Using Effective Time-Outs

Timeout is just one tool -- and it really isn't a "discipline" tool; it's an effective anger-management tool. Since the purpose of a timeout is to help someone regain control. If you want children to learn that it is their responsibility to control their behavior, use timeouts as cooling off periods which teach children how to achieve this self-control.

Word "No's" In The Positive

Wording limits in the positive meets many goals of parenting: It increases the child's self-esteem, increases the parent's confidence, decreases the need for discipline or punishment, improves communication skills, increases cooperation, and teaches children self-control and how to practice power in positive ways. Learn how.

Bedtime Routines

Most parents know the basic "5 B's" of bedtime routines: bath, brush teeth, bathroom, books, and bed. Our family, however, has invented many other fun (but not too physical) games that we've added to these basics. Because we frequently make bedtime fun, our children don't resist bedtime. Here are just a few games we've made up:

Discipline or Punishment

Discipline is different from punishment because it teaches children to learn from their mistakes rather than making them suffer for them. The four R's of consequences actually apply to all discipline techniques, not just natural and logical consequences. Whatever discipline technique you choose, make sure it meets the following four criteria...

Who You Callin' Blended?

What stepfamilies themselves, as well as the best family therapists, have known for years, is that the standard of blending is just plain wrong. It not only misrepresents the reality of life for all the players in a remarriage with children; the concept is also unrealistic and harmful to stepfamilies and individual stepfamily members.

Taming the Holiday Gimmees

We see the Gimmees when our children see another toy commercial, whine or throw a tantrum in a crowded store because, heaven forbid, the gift we just bought wasn't for them! By the time we are wrapping gifts we often feel more like Scrooge than Santa, having heard all the creative ways our children can finish the sentence "I want..."

Improving Your Family's Communication

Imagine this scene: A neighbor is at your house, visiting over a cup of tea. You start feeling irritated and pressured when you realize you are running late for an appointment. What would you say to your neighbor? Imagine the same situation, except it's your child at the breakfast table. How would it change your response? Is it possible that you might respond in a more disrespectful way?

Praise for Parents

Parenting advice usually focuses on the challenges parents face, mistakes to avoid and effective skills we can use. But every parent and parenting "partner" deserves a pat on the back for doing something positive, even on a small scale, that means a lot to a child. I want to make sure we do that here, now and then.

Helping "Moody" Kids

It's extremely rare for a preschooler to be clinically depressed, unless something seriously traumatic has happened. It sounds more like your son is just vulnerable to getting bumped into a bad mood, and that it's harder than one would like for him to climb back out of his slump. And he sounds very normal; lots of other kids have similar tendencies. So what to do?