How to Respond to Children’s Challenging Behavior

A three question framework to help you answer the question of "What do I do now?"

a little boy struggling with homework

During challenging moments, how do you choose when to empathize & connect, to set boundaries, or to teach a skill/lesson to the child?

I asked this question in our membership community, the Emotion Guide Collective, and we had a great discussion around what informs our decisions in the moment.

When children are struggling, it can be difficult to figure out how best to respond.

Our minds start whirling through our mental toolbox.

If your inner talk is anything like mine, it may sound something like this: “This strategy? No, this one. Well, that bombed. How about this one? What should I do? Nothing’s working! Aaargh!”

Having a framework of how to decide which strategy to choose in different situations keeps me from flailing about trying all the strategies hoping one sticks like spaghetti on a wall and the problem subsides.

Here are the three questions I ask myself that make up my decision making framework:

Continue Reading »

A New Approach to Discipline that Works

New Discipline Strategy

It’s fair to say that you want your kids or the kids you work with to make good choices and do what they’re supposed to do, right?

But sometimes nothing seems to stop their bad choices.

When you think of disciplining your child or student, what result is it having?  

Take a moment to think about your beliefs around the purpose of discipline and the actions these beliefs lead you to choose.

Continue Reading »

Four Ways to Respond to Back Talk & Sidestep Power Struggles

4 ways to respond to back talk and sidestep power struggles

How do you respond to kid’s back talk?

Inside the Emotion Guide Collective, our peer support community, one of our members shared a genius way she responds to her child’s back talk and it got me thinking more about the connection between back talk and power struggles.

When we view back talk as rude, disrespectful, and argumentative behavior that is unacceptable and must be stopped, we create an environment for power struggles to thrive.

Here are four other ways to think about back talk and sidestep power struggles:

Continue Reading »