Showing posts from June, 2015

MA Judges Say It's OK to Spank - But You Don't Have To

Last week, Massachusetts' highest court determined that parents cannot be charged for spanking their minor children as long as the force used is 'reasonable.' The spanking delivered cannot cause the child physical harm or mental distress. But just because this group of misguided justices says it's OK to hit a child, there are far more effective means for handling misbehavior in young children. Here are five alternatives you can begin using immediately. Satisfy a Need . Children who fall in the 0 - 18 month age bracket do not misbehave; they are simply expressing needs that must be satisfied. Therefore, there is no need to spank or use any other punitive means for managing behavior. During this phase of the child's life, they are moving, touching and making sounds to express a need that parents must learn to interpret and meet. Redirection or Distraction . Toddlers and preschoolers often do things that are annoying or frustrating to the adult: trying to touc

Do You Get to Know the Parents of Your Children's Friends?

If you don't, you should. It is every parent's responsibility to get to know their children's friends, including the parents of those friends. This is especially important if you allow your children to go to their friends' homes to play or hangout. Doing so provides clues as to how safe your child will be in their home and whether there will be positive or negative things that could  influence your children while they're in the care of these other adults. One day, a father dropping off his daughter to play with ours, immediately began backing out of the driveway after his little girl got out of the car. I quickly approached the car to introduce myself and without saying a word, he rolled down the window and just stared at me. I was stunned when he responded in a manner that said, "So what." He reluctantly said his name and quickly drove away. I could not believe that he was dropping his sweet little 9-year-old daughter off at a house he had never be

An Open Letter to The Mom Who Almost Hit Her Child Leaving the Big Box Store

I was walking in back of you recently, leaving a local 'big box' retailer in the early evening hours and watched you struggle with your child. She appeared to be about seven or eight years of age and she was refusing to walk with you and kept lagging behind. A few times she even stopped on purpose and it was making you extremely mad. First of all, let me say that I've been in your shoes, having raised three children of my own and helped care for a few grand children as well. It's not easy dragging children along at the end of the day when you're on a tight schedule and feeling rushed, stressed, and tired.  I first want to thank you for not hitting that little girl, although you came awfully close to doing just that, a few times. I could see that she was testing you to your limits and your voice began to increase in volume and tone. I prayed that you didn't hit her when you got into your vehicle or when you got her back home. If I could have offered some