Category Archives: Mistakes yours and theirs

Resiliency Lessons from the Minivan

I started to write about helping our kids to develop resiliency last night, thinking that I would have the perfect words to describe to other parents how to go about doing this. Now I am starting over. Because something came clear to me today… It’s not about them. It’s about us. Continue reading

Posted in Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self regulation | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Date Night Gone Right

This special time business is as much for us as it is for them. It allows parenting to be joyful and loving, provides space for us all to be our best. Jane Nelsen, author of Positive Discipline says, “Children do better when they feel better.” I think this goes for grown ups too – we all do better when we feel better. Continue reading

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Growing (Our) Character: Using the Practice of Gratitude, Centering and Forgiveness

The most challenging parenting moments for me are keeping my own emotional triggers in check when I am confronted with conflict involving my kids. Before I even realize I am acting from a place of emotion I am acting like the mother I so desperately do not want to be. I feel hot and tingly all over my body and, well, out of control. Guess what follows these mommy meltdowns? Shame. Shame that I can’t hold it together, that I am treating a person I love more than life itself in a way that makes them feel bad. Shame that I work to teach parents the principles of Positive Discipline and that I have failed, yet again, to embody those principles. Ick! Continue reading

Posted in Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Mistakes yours and theirs, Mutual Respect, Self-care | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ghosts in our Closets

As we enter the time of year when the days get shorter and nights get longer one of the traditions that many of us share in the United States is Halloween. Ghosts, goblins, witches (and now zombies) are part of the ambience and excitement of the tradition. This is the night when goblins roam the streets, we go out to look for scary things and explore “haunted” places as part of the ritual. We dress up, look fearful things in the eye and make it fun. (Yes, candy is part of the routine too.)

The following day we figure out how to deal with children who’ve over indulged on sweet things and put the costumes, the pumpkins, witches and ghosts back in the closet. At least the ones we can see. Many of us however have closets that are pretty full with different kinds of ghosts. We are haunted – not just on Halloween by challenging experiences from our own childhood. Continue reading

Posted in Feelings and emotions, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self-care, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Creating Protection from Shame

It turns out that how you interpret the mistakes you make is a very big deal. When we make a mistake and see it as that, just a mistake, we may feel guilt – but mostly we can talk about it and fix that mistake. On the other hand, if we have an inner voice that implies that we are the mistake, that somehow we are defective or bad (I’m so stupid, I’m a bad kid/parent, I can never get it right, etc.) we feel a sense of shame: that almost unspeakable icky sticky feeling. Continue reading

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Parents: Trapped by Our Fears

The real question for all of us is: What invites us to respond in drastic ways to our childrens’ misbehavior and mistakes? My hunch is that is fear. Many of the parents I work with are afraid when their children lie, steal, are mean to their siblings, swear, wear sexually provocative clothing, investigate pornography online, start cutting, text or sext at all hours of day or night, smoke pot…etc. Continue reading

Posted in Feelings and emotions, Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self-care, Setting limits | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

What Kind of Bystander are You?

Imagine that your daughter and her friends are sitting hanging out in the family room – talking and texting and you hear, “Oh that is so gay!” Do you feel uncomfortable but remain silent because you don’t want to embarrass your daughter? Do you wait and talk about it in private afterwards? What do you do when you hear Uncle Alfred make a derogatory comment about women or children or people of a different race or sexual orientation? Do you just say to yourself or your children, “That’s Alfred, he is a little off color?”
What do you think that is teaching our children about how to be an effective bystander?
What could do you do instead? Continue reading

Posted in Conflict, Mistakes yours and theirs, Setting limits, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Making Amends

We can remember that being sorry is a feeling. Asking children to say, “I’m sorry” while they are still upset or feeling hurt themselves gives a confusing message to both parties. And yet… it is important to teach our children to make amends. What do we do? Continue reading

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Why are girls so mean to each other? What can I do to help?

Nearly every girl is affected by girl bullying also known as relational aggression either by providing the hurt, receiving the hurt or watching it happen to others. Relational aggression has been a part of our girls’ world for a long time. It often happens between friends and can result in long-term, devastating hurt for those involved. As parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and caregivers, we can support the girls we love through these heartbreaking times. Continue reading

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Time-in for Children: Re-gathering Response-ability

Children (and all of us) do better when they feel better. Our culture tends to want to “teach” children who are misbehaving by having them feel worse “so they’ll learn not to do it again.” We forget that if the child had felt included, important, or weren’t so tired or hungry she likely would have handled the situation well to begin with. Instead of teaching by hurting the goal of a time-in is to help our child learn how to regain their “better” sense of self so that she can come back to the situation and meet the challenge. With practice, children get better at “re-gathering” by themselves. Remember, this kind of “feeling better” is not happiness – it is a sense of being able to respond (be response-able) from a centered place. Continue reading

Posted in Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self regulation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment