Thursday, April 27, 2017

Parenting Wisdom From Special Needs Kids

Chris Ulmer, a special education teacher, founded Special Books by Special Kids to share the unique personalities of his students with the wider community. While his videos do capture these kids' personalities, they do far more than that. They demonstrate how to treat kids in ways that encourage the very best in them.

This parenting wisdom page pulls together a few videos that do an exceptional job demonstrating key components in raising kind, caring kids.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Improving Family Harmony By Increasing Positive Interactions

How are you feeling about each of your children? There are times when you probably find it easy to love your kids and appreciate their wonderful qualities. Undoubtedly there are other times when you may struggle to find positive things to say to them.

One mom lamented that it was hard to think of anything positive to say to her 13-year-old daughter. She felt her daughter was not working up to her potential. She found herself nagging and correcting her daughter which had led to her daughter not wanting to be around her mom.

Intimate parent-child relationships are filled with ups and downs. When your children are behaving well, it’s easy to be with them and show them love. However the real challenge comes in maintaining a positive relationship when they are not behaving the way you would like.

Building Loving Relationships

Do you find yourself feeling angry or frustrated by your kids more often than you’d like? How do you create the warm loving relationship you desire?

One key ingredient is making sure you have more positive than negative interactions with them. Dr. John Gottman has researched couples to learn what makes relationships last. Gottman found that “The magic ratio is 5:1. In other words, as long as there are five times as many positive interactions between partners as there are negative, the relationship is likely to be stable.”

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Protecting Kids From Pornography Problems

Unfortunately kids are being exposed to pornography at younger and younger ages. Increasing mobile internet access is enabling them to easily view porn either unintentionally or intentionally.

Many kids get exposed to porn by their friends who are eager to share what they’ve discovered. This is what happened to Mae, a 6-year-old, who was shown an explicit video by her 11-year-old friend. Although Mae felt this wasn’t right, it awakened her curiosity to see more videos like this. Viewing porn led Mae to inappropriately acting in sexual ways with other kids. When her parents finally learned what was going on they were devastated and got her into counseling.

Another mom talked about getting her 12-year-old son into therapy after she caught him in the middle of the night viewing porn. She learned he had been viewing porn since he was 8-years-old and was spending increasing amounts of time on it. She was shocked it had gone on so long without her realizing it.

So what can you do to protect your kids from porn? There are things you can do including educating them about their bodies, warning them about the problems with porn and discussing ways to turn away from porn.

Educating Your Kids About Their Bodies

All kids are curious about their bodies. You want to be the source of this education, not the internet or their friends.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Resolving Conflicts Using Collaborative & Proactive Solutions

Do your children have challenging behaviors that keep reoccurring? If so, you probably have tried numerous things that haven't worked: time outs, grounding, withholding privileges, taking away toys, taking away the computer, TV or cellphone, and talking about the problem. Nothing has helped!

By definition, challenging behavior is difficult to solve. The reason nothing has worked is because the underlying cause of the problem has not been addressed. The trick is figuring out the root cause of the problem behavior.

Three Approaches to Solving Problem Behavior

Dr. Ross Greene has worked extensively with kids who are acting out at home and school. Over the years he has developed an approach that leads to success with most of these kids.

He discusses three options to misbehavior in his book Raising Human Beings. He refers to these options as Plan A, Plan B and Plan C.

Plan A – Announcing the Solution

You solve the problem by letting your child know what is going to happen. You make the decision based on your expertise without your child’s input. Greene explains “Plan A involves solving a problem unilaterally, and it’s very popular. When you solve a problem using Plan A, you are the one deciding the solution to a given unsolved problem, and you’re imposing that solution on your child.”

For example, you might say things like:

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Teaching Kids To Keep Themselves Mentally Healthy

You are likely doing an excellent job teaching your kids to keep themselves physically healthy. You’ve taught them to wash their hands before eating, to brush their teeth and to take a bath or shower. Maintaining a healthy body takes daily effort.

Maintaining a healthy mind also takes daily effort. How are you teaching your kids to keep themselves mentally healthy?

What is Mental Health?


Mental health is not about being happy all the time. In fact believing your kids should always be happy is a recipe for mental health problems! Your kids need skills for responding to a wide range of emotions every day including feelings of frustration, anger, sadness and loneliness.

Mental health encompasses more than being able to handle your emotions. The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” Let’s look at how this definition applies to your children.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Living Our Values Everyday

There are times in our lives when we are shaken to our core. The very foundation of our lives seems to be at risk. It may be triggered by things like political upheaval, health issues or relationship problems.

These situations produce strong emotions. You may feel furious, perplexed, distraught, alarmed or apprehensive. When something you deeply care about is at risk, you experience stress.

When you positively embrace stress, it propels you to take action in alignment with your values. You feel like you must act. You can no longer sit back and watch what is happening.

Considering Your Highest Values

What are your deepest held values? If you had to choose your five most important moral values, what would they be?

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Increasing Motivation Using Provocative Questions

Do you wish you could increase your children’s motivation to do homework, get ready for school on time or keep their room clean? Will the promise of a reward for practicing the piano help your child practice more? Or will the threat of punishment be more effective?

When you try to motivate your children to work harder, you often end up feeling frustrated by the results.

Understanding Internal Motivation

New research is teasing out some of the key elements around motivation. According to Daniel Pink's book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, trying to motivate children using external rewards and punishment is a mistake. The secret for motivating children to high performance lies in encouraging their own internal drive.

Pink describes three elements of true motivation:

  • Autonomy: the need to direct your own life
  • Mastery: the desire to make progress in your work
  • Purpose: the ability to positively impact yourself and the world

For example, if you want your child to practice the piano more, asking these questions might help.

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