How Lack of Clarity Can be the Reason Your Kids Aren't Listening to You

Kids are always listening!

Whether they show it or not, they’re tuned into everything you do and say.

So when you say something that is approximately true, for example “dinner will be in a minute” when it is actually ready in five or ten minutes, your kids will get confused.

They’ll also learn that you don’t always mean what you say.

Speaking with purpose is one of my cardinal principals because children will not listen when they do not trust your word. (Click to Tweet)

Don’t take my word for it! I recently asked our resident actress to tell you herself.

Click below to find out why kids think that clarity is important.

Insight Into Action!

Parents: How can you be more consistent with what you say to your children?

Teachers: How can you follow through more on what you say to your students? 

 

With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information, then please forward this blog.

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Are You Teaching Your Kid to Lie?

Watching people move through Central Park is my favorite reality show.

The other day I was watching this dad with his two kiddos walk through the park and stop for a picnic. The small ones were about six and eight years old. They were right at that age when they’re learning to really get under each other’s skin.

I could just tell that the two siblings were gearing up for a massive fight. Sure enough, within a few minutes they starting shouting, so the dad had to break it up. He then turned to the oldest, “Why did you start this fight?”

What I saw unfold was masterful; this kid deserved a Golden Globe! The older sister started to cry and launched into a long, dramatic story about a friend at school who was giving her trouble, how her feelings were hurt, and how she felt helpless. The dad dropped the sibling fight from the conversation and started to comfort her. His daughter essentially engineered an escape with a popular tactic amongst kids: cry and dad will cave.

Having seen this situation unfold countless times in my private work with families I had serious doubts that the story was completely true. She very well may have twisted a small incident into a reason to get her father off her back.

In this case, she’s learning that altering the truth, lying (!), is a worthwhile solution to a problem and sanctioned by her parent.

I wondered: How else are we teaching our kids to lie?


Today I talk about the small ways that you may be encouraging the small beings in your life to hide from the truth.  

Click below to find out how.

Insight Into Action!

Parents: What is one way you stay on track when your little one uses tears to get what they want?

Teachers: How do students in your classroom avoid giving you the truth because it is easier to lie?

 

With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information, then please forward this blog.

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For real-life behavior help that actually works, check out the Behavior Boost course here:

 
 

What You Expect From Kids vs. What Kids Are Actually Like

Isn’t it an amazing relief to meet someone in the world with a similar outlook? What a relief to meet a comrade in this crazy world!

When I read Brandi Davis’ article on The Elf on the Shelf (super funny!) I knew that I had to learn more about her work. It turns out we were branches on the same child behavior tree!

We both find that there’s an incredible disconnect between how behavior operates and how parents expect their kids to behave, so we decided to create an interview which will help anyone who has and/or works with kids.

In this video discussion you’ll hear how the more you know what to expect the more you can be consistent and change your children’s behavior for the better!

Insight Into Action!

Parents: What is one way you can get away from rewards systems with your children?

Teachers: How can you shift your behavior plans so they include more long-lasting strategies rather than tactics?

 

With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information, then please forward this blog.

For more helpful behavior information delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up below.

How to Instill Good Eating Habits in Your Kids

Cinco de Mayo is just a few days away. How are you planning on celebrating?

I never miss this chance to drink sangria and catch up with friends. This year I have a friend who is having a party. I’m bringing guacamole because I am in love (!) with avocados.

Luckily for me, drinking pitchers of Sangria and eating buckets of guacamole is not an everyday occurrence. That would not bode well for my health and well being. My take on it is that if you know the rules then you can make exceptions.  

This is something to teach our small beings. The May Dr. Marcie Ask Me Anything is about good food habits with your small ones.

Click below to find out how!

Insight Into Action!

Parents: What is one way you can improve your child's eating habits?

Teachers: How can you talk about healthy eating in your classroom?

 

With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information, then please forward this blog.

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What Kids Want Adults to Know About Enforcing Rules

Want a secret?

I’ll share one if you promise not to tell.

Once a week I have ice cream – for dinner! 

Even worse, I usually have midnight cookie: chocolate mint ice cream with Oreo cookies mixed in. It’s sinfully good and I smile at every bite.

It’s not the healthiest habit, but it makes me so happy. I feel like a little kid tiptoeing to the freezer for an extra scoop.

What an even BIGGER secret? I secretly wish someone would stop me from eating ice cream for dinner. I know it’s not good for me and I’d love for someone to save me from myself!

Having spent so much time with small beings, I’ve learned a few of the secrets they don’t ever tell their parents or teachers. One is that they truly want the adults in their lives to enforce the rules!

Who knew?!

Click below to find out for yourself direct from a kid!

Insight Into Action!

Parents: How can you remind yourself when you encounter resistance from your small being that they actually want you to enforce the rules?

Teachers: When have you recognized your students wanting you to enforce the rules?

 

With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information, then please forward this blog.

For more helpful behavior information delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up below.

How to Get Your Kids to Listen

Have you ever watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance? It’s beautiful and mesmerizing! They seamlessly respond to the tiniest of signals like they’re reading each other’s minds.

This is how behavior works between you and your small being! Your small being does something and you take it as a signal to respond. The action you take in turn provides clues to your small being about how to react. And so the dance goes on and on and on.

Just like Fred and Ginger, the moment one of you changes direction, the other one is impacted. Your course shifts as you adjust to each other.

So then what’s happening between you and your small being when problem behavior occurs?

It appears that your small being is simply not listening to you. True.

But is there something more going on? 

Click below to find out how to start feeling like your small being is listening to you.

Insight Into Action!

Parents: What is one tiny step you will take towards making your words match your actions?

Teachers: How can you interpret this concept to your classroom?

 

With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information, then please forward this blog.

For more helpful behavior information delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up below.

When Your Kid Expects You to Immediately Respond to Their Request: Behavior Demo

Isn’t it great that most movies, television shows, any song that was ever written, and 99% of all products are available within three or less clicks of your mouse?

The internet has massively changed our expectation about how long we need to wait to get something – anything.

You might have a memory of when it wasn’t this easy.

But your children do not.

When your kid asks you for something RIGHT THIS SECOND it’s an outgrowth of their usual experience online. (Click to Tweet)

So, you must teach your small beings that when it comes to interpersonal relationships they must have patience. Unlike the Internet, people are not designed to deliver exactly what they want within seconds.

I asked the Behavior + Beyond resident actress to help me demonstrate my proven strategy! By watching the video below you'll learn how to teach your kids that they can not have everything they want, when they want it.

Insight Into Action!

Parents: What is one situation where you will deny your child's demands?

Teachers: What is one small way you can teach patience in your classroom?

 

With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information, then please forward this blog.

For more helpful behavior information delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up below.

How to Respond to Children Making Demands

Ever notice that when small beings want something they want it right that second?

“Give it to me NOW!” is a common refrain heard in households across the country.

This is an exhausting tendency that leaves adults feeling depleted and completely baffled about what to do.

The trick: start small!

Not sure what I mean?

Click below to find out in detail a strategy that can give small beings the patience you’ve been dreaming about.

Insight Into Action!

Parents: What is one small moment that you can practice saying "no" to your child?

Teachers: What do you notice about when and how you say "no" to your students? Do you stick to your word?

 

With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information, then please forward this blog.

For more helpful behavior information delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up below.

What Kids Think When You Post Mean Things Online

It’s still a little chilly in NYC. Are you feeling, like I am right now, that you’d like to leave town for somewhere warm?

When I get this feeling I do what everyone else does; I scroll through social media and get jealous of all my friends who live in warm climates, like in Australia, California, or Florida. I look at the pictures of them in t-shirts and think, “How can I get myself invited to their lovely home?”

Since I’m spending more time on social I’ve made some observations.

Almost every time I’m on social media I come across a few posts that make my heart drop. Sometimes adults speak about their small beings in a way that makes me glad their small ones can’t read yet. We all have moments that are less than graceful, but sometimes this crosses over into being outright mean.

I wondered: how would small beings feel if they read those posts?

So, I asked the Behavior + Beyond resident actress, my co-star in those behavior demos you’ve been watching these past few months, what she thinks when parents post mean things about their kids online.

Click below to hear the answer directly from a small being!

Insight Into Action!

Parents: What is one nice thing you can post about your small being?

Teachers: How can you encourage parents to post with kindness on social media?

 

With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information, then please forward this blog.

For more helpful behavior information delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up below.

How to Create Rules About Technology That Kids Will Actually Follow

We’ve spoken a bit about this, so I wanted to tell you about my recent chat.

Around the holidays I met with Cindy Hsu of CBS to talk about technology.

At celebrations of all kinds, kids usually get a lot of toys and these toys often have a screen.

Being on screens is so addictive. Have you noticed how you can’t keep your eyes off your iPhone?

There are so many problems that erupt when you try to get small beings off their screen of choice.

Luckily, there are some very systematic ways that you can decrease dependence and fights over technology.

Click below to find out the strategies I spoke about on CBS.

Insight Into Action!

Parents: Where is the best place in your house to hang your technology rules?

Teachers: What standards of behavior can you create in your classroom around technology?

 

With a little help we can all grow. If a special person in your life can use this information, then please forward this blog.

For more helpful behavior information delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday, sign up below.