Three Ways to Help Children Behave Better without Using Punishment

Sunday, April 29, 2018 No comments
Photo Credit: Creative Child Magazine

Often a go-to for all behavioral problems, punishment is an extremely common method of behavior modification, but is it really the best way to help kids do better?

When we use punishment, our children are robbed of the opportunity to develop their own inner discipline-the ability to act with integrity, wisdom, compassion, and mercy when there is no external force holding them accountable for what they do. – Barbara Coloroso

Here are just three reasons to stop punishing kids and three ways to help them behave better without punishment:


1. Punishment adds to the frustration children are already feeling which causes more acting out, not less. Children who are purposefully misbehaving are communicating that something doesn’t feel right internally. Very often, they are experiencing frustration in their lives that they simply do not have the resources to deal with. Frustration is at the root of aggression problems in children, so it only makes sense that adding more frustration would fuel more aggression. Even if the problem is not aggressive behavior, when you punish children, you run the risk of causing aggression in the future because of the level of frustration it causes.


2. Maturation cannot be punished into a brain. Often what we perceive as “misbehavior” is developmentally appropriate behavior that is annoying to adults. Behavior such as throwing food, refusing to sleep, whining, and tantrums aren’t calculative attempts from toddlers to test boundaries and frustrate parents but the result of an underdeveloped brain. There is no amount of punishment that will make the brain develop quicker, and in fact, some punishments have negative effects on the growing brain.

3. Punishment fails to teach children what they can do. When a child is put in time-out for hitting a sibling, they may (or may not) understand that hitting is something they’re not supposed to do. However, just sitting there alone doesn’t help him learn how to regulate the emotions that caused him to attack in the first place and it doesn’t equip him with positive tools he can use the next time he experiences those emotions. Grounding a child for a bad grade tells him you’re displeased with his grade but it doesn’t give him study skills. Only when we teach children what to do and equip them with useful skills can we truly expect to see positive behavior change, and that teaching can always come without a punishment.

Three Ways to Help Kids Behave Better Without Punishment

1. Get to the root of the emotional issue. When we listen to what the behavior is communicating rather than quickly punishing that behavior, we can help get to the root of what’s causing the problem and heal it. There aren’t behaviors that need punished. There are problems that need solving and hearts that need healing. Behavior is communication. Are you listening?

Is Conscious Parenting Close to Your Heart?

Monday, April 23, 2018 No comments
Image Credit: The Jai Institute for Parenting


Conscious/Positive Parenting has been a topic close to my heart for many years now. I've been an advocate and messenger for about 9 years, an author on the subject for 5 years, and soon, I'll be a certified conscious parenting coach!

There is nothing more rewarding than helping parents connect with their children heart to heart. Conscious parent coaching is the fasting growing niche in the Coaching Industry, and now you have a chance to join me and the other parent coaches in this soul-filling, time-freeing career.

I recently sat down for a webinar with Jolette Jai and, wow, what an insightful training with the Founder of The Jai Institute for Parenting!

You can watch and listen to the replay here - https://vimeo.com/265426919/48390cdf3b

In the training, Jolette talks about : 

* How to have the deepest, most fulfilling relationship with your child without compromising your values as a parent.
* How to have time freedom for your children without sacrificing your life.
* How to have a consistent stream of income without having to go to work and leave your children for the entire day.
* How to turn your parenting into a soul-filled career even if that seems like a ridiculous proposition right now.
* How you can ride the wave of the fastest-growing niche in the Coaching Industry.

If you feel that parenting is the most important thing that you will ever do and you thrive on having more harmony and abundance in your family... watch this replay now - https://vimeo.com/265426919/48390cdf3b

If you are ready to take the leap and join me in this amazing field of work, simply fill out this application and Jolette's team will get in touch with you shortly to discuss the details.

Ready to see what's possible for you?

                                                Image Credit: The Jai Institute for Parenting

I hope you come aboard! We need you! 

This important discipline practice will change everything.





There are lots of challenges that parenthood brings. I’ve heard from many parents baffled about how best to discipline their child, but the biggest challenge for many parents isn’t figuring out how to properly discipline their kids but learning how to discipline themselves. This is some of the most important work in parenting because it determines how we show up each day, what we model, and what kind of relationships we are able to build.

Self-discipline is such a challenge because parenting uncovers all of our triggers and brings up fears, hurts, and feelings from our pasts that cause real emotional reactions that we may not understand or be able to control until we bring awareness to those reactions. Our children show us where we need to heal and how we need to grow ourselves to reach our own full potentials so that we can help guide them toward reaching theirs.

Before parents can effectively teach their child self-discipline (and this is end-goal of all discipline), they must learn to effectively discipline themselves. The most important discipline practice a parent can use is the practice of self-regulation, disarming emotional triggers, and learning effective self-calming methods. When you are disciplined, you are able to show up and be the parent your child needs – calm, centered, logical, and safe.

The first step to in this practice of self-discipline is to understand your story. This requires some serious self-reflection and it could be uncomfortable or even painful at times, but it’s a necessary part of growth. If we don’t face our stories head on, we can remain stuck in unhealthy or unhelpful patterns with our children. This could prevent us from connecting with our children or from providing the unconditional love, acceptance, and support they need to grow well. In The Positive Parenting Workbook, I guide you through this process and provide you plenty of space to write out your story and then to revise it to serve you better. This allows you to let go of your limiting beliefs.

To do this exercise today, think about what your child does that triggers you. What causes you to have big emotions and reactions? Now close your eyes and allow your mind to wander back to your childhood. Think of the times when you behaved in a way similar to what your child is doing that triggers you. How were you treated? What messages did you receive from your parents about this behavior? How did it make you feel? Is that the same feeling that rises in you now when your child behaves that way? See if you can pinpoint the origin of your big emotions around the trigger. By bringing awareness to this, you can begin to understand why your brain is coded to do what it has been doing and be empowered to change the narrative that runs through your mind when you’re triggered so that you can respond rather than react to your child. I’m currently taking a wonderful course to become a certified parent coach, and addressing our generational patterns and bringing consciousness is what our first few lessons are about. This is life-changing!

The second step in self-discipline is to effectively reprogram your brain. This may sound daunting or even impossible, but it can be done. You do this both by taking a look at your thought patterns and working to change those which make you feel fear, panic, overwhelm – any that cause a negative mindset and negative reactions. Our thoughts create physical changes in our bodies, and what we think can either calm us or agitate us, and it really is in our control. Every time you replace a negative or self-limiting thought with a positive or empowering thought, you are making new neural connections in the brain – essentially rewiring yourself to be calmer, more empathetic, more positive – more like the parent you want to be! This is really the key to emotional intelligence – understanding your emotions and dealing with them in a constructive rather than destructive way.

The third step is to take charge of your everyday mindset. This means that you decide what kind of parent you want to be. You see the best in your child – even when the behavior their presenting isn’t their best behavior. You understand that all behavior is communication because when you see it that way, you don’t get triggered by the disrespect or frustration or whatever your child is exhibiting on the outside. You can see that what your child needs is connection, help, skills, and self-discipline, so you are no longer impulsively reacting to your child’s behavior but are thoughtfully responding to it.

The final step is to be an intentional parent. Have a plan for how you will handle certain behaviors. Have a plan for the environment and family culture you want to create. Be intentional about connecting with your child. Take charge of the legacy you are building and set very specific goals for yourself and your family. This will help you feel focused, purposeful, and ready to tackle challenges because you aren’t just making it up as you go along but you are disciplined and prepared.

What we model is the greatest teacher to our children, for better or worse. We can show them how to be self-disciplined by practicing it every day in our homes.

Join me on May 1st at the Positive Parenting Conference! I’ll be speaking about solution-oriented discipline along with 19 other speakers over the course of 10 days who will all help you take a step closer to becoming the parent you want to be.





Meltdowns, Sibling Rivalry, Mama Anger..we're discussing it all on the blog tour!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 No comments


PODCASTS:




ARTICLES:

Motherly:
How empathy (even during meltdowns) can actually teach your kids to do the right thing.

Working Mother:
8 Ways to Keep Your Cool When You're About to Blow Up on Your Kids

Kids Yoga Daily:
The Parenting Manual You'll Wish You Were Born With

Positive Parenting Connection:
Help Kids Get Along with These 5 Positive Parenting Tools

Not Just Cute:
The Positive Parenting Workbook - A Review

Bounceback Parenting:
Three Exercises for Overcoming the Negative Thought Patterns that Trigger Anger

Parents with Confidence:
How to Be a Positive Parent with an Aggressive Child

Sarah MacLaughlin:
Parenting from the Same Page

Roots of Action:
Self-Esteem, Unconditional Love, and Child Discipline

Parenting from the Heart:
How to Ditch Punishment and Get the Best Behavior Yet

Brightly:
20 Ways to Make Your Child Feel Loved

A Fine Parent:
How to Become a Steadfast and Gentle Guide for Your Kid

Moments a Day:
Five Questions Every Positive Parent Should Ask Themselves

Imperfect Families:
Handling Back Talk

Lemon Lime Adventures:
Struggling with Sibling Rivalry? Try these simple bonding exercises.


Also on YouTube! Subscribe to my new channel!






Questions of a Child's Heart



Reviews!





What is The Positive Parenting Workbook?

Parents who seek guidance in raising their kids often find themselves mired in oversimplified advice. When they try to implement practices that sound good in theory, they quickly become discouraged when they don’t work in practice.
In The Positive Parenting Workbook, I offer parents a place to reflect on their and their children’s motivations, reactions, and goals in order to embrace happier familial relationships.
A tool that can be used by itself or in combination with my book, Positive Parenting, this handbook offers prompts to help parents get to the root of misbehavior, while strengthening the connection with their children. These insightful exercises help parents:

• Identify and change damaging, negative thought patterns
• Implement calm-down techniques when they are about to succumb to anger and frustration
• Reconnect with their partners so that they can approach parenting on a united front
• Create a positive family culture that allows kids to feel safe and loved
• Engage in daily loving rituals that strengthen family bonds
Designed to reduce the drama, stress, and resentment all too common in our hectic times, this inspiring guide helps readers chart a new path toward greater emotional awareness, clear communication, and joyful moments in parenting

I’m so excited to release this interactive guide for parents! Part workbook and part journal, The Positive Parenting Workbook guides readers deeper into the parenting experience!

Here's what you can expect from the workbook:
  • Together, we will do the self-work necessary to become your best self because I believe if we hope to guide our children to their full potentials, we must first strive to reach our own! You’ll learn to look at your own story and notice how it has shaped you as a parent. There are exercises for changing negative thought patterns so you can live joyful days and a table to record your progress!You’ll learn  how to identify your anger triggers and some amazing techniques for calming yourself down quickly. We’ll discuss the importance of self-care and help you make time for a very important person – you!
  • The Workbook gently guides you and your parenting partner toward the same page so you can parent more effectively. With guided discussion questions and connection exercises, you’ll learn how to communicate better and strengthen your relationship.
  • Because communication is important in every happy family, I’m going to help you learn positive communication skills with your partner and your children so that respect is the common tongue in your home! I’ve even included exercises to build positive communication skills.
  • Because I wholeheartedly believe that building a foundation of trust with our children is essential to healthy growth and easier parenting, I’ve devoted a chapter on how you can connect deeply with your child no matter what age.
  • I’m going to help you define your family culture in this workbook because that is the world your children grow up in! Often overlooked, this essential parenting tool includes your habits, expectations, communication, traditions, and more! And I’ll show you how to create your own family blueprint or mission statement that will help you stay on track as a family. I include lots of ideas for creating a loving, happy family culture that your children will feel safe in and that truly makes home a haven.
  • I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about creating sibling rivalry and promoting positive bonds and you’ll learn positive discipline tools to handle sibling spats!
  • I’m going to show you how to look at your child’s behavior in a new way so that you can stop the mundane task of behavior patrol and learn to decode behavior so you can fix it at it’s source. Learning to see positive intent is so important in shaping who our children believe they are, and it’s my secret parenting tool! You’ll have lots of space to work out your child’s behavior in the book and write out helpful observations.
  • Raising emotionally healthy children is the hope of all parents, and in this workbook you’ll find exercises for building your child’s emotional intelligence, plus you’ll learn about the roles of self-image on emotional health and how to help your child build a positive self-image. Of course, your emotional health is important, too, and that’s addressed in this workbook as well with thought-provoking questions and exercises.
  • Finally, I’ll show you how to trade punishments for real solutions that help your child grow and thrive while keeping your relationship strong! You’ll learn the steps to positive discipline along with alternatives to punishments. I’ll also show you how to navigate through some of the toughest behavioral issues, such as aggression, whining, tantrums, back talk, and more.
Each chapter is packed with reflection questions, exercises, and journal space for the ultimate guide in creating your joyful, connected family!

Order your copy today!
Praise for The Positive Parenting Workbook:

In The Positive Parenting Workbook, Rebecca Eanes shows parents how to raise confident kids in an emotionally healthy home. Through relatable anecdotes and practical suggestions, Ms. Eanes guides us toward better relationships with our children. She establishes herself as a wise and confident leader - a wonderful example of the kind of parent we all want to be. - Sarah MacLaughlin, author of What Not to Say
The Positive Parenting Workbook is like walking with a gentle and steadfast friend who understands firsthand what comes with being a parent and who invites you to look at yourself in a courageous and vulnerable way. Based on sound attachment and developmental principles, Rebecca Eanes weaves parents through a reflective journey on all that comes with caring for our children. On every page the message is clear - the greatest gift we have to offer our kids is becoming the answer to their emotional and relational needs. - Dr. Deborah MacNamara, author of Rest, Play, Grow

The Positive Parenting Workbook is an amazing companion guide to Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide! You don’t have to own Positive Parenting to work through this workbook, but they do go hand in hand for a deeper understanding of Positive Parenting.

Providing Children with Emotional Rest

Saturday, March 10, 2018 No comments


My son walks out of the building dragging a heavy backpack, an overstuffed three-ring binder with a shoulder strap he never uses, a lunch box, and a water bottle. Because his hands are full, he struggles to get the door open to my vehicle. Finally, he manages it, and he unloads his things into the back seat and climbs in. He lets out an audible exhale as he buckles, and slumps into his seat, staring out the window.

“Hey love. How was your day?” I ask gently. “Ok,” he replies, his eyes not averting from his window stare. I can read the signs in his expression. Give me a minute. I need to rest. I don’t ask any more questions but my eyes dart from the road to my rearview mirror as we pull out of the school’s parking lot and make our way back to the freeway. I turn on his favorite song and crank it up. His expression softens, and he starts to visibly relax.


School is a place of unrest for my boy, as it is for many children. There is a constant pressure to perform, not only for teachers but for peers. Children have to navigate tough social situations, adjust to busy schedules, absorb tons of information, and are expected to act beyond their age and development. This is the reason we often get the after-school meltdowns, a release of pent-up emotions the child has been holding inside and now finally feels comfortable enough to let out. For highly sensitive children like my son, those feelings of unrest are magnified, as are all of their emotions.

Regardless of emotional sensitivity or personality, all children need emotional rest to grow well. Dr. Gordon Neufeld, a developmental psychologist and founder of The Neufeld Institute, discusses the need for emotional rest in his Relationship Matters course. See a clip here. To summarize, Dr. Neufeld mentions these three ways in which we can provide our children with emotional rest.

1. Some common discipline methods cause separation between parent and child, and they require that the child “work” to get back into our good graces. For example, “Go to your room and don’t come out until you can behave,” tells the child that we do not want to be with them unless they can “be good.” Yet, from a developmental standpoint, children aren’t always capable of controlling their emotions, impulses, and behaviors, and when they are having a hard time doing so, this is the time when they need us by their side the most.

As Dr. Neufeld says, “Children must never work for our love; they must rest in it.” When we make them work to earn our approval and positive attention, they cannot rest in the security of unconditional love, and it puts a burden on them to try and keep mom and/or dad close. He says our message should be there is nothing that can separate you from my love.

2. Providing “more attention than the child asks for” is another way to offer emotional rest. When they continually have to ask for our attention or compete with other things for our attention, they do not feel significant in our lives. However, by being the first to offer to play, the first to say “I love you,” and the last to let go during a hug, we can give our children the message you are worth my time. You are significant.

3. Assuming our role as leader also gives children rest. ...continue reading at Creative Child Magazine


Why Being a Mom and Wife are Things to be Grateful for this Valentines Day

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 No comments

Friday night tends to be “‘movie night” for our family.  It’s the only night of the week my husband is home at a regular and consistent time and because we don’t watch a lot of television, the kids look forward to it all week.  Tonight all of us sat together, curled under a blanket on the couch, eating popcorn just like so many Fridays before. But this time while all of them were watching the movie, I found myself watching all of them instead.  Their facial reactions, their whole belly laughs, how they looked nervous during scary parts, smiled when something great happened to the characters, and angry about negative scenes.  I made a memory I will not soon forget.  This night; this moment with my kids and my husband; my heart felt more full than it has in a long time.  Being a wife and a mom has made me happier than I could have ever imagined.
 Sure, there are days when I easily think I am failing at being a parent.  When my toddler has put more bite marks on my arm than I care to admit and my other child is talking back as if he is a lawyer at age 4. Some days I look in the mirror and find an unrecognizable tired zombie looking back at me.  I remember before kids how we could sleep in, go away on a whim, eat at fancy restaurants and look equally as good as we felt.  But with all of that reminiscing, it’s easy to oversee the beautiful gift right in front of you.
The truth is, I wouldn’t trade anything in the world to be back there in comparison to my life with my husband and my children today.  I look at them and I know it’s all worth it without a hesitation.  Being in love with my husband is the best love I could have ever imagined and then the love you feel once becoming a parent is indescribable.  Our kids are incredible, unique and fun beyond my wildest imagination.  They are small reflections of us so long ago.  They are my reasons to smile first thing in the morning and to give hugs and kisses before bed.
Every day that goes by, they are growing; they are getting older, smarter and more independent.  My son used to not be tall enough to see over the window ledge.  Now he can hand me the paper towels on the counter effortlessly. He doesn’t hold my hand very much anymore but when he does, my heart melts. My daughters still do and I find myself volunteering my hand more than I ever did before knowing it’s time being held by theirs is limited.
These phases of biting and talking back are just that; phases - small fractions of time that will soon be over.   Before I know it, this house will be empty and quiet all day long while they are at school.   Soon, they won’t want my attention so badly they yell at me; they will have friends they want to spend time with instead.  Even our Friday movie nights will be limited with their own busy social schedules and moments like tonight will be scarce and numbered. 
Raising a family with my husband is the greater adventure and the hardest job I have ever had.  But for all those moments when I feel like a failure, there are the moments like tonight when my son gave me a big hug and said “I love you, Mommy.  You are the best Mommy in the whole world”.  Yup, that’s the best compliment I have ever received my whole life.
This Valentines Day, its not flowers and chocolate that I want.  Spending quality time with my husband and my kids; time when I am truly present and can recognize all the joy they bring me is what I am looking forward to.  I am a wife and a mom and I couldn’t think of better gifts than that this Valentines Day.

      -Sarah


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Sarah Navin | Lilladu Exchange

Sarah Navin is one of the cofounders at Lilladu Exchange, focusing her efforts in marketing and communications.  After a decade of experience in the marketing industry and completing her Masters in Business Administration, she and her husband celebrated the birth of their first child and she decided to take a new career path of a stay at home mom.  Today they have three children, Zachary age 4, Alexandria age 2 and Victoria age 4 months.  In addition to her efforts for Lilladu and being a full time mom, Sarah is also on two boards for nonprofits and volunteers her marketing services for several nonprofits in her community as well.

Strengthen Emotional Connection with The Positive Parenting Workbook (Plus a Pre-Order Bonus Package)

Saturday, January 27, 2018 No comments
The Positive Parenting Workbook is hitting the shelves on March 6, 2018, and I've created a special digital prize package for pre-ordering! 

Choose your favorite book retailer to order:


      



What is The Positive Parenting Workbook?

I’m so excited to release this interactive guide for parents! Part workbook and part journal, The Positive Parenting Workbook guides readers deeper into the parenting experience!

Here's what you can expect from the workbook:
  • Together, we will do the self-work necessary to become your best self because I believe if we hope to guide our children to their full potentials, we must first strive to reach our own! You’ll learn to look at your own story and notice how it has shaped you as a parent. There are exercises for changing negative thought patterns so you can live joyful days and a table to record your progress!You’ll learn  how to identify your anger triggers and some amazing techniques for calming yourself down quickly. We’ll discuss the importance of self-care and help you make time for a very important person – you!
  • The Workbook gently guides you and your parenting partner toward the same page so you can parent more effectively. With guided discussion questions and connection exercises, you’ll learn how to communicate better and strengthen your relationship.
  • Because communication is important in every happy family, I’m going to help you learn positive communication skills with your partner and your children so that respect is the common tongue in your home! I’ve even included exercises to build positive communication skills.
  • Because I wholeheartedly believe that building a foundation of trust with our children is essential to healthy growth and easier parenting, I’ve devoted a chapter on how you can connect deeply with your child no matter what age.
  • I’m going to help you define your family culture in this workbook because that is the world your children grow up in! Often overlooked, this essential parenting tool includes your habits, expectations, communication, traditions, and more! And I’ll show you how to create your own family blueprint or mission statement that will help you stay on track as a family. I include lots of ideas for creating a loving, happy family culture that your children will feel safe in and that truly makes home a haven.
  • I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about creating sibling rivalry and promoting positive bonds and you’ll learn positive discipline tools to handle sibling spats!
  • I’m going to show you how to look at your child’s behavior in a new way so that you can stop the mundane task of behavior patrol and learn to decode behavior so you can fix it at it’s source. Learning to see positive intent is so important in shaping who our children believe they are, and it’s my secret parenting tool! You’ll have lots of space to work out your child’s behavior in the book and write out helpful observations.
  • Raising emotionally healthy children is the hope of all parents, and in this workbook you’ll find exercises for building your child’s emotional intelligence, plus you’ll learn about the roles of self-image on emotional health and how to help your child build a positive self-image. Of course, your emotional health is important, too, and that’s addressed in this workbook as well with thought-provoking questions and exercises.
  • Finally, I’ll show you how to trade punishments for real solutions that help your child grow and thrive while keeping your relationship strong! You’ll learn the steps to positive discipline along with alternatives to punishments. I’ll also show you how to navigate through some of the toughest behavioral issues, such as aggression, whining, tantrums, back talk, and more.
Each chapter is packed with reflection questions, exercises, and journal space for the ultimate guide in creating your joyful, connected family!
Sound amazing?

Pre-order the Positive Parenting Workbook now and get these amazing bonus printables!

  1. A behavior detective worksheet for kids that puts your child in a detective role. This fun and engaging worksheet shows your child how their thoughts affect their emotions and how emotions drive behavior. They learn to get curious about why they are repeating a certain behavior and encouraged to work through how their behavior affected them and the people around them. My favorite part is that it puts the responsibility of their behavior on them and asks think about how they can do better the next time with what they’ve learned.
  2. The behavior worksheet for parents helps you discover what’s driving your child’s behavior. Through a few simple exercises and questions, you can get to the bottom of the problem and find a real solution that works to heal it, not just cover it up!
  3. My family meeting agenda worksheet shows you everything you need for a great family meeting and provides space for intentions, affirmations, concerns, and goals. This tool will help your family run more smoothly, like a well-oiled machine!
  4. The 16 helper cards you’ll receive are meant to be given out at the family meeting (or anytime your child needs to pick a chore). The fun and colorful designs are meant to grab your kid’s attention and make family contributions seem a little less dull.  I’ve also included blank cards that you can customize!
  5. You’ll get a 5 Steps to Positive Disicpline cheat sheet to hang on your fridge or put in your binder, and it serves as a great, quick tool to help you stay on track as a positive parent!
  6. Finally, I’m including a beautiful and inspirational bookmark so you won’t lose your place as you go through The Positive Parenting Workbook!

To receive your bonuses, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Pre-order your copy of The Positive Parenting Workbook.
  2. Forward a copy of your receipt to rebecca@positive-parents.org.
  3. Within 48 hours, your bonuses will be delivered to your inbox!

Choose your favorite book retailer to order:



      



The Positive Parenting Workbook is an amazing companion guide to Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide! You don’t have to own Positive Parenting to work through this workbook, but they do go hand in hand for a deeper understanding of Positive Parenting, and the best news? You can get Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide right now for half it’s regular price! #winning