Positive Discipline workshop

Photo Reportage of a SoSooper Workshop with INSEAD Alumni

Do you face challenging behaviors or difficult people in your life?

“All the world is queer (odd) save thee and me,
and even thou art a little queer (weird).” – Robert Owen

Relationships are tough and take work. 

It’s true for everyone…whether you have an MBA from INSEAD or graduated from the school of Street Smart or are too young for studies.  Little issues escalate into big annoyances.

  • Your manager “bosses” around, imposing demands without seeking your input
  • Your colleagues are on the phone during your presentations
  • Your partner treats you like a child, “Don’t forget to______”
  • Your child repeatedly misbehaves…. again!!

There are two ways to handle such situations.

Either one party wins and the other loses (Win-Lose “negotiations”)….

Or no-one loses, and everyone gains. (Win-Win results)

It’s sooooo much easier said than done.  That’s why I lead workshops to transmit skills to transform challenges into opportunities for growth for everyone.

Science-Based Relationship Tools

How does one travel from challenges to opportunities?  With relationship tools.  You and I tend to use the same tools over and again.

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” – Abraham Maslow

The SoSooper workshops teach an array of relationship-building tools which build mutual respect, a sense of belonging, and the desire to positively contribute to the group.

These science-based tools are based on the work of Dr. Alfred Adler (author of Individual Psychology), Dr. Jane Nelsen (PhD in Education) and psychologist Lynn Lott.  Nelsen and Lott designed the Positive Discipline approach of learning activities which engage the mind, body, and emotions

Photo Reportage of our Interactive Learning Workshop

These INSEAD alumni participated in the conference, Introduction to Positive Discipline for Parents.  I lead numerous workshops for very different audiences, especially for groups of professionals.  With a team of other trainers, we adapt the strong relationship principles to the organizational context.

Discover Also: SoSooper Workshops & Conferences for Teams at Work

Enjoy this glimpse of our event!

Welcome & Context

When speaking with parents who are also professionals, I introduce parenting as leadership development.  We aim to bring up children who will sooner than later be someone’s colleagues.   We also deeply desire that our kids be leaders of their life, that they have the skills and capabilities to thrive.

Notice on the photos how the group is fully attentive.  No phones in sight!

INSEAD alumni at Positive Discipline conference

Inviting Contribution

As humans, we each have the fundamental needs to belong and to contribute.  I put this into practice as of the start, inviting the group to contribute with chores to make our evening conference flow smoothly.  We made a list of Jobs (scribe, clean up, photographer…).  Once the list completed, I invited folk to volunteer for a task.


One of the principles of Adlerian Psychology and Positive Discipline is to be FIRM and KIND simultaneously.  The group presented me with the opportunity to model that behavior.

Smile.  “These Jobs still apply and we still need volunteers for each.  Who would like to choose what?” Wait expectantly.

One by one, people stepped up to contribute.  Thanks to each of you.

Oftentimes when a leader assigns a job to someone else, there remains a follow-up period.  It’s like selling the need to do the work. This happens in the office as well as in the home.  Since people volunteered, there was no more need for a convince-to-do-the-job effort.

Engaging group at SoSooper workshop

Set the GPS

Next, as a group, we created two lists.  In our case, we focused on behaviors related to our children.  In a professional context we would focus on behaviors and goals for our team culture:

  • Challenging behaviors of our children
  • Talents & Life Skills we want them to develop

No need to prompt with these.  Suggestions flow, and fast.  Difficult behaviors include perpetual negotiation, defiance, rivalry…  Capabilities to develop include self-esteem, autonomy, desire for excellence, sense of humor….

These lists represent our GPS.  The challenges represent our starting position, today’s situation.  These issues create the invitation to act differently so that, instead of reacting to misbehavior, we proactively train in appropriate conduct and demeanor.

Setting GPS at Positive Discipline workshop

Discovering a Tool

Much of the learning is done by allowing participants to discover the perspective of the other party, in this case, of their child.

Each of the fifty relationship tools presented in my full training programs is presented through a unique interactive exercise which, like this one, engages the whole person.  Instead of theory, participants discover the learning principles for themselves.  “Aha!”

Act 1

In this activity, ten folk played the role of parents and one father played the role of a child.  The “parents” gave the “child” instructions.

“Put your shoes on.” “Brush your teeth.” “Put the phone down.” “Stop fighting with your brother.”…

I love to see how parents enjoy these scenarios.

After this first passage, we debrief the “child” and discover that these instructions encouraged him towards the CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS, like defiance and resistance!

INSEAD alumni at Positive Discipline workshop

Act 2

We embark on a second passage.  This time “parents” present their request through a Firm and Kind question“Do you want to put your blue or your red shoes?” “What do you need to do so your teeth don’t feel scuzzy?!” “What is our agreement on phone usage?” “How could you work this out with your brother?” 

In debriefing, the “child” says he feels responsible and respected.  He is invited to think.  And he chooses to consider each question and probably act on it.  In looking at the two lists, this time he identifies with the talents and skills.  He’s learning decision-making, autonomie, and that he is capable.  His confidence grows.

Denise Dampierre and INSEAD alumni

Through playing the scenario and discussion, participants arrrive at the conclusions themselves:  giving people instructions generates resistance.  Asking questions invites cooperation.

Giving people instructions generates resistance.
Asking questions invites cooperation.

Tools Galore

This Introduction to Positive Discipline provides a taster of the numerous aids to build relationships that respect BOTH the framework-need of the parents and the connection-needs of the children, and to leaders and team-members for professional settings.

These relationship tools work in multiple contexts.

Discover: SoSooper Workshops & Conferences for Teams at Work

Contact me to find out more and to plan a taster event for your network.

Teen jumping horizon

Teens, Build Skills Employers Seek

For teens & pre-teens

Your Potential…the inspiration behind the workshop

Parents putting on pressure?

Are your parents are putting on the pressure?

As one teen put it, “Mom, Dad.  It’s like this.  Being a kid is fun.  Being an adult is work. I wanna have fun.”

What if there is more?!  That’s what we’ll discover.

Take Leadership of Your Life
Be the person employers want

Do something great sign
Start today.

Do you know? YOU can make YOUR life meaningful, exciting, and fun.  And the best way is to start now.

In this workshop, we help you identify the skills that help you have choices in life and to launch your plan to get those choices.

What you get:

  • Tools to get your parents off your back (to help them have confidence in you)
  • Hope for the future and for YOUR future
  • Steps to grow into the person you want to be

Starts with Pizza … Learning through Games

Our workshop begins with pizza and introductions.

We do some brainstorming together as we eat (with our fingers).

We’ll play poker…betting with skills. You choose one or two life skills you want to win this year.

We’ll create a Parent-Trust-Me-&-Give-Me-Space Plan.

Teen build skills employers seek

Your Take-Away

  1. A Positive Vision for YOUR Future
  2. YOUR Plan to develop one or two key life skills of your choice
  3. A plan to build parents’ trust and give you space
  4. A way to check throughout the year that you are one target with your goal

What will you tell my parents?

Our goal is for BOTH you AND your parents to grow.  YES.

Growth benefits from some key ingredients:


You can trust that what you share will be honored and respected.
Your parents can trust that their children are receiving wise and positive encouragement.

Some information does get shared with parents:

  • the agenda,
  • the topics of discussion

Some information remains privatewho says what.  (****Vitally IMPORTANT****)

Some information you may choose to share (we will discuss this as a group):

  • skills you discovered employers seek in their new hires
  • your strengths
  • your goals


We’ll be playing games (a revisited Pokemon Go, an adapted Poker) and engaging in activities where you will discover different views about life, yourself, and even your parents.

Your parents also grow through a refreshed perspective.  I invite all moms and dads who want to know more about the process, the philosophy, and the science-based psychology behind our activites to attend the workshop the week before.  (Click here to find out about future workshops)

About Me

I am a Harvard MBA, the mother of 4 boys, and certified in positive psychology coaching and training methods, namely Positive Discipline (to build cooperative and respect-filled relationships) and Appreciative Inquiry (to engage in individuals and groups in change management by building on strengths)

Is There More?

I’m interested in you.  It would be a delight to know how you are doing with your plan.  Your choice.  My (and hopefully yours too) pleasure.

Optional follow up by WhatsApp or Messenger Group or _____ (you decide)

RSVP workshop

Positive Discipline Feel Good Space

Créez un espace “Je me Recharge”

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

Réduction de 35% sur une série de 7 ateliers Discipline Positive pour Parents
au choix avec Denise Dampierre ou Leila de Monclin

Comment recevoir un cadeau ? Faites le quizz amusant du Calendrier de l’Avent pour Parents aujourd’hui, et vous pourriez être le chanceux qui gagnera le tirage !  

Un cours de 7 semaines de discipline positive couvre bon nombre de sujets utiles : l’approche positive – à la fois ferme et bienveillante – la croyance derrière le comportement et les objectifs erronés des enfants – axée sur les solutions et l’encouragement – des leçons de vie tirées des proches – réactions au stress et réunions familiales – mettre en place et maintenir les ententes et le continuum du changement.

Une de nos premières activités est de guider les parents dans la création d’un espace de bien être pour leurs enfants et eux-même.

Votre prix = 150€ pour 14 heures de coaching en groupe. Ce sont des sessions expérimentales de coaching, c’est-à-dire que nous apprenons à travers des activités, des jeux de rôle, et surtout beaucoup de rires ! (La bonne humeur facilite l’apprentissage !)

Bon Cadeau Discipline Positive

Est-ce que Happy @ Home = Happy @ Work ?

Dans beaucoup de cas, oui. Et des études ont montré que cela s’applique aux enfants et à leurs performances à l’école et en sport.

Notre humeur influe sur notre façon de penser.

Nos pensées influent sur nos performances.

Dans Psychology Today, Professeur Sian Beilock affirme que la bonne humeur impacte de manière positive nos performances dans des situations qui nécessitent de la flexibilité afin de changer éventuellement d’objectifs, ou bien lorsque l’on épuise plusieurs différentes hypothèses.  

(Sian Beilock est une professeur de psychologie à l’Université de Chicago et une experte de la science du cerveau qui étudie la performance sous la pression.)

Appliquons le travail de Sian Beilock au contexte familial :

  • “Lors de la résolution d’un problème de logistique difficile” – Qui va aller chercher Suzy à la fête d’anniversaire et comment allons nous avoir de la nourriture dans le frigo si la voiture est dans le magasin ?
  • “Lorsque l’on jongle avec plusieurs tâches à la fois” – bain + préparation du dîner + devoirs + raconter sa journée

Beilock est l’une des nombreux scientifiques reconnus pour avoir prôné de tels concepts. Voici quelques résultats d’une autre étude internationale Mood & Performance sur 450 enfants âgés de 11 et 12 ans. (de Terry, Lane, Beedie, Curry, et Clark en 2001)

Résultats de l’étude

  1. Se sentir déprimé diminue la capacité à régler les autres humeurs, menant ainsi à l’échec.
  2. Les gens qui se sentent faibles ont tendance à croire qu’une tâche est au dessus de leurs capacités et sont ainsi en colère contre eux-même
  3. Le “blues” a tendance à enfermer les personnes dans leurs mauvaises expériences. Ils pensent qu’ils sont des incapables. De fait, ils se fixent des objectifs inférieurs à ce dont ils sont réellement capables car ils estiment qu’ils seront plus faciles à atteindre pour eux.

Inversement, les personnes de bonne humeur se fixent des objectifs plus ambitieux et sont davantage susceptibles de les atteindre.

Bonne humeur -> Objectifs ambitieux + Efforts -> Bonne performance

Bonne humeur = Fonctionnement plus calme de la famille


Ce que les Etudes ne Disent Pas

Méfiez-vous des interprétations trop hâtives.

Voici quelques avertissements :

  • Bonne humeur Vie sans problème + Toujours obéir à ses enfants
    Nous avons tous des difficultés.  Elles sont nos invitations pour grandir.
  • Bonne humeur Plus de temps + Moins de stress (quand je planifie tout pour mes enfants et moi)
    Il n’y a que 24 heures par jour.  Chaque jour.
  • Bonne humeur  Les enfants sont rois +  les parents sont les serviteurs
    Le bonheur ne vient par avec la satisfaction de tous nos souhaits.  Au lieu de “merci” on entends “encore un peu plus“!

Ou inversement…(et c’est comme ça que j’ai agi pendant trèèèèèès longtemps)

  • Bonne performance Se focaliser sur les erreurs + Se réprimander pour un faible effort
    Selon ces études, des phrases que j’utilisais pour “motiver” mon enfant sont des phrases qui leurs enlèvent le sentiment d’être capable.
    “Comment peux tu ENCORE te tromper ainsi”?
    “Quand est-ce que tu vas apprendre”?!

Comment profiter de plus de Bonne Humeur @ Home ?

C’est pour ça que j’apprécie l’approche de la Discipline Positive.  C’est un ensemble d’outils, fondés sur la science, qui permette de construire des relations respectueuses et coopératives.

Les parents apprennent comment mettre en place des limites fermes dans la bienveillance. Ils apprennent comment inclure les enfants dans la recherche de solutions pour des besoins quotidiens.

  • Les parents s’assurent du respect des limites et l’accomplissement de tâches nécessaires et quotidiennes (se brosser les dents, aller à l’école, une bonne entente avec les frères et soeurs)
  • Les enfants se sentent utiles, et sentent qu’ils peuvent contribuer à la famille

En France, la pratique de la Discipline Positive gagne du terrain.

  • au sein des familles
  • dans les écoles privées et publiques
  • au sein des entreprises (les concepts sont appliqués aux formations en leadership dans le cadre des relations “manager-coach”)

Le cadeau du jour est une réduction de 35% sur un cours de 7 semaines de Discipline Positive. Votre prix : 150€ pour 14 heures de coaching en groupe. Ce sont des sessions expérimentales de coaching, c’est à dire que l’on apprend à travers des activités, des jeux de rôles et surtout….beaucoup de rires !! (La bonne humeur rend l’apprentissage plus facile :))

Denise Dampierre et Leila de Monclin ont des formations qui démarrent en janvier 2018.

Voici ce que les participants disent à propos des sessions de Discipline Positive pour parents :

“Merci. Vous avez changé la façon dont je me comporte avec mes enfants. Avant, je cherchais à les changer. Maintenant, je profite des bons moments avec eux…et tout a changé!”

“Je n’aimais pas la mère que j’étais. Grâce à ces conseils et en les mettant en pratique, j’ai changé, et ma relation avec mon mari et mes enfants a changé également. Je me regarde dans le miroir et j’aime ce que j’y vois.”

“J’ai pris ce cours afin d’alléger mon stress quotidien. Et j’y appris tellement plus : j’ai appris comment transmettre les compétences primordiales à mes enfants, mettre de l’ordre dans mes priorités et profiter de la vie.”

“Cela permet un temps ‘off’ pour prendre du recul, se questionner sur nos pratiques, et mettre en place une démarche long terme.”

Cover photo by Samuel Foster on Unsplash

Child in front of Christmas presents

Co + Work = Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home chez vous

Il était une fois des entrepreneures parisiennes qui ont rêvé de vous offrir un calendrier de l’avent pour vous, les parents.  Et cette petite germe a poussé…

et nous vous offrons 1000€ de cadeaux (!!) à travers un calendrier de l’avent interactive et en ligne.  

(Vous pouvez vous y inscrire sur le calendrier en français or the one in English.)

Voici notre histoire…

Tout a commencé avec Mona

Quand cette escape gratuit de co-working a ouvert en Novembre, j’ai saisi l’opportunité de travailler dans ce cadre féminin et dynamique.

Un grand MERCI à tous les sponsors : My Little ParisAXA InsuranceEstée Lauder, and Nike qui nous ont accueilli dans leurs locaux du 1er Novembre au 31 Décembre 2017.

Que peut-on faire dans un espace de co-working qu’on ne peut pas faire à la maison tout seul ?


Cinq minutes après avoir franchi la porte d’entrée, je me suis présenté à la femme assise à ma table. A vrai dire, elle y était installée confortablement et, avec le sourire, je lui ai dérangé pour lui ai demandé si je pouvais me joindre à elle. Je me suis fixé un objectif : rencontrer cinq nouvelles personnes tous les jours.  J’ai découvert des femmes passionnées travaillant sur des projets captivants.

Quel projet captivant pourrais-je construire pour partager ma passion : que les familles puissent rester soudées malgré les crises de colère, la désobéissance des enfants et les frustrations de la vie quotidienne ?

Un “CO” project!

Il fallait une raison d’être

En tant que coach parental formé aux principes adlériens, j’enseigne les principes d’appartenance et de contribution à une communauté avec un sens, une raison d’être.

Donc quel but pour notre collaboration potentielle?

A cette période de l’année, Noël me semblait une évidence. Et pourtant, les Français critiqué son côté trop commercial.

Cependant nous nous retrouvons autour du sens de Noël : la joie, la paix et l’amour.

Nous, les parents, nous sommes ceux qui Les parents amènent la joie et la paix à la maison.

Voilà!  Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home


Plus fort ensemble

Enthousiasmé par l’idée, j’ai découvert un magnifique calendrier de l’avent en ligne créé par Dot.vu. Jetez-y un coup d’œil. Une période d’essaie sur le site m’a permis de tester le service et de le présenter aux collaborateurs potentiels.  Le service de Dot.vu est top : Tom m’a proposé un guide personnalisé de 30 minutes afin de comprendre le fonctionnement du logiciel et Pedro répond à mes nombreuses requêtes de manière efficace et professionnelle.

Enthousiasmés par cette outil, 15 entrepreneurs ont décidé de m’y rejoindre.

C’est un plaisir de vous les présenter.

(Pour connaître les cadeaux, rendez-vous tous les jours sur Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home)

Denise Dampierre, fondatrice de SoSooper

En savoir un peu plus sur moi : Diplômée d’un MBA de Harvard et mère de 4 garçons, je décrirai les premières années de la parentalité comme la gestion de l’énergie.  Faire se dépenser les garçons; et préserver la mienne. Ensuite, nous nous concentrions sur “la création de souvenirs positives” et la création d’une culture de famille où tout le monde prospère. Ma passion: aider à élever la prochaine génération d’hommes et de femmes remplis de joie, travaillant pour la paix, et sachant aimer.

Adrien Bracon, Coiffeur à Domicile

Formé chez Jean-Marc Manniatis, Adrien coiffe mes cheveux depuis des années.  Lors de ses visites, nous transformons notre salon en salon de coiffure. Au lieu de trimbaler quatre enfants au salon de coiffure et d’attendre que chaque enfant passe, nous passions ce temps à se blottir chez nous pendant qu’Adrien coiffait toute la famille. Il est si talentueux, je lui laisse carte blanche concernant ma coiffure.

Alice Lamotte

Mère de quatre enfants, Alice et moi nous sommes rencontrés grâce à la Discipline Positive.  Nous recherchions toutes les deux une formation pour construire des maisons coopératives et respectueuses … d’abord chez nous puis au-delà. Alice regorge d’énergie. Elle allie santé physique et bien-être socio-émotionnel dans son coaching Gym & Talk. 


J’ai eu connaissance de Béatrice Cornet Vernet via Femmepreneurs,, un réseau de femmes entrepreneurs dans l’Ouest de Paris. Je suis tombée amoureuse de ses accessoires en tissu Liberty. Béatrice était parmis les premières à participer à notre aventure sans s’être rencontré face-à-face!

Chantal Bourges

J’ai rencontré Chantal lors d’une conférence internationale de Discipline Positive.  Nous étions “roommates” ce qui permet de bien se connaître. Mère de cinq enfants, Chantal a siégé au conseil d’administration des Associations de Discipline Positive France et International. Elle encadre et forme les parents et les enseignants localement et internationalement.

Elli Photography

J’ai rencontré Elli Loannou à Mona.  Egalement une Anglophone (Elli est originaire d’Australie), elle adhérait aussi à l’aspect «CO» du coworking. Elle est installée en tant que photographe de mode  et est formée aux photos analogiques. Cela signifie qu’elle saisit L’ instant (pensez aux enfants). Elli a été enchantée par notre projet collaboratif; “Je choisis de travailler avec cette communauté ! » a-t-elle dit.

English Dream Cakes

En tant que membre du groupe Facebook Anglopreneurs, j’ai, un jour, été captivée par une photo de gâteaux décorés de manière délicate et magique. Le message est venu et est parti. L’image est restée. Et c’est une JOIE d’échanger avec l’équipe mère-fille Cheryl et Dew. Elles mélange la douceur avec le professionnel. Incorpore la créativité et étale la générosité abondamment. Le tout servi avec un délicieux sourire.


Amanda Wigby et moi avons appris à nous apprécier les uns les autres grâce à … du «feedback» ! constructifs. Nous nous sommes mises au défi de surmonter les différences qu’il y a souvent entre notre «Talk» (les services que nous fournissons) et notre «Walk» (comment nous exprimons notre expertise dans la vie quotidienne). Authentique, ouverte d’esprit et visionnaire, Coach Amanda nous aide, vous et moi, à remplacer le comportement «je devrais» par l’action sur nos priorités personnelles.

Light On

Un groupe d’étudiantes de l’ISCOM qui m’aide dans les coulisses de ce projet. Corriger mon français, donner leurs avis, faire du design, rester actif sur les réseaux sociaux et m’encourager. C’est en sachant qu’elles assurent mes arrières que j’ai osé m’aventurer sur ce projet. Merci à Anaïs Kisasondi, à Camille Meunier-Sirven, à Rose Rapp, à Elodie Schwinn et à Laura Wieczorek.


Virginie Chabert s’associe également à nous grâce à Femmepreneurs. Virginie créé des produits qui aident les enfants à devenir plus responsables. L’un de nos posts les plus populaires sur le blog SoSooper était un tableau de responsabilités qui attribuait les taches de la maison aux enfants. Ludocatix remplace ces tableaux fait-maison par des beaux outils qui permettent aux parents de créer des routines positives avec leurs enfants.

Maman NYC à Paris

Mon premier jour chez Mona, avant de me mettre au travail, je me suis arrêté au café Maman qui se situe dans le coworking. J’ai été chaudement accueilli par Antoine et son équipe. Ils servent le café et le thé avec le sourire, et de nombreux délices salés et sucrés (sourire y compris aussi). Quoi de mieux pour garder nos collègues motivés toute la journée.  Qu’est ce un coworking sans un café ? Juste un espace…

My Little Paris

C’est l’équipe de My Little Paris qui nous accueil à Mona.  My Little Paris a démarré avec cinq femmes qui se sont associées pour dénicher des produits qui reflétaient le flair parisien. Elles les enveloppaient magnifiquement dans des “box” et les envoyaient aux mamans, aux papas et aux enfants…sur trois continents!  Avec My Little Paris, vous pouvez être un parent ET rester au top du chic.

Poke Bar

C’est grâce à nos enfants que j’ai rencontré Elodie Macquet. Également mère de garçons, Elodie est une entrepreneuse en série. Elle et sa voisine Isabelle ont ouvert Poke Bar en Mars, apportant le soleil d’Hawaï aux tables parisiennes. Leur restaurant, juste à côté de la place de l’Opéra, sert des bols poké, frais, sur place et à emporter. Nos garçons adolescents se sont régalés avec un repas, sain, léger ET nourrissant.

Ruth Naomi Floyd

Ruth et moi avons appris à nous connaître grâce à une erreur de ma part.  Elle a chanté du gospel mis en musique de jazz pour un événement que j’ai organisé … elle est arrivée à Paris un jour plus tôt que j’avais prévu ! Aucune chambre d’hôtel n’était disponible, elle est alors venue à la maison. Nous nous sommes réunis autour d’un dîner familiale (avec tout le bruit de 4 garçons à table).  Multi-talentueuse, Ruth est également photographe des beaux-arts et s’occupe avec compassion et respect de personnes affectées par le VIH.


Our children’s classmates stem from an entrepreneurial vibe!  It’s through our son that we met Katell Perrot just as she was launching TooFruit.  We tasted her enthusiasm as she introduced us to blueberry lotions and pineapple creams especially developed for children’s skin.  These organic potions deliciously cleanse and nourish kids from head to toe.

(Une Parenthèse Bougie)

Encore grâce à Femmepreneurs j’ai virtuellement rencontré Valérie Nicol. Noël c’est la saison des bougies et Valérie a choisi ses bougies pour leur côté magique qui s’adapte à toutes les humeurs. Quand j’ai mentionné le thème du calendrier, elle s’est exclamée: «J’ai pile ce qu’il faut ! C’est tout nouveau dans notre catalogue pour la saison ! ???? “

Villa Manon

Une autre rencontre grâce à nos enfants.  Mary Holmes Smith a participé à des ateliers Discipline Positive que je menais. Maintenant, c’est moi qui prend ses cours!  Je me rend régulièrement à son studio pour des cours de Pilates et de Yoga. Lorsque nous rentrons dans son atelier, un souffle de sérénité nous envahit, parfumé au gingembre et au citron. Il parait que cela favorise les étirements et le renfort musculaire.

Vincent Cassigneul

C’est un ancien camarade de classe de mon mari qui vit à Toulouse. La photographie est sa passion et en tant que père de quatre filles, il s’est entrainé sur de jolis mannequins. Lors d’une sortie en péniche sur la Seine j’ai été impressionnée par l’oeil vif que possède Vincent. Il reussi à capturer des moments dont nous ne profitons pas assez.  

Wine Contacts

J’ai rencontré Mary Kirk Bonnet grâce à nos fils respectifs. Franco-américaine, Mary détient le prestigieux titre de «Sommelier-Conseil». Elle a sublimé nos dîners avec des sélections de vignobles d’exception. Nos amis s’extasient toujours sur l’expérience chaleureuse et délicieuse que nous avons vécue au cours de la dégustation de vins entre amis chez nous.



Un grand merci à vous tous qui me faites confiance dans ce projet. Je remercie tout particulièrmement celles que je n’ai pas encore rencontré et qui ont, quand même, contribuées à l’aventure parce qu’ils sont passionnées et croient dans le sens de notre projet commun:

Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home


Enthousiasme. Passion. Cooperation. @ Work !

Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home et Enthousiasme. Passion. Cooperation. @ Work. 🙂 Click to Tweet


Cover Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash


Cool Anger & Reconnect “Automagically”

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

Free “Quick Fix” Coaching Call with Denise Dampierre, Positive Discipline parent educator and founder of SoSooper

Among the most frequent questions I get from parents is, “How can I get my child to calm down?”

It’s uncanny how an adult can feel disarmed by a child lost in a tantrum.

Take heart!

With a few solutions in your pocket, you can feel confident to connect with your child…even when they “lost it.”

(And these tools can help YOU coooooool down when you feel on the verge of explosion )

Coaching Call for “Quick Fix” Anger-Calming Tools

You just experienced a harried situation?  You DEFINITELY don’t want to relive it the same way next time?!  Give a “Quick Fix” call.

It’s 30 minutes over the phone to share your situation and get tips to move from “HELP!!!!”  to “Hope ????

How it works

  1. When you have a “Help” moment, you call.  If I’m free, we’ll talk or we’ll set up a meeting.
  2. You’ll share the delicate situation;
    I’ll share several amazing Anger-Calming tools;
    you’ll choose one to try, and
    we’ll do a role play to help make the tool work for you.

The goal is to reconnect FAST and to transform this challenge into a gifted opportunity for growth…albeit a present in wrapping that’s well disguised!  

SoSooper is about become the most super we can be by learning from our mistakes.  We’ll drop the perfection-pretense and get right down to some practical solutions to speedily (re)connect positively with your child.

And, did you know that blown fuses can be AVOIDED?  Learn more about Positive Discipline and this approach to build cooperative and respect-filled relationships.  

Anger & the Brain

Check out this child-friendly video by Jeanette Yoffe to learn about you and your child’s brain and how it changes with anger.

Ask for a Hug

Try this.  It works incredibly to calm kids’ anger.  This is a tool from Dr. Jane Nelsen, the founder of Positive Discipline.

  1. Take a DEEP breath.
  2. Get at eye level with your child.
  3. Say, “I need a hug.”
    Avoid saying the child needs a hug. By requesting one yourself, you share warmth with your upset child AND you give him control.
  4. If your child refuses to budge, ask again, “I need a hug.”
  5. If your child still resists, leave him alone saying, “When you are ready, come and find me. I still need a hug.”
    Usually your child needs a hug just as much as you do.  He craves to belong!
  6. You just averted a power struggle ???? and enabled you to calm down (a bit).  You also enabled your child to calm down.
  7. If the child’s tantrum is in a public place, your request for a hug will have probably calmed your child enough to join you to go to a discreet spot.

How and why does the above tool work?  That’s what we explore in parenting training.  In the meantime, enjoy that it does result in speedy reconnection.


More to Come

Psst…more parenting gifts to come on the Parent Advent Calendar. Stay tuned!

Find out about the other generous donors on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home Advent Calendar


Calmer les colères & Reconnecter “Automagiquement”

Le Cadeau du Jour du calendrier de l’avent pour parent
Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home

Coaching téléphonique de 30 minutes pour une“Réponse Rapide”
Avec Denise Dampierre, éducatrice parentale en Discipline Positive

Parmi les questions les plus fréquentes que me posent les parents, il y a: «Comment puis-je calmer mon enfant?

Il est déconcertant de voir comment un adulte (moi, par exemple) peut se sentir désarmé par un enfant en pleine crise de colère.

Quelques solutions permettent de se sentir en confiance pour communiquer avec ses enfants.

(Et ces outils peuvent vous aider à relâcher la pression lorsque vous vous sentez au bord de l’explosion ☹)

Coaching téléphonique de 30 minutes pour une”Réponse Rapide”

Vous venez de vivre une situation difficile et vous souhaitez évitez de la revivre? Passez un appel “Quick Fix” (“Réponse Rapide”) : 30 minutes pour partager votre situation et obtenir des conseils pour transformer une situation de détresse en une situation d’espoir et d’évolution.

Comment ça marche

  1. Nous fixons un rendez-vous téléphonique  pour le jour même ou le lendemain
  2. Vous décrivez la situation
  3. Je partages plusieurs outils pour calmer les colères; vous choisissez un à essayer prochainement; et nous faisons un jeu de rôle pour vous entraîner

Le but est de reconnecter RAPIDEMENT avec votre enfant et de transformer une crise momentanée en opportunité d’apprentissage.  C’est un cadeau (bien déguisé) ! 

Ma philosophie et celle de SoSooper est d’abandonner la perfection-prétention.  Ensemble nous trouverons quelques solutions pratiques pour vous (re) connecter positivement avec votre enfant.

Et saviez-vous que les crises de colère peuvent être évités? Apprenez-en davantage sur la discipline positive pour bâtir des relations coopératives et respectueuses.

Apprentissage Bonus

Voici une video pour comprendre le fonctionnement du cerveau lorsqu’on est calme…et EN COLERE!  A partager en famille.


Demander un Câlin

Les enfants réagissent mal au fait de sentir contrôlés, comme quand ils entendent «Fais ceci…» ou «ne fais pas cela…»

Quand les adultes disent «j’ai besoin d’un câlin», ce dernier se place lui-même dans une position de vulnérabilité et laisse le contrôle à l’enfant. Cela diminue les tensions et permet au flux d’amour de circuler à nouveau.

La plupart du temps l’enfant réagira extrêmement bien, et donnera le câlin. Cela dit, il se peut qu’il ne le fasse pas. Essayez encore en disant «J’ai besoin d’un câlin.» S’il n’y a pas de réponse,  partez en invitez l’enfant à vous rejoindre quand il sera prêt à vous donner ce câlin dont vous avez besoin.

Ce n’est que le début…

Psst … plus de cadeaux de parentalité arrivent sur ce calendrier. Restez à l’écoute!

Découvrez la générosité des sponsors du  Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home Calendrier de l’Avent pour Parents.

Child in front of Christmas presents

Co + Work for your Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home

How the seed of an idea took root and blossomed into a collaborative project for YOU.

Parisian entrepreneurs are offering parents 1000€ of gifts through an interactive, online Parents’ Advent Calendar.

(There is still time to sign up in English…ou en français)


It Began at Mona

When this free co-working space for women opened in November, I jumped at the opportunity to work with dynamic, feminine company.

A BIG thanks to the sponsors – My Little Paris, AXA Insurance, Estée Lauder, and Nike – who bring us this welcoming space from November 1 through December 31, 2017.

What can one do in a co-working space that one cannot be done at home all alone?

CO as well as WORK!

Five minutes into walking through the front door I introduced myself to the woman sitting at my table.  Well, really, she was happily sitting there first and I smilingly intruded, asking if I might join.  I set an objective to meet five new people every day and discovered passionate women engaged in fascinating projects.

What enticing project could I build to share my passion for strong families that stay connected even during the tantrums AND the disobedience AND the frustrations of daily life?

A “CO” project!

A Meaningful Purpose

As a parenting coach trained in Adlerian principles, I espouse the principles of belonging to and contributing to a community with a purpose larger than oneself.

Which purpose?

At this time of year, Christmas seemed obvious.  And yet French friends have lamented the commercialized spirit.

The underlying spirit of the season is Joy. Peace. Love. 

We parents raise the joy-bringer and peace-makers of tomorrow through the love they experience at home!

We are raising the joy-bringer and peace-makers of tomorrow! Click to Tweet

Voilà!  Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home


Stronger Together

Enthused by the idea, I discovered an amazing online interactive Advent Calender by Dot.vu.  Check it out.  Their 15 day free trial allowed me to test the idea with potential collaborators.  Their service is top notch.  Tom invited me for a 30 minute Google Hangout personalized guide and Pedro answered my (numerous) queries efficiently and professionally.

Enthused by the purpose and the tool, 15 entrepreneurs joined in.

It is a delight to introduce them to you.  Today you meet the people.

(Every day of advent you’ll discover the gifts they each share.)

Denise Dampierre, founder of SoSooper

A bit about me:  As a Harvard MBA and the mother of 4 boys in 6 years, I’ll describe the early years of parenting as the energy-management business:  expend the boys’; conserve mine.  Now, we focus on making empowering memories and creating a family culture where everyone thrives.  My passion: to help raise the next generation of joy-filled, peace-making, and loving men and women.

Adrien Bracon, Coiffeur à Domicile

Adrien has styled my hair for decades.  Trained at Jean-Marc Manniatis, the Haute Coiffure, Adrien now brings his talent “chez vous.”  Phew! Instead of lugging four tots to the hairdresser and waiting out their turn, we could spend that time snuggling at home while Adrien styled the whole family.  He is so talented, I give him “carte blanche” on my head.

Alice Lamotte

Mothers of four children flock together, especially when we seek ways for families to THRIVE (vs. survive).  Alice and I met through Positive Discipline where we both sought training to build respect-filled and cooperative homes…first “chez nous” then beyond.  Alice abounds in energy.  She combines physical health with socio-emotional well-being in her Gym & Talk coaching.


Béatrice Cornet Vernet and I connected through Femmepreneurs, a network of women entrepreneurs in the west of Paris.  I fell in love with her Liberty fabric accessories.  Béatrice and I have not yet met face-to-face (!) AND she graciously agreed to join in our adventure even during this busy time of Christmas fairs every weekend.

Chantal Bourges

Chantal and I were roommates at an international Positive Discipline conference.  You get to appreciate someone when you see them with tousled-hair and sleepy-eyed.  The mother of FIVE children, Chantal sat on the board of the French and US Positive Discipline associations.  She coaches and trains parents and teachers locally and internationally.

Elli Photography

Elli Ioannou and I met at Mona.  As another Anglophone (Elli hails from Australia) she too felt at ease with the “CO” aspect of coworking.  She is established as a fashion photographer trained in analog photos.  That means, she catches the moment (think kids).  Elli got excited about our collaborative project; ”I choose to work with this community!”

English Dream Cakes

As a member of the Facebook group Anglopreneurs, I saw a post of ravishingly dreamily decorated cakes.  The post came and went.  The image remained.  And what a joy it has been to exchange with mother-daughter team Cheryl and Dew.  They combine genteel with professional.  Stir in creativity and cover with generosity.  All served with a delicious smile.


Amanda Wigby and I learned to appreciate each other through constructive feedback.  We challenged each other to overcome a discrepancy between our “Talk” (the services we provide) and our “Walk” (how we express our expertise in everyday life).  Authentic, open, and visionary, Amanda helps you and me replace “I should” behavior with acting on our personal priorities.

Light On

A group of students at ISCOM are helping me with the backstage of this project.  The correct my French, give feedback, do design work, stay active on social media, and cheer me on.  It’s thanks to knowing they are covering my back that I dared to venture on this project.  Thanks, to Anaïs Kisasondi, Camille Meunier-Sirven, Rose Rapp, Elodie Schwinn, and Laura Wieczorek.


Virginie Chabert also comes to us through Femmepreneurs.  Virginie creates products that help children grow in responsibility.  One of our most popular downloads on SoSooper was a chore chart for kids to want to help with chores.  Ludocatix replaces my cut-and-paste routine charts with positive-parenting-inspired tools that children and parents build together.

Maman NYC à Paris

I shared about my first day at Mona.  Before settling down to work, I paused at the Maman café located on the premises to be warmly greeted by Antoine and his team.  They smilingly serve coffee, tea, and especially yummy delights (both savory and sweet) to keep us coworkers energized during the day.  A coworking without coffee & cooking?  Just a space…

My Little Paris

It’s the My Little Paris team that greets us so warmly at Mona.  The company launched with five women teaming to sniff out trends and deals which reflect Parisian flair.  They wrapped these up beautifully in boxes, and send them out to moms, dads, and tots too…on three continents!  I love how My Little Paris makes it easy to remain chic when we parents have little energy and time to spare.

Poke Bar

Our children introduced me to Elodie Macquet.  Also a mother of boys, Elodie is a serial entrepreneur.  She and her neighbor Isabelle opened Poke Bar in March, bringing Hawaii sunshine to Parisian tables.  Their restaurant, just off place de l’Opéra, serves fresh poke bowls on the spot and to go.  Our teen boys delighted on their tasty, healthy, light, AND filling meal.

Ruth Naomi Floyd

Ruth and I came to know each other through my mistake.  In Paris to sing gospel lyrics set to jazz music for an event I organized…she arrived a day earlier than I expected!!  No room at the hotel, she came to our home and partook in our noisy, home-fare dinner.  Joy!  Multi-talented, Ruth is also a fine-arts photographer and compassionately cares for people affected by HIV and AIDS.


Our children’s classmates stem from an entrepreneurial vibe!  It’s through our son that we met Katell Perrot just as she was launching TooFruit.  We tasted her enthusiasm as she introduced us to blueberry lotions and pineapple creams especially developed for children’s skin.  These organic potions deliciously cleanse and nourish kids from head to toe.

(Une Parenthèse Bougie)

Femmepreneurs came through again to introduce Valérie Nicol…virtually.  ‘Tis the season of candlelight and Valérie specially selects her candles for mood magic.  When I mentioned the theme, she exclaimed, “I’ve got just the candle for the occasion.  It’s even new to the catalog ????”

Villa Manon

Another through-our-children meeting with Mary Holmes Smith.  She participated in a Positive Discipline class with other parents and we stayed connected.  Now I frequent her studio where she leads Pilates and yoga classes.  It’s a breathe of rejuvenation to enter her serene, ginger-lemon scented atelier for stretching and strengthening.

Vincent Cassigneul

A classmate of my husband living in Toulouse, Vincent and I meet at reunions.  Photography is his hobby and as the father of four girls, he’s had practice with models.  On a boat party recently, Vincent impressed me with his eye.  He captured moments that many of us miss.  While we focused on the obvious, Vincent sought out pearls. Thanks.

Wine Contacts

Our sons’ brought Mary Kirk Bonnet and I together.  A Franco-American, Mary holds the prestigious “Sommelier-Conseil” title.  She has graced our dinner parties with choice selections from favorite vineyards.  Our friends still rave about the insightful, warm, and delightful time we shared during the private wine-tasting Mary led in our home.  Thanks.


Thank You

A big thanks to all of you who trusted in me and in this project  and chose to work together.  And a special thanks to those I have not yet met who jumped in this collaborative effort because they have a passion and believe in our combined purpose:

Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home


Thrill. Passion. Cooperation. @ Work !

Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home and Thrill. Passion. Cooperation. @ Work. 🙂 Click to Tweet


Cover Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

smiling teenager with parents

10 Skills Teens Need to Succeed

When your child leaves home, replacing the school book bag with the briefcase, what skills do you want him to master?

French boys off to school

Probably reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Yet when we ask this question in our Positive Discipline parenting classes, moms and dads don’t even mention the 3R’s.  Parents focus directly on the Soft Skills like


Search for excellence.


Wise Decision-Making.

Where are the Teens with Skills to Thrive?

Employers agree these are the traits that lead to success.  They also lament that entry level students lack Soft-Skill-Savvy.

PayScale, the largest salary level database in the world, reports a major disconnect between what employers seek in their entry level students and what universities teach.  A whopping 50-55% of college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed!

The skills employers seek are the hardest to find as per the Employment Gap study by Millenial Branding & Experience, Inc.

Employable skills, where art thou?!

Students may have mastered Algebra and Molecular Biology, but they’re tottering in Teamwork and Self-Management.

Teens are concerned and so are their parents.  That’s why Harvard Business School alumni who are also parents listened in on Marie Schwartz, founder and CEO of TeenLife, as she presented the 10 Skills Teens Need to Succeed.  (The slide above is from her material)

Here is Schwartz’s list of Skills to Succeed:

  1. Drive/passion
  2. Independence/Self-Management
  3. Time-Management/Prioritization
  4. Interpersonal Skills
  5. Cultural Awareness
  6. Verbal & Written Communication
  7. Teamwork & Collaboration
  8. Critical Thinking/Problem-Solving
  9. Technical Know-How
  10. Grit/Determination


How will our children learn these skills to thrive?

The way you and I parent matters.

Even with the best intentions, we moms and dads can alienate our teens (and teach them to reject our values)…or we can connect with them and give ourselves a chance to keep training our kids in positive skills.

Our parental responses teach our kids.  What will they learn?

Teen lessons: “I better not get caught next time.” & “Am I REALLY capable?”


smiling teenager with parents
Teen lessons: “I am loved even when I’m not perfect.” & “I’ll do my best to be worthy of their trust.”


I don’t have time to teach these skills!

Too much on your plate already?

It’s not a matter of “adding to your plate.” Try doing some of the same tasks DIFFERENTLY.

Here’s an example (and one day I will write 5 ways to Teach Teen Skills without Taking more Time)

    1. Build Confidence through a Household Chore
      The children are needed and the family counts on them. “Darling, I NEED my table setter to do his job BEFORE the beans burn!”
    2. Teach Respect & Humility through another Household Chore (!)
      It’s hard to treat Mom like the maid when the kids vacuum too!
    3. Practice Teamwork through…a Family Team Clean!!! (on the SoSooper App)
      Intentionally develop a culture of collaboration. “Family helps family. It’s what we do.”
    4. Encourage Love of Excellence & Self-Evaluation by Inspecting the Household Chore
      “An O.K. job of cleaning the sink is when there are no pink toothpaste smudges. A super clean sink has shiny chrome.  What quality job have you done?”
    5. Instill Self-Management by kindly and firmly insisting on Household Chore…
      “Sweetheart, we said you may play with you friends WHEN the laundry is folded. How is the laundry now?  (in the dryer) Then you know what to do.”

    (You guessed that I believe in inviting the children to participate in household tasks.)

    Transmitting life skills to kids requires parent passion and grit more than it requires money or even time.

    Transmitting life skills to kids requires parent passion and grit more than money or even time. Click to Tweet

    Where and how to start?

    That’s where parent coaching can come in handy

    • To identify the family-helping tasks that truly make life easier for the parents AND are age-appropriate for the kids
    • To share ways to on-board the children so that they feel engaged and want to participate
    • To get YOUR reminders remember to follow through the children
    • To learn tools to present your requests so that children listen
    • To follow through effectively and avoiding power struggles

    Drop us a line

DJ at radio studio

A parenting coach, a cop’s kid, and a foodie talk on radio

Yep, I was invited on the Thursday noon talk show with David Hailwood, the director of Expat Radio, and Lisa Ranking, founder of  Flavors of Paris.

On the air with 64K listeners from 86 countries I shared about parenting… yet the most dauting audience was:

  • Lisa, the mother of two cats, who interviewed me about SoSooper and Positive Discipline.  We connected on topics like empowerment, different cultures, AND getting kids to eat.
  • David, the son of a Manchester police officer, who introduced lively discussion through unnerving anecdotes: the mother who threw china out the window and kids trying to bribe their way out of punishment.

Here are a few highlights:

Expats + SoSooper => Family Culture

SoSooper helps parents build a culture of thriving for their families.

Parents often take family culture for granted.  Have you defined yours?

There is a moment, however, when families confront culture head on…when they move abroad and become expats.  Simple things become complicated.

The Dampierre’s (my family) are quite Frenchified and savor our daily fresh baguettes.  When we go to the US, “fresh” bread comes wrapped in plastic bags(!)…so that it can last for days!!!

Corporate culture, however, is a priority for most professional organizations.  Managers in companies invest money, time, and talent to create an environment that promotes success.  Isn’t thriving what we want for our loved ones too?

So, I spoke of SoSooper bringing leadership tools to the family arena, training and coaching parents in empowering their children and developing habits which promote cooperation and inclusivity.

Build a culture of thriving for your family. Click to Tweet

Foodie Examples of Family Culture

In talking with Lisa, of course, we embarked on a conversation on food and children’s eating habits.  How might a family culture relate to the food on one’s table?

Lisa enquired this way: “Should parents insist that their children try every food on their plate?”

My answer: “It depends upon the family culture.”

Take the Discovery Family.  Mom and Dad take to heart the importance of diversity and want their children to embrace it.  To be consistent, parents could train the kids to welcome differences by having them try a variety of foods.  They could pursue further than merely requesting to try foreign fare.  Why not entertain a weekly discovery meal?  Have YOU tasted strawberry risotto, watercress soup, or curry pizza!

Consistency is key.

And it’s sooper easier to say than to do.  (That’s why we offer coaching.)

It’s harder to be convincing as a parent when you say, “Be tolerant and open-minded,” and daily serve up noodles and butter (or another standard staple).

Let your actions and your words speak the same language.

When Plates Fly – Anger Management

That’s when David contributes the story of his boyhood friend with the open ground floor window.  No matter what the weather.  He found out why the hard way.

One afternoon, in heading over to his buddy’s house to play, he was nearly hit by a plate whizzing out from the house.  A woman’s raging voice accompanied the flying saucer.

Buddy and he hurredly scurried away to play in safety until the mother’s fury abated.

As a positive parenting coach, how does one respond to such a tale on live radio?!

I can empathize.

Like this mum, I (and surely you too) have moments of “Loosing it.”

And the kids know which levers to pull to reach that tipping point. 

Yet another muddy footprint on the light carpet.  A look of defiance.  Lack of response…especially when I’m in a hurry.  They expect me to react immediately to their request…when they previously gave the silent treatment…

“So, is anger bad?  What if we can’t help it?” inquired Lisa.

Anger. Flying books. Scream
Confused, wondering child

Emotions as Gifts

Emotions are neither good nor bad.  They are signs that something good or bad is happening.

I like to view feelings as gifts.  Emotions occur in response to events or behaviors.  Something happened BEFORE the plates flew.

We often think of anger management in terms of “solving it in the moment.”  It’s when we feel anger than we need to deal with it.

But what if we could include the children in positive ways of organizing the home so that the anger triggers don’t even happen? 

Consider this family.  The mom flipped her lid when the children regularly complained about the food she lovingly cooked.  She created Weekly Menu’s and invited the Biggest Complainer to make the menu for the entire family.  “You get to choose what to eat…AND when the others don’t like it, they tell you.”

He felt honored to be trusted with the responsibility…for several weeks until he realized it was really work.  This solution transformed his mealtime vocabulary; he replaced whining with gratitude.  Instead of, “Peas?!  You know I hate them,” he exclaimed, “Great!  Today is corn day!”

And the plates stay in the cupboard.

Punishment Avoidance

David graced us with another parenting story.

Ask questions sign

As the son of a policeman, he was privy to delinquent youth’s request to negotiate favored treatment with the police.

Dave’s stories sure kept me on my toes… and I was glad to share a Positive Discipline anecdote from Californian police.  They used the tool of Limited Choices to engage the cooperation of people they were arresting.

“Would you like your handcuffs in front or in back?”  “Do you want your mug-shot on the right side or the front view first?”

These questions enabled the police to remain firm in their requests WHILE treating the detainees with respect.

It works at home too.  “Would you like to put your blue shoe or your red one on first?”  “Will you turn the video game off or shall I?”

Lisa exclaimed, “Denise, what you do is help parents empower their kids!”  Exactly.

How to Prepare for Parenting?

And David came up with his third story.

So, clearly parenting benefits from practice.  He’s heard of mums carrying around the industrial size bags of flour to get ready to be a parent.

Here, Lisa interjects.  “David, if you ever choose a career reconversion, avoid parent coaching!”

Could you hear my smile on the radio?!

When Parents Wish Kids had “Pause” Buttons?!

(Maybe unknowingly) David uncovered another soft spot… Might there be moments when parents do treat their children like an object?

“NEVER!” Is the first thought to come to mind.

And yet…. there were moments I craved to find my sons’ “Pause” button.  In the grocery store when walking by the candy aisle.  When it’s bedtime and he wants to keep playing.  When he refuses to listen…

Boy playiing in leaves in fall
Where is “Pause”?
Boy sleeping in pile of fall leaves
Found it!


Machines and robots have “Pause” buttons.  People don’t.  And children are people.

It’s one of the principles I love about Positive Discipline.  This science-based approach to building respect-filled relationships is founded on the principles of Dr. Alfred Adler, a forward-thinking psychiatrist from the 1930’s.  Austrian by birth, he worked with prisoners of war as well as with children.    At that time, both groups of people were considered second-class citizens.  Children were to be seen but not heard.  Victims of wartime imprisonment, staggering to find their bearings after freedom, felt locked in trauma and stigma.  Alfred Adler believed in the equal value of every person: whatever their age, race, gender, career, past, or potential.

That means they (and we) each have choice.

You and I cannot forcefully push the “Pause” button on someone else.

We can, however, put OURSELF on “Pause” and create a family culture where calming down becomes the welcome norm.


“When You’re Angry, Go to Your Room.”

For close to a decade, our family has practiced an Annual Review.  The children give me feedback on

  • What I do well. I commit to continuing.
  • What behavior they would like me to change. They make the request and we talk about this.

Our youngest piped up, “Mom, when you are angry, go to your room!”

What wisdom!  From whom did he hear that?  Clearly from One. Smart. Parent.

This child created our Family Pause Button.

Now, when I am blind with fury (which happens more rarely ????), my children help me find clarity.  “Mom, remember your job (from the Annual Review)…”

And in the same way, I share it with them: “Sweetheart, it sounds like you’re angry.  Shall we both go to our rooms?”


Thanks Lisa and Dave for an inspiring discussion.  The contrast in styles and perspectives is what made it so rich.

David, you CHALLENGED me.  Thank you.  Your comments stimulated me to put into practice my principles of empathy and value of differences.

Lisa, thank you for your encouragement.  You expressed, “Aha!’s” throughout our exchange.  That’s what SoSooper is about:  learning, growing, becoming Sooper (super with room for more growth).

Hope to catch you again on the air.  www.ex-patradio.com

Cover image by John Hult from 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.”



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.