Raising Siblings Who Get Along







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Guest Post by Rebecca Eanes, Founder of  positive-parents.org and author of Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide.



I am an only child. Sibling rivalry was something I heard about and watched on television, not something I experienced in real life. I had fanciful ideas of living in harmony with a built-in forever friend, a bestie for life. Due in part to my limited experience with sibling relationships and also in part to my idealistic nature, I imagined my children would walk hand-in-hand through life, giggling together all along the way. 

3 Ways You Can Promote Skill-Building in Your Kids



Do you expect your children to multitask?

And by that I mean, something seemingly simple like responding to your request for their clothes to go in the hamper while they're busy organizing their bookshelf. 

Does it seem like they ignore you - like they're not listening at all?

I know this feeling. 

Fear to Freedom in 3 Steps: What To Do In the Middle of Your Child's Emotional Storm


Have you or your child ever been caught in the funnel of fear?


This is where --
  • your perspective is limited
  • your stress level is rising
  • and it feels like the calm is being sucked right out of you

How to Lovingly Guide Children Through Difficult Emotions





My nine-year-old's mood changes are fast and furious these days.

It feels as though one minute we're blissfully dancing in the rain puddles at the park and then suddenly, without warning, we're in a lightning storm and I'm riding the metal merry-go-round.

Sound familiar? 


It's jarring, triggering and totally maddening.

"I just wanted things to be calm. Why is she being like this?"

Three Ways You Can Be More Empathetic (But Not Permissive) With Your Kids





Empathy can be tricky. 

Do you ever feel like you try to show empathy, but it only makes your child more angry or insistent on having their own way?

One of the first tasks I guide my clients through is developing a deeper understanding of how to use empathy.

I know you want to set firm limits without feeling like you've been railroaded by your kids. Resistance from our children when we are trying to stay calm and supportive can feel like a slap in the face.

Have Kids Who Fight? Here's How to Keep the Peace




Picture this...

The fire is crackling, the rain is steadily tapping at the windows, and I'm folding left-over tissue paper cleaning up the remains of another holiday-palooza.

The children are joyfully singing and tattooing each other with facepaint and glitter.
 
There is no stress, no battling, no blaming or feeling like the kids run the house. Even the dog is quiet.
 
Isn't this what we all want? 

The simplicity of peace and enjoying the time together. I was full and content. My whole face was lit up and I could feel my heart swell with gratitude.
 
Why can't it always be like this?

Why Time-Out Is A Good Idea




"Mom! Stop, listen!"

"I am listening."

"You don't even know what I'm talking about. You're so annoying!"

Suddenly, the wind had changed, warning sirens were ringing through the air, and an unpredictable twister was headed straight in our direction, determined to steal our sunny morning.

Why Nagging Never Works and What Really Creates Responsible Behavior



"Daddy doesn't NEED me to get my shoes on. He WANTS me to get my shoes on!" my nine-year-old cried from behind the bathroom door.

Oh, how right she was! 


The One Consequence That Matters Most to Your Child




When we become frustrated, anxious or stressed, we can easily lose control of our words and actions. Insults fly, blame bursts forth, and anger takes the wheel - driving the disconnection that weakens our relational bonds.

When we are flooded with emotion, we need less judgment from others about our behavior and more comfort and compassion in understanding what is happening to us. 


Sometimes, parents unconsciously withdraw affection or attention in an attempt to remain firm and enforce boundaries. 

However, children need us to be their guiding light, not their "consequence."

Kids Don't Listen? Change the Way You Speak



"How do I get my kids to listen" and "Will you give me the concrete tools I need to make it happen?"

Definitely, the top questions that parents want to know.


"What do I do to get her to pick up her clothes, finish her lunch, turn off the iPad etc.?"

I ask myself these questions all the time.

Parenting With Presence, A Conversation w/ Susan Stiffelman




What does parenting with presence mean to you?

For me, it means being mindfully aware and alert to my internal state and my outer experience. 


It means not checking out or shutting down when I become frustrated by my daughter's discontent, but to take steps to contain my emotional upset.

Helping Anxious Children Manage Scary Thoughts





“My 7-year-old daughter has told me before, "I'm thinking of a bad word, but I know I shouldn't say it." I would respond with, "Well, don't say it." But, last night she wrote to me how she had a "bad head" because she had a "bad thought." Can it be due to her moderate anxiety and her OCD tendencies? How can I help her when she says stuff like that?” - G

When our emotions hijack our sense of security, we can quickly drop into rigid, obsessive, and even unreasonable thoughts and behaviors.  

How can we respond to our children's scary thoughts and help them to reflect and release any unhealthy thoughts or worrying emotions so they don't internalize the negativity?

Helping Kids Heal from Traumatic Events




What helps kids recover from traumatic events? How can we help them move beyond scary experiences?


"I have a 5-year-old son who has become more and more clingy over the past year. He doesn't like to do anything without me and when I go away he becomes really upset. A few weeks ago he got lost on some trails near our house. He was alone for over an hour on the trails, cold, wet, and expecting me to show up any minute. I was the one who found him eventually and we were both pretty scared. Since then, anytime I go mountain biking, he becomes really upset and angry. Tonight he sat on the front step and wouldn't budge until I came home. He yells all kinds of mean things at his Dad and says he doesn't know how to take care of him. I've tried talking to my son about it, but I don't know if he really even understands why he's feeling what he's feeling, so how can he express it to me?" - B.

This is a great question! Children can easily be traumatized by events that adults perceive as temporary or non-threatening. 

Obviously, this experience of being lost was terrifying for you both, but for your son - it was the last straw.  

How Not to Raise an Asshole (By Not Being One)



I see and hear a lot of banter on the internet begging instructing parents on "how not to raise an asshole. 

It appears there's a lot of sanctimonious judgment of children (and parents) floating around in cyberspace these days, but what I don't see is anyone writing articles for parents on how to not BE an asshole (hence not raise one)

So, I thought I'd jot down a couple of quick tips.  

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