21 Sep

Getting on the same parenting page with your partner

Do you and your partner have different parenting styles?  If so, you’re in good company.

It comes up all the time and I mean all the time:

“How do my partner and I get onto the same parenting page?”

One parent is too kind and the other too firm, and they push each other, ever farther to extremes, by compensating for the other’s “weakness.”

I’ll share some Do’s and Don’ts later on but I admit that the VERY best way to get closer to the same parenting page is to take a class together.

Some of you have done this . . . Congratulations! I bet you’ll say it was well worth the investment.

If you haven’t, please consider enrolling together in Peaceful Parents, Cooperative Kids, an interactive, online class that starts next week.

2nd Caregivers (partners, babysitters, grandparents, etc.) qualify for a wildly discounted rate.  And I mean WILDLY – nearly half price!

Get the details here.

How do you increase the odds that your partner will accept the invitation to take a class?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Just ask. For example, “It would mean a lot to me if you’d consider attending a parenting class with me. Will you?” Remember that “no” is a valid answer to a request. It’s OK!  You’ve done your part and you can feel good about that.
  • Put a flyer on the toilet seat or their pillow ( ;
  • Negotiate a compromise.  For example, “If you’d do this for me, I’d be willing to do something meaningful for you. What would you like in exchange?”
  • Remind your partner that they can attend from the comfort of their own home or office (via video conference), and can watch the recordings if they miss a class.

Can’t take a class?  Here are some tips to get closer to the same parenting page.

DO

  • Take a class together (oh yeah, already mentioned that.)
  • Model, as much as you can, the kind of parenting behavior you hope for (this is HUGELY powerful!)
  • When one parent is in charge, let them take the wheel, and address it privately later.
  • Listen to your partner’s perspective and validate their feelings.
  • Let the little stuff go.
  • Ask if your partner is open to suggestions before offering them.
  • Ask if your partner would like to pass the baton / take a break in a heated parenting moment.
  • Ask your partner (or nanny, etc.) if they’d be willing to read an article or chapter of a book.
  • Share an audio recording or podcast that they can listen to while driving or exercising (got some good ones below.)
  • Put an article on their pillow with a note asking them to read it.

DON’T

  • Undermine your partner publicly.
  • Preach to or criticize your partner.
  • Try to resolve the problem when you’re angry. Do take time to calm down first.
  • Argue about discipline methods in front of your children.
  • Quote the book / tell partner about all the research you’ve read.
  • Allow children to pit you against each other.

What other Do’s and Don’ts would you add?  I’d love to hear them – please leave a comment below!

Audio/Video Resources to share with your partner (or yourself)

Here are few terrific interviews that I’ve given recently. Great to listen to while driving or exercising!

THE MAMA TRUTH SHOW with Amy Ahlers – an interview where I share how Positive Discipline is so much more than “behavior management.”

POSITIVE DISCIPLINE BOOK STUDY with Kelly Pfeiffer – a Q&A where Kelly and I share answers to common parenting questions.

JOYFUL COURAGE PARENTING PODCAST with Casey O’Roarty — I’m interviewed about how modern research and neuroscience are backing up the principles behind Positive Discipline.

5 CRITERIA FOR POSITIVE DISCIPLINE – a free introductory Positive Discipline Teleclass I facilitated a few years ago.

I hope you enjoy these recordings!  Please feel free to share with friends, too.

I’m on your side!  (And your side, too!)

Like what you’re reading?  Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

 

From the comfort of your own home or office in a virtual classroom using video conference. All classes recorded for replay.

Get common sense, practical alternatives to rewards and punishments that both improve respectful cooperation AND build social and life skills for the long term. Class gets average 4.5 / 5 star rating from over 280 participants.  Learn more here.

26 Aug

Two Things Every Child Needs for Intrinsically Motivated Cooperation

Your child’s behavior is not the problem. Really.

If your child’s behavior is not the problem, then what is?

Some parents reply, “I’m the problem!”  It’s true that you may be part of the problem but here’s the real answer . . .

The problem is the problem. There’s always something deeper that causes the behavior to show up. Always.

Behavior is only what we see . . . it’s on the tip of the iceberg.

But under the surface children have beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and abilities (or lack thereof based on developmental stage and physical or neurological differences) that are driving what we see.

When we get curious, and look under the surface, we begin to see that our kids want to do well, they want to please us and stay connected, but something is getting in their way. Our job is then to figure out what that is . . .

Sometimes what’s getting in the way is a basic feeling of hunger or fatigue. We’ve all seen how hunger and fatigue can affect our kids’ behavior, right?

Sometimes what’s getting in the way is abilities or rather, the lack thereof. When we expect our kids to do something that they’ve not yet developed the skills to do, that can also end up looking like “misbehavior.” For example, if you tell your 4YO child to color inside the lines, they might throw the crayon or scream out of frustration.

But there’s something else that gets in the way.

Alfred Adler, the pioneering psychiatrist whose philosophy underlies Positive Discipline, proposed that very often, what’s getting in the way of behaving well are feelings, thoughts or beliefs having to do with two things:  Belonging and Significance.

BelongingIm included, connected, loved

SignificanceI matter, Im capable, I’m worthy

At the heart of Positive Discipline is the Adlerian theory (it’s really more fact than theory now) that all children (and adults) have a strong and basic need for belonging and significance.

And when children feel, believe, or think that these basic needs are not getting met, they will try to get their needs met, in whatever way they can think of, which might be to whine, or have a tantrum, or sneak, or any number of “misbehaviors.”

For example, if you believe you’re not included, not connected or loved enough after a new baby sibling comes home from the hospital, you might be more clingy or whiny, or you might try to push the baby off the bed (exactly what my oldest did at age 3.)

These are feelings, beliefs, and thoughts that can get in the way of doing or behaving well.

Think of yourself for a moment. When you feel rejected, (for example, how you might feel when you don’t get invited to the neighborhood Mom’s night out) or humiliated (when your boss criticizes you in front of the whole team), do you behave differently?

Most adults will admit that it’s hard not to behave differently because things like rejection and humiliation hurt.

Thanks to brain scan research using FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), we now know that the place in the brain that registers social pain is the same place in the brain that registers physical pain. (Read more about this fascinating research in Matthew Lieberman’s book, “Social”)

To the brain, a threat to my belonging or significance feels just like a threat to my physical safety, and before I know it I’m ready to fight (with defiance or back talk for example), or flee (avoiding, lying, sneaking, etc.), or flop (accept my fate as a boring and useless member of society and give up.)

The opposite is also true:  when belonging and significance are strongly felt, many misbehaviors simply disappear.

There’s no need for back talk when I feel connected and respected. There’s no reason to push the baby off the bed when I know I’m loved, valued, and needed as much as ever.

As Jane Nelsen of Positive Discipline frequently notes, “kids do better when they feel better” and “where did we get the crazy idea that in order to make kids do better, we have to make them feel worse?”

The opposite is true, and it’s true for me, too:  when I’m well-fed, well-slept, and when I feel loved, appreciated, respected, and capable, I do better – as a Mom and person in general.

So how do we help our children perceive that strong sense of belonging and significance (without feeding a sense of entitlement)?

One very easy thing to do is put your smart phone away and really listen to your child with your eyes, your body, and your heart. Deep listening is one sure way to send the message that “you matter, and I care about you.” This tool is called a GEM, a Genuine Encounter Moment and I swear when I use it, my child naturally gets more cooperative.

Another is to give your children meaningful responsibilities in the home, so that they learn life skills and create the belief that “I matter, I’m needed, I’m capable.”

These are just two of many tools that you’ll learn about in the interactive, online class I’m facilitating, “Peaceful Parents, Cooperative Kids:  from conflict and chaos to cooperation and calm in 8 weeks.”

You’ll also learn (and practice):

  • My favorite 3-step ritual to stay cool, calm, and curious in the face of really irritating behavior
  • How to set loving limits that stick
  • Specific words you can use to foster resilience and a “Growth Mindset” in your child
  • How to leverage your family team (including your partner) in household responsibilities
  • Simple, tangible, and effective Positive Discipline tools to reduce defiance, tantrums, back talk and other challenging behaviors
  • The one principle that matters most in helping your kids to become responsible, respectful, resourceful, and happy adults (and how to put that principle into practice every day)

So, if you’d like to

  • yell less
  • have fewer power struggles
  • connect more
  • share the load more
  • feel more confident and peaceful in your parenting
  • and raise children who are respectful, resilient, and plain old happy,

then please join me for an 8-week adventure that you can participate in from the comfort of your own home or office using video conference.

I’ll be using Zoom Meetings which feels about as much like a physical classroom as you can get without actually being in a room together. All classes are recorded so if you miss a class, you can catch up.

Sign up by August 30 to get the Early Bird Pricing and immediate access to my parenting resource web page loaded with tip sheets, videos, podcasts, and articles to help you become the parent you want to be.

It is my mission to equip, empower, and support parents so that they can raise respectful, responsible, and resourceful children who are excited about life and motivated to contribute their talents to the world.

Join me!  Learn more about the virtual class here.

This virtual class gets 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 100 participants.  Here’s what some of them have to say.

Like what you’re reading?  Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here

I always appreciate hearing from you. Leave a comment about this article below.

18 Aug

Two things that help kids WANT to cooperate

Your child’s behavior is not the problem. Really.

If your child’s behavior is not the problem, then what is?

Some parents reply, “I’m the problem!”  It’s true that you may be part of the problem but here’s the real answer . . .

The problem is the problem. There’s always something deeper that causes the behavior to show up. Always.

Behavior is only what we see . . . it’s on the tip of the iceberg.

But under the surface children have beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and abilities (or lack thereof based on developmental stage and physical or neurological differences) that are driving what we see.

When we get curious, and look under the surface, we begin to see that our kids want to do well, they want to please us and stay connected, but something is getting in their way. Our job is then to figure out what that is . . .

Sometimes what’s getting in the way is a basic feeling of hunger or fatigue. We’ve all seen how hunger and fatigue can affect our kids’ behavior, right?

Sometimes what’s getting in the way is abilities or rather, the lack thereof. When we expect our kids to do something that they’ve not yet developed the skills to do, that can also end up looking like “misbehavior.” For example, if you tell your 4YO child to color inside the lines, they might throw the crayon or scream out of frustration.

But there’s something else that gets in the way.

Alfred Adler, the pioneering psychiatrist whose philosophy underlies Positive Discipline, proposed that very often, what’s getting in the way of behaving well are feelings, thoughts or beliefs having to do with two things:  Belonging and Significance.

BelongingIm included, connected, loved

SignificanceI matter, Im capable, I’m worthy

At the heart of Positive Discipline is the Adlerian theory (it’s really more fact than theory now) that all children (and adults) have a strong and basic need for belonging and significance.

And when children feel, believe, or think that these basic needs are not getting met, they will try to get their needs met, in whatever way they can think of, which might be to whine, or have a tantrum, or sneak, or any number of “misbehaviors.”

For example, if you believe you’re not included, not connected or loved enough after a new baby sibling comes home from the hospital, you might be more clingy or whiny, or you might try to push the baby off the bed (exactly what my oldest did at age 3.)

These are feelings, beliefs, and thoughts that can get in the way of doing or behaving well.

Think of yourself for a moment. When you feel rejected, (for example, how you might feel when you don’t get invited to the neighborhood Mom’s night out) or humiliated (when your boss criticizes you in front of the whole team), do you behave differently?

Most adults will admit that it’s hard not to behave differently because things like rejection and humiliation hurt.

Thanks to brain scan research using FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), we now know that the place in the brain that registers social pain is the same place in the brain that registers physical pain. (Read more about this fascinating research in Matthew Lieberman’s book, “Social”)

To the brain, a threat to my belonging or significance feels just like a threat to my physical safety, and before I know it I’m ready to fight (with defiance or back talk for example), or flee (avoiding, lying, sneaking, etc.), or flop (accept my fate as a boring and useless member of society and give up.)

The opposite is also true:  when belonging and significance are strongly felt, many misbehaviors simply disappear.

There’s no need for back talk when I feel connected and respected. There’s no reason to push the baby off the bed when I know I’m loved, valued, and needed as much as ever.

As Jane Nelsen of Positive Discipline frequently notes, “kids do better when they feel better” and “where did we get the crazy idea that in order to make kids do better, we have to make them feel worse?”

The opposite is true, and it’s true for me, too:  when I’m well-fed, well-slept, and when I feel loved, appreciated, respected, and capable, I do better – as a Mom and person in general.

So how do we help our children perceive that strong sense of belonging and significance (without feeding a sense of entitlement)?

One very easy thing to do is put your smart phone away and really listen to your child with your eyes, your body, and your heart. Deep listening is one sure way to send the message that “you matter, and I care about you.” This tool is called a GEM, a Genuine Encounter Moment and I swear when I use it, my child naturally gets more cooperative.

Another is to give your children meaningful responsibilities in the home, so that they learn life skills and create the belief that “I matter, I’m needed, I’m capable.”

These are just two of many tools that you’ll learn about in the interactive, online class I’m facilitating, “Peaceful Parents, Cooperative Kids:  from conflict and chaos to cooperation and calm in 8 weeks.”

You’ll also learn (and practice):

  • My favorite 3-step ritual to stay cool, calm, and curious in the face of really irritating behavior
  • How to set loving limits that stick
  • Specific words you can use to foster resilience and a “Growth Mindset” in your child
  • How to leverage your family team (including your partner) in household responsibilities
  • Simple, tangible, and effective Positive Discipline tools to reduce defiance, tantrums, back talk and other challenging behaviors
  • The one principle that matters most in helping your kids to become responsible, respectful, resourceful, and happy adults (and how to put that principle into practice every day)

So, if you’d like to

  • yell less
  • have fewer power struggles
  • connect more
  • share the load more
  • feel more confident and peaceful in your parenting
  • and raise children who are respectful, resilient, and plain old happy,

then please join me for an 8-week adventure that you can participate in from the comfort of your own home or office using video conference.

I’ll be using Zoom Meetings which feels about as much like a physical classroom as you can get without actually being in a room together. All classes are recorded so if you miss a class, you can catch up.

Sign up by August 30 to get the Early Bird Pricing and immediate access to my parenting resource web page loaded with tip sheets, videos, podcasts, and articles to help you become the parent you want to be.

It is my mission to equip, empower, and support parents so that they can raise respectful, responsible, and resourceful children who are excited about life and motivated to contribute their talents to the world.

Join me!  Learn more about the virtual class here.

This virtual class gets 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 100 participants.  Here’s what some of them have to say.

Like what you’re reading?  Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here

I always appreciate hearing from you. Leave a comment about this article below.