You child hit you – and you are MAD!

When your child hits you, you jump to the FIGHT response and your child looks like the enemy – obviously respect and obedience are important skills, but in THIS situation, it is more important for your child to be heard, to be understood and to calm down, with you helping him. THEN, he will be teachable. Right now – he is FIGHTING and cannot hear anything you are saying – so stop talking and listen – Reflectively Listen.

To stay calm when your child hits and hurts you feels impossible – but it IS possible, if you see yourself as part of his solution. Your child isn’t the enemy and you cannot be his. He needs you to help calm himself, to regulate and to get back on track to be able to hear reason – right now – he cannot reason – he just went FAR over the line.  Your response shouldn’t be screaming, hitting back, or threatening – although most of us are guilty of that, on occasion. So, what SHOULD the response be when your child hits?

  1. Take no action. Any action that you take when your child has been so hostile and violent with you will have an outcome that is terrible for both of you–resulting in a cycle of more violence. To do this, you need to regulate yourself and your own emotions.
  2. Keep your limit (no hitting and words with respect).
  3. Listen. Listen to his BIG feelings – all of them, without judgement. Just listen and help him put to words what is upsetting him. Then, help him figure out acceptable ways to show his feelings.
  4. Re-do the situation that led to the hitting.

This obviously sounds easier on paper, but with practice, you can accomplish this by REALLY allowing your child to have feelings and loving him through them to the other side — his reasonable side. to effectively discipline children you first have to have self-discipline

  • So, the BIG number one in this list is keeping calm and reasonable when your child just BELTED YOU! How do you regulate yourself? By telling yourself that your child is having a difficult time regulating his emotions and it is YOUR modeling of calm and a rational discussion that is the critical factor in his learning this skill. Count to 10 and Smell the Hot Soup (breath in slowly through your nose – pretending you are smelling soup and then blowing out through your mouth – pretending to cool the soup). Splash cool water on your face and wrists. Tell your child that you need a time out to cool off and take some time to regroup and come back as his mentor.
  • To help your child regulate his feelings, use Reflectively Listening. When you listen to his great big scary feelings – even if they don’t make sense and make you angry to hear them stated aloud – you connect in his angry place, letting him know that your love and connection to him isn’t dependent on his behavior or doing something well or right. This kind of connection is especially important for adopted children that come from hard places. Go to your child – keeping yourself out of harm’s way, but close enough to be on his level. Ask lots of questions. Repeat what he says in your own words – even if what you’re saying seems silly – and, please, make sure you are not poking fun or using a sarcastic tone. “I see why you’re so upset! That action figure was your favorite and now it is gone. You wanted to show Brian and now you cannot and I made you lose it by hurrying you along.”
  • When he finally calms himself down, repeat the limit. “We don’t hit. We use our words.” Then, have an instant replay with him using words and not actions against you to tell you how angry he is. Don’t leave out this very important step – it creates new neuron pathways telling him how to do it the correct and respectful way, the next time he is so angry (Warning: for more compulsive or sensitive children, this may take many, many times to be able to learn these skills).

Remind yourself of your parenting goal: a child that can respectfully state his needs, with emotional intelligence, without hurting others in the process. Your job, in this horrible moment is to help him sort himself out when he is very upset, not to scare him, threaten him, or force him to comply. It is to lead him to emotional intelligence and back to a healthy place. Please remember, that most aggression comes from fear and even if you don’t know what your child is afraid of, if you answer his fear with your hostility – you will escalate the fear and increase the likelihood of a cycle of future hitting. Be his reasonable place, his love-in-spite-of place – and you will teach him self regulation through L-O-V-E.

Is your difficult child burning you out?

If your child has serious behavioral problems,  take heart. You can start making changes in the way that you deal with your child, that will have an effect – TODAY.  You’re not alone.  Master Parenting is here to coach you, by phone, in person, in a small group, at a seminar – and we can do this today! Set up coaching, here

How to forgive yourself after you have lost your cool with the kids

…unfortunately, while you are changing your response and while your child is changing his behavior, you may feel mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. That’s why it’s a necessity — not a luxury — to spend some time taking care of yourself so that you can recharge and feel empowered to continue to support and care for your child.

  • Taking care of yourself isn’t frivolous. You have to take care of yourself, first,  so that you can be fully present and patient, for your difficult child.
  • Take breaks – regularly schedule time away from your child. Nap, read, have coffee with a friend — whatever allows you to relax.
  • Eat right and exercise. Even 10 minutes of exercise a day can help relieve anxiety and help you feel calmer and more able to cope.
  • Be aware of the signs of “burnout.” Caregiver or parent burnout is a true state of exhaustion, both physical and emotional. It tends to happen when caregivers try to “do it all” without getting the help or rest they need. You operate on autopilot, often, and you may not be quick to recognize burnout. So, when someone suggests to you that you need a rest, listen. Watch for changes in appetite and sleep patterns, withdrawal from social activities, increased anxiety, or emotions that are either heightened (such as crying or irritability or feeling empty).
  • Lastly and MOST IMPORTANTLY – call on Master Parenting – positive parenting techniques is only a Contact Us form away.

If you feel like you may be experiencing burnout, depression, or anxiety, from parenting a difficult child, let’s talk. We serve burnt out parents from all over the world – we can help you, too!

Should I bite my child back?

Boundaries for children Rules for childrenNo! You may not bite your child. This may seem odd to have to write for some readers, but quite a few have tried the technique with the good intention that the bite will teach the offending child empathy or at least a very clear cut, equal, and fitting punishment. Biting must be stopped, of course, but you won’t stop it by stooping to your child’s level. Aggressive acts stop when you, the adult, stop them. When parents are faced with situations like these, they feel helpless, alone, and embarrassed. Most often, parents feel poorly because they don’t know what to do that actually works!

If your child just isn’t moving past the biting stage (very normal, by the way), instantly remove your child’s teeth from his victim’s flesh, show concern for the child who’s been hurt, acknowledge both parties’ feelings, and, as your child’s verbal skills grow, help him learn to negotiate with words rather than aggression. The Mastering Parenting approach would look like this:

  • Establish the rule: No Biting.
  • Use lots of “Think Throughs,” part of Preparing for Success, asked at a neutral time before and outside of biting incidents. Be sure part of Preparing for Successincludes coaching for other ways to handle the urge to bite.
  • Use Descriptive Praise anytime that your child uses his words rather than biting or appropriately handles his feelings.
  • If a bite occurs, go to the wounded child. Demonstrate care and concern for the bitten toddler by checking the wound site, saying something kind, and take responsibility by speaking to the other parent.
  • Turn to your child. Be calm. Be curious of why the child is biting and help him understand his feelings through Reflective Listening.
  • Calmly follow through with an age-appropriate Consequence.

I will be addressing each one of these positive-approach methods, mentioned above, in various posts, over the next month or so, but the bottom line is that biting has a difficult time diminishing when parents lose their cool and kids get criticism and reprimands after they do the wrong thing. In an agitated toddler’s world, attention is attention. Avoid indulging in negative attention.

While biting is very common behavior, it usually stops by age 3 to 3 1/2.  If your toddler continues to bite, or the number of bites increases instead of decreases over time, it is probably a good idea to request an assessment or address it at family counseling. I can help you identify the reason for the biting and develop a strategy for addressing the behavior.

Punishment – especially physical punishment – teaches fear, distrust, and self-protective strategies. Parents who have chosen to use the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting skills have quickly and effectively solved serious behavior problems – without resorting to biting or physically punishing their children.

How did you stop biting, in your home?

Be specific, in your Descriptive Praise, while you have the chance to form their resiliency and their courage.  Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest

Amanda Deverich Positive ParentingAbout Amanda Deverich, LMFT, NCC Marriage & Family Therapist and Professional Counselor 757-903-2406

Amanda draws upon formal counseling theory and education, on the job training and personal life experience.  She is skilled in structural family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Christian counseling. After earning her graduate degree from The College of William & Mary, she starting using the techniques she teaches parents in her own home. Parent after parent that she has worked with say the methods changed their lives. These methods WORK!

When your child doesn’t handle a playdate, well, and fights the whole while

calmer playdates positive parenting

Playdates teach social skills, and are rarely “Me” time spent chatting with your friend. They require plenty of patience, calm, and conscientiousness to run smoothly. Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting believes in fostering life skills through positive reinforcement. Today, we discuss snatching.

When your preschooler child snatches a toy from his playmate, you must resist the urge to lecture, take the toy away, give him a time out, or send his visitor home. Negative approaches might curb the behavior (for the moment), but since you’re doing all the thinking and the enforcing, your little guy learns nothing about how to get along in the future. And, if all he hears is reprimands, he’ll tune you out. Instead, take a calmer, more positive approach, one that encourages him to think for himself and sets the stage for problem solving in the future.

  • Prepare for Success, by using Think Throughs, several days before the playdate, complete with the consequence of what will happen if he doesn’t follow the rules. At a neutral time, ask what the playdate will be like. What are the rules? Listen to the child’s response. Descriptively Praise every right answer. This encourages the child to think about and visualize themselves sharing and taking turns. This Think Through tool gets children thinking about the right thing to do, before they’ve done it, while they still actually have a chance to influence their own behavior for the best.
  • Use Descriptive Praise when he takes turns or resists his impulsive urges to yank the toy away. It is especially important to Descriptively Praise if your child is having a difficult time and you are working on changing behavior. Notice even small steps in the right direction. Descriptively Praising to another adult (the other parent at dinner, for instance) is particularly powerful.
  • Use Reflective Listening if he is crying or lashing out. “I wonder if that is your favorite toy? You might not want to share!” You, also, might want to take the opportunity to increase emotional intelligence and take steps to prevent potential bulling, in the future, by asking him, “Do you think that makes Jake feel happy or sad?” The goal, of course, is for him to refrain from lashing out, not because he’s afraid of getting in trouble, but because he understands that it causes another pain. This may, also, help your child acknowledge his playmate’s feelings and encourages a growing sense of empathy. Be sure to keep your words short and your patience long.
  • Use Descriptive Praise, again, when he gets it right, even if he gives back the toy, begrudgingly. Tell him why it was a good thing, “You are taking turns and that makes Johnny want to play with you, again. Sharing makes you a good friend.”
  • Enforce the rule if the child if the child is too emotional to cooperate. If you have been good about Preparing for Success, Descriptively Praising, and Reflective Listening, you have a good chance at cooperation. However, if your child is not able to be cooperative, follow through with the consequence.

Descriptive Praise is the number one motivator for children. Consequences should be the last resort. Taking your child out of teachable moments because he is an impulsive toddler isn’t the way to parent positively. Children want to hear your happy voice, singing their praises. Use this to your advantage: notice them getting it right, every time – especially if you are having difficulty with impulsive behavior.

Be specific, in your Descriptive Praise, while you have the chance to form their resiliency and their courage.  Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest

Amanda Deverich Positive ParentingAbout Amanda Deverich, LMFT, NCC Marriage & Family Therapist and Professional Counselor 757-903-2406

Amanda draws upon formal counseling theory and education, on the job training and personal life experience.  She is skilled in structural family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Christian counseling. After earning her graduate degree from The College of William & Mary, she starting using the techniques she teaches parents in her own home. Parent after parent that she has worked with say the methods changed their lives. These methods WORK!

Stay CALM, while parenting difficult children – HOW???

Remaining calm typically comes from having a familiar strategy or having a vision. Having a parenting vision and the tools to achieve that vision makes your family life calmer. Giving your child a vision helps them become better, calmer, and more reasonable in times of stress. In fact, vision makes all the difference in the world.  Descriptive Praise is the most effective motivator I know.

descriptive praise - master parenting

To motivate him, CATCH your child, with Descriptive Praise, when he gets it right, because Descriptive Praise means noticing and mentioning everything your child does that is right, even if the behavior is only heading in the right direction. In fact, a running commentary of everything they do that is just “okay” can make all the difference in the world. Why?

We use Descriptive Praise for any behavioral problem, including biting. Reminding, nagging, and harping aren’t working; it just gives the biting more attention and does not teach the child what he should be doing. Secondly, we need to understand that learning to behave properly is a long process, so if we Descriptively Praise little steps in the right direction – for example saying “You didn’t bite!” – more incidents of no biting will follow.

Lots of positive compliments said by a smiling parent that likes you goes so much further than a parent who nags, yells or repeats. After all, having a plan and a vision for your family life is crucial during times of stress and the calm results in a happier home life. Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting – it is a lifestyle – and there is hope

Be specific, in your Descriptive Praise, while you have the chance to form their resiliency and their courage.  Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest

Amanda Deverich Positive ParentingAbout Amanda Deverich, LMFT, NCC Marriage & Family Therapist and Professional Counselor 757-903-2406

Amanda draws upon formal counseling theory and education, on the job training and personal life experience.  She is skilled in structural family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Christian counseling. After earning her graduate degree from The College of William & Mary, she starting using the techniques she teaches parents in her own home. Parent after parent that she has worked with say the methods changed their lives. These methods WORK!

Why is telling your child she is GOOD, bad?

Master Parenting techniques are the skills to help your children and teenagers to become not only cooperative, but also confident, motivated, self-reliant and considerate. These techniques also teach parents the tools to help their children to be resilient and brave. In today’s culture, teenagers are suffering from increased incidents of depression and even suicide due to the intense pressure to succeed. Children either become overly anxious or stop trying to avoid the pressure. Few adults have achieved all that they set out to do.  We want to avoid defining our children as good or bad based upon their ultimate achievements. We want our children to know that we are proud of them for trying, not just accomplishing.

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Of course, you want your children to feel loved, know that we enjoy their company, and increase their self-esteem. So, we think we should pepper our language with ‘Your great!’ and ‘You’re an awesome kid!’ and ‘You did it!’ because it helps them want to try, again. Actually, studies now show, it may not make them feel successful or try harder. In fact, it probably only makes them feel that you love them. How do we teach the life-time quality of resilience to get them to try, try, try again?

One way that I would suggest you use to get your child to try is to use Descriptive Praise. Statements such as ‘Good job’ are not Descriptive Praise.  They are what we call Evaluative Praise; they are too generalized and give an evaluation of “good” or some synonym.  Children see through Evaluative Praise at a very young age, because it is too general, vague, and most of the time exaggerated. By contrast, Descriptive Praise is very specific and highlights exactly what and when they are doing something right. It is used to motivate your child to do more of the right things. It is, also, specific enough that the child learns how to get more praise from similar behaviors.

Descriptive Praise can be used to motivate the child to continue to do something when it gets difficult.

The Steps of Descriptive Praise:

1) You notice.

2) Describe, in detail, what you saw.

3) Leave out Evaluative Praise.

BONUS POINTS) Telling them what quality was used that will make them successful in life.  So, adding the steps to a conversation would look like this:

  • ‘I noticed that you went back to the bathroom to pick up your towel before I had to ask you. That helps keep the towel clean for another use and helps keep the whole house cleaner. You have helped with the house chores.’
  • ‘I noticed that you have sat at the piano for 15 whole minutes practicing and you haven’t gotten so frustrated with your mistakes that you left. You are learning patience!’
  • ‘I was looking over your homework and noticed that you finished every problem.’
  • ‘I didn’t have to remind you to brush your teeth for two minutes, tonight. That was very independent.’
  • ‘That race was very hard. The rest of rowers were a lot older than you. You must have been very tired, but you never stopped.’
  • ‘Wow! You kept trying to get the coat on, by yourself. You never asked for my help. I saw you getting frustrated, but you were determined to be independent.’
  • ‘I saw you erase your work, several times. You kept working on the math problem, even though it was very difficult. That was very brave to continue to try.’

Be specific, in your Descriptive Praise, while you have the chance to form their resiliency and their courage. We want them to try, try, and try, again. Now. Later. And for the rest of their lives. Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest

Amanda Deverich Positive ParentingAbout Amanda Deverich, LMFT, NCC Marriage & Family Therapist and Professional Counselor 757-903-2406

Amanda draws upon formal counseling theory and education, on the job training and personal life experience.  She is skilled in structural family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Christian counseling. After earning her graduate degree from The College of William & Mary, she starting using the techniques she teaches parents in her own home. Parent after parent that she has worked with say the methods changed their lives. These methods WORK!

When things are out of control, it is because of this….

Preparing for Success Amanda Deverich Things are out of control at my house when I can no longer see the floor in my daughter’s room. “I don’t have any clean clothes!” she claims, though it is her responsibility to maintain and to wash her clothes. Things are out of control, in my world, when I find myself biting my tongue far too many times to accommodate a brief bit of teenage irritation “I don’t know, Mom.” “I don’t care, Mom,” she says with an eye roll, though the rule is to be respectful to one another. When I find myself frustrated, tired and working just a little too hard to stay calm and carry on, I know I am losing control.

I am ashamed when things are out of control. After all, I am an officially trained, Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting Practitioner. Having an out of control home is like a dentist with cavities or a doctor who smokes.  (Reality check: good dentists get cavities and some doctors have poor health habits. Hence, good parents have trying times.) However, like diet and exercise, knowledge only works if you apply it. So, when things are out of control, I take a step back and look at what I am not doing. Nine times out of ten, I am not Preparing for Success.

It is easy for me to drop Preparing for Success from the maintenance plan of a calmer, easier, happier home. Preparing for Success seems almost redundant, unnecessary, and slightly annoying once you have cooperation and consistency on a roll. It is not as if I completely check out when things are running smoothly. I liberally support good habits with Descriptive Praise and Reflective Listening. These two skills are natural for me as I am a touchy, feely person. Preparing for Success, however, takes planning, leadership, organization and hardest of all, being on time! Taking charge and providing structure is not particularly intuitive for, we, more laid back, spontaneous parents; we pay for that free flowing gift.

Master Parenting

When things are out of control, it is time to bring out those dusty Preparing for Success skills and polish them up:

  • I begin by looking at our family schedule; often we are over booked. I am so busy with work, household responsibilities, or personal tasks that I fail to monitor or structure my children’s time management. Of course by nature, children fall off task choosing TV or internet over cleaning or walking the dogs.
  • Once I have identified when and where things are going wrong, I make time to manage, and I make time for them to accomplish the task; I refresh the rule.
  • The first step with the children is doing Think Throughs.  I begin by asking something like “What is the rule about cleaning your room?” Often, when getting things back under control, I get a quizzical look so I might ask a hinting question, “When should your room be clean by?” I begin asking this on Wednesday, because the answer is Saturday noon.
  • Slowly, sometimes begrudgingly, we mentally get back on track. We begin to Prepare For Success. Then, I ask this question again a few times on Thursday and Friday.  Saturday comes around and usually things start happening without my asking.
  • If not, a little follow on support with the first two steps of the Never Ask Twice method usually finishes the job.

Preparing for Success sets the whole strategic plan in motion. If you don’t have a plan, if you don’t communicate the plan, you are guaranteed to go in all directions.  You will be out of control.  So when things are awry at my home, it is usually because people have forgotten to pay attention to the master plan – especially me.

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Amanda Deverich Positive ParentingAbout Amanda Deverich, LMFT, NCC Marriage & Family Therapist and Professional Counselor 757-903-2406

Amanda draws upon formal counseling theory and education, on the job training and personal life experience.  She is skilled in structural family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Christian counseling. After earning her graduate degree from The College of William & Mary, she starting using the same techniques that she teaches parents in her very own home. Parent after parent that she has worked with say the methods changed their lives. These methods WORK!

The POWER of Couple Play Time in raising happy, healthy children

Parents spend so much time working, carpooling, cleaning and caring, that parent playtime is often overlooked.  This is detrimental to individual and marital health.  Parents’ lives become consumed and defined by their workload with little energy left over for themselves or their relationship.

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The healthiest couples I see in my office take time to play together.  Play is a diversion, a recreation or an amusement.  Couples first come together because they wanted to be with the other person more than anything else.  It was fun! That feeling fades as the couple is pulled into parent roles and responsibilities.  Time together is the essence of a relationship.  Parent play time revives that sense of fun and replenishes positive energy.

Play time can be high energy or low. Children play with a puzzle and play hide and seek. Parents can play quietly together or get physical. They can stay inside or go out and play.  The point is to be together, focused on being with each other, and to be recharged.

Just as there are rules on the play ground, there are rules for parent play time.  No talking about problems.  No discussing finances, in-laws or children.  No zoning out in front of the TV, playing  games on the phone or getting sucked into the computer. A play time guideline for couples is one hour a day, one night a week, one weekend a month and one week a year. With children, this is very hard to do, but loneliness, depression, and divorce are even harder.

The most common one hour time block for parents to play is after the children go to bed.  The challenge is first getting the kids to bed- in their own room.  Then parents must muster enough energy to devote to play time.  At the end of the day many adults simply want to face plant in the bed or numb out in front of the TV.  Do not do this! Dig deep and spend time together.

Date night need not be expensive; it may be a simple stroll down Duke of Gloucester street or drive to Yorktown beach to watch the sunset. A babysitting co-op is a great way to cut child care costs.  Start a group, each member gets three tokens.  Tokens are redeemed for babysitting.  The tokes prevent one person from taking advantage of others and can be saved up!

One weekend a month, dedicated to parent play time can be a luxury.  Cost and schedule are obstacles.  However, if you are blessed enough to have grandparents or others you trust with your kids, a weekend getaway can reset and reframe your life. You will come back renewed and refreshed to address your responsibilities.

I have seen a weeklong trip do more for a marriage than two months of marital therapy. Some people just need time to play.  If this is your spouse, make the investment! You will enjoy not only the vacation itself, but the additional benefits of a happier self and spouse. Getting out of your environment and parent roles for more an extended period of time allows you to truly release.

For more tips, tricks or information about happy marriages, Divorcebusting® and mastering parenting, like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

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Amanda Deverich Positive ParentingAbout Amanda DeverichLMFT, NCC Marriage & Family Therapist and Professional Counselor 757-903-2406

Amanda draws upon formal counseling theory and education, on the job training and personal life experience.  She is skilled in structural family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Christian counseling. After earning her graduate degree from The College of William & Mary, she started using the same techniques that she teaches to parents in her own home. These methods change lives. These methods WORK!

Change Children’s Behavior by helping them see themselves, differently

Self esteem building is an important part of growing up self-reliant, confident children. Your children believe what you say. They start to believe everything that you tell them. So, if all they hear is what NOT to do, that is how they’ll interpret themselves – the kid who never stops hitting,  the child that has to leave play group, each week, or the child who has to sit apart because he has no self control. Let’s use our children’s trust in what we say to empower them to become their best selves. Here a few ways to help build the self esteem of a child who is used to hearing a lot of “You always,” “You never,” and “Stop that.”

today i wore your words on my shoes fix

  • Empower your child to figure out how to do it better, next time or fix it, this time. If you say “You always …” this makes HIM the problem, and programs him to keep doing more of the same. If you say something like, “How do you think you can stop yourself from being so frustrated?” Now, you are moving him from being the problem to becoming the problem solver.  Notice any steps in the right direction, even if it isn’t exactly right. Children assume and draw global conclusions, “I am a bad speller,” “I am no good at soccer.” Help him reframe it and figure out how to do better, the next time. “You’re really disappointed that you didn’t kick the ball this game….when do you want to practice with me and Dad?” “How could you study differently to help you learn to spell differently?” Help them see actions have impact on success, rather than just giving up.
  • Help him see his BEST self by the way that you describe him to others. In other words,tell on him (tell his father what he did that day or tell a friend what you just noticed).
  • Catch him NOT doing the behavior. “You’re working hard on that piece of music,” “When you got frustrated with your brother breaking your crayons, you were able to stop yourself from hitting him,” “You have been sitting here playing independently for 5 whole minutes!” “You brushed your teeth and I didn’t even have to remind you.” Notice that these observances are specific rather then general evaluative pronouncements like “You’re smart,” “You’re so good,” or “Great job.” Those aren’t repeatable observances. You want your child to know WHY he is being noticed and what he did right so that he can make you happy, again.

If you want him to be more patient, you need to help him see himself, differently! It is important that your child sees himself as a child that tries, that fails and tries, again, and that is patient.  Help him be the problem solver. Tell on him. Notice when he doesn’t do the behavior. Need more help doing this consistently? Sign up for the next FREE teleconference.

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Amanda Deverich Positive ParentingAbout Amanda DeverichLMFT, NCC Marriage & Family Therapist and Professional Counselor 757-903-2406

Amanda draws upon formal counseling theory and education, on the job training and personal life experience.  She is skilled in structural family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Christian counseling. After earning her graduate degree from The College of William & Mary, she starting using the same techniques that she teaches clients with her own children. These methods change lives. These methods WORK!

Boys will be boys – how do you bring out the BEST boy?

I am sure you have noticed, if your boy is a handful, that it isn’t helpful to focus on the negative: lecture and noticing misbehavior. Unfortunately, this is often parents’ and teachers’ automatic response.Boys WILL Be Boys - so HOW do you bring out the best? Amanda Deverich

But, what is “normal” boys’ characteristics:

  •  Physicality
  • Impulsiveness
  • Aggressiveness

These “boy” traits can be as assets in sports and were advantages during most of human evolution. Unfortunately, the expectations of most schools do not align with these natural boy characteristics. This can make school a frustrating experience for active boys who are frequently “in trouble” for behavior that doesn’t mesh with classroom expectations.

Boys’ auditory and cognitive processing differences can make the situation worse – when teachers and textbooks don’t target content and delivery to boys’ actual level of understanding, boys will tend to shut down – or act out. Is this YOUR boy?

There is hope. And he can be more successful – at home and at school, with a couple of simple changes:

    • Make a point of providing frequent opportunities for physical activity.

    • Boys need quality, one-on-one time with the father or other adult male.

    • Catch your son doing the right thing – look for even the smallest steps in the right direction and reinforce them with Descriptive Praise.

Master Parenting has a lecture / seminar about “Bringing Out The Best in Boys,” that can be brought to your church, mom’s group, MOPs group, or PTA meeting. I am also available for one-on-one coaching and even Family Counseling, if necessary (most issues can be improved with a simple coaching session for the parents through the simple techniques, I teach). Please contact me at 757-903-2406 for initial evaluation.

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Amanda Deverich Positive ParentingAbout Amanda DeverichLMFT, NCC Marriage & Family Therapist and Professional Counselor 757-903-2406

Amanda draws upon formal counseling theory and education, on the job training and personal life experience.  She is skilled in structural family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Christian counseling. After earning her graduate degree from The College of William & Mary, she starting using the same methods that she was teaching her clients in her own home (for over 15 years!) – and parent after parent that she has worked with say the methods changed their lives. These methods WORK!