Dad and daughter cuddling and smililng

Spell “love” T.I.M.E.

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

Gift Certificates to offer to your children and your spouse – “My Time, Your Way”
by Denise Dampierre of 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.

Time as a present to offer

Money cannot buy time.  Not when it comes to time spent with kids.

Play-together-time often misses the Christmas list…AND yet, it’s the gift kids crave.

How does one “give” time?  How can one make it feel like a present?

That’s why we created these Gift Certificates.  Personalize with your child’s name and you signature, et voilà!  You have a valuable stocking stuffer you and your children will cherish.

Click here to download Gift Certificates.

Kids and Parents Learn Through Play

Play teaches children how to overcome boredom, to follow rules, to win and lose well.

Let kids direct the play (that’s your gift). You’ll discover them WHILE helping your child learn life-skills.

You thought your daughter was impatient? She spends ½ hour dressing and undressing a doll! That’ll stretch the fortitude of many adults.

One Mom’s Story

The first year I offered these gifts to my sons they all invited me to play their favorite video game.  “Oh, no! Wrong gift!” I thought.

These shared screen times taught me so much.  This time was “extra video time” for the children and since the intent was to share a moment together, they willingly spent 30 minutes teaching me why they like this particular game, what makes it exciting, and how to win.

I observed their skills (or lack of) in anticipation, in strategizing, in concentration, and more.

And the following week when they struggled with homework, we applied ideas from the game to help concentration.  “Let’s create levels.  When you finish your first math problem, you reach level 2!”

The next year, I gave each child two gifts of time. One could be used for games on screens. The other was for something else of their choice.  One child wanted to learn more about his bank statement.  Another wanted to go shopping.

I kept doing this for years, even when our eldest was in high school.  He asked for a visit to the ophthalmologist to see about contact lenses!

You Don’t Feel Like It

Screen games or doll dressing isn’t your cup of tea? Is homework theirs?

Look to the bigger picture.  You’re creating memories, proving their importance, and connecting on their level!  You’ll be amazed how that encourages them to seek to connect on issues of importance to you…like picking up their bags and coats in the front hallway.  Seriously.

The Children Don’t Feel Like It

Kids might act like they don’t want to play with you.

“Children often resist love when they need it the most,”

assert Dr. Scott Turansky and nurse Joan Miller, authors of Parenting is Heart Work. Be creative and kindly insistent. They might be testing the sincerity of your offer.

If the kids don’t want to play, consider admiring them for 15 minutes. No words. No judgement.  Simply seeking to understand them in their environment.

Say “Thank You”

That magic word for all ages concludes your time together on a positive note.

The Biggest Kid of Them All

How about playing with your spouse……! We’ve got a gift certificate for them too!

Gift Certificate for couple's romance
Gift Certificate for couple's romance

To receive Gift Certificates click here.

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash.com

Girl enthralled by candles

Spend a Moment in Wonder

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

A Candle for Relaxation and Well-Being
from (Une Parenthèse Bougie)

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.

Une parenthese bougie
Today’s gift. A scented candle for relaxation and well-being from (Une Parenthèse Bougie)

Candle Wonder

There is something wonder-full about candlelight.  For kids of all ages!

Is it the hypnotic way the flame flickers?

Or the association of candles with memory-filled events

  • Birthdays
  • Fancy meals, like at a restaurant or with the “grown up plates”
  • Visits to churches where candls flicker and light strwons through the color-filled stained-glass windows
  • And Christmas or Hanukah!

And it might be with the way adults treat fire with such care.  “Darling, CAREFUL. Your can get burned.” Literally.

Love flickers like flames too.  A spark enflames and warms or burns. Figuratively.

Candle magic for children

 

Children’s Questions – What do they wonder about?

Children have questions about fire and love.  They have been hurt or seen others in pain.  Why? How come?

How to answer their queries…when we hardly have answers ourselves.

What if activities with candles could help shed light on your children’s searching for answers about loving others and about being loved.

Questions like

  • “Do you love me more than _______?”
  • “Does love stop?”
  • “So many bad things happen.  I’m so small.  Can just a tiny bit of good make a difference?”

“Why be good when there is so much bad?”

Children sure do have a knack for asking Some. Tough. Questions.

Do you or I even have the answer to this one?  If we did, could we express such complex responses in words that our children can understand?

Candle Activity

Here is an activity that conveys the power of hope in the face of just a tiny bit of light.

How to:

  1. Take your children into a totally dark room.
    Sometimes the only place is a windowless bathroom.  One friend spoke of taking the children into their WC (in France there is a room with just the toilet seat).  What unique memories they cherish!
  2. Bring along one candle and a match or lighter.
  3. Notice the blackness without making it scary.
    “I can’t see anything!”
    “How many fingers am I holding up?”
    “Let me try and find your nose…oh is that your ear instead?!”
  4. Ask the kids how they feel…and how this makes them want to act.
    “I feel alone so I want to talk and have you talk to me so that I know I’m not alone.”
    “I feel lost so I’m scared to move. I don’t want to hurt myself.”
  5. Light the candle.
  6. Notice that it is one-small-flame in One. Whole. Room.
  7. Now ask how they feel and how this makes them want to act.
    “I see just enough to move and not hurt myself. I can move.”
    “I see you and I know I am not alone.  I can find your hand and we can be together.”

The children just EXPERIENCED the answer to their philosophical quandary.  One small light makes a HUGE difference. “Be a light, darling.  Be kind even if others are being mean.”

Child holding candle

“Does Love Stop?”

What happens when grandfather dies?  Or when couples separate? Or when friends move to another city?  Does love stop?!

This question surely benefits from answers in layers.  A few words one day.  A different approach a next day.  Reading a book together about the subject.  And possibly this activity with a candle.

Candle Activity

What you need:

It works best with a candle, something to light it, a cup to turn upside down over the flame.  A transparent cup or glass makes this even more dramatic.

How to:

  1. Gather the children around the lighted candle on the table.
    Admire the flames and it’s lively flicker.
  2. Notice together how this candle is like love, burning and warm.
  3. Cover the candle with the cup turn upside down over the flame. Allow a bit of smoke to gather inside the cup before smothering out the flame.
  4. Remove the cup and notice how the smoke is visible and rises from the still glowing wick. It rises in a clear ribbon of smoke and then diffuses into the air and throughout the room.
  5. Notice how we even breathe in tiny bits of the rest of the flame and carry it in our bodies!

In a similar way, the love for the child remains when someone dies or distance separates.  Love takes on a different form, one that can travel far.

Even when we do not see the flame or feel its warmth as we did before, the love is still there.

“Do you love me more?”

We do this activity in our Positive Discipline classes.  We”ll discover it together in person.  Ask about upcoming classes here.

 

Wishing you peace AND growth as we all struggle through understanding and living out Love.

Contact (Une Parenthèse Bougie)

Child giving kiss in thanks

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

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

A Family Meeting for your family in your home
facilitated by Denise Dampierre, Positive Discipline educator

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.

A Family Meeting is an opportunity for children to give feedback to parents, both about what they appreciate in family and areas where they would like to see change.  Parents always seem intrigued…then wary.  “What if the kids will make a laundry list of our faults and we will feel overwhelmed?”

With a clear and positive structure, Family Meetings are enjoyed by all!

Father mother son daughter in family meeting

Today’s gift is a Family Meeting in your home with your family held under the guidance of Positive Discipline trained Denise Dampierre.  After a brief introduction, you will begin the Family Meeting by sharing thanks.  What each family member appreciates in the other.  Then we will broach issues to change and close by celebrating your family.

This structured discussion lasts 30 plus minutes, depending upon the number and ages of the children.

The sharing of THANKS sets the tone for the Family Meeting. 

An attitude of gratitude also sets the tone for this gift-giving and gift-receiving season.

The Christmas Nightmare

You may have experienced this too.  It’s Christmas morning and the SUPER-EXCITED kids are Ready. Set. GO. to open their gifts.

Son and Daughter rip off the wrapping paper (you spent hours to put on) and discard the shreds on the living room floor.

Then they wail.  They did not receive The. ONE. Present. they oh-so-badly wanted.  They gave you a list of 10 wishes and you offered them 9 and, oooops, you missed the right one.

Or it could be they don’t like the chocolates offered by Great Aunt Martha.   Your child prefers milk chocolate with krispies, not this fancy (and expensive) stuff.

Or a sibling received better or more presents than they did….

The supposed-to-be magic festivities result in an emotional breakdown.

When Christmas Magic Means Fair

Parents work hard to prevent such a scene.  We spend fortunes on our children.  We make lists and compare the “value” of gifts so that the kids feel Christmas is “fair.” (Fair to whom? To you? To the child born in South Sudan?)

What about another approach?  It might require a paradigm shift.

When Christmas Magic Means Thankful

Remember the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” with James Stewart. Stewart plays George Bailey, a kind-hearted man who regularly sacrificed his well-being for the good of others.  One of these altruistic acts got him into major financial trouble.  In desperation, George turns to the town’s banker-tyrant, Mr. Potter.  Potter, referring to George’s life insurance policy, tells him

“You’re worth more dead than alive.”

That’s when George decides to take his life … but is given the chance to see what life would be like had he not been born. He is given the gift of glimpsing the value of his life which, in his discouragement he had been too blind to see.

It’s people’s thankfulness for George that transformed the situation.  First came the change in attitude.  This then enabled a reversal in circumstances.

George Bailey richest man in town

Gratitude Characteristic

There’s a multiplier effect to appreciativeness.

Thankfulness opens the eyes to more gratitude.

Being thankful for a tree with flickering lights leads to gratitude for electricity, and an income to buy the decorations, and the dedication of the garbage folk who pick up the spindly debris (stuffed into those recycling bags of course!)

Gratitude Can be Taught

Gratitude can be taught!

Thankfulness is a mindset which develops through practice.  Like any habit, the more we do it, the easier it is…and then it just comes naturally.

Like many new skills, it can feel awkward at the beginning.  We all start somewhere.

Olympic medalists did with their sports.

We can too with our thanks.

So when folk shrug their shoulders and excuse their self-focus with “It’s just not part of my personality or part of my culture,” think again.  It might not be part of their practice.  Yet!

Olympians excel in their domain through a discipline training plan.  So, what plan will you put in place to train yourself and the kids in gratitude?

Olympic skiier
Olympians began…
Little boy on baby skis
…like this.

 

Train as of Today

Advance step by step to encourage a thankful spirit (and preventing a Christmas Nightmare) in the next few days

  • Today:
    • Be an example of thankfulness.  Say, “Thank you” five times today.
    • As you put your child to bed ask them about one thing for which they are thankful today
  • Tomorrow
    • Be thankful out loud for something that you usually take for granted: electricity, sunshine, comfy sofas
    • Say “Thank you” to your partner while your children are within earshot
    • Share ONE Great Thanks to every child
  • After-tomorrow
    • Be thankful for this day. So excited to see what it will bring!
    • Transform a “calamity” (spilled milk, dirty clothes…) into a question. What could you and I do differently next time?  Say “Thanks for this time thinking of solutions together.  I learned about you and felt heard too.”
    • Share a train of thanks. “I’m thankful for a car.  It makes it possible to visit Grampa and Grandma.  I’m thankful that you have so many people who love you.  I’m even thankful that I’m hungry because I’m looking forward to our meal together even more!”
  • The day after that
    • You decide!

Prepare for a great Christmas morning NOW by practicing thanks. 

Take the time to practice.

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

Family coaching paradigm

Regardez à travers les Yeux de Quelqu’un d’Autre

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

1 heure offerte sur un Coaching Familiale de 2 heures
avec Jane Mobille, PCC Professional Certified Coach qui travail avec des managers, des particuliers, et des familles

Comment recevoir la réduction sur la session de Coaching Familiale ?  Jouer sur le Calendrier de l’Avent pour Parents et vous pourriez être celui qui gagne le tirage au sort.

Qu’est ce du Coaching Familiale ?

Une séance de coaching familial est un moment particulier et confidentiel entre le coach et la famille qui souhaite explorer un sujet spécifique provoquant des tensions au sein de la famille.

Le coach reçoit la famille avec compassion, curiosité et sans jugement. Chaque membre de la famille a l’opportunité de partager sa vision de la situation pendant que les autres écoutent.

Coaching familiale

Le coach dirige la session pour que la famille puisse explorer ses choix et ses impacts. Le but est de proposer quelques actions à mettre en oeuvre afin d’arriver à une solution qui réponde aux besoins de chaque membre de la famille.

Voici l’expérience d’un adolescent durant une séance familiale :

 

Paradigmes différés

Attendez-vous de votre enfant qu’il partage vos priorités ?

On l’espère souvent. Dans un monde idéal, les enfants se brosseraient les dents sans que l’on ai besoin de le leur rappeler, ils seraient prêts à l’heure pour partir à l’école, ils seraient motivés à travailler à l’école et auraient une vision nette de leur futur.

Retour à la réalité.

Nos enfants aiment jouer, ils sont distraits facilement et veulent de l’attention. De fait, de simples tâches du quotidien peuvent leur prendre des heures avant d’être effectuées.

Parents et enfants voient le monde d’une manière différente. Et ce fossé entre les deux peut être vecteur de stress au sein des familles.

Le cadeau du jour vous aide à créer des liens entre les perspectives de la mère, le père et les enfants.

Family Coaching

Jane est une Coach Professionnelle Certifiée qui coach les directeurs de l’école de commerce Kedge et transmets sa propre expérience aux cadres, aux individus et aux familles. Elle aime surtout conseiller les adolescents et les jeunes adultes afin de leur faire prendre confiance en eux, faire des choix intentionnels et vivre une vie remplie de curiosité. Jane contribue également à des articles pour le magazine en ligne Inspirelle et l’éditeur de AAWE News.

 

Qu’est-ce que l’autre personne voit ?

Un ami, Vincent Cassigneul, a récemment pris une photo de :

  • d’une Tour Eiffel floue

ou

  • d’un homme net prenant une photo de la Tour Eiffel

Vincent Cassigneul Eiffel Tower

Vincent a choisi de se concentrer sur l’admirateur de la Tour Eiffel dans son moment de gloire, opposé au monument lui même. Nous voyons souvent ce monument majestueux qui surplombe Paris, en occupant la place centrale.

Est-ce qu’il a “eu tout faux”? Est-ce que j’ai eu tout faux ?

Ou devrions nous poser une question différente ?

La Femme et la Belle-Mère vont à Harvard

Une illusion d’optique utilisée par Stephen Covey nous aide à comprendre plus amplement ce processus.

Dans son livre, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (7 habitudes des gens extrêmement efficaces), Covey partage un exemple d’un cours de Harvard. Tout le monde voyait la même illusion d’optique. Seulement, lui avait préparé les gens différemment. La moitié de la classe avait précédemment vu un sketch d’une vieille femme et l’autre moitié avait un dessin d’une femme élégante.

optical illusion used by stephen coveyEn fait, lorsqu’ils ont vu l’illusion d’optique, la moitié de la classe a trouvé la femme dans l’image attirante et l’autre moitié a pensé le contraire. Cela a donné lieu à un débat houleux au sein de la classe.

Enfin, certains étudiants ont commencé à poser des question et à écouter.

“Regarde la ligne. C’est la bouche de la vieille dame.”

“Oh, mais pour nous c’est le collier de la femme élégante!”

Les étudiants ont alors commencé à observer l’image, en essayant d’identifier les 2 femmes dépeintes dans l’illusion d’optique.

Est-ce qu’il vous arrive également, à votre enfant et vous, de se prendre la tête pour rien ?

Essayez de poser des questions afin de comprendre la perspective de votre enfant.

Un outil, comme cette illusion d’optique sur la photo de Vincent (merci à Vincent de l’avoir mise à notre disposition) a lancé la discussion.

Le parent à l’enfant : “Qu’est-ce que tu vois?”

L’enfant répond.

Le parent prend alors intentionnellement le parti opposé, afin de tester l’enfant.

“Quoi ? Cette photo ne représente pas la Tour Eiffel!” ou “C’est un dessin d’une femme âgée”.  

Attendez la réaction de votre enfant.

Puis explorez.

“Dis moi ce que tu vois, et montre le avec ton doigt.”

 

Comment démarrer ?

Cette conversation a l’air simple, mais c’est plus compliqué que ça en a l’air dans la réalité. C’est là les séances de coaching de Jane Mobile apporte une solution aux blocages de communication et réinstaure l’harmonie au sein de la famille.

Essayez de commencer ces conversations de découverte du paradigme parents/enfants à la maison.

Vous voulez l’illusion d’optique de la mère et la belle mère ? Inscrivez vous et nous vous l’enverrons demain…accompagné du nom de la personne qui a gagné le coaching familial spécial, offert par Jane Mobile.

Jane peut être contacté par mail : jam.atlantic@gmail.com

Merci à Vincent de nous avoir fourni un riche outil de communication. Merci à Jane d’avoir permis aux familles d’échanger sur ce sujet passionnant. Joy, peace & love, continuez à découvrir vos proches.

Family coaching paradigm

See through Someone Else’s Eyes

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

One hour of Family Coaching
with Jane Mobille, PCC Professional Certified Coach working with executives, individuals, and families 

How to receive this 1 hour off on a Family Coaching session?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

What is Family Coaching?

Family coaching benefit

A family coaching session is a special kind of confidential conversation between a coach, and a family wishing to explore a specific issue causing tension among members at home. The coach receives the family with compassion, curiosity, and non-judgment. Each member of the family has the opportunity to share their perspective on the situation while the others listen. The coach leads the family in an exploration of choices and impacts. The goal is to come up with a few actions to implement in order to reach a solution which satisfies the needs of each family member.

As the teen shared with Jane in his text message:  PHEW!

 

The Generational Paradigm Gap

Do you expect your children to share your priorities?

We often hope so. In an ideal world, the children would brush their teeth without needing reminding, they would be ready on time to go to school, and they would be motivated for school work and have a vision for their future.

Reality check.

Our children like to play, get distracted and want attention, and simple tasks can take forever to accomplish.

Parents and kids see the world through different lenses. This paradigm gap creates stress in families.

Today’s gift helps create bridges between the mother, father, and children’s perspectives.

smiling teenager with parents

Jane is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) currently coaching executives at Kedge Business School and leading her own practice for executives, individuals, and families. She especially enjoys coaching teens and young adults as they build confidence, make intentional choices, and live a life of curiosity.  Jane is a contributing author for the online magazine, INSPIRELLE, and editor of AAWE News.

In short, Jane excels in communication:

  • listening,
  • expressing herself,
  • helping you and your children listen, and
  • creating a safe environment to express yourselves.

 

What Does my Child See?

A friend, Vincent Cassigneul, recently took this picture

  • Of a blurry Eiffel Tower
    or
  • Of a clearly focused man taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower

Vincent Cassigneul Eiffel Tower

Vincent chose to focus on the admirer of the Eiffel Tower in her flashing glory, as opposed to the monument herself. We usually see this majestic monument towering over Paris, occupying center stage.

Did he “get it all wrong”? Did I?

Or should we be asking a different question?

The Wife and Mother-in-Law go to Harvard

An optical illusion used by Stephen Covey further helps us understand that process.

In his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey shares an example from a Harvard Business School class. Everyone was shown the same optical illusions. ONLY he had prepared people differently. One half of the class had previously seen a sketch of a haggard, old woman and the other half had been given a drawing of a chic lady.

optical illusion used by stephen coveyWell, half the class found the woman in the optical illusion attractive and the other half quite the opposite. Tensions rose over the disagreement.

Finally, some students began to ask questions, and listen.

“See this line. That’s the old woman’s mouth.”

“Oh, for us it is the chic lady’s necklace!”

And exploration ensued until all the students could identify BOTH women depicted in the optical illusion.

Are you and your child at each other’s throats unnecessarily too?

Try asking questions to understand your child’s perspective.

A tool, like this optical illusion or Vincent’s photo (graciously made available to us, thank you), can help launch the discussion.

Parent to the child: “What do you see?”

Child answers.

Parent purposefully and playfully takes an opposing stand. “What?! This photo is NOT about the Eiffel Tower!” or “This is a drawing of ONE. O.L.D.  woman.”

Let your child react.

Then explore.

“Tell me what you see and point with your finger.”

 

How to start?!

This conversation sounds easy, but it’s harder to launch in real life.

(That’s where Jane Mobille’s family coaching brings resolution to communication blockages and harmony returns to the family.)

Try starting these paradigm discovery conversations at home.

Want the Wife and Mother-in-Law optical illusion and the photo of the Eiffel Tower?  Sign up here and we’ll send them to you tomorrow….along with the news of who won the Family Coaching special offer by Jane Mobille.

Jane can be reached at jam.atlantic@gmail.com

Build Emotional Intelligence

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

Emotions Charts Download to help your child develop his Emotional Intelligence
from Sunflower Storytime, TotSchooling, and Bougribouillons

How to receive this download package?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and tomorrow we’ll send you the collection by email.

Feelings faces by Sunflower Storytime

Download the chart here.

Emotional Intelligence

What is it?  (Besides a buzz word)

Do I have it?  Do my precious kids?

What difference would Emotional Intelligence make in my home?

In Psychology Magazine, Dan Goleman, PhD. and author of The Brain and Emotional Intelligence describes EI as both a self and other-focused process:

Emotional Intelligence refers to two kinds of focus.

First: an inward awareness of our thoughts and our feelings, and applying that in managing our upsets and focus on our goal.

Second: a focus on others, to empathize and understand them, and on the basis of this to have effective interactions and relationships.

The first step is emotion-awareness.

Then, the ability to name our feelings gets us launching on managing them.

How many emotions can your children identify and name?

Today’s gift helps you do just that.

Fun facts about emotions:

Feelings are neither good nor bad emotions.

It is good to be angry at rape and human trafficking.

You and your child can discuss whether it is good or bad to be happy at someone else’s bad news (!)

Emotions, thoughts, and behaviors and intimately linked.

Which comes first:  The thought that we are in a dangerous situation, or the feeling “I’m scared,” or getting out of there as soon as possible?

This is the subject of much scientific debate…and not of this blog post.  Suffice it to know that these three facets of emotions are indissociable.

Did you know that you can even create a happy mood by biting (not tooooo hard) on a pencil with your mouth?  This biting process (behavior) stimulates the same muscles used to smile, thus sends messages to the brain (thinking) to create dopamine, the feel good hormone (emotion).

Emotions have BOTH universal AND cultural expressions

Before the 1970’s, anthropologists believed facial expressions reflected cultural interpretations. Psychologist and behavioral scientist Paul Ekman developed systematic ways to measure body language and identified 6 basic emotions which are universal throughout human cultures.

fear, disgust, anger, surprise, happiness, and sadness.

Of course, there are MANY MORE emotions, and some believe more internationally universal ones too.

Emotions can be described by ONE word.

“I feel like the freshness of feet crush fresh grass sprinkled with morning dew.”

This sure sounds loverrrrly.  It’s not an emotion.

The associated feeling could be surprised, or uncomfortable, or refreshed, or …. (wet is not an emotion.  It’s a physical state 🙂 )

 

Teaching our Children to Identify and Express Emotion

Your usually-cheerful child comes home in a bad mood.  What is he feeling?  He might not even be able to put words to it!

Help him decompress by helping him identify his feelings.

Little tykes relate well to these colorful and expressive emotions faces from Sunflower Storytime.  Print them out and place them in an accessible place.  When your child stomps/slouches/jumps/slumps in, steer him towards the emotions faces and begin a healing time for all.

And if your child is not ready to communicate, don’t worry.  In five minutes, she might!  Let her know you are available.

“When you want to let me know how you’re feeling, come find me, darling.”  And smile.

Because YES our brains are also wired to mimic others.  Your happy mood (or your miserable one….) is contagious too.

 

More resources

I love these universal language, colorful faces on the chart by Sunflower Storytime.  You might prefer another style.  In addition, if your feelings charts include words you’ll be enriching their emotional vocabulary.

Check out these sites for alternatives.

ACN Latitudes – The Association for Comprehensive Neurotherapy has a comprehensive collection of downloadable chart for all occasions.

TotSchooling – I LOVE these Christmas emotions charts.  Prepare to avoid the meltdown when your child does not receive the gift they requested DAILY from Santa.

Bougribouillons – These charts (in French) might be more suited to older children.  Using charts in another language is a great stimulation for you and your family; it provides you with the liberty to develop your own family’s feeling vocabulary.  “What does ‘rassuré’ mean?… What does it look like to you? What words could we use in our home?”

La Famille Positive – This is where I found out about Bougribouillons. Edna Guccia hunts down positive advice (and shares some of own her wisdom).  If you are looking for French resources, well, she’s One. Great. Resource!

 

Thanks to Austin Chan for his photo on Unsplash

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.