Using “What” and “How” Questions

Growing Responsibility, Motivation, Tips & Tools
Words. Even though much of how we communicate (more than 70% in some studies) is through our non-verbal expression, words still make a difference. We all know from experience that what we “send” is not necessarily what the receiver “hears.” Another way to think about words is to ask, “What is the word inviting from the other person?” What kind of pathway is opening or closing in response to the words I’m using?
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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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Time-in for Children: Re-gathering Response-ability

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self regulation, Tips & Tools
Children (and all of us) do better when they feel better. Our culture tends to want to “teach” children who are misbehaving by having them feel worse “so they’ll learn not to do it again.” We forget that if the child had felt included, important, or weren’t so tired or hungry she likely would have handled the situation well to begin with. Instead of teaching by hurting the goal of a time-in is to help our child learn how to regain their “better” sense of self so that she can come back to the situation and meet the challenge. With practice, children get better at “re-gathering” by themselves. Remember, this kind of “feeling better” is not happiness - it is a sense of being able to respond (be response-able) from a centered place.
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From “Mis-takes” to Compassion

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Mistakes yours and theirs, Tips & Tools
It turns out that the distinction between “I made a mistake” and “I am a mistake” is a big deal. When we make a mistake, we may feel bad, but we can learn from what we did. When we come to the erroneous conclusion that we are a mistake, that there is something wrong with us as a person or that we are defective, that becomes the main “learning.”
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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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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 …

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