If you encountered a magic fairy who promised wonderful things if you would only put your child in a box, would you put your child in a box? Before you shout “Of course, not!,” what if she told you, “It’s a beautiful box and others will envy you and your child in that wonderful box?” What if she told you that being in that box will actually be good for your child? This particular box has within it the promise that your child will have [...]
A recent feature in the New York Times about spas that cater to children made me sad. But not exactly for the reasons you’d expect. It was because of this quote, from a mom of one of the pint-sized spa-goers: “I don’t want them to feel that my saying ‘No’ means that I don’t love them.” —New York Times, January 3, 2015 It’s sad that parental love has been hijacked by an underlying belief that our children cannot be disappointed or inconvenienced in order to feel loved. Sad that parents [...]
It can be hard to live with a chorus of "I want...gimme, gimme." Whether expectations are based on advertising images of children with floor-to-ceiling wish lists or simply enjoying a friend's toy or game, every parent at some time will face the expectations that children bring to the Christmas season. For those who celebrate the holiday with a gift-giving tradition there are some basic strategies that may be helpful. Keep in mind that parents are always the spin doctors for their families and have great power to shape [...]
Shiny, Happier People To describe the vast and varied role of the parent we turn to a whole list of occupations—doctor, police officer, counselor, game designer, bus driver and more—like jeweler. Yes, jeweler. Each child is a gem with multiple facets that reflect light. When Dad shines his light, it brings out a shine that is different than the light coming from Mom, who’s light brings out something different than grandpa’s or the teacher’s. We very likely see this in ourselves. Different friends bring out [...]
The Burden of "Resilience" I recently read another feel-good post about letting go of grievances and how important this skill is for children. Certainly, carrying an unresolved grievance—even those that are morally understandable—is a burden. But, asserting the importance of “letting go” without a hint of “how to” is just as much of a burden.And, it’s a disservice. Because to equate a child’s psychological well-being with an ability to “roll with the punches” may end up teaching martyrdom more than resilience, opening up the door [...]
Families can be stormy. Some are so full of conflict that children and adults face various levels of assault--verbal, emotional or physical--on a regular basis. Whether the nature of the conflicts are adult to adult, adult to child, or child to child, children caught in constant relationship storms are known to either hunker down--turning inward and potentially on a path toward depression--or absorb the negative energy and carry it with them--acting out in ways inappropriate to their environment and disproportionate to the environmental demands. Some families are [...]
Facing disappointment is hard no matter what our age. But when the other child calls later to make mutual plans it is not a “pity playdate offering” unless you or your child claim a “second best” mindset.
With an abrupt behavior change we often look for an event, an environment or a physical demand that has become stressful to the child.
It is a part of being human to have to sort through experiences that disappoint or frustrate us. Here are suggestions to help you coach and guide as your child works through the challenges of having an independent social life.
To keep children safe but not, at the same time, teach them that the world is to be feared, we focus on developing the child's own safety skills and we talk to them about who can help them.