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.

home

Calm Kids’ Anger – Create Positive Routines TOGETHER

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

Where did THAT come from?

How to calm the fury?

How to avoid the anger?

Do you know?

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

Join our Parent + Child Workshop

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

    
 parent child workshop for anger management

Here’s what we’ll do TOGETHER

1. Hunt down “the Issue”

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

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

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

2. Remember the LOVE

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

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

3. Make a Wish List

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

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

4. Create a Positive Routine Chart

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

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

5. Enjoy Goûter

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

We’ll be around to answer your questions too.

Yipee! Vacation (and Printable Chore Chart) for EVERYONE

Vacation = more fun 🙂
Vacation = more cooking, cleaning…and chores!

When Mom & Dad do ALL the chores, vacation can feel like work.
When the WHOLE family (and guests too) share, vacation feels like play 🙂

Create your family’s printable chore chart.

Turn a challenge into an loving opportunity. The kids love you. Let them know you feel loved when they help with chores at home. They will feel needed and valued. Everyone wins.

And there is more time to play…for EVERYONE.

[bctt tweet=”With our vacation chore chart, EVERYONE helps.  Work faster.  Play sooner and longer…for EVERYONE!”]

“Yipee! Vacation for Everyone” is mind-bogglingly effective.

Parents invest 10 minutes now to clarilfy expectations and allow children to choose their jobs. Mom & Dad benefit from daily help for chores from kids all vacation long.

Gets parents and kids smiling.

Who would have thought printable chore charts could be so exciting!  A fair and clear system for sharing household chores is appreciated because children are smart (especially yours!)

  • They know when one person does all the work, the situation is not fair.  And they don’t like it when life is not fair on them either.
  • They feel involved and important when they have a role to play.  “I’m needed.”
  • The “challenging work” of convincing kids to help out has been done.  They got to choose so it did not even feel like work for them 🙂 Follow up is easy.  “Oh, yeah!  MY job for today…”  If the children need a reminder, consider asking, “Who sets the table today?”
  • The children will feel even more involved when you delegate follow up to them.  It’s easy to know who does what on this printable chore chart.  Your helper will know who’s up for what job.  “JOOOEY.  YOUR TURN” sounds like police from mom & dad’s mouth.  From a fellow cohort, it sounds reasonable and even responsible!

Printable Chore Chart – Easy Peezy & Customizable

  1. Download the printable chore chart.  We’ve called it “Vacation for Everyone”
  2. Invite the kids to gather around you
    You can assure them it will only take 15 minutes.  (Let them put the timer on.)

We love the Vacation for Everyone Printable Chore Chart!

[av_testimonials style=’grid’ columns=’2′ interval=’5′ font_color=’custom’ custom_title=” custom_content=’#1cb3e6′]
[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Jeanette’ subtitle=’’Lil ones taught Big ones how to do chores’ link=’http://’ linktext=”]
Thanks SOOOO much for this.  We used it over the summer holidays when 16 people were at home:  my in-laws, my husband’s grown nephews, our four young girls …  It was a mix of ages, cultures, expectations, you name it.

I organized folk in teams of two.  Our eldest daughter was paired up with her 24 year-old cousin.  She taught him how to set the table!

My husband was surprised to be put to work…and to be reminded to “do your job” by his daughter!

And I laughed and (almost…we were soooo many) relaxed.
[/av_testimonial_single]
[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Hugo’ subtitle=’Thought of you all vacation…and it was good’ link=” linktext=”]
Hi Denise,

Remember me?  I’m your son’s friend.  My parents did your thing for the jobs on vacation and I thought of you!  Really, it got them off my back.  It was normal to help out…a bit.  We each took turns.  It felt fair. Good idea.

Hope you had a good vacation too.  See you soon.
[/av_testimonial_single]
[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Rayan’ subtitle=’I learned from the pictures’ link=” linktext=”]
Hi.  I like the pictures.  They taught me how to set the table so that I do a good job.  My mom did not tell me how to set the table but showed me the pictures.  Then she had me look at the table I set and compare it to the pictures.  Oops.  I learned how to do a job well.  Thanks.

P.S. My mom helped write this.
[/av_testimonial_single]
[av_testimonial_single src=” name=’Diane’ subtitle=’I’m teaching this to my parents’ link=” linktext=”]
Hi.  I babysat a family with this job chart thing.  It was so smooth and each kid knew what to do.  I took a picture and showed it to my parents and brother and sister.  We set up something like it at home.  I was tired of being asked to interupt whatever I was doing to help because one of the others was not willing to help out.  Now we know who does what.  And when it’s our turn, then it’s OK to help.  It’s normal even.

Thanks.  This got my parents off our backs and everyone helping out…happily.
[/av_testimonial_single]
[/av_testimonials]

“Help! I’m Losing It!” Article from Message Magazine

It’s a delight to share the excerpt of my article from the fall 2015 edition of the Message Magazine.  Enjoy!

Help!  I’m “Losing It!”

“It was automagic, Mom…”

According to my four sons, spilled milk is automagic, so are the bite marks on a sibling’s arm, and so is my teen’s phone battery that runs out just as I call him.

How to respond to kids’ “béttises” (misbehaviors)?  To laugh?  To cry?  To scream!

The 80/20 rule I learned in business school–which says that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of inputs—also applied to my parenting:  the vast majority of challenges were addressed with the same tool: my voice.  I spoke instructions, then raised my voice to unresponsive children, and ultimately just “lost it.”

In the business world, this management practice is called re-investing in a losing strategy.

At home, this behavior was considered “normal.”

Something had to change.  What?  And how?

I first tried to change other people:  to shrink the kids and to tweak my husband.  It eventually dawned on me to try and influence the one person over whom I had a semblance of control:  moi.

It’s like I finally started walking the yellow brick road in the direction of Home Sweet Home, a path I could travel with other “sooper” (phenomenal and perfectly imperfect) parents, where I could gain a fresh perspective on life and success, and we could empower each other to be our best.

When Kids Take Your Life by Storm…Hold onto the Buoy of Positive Discipline!

Has the arrival of kids taken your life by storm (and dropped you in the middle of Paris)?  Join the club.  Maybe the clouds will simply blow away…  Until then, try stepping out of the fury.

That’s the relief I received from Positive Discipline, an approach to building respectful and collaborative relationships.  I took a class, got hooked, and now lead workshops to help parents apply these principles for healthy relationships. Based on the work of Austrian psychiatrists Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs, Positive Discipline is a model for teaching young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful contributors to society. Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott adapted these principles into an interactive curriculum, and their books have sold millions …because the approach does wonders to transform home life.  It’s, like, automagic!

With Positive Discipline we first focus on…well, our own focus.  Are we looking for blame or for solutions?  How can we transform recurring challenges into opportunities to nurture respect, resilience, gratitude, love of excellence, and intimacy?

A wide array of Positive Discipline tools empower us to smoothly manage the daily issues:  power struggles, undue demands for attention, sibling rivalry, repetition-repetition-repetition, and more.  Additionally, these parenting “ruby slippers” hit the target with the needs of moms and dads in the Internet-age where our 2.0 youth expect to contribute to and impact their environment.

Positive Discipline works with teens as well as tots of 2.0 years.  Here’s how we applied the Adlerian principle of Firm and Kind to the family job, Get-Out-the-Door-on-Time-for-School-and-Work-With-a-Smile.  Firmness points to respecting the parental structure, such as the non-negotiability of timely departure.  Kindness refers to respect of the child’s perspective, like considering their input in the process.  Part of the Positive Discipline wonder lies in simultaneously respecting kids, mom & pop.

Positive Routine Tool for Parents & Kids Together

Positive RoutinesWe created Positive Routines, a photo-reportage of the priority tasks for leaving on time.  At work this would be called a job description communicated via Power Point.  At home, we call it fun, practical, and empowering.  It’s the process that renders the tool so effective.  First, we sat down to enumerate the multiple tasks needed to get done before walking out the door.  Deep discussion ranged from, “We gotta wake up!” to “Make our beds ?!?!” and “Brush our teeth…No, I already do that at night.” This is brainstorming time; let the ideas flow…especially from the children.  They know what needs doing; they have heard you say it over and over again.

Next we decided together which tasks NEED doing in the morning, when we feel groggy and possibly move slowly, and which ones can be completed the night before.  We classified “Getting parent’s signature,” “Getting school stuff ready,” and “Choosing clothes” among the evening jobs.

Finally, we put it into practice.  What liberty for me!  When the tykes came complaining that their bathing suits were still wet (and now smelling) from last week’s swimming class, I could truly sympathize AND remind them that we wash swimwear the night before.  Discomfort is a bummer, but not the end of their world.  Repeating myself again and again is the end of my sanity.  You bet they remembered the following week :).

These Positive Routine Picto’s also helped my husband and I coordinate our messages.  At first he questioned this process…until the week we had several morning signature requests.  The kids turned to their Dad for these because they knew I merely pointed to the Positive Routine Picto and gladly accepted to sign their paper that evening.  Finally he burst out, “No more signing in the morning for me either!”  The kids accepted it.  After all, these were their rules too.

These Positive Routine Picto’s were such a success that I developed a workshop specifically to bring parents and children together to create their own.  In these photos I love how one child revels in the full attention from all of the family members and how the boys and girls proudly display THEIR routines.  Parents shared delightful feedback.  One girl was showing hers off to a friend, who then told her mom, and the friend’s mom requested to take it home.  Another shared how, after the good-night routine, she noticed the light switch back on in her 3 year old’s room.  “Mommy, I forgot to choose my clothes for tomorrow.”

Our boys are now growing up and leaving home.  It’s a thrill and a solace to see them go forward with the life skills they need to make a life and a living.   And they tell it to me straight:  “Mom, when you stopped trying to be perfect, that’s when you were a great mom.”

May you and yours keep growing and growing together.

 

Denise Dampierre is the author of www.home-is-fun.com blog, a Harvard MBA, the mother of 4 boys, a trainer in Positive Discipline, and an American still married to a Frenchman after 20+ years!  She would be delighted to answer your questions on Positive Discipline (denise@home-is-fun.com).  You can also find out more on the associations’ sites:  www.positivediscipline.com in English and  www.disciplinepositive.fr in French.  This fall, Denise will be leading parenting classes in both English and in French.  You can also find her training professionals on building healthy relationships using these same positive principles.  After all, “People make the world go round” both at home and at work.