Enhancing children's lives through parent and teacher education.

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At a seminar I gave, I spoke about the necessity of transmitting our values to our children, not only with words, but with actions. I talked about the need for children to have limits and for parents to remain firm in their convictions when they made decisions, especially decisions that are based on values. A woman raised her hand and said "But how do we do that? My nine year old daughter wanted to see "Titanic". I saw it: it had nudity, it was a love story and a tragedy, and I felt strongly that it was inappropriate for her. But all her friends saw it, and she...

Depending upon whether your child is entering preschool, on-going (elementary) school, middle school, high school or even college next year, this is the time of "acceptances" and "rejections." You may have already heard whether your child was accepted into a particular school, or you may still be waiting to hear. It is a time of anxiety and dread, of agony and ecstasy. And your child stands to be caught in the middle of a very adult phenomenon and to be burdened by it and suffer unduly because of it.

There are two times of the year when my office is...

There isn't a parent in the world who hasn't, at one time or another, found themselves locked in mortal combat with a child, struggling for power. From the minute a child can pronounce the word "no" straight through and including adulthood, parents find the notion of power -- what kind, how much, and when to give it -- a frustrating and sometimes overwhelming challenge.

When our children are infants power is not an issue. For one thing, they can't talk back, for another they are so small that we easily dominate them. We,...

My daughter came home from Kindergarten the other day, slicing the air with her palms, kicking the air and yelling "HIIIIIIIIIII-YAH!" Turning to me, she smiled and said with a gleam in her eye, "I'm going to 'Karate' the table, Mom." As I have never introduced her to the idea of "Karate-ing" anything, it was clear that peer influence had begun.

For most of us, friendships are reciprocal. We influence and are influenced by friends. Our children are no different. As they make friends at school, their behavior is influenced by these friends. This is to...

Many parents express intense concern over the way their children treat and are treated by friends. From "my child's so bossy, I'm worried that she'll never have any friends," to "my child doesn't stand up for himself, he always does what his friends want," and including "my child came home crying because his friends wouldn't let him join the soccer game," children's social lives, the form that they take, and the way in which they develop worry and distress parents.

"Kids are so cruel, won't that affect my child's self-esteem?" "My daughter was treated...

"I took my daughter to school for her first day. We got to the schoolyard, and her class isn't very big, and the girls were all huddled together, chatting. My daughter walked up to greet them, and they were so mean to her. Catty and cruel - you know how girls can be. I was furious. My daughter came home crying that day, and I just don't know how to help her."

"I watched my son in the schoolyard and it was so clear that he was having difficulty breaking into a group. Several boys were playing basketball, some others were looking through their Pokemon...

"I just don't understand it," one Mom complained. "He was so awful all weekend, and I was so patient. I must have bitten my tongue a thousand times, and he just kept at me. Finally, I just couldn't take it anymore and I lost it. I felt completely unappreciated."

The most common definition of "patient" in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, reads: "to bear pains or trials calmly or without complaint." But if we bear our children's misbehavior without complaint, what are we teaching our children? In the long run, how effective is our patience? And what...

"My daughter's teacher asked me to look over her homework on a nightly basis. Apparently, she's been handing in sloppy work that sometimes isn't complete. But now all we do is fight over the homework. It's just not working, and I don't know what to do!"

"My son's teacher told me he's been playing rough on the playground. She asked me to speak to him, but I'm not sure what good that's going to do."

When teachers ask parents to get involved in the issues that come up for kids in school, it often creates more problems than it solves. Children...

In Parts I and II we've been talking about children who have trouble staying in bed. We discussed setting up a consistent bedtime routine, eliminating sugar, caffeine and television, and defined an effective disciplinary technique for the challenging child. In this article, we're going to discuss children who express fear at bedtime.

By about age fourteen months, many children develop nighttime fears. According to Frank and Theresa Caplan, in their book "The Second Twelve Months of Life", this occurs because children at this age become capable of playing imaginatively....

Although the idea of having different rules in your household for your children who are different ages might seem self-evident, the actual implementation of those rules can be troublesome. Any parent who has tried, for example, to institute an earlier bedtime for their 6 year old when they have an 8 year old who stays up later will have heard the popular refrain "It's not fair!" more than once. In fact, the uprising that can occur when younger ones rebel often causes parents to crumble, allowing their younger children to have more flexible, lax or lenient rules...

"We took our cat to the vet for a check-up. Everything was fine, but when we brought him home and opened the travel box that he was in, he was dead. What do I tell my daughter? It was her cat."

"I know it may sound ridiculous, but my son won a fish at a street fair, and three days later it died. He absolutely fell apart. About a fish! I don't know what to say to him."

"My husband died last night. How do I tell our son?"

When a child experiences the death of a person or of a beloved

"I nag and I nag and I nag. He just doesn't listen. For example, I tell him to turn off the TV, it's time to do his homework. No response. So I say it again. He still doesn't respond. Sometimes I repeat myself a half a dozen times. Finally, I stand in front of the TV and scream at him and he looks up and says `huh?' And you know what really gets me? Then he's annoyed because I interrupted his program and yelled at him."

Sound familiar? There are few things more annoying to parents than when a child doesn't listen. We begin by asking nicely. It's...

In today's society, and at younger and younger ages, people are increasingly horrified by the rude attitude and foul language used by young people of all ages. From the five year old who defiantly puts her hands on her hips, lifts one eyebrow and declares to her mother "You're stupid, and I don't have to do what you say" to the four letter words that erupt from the mouths of teenagers, lack of respect for one's elders appears to be increasingly prevalent. How then do we engage (or even demand) the respect of our children? And how do we encourage them to show...

A woman with a five year old asked me if it was normal that her son was expressing a desire to run away from home, telling her "I hate you" and screaming that she didn't understand him when he felt angry. She said that she wasn't expecting that type of behavior until he was a teenager.

More and more often now I'm being asked the question "is it normal for a young child to be so rude, to want to run away, to have such an `attitude'?" Unfortunately the answer is not altogether clear cut. On the one hand, children of all ages speak in a kind of code....

"I have a problem with one of my son's friends. He has absolutely no respect for the "house rules" when he comes over to play. After every playdate, the place is a wreck, with toys all over the place. He never picks up after himself, and my son ends up completely overwhelmed with the clean-up afterwards."

"My daughter has a friend that I like, but sometimes she does sneaky things when she comes over for a playdate. For example, she'll take one of my daughter's toys and hide it, then say `innocently' that she has no idea where it is and even pretends to...

How can I get my two year old to cooperate in the morning? Does this differ for a 7 year old?

Most parents approach morning chaos with the thought "How can I make this easier for me?" I've found, however, that it's often more effective to ask "How can I make this easier for my child?"

Mornings can be difficult for adults and children alike. Children often feel confused and frustrated by having to adhere to a time schedule that they don't understand or value. Because their priorities are different from those of an adult, it's difficult for...

If you've been reading in these articles you have beguan to come up with ways to make yourself a more effective parent. Perhaps you've used some of the tools with success, and if so, congratulations. It's also possible that some of the tools have been difficult to implement...maybe you've read them, thought they'd be helpful, but in your rush to get the kids off to school that morning, you threw the paper out. Or maybe you just felt too tired and irritable that day to try something new, and yelling was easier and at least seemed to work -- after all the kids did...

When it comes to our children, every parent has experienced the emotions of worry and guilt. In fact, I often tell my workshop participants that these two feelings in particular seem to go hand in hand with the title of Mom or Dad. Worry and guilt aren't necessarily negative of course. For example, maybe you have a nagging worry about your child's ongoing cough so you call the doctor one more time and discover that indeed, he has bronchitis. Or maybe you feel guilty because you blamed your daughter for something she didn't do, and your guilt causes you to...

Summer's over, it's the beginning of October, and our children are in school. Most parents have breathed a sigh of relief, and are looking towards holiday preparations. Everyone is settled into the new routine. Or are they?

"I don't understand what's wrong with my son. He's absolutely bouncing off the walls when he gets home from school. I didn't see this behavior over the summer."

"My daughter's teacher told me she hit someone in school. She's never hit anyone in her life!"

"My son is so morose and unpleasant. What's going on...

The holidays are over, and you have returned home from visiting the relatives. It's half-past nine in the evening and you've just put your daughter to bed. It's time to prop up your feet and listen to the new CD you got and relax. You close your eyes and...

"Mommy? Can I have another hug?"

You give her a hug, and send your pride and joy back to bed. You close your eyes once again and...

"Mommy? I forgot to tell you something..."

Why is it that at nine in the evening, the pitter-patter of little feet that you so yearned for before...