Steps to forgive yourself if you have lost your cool with your child

You didn’t get enough sleep last night and you’re already running late. That irritable, impatient parent lashes out – reacting to your child’s misbehavior. How do you forgive yourself if you lost your calm and cool?

Calm is what we are striving for, in Calmer, Happier, Easier Parenting techniques. But, when you are angry and hot – you cannot get back to that calm state, easily. You feel angry, justified in your anger, and terribly impatient. In that anger it is difficult to notice that it is YOU that is out of control, as much as your child. How do you get to the place where you can recognize your overreaction to make amends?

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

  • Recognize that you are tired and that you can be a much better parent with enough sleep and enough time.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Look at and feel your feelings – recognizing your own feelings helps you move past them.
  • Find your sensory tool (the thing that “snaps” you out of it). Here are some suggestions that I have found to work for some parents:
    • Stretching your neck muscles
    • Ten deep breaths
    • Cold water splashed on your face
    • Shaking your hands out
    • Looking into your eyes, in the mirror
    • Reading your family mission statement
    • Closing your eyes and open and close your mouth as wide as you can
    • Sitting down, clasping your hands, closing your eyes and repeating a Bible verse
    • Closing the door between you and your children and counting 10 slow, even breaths
    • Jumping up and down in place
    • Doing a yoga pose
    • Counting to three, then taking ten deep breaths
    • Tightening and then relaxing your facial muscles
  • Last-but-not-least – recognize that your child is a child. Acting like a child because he is a child. All is well.

One thing that I always feel is important is that you recognize your overreaction, to your family and to your child, after you have found your way back to your Calm. Apologizing gets you back on track – and it repairs the relationship and teaches your child about making mistakes, making amends, and forgiveness.

Pull the Car Over – How to stop the madness in the backseat

Fighting and Screaming in the car.

Children fighting and screaming, and even hurting each other in the back of the car, is a common scenario. Once a pattern is set, it can be difficult to change. Incentives haven’t worked. Taking away music and video hasn’t worked. Try this and tell me how it goes:

  • You’ll have to make provisions in your schedule to get out of the house extra early. Get out ahead of schedule.
  • Once the fighting starts, pull the car over. Stay calm (and get out if you have to, to remain calm). Ignore any moans and carrying on and don’t say anything. Just sit there. This will be a surprise for them. Note: it will be a lot more effective if you do it on the way to something that they are really anxious to get to, the first time that you try it.
  • Once the bickering stops, start driving, hopefully not saying anything through the whole exchange.
  • If it starts up, again, and the conflicts continue in the backseat, calmly pull off the road, again. Turn off your engine, this time. If you have to talk, limit your comments to “I’ll just wait.” Your quiet, calm waiting will send the message.

Children fighting in the back seat, what to do?

  • You can drive, soon, “when it’s safe.”  You may need to repeat this a few times, but as long as you remain calm and refuse to drive to the event until it is calm and quiet, you’re children will get a clear message. It may just take one or two times to have a much quieter drive, but that is a small price to pay to have your focus on the road, again. Good luck!

Valentine’s Day Date – a solution to behavioral problems, with children

Behavioral problems can sometimes begin with a child seeing themselves through someone else’s eyes. The eyes of someone who sees them ALWAYS misbehaving. I am not blaming you. The behavioral pattern may have started because of copy-catting someone else. It may have started because of a developmental stage. It may have happened as a result of a big change in your life/your family’s life. BUT…the bottom line is that you may be inadvertently adding to your child’s behavioral patterns by noticing them. And statements like “You always…” “You are…” don’t help. What does help? This is where a bit of one-on-one coaching can help to quickly get to the root cause and even quicker start turning bad to good. But… if you are going to try this on your own, here are the steps that I suggest.

1) Start noting every time your child isn’t doing it – and tell them you saw.

2) When the behavioral problem does occur, sit and discuss how they are feeling and WHY they did what they did. Don’t use this as a teachable moment; just listen to feelings.

3) Tell your child what the rule is and what is SHOULD look like and help them visualize the new rule in action by having them tell YOU what the new rule is.

4) Notice every time they do it right. Every time. Even small steps in the right direction.

5) Spend a little one-on-one time with your child, every day, especially the same-sex parent.

Step #5 might be the most important step in helping your child navigate his way away from this behavior. This Special Time should be child-led, child-centered, and all about them. Get on the floor. Play with their trains. Play hide and seek (and be super easy to find – don’t make this about winning, make it silly, fun, and about them). This can go a long way to helping them feel loved, accepted, and they may even begin to see themselves in a different light – your hope! Each parent should make this attempt, every day, with every child – but especially the child that is misbehaving.

This dad nailed it. I love this video; it made me a bit teary, even. This is the kind of Special Time, every daughter dreams of.

If you’d like to discuss one-on-one coaching with me, click here.

Special Time – protect it or your relationship will pay for it!

What is the definition of Special Time mean?

  • Quality time.
  • One-on-one time.
  • Child directed.
  • At their level.
  • Named.
  • Protected.
  • Suggestions: Use a timer and turn your phone off.
Amanda Deverich, Master Parenting

Life is short. Don’t miss opportunities to spend time with the people that you love.

Don’t multi-task this very important time for your very important child. Special Time is just that. Just the two of you, away from any else, and enjoying each other. So….enjoy!

amanda deverich profile photoAbout 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 sought out the London-based creator of the parenting program, Noël Janis-Norton, to be personally trained by her. She used the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting methods 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!

If you have problem behavior, help your child see himself 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.”

self esteem about computers child

  • 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 Dad and I?” “How could you study differently to help you learn to spell?” 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, here.

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Amanda DeverichAbout 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 sought out the London-based creator of the parenting program, Noël Janis-Norton, to be personally trained by her. She used the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting methods 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!

Boys WILL be boys – how can you help them be successful in a school setting

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.boy shooting rubberband

But, what are “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.

I have 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 group coaching, lectures and one-on-one coaching. Please call me at my office for Family Counseling. Most times, issues can be improved with a telecoaching session for the parents through the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting techniques and that is what most parents opt for. Register for an upcoming session, here.

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AmandaDeverichAbout 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 sought out the London-based creator of the parenting program, Noël Janis-Norton, to be personally trained by her. She used the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting methods 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!

Need help feeling Grateful? Here are some tips!

An attitude of gratitude has many physical and mental healthy benefits including less anxiety, less depression and higher long-term satisfaction with life. There is no shortage of expression or encouragement to experience gratitude, especially during the holidays. We have a holiday called Thanksgiving that helps us feel thankful and Christmas helps us count our blessings, too. Bumper stickers, magnets, t-shirts and trending Facebook posts exalt gratitude for one thing or another. However, in a comparative land of overflowing plenty, we can become too busy , too stimulated and often too full to have the capacity to experience gratitude. If you are feeling the many messages are platitudes and you are seeking a way to get back in touch with that feeling of gratitude, here are five fresh ideas:

  • Go Extreme. Skip a meal (if you medically can). Go without your cell phone for a day (be grateful we can afford such amazing technology!) Take a cold shower to get in touch with your love of indoor plumbing and heating.

3 peas on a plate

 

  • Be Mindful. Consciously note the people and things that you have in your life that bring you comfort, joy, or ease. Consciously notice small gifts in the day–such as a parking space, a kind word from a stranger, or a lucky find.
  • Start a Streak. Challenge yourself to note each day the things that you are thankful for. Get a streak of thankfulness going. Keep a tally mark for each item. Count your blessings at the end of the week.
  • Connect With Nature. Get outside. Observe animals, plants, and even insects. Look up at the skies, take in the stars or clouds, breathe deep and purposefully consider how you are part of this creation. Busy lives disconnect us from our heartfelt human experience.
  • Read. Read inspirational quotes, poems, biographies or blogs. Reading to be inspired can lead to a deeper experience of existence and gratefulness for the gifts you have.

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Amanda DeverichAbout 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 sought out the London-based creator of the parenting program, Noël Janis-Norton, to be personally trained by her. She used the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting methods 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!

How Homework could FLUNK your marriage!

Finances, sex and parenting are the Big Three subjects that challenge a marriage. Other touchy topics include in-laws, chores and religion, but the Big Three are the most common and detrimental to marital happiness. I am observing a trend-testing relationships in the parenting curriculum: Homework is threatening to flunk some marriages.

fighting couple calm
It is not uncommon for a middle or high school child to have two or more hours of homework each night preceded by or squeezed in around an extracurricular activity. Extracurriculars are rarely considered optional fun. These commitments are graded as part of the college resume. It has become a form of homework in disguise. Success in all areas is crucial. This nightly routine of four hours of homework and activities does not include commute, transition, nor prep time. In order to accomplish the task, parents must pre-plan meals, equipment and transportation; most often there is more than one child exponentially increasing the difficulty.

Aside from driving, paying and feeding, parents have begun task managing every subject their child studies. As a result of historic parental pressure for their student to succeed, schools provide a deluge of emails, conferences and communications flooding parents’ information management systems. Grades can be checked almost daily. Homework is routinely reviewed and signed.

Scheduling, preparing and task managing are simply the basics of the parent’s challenge. Add a tired, anxious or resistant child into the mix and the stress really begins. Parents must now manage their child’s emotion as well as their own. Managing emotions is difficult considering parents are often worn out from work, relationships and personal issues. Parents’ mental, physical and emotional resources are tapped.

I believe underlying all this drive for achievement is a cultural subconscious panic that the child may “fail” in life. Mastery of each moment is crucial or the path to success will close forever. The supreme goal of winning this game or learning this chapter intensifies. Parents are driven by the fear that their child will not add sports success to their college resume, not move on to the Advanced Placement History class, not do well on their standardized test, not make it into a good school, and not be successful in life. All this effort and opportunity will be wasted. Do not forget the cost at risk. School and extracurriculars are expensive in time, money, and personal investment. Repeat this anxiety process for approximately 300 days each year for more than 18 years. The pressure to achieve and keep it all together is immense

Stress and conflict are obvious fallout from too much homework in a marriage, but the more sabotaging symptoms manifest themselves in different ways. Detrimental symptoms of a homework afflicted marriage look like escaping, avoiding and attacking and mutual suffering. These symptoms are endured in support of the child’s success. The marriage is at risk.

When one parent is escaping, the other is taking primary responsibility for the child’s success. The escaping parent agrees success is important but is unable to effectively participate. The escaping parent may feel barred from participating, overwhelmed with the negativity or simply incapable of working with the child. In one example of escaping, a mother and child fought so much over homework and academic achievement that the home environment was constant acrimony. The yelling, nagging, and fighting were daily routine. Overtime, the father began to withdraw and sought an affair to soothe the stress from home and work. He did not want to leave the marriage, he loved his wife and child. The affair was an erroneous and desperate attempt at coping.

When parents are avoiding and attacking, they have fallen into a tag team pattern of managing homework. Avoiding and attacking is between the parents, not the children. Avoiding occurs for similar reasons to escaping, but an avoiding parent will routinely try to re-engage. Attacking occurs when one parent is unsatisfied with the efforts of the other. In one such case a mother and child battled so intensely over assignments that the father would avoid and linger in another room. When the mom was at the end of her rope, she would welcome the father stepping in. The father, often already emotionally elevated from the arguing, handled the situation as best he could. His handling of the situation only earned him the attacking grade of unsatisfactory, or worse, jerk, but the homework was done. This is a familiar dynamic I have seen replicated in another couple where the parents were sharing the homework managing responsibilities. As things escalated with one parent and child, the other parent would avoid intervention as long as they could intending support by not contradicting in the homework management process. This avoiding ultimately ended in either never coming in to assist or in imperfect intervention; both actions resulted in attacking anger from the other parent.

Mutual suffering is a subversive symptom that happens to couples who may appear to work smoothly together in coordinating their children’s workloads. Managing the children has become the central focus of their lives. The parental team is effective, but one parent begins to resent the other for not contributing in areas such as scheduling, thinking ahead, and preparing. This parent becomes tired, negative, and non-affirming or worse, critical. The other parent begins to feel unwelcome, neglected, or under-appreciated despite the great amount of work, love, and patience they provide in supporting the homework process. Both individuals are right. Distance builds and energy dwindles. Intimacy suffers, happiness is gone and mutual nurturing is near non-existent. Intermittent blow-ups occur. The marriage is nearly extinguished.

These parents whose marriages are suffering began with the same noble goal in mind. They are a unified front, agreeing by default that no matter what, their child must get to the head of the class. Parents are pushing themselves, their child, and each other past their mental, physical and emotional resources to achieve. Families and the marriages that ground them are on the brink. When couples arrive in my office not a one of them feels the problems in their marriage are worth the grade. Couples need and want peaceful, nurturing, and loving relationships for a successful life. Perhaps we are using the wrong grading scale.

Certainly the couples in the examples here could have made other choices in managing their stress levels, but the common denominator, homework overload, remains. I have found Calmer, Easier, Happier parenting to be an excellent strategy for managing and limiting homework stress while maximizing potential. The immense challenge to the marriage goes deeper than partner communication and prioritization of tasks associated with achievement. The fundamental dilemma is to assess what is being sacrificed at what cost. Hard choices must be made.

Before your marriage ends up in my counseling office or worse, divorce court, take stock of how much time, energy, emotion, and money your child’s homework consumes. It is a classic litmus test of priority and hierarchy. If you are displacing adult needs from the top and elevating the children’s, you are at risk. Perhaps you are influenced by an erroneous cultural message or misplaced value. Launching your child is your responsibility, but you are most likely exceeding a reasonable expectation if your primary resources are consumed by homework and activities. Look for the signs of homework overload: stress and fighting over this topic. Identify any symptoms of escaping, avoiding & attacking, or mutual suffering in your relationship. Work with your partner to alleviate the cause of these symptoms by realigning your goals, efforts, and investments. A succeeding child and failing marriage is no formula for success.

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Amanda DeverichAbout 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 sought out the London-based creator of the parenting program, Noël Janis-Norton, to be personally trained by her. She used the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting methods 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!

Are YOU or someone you know a NIGHTMARE Sport’s Parent?

Athletics is one of the best ways for young people to take risks and deal with failure because the consequences are not fatal or  permanent. With the high hopes that every parent of an aspiring athlete has, how does a mom or dad, avoid becoming a crazed, overbearing sports parent, with a stressed-out, unhappy child?

Whether your child is just showing an interest in T-ball or is a travel-team baseball all-star, don’t be one of the parents that encourage 75% of sports children to quit by the time they are 13 years old. OUCH. That is a terrible statistic…and each of those parents had expectations of their child to play in high school, college, and perhaps even professionally, but according to the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University, nearly 30 million children participate in organized youth sports each year in the United States and QUIT by the time they reach the age of 13 because their skill level hits a plateau, the game is no longer fun, because they discover other interests, or because their parents become insufferable. Double Ouch!

sports parents

We know that all parents don’t scream at referees, loudly second-guess coaches or berate their children. Most are well-intentioned parents – but they let their expectations, dreams and pride get in the way of being their child’s cheerleader. Most parents want the child to continue playing, to enjoy it, and perhaps to move on to playing professionally if they have talent. And you know your children better than the coach, so why should you leave the coaching to the coach and simply be their cheerleader modeling life skills and good sportsmanship?   Let Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting give you 5 great reasons:

  1. The first reason is probably the most compelling one. Hundreds of college athletes were asked to think back: “What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?” Their overwhelming response: “The ride home from games with my parents.” This informal survey lasted three decades, initiated by two former longtime coaches who over time became staunch advocates for the player, for the adolescent, for the child. Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller, Proactive Coaching LLC, have spoken to groups of more than a million athletes, coaches and parents in the last 12 years. Those same college athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response: “I love to watch you play.”
  2. Every effort should be taken to increase the percentage of American youths who participate in sports during their teenage years. Obesity among children is at an all-time high.
  3. As a parent, you are modeling behavior that your child will adopt. Your children are always watching, so you must, yourself, show respect for officials, coaches and participants. Comments that undermine teammates, the coach or even officials run counter to everything that the coaches try to instill in a young athlete.
  4. Keep your expectations realistic and focus on your child’s total development, rather than focusing primarily on their child’s potential to earn a sport’s scholarship or play professionally. Do this by supporting your child’s motivations to play sports: fun, friends, and participation.
  5. Your job is to teach your child to respect the coach, enjoy the exercise, realize the value of regularly-scheduled practice, and perseverance.

Using Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting principles on the way home from the game would be to use Descriptive Praise by noticing things that your child did RIGHT. Some examples might be (focus, being on time, being prepared with bringing the right equipment, maturity, reliability, sportsmanship (celebrating the talent’s of others, sharing the plays, congratulating the other team, cooling off quickly after being upset), teamwork, confidence, etc.). Self confidence and self-esteem, from sports, grows with intrinsic rewards, like self-knowledge and grows out of self-competition and is much more important in creating lifetime athletes than are extrinsic rewards (victory or attention from others).

Finally, trust the sport’s coach to respect your child and build his skills. Coaches encourage competition on the field and don’t, typically, appreciate it on the sidelines—especially if it is disruptive to the spirit of the game. If your instincts told you to trust the coach, in the beginning, it is time to release your child to the coach and the game. And remember to say “I love to watch you play!”

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Amanda DeverichAbout 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 sought out the London-based creator of the parenting program, Noël Janis-Norton, to be personally trained by her. She used the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting methods 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!

When things are out of control – I have forgotten THIS

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.

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 DeverichAbout 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 sought out the London-based creator of the parenting program, Noël Janis-Norton, to be personally trained by her. She used the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting methods 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!