Woman gently holding vulnerable child

Give a Gentle Answer

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

Family Tickets to the “Calm Anger” Parent + Child Workshop
from SoSooper 

How to receive this gift?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

Today’s gift invites BOTH disagreeing parties to join in fun activities and guided discussions to

  • Clarify the issue of dispute
  • Identify triggers to outbursts
  • TOGETHER find solutions to gain agreement
  • Make a routine chart to stay on track

Parents and children leave with a practical action plan to BOTH avoid outbursts AND resolve them quickly when they happen.

And it’s fun!

  

WHO is the REAL opponent?

The parent, the spouse, the child, or the issue?

Isn’t is amazing how a simple issue can suddenly escalate into a battle between parent and kid?  In our coaching we hear worried parents ask, “What is wrong with my child?… What is wrong with ME?!”

Take heart.

“Children who argue have good character qualities like persistence, perseverance, determination, creativity, and an ability to communicate ideas. The problem with arguing is that your child views you as an obstacle.”

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, in Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids!

How to get out of arguing with children?

 

Boxing girl by Frank deKleine

MAKE THE ISSUE THE OPPONENT.

Let parent and child partner together in finding a solution.

It takes two people to have an argument.

And BOTH arguers contribute to the disagreement and BOTH can orient the exchange towards peace.

Miller and Turansky remind us that the subjects we argue about are often not THAT important.

IT IS THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT MATTER.

Images by Madi Robson from Unsplash, SoSoooper, and LetMeColor.com

Woman gently holding vulnerable child

Répondez avec Douceur

Le Cadeau du Jour sur le calendrier de l’avent Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home

Billets Gratuits pour l’atelier “Calmer les colères” pour parents + enfants ensemble.
de SoSooper

Comment recevoir ce cadeau ? Faites le quizz amusant du Calendrier de l’Avent pour Parents aujourd’hui, et vous avez l’opportunité de gagner le cadeau grâce à notre tirage au sort. N’hésitez plus, la chance est avec vous !

Voici un aperçu de l’atelier. A travers des jeux et des activités en famille, vous aborderez des discussions enrichissantes :

  • Clarifier les differends
  • Identifier les déclencheurs de crises
  • ENSEMBLE trouver des solutions pour obtenir un commun accord
  • Faire un tableau de routine pour rester sur la bonne voie

Les parents et les enfants repartiront avec un plan d’action pratique pour éviter les crises à la maison ET les résoudre rapidement quand cela se produit.

Et c’est amusant !

  

QUI est le RÉEL adversaire?

Le parent, le conjoint, l’enfant ou le problème?

N’est ce pas incroyable de voir comment un problème simple peut soudainement dégénérer en une véritable bataille entre parent et enfant ? Dans notre coaching, nous entendons des parents inquiets demander : “Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas avec mon enfant? … Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas chez moi” ?!

Gardez l’espoir !

“Les enfants qui se disputent ont certaines qualités de caractère comme la persévérance, la détermination, la créativité et la capacité de communiquer leurs idées. Le problème de la dispute avec votre enfant, c’est qu’il vous voit comme un obstacle.”

Dr. Scott Turansky et Joanne Miller, dans Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids!

Comment sortir des disputes avec vos enfants?

Boxing girl by Frank deKleine

FAIRE DU PROBLEME L’ENNEMI NUMÉRO 1

Laisser le parent et l’enfant s’entraider pour trouver une solution.

Il faut deux personnes pour avoir un argument.

Et les deux arguments contribuent au désaccord. Néanmoins les deux peuvent orienter l’échange vers la paix.

Miller et Turansky nous rappellent que les sujets sur lesquels nous nous disputons ne sont souvent pas si importants.

CE SONT LES RELATIONS QUI COMPTENT.

Images de Madi Robson sur Unsplash, SoSoooper, et LetMeColor.com

Mary at Villa Manon

Exercise Together

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

1 hour Private Yoga Class for the Entire Family
by Mary Holmes Smith of the Villa Manon studio 

How to receive this gift?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

6 Reasons to Love Mary’s Family Yoga Class

1. Family Exercise makes great memories

Family sport takes us out of our normal interaction (which can often be individually focused) and puts us in a team environment.

Instead of having Daughter playing in her room, Son hiding his head in earphones, and Mom & Dad catching up on social media, EVERYONE is focused on the SAME activity.

And that creates shared memories.

As each family member grows, they also gain in independence.  Family fun can possibly “just happens”;  more often there is some intentional planning behind the scenes.  Like scheduling a workout for the entire family!

Mary at Villa Manon
Mary Holmes Smith (left) with her contagious joy

2. Parents get a break

Parents get to follow while Mary leads the group with charm and proficiency

I asked a professional skier how he got his children engaged in the sport: “I had someone else teach them.”

When someone else leads, parents enjoy co-participation.  Bye-bye power struggles, harsh words, or whatever’s of family life are irrelevant at Villa Manon, Mary’s peace-filled and cozy studio.  It’s a fresh start for all.

In the years when our 4 boys born within 7 years were little, I cherished moments when we could be together under someone else’s care.  It made it easier to enjoy the kids…instead of trying to control them ☹!

Allow yourself to be led.  Allow Mary to lead the children her way.  After all, she’s offereing a stretching exercise!

3. Children (of all ages) calm their emotions through physical exercise.

In their book, The Whole -Brain Child, neurologists Daniel Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD. remind us that bodily movement directly affects brain chemistry.

Exercise enables the “downstairs brain” (responsible for our emotional reactions) to reconnect with our “upstairs brain” (the thinking part of the brain).  In other words, movement helps us calm down and think more clearly.

(For more about the brain, see this child-friendly video).

With Mary, you and the children will learn and practice simple techniques to oxegenate the body, nourish those cells with water and air, and stretch tense muscles.

Simply put, you will feel better…and you will discover muscles you did not know you had!

4. Children love it

In my Parent + Child workshops, I begin each session with a short movement exercise.  (Mary has often provided wise counsel for the right activity for various ages.)

During one class we began with stretching.  Everyone reached up high standing on their toes.  When I proceeded with, “Bend down and touch the floor,” several three year old’s got down on their knees and dropped their bodies and hands on the floor.  Sprawl. (We adults merely bent at the waist.) Up they stretched again.  Sprawl back down.  I tried not to smile tooooo hard as these tots valiantly stretched with concentrated effort.  Precious.

For our “Stop Repeating Yourself” workshop, I embarked with a very repetitive, repetitive, repetitive exercise.  The second time, most parents caught on.  By the third time, they were rolling their eyes.  The children, on the other hand, were having a blast!  They wanted more and more and more!

5. Get Yoga and More

Mary is also a certified Pilates instructor and an experienced in Fit-box and Powerstrike.  This sport consists of performing boxing movements individually and set to music.  Check her out on this video.

If your family tends to the dynamic, bouncy side, you might try yoga to learn about focus…and in the middle switch to some Kick-boxing moves to expend that overflowing energy.

Villa Manon6. Enjoy the haven of Villa Manon

Villa Manon, Mary’s studio, looks out onto a verdant garden. Going there is like stepping off the fast track of life into a harmonious haven.  It is located at 3 Parc de Jardies in Sèvres, just 3 minutes by foot from the railway station direct to St. Lazare.  You can also contact her for a private class “chez vous.”

 

Follow Mary & Villa Manon

Villa Manon
3 Parce des Jardies
92310 Sèvres
(by Sèvres-Ville d’Avray train station)
email Mary Holmes Smith

    

Go on an Adventure Together

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

One Free Poke Bowl with one purchased
from Poke Bar Hawaii – Paris

What is a Poke Bowl?

Poke is a delicious, fresh, complete food!  It’s the traditional Hawaiian fishermen’s salad with a twist of modern French cuisine.

At Poke Bar you create your own poke bowl à la carte.  Salad or rice? Marinated fish or _____?  Veggies and / or fruit?  French dessert (!) or lighter fare?

It’s the fun of choosing the toppings on the pizza with the health benefits of the fresh outdoors.

Kids get to be in charge of their meal and to co-create their unique dish.  THAT’s a discovery!

Hawaiian Sun Warming Parisian Winters

Who said there were only 50 shades of grey?

In the wintertime, Paris unsparkles with 100 000 nuances between black-like and white-ish.  Grey skies. Grey sidewalks. Grey buildings. Grey fashion….

That’s why a pause at Poke Bar boosts both body and spirit during this winter season.  The bright wallpaper transports you and the children to Hawaii.  Elodie and Isabelle’s sunny welcome shines bright. Mosey on over to their cozy hotspot.

How does a Poke help build
Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home?

Discovery changes dynamics.

Did you notice how your child’s comfort zone differs from yours?  Discovery brings those zones together.

Parent & Child Comfort Zones

You like a living room with comfy sofas on which to sit and decorative throw pillows to add ambiance.

The kids prefer a living room build like a fort:  the sofa is pulled away from the wall, the throw pillows cover the floor for comfort, and the (wet) towels were dragged through the apartment to create the fort roof.

Comfy for mom & dad ≠ comfy for kids!

And oftentimes, the children must acquiesce to the parents’ definition of “acceptable.”  It sounds like, “Clean up!  N.O.W.”

The Gift of Discovery

Yet there is a time when parent and child find themselves on “neutral” territory.  When on a discovery, EVERYONE discovers new ground.  (For a moment) Mom and Dad put aside their role of “expert in charge” and put on a wide-eyed, expectation-filled mindset.  Kind of like a kid!

Find a Discovery Next Door!

In our busy lifestyles, we families often relegate new experiences to vacation time.

What city/country/continent should we visit?

What if discovery were right around the corner?  Or even in the fridge?!

We love food experiences because it makes discovery accessible, frequent, and fun.

Food Discovery…Fun?

Some parents cringe at the idea of getting kids to taste new foods.  We have each found ourselves playing a version of each of these roles…and it’s no fun.

The Reasoner: “You can’t eat noodles for the rest of your life.  Just try ONE bite.”

The Briber: “If you try just one bite, you can have your favorite desert.

The Police: “This food or nothing.

Why not try a different approach?

1. Start with your mindset

Decide to enjoy yourself for this discovery moment.  You cannot force anyone else to think or feel like you.  So be generous and give them the choice (and responsibility) for their thoughts and actions.
There will be other meals to insist on green peas or carrots or broccoli.  Make this experience special.

2. Be the example of “Food discovery = Fun”

Focus on YOUR learning.  What if you created a poem about the new foods?

“Cherry tomato. Pop. Squirt.
Fish & Hot Spice & Fruit.Who would have thought?  It works!! …”

Take full responsibility for YOUR attitude.  When your child grunts and glowers, you can choose to react to it or to ignore it for now.

3. Believe in your children and that they can manage the responsibility of their choices.

If your child does not want to eat, he might get hungry.  In our western culture, where many of us over-consume, is that the end of the world?  Might it generate thankfulness for what she has often taken for granted?
Reality is a powerful teacher.  (Usually way more impactful than a lecture by a frustrated parent!)

4. Provide the children with a place to disagree

Some cultures consider fish eye balls (raw) to be a delicacy.  You and I may disagree.Your child is allowed to not like bitterness of watercress soup, the chewiness of pulpa, or the crunch of carrots.Teach them how to express their reservations in a constructive manner.
For our next food discovery outing, could we just try desserts? ????

5. Prepare the children in advance – both for the outing and for your attitude

Let the kids know about your choice of attitude.
Expect them to test it!  Be ready to smile and count to 10 before answering them.

Thank You

Poke BarPoke Bar – Hawaii-Paris
24 rue du 4 Septembre, Paris 75002
Métro : Opéra ou 4 Septembre – 01 70 69 94 32

Follow them

   

What kids hear when parents repeat 1000 times

A favorite moment in our Parent + Child Workshop is when children and parents switch roles.*

Children dress up as parents (yes, we do costumes).

The tykes also get to speak like Mom and Dad.  (Yay…or Oh, oh?)

 

Parents take on the role of the child.  Discovery time…

 

When Learning is Fun

Do you know people succeed better when they feel better?

Children do better when they feel better. Click to Tweet

That’s why we make learning fun.

The youngsters playing Dad donned ties (vintage 1970’s, no less) and the top hats.  We accessorized actresses in the mother role and wrapped them in scarves.

To help children get into their roles, we stood them up on a ledge so that they would, physically, be looking down at their “kids.”

Positive energy and excitement flowed.  Parents (acting as kids) grinned at the fun.

 

Scene 1 – Surprise

In line with our theme of the day, Stop Repeating Yourself – Create a Culture of Listening, the children performed phrases they often hear from their parents.

Without prompting each young actor interpreted his phrase with an “appropriate” tone of voice. It went like this:

“Put your coat on.”

“Stop whiiiiiiiining.”

“BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!!!!”

 

Parents (acting as kids) now wore these expressions on their faces…

…and exclaimed:

“W.O.W.  What an ‘Aha! Moment!'”

“They are barking at me!”

“I don’t want to do any of those things.  It’s so demotivating.”

 

Scene 2 – Engagement

We went for another round of phrases from the moms and dads (played by the children).  This time they asked questions instead of giving instructions.

“What should you wear so you won’t be cold?”

“What words could you use so that I hear you?”

“How will you keep your teeth from hurting?”

 

As the parent actors spoke their lines, we heard other children spontaneously answer the questions. “Coat” “Please”  “Brush teeth”

 

Stepping Back to Move Forward

Debrief time.  So, folks, what happened?

“We talked nicer the second time,” piped up a girl swirling her beads.

“I knew the answers,” proudly announced a youngest sibling.

 

The group of parents (acting as children) recuperated their smiles.

“They were expecting a response from me,” shared an engaged parent.

“It made me think,” admitted a dad enjoying a weekend off of work.

“I want to speak this way in our home, but what questions should I ask?!!!!” exclaimed a mother stepping back into her parenting role.

 

What generated the transformation in responses?

We replaced distancing commands with engaging questions that still “get the job done.”

This type of questioning is a tool from Positive Discipline, a science-based approach to building collaborative relationships.  It enables parents to be BOTH Firm AND Kind SIMULTANEOUSLY.  The expected results are crystal clear AND the exchange emanates warmth and connection.

Stop repeating 1000X : replace commands with engaging questions. Click to Tweet

Chez Vous – In YOUR Home

What are the phrases you repeat, repeat, and REPEAT?

What questions that “get the job done” could you ask instead?

 

Want some help?  Jot us a note.  We answer with a smile.

 

*This role-play is inspired by a Positive Discipline activity developed by Dr. Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott.

From “Brush your teeth” to “I love you”

This post is for moms and dads who feel like they repeat themselves 1000x/day.

How can we get children to listen IN OUR HOME?

Effective parenting tools are great…but help me apply them!

That’s why we developed SoSooper Parent + Child workshops like the one we held on Saturday: Stop Repeating Yourself – Listen with Curiosity Questions.

Sign up for this workshop.  We’re doing it again in central Paris on October 7.

Parents Want Tools & Kids Want Play

The parents’ objective centered on getting the kids to listen.
They wondered how it could be possible.  Of course some folk (even within the same couple) were more dubious than others.

The children wanted to have fun, go on an outing, and be with mom and dad.

We aim to please both.  The smiling faces tell us we did.

We’re doing So Sooper!

Surprise-filled Activities

Parents & Children switch roles

“Kids, would you like to play Mom & Dad for a while?”  Children’s eyes popped excitedly…and off we went to try on costumes.

Scene 1:

The parents’ eyes and ears grew wide as they heard their children give them instructions.  In a commanding voice, 6-year-old told his dad to “Put his coat on” and to “Stop playing on the computer.”

Father responded with “No, no, no” until he exclaimed, “Woah! Son.  You’re bossing me around!”

Hummm.

Scene 2:

The children (acting as parents) then replaced the instructions with questions. Here was a fun exchange:

Parent (played by a child): “What is our agreement on Computer Time?”

Child (played by a parent speaking defiantly): “I can play when I want!”

Parent (played by a child): “What is OUR AGREEMENT on Computer Time?”

Child (played by a parent):  Silence. “OK.  10 minutes.”

Everyone agreed that it felt better to be saying and hearing the questions.

But, parents enquired, how can we come up with the right questions when we need them?

Digging for Questions

For our next activity, parents and children gathered together in their own family units and explored for questions.

The kids knew by heart (!) the instructions repeated 1000 times.  They rarely really understood why.

Precious Sharing

Here is a precious exchange between a father and child:

Child: “I know, I know.  You always repeat that I need to brush my teeth.  Why is it important to brush my teeth?

Father: “So that you don’t have cavities.”

Child: What is important about a vacaty?”

Father: “A cavity is when your tooth gets sick and it hurts a lot.”

Child: Why is it important that my teeth don’t hurt?”

Father: “Because I love you.  I don’t want you to hurt.”

Child: Smile. “Because you love me.” Grin.

Finding Solutions

Together they came up with a question that Dad could ask at teeth brushing time,
“What do you need to do so that your teeth won’t hurt?”

 

This is what SoSooper is about.  Turning a challenging situation into a moment of connection between parent and child.

SoSooper helps parents turn a challenge into solutions while staying connecting with their… Click to Tweet

Join us next week.  We’re doing this same workshop in the center of Paris.  Click here to sign up.

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Calm Kids’ Anger – Create Positive Routines TOGETHER

How perplexing for a parent when his child bursts out in anger!

Where did THAT come from?

How to calm the fury?

How to avoid the anger?

Do you know?

Kids get frustrated (then annoyed, then angry) when they do not know what to expect.
That’s why finding a solution TOGETHER is so powerful.

Join our Parent + Child Workshop

  • When:    Saturday, Sept 23 from 3:30 – 5:00 pm
  • Where:     American Church in Paris, 65 quai d’Orsay, 75007, Room G7
  • How much:    20€ per family
  • With:    Denise Dampierre (me) – Positive Discipline trainer,
    Mom of 4 boys, Harvard MBA

    
 parent child workshop for anger management

Here’s what we’ll do TOGETHER

1. Hunt down “the Issue”

EVERY family has an issue.  For you it might be getting out the door on time, for another it could be interrupting, and for a yet another it might be about TV time.

No family is perfect…which is what makes life so interesting and gives us hope for growth.

Through fun activities, we’ll help you put a name to that moment that makes one of you fly off the handle.  You’ll see that you are in great company…and maybe you’ll even smile (a tiny bit) about it :).

2. Remember the LOVE

The reason you all get worked up is because you care.

We’ll lead you in an activity for family loving.  Not corny.  Totally funny.

3. Make a Wish List

There is an issue, so TOGETHER, you and your child will discuss “the dream situation.”  If you had a magic want, you would…..

Some of those wishes could even come true.  We’ll help you  pick & choose.  This becomes your positive routine.

4. Create a Positive Routine Chart

Now that you have your plan, we’ll help you create your own PERSONALIZED reminder.

Check what these kids did…and notice how proud they are of themselves!

5. Enjoy Goûter

Nothing like a little moment to recharge and to mingle with other like-minded parents and kids.

We’ll be around to answer your questions too.

Boys hiking in canyons

Challenge Builds Self-Confidence in Kids

Self-esteem.  Self-confidence.

THAT’s what I want for my children!

How do kids grow in self-confidence? 

One sure way is to

  • allow them to engage in difficult activities,
  • give them a role in the decision-making process, and
  • celebrate the achievement together.

When I change my behavior (less control, more appreciation of each person, and enjoyment of the moment), the kids grow more confident!

Free download

Read on or download your free Family Confidence-Building Calendar now.

Continue reading “Challenge Builds Self-Confidence in Kids”

Family Feedback ToolKit

Tip Top Family Activity

One of our most strategic family activities.  It helps everyone focus on growth and on becoming the best person we can be.

Read more about The Family Feedback.

The ToolKit includes

  • Tips for success
  • Worksheet (one for each participant)
  • Recap sheet – to remember your goals throughout the year

Click on the images below to download

Tips

Worksheet

Recap