The Best Way to Deal with Teenage Rebellion

April 09, 2018

Many parents dread the teen years. They’ve heard negative, even scary, stories for years. As a culture, we’ve got teens pegged—out-of-control, disrespectful, and rebellious. Time for a change of perspective.

Just when our teens need us the most, they focus more on peers. Yet, this tendency does not displace the primary relationship teens have with their parents.

Time to understand how to create a strong teen parent connection! Time for hacking the teen brain. 

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting, Parenting Favorites

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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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 asks to buy 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?

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Myths and Misconceptions about Discipline

January 15, 2014

Parenting is a difficult and complex job. No one who has ever been a parent will argue this point. However, one of the reasons that parenting is so hard is not because children are difficult but because we do not know how to parent consciously from a free place. When we are able to modulate our own emotions and reactions in response to their behavior, we can then respond from a much more loving place.

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Bridling the Gusto of a Toddler: from Trantrums to Tranquility

May 16, 2012

Imagine for a moment that you are a newborn. Mom and Dad are ecstatic about your every little move. Every milestone invokes major attention and is fully photographed and documented: your birth, your first smile, your first word, your first food, your first haircut. Everyone gathers to watch you roll over, sit up, and take your first step. There are looks of adoration and coos oozing from every face that greets you. Everything revolves around you! You are the center of the universe for two whole years!

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"My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy!"

November 08, 2011

Years ago, a mom told me of a time when she was on an important phone call and her three-year-old son kept bugging her. In desperation, she went to the fridge, reached for a jar of jelly, took off the top, and handed it to him. Delighted, he sat gobbling up the entire jar of jelly with his fingers while she finished her call.

We've all been there as parents. However, bribery and concessions send the wrong message, and they can cause more power struggles and difficulties later. Kids quickly figure out that if they whine or bug you long enough and loud enough, they'll get their way. When we [...]

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