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 […]

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. . . . […]

How John Gottman Could Have Saved Mia and Sebastian in La La Land

Every time I watch La La Land, I think of how their love could have been saved by following John Gottman’s research. Gottman has been studying what makes marriages work or fail for decades. This man knows his stuff. You may know him as the guy who “can predict divorce with 90% accuracy.” 

“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 […]