Parenting

The Ten Best Things to Say to Your Child During Homework Time

Homework can be a battle or a breeze. It can create conflict or cooperation. It can produce tension or focused attention. Which of these outcomes occurs in your home depends in great measure on how you talk to your children during that important time period. To help your child's homework experience be productive and stress free, consider the following ten best things to say to him or her during homework time.

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.

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.

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