Holding hands

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Practical PLAN for More Peace At Home!

In my previous post, I suggested you look at your child's behavior as a CLUE to his or her stress around transitions. In case you missed it, check out how to be a detective here: http://parentingbeyondwords.blogspot.com/2013/02/welcome-to-parenting-beyond-words-2013.html

So now that you're clued in to the awareness that behind most of your daily battles with your child lies the stress of transition...What do you do next???



Creating a TRANSITION PLAN will put you back in the driver's seat and help stop power struggles before they start.

Your child will feel more secure when (s)he knows what to expect. Less anxiety means less negative behavior.

Here's your Peaceful Transition Checklist: (Pay special attention to #5)

  1. Pick up the CLUE - your child's negative behavior is his or her language to communicate feelings of stress and overwhelm
  2. Identify the transition - Leaving the house? Bedtime? Getting up? Ending playtime or TV time? Homework time? After school? Parent getting home at night? ***A seemingly small transition can have a bigger impact than you may realize!***
  3. Create a predictable routine - Be sure the schedule works for you first! When your child knows what to expect, (s)he will be less anxious and stressed. Less stress means less need for negative behavior.
  4. Build in extra time - Transitions require extra time, not just the amount it "should" take. You already know this because what you're doing isn't working... Add 15-30 minutes MORE than you think is needed. This will take the pressure of both you and your child. The calmer you feel, the more you will be able to help your child through the transition.
  5. Include "special time"- ***This is the most important element to your routine!*** Call it "special time", "mommy time", "daddy time",etc. Your child is seeking regulation during the stress of transition. You are the source of that regulation. So guaranteeing your child 10-20 minutes of calm connection with you is a HUGE INVESTMENT into the overall calm of the day. Isn't your child already getting your attention?? Don't you want the attention you give your child to leave you both feeling better?
  6. Make it visual and place it where your child can see it. (White board, picture board, etc. Be creative and make it together.) This gives your child a feeling of control - something else that is well known to calm anxiety and stress.
  7. Stick to it! - Consistency builds security. Imagine the routine, play it out in your mind, but DO NOT BEGIN UNTIL YOU FEEL READY TO BE CONSISTENT...NOT PERFECT BUT COMMITTED.

A working mom of 6 and 9 year olds told me she had 100% improvement in her mornings after we made a transition plan together...How cool is that?!

Starting in two weeks, I'll be taking a small group of parents through all the above steps in detail.
I'll also be sharing:
  • The cutting-edge brain science behind the strategies
  • My full, consistent, expert support to help you implement the exact plan your family requires for more peace at home.

As always, you're welcome to email me any time at kathy@parentingbeyondwords.com with your questions and thoughts. I always love hearing from you!

In support,



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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Key to Stopping Power Struggles

Welcome to Parenting Beyond Words 2013!

A frustrated mom recently told me that she can't get her 4 year old to do basic everyday things without always having a battle! Another mom and dad I spoke with were having battles with their 8 year old every day at bedtime. Can you relate?

The problem is that we don't always recognize these normal recurrent daily activities as transitions. 

"A transition is any change from one state to another"
For instance: asleep to awake, school to home, play time to bedtime, etc. 
Change causes stress. 
For kids, stress and overwhelm shows up in their behavior. 

What if your child's behavior is the

The Dictionary defines the word, "Clue" as "Anything that serves to guide or direct in the solution of a problem."

Trying to control your child's behavior as the problem leads to more power struggles.Seeing your child's behavior as the clue points you in the direction of a better relationship.

Starting this month, BECOME A DETECTIVE. This will decrease your stress and help you look for ways to connect with your child and make the transitions easier and more pleasant.
Some effective strategies are: 

  • Build in more time for the transition. 
  • Create more predictability (see video link below) 
  • Participate in helping your child do what (s)he needs, as you would help a younger child. 
I'll be going into these strategies in more detail in upcoming posts.

I'd love to hear what you think! Leave a comment below if you'd like.

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