Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Modeling Appreciation for the Gift

I was so excited to receive this special gift. It was everything I ever wanted! When the gift arrived it was the most beautiful gift I’d ever seen. It simply sparkled like a shiny, brilliant star!

I immediately fell in love with my gift. Who cares that there was no gift receipt! I certainly would not be interested in returning it.

As I familiarized myself with the gift, I realized it was more intricate and complex than I imagined it would be. I couldn’t help but notice there were thousands of pages of instructions. How could it possibly be this complicated?

I soon realized that part of the complexity was because every single product was slightly different. Who designs a product like that? Honestly, it was ridiculous how much I had to read through to locate the one piece of information I needed.

One of the first things I wanted to figure out was how the silent mode worked. Guess what?

(finish reading the article on Priceless Parenting)

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Calendar for Kids

Are your kids excited for the holidays? You can print out this December calendar which they can decorate and mark the days of the special celebrations for your family.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wild Behavior When Parents Are Not Around

A mom described how well her 5-year-old nephew, Jake, behaved when his parents were around. However, the minute they left, Jake took the opportunity to behave wildly. He seemed to have a lot of pent up behavior bursting to be released.

Most kids save their worst behavior for around their parents because their parents are safe. Their parents will love them and not abandon them regardless if they misbehave. Parents are often dismayed to learn that their child is an angel at school and feel like something must be wrong since their behavior is much worse at home. However, it's normal for kids to "hold it together" at school or someone else's house and then have their meltdowns at home.

Jake did just the opposite - he behaved wildly when his parents weren't around but was well behaved when they were around. Jake's behavior indicates he has not internalized his own reasons for behaving appropriately. He probably behaves appropriately at home due to the consequences of misbehaving. The problem is that it only works well if his parents or someone else is around to administer consequences.

Ideally Jake will learn to regulate his own behavior regardless of whether his parents are around or not. When the only reason kids have for behaving is to avoid punishment, they need to be policed to stay in line. Using a parenting approach that helps Jake learn from his mistakes rather than just learn to avoid being punished will help his behavior improve away from home.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Release! How To Parent In Ways That Are Truly Helpful, Not Hurtful

This book packs powerful parenting ideas into one or two page topics. You can pick the book up and in a few minutes have a new insight which will help you parent your kids.

This fourth version of the book includes a new chapter called "Leading Your Family with Your Best Parenting".

Below are some of the ideas you'll find in this book. You can also look inside the book on Amazon.

Chapter 1: Guiding and Encouraging Children
  • Creating a positive tone in your home
  • Identifying conversation roadblocks
  • Guiding children to solving their own problems
Chapter 2: Parenting Behaviors to Avoid
  • Replacing yelling at kids with calmer responses
  • Understanding problems caused by bribing
  • Finding out how to avoid food battles
Chapter 3: Responding Positively to Misbehavior
  • Getting children to respond the first time
  • Discovering how to stay out of power struggles
  • Shaping the behaviors you desire
Chapter 4: Building Your Kid's Life Skills
  • Developing habits to succeed in school
  • Helping children figure out how to fit in
  • Changing negative self-talk to positive thoughts
Chapter 5: Leading Your Family with Your Best Parenting
  • Getting enough essential, stress reducing self-care
  • Habitually responding in helpful ways to parenting situations
  • Successfully tackling touchy topics

Friday, October 24, 2014

Free Window Cord Safety Kit

If you have young children in your home, it's wise to check if your window cords could present a problem. Tragically over 200 infants and young children have died since 1990 from strangling with window cords according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

You can prevent a strangling tragedy by retrofitting your blind cords to make them safe. Free retrofit kits are available from the Window Covering Safety Council. There are instructions with each kit plus videos demonstrating how to do the installation.



Monday, October 6, 2014

Providing Positive Parenting Support in Your School

A mom of a first grader spoke to me today about how she can provide positive parenting support to other parents at her daughter's school.  She's learned a number of positive ways to respond to her daughter's behavior through the Priceless Parenting online classes.   She loves the fact that she can continue to get support in her parenting through ideas in the monthly newsletter and on the web site.

After observing various parent/kid interactions, she is passionate about sharing what she's learned with others who might appreciate it.  She called me for ideas about how to approach the school.

One of the best ways is probably to join the school's PTA group which she has recently done.  Generally the PTA group is the school organization that provides parent education opportunities.  Like many PTA groups, her school's PTA seems focused on fund raising and academic support of students but not on supporting parents in their parenting.

So the idea of providing parent education and support may be new to them.  However, we discussed many possible ways to support her school's parents:
  • Send a parenting article home with all students each month.   
  • Provide free printouts of charts for kids that parents can pick up in the school office.  
  • Set up a parenting support group for parents who want to take an online parenting class and discuss each lesson. 
  • Provide a parenting presentation sponsored by the PTA so parents could attend for free.  Ideally the PTA will also provide free child care so all parents can easily attend.
Has your school done something to support parents that has worked really well?  I'd love to know about it.  If you want help in bringing parenting education and support to your school, feel free to call me at 425-770-1629 or email me.




Friday, September 19, 2014

The Effects of Media Violence on Children



If Not You, Then Who?


Guest Blog by Gloria DeGaetano, educator, author, and founder, The Parent Coaching Institute
Many parents, unfortunately, seem to think that their children can handle M-rated video games. Nothing can be further from reality. Yet, so many moms and dads are looking the other way, while children as young as six years old, look at inappropriate content such as murder, torture, and prostitution for up to six hours a day.
In a new survey, 50% of parents weren’t keeping tabs on the video games their kids played. This is such a tragic situation. Have you seen the psychopathic and sadistic images in popular video games? Even in this age of “information” when supposedly we know so much more about child and teen brain development, parents don’t fully understand the relationship between their kids’ exposure to media violence and its impact on healthy emotional and social development.
I started the Parent Coaching Institute and the Parent Coach Certification® Training Program so that family support professionals would have a specific coaching system for helping parents make daily choices in alignment with their child’s brain development. I call it Brain-Compatible Parenting. It’s a passion of mine to translate all the knowledge we now have about what makes smart, emotionally stable, and compassionate brains into parental actions.
This has been a two-decade uphill battle, even though it’s not rocket science.
Although laying down neural pathways is a complex process, it’s the simple things parents do that activates this complex process and makes mature brains possible. Simple things, like making sure kids get enough physical exercise, proper nutrition, and solid sleep that add up to big differences over time. And one thing is for sure in our media world, when parents monitor screen content, young brains have the best chances of growing optimally. If we leave them free as birds with their devices, they will fly so far away from our values we may not recognize them as adults.
I recently updated my book, co-authored with Lt. Cold Dave Grossman, Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie, and Video Game Violence (Harmony/Random House, 2014). The title is a bit misleading. The book is more about the risk factors of all kids when exposed to an on-going diet of media violence and what we can do about it in our homes, schools, and communities. And while only a fraction of kids will act out the murders they have rehearsed for countless hours while playing video games, most kids will be affected by media violence in becoming more aggressive, fearful, or more desensitized to harming others.
We are in a crisis of emerging mindless cruelty for our entire world if we keep allowing inappropriate screen content into our homes. One way to think about it:
If a stranger lived in our homes teaching our kids how to fire headshots with precision, or if we encountered a teacher in the school training kids to communicate with others so they would want to harm themselves, of course, most parents wouldn’t allow it. They would put a stop to it at once.
But with media violence, it’s a different story. We urgently need to change that story—now—by letting parents know about the serious side effects of media violence.
If you understand the brain science and if you know a parent who needs to connect the dots between their youngsters’ exposure to violent video games and their young brains’ inability to handle, filter, understand and resist the emotional havoc that these images induce, please, please discuss this with that mom or dad. Explain the vulnerabilities of young brains and why video games of violence and prostitution are not appropriate entertainment for children or teens. There is a reason these games are marked M. And there are so many non-violent, age-appropriate games, apps out there now.
Please talk with a parent about this today.
If not you, then who?

Copyright, Gloria DeGaetano. 2014. Used with permission.
Gloria DeGaetano, founder of the Parent Coaching Institute, has been a media literacy educator since 1987. She is the author of several books, including Parenting Well in a Media Age: Keeping Our Kids Human (Personhood Press, 2005) and the recently released (with Lt. Col. Dave Grossman), Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie, and Video Game Violence (Harmony Books/Random House), 2014.