Check out my guest post on the Beyond Book Smart blog: From Homework Battles to Self Management: 4 Tips for Parents.    

Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, studied a sample of 600 parents and 1000 children (ages 8-18). The children were asked what they wished they could change about their parents’ work. The majority of the parents guessed that their children would wish that they worked less. However, most children wished that their […]

1-2-3 Magic, by Thomas Phelan, describes an approach to child discipline that has the advantage of being very simple to learn and follow. When a child misbehaves he gets two warnings before being sent to his room for a time out. The “1-2-3” refers to how the warnings are given. When the parent notices that […]

Once language processing issues, temperamental issues, and executive skills issues have started a pattern of power struggles between a challenging child and his or her parents (see my previous post on what causes power struggles), other factors can arise which maintain and even intensify the pattern of struggle. Here are several ways that patterns of […]

The best way to deal with power struggles, tantrums, and meltdowns is to have an emergency plan. An emergency plan is a procedure or script that is implemented in the heat of the moment of a struggle. Having a plan helps prevent us from overreacting to the situation and doing things that we’ll later regret. […]

The three top causes of power struggles are: difficult temperament, delays in language development, and deficits in executive functioning. Before discussing the causes of power struggles in more depth, I want to talk first about easy kids, kids who don’t get into frequent and intense power struggles. Most of us know easy kids. In fact, […]

The most powerful tool for solving power struggles is a parenting journal. In your parenting journal you will record a narrative description of each power struggle, explosion, or other type of upsetting interaction that you have with your child. Each of these narratives will begin with the last moment that everything seemed fine and will […]

Step 1: Establish Safety

January 23, 2013

My first job, when I work with a new family, is to assess whether the home is a safe place for all family members. Before you follow the advice in any blog, in any book, or from any friend your, home needs to be safe for everyone in the family. If your home is not […]

It’s year end, the time when many of us make resolutions for the New Year. Here’s the one resolution that belongs at the top of every parent’s list. Take time to care for yourself. Being a parent in 2012 was stressful. In a down economy supporting a family can be difficult and work hours seem […]

I was driving past a church one evening and I noticed that the church sign read, “How do kids spell love? T‐I‐M‐E.” I was struck enough by this that I stopped to snap a photo of it. I thought “Yes, that is how kids spell love!” As I drove on, and reflected more about the […]