Most parents will bump up against a, "you can't make me!" threat from a child at some point in their parenting career. This is actually a factual statement. We may strongly influence each other, motivate each other, inspire each other, but we can't make someone do something they don't want to do. Defiance is a … Continue reading Defiance

To use Time Out or Not

Lots of parents ask us about the use of "time outs." We believe that the use of "time outs" is over done and often unrelated to the issues at hand. If a child is angry, asking them to sit quietly in a chair is unrealistic. Better to have them release their adrenaline through physical activity … Continue reading To use Time Out or Not


My granddaughter was supposed to come over on Saturday. I was looking forward to it....excited even. As the time approached for her arrival, the phone rang instead. Apparently she was having a rough five-year-old day. To quote my son, "She's on her third melt down, so we're staying home." I was disappointed, but I understood. … Continue reading Listening


I often hear from parents who ask about how to set boundaries. Afraid of repeating some of the mistakes from their childhoods, they want to use reason as they discipline and guide their children. Unfortunately, much of the time I witness parents talking about, negotiating or maneuvering around the boundaries. My best advice...."Don't talk about … Continue reading Boundaries

“I will”

One of the most aggravating phrases that parents hear from tweens and teens is, "I will. Just a sec." or "I will later." Of course, that next second or "later" never come. Instead parents are left feeling frustrated, resorting to nagging, punishing or throwing up their hands. The reason for this universal brush off is … Continue reading “I will”

Energy Crisis at Home

Jeremy is tired.  He stayed up too late last night, but he just couldn’t quit playing that video game.  His folks would have a fit if they knew he went to bed at 3:00.  Oh well.  He’d stop and get something to wake up on his way to school.  Stopping by the corner convenience store, … Continue reading Energy Crisis at Home

Trouble at School–When the teacher calls for a conference….

Now that school is well underway, there are parents who are discovering that their children have learning or attention issues that they never knew existed.  Teachers are gently delivering news that is difficult for any parent to hear.  That adorable baby who showed every sign of genius level intelligence has grown into a child who … Continue reading Trouble at School–When the teacher calls for a conference….

Tired of Arguing—Winds of Change

My youngest son is growing up.  From the braces on his teeth, to the bangs that hang in his eyes, to the tight leg jeans with the little “sag” in the tush, it is obvious to me that my little boy is gone.  He has been replaced by a cool and nonchalant almost13 year-old, who … Continue reading Tired of Arguing—Winds of Change

Boys & the Developmental Stage of Fire

Sonja is a conscientious mother.  She spent a lot of time prior to having children educating herself about the responsibilities of parenting.  She entered motherhood with a very high level of commitment to her spouse, her children and the world at large.  Her youngest child, Stephen, is nine-years old and in the "fire" stage of … Continue reading Boys & the Developmental Stage of Fire