March 29, 2010

Make Clean Up Time Fun Time

Is the family room cluttered with toys and it's driving you crazy? Grab a kitchen timer. Tell your kids it's time to play "Beat The Clock."  Set the timer for 15-20 minutes and race to get as much done as possible before the alarm goes off. Making clean up time a game can really motivate kids. And just think about how much you'll laugh watching one another rush around the room.

Ever played "Beat The Clock?" Did it work?

March 27, 2010

Mistakes Parents Make

There are two big ones: Talking too much and giving explanations that aren't needed.

Pay attention to how many words you're using. If you use too many words your child will just tune you out. If you've given your child the same explanation ten times and it's not resulted in your child listening or responding, than what makes you think the eleventh explanation will work?

Most of the time we think that if we can get our child to understand things from our perspective the situation will end in our favor. Children, especially one youngs, aren't capable of being rational. Yet we continue to explain things over and over with no results.

Use less words and speak using a calm, firm voice and see if your child responds to you.

March 25, 2010

Talking to Kids About Sex

It's so important to talk to your children about sexuality starting at a young age. Even preschoolers know that boys and girls are different. Use that as an opportunity to start teaching them about respect for their body and being respectful of others.

Pay attention to the messages you are sending your child about sexuality.

It's not unheard of for girls as young as 8 to begin menstruating so I encourage you to not wait until you feel your children are old enough to understand because in reality there is no magic age at which to talk to them about sex.

March 23, 2010

Do You Lie To Your Kids?

That was the topic on March 18th when I was a guest on "Great Day St. Louis," on KMOV.


Do You Yell At Your Kids?

When your child doesn't comply or does something that's unacceptable does it push you over the edge and you react by yelling?

Is the yelling effective or does your child tune you out? If it's not effective why do you still do it?

Parents usually yell when they're feeling frustrated and stressed out. Parents who yell often have children who yell. I often have parents tell me they want their child to stop yelling yet they themselves are yelling. If you want your child to stop yelling you're going to have to reign in your own habit of yelling.

It's not easy to break the yelling habit but here are some suggestions:

Know what triggers your yelling. If your child's messy room sets you off then have a plan for what you will do and say the next time you lay eyes on the mess. Close the door so you can't see it. Then, when you've calmed down, speak to your child about cleaning up the mess.

Leave the room. If siblings are squabbling and you normally yell at them to stop, take a deep breath and leave the room.

Talk in a soft voice. Sometimes when you use whispering instead of yelling your kids will pay more attention to you.

Think about how you want your child to remember you. Do you want your kids to remember you as a mom who yelled all the time or as a mom who was calm and in control?

Are you a yeller and if so does it work for you?

If you're a recovering yeller what advice can you offer moms who are trying to quit?

March 22, 2010

I was featured on KSDK's Moms Like Me Prime Time Special on March 17th. My segment begins at 4:25.


March 19, 2010

When was the last time you enjoyed being with your kids?

Life is chaotic, there's work, shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning and bills to pay. Sometimes parents are so busy with the daily stuff of life that they forget to just put everything aside for a few minutes and enjoy being with their kids.

You don't have to go anywhere and you don't have to spend any money. You can play a board game, bake some cookies, dance to a silly song, snuggle on the sofa or rough house. The activity itself doesn't matter. The fact that you're doing something spontaneous with your kids is what's really important.

When was the last time you enjoyed being with your kids and what did it include?

March 2, 2010

March 2nd is Read Across America Day

NEA's national reading celebration takes place each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too!

This is my favorite Dr. Seuss book. It's a great book for encouraging kids to talk about feelings.