Thursday, April 23, 2015

What Are Your Family's Top 5 Values?

What are your deepest held moral values? How are you teaching these values to your children? Are you doing it alone or are you seeking help from religious organizations or other resources?

Teaching your kids moral values is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a parent. In order for your children to act morally, they need to know the good, care about the good and practice doing the good.

The way your kids choose to treat others is critical. There are too many news stories of children committing suicide due in part to the cruel behavior of other kids. There are too many kids posting mean comments on social media. Too many kids avoiding activities due to bullying. How do you guide your kids in treating others?

Knowing the Good

What does it mean to be a good person? What traits does your family most value? RenĂ©e Trudeau, author of Nurturing the Soul of Your Family, shared that when her son was entering middle school they created a “Family Purpose Statement”. She described they “highlighted the top five qualities that were most important to us. At the top of our list: kindness and compassion–to self and others.”

What virtues make your family’s top five list? Some to consider include:

(finish reading the article on the Priceless Parenting site)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What's causing the extreme increase in kids' food allergies?

Are you concerned about food allergies and why so many kids have them?  The food supply in the United States has been greatly altered since the late 1990's.  Sadly, many of the additives being sold in the United States are illegal in other countries due to the fact they haven't been proven safe for human consumption. 

Robyn O'Brien, former financial and food industry analyst, became very interested in studying the food supply when her daughter had a severe allergic reaction during breakfast one day. Check out this excellent video featuring a TED Talk by Robyn O'Brien and also sign up for the free Food Revolution summit.




Thursday, March 5, 2015

Teaching Kids How to Fail Successfully

Making mistakes is part of being human. Although you may hate making mistakes, simply participating in life guarantees plenty of opportunities for mistakes.

How do you handle yourself when you’ve made a mistake? How do you react to your children when they’ve made a mistake? The way you handle mistakes and teach your children to handle mistakes is the difference between growing in confidence and shrinking back.

Low Self-Esteem Response to Mistakes

Children with low self-esteem will beat themselves up when they make a mistake. The mistake might be something as minor as mispronouncing a word while reading aloud, getting an answer wrong on a test or missing catching the ball.

You may hear them say things like:
  • “I’m stupid.”
  • “I’ll never get this right.”
  • “I should have known that answer.”
  • “I hope I don’t mess up again.”
Instead of wanting to try again, these kids may prefer avoiding the situation. They might want to quit the team, not go to school or drop out of the play. They would rather not participate than risk the feelings of anxiety and shame.

(finish reading the article on Priceless Parenting)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Moving From a Place of Power to a Place of Influence

The older your kids become, the more control and power they have over the decisions that effect them. When you try to force your ideas on them, you will likely end up in a power struggle.

Judy Steckman from Bend, Oregon just finished the online parenting class for teens and wrote "I think the tools and 'no nonsense' approach will be so beneficial to my kids. I'm moving from a place of power to a place of influence that will last a lifetime."

I loved how she said "I'm moving from a place of power to a place of influence that will last a lifetime." She captures it beautifully ... when you try to have power over your kids, they often rebel. Focusing on your influence acknowledges their autonomy while recognizing your significant input.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Are You Measuring Up?

Are you striving to be an excellent parent? Of course you want to be an excellent parent! You love your kids and want to do the best for them. You read parenting articles, books and take classes. You’re working hard to raise your children well.

How Are You Doing?

How do you measure how you are doing? If you were grading yourself as a parent, what grade would you give yourself? Do you score 100%? 110%? 60%?

What is the cut off for excellent parenting? Do you need to score at least 95%?

If these questions seem reasonable, you probably spent many years in schools that graded your work. You know what it’s like to strive for the perfect score. You know how it feels to get the top score and also how it feels to fall short.

The problem is relationships defy measurement. Nobody is giving out extra credit for getting your kids into bed on time or making a meal together. No psychologist will be assessing how well you’ve prepared your kids to launch as young adults.

What Is The Right Answer?

When you take tests in school, there are right answers and wrong answers. If you want to get a top score, you must know the right answers.

Finding the right answers involves judging different choices. What are the right answers in parenting?

(finish reading the article on Priceless Parenting)


Friday, February 13, 2015

Successfully Talking to Teens

Dr. Heidi Stolz provides some wonderful tips on how to successfully talk to your teens in this video.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What type of government protection do our kids need?

Certainly children deserve to be protected from danger and abuse. Yet it's impossible to protect children from every possible harm. When we enact laws that attempt to dictate the rules parents must follow to protect their kids we can accidentally cast too wide a net.

For example, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv are in trouble with Child Protective Services because they let their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter walk together without adults. They live in Maryland and Maryland has laws stating
"In Maryland, a child under the age of 8 years may not be left unattended at home, at school, or in a car. If a parent or guardian needs to leave a child who is younger than 8 years old, the parent or guardian must ensure that a reliable person, who is at least 13 years old will stay to protect the child. Failure to provide a reliable person to babysit the child is a misdemeanor, and the parent or guardian is subject to a fine up to $500 and up to 30 days in prison.

Both in and out of the home, parents and guardians must always give proper care and attention to children in their care. Children must not be left alone in situations where they may get hurt."

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have been told by their lawyer that Child Protective Services is within their rights to take away the kids if they don’t cooperate. Child Protective Services have better ways to spend their time and money than on these parents who let their 6 and 10-year-olds walk alone. Parenting choices around situations like this rapidly escalate when law enforcement becomes involved.

We need a national discussion around how we should best legally protect children. We can’t protect children from every possible harm and having laws like Maryland’s may do more harm than good. When and how children are removed from their homes deserves the highest scrutiny. The trauma of being taken from their parents must be justified by the benefits to the children.

Once kids are removed from their home, they should be put in a better environment but that is far from assured. Our foster care system is broken, the way we reunite kids with their parents after being in foster care is broken, and our priorities in protecting kids is off.

I’d like to see a law saying it’s illegal to have an unsecured gun anywhere a child age 6 or under can access it. Now that's a law that could quickly save lives!

Let's talk about it.