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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

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

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