for the road, instead of preparing the road for the kid,” Lythcott-Haims said.
Lythcott-Haims said it's difficult for snowplow parents to break the habit of being a child's fixer, always plowing away all the difficulties.
"If you’re doing it in high school, you can’t stop at college,” she said.
"If you’re doing it in college, you can’t stop when it comes to the workplace. You have manufactured a role for yourself of always being there to handle things for your child, so it gets worse because your young adult is ill-equipped to manage the basic tasks of life."
Lythcott-Haims said parents eventually have to take a back seat and let their kids drive their own lives. "You can’t just arrive them at the future you want for them. They have to do the work to build the skills," she said.
Want to Raise Thoughtful, Well Adjusted Children? Parenting Experts Say They Should Hear You Speak These 11 Things
You know what not to say--are you as certain about the opposite? By Scott Mautz
I recently wrote about what parents should let their kids see them doing to role-model well-adjusted behavior and have been planning this follow-up piece. Why? Because helping children to grow up successful and level-headed is about ensuring they see you doing and saying certain things.
Plenty has been written about what not to say in front of your children but not so much on the opposite. So I enlisted the help of parenting experts Patrick A. Coleman, parenting editor at fatherly.com, and Daniel Wong, author of 16 Keys to Motivating Your Teenager. I blended their expertise with my own experience to share the 11 most important things your child should "catch" you saying.
1. "Your practice is paying off."
This is about your child hearing you reward their effort and improvement as opposed to having a label reinforced, like, "You're so smart!". And kids don't always see that their practice is helping them improve, especially when they're more attuned to how good others are at something. Being specific about how they're improving will encourage them to keep going.
2. "I don't know."
I used to think feigned omnipotence with my daughter was the way to go, but as soon as I realized I couldn't keep up the façade, well, I dropped the façade. Saying "I don't know" shows your vulnerability. The key is to say it with confidence to indicate that it's OK that you don't know everything, but then to follow up your statement with an effort to find out the answer. It role-models curiosity and a desire to learn.
3. "Is that really true?"
Kids are even better than adults at letting negative self-talk build an unhelpful ongoing narrative. Combine that with a constant comparison culture, exposure to social media, and increasing peer pressures at school and voila--you have a child with a negative self-story. Asking them "Is that really true?" when you hear them spouting their frustrations/self-disappointments forces them to challenge their assumptions. Keep asking and they'll realize their "supporting reasons" hold no weight.
4. "I'm sorry."
This is just good ol' fashioned role-modeling of humility and empathy. Research from University of Kent psychologists Nicola Abbott and Lindsey Cameron shows how important it is to role-model empathy for children. It teaches them kindness and forces them to be introspective about the harm they've brought to another person. It demonstrates how to begin the reconciliation and recovery process.
5. "I hear you."
Children, like all other human beings, want to be heard and respected. The fact that they know so relatively little or that their demands/statements can be ridiculous doesn't matter. Just like you want to be heard when you're frustrated or otherwise, so do they. Hearing "I hear you" teaches them to be patient even when they disagree with someone.
6. "What do you think?"
Children, like all other human beings, want to know that they/their opinions are valued. I often ask my daughter this, especially on things that I don't know as much about (like all things pop-music). Asking this helps them to mature and form their own cohesive opinion.
7. "You were right."
Saying this shows that we all make mistakes, even mom and dad. I've found, surprisingly enough, it also encourages reciprocation from my daughter and an improved sense of collaboration and equality. You can be right sometimes dad (even if she's right the other 99 percent of the time).
8. "I trust you."
I say this to my daughter because it raises the stakes of her acting in a trustworthy manner. My trust in her is a given. However, I want her to continue earning it and to imagine the pain of hearing me say the opposite in those moments where she'll have a choice to make--to behave trustworthy and responsible, or not?
9. "I'm sure you can do it."
You can say many things to boost your child's confidence, but I like this the best because it shows your certainty and belief in them while still indicating that it's actually up to them. The implied words after this are "...if you put your mind to it".
10. "You decide."
It's like catnip for many young adults. Responsibility. Decision space. Independence. It shows trust and that you value their ability to be self-determining.
11. "I love you."
This one may seem obvious, but there are "strong silent" types that withhold saying it. And there are many unhelpful associated beliefs--like saying it too much defuses its power. Not so. Kids need reminders, often, of your unconditional love, and hearing it is powerfully unambiguous. As Coleman says: "'I love you' should be said loudly and often, and not just when your child has done something you deem worthy of love. In fact, saying 'I love you' is most powerful when a child feels most in danger of losing his/her parents love." So say all of these things, often, with conviction. Then you can say you did your best.
New neuroscience reveals 9 rituals that will make you an amazing parent
ERIC BARKER APRIL 11, 2019
When kids behave, things are easy. The problem is when you need to discipline them. Most parents know which methods they don’t want to use to correct their children, but aren’t as sure which methods they should use.
So what is discipline? The word comes from the Latin “disciplina” — which means “to teach.” And, in the end, that’s what we need more of. Every time a kid misbehaves it’s an opportunity to teach them valuable skills like empathy, self-control, problem-solving, and dealing with emotions.
Merely punishing kids might stop bad behavior in the short-term but without a lesson, all it teaches them is that whomever has more power gets to enforce their arbitrary rules. (Hint: this does not bode well for their future relationships.)
Yes, you want them to stop painting the toilet purple but you also want them to learn to consider the feelings of others, and build other long-term skills that will help them lead successful, happy lives. And you want them to feel closer to you after a dispute, not further away.
From No-Drama Discipline* (see below):
The research is really clear on this point. Kids who achieve the best outcomes in life—emotionally, relationally, and even educationally—have parents who raise them with a high degree of connection and nurturing, while also communicating and maintaining clear limits and high expectations. Their parents remain consistent while still interacting with them in a way that communicates love, respect, and compassion. As a result, the kids are happier, do better in school, get into less trouble, and enjoy more meaningful relationships.
So how the heck do you do all this? (No, a taser is not involved.) You want to “connect and redirect.” This is the system recommended by Daniel Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, and Tina Payne Bryson, a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist. [authors of They are the New York Times bestselling authors of No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind.
Okay, let’s get to it …
If your kid is in mid-yell or mid-cry, they cannot hear what you are saying. Reread that. Get it tattooed on your body. How logical are you when you’re overwhelmed by emotion? And you expect a kid to be any different?
So immediately doling out punishments will rarely be processed and just escalate an already bad situation. You need to connect.
Connection means showing that you’re on their side – while still maintaining boundaries. You need to tune into their feelings and show them that you understand. This helps move them from reactivity to receptivity. It allows the emotion to dissipate so they can start using their thinky brain instead of their emotional brain. Connection has 4 parts:
They cry, you yell and things get worse, not better. Sound familiar? Because it’s now a fight for power instead of a conversation. As NYPD hostage negotiators know, “behavior is contagious.” If you want to be in a fight, by all means, give an angry look, raise your voice and wag your index finger. If you want this to be a somewhat sane interaction, act like it is one. Communicate comfort. Make them feel safe.
How do you react when someone dismisses your feelings and tells you “stop making a big deal out of this and just calm down”? Exactly. So don’t expect a child to be any better at it. Validate their feelings — though not all their actions. They need to feel understood in order to calm down. Until the big emotions are out of their way, logic is powerless.
Your child is really angry about something. You know what always works? A really long lecture. Going on a rant to someone screaming at the top of their lungs is incredibly effective in showing them the error of their ways and getting them to calm down. No child would ever respond by tuning you out. And make sure to repeat the same points over and over. People love this, especially surly teenagers… Um, no. They won’t process a thing until they get to talk about how they feel and you show them you understand. So listen.
When they tell you how they feel, repeat it back to them. You want to show, not tell. If you say, “I know how you feel” they’ll reply, “No, you don’t!” If you say, “It really upset you that I wouldn’t let you build a nuclear reactor in the basement” they’ll say, “Exactly.”
After you communicate comfort, validate feelings, listen and reflect, ask yourself one question: “Are they ready to hear, learn, and understand?” If not, repeat the steps. Whoops, actually there’s a second question to ask yourself: “Am I ready?” Because if you’re overly emotional this will not go well. They need to be calm — but so do you.
Okay, so you’ve connected. Now it’s time to “redirect.” That’s an acronym because 8 more steps is a lot to remember, especially after junior decides to give the living room wall an unapproved mural. So let’s start with “R” …
2) Reduce words
Again, listening beats lecturing. If you regularly bemoan your child’s short attention span then you should know better than to launch into an hour-long keynote on proper behavior. If it is a big issue, ask questions and guide a conversation, but don’t lecture.
From No-Drama Discipline: We strongly suggest that when you redirect, you resist the urge to overtalk. Of course it’s important to address the issue and teach the lesson. But in doing so, keep it succinct. Regardless of the age of your children, long lectures aren’t likely to make them want to listen to you more. Instead, you’ll just be flooding them with more information and sensory input. As a result, they’ll often simply tune you out.
Alright, you’re being brief and getting to the point. What’s next?
3) Embrace emotions
All feelings are permitted; all behavior is not. Do not insist that their emotions be rational or make sense. (If the world was always rational and made sense, you wouldn’t be having this fight and I’d be married to Olivia Wilde.)
From No-Drama Discipline: …it’s what we do as a result of our emotions that determines whether our behavior is OK or not OK. So our message to our children should be, “You can feel whatever you feel, but you can’t always do whatever you want to do.”
You’re being brief and accepting their feelings. Cool. Now how do you actually correct a child?
4) Describe, don’t preach
Parents always wonder why their kids tune them out. The answer is simple: because they know what you’re going to say and then you say it anyway. Chances are, they know what they did was wrong. So instead of lecturing, just call attention to whatever they did: “The couch is on fire.” This is less likely to put them on the defensive or lead them to tune you out.
From No-Drama Discipline: The natural tendency for many parents is to criticize and preach when our kids do something we don’t like. In most disciplinary situations, though, those responses simply aren’t necessary. Instead, we can simply describe what we’re seeing, and our kids will get what we’re saying just as clearly as they do when we yell and disparage and nitpick. And they’ll receive that message with much less defensiveness and drama.
You gave a description instead of a TED talk. Awesome. But the only way you’re really going to get them to learn anything is if they’re engaged …
5) Involve your child in the discipline
This needs to be a dialogue, not summary judgment. Ask questions. Get them to suggest how the situation should be handled and you’ll organically shift into talking about right and wrong, and how other people are impacted by your child’s behavior. This is how they learn empathy and problem-solving.
From No-Drama Discipline: Once you’ve connected and your child is ready and receptive, you can simply initiate a dialogue that leads first toward insight (“I know you know the rule, so I’m wondering what was going on for you that led you to this”) and then toward empathy and integrative repair (“What do you think that was like for her, and how could you make things right?”).
Now it’s a conversation and they’re learning something other than why you’re a meanie. So how do you tell children “no” without a screaming match — and teach them self-control at the same time?
6) Reframe a “no” into a conditional “yes”
“Yes, you can watch more TV — after dinner.” It’s not a magic spell but it’ll often meet with less resistance than a flat “No more TV.”
Obviously, some things are non-negotiable: “No, you cannot perform an appendectomy on the family dog.” But often you can phrase things with this formula and help them learn about boundaries and self-control with a lot less drama.
From No-Drama Discipline: An out-and-out no can be much harder to accept than a yes with conditions. No, especially if said in a harsh and dismissive tone, can automatically activate a reactive state in a child (or anyone). In the brain, reactivity can involve the impulse to fight, flee, freeze, or, in extreme cases, faint. In contrast, a supportive yes statement, even when not permitting a behavior, turns on the social engagement circuitry, making the brain receptive to what’s happening, making learning more likely, and promoting connections with others.
Now you know how to say no. So how else can we discipline children — without making them hate us in the process?
7) Emphasize the positive
Say what you want, not what you don’t want. “I need you to brush your teeth and find your backpack,” beats, “Stop messing around and get ready, you’re going to be late for school!”
And make sure to praise them when they do things you like. If every time you open your mouth only criticism comes out, what feelings do you think they’re instinctively going to associate with you? Yup.
So what’s a good way to sidestep drama altogether — and have a laugh in the process?
8) Creatively approach the situation
Be playful. If there’s a toy on the floor where it shouldn’t be, try a dramatic pratfall instead of a stern glare. Instead of arguing about getting into the car, become a scary monster and chase them into it. With some creativity you can get your point across in a way that reduces defensiveness.
From No-Drama Discipline: When we exercise response flexibility, we use our prefrontal cortex, which is central to our upstairs brain and the skills of executive functions. Engaging this part of our brain during a disciplinary moment makes it far more likely that we’ll also be able to conjure up empathy, attuned communication, and even the ability to calm our own reactivity.
So we know a lot of ways to defuse conflict — but how do we teach them some valuable life skills and reduce the intensity of the next meltdown?
9) Teach mindsight tools
Siegel and Bryson basically mean teaching your kids mindfulness. You want to focus on making sure they learn to not just merely experience their emotions, but also observe their emotions.
Teaching your child to ask, “What is my brain doing right now?” allows them to step back from the chaos going on in their head and study it, versus being consumed by it. You don’t want a child that is overwhelmed by feelings or denies their feelings. You want your kid to notice their feelings — and do something about them.
This teaches them they don’t have to be stuck in a negative mood. They don’t have to be a victim to external events or their whirlwind emotions. With practice they can cope with feelings and take charge of their behavior.
From No-Drama Discipline: Brain studies reveal that we actually have two different circuits—an experiencing circuit and an observing circuit. They are different, but each is important, and integrating them means building both and then linking them. We want our kids to not only feel their feelings and sense their sensations, but also to be able to notice how their body feels, to be able to witness their own emotions.
Okay, we’ve learned a lot. Let’s round it all up and discover what to do when you screw the above up …
Here’s how neuroscience can help you be an amazing parent:
• Connect: Communicate comfort, validate feelings, listen and reflect.
• Reduce Words: Seriously, when have lectures ever worked?
• Embrace Emotions: All feelings are permitted; all behaviors are not.
• Describe, Don’t Preach: “All daddy’s shoes are in the refrigerator.”
• Involve Your Child In The Discipline: “What’s a way to express your anger that doesn’t involve anyone getting 27 stitches?”
• Reframe A “No” Into A Conditional “Yes”: “Yes, you can watch ‘Toy Story’ for the 400th time — after mommy finishes this wonderful blog post she’s reading.”
• Emphasize The Positive: Instead of “No whining,” try, “I like it when you talk in your normal voice. Can you say that again?”
• Creatively Approach The Situation: “I’ll bet I can eat my vegetables faster than you can.”
• Teach Mindsight Tools: Teach them to notice their emotions.
You can’t improve how you deal with something if you’re not aware of it. You’re not always going to be perfect. (I really hope this did not come as a surprise.) But even your mistakes as a parent can be valuable if you handle them right.
From No-Drama Discipline: Then they get to see you model how to apologize and make things right. They experience that when there is conflict and argument, there can be repair, and things become good again. This helps them feel safe and not so afraid in future relationships; they learn to trust, and even expect, that calm and connection will follow conflict. Plus, they learn that their actions affect other people’s emotions and behavior. Finally, they see that you’re not perfect, so they won’t expect themselves to be, either.
So it all comes down to “connect and redirect.” And when you screw up, don’t worry. Apologize, make a joke, try again.
You want your kids to know that everyone makes mistakes and that anger doesn’t last forever.
Children need to know that arguments happen — but that doesn’t mean people stop loving you.