home

How parents’ active listening changes kids’ behavior

Sad Mom: not heard…on Mother’s Day 🙁

Yesterday was Mother’s Day in France.  A friend (a mom of teens) shared about her reunion with her parents. “I left utterly discouraged.”  What happened?!

They enjoyed a day full of fun outings:  restaurants, shopping, and culture.  What was discouraging about that?!

Then she spoke her heart. “I shared a video of my work with my dad.  Not even 10 seconds into the video my father began telling me what I did wrong.  Hey, I know the video was not perfect, but critique before listening is not the feedback I need.  I just won’t talk to him about work anymore.”  She’s an entrepreneur; work is her passion.

I doubt this father’s goal was to alienate his daughter…and yet he did.

[bctt tweet=”I doubt this father’s goal was to alienate his daughter…and yet he did.”]

Could you and I do that with our children too?  You bet.

(In)Active listening impacts behavior

And when the children act out of discouragement, we think their behavior is their problem.

  • They are too blasé. “Whatever.”
  • They don’t listen to us
  • They criticize their brother or sister
  • Why can’t they just be motivated?!

Irony.

[bctt tweet=”Children misbehave out of discouragement…and parents get more annoyed at the kids!”

Parent listening styles
“Honey. maybe I should shrink ME!”

My friend is an adult.  “She should know better,” and in a responsible, loving gesture she should go to her father and share her feelings.  But, in her discouragement, she’s opting for “why bother?”

If adults (she’s MY friend.  So, if intelligent, dynamic, and caring adults 😊) decide against reconciliation, then what will our discouraged kids choose to do?

Yep.  Our children keep up with that annoying behavior!  And they seek counsel elsewhere.  Aagh!

What does active listening sound like?

I shared with my friend tips I learned from Positive Discipline about listening styles.

In our classes, we have an activity like the movie “Groundhog Day.”  We get to replay a scene, beginning again as if we were given a fresh start every time.  It’s a roleplay of a child (an adult playing the role of a child) who comes to tell Mom or Dad about his BFB (Best Friend Breakup).

  • Scene 1 – parent is on the phone, distracted
  • Scene 2 – parent criticizes
  • Scene 3 – parent tells child how he should act next time
  • Scene 4 – silence
  • Scene 5 – active listening. “What happened?  What had you hoped would happen?…”

We ask the person playing the role of the child how they feel, what they think, and what they decide to do after each of these scenes.

The first four scenarios generate disengagement in various degrees of intensity.   “I’ll go to my room…I just won’t tell them next time…I’m not good enough so why bother try.”

The Curiosity Questions*, however, built trust between parent and child, helped the kid discover his responsibility in the friendship dilemma, and inspired the child to handle the relationship differently.

(*Curiosity Questions are a tool from Positive Discipline by Dr. Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott.)

SoSooper “Aha”:  when bloopers help parents become super

These role plays are an Aha! moment.  Oooops.  You mean my kids act the way they do in part because I (the parent) acts the way I do!

John Newton’s Third Law of Motion also applies to e-motions:  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

 

It’s stories like that of my friend that motivate me to keep on developing SoSooper, the mobile app that helps parents equip their children to thrive.

Guess how many tips you’ll find to reconnect with kids WHEN you feel like a recording machine because they’re not listening? 

Sign-up to get the app when it launches…and you’ll see for yourself 😊

[mailmunch-form id=”316729″]

 

 

SoSooper did super in Harvard Business School New Venture Competition

SoSooper was honored to be selected finalist in the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition for Europe & Israel.  

For this global entrepreneurial contest open to HBS alumni, our zone was the most competitive:  there were 26 contestants for 5 finalist spots to pitch to a jury and close to 100 investors.  I had almost not submitted our application because we are just launching our prototype and most companies would already be generating revenues.

SoSooper was invited among the pitchers!  

We had 8 minutes to share our story, our value, our success, and our dreams.  Followed by 6 minutes of questions from judges and the crowd…mostly grey-suited men sprinkled with a dozen women.  The ideal audience for a parenting app?!

HBS NVC Europe finals

What a THRILL to defend my passion and to present a business plan that benefits parents, parenting professionals, and investors.  

SoSooper came in 3rd place…quite awesome considering that we were the only company without a commercialized product and without revenues.  It means these seasoned business folk wish us

prosperity

courage

&

luck!

 

Click here to view the official report.

SoSooper is a finalist in Harvard Business School New Venture Competition for Europe

Sooper Exciting News

Our mobile app for parents has been selected as a finalist in the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition Europe!  There were 26 contestants for 5 places.  We made the cut!

We will be pitching to 100+ business folk about being the best parent we can be.

We are honored to be present, knowing that the discussion will cover both business issues (how will we generate income) as well a matters touching our ingrained beliefs:  

  • Are “good parents” born or can leadership in our homes be learned?
  • How to accompany parents AND allow freedom to create their own, unique family culture?

As my sister says, “Exciting, invigorating, intimidating, energizing, challenging, exhilarating.”

Many thanks to all who support me so well.

[mailmunch-form id=”316729″]

Harvard Business School 2017 New Venture Competition Finalists Europe
Harvard Business School 2017 New Venture Competition Finalists Europe

The Story behind SoSooper

A Mom in Need

As a young mom seeking help to manage four boys under seven years old I wondered:

“Folk can go to a bank or a financial counselor and expose very private information regarding money and request advice and this is conisdered intelligent.

Those same people seek advice regarding relationships…and they have a problem.

Humm. I hope someone will do something to remedy this discrepancy.”

And, today, maybe that someone is…me.

Insights from Cosmetics

When I worked in cosmetics, one brand introduced beauty advice on an iPad.  Customers appreciated the anonimity of these tools.  

They found it more pleasant to admit skin problems to a machine than to a  made-up beauty who agrees you have blackheads on your nose! 

Might the same be true with personal issues?

A New Child

SoSooper, my fifth child, is born. This mobile app helps parents navigate – positively and quickly – challenges with kids.

  • Provides parents with solutions for their Need. NOW.
  • Connects parents with parenting experts and other moms and dads like them
  • Is available on their phone.  Anytime & anywhere.

Read more.

Have great parenting tips?  Share them here.

Positive Discipline Interview on Frequence Protestante radio

What an honor to be invited for the one hour interview on Radio Fréquence Protestante.  The journalist, Anne-Marie Delaugère, attended one of our Positive Discipline Parent classes and spoke with some of the participants:

Ducem – a Turkish woman in an inter-cultural marriage and the mother of a 2 year old

Ester – a single mother of a 5 year old

Laura – a British mother of 3 children who discovered Positive Discipline through her children’s school. 

The interview explores 

  • Positive Discipline, a research-based parenting approach to building respectful and collaborative relationships, and
  • SoSooper, the mobile app which provides parenting tips for parents’ need now and connects parents with parenting coaches.  We are launching the prototype next month!

Listen to the interview (in French) here.

 

 

Our favorite activity about family for a SoSooper New Year!

The Family Feedback

One of our most precious family moments comes after Christmas.  That’s when we share what each person does well and how we can be even stronger as an individual and as a family.

We” means the kids start with the feedback and Mom & Dad L.I.S.T.E.N.

[bctt tweet=”The Family Feedback:  kids share and parents LISTEN.”]

The structured process keeps discussion positive.  Each child gets to share:
ONE THING that Mom or Dad do that they love (and want them to keep doing)
– ONE THING that would hugely improve family life for them.  Parents listen.  

You might be surprised by the suggestions!  It might be a no-brainer “YES.”  (My son asked, “No more lemon cake.”)  Other requests could merit deeper discussion.  (“More screen time.”  “No veggies.”)  Talk it over while everyone is calm and together. 

We tried The Family Feedback

[av_one_third first]

with teens

Boys grow up

Click here

[/av_one_third]

[av_one_third]

with kids

parents listening to child

Click here

[/av_one_third]

[av_one_third]

with tots

listen-mom-son

Click here

[/av_one_third]

 

Download Free Tools

SoSooper prepared some worksheets for you:

  • to prepare
  • to succeed
  • to remember

Click here to get your free downloads.

Ask questions & Tell us how it went

We’d love to hear from you.  Give us YOUR feedback too!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’YOUR Questions & Feedback’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

The Family Feedback with little children

How much can your young child tell you about YOUR job as a parent?

Quite a lot.

By listening you share encouraging words for your kids.

The Family Feedback with tots

The Family Feedback is ONE GREAT FAMILY TIME where kids give feedback to parents. They start with the good stuff 🙂 and move onto deeper discussion.  Read more here.

For very young kids, we stick to sharing family highlights.  

You want your kids to associate “family” with “fun”?  Then ask them to tell you about a fun time with Mom or Dad.  This strengthens the neural messaging in their brains so that they can more easily access memories of great times as a family.  

Our brain is amazing…and malleable.

Ask, “Tell me about a time you felt really happy with us.”

“When we played ball together.”

Help your child fully recall with the experience through specific and factual questions.

“What color was our ball?” “Was it before or after lunch?” “Who else was playing with us?”

Then gently probe for what generated the positive emotions.

“What was soooooo great?” “Which part made you feel the most special?”  “What did you do to show you were happy?”

Thank your child.  

“Your telling me when you were happy makes me very happy too.  Thanks, Darling.”

We tried it & loved it

Here’s what one mother shared after a SoSooper workshop where she and her three year old daughter enjoyed such a conversation:

“My daughter was probably a little bit young (only 3) and I think was struggling to really engage with the activities. However, even though she dealt with it on her level, I think she still got a lot out of the experience – and found it nice that it was a time where mummy was ready to listen to her and find out what she found fun and loving about being in our family.

This workshop reminded me that we do all right as a family (eating together, playing together, respecting each other). As I’m sure you know only too well – it’s a tricky job, mummying, and can seem very unrewarding sometimes. If I were a business, (actually I’m a secondary school teacher) I wouldn’t put up with clients who were so demanding and so seemingly ungrateful for all my efforts. I think what you’re doing is so important – just like in any job, you have training for that ‘shot in the arm’ of enthusiasm and clarity to do your job better every day. Parents need that more than anyone!”

Download Free Tools

SoSooper prepared some worksheets for you:

  • to prepare
  • to succeed
  • to remember

Click here to get your free downloads.

12 + 1 Gifts to build respect and collaboration at home

‘Tis the season to be jolly.  Home sure is more fun when kids (of all ages) act their best.   

Speaking respectfully.

Seeking solutions (vs. blame).

Giving a helping hand… Continue reading “12 + 1 Gifts to build respect and collaboration at home”

Build a Thriving Family Culture

Games are fun.  AND they have a purpose & rules.

What if life–and the culture of our families–were like a game:  

  • fun
  • with a purpose
  • with clear guidelines to know how to excel, to be one’s best together 🙂

Life’s BIG rules are called values.  These foundational principles express an understanding of right & wrong, of helpful vs. harmful.  Communities, like family, thrive with positive and common values.

Families enjoy a culture where everyone thrives when “the way WE do things” is clear, helpful, and practiced by all.

The BUILD A THRIVING FAMILY CULTURE web-workshop enables parents & children, together, BOTH to identify the essential guiding principles for their home AND to put them into action.

What You Gain

Join us as we guide parents & kids in making family life fun, purpose-filled, and a means for all to thrive.  We’ll help you

  • Identify your top KEY VALUES
  • Explore how these principles translate into action
  • Create a personalized and visual reminder to keep practicing those values at home.

 

[av_one_half first]

Family culture value of hospitality
In our home “Hospitality” is important, </br>and it looks, tastes, and feels like this…

[/av_one_half][av_one_half]

My_Hospitality_Tree
Family culture is alive, growing, and fruitful…like trees. This hospitality tree branches out: parents are hospitable towards kids when…being hospitable means we keep the home looking…

[/av_one_half]

What is it?

It’s ½ hour of time well spent in rich parent-child discussion.   This is an online event for parents with their children. You connect through the Internet from the comfort of your couch and cuddle up with your kids.  We guide you in a family discussion and a simple craft.

With SOSOOPER Web-Workshops

– Moms and dads establish a framework .
– Kids get heard.
– Everyone wins.

[av_one_half first]

With whom? How?  When? How much?

Our online seminars are for parents AND their children.  These facilitated family discussions are led by Denise Dampierre, founder and CEO of SoSooper where we re-open dialogue between parents & kids.

  • Schedule an online seminar just for your family. Send your request and date preferences.  We’ll work it out.  Personalized seminars run $40 per ½ hour.
  • Contact us to ask about group online seminar.  See our Calendar for upcoming dates.  Participation to be discussed.

Sign up for our Build a Thriving Family Culture online seminar to create a family culture where everyone thrives.

[/av_one_half]

[av_one_half][av_contact email=’denise.dampierre@sosooper.com’ title=’I’m interested in a Web Workshop’ button=’Submit’ on_send=” sent=’Your message has been sent!’ link=’manually,http://’ subject=” autorespond=” captcha=” form_align=” color=”]
[av_contact_field label=’Name’ type=’text’ options=” multi_select=” check=’is_empty’ width=”][/av_contact_field]
[av_contact_field label=’E-Mail’ type=’text’ options=” multi_select=” check=’is_email’ width=”][/av_contact_field]
[av_contact_field label=’Subject’ type=’text’ options=’I’m interested in a Web Workshop’ check=’is_empty’ width=”][/av_contact_field]
[av_contact_field label=’Message’ type=’textarea’ options=” check=’is_empty’ width=”][/av_contact_field]
[/av_contact][/av_one_half]

What folks say:
‘Build a Thriving Family Culture’ is SOSOOPER!

[av_testimonials style=’grid’ columns=’1′ interval=’5′ font_color=” custom_title=” custom_content=”]
[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Sabrina’ subtitle=’New Thoughts’ link=’http://’ linktext=”]

This is Sabrina here!
I enjoyed the activities a lot!   Our family chose ‘Respect” as main value.   The workshop made me really think about how I should be respectful at different times of the day. I never really thought about the different ways thoroughly.
Thank you for that!

[/av_testimonial_single]
[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Naomi’ subtitle=’You mean values lead to actions!!!’ link=” linktext=”]

Thank you so much for organizing the activities for us! I found that they really made me think about family values and how i can put them into action. I also found it interesting to hear what my mother, little sister and I thought about the different ways we could be respectful and at different times. The activities made me think about values and respect from a different and deeper perspective!
Thanks.

[/av_testimonial_single]
[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Mom’ subtitle=’Such positive mother-daughter talk :)’ link=” linktext=”]
Dear Denise,

A gigantic and heartfelt thank-you for last evening’s web workshop! As you must have read between the lines in their respective emails, Naomi and Sabrina were completely and pleasantly surprised as they had barely any clue of what to expect although we had printed out the worksheets together.

What was amazing was how all three of us focused on respect amongst all the values – maybe it was the fact that we keep stressing on the need for this or the fact that we often tend to lose track of it amidst our daily stresses and hectic routines. It was instant agreement on the prized value.

The girls are both committed participants now and you must have received their feedback forms already! Thank you so much for also replying to them instantly and giving them so much encouragement. You are absolutely right in advising us to keep trying even if we stumble and rise again.

I think the big change is that we are learning to remove ourselves from the situation and are learning to view it objectively from various angles. Taking a cue from you, we have also been trying to role play to learn more about our feelings, thoughts and actions!

Thank you again, Denise, for becoming a part of our family life on a day-to-day basis!
[/av_testimonial_single]
[/av_testimonials]

Family Harmony – oh-so-doable with Purpose, Time, & Teachability

Sneak peek into this post:

  • Insights from 25 years of marriage
  • Our “perfect” anniversary day: basking in family harmony
  • Our ongoing road to family harmony

Continue reading “Family Harmony – oh-so-doable with Purpose, Time, & Teachability”