Month: October 2011

Special Time is Special

I have a short anecdote that really showed me how important Special Time is, no matter how humdrum it may seem from the outside from time to time. This summer we had planned a visit to the equivalent of Disney Land in Sweden. The boys, 5 and 7, had never been there and had been

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What’s Wrong With Time Out for Children?

Well, I have bad news for you. It’s true that timeouts are infinitely better than hitting, and yelling. But Timeouts teach the wrong lessons, and they don’t work to create better behaved children.

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Staylistening at Bedtime: Letting a Child Have Feelings About Separation

Eventually I said, “OK, you go to sleep now. Do you remember that I love you?” He said, “OK! Yes. Do you remember I love you?” I said yes, and he yawned. I sat for a few more minutes and asked him a couple of more times if he remembered that I love him. He said yes and was quiet. Less than 10 minutes later I went in to check on him as promised, and he was asleep. I kissed his cheek. He opened his eyes a bit and nodded when I asked if he remembered I loved him. And then he went back to sleep.

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How to See When Your Child is Disconnected

I was teaching a Playful Parenting class one night and the topic was how we notice when our children are disconnected. One mom volunteered to come up and demonstrate what her son acts like when he is disconnected. She got to move her body a lot and ‘feel’ what it might feel like for him. We

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How Special Time Can Keep Kids Honest

As I was making the food, she came and sat on the counter right next to me and said, “I’m such a bad girl. There you are doing all those nice things for me, and I always act terribly, not even thanking you, and lying to you all the time…”

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Removing a Splinter and an Old Hurt

My seven-year-old had a splinter in his hand that needed to be removed. I told him we’d have to take it out and that we’d probably have to use a needle. Throughout the day he kept asking questions about the ‘procedure’. What kind of needle would we use? Would it hurt? How much? Would it

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Staying With A Daughter’s Fears Helps Her Overcome Them

Dear Patty, Recently our three year old daughter has been having trouble going to the bathroom. She had a rash about a week ago, all healed now, and still has fears about going because it was so painful that one time. Any ideas on helping her work through this? We usually have to sit and

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Offering Support to A Challenged Infant

My grandson kept having life-threatening emergencies–it took a good while to get him stabilized. I stayed right beside him, talking him through it all. Drugged up on morphine, he kept one eye open finding my eyes. I talked about what was happening, what people were doing to help him, how we would not leave him alone and would help him fight,

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Try A Weekend of Special Time To Help Problem Behavior

Often times my son will walk by his siblings and push them down or punch them on their backs or yell in their faces. If they are doing something that irritates him, he will get extremely close and ball up his fists and visibly shake with anger.

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Saying Good-bye to a Pet

My five-year-old son caught a three-inch long skink lizard the other day.  It was very exciting for both my sons.  The lizard was given a name and a place to stay. But, by the next day the lizard, which was so agile when caught, moved only slowly.  After a show-and-tell of the lizard at school,

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A Game to Help Children with Shyness in Groups

Hi Patty, Group settings, especially large group settings, are very difficult for my daughter. I see a little girl who has some real fears of these situations, and it really hurts to see others judging because she is nervous and only wants to stay in my arms. She will often display behaviors like nose picking

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How I Almost ‘Flunked’ Staylistening

I know that the best way for me to help her is by listening to her and staying as close as possible, but hearing all her stories brought back memories of my own experiences back in middle school. My memory of that time period was not very vivid and did not include many details, but the general feel of it all was a big YUK!

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Playlistening to Get Through the Morning Rush

It was one of those mornings that are really hard to start. My youngest (6 at the time), was sleeping in more than usual, and I was also dragging myself around the morning routine. By the time she got up and I was ready, it was pretty tight time-wise. I knew if I rushed her to

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