Welcome to my blog about child development and parenting strategies. I am a psychologist who has worked with children for over twenty years. My special interests are children who misbehave and children with special needs. I love working with parents, since I believe they have the power to help their children be their best. Thanks for reading my blog.

Look for a new post the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

    Click on the title to read the entire post.

This is my last post and my farewell and thank you.   Please know that it has been a pleasure to share my thoughts about child development and parenting strategies with you during this past year.

In closing, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite quotes. It is a nice way to help keep things in perspective, which is what many of my posts have been about. I gave this quote the title, ‘Where are you?’

Where are you?

If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

Parents often want to give their children the landmark childhood experience of a visit to Disney World or Disneyland.

The last blog post introduced an idea for teaching children to say thank you for gifts. Today’s post talks about teaching children to say thank you for kindnesses, favors, and other less tangible ‘gifts.’ One way to approach this problem is by focusing on thank you’s as an expression of gratitude rather than as an aspect of good manners.

Sometimes it can be embarrassing when your child is given a gift and doesn’t say thank you. Or worse still, makes a rude comment. “I don’t want this.’ ‘I don’t like blue.’ ‘This card game is stupid.’

Some children are naturally grateful and verbal. Others are easily coached in gratitude and will quickly learn to say thank you. Some do not understand gratitude and forget to say thank you, almost every time. If you are reading this, you may feel you’ve told your child a million times to say thank you. And your child just doesn’t get it.

Some children have so much difficulty transitioning to an activity, that they use all their time and expend all their energy in fussing. Picture a child going to the neighborhood fair or carnival. You expect that both you and your child will have fun. Rides! Cotton Candy! Balloons! Your child makes it 15 feet into the grounds and comes to a complete stop, with tears or a frowning face. Frustrating for both of you.

Maybe you’ve heard the expression, ‘It isn’t rocket science!” That’s true of some basic ideas for ‘Chasing away the Grumpies.’ These ideas will help you and your child feel more cheerful, more of the time. These ideas are super simple and pretty easy. Once I list them, you may react by arguing that these ideas are not simple or easy. These ideas ‘get a bad rap.’

It is hard to overstate the impact that this simple intervention has on children. Of all the things you give your child, your time is one of the most appreciated.

One on one time builds rapport between the child and adult. It builds trust. It sets a peaceful and respectful stage for other interactions. Thus it can ultimately be helpful in increasing compliance, reducing defiance, lessening anxiety, and generally improving mood, relationships, and self-esteem.

Does your child say ‘but, but, but’ when you are trying to have a discussion or give a direction? A positive way to encourage children to be more flexible, and to discuss rather than argue, is to promote the use of ‘and’ thinking.

‘And’ is a word that keeps communications open and flowing. ‘But’ is a word that slows us down and creates road blocks to communicating.

As parents or adult caregivers, we can model this great path to creative and positive discussion.  Consider the different tone and implication of these two statements.

Do you ever wonder if it would be better not to tell your child about something fun that is planned for later? Maybe your child is one of those who has difficulty waiting, asks ‘when’ over and over, or fusses in other ways.


Blog Disclaimer:  Please be aware that this blog contains general information. It is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as treatment or a recommendation or prescription for a particular child. If you have questions about your child, please talk to your pediatrician or seek other professional services.

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