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So there it is. An invitation. Your child is waving it in your face with a grin brighter than gold.   And you? Does your heart soar? Or sink? Acceptance Similarity Belonging Self-worth Influence Betrayal Here’s Why OUR Friendships Matter Friendships can arouse big feelings – in us as well as our kids – and how we approach the joys and the ickiness friendships can bring requires us to separate. We need to remove the “us” from the “them.” But it can be tough untangling our own feelings when we invite friends into our families. (or they invite us).  This week, we’re inviting you to spend a minute or two thinking about the friends your child has, and the common challenges that come up when kids make friends (or don’t!). From Friends to Frenemies – the good, the bad and the ugly with kids and friends An explanation about why kids exclude others that you may not have considered Why friendships are fluid and how to use the Hand in Hand Tools to anchor relationships When to get involved in friendships and drama, and when to let go Why your friendships influence how you handle children, friends and their fallouts One […]
Coping with divorce? When today’s guest, instructor Kristen Zuzek Volk, found Hand in Hand, she’d almost written off a loving relationship with her daughter. After divorcing, her two kids were screaming, crying and acting out, her daughter sometimes for nine hours a day. Coping? Not really. Kristen was hard on them, and harder on herself. Even therapy didn’t work, so a parenting philosophy like Hand in Hand was the last thing she thought would help. She was wrong.  Find Peace in Your Parenting After Divorce Hand in Hand’s tools brought dramatic change to Kristen’s family. She learned how to see through her kids’ “crazy” behavior to the deep hurt causing it, and she found she could heal that hurt using the tools. Today her kids are teens. And they are also a tight, bonded, happy unit. If you’re coping with life after divorce, find out how you can use the tools to reach your kids. How to hold them. Anchor them. Learn how Kristen dealt with custody transitions, differing parenting styles, and upsets that came with separation. And learn how she navigated Special Time and Staylistening as a single parent. If you are separated or divorced, if you are co-parenting […]
You probably never imagined words like these erupting from your child’s mouth.  Dark. Venomous.  Hurtful words.  But here they are.  “I hate you!” Or worse. “I hate myself.” “I want to die.” Words that make us want to curl up and cry. Admit defeat. Give up parenting altogether. Except, of course, we can’t.  Even piling on hugs and love often doesn’t appear to soothe a child hurling those words (and thoughts) in those moments.  So what’s an emotionally-drained parent to do? This week on the podcast, we’re talking about the times our kid’s words get hurtful, whether they’re aimed at us or themselves. Where these words come from When to take notice, when to take action Ways you can respond that shift those thoughts and feelings When play works better than words When kids say stuff like this, it’s hard. It’s worse when it feels like yours are the only ones saying them. They aren’t. Join us this week for support and suggestions for how to move on when your kid’s words get hurtful.  More resources for when kids words get negative: For more about how kids acquire harsh language, read this article You can listen to negative language as […]
Want to increase your child’s co-operation? Have them listen more? Reduce clinginess?  Sometimes special time can feel like the magic balm in parenting. It can: Boost your child’s confidence.  It can build their resilience.  It can ease your own parent guilt about not spending enough “quality time with your kids.  And, one of the biggies, it can INCREASE children’s co-operation.  It does all these things! We’ve seen it countless times in our own families, but here’s the thing. Although it can increase co-operation, it isn’t guaranteed to. Especially if you aren’t setting up Special Time the right way.  So today, we’re talking about exactly why special time is so useful for increasing your child’s levels of co-operation.  How to set it up so that you stand the best possible chance of seeing this happen.  Are you using Special Time as maintenance or rescue? Why does it matter? And the difference between Special Time as a bargaining tool and the genuine invitation of setting everything aside for your child and the big effects that has.  If you’ve ever felt like Special Time wasn’t delivering the way you hoped, come problem-solve with Abigail and Elle on the Podcast this week.  Listen to Can […]
What gets you super seething mama mad? Is it the constant asks and requests, the “Mom where’s my… that’s so overwhelming? Maybe it’s the piles of toys and dishes and chip packets you asked to be tidied but are still smirking at you from the living room? Maybe it’s the stubbornness and defiance your child shows when you ask them to take a bath after giving them a wonderful day out? At least, you think it’s that the cause of all your parent anger! But what if that’s not really it at all? What if the source of your rage is connected to the limits you are setting. Or, more correctly, not setting? What does parent anger have to do with setting limits, anyway? This week on the podcast we’re sharing what behaviors make us blow and figuring out why. We show you how why, when you peel back the layers of feelings tightly packing your parent anger, you might well find a mama who was too exhausted, too overwhelmed, or too oblivious to set limits with her kids. And we talk about why not setting limits leads to rupture.  Do you know the best way out of Parent Anger? […]
If you catch yourself late at night, surrounded by toys, folding clothes and wondering why you don’t have time or energy to take a shower, ask yourself: Why am I doing all the chores? Where are my kids when I need them? And why aren’t those helpful little mice from Cinderella a real thing? And then breathe. Because chances are if you don’t, you’ll explode the mother lode with a tyranny of “Why do I never get any help around here? “Why do you NEVER pick up?” “Why do I have to ask you THREE times,” You know,  all that fun explosive stuff you promised you wouldn’t yell. Things Are About to Change This week on How to Make Your Kids Love Chores we’re looking at some great ways you can actually get down and dirty with getting your kids on board with helping around the house. On the podcast this week, we’re talking: Working with your toddler’s natural inclinations to help Getting clear on what works for you and your kids when it comes to chores Working on a feedback loop that encourages chat and change Figuring out what’s holding you and your family back from a workable chores […]
What’s the one thing you want for your child when they are sick? To have them feel better. What’s the one thing that most often gets in the way of that? When you walk away with a specialist appointment or wonkily-written script from Doc you have two things: A ticket better health for your child, hopefully, and also a potential prescription for tears and battles. How do you keep calm and carry on? This week on the podcast we show you how you can use the tools to overcome medical worry, emergencies, trauma and stress. Because when you are parenting sick kids, it isn’t just them who suffers. Whether your child has been through common childhood complaints or more serious medical challenges, we’ll show you what you can do to soothe things (that don’t just rely on a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down). On Parenting Sick Kids this week, learn: How Abigail armed herself with the tools to make a complete care package for her son’s heart-surgery – and her own sanity. This is really inspiring stuff. Why a slowly-slowly approach can eradicate all fears and battles What happens when medication NEEDS to happen How Special […]