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Parenting children

Parenting Children: How to Get Kids to Give It Everything They’ve Got

Do Your Best

We tend to think parenting is only about knowing what’s best for our kids.

I mean, how much time do you spend trying to decide what class to put Junior in, how to nurture his interests so he’ll be a well-rounded individual, how to help him overcome his character faults so he’ll be a credit to society…the list goes on and on.

But did you ever stop to think that all of the opportunities you present for your child will fall by the way if you can’t get him to give everything he tries his absolute best? Think of how many times we sabotage our child’s efforts by asking to see a test, only to remark, “Oh, you got an 80? What did the other kids get?”

You know what, it doesn’t matter what the other kids got. What matters is, did your child do the best he could do? Did he give that essay, that math worksheet, that crayon drawing, everything he’s got?

One thing I remember about my mother is that she never really cared if we got good grades. That sounds strange, especially if you consider the fact that I was a top student and young for my grade. But it didn’t really matter what grade I got, as long as I did my best.

If I was only able to do B- work (math, my mortal enemy) then she was okay with that. But if I was able to get an A+, and I got anything less than that, then her deep disappointment was enough to set me straight.

Of course, that puts an incredible burden on a child, to some extent, especially if you confuse perfection with doing your best. But a burden can also be a form of deliverance, giving us the strength we need to go farther than we ever thought we could go.

Although I’m about as far from being a football fan as peaches are to porcupines, I want you to take a look at this clip. It’s a great example of how we as parents can help our kids give their absolute best:

Notice what made him an effective coach:
1) He asked his player to give him his personal best – not someone else’s “best.”
2) He broke the task down into manageable steps (only 40 more steps, only 50 more, etc.)
3) He stayed with his player the whole time to support his efforts.
4) He was quite strong with him – even shouting at him – but it was all positive.
5) He “demystified” the whole process by explaining to him exactly how that smaller success could lead to bigger ones.

A good coach is a perfect example on how to parent from the inside out. A good coach realizes that his job is to help his players do his best. At the same time, his ultimate goal is to put himself out of a job, because ultimately he wants his players to get so good that they go on to the big league.

As a parent, our children will go on to the big league whether they’re ready or not. And, while we’ll always be parents to our children, there’s nothing like the feeling of seeing your child make it to the end zone.

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Parenting children

Parenting Children: 3 Tips on How to Not Sweat the Small Stuff

Today I found a small yellow piece of plastic underneath the radiator in the younger boys’ room. It was perfectly round, except for one thin spoke that stuck out from the middle.

That little black leg lent it a sort of importance, and so turning the miniscule glob of plastic around, I tried, with my spatially inept eyes, to figure out exactly what vital piece of equipment it belonged to.

Although I couldn’t for the life of me perceive what its purpose was, I was reluctant to throw it away. I had already had the unfortunate experience of throwing away bits of plastic or metal that looked inconsequential, but were -alas- very important to the functioning of some very expensive (or beloved) mechanical contraption.

So for a while I held onto it, and slowly it made its way throughout the various hidey-holes in our house. You know what those are: the places where you stick the stuff you know you should put away or throw away, but lacking the gumption, just pack it out of sight.

Eventually I came upon it again a month or so later in the bathroom. In a fit of pique (sometimes it’s a good idea to clean house when you’re in a bad mood; everything looks worth throwing away) I threw it into the small plastic bin next to the toilet. I picked up the nylon sack, and headed to the kitchen to throw it away.

I have to say I was pretty proud of myself, pack rat that I am.
As I left the room, I bumped into my 12 year old.

Technically I guess twelve qualifies as pre-teen, but I think his behavior justifies the full appellation of “teen,” with all of its attendant qualities. In other words, he can sometimes be wonderful, but other times, he can argue me out of house and home with the aplomb of a senior statesman.

You know how it is when your kids have this really annoying thing they do that drives you absolutely senseless? Usually there isn’t any logical reason why; it’s often something others would (and do) find perfectly innocuous.

Well, I had just noticed that little thing, and being already on the edge, was ready to blow my stack. Suddenly, I stopped, and looked at the bag in my end with the little plastic piece in it.

I had just thrown away the yellow thingamabob, after having let if float around the house for the last month or so. I had done so because it had no useful place in our house. It served no purpose other than to take up valuable real estate in an otherwise full house of 9.

So why did I persist in holding on to my grudge against that little behavior? Holding on to that bit of righteousness that shouted, “You can’t let him get away with it,” which serves absolutely no worthwhile purpose. Worse, it took up valuable real estate in my heart, interfering with a relationship that didn’t need any more strife.

There and then, I decided to just let it be. As I headed to the garbage,
I mentally pictured myself throwing away that bit if prejudice that I held onto, hopefully not to be seen again.

Here are 3 tips you can use to do the same with those little pockets of irrationality all good parents possess:

1) Look at the big picture.

Step back and try and see where the behavior fits in the scheme of things. If you’ve taken the time to evaluate what your goals for yourself and your family are, things will be a little easier. If not, ask yourself, will this stop him from being a decent human being, and a successful member of society?

If this answer is no, then you have your answer. You should probably just let it go.

2) Consider where your child is holding developmentally.
Often parents get hung up about something that will naturally pass with time. Trying to force it to go before it’s time not only doesn’t work, but can sometimes makes things worse.

If you’re not sure whether this is something normal for kids of your child’s age, ask around. You might be surprised (and relieved) to find out that other kids have been there, and done that, too, and grown up to be otherwise respectable people.

3) Give it a rest anyway.

Sometimes there are behaviors that might warrant concern. However, if the behavior is not harmful to anyone, consider leaving it be for a while.

That means not making a big deal about it, and showing your child that you couldn’t really care about it one way or the other. I know, it can be hard sometimes, but I’m sure you’ve got other stuff to worry about.

You might have to do some inner work on this one, but sometimes letting it go-really letting it go- allows your child the safety to do the same. One day, you might turn around, and realize that they’ve given it up on their own.

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Parenting children

Parenting Solutions: Life Skills for Special Needs Teenagers

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Parenting solutions for special needs children are not always easy to come by. Raising a child with Asperger’s, sensory integration disorder, ADD, or another disorder often resembles a topographical map: a lot of hills and valleys, a few grassy plains, and a riot of beautiful colors spread haphazardly throughout. But just when you think you’ve found your way through the therapy maze and begun to understand your child, they up and turn into a teenager!

How do you explain to a teenager with Asperger’s that his inability to see things from the other’s point of view is turning off his friends? Or how do you reason with your teenage SID daughter who refuses to bathe frequently because she hates the feel of a shower and loathes getting undressed for a bath? And when your 14 year old ADD ‘er crashes the party with his special brand of impulsivity, you may feel more embarrassed than he does.

The first thing to do is remain calm. Even though it may seem as though your teenager’s behavior is unbearable or intolerable (and what parent of a teenager doesn’t feel like that at some point in their teenager’s life!) generally it isn’t. It may be very difficult, it may even be downright unpleasant, but it’s unlikely to be fatal, or you probably would have been flat on your back, feet up in the air a long time ago.

Maintaining perspective will help you view the situation as an opportunity to teach your child the right way to behave. By looking at these challenging behaviors as opportunities to help your child achieve further independence, you will be less likely to instigate a battle or begin an ineffective campaign doomed to failure.

Some other important things to consider:

Respect your teenager’s desire to be independent. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the child that we advocated, argued, struggled, and cried for is no longer willing to take the back seat. This is a child who despite his weaknesses, still insists on sitting in the driver’s chair. It’s crucial to remember that even if your child has disabilities, he still desires and needs to struggle for independence as much- maybe even more so- than a typically developing teenager.

  1. Plan for small successes. True growth does not happen in a day, a week, or even a month. Lasting change takes time to implement, time to foster, and more time until the change is no longer a “change” but the way things are. Plan goals that are small, yet successive, and make sure your child is at least 80% successful while you are working with them. It’s hard for anyone to fail, but teenagers are especially sensitive to failure. They are often unable to see the big picture, and will feel that if they have failed once then they are doomed to failure forevermore.
  2. Focus on your child’s strengths as well, not just on their weaknesses. It’s easy to see so many things to fix that your forget this is not about fixing what is broken, but about building what has yet to be completed. Your child is more than the sum of her differences- it is exactly these differences that make her who she is. Try and find a way to use her differences in a positive way. The same child who would rather be alone because she is uncomfortable with people could make a great web designer or computer programmer. Maybe your 16 year old likes to cook, and sometimes helps you out by cooking dinner occasionally. Can you find a chef or a caterer who would be willing to teach her once a week? Could you nurture a future business by allowing her to help cook for family events and get-togethers?
  3. Develop goals in a variety of areas. Your child may need a lot of guidance with social skills, but you would be wise to include a variety of areas for him to work on. A well-rounded goal plan is more interesting, more effective, and easier to plan for. You can even try and integrate several goals in one activity, though this is not always necessary or possible. Some possible areas to work on:
  • self-care skills (grooming and hygiene, appropriate dress for the weather or occasion)
  • medication management (your teenager needs to be aware and responsible of what medications she takes, their side-effects, and how they help her)
  • social skills (this also includes understanding society’s rules and your rules about dealing with the opposite sex)
  • symptom management (this includes understanding his disability, as well as being able to advocate for himself)
  • educational and career training (what educational or career goals does your child have? All of us desire to be contributing members of society, and your teenager is probably no different. Help her identify what she likes and/or is good at doing. Then brainstorm with a career counselor or look online for possible careers or occupations.

5. Allow for immaturity too. Like most teenagers, your teenager might switch between a desire to do everything - or nothing- on his own. Even though it’s frustrating, it is normal. Build in some special one-on-one times where he is allowed to choose the activity and just be himself. Include reasonable rewards which show you recognize how hard he is working. And even though they may act like they don’t need it, don’t forget to show him how much you still love him. Write notes, pack a favorite lunch, do him a favor and drive him when he normally walks. He may not gush with effusive thanks, but he will definitely appreciate it- and probably thank you for it when you least expect it.

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Parenting children

Parenting Children- 9 Types of Parents: Which Group Are You In?


Want to know how to parent effectively? Then how about finding out what type of parent you are?

Usually when we think of parenting skills, we focus on the children: are they stubborn or placid? Are they energetic or do they like to take it easy?

Next we focus on the values and rules we use to discipline our children: are we permissive or strict? Do we want kids who are team players or kids who are independent thinkers?

However, one of the most important factors that parents often forget to take into account is the type of parent we actually are. Knowing what type of parent you are is crucial to understanding how you will relate to your children, both positively and negatively.

You’ll be able to tailor-make any parenting method so that it is the best fit for you and your family.

1. The Rule Maker

If you are this type of parent, you tend to place great value on following the rules. You focus not on having fun, but in making sure your children do what is right. You place great importance on order and structure and you are careful to train your children to be obedient from an early age.

In the ideal form, you are able to motivate your children by your strong conviction in doing what is right. You are able to accept the fact that children make mistakes, and to take into account the individual differences of children that make a difference in how they behave.

On the other hand, if you are on the unhealthy end of the spectrum, you can be perfectionist, controlling, and impersonal. You have a difficult time tolerating others’ weaknesses or mistakes, and so are often extremely critical of others.

Sometimes you also tend to project your own forbidden thoughts and desires on others. You see everyone else as “bad,” because you are unable to admit to the shame and self-hatred you feel about their own perceived failures.

2. Altruistic Giver

If you are an altruistic giver, your focus is on feelings. Ideally, you desire to love and protect others. You need to be important and appreciated by others, and you crave physical closeness. You are known as someone who can be counted on to help others, no matter what.

You have a tremendous ability to give to others, and so it is natural for you to help your family, neighbors, and even strangers, far beyond what most would be willing to do. You are also able to love your children unconditionally, and unselfishly; you give because you enjoy doing so, not in order to get something back.

If you are on the unhealthy spectrum, you still enjoy giving to your children, but you feel dependent on their approval. It’s sometimes hard for you to discipline your children firmly and consistently, because you are so concerned about them loving you.

Because you have a need to feel loved- but never really feel loved at any given point in time-you are very caught up in trying to gain approval. You may spread yourself so thin helping everyone else out that there is very little time left over for your own family. On the other hand, you can be very overprotective, in an attempt to control your children and ensure that they need you.

3. Self-Assured Motivator

If you are this personality type, you are driven to succeed to the fullest. You are a drawn to beauty, and you and your children are always dressed to the tee. You project an aura of elegance and refinement, even under the worst circumstances.

On the unhealthy end, you may be more concerned with flaunting your beauty and superiority. You are competitive, and look down on the less fortunate. For you love and success depend on recognition by others of your superior ability. You often push your children too far, demanding that they perform according to your desires and expectations-no matter what their talents, aspirations, or skills.

4. Spiritual Alchemist

As a spiritual alchemist, you experience feelings deeply. You have a need to create; that is your form of self-actualization. You can be very dramatic at times, but you are also spontaneous, empathetic, and genuinely share others’ pain.

As a parent you love making life a joyous experience for your children. You use all of your creative talents to help them experience the world in a positive manner. You are also very sensitive to how your children feel, catching their moods at an instant.

Your main difficulty as a parent is your conflict between your desire to develop your own creative potential, and the daily tasks that make-up motherhood. You also tend towards self-involvement and negativity, ignoring the good that others’ possess. This can lead you to depressive episodes which prevent you from relating or caring for your children.

5. Insightful Observer

You love to learn; your goal is to learn as much as you can about everything. You possess a brilliant mind, love learning for its own sake.

You enjoy sharing your knowledge with your children, and know exactly how to explain difficult concepts so they can understand. Sometimes you tend to get over-involved in your knowledge quests, and you may survive on very little food, sleep, or other material comforts.

You may feel bored an intellectually unstimulated around small children, finding it difficult to relate to their antics. You may also turn away from the typical parents’ gatherings at parks and other public places.

If you are on the unhealthy end, you tend to withdraw from those around you. You may ignore children who you feel cannot share your knowledge, and you feel only intellect has value. You look scornfully upon arts or other creative endeavors. You also worry constantly about having enough money, time, energy, and knowledge.

6. Devoted Loyalist

If you are in this category, you are highly-devoted to your family and friends. You are hard-working, playful, and like to spend your time helping to create and support community institutions, like your church or synagogue, school, or other groups that support social causes.

You identify strongly with the underdog, and may encourage your children to help the child who is left out at school, even going so far as to invite them over in an attempt to help them out.

On the unhealthy side, you may be controlling, demanding that your children show complete loyalty to you. You may become aggressive in an attempt to establish control of your household, or you may engage in passive-aggressive behavior in order to force your children to prove their loyalty.

7. Accomplished Adventurer

For you, life is an adventure. You love doing things just for the fun of it. You are energetic, and love doing all kinds of wild crazy things with your children that most other parents would consider too adventurous or too much trouble. However, you can still help your children find joy in the little things, like a walk in the woods, or an interesting stone.

However, you can get bored with day-to-day routines, often looking for a way to “spice things up a little,” or ignoring the task altogether. You may feel a constant need to be on the go, which means you often “run away” from your children. You may neglect your children in favor of social or business obligations, which appear more “fun” to you.

8. Magnanimous Leader

You have a very powerful personality if you belong in to this group. You are assertive and know how to take charge: you are a natural leader. As a parent you are decisive, authoritative, and determined to teach your children the skills they need to survive in a tough world.

Unfortunately, you can tend to be quite aggressive and controlling, even using violence if you feel it’s necessary. You may react violently to your children’s misbehavior, feeling it was done purposely.  You may also tend towards emotional aloofness, and have trouble relating to the day-to-day foibles of your children.

9. Tranquil Peacemaker

The last group of parents is especially peaceful and easygoing. You are deeply trusting of others, are supportive, and are content with your life as it is.

You remain calm even during the most trying times, so your children find it easy to turn to you when they need help. You are able to mediate between siblings, providing a tranquil island of calm for your family.

At times you may be too accommodating, and give-in for the sake of peace, even when you should stand up for yourself. You may also procrastinate, attempting to avoid very real problems you face with your children. You may even stubbornly resist any attempt any attempt to compel you to take action on behalf of a child in need.

Use your newfound knowledge to help you understand why you react to your children’s misbehavior in the way that you do. If you see similarities between yourself and some of the unhealthy extremes, don’t panic! Being aware of your imperfections is the first step in correcting them.

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Parenting children

3 Reasons Why It Pays to Break the Rules

From the moment our wrinkled red faces hit the light of this world, 3 reasons why you shouldn't follow the rulesuntil our (hopefully) ancient bones are laid to rest forever, we are subject to rules.

Rules that say how we should be put to sleep in our certifiably-safe beds, what clothes we should we wear, what schools we should go to, and who we should be friends with.

Call it safety measures, etiquette, common sense, guidelines, social graces,  or actual honest to goodness written in the lawbooks laws, most of us feel obligated to follow most of them most of the time – and do so with very little question on our parts.

Are you a consummate follower of rules?

When it comes to raising kids with LD, a lot of us –myself included – follow the same path. In fact, I’m the consummate rule-follower. When one of my sons was younger, he had some pretty big language delays. By the time he was in first grade, he only knew about 6 or 7 letters of the alphabet.

Of course, we were doing everything that the rules said we should be doing. Speech therapy twice a week since he was three. A tutor who worked hard on all the skills the school felt he needed. We even held him back, because the school said that would be the best thing for him: they promised that when he caught up, they’d bump him up right back to where he belonged.

Well, we followed that path through the woods without too much complaint, because we thought we could see that tasty little house up ahead with the fruit-flavored gumdrops and organic cookies.

Until our son was nearly eaten alive by the evil witch.

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children with autism

Children with Autism: How to Handle Stubbornness and Negativity

 

It can be immensely frustrating dealing with a stubborn or negative child. Children with special needs prevent a unique challenge, since their delays often make it harder for them to understand another person’s point of view.

Add to the picture language delays, an inability to predict consequences, and an unawareness of time, and you’re pretty much guaranteed your share of friendly fire.

A certain amount of stubbornness is normal for all children. For your special needs child, however, stubbornness and negativity are actually a good sign. First of all, they show that your child sees himself as separate from you, and is trying to determine who he is. It also shows that your child recognizes that his behavior can have an impact on the world around him, which is a critical step in learning how to navigate the social world around him.

It’s can be easy to respond to negativity by clamping down and imposing your will, especially if you’re short on time or caught in an embarrassing situation. However, if you can manage to use his defiance to draw him into conversation and interaction, you’ll not only strengthen his sense of self, but you’ll get a better response in the end.

Here are several tips on what you can do when you find yourself at odds with your special needs child:

1. Give humor a chance.

It’s sometimes surprising how a throwing in a little bit of humor can breakup gridlock. If your child is insistent on going without a coat in the dead of winter, try putting on their coat yourself. Be dramatic, exaggerating your expressions as you try to fit your grown up size body in your child’s Lilliputian-sized coat. If they refuse to put away their toys, pretend the toys are crying because they want to be put away.

2. Play dumb.

Gently push your child to express themselves by pretending you don’t understand what they want. If your child insists, for example, that she wants soda, look confused and point to the milk or the juice. The idea here is that you want to engage your child in the back and forth of communication.

Since communication can be with words or with gestures, even if your child’s entire rebellion consists of pouts, foot stomping, or angry faces, they will have learned one of the basic rules of communication: If you talk, I respond, and if I talk, you will respond.  Doing this with children who are verbal can sometimes distract them from the argument at hand, defusing the situation.

3. Take things one step at a time.

There are certain times when your child can be especially negative or stubborn. Instead of tackling everything at once, focus on one situation at a time. For example, if your child resists your help at every opportunity, insisting on doing everything on her own even though she’s not yet capable, try choosing one specific instance – such as letting her make her lunch- and working on that first.

You don’t always have to agree with her ideas, but many times when children see you are willing to give things a try, they are more agreeable to a few suggestions from you (like cutting their sandwich with a butter knife instead of the steak knife).

4. Empathize soothingly when you have to put your foot down.

Sometimes your child can’t have his way. When this happens, try and show your child how much you sympathize with them. Even if they have trouble understanding you, they will pick up your intent through your body language. If things get out of hand, reassure them with a big hug, holding them if necessary.

Many children with special needs will often need extra time to settle down after a tantrum; let them have it, and then try and spend a bit of cuddly time with them afterwards.

Use these tips on a consistent basis, and you'll be on your way not only to gaining your child's cooperation, but to a happier, more self-confident child.

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Parenting children

Parenting Children: Little Mommy Dolls: Wouldn’t A Real Kid Be Better?

Parenting children has just risen to a new level. Now, instead of competing about who has the most up-to-date wardrobe or the fanciest Little Tykes car, your little girl can now boast about her burgeoning mothering skills.

Fisher Price's new Little Mommy Play All Day doll has some convinced it's a stand in for Chucky. Others argue that dolls are just the natural choice for a little girl; the more realistic they are, the better.

All of the furor makes me wonder why no one thinks of the obvious: is it impossible for you to just find some REAL baby for your kid to play with?

I'm sure there are more than a few people who will be hysterical about this suggestion. Those are probably the same people who watched CBS's show on how to safely care for your infant, where it was recommended that you take your baby with you to the bathroom.

I don't know about you, but it will be soon enough that your little one will be banging on the door while you do your business. Why hasten the process?

Of course I'm not suggesting you leave your toddler unsupervised with your neighbor's little one (unless you favor family planning after the fact). But it's far from inconceivable to suggest that she might have more fun, and learn a lot more about mothering from the real thing.

And that, my dear friends and neighbors, is the real problem with this doll. We are so focused in this society on pseudo-experiences, when the real thing is so much better.

Maybe we need to stop PLAYING at life and get to work on LIVING it.

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Parenting children

4 Must-Know Tips on Helping Your Child Be Less Aggressive

scream and shout, a photo by mdanys on Flickr.

It’s happened again.

Your third-grader was sent out of class again for shoving a classmate in the hallway. Frustrated, discouraged, you wonder what set him off this time. Was he tired? Did he get a bad grade on a test? Whatever the reason, you’re at a loss of what to do: how can you help your child learn how to control himself?

1) Keep an eye on the intake/outtake pipes.

I was often bewildered when out of the blue, one of my children would suddenly go ballistic for no obvious reason. Eventually I figured out that he hadn’t eaten; once he ate, he was transfigured back to hi s regular persona.

If you notice your child turning aggressive with no noticeable pattern, consider insisting he eat a protein snack, such as cheese, peanut butter, or natural beef jerky. Bananas, which are full of potassium, are also a quick picker-upper.

A friend of mine noticed her child often acts out when he needs to use the bathroom. For some reason, the sensory stimulation is too much for him.

2) Consider whether your child is in sensory overload.

Children with sensory issues can appear persnickety. One morning they can handle seeing tomatoes on a sibling’s plate, while the next they can smell them in the closed refrigerator. It’s not done purposely, although it may seem like it. Picture your child’s sensory system as a plastic 8 oz. cup. Loud alarm clock (2 oz.) + strong shampoo smell (1 oz) + getting your hair brushed (4 oz.) =OVERLOAD.

Some days this happens sooner, and some days it might not happen at all, depending what your child’s triggers are. While some children turn inwards when this happens, others explode in a cascading ball of rage and frustration.

Teach your child to be more aware of his sensory triggers, and encourage him to engage in soothing activities that will help him empty his “cup,” and you’ll uncover a more peaceful child.

3) Teach your child to express himself.

No, I don’t mean your child should take up mixed martial arts or explore the fine art of hang gliding – though that may be interesting. Instead, consider the fact that because children with language development issues have trouble expressing their feelings, needs, and wants, they are often trapped by unpleasant feelings and thoughts tumbling around in their heads.

Talking about how he feels may be a task beyond your child for the moment, but you can help him loosen the release valve by joining in while he plays. Letting him take the lead helps give him a sense of control, while pretend play is a safe way for him to experiment with his desire for control, or need to be dependent.

4) Don’t forget to spend more time with your child.

When your child acts up, it’s a natural response to be so angry at your child that you can’t even look him in the face for a while. While it’s understandable to you however, it will definitely sour your relationship with your child.

Tightening the valves on one aspect of your child’s behavior means you need to find a way to loosen them somewhere else. Be sure to spend more time doing something enjoyable with your child. Whether it’s reading an extra chapter of a favorite book at bedtime, or sharing a cuddle in the early morning, it’s important to spend time accentuating the positives.

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Parenting children

Parenting Children: 3 Tips On How to Rock Your (Child’s) World

So you’re feeling like the loser of the century because you forgot to do your child’s therapy exercises – again. Or maybe your child had a bunch of homework you just knew she needed to do NOW, and you told your kid to tell the teacher your mother lost the assignment sheet. And those sensory diet exercises? Yeah, I guess I’ll get to that- tomorrow. I hope.

We all face moments – dare I say days? - when we know we should be doing more for our kids but just can’t seem to get our heads or our hands around it. Somehow the job seems overwhelming when put next to the all the other demands a mother faces.

It’s easy to get so backed up that you can’t even look the job in the eyes again without feeling like a complete screw- up. Ashamed of ourselves, and carrying enough guilt to feed a third world country, we drop the task with the excuse that it can’t be done.

Take a look at the video I posted yesterday. Then read these tips that will help you ditch the loser tag and rock your child’s world.

1)  Just try it. How many times have your kids moaned they couldn’t accomplish some minor (or major) feat? What did you tell them? Yeah, that’s right – classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

It’s easy to let the desire for everything to be perfect stop you: you want to have the right time, the right place, the right materials, etc. But let’s face it, you’ll probably never have the right combination of perfect all at once. Instead of obsessing, make some effort to get the job done. It doesn’t matter if you it’s only a token effort – some attempt is definitely better than none at all.

There, you see? Nobody popped out of the closet and arrested you for impersonating a responsible parent now did they?

2) Bigger is NOT better. A lot of us tend to look at the whole enchilada. Who wouldn’t be depressed? I bet if most first graders realized they had 11 more years (at least) of sucking up to the teacher there would be a lot more tears on the first day of school.

But kids take things one day at a time – and so should you. Stop obsessing about whether or not your child will be President of the United States. Start thinking about what you can do tomorrow that will help your child do better than he did yesterday.

3) Take it where you can get it. Help, I mean. Most moms have gotten over the supermom syndrome. I mean, if you live any sort of life at all with a child who has any issues at all, you get over that nonsense real fast.

But what does happen is that we know need more help, but it’s just too much of a pain in the neck to get the ball rolling. We can’t face the thought of trying to rally up more help – more stuff to do – so we just do it ourselves.

That’s a HUGE mistake. Now, not only does everyone assume you don’t need any help, they figure you like doing it all by yourself.

Of course that’s not true, and you’d figure that any sane person would know otherwise, but alas, these are the facts of life. If you want people to help you, you’ve got to let them.

Sure it may take some time until they figure out the ropes, but in the end it’s worth it. Make a list of five things you need help with, and figure out who you can delegate that job to. Then do it!

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Parenting children

3 Tips on Helping the Child Who Gives Up Easily

It's downright frustrating dealing with a child who gives up easily. does your child give up too easily

It can be frustrating dealing with a child who gives up easily.

Whether your child melts down at the first sign of trouble, or does a quite fade into the background, your child needs to learn how to be persistent until they get what they need.

Children who give up easily have trouble  handling frustration.

One reason some children give up easily is because they can't handle it when things don't go they way they want or expect them to.

That doesn't mean that they're spoiled or unrealistic, however. Often, children with learning disabilities simply don't know what to do. Difficulty with sequencing skills, for example, could mean that if never occurs to your child to ask you for help when things go awry.

At the same time, children with weak language skills might not know how to ask for help effectively: they may not know exactly what to say, or might say it in a manner not appropriate for their age.

Try these 3 tips in order to help your child learn how to stick to his guns:

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