December 22, 2021
Raising resilient children is something that parents hope to teach their children. Today's podcast discusses three things parents can do to prepare their children to deal with problems, conflicts, and growth successfully. Today's episode is part one, and next week's podcast will finish up the discussion.
To raise successful children, they need tools that help them make sense of and understand the world around them. They need tools for making choices and decisions. They need tools for communication. They need tools that help them understand the long-term consequences or rewards of actions. They need tools to help them understand and describe what they are feeling.
The skills on SmarterParenting.com can do just that. They teach parents precisely what to do to set their children up for success.
When we give our children tools, it makes raising them easier. When they know how to deal with problems, conflicts, and emotions healthy, they are less likely to act out negatively or seek unhealthy attention.
All the skills taught on SmarterParenting.com are free. Don't delay setting your child on a path for success. Learn them today!
December 15, 2021
As parents, we can be terrible about practicing self-care. Practicing self-care is vital in helping us be our best.
When we don't practice self-care, we give less than our best to our family. Self-care allows us to recharge and refocus, enabling us to tackle everything we are required to do better.
It can feel like we have no time for self-care or that practicing self-care is selfish. It is not. It is so important!
Yes, practicing self-care may require sacrifices and simplification. Still, the benefits for you and your family will be well worth it as it sends a message to your child that they need to establish healthy boundaries and know their limits.
You wouldn't want your child continually running on empty. You shouldn't either.
When added stresses are added to already busy schedules during the holidays, it can be even more challenging to find the time for self-care. Instead of forgoing self-care, put it on the calendar! Use the SODAS Method to help you determine activities and times that will work for your schedule. Activities for self-care could include a walk, eating a treat, checking social media, talking to a friend, watching a TV show, reading, yoga, journaling, etc. The possibilities are endless. Just find something that works for you and gives you the recharge you need.
Putting it in the calendar does a couple of things. First, it makes it easier to take the time to recharge. Second, it shows everybody the importance of time for yourself. Sometimes it can be easy for our kids to think of us as the energizer bunny with unlimited ability to give and give. Which we all know isn't true.
We hope you'll make self-care an important part of your parenting routine!
December 8, 2021
Do you want to be the best parent you can be? Smarter Parenting is here to help you!
Smarter Parenting teaches parents the best evidenced-based and researched parenting skills that focus on helping parents raise resilient, well-rounded, and successful kids.
Our goal is to help strengthen and improve relationships while giving our children the tools to navigate their lives successfully.
The skills on Smarter Parenting have been used for over 50 years by agencies worldwide to help families succeed. The skills work with children of all ages and abilities. They will work with your child too!
There is a lot of parenting styles and advice out there. Some of it good. Some of it not so helpful.
On extreme ends of the spectrum, two common parenting styles are authoritative parenting and permissive parenting. These parenting styles can teach our children unwanted lessons and long-term behavior.
Science has proven that a parenting style somewhere in the middle is the most effective.
The most significant difference between Smarter Parenting and other parenting styles is our focus on teaching. While we would love our children to know how to behave or listen to us or make the right decisions, those things do not always come naturally. We have to show them how to do it.
The skills Smarter Parenting teaches shows parents how to be both firm and kind while teaching our children what is expected of them.
Children need boundaries as boundaries make them feel safe and a sense of the world. They also need compassion and understanding as they learn how to deal with new emotions and situations.
The best way parents can learn to be better is through skills that balance firmness and kindness. The skills found on Smarter Parenting teach parents how to do just that. The skills are universal and give parents the confidence to handle any parenting situation with compassion, understanding, and fairness.
The skills we teach at SmarterParenting.com are:
The skills we teach on Smarter Parenting are all free. Check them out today!
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.