Changing Gears

I always emphasize in these blogs that we should reward good behaviors (i.e. not ignoring your child when they behave well) while not rewarding problematic ones. For example, your child throws a tantrum when you tell her to clean her room and as result, you discontinue the request. Or you give your child that ice-cream […]

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Managing Behaviors and Feeling Good About It

If you find yourself raising your voice, repeating the directions endlessly, threatening to take away privileges, constantly arguing, or “policing” in any other way, something is wrong. If you feel frustrated even when you were able to control challenging behaviors, something is wrong. The goal is to manage behaviors and feel good about it. Parenting […]

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The Flame and the Cake

Parenting is the most important job on earth. And probably the most difficult. I don’t know the sacrifices you make day in and day out. I don’t know your moments of joy or your moments of sorrow and pain. I just have some ideas about parenting that I learnt through formal education and experience. These […]

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Transitions

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Transitions between activities and from preferred to non-preferred activities can be highly stressful for kids, creating anxiety and leading to challenging behaviors. This is particularly true when the transitions are unexpected. Taking into consideration that there are situations you can’t prevent, I want to present some strategies that will help considerably. Priming: Children need priming. […]

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Preventing Challenging Behaviors

Prevention goes beyond saying “no” or “stop.” Identifying possible problems before they arise and knowing how to manage those problems are two crucial skills in the prevention process. In order to identify problems you need to be actively involved in your child’s life. Knowing how your child thinks and acts will help you to notice […]

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Parenting Can be Overwhelming

Being a parent is an overwhelming responsibility. I hear you. You not only have to take care of your children, but also you need to fulfill many other roles. And this can be stressful indeed. If not recognized and dealt with, stress can affect your physical, emotional and mental health. As a result, your family […]

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When a Child Bites

In these blogs I usually discuss general behavior management principles, such as reinforcement, prevention, teaching functional skills, etc. Today I would like to tackle a very specific and “real” problem: Your child bites! When a child bites, strong emotional responses follow. Children and adults experience feelings of fear, anger, frustration and guilt. Biting cannot be […]

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It’s not Daycare

As we always say, parenting is one of the most difficult jobs on earth. One of the reasons is because nobody teaches us how to be good parents. Navigating the health care and the school systems are enormous tasks that demand knowledge, time patience and energy. Behavior management is another big area. Again, knowledge, time […]

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Why do children do what they do?

Behaviors are learned. They are the result of what has been learned in the past. With reinforcement they become a habit. Learned behaviors are ongoing. They keep happening because they work in order to meet a child’s needs, and because of the way parents and children interact with each other. For example, from the time […]

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Teaching Your Child Important Life Skills

One often overlooked cause of children’s misbehaviors is their lack of functional skills. Today we are going to discuss teaching communication and social skills. Many of the recommendations applied to teaching other necessary skills. Communication Skills: Communication is paramount. Lack or deficits in communication lead to unhealthy relationships and problematic behaviors. The “pressure” has to […]

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