Category Archive:
Constructive discipline

Paying Attention to the Right Stuff

paying attention to the right stuff

In my elementary and junior high school years I always sat in the back row. Except in my seventh-grade English class. I wondered why I inevitably sat in the back against the wall. Alphabetical order, I presumed. The back-row perspective allowed me to observe everyone in my classrooms, and even as a second grader I […]


Giving Positive Directions: The Verb Game

giving positive directions

A funny thing about the mind; it takes a while for our minds to figure out how to ”don’t.” ”Don’t hit your baby brother.” The young child doesn’t have the thinking skills or experience to consider what to do instead of hitting his baby brother, much less redirect the energy and anger to a positive […]


Make a Date

make a date

My husband and I share the distinction of being the oldest of five children. Growing up, there was always one of the children a little out of sorts. Luckily, with four other siblings there always was someone to distract the grumpy family member until the clouds parted. After our second and youngest daughter, Hannah, was […]


The High Cost of Low Trust

high cost of low trust

”My parents don’t trust me anymore,” said thirteen-year-old Steve. ”Oh,” I said, but thought to myself, RED ALERT. This wasn’t going to be a regular sit-at-the-table-and-eat-pizza party conversation. My memory neurons buzzed, trying to find the listening/questioning tool I had recently learned called evidence and impact questioning. The gist of this two-step listening technique is […]


Need + Talent + Passion = Power

need talent passion power

In his book The 8th Habit, Stephen Covey writes, ”When you can give yourself to work that brings together a need, your talents and your passion, power will be unlocked.” The bluntness of that statement knocks the breath out of me, because isn’t that what every one of us is looking for? We spend our […]


FREE WEBINAR: Helping Children Learn To Listen

Helping children learn to listen

In my many years of working with young children, there is one question I hear frequently from parents and teachers: How do I get children to listen to me? When we are confronted with tantrums, defiant behavior, or worse, it’s difficult to know what to do. But these situations are usually avoidable, or at least […]


Helping Children Deal With Their Feelings

helping children deal with their feelings

“I was a wonderful parent before I had children. I was an expert on why everyone else was having problems with theirs. Then I had three of my own.” So begins the book, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Faber and Mazlish […]


Every Day A Little Play

everyday a little play

Tempers were short. Especially mine. The girls had been sick and cranky. It had rained for several days. We were moving to a new town. My husband had been gone for 10 days. Real estate showings interrupted nap and dinner times. There were boxes to pack. Everything seemed so serious. A friend from our Active […]


The What If Game

the what if game

When we observe that a child is having difficulties exhibiting appropriate behavior, the What If Game gives us a way to begin teaching thinking skills and different possibilities. For example: If we see a child who is pushing children out of the swings at outdoor time, we can gather a small group, or you can […]


To Foster Cooperation, Give Choices

Most of the conflicts we have with our preschool-age children involve getting them to do something they don’t want to do in a reasonable amount of time. Eating, getting dressed, going to bed or taking a bath may be familiar conflict areas. In parenting class, I was introduced to the idea of giving choices to […]