One of the most important tasks in parenting toddlers is helping them learn to manage their emotions, which is the foundation of interpersonal relationships. This skill set is more critical to their happiness in life than school performance or any of our other conventional measures.
We can't give kids talent, but we can train the eye, ear and mind, and we can help our children gain access to a creative way of seeing. We can also help them develop the concentration, competence, perseverance, and optimism necessary to succeed in creative pursuits. How?
"But I hate setting limits. It's the worst part of being a parent!" Some parents, the ones I might call permissive, tell me they hate setting limits, particularly when their children are toddlers and respond with great frustration. They hate the idea of causing their child more grief
Why does this little trick work so effectively? Because it sidesteps the power struggle. The child is in charge. You aren't making him do something, he is choosing. No one likes to be forced to do something. Here, because he chooses, he cooperates. So how do you use this magic wand?
Research has shown that toddlers tantrum less and cooperate more when they feel more powerful. There are three key ways you can help your toddler experience herself as a person with healthy power in the world...
Your teenager slams the door to her bedroom. Your ten-year-old huffs "Mom, you never understand!" Your four-year-old screams "I hate you, Mommy!" What's the most important thing to remember? DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! This isn't primarily about you, it's about them.
Makes you feel put on the spot, right? Most of us respond to our kids' boredom by providing technological entertainment or structured activities. But unstructured time challenges kids to engage with themselves and the world, to imagine and invent and create.
I have a stepdaughter that I'm really struggling with. She's age 15 and has life figured out. I really DO care about her, but know she is heading down the wrong path. I'm really not trying to be judgmental, but know that I may be seen that way. I just don't feel like a 15-year-old is qualified to set ALL her own limits.
I read in your book that mothers need to model positive sexual behavior for their kids. What do you mean when you say that?
Although volumes have been written about motherhood and sex, the two subjects lie on parallel tracks that rarely intersect.