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Showing posts from February, 2012

How to Get Kids to Clean Their Rooms

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There is a great article running on Yahoo titled, "The 7 Messiest Kids Rooms Ever!" that feature seven photos of really messy rooms.  My favorite is here to the right with the one titled WHERE'S WALDO.  Somewhere in that photo among the chaos is a sleeping child.


Meet CleanWell. And say goodbye to germs naturally. (aff)

My wife and I don’t have the time to watch much TV, but one program running on NBC that caught our eye last year is the television show PARENTHOOD.  I’m bringing this up because there are many scenes that represent classic parenting situations; some handled well and some not so well.  I remember one scene involving the youngest son Crosby, played by Dax Shepard and his 6-year-old son Jabbar, well played by Tyree Brown.  Jabbar began to act overwhelmed and helpless when his father asked him to clean up his room.  Crosby then moved the request up a few notches, to demands and threats, but to no avail.  A little while later, the boy’s mother arrived home and d…

Three Steps to Motivating Children to Own Their Homework

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Parenting in the modern age requires knowing how to “coach” a children to take ownership of their homework, a skill few of us have.  When parents coach more than direct, their children are more likely to take responsibility for their school and homework.  To coach successfully, parents must stop reacting out of fear that it won’t get done and stop resorting to controlling the child and the homework.  The first step in doing this is to help the child plan ahead and take an active role in preparing for the homework.  Here are steps for getting children self-motivated about homework.
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The Supplies Sit down with your child and help him come up with a list of supplies. Use your parent veto power to ensure the right items are purchased, but give him control over the shopping task.  Teach him much about money and shopping by letting him carry the basket at the store, pick out the items (with your guidance), and even us…

A Service to Parents That Could Have Saved This Girl's Life

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In Eagle Point, Oregon last weekend, a 14-year-old girl died at a party from inhaling helium from a pressurized tank.  According to the news report, she was pressured by others at the party to take a turn at wearing the mask and inhaling the gas, after consuming at least 8 alcoholic drinks.   Several adults responsible for putting on the party and providing drugs and alcohol have been charged.
This tragedy is a nightmare for the parent of any teenager.  Some reading about this may have the false belief that it could never happen to their daughter or son.  Others may ask, “What could the parents have done differently to keep this young girl from losing her life?”  One thing that could have stopped this unfortunate incident is the parents having knowledge of exactly where their daughter was going that night.  According to the news report, the parents believed their 14-year-old was going to a slumber party with friends.  Instead, she got into a car headed to an adult hosted party where sh…

Help Your Child Create a Braincar

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Have you or anyone you know ever created something strange?  As reported by weirdunivers.net,  Dutch artist Olaf Mooij created a vehicle called the Braincar.  This strange looking car has what looks like a giant brain on top of it and sports a video camera that captures video as he travels around during the day.  Olaf apparently uses the inside of the brain as a movie screen and projects the video captured during the day on the inside of the brain.
While this might all sound weird and have no purpose for many, I’m guessing that Olaf is a very creative person and may have been allowed to develop that creativity during his childhood.  Parents have the power to make or break a child’s ability to be creative.  It requires remaining calm and relaxed when the child comes up with preposterous ideas and to avoid attempting to keep them grounded out of fear.  It also requires minimizing entertainment electronics and creating plenty of time and space to dream and create.
When I was a child in the…

A Chicago Charter School Hands Out Demerits... Do You?

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Demerits are tracked at a Chicago charter school to help keep students’ behaviors and appearance in line.  Once 4 demerits have been issued within a two week period, the student must pay a $5 penalty.  School and city officials boast that this school policy dramatically reduces school fights and keeps grades higher than those at other schools.  The real testimony is the statistic that more than 90% of this school’s graduates enroll in college.
This type of discipline may work in an environment where teachers must focus on teaching lessons and fostering collaboration with a large group of teens who come from different backgrounds and home life.  For some students, this may be the only discipline or structure they experience and it is needed.  But it won’t work effectively when used in bonding a family.
If you’re not already doing it or if they’ve tapered off, start holding family meetings.  Children who feel like they’re a respected part of the team are more likely to cooperate and engag…

Six Things to do When Bending Rules in Parenting

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There's a great story circulating on the Web right now where a Porsche 911 owner in San Francisco wasn't interested in abiding by a set of traffic construction rules and as a result, he drove is beautiful sports car straight into wet concrete.  I watched a similar incident many years ago while stopped at an intersection.  A guy driving a souped up truck, with huge mudder tires and way up off the ground grew impatient and drove up on the sidewalk to pass the line of traffic.  As he neared the intersection and was about to turn onto the main cross street, he drove over the stub of what was once a sign post and blew out his tire.  The embarrassment for these two drivers alone was the natural consequence of not following rules.


There is a varying level of risk one must accept when bending rules in society.  Rules are intended to keep everything fair and everyone safe, and for efficiency.  They are put in place for a reason.  So where am I going with this?  Reading this article this…

Tips for Step Families

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When step families are created, a bond between the step child and the step parent is not automatic. The child may go through a “honeymoon” phase and then a “rejection” phase before any sort of bond takes place. In order to get the child past the rejection phase successfully, the step parent should avoid being the disciplinarian, give the child plenty of space, and focus on connecting with the child in creative ways.
I can relate to this situation, as I am a step dad to a teenage girl and two grown boys.  When I first came into the picture, I made the commitment that I would not be the disciplinarian and instead, simply provide support to my new wife.  Of course, I would voice my concerns and opinions but I would do it privately to my wife.  It was more important that I build my relationship with my new 8-year-old step daughter, especially since her biological dad was somewhat in her life.  After about a year of bonding instead of disciplining, I had developed a relationship with her th…