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.
September 22, 2021
Kids are growing up with access to online, and parents must help them navigate that safely.
A one-size-fits-all approach to internet safety and usage isn't realistic. Your child's age and needs should determine screen time and internet usage and recommend using the same rules to both your child's online and virtual environment.
Parents should be monitoring what their child is doing online. You should be familiar with what apps, games, and websites they are visiting and what they are teaching. There are a lot of apps and articles that can give parents an idea of what their child is doing online. One we recommend is Common Sense Media. Parents can find additional app recommendations in the show notes at SmarterParenting.com
As they grow, how they interact with apps and online may change. It's essential to have continued conversations about what is appropriate and inappropriate. Effective Communication allows both parents and children to have meaningful, healthy, and productive discussions regarding time limits, usage, and how they spend their time online, creating healthy digital literacy.
As technology becomes more ingrained in our lives, the recommendation for a child's use of technology has changed and will continue to change. What type of media your child is accessing is more important than how long they are accessing it. For example, it's better for a child to play an interactive learning game for three hours than playing a non-learning game for an hour.
While thinking about everything you need to teach your child about online safety may feel overwhelming, remember you don't need to teach everything all at once. It would be best if you were having ongoing conversations that you adjust and revisit as needed. You can do this!
For more information about online safety, don't forget to check out this episode's notes on SmarterParenting.com
September 15, 2021
This episode is one you don't want to miss!
With kids returning to school, we could all use a little help in establishing, or reestablishing, routines that work for our family.
In today's podcast, Parenting Coach, Kimber Petersen shares practical tips families can use to reduce stress and frustration regarding back-to-school routines, including opening up the lines of communication better and teaching them responsibility through family meetings.
Kids thrive on routines. They feel safe when they know what they should do—having patterns that work builds trust and strengthens relationships.
When establishing routines, it's vital to look at both the needs of the family and what is realistic. The worst thing you can do is to develop practices that create more issues and problems.
Establishing routines should be a collaboration between you and your child. When children have a say in routines, they are more likely to follow expectations. Having them create routines is a great way to help them learn critical thinking skills and responsibility.
Regularly evaluate routines to determine if they are working. Don't be afraid to make adjustments if practices aren't working.
September 8, 2021
As parents we tell our children "no" a lot. Those "no" answers are because we're tired, distracted, or have reached decision fatigue.
There are times when we need to say "no" to our child, but more frequently than not, there are times when we say no that we can say "yes."
Determining when we can say "yes" to our children's requests will help them gain confidence and strengthen your relationship.
When you're saying "no" to your child, ask yourself these questions about if you can say "yes."
Is it safe? Is it reasonable? Is it best for my child?
If you can answer "yes," it's okay to change your mind and to change a "no" answer to a "yes" response.
There will be times when "no means no," and your child needs to accept that, but you also have to be able to enforce it. A child knows when a "no" answer doesn't mean "no."
Using the skill of Preventive Teaching helps you prepare your child for getting and accepting a "no" answer.
You can learn more about the skill of Preventive Teaching at SmarterParenting.com.
September 7, 2021
We are excited to introduce our newest Parenting Coach, Kimber Petersen!
Kimber comes with a wealth of knowledge in dealing with difficult and challenging behavior using the Teaching-Family Model.
You will be hearing more from Kimber in future podcast episodes and she is available for coaching.
September 1, 2021
Are you feeling judged as a parent? In fact, many parents feel judgment when it comes to how they are parenting.
Join Parenting Coaches Siope Kinikini and Kimber Petersen as they talk about why parents are feeling judged and what they can do about it.
We are all going to receive judgment about our parenting. Someone is going to think we are doing too much or not enough. The goal is to be able to receive that judgment and determine if it applies to you.
As the parent, you know your child and what they need best. What has worked for another child or another family may not work with yours. That is okay. That's how it should be. The most effective parenting happens when parents can adapt to the individualized needs of their children.
Often when we receive criticism or suggestions on parenting, it can be challenging to hear and causes us to get defensive or dismiss the advice.
The skill of Observe and Describe helps us stay grounded. Instead of getting all frustrated or upset, we can recognize how we are feeling, which allows our brain time to process what was said and how it made us feel.
We love how Observe and Describe can help us work through the internal dialogue that we may be having about situations. For example, if you've ever taken a young child to the store late at night, you know that people are often formulating judgments in their mind. With Observe and Describe you can remind yourself, "I know this person is looking at me and making a judgment about me bring my child to the store, and this makes me feel anxious. They don't know that I spilled the formula container, and there is no longer formula for their nighttime feeding. Keeping my child feed is more important to me than feeling anxious about what someone thinks."
The great thing about Observe and Describe is that it is a skill that can be done anywhere and doesn't need any special tools.
Parents, you're doing a good job! Hang in there. You've got this!
On our website, you will find additional information and suggestions for using Observe and Describe.
August 25, 2021
We are excited to welcome our newest Parenting Coach, Kimber Petersen! Kimber brings a substantial wealth of knowledge and experience about what parents need to handle challenging behavior and improve their relationship.
We are excited for you to join us!
One of the questions we get asked frequently is how to deal with parenting differences, especially if co-parenting is involved? No two parents see eye to eye on everything. But parents can find common ground when dealing with their children as we want what is best for our child.
When parents find common ground, focus shifts from "I'm right, you're wrong" to "What is best for our child?". This shift is powerful as it allows parents to move past emotion and focus on their child's needs.
A lot of differences in parenting can be addressed by using the skill of Effective Communication. The skill of Effective Communication accomplishes two things. First, it puts both parents on the same page, which is essential because sometimes, what we say is not what we mean, leading to confusion and frustration. Effective Communication removes those barriers and helps everyone feel appreciated and valued. Second, we are no longer swayed by emotion because we are more interested in understanding the person than being proven right.
When someone feels valued and understood, they are more likely to work together and compromise.
Effective Communication is a skill that can improve all relationships. We challenge you to learn this skill and begin using it on everybody you meet.
We know parenting differences are complex, but they don't have to be unsurmountable. We can help! Sing up for coaching and let Kimber and Siope provide tailored solutions for your unique situations.
August 18, 2021
We all have weaknesses. Often though, those weaknesses can be strengths if we change how we look at them.
For example, the strength of a child that argues is that they feel confident in expressing their feelings and they know what they want.
The strength of a child who walks away during conflict is that they know their limits and don’t want to increase friction or say something they would later regret.
The strength of an indecisive child is that instead of rushing into decisions that could harm themselves or others, they take the time to look at all possible options logically.
When we can change our viewpoint and shift our perspective regarding what our child is doing, it will pay huge dividends.
One way that parents can shift their focus on see weaknesses as strengths is to use the skill of Effective Praise. Effective Praise lets a child know that you see the good they are doing and not just the bad, which gives your child confidence that you can help them.
If you want your child to change, praise them. Children respond to Effective Praise. You can find the skill of Effective Praise on the Smarter Parenting website.