Does your five-year-old run up and punch you in the gut instead of saying “Hello”? Does your daughter insist that she can only eat dinner while watching television? Do the cookies hidden on the top shelf disappear much quicker than you dole them out?… Read the rest
So many of these tips simply require imagining a role reversal. To put yourself in the child’s shoes, just picture whoever is an authority/provider to you. For most of us, this is our boss. They tell us what to do, we do it, and then we get paid.… Read the rest
Here’s a tip that most parenting books and experts recommend, but which is often perverted, like anything, when not grounded in an ethical framework. The idea is to give children choices, which allows them to enjoy some autonomy. For example, when a child is avoiding bedtime, instead of making demands or punishing, we say “How many more minutes would you like?”… Read the rest
Sometimes an agreement just can’t be made. You’ve insisted that the child refold the stack of laundry that she pulled down into a pile, and she’s just not going to do it. In fact, she’s already run out to play, and you either step over the mess in the hallway, or clean up after her.… Read the rest
Here we’ll share how we use three important tools of NAP Parenting: negotiation, the idea of strict property rights, and contracts, to make sure that trick-or-treating is not a one-way ticket to the dentist. There are other concerns around the holiday, like safety, but we’ll just talk about candy here.… Read the rest
This may be the most important “solution” to common problems that we have to offer. I find that many major arguments and hurt feelings can be traced back to a failure to follow these steps (hence the label “Step #0”). If you’re not in the habit of doing this, you’ll have a harder time connecting with your child.… Read the rest
Summary: Use language that is neutral, informative, and concise.
Living with kids is like piloting some ancient, exotic car across country, with no map: the problems just keep coming. Especially with elementary-aged and younger, we often need daily, or hourly course correction.… Read the rest
I learned about “I” statements as a teenager. I couldn’t believe that such a simple tweak in my communication could be so effective in so many situations.
“I” statements almost always start with “I…”, such as “I feel…”, “I think…”, “I see…”, and “I wish…”.… Read the rest
Kids have a lot of requests:
“Will you take me to the circus?”
“Can I have this giant basket of candy?”
“Will you take me for horseback lessons?”
I used the above examples because they are difficult questions to answer. The circus is sixth months away, he can get a much better deal on bulk chocolate in aisle 12, and you don’t even know if there are horseback lessons in your town!… Read the rest
In my early years of working in a middle school in the rough part of town, my colleagues and I did a lot of de-briefing. Every day there was a new slew of problems, and we often felt like we were losing the fight for these kids attention and respect.… Read the rest