Category Archive:
Constructive discipline

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 […]


Chores Make Children Feel Important

chores are important

Chores make children feel important. Family is about giving us a sense of belonging. Whatever ups and downs we have in life-changes in jobs, money or health-family is where we know we can always go, and the door will be open. Strong families create powerful ties to their family and to each other through sharing […]


We Have Two Seconds To Change Behavior

two seconds to change behavior

“Look, mommy! I’m daddy!” Three-year-old Scotty opened a blue marker and scribbled on the wall as his mom, Margie, cut vegetables for dinner. Scotty had watched his dad paint the kitchen over the weekend. Now Scotty was trying to help, or so Margie surmised in the split second of disbelief and dismay as she took […]


How Do We Want To Be?

How do we want to be

Each of us has a picture in our minds of how we want our personal world to be. This vision of our perfect planet contains the people most important to us, along with favorite activities, feelings, foods, decorations, surroundings and more. Conflict arises when our vision of perfect collides with someone else’s version of perfect. […]


Asking Permission

asking permission

For many of us it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. If you really want to do something, why risk being told ”no”? Why endure the hassle of trying to sell your point? Why listen to pessimists who say that what you want to do can’t be done? Why take the time […]


Stuck With a Problem? SOAR

stuck with a problem soar

At times we seem to be ensconced in recalcitrant situations. We try to move forward, and our strategy doesn’t work. We resolve to get our two-year-old to stop biting. Our ten-year old forgets to clean his room–every Saturday. Our fourteen-year-old refuses to go to church. Whatever we do to encourage or cajole our children into […]


Use a Purple Pencil

use purple pencil

Harold, the hero in Crockett Johnson’s classic book Harold and the Purple Crayon, uses his imagination and crayon to create an adventure. Off Harold goes, using his waxed stick to draw a path, along with a moon to use as his navigational aid. During his escapade, Harold’s crayon creates a forest, an ocean and a […]


Learning from Bumps and Bruises

learning from bumps bruises

As I visit with preschool administrators around the country a common theme emerges: the dynamics of smaller families are affecting children’s abilities to learn how to endure the bumps and bruises of everyday life. Many school principals and teachers hear from upset parents the first few days and weeks of school because children go home […]


Children Love Routine, But…

children love routine but

The art of a parent or a teacher is to keep a child’s environment predictable enough to feel safe, but challenging enough to be exciting. Winston Churchill wrote, ”Human beings are of three classes: those who are toiled to death, those who are worried to death and those who are bored to death.” So it […]


Addressing Key Frustrations With Your Children

cherries

”If life is a bowl of cherries, why am I in the pits?” Erma Bombeck knew how to see the humor in day-to-day reality. Maintaining a positive and forward-moving life is a challenge to say the least. Life has a way of helping us misplace our senses of humor in a hurry. Some days the […]