Teenage Rebellion Is a Cry for Connection and Love

May 21, 2020

One of the most challenging times in life is when your child hits the teenage years. Parenting teens is as much a rite of passage for you as it is for your teen. It’s when your sweet, agreeable child turns grumpy, rebellious, and pushes you away seemingly overnight. I’ll never forget my own experience as a first-time parent of a teenager. During one incredibly difficult time, my 14-year-old son and I had just had an argument, and he had stormed off abruptly. My daughter, who was five years younger, had witnessed the whole blow-up. As she saw the tears welling in my eyes, she looked up at [...]

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Are You Worried Your Children Don't Know How to Cope?

March 12, 2020

Many parents come to me because they’re concerned about their children’s coping skills. It’s clear that a lot of parents are at a loss for how to teach their children resilience. Let’s face it. Raising kids in today’s world is tough. Tech addictions, drugs, anxiety, depression, food disorders, and suicide are prevalent—is it any wonder that parents worry?

As a parent coach, what I repeatedly see are parents who don’t know how to feel, who don’t give themselves or their children permission to feel.

Why is this a problem? Because without emotional literacy, self-awareness, and emotional [...]

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The Best Way to Deal with Teenage Rebellion

April 09, 2018

Parenting today's teens is challenging. Many parents even dread raising teenagers because they've often heard negative, even scary stories over the years from other parents. As a culture, we think we've got teenagers pegged—uncontrollable, disrespectful, and rebellious. The big question is: "Is adolescent rebellion avoidable?"

If we take a moment to shift a cultural expectation and our perspective as parents, we begin to see adolescence differently. When we approach this season of their life and seek to understand a teen's needs while also meeting their developing brains with nurturing [...]

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Why We Think Teenage Rebellion Is Normal

March 16, 2018

When I was teaching a parenting class a few years ago, a mother told the story of the time her son came home from kindergarten with green hair. She went ballistic as soon as she saw him. When I asked what triggered her anger, she replied, "All I could see was a teenager standing there with green hair, tattoos, a ring in his nose, and a chain belt hanging from his waist." Her mind had catapulted her into some imaginary future scene, and her fear set off a chain reaction. In fact, the green hair was left over from a Saint Patrick's Day celebration at school. The teachers had dyed the [...]

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How to Build Healthy Emotional Development in Children

July 01, 2017
Whether you're parenting a toddler, preschooler, middle-schooler or teen, parental stress is guaranteed. Being a parent is demanding and is an ever-changing job. One of the most important roles that a parent plays is assisting in their child's emotional development. Whether or not children grow up to be emotionally-savvy adults depends largely on the stability and loving responses of their parents.

Emotional development is not only complex; its architecture is constructed over many years and requires a multitude of experiences and interchanges. Our job as parents is to help a child [...]

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Visionary Parenting Is the Key to Capable and Happy Children

September 16, 2016

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stress of hectic day-to-day activities with our families and children and fail to do our best parenting. We can all too easily react to our children’s testy (and testing!) behavior without even thinking. Most parents don’t realize that in our knee-jerk reactions, we are giving our children unhelpful messages that do not teach them how to become capable, happy adults.

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Comparison: Thief to Your Child’s Self-Esteem

December 21, 2015

My guess is that there’s hardly a parent in the world who hasn’t said something like this to a child in a moment of exasperation:

“Look at your brother—he jumps right on his homework after school! Why do I always have to nag you to get yours done?”

“Your sister’s a whiz at math, but all you want to do is draw.”

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Praise: a Sweet Destroyer of Self-Esteem in Children

May 14, 2015

I came across an excellent article in USA Today, titled: "Yep, Life'll Burst That Self-Esteem Bubble," which eloquently outlines some of the flaws in the self-esteem movement that originated in the '70s and '80s. This topic caught my eye because I work with many very sincere and eager parents every day and observe how the building blocks of self-esteem often elude them. In one of my latest sessions we talked about how self-esteem is constructed and the difference between external and internal motivation.

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Are You Teaching Your Child Self-Control?

May 19, 2014

You’re in a grocery store and your 5-year-old wants a candy bar at the checkout stand. You calmly but firmly say no. Before you can turn back to the checkout person, your child is on the floor kicking and screaming! What do you do?

Of course, many parents in this situation are mortified, and the child knows it. “If he would just control himself!” you think. But the child has you in the grips of emotional tyranny. He's not at all interested in learning self-control or saving you a possible embarrassment. However, the child does know there’s a chance that his ploy might actually work. [...]

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Calming Parent and Toddler Battles with a New Perspective

May 16, 2012

Toddler behavior is one of the most delightful yet sometimes infuriating experiences of all time. Parenting a toddler with limits yet without squelching their vital energy and spirit requires a combination of skill, patience, and love. And toddler behavior problems tire even the best of parents!

So what is normal toddler behavior? As a new mom or even for a veteran mom, how do you know what is healthy autonomy sprouting? And how do you redirect a child's behavior compassionately, though firmly? Keep reading to learn tips for redirecting children's behavior and increase more parenting ease [...]

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