Posts Tagged parenting

Top Traits of Good Parents

A few years ago I read an article about the top traits of good parents. Even though it’s been several years since the article’s publication, the information is timeless and I wanted to share it once again.

The following is from “WHAT MAKES A GOOD PARENT? A scientific analysis ranks the 10 most effective child-rearing practices” by Robert Epstein, Scientific American Mind, November/December 2010, pp. 46-51

The Top Traits of Good Parents

Here are 10 competencies that predict good parenting outcomes, listed roughly in order from most to least important. The skills—all derived from published studies—were ranked based on how well they predict a strong parent-child bond and children’s happiness, health, and success.

  1. LOVE AND AFFECTION. You support and accept
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Discipline Online

Discipline Online is now available for teachers, parents, and anyone working with young people. 

If you are at a school, home, or youth setting where discipline and behavior are out of control and where young people are not acting responsibly, then Discipline Online will be of great assistance. If you are a leader, teacher, or parent that imposes punishments, lectures, nags, or uses time-outs or detention, then Discipline Online is for you. If you are still rewarding young people for things they should be doing anyway, learn a better way.

You owe it to yourself—and to the people with whom you work—to use a more effective approach than any of those mentioned above. Learn how to deal with behavior challenges … >>>


A procedure for getting preschoolers to try new foods

A few days ago I was in a restaurant having lunch.  Next to me was a young mom also having lunch, accompanied by her lovely little preschooler.  As their meal was ending, I noticed the mom lift a spoonful of something uneaten from her daughter’s plate and offer it to the little girl––who, with a shake of her curly blond head, declined to eat.  That wasn’t unusual but what the mom said next prompted me to pay a bit more attention.

She said, “Okay, Katie, if you like this can be your “No thank you bite.”  The little girl shook her head no.

No thank you bite?

Huh?  What was she talking about?

Since I’d never heard this expression before, … >>>


Rewards change motivation

I was talking with a friend yesterday who told me the following story.

Recently she had been chatting with a man who coaches soccer teams of 8 and 9 year olds. He mentioned that this year he’d had a lot of difficulty in getting his players to work together as a team.

My friend, an experienced teacher, started to offer some suggestions; she knew of many activities that might encourage teamwork.  But the man quickly stopped her.

“Oh, you don’t understand,” he said.  “It’s not the kids who are the problem––it’s the parents!  The parents have all promised their children that they’ll get two dollars every time they score a goal. The kids are so intent on getting … >>>


An Interview about Where We Are Going – Part II

This is the second part in a series of interviews about “Where We Are Going” with Michael F. Shaughnessy of Eastern New Mexico University.

I have enjoyed your Oliver Wendell Holmes story about the issue as to where we are going. With all this emphasis on Annual Yearly Progress and the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) , where indeed are we heading? Can you tell us the story to set the context for this interview?


As the train conductor made his way down the aisle collecting tickets, the forgetful Oliver Wendell Holmes saw him coming. The Associate Justice reached into his pocket—first into one, then into another, then into a third pocket. When the conductor arrived … >>>


Telling vs. Asking

No one likes to be TOLD what to do. Think of a time when someone told you what to do or told you that you had to do something. Notice how it conjures up a negative feeling.

I grew up with a friend who, when told what to do by a parent, would find an excuse NOT to do it. Even if it was something he wanted to do, such as going outside to play, he would find an excuse to stay indoors just because he was TOLD.

Depending upon the other person’s mental frame at the time, when we tell a person what to do—regardless of how admirable our intentions—the message is often PERCEIVED either as an attempt to … >>>


Victor Frankl and Responsibility

David McMillian hosts an hour-long weekly radio program entitled, “Strategies for Living.” When he interviewed me for his program, he mentioned Viktor Frankl. Dr. Frankl was a professor of both neurology and psychology at the University of Vienna and a prolific writer. Perhaps his most famous book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” describes what he learned in surviving three Nazi death camps. This short book has a profound positive effect on anyone who reads it.

McMillian commented that Dr. Frankl suggested that what America needed was a “Statue of Responsibility” on the West Coast to balance the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast.

Society’s emphasis on rights has not been balanced with an equal emphasis on responsibility. Many parents, having … >>>


Success and Making Progress

Success isn’t always about winning. This is a very important point for parents to understand.

A woman having lunch at a small cafe was seated next to a family celebrating their son’s basketball game. Their conversation was so lively that the woman joined in. “You must have been on the winning team,” she said.

The kid grinned from ear to ear. “No, we lost by 20 points. The other team had a killer defense. We were only able to make one basket.”

Did YOU make the basket?” she asked.

With his mouth filled with cake and ice cream, the boy shook his head “no.” His father reached across the table to give him a high five. His mother hugged him … >>>


Teaching Responsibility

Parents and teachers have a responsibility to promote appropriate behavior. Promoting responsibility is more than a one time occurrence.

A rich woman walked up to the golf pro at an expensive resort and said, “I’d like for you to teach my friend here how to play golf.”

“Fine,” said the pro, “but how about you?”

“Oh, I learned yesterday!” she replied.

I share this rather humorous story to illustrate that learning to promote responsibility is something like learning to play golf. You can’t master it all in one day. But I can tell you that, like golf, prompting people to act responsibly by asking reflective questions is a skill you can learn. As with any skill, the more you … >>>


The Book: Discipline Without Stress

I received the following correspondence:

I am a music teacher. Last year, I came to a point where I was ready to quit—not just threaten—but actually quit teaching after 18 years. That’s when I ran across your book,  and it saved my career as well as my life!

I immediately went back the next day to my classroom and implemented the process.  WOW! What a difference for me and the students.  I no longer have to be a “gritchy” person!

I love and live what you have shared in your book “Discipline Without Stress” and it has definitely reduced stresses in my classroom. Also, my students are becoming self-reliant, internally motivated, and responsible.

I’ve used it, I’m using it, I … >>>


Reducing Perfectionism Part II of III


Give the student an assignment. Have him explain the following aphorism, “You cannot be perfect and learn at the same time.”

A few examples may help. (1) Have him assume that he is playing the piano and makes a false note. Ask him if he will conclude that he has no musical talent? (2) Have him assume he is playing baseball and strikes out. Ask him if he will assume that he has no athletic skills? (3) Have him assume that he misspells a word on a spelling test. Ask him if he will assume he has no writing skills?

Let him know that PERFECTIONISM is a burden no one is strong enough to carry without permanent … >>>


Reducing Perfectionism Part I


I stumbled upon an article entitled, “Reducing Perfectionism,” and it was enlightening. I am a principal of two rural buildings and I often direct my teachers to articles and readings that will promote success in the classroom.

I was wondering if you had any ideas or strategies for a child we would like to help. His teacher is frustrated because he takes so very long to complete his work. He is very neat, precise and there is no issue with his learning. He is successful, but his tendency is to be perfect. It must look right, by his perception, before moving on; it’s this moving on that we need to trigger. I am open to any strategies that may … >>>


Impulse Control and Reflective Questions


I’d appreciate your advice on handling a few children who persist in behaving at Level B, even after I have “checked for understanding” and have proceeded with “guided choices.”

Today I told one of my students who hit another child, “I want you to stay in our classroom, but if you act on Level B again, you are telling me that you want to keep on making your own rules for the class.”


Next time, ASK the student if he would like to stay in the classroom. Then ASK him on what level he would need to behave to remain in the class.

Follow this up by ASKING him what he will do when he gets the same … >>>


Crucial Questions

In August 1986, Lee Iacocca, then President of Chrysler, addressed the company’s car dealers at their annual convention held that year in Atlantic City, NJ.

Iacocca’s message was to tell his dealers how they could increase their business in the next year. To succeed, he said, “All you have to do is memorize four words. Here they are: ‘Make someone like you.'”

Jim Cathcart’s book, “Relationship Selling,” was a forerunner and still a best seller on the importance of this concept. You see, even the slowest salesperson realizes that you can’t make the customer angry and sell him something at the same time.

Here are some questions to ponder in your relationships with others:

If I were a child, would … >>>


Looking for the Gold

The following is one of my favorite stories in my parenting book in the chapter describing the practice of positivity.

Andrew Carnegie, the first great industrialist in America, at one point had 43 millionaires working for him. A reporter asked him how he hired all of those millionaires. His answer was that none of them were millionaires when he hired them.

The reporter inquired, “Then what did you do to develop them so they became millionaires?”

Carnegie responded that you develop people the same way you mine gold.

He said, “You go into a gold mine and you expect to remove tons of dirt to find an ounce of gold. But you don’t go into the mine looking for the … >>>


Empowerment Brings Effectiveness for Parents and Teachers


I hope you can help me with my strong-willed daughter. She is very bright and got herself into some difficulties by not wanting to obey her first grade teacher.


Explain to the teacher that your daughter is extremely independent and that the teacher will have more success—and reduce stress on everyone’s part—if the teacher aims at EMPOWERING your daughter, instead of overpowering her in attempts to get her to obey.

Encourage the teacher to talk in positive terms and use a phrase such as, “I know you can do this because I have seen how capable you are.”

If you daughter is empowered, obedience will follow as a natural by-product.… >>>


Refelction, the Key to Influence and Successful Parenting

A key strategy to parenting and influencing others is to be a good listener.

But there is a paradox to this skill because in order to have influence with another, the influencer has to be open to being influenced. Simply stated, the more a person is open to others, the greater is the ability to influence. This may seem a paradox, but if you understand this paradox, you can be more effective in influencing others.

Here is the point: Listening can also refer to oneself. Warren Buffett, the ace stock picker and empire builder, gives credit to his partner, Charlie Munger, for the Orangutan Theory:

“If a smart person goes into a room with an orangutan and explains whatever his … >>>


How to Handle Resistance with a Youngster


When I tried to have my 6-year old leave a public swimming pool, she resisted to the point of almost making a scene. Not wanting to create a disturbance, as embarrassed as I was I resorted to having the lifeguard assist in my endeavors. I immediately thought of you and wondered how you would have handled this discipline situation. Any suggestions?


Children mature when they begin to realize that other people’s interests are also involved in their decisions. Having a youngster become aware of this is one of the most important charges a parent has.

If I were in that situation, I would ask my daughter, “Do you want to go swimming in the future?” This … >>>