SUSIE E CARON
MOTHER, TEACHER AND PSYCHOLOGIST RETIRED
WELL, MOTHER'S NEVER RETIRE. RIGHT?
SUSIE E CARON
MOTHER, TEACHER AND PSYCHOLOGIST RETIRED
WELL, MOTHER'S NEVER RETIRE. RIGHT?
Best Parent Practices for When Kids Get Upset
Susie Caron © 2/6/16
Parents’ want to figure out ‘what’s going on” when their little-ones tantrum, or when bigger kids scream irrationally at them about their issues, but parents ask the wrong question: parents ask kids, “Why?”
If you have asked 'why', you probably recognized two things.
First, your Kids don’t seem to be able to give you any clear reason for their outbursts.
Second, if you get angry and punish your kids without understanding, they behave more badly.
Have you wondered “What am I doing wrong?” or perhaps “What else can I do?”
I suggest a much better way to handle kids when they seem agitated, and before they become overwhelmed and get worse.
Distract & Redirect Little Ones.
With little ones you’ll want to distract and redirect them because they probably don’t know or cannot tell you ‘why’ they feel overwhelmed.
You can try to ask:
Where do you want me to sit and watch?
How are your feet?
Who’s making that noise?
The idea is to try to distract and redirect them and teach them how to self-soothe.
If attempts to distract and redirect doesn’t stop the tantrum, it’s necessary to provide some calming time. To do this you could get a book and hold your child while you point out pictures until he or she forgets to tantrum. Alternatively, put your child in a nice warm bath. Stay with your child and watch him/her play. Your child may go into the water, yelling, kicking and screaming, but as the water cools he/she will also calm down. Then maybe a nice nap, for you both will help. As they grow a little older you can use the following ideas.
Calm then Engage School Aged Kids
School aged kids sometimes become so overwhelmed by issues and the business of life that they act out by yelling, screaming, and using language you don’t want. Often what they yell about doesn’t make any sense to the adult ear. Punishment may get your child out of your hair and reduce everyone’s anxiety after the fact. However, it doesn’t teach your children how to handle big emotions, especially when they cannot really identify the reason(s).
To help school aged kids stop yelling and get to the bottom of their issues, use this approach.
First, Take everything out of your hands, turn your body and eyes toward your child and stand within 6-8 feet.
“I see you are upset and I’d like to listen. I can hear you better when you to lower your voice and speak respectfully to me.”
Wait and repeat that you want to listen and you can’t as easily hear when he/she is so loud.
Say, “Please lower your voice and speak to me respectfully and I will listen.”
If your child cannot do this, send him/her to time out until ready to do so.
This is an important skill everyone must learn:
“When too upset to be somewhat reasonable, go to your own space and calm yourself. Then we’ll talk.”
When your child has calmed enough, do not ask, “WHY?”
“Why were you so upset?”
This question, beginning with the word “Why?” just sets kids off again on another round of screaming.
Because the word “Why” implies that their answers will be judged.
Think about how you felt when family members and friends have asked you questions like these:
“Why do you let your kids stay up so late?”
“Why are you having more children?”
“Why do you work outside your home when your spouse makes so much money?”
“Why don’t you send your children to MY preschool?”
Do you see how these questions feel? Questions that begin with “why” make you worry that you and your answer, will be judged.
Kids feel the same way.
They don’t want you to judge them. They want you to listen and to offer validation for their overwhelming feelings. They count on you to help them learn to calm down, navigate life and handle their issues. In addition, they often don’t really have any clear answer for “why” so they may just grab any answer that seems like the reason. Then they get more upset and you do too.
After they calm, ask useful questions.
So make life easier on yourself and your kids. After you focus on softening the behavior (which teaches your kids that they can calm themselves enough to talk about issues) then ask questions like these, and be careful to not judge while you listen and validate their feelings.
What happened that made you upset?
How did you feel when that happened?
What would you like to do about it?
Who do you want to talk with next?
Is there something you want me to do?
How do you feel now?
Validate their feelings
With each question your child answers, name and validate the feelings, even if they weren’t expressed. This teaches your child to identify the feelings and how to hook them to things that happened.
So you say things like:
“Wow, I’ll bet you felt really angry about that.”
“Oh, so you really wanted to hit her? It must have been hard to hold back.”
“You’re afraid your teacher won’t listen? What makes you worried about that?”
Here are some more feeling words you might need. (Want more, Google Feeling Words.)
Jealous courageous suspicious irritated
Sad uncertain unsafe afraid
Frustrated helpless discouraged resentful
Worried discouraged uncomfortable leery
What do you think?
Did you find this article helpful, interesting? Please leave a comment and I’ll reply.
Don’t forget to sign up HERE for your free gift “How To Get the Respect You Deserve.”
Twee’ Means You and Me
Working Together to Raise Good Kids.
Where Can Young Parents Get Good Advice?
by Susie Caron 1/9/16
Today’s families frequently move away from childhood homes. That leaves new parents without the help, support and wisdom that comes from extended family members. In days gone by, families were not so mobile and commonly elder members helped out with new babies, childcare and advice. Because this is no longer the case, young parents often fell isolated and lack ready resources for help when they add children to their home.
Long Distance Calls are not enough.
Isolation is cause for concern because things are changing so rapidly, that parents often feel confused about “best child raising practices”. Long distance calls back home to family & friends are not enough to fill this need. In order to ‘save face’ or to not worry their elder parents, young Moms and Dads may ‘pretend’ that they have everything under control. But they continue to crave advice and assistance.
Where do they turn for information?
Some young parents get assistance when they join other parent's groups to share child care and swap tips and ideas. However, life is so busy now and usually both parents work outside the home, so there remains little time left for this. As a result, they search ‘expert advice’ from professionals, in books, the internet and other sources. This adds to the confusion because sources vary widely and offer conflicting advice, which serves to perplex parents even more.
How can You choose the best parenting advice for your children?
While numerous resources can be helpful, it's important to sort truths from opinions. Where ‘experts’ all agree on something, it’s very likely a recognized ‘truth’. Where they disagree greatly, those are opinions. But, how do you know what advice to choose?
If you are a new parent or parent children of any age, your job is to grab the truths, and weed out the opinions. Opinions can be helpful in certain situations with individual children. So keep them available, on a back burner, to use when and if needed. Then trust yourself because you instinctively know what's best for your children. No matter what, you'll always do better to trust your instincts because no one really knows and understands your children as well as you do.
You get to decide what to do for each child and every situation.
When you to trust yourself and listen to your heart, you can adjust your discipline measures and parenting expectations to fit each child’s personality, situation and developmental ability. That’s how you can raise good kids and enjoy them more while you raise them.
Would you like to hear me talk about this and other parenting topics?
As a specialist in parent-child relationships I know how isolating parenting can be. I also know that you do your best when you believe in yourself. So, I’ve developed a free series of short, 6-8 minute episodes in a podcast called Building Parents & Good Kids. It’s full of encouragement and tips to grow your confidence and add skills so you can raise good kids with less stress and more fun.
Would you like to to subscribe, so you can listen to each free, 6-8 minute podcasts?
You can easily get them HERE on iTunes.
Bonus: if you fill out the Sign Up form on my Home Page, I’ll also send you a link every time a new episode comes out.
Don’t wait. The first 3 episodes are ready and waiting.
Twee’ Means You and Me
Building Parents and Good Kids
How to Get Respect!
by Susie E. Caron (c) 12/8/15
Rodney Dangerfield coined the statement, "I don't get no respect." He projected the life of a loser, and it became his tag line, and brand. Funny? Sure! Unless you're a parent and your kids disrespect you.
As a parent, you are engaged in the most important job of all - raising your kids to be responsible adults who contribute to life in your family, local community, country and the world. There is no more important job on earth! The job you do is so worthy of respect and admiration, it's absolutely necessary that you teach your kids to respect you, and to carry this enduring respect within them.
You are not a loser and you deserve respect.
You deserve the respect of your spouse.
You deserve the respect of you kids.
You deserve the respect of your family, friends, coworkers, boss, and acquaintances.
So how do you get respect, especially from your children?
First you determine today to fully respect yourself. I know that sometimes we all do things or act in ways or neglect to do things that we feel make us deserve respect. This isn't about that. You're human. Humans make mistakes all the time. Get over it. You have to, because today you will begin to respect yourself so much that whenever you speak to anyone, kids, spouse, adults, coworkers, boss, waitress, taxi driver, receptionist, phone clerk, etc. etc., you speak to them with RESPECT because you absolutely RESPECT yourself.
This is the decision you make:
"I RESPECT myself. That's why, from this moment forward, I will speak respectfully to every person I encounter, including my kids, whether they act like they deserve it or not."
Respect isn't about another persons deserving it. It's about YOU DESERVING IT.
You must respect yourself so much that you would never lower yourself to disrespect anyone, including your kids.
This is how kids learn to respect you.
You command respect because you are worthy of respect.
You command (not 'demand') your kid's respect when you fully respect yourself.
You command their respect when you interact with, and speak respectfully to them.
You command their respect when you conduct yourself with respect.
You command respect because you are a human of unique and wonderful design.
You command your kids respect because of all this and because and you are their parent. That's enough.
What do you do when Kid's speak disrespectfully to you?
Stop what you are doing, turn fully toward them and say, "I don't speak disrespectfully to you and I won't tolerate or hear you speak disrespectfully to me. Now ask (or tell) me in a better way." (Rinse and repeat or don't respond until you are spoken to respectfully.)
When I began to do this, my life began to change. I believe yours will too.
So begin today to respect yourself and watch what happens.
If you found this helpful, sign up HERE for email updates about my new parenting book, to be released winter 2015.
Twee' Means You & Me ,
You deserve Respect.
How to Stop Sibling Rivalry
by Susie E. Caron © 11/8/15
Parents struggle with ways to handle their kids when they fight, blame each other, and try to win the parent to ‘their side’ in every debate. You may think you can solve these squabbles by teaching problem solving skills or the art of negotiating. However, for some social skills to develop, your kids need chances to argue things out, by themselves. Whenever you step in and ‘help’ them, you often, rather subtly, choose in your mind, who you think is right, smart, cleaver, etc. You may not want to do this, but you are human and your kids can see right through you. They ‘read’ it, in your tone, eye contact, and body language, and recognize who you think ‘comes out on top’. This soon becomes the real reason they fight:
Every sibling wants to gain "Favored Child Status".
Where does Favored Child Status (FCS) come from?
FCS doesn’t come from the kind of attention kids get. Kids experience any kind of “attention” – positive or negative, as a good thing. (The opposite of attention is neglect which kids instinctively fear.) It’s a survival thing and it’s in their DNA. It doesn’t depend on the kind of attention. Instead, ‘Favored Child Status’ depends more on the amount of time and energy a parent spends on each child. So, depending on what you do and how you do it, the sibling who receives the most praise may not feel ‘favored.’ Instead, it could be the child who gets you upset, or wants you to explain (repeatedly) or who is more often non-compliant, uncooperative or disrespectful.
I know that encouraging more bad behavior is not your goal. Neither is ‘favoring’ one child over the others. However, that is exactly what happens when you spend a lot of energy and time involved in sibling arguments. One child nearly always feels they have ‘won’ somehow. Worse yet, the losers feel badly because they also recognize who got the most attention. This is not your goal either.
Your goal is to help your kids to get along with each other. You also what them to know you love them equally and also differently, because they are distinct individuals. So, you may be wondering, what can parents do to make sure all the kids feel loved and get along better?
Here’s the short explanation for managing sibling arguments.
Here is this solution fleshed out a bit more for you.
Kids ages 0-5 years.
When kids ages 0-5 years, fight, it’s usually a good idea to let them unless they are drawing blood, breaking bones, or destroying property. Of course you’ll want to teach them first the no hitting, biting, kicking, etc. rule. Then let them play and argue without interfering. If they need help to play together nicely, you can teach them how to share and negotiate. You can especially show them how their feelings get hurt when they fight with each other. Of course when they physically hurt one another or break, throw, or otherwise destroy objects, all children need to go to time out.
Kids ages 5-9 years.
After age 5, if they come to you to solve their issues, don’t do it. Instead tell them that you believe in them and you want them to go and work it out together. When one child comes to tattle, kindly send the child back to talk with their sibling and find a compromise. If that child or the others come back one to two more times, then all children need to go to time out. (It takes two or more to argue. Don’t choose sides.)
If your kids continue to struggle, or the noise level becomes too difficult for you to bare, you can step in with a purpose. Sit and help them to listen to each other and identify what they are feeling. Then if they cannot come to an agreement, separate all children until they are ready to try again. Don’t let one child dominate your time or attention and you won’t be encouraging ‘favored child status.’
If they hit each other, or worse, time out for both, becomes instantly necessary. Tell them this, “Since you cannot play nicely together, you can’t play together at all until the timer rings.” Set the timer for the same number of minutes as the youngest child’s age. When it rings, they may go back to playing again. Repeat if necessary. They have to know that when they cannot work it out themselves, they all will go to time out.
When you practice these steps, your children will know that they will all go to time out if they hurt each other or property, or even if they get too loud and it’s bothering others in the house. Because you aren’t choosing sides, your kids won’t sense you favor one over the other. These combined reduce the number and severity of their sibling arguments. You will also notice they get along much better, cooperate with each other and even enjoy being together. This is what most parents dream of.
What else can you do besides time out with older kids?
When my kids got older, and their arguing got too loud, I used to hand my kids each a bucket, sponge and detergent and say, “Since you have so much energy that you are fighting, you can each clean________________.” They used up a lot of negative energy cleaning and were eager to get back to playing. Oh and I got a bit more of my own work done that day.
I hope you enjoyed this and the little secret I shared. If you know someone who could use this article, forward it right now, so you don't forget. It’s super to share on social media too.
Twee means you and me
Helping Siblings to Enjoy Each Other
How to get More Work Done with 15 Minutes of Fun
by Susie E. Caron©11/1/15
Do you struggle to get your own work done? Do your young children interrupt you whenever you have a task you need to accomplish? Do you respond in ways that you like, and which satisfies them? Or do you scold, yell or even just make frustrated faces? If you are upset with them, or feel guilty about your reactions, this article will help you. Using 15 minutes of fun will help you to get your work done, satisfy your kids, and make you feel great.
A quick story.
I discovered this neat little skill, while my kids were very little. Whenever I stopped what I was doing and read or played with them for short bursts, they were actually happier to do something by themselves, without me. That help me to ‘sprint’ into my work. I baked, paid bills, mopped floors, painted rooms, and other adult tasks. And, it all happened in between our 15 minutes of fun.
Would you like to know how to do this?
This will take a little preparation, and then some practice. After a few weeks, it will work wonderfully. Here are my tips:
Before you begin.
Tool: Get a kitchen timer.
Prepare your children: They will need to know the hand signal for stop. It’s the one traffic cops use to stop cars for short periods of time. Tell them they can use this ‘stop’ signal, for example when another child is bothering them. (They can use both hands if they really need to.)
Then explain that you will also use it, when you are working on something you need to finish. Tell them, whenever you raise your hand in the ‘stop’ position, they need to freeze, stop talking and wait until the timer rings. Then you will stop and talk, read or play with them.
Here’s how it works:
Your child comes to you and ‘interrupts’ something you are doing (let’s say you are paying bills).
Without looking at your child put your hand out to signal “STOP”. (This teaches your child delay of gratification – a very important skill).
Keep the “STOP” extremely short for very young children, (seconds) and lengthen it as they get older. When the get old enough you can even add directions such as, “I will speak with you in 2 minutes (5 minutes) as soon as I finish paying bills I will come find you. If you’d rather wait, please sit quietly until the timer rings.”
When the timer goes off, immediately stop what you are working on. Turn your body, eyes and full attention on your child. Thank him/her for waiting, then suggest doing something fun like reading or playing together.
Help them to understand this fun time you will spend with them and how it will end.
Say, “I am happy to come to read or play with you right now. When we are finished, and the timer goes off, (after 15 minutes of fun) you will read or play by yourself (or with a sibling etc.) and I will go back to my work. (Notice the underlined words. It is really important that you become an actor and believe what you are saying. Don’t make the mistake of saying so I can go back to work.” Your words will make a difference.)
At the end of the 15 minutes reading to or playing with your child, and the timer rings, hug your child and thank him or her for letting you spend this time together. Say, “Thank you for letting me read to you (or for our play time together). Now I will go finish my work while you _______________(make a suggestion) by yourself. The sooner I get my work done, the sooner we can read or play together again."
This works really well when you set the timer for your own work. It helps your children’ believe that you’ll stop working when the timer rings. They will also learn to leave you alone for longer and longer periods of time. However, this 15 minutes of fun is part of that training and extremely important to use when they are preschool ages.
When you prepare your kids and practice spending 15 minutes of fun, they will be more content to go back to reading or playing, and you can get more work done.
Here some of the additional benefits:
They won’t be little for long so take every opportunity you can to spend time with them.
One way to have fun together is by reading good picture books like these:
Click on titles to buy today:
Twee’, I Am Twee’ and Twee’ for Two .
Reading gives you both a 15 minute break, wonderful cuddle time and helps to build lovely memories for all.
Whether you have kids or not, what do you do to get your work done? Please share in the comments and always I love you to share on social.
Twee' means you and me
Getting our work done, with 15 minutes of fun!
Whether you have kids or not, what do you do to get your work done? Please share in the comments and always I love to be shared with your friends on your favorite social sites.
Susie E. Caron
These are from my former life with many current memories and helps for parents.
I retired from teaching, became a psychotherapist treating children and families and an author. After retiring I became a full time artist.
I recently reopened this parenting blog because I believe wisdom is to be shared.
Author of Chidren's Books,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, I want to help you build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, & books at a time.
When I'm not busy creating articles or paintings, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or playing with my Boxer, Josie.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!