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.

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

Happy New Year tiara for girl

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!”

Free downloadDownload Free Tools

SoSooper prepared some worksheets for you:

  • to prepare
  • to succeed
  • to remember

Click here to get your free downloads.

Cover photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

Family Feedback from Kids

Do you know what your kids LOVE about your family?  When did you last ask and really listen?

How about the ONE THING that would hugely improve family life for them?

We often get their feedback through passing comments like:

“Thanks for the cookie.”  (aaah!)

“Brush teeth?  I did it….yesterday.”  (huh?)

“Dad, you just don’t get it.”  (ouch…)

These tidbits contribute to your relationship in tiny bits.  Kids’ Family Feedback creates the time and the conditions for positive give and take.

Parents will learn

  • ONE GREAT BEHAVIOR:  what each child thinks you do well and wants you to keep doing
  • ONE BEHAVIOR TO TWEAK: what bothers them, why that is important, and what they wish would happen instead

Kids THRIVE on being heard.  They get center stage with a mission to make family be its best.  It’s a responsibility.  The SOSOOPER online seminar helps them live up to it and coaches them in giving feeback respectfully and positively.

What you gain

  • Proof that kids know your weaknesses AND love you still
  • Clarification of the life-skills your kids want you to model for them.  Phew.  You need not be perfect everywhere simultaneously!
  • Increased trust as children hear you listen attentively.
  • Practical solutions to family challenges
  • Great memories that Home is indeed Sweet Home

What is it?

It’s ½ hour of time well spent.  Transform weeks of nagging about school work into succinct responsibility-building reminders to help kids be motivated to do their best.

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 Families.

  • Join a group online seminar. See our Calendar for upcoming dates.  Participation is $20 per family.
  • 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.

Sign up for our Family Feedback from Kids online seminar to help family grow and thrive.

Cooking Fun with Kids – 4. Kneed with a Squeeze

We’re continuing the seven part series on Whacky Cooking Techniques that transform a chore into a game.

  • Your meals will taste deliciouscomme d’habitude (just as usual)
  • Your memories will turn out absolutely divine

Once you’ve tried our hilarious cooking-with-kids tips, you’ll be hungry for our cleaning up ones too! (Read more)

Knead with Squeeze

We make home-made pizzas so that we can knead the dough…by playing catch.

Playing with food is usually a “no-no” chez nous (in our home), but we make an exception when kneading dough.

Play as a team and toss the dough to each other across a table, With each catch, give the dough an extra squeeze. Play for at least five minutes.

Cleanliness Tips: clean the floor beforehand :-), and give bonus points for keeping the “ball” from dropping.

Best kinds of recipes for this technique:

Pizza dough…add pizzaz to your regular recipe by including spices or condiments: tomato pizza dough (replace water with tomato juice), curry pizza dough (add curry powder), barbecue pizza dough (blend in barbecue sauce), “herbes de provence” pizza dough…

Great EVENTS for this technique:  Birthday parties, when the neighbors come over, communal events….

Boys kneeding dough playing catch
Kids kneeding / pounding dough
Pizza-dough-kneeding_1
Love our yummy tips for fun?  Click here to continue on our Wacky Cooking Technique Tour.

Good news.  We ALSO have a Crazy Fun Clean Up Time Adventure!  Click here.