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"This Sucks"

How do you define inappropriate language in your home?  What are the consequences for inappropriate language?  Why does inappropriate language and the consequences matter?  These were three questions I had to answer recently.  Here’s the story. I was at my kitchen table writing an email while my eldest son was pretend playing in the television more »

How Do I Know

Today’s question actually came from a friend several month’s ago.  “Rick” and his wife have an infant son.  Rick is a great guy but tends to worry (like many parents) and sometimes that worry leads to asking loaded questions.  Rick’s specific question to me was “How do I know if I am doing a good more »

Competing for Mama

Today’s behavior blog will focus on the relationship some children have with their mothers. In my home, the boys really like their mommy time.  I used to joke that when my oldest son was smaller, he was mommyfied.  (I know spell check- it’s not really a word)  The competition for mom’s time is fierce.  They more »

Oppositional Behavior Question

Today, I want to answer a question I received from “a friend” about a child who is giving her some troubles behaviorally.  There have been books written about this topic but I hope the following will give you some concrete footing when attacking the problem. The basic background is a mom and dad with three more »

Inventive Spelling

Happy Monday to all of you.  Today’s education blog is going to give you another inside look to what is going on in some schools around the country.  I believe when parents are informed- children will benefit so let’s dive in. D U C Dat? (Did you see that)  In a nutshell that is your more »

A Passionate Plea for a Teacher—TO TEACH

I think most of us know that (nationally speaking) there are a lot of problems with high school education.  There is a disconnect at certain schools.  Some students do not want to learn due to a poor attitude.  It also could be a lack of understanding of why the material they are learning is relevant.  There are also teachers who get frustrated because of student attitudes.  This sometimes can hamper teaching efforts.  But, the situation I am placing the spotlight on is different.  Teachers should be wise to assume that every child has a camera phone.  One child captured a 90 second rant from a student named Jeff Bliss like something you have probably never heard. Read more

Why I Avoid Arguing with Children

When parents and children live in the same house for years, tensions can get a little high at times.  It may be that parents feel children need to be disciplined and children do not like it.  It could be that children are trying to gain a certain amount of independence and parents are not willing to let go.  Where ever the tensions stem, emotions can rise which fuels arguments.  In this post, I am going to let you in on a little parenting psychology and show you the strategies I use for avoiding arguments with children.

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Criminalizing Kindergarteners

What should happen to a boy in kindergarten who has had a history of poor behavior and decides to kick his female principal?  Should she place her hands on him?  Should she call the parents?  There is a trend that is not widely talked about but has happened in more cases than you may anticipate.  This principal called the police and she stands by her decision.  I am going to lay out the pros and cons step by step.  I would love to hear your comments after you read this to know where you stand.

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Detention for Kindergarten Tardiness?

A Texas kindergarten student named Brooke from Olympia Elementary School was subjected to two days of lunch detention due to being tardy.  This specifically means that the child sat facing a wall by herself.  On the surface, this probably sounds absolutely ridiculous to a lot of my readers.  This post is going to take an honest look though at the specifics of the case and determine if the school was wrong in punishing the child.

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How I Talked About The Boston Marathon with My Child

Last week, I wrote an article called Teaching Hatred Through Sports.  Little did I know about the hatred that would occur yesterday at the Boston Marathon.  Although the entire situation sickens me; I have understood that one of the dead is an 8 year old child.  I cannot pretend to imagine what the family is going through.  At a time where there are few answers to be found; here is how I talked about the situation with my 9 year old son.  There may be a tip you would like to use with your child as well.

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Teaching Hatred Through Sports

Rivalries in sports are as old as the sports themselves.  We love cheering our team on to victory and (on occasion) smashing the other team’s dreams.  There is a line though which is crossed a lot which (at the least) is unhealthy.  The line I am referring to happens with our children  in the arena of sports all the time. Specifically, when a parent teaches their child to hate a rival.

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Teacher Rattled by Violent Threat Response

Yesterday, Annie’s Mailbox printed a question posed by a teacher of two seven year old students with “major behavioral issues.”  Both students have threatened to kill her with a gun.  The teacher has gone to her principal and vice principal but no one has spoken to the boys about their behavior.

The link to this disturbing piece can be found at the bottom of this article.  Though I am a fan of their column in general, Ms. Mitchell and Ms. Sugar really missed the mark on this one and I am going to set the record straight.

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The Allowance Dilemma

A question was posed to me recently about what age is the right place to start to get an allowance and what the conditions should be.  Here are my thoughts and they may surprise you a bit.

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4 Tips Before Your Child Takes a Standardized Test

I have seen many children’s faces this time of year.  For some, the little wrinkles and the pursed lips seem to come out even more than when they get into trouble.   For others, they seem to get a bit more quiet than usual even to the point of being withdrawn.  That’s because standardized testing is right around the corner.  What you’ll find inside are some tips which have worked very well for students of mine over the years.  I hope something you’ll read will work for your child as well! Read more

Three Ways to Gently Discipline a Child

There is a misconception by some parents that discipline has to be confrontational.  While it’s true that disciplining a child isn’t always fun, there are ways it can be done to take the sting out of it.  The truth is that there are many ways successful parents discipline and this post will reveal 3 that I have used many times successfully. Read more