Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Brushing Up On Kids' Manners

Could your kids use a little brushing up on their manners? Now is the ideal time to help your kids get their manners in shape before all the holiday gatherings. Do I Have to Say Hello? Aunt Delia's Manners Quiz for Kids and Their Grownups provides a fun way to review manners.

The quizzes have some clearly incorrect answers that will have your kids laughing! The art plus the writing makes for an enjoyable experience learning about good manners.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Talking to Kids About Porn Problems

Kids are likely to be exposed to porn on the internet before they are 12-years-old. It's important for you to talk to your kids about porn. Discuss your feelings about porn along with your concerns like addiction to viewing porn, objectifying women, portraying violence towards women and the link to trafficking girls for sex.

The book Good Pictures Bad Pictures is a book you can read together with your 6 to 13-year-olds. Sexploitation: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn-Driven World will help you talk to your teens.

   

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Protecting Your Kids From Sexual Abuse

Kids who experience sexual abuse are traumatized in ways that can take years or even decades to overcome. This is why you want to do everything you possibly can to prevent this tragedy.

Understanding Likely Perpetrators

Before you can effectively protect your kids, it’s helpful to know some facts. How likely are they to be sexually abused? Who is most likely to be a perpetrator? What makes children more likely to become victims?

According to research presented on Darkness to Light,

  • 10% of children in the U.S. are sexually abused by the time they are 18.
  • Over 90% of the time the perpetrator is someone known by the child or family.
  • Nearly 40% are abused by older or larger children.

While it might feel better to think that only a stranger would sexually abuse your child, nine times out of ten it’s someone you know. The vast majority of abuse occurs when the perpetrator and the child are alone together. Keeping this in mind can help you make wise choices about who is left alone with your children.

If you are a mom who does not live with your kids’ father, you need to be especially careful about any boyfriends you bring home. Men who are not related to the children are far more likely to sexually abuse them.
warning sign of sexual abuse

Older Kids Abusing Younger Kids

How about the fact that 40% of sexual abuse is caused by older or larger children? It’s important to realize that the abuser is not always an adult. This puts a different twist on keeping your kids safe.

(finish reading the rest of the article on PricelessParenting.com)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Developing Responsibility Through Chores

Do your kids have daily chores to help out your household? At around 4-years-old is the perfect time to introduce chores to your kids. While they may not be all that helpful at that age, they are typically very eager to help.

By starting young, you are building in the concept that chores are a normal part of being in your family. Everyone pitches in to keep the household running smoothly. Eventually they will very competent and be able to complete their chores independently.

Chores are a wonderful way to teach kids responsibility along with the skills they will need to successfully launch after high school. If you want ideas for chores to give your kids or would like a blank weekly chore chart, you can find those on this free charts for kids' page.

   

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Keys to Raising Compassionate Kids Who Are a Force For Good

How can you encourage kids to act with more compassion? Before your children can act compassionately, they need to be able to feel empathy for others.

Without empathy there is no compassion. Children must first notice that someone is suffering before they can act in a helpful way.

Dr. Theresa Wiseman identified four attributes of empathy:
  • to be able to see the world as others see it
  • without judgment
  • recognize their emotions
  • communicate your understanding of what they are feeling
When your children feel empathy, they can imagine what it must be like for that other person. Children often want to do something to help. Compassion requires acting on empathic feelings and doing something to lessen the other person’s suffering.

Feeling empathy without taking action to help can lead to feelings of distress. In Daniel Goleman’s book, A Force For Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World, he explains, “When we simply empathize, tuning in to someone else’s suffering – for example, seeing vivid photos of burn victims and other people in grave distress – the brain fires the circuitry for feeling pain and anguish. Such empathic resonance can flood us with emotional upset – ‘empathy distress’, as science calls it. Professionals like nursing are too often plagued by such chronic anxiety, which can build to emotional exhaustion, a precursor to burnout.” 
 


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Should you let your child go on this outdoor adventure? What are the real risks?

After losing their son Tyler on an outdoor adventure in Hawaii, the Madoff's are raising awareness so others can avoid this type of tragedy.  Sue, a friend of the family, wrote the following:

"Tyler Madoff, 15, was on a Bold Earth Teen Adventure tour in Hawaii in July of 2012 when he was swept out to sea and never recovered. The tragedy was deemed a freak accident, but it was anything but. Tyler and his group were resting in the tide pools near the Captain Cook Monument at Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii when a wave crashed on them, carrying him and another teen out to sea. The other boy was rescued; Tyler was never found.

The tour guides in charge of Tyler’s group were not only warned about the surf, but they were unprepared for any kind of emergency. The guides were not properly trained, nor did they have the proper safety equipment or a way to call for help. Bold Earth boasts professional guardianship of small groups and an American Camp Association accreditation, so how could something like this happen?

There is danger that can be associated with any kind of adventure travel, and parents are warned of these risk when booking these kind of trips for their children. Even if a company has accreditation or certification, there are some questions that we suggest asking before booking these trips that may prevent tragedies like Tyler Madoff’s from happening.
  • Before booking a travel tour, ask what isn’t included in tuition. Is there travel insurance, or should you purchase that on your own?
  • What kind of risk management policies are in place? How are emergencies communicated to the travelers, as well as guardians?
  • What is the hiring process in regards to tour guides/counselors? Are background checks performed?
  • What are the qualifications of the tour guides? When your child is out of your care, you want the best possible care, and it’s important to know how qualified their tour guides are. Have they been to this location (or one like it) before? Are they certified in CPR, Ocean Rescue, etc.? What is their level of experience?
  • What is the ratio of tour guides/counselors to travelers? The lower the ratio, the better. If two tour guides will be managing a group of 20, it’s virtually impossible for them to have eyes on each person on an excursion.
  • If any excursions will be outsourced, ask questions about the companies. What are their qualifications? Are they credible?
And a tip: check out the company’s social media pages and rating/review sites (Yelp, Camp Ratingz, Go Overseas) and see what people who have gone on a trip are saying."



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Warning Signs of Too Much Screen Time for Kids

I recently read an article asking if screen time is causing kids' brains to turn to mush. Fortunately, most kids are not running around like zombies from their brains being turned to mush by technology!

However, if your kids are getting too much screen time, there are effects which may be less obvious. It won't likely show up as academic problems but rather social-emotional problems. This one page flyer has warning signs that your kids are getting too much screen time.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Talking To Kids About Problems of Racism

Tragic stories rooted in racism have been exploding across the United States. In the past year there have been many stories of unwarranted police brutality against black people. You no longer have to rely on verbal accounts; you can see for yourself in graphic videos documenting these injustices.

The heartbreaking tragedies continue. On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof attended the weekly Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. After participating in the meeting for an hour, Roof, a 21-year-old white man, shot and killed nine black people including the senior pastor and state senator Clementa Pinckney.

In the three weeks following that tragedy, seven predominantly black churches have been set on fire by arsonists. These evil acts are fueled by racism. From the black kids who are disproportionately expelled from school and put into juvenile detention to the black men who fill the jails, racism is a major destructive force. While Asians, Native Americans, Latinos and other nonwhites also experience racism, Blacks are targeted the most.

Talking to Your Kids About Racial Differences

Racism grows in silence and secrecy. You can help shine a light on racism by talking to your kids about it. Do not avoid uncomfortable discussions of race by pretending that someone’s race doesn’t matter or pretending you don’t notice race.

You don’t need all the answers. You just need to start the conversation. Not talking to your kids about race only works if your kids are white. If you and your kids are white, you will not have negative experiences due to your skin color.

(read the rest of the article on Priceless Parenting)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Publicly or Privately Shaming Harms Kids

Do you remember being scolded with “Shame on you!” growing up? Perhaps it was followed with “You should know better than that!” How did it make you feel? Probably pretty bad.

For many generations shame has been a primary parenting tool. Brené Brown explains the power of using shame in The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting. "The truth is you can change a child's behavior on a dime with shame. For this simple reason - children experience shame as the threat of being unlovable. And so it's not very difficult to use shame to turn their behaviors around."

So if it’s effective why not use it? Because it damages your children’s feelings of self-worth.

Understanding Shame and Guilt


Before diving deeper into the problems with shaming, it’s helpful to define shame and how it’s different than guilt. Dr. Brené Brown researches shame. By her definition “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.”

A fundamental need of all people is to feel a sense of love and belonging. Shame is powerful because it threatens this essential requirement. Using shame pressures your kids to change their behavior – not because they want to behave differently but rather they want to avoid your withdrawal of love.

Guilt is a feeling of remorse or regret for your actions. When you feel guilty, you are comparing something you’ve done or failed to do against your own ideals. Guilt can motivate you to make amends for a mistake or take responsibility for your actions. Guilt is felt more in your gut and shame in your heart.

(read the rest of the article on Priceless Parenting)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Stories + Yoga = Fun!

Could your kids use some exercise? While exercising doesn't sound very fun, when you add acting out an engaging story with yoga poses it passes the fun test!

The Cosmic Kids Yoga videos are getting great reviews from kids. Here's an example of one of their videos:


Monday, May 11, 2015

What influences kids cheating or not?

VitalSmarts created an experiment to test out if they could get more teens to cheat by using certain techniques. They base their manipulations on what science has found are ways to get people to set aside their values:

1) offer moral justification
2) minimize the consequences
3) dehumanize the victims
4) displace responsibility

Watch this video to see how well it worked and which kids were able to resist the temptation to cheat regardless of the pressure:



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Are You Unintentionally Harming Your Kids?

You love your kids and you want the best for them. What if in striving to do what is best for them, you actually stifle them or even harm them?

Not many parents admit to making any mistakes in their parenting. It’s too painful, too personal, and feels too vulnerable. E. Way risks all of this in Coming Out Of Cage: Journey of a Tiger Mom as she courageously explores how her parenting influenced her daughter’s post-traumatic stress disorder.

Seeing Signs of Serious Problems

After working hard to get her daughter into a prestigious college, E. Way was ready to celebrate having both her kids successfully launched. However, the feeling of relief was short-lived.

She writes “Not only was I devastated when I heard from my daughter about the post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) problem she developed in her first year of college, I was absolutely shocked to find out it had a lot to do with how she was raised. I could not believe much of the pain, pressure, distress, and insecurity she experienced actually came from her father and me.”

Besides mental health issues like PTSD, what are other signs of serious emotional problems in children?

(finish reading the article on PricelessParenting.com)


Thursday, April 23, 2015

What Are Your Family's Top 5 Values?

What are your deepest held moral values? How are you teaching these values to your children? Are you doing it alone or are you seeking help from religious organizations or other resources?

Teaching your kids moral values is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a parent. In order for your children to act morally, they need to know the good, care about the good and practice doing the good.

The way your kids choose to treat others is critical. There are too many news stories of children committing suicide due in part to the cruel behavior of other kids. There are too many kids posting mean comments on social media. Too many kids avoiding activities due to bullying. How do you guide your kids in treating others?

Knowing the Good

What does it mean to be a good person? What traits does your family most value? Renée Trudeau, author of Nurturing the Soul of Your Family, shared that when her son was entering middle school they created a “Family Purpose Statement”. She described they “highlighted the top five qualities that were most important to us. At the top of our list: kindness and compassion–to self and others.”

What virtues make your family’s top five list? Some to consider include:

(finish reading the article on the Priceless Parenting site)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What's causing the extreme increase in kids' food allergies?

Are you concerned about food allergies and why so many kids have them?  The food supply in the United States has been greatly altered since the late 1990's.  Sadly, many of the additives being sold in the United States are illegal in other countries due to the fact they haven't been proven safe for human consumption. 

Robyn O'Brien, former financial and food industry analyst, became very interested in studying the food supply when her daughter had a severe allergic reaction during breakfast one day. Check out this excellent video featuring a TED Talk by Robyn O'Brien and also sign up for the free Food Revolution summit.




Thursday, March 5, 2015

Teaching Kids How to Fail Successfully

Making mistakes is part of being human. Although you may hate making mistakes, simply participating in life guarantees plenty of opportunities for mistakes.

How do you handle yourself when you’ve made a mistake? How do you react to your children when they’ve made a mistake? The way you handle mistakes and teach your children to handle mistakes is the difference between growing in confidence and shrinking back.

Low Self-Esteem Response to Mistakes

Children with low self-esteem will beat themselves up when they make a mistake. The mistake might be something as minor as mispronouncing a word while reading aloud, getting an answer wrong on a test or missing catching the ball.

You may hear them say things like:
  • “I’m stupid.”
  • “I’ll never get this right.”
  • “I should have known that answer.”
  • “I hope I don’t mess up again.”
Instead of wanting to try again, these kids may prefer avoiding the situation. They might want to quit the team, not go to school or drop out of the play. They would rather not participate than risk the feelings of anxiety and shame.

(finish reading the article on Priceless Parenting)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Moving From a Place of Power to a Place of Influence

The older your kids become, the more control and power they have over the decisions that effect them. When you try to force your ideas on them, you will likely end up in a power struggle.

Judy Steckman from Bend, Oregon just finished the online parenting class for teens and wrote "I think the tools and 'no nonsense' approach will be so beneficial to my kids. I'm moving from a place of power to a place of influence that will last a lifetime."

I loved how she said "I'm moving from a place of power to a place of influence that will last a lifetime." She captures it beautifully ... when you try to have power over your kids, they often rebel. Focusing on your influence acknowledges their autonomy while recognizing your significant input.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Are You Measuring Up?

Are you striving to be an excellent parent? Of course you want to be an excellent parent! You love your kids and want to do the best for them. You read parenting articles, books and take classes. You’re working hard to raise your children well.

How Are You Doing?

How do you measure how you are doing? If you were grading yourself as a parent, what grade would you give yourself? Do you score 100%? 110%? 60%?

What is the cut off for excellent parenting? Do you need to score at least 95%?

If these questions seem reasonable, you probably spent many years in schools that graded your work. You know what it’s like to strive for the perfect score. You know how it feels to get the top score and also how it feels to fall short.

The problem is relationships defy measurement. Nobody is giving out extra credit for getting your kids into bed on time or making a meal together. No psychologist will be assessing how well you’ve prepared your kids to launch as young adults.

What Is The Right Answer?

When you take tests in school, there are right answers and wrong answers. If you want to get a top score, you must know the right answers.

Finding the right answers involves judging different choices. What are the right answers in parenting?

(finish reading the article on Priceless Parenting)


Friday, February 13, 2015

Successfully Talking to Teens

Dr. Heidi Stolz provides some wonderful tips on how to successfully talk to your teens in this video.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What type of government protection do our kids need?

Certainly children deserve to be protected from danger and abuse. Yet it's impossible to protect children from every possible harm. When we enact laws that attempt to dictate the rules parents must follow to protect their kids we can accidentally cast too wide a net.

For example, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv are in trouble with Child Protective Services because they let their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter walk together without adults. They live in Maryland and Maryland has laws stating
"In Maryland, a child under the age of 8 years may not be left unattended at home, at school, or in a car. If a parent or guardian needs to leave a child who is younger than 8 years old, the parent or guardian must ensure that a reliable person, who is at least 13 years old will stay to protect the child. Failure to provide a reliable person to babysit the child is a misdemeanor, and the parent or guardian is subject to a fine up to $500 and up to 30 days in prison.

Both in and out of the home, parents and guardians must always give proper care and attention to children in their care. Children must not be left alone in situations where they may get hurt."

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have been told by their lawyer that Child Protective Services is within their rights to take away the kids if they don’t cooperate. Child Protective Services have better ways to spend their time and money than on these parents who let their 6 and 10-year-olds walk alone. Parenting choices around situations like this rapidly escalate when law enforcement becomes involved.

We need a national discussion around how we should best legally protect children. We can’t protect children from every possible harm and having laws like Maryland’s may do more harm than good. When and how children are removed from their homes deserves the highest scrutiny. The trauma of being taken from their parents must be justified by the benefits to the children.

Once kids are removed from their home, they should be put in a better environment but that is far from assured. Our foster care system is broken, the way we reunite kids with their parents after being in foster care is broken, and our priorities in protecting kids is off.

I’d like to see a law saying it’s illegal to have an unsecured gun anywhere a child age 6 or under can access it. Now that's a law that could quickly save lives!

Let's talk about it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Invest a Day in Sharpening Your Parenting Skills


Would you like to parent from a calm, confident place that invites cooperation instead of confrontation?
Even when you know how you'd ideally like your family to operate, it can be challenging to make those intentions a reality.

You don't want to yell at your kids, yet you find yourself yelling. You want your kids to treat you with respect yet they talk back. You want to be on the same parenting page as your partner and yet you have very different approaches with the kids.
happy family walking together
Raising kids is not easy. In these classes you'll learn to set limits on inappropriate behavior and encourage cooperation. You'll have time to ask questions about specific challenges you are facing.
Space is limited. Register today through EvergreenHealth.com/classes.

Choice #1 - for parents with kids ages 1 to 5  
Dates: Saturday, February 7th, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Location:  Evergreen Hospital, 12040 NE 128th Street, Kirkland, WA
Cost: $99/person or $149/couple

Description:
Parenting young children can be exhausting! Discover how to set limits on inappropriate behavior, respond to tantrums and whining, recognize developmentally appropriate behavior, encourage cooperation and enjoy more fun together.

 

Choice #2 - for parents with kids ages 6 to 12  
Dates: Saturday, February 14th, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Location:  Evergreen Hospital, 12040 NE 128th Street, Kirkland, WA
Cost: $99/person or $149/couple

Description:
Discover how to parent your kids now in ways that typically produce fantastic teens instead of rebellious, self-destructive teens. Find out how to set reasonable, valuable consequences for your children's misbehavior, guide your kids to resolving their own conflicts, avoid power struggles and have more fun with your kids!

 
Choice #3 - for parents with kids ages 13 to 18  
Dates: Saturday, February 21st, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Location:  Evergreen Hospital, 12040 NE 128th Street, Kirkland, WA
Cost: $99/person or $149/couple

Description:
Develop a parenting approach that matches your teen's growing independence. Discover how to move from confrontation to cooperation, set limits on inappropriate behavior, guide your teens to making healthy decisions and prepare them to successfully launch as young adults.

 
Choice #4 - for parents who can't attend these classes  
Learn from the comfort of your own home by taking an online parenting class for Ages 5 and Under, 6 to 12 or 13 to 18. Start today for only $59!

Please join me for the class that best fits your family. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 425-770-1629.

Warm Regards,

     Kathy Slattengren, M. Ed.
     President, Priceless Parenting

P.S. If you know someone who might enjoy taking this class, please do me a favor and share a link to this page.

 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Strong Feelings Make Kids' Communication Rocky

When something is troubling your kids, expect their strong feelings to make talking about it rocky. Focusing on the poor ways your child is communicating (eye rolls, attitude) will negatively escalate the situation like it does in this video.

Instead, try to connect with your child’s underlying feeling by saying something like “Hmm … it sounds like something upset you today.” After saying this, drop the conversation unless your child wants to continue. Plan to continue the conversation later on when your child is ready to talk about it.



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Teaching Kids Healthy Ways to Express Their Feelings

Your kids will experience a wide range of emotions each day. They may feel elated one moment followed by disappointment in the next moment. Perhaps they are thrilled with the red helium balloon they’ve just been given, only to experience dismay when they forget to hold on and the balloon floats away. Or they may feel terrified in asking someone to the dance and then exhilarated when that person says yes.

Part of being human is experiencing all these different emotions. How your children learn to handle their feelings will affect their success in relationships and school.

Name That Feeling!

When your kids are young, they need your help in labeling their feelings. If your child is stomping his feet and snarling as he tries to zip up his jacket, you might comment “It looks like you are frustrated with trying to zip up your jacket. I feel frustrated too when things are hard to do.” Hearing this helps your child feel noticed while also learning a word to attach to his feelings.

Developing a vocabulary for describing feelings gives children words for their emotional experiences. Understanding their own feelings then allows them to appreciate other people’s feelings. Correctly reading other people’s feelings is essential for building relationships.

A chart with faces and labels can help children see the differences in feelings. A feelings chart can be used for kids to point to the face that best matches how they are currently feeling. Pictures that go along with stories are also a wonderful way to talk about what the character might be feeling.

Older kids are ready for a range of words to describe mild to strong feelings. Are they furious, angry or feeling slightly bugged? Identifying the feeling’s intensity is important in communicating and figuring out what action to take.

(finish reading "Teaching Kids Healthy Ways to Express Their Feelings" on Priceless Parenting)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Signs That Your Kids Have Too Much Power and You Need to Step Up to Parent

Is it possible for kids to have too much power? Yes! Your household is not healthy and safe if your children are in charge instead of you. When you set firm boundaries, your kids feel secure.

If you find yourself feeling out-of-control with your kids, you may have handed them too much control. How do you know if your kids have too much power? Here are some warning behaviors:
  • Your kids hit or push you.
  • Your kids are disrespectful to you.
  • Your kids do not listen to you.
  • Your kids get by with inappropriate behavior.
  • Your kids negotiate or whine to get what they want.
If any of these behaviors are familiar, it’s time to step up to your parenting role. You can be a loving authority figure in your family. If you’re not sure how to do this, taking one of Priceless Parenting 's online parenting classes is a great way to learn!