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The Top 10 Most Annoying Child Behaviors

toddler-girl-having-tantrumAs parents, I’m sure we can all relate to some (if not all) of the following behaviors. None of them necessarily indicate a need for treatment or therapy…but they sure do drive us parents crazy!  This is my list of the 10 most annoying child behaviors:

  1. Whining. This has to be the number one most annoying child behavior ever known in the history of…well, EVER! I’d rather listen to fingernails down a chalkboard…or even Nickelback!
  2. Being Messy. There’s nothing more annoying than kids that leave their messes all over the place…okay, whining is more annoying…but messiness is definitely high on the list!
  3. Dawdling. Kids that “take their time doing things” are making it tough for those of us that want to “get moving!” This is the ultimate in passive-aggressive behavior.
  4. Complaining. If I hear “That’s not fair!” one more time…them I’m probably going to do something that really isn’t fair!
  5. Impulsiveness. This is when kids fail to think before they act. These kids snatch things, grab, hit, scratch, and pinch, (and so on) when they are upset or frustrated.
  6. Tattling. There’s no reason for kids to do this unless there’s a safety issue at hand…and 9 times out of 10 there is not.
  7. Having a sense of entitlement. For these kids nothing is ever good enough for them. You can offer five different meals for dinner and they will always want a sixth option. Most of the time these kids aren’t very appreciative of the things that they DO get because…well, they expect it.
  8. Bickering. Without siblings this would not be a problem.
  9. Sweaty, stinky, dirtiness! Shower already!
  10. Whining! What’s that? I’ve already mentioned this one? Yeah, well…it deserves to be mentioned again! It’s THAT bad!

So there you have it: My list of the 10 (okay, 9!) most annoying child behaviors imaginable!

Did I miss any?

Compassionate Disciplinarian or Parental Bully?

“Discipline through intimidation” is no different than “correction by bullying.”meme parenting discipline

Don’t be a parental bully!

Not too long ago, I was eating at a local fast-food restaurant and couldn’t help but observe the interactions between a group of family members sitting only a few seats away.  Let’s just say that I was an unwilling participant in this family’s very public drama.

Anyway, it appeared that the father and daughter (who, I’m guessing was about 8  years-old) were at odds regarding something that had to do with the meal.  I’m not sure exactly what the issue was but it didn’t seem to be anything worthy of the father’s response.

I was literally shocked when I saw this father get into the face of his young daughter while basically taunting and challenging her.  The father escalated the situation in doing so, and clearly the mother didn’t seem to think this response from the father was out-of-the-ordinary as she basically went about her business of eating without any qualms.

This father was a bully.

I couldn’t help but wonder what went on behind closed doors at this poor family’s home.  If this father was willing to act the way he was in a public setting then imagine what he might be willing to do in private.

I wish I could remember the circumstances that led up to the over-reaction from the father…but as I recall, it was certainly not deserving of half his response.  It saddens me to think that there are so many children like this who are born to parents that simply never should have pro-created.  I understand that everyone has a right to do so…but these same people also have a responsibility to take on that role in a nurturing and dignified manner.  Children should be celebrated, despite their often challenging behavior.  These situations should be used to teach, not to bully.

Children do not deserve to be used as a emotional punching bags for parents that can’t control their own emotions or who have an unhealthy need to dominate or control others.  I can only hope that this was not “typical” behavior for this father…but something tells me that isn’t the case.

Be a compassionate disciplinarian, not a bully.

End rant.


Parenting Quote of the Day – Mastering Emotions

This is a good reminder (especially for teens!).

Sometimes our emotions DO get the best of us, causing us to lose sight of those things that really do matter.  It’s all about perspective.

This parenting quote reminds me of another famous quote:

“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”

Sometimes when I’m having a bad day I go and watch a show like “Intervention,” “Dr. Phil,” or even the news…it’s only then that I realize how petty my problems really are!

My Daughter and Her Sticky-Fingered Friend

What to do if your child has a sticky fingered friend

A few nights ago, my daughters and I decided to watch a movie as we wound down from a long day of activities. We bantered back and forth briefly about our various options, then settled on one of our favorites–“Despicable Me.”

My older daughter shuffled up to her room to retrieve the movie but was –for some reason– unable to find it. “Strange,” we thought to ourselves, but not too unusual…perhaps it was simply misplaced or maybe even sitting amongst one of the scattered piles of “clutter” around the house (not that we have a lot of clutter, but yes, we do have a few piles!).

As we began to contemplate the potential whereabouts of our sought-after movie, we came to realize that this was the third time we had searched for a movie that wound up “missing in action.”

My daughters are pretty good about putting their movies away after watching them and there really aren’t many places in our house where the missing movies could have gone without being found fairly quickly.

Then it occurred to me…my daughter had had a friend over a few times recently and it turns out that this “friend” has a reputation for accumulating things that don’t belong to her (or so I was warned by another parent that had noticed this child hanging out with my child). Unfortunately, I had given the “friend” the benefit of the doubt and allowed her in our house to play with my daughters. I guess that was a mistake.

I thought back to the times that this friend was over in an effort to identify any “red flags” that I might have missed. Then I recalled a couple of times when the “friend” left our house carrying out a balled-up sweatshirt in her hands…and this was in the middle of summer! When I spoke to the parent that had warned me about the sticky-fingered friend she told me that the items that were stolen from her house were taken in the same manner.

We have since come to find out that we are missing about eight DVD’s, including four of our favorite family movies, including one that is very difficult to come by.

The question now is: How should I approach this situation?

Option #1: Talk to the “friend’s” parents.

This seems like the best option but from what I’ve been told both parents are highly protective of their daughter. I have since found out that these parents have been approached by two other parents in the past with issues related to stealing and property damage…and both times the parents denied that their daughter was involved. This now appears to be my least likely approach.

Option #2: Set up a “trap.”DSC00096

This would be simple. Invite the friend over and confront her as she is leaving, especially if she is leaving the house with a balled-up piece of clothing I her possession. We could even go so far as to set up a hidden video camera in my daughter’s room to record the friend’s actions.

Option #3: Use social media.

We thought about posting on Facebook that we were missing some movies from our house and that we would like them back (this girls has a Facebook page is “friends” with my daughter). This may not do much but it will at least let the friend know that we are onto the fact that our movies have been taken. We could even go so far as to hint that we know who it is. I’m not too sure about this idea. It certainly isn’t my favorite, but it IS an option.

Option #4: Employ natural consequences.

We could simply chalk it up as a learning experience and replace the movies ourselves. Naturally, the friend would not be allowed over again and my daughters have already said that they don’t want to play with her anymore anyway (even though they were pretty good friends). Given the circumstances, this is probably the route we’ll take.

What would you do?

Results of Teen Discipline 101’s Parenting Poll

Teen Discipline 101 has been conducting a poll on its home page that asks the following question…

As a parent, what is the most difficult issue you have had to deal with so far?

The options that were given included the following (keep in mind that this list was intended for the parents of teenagers, not of younger children):

Anger issues
Negative attitude
Substance use
Problems at school
Hanging with the wrong crowd
Sexual promiscuity
Mental Health Issues
Eating disorder

The results from this poll are certainly far from scientific. These results only serve to show what visitors to deemed to be their biggest parenting concerns. At the time of this writing, there were 374 poll-takers which resulted in the following percentages:

Negative attitude 28.1%
Anger issues 24.3%
Problems at school 13.4%
Hanging with the wrong crowd 10.2%
Sexual promiscuity 7.5%
Substance use 5.1%
Mental health issues 4.8%
Other 2.7%
Law-breaking 2.7%
Eating disorder 1.3%

“Negative Attitude” and “Anger Issues” comprised over half of the votes in this poll, while “Eating Disorder” was the least-chosen issue at only 1.3%. 1 out of every 20 parents reported “Substance Use” as being their biggest issue.

Do any of these results surprise you or are they about what you would expect?

Tips for Helping Your Child Deal with Anger

Whether your child has an “anger issue” or not, there’s one thing that’s clear: Children get angry and there’s really no way around it. Here are a few tips for dealing with your child’s anger:

1. Have your child identify his/her anger “triggers” then come up with solutions for handling those triggers once they present themselves.

2. Teach your child to “talk it out” in a clam and controlled manner.

3. Encourage your child to journal about his/her feelings. Sometimes the mere act of writing down one’s feelings can help to alleviate the intensity of those emotions.

4. Teach your child to use coping skills.

a.  Self-Soothing

Engage in simple behaviors that are relaxing/calming. Some ideas include: take a bubble bath, exercise, read, listen to music, draw, write poetry, go for a jog, pet your cat/dog, etc.

b.  Self-Talk

Talk yourself down by saying such things as: “There’s no point in getting angry, it isn’t worth it” or “I’m just going to keep calm and not let this get to me”

c.  Relaxation Techniques

This could include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, guided imagery (using your imagination to think of calming scenarios), etc.

d.  Problem-Solving StepsAngry Boy

i.) Identify the problem

ii.)  Propose solutions

iii.)  Weigh your options

iv.)  Choose the best solution

v.)  Do it!

5. Acknowledge and praise appropriate responses to anger. There’s no need to go overboard, but a simple comment such as “Nice job handling that” will go a long way to reinforce appropriate responses to anger.

6. Be a good role-model for handling anger. Swearing, yelling, slamming doors, and name-calling are not good examples for your child. You should never let him or her see you doing these things out of anger.

7. Make your child aware of the physical responses that his or her body experiences when angry. Clenched fists, sweaty forehead, shallow breathing, tightened jaw, tensed muscles, and lowered eyebrows are all signs that anger is present. Once your child recognizes his/her body’s “anger cues” then he or she will know that it’s time to start taking action to minimize that anger.

Foster Parent Training

Foster Parent Training

Foster parent training is a valuable and much needed resource that offers many benefits to those who utilize it. Foster parents can learn a wealth of information during these trainings that simply can’t be found anywhere else. Without such training, foster children would be at even greater risk and their “road to a better life” might be even bumpier than it started out.

Most Social Services Departments now require potential foster parents to attend some sort of orientation and/or training in order to be considered for such an important role. These trainings typically cover such topics as “Child Abuse Awareness,” “Behavior Management,” “Navigating the Child Welfare System,” “Recognizing and Helping Children with Learning Disorders,” and much more. Along with these topics (and many others) are specific trainings that cover particular mental health issues and behavior disorders often seen among foster children, such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, reactive-attachment disorder, autism, and oppositional-defiant disorder.

Foster Parent Training

Foster Parent Training

How can we help?

We (Complete Parenting Solutions) offer an exclusive behavior management program called The Parent Coach Plan. The Parent Coach Plan is a valuable parenting tool that could easily benefit foster parents by offering them an in-home behavior plan which helps to establish firm, fair, consistent, and structured discipline. With these basic elements in place, foster parents are sure to see improvements in the behavior of their foster child (or children).

The Parent Coach Plan is modeled after the highly-structured behavioral programs that are used in most child treatment centers throughout the nation…the only difference is that the program has been modified for use in the family home.

How does it work?

Though The Parent Coach Plan was initially created for use by parents, we have had a growing number of social services departments purchase in bulk so that they can use this program for foster parent training. We think it’s an excellent idea and we hope you consider it for this purpose as well.

Daily List of Things to Do

Wake up with a smile
If you’re going to start the day out right, then start it out right! Wake up with a smile and let that smile endure throughout the day!

Tell your kids you love them
…and while you’re at it, tell them WHY you love them! Your children can never hear “I love you” too many times!

Drink plenty of water
Re-hydrate yourself regularly…you’ll look and feel better!

Smile at a stranger
Why? Why not? Smiling is contagious. Give one and you just might receive one in return.

Call someone just to say HI!
Catch up with an old pal or simply call a friend or relative.

Do something to make someone’s day
Leave a note, pay for lunch, help someone out, bring treats…whatever it takes!

Compliment someone
It just might be the only nice thing that person hears all day.

Spend at least 30 minutes being active
Get up off that couch or away from that computer and BURN some calories!

Complete at least one chore
Get ‘er done!

“Lose” my phone for at least 1 hour
Cut your lifeline…an hour per day won’t kill you!

Do any of us actually do this as often as we should?

Put away at least 10 things
Hey, it all adds up to a consistently cleaner home!

Listen to music (at least 5 songs!)
A good inspirational song can do a lot to turn your day around…for the better!

Put a quarter (or dollar) in a “rainy day” jar
When that “rainy day” finally comes, you’ll be glad you did!

Remember that things could be worse
Sometimes we become so focused on the negative things going on in our lives that we forget just how lucky we really are.

Complain about one less thing
Save it for when it’s really necessary!


This concludes Daily List of Things to Do.

9 Ideas for Summer Fun with Your Children

9 Ideas for Summer Fun with Your Children

9 Ideas for Summer Fun with Your Children

Summer is now upon us, which means  it’s time for some “fun in the sun.”  If you aren’t quite sure what to do with your kiddos this summer then here’s a list to get you started:

  1. Spend time in the park.  There are so many things that can be done in a park for fun.  Bring a Frisbee, soccer ball, baseball and glove, football, or anything else that strikes your fancy.  Parks are also great for picnics!  Some parks even have grills and sitting areas that can be used for BBQing.
  2. Go fishing.  Be sure to follow local ordinances (especially if a fishing license is required).   Streams, lakes, ponds, and rivers all provide opportunities for catching fish.  Ponds are also a great place to catch turtles, frogs, and other critters.
  3. Visit an amusement park.  Most amusement parks offer great deals on summer passes, which can be purchased for very reasonable prices.   Water Parks are popular too!
  4. Go swimming.  What summer activity is more popular than swimming?  Not many!  Visit the local pool or head out to the beach f or some fun in the sun.  Don’t forget the sunscreen!
  5. Get active!  Roller-blade, walk, or bike around the neighborhood.  Better yet, do so on your way to the local store for some ice cream or cold treats!
  6. Go bowling or roller-skating.  Raining outside?  These are the perfect activities for such days!  Your kids will have a blast and still be active.
  7. Start a neighborhood game or activity.  Gather the neighbor kids and start a game of “Kick the Can,” kickball, street hockey, or any other type of outside game.  Be sure to respect the property of your neighbors and to keep the noise at a reasonable level.
  8. Attend a local event.  Check the internet for local activities, events, and festivals.  Perhaps there is a carnival, puppet show, parade, or outdoor concert going on over the weekend.
  9. Have a BBQ.  Invite the neighbors over (or a few friends) and grill up some burgers and brats!  Don’t forget the watermelon, potato salad, and baked beans!

Why I Love Being a Single Dad …

Single Dad
I recently had a conversation with a married friend of mine in which he complained about the difficulties he was experiencing as a “co-parent” with his wife. After we hung up, I got to thinking about the things that I appreciate about being a single dad. With no further explanation, here’s the brief (and certainly incomplete) list of what I came up with…

1. Nobody is there to undermine my efforts to raise a happy, healthy, well-disciplined child. The last thing any parent needs is another parent that “rescues” the child from valuable lessons whenever one is about to be learned.

2. When one of my daughters used to get hurt it was usually mom that provided comfort. As a single dad I now get the opportunity to demonstrate my “comforting” skills.

3. When my daughter, her friends, and I throw a dance party there are no other adults there to laugh at my dancing abilities (or lack thereof).

4. Single women are often mesmerized by single dads…and hey, I can use all the help I can get.

5. Quality time…with no distractions.

6. I get to do it my way…no consulting or adjusting my parenting style to appease the emotional needs of another parent.

7. Being the biggest influence with regards to my daughters’ future relationships…being able to teach them what is acceptable and what is not with regards to relationships.

8. Being able to build memories that will likely last way beyond my time here.

9. Having an excuse to watch my favorite “kid’s” shows…shows that I wouldn’t otherwise be caught dead watching!

10. Two words: Disney Dad!

There’s no doubt that I could add a handful of other benefits that go along with being a single parent…these are simply the first reasons that popped into my mind. Can you relate to any of these?

Preventing Sports Related Injuries in Children

According to the National Center for Sports Safety, over 3.5 million kids under the age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports-related injuries each year. That’s why it’s important to be informed of the different types of sports related injuries, their causes and what you can do to help prevent them.

What Typically Causes Sports Related Injuries?
Did you know that children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of sports-related injuries seen in emergency rooms? The Pediatric Sports Medicine Program at Miami Children’s Hospital–home to one of the nation’s top pediatric orthopedic programs, according to U.S. News & World Report–is dedicated to supporting the treatment and prevention of sports injuries in growing athletes. The program is staffed by two of the region’s top pediatric sports medicine specialists, Dr. Stephen Swirsky, DO and Dr. Craig J. Spurdle, MD. Both doctors are board certified and are members of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and are highly experienced in helping patients with a wide range of sports-related injuries.

“Younger children are more susceptible to sports related injuries than adults because they are typically less coordinated and have a slower reaction time,” said Dr. Swirsky. “Broken bones, concussions and eye injuries can result from falls, being hit with an object or colliding with another player.”

Sprains and strains are also among the most common types of sports related injuries in children. “Kids who play sports that involve repetitive movements such as swimming, gymnastics, baseball and tennis, are more vulnerable to these types of injuries,” explained Dr. Spurdle.

What Can I Do to Prevent My Child From Being Injured?
When it comes to children and sports, injuries are inevitable. But there are certain things you, as a parent, can do to lower the risk of your child suffering from a painful or potentially dangerous sports-related injury.

First off, Dr. Swirsky suggests, “before you sign your child up for a sport like little league baseball, soccer or football, make sure they know how to play the game, especially since they may end up playing among other kids who are more experienced.”

Dr. Spurdle noted, “Once your child feels comfortable enough to play with other kids, “make sure they have all the proper equipment-helmets, shoes, padding, mouth guards and protective cups-and, that all their equipment is in good condition and make sure that they use the proper protective gear, like shoes with ankle and toe protection, such as these ones: Meanwhile, enroll your child in a reputable sport program run by a school, youth center or church. Find a coach that is trained in first-aid and CPR, and one who encourages children to play by the rules.

Finally, talk to your kids. “Explain to them the importance of warming up and stretching before playing sports. And most importantly, encourage them to tell someone-either their coach or a parent-if they feel like they may have injured themselves. Playing through an injury is never a good idea as it can result in more severe injury and a more lengthy recovery. Encourage your kids to know their limits can help avoid severe and potentially long-term complications due to injuries,” said Dr. Swirsky.

In the Event of Injury
In the event of a sports injury, athletes up to 21 years of age are encouraged to see a pediatric sports specialist. “Because children and teens are still growing and developing, they experience different types of sports-related injuries than adults,” said Dr. Spurdle. “Swelling, limping or restricted use of the injured limb are signs of an injury. If it is more than a bruise or a cut, it is important that the child be evaluated by a medical professional specializing in pediatric sports injuries,” he said.

The Floppy Killer

Memories and stories from my days of working at the children’s psychiatric hospital:

Teen Killer

The Floppy Killer

I remember one specific child that was placed in our facility when he was about 8 years old. “Mark” was an extremely difficult child with a horrific history of abuse and neglect. I worked with him over the course of about two years and watched him, well, um…not really improve at all. He was constantly getting restrained and spent more time in the “quiet room” than most kids spend watching TV or playing video games. This child would flop around on the ground any time he was asked to do something that he didn’t want to do. He would literally “lose it” at the drop of a hat and actually had a psychotic look on his face as he engaged in his tantrums. He also acted out sexually at times and needed to be watched constantly, especially around other children. This was truly a broken child. One can only imagine the horrors of his life before he entered our facility. I specifically remember one day as “Mark” was acting out (probably for the fifth time that day) another staff member looked at me and said, “Someday we’re going to read about his kid in the paper.” About eight years later, this premonition came true. He was in the headlines for killing his friend’s father during a botched burglary. He beat the man with a shovel (I believe that’s what it was) then stabbed him until he died in his own garage. It turns out “Mark” was actually “on run” from another facility. He was recently sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole at the age of seventeen. I was shocked, though not surprised, when I saw his face and heard his name on the news the night he was arrested. I often wonder how many of the other kids I worked with, especially the teens, have moved on to serious criminal offenses like “Mark.”

*Obviously, Mark was not his real name. Though this story was all over in the Denver papers after it happened, I have still decided to maintain confidentiality.

Parent’s Teen Dating Advice

A Guest Article by Miss Lisa Jander

This article provides some essential tips for parents whose teenagers are beginning to explore the realm of dating.

“I hope she makes it home safely. It’s snowing and the roads are covered with ice. She isn’t a very experienced driver at 17 but I still let her journey out into the tundra praying she wouldn’t hit a sheet of black ice that looks like dry pavement. Am I nuts?!”

Those were my thoughts two years ago when we lived in Michigan and my daughter was just learning to drive. Scary times.

Had I explained to my daughter how to respond to a skid? Should she turn the wheel with the skid or against it? Was this covered in Driver’s Ed or is it simply “learn as you go?”

Providing Teen Dating Advice: Saving Lives

How do those parenting teens teach their kids everything there is to know about driving conditions and dating relationships? Both roads lead to hazardous situations that we can’t predict. Both driving and dating can go from safe to scary in 7 seconds flat. Will my daughter be able to use her head to avoid disaster or will she be frozen with fear? Without the right teen dating advice, will my son recognize that he is accelerating at a dangerous speed and know to slow down?

Teen Dating Contracts

Just because those who are parenting teens aren’t sitting in the seat beside our kids doesn’t mean we stop instructing them on driving conditions. How often then should we be providing teen dating advice and addressing the manner in which our teens are handling their relationships?

My daughter may have passed Driver’s Ed but every day represents another test; another challenge. Maybe I have drilled “cautious dating” into her head a thousand times with my endless teen dating advice, but every day will be a new opportunity for her to get that right or wrong. Weather and traffic conditions prompt us to remind our teens to be safe on the roads every single day. How often do we evaluate our teen’s relationship safety and recognize that dry pavement could be black ice? Does your teen know how to avoid a catastrophic skid? Just like a proper driver’s education, the right teen dating advice could save your kid’s life!

Teen Dating Advice: Fundamental Tips for Those Parenting Teens

Here are some helpful tips for teen dating advice that I have developed with my own kids, some of which have saved us from many of those midnight phone calls we all dread!

Teen Dating Advice #1: When your kids go out with friends or out on a date, save at least two other numbers into your phone and their phone in case of an emergency. Who are they out with? Do you have the parents’ numbers as well as the students’?

Teen Dating Advice #2: Get the address of your kid’s destination. My rule? If your physical address changes, you need to call me before you put the car in ‘drive’. If I don’t know, you don’t go!

Teen Dating Advice #3: Girls should ALWAYS have a phone charger in their purse. Guys and girls should also have one in the car with a hands-free device for emergencies only.

Teen Dating Advice #4: Have an emergency code for help that will enable your teen to let you know they are in a difficult spot without arousing suspicion from the person they are with. This could be anything, for example: “Is the dog feeling better?” In keeping with teen dating advice point #2, you should have their address, allowing you to come to the rescue at turbo speeds!

Teen Dating Advice #5: Those parenting teens should give their kids permission to blame them when they feel embarrassed about wanting out of a situation. Many teens will cave in under peer pressure because they don’t have an alibi. Give them one in advance. For example, tell your kids: “If you’re tired and want to go home, or are uncomfortable about a situation you are in, explain to your friends that I am being difficult and am insisting that you come home immediately.”

As someone who’s parenting teens, until you get to use the words ‘young adult’ with your child, they are officially teens and are guaranteed to still be ‘under construction’ in the brain development department.

Assume the responsibility of bridging that gap and being the missing piece. Not ALL the pieces; just the one that is not able to make the connection in a time of need. Your thoughts on this teen dating advice?

teen behavior contract

Addressing Teen Behavior Using Contracts is teaming up with to bring you an exclusive package of parenting tools specifically designed for use with teens. The package includes a set of 10 “teen-specific” behavior contracts, a unique (and easy to implement) teen discipline program…plus a set of parenting tools which includes a moods/needs chart, a daily teen journal, a teen behavior rating scale, and a whole lot more!

Are you in need a teen driving contract? We’ve got one!
Need a substance use contract? Check us out!
How about a cell phone contract? Get one quickly!

If you have a rebellious teen or a teen with behavioral issues, then this is one package you’ll want in your parenting portfolio!

Did you know that teen behavior contracts are an effective way to establish structure, consistency, and fairness with regards to discipline? Behavior contracts also provide clear expectations while teaching teens valuable lessons such as self-discipline, responsibility, and accountability.

As difficult as it can be to manage a defiant teen’s behavior, there are certainly some tactics that will work (some more effectively than others). A behavior contract, for instance, can make an amazingly quick impact on a teen that might otherwise be used to getting his or her way all the time. Instead of having to tiptoe around a difficult teen, parents can use a teen behavior contract to take charge and gain compliance from their once defiant teen.

Common teen problems include issues such as dating, driving, negative attitude, cell phone usage, substance use, and problems at school. The behavior contracts available at address all of these issues and more. There’s no need for parents to rack their brains trying to come up with the terms and conditions in the contracts…they’re already prewritten and ready for immediate download! The process is simple and very cost effective. Check out for more information!

Parenting: Creating Rewards & Consequences from Thin Air

Creating Rewards and Consequences from Thin Air

Doling out rewards and consequences to a deserving child can be a daunting task. Parents need to be patient, reasonable, and a bit creative when it comes to this step in the discipline process. The opportunity to make a lasting impression can disappear faster than a glazed donut sitting in a teacher’s lounge.

The art of inventing rewards and consequences is a skill that parents can master in a relatively short period of time. It can also be utilized with great effectiveness.

Here is a basic explanation:

Inventing Rewards

Let’s say you just came home from a long day at work and all you can think about is ordering a pizza and relaxing in front of the TV before going to bed. As you arrive home, you happen to notice that your twelve year-old daughter has cleaned her room without being asked and has already completed her homework (which isn’t usually done until much later).

You already planned to order pizza for dinner but now it can be used as a reward. Even though she was already going to get pizza for dinner, you can acknowledge her responsibility then “reward” her with pizza for dinner. Simply tell her something like this…

“Wow, I am impressed…not only is your room clean, but your homework is done too! I think I’ll order us some pizza for dinner. You deserve it!”

Not only did you do what you were already going to do, but now it is actually perceived as a reward. You’ve just killed two birds with one stone.

You have just invented a reward out of nothing at all.


Inventing Consequences

Let’s use the example above, only this time when you get home your daughter is talking on the phone and has left a huge mess in the kitchen. When you ask her to pick up her mess, she gives you a dirty look then continues with her phone conversation.

When she hangs up the phone, you may want to invent a consequence by telling her something like this…

“Wow, I’m really sorry about the way you ignored my instructions when I asked you to clean up after yourself. I was planning to go to the mall and was hoping you would want to go, but now I think I’ll just stay home and order some pizza. You can have some of the leftovers in the fridge.”

You have just invented a consequence.

In both scenarios, you did what you were already going to do.