Positive Parenting and Effective Praise…How to Guide for Parents of Defiant Children!

Tired of nagging your kids all the time?  Do you feel like no matter how many times you tell them to clean their rooms, the rooms are never cleaned and even seem to get messier and messier?  Worn out from refereeing sibling fights?  The answer is easier than you might think—Positive Parenting and using Effective Praise.

Positive ParentingInstead of spending your days disciplining the negative behaviors your children may be doing, create a positive parenting environment where you heavily focus on praising positive behaviors.   For instance, let’s say your child has a messy room.  Don’t nag your child until he cleans it up.  Ignore the mess, and praise your child EVERY TIME you see him put something away.  The theory behind Positive Parenting is simple—children crave their parent’s attention.  To a child, negative attention is better than no attention.  So even if your child is constantly in trouble for having a messy room, your child would much rather that happen than not have any focused attention from you at all.

So how does this work?  Simple.  Ignore the annoying behaviors your child does (e.g. have a messy room) and use effective praise for the positive behaviors.  Every time your child picks up a toy, puts even one piece of clothing in the dirty clothes hamper, praise your child.  This requires you to be more attentive to your child.  You have to catch him being good.  You, as the parent, have to be constantly looking for opportunities to praise your child.  (Yes, this might be hard at first—you’re probably very used to focusing on the negative.  You may even think that your child does very little right.  However, I’m sure there are things your child is doing well.  You just need some time to remember them!)  We’ve put together this free report on exactly how to ‘switch’ your parenting mindset from negative to positive if you want to learn more.

To help speed up the process of creating a positive parenting environment, you will need to be most effective with your praise.  Effective Praise works best if it is specific and immediate.  Saying, “Good job!” to your child is not as clear and definite as it needs to be.  The child may not even know what it is that he was doing well.  More effective positive parenting uses praise such as, “Good job putting your trucks in the toy box.”  This praise lets the child know exactly what he did well and that you believe this behavior is something he should continue to do.  Praise also has to be immediate.  Positive Parenting involves being in the moment with your kids.  The second he puts his trucks in the toy box, you need to give the praise—not hours later when your child doesn’t even remember playing with trucks that afternoon let alone putting them away.

Creating a positive parenting environment with effective praise isn’t done overnight.  Your child has taken many months or even years to develop his bad habits.  Change is slow, but it is certain if you consistently follow these suggestions.  But by developing a positive parenting environment and religiously using effective praise, you can strengthen your bond with your child and create a happier household and life for the whole family.

Positive Parenting and using Effective Praise are possible.  Start YOUR  mindset ‘switch’ today by grabbing our free report now!  

20 Minutes a Day–Just Play!

Just 20 minutes a day of playtime with your child can make a huge impact on your parent-child relationship, in your child’s behaviors, and in your child’s development. While it is important for children to play alone and to play with other children without adult interventions, we can’t overlook the huge benefit of parent-child playtime.

Children crave their parents’ attention. It makes your child feel special and important. Plus, special one-on-one time drastically reduces the likelihood that our child will be argumentative, disrespectful, or frequently get in trouble. Because your child is getting positive attention, he will be less likely to seek out negative attention by doing things to get him in trouble.

Imaginative play is a great way to spend playtime with your child. Let your child develop the story and get into their world. Let them get creative and go with it. If the trash cans are dragons, then attack those trash cans with a vengeance!

If you struggle with getting into your child’s imaginative world, but still want to participate, start by acting out stories. Act out simple children’s stories like the Three Little Pigs or Goldilocks and the Three Bears. As you and your children warm up, these stories just might take on a new direction!

If getting silly just isn’t your thing, then there are tons of other ways to spend special play time with your child.

  • Play outside. Throw balls. Push your kids on swings or play on a playground. Go on a walk around the neighborhood. Take a nature hike.
  • Play games – card games – board games—kids games like “I Spy” or Hide and Seek.
  • Make a craft project together—paint a picture.
  • Cook together—bake cookies.
  • Listen to music together. Sing along. Get out the guitar or keyboard and make music. Have a dance party.
  • Read a book together.
  • Share your hobbies with your child. Take them fishing or bowling with you. My daughter loves to rock out to 90’s Alternative Rock (from my ancient cd’s) with me.

Playing with your children will build a bond that will last forever. While we tell our children that we love them, spending quality play time with your kids shows them that you love them. Remember, just 20 minutes a day of one-on-one play time with your child will make a huge positive impact on your relationship with your child!

How to Eliminate the Separation Anxiety Tantrum

Does your child erupt in an earth shattering tantrum when she is going to be separated from you?

For some parents dealing their child’s tantrums at separation can be so intense that they consider altering family plans and even work arrangements to avoid their child having a fit.

It’s common for younger children to suddenly be fearful of leaving mom or dad. If your child has never been away from you for extended periods of time, then many things can trigger separation anxiety. Family changes such as starting school or even going to a new day care can trigger separation anxiety. Even children who have gone to daycare from the time they were little can experience separation anxiety upon family changes.

Here are a few tips for parents who are dealing with their children having separation anxiety:

  1. Send a picture of the family with your child when they are going to be separated from you. If your child is having separation anxiety at school, ask the teacher if your child can keep the picture at her desk. This way if your child is starting to feel homesick, she can take a quick peek at mom or dad.
  2. Reassure your child that you will see her again soon. When dropping off your child, remind her of the schedule. Let her know who will be picking her up and when she will see you again. For example, “Have a great day at school today. Dad will be at the bus stop to pick you up when school is over. And I will see you at dinner time after I get off work.” Keep your sentences short and simple to understand.
  3. Keep a routine. Children often develop anxiety when there is instability in their schedules. Keeping a routine with a consistent daily and weekly schedule will give your child a feeling of security and thereby reduce her anxiety.
  4. Don’t dwell at drop off. Keep drop offs as brief as possible. Give your child a goodbye hug and kiss. Remind them when you will see her again, and say goodbye. Overly long, drawn out goodbyes when your child is clinging to you and you’re both crying will not help reduce your child’s separation anxiety.

Try out these tips if your child is struggling with separation anxiety and erupts in a tantrum when she’s going to be separated from you.

For more support in handling every type of tantrum, check out our Temper Tantrums Workshop.

Disciplining Children: When and When Not To

Disciplining children is overwhelming. Knowing when to discipline and when to let it go is sometimes impossible. I know from personal experience how difficult it is in the moment to know when to discipline children and when not to. When we’re in the moment with our children, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.

The best key to making the snap decision on whether to discipline your children or not is to assess the level of harm they are doing. Are your children being aggressive? Then you need to discipline children for such behaviors. Hitting, kicking, biting are all aggressive behaviors that warrant disciplining a child. Immediately stop the behavior and give your child a consequence for that behavior.

On the other hand, if your child is simply being annoying (Yes, I said it. At times even the most patient parent can be annoyed by our children!), then the best method for disciplining children is by ignoring the annoying behavior.

If your child is whining, ask him to use his “Big Boy words” and walk away.

If your children are bickering in the other room, ignore it. As long as no one is being aggressive, let them work the problem out for themselves.

There’s no need to discipline children who are bickering amongst themselves as long as no one is being aggressive. Your boss doesn’t get involved in every workplace spat and neither should you with your children.

Of course, there are gray areas when it comes to disciplining children. Let’s take swearing for example. If your child is swearing at another person, then this would be considered being verbally aggressive and you will want to discipline your child for this behavior.

However, if your child is playing alone in the other room and uses a swear word, then this is a situation where you might have a talk with your child about appropriate vs. inappropriate language, but you wouldn’t necessarily need to formally discipline him.

Ignoring is a very effective discipline strategy when it is used appropriately. It can help manage a variety of behaviors and can help kids learn appropriate ways to get attention. When combined with other discipline techniques ignoring can be a great tool.

Ignoring can help kids learn to how deal with their feelings in socially appropriate ways. For example, instead of screaming and stomping his feet when he’s upset, your child can learn other coping skills to deal his feelings of sadness or disappointment.

So what behaviors should you ignore?

  • Whining
  • Repeatedly asking the same question
  • Mildly talking back
  • Temper tantrums

Without the audience, these behaviors usually aren’t much fun and kids will give up (eventually).

How to Actively Ignore:

  1. Ignoring requires that you completely ignore your child’s misbehaviors. This means no eye contact, no conversation, and no physical touch.
  2. You will know that your attempts at ignoring are effective if the behavior gets worse initially. When a child is not getting the response he wants, he may scream louder, try to get in your face, or whine even more.
  3. Don’t give in if the behaviors start to get worse. Otherwise, this will reinforce to your child that these behaviors are effective. Once you start ignoring, make sure you continue to ignore until the behavior ceases.
  4. As soon as the behavior stops, provide your child with attention again in order to reinforce to your child that being calm gains attention and together you can talk about his feelings and find solutions to the problem that upset him.
  5. It can be helpful to sit your child down when he is calm to explain the plan. Tell him when you will ignore him and explain how he can regain your attention. Then, your child will be aware of the direct link between his behaviors and your reaction.

Common Concerns about Ignoring:

  1. Parents may be concerned that ignoring will be emotionally scarring to their child. It’s important to remember that you aren’t ignoring your child; it is the negative behaviors you are ignoring.
  2. Parents may worry that they cannot tolerate ignoring their child’s behaviors. It can be helpful to distract yourself with a book or television to help you ignore. It can also help to keep reminding yourself that although it may be distressing in the short-term it will help your child in the long-term.
  3. It’s important to work with other caregivers on discipline strategies. If you are trying to ignore your child’s tantrum and Grandma steps in to say “What’s wrong honey?” it will reinforce to the child that his behaviors are effective.

Disciplining children is a challenge that all parents face, but if you use this one key principle or ignoring the minor, irritating behaviors of your child as your guide, it will make the challenge much less daunting. Soon you’ll find yourself confident in knowing when to discipline children and when to just let it go.

For more discipline strategies, check out our Parenting Success System.  There you can discover additional discipline strategies and more discussion on when to discipline and when to not discipline your child.

What if your child’s arguing and talking back comes from one miscommunication that can be fixed almost overnight?

It’s remarkable how fast a child’s behavior can transform. I’ve seen countless “problem children” turn to angels right before my eyes.

Because even though we adults might hold grudges for years, our children are lightning quick to forgive— and change.

My name is Stephanie Anderson. Along with my husband Shannon, we specialize in teaching parents simple concepts that radically change the way their children behave. We’ve helped literally hundreds of parents build loving, relaxed, trusting and peaceful relationships with their children.

And although every single child is unique (and so are the parents), we’ve noticed one crucial fact…

Our children become how we look at them.

One of my clients came to me, distraught, after yelling at her son. She’d been working on an important project on the computer for work the next day. Her son turned the computer off, causing her to lose all her hard work.

She scolded him harshly and sent him to bed with no dinner. The next day she came home to a hand-drawn apology card. After speaking to her son, she found out he’d turned the computer off because he thought it would save power— she had just taught him to turn the lights off the week before for the same reason.

More often than we’d like to admit it, our child’s “misbehavior” is OUR problem— not theirs!

My client is now much more patient and always gives her son the benefit of the doubt. And they have a beautiful and loving relationship together.

But not all parents and children are so lucky. Tragically often, “bad” behavior stems from a major overreaction or oversight by the parent. The child is blamed for something they never did. They feel wronged— and rightly so. A pattern of distrust, fear and rebellion emerges.

Over time these patterns harden and become core parts of our children’s personalities. And although they can be changed very quickly as children, it can take years of hard work to change them as adults (if it’s even possible at all).

Whether they know it or not, ALL “good parents” look at their children the same way.

The good news is that your child’s behavior can be changed in an instant, if you decide to change the way you look at them.

When a child bumps their heads, they may start crying. But with some comfort and a kiss from mom, they’re smiling and laughing immediately.

And while even the best children — with the best parents — will misbehave, it does not have to be a source of stress for you. It does not have to create a divide.

In fact, the same behavior that makes you hopping mad today, will make you laugh as soon as you grasp this “peaceful parent” mindset.

Because you’ll see your child’s “misbehavior” as an act of love… and your relationship (and their behavior) will change.

My clients pay me $150/hr for coaching. And by far one of the most common issues we discuss is argumentative, misbehaving children and how to handle them the right way.

These are good kids who are causing their parents tons of trouble— and the parents don’t know why. Shortly into the call though, we always find an event that was misinterpreted. It seemed like bad behavior at the time, but it really wasn’t at all.

This is caused by a well-intentioned but dead-wrong parenting mindset that 90% of parents have. And it leads to looking at your child wrongly. Over time this leads to more misbehavior and more wrong assumptions.

When we switch that mindset with a much better and more realistic one, something crazy happens— the child’s behavior changes. And the parents’ lives do too.

We wish we could go through this with every parent in the world. We learn just as much as they do.

But our time is limited. Our rates are high. And we’re already booked with clients. Still, we wanted a way to give this incredible mindset to any parent who needs it. We wanted it to be totally affordable, easy and quick to read, and instantly practical.

So we set to work putting all the knowledge from consulting hundreds of parents into a guide.


Defeat Defiance: A Parent’s Guide to Stopping Arguments & Getting the Respect You Deserve!

This book is guaranteed to give you the mindset that will literally transform your child’s behavior. Often overnight. Because a funny thing happens when you stop viewing your child’s behavior as “wrong”…

You like spending time with your child a lot more, and magically… they stop misbehaving!

This guide is short and sweet, but holds nothing back. At the same time it’s not a “magic bullet”. This is a workbook with homework exercises designed to radically and permanently change the way you see your child.

It will take some effort on your part. So it’s not for everyone. But the results are more than worth it. How would you like to have the relationship with your child that you dream of? One that makes your life much easier and gets them out of time out?

In this guide, you’ll learn:

    • The Total Mindset SHIFT. How to view your child in a way that changes their behavior practically overnight. Try this just once and see what happens (you’ll be shocked).
    • How your child’s behavior has 100% to do with YOU, not them— and why this is great news.
    • How society can condition your child to misbehave. And how to protect them from being manipulated.
    • The little things that make a big difference. Problems will happen with your child. But by noticing when you’re annoyed—even just a little—you can regroup, change your mindset quickly and do the right thing.
    • What you absolutely should not do when your child is misbehaving. And how to reverse the toxic and life-changing affects if you’ve accidentally already done it.
    • What actually makes a “good parent”, why some people are “born with it”, and how you can get it seemingly overnight.
    • How to win your child’s total trust by being their biggest cheerleader. (This gets to the bottom of why your child lies and nips it in the bud.)
    • The “one-two” combination that’ll change even the most argumentative child into the real sweetheart you know they are. Do this enough times and your child will love behaving.
    • The secret to why compliments don’t change your child’s behavior, and how to praise them in ways that does.
    • The right way to reward your child. You can’t give them everything they want. But you can give rewards your children will love, that will encourage good behavior. How to do that is inside.
    • The easy trick that turns one of the most used—and least effective—parenting techniques on its head, transforming your child’s behavior so quick you’ll be shocked.
    • How to plant seeds starting today that will lead your child to better behavior in the short-term, and quality life skills in the future.
    • How to not only get your child to listen to you, but love hearing your advice. As your child ages they need to know they can count on you. Here’s how to get that bond started right.
    • Why classic discipline techniques not only don’t work, but actually destroy trust and ruin your relationship with your child over time.
    • And more…

So how much does it cost? Again, we charge $150/hr for individual consulting calls. But this guide is far less. In fact, you can learn all of this—and totally transform your relationship with your child—for just $7.

And I’m so confident that this guide will work for you that

If you don’t see a total transformation in your child’s behavior after trying it out, email me within 60 days of purchase for a full refund – no questions asked.


The relationship you have with your child can—and should—be rewarding, loving and peaceful. If it isn’t right now, this guide will put you on track faster than you probably thought possible.

Make the decision now to start a new relationship with your child moving forward today.

To great parenting and loving kids.

Stephanie and Shannon, Parent Coaches at Behavior Management Coaching

P.S. – So many parents regret damaging their relationships with their children early on. Because it can be almost impossible to recover later. Don’t live with this kind of regret. Act now.

So you’ve heard about Time-outs. What about Time-ins?

Time-in refers to the positive side of parenting. Children often see their parents as people who set limits and punish them for misbehaviors. In order to develop a strong parent-child relationship, you should also be seen as supportive, loving, and a source of positive attention.

It’s important in early childhood for you to develop a strong bond with your children that fosters communication and mutual respect. These elements are critical for parent-child relationships to be strong throughout your child’s teen years.

So what does a Time-in look like?

1. Catch your child doing good. Watch your children’s behaviors. Instead of reacting by punishing when your children are fighting, try praising them when they are getting along. Show them that getting along is something you want them to do by praising them when they do get along.

2. Don’t wait until they do something extraordinary to praise your kids, praise them for the little things along the way. For example, say your child misses 10 shots at his basketball game, but he makes 3 baskets. After the game, praise him for the 3 baskets (even if the team lost the game.) Likewise, don’t wait until report cards come out to praise your child for his grades, praise each test that comes home with a satisfactory score.

3. Be specific when you praise your child. Don’t just say “Good job.” It’s likely that your child will have no idea what they did good. Instead say, “Good job making those 3 baskets in the game today!”

4. Pair your praise with physical touch. Touch is very reinforcing, so when you praise your child, give her a pat on the back or a high-five.

5. Be immediate. The closer you give praise to the behavior being praised, the more likely your child will associate the two. For instance, praise your children while they are playing nicely, not two days later.

6. Avoid backhanded praise. Statements like, “Good job playing nicely together today. Why can’t you act that way every day?” totally undermines the praise.

Pairing these new strategies with ones you are currently using will make dramatic improvements in your parent-child relationship!

For more ways to change your parenting style to a more positive, uplifting parent-child relationship, check out our Defeat Defiance Guide!

Help! My child has a bad case of the “Gimmes”

Most of us have probably seen or experienced the Christmas Tantrum. The whole family is gathered around opening presents, enjoying the holiday time together when one child throws an all-out, volcanic tantrum because he did not get the toy he was so hoping for. If you’re this child’s parent, the Christmas tantrum is all the more embarrassing, especially if it’s in front of the extended family.

So how do you avoid the Christmas Tantrum and avoid a bad case of the “gimmes”?

With the holiday season fast approaching once again, you have undoubtedly already been bombarded with elaborate television commercials and print advertisements for the latest big name toy for this holiday season. And your children are most likely counting down the days until Christmas morning when they can tear into the latest electronic gadget or video game system that they “can’t live without.”

But the holiday season can, and should, be about so much more than just the material items that our society seems to now focus so heavily on. Here are some tips to help lessen the materialistic feel of the holiday season, reduce the likelihood of your child throwing a Christmas tantrum, and make sure your children are also experiencing some of the lasting, more fulfilling aspects of the holiday season as well.

To begin with, you could try making some of your gifts this holiday season. Help and encourage your children to make gifts for others. Homemade gifts often have so much more meaning for the recipient. For example, your children can make food gifts or coupons for services such as babysitting or shoveling snow. Check out crafting websites for creative ideas for different types of homemade gifts.

Additionally, make sure to include your children in the gift-giving process as much as possible this year. This will help teach them the importance of giving as opposed to receiving.

If you’re afraid to take your child holiday shopping for fear of a tantrum, then try preparing your child before the shopping trip. Explain to your child that you are shopping for others today. For example try saying, “I’m glad you are going shopping for me today. Today we’re going to get gifts for Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Emily.”

If your child begins to throw a tantrum over toys while shopping, try distraction by saying something like, “I don’t think Aunt Emily would like Legos. Maybe we can put it on your holiday wish list.” Sometimes just knowing that a desired gift may come in the future is enough to avoid a tantrum.

After shopping is complete, there are other ways to include your child in the gift-giving process. Even young children can help wrap presents and put bows on packages. Who cares if it looks perfect? And besides, grandma will probably love the gift even more if she knows the little ones helped do the wrapping!

While making gifts will undoubtedly be a fun addition this holiday season, you will most likely still buy many gifts. When you do, here are some tips specific to spending money during the holidays.

To start, have your children prioritize their wish lists. Make sure they know that they won’t be getting everything on their lists, but if you know the items they want the most, you will be able to spend your money more wisely.

Secondly, set a budget for gift-giving. Especially with older children, discuss your family’s gift-giving budget. With teenagers, you can even involve them in the decision making process when deciding how much to spend on each person on your shopping list. Then, be a good role-model and stay within your budget.

For older children, have them share in the financial responsibility of gift-giving by setting aside some of their allowance or babysitting money to buy gifts for their friends or teachers. Dollar stores are particularly beneficial this time of year!

And don’t be afraid to ask relatives to cut back on what they buy your children. Explain to others your desire to cut the “gimmes” this holiday season. If they insist on spending more than you want, politely remind them that you are the parent and will set limits for your children.

Better yet, divvy up your child’s holiday wish list. This way your child gets more what he wants, you spend less, and the relatives know exactly what your child will like—everyone ends up happy.

When Christmas arrives and it’s time to open gifts, teach your children to open slowly. While it may be tempting to tear into the holiday gifts all at once, teach your children to take time in opening their gifts and watch others open their gifts as well. If your child is encouraged to this, he’ll be less focused on the gifts he is getting and more focused on the holiday experience. By distracting his focus, he will be less likely to erupt in a Christmas tantrum.

Having your child slow down and watch others open gifts, will also reinforce the message that it is “better to give than to receive.” Teach your children to say “thank you” right away if the gift-giver is present and to send thank-you notes within a few days if not.

Last but not least, another great idea to make for a more memorable holiday is to plan to do things together as a family. Look for ways to celebrate the holidays together and consider making these activities family traditions. Go caroling together, watch a holiday movie, decorate cookies, get in your pajamas and go for a drive looking at the holiday lights. Don’t forget to check out local holiday attractions.

Long after thoughts of the new game system on Christmas fade away, these family traditions will make memories that will stick with your children long into their adulthood. Think about it for a moment yourself, what do you remember most about the holidays from your childhood? The cool new toy you got when you were 9 or the family togetherness and family traditions you shared with your loved ones?

So, take some steps to make the holidays more meaningful and less materialistic this year. Your efforts will be rewarded in the form of lasting memories for many holiday seasons to come!

For more help with managing Tantrums throughout the year, check out our Temper Tantrums Workshop!

How to Make Homework Time More Bearable

If you have a defiant child, homework time is probably one of your most dreaded times of the day. Homework can be an all-out war of wills between you and your child.

Encouraging your child to take school seriously and give to his all can be accomplished, but it takes an honest and consistent effort on your part as well.

In this post, I will cover a few tips on how to make homework time more bearable for you and your child.

First, as with all other parenting and discipline strategies, consistency is key. If any parenting technique has a chance of working, it must be done consistently to teach your child that you are not going to give in, no matter how much begging, pleading, or crying your child puts you through.

A simple way to start providing consistency is by using a Homework Chart. For younger children, a simple homework chart can be used to encourage your child to simply finish his work.

Each night you should make time to sit down with your child and go over any assignments he may have had. If all of the work is finished, you can praise your child and then put a sticker on the Homework Chart.

This is generally an exciting way to get younger children in the habit of getting their work done. And it is also a good way for you to get in the habit of spending time with your child to let him know that you care about his success and will be consistent with following up on school work to be sure it is done.

For older children, a great tool to use is a Homework Planner. A simple one page Homework Planner is a great way for older children to write down homework for the day and then check it off when it is completed. Many schools provide some type of planner to each student at the beginning of the year.

Again, it is important for you to spend some time each evening going over the planner to show your child you are going to be involved and will consistently check to see if daily assignments are completed.

Also, most children do best with routines.

With after school activities and other responsibilities, it is sometimes hard to make time for a regular homework time. Often an assignment may get put off until right before bed or even until during breakfast the next morning. This lack of routine when it comes to doing homework only adds to the frustration and stress levels for both you and your child.

A good recommendation on how to make homework time more bearable is to pick a time that seems to work on most days. Obviously all families have things that come up that cannot be avoided. But in general it is best to pick a time that works on a day to day basis and designate this as your child’s “homework time.”

It is also good to allow your child to engage in some type of physical activity before he sits down to do his homework. Immediately after school may seem like a good choice but actually may not be the best for continued success. For the best long term success, allow your child to get outside and play for a while before sitting down to do his work.

Picking a certain place for your child to do his work is also a smart choice. Using a designated place for homework promotes consistency. A spot that is quiet and free from distractions is best.

For example, having your child sit down in the living room with the television on to do his homework is a set up for failure. Too many distractions (other children playing, mom or dad talking on the phone, television going, etc.) make it almost impossible for your child to pay attention to a task that he may already be trying to avoid.

Homework time with a defiant child doesn’t have to be a daily battle. You can make homework time more bearable by implementing these simple steps. And hopefully it will be a more pleasant experience for both of you.

If you’re still struggling to make this happen, check out our Defeat Defiance guide to finally have a loving relationship with your child and a happy home.

The Thanksgiving Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

It’s a scene that plays out around Thanksgiving gatherings all over the country. The extended family sits down together for a meal that the family has slaved over the stove for hours. All is perfect — except for the lone child eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Sound like your child?

Most people this time of year are writing about teaching children to be thankful. Instead, let’s take some time to save yourself some embarrassment at the family gatherings. 

Here are 6 Tips on how to handle a picky eater and not have to endure an embarrassing temper tantrum in front of the entire family.

Tip 1: It’s always a good idea to teach children at a young age that eating new foods in no big deal.  If you incorporate them in as many meals as possible throughout the year, then your child will be more accepting of new foods in general.

Tip 2: Don’t make it a big deal when asking your child to try new foods.  If you fuss over making sure they eat her vegetables before she’s even tried them, then she won’t want to eat whatever you are giving them.

Tip 3: Be Calm. Even if you’re frustrated or worried about you picky eater, try to at least fake a carefree front. The last thing you want is a power struggle or temper tantrum in front of the entire family over your child trying new foods. If you are casual about it, your child will be more likely to be casual about it too.

Tip 4: Eat new foods and enjoy them yourself. Enthusiasm is contagious! If you’re not into the new food yourself, just take a bite or two. Set an example by saying appreciative things such as, “This looks so good!”  or “Thanks, Grandma, for spending so much time preparing our dinner!”

Tip 5: Get your child excited ahead of time. Talk to your child before Thanksgiving about what you’re going to be eating. Use colorful and descriptive words to describe what the dinner will be like.

Tip 6: Fancy is fun! Kids love new things, especially when they’re miniature or personalized, so consider a set of special bowls, spoons, plates or napkins–anything to make the dining experience more special.

So to save yourself embarrassment and frustration for the upcoming family gatherings, try using some of these quick tips with your family today!

Inconsistency May be Causing Your Child’s Behavior Problems

Angry boy screamingChild behavior problems are caused by many different factors.  One reason for child behavior problems is inconsistency in the child’s life.  Children need to feel secure in their environments in order to grow up happy and healthy.  Child behavior problems often occur because the child’s environment makes them feel insecure.  One way to help your child feel secure is to provide structure.  While a child may say they don’t like routines and structure, the reality is that they crave it…and need it!

So in order to begin eliminating the child behavior problems that you may face, start by creating a family routine.  Create a daily schedule for your family.  Start with defining a time that the children need to be out of bed.  List the morning chores that need to be completed and in what order.  Continue listing daily tasks and establish a set time each day for each task.  Then share the schedule with your family.  Make sure your children understand that there may be changes to the schedule due to unexpected events or special occasions, but that on most days your family will follow the set schedule.

To further eliminate the child behavior problems that you may be having, take time to track when your children are having these behavior problems.  More than likely, these will be happening during unstructured times.  A quick fix for these child behavior problems is to create structure during these times.

For example, your children are fighting frequently between 4:00 and 5:00pm.  They’re home from school and you’re busy fixing dinner.  You just want them to play nicely so that you can get dinner on the table, but every day you’re distracted by their fighting.  A simple fix to this child behavior problem is to structure that hour.  Perhaps make this homework time and send each child to his/her room to work on homework.  What if your child doesn’t have any homework on a specific night?  Then the other option would be quiet reading in his/her room.  Anything that lets your child know that from 4:00 to 5:00pm, they need to be working in their rooms.  Creating this structure for your home will eliminate many of the child behavior problems you are facing daily.

Still need help creating your family’s daily schedule?  Check out Get-Organized-Mom.com  If your family has never been on a schedule, here are some tips to get them on board?

1. The most important person to have on board with you is your spouse. If you are both in agreement that a household schedule is needed, and you are both willing to enforce it, you will be able to make your schedule work.
2. When you set up your schedule, get your kids involved. Just like anything else, if they have ownership in it, they will want to participate.
3. Make your family schedules kid-friendly. Use bright colors. Let your kids decorate it with stickers of their favorite characters. Or just let them draw pictures on it with crayons or markers. Hang it low enough for the kids to see it.
4. You’ll probably get a little more resistance from your teenagers-but do it anyway! They will benefit from this too. Again, let them be involved in making the schedule. And make sure to include some time for them to do the things they enjoy.


Things to consider when creating your family schedule:
• Give each family member their own column on your family schedule so that everyone’s unique activities can be accounted for.
• Try color coding items to make it easier to read at a glance.  Give each family member their own color and assign one color for “Family” activities that everyone does together.
• Fill in the things that happen at the same time every day or ever week first.
• Then compare each family member’s schedule.  You may need to fill in items on someone else’s schedule based on another schedule.  For example, Daisy has ballet lessons on Thursday at 4pm.  Someone has to drive her there and pick her up, right?
• Don’t forget the daily “living essentials” such as homework time, chores, housework, meal times and meal preparation, bedtime routines, morning time routines, play time, family time, etc. . .


Tips to Make Your Family Schedules Work
1. Stick to it! Don’t give up.  Rome wasn’t built in a day!
2. The best schedules are flexible ones! Things are going to happen to get you off schedule. That’s just life…don’t let it stress you out!
3. Be willing to change the schedule if it’s not working. If you only have 30 minutes scheduled for the kids to do their homework, and it’s regularly taking them 45 minutes, change the schedule to accommodate it. Don’t rush them to the point that they’re not doing a good job, just so you can stick to the schedule.

When your children know what is expected during the course of each day, the child behavior problems that you were seeing will surely decrease.  Your child will be more confident and less likely to act out when they are feeling secure in their environment, and you’ll be a happier parent too!

If you need help creating structure in your home and don’t know how to effectively deal with your child’s behavior problems, Behavior Management Coaching can help.  We will individualize our coaching to help meet your family’s unique needs.  Talk to us Today!