December 1, 2021
Many children struggle with managing expectations and emotions during the holidays. The behavior skill of Role-play teaches children what is expected in various situations--from holiday shopping to parties. Knowing how they can appropriately respond when they are overwhelmed or excited can go a long way in reducing the meltdowns or craziness they may feel.
The holidays can be a truly magical time for children. That magic, though, can bring new stress or unmet expectations that can be challenging for a child to manage if they haven't been taught what to do instead. For example, if you don't want your child to touch every toy they see at the store, they will need to know what to do instead. They may need to keep their hands on the cart or stop quietly in front of one toy to get a better look as long as they don't pick it up or touch it, but they won't know what to do if you don't practice it with them before you go to the store.
Role-playing allows a parent to address any concerns before they arise. Addressing potential issues while your child is calm and receptive gives them the tools needed to display the appropriate behavior in that specific situation.
Once a child is overwhelmed or too excited, it can be hard to bring them to a calm state. Role-playing keeps a child from escalating too much.
Role-playing will reduce your stress and increase your enjoyment of the season.
You can learn more about how to Role-play with your child by watching a short video lesson at SmarterParenting.com.
November 24, 2021
Nothing pushes most parents' buttons more than when their child argues when asked to do something.
When a child argues, it can often quickly escalate, pulling in all sorts of wrongs, emotions, and even personal attacks.
When a child is arguing, it is not the time to teach them life lessons or what they should be doing. Instead, your goal should be to deescalate the situation and get your child to a point where they can accept your answer or do what was asked.
The biggest thing is to remember that an argument takes two and that if you, as the parent, don't engage, your child can't argue. The skill of Following Instructions helps parents take a break from the situation by focusing on the original issue and not being drawn into tangents or arguments.
Once a child is calm, you can address the thoughts and feelings brought up during their argument. It's important that our child feels able to express their ideas and feels. We just want to teach them to do it appropriately, and arguing isn't appropriate.
We hope you'll reach out to us on social media for more information about Following Instructions and how to use it to stop arguments.
November 17, 2021
Effective Praise is powerful in teaching our kids gratitude. Effective Praise teaches us to recognize effort and change and then express why that effort means something to us.
Effective Praise is more than just telling someone, "Good job." Rather it's telling them exactly what they did well--no matter how little that progress may be.
For example, your child may struggle cleaning their room. Instead of focusing on what they haven't done or didn't do well, Effective Praise allows us to focus on what they did well, such as, "I can see you took a lot of time to organize your books, and that shows me that those things matter to you and that you want to take care of them."
By acknowledging what they have done, we motivate our children to continue to make progress while reducing the amount of time spent nagging them to do something.
As we show our children that we appreciate what they do well, they will be more likely to apply that same mind frame to friends, teachers, coworkers, and even family members.
You can find the skill of Effective Praise at SmarterParenting.com. We invite you to learn it and start using it in your family, and you will be amazed at how it transforms your outlook and relationships.
November 10, 2021
Setting healthy boundaries with family or friends can be a challenge, but doing so is essential.
Healthy boundaries are nothing more than a contract. I will do this, and in return, you will do that. Unhealthy relationships are those where the contract is uneven, or someone is infringing on a boundary.
Learning to operate under a new boundary can be challenging for many using under an outdated contract or boundary. Your parents may still be working under a parent/child contract that doesn't consider that you're an adult with children of your own. Or an older sibling may still think it's their place to offer advice because they've "been there."
Overtime boundaries will change. The boundaries that were in place when you were ten will have changed as you became 18. Changing boundaries does not mean that the previous contract was unsuccessful, and adjusting boundaries means focusing on growing relationships.
It's also important to teach our children what healthy boundaries look like for friends, family, and peers which will help them have greater success in the future.
It can be challenging for us to express our boundaries to people we know and care about. We recommend using Effective Communication as it helps both sides to feel heard and understood.
When learning how to better communicate with others, don't start with the most complex subjects. Begin with relatively easy topics and then progress to the more difficult issues as you become better acquainted with the skill.
Setting healthy boundaries with family members will significantly improve relationships. Let us know how it goes or any struggles you experience as you set boundaries with family.
November 3, 2021
It's no secret that when one child is diagnosed with ADHD, it impacts everyone in the family.
Children without a diagnosis may start to act out, become resentful of the time and attention that one child may be receiving, or question why what they do right goes unnoticed.
Using the skill of Effective Praise can change the dynamic of the family. Effective Praise shifts the focus from what is going wrong to what is going right, which is powerful.
Effective Praise promotes repeat positive behavior, and it also encourages a child to change their behavior as kids like receiving praise.
Effective Praise changes behavior because it does two things. First, it is specific in what your child did well, and second, it gives your child a reason that matters to them why they should continue the behavior.
When parents combine those things, magic happens. Children not only want to be acknowledged for what they are doing right, but they also want a reason to continue that behavior. The motivation for behaving well can be additional time on the computer or tablet, more time with friends, the ability to make more decisions independently, etc. The list is truly endless, and it will depend on your child and their personality.
To learn more about Effective Praise, visit SmarterParenting.com
October 27, 2021
Many children--and-adults-with ADHD struggle with time management and need strategies that will set them up for success.
Children who can learn strategies can better transition to adulthood and be successful in work, school, and their personal lives. Children who don’t discover time management strategies will often struggle with substance abuse and failure in their work and personal lives.
Avoidance, procrastination, and distraction are all symptoms of ADHD and can be more comfortable for a person than getting things done or facing difficult situations. Those with ADHD often don’t like dealing with difficult feelings.
In this podcast, Parenting Coach Siope Kinikini, discusses his struggles with ADHD as a child and what strategies he has implemented that have been life-changing.
The two strategies that both children and adults with ADHD can implement today are the time-boxing method and the SODAS Method.
Because those with ADHD can have difficulty seeing the big picture or determining priorities, the time-boxing method helps them decide what they need to do. By visually seeing what needs to be done, they are more likely to do it, as those with ADHD often thrive once they begin.
The SODAS Method helps remove the emotion from situations and keeps them focused on the present.
Using these two methods will help you or your child with ADHD play to strengths and find successful outcomes.
You can learn more about the SODAS Method here.
If you'd like personalized help implementing time management strategies for you or your child, we can help. Sign up for Parenting Coaching and let us create solutions that will work for you!
October 20, 2021
Halloween is such a magical time for kids. In all that excitement kids can make unsafe or unwise decisions.
As parents, we don't want to ruin the day's magic, but we do want them to be safe. We want them to remember to stay safe when street crossing the street. We want them to respect others' property and be polite, and we want them to stick to areas we are comfortable with.
Because there is so much stimulation happening for children on Halloween, we must practice what we want beforehand. If we want our children to respect others' property, we need to show them what that looks like. For example, if we don't want them walking on the lawn, we need to take them out and physically practice walking up to the door and back on the sidewalk and not cutting across a law. If we want them to be polite and say please and thank you, we need to practice it with them.
Another part of keeping kids safe during Halloween is understanding their individual needs. For some kids, large crowds or "scary" looking houses may present a problem, so showing them how to respond to those situations will be extremely helpful to avoid meltdowns and anxious feelings.
The more you can prepare your child for what may happen on Halloween and how they need to respond, the better the actual night will go.
October 13, 2021
It's not unusual for kids to have days where they don't want to go to school, but what happens when your child flat out refuses to go?
The reason why your child is refusing to go to school could be because they are being bullied or made to feel unsafe. They may be experiencing high anxiety levels due to a new class, subject, or major changes to friends or family situations such as a divorce, death, or loss of a good friend. They may be experiencing depression, or they may have a learning disability that they are ashamed of.
It is essential to figure out what is causing their discomfort before addressing appropriate courses of action. We recommend using the skill of Decision Making (SODAS Method) to help you and your child together determine what should be done.
The SODAS Method allows you to see the pros and cons together, making a plan on what to do less overwhelming.
When making a plan, remember it's about what is best for your child and not necessarily what you want. While you may want your child in school full-time, a half-day may be in their best interest. Or your child may benefit from therapy or medication.
Once you make a plan, it's okay to revisit the plan in a week, month, or six months to determine if it's still effective or if it needs to be modified.
You can learn all about the skill of Decision Making (SODAS Method) on SmarterParenting.com
October 6, 2021
Does your child throw tantrums? They are not doing it because they hate you, though sometimes it may feel like that. Instead, your child is feeling/dealing with large or unfamiliar emotions and doesn't know how to handle what they are going through, so they resort to anger, frustration, crying, or even silence.
Coping skills allow a child to better process what is happening safely. When using a coping skill, the goal is to bring a child back into a neutral or calm space.
There are hundreds of coping skills, also called calm down strategies, ranging from crumpling up a piece of paper to yoga or visualization. What will work best for your child will depend on various factors, such as how they learn and what they are naturally drawn to.
Teaching a child a coping skill in the middle of heightened emotions will not be effective. It's crucial to determine coping skills and to practice them at neutral times. Doing so will allow your child to become familiar with how those coping skills make their body feel.
Involving children in learning coping skills allows them to feel more invested in using them when they are upset. You can help them determine what coping skills would work best for them using Decision Making (SODAS Method).
At SmarterParenting.com, you can find a free worksheet that will walk you and your child through the SODAS Method.
Teaching children how to coping with unfamiliar feelings and situations will benefit them throughout their entire life. Successful adults are those who have learned how to manage when things become overwhelming or stressful.
Coping skills are beneficial for kids who have ADHD as it helps them process what is going on around them and brings them back to the present.
Helping a child learn how to calm down isn't always easy. If you need help, please sign up for a coaching session where one of our expert coaches will guide you and your family.
September 29, 2021
In today's episode, Parenting Coach, Siope Kinikini gives parents practical advice for keeping family life balanced.
We all want what’s best for our children, and often we feel that means giving our children various opportunities to grow and cultivate talents. Yet, for many parents, managing numerous activities and schedules in addition to everything they need to do can feel overwhelming.
It is okay for parents to take stock of what is happening and make adjustments, including reducing their child’s activities, if needed. No one in the family benefits if mom or dad is grumpy, tired, or overwhelmed.
Parents should evaluate all extracurricular activities on whether they are essential and what the family can do. If you’re trying to figure out what is the best for your child and your family, we recommend using the SODAS Method to help you determine the best course of action.
The SODAS Method allows you to see the pros and cons, which will enable you to make the best-informed decision for you, your child, and your family.
You can find more information about the SODAS Method on the Smarter Parenting website.