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Parenting Cue Cards

Do you ever struggle with what to do in tough parenting situations?
We worked with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to bring you the answers you need.

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Positive discipline

Cô gắi dễ thương My partner and I don't agree on discipline.

Find common ground.

DO

Start by talking about things you agree on. You can't build a strong parenting strategy focused on differences. When the kids are away, list the values you share. Is there a disciplinary tactic you both support? Avoid talking about your differences for now. Save that for later.

Agree to disagree.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngRemember different points of view can be beneficial and that there is more than one right way to do things. You're also showing your child how to handle it when they don't agree with friends or classmates.

It's not a fight you can win.

DON'T

Try not to see this as a battle of wills. Your 'win' is really your child's loss. It's tough to take the high road when your partner is so obviously wrong. But remember, your partner thinks you're wrong, too.

SAY

to the other parent:
"I know we see things differently, but let's talk about what we agree on. We both love our kids. We both want them to be healthy, happy, responsible, wise. Let's talk about our differences in private."

to your child:
Cô gắi dễ thương "You've probably noticed we don't always agree. But we're going to work things out because we both love you and want what's best for you."

Don't treat your child like a friend to confide in.

DON'T SAY

"Your mother/father is driving me crazy! I feel like I'm dealing with a 42-year-old child."

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngYou and your spouse may weather these conflicts, but parents fighting is far scarier for kids — especially when things gets heated. It confuses and upsets them and strikes at the very heart of their sense of security. You're like their nation, and this nation is experiencing a civil war!

0

Cô gắi dễ thương I feel like I'm nagging my child 24/7.

Check in with your own emotions.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngTake a moment for yourself. Seems like you're pretty frustrated with your child's behavior. Tired of nagging? No wonder; it rarely works. Instead, try something practical, like leaving a note above the sink reminding your child to rinse and load their dishes instead of saying it AGAIN.

DO

It could be something deeper, too. Your expectations could be too high. Or maybe you're having trouble communicating effectively. If you're always frustrated when you ask your child to do something, chances are your emotions are getting in the way of your message.

Don't do stuff for them.

DON'T

Don't think you can solve this by doing more and saying less. In the moment, it's easy to think, Instead of nagging I will just do it myself! But that creates an even worse problem: kids who can't take care of themselves.

Imagine there's no nagging… it isn't hard to do.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thươngIn a non-confrontational moment, tell your child you don't like nagging and don't want to nag anymore, but you need to find a way to get them to pull their weight. Paint a picture of family life without nagging. Ask your child what they'd do if they were in your shoes and problem solve together how they can fulfill their responsibilities.

Nagging + whining = no fun for everyone.

DON'T SAY

"Do you think I want to be this crazy person who talks about wet towels on the bathroom floor and forgotten math homework all the time? Why can't you just listen for ONCE?"

WHY

You have to grapple with two truths to solve the nagging issue:
Cô gắi dễ thương 1) Most kids need repetition to learn. This is a secret known by all great elementary school teachers. Repetition is their friend. Also important are routines, visual reminders, and stated rules. Repetition and reminding isn't nagging. Nagging is born from frustration.

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thương2) By continuing to nag, you teach your child that nagging is normal. Your child will learn to tune you out and nag you back. Take a problem solving approach: ask for their input and include it in resolving the issue at hand. If they miss the school bus again, give them an opportunity to figure out how not to be late next time. Remember the goal is to prepare them to be functioning adults.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương My child only listens when I yell.

DO

Stop. Notice how your emotions are escalating — before they overtake your better judgment. Take deep breaths to calm yourself and think about speaking the way you like to be spoken to.

DO

Have a heart-to-heart when you're not mad. How do you want to talk to each other? What are some kinder but equally effective ways to express anger?

Cô gắi dễ thươngAgree on alternatives to yelling. You could come up with a code word for when you're serious. Or say that you feel frustrated or upset instead of yelling. Sign an agreement to use these yelling alternatives.

DO

Think about what it may mean for your child out in the world if they've learned that they only have to cooperate when the volume is turned up.

Don't continue yelling.

DON'T

Emotions are powerful but they can get downright destructive. Don't get hijacked by your emotions.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"We have to change how we communicate, and we need to begin now. We're both responsible for the bad vibes between us sometimes, and I'd like to hear your ideas about how to fix this."

SAY

"I want to feel heard and respected, and I want the same for you. How can we communicate to make this happen?"

DON'T SAY

"Why can't you listen!? You're driving me to madddddddnesss!"

WHY

Children learn more from what we do than what we say. When you yell, you teach your child that yelling is the way to make things happen. Naming your emotions — I'm feeling frustrated — actually helps you calm down.

Yelling may seem efficient in the moment — it can even save your child's life. Look out for that truck! But in less life-threatening situations, yelling creates drama when you really want to solve problems. Yelling is a sign you've lost your head, and you can't solve most problems without your noggin.

0

I'm having trouble getting my child to cooperate.

Think about the long game.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngIf what you're doing isn't working, step back and think about giving your kids emotional skills instead of punishing their behavior.

Find out what your child is feeling when they misbehave and what skills they need so that they can respond differently. Do they need to learn to recognize that they are getting upset before they react? Do they need better ways to deal with frustration or jealousy or fear?

DO

Get your child involved in the process. In a quiet moment, ask your child what's going on with them emotionally. Make a list of new strategies they can use when they get into a situation where they might be destructive to themselves or others.

Don't despair. This is a process.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngDon't give up! Just because you're not feeling effective doesn't mean you can't teach your child to be cooperative. It doesn't mean you're a bad parent or your child is a bad kid. It just means your child may lack the social and emotional skills they need to handle what's expected of them.

Offer neutral observations and genuine curiosity.

SAY

"I see that you're not cooperating when I ask you to ________. I'm really curious. What's going on inside your head?"

Cô gắi dễ thương"I'm feeling frustrated, you've done _______ but I still need you to do _______. What will help you get this job done?"

"It seems like you are worried that if you take a moment to ______, there won't be any french fries left for you."

Don't go all military on them.

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"You need to obey me. Do you hear me? Why? Because I am the parent and you are the child!"

WHY

Even if obedience sounds good, research shows that demanding obedience is not as effective as giving kids the skills to cooperate. Why? Because your kids want to please you. They love you to pieces! Elementary school-age kids want to make their parents happy. Never forget this, even when they're driving you nuts.

WHY

Sometimes kids say and do really obnoxious things because they haven't learned what they need to know about sharing, taking turns, group dynamics, contributing to a family, not making a mess. There are so many skills to learn. Teach the skills but also the reason: when we all are kind, cooperative, and hard working, the world is a better place.

0

My child acts unmotivated unless I'm hovering over them or disciplining them.

Get curious.

DO

Find a time when you're not irked by your kid's behavior to talk about what's going on emotionally. Are they unmotivated for a reason? Do they need to find a passion? Is something going on that has made school or their other activities especially challenging? Are they sleep deprived or getting sick?

Less is more.

DON'T

Don't think a little more nagging will do the trick. Kids need plenty of nudging, but hovering and micromanaging may actually be contributing to your child's lack of get-up-and-go. (Think about that boss who breathes down your neck: how does that make you feel?)

Talk about feelings, and brainstorm solutions.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"I've been nagging you a lot and this isn't working for either of us. Is there anything you want to tell me about why you don't want to _______? How can I help you get motivated?"

Don't channel your inner evil schoolmaster (à la Professor Snape).

DON'T SAY

"You lazy, insolent little … Are you incapable of doing as you're told? If I have to repeat myself, you will feel my wrath!"

WHY

Unmotivated = not wanting to move. This isn't the natural state of kidhood. If your child seems unmotivated, there's probably a deeper struggle going on. A lack of motivation can be connected to so many different things: fear of failing, feeling overwhelmed, not understanding the reality of hard work (that it's hard), a lack of interest or inspiration, an inability to plan ahead, or even depression.

WHY

If your kid is unmotivated, play the detective and find out what's really going on. Punishment may work in the moment, but it won't help your child or your relationship in the long term. Your child may remember the punishment, but forget what they were punished for. It also can lead to abuse of power, breaking down trust between you and your child.

Eventually, you want your child to grow up to be an adult who is intrinsically motivated to work hard, pursue passions, and yes, wash the dishes. So use this lack of motivation to teach your child about how to deal with those blah feelings.

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Dishonesty

Cô gắi dễ thương My child exaggerates accomplishments.

Praise actual accomplishments.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngShow your child that you love and appreciate them just as they are and praise their real accomplishments.

Cô gắi dễ thươngRealize that children who boast may feel insecure and seek approval.

Cô gắi dễ thươngExplain that exaggerating can be seen as a type of lying.

Don't ridicule or embarrass your child.

DON'T

If you catch your child telling a tall tale, don't call them out in public. Wait until you're alone to talk about the consequences of making up stories.

SAY

"I will always love you, even if you didn't score 30 points in the game today."

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"That's impossible! You know there's no way you could have done that."

WHY

Kids who exaggerate may lack confidence and feel the need to prove themselves. They may brag as a way of finding out whether they're valued. Ridiculing your child may further sink their already deflated self-esteem.

0

My child denies doing things to avoid getting in trouble.

Connect honesty to your family values.

DO

Explain why your family cares about honesty.

Cô gắi dễ thươngExplain that when you're honest, people trust you — and it feels good to be trusted.

Consider your child's perspective.

DO

Empathize with your child. Sometimes it's hard to tell the truth, isn't it.

Show that you see how your child is feeling. You really, really wanted that, didn't you?

Focus on understanding, not punishment.

DO

Help your child see that you sympathize with their feelings even if you can't allow them to have whatever they want. Wouldn't it be fun if you had a magic wand and could have everything you wanted?
Don't label your child a liar.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngDon't call your child a liar. Young children experiment and all children lie at some time or another. Maybe your child tells stories because they don't feel empowered. Maybe they're especially creative or smart; maybe they're afraid of something.

Explain why honesty is the best policy.

SAY

"Our family tells the truth, even when we're afraid we won't get what we want."

Cô gắi dễ thương"Making up stories can be wonderful, but people don't like to feel tricked by stories. It makes people not believe you next time."

Don't respond with anger.

DON'T SAY

"Don't lie to me like that!"

WHY

Lying can mean a lot of different things. Some young children have difficulty shifting between fantasy and reality; others use lying as a strategy. Instead of using a label, like Liar!, be playful and curious about what your child's thinking.

WHY

Some young children are experimenting with having private thoughts and are experiencing the boundary between themselves and others for the first time. Some are afraid of the consequences if they tell the truth or are simply afraid of their parents' disapproval.

Cô gắi dễ thươngSome children are modeling grownup behavior. Think about your own behavior. Does your child hear you telling white lies? Try to understand how your child might be getting the message that lying is an effective way to get what they want.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương When my child expects something and is disappointed, they accuse whoever changes the plans of lying.

Acknowledge their confusion.

DO

Explain what happened and why that led to the situation changing, but don't expect your child to see it the way you do. Many kids see unfulfilled plans as broken promises, and broken promises mean deception.

Give the disappointment time to run its course.

DO

Share a time when you were similarly disappointed and how you got over it.

Cô gắi dễ thươngSuggest another way you can have fun.

If your child is dealing with lots of changed plans, think about ways to make your child feel like you and other people around them are reliable.

Don't write it off as silly.

DON'T

Don't dis your child's feelings — even when they're accusing you of lying after you called off a hike because it's storming. Let them have their feelings. Show curiosity about how they came to the conclusion that you're lying.

Express your interest in their feelings.

SAY

"You feel like I let you down. That's terrible. I hate feeling disappointed, too. I can see why it makes you mad at me. It seems to you that I caused this change of plans…."
Don't undermine their growing sense of justice.

DON'T SAY

"I'm not the weather god; it's not my fault! You need to realize sometimes things don't turn out your way!"

WHY

Kids have a hard time distinguishing disappointments from broken promises and white lies from outright deception. For kids, truth is an absolute thing and you have a lot of power!

Also, kids have a tough time understanding multiple causes. Therefore, A is caused by B and B is to blame. By talking it out, you can help your child develop a more nuanced understanding of how things happen and change.

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My child tells on their sibling about things that didn't happen to get them in trouble.

Calm the waters.

DO

Stay calm. Ask each of your kids to share their perspective. Focus on helping your kids build a better relationship.

Cô gắi dễ thươngEmpower your children by teaching them to have direct conversations with their sibling about difficult feelings. This is an important life skill.

Don't ride the roller coaster.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngIt's easy to jump to conclusions or overreact, but it's best to resist that wild ride.

SAY

"My sense is that you are angry with your brother. Maybe you think something isn't fair. I'd like you to address that directly, including how you feel and what you'd like to change. Would you like to have that conversation just between the two of you, or would you like me there?"

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Are you lying again?"

"You're just like my little sister was."

WHY

Put-downs and comparisons are never helpful.

Deceptive behavior can spring from a lot of confused, unexpressed emotions. Kids may not feel emotionally safe, so they create drama that will assure them attention or love.

0

I'm concerned that my child exaggerates getting hurt to get attention.

Make sure your child isn't seriously injured.

DO

Ask yourself: how do you know your child's exaggerating?

Cô gắi dễ thươngAre you warm and responsive throughout the day and not just when your child's hurt?

Cô gắi dễ thươngConsider whether your child may be experiencing another emotion, like fear or shame, and address that. Sometimes children exaggerate hurt as a distraction from other feelings.

DON'T

Dismiss the hurt as nothing.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"I want to hear more about how you're hurt. Let's take some deep breaths together to get calm while checking out this injury."

DON'T SAY

"It's nothing."

Cô gắi dễ thương"Come on — you can't possibly be hurting this much. Grow up."

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngChildren need to feel loved and affirmed for their expression of feelings and for being who they are, not just for what they do.

Even if the hurt looks insignificant to you, it means something to your child, and maybe it does hurt. Show sympathy without overdoing it. If the exaggerated hurts are a bid for attention, your child needs attention. Shift the topic to something else soon, so that the hurt is forgotten and the connection is maintained. If it feels OK to do so, without referring to the hurt, you might ask your child if they want more time together. Then, build in more time together on a regular basis.

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Time & organization

My child struggles to leave the house on time.

Take a systematic approach.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngMake it clear what you expect. Create a list of expectations together. If your child can't read yet, make a list with pictures. Have your child sign the list and post where they can see it.

DON'T

Don't ignore the issue. An organizationally challenged child may struggle for many years. It may end up hurting them in school and in life. It can also lead to a lot of anger and stress.

Describe it as a team effort.

SAY

"You need to learn how to get ready in the morning. Let's make a plan together. What do you need to make this happen?"

Cô gắi dễ thương"You seem to have a really tough time in the morning when it's time to go. Why? Are you getting enough sleep? Could you do some things the night before to make the morning easier, like laying out your clothes or packing your backpack?"

Don't play the broken record.

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"How many times have I told you…? You need to get it together in the morning!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngOrganization comes naturally to some people, but for many it's a learned skill. You may have a child who needs more practice than others. For some kids, it's about organizing things in space. (Where's my homework?) For others, it's a lack of understanding about time. (I can do it all in 15 minutes!)

Either way, you can help with simple tools: alarm clock, morning to-do list, separate bags for separate activities, and regular morning and evening routines.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương My child is constantly losing things and leaving things behind.

Set your child up for success.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngMoment-to-moment awareness is a practice. Create routines to prompt your child's memory. For example, teach your child to count how many things they have before they go somewhere. Then before they leave a place, remind them to see whether they have the same number of things.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngDon't yell at them and label them irresponsible. Don't replace everything they lose, just necessities. Don't buy things that are so expensive it feels like a personal injury if it's lost. Don't find the item for them, but encourage them to find it. Walk them to the lost and found but have them look through it. Remember, it's hard for a lot of kids to remember everything when they are so active. Think about yourself on your craziest day — a lot of kids live that every day.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Hmm… I'm going to pause for a minute to be sure I remembered everything."

"Here's where I always put my keys so that I can find them. It helps me feel calm. What would be a good place for you to put your backpack or math folder every day so that you can find it when you need it?"

Cô gắi dễ thương"Let's make some new habits to keep track of things. I've got some ideas to help."

Don't label or characterize your child.

DON'T SAY

"You're a scatterbrain and can't keep track of anything."

"You're so disorganized. You are so forgetful!"

WHY

We grow and change over our lifetimes. If you characterize kids in a particular way, it can limit the way they see themselves, which makes it difficult to explore other ways of being.

Staying organized takes practice, but it creates a calmer, happier child who will be able to pursue bigger dreams and handle bigger challenges because of it. It's worth the extra effort!

0

Cô gắi dễ thương I can't get my child to bed on time.

Make two bedtimes, not one.

DO

For most kids, there are two bedtimes: one to get in bed and one to have lights out. And therein lies the rub. No matter how late a child gets in bed, most still want a story, a cuddle, or that glass of water, and next thing you know you're past bedtime and your child is overtired and getting punchy. Clarify bedtime and sleep time and explain them to your child.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngGet your child excited about bedtime by talking about reading a story or something else that will help them get ready to sleep.

Don't allow screen time to disrupt the schedule.

DON'T

Don't give in when you hear the words, Please… just 10 more minutes! It's easy to give in to screen time at the end of the night when you're tired of making decisions. (It's called decision fatigue.) But late night screen time wires the brain to resist sleep.
Make bedtime something to look forward to.

SAY

"I can't wait to read that book to you tonight!"

"I went to bed really early last night and I felt so great when I woke up this morning."

Don't create anxiety.

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Do you know how important sleep is? You need at least 10 hours a night!!! It's going to affect your grades and your health. You'll never be the soccer player you could be if you don't sleep."

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngSleep resistance is uniquely human. As animals we need sleep, but human consciousness gets in the way. If you pile on the anxiety about your child needing sleep, it's likely to create more sleep issues, not fewer.

Instead, follow good sleep-time habits: limit screen time at night, lower lights, follow a consistent bedtime routine, and stay positive about the process.

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngBedtime is also a time of strong emotions. Kids who seem otherwise sunny and independent may become clingy and weepy. Kids who are brave suddenly have fears. This is normal. If your child has a hard time getting to sleep, talk through their feelings during the day to air out the nighttime demons and let your child know there are other times to be near you.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương My child's bedroom is messy.

Inspire your child.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngLook through magazines to see what kinds of rooms they feel attracted to. Notice a variety of environments you're in and talk about what you like about how the space is organized.

Inspire your child.

DO

Designate times of the week when everyone in the house is working on fixing up their own space. Be generous with helping one another.

Make it fun. Have a "white glove inspector" scheduled to come for a visit… And turn it into a Cinderella game or sing "It's The Hard-Knock Life" from Annie.

Don't assume they know how.

DON'T

Don't forget your child's age. Early grade schoolers should be able to put away toys and clothes, but they may not have the tools to tackle a messy room by themselves. Late elementary schoolers should be able to clean their room, but if they've never been taught, step by step, they may need structured and supportive guidance. It helps when everything has a place.

Raise your child's clean consciousness.

SAY

"Are there any good ideas from your classroom that we could borrow?"

"How does your teacher organize and keep things clean?"

Compare and you will despair.

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"This room is a pig's sty! It's disgusting! Why aren't you more like Brenda?"

WHY

Keeping your personal space clean is all a part of what scientists call "executive function," which is essential to advanced thinking and organizing. Most kids need to learn these skills first, and then they need structure to turn the skills into habits.

That said, your children are individuals. Depending on their personalities, they may prefer cleaner or messier spaces. Research suggests clean, spare spaces instill tranquility, but messy ones inspire creativity.

0

My child has a tough time planning ahead.

Carve out some time.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngRemember this is a skill that gets better as children get older and develop the cognitive ability to anticipate the future and consider the variables.

Teaching a child how to plan is a process. Pick a future project coming up that you think your child could use some help planning. Make a schedule for getting it done and talk about possible obstacles to completion.

Don't rescue!

DON'T

It's tempting to swoop in and solve their problems at the last minute. But in the long run, planning involves a lot of different skills. The sooner you help your child understand what goes into planning something, the better.

Paint a pretty plan.

SAY

"Wow, that sounds like a cool science assignment. Let's make a list of what you need and what you need to do to make it happen on time."

"Seems like last time you were really stressed working on that project at the last minute. Let's plan this new project early so that you have enough time. Let's add dates to the calendar about when parts of the project will be completed so you can pace yourself and stay calm."

Avoid blanket statements.

DON'T SAY

"You're always leaving everything until the last minute! You're such a procrastinator!"

WHY

Sure there's a pattern: they're always leaving everything until the last minute! But words like always and never can shape the future for a child. Let your child grow and learn and don't make them feel they're destined to be a certain way.

Planning involves what neuroscientists call “executive function,” which uses the most analytical part of the brain, the part that requires lots of training and many years to fully develop. By teaching planning skills, you are growing your child's brain, neuron by neuron.

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Attitude & defiance

Cô gắi dễ thương My child refuses to do what I ask.

Connect and teach.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngStrengthen your connection so your child wants to please you. Establish routines so that tackling some tasks becomes a habit.

Acknowledge your child's feelings and clarify your expectations. (It's OK to have high expectations.)

As a family, practice expressing differing viewpoints respectfully. This helps your child solve not only this problem but many problems in the future.

Don't turn it into a keynote speech.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngThe more words you use, the more likely it is that you will make your child deaf to the point you're making. When it comes to limit setting, too many words dilute your message.

SAY

"I want you to do the right thing — not just because I asked, but because it will make you feel better about yourself in the long run."

Cô gắi dễ thương"Hey, you don't want to ________, I get it. But it's really important that we work together on this."

"I know you don't like this request, but yelling/cursing/slamming the door won't help. What would help is communicating what you're feeling in a respectful way that I can understand."

Don't resort to threats.

DON'T SAY

"How dare you disrespect me! I expect you to obey or you'll be punished!"

WHY

Threats solve small problems in the moment and create bigger ones later. They don't have the power to teach, but they do have the power to make parents overly punitive (or inconsistent when they don't follow through). Also, too much control sets up power struggles and increases rebelliousness.

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngThe recipe to empower kids? Empathizing with their feelings + communicating clear expectations. This helps kids make good choices and be more self-disciplined.

Starting from a place of understanding helps lower kids' defenses so that they can learn. Clearly communicating your expectations helps them understand what behavior is appropriate. Try to ensure that your expectations are reasonable based on your child's capacity, not just their age.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương My child interrupts a lot.

Offer better ways to get your attention.

DO

When your child wants your attention, have them place their hand on your arm. Squeeze your child's hand to show that you will respond when you're done.

Teach your child to say Excuse me to get someone's attention. When they interrupt a conversation, have your child say something like, Sorry, you finish; then I'll talk.

Be glad they want to connect.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngBe gentle and instructive with young children about the give and take in conversation. They're only beginning to learn how to manage their impulses. It's normal for young children to interrupt and important for adults to be understanding.

Cô gắi dễ thươngTry to recognize the needs of 7- and 8-year-olds. Help them learn how to wait their turn while setting healthy boundaries. Use role playing to help your child practice.

DON'T

Don't treat interruptions like a crime.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"I see you! (Wink.) Hang on."

Cô gắi dễ thương"Come sit next to me. (Put your arm around them.) I can listen to you soon, after I finish what I'm saying."

"It will be a few minutes. What will help you wait?"

SAY

"You look eager to say something — hold that thought for 15 more seconds!"

Cô gắi dễ thương"Is this urgent?"

"I want to hear from you as soon as Grandma finishes her story." (Smile.)

"Thanks for waiting quietly and patiently while we're talking."

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Never interrupt me!"

"You're being rude!"

WHY

Children are often so focused on what they want, they don't understand that interrupting a conversation can be rude. They may be bubbling over with excitement or eagerness or worry — and that's hard to contain. Acknowledging them helps calm their feelings. Talk to your child about what warrants an interruption, such as an injury or a knock at the door. Also, teach them how to jump into a conversation by responding to what someone else has said: Wow — that's a cool story.
0

Cô gắi dễ thương My child tries to negotiate every request I make.

Teach your child to negotiate wisely.

DO

Good negotiations create harmonious marriages and end world wars, so make sure you give your child kudos for practicing their powers of persuasion. Explain that good negotiators LISTEN, too. Tell your child you're open to their perspective, but arguing relentlessly will not change your mind.

Don't give in.

DON'T

Don't let them wear you down. This will only reinforce the message that persistent arguing is a great way to get what they want. Keep the big goal in mind — a kid who knows when to negotiate AND when to go with the flow, and a kid who doesn't try to make the world cater to their every whim.

Give your reasons a splash of humor.

SAY

"You're not eating another cookie. You've had enough. But mark my words, there will be more delicious cookies in your future!"

"Isn't it fun to stay up late? Until you have to get up early the next morning. You can watch the rest of the movie tomorrow, but now your pillow is calling your name!"

DON'T SAY

"Knock it off!"

"I've made my decision so this conversation is over!"

Cô gắi dễ thương"Because I'm the parent and I said so!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngConstant arguing over little issues can drive you crazy, but you don't want to shut down communication. You want your child to keep talking to you, sharing their perspective while also learning to accept that they sometimes don't get what they want.

Cô gắi dễ thươngKids who negotiate a lot have strong wills and good verbal skills; the key is to build up their emotional intelligence. Help your child learn to deal with frustration by empathizing with them, while still sticking to your guns. And if they have a strong point, concede. Unjust laws are changed because people speak out.

0

My child has a lot of attitude and doesn't treat me with respect.

Consider what you mean by respect.

DO

Are you worried that your child isn't learning to be considerate? Could your child be expressing anger through disrespectful comments? Do you think they've learned this behavior from TV shows or peers? Reflect on what bothers you about your child's behavior before you try to fix it.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngFocus on feelings instead of behavior. In a neutral, non-accusatory tone, share how your child's behavior makes you feel. Ask your child to think about how they would feel if you acted that way.

You may be surprised.

DON'T

A lot of things can trigger a bout of sass. Your child could be imitating older kids' behavior. It's even possible they're imitating your behavior. Could be your child feels they need to break away from you and establish their independence. Don't draw conclusions until you've played detective.
Tell your child what you expect in positive terms.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"I'd like you to look me in the eye, so I know you're listening."

Cô gắi dễ thương"Please sit up and put your feet on the ground, not on the table."

Don't try to out sass your child.

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Thanks a lot!"

"Don't give me that 'tude! You know what happens to spoiled little dirt clods who disrespect their elders? Ha ha ha, you don't wanna know!!!"

WHY

Respect should be about human decency, not authority or power. Make sure you're giving your child the same kind of respect you expect from them. A polite voice. Consideration. Avoid sarcasm, threats, and name calling.

Cô gắi dễ thươngChildren develop attitudes for many reasons, but experts believe that it's often a way to get attention from adults. Why might your child want attention? What might be a positive way of giving your child what they need without allowing them to be rude to you?

0

Cô gắi dễ thương I'm having trouble getting my child to cooperate.

Think about the long game.

DO

If what you're doing isn't working, step back and think about giving your kids emotional skills instead of punishing their behavior. Find out what your child is feeling when they misbehave and what skills they need so that they respond differently. Do they need to be aware of getting upset before they react? Do they need better ways to deal with frustration or jealousy or fear?

DO

Get your child involved in the process. In a quiet moment, ask your child what's going on with them emotionally. Make a list of new strategies they can use when they get into a situation where they might be destructive to themselves or others.

Don't despair. This is a process.

DON'T

Don't give up! Just because you're not feeling effective doesn't mean you can't teach your child to be cooperative. It doesn't mean you're a bad parent or your child is a bad kid. It just means your may child lack the social and emotional skills they need to handle what's expected of them.

Offer neutral observations and genuine curiosity.

SAY

"I see that you're not cooperating when I ask you to ________. I'm really curious. What's going on inside your head?"

"It seems like you are worried that if you take a moment to ________, there won't be any french fries left for you."

"I'm feeling frustrated, you've done _______ but I still need you to do _______. What will help you get this job done?"

Don't go all military on them.

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"You need to obey me. Do you hear me? Why? Because I am the parent and you are the child!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngEven if obedience sounds good, research shows that demanding obedience is not as effective as giving kids the skills to cooperate. Why? Because your kids want to please you. They love you to pieces! Elementary school-age kids want to make their parents happy. Never forget this, even when they're driving you nuts.

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngSometimes kids say and do really obnoxious things because they haven't learned what they need to know about sharing, taking turns, group dynamics, contributing to a family, not making a mess. There are so many skills to learn. Teach the skills but also the reason: when we all are kind, cooperative, and hard working, the world is a better place.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương My child refuses to turn off the computer, TV, or video games when I ask.

Zoom out.

DO

Think about your true concern. Is it your child's lack of cooperation that bothers you, or are you concerned about your child's screen time? Is it the kind of media they consume or the amount?

Create a clear family agreement about screen time ㅡ when it's allowed and when it isn't. Refer to the agreement so your reminder doesn't feel unjust. Have your child set a timer to monitor themselves. Or have your child come up with other strategies for limiting screen time.

Tune in.

DO

Ask your children about the shows they enjoy and learn more about what appeals to them.

Turn off the TV and computers for regular periods of time daily. Everyone.

Cô gắi dễ thươngHave appealing, alternative activities available in your home. Consider spending more personal time with your child ㅡ going for a walk, doing crossword puzzles, cooking, reading, writing letters to Grandma, fixing something, or playing a musical instrument for fun.

DON'T

Don't think it's a losing battle. Screen time is an ubiquitous part of modern life. Sometimes this fact makes parents just give up. But the truth is that it's now our job to teach our kids self-control and good choices around media.

Explain why it's good to unplug.

SAY

"Our brains need a wide variety of activities in order to develop in a healthy way."

"We value having balanced lives, so we watch TV in small doses."

Cô gắi dễ thương"Having TV and video games going creates a certain tone in the house that can be limiting. I also like times with music, conversation, and games."

Don't issue ultimatums.

DON'T SAY

"If you don't turn that off right now, I'll turn it off for you."

"If you don't turn that off right now, I'll take it away for a month."

WHY

Threats don't work. They're usually made in moments of intense emotion and parents often find they can't follow through with them. Then what does that teach?

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngIt's important to support your child's growing autonomy so your child develops internal self-control. This also helps prevent power struggles.

0

Motivation

My child acts unmotivated unless I'm hovering over them or disciplining them.

Get curious.

DO

Find a time when you're not irked by your kid's behavior to talk about what's going on emotionally. Are they unmotivated for a reason? Do they need to find a passion? Is something going on that has made school or their other activities especially challenging? Are they sleep deprived or getting sick?

Less is more.

DON'T

Don't think a little more nagging will do the trick. Kids need plenty of nudging, but hovering and micromanaging may actually be contributing to your child's lack of get-up-and-go. (Think about that boss who breathes down your neck: how does that make you feel?)

Talk about feelings, and brainstorm solutions.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"I've been nagging you a lot and this isn't working for either of us. Is there anything you want to tell me about why you don't want to _______? How can I help you get motivated?"

Don't channel your inner evil schoolmaster (à la Professor Snape).

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"You lazy, insolent little ... Are you incapable of doing as you're told? If I have to repeat myself, you will feel my wrath!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngUnmotivated = not wanting to move. This isn't the natural state of kidhood. If your child seems unmotivated, there's probably a deeper struggle going on. A lack of motivation can be connected to so many different things: fear of failing, feeling overwhelmed, not understanding the reality of hard work (that it's hard), a lack of interest or inspiration, an inability to plan ahead, and even depression.

WHY

If your kid is unmotivated, play the detectiveCô gắi dễ thương and find out what's really going on. Punishment may work in the moment, but it won't help your child or your relationship in the long term. Your child may remember the punishment, but forget what they were punished for. It also can lead to abuse of power, breaking down trust between you and your child.

Eventually, you want your child to grow up to be an adult who is intrinsically motivated to work hard, pursue passions, and yes, wash the dishes. So use this lack of motivation to teach your child about how to deal with those blah feelings.

0

My child refuses to do what I ask.

Connect and teach.

DO

Strengthen your connection so your child wants to please you. Establish routines so that tackling some tasks becomes a habit.

Acknowledge your child's feelings and clarify your expectations. (It's OK to have high expectations.)

As a family, practice expressing differing viewpoints respectfully. This helps your child solve not only this problem but many problems in the future.

Don't turn it into a keynote speech.

DON'T

The more words you use, the more likely you are to make your child deaf to the point you're making. When it comes to limit setting, too many words dilute your message.

SAY

"I want you to do the right thing — not just because I asked, but because it will make you feel better about yourself in the long run."

"Hey, you don't want to ________, I get it. But it's really important that we work together on this."

"I know you don't like this request, but yelling/cursing/slamming the door won't help. What would help is communicating what you're feeling in a respectful way that I can understand."

Don't resort to threats.

DON'T SAY

"How dare you disrespect me! I expect you to obey or you'll be punished!"

WHY

Threats solve small problems in the moment and create bigger ones later. They don't have the power to teach, but they do have the power to make parents overly punitive (or inconsistent when they don't follow through). Also, overcontrol sets up power struggles and increases rebelliousness.

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngThe recipe to empower kids? Empathizing with their feelings + communicating clear expectations. This helps kids make good choices and be more self-disciplined.

Cô gắi dễ thươngStarting from a place of understanding helps lower kids' defenses so that they can learn. Clearly communicating your expectations helps them understand what behavior is appropriate. Try to ensure that your expectations are reasonable based on your child's capacity, not just their age.

0

I'm having trouble getting my child to cooperate.

Think about the long game.

DO

If what you're doing isn't working, step back and think about giving your kids emotional skills instead of punishing their behavior. Find out what your child is feeling when they misbehave and what skills they need to respond differently. Do they need to be aware of getting upset before they react? Do they need better ways to deal with frustration or jealousy or fear?

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngGet your child involved in the process. In a quiet moment, ask your child what's going on with them emotionally. Make a list of new strategies they can use when they get into a situation where they might be destructive to themselves or others.

Don't despair. This is a process.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngDon't give up! Just because you're not feeling effective doesn't mean you can't teach your child to be cooperative. It doesn't mean you're a bad parent or your child is a bad kid. It just means your child lacks the social and emotional skills they need to handle what's expected of them.

Offer neutral observations and genuine curiosity.

SAY

"I see that you're not cooperating when I ask you to ________. I'm really curious. What's going on inside your head?"

"I'm feeling frustrated, you've done _______ but I still need you to do _______. What will help you get this job done?"

"It seems like you are worried that if you take a moment to ________, there won't be any french fries left for you."

Don't go all military on them.

DON'T SAY

"You need to obey me. Do you hear me? Why? Because I am the parent and you are the child!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngEven if obedience sounds good, research shows that demanding obedience is not as effective as giving kids the skills to cooperate. Why? Because your kids want to please you. They love you to pieces! Elementary school-age kids want to make their parents happy. Never forget this, even when they're driving you nuts.

WHY

Sometimes kids say and do really obnoxious things because they haven't learned what they need to know about sharing, taking turns, group dynamics, contributing to a family, not making a mess. There are so many skills to learn. Teach the skills but also the reason: when we all are kind, cooperative, and hard working, the world is a better place.

0

Screen time

Cô gắi dễ thương My child refuses to turn off the computer, TV, or video game when I ask.

  Zoom out.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngThink about your true concern. Is it your child's lack of cooperation that bothers you, or are you concerned about your child's screen time? Is it the kind of media they consume or the amount?

Create a clear family agreement about screen time ㅡ when it's allowed and when it isn't. Refer to the agreement so your reminder doesn't feel unjust. Have your child set a timer to monitor themselves. Or have your child come up with other strategies for limiting screen time.

  Tune in.

DO

Ask your children about the shows they enjoy and learn more about what appeals to them.

Cô gắi dễ thươngTurn off the TV and computers for regular periods of time daily. Everyone.

Cô gắi dễ thươngHave appealing, alternative activities available in your home. Consider spending more personal time with your child ㅡ going for a walk, doing crossword puzzles, cooking, reading, writing letters to Grandma, fixing something, or playing a musical instrument for fun.

DON'T

Don't think it's a losing battle. Screen time is an ubiquitous part of modern life. Sometimes this fact makes parents just give up. But the truth is that it's now our job to teach our kids self-control and good choices around media.

Explain why it's good to unplug.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Our brains need a wide variety of activities to develop in a healthy way."

Cô gắi dễ thương"We value having balanced lives, so we watch TV in small doses."

"Having TV and video games going creates a certain tone in the house that can be limiting. I also like times with music, conversation, and games."

Don't issue ultimatums.

DON'T SAY

"If you don't turn that off right now, I'll turn it off for you."

"If you don't turn that off right now, I'll take it away for a month."

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngThreats don't work. They're usually made in moments of intense emotion and parents often find they can't follow through with them. Then what does that teach?

Cô gắi dễ thươngIt's important to support your child's growing autonomy so your child develops internal self-control. This also helps prevent power struggles.

0

My children keep arguing about controlling screens.

Help them set up a fair system.

DO

Use a timer or something that lets them take turns without your oversight.

Don't become the screen god.

DON'T

Don't solve the problem for them. It's tempting to swoop in and fix silly issues like who's got the remote control, but your constant intervention will foster more sibling rivalry than sibling harmony.

Help them keep the bigger goal in mind.

SAY

"I know you both want to have fun. If you can solve your conflict, then you can keep watching or playing. If not, let's take a break and do something else."

Don't demean their issue.

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Why are you arguing about this again? Who cares?"

"Turn it off!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngEven if the issue sounds insignificant to you, your children's sibling conflicts are complex and challenging. There's likely a lot more going on than the control of the remote control. Kids test boundaries, learn about negotiation, and explore power dynamics with their siblings. Help your children become more conscious of their sibling dynamics by talking during less heated moments.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương My child sneaks into their room to watch TV or play video games.

Clarify your position on media in the bedroom.

DO

Do you allow your child to have a television in their room? If not, it's important to remember that when your kid sneaks a screen into their room, they may be seeking privacy but they may be watching TV and are breaking your rules. You can call them on that. Kids with TVs in their rooms have more trouble in school, so it's worth making sure you're not letting this happen. Be clear on whether they can play games, surf the Internet, read books, etc., on their screens in their bedroom.

DON'T

Don't get mad; get curious. What's your child doing? Are they exploring something they're embarrassed about? Are they feeling like escaping? Why? Are they looking for attention from you then turning to screens as a back up?

  Empathize.

SAY

"Hey, I know it's fun to hide out and watch FrozenCô gắi dễ thương again. But we don't watch TV in our bedrooms. Come down and let's chat while I make dinner."

Don't make it a federal offense.

DON'T SAY

"Just what do you think you're doing??? How many times have I told you that we only watch TV in the living room?"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngAs technology saturates every corner of our lives and becomes more integral to your child's schooling, creating healthy boundaries is an ongoing process. It's important to stay on top of the issue, while not making it into a power struggle.

0

My child gets distracted from homework by social media.

Rethink social media.

DO

Social media is powerfully seductive. If your elementary schooler is already getting distracted from school by social media, it's important to think about the value social media is bringing to their lives. Is it necessary? It's much more difficult to keep older kids away from social media. Make sure you're "friends" with them and you both agree on a plan to limit their social media use.

Don't tear them down.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngYou spend more time on Snapchat than your homework and your report card shows it!

Tell them what you see.

SAY

"Seems like you're really distracted ever since you started using XYZ. I think we need to have a talk about it. School and responsibilities at home come first. What can you suggest to help keep you focused on what's important?"

Don't create an us vs. them competition.

DON'T SAY

"Hey, these kids are addicted to social media. There's no way to control it. When I was young..."

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngWe live in an era when we're extra careful to safeguard our children's physical safety, but many kids end up seeing and doing things online that affect their minds in powerful and sometimes harmful ways.

WHY

Social media is a tool that works on our emotions. If you don't make sure your child understands its power to influence thoughts and feelings, then they may not develop the habits of mind they need to maintain a healthy balance when they grow up. Social media often invites comparisons that lead kids to feel bad about themselves. Talk about that — and while you always want to validate your child's emotions, it also makes sense to assure your child that everyone has challenges and difficulties in their lives, even if on social media it looks like everyone else is having a great time.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương My child looks at media online that I consider inappropriate.

Limit your child's access.

DO

If your child is seeing and doing things online that you think are unhealthy, be proactive and make sure they don't continue. Communicate with your partner and your child to clarify what's appropriate and what's not. Use parental controls on devices as necessary.

DON'T

Don't embarrass your kid for being curious and getting into stuff they shouldn't. Children's curiosity is one of the natural wonders of the universe. Making them feel bad about this can create lots of shame and make them unwilling to trust you.

Open a nonjudgmental dialogue.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"I see you found some interesting stuff online. There's a lot on the internet that's not really appropriate for kids. If you want to talk about what you've seen, you can always talk to me."

Don't create a fight or flight.

DON'T SAY

"What the heck have you been doing? Don't you know that's not appropriate?"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngThough you may have a browser history, you can't see what's going on in your child's head. If you're really concerned and can't get a conversation going, ask a counselor what's normal at your child's age and what you should look out for.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương I'm worried my child might have an unhealthy dependence on screens.

Make a plan for cutting back.

DO

It's easy to get sucked into the screen to fill in the gaps. Media can be addictive. Create screen zones — living room, car on long trips. Decide on time limits to satisfy the craving. Your child can make a time card to record start and end times for watching TV, playing video games, or using a computer.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngCheck out what your child is watching. If you're really worried about content and if screen time is excessive, talk to a counselor about your concerns. For some kids, screen addiction can be damaging.

Don't be the enabler.

DON'T

Don't make screens the go-to cure for boredom. A little screen time is not a bad thing in the right place and time. We can access a lot of information on our smartphones, but your child probably does not need to watch a movie while you're shopping for groceries.

Cô gắi dễ thươngDon't let a screen be a substitute for time with friends and family. Encourage interactions with live humans rather than the animated variety.

Provide an alternative.

SAY

"Instead of watching SpongeBobCô gắi dễ thương, let's pick out what we're having for dinner together."

"Let's build a fort outside instead of playing that video game."

Don't criticize.

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"You're always looking at the screen. You're going to fry your brain. Don't you know there's a big world out there that's passing you by?"

WHY

It's easy to stay plugged in all the time, but screen time can be addictive. It often starts to take the place of other activities that reap positive benefits, like playing outside, building with Legos, and interacting with others.

Too much screen time can result in sensory overload. And for some kids, screen addiction can have devastating consequences neurologically as well as socially.

Cô gắi dễ thươngMonitor content as well as time. Discuss appropriate games, movies, and TV shows with your child.

0

Homework

My child leaves homework till the last minute and then falls apart.

Set the stage for success.

DO

It may seem obvious to you that homework is a predictable part of daily life, but some kids have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude about homework. This week try going overboard in setting up ways to help your child keep track of their own responsibilities.

Break down the problem.

DO

Help your child think about how to plan ahead so there's no stress at the end of a big project. Get them to break the project into steps with deadlines. Ask them how they want to keep track of it: Sticky note reminders? Deadlines written on a calendar? A simple project plan?

Don't jump on the drama bandwagon.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngStress is contagious, and so it's easy for meltdowns about homework to make you as stressed as your child. But at the eleventh hour of a school project, your anger or anxiety — not your brilliant words of wisdom — will be the only thing your child remembers. Take a deep breath and prioritize not losing your cool. Instead, be the calming voice that guides getting it done.

In the darkest hour, focus on the light.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"You can get this done! Let's work together to make sure you 1) accomplish what you need to tonight, 2) figure out what got in the way, and 3) learn how to plan better next time."

SAY

"I see how overwhelmed you are. Once you start working on your assignment, you'll feel better. Sometimes we put off starting big projects because we're anxious. This happens to me! Next time you feel this way about a project, let's talk. We can come up with a plan so you won't be so worried."

DON'T SAY

"Your project is due when?! Sometimes I don't know what's going on inside your brain! You're such a procrastinator!"

Labels set kids up to repeat themselves.

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngKids believe their parents. So when you tell your child they're a procrastinator, you help make it so. Better to tackle this as a perfectly normal problem that can be solved together. It might not work the first time (or second or third!), but this will teach your child that struggles can be overcome and that being aware of their own emotions, like anxiety, can help them tackle tough challenges throughout their life.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương My child refuses to do homework alone — and always wants my help.

Appreciate your child's willingness to ask for help.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngBeing good at learning requires a balance between persevering on your own and asking for help. You want your child to do both, and it's great they trust you enough to ask for help. Pat yourself on the back for that!

Put a positive frame around the problem.

DO

Instead of focusing on how they shouldn't ask for help, get your child to realize that doing homework independently is a great goal. Get them to challenge themselves and see how long it takes before they come to you for help. Then give them lots of praise for becoming more independent and resilient.

Consider whether this is a sign of something bigger.

DO

Though this behavior is quite common, it also can be a symptom of a larger learning or emotional issue. If you're concerned, ask the teacher whether your child should be assessed for a learning disability or other issue.

Don't confuse your needs with your child's needs.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngAt the end of a long day of working, cooking, cleaning, it's hard to deal with a child who wants your undivided attention. But here's your challenge: though you may need a break, your child may actually need your help. Many kids don't get enough help in class and asking for assistance at home isn't lazy; it's a sign of conscientiousness.

SAY

"I'm tuckered out but I really want to help. Why don't you get started and I'll join you in a few minutes. I'm glad you ask for help when you need it, but I also want you to feel confident about working independently."

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"You can do it. You're doing great! Try to finish this section by yourself, and then I'll look at what you've done."

SAY

"Tell me how you could find this information without me. Say I was the student, and you were the teacher, how would you help me do more on my own?"

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Don't expect me to do your homework for you! I'm busy!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngIt may be tempting to get mad about how you just need a break. And let's be clear: it's fine to tell your child you're tired and you can't help. But making your child feel like a burden does more damage than good. And it won't solve the problem of your child's unwillingness to do homework on their own.

The best way to help is to make sure your child starts to recognize the complicated feelings that make us want to give up. Fear, anxiety, pessimism all can push us to give up when we hit roadblocks on a project. The first step in dealing with these feelings? Recognizing them.

0

Cô gắi dễ thương My child regularly forgets or loses their homework.

Take time to think about what's really going on.

DO

It may feel like a problem of carelessness that just needs a good dose of nagging to fix. But kids lose and forget their homework for many different reasons. It could be they're struggling academically or their closest friend started eating lunch with someone else. It could be something more practical — your child writes down the assignment the teacher verbalized and got it wrong. So before talking to your child, reflect on what might be happening during your child's day.

Be prepared to be surprised.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngYou might think you know what's going on. But approaching the issue with real curiosity will help you discover the deepest truth, which will in turn yield the best solutions for your child. For instance, if you simply think your child is disorganized and never find out that your child actually just has low opinion of their intelligence, all the reward charts and day planners in the world won't solve the problem.

Don't outsource the issue to the teacher.

DON'T

It's great to ask the teacher for ideas. But it's also important to think less about school work and more about life lessons. Think of it this way: it's an opportunity to work with your child to solve a problem that's making their life difficult. In the process, you can model patience, problem solving, collaboration, and kindness.

Say what you see without judgment.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"I'm seeing you're having trouble getting your homework done and turned in. I want to help."

Invite your child to share their side of the story.

SAY

"Let's talk about this. Tell me what you think is happening? What do you think is making this hard for you?"

Offer help wholeheartedly.

SAY

"I know we can set you up for success! Let's think about three things we can do to help change this situation."

DON'T SAY

"Homework is important! Next year it will be an even bigger deal! So you need to focus."

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngTalking about how important homework is may work for a few kids. But for most it will only turn up the volume on their stress. Homework struggles are often a sign of being overwhelmed in some way.Your child could be struggling academically or socially, overscheduled, sleep-deprived, or have a learning issue that affects organization. Your reactions can add to their stress and won't help solve the problem.

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My child pretends that his homework is done when it isn't.

Step back from the immediate issue.

DO

It's easy to think about this as a homework problem, but it's not. It's about your child not feeling comfortable about what's really going on. The key is to open the lines of communication so you can address the bigger issue.

Think about how your child benefits from this behavior.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngCould your child feel shame about not finishing that lying feels like the only way out? Is your child caught in a cycle of avoidance that is only getting worse? Have you seen this behavior before? Is there a pattern? Could there be something irresistible (a fun sibling, a video game) that is drawing your child's attention? Getting into your child's head will help before you broach the topic.

Don't assume you're being manipulated.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngKids are brilliant and emotional beings who are good at getting what they want. They will try anything to protect themselves from some emotional apocalypse. Sometimes this means telling lies. This ends up making many adults regard their kids as master manipulators. This arms-length labeling (however tempting) is a distraction because it undermines your ability to get at the why. Why is your child willing to tell untruths to get out of homework? What are the underlying emotions?

Deliver a message in a calm voice. Just state the observable.

SAY

"Yesterday you told me you were finished with your homework but it wasn't done. Let's look at it now to make sure it's done, okay? Looks like there's a little more to do. How about you get this done, and then let's talk about how to make sure you're successful getting your homework done every day."

Offer to listen and help — in that order.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Let's talk about this homework thing. How are you feeling when you do homework? Sometimes you say your homework is done when it isn't. Why do you think this happens? What's the best way for me to help?"

Don't focus on the deception.

DON'T SAY

"I take this very, very seriously. Lying is wrong! You need to be honest, and if you don't, I'll never trust you!"

WHY

It may feelCô gắi dễ thương like this is the important thing, because you want your child to understand that lying is just plain wrong. But making an issue of it won't help you solve the problem with homework.

The lies could be fantasies, overly optimistic assessments of "done," avoiding the shame of not knowing how to do the work, or the fear of punishment. Focusing on the bad behavior on the surface may prevent you from finding the deeper truth.

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My child gets distracted from homework.

Set the stage for success.

DO

It may seem obvious to you that homework is a predictable part of daily life, but some kids have an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude about homework. This week try going overboard in setting up ways to help your child keep track of their responsibilities.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngGet a handle on screen time. Social media is a big distractor and can actually be addicting. Clear guidelines for your children's use of it need to be set up, agreed upon, and upheld. (Remember that you are the role model!) Boundaries with screen time will support your family's emotional health, face-to-face relationship time, and dedicated homework time.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngTogether, create a set of homework principles and agree to them. For example: no screen time before homework. Or tackle the hardest homework first. Maybe allow a short break between assignments.

DO

Create visual reminders: a note at the front door: "Did you remember your homework?" Organize their study area. Keep social media devices, such as cell phones, completely out of sight.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngEstablish a routine time for homework, so that it's as much of a habit as buckling your seat belt when you get into the car.

Don't win the battle and lose the war.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngDon't turn every evening into a battle royale. Keep the big picture in mind. Homework can be really tough on kids, so keep a positive, problem-solving outlook.

Speak from a place of optimism.

SAY

"Let's work on this together to make sure you remember to do your homework and turn it in. What would be helpful for you?"

Labels can be tempting, but they're counterproductive.

DON'T SAY

"Where's your head? You're so easily distracted! I don't know what to do with you! You're such a space case."

Labels set kids up to repeat themselves.

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngKids believe their parents. So when you call your child a space case, you help make it so. Better to tackle this as a relatively simple problem that can be solved together. It might not work the first time, or the second, but this process will teach your child that problems like this can be solved.

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Siblings

My older child controls and bullies my younger child.

Listen to your gut.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngHow serious is this problem? It's worth sitting with this question and cluing into your gut feelings. Are you worried? Does the dynamic seem toxic for your younger child? Sibling power dynamics are a common source of conflict for many families, but bullying is serious, no matter who does it. Research shows that sibling bullying can have long-term effects that are more serious than bullying at school.

Learn to recognize the signs of abuse.

DO

It's not always easy to recognize the line between normal rivalry and unhealthy conflict. If the sibling with more power repeatedly behaves with purposeful negative and hurtful intent, then it's considered bullying behavior and you should intervene.

Create a home where it's cool to be kind.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngModel empathy for the child who has been hurt and encourage your older child to take the younger child's perspective.

Monitor for safety, but get out of the way.

DO

You need to intervene if there's bullying. But a lot of rivalry is triggered by competing for parental attention. Make sure your kids can develop a bond by allowing them to play or resolve conflicts together without your involvement.

Don't assume you're powerless.

DON'T

You may feel overwhelmed, but you do have the power to help.

SAY

(in the heat of the moment)
"In our house we value treating each other with kindness and respect. How about you try saying that in a kind way you can be really proud of?"

SAY

(in a quiet moment to your younger child)
"I know you sometimes feel hurt by how your brother treats you. Let's talk about how you feel and also how he feels. We can even come up with strategies to help you deal with conflicts."

SAY

(in a quiet moment to your older child)
"I know you love your sister, but sometimes I'm not sure you communicate that. Sometimes you seems to be communicating the very opposite, even if you don't mean it. If you treat each other kindly, you'll both get so much more from being together."

DON'T SAY

"What the hell are you doing? You kids are driving me crazy! I can't take it any more!"

WHY

Sibling rivalry creates a lot of free-floating stress. But focusing on your feelings of aggravation may be a distraction and only build up the conflict. Try to think of this as a problem that will get solved with a lot of kindness and thoughtfulness all around. Better to approach it with a clear mind and an optimistic heart. If you think it's a bigger problem of abuse, seek professional help from school counselors or a therapist.

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My kids are always competing.

Take stock as to whether this is a problem for your kids as well as you.

DO

Sometimes sibling competition is more of an issue for the parents than the kids.

Foster positive, noncompetitive fun.

DO

If you think your kids are too competitive and it's damaging your family dynamic, then focus on the feelings and interactions you want to support. Focus on activities that promote collaboration (like group art or cooking), not competition, and talk positively about this.

Compare and you will despair.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngDon't fuel the competition wars by comparing your kids to one another. Even innocent statements can do damage. Siblings who are particularly competitive may feel denigrated when their sib is singled out for praise.

Praise positive moments in the relationship.

SAY

"I love how you worked together to clean the house. Amazing teamwork!"

Share stories about siblings supporting each other.

SAY

"Did I ever tell you about how my mother and her sister were best friends?"

DON'T SAY

"Cut it out! All the fighting and competing over everything is driving me crazy!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngYour kids probably are learning a lot from their conflicts — and this may be a good thing.

Think of the sibling relationship as a rock tumbler. Kids become who they are by bumping against one another's personalities and competing in a safe setting. Yes, you want a harmonious home, but kids' roughhousing and one-upmanship may be one of the safest and most appropriate places for them to experiment with expressing confidence, leadership, and power. Over time, their sibs will teach them that certain kinds of bragging are a turn-off and fighting to be "the best" can make some situations more fun and some not fun at all. If your kids have a foundation of love and respect, they can strive, fight, and compete, but in the end still know they love one another.

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Cô gắi dễ thương My child tells on their sibling about things that didn't happen to get them in trouble.

Calm the waters.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngStay calm. Ask each of your kids to share their perspective. Focus on helping your kids build a better relationship.

Empower your children by teaching them to have direct conversations with their sibling about difficult feelings. This is an important life skill.

Don't ride the roller coaster.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngIt's easy to jump to conclusions or overreact, but it's best to resist that wild ride.

SAY

"My sense is that you are angry with your brother. Maybe you think something isn't fair. I'd like you to talk to him about it. Tell him how you feel and what you'd like to change. Would you like to have that conversation just between the two of you, or would you like me there?"

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Are you lying again?"

"You're just like my little sister was."

WHY

Put-downs and comparisons are never helpful.

Deceptive behavior can spring from a lot of confused, unexpressed emotions. Kids may not feel emotionally safe, so they create drama that will assure them attention or love.

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Cô gắi dễ thương My children keep arguing about controlling screens.

Help them set up a fair system.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngUse a timer or something that lets them take turns without your oversight.

Don't become the screen god.

DON'T

Don't solve the problem for them. It's tempting to swoop in and fix silly issues like who's got the remote control, but your constant intervention will foster more sibling rivalry than sibling harmony.

Help them keep the bigger goal in mind.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"I know you both want to have fun. If you can solve your conflict, then you can keep watching or playing. If not, let's take a break and do something else."

Don't demean their issue.

DON'T SAY

"Why are you arguing about this again? Who cares?"

Cô gắi dễ thương"Turn it off!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngEven if the issue sounds insignificant to you, your children's sibling conflicts are complex and challenging. There's likely a lot more going on than the control of the remote control. Kids test boundaries, learn about negotiation, and explore power dynamics with their siblings. Help your children become more conscious of their sibling dynamics by talking during less heated moments.

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Peer pressure

Cô gắi dễ thương My child seems obsessed with being popular.

Dig deeper.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngAsk questions to find out what your child really wants from being part of the in-crowd. Are they seeking approval from one particular kid? Or feeling lonely? What does your child imagine popularity brings? Then focus on the underlying need.

Focus on their passions.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngHelp your child find a group of kids whose interests they share, whether it's through sports, theater, music, or academics. When kids find peers who love the same activity, they feel more comfortable being themselves.

DON'T

Dismiss your child's desire to conform or to have social power as shallow. Tweens and teens are trying to figure out their identity. Comparing themselves with peers helps them do that; it also often leads to feeling insecure about where they fit in.

Listen more, judge less.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"I notice you're really interested in what Sarah and her crowd are doing. What are they like?"

Share your own experience.

SAY

"I remember how it felt when I was your age. Sometimes it felt like I was left out of all the fun."

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"People who are popular in high school aren't necessarily socially successful later in life."

or

Cô gắi dễ thương"This will pass."

WHY

Both of these statements may be true, but your child cares about what's happening right now. Empathize with their experience, without feeling like you have to solve the problem. Kids learn resilience by dealing with uncomfortable feelings.

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Cô gắi dễ thương I'm worried my child's friends are a bad influence.

Get to know them.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngEncourage your child's friends to hang out at your home so you can learn more about them. Listen carefully to discover the nature of their relationship with your child. Is there an unhealthy power dynamic? Or are the kids just not who you wish your child was drawn to?

Encourage a constructive peer group.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngHelp your child find other kids who share their interests. Kids on competitive sports teams or in orchestras, theater, or academic clubs are often more focused on their next event than on getting involved in risky behavior.

Be the detective.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngTalk with your child about their friends. If your child's friends are engaged in risky behavior, does your child feel pressure to follow them? Or does your child seem secure in their ability to make healthy choices?

Be specific.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngTell your child exactly what behavior you won't tolerate, such as drinking, drug use, swearing, talking back, or not telling you where they're going — without blaming your child's friends.

Keep close tabs.

DO

Know where your child is, what they're doing, and who they're with when they're not at school. Research shows kids whose parents monitor them are less likely to engage in risky behavior. If your child protests, let them know that you care and that knowing where they are is non-negotiable.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngDon't lose your head. Conversations with your child about their friends can get heated fast! Keep your emotions in check and you'll have a better chance of communicating productively.

Start a talk, not a lecture.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"Tell me about what Jack is like as a friend. What do you like about him? What kinds of things does he like to do?"

Don't declare war.

DON'T SAY

"Ever since you started hanging out with Jack and his friends, you've been impossible! You'd better shape up or you can't see them anymore!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngYou'll have a hard time prevailing if you alienate your child by criticizing their friends. Your child liked them enough to choose them as friends and may get defensive or start hiding things if you pit yourself against their peer group.

Your child may be at a stage when friends rule their world. Brain science suggests this is completely normal. But if you show your child that you care by listening and being there for them, your concern will mean something to them. You may not get your child to change social groups, but they will hear your concerns and become more aware of their friends' behavior.

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Cô gắi dễ thương Other kids are pressuring my child to exclude another child.

Help them understand why.

DO

Tell your child that often kids doing the excluding are afraid of being excluded themselves. Help your child see that by standing up for another child they send the group a message that none need fear exclusion.

Urge them to consult their sense of right and wrong.

DO

Ask your child how it feels to see another child being excluded. Ask if they can think of anything they could do to intercede that would feel more right to them.

Get the school's help.

DO

Reach out to your child's teacher, advisor or principal if you feel an adult should be involved. Does it sounds like there's bullying? Is the dynamic getting in the way of kids' learning?

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngDon't contact the other parents. You'll betray your child's trust and possibly create problems between your child and his peers.

Share your own story.

SAY

"I was involved in a situation like this once…"

DON'T SAY

"If your friends all jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?"

WHY

Every child feels the pressure to follow the group.

Emotional bullying, which includes strategically excluding other kids, is something kids do to increase their own popularity. Make sure your child understands that it's not OK to participate in this, or to reinforce it by going along with the group.

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Cô gắi dễ thương I worry that my child is bullying other kids.

Check your pride.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngIf another parent approaches you about your child's behavior, listen. You might feel defensive, but first hear what they have to say. Then approach your child about it in as neutral and calm a way as possible.

Focus on behavior.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngIs your child involved in negative behavior? Be specific about what's not OK: saying mean things about other kids, purposely leaving them out, or teasing kids in a way that's hurtful or intimidating.

Model the change you want to see in your child.

DO

Whether interacting with your child, your partner, or the driver who cuts you off in traffic, hold yourself to the same standard for respectful communication that you expect your child to follow.

Don't make excuses.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngSaying things like "It wasn't your fault" or "It wasn't a big deal" will send the message that your child is not responsible for their negative behavior.

Call them out.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"I heard you talking with your friends about another kid in a way that sounded mean and hurtful. What's the story behind that?"

Don't make it about you.

DON'T SAY

"I can't believe you would embarrass me like that in front of other parents!"

WHY

You may be angry and embarrassed if another child's parents come to you about your child's behavior. But you need more information to deal with the situation. If you stay calm, you'll have a better chance of uncovering why your child is acting the way they are.

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My child is unhappy with their body.

Model a healthy body mindset.

DO

If you're always on a diet and express dissatisfaction with your own body, you teach your child to do the same. By modeling good eating habits and acceptance of your body, you'll pass these healthy behaviors on.

Celebrate their body for what it can do, not how it looks.

DO

Emphasize that a healthy, strong body supports your child in all of the things they want to do. If your child isn't interested in sports, encourage other kinds of movement that promote strength and feel good, such as dance, hiking, bike rides, or martial arts.

Watch for signs of an eating disorder.

DO

Warning signs include weight loss, unusual behavior around food, excessive exercise, and withdrawing from normal activities. If you notice any of these, talk to your child's doctor, especially if you're worried that your child may be developing an unhealthy body image.

Walk the walk.

DO

Pay attention to how you respond to media images of masculine and feminine beauty. Are there women's magazines lying around the house? Do your comments about celebrity bodies undermine your conversations about what a normal healthy body looks like?

Don't comment.

DON'T

Cô gắi dễ thươngDon't make observations about your child's body, whether positive or negative, or compare their body to others', even lightly. Your words carry tremendous weight with your child. They won't feel good about their body if they get the idea that you're scrutinizing it.

Focus on the feelings.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"You seem pretty focused on trying to lose weight/get that six pack, etc. Can we talk about what's behind this?"

Don't make your child feel watched.

DON'T SAY

"Look at you! You're so beautiful! You don't need to change your body!"

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngYou may feel like your child just needs a healthy dose of praise about the thing they feel insecure about: their body. But these feelings of insecurity are not so much about their body as about their precarious sense of self in a world where people are judged constantly about their appearance. Flattery about their body will not erase an entire pop culture obsessed with hard-bodied men and size 2 women.

If your child is feeling insecure about their looks, get them to explore the feelings underneath that. Help them recognize examples of our culture's obsession with body image. Teens and tweens are naturally self-conscious about the changes their bodies are going through. Unfortunately, many of the images they see are not good models for what a healthy human body looks like.

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Risky behavior

I'm worried my teen drives unsafely.

Have zero tolerance for impaired driving.

DO

If you suspect your teen is using drugs or alcohol and getting behind the wheel, there's no room for tolerance. Driving privileges need to be taken away, immediately.

Put it in writing.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngTalk to your teen driver about driver safety on a regular basis. Before giving them keys to the car, have them sign a safe driver's contract, such as the one available at teendriving.aaa.com.

Solo is safest.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngRestrict your teen driver's passengers. The fatal crash risk for teen drivers increases incrementally with one, two, and three or more passengers.

Go along for the ride.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngRide with your child regularly to observe their habits and safety and give them more hours of driving with supervision.

Set a safe example.

DON'T

Don't text or talk on the phone while you're driving. Research shows that texting increases the risk of a crash by at least eight times.

Don't avoid the issue.

DON'T

Be hands-off: Teens have the highest accident rate of any group of drivers in the U.S., and car crashes are the number one cause of death for young adults ages 15 to 20. Teens who say their parents set rules and monitor their driving are less likely to crash or to drive while intoxicated.

SAY

"Driving is a privilege, not a right. Let's talk about how you can show me that you're driving safely."

Don't pass the buck.

DON'T SAY

"Great, you have your license! Now I don't have to drive you around."

WHY

Cô gắi dễ thươngYour teen is entering the most dangerous years of their driving life. They might have earned their license but they need ongoing supervision and monitoring to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a crash.

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I'm worried my child is drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs.

Communicate your rules.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngTell your child exactly where you stand regarding underage alcohol and drug use: The only safe level of underage alcohol use is no alcohol use. And know that kids whose parents take a zero-tolerance approach to drinking are less likely to use and abuse alcohol, and to suffer the related consequences.

Be proactive.

DO

Discuss situations where alcohol and drugs may be present and how your child can avoid them. Help your child come up with something they feel good about saying in front of their peers, whether it's "I'm cutting down," "No way — that's not for me," or "I'm in training," so that they aren't left to think of what to say on the spot.

Keep close tabs.

DO

Research shows kids whose parents keep close track of them are less likely to engage in risky behavior. Pick them up from social events. Check in with other parents. Know where your child's going, who they'll be with, and what they'll be doing.

Keep an open dialogue.

SAY

"Tell me about the party this weekend. Who's going? Will people be drinking?"

Don't punish your child for being honest.

DON'T SAY

"You guys were drinking at Helen's house? You're grounded for a month!"

WHY

If you punish your child for telling you about an experience they've had with alcohol or drugs, they won't talk to you about their experiences again. Tell them you appreciate their honesty and then make sure they know that you strongly disapprove of what they did and what your expectations are for their behavior in the future.

Studies show that it's parents who have the most influence over teens' decision to drink — or not. Even if you don't always say the right thing, it's a conversation that you want to keep having throughout the tween and teen years.

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Cô gắi dễ thương I think my teen is involved in an unhealthy relationship.

Learn more.

DO

Talk to your teen. Share what you've observed and why it concerns you. Ask questions to find out what the relationship looks like from their point of view.

Talk about love.

DO

Your kid may call you corny, but in a world of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and reality TV dating, kids don't have a lot of role models for healthy relationships. Talk about what a healthy love looks like and share positive stories about your dating and romances. Your child may not be able to relate, but they will hear the bigger message: healthy relationships are positive and worthwhile.

Watch for changes.

DO

Signs that your teen is under stress may include extreme irritability, sleeping more, avoiding usual routines, excessive arguing with their girlfriend or boyfriend, avoiding other friends, as well as signs of coercive or manipulative behavior. These are all signs that you need to intercede immediately.

Get help from a professional.

DO

Get your school's help to find a counselor or therapist who specializes in teens.

Don't put your head in the sand.

DON'T

Don't wait and hope it gets better. If you suspect that your teen is involved in an unhealthy relationship, talk with them about it now.

SAY

"Healthy relationships make people feel good, not bad."

DON'T SAY

"He's a jerk. I forbid you to see him anymore!"

WHY

If you put your child in the position of defending their boy/girlfriend, that makes it a battle between the two of you. You want your child to know you're their ally, not make them feel like they have to choose between you and their relationship.

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My child's temper gets them into trouble.

Notice the triggers.

DO

Pay attention to what kinds of situations trigger your child's temper. As soon as they're calm, ask them who or what they're angry with — You? Someone else? Homework? Loss of a privilege? Themselves?

Get them on board.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngGive your child compelling reasons to change their behavior. Expressing their feelings in a less offensive way will improve their relationships with their peers and teachers, and may prevent unsafe altercations.

Put it in context.

DO

Give your child opportunities to talk about complex feelings and learn new emotional vocabulary. Watch a movie like Twilight, where a character's anger is destructive, and talk about that character's inner life.

Give them alternatives.

DO

Punching a pillow, kicking a punching bag, or repeatedly bouncing a ball may help diffuse your child's anger. Explain how physical activities like deep breathing or putting their hands in cold water can calm the emotional part of the brain. Encourage them to come up with their own ideas. Each time they try an alternative, ask if it made them feel better. They may need to try different methods before finding one that works.

Get help.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngIf your child's anger turns into aggression toward people, animals, or property, or if your attempts to help them control their anger aren't working, seek help from a therapist or counselor.

Don't engage on the battlefield.

DON'T

Don't negotiate with your child when they're in a rage. They're not rational in those moments and the situation will escalate if you try to reason with them mid-meltdown.

SAY

"I want to talk about this but let's wait until we're both calmer and can have a conversation."

Don't tell a negative story.

DON'T SAY

"You're out of control! You're going to end up in jail the way you're going!"

WHY

If you label your child as someone who can't control their anger, they may come to believe this description of themselves as a fact and feel powerless to change. Help them change their own story and see themselves as someone who can succeed at learning to manage their anger in difficult moments.

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I found sexting on my child's phone.

Talk about digital footprints.

DO

Cô gắi dễ thươngEmphasize to your child, ideally before they have their own phone, that once they text a message or photo, they no longer have control over who sees it. The standard for every text they send should be: "Would I be OK if this ended up being seen by my teachers, my classmates, my parents, and my future employers?" A small indiscretion can quickly lead to painful public humiliation, and a photo, once online, can stay there forever.

Collaborate with your school.

DO

Local law enforcement agencies may be able to come to your child's school to talk about the laws affecting sexting, which vary between states and can have serious consequences. Distributing explicit photos of minors can carry child pornography charges.

Read your child's texts.

DO

Monitor your child's phone use — and let them know you do. If they object, explain that you pay the bills. If you find questionable images or texts, talk with your child.

Cô gắi dễ thươngRestricting their ability to text is another option: many phone plans block images.

Don't fall behind.

DON'T

Don't assume that because you don't see sexting on your child's phone that they aren't engaging in it. There are apps that allow kids to text messages and images without leaving a trace. Keep an open dialogue with your child about appropriate digital communications.

Appeal to their empathy.

SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"If you receive a text that would embarrass or hurt someone if it were seen by others, don't share it."

Don't shame.

DON'T SAY

Cô gắi dễ thương"How could you send a picture like that? What were you thinking?"

WHY

Sexting is as much about relationships and sex as it is about technology. Remind teens that respect should be the basis of all relationships and that no one who cares about them should be pressuring them to exchange explicit messages or photos.

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Emotional Smarts

Children who develop emotional intelligence skills are kinder, happier, healthier, and more successful.

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