When Your Kids Make You Feel Extremely Angry

Before I had my own kids, it was hard to imagine how parents could spank their kids. Those sweet, innocent little kids! How could anyone feel like hitting them?

It dawned on me as to how this could happen when my 3-year-old daughter helped me get in touch with my own anger. I actually didn't think I had that much anger! She would look me straight in the eye and do exactly what she knew she wasn't supposed to be doing. She directly challenged me ... I'm doing this and what do you plan to do about it?

I was so tempted to spank her to teach her that I was stronger than her and she had better not be doing this again. Yet I had promised myself that I wouldn't hit my kids. I needed a better approach and so my husband and I took parenting classes. We found that there are many better approaches ... we just needed to learn them and use them.

I founded Priceless Parenting 6 years ago to share these ideas with parents everywhere. April 30th is International SpankOut Day. If you are ready to learn alternatives to spanking, take one of Priceless Parenting's online parenting classes - Ages 5 and Under, 6 to 12 or 13 to 18. Start today!

Teaching Your Child Friendship Skills

It's painful if your child is struggling with friendships. Your child might be shy and easily ignored by other kids, overly sensitive, intimidating other children, or be the vulnerable child who is continually being picked on. What can you do to help your child develop the skills needed to make good friends?

Many of the rules of friendship are unwritten and some kids catch on to those rules while others do not. In their book The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple Strategies to Help Your Child Make Friends, Elman and Kennedy-Moore define the characteristics of 10 types of children who often have problems with friendships. They describe the typical behaviors that these kids exhibit that turn their peers off. They then list the unwritten friendship rules that this type of child is missing and how you can help your child develop those skills.

Some of the unwritten rules include things like:
  • There is no such thing as a perfect friend.
  • If you hit someone, odds are they'll hit you back harder.
  • Dwelling on bad feelings makes them worse.
  • When someone says "Stop", stop.
  • Staying out of harm's way is wise.
  • You don't have to stay around people who are unkind to you.
The book provides excellent ideas for guiding your child to learning these rules. If your child is struggling with friends, this book may hold the key to helping your child figure out how to successfully navigate friendships.

Answering Kids' Questions on Global Climate Change

Today is Earth Day and there are certainly many concerns your children may have heard about regarding global climate change. If you'd like help answering their challenging questions, check out the question/answer section of the recently released draft of the National Climate Assessment report.

Scientists pulled together answers to some of the common questions raised about climate change. These are the first five questions answered:

How can we predict what climate will be like in 100 years if we can’t even predict the weather next week?

Is the climate changing? How do we know?

Climate is always changing. How is recent change different than in the past?

Is the global temperature still increasing? Isn’t there recent evidence that it is actually cooling?

Is it getting warmer at the same rate everywhere? Are these trends likely to continue?

The scientific answers to these questions are accompanied by charts and graphs. These complex ideas are explained in an understandable way.

Take a Quick Parenting Quiz to Consider How Things Are Going for You

Parenting is full of challenges. Each age and stage of your children's lives brings new joys along with new things to learn. All parents struggle at times with their children's behavior.

If you're interested in some questions that will help you consider how things are going for you, take this quick parenting quiz.

Protecting Your Children from Sexual Abuse

One of the most important responsibility you have as a parent is to keep your children safe including being safe from sexual abuse. Unfortunately too many children experience being sexually abused, most often by someone they know and trust.

Sunday April 14, 2013 marks the first annual The Innocence Revolution - A Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse. Their mission is to "is to unite and mobilize societies worldwide to end child sexual abuse".

In order to protect your children, it's helpful to know who are the most likely perpetrators. Men and teen boys are the perpetrators in 94% of the cases against girls and 86% of the cases against boys. They also report these statistics:
  • An estimated 60% of perpetrators of sexual abuse are known to the child but are not family members, e.g., family friends, babysitters, childcare providers, neighbors.
  • About 30% of perpetrators are family members, e.g., fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins.
  • Just 10% of perpetrators are strangers to the child.
How can you help protect your children from sexual abuse?  This one page summarizes 10 steps you can take to help protect your children from sexual abuse.

Kids Complaining About Being Bored Without Their Digital Devices

Do your kids ever complain that they’re bored especially if they’ve used up their screen time for the day or can’t have access to their favorite digital device? Digital devices are terrific at providing dopamine rushes that are extremely enticing. However, kids benefit greatly from time away from their digital devices.

What do you do when your kids complain they are bored? One idea is to have them write down on slips of paper things they like to do which don’t involve TV or digital devices. Put these slips in a container and the next time they complain about being bored, they can draw a couple slips out and choose which one to do.

You can print a blank My Boredom Busting Activities page that your kids can fill in. For ideas, check out the boredom busting activities other kids have written down.

How to Help Kids Overcome Their Fear and Anxiety

Childhood is often pictured as a fun, carefree time of life. However, children also have many worries and concerns. Having some anxiety is part of normal life but it becomes a problem when that anxiety starts interfering with children's daily activities.

According to Dr. Donna Pincus author of Growing Up Brave, "one in five children today suffers from a diagnosed anxiety disorder, and countless others suffer from anxiety that interferes with critical social, academic, and physical development."

Feeling Anxious in Different Situations

Feeling anxious isn't fun for anyone. It's natural to want to escape whatever situation is creating the anxiety. However, running away only reinforces the negative feelings associated with it and makes it even harder the next time.

There are also many anxiety producing situations which simply cannot be avoided. For example, everyone must sleep even if going to sleep is difficult due to worries.

Below are some common situations that make children anxious:
  • Going to bed, sleeping alone, sleeping with the lights off
  • Separating from parents for a play date or being left with another adult
  • Encountering animals like dogs, snakes or bugs
  • Going to school, taking tests, speaking in front of the class
  • Performing in a sport
  • Striking up a conversation with a peer, joining in playing
  • Being in an enclosed space like an elevator, subway or airplane
  • Earthquakes, storms, nuclear war or other catastrophic events
When your children are feeling anxious, it's natural to want to reassure them and make things better. Although some things that you may do can actually make things worse like:

(Read the rest of the article on Priceless Parenting)

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