Chores: The Great Debate

I’m not going to lie. When the girls were growing up, there were some days it was just easier and faster for me to do their chores for them.

Have you ever been guilty of this? Most parents I know have. Some parents cave in to avoid confrontation while others don’t have the energy, patience or time to hold their children accountable. I also know plenty of parents that don’t want to inconvenience or impose on their already over scheduled kids.

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None of these are good options because chores are, or should be, a necessary part of growing up.

Benefits:

Responsibility – holding children accountable for chores can increase their self-worth because they will feel good when they meet their obligations.

Life skills – cooking, cleaning, laundry, taking care of a pet and yard work are all skills they will need when they leave your home.

Hard work – life requires work… house work, school work, job work, etc. Chores provide the training ground for these essential life skills.

Here’s what you can do:

Model positive behaviors. If you whine about doing the laundry or mowing the yard, your children are more likely to complain about cleaning up their rooms.

Be patient. If you tell your son to put away his video games before dinnertime, then don’t complain if he hasn’t started the task by mid-afternoon. Give him the opportunity to complete the request without begging, pleading or nagging.

Compliment cooperation. Acknowledge when your child completes a task—even if the toys aren’t on the right shelves. You’ll get more cooperation if you refrain from criticism.

Start young and start small. A one-year-old can start age-appropriate chores, such as picking up books and blocks. And it’s okay for you to help them! Make it fun. “I’ll put my block in here, now it’s your turn. My book goes right here, yours goes next to mine.” By the time our children are six or seven, they should be able to do their chores unassisted.

What is the state of the parent-child relationship? Keep in mind that kids want to please but the connection has to be there. Also, they will be more apt to embrace your values regarding chores as well as your work ethic if the parent-child relationship is strong.

What if?

The ever-present question from parents is “What if they don’t do their chores? What consequence should I give them?” I don’t believe there always needs to be a consequence, especially if they are younger. Remember, you are training and teaching them—be positive and supportive and work alongside them until they are done. Yes, this does take more of your time, but if you can put in the hard work and training at the front end, the ultimate result will be that as they grow up, you should be able to say it’s time to do your chores and they will be able to do just that.

For older kiddos and teens, yes, a consequence might be in order. When they complete their chores then they can go out with friends. Say “feel free to go to Haley’s house when your chores are done.” This teaches him to govern himself and enables you to parent in a positive way. The more negative approach goes like this “No, you can’t go to Haley’s. I’ve told you a hundred times you have chores to do. You always wait until the last minute and you’ve known all along what you were supposed to be doing.” This kind of reaction doesn’t encourage cooperation.

Of this one thing I am certain: Your children will not thank you for insisting they do their chores while they still live in your home. Hopefully, they will thank you someday… after they are living on their own.

 
There’s Always Hope,

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Need more help?  Parents often jokingly ask Amy, “Will you go home with me?”  While she can’t do that, Amy is available to consult with parents through her consultation services.  Click Here to learn more.

Potty Training: Power Struggle or Perfect Timing

Potty training, gone bad, can create huge problems in families and create stress in the parent-child relationship. When this happens, no one wins. Parents start the process determined they are going to make their child use the potty and some kids are simply not ready. If that happens in your home, please go ahead and put it on hold Parenting with Amytemporarily. Why, you ask? Potty training will never be a success with that dynamic.

Almost every single time there is a potty issue and it is not a medical issue, there is a determined child and a determined parent involved. This is the worst combination of personalities because power struggles emerge in all their glory. If parents don’t learn how to work with their child’s strong will, not only will we have potty issues, we’ll now have parent-child relationship problems which creates emotional and behavioral problems.

Here is the bottom line. It’s impossible to make someone use the toilet. We can make them sit there, but we cannot make them go. That is absolutely something we cannot control.

Learning to use the potty is a huge developmental task and successful potty training depends on emotional and physical readiness of your child, not chronological age. Some 2 year olds are ready; others have no interest whatsoever.

If kids are ready and if parents have the right mindset, potty training will be fairly easy. Readiness is the key word to consider before beginning the process – both child and parent readiness.

Is your child ready?

All of the following tasks occur naturally in kids, somewhere between 2 and 4 years of age. The more yes’s, the more ready they are.

  • Does she understand basic directions and follow them?
  • Is she expressing any interest in the potty?
  • Does she talk about wanting to wear panties?
  • Does she fuss about a wet or dirty diaper?
  • Can she stay dry for long periods of time?
  • Does she like to please?
  • Is she saying or acting like she wants to be more independent?

Are you ready?

If you’re feeling stressed about potty training or feeling overwhelmed with life, it might not be the right time to start. Wait. Keep in mind that teaching your child to use the potty should be as natural as teaching her how to work a puzzle. Can you:

  • Be positive
  • Use humor
  • Relax
  • Understand this is something you cannot control
  • Be tolerant and patient when accidents happen
  • Start when no other big events or issues are going on
  • Block off at least 3 days to be at home and commit to the cause

Potty Training is a Process

  • Expect accidents. Many of them. Respond and refrain from reacting. All you need to say is “Accidents happen. Let’s get cleaned up.” To punish, shame or guilt is never effective.
  • When you start, it’s panties or underwear all the time, except, of course, naptime or nighttime.
  • Never force a child to sit on the potty until she goes. This is seen as punishment. It will blow up in your face.
  • Be aware that already anxious and fearful kids sometimes withhold, so watch for constipation.
  • The process can’t be rushed.

What if your child is resistant? 

Go into this prepared to deal with it. Consider calling a halt…only temporarily though, if you are met with pushback. Continuing to deal with a child that is not receptive will be a considerable drain of your time and energy. What this usually means is that she is not ready. Honestly, the worst thing you can do is to push through and continue. I’ve never, ever seen anything good come out of this scenario.

It’s hard not to feel embarrassed and compare when other kids seemingly have no potty issues and yours is still having accidents. Remember this is your child’s process and one that she needs to be the boss of. Potty training takes time. It WILL happen. She will not go off to college in a pull-up.

When it does, I’d say a potty dance is in order!

There’s Always Hope,

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Need more help?  Parents often jokingly ask Amy, “Will you go home with me?”  While she can’t do that, Amy is available to consult with parents through her consultation services.  Click Here to learn more.

 

Family Spotlight: Jennifer Eckert

Then:

Wow… thinking back to the time period that brought us to Amy’s door – sometimes it feels like it was so long ago, and sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. Desperate is the word I would use to describe that time period. Although it was scary and I was completely at a loss as to how to parent my child, I am so grateful that I was desperate and vulnerable enough to get help. Amy provided exactly the tools, support and comfort we needed.  I would say to any parentEckert Family struggling with an issue with their child – be desperate and vulnerable. There is no shame in not knowing what to do.

Our son, Josh, was a handful – well, he still is. I remember the exact moment when I knew we had a “passionate” child on our hands – he was 13 months old, not verbal yet, but full of things to say. He was standing at the refrigerator, banging on it and screaming for milk, but only in sounds that a mom would know what their child wanted. He was desperate, too. He couldn’t talk but boy did he want and need to. Since Josh couldn’t talk, he was physical. He would hit, throw, run away from me. I was really at a loss. I remember sitting in the pediatricians office just crying to the nurse practitioner about my 2-year old. I “didn’t know what to do!” Thank God for her, and for my desperation, because that moment led me on a path towards help, answers and finally feeling like everything would be “okay”.

How:

The nurse practitioner suggested we start by calling Amy Meyer and a speech therapist. Thankfully, Josh’s non-verbal abilities were pretty easily fixed. I think he was just stuck, and once he got “unstuck” verbally, he has not stopped talking since! Josh becoming verbal, although not overnight, was helpful because he could tell us what was going on, instead of being physical.

The play therapy was quite a journey. First, Amy was wonderful – she was non-judgmental and caring – she was all that we needed. As I mentioned above, I think that is the most important aspect of the process of therapy I received, and still carry with me today, is that “everything is going to be okay”.  I didn’t always know what that would look like, and it might not be pretty to everyone else, but I knew in my heart that we would all be okay, because we were getting help.

Through play therapy we learned what behaviors to care about and what to let go of. Josh was (and still is) all about control. For example – Josh hated to have me brush his hair. Well –my goodness, to have a child go to pre-school without great looking hair – what will people think? Hmmm.. we found out quickly that was a battle we really didn’t need to fight. What a relief!  I was so happy to receive “permission” from Amy that certain behaviors were okay. A particular issue that I remember is that Josh never – truly never – sat down to eat dinner. He always stood up. I cannot tell you how we fought with him over that issue! When we discussed it with Amy, we all agreed that as long as he was with us at the table, ate his food and helped clean up, it was fine that he stood up. Something like this may not fly in another household, but it truly had to in ours because we had to learn that compromise was the key. I feel so grateful that early on, we were able to get to know this child, get to understand that things might look different with him –and that’s “okay”. I can honestly tell you that if we had not gone through those years with Amy, I would be further into the pit that I was in at the time.

There were many situations when I really gave into Josh because it was just so much easier. I was tired of fighting every single little thing with him. I think we made a lot of mistakes by letting Josh have control, and letting him run our family at certain times because it was just such a whipping to stay strong and do the “right” thing. As we learned from Amy, consistency was, and still is, the key.

Now

Oh gosh – Josh is now 10, almost 11, and time certainly does fly! We met Amy when Josh was 2 or 3. I remember talking with Amy and she told me that more than likely,   Josh was ADHD. Because Josh was only 2/3 at the time, he was too young for a formal diagnosis, but I am here to tell you she was right on the money. Amy suggested we go to a diagnostic psychologist and Josh was formally diagnosed at 6 years old (when he was in kindergarten). Since then, we continue to learn a lot about Josh everyday. I really think that since we were so open to help when Josh was young, it has enabled us to be so throughout our parenting journey with him and our other two children (Callie – 13 and Truitt – 6). Since Josh formally stopped seeing Amy, my husband and I have checked in with her a couple of times and I truly feel like I can call her anytime to make an appointment and receive her counsel.  We reached out to her when we knew it was time to take the nest step and have Josh diagnosed – I knew she would be the best source for us. We reached out to her when I was worried about a new problem that arose – sometimes you just need a refresher and a safety net as a parent, and she provided that for us.

Am I the “perfect parent” now because we went to therapy? Nope, I am far from it.  I am flawed, human – I make mistakes daily, hourly. But, I know that we gleaned so much from our time with Amy and I still use that knowledge everyday. I am open to realizing that each of my children is unique and needs different things from me. I realize some things are worth the battle and some are not. One aspect that has stuck with me from going to see Amy is that Josh is who he is. I cannot make him be someone different, I cannot make him be compliant when that is not his nature, I cannot have all the control. That being said, I know that because he is strong willed, we need to be vigilant about helping him realize his strengths and weaknesses. We are fumbling through this process, but we are trying to maintain the tools we learned from Amy to the best of our ability.

Hopefully we are raising great kids that will turn into great adults. Thank goodness we are not alone. It brings me comfort knowing that I can still reach out to Amy.

Jennifer Eckert

Family Spotlight: Jennifer Bourgeois

Three years ago we experienced a major life change, the death of my mother. I tried to shield my children from the pain that I was experiencing but I didn’t realize at the time how my decisions would affect my children and their own grief. As time went on we began noticing a change in our oldest daughter, Emma. At first we didn’t realize what was going on with her and why she was acting out so much and refusing to separate from me. She was afraid to do things that she normally loved, didn’t want to go to school and would cry every morning, and also became defiant towards us. At the time she was 9 and in 3rd grade. I became very fearful of our mother-daughter relationship and the negative effects on my family. During my own childhood my oldest sister was a “trouble maker” and even as an adult I never understood what happened in her childhood to cause her to rebel the way she did.

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The relationship that developed between my parents and oldest sister completely changed the dynamic of my childhood family and I knew I didn’t want that for my family. I was terrified that my oldest daughter would end up like my oldest sister. I was scared and almost felt hopeless.

My father and my other sister were also worried but I didn’t really know what to do about it. My pediatrician recommended counseling and gave us a list of counselors. I was feeling overwhelmed so my husband made the initial call to Amy and she said that she had experience in dealing with grief and children. That’s great but could Emma’s behavior be from grief or are we destined to go down the same road my family went down when I was a child?

I will never forget the first meeting with Amy. I feel like I could cry just writing this now. She has the most calming, non-threatening, warm presence and I immediately wanted to talk to her for hours. I knew that Emma would feel very safe with her. After that first meeting with Amy we felt a sense of relief but also knew we had a lot of work ahead of us. It was a little overwhelming because I knew I would have to really examine myself and my parenting, but I knew we were at least headed in the right direction. Emma met with Amy once a week for about 6 months. It was a rocky six months in our house to say the least. As time went on though we learned so much about Emma, ourselves, our own childhood, and our style of parenting. Talking with Amy I felt inspired to become a better parent.

Despite my fear of ruining my daughter, she helped me to believe in myself as a mother. My parenting style I wouldn’t say completely changed but rather grew and still continues to grow. I honestly don’t know where my family would be today without Amy’s guidance. After a period of time, Emma’s wounds healed and mine did too. We still have to work on our relationship together but it doesn’t feel like we are just spinning our wheels. We can actually see the positive results of our parenting.

This year, about two years after our difficult time with Emma, our youngest daughter, Elizabeth began going through a really awful time. We had an idea of what was going on but because she wasn’t able to verbalize her feelings, just like Emma, we didn’t know for sure. She was seven and was incredibly defiant and super, strong willed. I didn’t know what to do with her and I was sure that what I was doing was only making things worse. This time though I felt such comfort knowing exactly where to turn. Unlike with Emma, I didn’t doubt that things would ever get better. This time I knew with work and time things would be ok. Actually, I knew things would be better than ok. Instead of feeling like a failure as a mother, I actually looked forward to Amy’s help. Every child is different and I needed help parenting my strong willed baby. Elizabeth also needed help in trusting herself and other people. This experience with Amy and Elizabeth has been very different than with Emma. Talking with Amy inspires me to examine the way I parent Elizabeth and my other children. We are still In the process of learning what works for her and what doesn’t but I know that we will be ok, not only ok but a much better family than before we sought Amy’s help.

Parenting Packages Now Available - Schedule Your Time With Amy!

Amy now offers her Equip, Empower and Engage parenting series. Click a button below to learn more.
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Entitled or Responsible: How to Raise a Self-Sufficient Child

At the end of the day, most parents I know want to be able to say that they are the proud parents of a responsible, confident and independent adult. If that’s true for you, then the goal is to raise a child who wants to do the right thing, can think for himself and is ready to leave home at 18 years old equipped for the real world.

Let’s be more specific and consider a few different kinds of responsibility.pwa_feature_responsibility

Personal responsibility – taking care of yourself and becoming the best person you can be.

Moral responsibility – doing what is right by friends, family and others.

Community responsibility – volunteering, serving and contributing.

Legal responsibility – following family rules, school rules and becoming law-abiding citizens.

Financial responsibility – starting early with allowances to teach them about money management.

Exactly what does it mean to hold your child accountable? It means that you expect and require them to do what they are supposed to do at all times. Responsibility is at the foundation of lifelong success and a necessary component for being able to navigate and function in this convoluted world. To teach our kids about accountability is ongoing and doesn’t happen overnight.

Be warned, though. The exact opposite of this is raising an entitled child. It means doing things for them, allowing them to get by with wrong-doing, not requiring them to contribute to the family, managing their life for them and the list goes on…

What are some ways you can guide them down this road of responsibility?

Give them choices. How are they going to practice being responsible if we don’t give them opportunities? Start early offering choices. Little kids get little choices, “do you want milk or juice” and big kids get big choices, “do you want to start your homework before or after you return from gymnastics”?

Let them fail. The biggest mistake parents are making these days is not allowing their kids to experience adversity. So many parents tell me: “it just kills me to see them struggle” “but she’ll be upset” or “I just can’t stand it when she loses.” Fixing things for our children is innate within most parents, but it robs them of the opportunity to learn about responsibility and independence.

Give them chores. Without a doubt, one of the best ways to begin the process of instilling responsibility is with chores. Children experience what it’s like to contribute to the greater good of the family. Doing chores with a parent builds a sense of pride. Let them be involved in the process of deciding which chores they would like to do. When they get to decide, they have ownership and the chances of compliance will be greater. This is opposed to us dictating that they clean their bathroom, wash their clothes and unload the dishwasher.

Say it once, just once. I’ll bet I talk to at least one parent daily who says to me “I have to tell him over and over to go do what I asked. He just won’t listen.” My response is the very same each time. He knows he doesn’t have to. You see, his mother has a history of not holding him accountable when she asks the first time. Nothing good ever comes out of this scenario. With each request, mother gets more irritated and loud; the child gets frustrated that his mother is nagging. Most importantly, mother is not holding him accountable.

Set a good example. Are you a blamer? Do you condemn your son’s baseball coach for what was your child’s error or do you criticize your daughter’s teacher for requiring that she redo her paper? Do you own your mistakes and correct them? Your attitude and behavior will be what influences your child.

So, there you have it—some ideas about how to stretch and grow your children as you guide them into adulthood. You will be equipping them with one of the attributes it takes to make it in this great big world: responsibility.

There’s Always Hope,

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Need more help?  Parents often jokingly ask Amy, “Will you go home with me?”  While she can’t do that, Amy is available to consult with parents through her consultation services.  Click Here to learn more.

 

 

Ask Amy: “How Do I Talk To My Child About Suicide?”

Reader: “How Do I Talk To My Child About Suicide?”

Amy: Watch this great clip from Amy as she addresses how, when, where and what to say to our kids when it comes to suicide.

 

There’s Always Hope,

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..

 

 

Need more help?  Parents often jokingly ask Amy, “Will you go home with me?”  While she can’t do that, Amy is available to consult with parents through her consultation services.  Click Here to learn more!

Family Spotlight: Shannon Harris

I don’t know what I don’t know. I keep learning this lesson over and over.

I love being a mom. However, it often feels like we are walking a tightrope between teaching grace and yet providing discipline, having a sense of humor and teaching respect, deciding when the small ‘stuff’ I actually ‘big’ stuff, and vice versa.Parenting with Amy

Two years ago we attended a parenting group with Amy. These few things have made a big impact for the way we parent:

As a working mom, ‘mom guilt’ can occur daily. Amy taught us to give our kids at least 15 minutes of quality time per day. While this seems like a small amount of time, it gets all to easy to be ‘busy’ and miss this opportunity. So, whether I am coloring with the kids, having them help me make dinner, throwing a football with my son or reading books together…. I know it is critical to make the time.

It is innate to ‘fix’ our babies. If they fall and skin their knee, get a bandaid. If they are hungry, feed them. If they are sad, cheer them up. While I still need to tend to their physical needs, Amy taught me that I don’t need to ‘fix’ their feelings. I need to teach them that I am ok when they are sad, or mad, or hurt. I need to validate what they are feeling. Let them sit in their feelings. I can say “I know you are mad at me because you didn’t get….” And just let them be mad until they want to work it through. I have started to see the fruit of this process now with my 7 year old. Recently, when he has been disrespectful to me, I have shared with him from my perspective, “I don’t like the way you spoke to me. It makes me sad when you talk to in that manner.” And then I am quiet. On his own, he has now gone off, only to come back 30 minutes later and apologize to me. This shows me he is taking time to process how I am feeling. Which means he is taking time to process his feelings.

In our house, we have a saying “When you mess up, you fess up.” Often as the parent, your instinct is to not show weakness with your kids. But, Amy gave me permission to tell my kids that I am sorry. Or come back to them and explain ‘I didn’t like the way I handled the situation’ today, or ‘I have thought about what I said and I have changed my mind.’ A lot of times we excuse our behavior as parents with the rationale that ‘kids are resilient., or unaffected, or won’t remember.’ As resilient and forgiving as they are, they do remember. I love that we have BOTH Authority in our home AND show humility with our children. My kids are learning that the expectation is not to be perfect, the expectation is to OWN their choices and the consequences. This has to be taught by example.

When we were on a family vacation, my daughter was coming down an elevator with my sister. The doors shut before my daughter got out. For 45 terrifying seconds, she was hysterical in the elevator alone. She seemed to be ok…just frightened…until about one month later when she wouldn’t let me out of her sight. Cried when I left her at school. Didn’t want to her dance recital or school concert. My natural inclination was to push her through so she (or I) wouldn’t miss out. I was coached to ‘let her heal.’ I needed to build her confidence and trust. Not put her in situations that caused anxiety. Pull back and meet her where she was at. And so we did. I had to keep the normal school and church routines, but soccer, playdates, dance, performances…I had to let them go. It took almost a year for her to fully regain her confidence and not have a ‘spirit of fear.’ But, now she is thriving: dance, playdates, rides the bus to school, skiing. I was so thankful to get guidance during this period, and have a plan to deal with her anxiety.

Lastly, in working with Amy, you learn you have to stop comparing your parenting to other parents. You as a parent have to discern what is best for your kids. And it is valuable to have someone objective, who can know your parenting style and your issues, and give you the ‘words’ to say to your children. I feel empowered when a challenge comes up, but I have a plan on how to handle it. For example, when my kids: roll their eyes, use inappropriate language, have a disrespectful tone, have power struggles with friends, feel inferior in sports or academics, etc. I am equipped with ‘words’ and actions to handle these things. I can validate their feelings, discern if I need to step in or hold back, and be available to talk through the next step or consequences.

Parenting Packages Now Available - Schedule Your Time With Amy!

Amy now offers her Equip, Empower and Engage parenting series. Click a button below to learn more.
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Help! How do I handle my moody child?

All feelings are permitted, actions are limited.
We must not deny a child’s perceptions.
Only after a child feels right, can he think right.
Only after a child feels right, can he do right.
Haim Ginott

If you’re like me, you might have grown up during the day when expressing your feelings just wasn’t acceptable. A common message heard years ago was “you shouldn’t feel that way.” I’m curious — what message do you remember hearing?

We all have feelings and naturally come into this world expressing them.

Teaching our children how to manage their feelings is one of the single most important skills we can equip them with, yet most often, the very one we miss. pwa_feature_feelings
When they have the ability and our permission to say, “I feel happy today” “I’m feeling frustrated” or “I’m so mad at you,” not only are they emotionally healthy but there is also an added bonus that most parents don’t realize. They have fewer behavioral issues when they know how to manage their emotions wisely.

The goal in teaching our kids this emotional intelligence is to help them recognize, name and express what they are feeling. How do I do that, you say? I’m so glad you asked because I absolutely love it when parents come back to me and say “this really works”!

Model emotional astuteness.

How do you express your emotions when you are mad? Remember that kids learn so much from us by watching and listening to what we do and say. Are you able to say “I had a frustrating day today”?

Validate and acknowledge their emotions.

We have to be good listeners to do this and it’s never too early to start. Infants cry when it’s time to be fed. We want to validate that by saying “You’re mad because you are hungry.”

Daniel Siegel, M.D and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., in their book, The Whole-Brain Child, say it beautifully — “name it to tame it” — this is what helps our children make sense of what’s happening to them.

With the youngest kids, start with these four feelings: happy, sad, mad and scared. “Wow. I bet that dream did scare you” or “You look so happy today”!

For older kids, we can be more specific and use bigger words: disappointed, frustrated, annoyed and elated. “You were so annoyed you had to be home before your friends did.”

These responses convey to our kids that we understand and we accept their emotions. This is empathy. Don’t we usually feel better when someone gets us? When we validate our kids feelings, this is how they feel too. And when they feel good, they usually act good. Our acceptance also helps them understand and accept themselves. This makes it easier for them to resolve their feelings and move on.

Allow your children to express all emotions.

Feelings can either be expressed or repressed. When repressed, they come out sideways and have the potential to cause many problems. When they have the words to express what they are feeling, they will have less need to act them out.

A physical release is necessary for some children. For younger kids, give them something they can get physical with after stating the limit. ”It’s ok that you’re mad at me, but I am not for hitting. Feel free to hit this pillow.” For intense older kiddos, a boxing bag in the garage is a good option.

One caveat — the key to successfully teaching our kids about emotions is dependent on the state of the parent-child relationship. Remember when there is a disconnect in this relationship, they are not going to be able to accept our attempts to help them with their emotions or be open to anything we are trying to teach them.

Emotions matter more than anything and we should take them very seriously. At the end of the day, we want our kids to be equipped with the skills necessary to be compassionate, whole and emotionally healthy adults.

There’s Always Hope,

PWA_sig_amy

Need more help?  Parents often jokingly ask Amy, “Will you go home with me?”  While she can’t do that, Amy is available to consult with parents through her consultation services.  Click Here to learn more!

Parenting Packages Are Coming!

Over the last year, Amy has developed custom packages that walk you through the most critical issues parents deal with today.  Grouping them into 4 stages has now made Amy’s one-on-one consulting time even more affordable than before!

Starting February 1, Equip, Empower and Engage Parenting Series will be officially launched.  Amy has designed a 4-step process that guides you through your parenting journey beginning with Step 1: Initial Consultation.

Book your first session before 2/1/15 and receive 1 session of Amy 911 FREE!!

  1. Initial Consultation (one-time session)
    Amy offers an Initial Consultation session to get started. This time together will be spent for her to learn about your family and hear your concerns. Amy will give her feedback and let you know what you can expect from consulting with her. Learn More
  2. Equip Package (weekly)
    This is Amy’s essential parenting offering. She found that 5 sessions are necessary for a successful beginning experience together. This gives her the opportunity to:
    •  know your family,
    •  identify key concerns
    •  delve into the fundamentals of parenting with you and
    •  focus on your personalized roadmap
    During these sessions, Amy provides advice, tips, tools and solutions.  Learn More
  3. Empower Package (bi-monthly)
    Parenting With Amy’sSM next offering is the Empower Package. You will build on the fundamentals of parenting and find new ways of responding to the specific challenges you face. Although the new skills are easy to learn, they take practice to implement consistently so Amy will support you as you continue to integrate them. Learn More
  4. Engage Package (monthly)
    The Engage Package allows your continued connection with Amy. She knows that as you continue to make changes, new questions and concerns will arise. She is there to continue to offer suggestions and encourage you along the journey. Having this plan in place ensures that you have the support and accountability you need to be successful.  Learn More

BONUS: Amy 911 (as needed sessions)

Amy 911 is designed to have her on call after you’ve done the hard work. Individual sessions are available if you have completed Parenting With Amy’sSM Equip, Empower or Engage Packages. Sometimes parents forget what to do or revert to their old ways. Amy believes this kind of continued support is what leads to long lasting change.

Special Note from Amy:

With hours of study and research completed for these 4 packages, my desire to see every parent equipped, empowered and engaged.  I want your job to be as easy and pleasurable as possible!

There’s Always Hope,

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Is Character Lost? How to Get it Back!

You have the chance of a lifetime … the privilege to shape and mold your child’s character! You don’t have many years to do it either. Developing character is an ongoing endeavor and not something you can teach them about once. We have to be intentional in times like these, because our society makes it more and more difficult to instill these important qualities in our kids. With the internet, television and social media spewing all manner of inappropriateness, we are working against the societal grain.

We live in exciting times that point us to emerging research that confirms what I’ve always believed. When it comes to predicting our kids’ success in life, more important than intelligence is their character.Character_Pic

  • Can they self-regulate, handle disappointment and persevere?
  • Do they tend to have a more positive outlook on life, are they kind, caring, respectful and so on?

I happen to think that many parents today are way too focused on grades, performance, competition and scholarship possibilities more than they are in helping their kids become good humans with a strong moral compass. By the way, the spin-off of all that pressure is causing unnecessary anxiety in our children.

The optimal time to help our kids and teach them these all-important skills is during their preschool years, so start early. And, get this, during those early years it’s through play that they learn the best!

Having said that, let’s talk about what we can do to help them.

  1. The first place to look is us. Are we modeling and living out fairness, compassion, respectfulness, honesty, love and patience or any other character quality that is important to you. Children first begin to learn about virtues from us, so we determine which traits our kids will see modeled.
  2. It’s not enough for them to just see us live out the virtues we want them to espouse. We need to be positive and encouraging when we catch them exhibiting moral behavior. Bring it to their attention. Tell them you noticed how fair they played that board game. As we know, if we want repeat behavior, we give them the positive attention it deserves.
  3. Teach them to serve others. Involve your family in community service activities. Churches offer many opportunities to serve and you could also show them what it’s like to be available for family and friends when they need a little help.
  4. It’s advisable to let your sweet things struggle and even fail at times. Just think, they will get opportunities to practice managing frustrations and failures because we know that life is full of disappointments. This is one of the ways they become strong and resilient. Sell them on the idea that with effort they can improve. When they are struggling with grasping a new concept, say multiplication, encourage them as they practice until the light bulb comes on. Self-esteem and confidence is the result.
  5. Identify their strengths and bring them to their attention. Let her know you noticed she extended forgiveness to someone that was really mean to her or that he was so patient with his annoying younger brother as he was learning a new game.

A thought to hold on to and be hopeful about … the fruits of your labor and diligence in modeling and teaching these skills will probably not be evidenced right away. You will likely see this much later and it might not be until your child is in adulthood. But don’t give up. Have faith that many kids eventually espouse the virtues your family values.

Wherever you are in the world, I’m just a phone call away!  Over the last year, I have developed custom packages that walk you through the most critical issues parents deal with today.  Grouping them into 4 stages has now made my one-on-one consulting time even more affordable than before!  Click Here to read more about my Parenting Packages.

There’s Always Hope,

PWA_sig_amy