Category Archive:
Constructive discipline

Don’t Live in La-La Land

towards the new education

Most of our fears as parents about protecting our children involve situations that rarely occur. But many of us tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time worrying about circumstances that will never happen, or planning for perfectionism, either in ourselves or in our children. Our fears and our guilt hold us hostage in a […]


Stop! Look! Listen!

stop look listen

An effective, yet, counter-intuitive teaching and parenting suggestion took me a while to understand and put into use. The idea? “Don’t just do something; stand there.” Our first inclination when we see things that we think we need to stop is to jump right in and fix it. One of the interesting discoveries of not […]


Talk Less, Listen More

talk less listen more

When I asked one of my elementary students what he didn’t like about his life he told me that it was when people started to sound like blah-blah-blah. Too often our good intentions of telling our children what to do, how to do it, where to do it, when to do, and why to do […]


And Keep Walking Your Talk

positive psychology childhood

An effective parenting principle is to not talk “at” our children, but to talk less, listen more and walk our talk. The challenge becomes one of being able to keep on walking our talk. It’s the hard work of follow-through, that becomes our bug-a-boo, when we’d really, really like to do something else. The paradox […]


Walk Your Talk

teaching temperance

Our children are inundated with demands from the adults in their lives. At times all those words may sound like a never-ending torrent. I’m reminded of a YouTube video that made the rounds a couple years ago of The Mom Song, three minutes of commands sung to the William Tell Overture. What an exhausting way […]


Think Before You Talk

think before you talk

“You throw that ball and you’re grounded for a month.” “You talk back one more time and I’ll give your bicycle away.” “You don’t eat your peas, you won’t be able to have dessert.” The traps we can fall into as we work with children. In our efforts to have our children change their behavior, […]


An Iron Hand In A Velvet Glove

iron hand in a velvet glove

Oh, what challenges we have as parents trying to find the right fit for our parenting style. If we come down too strong on an issue, we think perhaps our need for control is bubbling over. If we ignore a problem or allow bad behavior to get its way, maybe we’ve given our power away. […]


Learning To Be Friendly With Error

learning to be friendly with error

If failure is not an option, neither is success. An interesting idea. But isn’t it true that we learn most effectively when we’ve had to figure out a problem through trial and error? On my typewriter (remember those things?) during my early 20’s I had a saying taped to it that read: Babe Ruth struck […]


Learning To Stop And Think

learning to stop and think

Impulsivity is a sign of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and probably most 36-month-olds’ behavior would meet the criteria for being ADHD. Some of the criteria follow: makes careless mistakes, has difficulty sustaining attention in work or play activities, does not seem to listen, does not follow through on instructions, has difficulty organizing tasks, avoids […]


Learning To Speak Effectively

learning to speak effectively

Over the past few posts we’ve been discussing tools for our children’s success in a future that we may have difficulty imagining. We do know that there are timeless learning tools that have enabled humans to adapt to new challenges. We are in the middle of a decade of uncommon problems. Unfailing tools are needed. […]