Category: Setting Limits

Creating Safety Through Messy Special Time

Today after school was my six year old daughter’s time for Special Time. I knew Special Time would be important to her because her nine-year-old brother had spent the last two days sick and at home with me. My daughter wanted to make cookies from the dough we had made the day prior. So, after

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Helping My Child Through Homework Struggles

The school year started off well for my fourth grade son and homework seemed to be moving along smoothly.  However, by mid-January I started to see a progression of hemming and hawing, procrastination and delay tactics, a prickly attitude, distractions, and then off-track behavior.  Furthermore, he didn’t want me to sit at the table with

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Setting Limits: Learning to Play With a Friend

When my son was around four, he had a hard time with playdates. He desperately wanted to play with other children, but these play times would quickly end in conflict. In particular, if a child came to our house, my son could not really enjoy playing with them; he tried to control the play, which

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Healing My Son’s Fear of Balloons

Part 1: Playlistening With Balloons My son loved playing with balloons when he was in control, but he had long been afraid of other people playing with balloons. He didn’t like the sounds balloons made when being filled with air, or when the air was released, or when the balloons popped. One day we were

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Staylistening and Playlistening: Using the Potty

My son had been through periods of using his small potty, but for some reason, he had become resistant. I tried putting him in underwear, hoping the natural consequences would help him learn, but it didn’t work. He did not want to use the potty! One day, when I was pretty sure he needed to

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Setting Limits as a Family

I was just reflecting on how much progress my family has made with the listening tools. Yesterday, I was working late, and my au pair (from Mexico) was eating dinner with my children and getting them ready for bed. The plan was for me to get home before 7 pm to take over the bedtime

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We Can Stop Spanking

Stop spanking and build a healthy discipline strategy both you and your child will feel good about. With Robbyn Peters Bennet, founder of StopSpanking,org, and Patty Wipfler, founder of Hand in Hand Parenting.            

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Special Time Is Almost Always About Something

My friend and I were doing Special Time together with her 4-year-old son, Cameron, at the local park. There were a lot of bull ants (a large and very aggressive kind of ant) on the ground. Cameron told us that ants were very dangerous, and scary, and that we should get out of their way.

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Refusing Medicine: Now I Don’t Have to Force My Child

Staylistening With Madeleine Winter Recently, one of the parents in a Parenting by Connection class I was teaching sent me this story about a success with Staylistening to her boy. Staylistening is where we stay close with a child who is upset, listening without comment, judgement, criticism or harshness. We make sure that everyone is

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Every Child Has Feelings About Mummy Leaving

David and his mum came recently to a Parenting by Connection class series I taught, which included two Play Events. This is where families meet for a couple of hours, and the adults play with children just the way the children want to play. We do lots of Playlistening, where the children are in charge

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When Your Child Is Stuck in Repetitive Play

Q. For a while now my son has been stuck in a theme of building “cages” or “prisons” to put bad guys in. He’s focused on all the places in the house where he could potentially lock someone in or out…While I realize this could just be something he needs to play with and get out

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Setting Limits Uncovers School-Time Hurt

My five-year-old daughter and I had had a really fun evening together: a mommy-and-daughter dinner date at our favorite burger place, followed by frozen yogurt nearby. We talked a lot and were playful with one another throughout, but, toward the very end, her behavior started to go off-track. She wanted to walk on high walls that weren’t safe

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“No” Wrapped in “Yes”: Limiting Behavior, Allowing Feelings

Angie was unhappy. Her mommy and daddy had brought her and her baby sister to a playtime at the Junior Museum. There was just one other child there, Nora, who was, like Angie, three years old. They had been playing in opposite corners of the playroom for a good while without acknowledging one another’s presence.

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What if Giving Children Consequences Isn’t Good Discipline After All?

One of the key ideas of conventional parenting—the parenting most of us grew up with—is that when a child misbehaves, the parent should mete out consequences. The kinds of consequences we parents favor depend on the culture we’ve grown up in, but what if there’s another, more effective way to bring up well-disciplined children? Join

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