May 27, 2011

FREE Class: Managing Your Child's ADHD

June 25th, 10am-12pm at my office
485 Wildwood Parkway, Suite 1, Ballwin 63011
Map and directions can be found HERE

The class will offer specific strategies you can use at home to help your child be more organized and more focused. A list of local resources will also be provided. The information shared will be applicable to children ages 4-10.

Class is free but you do need to register by sending an email to

Include your name, how many will be attending and a phone number.

Space is limited to the first ten who respond. This class is for parents only. No childcare will be provided.

May 25, 2011

How to Manage Sibling Fights

Siblings are going to squabble. "Mom, she hit me!" "He called me dumb!" "I just know he's thinking about touching me!" What's a parent to do?

Here are some of the reasons why sibling squabble and what you can do about it:

*They might be tired, hungry or bored. Maybe they need a snack, a break or something different to do.

*Maybe they're trying to get your attention. Are you busy cooking dinner, doing laundry and checking your email and not paying enough attention to them? Stop what you're doing for ten minutes and give them your full, undivided attention.

*If your kids are arguing and no one is getting hurt can you ignore it? Stay calm and wait to see if they can resolve the issue themselves. If not, then intervene. If they are able to find a solution tell them you noticed and that you're proud of them for working it out.

*If you have to separate them give them a chance to cool down. Let each one tell his or her side of the story. Then ask them what they can do about it. Don't take sides. It they can't come up with a solution offer suggestions. Use this as an opportunity to teach them how to make deals with one another.

*Teach your children how to play with one another. Show a younger child how to ask his older sister, "Would you play with me?"

*Provide different activities that kids of different ages can do together. Play dough and blocks are good examples. Teach them how to trade toys instead of grabbing what they want.

*Don't compare your children. That's one big reason why siblings fight with one another. Refrain from saying things like, "Why can't you be more like your brother?" or "Your sister doesn't have any problems with getting her homework finished."

*Treat your children fairly not equally.

*Be a coach not a referee.

May 3, 2011

Use Your Words!

Your child is angry because his sister came into his room. He throws a toy at her and you respond with, "Use your words!" What was the result? Did he shift gears and go into a verbal explanation of what he needed or why he was upset? Probably not and it's probably because he didn't know what words you wanted him to use.

As parents we're quick to tell our children, "Use your words" but we've probably not taken the time to teach them exactly what words we want them to use. Sometimes it's a matter of modeling those words for your child. Think about what your child sees when you're upset. Does she see you throwing something or yelling or does she hear you using your words? Put your own emotions into words and your child will pick up on what words you want him to use.

Find opportunities to work with your child to find the right words to describe emotions and how to communicate those emotions. Trace around a gingerbread cookie cutter. Have your child color in parts of the person that represent where we feel emotions. For example, when we're sad our heart may feel blue. When feeling angry our face might look and feel red hot. Point out how other people are feeling. Use characters in books or TV shows.

If your child has siblings use their interactions to teach what words to use. For example, when your son hits his little sister because she knocked down his block tower, tell him what you want to hear. Say, "It really made you mad when she knocked that tower down but you can't hit your sister. You need to tell her that it makes you angry." Have your child repeat the words so he will grow used to what it is he needs to say.

In order to teach your children how to use their words you need to be specific about what you want your children to say. You need to model the exact words repeatedly and find ways for your child to practice using them.