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Stop Shoulding on Your Children by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

It’s usually possible to make a strong case that your child should have done something—or done something different—in a particular situation. So what? There is no point in laying blame for what “should have” been done but wasn’t. The useful question is not whether the “right” thing was done, but what action is appropriate given the current situation. A “should have” statement is a phrase designed to dispense guilt. It is an effort to attach shame and fix blame. “Should have” statements draw your children’s attention away from problem solving and produce feelings that are counterproductive to searching for solutions to the problem at hand. “You should have listened to me.” “You should have minded your own business.” “You should have known better.” “You should have called him right away.” “You should have told me sooner.” “You should have...

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Can I Have a Little R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Please? By Brenna Smith

As humans, we are hard wired for connectedness and have a natural instinct to want to experience both being respected and also being respectful. It’s a dynamic flow- a certain way of being that allows us to be heard and seen within our respective circles of life be it relationship, work, family, and community. Respect is a part of a broader thread of family virtues such as responsibility, kindness, love, peacefulness, courtesy and generosity that is woven into the fabric of our environment. These kinds of qualities are what generate a certain level of cohesiveness in our respective homes. I want to single out respect for purposes of this discussion because respect often carries some baggage. It can be a tricky word and when people are not feeling it, we tend to spiral into patterns of behavior that don’t...

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Are Your Children Being Deprived? Take the Test by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

Some parents give their children designer clothes, foreign trips and a personal TV. Others give them attention and experiences and hold them accountable for their actions. What do your children get? Are you unknowingly depriving your children of important lessons and learnings? Find out here by taking the Deprived Child Test. See how you score. Which of the following items do you give your children? Rate yourself for each on a scale of 0-3. 0= never 1= rarely 2= once in a while 3= regularly Do you give your children . . .? Regular trips to the library. Buying your children 100 books does not count. Do you take your children to the library and allow them to select books of their own interest and let them be responsible for returning them on time? Creating a spot in your...

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Why You Should Stop Saying ‘Do What You’re Told!’ by Sarah MacLaughlin, LSW

Do you want to be told what to do? I haven’t found a single person who likes it. Whether you’re 4 or 40, it’s generally not a favorite. I know you still need your kids to follow directions, I really do. But the old ways of getting kids to do what they’re told are rooted in fear and shame: demand, command, spank, yell, use time-out, take away privileges and impose other consequences. Despite many cultural shifts, we have not come very far from wanting children to be seen and not heard. People mainly approach parenting from a perspective of wanting to control children’s behavior and avoid their emotional outbursts. The aforementioned cadre of coercive and authority-based approaches are used because folks have forgotten (or simply don’t know) two things: Children are immature humans who are doing the very best...

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PREVIEW: What Your Children Can Teach You – If You Let Them Part 2 By Dr Allan Hunter

Lessons our children can teach us – if we pay attention. In Part 1 I suggested that young children of five or less, most of whom are in the Innocent archetype – can teach us important lessons about love, forgiveness and being fully present. They certainly can teach us other things, too, especially about creativity. For example, give a child of five some crayons and paper and you know what will happen. The child will draw and scribble happily until the crayons are removed from her fingers. Better still is that the child will be pleased with whatever it is she has drawn and will not doubt that the picture is good. By the age of seven, though, many children are trying to do what they think is ‘good’ by copying photographs, and worse still, some are convinced they’re...

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PREVIEW: Connecting With Your Teens by Dr. Allan Hunter

Teens are legendarily somewhat reluctant to engage in activities with anyone except their immediate peers, so the question as to how to get them interacting with you in a meaningful way may seem like a tough one. Parents tend to despair at trying to talk to the child who, only a very few years before, seemed to tell them everything. That’s the cliché, at least. I’m not convinced that teens are always that difficult to communicate with. I suspect the challenge is in being able to do it at their own pace, on their own terms. This interested me right at the start of my time working with kids and so I’ve devised a number of what I call ‘exercises’ that have been road tested over the years and are usually successful when used with teens. The idea is...

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Connecting With Your Teens by Dr. Allan Hunter

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