How to Discipline a Toddler Without Hitting Part 5: Applying Brene Brown’s Empathy and Shame Research for Realistic Expectations

Wherever I look, I see signs of the commandment to honor one’s parents and nowhere of a commandment that calls for the respect of a child. -Alice Miller Recently my two-year-old dashed up to me, wrapped her short little arms around my neck and said, “Mom, you’re my best friend.”  My heart nearly burst. I […]

How to Discipline a Toddler Without Hitting Part 4: Creating Consequences with purpose Through John Gottman’s Emotion Coaching

It’s okay to be angry, it’s not not not okay to hurt someone. -Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood When using an authoritative approach to parenting as described in part 3, it’s important for parents to keep in mind their long-term goals. Children need to immediately stop harmful, destructive, or unkind behavior, but it is also important for […]

How to Discipline a Toddler Without Hitting Part 2: Preventing Misbehavior Through Skinner’s Schedules of Reinforcement

If we don’t shape our kids, they will be shaped by outside forces that don’t care what shape our kids are in. ~ Dr. Louise Hart ~ This post is part of a five-part series. Part 1 is available here. Be sure to also check out the post on why punishment is harmful. Psychologists have […]

How to Discipline a Toddler Without Hitting Part 1: Introducing Discipline

No-Drama Discipline encourages kids to look inside themselves, consider the feelings of others, and make decisions that are often difficult. . .When we’re willing to lovingly set a boundary. . .we help create neural connections that improve our kids’ capacity for relationships, self-control, empathy, personal insight, morality, and much, much more. And they can feel […]

Why I Stopped Punishing My Kids: Negative Effects of Punishment

A person who has been punished is not less inclined to behave in a given way, at best, he learns how to avoid punishment. -B.F. Skinner Dan, at four years old, kept poking his little brother in the head no matter how much I explained that this was not a pleasant sensation. . . . […]

“That’ll Teach You to Hit!” Addressing Aggressive Behavior with Modeling in Mind

Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are. ~ Jim Henson There was a classic psychology study done in the 1960s by Albert Bandura called the Bobo doll experiment to better understand observational learning. Boys and girls ages 3-6 we’re randomly assigned one of three conditions. In the first […]

High Levels of Wisdom are Rare. Are YOU Wise?

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? Jean-Jacques Rousseau   One of my favorite topics to discuss with my students is wisdom. What is it? How do you get it? Does everybody get it? Defining wisdom may sound something like this, “Expert knowledge about the practical aspects of life that permits excellent judgement […]

Four Toxic Phrases that Parents Need to Stop. Now.

“Some of the most important things you can communicate to a child are that feelings are ok, mistakes are fixable, and there’s nothing they could do that would push you away or make you love them less.” –Kelly Barlett Imagine you stagger into work, exhausted, since you were up all night worrying about a project […]

The Day My Daughter Left Me Speechless: 3 Parenting Hacks to Encourage Sharing

It was a typical Thursday morning. I was putting my two-year-old’s shoes on and ushering her out the door to attend Storytime at our local library. We arrived and listened to stories about St. Patrick’s Day, then began playing with blocks and coloring pictures. My daughter, Cedar, dropped her magnetic blocks and walked over to […]