It’s Not about the Butt

     I had a coaching session today with a mom of a strong-willed five-year-old and she was growing weary of the seemingly constant negative interaction with her son. “He’s sassy. He hits. He doesn’t obey. He runs away from me. He makes farting noises in time out. He climbs under the table at meals. He shakes his butt in my face and laughs.”            I laughed. She didn’t.            I laughed because everything she described was so typical of many five-year-old boys. And the continuation of … [Read More...]


The Two Most Challenging Tantrums Unpacked

The final two tantrum categories are the signature tantrums of the Level Four (Challenging Child) though all kids will dabble in these now and again.  Level Four children have a clear sense of justice (predominately favoring themselves) and they know exactly what they want to do and what they don’t want to do 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Your managing these two tantrums well will help your child understand your position of authority in the home and their own authority over their … [Read More...]


Name THAT Tantrum!

All kids have emotional break downs. We spend nine months or even nine years dreaming of butterfly kisses, giggles and hugs but nonetheless, our children will still behave like children. Putting fits into categories is one way to differentiate the unique qualities of a child’s meltdowns and adjust our “battle” strategy accordingly. But it is not a battle against them. It’s actually our own battle to stay sane, hopeful, and helpful.Tantrum #1 “Neither one of us knows why I’m crying”This is the … [Read More...]


Got Tantrums? Read on…

Part 1: Tantrums are a reality: Embrace them(The following ramblings on toddler tantrums are based solely on observational and anecdotal data gathered over the last 21 years. No scientific studies support my claims. But still.)I’m always amazed at the number of young moms who talk to me with such surprise, guilt, and angst about their child’s emotional unwindings. Why? Has there ever been a child who has progressed from infancy to kindergarten without losing control of their emotions? No. It’s … [Read More...]

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Helping Your Five-Year-Old Not Binge Drink

Helping Your Five-Year-Old Not Binge Drink“Are you guys hammered?” That was the comment my 14-year-old received on a social media site after he posted a short video of himself and three friends laughing and sumo-wrestling. Just a few months ago I reminded him that 7th and 8th grade is usually when some of the kids start drinking alcohol. Usually boys first. Usually hard alcohol stolen from parents’ liquor cabinets when the house is empty. Most often the “cool kids” looking for a thrill or the … [Read More...]


Hey, Scary Mommy! Why So Scary?

Over the years I have come across a few of the blogs from the "Scary Mommy" blogosphere. They are usually real, raw, and humorous. Sure, they often contain superfluous expletives that I could live without, but often I enjoy the interesting content. I sometimes even nod in agreement…but not today.Today I need to push back on the blog titled, “I Refuse to Tolerate Backtalk and My Children Know It.” I need to push back because “not tolerating backtalk” is not the most effective way to actually STOP … [Read More...]


Hey, Who’s in Charge Around Here Anyway?

 Anyone with kids has probably wondered, “Hey who’s really in charge around here anyway?” The answer to this question might surprise you:  Sometimes you have the power. But sometimes your child has it. The key is in discerning the difference.Now don't panic. I am not suggesting that parents defer to their kids. No. You have been placed in authority over them. Maintaining this authority is easiest, however, once you understand exactly where your authority is and where it is not.For example, if a … [Read More...]


The Power of the Parent/Child Relationship

The Power of the Parent/Child Relationship     Our parenting is most effective when we parent through a positive relationship, with authority, 24/7. The foundation of this three part thesis is the positive parent-child relationship. This does not mean "friend." It means parent. Creating and maintaining a positive relationship with each of your children will make teaching (disciplining them) much easier. If the relationship is neglected, teaching and guiding them becomes frustrating, unpleasant, … [Read More...]


The Realities of Almost Two Decades of Raising Four Boys

The following is a collection of almost two decades of the highlights and lowlights of raising four boys, born within five years. These memories have been hand picked to best represent the nuances of raising little boys, medium boys, and teen boys. (Plenty of opportunities below for Mommy Shaming, but refraining would allow those moms with “wild” little boys to feel less alone. )Things I heard:“Seriously, Mom? You don’t have a knife in your glove box?”“Can we pour lemonade in the (public) … [Read More...]


Got Bored Kids? Great!

       Have you ever heard the repetitive mantra of, “I’m BORED!” (slight whine implied) at your house? Are you diligently preparing right now for a summer of possible boredom with camps, classes, and activities for your kids? Does their boredom become your problem? Do you fear their boredom?            Rather than fearing it or trying to eliminate it, celebrate boredom with your child. Why? Because if they are bored, it means that they are not among the 168 million children worldwide involved … [Read More...]