When it comes to raising happy children, some parenting approaches are more effective than others. Well adjusted and happy adults tend to be raised by parents who were caring and engaged, but also set and enforce high expectations for behavior.
Bad stuff happens to our kids every day. Wise parents don’t go to extraordinary means to protect kids from life, but rather they help their children manage minor frustrations or major traumas. These are the ways I approach these kids in my office.
I work with a lot of unhappy kids, many of them grappling with tough situations-sexual abuse, domestic violence, or divorce. I try to help kids not to be victims of their past, but rather take control of their lives. I like the quote that you should “… never put the keys to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.”
It’s a time of year with many holiday celebrations and gatherings. These are joyous experiences for many, but a difficult time for others. Our lives are not like a Hallmark Channel story with freshly baked cookies, fake snow, and conflicts that always have happy endings.
I enjoy speaking with parents at workshops, most of which focus on issues such as using praise, time out, or selective attention. However, I’ve acquired a somewhat problematic habit over the years-saying things that turn off most of the audience. Here is my list of the top six things that are rarely well received.