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Joyful Musings--a weekly blog

Joyful Parenting Coaching is focused on clarity, consistency, connection, being an effective parent, finding balance as a parent, and above all being a confident and joyous parent. Topics include communication, having difficult conversations, having constructive conversations, chores, routines, family meetings,  I teach parent education and parenting classes because parenting is a skill—not something we are born knowing. Get the parenting skills you need today!

Filtering by Tag: calm

Reigning the Crazy by Limiting Your Kids' Activities

Elisabeth Stitt

In talking to parents this summer, one of the comments I have heard a lot is some theme or variation on how much better the children’s behavior is during the summer compared to the school year.  In other words, children who have enough downtime and sleep and fewer demands put on them, are more likely to cheerfully and cooperatively engage in family life.  

Children will be happier, healthier and more ready to learn with less hectic schedules and fewer demands put upon them.  READ ON for some ways to create that for your kids.

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No, Mommy! Don't go! 8 Tips for Dealing with Separation Anxiety

Elisabeth Stitt

Separation anxiety is a normal stage for kids to go through.  It starts around 6 months and usually tapers off around 2 years old.  During these months a baby is first gaining the cognitive recognition that you still exist when you are not there, which means baby can now miss you when you are not there.  The problem often intensifies because at the same time baby realizes that her primary source of food and comfort can leave her, she is also testing the ways in which she is an individual.  That's scary!  A lot of separation anxiety is about finding that fine line between growing more independent and at some level still knowing she is fully dependent on you for survival.  

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Do You Have a Case of the Middle School Mom Blues?

Elisabeth Stitt

Did you see the article in the Wall Street Journal about Middle School Moms’ Blues?  

A new study finds the stress and anxiety Middle School Moms feel is even greater than that of moms of infants!

Well, with the bulk of my teaching career spent with middle schoolers, that is no surprise to me.  In fact, I started my business, Joyful Parenting Coaching, because of a conversation I had with the mom of a 7th grader whose daughter was coming home crying every day.  This mom felt at a loss, but to me the saddest part was that she did not trust she could share what was going on with other moms in the class.  The feared being judged, looked down on or pitied kept her from reaching out.  

That broke my heart.  

But I don’t think she was alone.  The more work I’ve done out of the classroom and directly with parents, the more I see how many of them are carrying the burdens of parenting in isolation.  

I would never have survived parenting—any stage of it—if I hadn’t felt like I had trusted people around me with whom to compare notes—or to just let off steam!!  I don’t know about you, but I have certainly had days when I could have killed my child.  Or at least cheerfully sold her to the gypsies.  Of course, I never would, but it sure helped to have close and loving friends who could give me their Amen to That, Sister! rally before helping me find constructive solutions.  

The article does not really break down why Middle School Moms are so stressed.  

Here is my theory on why Middle School Moms find parenting harder than other stages: 

1.  As our children go up in grades, the ways society measures their success gets narrower and narrower.  Academic ease and performance become key.  Sports and Artistic proficiency can provide some secondary credit, but in our get-into-a-good-college-at-all-costs society, measurable numbers (grade point averages, state testing scores, SATs) hold the most weight.  Lots of parents start obsessing about those things and find it hard to stop.  

2.  As our children go up in grades, the percentage of moms who are working full time also goes up.  That means as women we spend the whole day talking business, not kids and parenting.  Last week I volunteered at the high school for a couple of hours stuffing envelopes (the beauty of working from home, being my own boss and living close to the high school).   I realized it was pretty much the same moms I had seen the two other times I have volunteered this year.  Their chatter was incessant and far ranging.  These moms knew each other well and clearly had spent a lot of hours together.  They felt perfectly comfortable airing their dirty laundry—and getting and receiving advice from each other.  

But most moms don’t have that.  Many moms drop their kids off at school in the morning and pick them up from childcare or after school activities in the evening.  Not only does that not allow that mom much time for connecting with her kids, it really doesn’t allow her much time to meet up with a girlfriend and compare notes (and I am not saying you cannot or should not be comparing notes with your spouse, but it is really useful to get the perspective of what is going on with other kids in other households).  

3.  Perhaps the most significant reason parenting a middle school child is harder than other ages and stages is that the rewards are not as great.  With an infant you are exhausted and lose sleep, but then that child smiles at you—or laughs for the first time—and in a moment you are totally in love again.  The preschooler balances tantrums with ardent declarations of “I love you, Mommy!” In lower elementary, kids become a lot less work and at the same time still look to you for you insights and views on the world in general and their own worries in particular.  But the middle school child?  Well, I don’t know how you were in middle school, but I was miserable.  I hated school, I basically had no friends, and I was an emotional wreck.  On top of all that, I was convinced my mom (who always painted a picture of her friends and fun activities in middle school) could never in a million years understand what I was going through.  8th grade was the year my grades went down, I lied, and I even cut school!  My poor mom!  

So in middle school we have all the worry, doubt and work of other stages but few opportunities to be our children’s heroes. 

Our kids may still need our advice and counsel, but they won’t admit it to save their lives.  Furthermore, they need us to step away from our god-like positions and become the wise elders who walk beside them.  One of my favorite analogies for teens is that they are on a roller coaster ride; Mom’s job is not to get on and ride with them but to stand on the platform ready to be there when they get off.

For all these reasons that make it especially challenging to parent kids in middle school, that’s why I have created the Middle School Moms’ Mastermind.  

Are you familiar with the concept of a mastermind?  I am in one for solo entrepreneur women.  We are smart, motivated and we face similar struggles.  While only our intrepid leader claims to be the expert, we still get a wealth of advice and good ideas from our fellow entrepreneurs.  We have a community of people to ask, What do you think of this idea?  Or Has anyone of you tried X before?  I love this group of brave, creative go-getters.  They are at once my role models and my friends, and when I get to share my own advice and experience, it makes me realize how far I have come as a business woman.  

We use a Private FB group as the primary means of communicating with each other (though I have also had private phone conversations from time to time with individuals who have a lot to share about a given topic). In twice monthly group coaching calls, our outstanding business coach gives us concrete advice both through direct instruction and through answer our specific questions about our specific situations.  

Imagine having that kind of support for your parenting!

That is exactly what I want for you.  The Middle School Moms’ Mastermind  will bring together a maximum of 15 moms of middle school kids.  I will moderate our private FB group where moms can post questions and observations.  Both moms and I will post relevant articles that we come across.  Moms will be free to post advice for people who ask for it as long as they do so in a way that has no shaming, blaming or judgment.  Additionally, I will lead two monthly calls (recorded so you can access them any time).  On these calls I will spend the first 15 to 20 minutes educating participants about some topic specific to early adolescents and then the rest of the call is your chance to ask me about your particular needs.  

Of course, I do not have all the answers (no one does!), but I do have three adult children and in my 25 years of teaching, I have dealt with more than 3,000 kids between the ages of 11-14.  That means I have pretty much seen it all—all kinds of kids and all kinds of families.  Working with such a large and diverse sample has taught me how many different ways there are to parent effectively.  It is incredibly useful to hear the views and insights of fellow parents.  Hearing a lot of different approaches allows you to get new perspectives and ideas for your own parenting.  

 

 

Does this sound like a group for you?  

Could you use a safe haven to share your woes, to compare notes, to get ideas on how other families handle things and to get access to my 25 years of expertise?  Let's talk.  Email me at elisabeth@stitt.com or call me at 650.248.8916 (Pacific time) to find out if the Middle School Moms’ Mastermind is the tribe you have been longing for!

Act now to reserve your spot.  

I am gathering a group of moms who are dedicated to supporting each other in being the best moms they can be.  I absolutely believe that you can love parenting your middle school child.  I know that I love helping parents find the joy in whatever age or stage their children are, and while I cannot guarantee 100% that you are going to love parenting your middle school children as much as I love teaching them, I do guarantee the fellowship of other women, lots of laughs and unstinting faith that you are the parent your child needs.  

Why don't you try a complimentary group coaching call?  Our next call is Wednesday, October 19 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  (If this time doesn't work for you, let me know what does so that I can let you know when else we are meeting).  

I can’t wait to talk to you.

Warmly,

Elisabeth

Elisabeth Stitt/ Joyful Parenting Coaching/ 650.248.8916/ www.elisabethstitt.com

4 THINGS TO SAY NO TO AND 3 THINGS TO SAY YES TO THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Elisabeth Stitt

by Elisabeth Stitt

www.elisabethstitt.com

The Christmas season is full of wonderful hope and possibility but even at its best, the holiday season demands a lot of us.  Navigating your way through so that you experience the most joy and the least strife takes some planning.  Here’s my take on what to say no to and what to say yes to so that your Christmas will be merry and bright.  

1. SAY NO TO TOO MUCH

Sure, you may have the money to get everything on your child's wish list, but will you be increasing their happiness and enjoyment of what they get? Pretty assuredly not. Getting a mountain of presents all at once makes it almost possible to process.  Kids rip into present after present with no time to appreciate what they have gotten.  Furthermore, some parents go for quantity rather than quality:  Instead of working from a thoughtful list of presents their kids have been expressing an interest in for some time, parents walk into a story, buy three or four presents and call their shopping done.  On Christmas morning those presents may just feel like a lot of extra calories--yummy at first sight but not adding any substance.  Think back to your childhood.  What are the presents that made an impact, that you really remember?  I remember the Christmas my parents made my sister and me a dollhouse.  Even though I was pretty young, I was aware of how much work they had put in to it, of how excited they were.  That was part of what made it special.  We spent many, many hours playing with that dollhouse.  Another Christmas they bought me a boom box.  It was fire engine red and oh, so cool.  I listened to the boom box every night going to bed for years.  If I got other presents that Christmas, I don't remember them and I'm sure I could have done without.  Don't measure present giving by number.  Give your kids the chance to really savor what they do get.  

2. SAY NO FOR THE SAKE OF SAYING NO

Think how many times between now and New Years you are likely to think, well, it's the holidays, so yes. And that's true. That's part of what holidays were traditionally for. People's lives were so hard that a holiday was a real bright spot. But let's face it. Our lives are not so bleak. Our level of indulgence is pretty high already. That makes it harder for the special times to stand out as especially sweet. It will help your children appreciate the "once-a-year" quality of the season if you are particularly consistent with your other no's.  Knowing that you will be going to extra parties which mean late nights and too much sugar, say no to staying up 10 minutes later on a school night or to buying their favorite kids' cereal.  In fact, you might even lean the other direction:  Start bedtime ten minutes earlier and provide extra servings of spinach and broccoli.  Find times when you say no for no other reason than giving your child the chance to fight you.  Holidays are stressful.  All the events get kids off their sleep and eating schedules.  That builds up stress in kids' bodies.  By saying no to one more story or to cookies for after school snack, that may push your child over the emotional edge.  Hold your limit and allow the tantrum to come:  That will give your kid the chance to blow off steam in a big way. It will be hard to stay with her during the tantrum, but she will be much more pleasant and cooperative when you go the the Christmas party Friday night.   

3.  SAY NO TO "SHOULD" 

Christmas is very often a long list of things you have to do. It is not that some of the things on the list aren't very nice, but there is so much stress around them that they aren't fun anymore. Believe me. There is very little that MUST be done for Christmas to happen, and the cost of experiencing the season as a SHOULD is very high. So, what's the solution? You've guessed it. Go stand in the Land of Want to, the Land of Get to and consider which part of the Christmas season matters most to you. You can't do it all. No way. So there is no use just transferring your "should" list to your "get to" list. Really narrow it down. You should go to your neighbor's party, but do you want to?  You should make Christmas cookies for the cookie exchange, but do you want to?  You should go see the Nutcracker.  It's a tradition and the kids love it!  All these things sound nice, but to what on the list are you saying, "I can't wait!" Take that "I Can't Wait" item, and put it in your I want to list.  Now plan for it. Make space for it. Make sure you are really going to enjoy it by anticipating what is going to pull you off course--traffic? no parking? your partner's cooperation?--and see what you can do to plan for it and smooth the way.

4.  SAY NO TO CHRISTMAS FALLING ON MOM'S SHOULDERS ENTIRELY

I have had many conversations with women over the last month about the burden of Christmas. But how much of the burden is our own fault? When as parents we set out to create this magical time, then that is what it feels like to our children (and sometimes our spouses)--magic! But it is not magic. It's a lot of work!  And what is the point if it makes us witchier and witchier? However, now that the pattern has been set, if you have taken on too much for Christmas, it may fall to you to retrain your family. How about a family meeting tonight? First step, go back to sorting your list into HAVE TO and GET TO. Remember, Christmas will come and go whether you do anything or not: There really are few have to's here. So talk as a family as to what is the essence of Christmas for your family. What do people value the most? How do you create that? And what part will EVERY person in the house contribute? Even a toddler can be given a helper job. If saying, "No," seems too harsh to you, think less.  Think this year we are going to decorate less:  We are going to just have a wreath on the door and say no to garlands of evergreens on the stairs.  We are going to decorate the tree with two boxes of ornaments not four.  We are going to make one kind of cookie, not three.  

1.  SAY YES TO ENGAGING KIDS IN THE PLANNING

 Good for you.  You have clarified what is on your "should" list and your "I can't wait" list.  Now it is time to do the same exercise with your kids. Ask each child to write down the five activities/events that are important to him.  Work with your child to make sure there are five ideas that are actually doable.  Now promise to make at least ONE happen. By asking for five and only promising one, you make that event extra special. If you are lucky, there will be overlap among the kids--and maybe even with your list.  Family Want-to's! Imagine how much happier the kids will be feeling it is their special request being honored!  If you have a lot of children, you may have to put tighter parameters around the requests they can make.  Perhaps each child gets to request a favorite meal sometime during the season.  Maybe Grandma is insisting on ham for Christmas dinner and your oldest really wants you to make your famous beef stew.  Good to know that you can honor the meal choice if not the day.  For group activities that are going to pull at the family budget, you can work together to choose one.  List out all the family events your kids want to do:  going to a holiday show, going ice skating, getting your picture taken with Santa, etc.  Have each child rank their lists from most desired to least desired.  Look at the lists to see if there is a pattern:  Can you give everyone her top first or second choice?  This process may take a couple of sessions, but imagine at the end of it that every family member has felt heard.  You have asked, "What is important about that to you?  Why is that your favorite?  Why else?"  Really take the time to listen to their thinking.  You might be able to get some of the needs met in other ways.  

2.  SAY YES TO GETTING A BABYSITTER OR EXTRA CLEANING HELP

Yes, of course you need a babysitter for the company holiday party. Lining that up is on your to do list. But what about just those extra date nights that are going to help you get through the holidays? Tell the kids you are holiday shopping and then skeedaddle out of there for a couple of hours in a coffee shop or an extended dinner. If you can't get your shopping done on line, at least make life easier by getting a sitter for a weekday night early in the season when the mall won't be such a zoo. Is a babysitter too expensive? Offer to take another family's kids for the evening if they will take yours another night. If you are NOT the parent who usually arranges babysitting, lining a babysitter up may be the most enormous, appreciated gift you can give.  Perhaps your family would most benefit from spending money on extra cleaning.  Does it stress you out that your in-laws are coming and you want the house beautifully clean for them?  I would certainly give up a package under the tree for that kind of peace of mind.  Your children will benefit from you being less stressed.  Given the choice between more presents and parents who are hanging by a thread, most kids will choose to parents who are in a good mood, ready to be loving and present.  

3.  SAY YES TO YOU   

Underneath all the things you are and will do this season--underneath all the love you give and help you offer and empathy you share, underneath all the thankless and Herculean feats you pull off every single day of every year for the family that you love so dearly — underneath it all, there’s a YOU.  And YOU matter. You matter so much that your whole family couldn’t be and do what it wants and needs to do without you. You matter so much that your kids couldn’t survive or succeed or live happy lives making the world a better place if you didn’t do what you do. You even matter so much that people like me dedicate our lives to support you. And you do so much for others, for your family, that it matters how well you take care of YOU, too. So, say yes to self care.  Say yes to enough sleep, to eating healthy food, to putting your feet up for ten minutes in the middle of the week.  If you apply regular self care, you will have the energy and good will that will make the rest of the season fun.  

4.  SAY YES TO AWE

These days--whether Christians or not--most Americans participate in aspects of the Holiday season.  If yours is not a family that worships regularly, you might have to work extra hard to find meaning in all the frenzied activity.  Don't worry about the specifics of the spirituality but do look for the sense of awe.  Look for beauty--in decorations, in colored lights, in the nighttime sky, in a candle flickering in the window.  Look for examples of people's kindness. Maybe people only do things in the spirit of Christmas when they should be helping year round, but I'm just glad that they are reaching out for whatever reason.  Over my years in the classroom, I have seen students touched by the season who are really moved by being ask to reach outside themselves and their own pleasure.  I think they are looking for that awe, the respect you feel when you are aware of how strong people have to be--of their challenges and burdens, of the stunning examples of how they push on despite life being hard.  Hearing those stories has a profound effect on me and my students, causing us to focus on being grateful for each other and for all we have.  Finding moments to let that awe fill you is the best thing of all to say yes to.  

I sincerely hope you consider this list and look for ways to make this season merry and bright.  

Here's to you and yours!

Elisabeth

As always, if you are feeling overwhelmed, that is a time to engage with a coach.  I love working with my clients on becoming clear, confident, focused and sane--especially in this most wonderful--but let's face it--most crazy time of year.  Sign up today for your complimentary session HERE.  

www.elisabethstitt.com  •  Joyful Parenting Coaching  • 650.248.8916

5 Tips for Being the Parent You Want to Be

Elisabeth Stitt

   Let's face it.  In the old battle between Quality Time vs. Quantity Time, ask any kid and he will say that he wants both.   But where does that leave us today?  More families than ever have two parents being paid for work that takes them away from the family resulting in outsiders spending as many or more hours with the child than the parent.  How is a parent to be the parent he wants to be in this situation?  There is no easy answer, but there are some parenting choices that can help:

•Take the time to be on the same parenting page as your partner. 

When families are stressed and there is very little flexibility, it is more important than ever that parents have taken the time to articulate their key values and priorities.  Clearly, with less available time, something is going to have to be left out.  It will help if parents are at least confident that they are fostering the lessons they think are most essential.  Taking the time to agree on policy ahead of time means you will provide a united parenting front. 

(Need help coming to agreement peacefully?  Get the recording of my FREE webinar on Constructive Couples Communication using the form on my homepage.)

   •Let clear routines move your time together along smoothly.  

Parents who feel they are not getting enough time with their kids are sometimes over indulgent to make up for it.  As a short cut to establishing closeness, they let the child make all the decisions about what the family is going to eat, watch, when they'll go to bed, etc.  That might buy short-term good will, but it never works in the long run.  Inevitably parents' patience runs out and there are meltdowns when the parents now tries to insist the child go a certain direction.  With clear routines--including routines for fun-, silly- and down-time--children know what to expect.  They don't get to the edge of feeling out of control and they don't feel the need to fight their parent.  Life unfolds in a regular rhythm.

 •Be deliberate in creating traditions or habits that will bring you together as a family. 

I know a family with four boys that has a routine before they go out the door.  Mom or Dad stands at the door and does roll call!  Each boy shouts HERE energetically.  Then the parent goes down the list of what is needed for that outing (Gone potty? homework? lunch?) and after each inquiry each boy replies in best military fashion CHECK!  I have seen this routine in action, and the boys love it.  It makes them feel like a troupe ready to go on a mission all without feeling nagged and without the drama of showing up at MORE  without your homework, your lunch, etc.

  •Figure out what are the key pieces you need in your day/week to keep your sanity.

I used to race from my classroom at my school my daughter's after school care. I was going on the theory that it was better to have me nearby--say, while correcting papers at the kitchen table--than it was to give her my undivided attention.  This didn't work.  I was harried and distracted when I first got to her and once we got home that stack of papers was always pulling me away from her.  She finally had the wisdom to tell me to do my correcting at school and then LEAVE the papers there.  When I went to pick her up--even if it was a couple hours later than I would have--I was 100% hers.

 •Be willing to reevaluate your work/life balance every six months or so.  

Here's my final tip.    Most children would be happy with you standing at the ready 24/7:  Most jobs could easily fill our every waking moment.  Therefore, balance is something we reach for:  It is not something we get and then keep with no attention to it. The key is to remain open to change.  The sitter who was right for your infant, might not have the energy to keep up with your toddler.  You might chosse to work fewer hours for a while so that you can join the co-op preschool down the street.  Maybe you have been a stay-at-home parent and that has felt pretty good, but over time your longing for meaningful work in your field is making you short tempered and impatient.  In that case, it might be healthier for your children to see less of you but to have a thriving, full-filled parent when you get home.  Only you can know what is best for you and your family.  There is no magic formula other than to keep checking in with yourself and what is really most important to you.  Working with a coach will help get you that clarity.  Click HERE to start that conversation with a free 20 minute consult. 

I Have a Parenting Bias

Elisabeth Stitt

Connection, Connection, Connection   
 

In being close and present for their children, parents need to do what works for them.  They need to find that balance between being parents and being themselves.  That being said, your child is only an infant once and only a toddler for a year or so.  This is not time you can ever get back if you decide later that you wished you had been more present.  So that's my bias.  Spend as much time as you can in the early years.  No one is more important to your child than you are. I don't mean that your child is not going to thrive if she doesn't get your undivided attention, but who better than you to provide her the emotional security she needs to risk exploring the world?
                                
We are social creatures.  That means right from the get go our babies are looking to connect with us, to communicate with us.  When we slow down and take the time to just be with our babies, we naturally fall into the attentive give and take on which infants thrive.  They look to us to provide emotional reassurance and to provide the vocabulary which helps them organize and make sense of experiences.  As babies begin to toddle, they move away from us, but we are still the home base they look back to.  (more)  Our calm, open, enthusiastic presence is what allows them to explore.  As they move into the preschool years--even as they are making friends and spending time with teachers and peers--it is the routines and traditions of home that keep them grounded. 

I firmly believe in families deliberately creating time and space in the day for ritualized connection.  There are as many ways to do that as there are families.  One family I know of has snuggle time in Mom and Dad's bed for 5 minutes every day.  Another family I know of shares "one good thing" as each family member lights a candle at the dinner table.  Many parents put love notes in their children's lunches to connect them even when they are physically apart.  When I was a child, I went most Saturday mornings with my dad to his office. I would play office worker for a few hours and on the way home we would stop and get donuts for the rest of the family.  Other families have weekly "dates" after school or practice.
        
             
I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  Connecting to your children is the closest thing to a silver bullet parenting has for creating a peaceful, harmonious home.  Whatever time and effort it takes to attend to the relationships in the family first and foremost are worth it. 

I can't wait to hear:  What are the things you do in your family to stay close and connected?

Special Time: The Silver Bullet to Getting to Connection

Elisabeth Stitt

 

Okay, by now you have the message:  Connection is key.  But how do you get there?  

I have a parenting technique from Hand in Hand Parenting in Palo Alto, Ca that goes a long way to helping our kids keep their equilibrium (truly, the silver bullet!): Special Time!

Special Time formalizes an opportunity to connect to your kids. Of course, we all look for chances to have special, warm times with our kids—snuggling at bedtime or a Saturday morning walk to pick up bagels—but YOU probably decide when, if and how those events are going to happen.  What Special Time (capitals intended) provides is a period of time where the child is completely in control of the play or activity.  

The trick with Special Time is that in order to keep it special, the time is limited.  This helps both the parent and the child.  It helps the parent because it is really hard to step into the world of the child 100% where it is his rules that matter, not yours.  [Just to be clear, before special time starts, you can say which--if any--of the house rules can be waived.  For example, you might decide that just for special time you are going to permit jumping on the bed.]  However, we can do almost anything for 15 minutes at a stretch.  The child needs the limit because whereas it feels good to have complete power as a treat, when kids have the power all the time, it actually makes them feel very insecure.  

One of my clients, Maggie, found herself rolling around on the floor the victim of attack by pirates and then moments later she was cast as the bad guy forced to succumb to her son Matty’s heroic subjugations.  Another day she had to be the poor helpless, frightened victim her four year old bravely protected.  With more and more special time, Matty has grown in stature.  Getting to be powerful (whether good or evil), he works out the petty hurts and confusions of his day.

With her two year old, Maggie has to build impossibly high towers only to find out that no tower she builds is good enough (though her daughter Katy is happy to show her how it is REALLY done).  At first it was hard for Maggie to over and over let her children dictate the script and the activity, but she has found that by going along with it (and biting her your tongue when she has the need to control things), her children are more grounded and ready to go with the flow.

Some parents fear that if you give over control for Special Time, you will lose all your control with your kids. I like to think of it as the equivalent of Mother’s Day.  Do you think that because you spend a day catering to your wife’s every need and desire that she will expect that every day? No, right?  In fact, I bet you have experienced that after her emotional cup has been filled up with love and attention and spoiling, your wife is more willing than ever to jump back into the swing of family life.  The same is true for your child.  By having fifteen or thirty minutes when he gets his every need met, your child is more willing to wait his turn, to fall into line, to do what is needed to be done.  It might not feel logical, but Special Time is a tremendous tool for helping a child to process some of the big, heavy emotions of childhood in a light and playful way.  

Here’s the bottom line:  The more unloving your child is behaving, the more she needs Special Time.  I realize that it may feel counter intuitive:  Why would you want to give a whiny, recalcitrant child more attention?  But what I can tell you is that it works.You may think you don't have time for Special Time, but I promise you, when you use it regularly, you will find that the cooperation levels in your house will go up so much that you will have more time than you had before.

What is the biggest challenge you're facing right now as a parent? I'm offering a complimentary strategy session to help assess the needs of your family and come up with the #1 suggestion for how to make your home more harmonious.

Click HERE to get on my calendar. Let's get started making life with your kids easier and more enjoyable.