Healthy vs Unhealthy Parental Involvement

Does it ever seem like we live in a world of extremes? Sometimes educators comment, “The parents of some of our students spend absolutely no time involved in their children’s educations. The end result is predictable: Their kids rarely achieve up to their potential.”

Other times teachers say, “Some of our parents are so overinvolved in their children’s homework, school assignments, and grades that their kids can’t seem to function without someone doing most of the work for them.”

Considering these extremes, perhaps it makes sense to compare and contrast healthy versus unhealthy parental involvement, understanding that the healthy variety is essential for high achievement.

Healthy parental involvement means being aware of your kids’ assignments, asking questions about these assignments, and offering assistance if they ask. It means giving ideas and allowing them to do the lion’s share of the work.

Unhealthy parental involvement means constantly reminding and rescuing, essentially taking more responsibility for their work than they do.

Continue reading Healthy vs Unhealthy Parental Involvement

Hyper and Annoying: When Your Good Kids Act “That Way”

Is it true that some kids have neurological conditions that make it far more difficult for them to remain calm and self-controlled? You bet.

Is it also true that there are many things within our control…with all types of children…that can up the odds that they will behave in ways that avoid their placement on our last nerve?

Are you a parent who errs on the side of assuming that your child can’t help being out of control? Or are you one who assumes that with the right type of love, limits, structure, training, and expectations, they can usually remain fun to be around?

Listed below is a laundry list of some old-fashioned yet powerful strategies: Continue reading Hyper and Annoying: When Your Good Kids Act “That Way”

The Power of What Kids Overhear

Have you ever noticed how kids’ ears tend to shrink when we try to tell them something really important? Have you also noticed how these very same ears swell when we are trying to have a private conversation with another adult?

It’s a basic fact of human nature. People just have the hardest time ignoring conversations that are happening around them. We can take advantage of this fascinating phenomenon by talking about the key things we want our kids to learn…just within their hearing distance. Continue reading The Power of What Kids Overhear

Avoid “If-Thens” with Strong-Willed Kids

It seems that just about every family has at least one child who spends most of his time trying to figure out what others want…so that he can do exactly the opposite.

Frustrated by their testy behavior, it’s pretty easy to fall into less than effective parenting practices. I hear some of these at the grocery store:

If you’re really good, then I’ll buy you a candy bar.

If you don’t stop that, then you’re going right to your room when we get home!

When parents are unsuccessful with strong-willed kids it’s frequently because they’ve issued an “if-then.” When their spirited kids hear this, they think, “Now the fight’s on! I’ll show them!” Continue reading Avoid “If-Thens” with Strong-Willed Kids

Don’t Cross the Line

Tony’s mom has had it. She’s tired of waiting for him to empty the dishwasher.

“I’m tired of this,” she yells. “Get in there and take care of your job, and do it this minute! And I mean it this time!”

In Tony’s mind she has crossed the line between him feeling some control over the situation to him having no control. Typical kids, at this point, will try to regain control, and when they do, it’s not a pretty situation.

“Yeah, you can forget it,” he screams. “You can’t tell me what to do. I’m not your slave!”

Here Mom used fighting words as she tried to take total control. Tony retaliated by escalating the fight. Continue reading Don’t Cross the Line

What Will She Become?

What Will She Become?

I bet you can predict what kind of parent this little girl will become. John Major sends this wonderful example.

Little Grace was feeling quite grown up while experiencing the wonderful feelings of being an important, contributing member of the family. She was responsible for setting the dinner table. Continue reading What Will She Become?

The Power of a Quiet Voice


When your kids act up, does your voice get louder or quieter? When I’m having a good day – and I’m practicing what I preach – my voice gets softer. From years of observing successful parents and educators, I learned the value of leaning close to a child’s ear and whispering a question:
Are you going to settle down, or do you need to spend some time in your room?
Can you use a quiet voice in here or would it be best for you eat outside so you can yell?
Do you think you can play with that nicely, instead of hitting your brother with it?

Continue reading The Power of a Quiet Voice

Are You Talking Too Much

By Dr. Charles Fay

The other day I caught myself giving a lengthy speech about the importance of kids doing their chores and respecting their parents. Unfortunately, the speech was not to a group of people at a Love and Logic event. It was to my seven-year-old son in response to his eye-rolling and huffing about having to clean up after the dog.

I used to be a parenting expert. That is…until I had kids.

Continue reading Are You Talking Too Much

When Kids Argue with Each Other

By Jedd Hafer

It came from the backseat. It crept up while we were on the phone. It wasn’t a monster, but something much more menacing – kids arguing.

Have you noticed that kids pick the worst times to start bickering? Few things can be as annoying or draining for parents. What options do we have when kids argue with each other? How about:

  • Whether we are physically present to hear it or not?
  • How much we charge to listen to it?
  • How we react?
  • What we model?

Continue reading When Kids Argue with Each Other

Just One Gift, Please

By Jim Fay

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! With Christmas just a few weeks away, you may be having conversations like this with your kids:

“What do you guys want for Christmas this year?” Twelve-year-old Josh was quick to answer with a long list of the latest video games and electronic gadgets. Fourteen-year-old Jennifer answered. “Oh, I’m not as greedy as he is. I’m only asking for one thing this year.”

Astonished, their parents looked at each other, each thinking how much their daughter had matured this year. “What is that, sweetie?”

“A credit card. All my friends have them now.” Continue reading Just One Gift, Please