Incentives are a MUST!

I have met countless people over the years who frown upon incentives being used to get children to behave well. Children are being bribed for doing what they should do anyway. “Children should automatically behave and respect their elders”, they say.

I am sorry (not really) to report that this is not the case. It takes years of extrinsic incentives (physical and intangible rewards) to create intrinsic motivation in many children.

Offering children something in return for their appropriate behavior is seen by some as a powerful resource tool for helping to mold children’s behavior. On the other hand, some believe Continue reading “Incentives are a MUST!” »

How to Use Consequences

“She doesn’t care!” That was the main problem presented to me by one of my clients. We’ll call her Jane.

“When I speak, she doesn’t care. It’s like talking to a wall unless I’m up close and yelling. That’s when she finally does what I ask her to do”, Jane told me.

Of the many concerns that Jane had, the biggest one was the relationship between her and her daughter. Jane feared that if things continued this way, the relationship with her daughter would continue to be strained for years to come. This is not at all what she had Continue reading “How to Use Consequences” »

Communication Fun! Come Play…

Argh….it can be frustrating and heart-wrenching at all the same time when kids are defiant. We love them so much and want the best for them. “Why won’t they just calm down and listen to me??”

I write those words from first hand experiences with my own kids along with sharing the experiences of other parents. Being a parent comes with feeling an extremely wide range of emotions, especially when we are talking about wanting the best for our kids. Although we strive to always do right by them, parents make mistakes sometimes.

Trust me, it’s ok. There is Continue reading “Communication Fun! Come Play…” »

It’s OK to Cry, BUT…

It’s totally OK to cry and show emotions.


What isn’t OK is when those emotions turn into unsafe and destructive behaviors.

Admit it, we all have emotions and we all cry from time to time. It could be due to sadness, happiness, or an unknown cause. Regardless, we are human and have emotions that need to be expressed. Our kids need to be allowed to express their emotions too!31257468_s

From working with kids and parenting for many years, I know that expressing one’s emotions is something that is taught and modeled. If a child regularly sees and hears his Continue reading “It’s OK to Cry, BUT…” »

Teaching Our Kids to Regulate

If you’ve been following our series on emotional regulation, it will come as no surprise that this post is focused on how to support children in using strategies to regulate their own emotions. This takes time, practice, and patience; yet it is critical for us as parents to begin instilling this skill in our children now. Waiting until they are “older” will only make this task more difficult for both of you.

I’ve heard parents say time and time again, “My son/daughter is still little. I’ve got time to teach them these things when they are older.” In a Continue reading “Teaching Our Kids to Regulate” »

How to Stay Calm

Recently I shared an article titled “Emotional Regulation” where we scratched the surface on what it means to be able to regulate our emotions. More importantly, we took some time to consider how our choices directly relate to consequences for not only ourselves but for our children as well.

As we can all agree, our ability to make decisions tend to decline as we become upset. This is part of being human. The good news is that we can all work toward improving the way we handle strong emotions.

The same is true for our kids. When they Continue reading “How to Stay Calm” »

Emotional Regulation

What exactly is emotional regulation? Simply stated, it is when one is able to regulate or stabilize their emotions. In other words: to remain calm enough to make positive choices.

As adults we have to regulate automatically throughout the day. Some days are harder to regulate than others but it is a life skill that we must all possess.

Think for a minute:17579117_s

Bringing Home Baby: Helping Your Toddler Adjust

Adding another child to your family? Congrats!! If you’re reading this, I’m sure you or someone you know is having some normal anxiety about how your child will adjust to the role of “Big Brother ” or “Big Sister”. There are many great ideas and tips out there on how to prepare your little one for this big, important job! Hopefully, some of the tips we provide in this article will help to ensure a smoother transition10427973_s!


Just as each child is unique, so too is their response to a new sibling in their home! If you know your child’s temperament and personality you may be able Continue reading “Bringing Home Baby: Helping Your Toddler Adjust” »