Category Archives: Parenting Tips

Good Personal Boundaries: Does Your Child Have Them?

Children and Personal Boundaries

Most parents understand the importance of teaching a child to be respectful, responsible, and safe. Personal boundaries, however, can easily be overlooked by parents who focus too much attention on other character traits.

A child has poor personal boundaries if he or she…

• warms up to strangers too quickly
• refuses to (or forgets to) knock on doors before entering rooms
• constantly seeks affection from other children or adults (hugging, kissing, grabbing, etc.)
• seeks inappropriate affection from either parent (consider age-appropriateness)
• is invasive with regards to the privacy of others
• asks personal questions without regard for the other person’s feelings
• is overly trusting of others, especially strangers
• uses other people’s things without asking
• talks about things that most people would keep private
• wears clothing that is overly revealing or doesn’t cover up appropriately
• often “snatches” things from others (this could also be a “poor impulse” issue)

If you have a child with poor personal boundaries, then it might be helpful to discuss the importance of good boundaries with your child. Role-playing is another great way to teach appropriate boundaries to your child.

Sailing The 7 C’s of Successful Parenting

Successful Parenting: The 7 C’s

Have you ever wondered about the qualities that go into making a parent successful? I have. I’ve also noticed that most of them begin with the letter “C.” So with no further adieu, here are my “7 C’s of Successful Parenting”:

1. Consistency = Maintaining a specific standard or being able to repeat a certain task with little variation.

Consistency begets predictability…and that is good for children. It establishes expectations based on the child’s behavior. According to an article by Atlanta Parent, irregular rewards and consequences can be confusing and ineffective. Unpredictable responses to a child’s behavior can also be quite perplexing for that child.

2. Connectedness = Being joined or linked firmly together (either physically or emotionally).

This refers to the bond or connection that exists between a parent and his or her child. Spending quality time with your child, while getting to know him or her, is essential to becoming connected. A strong bond will foster a sense of mutual respect which leads to happier parents and better-adjusted children.

3. Communication = The exchange of information between individuals.

Communication involves a shared understanding of each other. Effective communication is essential to successful parenting. Children often have a lot to say and it is the parent’s job to listen and to respond appropriately. Putting up walls or refusing to discuss certain matters will only cause later issues. Be welcoming to your child and willing to discuss important matters without criticism or rejection.

4. Confidence = A belief in one’s own abilities.

Confidence is power. It can also determine whether or not it is the parent or the child that is in control. Children respond better to confident parents as opposed to their self-doubting or uncertain counterparts. Stand firm, speak assertively, and know that you are doing what is best for your child.

5. Common-sense = The ability to make rational decisions and use good judgment.

You either have it or you don’t. If you don’t, then it might be wise to seek the advice of someone who does. If you do, then it’s imperative that you use it! Be logical, not emotional, when parenting.

6. Consequences = The outcome of our actions or behavior.

Consequences can either be negative or positive. Choose consequences that are logical and fair, not just easy and/or convenient. Effective consequences are the foundation of effective discipline…and the consequences you choose will likely have a big impact on your child’s future behavior.

7. Composure = Having a calm and stable control over one’s emotions.

Out-of-control parents typically raise out-of-control children. Yelling and screaming at a child is about as effective as giving them directions in a foreign language. Keep calm and collected, even when things get rough.

So there they are…any others you would add?

Are You a Crappy Parent?

Are You a Crappy Parent?

In the tradition of Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might be a Redneck if…” here is a version for parents called, “You Might be a Crappy Parent if…”

You might be a crappy parent if…

You allow your preteen child to watch R-rated movies because, after all, “R” stands for “Radical!”

You spend more time on your “smart phone” than you do with your child…proving that your phone is indeed smarter than you.

You give-in to your child’s whining and/or complaining because you don’t want to encourage that type of behavior….oh, wait!

You don’t help your child with his 4th grade math because…well, you can’t.

Your teen stumbles home an hour past curfew with bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and traces of vomit on his shirt. He tells you that he’s “just tired” and you believe him. Two weeks later when he is arrested for underage drinking you act surprised because “there just weren’t any red flags.”

Discipline, to you, means yelling, swearing, and belittling your child until she behaves. Of course this is usually done when you catch your child yelling at, swearing at, and/or belittling her younger sibling.

Seatbelts, sunscreen (on sunny days), and bike helmets (while riding) are all optional in your home.

Drugs (legal or not) and/or alcohol take precedent over any parenting responsibilities at any time ever!

You keep your fridge loaded with soda and your cupboards filled with chips, cupcakes, and a variety of other treats…because, well, they like that stuff.

“Fast food” is not just a phrase to describe a place that serves food fast, it is also another name for “dinner” in your household.

“Spousal spats” (AKA “fighting”) in front of the kids is common…because, hey, someone has to create anxiety for the kids and show them how to be dysfunctional.

Two words: Deadbeat parent!