The Witching Hour

What is it about the hours surrounding dinnertime that turns ordinarily well-behaved children into little monsters? I don’t have an answer to that question, but I can help a dad who needs guidance on making that time more pleasant for everyone. There are things you can do that will bring down the crankiness and turn what I call “the witching...[ read more ]

Teaching Modesty To Girls and Boys

All too often, we ignore the question of modesty until the child hits puberty and then we scramble to cram in years of training into a few short months. This mom asks how much should she talk about this topic with a curious six-year-old. Start by discussing your family values, not as lectures (because who wants to be lectured!) but...[ read more ]

Getting Concrete on Creative Consequences

The usual consequences don’t seem to be working for three rambunctious boys. This dad asks for suggestions on how to make consequences memorable enough for their three young boys, especially when those boys share a room. Q: We have successfully used tickets with our oldest two (now delightful and responsible older teens). We have three younger children—all rambunctious and high-strung...[ read more ]

A Hasty Word

Every parent has had at least one moment when frustration over a child’s misbehavior or inaction triggers an over-the-top consequence, like “you’re grounded until you turn 18” spoken to a five-year-old. I give this mom pointers on how to backtrack from such a consequence, plus a game plan for moving forward. Q: My 7-year-old daughter has a perfect word that...[ read more ]

Chore In-completion

Having a child not follow through on a task can be very frustrating for both parent and child. We find ourselves devolving into a nagging beast, always on the child or teen’s case to get the job done, and our kid feels like all we ever do is complain about what he has or hasn’t done. This mom wants to...[ read more ]

Breathing Room

Ever notice that being trapped inside for several days because of weather or sickness can unleash the worst behavior from our children? While family members who play together do indeed develop a deeper relationship with each other, too much togetherness can breed undesirable behaviors. In this week's video, I give tips for how to provide siblings with much needed respite...[ read more ]

9 Ways to Raise a Reader

If you haven’t heard, Amazon recently released Kindle Kids, just in time for the holidays. Why the regular Kindle wasn’t good enough for kids, I haven’t a clue, but the online retailer touted Kindle Kids as “the first-ever dedicated reading experience built just for kids.” Which made me laugh, because I had an entire shelf of “dedicated reading experiences built...[ read more ]

Engineering One-on-One Time

When other parents learn we have four kids, their first response is usually along the lines of “How do you juggle all those kids?” That question is generally followed by another: “How do you find time for you kids?” We have deliberately scheduled individual time with each of our kids on a regular basis in order to keep our connection...[ read more ]

Lunch Time Drama

Eating lunch at school can create all sorts of problems, including a child who doesn’t “like” her lunch. Well-meaning teachers sometimes acerbate the problem by paying more attention to the child. This mom asks how she can help her daughter eat her packed lunch without the teacher’s “help.” Q: For the past few weeks, my daughter’s teacher informs me that...[ read more ]

Because I Said So

Are you comfortable saying these four words “Because I said so” to your child? Most parent feel this phrase can damage a child’s self-esteem, but in reality, “Because I said so” is just another way of telling a child to trust you. In this week’s video, I give parents four reasons to reply to their child’s question with “Because I...[ read more ]

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