Are you time in or time out??

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time outToday I read an article on ahaparenting.com that was about a fairly new to me concept of “time-in” instead of a “time-out” approach to discipline. The article spoke on how having a space for a child to have cuddle time if she is acting out her emotions in a negative manner. Time-in says that you should let the child know that you recognize that she is having a hard time and that you understand that she is feeling some type of way. You reiterate over and over that you are here for her and that you love her. Ok great. Then the article goes on to disprove the time-out approach. It stated that it does not allow the child to properly express herself, it creates power struggles, it makes children feel as if they are bad, and it adds or gives abandonment issues. This was my summarized version you can read the complete article here.

There are some things that I agree with when it comes to time in. I like the fact that you acknowledge that your child is dealing with some feelings and emotions causing her to act out. I like the fact that it forces you not to ignore the behavior and take out some precious time with the child while it is much needed. However I do have some issues with time-in. My issues with time-in are:

  1. Most of the time acting out behaviors in a negative way has something to do with gaining attention. This teaches your child that anytime that she may be craving attention from you she can just act out in a negative way and here you will come to hug and cuddle with her. It creates an unhealthy pattern.
  2. She is ultimately getting a reward for acting out. So rules and boundaries does not matter. Do you think when she gets old enough to drive the police is going to care if she had a bad day if she is doing 98 mph in a 55 mph zone. That is why we have to teach them about self soothing. Do you think he is going to take her to a cuddle spot? It may be a cuddle spot alright.. That is why we have to teach them about self soothing.  Teach your child that there are consequences to every action.
  3. Letting your child continue to yell and speak disrespectfully to you because she needs to move herself to cry to cleanse her of her emotions. I will never tolerate disrespect. You can express yourself, even as a child, without being disrespectful. It is not a power struggle because there will be no struggle when it comes to that topic. You think that as an adult your child is going to be permitted to talk to her boss disrespectful without some type of repercussion?

I also like some aspects of time-out. I like the way that the child can clearly recognize when she has made a poor decision to negatively act out their emotions.   However I do have issues with time out as well.

  1. You most of the time are dragging the child to time out.
  2. The child sits there without any instructions and it is just a waste of time. (I do not like wasting time)
  3. Time out is not a constructive consequence.

I can look at both sides of the time methods and some things I do not agree with and some things I totally get. However I want to share my method that somewhat combines both time in and time out. I would like to call it going to the thinking chair. This is how it works.

  1. The child does some negative act of emotional expression in which boundaries have already been set and expectations have been made clear.
  2. You look at the child in her eyes. Explain to her what she did that was unacceptable. Then you let her know that she needs to spend time on the thinking chair.
  3. The thinking chair is equipped with paper, pencils, and crayons at all times.
  4. While in the thinking chair the child will think about what she has done wrong and will answer these questions with words or a drawing.
  5. The questions are: why do you think you are in the thinking chair? Why did you choose to act in that way? What made you feel like acting in that way? If you ever feel like that again how will you let mommy know about your feelings? How can mommy help you with your feelings?
  6. After these questions have been answered they will bring you the paper(s). You then sit with them with undivided attention and actively listen to what they have to say.
  7. Address all necessary concerns and validate their feelings. End with a hug and an “I love you”.

See best of both worlds. The child knows clearly that the behavior is not acceptable. You are teaching boundaries and behavior limits. You have set expectations. You have given them positive undivided attention. You have given them a way to learn how to problem solve. You are empowering them to take responsibility for their actions and to think before reacting.

Try this method and let me know how it works for your child. Please share with us on twitter and facebook.

Are you coping me?

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Are you coping me

As parents our children look to us to see how to react, how to talk , how to walk, our mannerisms and this is how they begin the process of functioning through the world. This is what happens on a daily bases. They watch us so closely they can sometime predict our next words or actions. Our children, in time, know how to get what reaction out of us. How is this so? They have an impeccable memory at this age. They remember what it takes to get certain results. Their memories can remember situations which involve their world and their world is you.

So what are we giving them to mimic and remember? Are we showing them how to give, love, or care for others as much as they care for themselves? Are we showing them how to be selfish and self centered? I have compiled 10 practical ways to give your child something positive to emulate, to share with you.

  1. Give your child hugs. Sounds simple right but to some this is a huge task. Maybe something in your past has kept you from positive physical touch with others. You know how that makes you feel right. Do you want to pass that down to your child? What is so great about a hug anyway? A positive embrace let’s your child know that I love you and I want to be around you. It shows them the proper way to show affection. A proper embrace gives a sense of security and protection. Try one today and watch the smile on your child’s face.

 

  1. Speak in a nice tone to others and them. If your voice is always elevated or has a harshness behind it that is how your child will began to talk to friends, family, teachers, and even you.

 

 

  1. Actively listen to them and they will listen to you. When you are talking to someone you want their full attention right? Of course you do what you are saying is important to you and you want to share or gain answers. So how does it make you feel when you are talking and the person you are talking to is staring at their phone or tablet? How do you feel when they are constantly interrupting you to talk to someone else? Your children feel all of that when they try to talk to you and you are looking at your phone. When you are looking at television or scrolling through twitter, instagram, facebook or the like. They feel as if you do not care and they slowly shut down and do not talk to you at all. When you try and talk to them they are engaged in that toy care or baby doll. They have earphones in all the time and they shrink into their own little world and you are out. Nothing you say sticks.

 

  1. Watch the actions that you do with your friends when the kids are around. It is not the time for that twerk contest when all of your children are in the room. Or giving your friend the middle finger while little eyes are watching.

 

 

  1. Think before you react angrily towards someone. How do your react when you get angry. Do you fly completely off of the handle? Do you cuss someone from the top of their head to the sole of their feet? Do you punch walls, do you announce that you are going to fight someone? How are you teaching your children to react when someone or something angers them? Think first.

 

  1. Give freely and cheerfully. I would see my mom give away so much. If she had something and someone wanted it she would give it. She said her mother was the same way. That is one of the most important things she remembers about her mother. She saw her give even when she did not have a lot.

 

 

  1. Be present in your family. Take time out from your busy schedule to unplug and be present with your children. It shows your children that family comes first.

 

  1. Pray with your children. Prayer shows your child how to talk to God. How to become focused and calm. Prayer brings peace to your household.

 

 

  1. Have fun. Life is way too short to be so stuffy. Sit on the floor and play with them. Put your pinky up for tea time. Break out those sneakers for an impromptu to pick up basketball game. You can soak later. Lol

10. Laugh at yourself.  That shows your child that everyone makes mistakes and that we do not have to beat ourselves up about it.  It shows then that things happen and we can laugh about them and move on.

There are so more tips that I am sure you can add to this list.   And we would love to hear what you do to be a good example for your child. So leave us a comment below, send me a tweet with hashtag #parentingpeace or share your thoughts with us on facebook .

 

 

Social Media Challenges

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social media challengesSocial media is an awesome tool. I am on some type of social media for hours in a day. No I am not a slacker, it’s my job. Guess who else maybe on social media. Our children, yes, because my God-daughter is “grown” in age I give her a little space and we live in different cities now. So I am learning more about what she is doing through social media then our conversations. To me she is my sweet baby girl but on social media she can become someone totally different. Yes I am friends with a lot of my little people on facebook because it is easier to connect with them especially those that I have moved away from. I see a whole bunch of stuff and all of it is not positive or what I think they should be posting, liking, tweeting, and sharing. My timeline often becomes my prayer list.

Recently there has been some very dangerous “challenges” videos that has me very disturbed. They are popping up on my timeline because adults are blown away by the lack of common sense that our children are displaying.  So with that said let us talk about solutions that could prevent these sorts of things from happening or getting out of control. I am going to put these questions out there and as parents let us answer them together.

 

  1. What where your thoughts when you first saw the videos of the “fire and pass out challenge”?
  2. Who did you place the blame on? The child, the parents, or social media?
  3. What would you have done if your child had been actively participating in one of these challenges?
  4. Have you talked to your child about these situations that are happening?
  5. Have you let your child watch the videos and looked at their reactions?
  6. If your child is too young to understand the challenges have you taken this awareness to talk about being a leader, peer pressure, and making their own decisions? (of course in a language they will understand) Or do you think this is not relevant to the younger ones (elementary down to four years old)

 

These are just a few questions that I was curious about when I gave thought to this awful situation that is taking over our social media youth. I really want to hear your thoughts and ideas. One thing this team can benefit from is the ideas and views of others. They are safe here, because after all we are imperfect parents. Comment below, tweet me, or let’s chat on facebook.

Discipline is a positive thing.

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discipline

 

Discipline the d word no one wants to talk about when it comes to their children. They feel guilty when their child is not pleased with them. As parents this is something that we should not dismiss. Discipline is not the harming of your child because he or she doesn’t do things your way. Discipline is a positive part of growing up. The definition of discipline from dictionary.com is: Training to act in accordance with the rules. If we do not discipline them at home they WILL be disciplined when they go out into the world. I know some that want to keep their child a “free spirit” ok I get it. You want your child to be expressive and not want to stifle creativity. Others may want to rule with an Iron fist and have their children on an eighteen year sentence. So let’s look at some ways to create a culture of discipline in your home that will work for you and your family.

  1. What does your child best respond to? My parents were firm believers in “spare the rod and spoil the child”. However I can count on one hand the number of spanking I received. I was no angel but I would most of the time straighten up on the first “death look” I would get from my mom. I would respond to looks and stern talking to’s. My brother on the other hand was a different story.
  2. Are the rules clear and concise in your home? You cannot fault a child for doing something that they didn’t know was off limits. Some things we as parents do not think about until they happen. When that happens lend a little grace. Say something like “ no we cannot do that and this is why….”.
  3. Which brings me to: give your children explanations as to why they do not do certain things. Most kids respond better when they know why they can’t have things or why certain actions are not tolerable. You will get a lot less attitude.
  4. Think of creative consequences for your children. Time out may not work for your little one. Or sending your child to their technology filled bedroom may not be the way to teach a lesson. For example I was just sitting around the table the other day listening to the wisdom of seasoned parents. One lady told a story of her son always slamming the door when he was upset. They had told him over and over that that was unacceptable behavior. One day he went to slam the door and there was no door to slam. They took it off the hinges. He learned not to slam doors. Extreme? I don’t think so but that is just me, I call it creative.
  5. Be consistent!!!! This is so huge! Follow through is everything when teaching and implementing discipline. If you tell your child you cannot go outside until all of your homework is finished and checked. You have to go by that rule. Even it is inconvenient to you. Because the lesson that your child will learn is that your word cannot be trusted. Or “I can get away with it because my parents will not do anything”. When those feelings and ideas come into their head, the level of respect that they have for you will diminish.

We will work on these five for now. Disciplining your child may make them salty at you at first and maybe for a couple of days. They may roll their eyes behind your back. However what is being instilled in them is that “my parents care enough to raise me the right way.”I have had so many talks with children especially in the middle school age bracket, that will say” my mom doesn’t care.“  You never want your child to think you do not care about them. Because they will start searching for someone who does and that is how gangs grow and our girls fall into the negative cycle of abuse by men. Let us show our children we care enough to teach them right from wrong.   I would love to hear your ideas. Comment below or come and connect with us on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for being part of the imperfect parent team.

Being too friendly?

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                                  Being too Friendly                                                  “OMG, Mom I totally hate you.  I can’t believe you just said that I had to clean my room before going outside.”  Have you ever been on the receiving side of this sort of comment? 

Me? Absolutely not!!  While I have never experienced this venom being spat in my direction verbally.  I am sure that it has crossed a mind or two. Wait I take that back I have had one child to tell me to go to hell.  But that was the last time he EVER said that to me.  No, he isn’t still trying to pick himself up off the floor.  He just understood what he did was wrong.  I did not yell but I did have to hold a couple of other boys from jumping on him.  That happened once.

Remember we all all imperfect parents, that’s just the truth of the matter.  However when the relationship between you and your child first begins you must set boundaries.  They have to know that you are an authority figure you are the leader. You are not a peer.  You do not have to be the iron fist of Russia but you do have to insure them that you are to be respected. 

In a time where children think that to give someone respect they must first earn it.  I can see that to a certain point.  But the time that you gave birth, or took in that child as someone you care for you earn automatic respect.  I am a little old school like that and think that you should respect your elders.  I know there are some dead beat parents out there, let’s just be truthful about it, and I bet that is hard to respect. But if I am old enough to birth you a little respect should be given. At least respond when an adult say something to you.

How do we teach respect?  Here are 3 ways that I have learned to teach respect.

1. Teach your child to say yes, or yes ma’am or no sir.  And teach them how to put a “handle” on adults names.  For example have your child address your neighbors or anyone old enough to be a parent as Ms or Mr.  My brother and I were never allowed to call adults by there first names.  Even if they told us to, our mom would give us the fiery look of death.  However growing up that set boundaries of respect for us. My mom was always complimented on how respectful we were when in public.  I, to this day, cannot get away with answering my mom with a “huh” or even a “yes” it is “yes ma’am”.  Your child will begin to be respectful in and outside of the home.

2. Be a parent FIRST.  My daughter knew that she could talk to me about anything.  She knew that it had to be in a respectful way though.  We play around and I use to let her get away with a playful “girl bye” but she knew that I am her mother.  All of my other sideline children knew that they could come to Ms. L for anything but I was not their peer, I was their youth leader, mentor, or auntie.  The boundaries were set and kept.

3. Respect them and the adults in their lives.  Children learn best by seeing.  They watch our ever moves with hawk like eyes.  So give them something to emulate.  Do not interrupt them when they are having a conversation without an “excuse me”.  Respect their property, because after all it is yours.  lol…… It is ok to knock on their door before entering.  You do not have to wait on an invitation but knocking shows that you respect their space.

 It’s really the small things that make the most impact.  It is never too late to start new behaviors and habits.  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.  Leave me a comment or click here to join us on facebook. 

Welcome to The Parenting Peace

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I was thinking about how I could share my thoughts and gain the knowledge of others about parenting.  Then I thought Social Media of course, but they limit what you can say.  So here I am at The Parenting Peace.  Here to share with you peace in parenting. 

No parent is perfect and I understand that, more than you know, and I wanted to have a place for us.  The imperfect parents.  We can relax here we can share stories and find peace in knowing we are not the only ones who struggle with parenting.  No matter how many books that help us, I have written a few myself, there is not an instruction book that will work perfectly for each parent with every child. 

So here we are welcome feel free to share your thoughts, your stories, your victories, and failures.  We are not here to judge but to encourage.  I cannot wait to get started.

 

 

Peace,

 

L.Marie