Curiosity Questions Start Brains Thinking

Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Routines, Tips & Tools
You know how adults sound on those old Charlie Brown cartoons? Wah, wah, wah, wah, waaaaaahhhhh…” Yes, I am guilty as well. We just want to get our kids moving and we want them to just listen and do what we say. Then we feel irritated and challenged when it seems as though they are ignoring us or dragging their feet… Are they feeling respected? No. Are they feeling capable? No. Are they invited to cooperate? More like invited to a power struggle…
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Bullying and Our Culture

Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Self regulation, Tips & Tools
Adults sometimes use power to change someone’s behavior by humiliating them or scaring them. There is an implicit assumption that the person is not already doing the best they can at the moment, that somehow they don’t care and that fear and shame will be helpful motivators. This is craziness. We know from brain science that when we are threatened our ability to learn new things shuts down. Athletes and talented technology workers are there because they want to be there. They dream of being on the “A” team, and are working hard to improve performance. Is the bullying really helping? And, as a culture we buy into this. There is little public outrage at the very public bullying we (and our children) see on television. What are our children learning?
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Connecting with Tweens and Teens

Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Tips & Tools
Back a long time ago when you decided to have kids you probably imagined talking to them, playing with them, taking care of them when they were sick. You probably imagined that when you talked to them that they would respond. You’d be interested in them – and they’d be interested in you. Funny how it doesn’t always work that way. Your teen might want you now (especially when you are busy) and then, when you do want to spend time with her, she is busy texting or is just plain non-communicative.
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What is your Request?

Conflict, Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Tips & Tools
When I first started teaching parenting classes, I had a couple who came up with the idea of asking their daughters, “What is your request?” They were parents of preschoolers and I’m sure their days were filled with hearing what their children didn’t want to do, or didn’t want to eat. It was such a simple solution and once again, I, as the parent educator, got to learn something from the parents in my class. I brought this new parenting tool home with me and found that it was a wonderful way to communicate with my two children.
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The Power of Asking (instead of telling)

Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Motivation, Mutual Respect, Tips & Tools
why don’t kids do what we tell them to do? Radical thought: maybe because we are telling them. When you tell someone what to do they don’t have to think. They can listen or not listen – but then it goes away. Your daughter doesn’t have to think about or notice the mess, or her unfinished homework, or the chore she didn’t do or remember to write a thank you note. You are doing the noticing (and reminding) for her. In fact, when we parents do all the noticing and telling their brains don’t have to engage much at all! What a life!
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Listen

Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Julietta Skoog

I am a talker by nature. I always have been. In high school I was on the debate team, in college I was the one hogging the hallway phone, and later in life I married a quiet, patient man whom I do not have to compete with to continue my babbling. You can imagine the shock when my daughter did not say a single word (not even mama!) until over 21 months old. My mother said it was because she couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

Fortunately this does not carry over into my day job. …

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Dinner, it can still connect a family

Dinner, it can still connect a family

Connection and love, Mutual Respect, Routines, Tips & Tools
Life wasn’t always perfect in my family, but it was those early dinners that anchored me to what is important in life and what is not. It’s why I work so hard to build connection times into my current family’s day, and dinner has become one of those times. It’s not easy to drift from a group when you’re meeting on a regular basis and you have a sense of connection to those present.
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Rhythm and Routines

Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Routines, Setting limits, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD

School has started and the excitement of the first week has worn off. Do you find yourself nagging in the morning? Wondering if your student will ever to be able to make it out the door with some drama or to get a pair of shoes on (get dressed, eat breakfast) quickly? There are a couple of practices that make mornings easier for many families. It is helpful to remember that the world looks different through your student’s eyes. They may or may not like school – but the process of getting there also …

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Gossip

Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Mutual Respect, Setting limits, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Jody McVittie and Sahara Pirie

Sometimes listening in on conversations between your child and his or her friend while you are driving is a wonderful way to get a taste of the world from their point of view. But what do you do when the conversation you hear involves spreading rumors about other children or families? In fact last week you may have listened to your daughter’s painful stories of rumors being spread about her. What is going on? Didn’t she make the connection?

We’ve talked several times in these newsletters about how human beings move toward a …

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