Category Archive:
Constructive discipline

Find Three Things That Went Well

find three things that went well

“If I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all.” There are times in all of our lives that we can feel this way. Headed down a bumpy stretch of road, it can seem as if the trip is never going to end. A series of unfortunate or stressful events can create […]


Alternatives To Punishment

alternatives to punishment

Six-year old Bobby walks into the kitchen from playing soccer. Bobby’s dad, Tom, had asked Bobby to take off his muddy shoes before entering the house. Red Georgia mud dotted the new hallway and den carpet. When Tom sees the footprints, he is furious about the mess and that Bobby had disobeyed him. ”Bobby,” Tom […]


Five Whys Can Help

five whys can help

”For whatever reasons my eight-year-old, Eric, is critical of everything his younger siblings do. Eric tells his sister that her coloring stinks. He tells his brother that his handwriting is messy. Last night Eric burst into tears because the peas touched his mashed potatoes. Nothing seems to make him happy right now,” Michael told me. […]


Three Ways To Change Behavior

three ways to change behavior

“Lisa is so different from Grace. Grace never broke anything when she was this age. Lisa breaks something every day,” Meg told me at our playgroup with our one-year olds. Meg, a long-time friend, was over 30 when she had her first child. Five-year-old Grace lived up to her name. Grace was gentle and content […]


Use Your Thinking Hats

using your thinking hats

Some women get rocks set into precious metals for anniversaries, birthdays or Christmas. I get books. Over thirty years ago, my husband presented me with a jewel of a book for Christmas. I’ve used this gift to teach thinking skills to children and adults. The title? Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono. De Bono, […]


Sincere Praise Can Make A Difference

One of the formative experiences of my early twenties was taking the Dale Carnegie Course in Public Speaking and Human Relations. Each class we focused on a tenet of Carnegie’s philosophy, one of which is to give sincere, honest appreciation. But giving honest and sincere appreciation can be a difficult skill to master. Some compliments […]


Be The Storyteller For Your Child’s Special Moments

be the storyteller for your child's special moments

Erle Stanley Gardner. Agatha Christie. Dick Francis. I’ve always loved reading mysteries and I’ve read so many that I can usually guess ”who dunnit.” In my late teens I took a writing seminar with a mystery writer. My first question to her was “Do you know the ending when you start writing?” She laughed and […]


Helping Children Learn To Apologize

Injury occurs one of two ways: accidentally or intentionally. We need to help our children be prepared to deal with the inevitable in their lives. Accidents do happen and we need to show them the way to make amends when things have gone wrong. We need to teach these skills, though, beforehand, versus after the […]


Helping Your Child Change Self-Perception

Labels. We all are labeled by the roles we play or how others perceive us. On the day we are born, the labeling begins. “He looks just like his daddy. She’s an angel. He’s a handful. She’s fussy. He’s scatterbrained. She has no patience. He’s greedy.” Names and adjectives are used to describe children and […]


Help! My Child Is The Bully!

Amanda, a preschool teacher in California, contacted me about a column about bullying. “I do agree”, she wrote, “that bullying is a very serious issue but the people that usually need more support are the mortified parents of the bully.” Let’s define bullying behavior. Bullying can be physical, verbal or excluding behaviors that include but […]