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 …

Read More

Kids and Money

Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Routines, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Jody McVittie

Do you have questions about how to teach your children about money? When do you start allowance? Do you link it to chores? How much do you give them? How do you teach generosity? The simple answer is that YOU get to decide. Here are some suggestions – and you get to choose how to make it work for your family.

Why give children allowance? To teach them how to make mistakes with money. That sounds funny but it is a helpful thing to remember when your child wants to buy a small toy that you …

Read More

Family Work: Whose Job is It?

Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Routines, Setting limits, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD

When I grew up everyone in our family had jobs to do. Many of them were centered around our family dinners (setting the table, clearing the table, washing the dishes, sweeping the floor). Other family jobs included feeding pets and taking care of the garbage (this was in the days before recycling.) I don’t remember “loving” these “chores” but I do remember that they were part of what each of us did to contribute to the family.

Having children routinely contribute to the family helps them understand what it takes to make things happen in …

Read More

Are we there yet???

Feelings and emotions, Motivation, Routines, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD

Part of my memory of early family vacations include very annoying choruses of, “Are we there yet?” from the back seat. In my more sarcastic moments my internal voice was saying, “Are we stopped yet?” “Does it look like it?” and other variations of maternal snarkiness. I’m not proud of it, but I know that I didn’t always keep my thoughts to myself.

Gradually though, I learned to hear those choruses differently. They were voices of a trio that had not been involved in planning; three children who felt like baggage just being “transported” to …

Read More

Building Better Bedtimes

Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Routines, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD

Do you ever finish putting your children to bed and feel exhausted? You’ve longed for some kind of connection with them at the end of the day – and way too often it feels like you’ve been through some kind of battle? When you think about it from the child’s point of view it can make sense.

When he goes to bed it feels like you will be continuing on without him. He might miss something! To make matters worse, sometimes he gets the sense that you are “done” with him and want to “get …

Read More

Holiday Rituals – Old ones? New ones?

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

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD, Positive Discipline Lead Trainer Our community is made up of all sorts of different kinds of families from many different cultures and traditions. There are lots of holidays and special events in this season when the nights are longer and the days are shorter. Your family may have special traditions or rituals that you and your children enjoy – or not! Rituals are like seasonal routines. They can offer structure and security in times of increased chaos. Being part of a family with healthy rituals can give children a sense of belonging, comfort and predictability. …

Read More

Gratitude and Generosity

Connection and love, Routines, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD, Executive Director, Sound Discipline, Certified Positive Discipline Lead Trainer and Parent Coach

As the leaves begin to turn vibrant colors and then fall we enter the season of short days and longer nights. It is also, for many of us, a season of holidays and traditions. It can be both exciting and stressful for families. Now, before things start moving really quickly is a time to pause and think about what you might want to remember. Traditions are important for families – partly because in the ritual “doing” we come to a place of finding …

Read More