Wisdom Wednesday: Prom Problems and Teen Social Gatherings

May 21, 2008 at 7:54 am | Posted in 1, attitudes, children, dads, Families, Family Time, Fun Activities, GEM Parenting Secrets, Health, How To, marriage, moms, Mothers, parents, peer pressure, relationships, Safety, Self Esteem, siblings, teenagers, teens, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom, Welcome | 1 Comment
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Prom Problems and Teen Social Gatherings

Teen gatherings have always been one of those problems that parents have a hard time dealing with.  How do you allow teens to gather, keep everyone safe and legal, as a parent not being part of the party, and still know what is going on and be responsible for what is happening at your house?  And what do you do when your teen is going someplace else?  Is there any way to guide without clipping your teen’s wings?

That is some tall order, especially now with the Internet adding to the mixture.  First, I want to share some ideas to help you that are tried and true.  Then we will touch on how to incorporate them into wireless communications. 

When teens gather they want to be independent, yet they are either not of legal age or mature enough to be totally in control of their gatherings.  Rather than let your teen just simply have a gathering, start with guidelines, hard and solid rules, and talk about issues that might come up.

You as the parent pick the rules.  Ask your teen if there are any that he/she wants to add.  Sometimes they do surprise you.  Here are a number of rules to pick from.  You do not need to have all the rules for every party.  But it is good to have the list in front of you when you are discussing your own rules.  This way it is not just you, the dumb parent, who is laying down the law.

  • Nothing illegal at the party. Abusers will be asked to leave.
  • An invitation list with a maximum number of guests. To be determined, written on a hard copy (that means printed or written out), a specified number of hours before the party begins- I suggest 24 hours.
  • Only guests on the invitation list. Party bashers will be asked to leave.
  • A beginning and ending time of the party.
  • Backpacks and other carry-ins to be placed in public space.
  • Parents will NOT participate in party unless requested by own teen.
  • Parents will interact/be around and visible during party.

With these as hard rules, you can have guidelines that bring the teens to be responsible for having their party be one of distinction and finesse, as well as be all-out fun and awesome.  Let your teen choose a partner who is both reliable and responsible to help plan the party.  Have real paper invitations.  This is of course more work, but this does mean that your teen actually invites who he/she wants to.  These can be quick copies from your home printer, passed out by hand.  Have your teen put the individuals’ names on the invitations.  You can have a theme party.  And I can tell you from personal experience, your teen will balk and cry and just walk away at the idea.  But when you actually have the party, everyone will have a blast. 

Guide your teen to understand that having a large group is both a privilege and a responsibility and the responsibility is all on your teen’s shoulders.  But now in most states it is also the parents’ responsibility.  Let your teen know this fact; there are many states and towns that hold the adult legally responsible for what happens on their property.

As I mentioned, there is the issue of the Internet now.  Let your teen understand that gatherings at your house, even if shared through the Internet, are going to be set in hard copy.  The Internet is a tool to communicate, but it does not have to be a tool to have your house trampled by hundreds of teens.  Be aware- there are regular confirmed reports of teen parties with Internet invitations that have five hundred or more teens show up!

And through all this you, as the parent, can have fun.  Relax and enjoy the good friends your teen has.  Remember, soon your teen will be an adult and have these parties completely on their own.  This is your chance to help them understand why and how to have a good time, yet stay within personal boundaries.

 

Grace E. Mauzy, MA works with overwhelmed, stressed parents having difficulty comfortably cope with parenting. Parents learn positive intervention utilizing strategies and tactics to develop high self-esteem in children. Grace is the founder of GEM Parenting – an online community dedicated to parenting with passion, purpose, and integrity. (GEMParenting.com) Through Grace’s professional and personal life experiences, she has a unique ability to understand and empower parents to implement new parenting styles, allowing them to challenge themselves to break free of their destructive behaviors and attitudes.  And raise their children with confidence, peace, and harmony.  To learn more about her powerful speaking, coaching, and workshops, or to receive Grace’s motivating audio course “The 7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats – And How You Can Avoid Them!” visit http://www.7deadlymistakesparentsmake.com or visit http://www.GEMParenting.com.

Focused Friday: “I Said No!”

January 25, 2008 at 2:54 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Focused Fridays, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, teens, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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GEM Parenting Question #1:

Whenever I try to say no to my children my husband always gets in the way and lets them do whatever they want.  So how can I be in charge and say a simple no and have them listen to me.

GEM PARENTING ANSWER:

First you need to have a chat with your husband.  Explain to him that you are starting a new phase for yourself and the family.  You want to be sure the children are able to understand that life has choices and limits, and to have respect for each other as a family.

You do not need to talk with him about how he is disrupting your ability to say no.  You need to share with him all the advantages of your children being able to understand, respect, and handle no with ease and comfort.

Then as you begin to say no, clue your husband into this.  Let him know you are going to say no. 

And for goodness sake don’t be the only one to say no.  Choose times to let your husband say no.  Be specific:  Say. “I am going to let your father tell you no this time.”  And be sure to say this when you know your husband wants the answer to be no.

When you say no and he tries to over ride you respond with, “I know your father really loves you to be able to do what ever you want, but unfortunately I have already said no, so we will have to stick with that.”  You will create your own respect this way. 

Use “no” with a calm voice, a gentle tone and relaxed body language.

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GEM Parenting Question #2:

I have one child who will always abide by my rules but the other one just won’t listen!  I have to really scream and yell to get her to understand “no”.

GEM PARENTING ANSWER:

First you may be dealing with a sibling rivalry situation, which will be dealt with during the week of Feb. 25 to March 1.  Hope you will join us.

Second, it is important to have both your children accept that you are in charge.  But when you say “abide by my rules” I am hearing control with power rather than control with respect.  I want you to change your feeling of personal respect.

You can have your children do what you want them to do with giving them respect.  As you give more respect you will be stepping out of the ring of the  power struggle. 

Be firm.  Remember not only figuratively step out of the power struggle.  Do it for real.  Step away.  Take the deep breaths.  And remain calm.

Ready to listen to the best podcast on How to Say No to Children and Mean It?  Only $5.99 for a full hour of podcast to give tips and advice on How to Say No to Children and Mean It

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Wednesday Wisdom: How to Say No and Really Mean It

January 24, 2008 at 10:37 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, teens, toddlers, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom | 2 Comments
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As a parent there is often the need to say no for an emergency.  And that comes easily enough.  But what about those regular times when you want to say no and your children just keep bugging you.  Either they just keep pleading and whining.  Or they look at you with such cute faces you feel you just have to give in.  Or they bug you so you feel the only way to say no is to yell and scream.  Only you really don’t want to give in and you don’t want to scream.  What can you do?

The first thing to remember is that you are the parent. Not just physically, but mentally as well.  This means you can expect your children to respect you.  This puts you in the attitude of having your children understand you are in charge.  It is both a simple idea and a profound concept. 

After you have adjusted your attitude to be the person in charge you can follow through with the simple “no.” A simple no is said with conviction.  It is used justly and respectfully of your children.  The idea of gaining respect from your children is as important as giving respect to them.

When your children look at you with those faces that just melt you, stay in charge.  Tell them they are so cute, but unfortunately the cute faces will not change your mind.  When they come to with a barrage of reasons they think you should change your mind respond with, ”I know you don’t understand, but the answer is still no.”  You need to keep your voice calm and even. 

When your children are bugging you to the point of exploding, first step away from them.  Collect yourself.  Take some deep yoga breaths.  When you are a calm enough go back to your kids.  Tell them, “The answer is no.  I have stopped yelling at you.  I realize that you will expect me to yell.  But I am trying my best to stop yelling at you.  I now expect you to respect this change in me and respect that the answer is no.”

With all three of these ideas you will be regaining your own self respect and through living you will teach your children how to expect respect from others and how to have self respect. 

Respect is one of the corner stones for a good foundation of high self-esteem.  When you give and take respect through the use of saying no and meaning it- without yelling at your kids– you establish an ability for your family to understand and accept the natural limitations of life without actually being limited by them.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

KidSites: Internet Safe Activities for Kids

January 19, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Posted in children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Families, Fun Activities, moms, Mothers, parents, Safety, teens, toddlers, Tweens | 3 Comments
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As January is the safety month, we at Gem Parenting have looked at internet safety as one part of real family safety.

  • This weekend take time to be sure you have the right controls for your kids use.
  • Learn how to monitor what has been done on the computer.
  • Be sure you are aware of what your kids do on line and
    how much time they spend on line.  One good measure is through the “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety” brochure published by the FBI task force on Internet Safety and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

I really want you to take some time to be sure you and your children are fully aware of the dangers of the Internet.  When you know the dangers of things then you can be wary of them.

When I was a kid,  there were conversations about how to monitor TV and all that was available there.  With the web there is much more available, both good and bad.  But there is no need to panic.  Be sensible, realistic, and respectful. 

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As far as finding great things to do on line here is my favorite sites KidSites.com.  There are all kinds of wonderful things to do and none of them are about printing worksheets to do.

You can follow this link to a ton of great things for children to do on the web: 

KidSite.com:  Kid Safe Internet Activities

If you know of great safe sites then PLEASE let me know.  Just send in a comment or, if you prefer, you can always write directly to grace@gemparenting.com.

Dont forget:  Our weekly GEM Parenting podcast for the week, “Keeping your Kids Safe on the Internet” is only $5.99 for a full hour of information, tips, and guidance on the best practices for making sure your kids stay safe online.  Dont wait….order your podcast today!

Focused Friday: Internet Safety for Children

January 18, 2008 at 12:47 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, Focused Fridays, moms, Mothers, parents, Safety, Self Esteem, teens, Tweens | 2 Comments
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 Welcome to Focused Friday!  This week we are talking about how to keep your kids safe on the internet

Question #1:  

I am online quite a bit.  But I really don’t want my daughter to get on line as much as me.  How can I tell her that she must not be online as much as me?

GEM Answer: 
First you need to ask yourself why you are on line so much?  Is it important or necessary?  Are you learning something?  Or are you filling up time with being online.  If the last is your answer then, as much as I am glad to have you here, you need to curb your own time online.  Instead of being on line take time to be interactive with your daughter.  Ask her to show you some of her school projects.  If you show her how to spend time doing other things than being online she will emulate your new behaviors. 

If, on the other hand, you are the internet for important, necessary, or learning reasons then explain to your daughter that there are times for being online that are different for children than for parents.  Because you are the parent, allow yourself to create and make limits for your daughter.

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Question #2:  

I am very concerned that my 13-year-old daughter is having a relationship online that is inappropriate.  How can I figure it out and stop her?

GEM Answer: 

The first thing for you to do is explain to her that you know of some people who get involved with people on line who they don’t know and it turns out to be a really bad situation.  Ask her if she has ever heard of any one like that.  Have a few conversations about other people, and what happened to them.  But try to keep the conversations to be about how to get out of the problem and how the kids came to parents or even counselors at school to get help. 

At some point, I suggest you let your daughter know about your concern.  Be sure to speak to her with concern rather than judging.  Let her know that you love her too much to let her get mixed up in a situation that would be harmful to her.  And also that it is your both your job and responsibility as a parent to protect her from harm.  Remind her of sometime when she was much younger and you protected her.  You want her to respect you and that means you must respect her.  But it does not mean you must let her do whatever she wants.

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Question #3:  

I am in a real panic and your stuff came out just in time.  I know my son is communicating with someone online who he met in a chat room.  And they are thinking of meeting in person.  What do I do?

GEM Answer:  

You immediately speak to your son about the dangers of such meeting in person.  You simply forbid it to happen.  You explain to your son that the kind of people who want to meet boys from chat rooms usually have bad intensions.  The other alternative is to meet the person with your son, only in a very public place.  But I personally would not allow any of my children to meet someone whom they have met only in a chat room.

You should also inform your local or state law enforcement agency, the FBI, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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It is important to remember that the Internet has opened the world in amazing and wonderful ways.  Being committed, interactive, and responsible for your children in all their endeavors will give you and them the stability and foundation to be able to live peacefully and safely with the Internet.

Dont forget:  Our weekly GEM Parenting podcast for the week, “Keeping your Kids Safe on the Internet” is only $5.99 for a full hour of information, tips, and guidance on the best practices for making sure your kids stay safe online.  Dont wait….order your podcast today!

Just e-mail me at grace@gemparenting.com

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Wednesday Wisdom: Kids and Internet Safety

January 17, 2008 at 9:57 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Safety, Self Esteem, teens, Thoughtful Thursday, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom | 1 Comment
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Internet safety is a serious issue.  The problem with Internet safety is there are few ways to actually control what your kids do on line except to eliminate all on line activity.  And as children get older this becomes progressively more difficult.  Increasingly, children from the sixth grade up are being expected to do school research and communicate with teachers via the Internet.  And almost all high school children are definitely assumed to have access and knowledge of how to use the Internet

So where does this leave you as a parent?  Is there anyway to keep tabs on what is going on?  As a parent you have a serious responsibility to your child’s upbringing.  In the case of Internet safety you need to understand that you must instill certain values in your children and respect for your rules and guidelines.  With the ability to go on line anywhere from a phone to a library to a café you really cannot keep tabs on all Internet activity. 

Because of the nature of Internet many parents alienate themselves from what their children do online.  They seem to think that since there is really no way to monitor everything that is happening there is nothing they can do.  I can assure that is not the case.  You do have ways of helping your children use the Internet appropriately and safely.

Following are seven tips for Internet safety for your children:

1.  Never give out identifying information.  Talk with your children about how the information is special to the family and if anyone on line wants some personal information they MUST have you give them the information.  Let them know what personal information means- the regular things-name, address, phone number, age- and the less regular things- school, church, pets names, friends names, hair, eye color, pictures. 

2.  Explain that with Internet communication sometimes people pretend to be who they aren’t.  A person can pretend they are any age or gender.  Some people suggest that you never meet anyone in person who you have met on the Internet except in public places.  But I would go one step further.  Tell your children to communicate with only people they already know.  And be wary of anyone who they meet through a friend on the Internet.  I have my kids only communicate with people who have been seen in person by someone they know.

3.  Here is the most common thing you will ever hear about anything you ever do with your kids.  Get involved.  And you are wondering how to get involved?  You can ask your child to explain how to do things on the computer.  You can be interested in what they are doing.  Ask the same questions you would ask about their activities that are in school, sports, or socially.  If your kids become defensive, explain you are just interested in what they are doing.  And since there was no Internet when you were young you are learning about how to talk about Internet activities.  Make it light and fun. 

4.  Be sure your children understand that offers that seem too good to be true usually are.   And remind them to never give financial information out to anyone.  This is really part of personal information.

5.  As much as possible have your children be on line in a common room of your house-living room, family room, kitchen.  But not in their bedroom or other room where they are alone.

6.  Do check blockers, filters, and ratings.  These are ways to limit what your children can view and open on line. 

7.  Have guidelines for time using electronics that can be Internet connected.  Tell you children this is a trust situation.  But there are ways to check history of computer use, phone use, and game use. 

Beyond all these set ideas, you have the responsibility to impart your personal values and morals to your children.  Be sure your children know that morals and values need to be maintained even with Internet activity.  Let your children understand that if they ever encounter anything they feel is inappropriate, harmful, or just plain bad, you are always there to help them.  And you expect them to come to you when things aren’t right.  For your part be sure to respond with love and respect, even if you are horrified and shocked.  Remember, if you want your kids to come to you let them know how much you appreciate their trust in you.

When you give your children the opportunity to have safety with the Internet, you give them a real stable groundwork to use in all encounters of their lives.

Dont forget:  Our weekly GEM Parenting podcast for the week, “Keeping your Kids Safe on the Internet” is only $5.99 for a full hour of information, tips, and guidance on the best practices for making sure your kids stay safe online.  Dont wait….order your podcast today!

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

How To Keep your Kids Safe on the Internet

January 15, 2008 at 12:06 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, How To, moms, Mothers, parents, teens, Transcendent Tuesday, Tweens | 2 Comments
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Welcome to Transcendent Tuesday! 

As the parental concern grows over how to keep children safe on the internet, I would like to share an article that I recently read called “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety” created and distributed by the FBI in coordination with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children

This incredible artilce defines all of the terms used online today, gives parents great tips on protecting their children online, and even tells parents about behaviors to look for offline that indicate online connections.  You can surf over to the article at “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety” or download the The Parents Guide to Internet Safety!

Join us this week for this discussion on how to keep your children safe on the internet

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Monday Motivation: Children and Internet Safety

January 15, 2008 at 11:13 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, Motivational Monday, parents, Safety, teens, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to Monday Motivation:

There is not a parent that I know who is comfortable with their children surfing the internet.  In the backs of our minds, we always fear the people lurking in the depths of cyberspace waiting to stalk our children.  Fear of the unknown?  Perhaps, but every parent should be prepared to protect their children from the invisible stalkers and predators that enter your home through your internet connection.

Join us this week for this discussion on how to keep your children safe on the internet

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Focused Friday: Stop Yelling at Kids

January 11, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Posted in children, dads, Families, Focused Fridays, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, siblings, teens, toddlers, Tweens | Leave a comment
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Welcome to Focused Friday!  This week we are talking about parenting past the anger. 

Question #1:

I have been trying to figure out how to stop having rage with my kids for a few years.  I understand the concept of a change behavior chart.  But will it really work?

GEM Answer: 

If you honestly follow through with the chart and write down each time you do get too angry at your kids, and then you write down new ways to behave you will teach yourself to be different.  It does take time.  It will not be over night.  But it will work.  You must love both yourself and your children enough to do this.

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Question #2:  

If my husband is hitting my child, with out real force, is this connected with rage?  Is it bad?

GEM Answer:  

I cannot tell if your husband hitting your child is connected with rage or not.  But I would guess it is connected with control.  And loss of control is a precursor of rage.  In other words loss of control is what happens before rage happens.  So you need to be on the look out about if our husband is building up to a rage or not.

As far as your second part of the question, is it bad.  It is always bad to hit a child.  There is simply no excuse as far as I am concerned.  There are so many alternatives to hitting a child. And every time a child is hit his or her spirit is damaged.  And sometimes the spirit can be damaged so much it is almost irreparable

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Question #3:

Sometimes I am just sure I am just going to explode at my kids.  And I have this real physical change that comes over me.  I get real hot and sweaty.  Is this normal?

GEM Answer:  

It is normal to have a physical change when having a rage.  But it is not necessary to have the rage.  Anger can be expressed in many forms that do not result in a rage.  When you feel this physical change coming over you immediately remove yourself from your kids.  Don’t allow yourself to ever be near them when you know a rage is coming.

It would be helpful for you to work with someone on alternative behaviors.  If you are interested in working with me please e-mail me at grace@gemparenting.com.

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Question #4:

I know it is wrong to be extra sweet after I get really angry at my kids.  But I feel so bad and I want to make it up to them.  And if I don’t be extra nice after then what will I do?

GEM Answer:  

First, I want you to do something to stop having the “extra anger.”  You can try the behavior change chart, join a group dealing with anger management.  Second, when you have been too angry with your kids you do not need to be extra sweet.  There is this really strange thing about little kids.  They love their parents no matter how rotten they are.  So instead of using your energy to be extra sweet, I want you to use your energy to actually figure out how to stop your anger. 

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For all of you I want to commend you for knowing you have something that needs fixing.  And now I want you to take the next step and fix it.  Of course you can seek help in many directions.  I offer you help to both change your behavior and build a lifestyle that will increase both your self-esteem and your children’s self esteem.  So get on with it and choose what you are going to do.  In this case you really need to act now.   If you want to go on the next step of your journey with me, I’d love to help.

Just e-mail me at grace@gemparenting.com

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

Wednesday Wisdom: Anger Takes Over Parenting

January 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Posted in children, Families, How To, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, teens, toddlers, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom | Leave a comment
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When rage takes over your parenting there are two questions you need to ask before you read any further.  The first is:  Does my rage physically harm anyone?  If you answer yes to this, then you need to see a local professional on rage management.  If you answer no to the first question then you can go on.  The second question you need to ask yourself is:  Do I really want to change?  If you answer yes then read on.

With rage you need to look at your past for just a moment.  Take a moment to decide if your rage is because your parents used rage to keep control of things as you grew up.  If this is the case then have a mourning service for this way of life.

If rage has been a part of your past or not, the main reason for rage is when you feel you are losing control.  But in reality the loss is not actually control; it is loss of respect.  To regain respect you need to have respect for yourself and for your family.

There are three excellent ways to reduce rage and regain respect.  Use a Change behavior Chart, do something that stops the rage, and use the rewind button.

  • A Change Behavior Chart is easy to set up. The first stage: The chart has two columns. On the left is the behavior she did. On the right is the new behavior to replace it. When she has written this down then she does it.
  • Stage two: After a while she will actually stop the unacceptable behavior and be able to do a new behavior. She still writes down the unacceptable behavior, but now she gets to cross it out because she did not do it. Third stage: She is not tempted to do an unacceptable behavior. She just writes down the new behaviors. This is a six to eight week process. It will not happen overnight.
  • To stop the rage try drinking water every time you feel the rage coming.  This will have two effects.  First you will not be able to yell and scream.  Second drinking has a calming effect.
  • The rewind button is simple.  Whenever you can redo any action then tell everyone you are hitting the rewind button and redo what ever you don’t like you did.  With these you have the opportunity to rethink, stop, and redo our rages.

With these changes of behavior you will gain respect for your self and from your kids.  With respect will come an amazing sense of high self-esteem.

FREE 8 PODCAST SERIES: “7 Deadly Mistakes Parents Make That Create Spoiled Brats!”  In this FREE Audio Parenting Series, you’ll learn the tested methods and strategies that produce the behavior your heart desires from your children.

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