All Articles Tagged "behavior"

Promoting Good Behavior: Books to Help You Discipline Your Child

June 13th, 2015 - By Rich
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For parents, promoting good behavior can be difficult. But thankfully there are many parenting guides that will teach you how to use kind and useful methods starting at a young age. When you click continue, you’ll be able to browse 15 books that we selected that give great advice for disciplining your little ones with love.

Promoting Good Behavior: Tools to Help You Discipline Your Child

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Are Selfish Parents Giving the Rest of Us a Bad Name?

July 31st, 2014 - By Rich
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Restaurants banning kids. Airlines instituting child free zones. It seems that the world is becoming an increasingly child unfriendly place. Each time I see one of these headlines I ask myself how we got here. When did society turn against its littlest citizens and why?

A few months ago I was hanging out at a library with my kids and their grandparents. My in-laws hung out with my children at the kids’ area while I set up shop with my laptop at a nearby table. As I attempted to catch up on some writing I noticed a little girl standing on a desk, jumping off, and running through the library screaming while being chased by a man and a woman who appeared to be her parents.

I’m judgey about ridiculous things like stirrup pants but I try to keep parenting judgements in check. A fifteen minute window into someone’s life isn’t an accurate portrayal of the full picture. Or is it? I do my best to squash the judging instinct and carry on. You never know what kind of day someone has had or what kind of special needs a child has. When possible I try to lend a helping hand to a struggling parent but this situation was a bit odd.

As the little girl screeched, thrashed, and distracted everyone within a 200 foot radius her parents tried to cajole her in to cooperating. They offered her candy and ice cream to stop the screaming and jumping. Nothing worked. The ruckus continued. Any chance I had of catching up on work was shot so I sat at the table and tweeted some thing like:

“If your child is running, screaming, and thrashing about in a public place disturbing everyone within earshot maybe leaving is a better option than offering an ice cream sundae. Maybe. Just a thought”.

My tweets were mostly met with parents who agreed. Meltdowns aren’t fun for anyone least of all the parent in charge, but sometimes it’s best to remove a child from a situation and not allow them to ruin everyone else’s experience. Others did not take too kindly to the suggestion. I was accused of everything from not being sensitive to children with special needs to not caring about the existence of someone’s child (what?). The girl was being loud in a library. Isn’t this parenting 101? Thou shalt not allow your child to scream like a banshee in a library?

I know that we as parents have different tools and methods for dealing with our kids. Distraction is sometimes necessary and works well for some, however I firmly believe that if your child’s behavior in a public place is distracting to others it’s best to handle the meltdown privately. Remove your child from the area when possible.

Period.

Selfish and permissive parenting doesn’t benefit anyone. Those of us who are respectful of our surroundings in public spaces have to deal with the eye rolling and teeth sucking when people see us entering a nice restaurant or shop with our kids. People worry with good reason. Too many parents allow their kids to do as they please happily with complete disregard for the feelings of those around them and frankly I can’t stand it.

No one is perfect and children are unpredictable. I remember foolishly taking our son to an upscale tapas restaurant in Montreal, Canada past his bedtime when he was fourteen months old. Hot. Mess. He escaped from my grip and ran cheerfully into a wine cellar. I was horrified and sad to miss my dinner but I headed to the car to allow him to snuggle and fall asleep.

I could’ve selfishly continued enjoying my 5 star meal while my toddler ruined everyone else’s experience, but the world does not revolve around me or my child. I learned my lesson about disrupting a child’s schedule in order to dine out (try not to do that). Not every meal is perfect, but they both know how to behave in a public place. l’m thankful for that.

It’s important to respect shared spaces. Children are wonderful little people who deserve the same rights as everyone around them but remember that not everyone cares about your bundle of joy. That’s okay. Respect that. Stop being selfish. If your child is being a public nuisance it might be because they aren’t happy. Remove your kid from the situation and handle your business away from others when you can. Everyone will thank you.

Do selfish parents give the rest of us a bad name?

 

Veronica Armstrong is a photographer, blogger, and freelance writer whose stories spring from the cinderblock walls of her married graduate student apartment. You can find her on Google+ or see more of her writing and photography on her blog.

His and Hers: How Gender Stereotyping is Harmful to Your Children

July 23rd, 2014 - By Rich
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There’s one Christmas that I’ll always remember.  My mother’s contemporary 90’s living room of brass elephants and white leather turned into a sea of Pepto-Bismol Pink courtesy of Mattel.  Between my new Barbie Fold and Fun House and a hot pink Porsche Cabriolet (with working headlights) parked outside of it, my sister and I couldn’t help but look at one another in unison and think, “Christmas bonus?”  Maybe it was the good grades, maybe my parents planned early, but whatever it was we made out great that Christmas, me eventually falling asleep among pink taffeta and mini high heels and my sis somewhere geeked over the ringing of Sonic the Hedgehog grabbing gold rings.

At a certain point like any parent, my parents became aware of how drastically different my sister and I were.  I was your typical girly-girl who got her kicks out of braiding Cabbage Patch hair and planning tea parties and my sister was more comfortable with a controller in her hand or seated on a ten-speed.  I guess you could say she was the son my father always wanted.

But does it send a bad message when parents assume that boys want to play with Hot Wheels and girls prefer Littlest Pet Shoppe?

From an early age girls are taught that their role is the caregiver.  Their aisle in Toys R’ Us is filled with baby dolls that cry, burp and need to be bathed waiting patiently for their seven-year old mothers to nurture them.  Walk a little further down the aisle and you end up in a world of fashion, romance and family complete with Barbie Dream Bride waiting for Ken to pull up in his white Hummer. Where are their race cars and construction sets?  There’s nothing wrong with shopping in the pink section for your daughter and sticking to the blue aisle for your son, the problem comes when you start discouraging your children from playing with toys that society hasn’t assigned to their gender.

Even with all of the tea sets in the world, my parents never limited my play time to cooking, cleaning while sitting with my legs crossed and being a “proper young lady.”  They supported wherever my interests took me whether it was climbing trees, rollerblading or of course creative writing.  So often I see parents flipping out when their little boy plays dress up in a blonde wig as they quickly reprimand, “Little boys don’t do that!”  How many times have my students expressed that their teenage sons will have later curfews and more freedom than their adolescent daughters because “girls can get into more trouble?”

Studies show that double standards and strictly defined gender roles that lead to gender stereotyping do one of two things: increase a child’s curiosity for all of the things that are off limits to them or limit the things that they are willing to learn.

And what about the “gay” factor?  Your three-year-old boy playing dress up in mommy’s heels has to indicate a future of rainbow flags and fashion shows, right?  When children are young they are just beginning to explore the differences in both male and female biology and behavior. Stuffing his t-shirt full of tissue paper doesn’t mean your little man wants breasts, just that he’s curious about them.  As a parent, your reaction is everything and the toys they choose don’t determine who they are attracted to. The bigger a deal you make out of it, the more dramatic the situation is for your child.  Parents often worry about the way a child’s peers or other parents will respond to their children if they cross the dreaded gender line, but if other kids laugh at a boy who likes playing double-dutch that’s their problem not his. People can be as liberal or traditional as they choose to be, but unless your child’s behavior is destructive or harmful, what’s so dangerous about a boy who likes to play jump rope?  By telling your son to stop crying, you could be stunting his ability to express emotion, possibly creating a struggle for any love interest he has in the future. Your big girl may not go for that degree in architecture or urban planning because as a little girl you discouraged her from bug collecting and building trees forts.

Think about the message you send your children when all your son has to open on Christmas morning are water guns and army men while your daughter is given a mini-spa and make up play set.  The way to well-balanced children include involving positive examples of both genders in your child’s life, not focusing so much on gender and limiting how much media and marketing they’re exposed to. Empower your children to explore different behaviors and not define themselves based on gender roles of how society says boys and girls should be, but rather all of the great possibilities their parents believe they can be.

Do you believe there are certain things that boys and girls should just not do?

Toya Sharee is a program associate for a Philadelphia non-profit that focuses on parenting education and building healthy relationships between parents, children and co-parents. She also has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog BulletsandBlessings.

 

Get The Results You Want Without Criticism

December 6th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

 

From YourTango

Your son procrastinates. Your neighbors let their lawn grow too tall. Your husband forgets what you tell him. Your mother tells you how to raise your children. Ugh: which of those scenarios annoys you most? How do you react when it arises? Do you criticize the people involved, hoping your sarcastic comments will change their behavior? Here’s a secret: more than likely all the criticism in the world won’t change another person’s behavior. Want better results? Instead, try using this simple C.H.A.N.G.E. Method.

Let’s use the neighbor who waits too long before mowing the lawn as an example. While you read this scenario, imagine using this method for whatever pushes your criticism buttons.

Change your opinion of the bad behavior. Is this really your problem? The neighbor’s yard may be overgrown and unattractive, but it is not a reflection on your own meticulous care of your lawn. If the image of an unsightly lawn bothers you, put up a fence or a hedgerow. Drive to your house from the opposite direction so you don’t have to see the lawn that needs to be mown. Or quite simply, consider that this is not your problem and get on with your life!

Honor the person over the behavior. Maybe the neighbor has been sick and is unable to tend to his lawn. Maybe he has other worries that take him away from the lawnmower duties. You can’t possibly know why your neighbor’s lawn is unkempt unless you go over and talk, and merely telling your neighbor that his lawn is unsightly will only annoy him. However, offering to help your neighbor mow the lawn will show him that you care. Bring over a cake or a casserole to help him through a difficult time in addition to offering to mow the lawn. Or send your teenage son over to offer the services. Chances are, your neighbor will pay your child to do the job and in that case, everyone wins!

Accept the behavior you cannot change. Acceptance is a huge part of peace. If your neighbor doesn’t want your help, if he doesn’t see the same problem you see, or if he flatly refuses to mow his lawn more than once a month, then accept that this is his way of living. At least you’ll have an attractive lawn to look at next door during the few days immediately after he mows!

Notice the good behavior before the bad. The theory of leaving well enough alone does not work when you’re trying to change someone’s behavior. You’ll need to verbally reward your neighbor immediately after he mows the lawn with a comment something like this: “Wow! Your yard looks so much bigger today.” Or: “What kind of lawnmower did you use? My husband is looking for a new model and yours is so quiet I never heard you mowing.” In both examples, the focus is not on the fact that the lawn is now mown after four weeks of growth. The focus is on the nice front yard and well-oiled lawnmower!

Read more at YourTango.com 

Surprise, Surprise: Study Finds Women Feel Guilty Cheating…Men Don’t

November 29th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Promiscuity

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From StyleBlazer

Promiscuity, do you engage in it?

An incredible study from the Archives of Sexual Behavior is making a pretty presumptuous argument the explain the sexual behaviors of men versus women.

After surveying over 24,000 people, researchers claim that women are genetically hardwired to feel guilt about promiscuous activity. “Prior sex researchers have focused primarily on the emotion of sexual attraction in sexual decisions,” said David Buss a University of Texas at Austin evolutionary psychologist who was involved with the study. “These studies point to the importance of a neglected mating emotion — sexual regret — which feels experiential negative but in fact can be highly functional in guiding adaptive sexual decisions.”

Read more at Styleblazer.com

Learn How To Forgive In Your Relationship

November 1st, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

 

From YourTango 

Is your resentment hurting your relationships?

With all of the problems in this world — along with the mistakes each of us make throughout our life — the need to forgive arises almost daily. However, forgiveness is often misunderstood an often not properly applied. So it’s a good idea to understand what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. It can bring you and those you loveto the light of a new day!

Conversely, a lack of this knowledge can hurt relationships in terrible ways. The symptoms of such hurt may take form in a wide variety of negative characteristics, most notably bitterness, envy, pride, and lust; though whatever symptom arises, it results in broken relationships. To stay away from such relational disaster, we must learn how to rightly forgive. Let’s take a look at what forgiveness is all about.

Forgiveness Does Not Excuse Behavior

This is an important point; especially when you want to forgive someone for a great injustice. We must realize that granting forgiveness does not mean that the injustice wasn’t grievous. When someone apologizes to you, have you ever responded, “It’s OK”? I know I have. That’s normal to say when you’re dealing with minor infractions. But when someone abuses, cheats, lies, steals, etc., these things are not simply “OK”, just because someone apologizes for them. In these situations, things may never be OK again between you and that individual… but you can still forgive, while knowing that what they did was wrong, and that it may bring consequences. This brings us to our next point.

Forgiveness Does Not Negate Consequences

Let’s say I lie to my wife, but then feel guilty and apologize for lying. While she may forgive me, it doesn’t mean that she trusts me. The natural consequence of my action is a loss of trust; therefore, for my wife to trust me again, I must earn her trust back. This has to do with justice, which can be pictured as an evenly balanced scale. So, if I broke trust, I must earn trust. If I was to break the law, I may still have to do the time for my crime, even though those I victimized may have forgiven me.

Read more at YourTango.com

Science Says Irregular Bedtimes Make Your Kids Bad

October 15th, 2013 - By Rich
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Earlier this year, English researchers found regular bedtimes helped kids learn, but another study finds getting to bed at the same time every night has an effect on behavior, too. University College of London’s Dr. Yvonne Kelly said, “Not having fixed bedtimes, accompanied by a constant sense of flux, induces a state of body and mind akin to jet lag and this matters for healthy development and daily functioning.”

Dr. Kelly and her team analyzed data from more than 100,000 children at ages 3, 5, and 7 years old plus reports from their parents and teachers . Irregular bedtimes meant the body’s internal clock got out of sync, leading to sleep deprivation during important times for development. Lack of sleep was linked to behavior issues like “hyperactivity..problems with peers and emotional difficulties”. But once kids started to getting to bed at the right time, everyone was happier with their behavior.

That doesn’t mean that a kid who maybe stays up later on some nights is set to be in the principal’s office for the rest of their school career. Dr. Kelly explained, “What we’ve shown is that these effects build up incrementally over childhood, so that children who always had irregular bedtimes were worse off than those children who did have a regular bedtime at one or two of the ages when they were surveyed.” So do your best to get your kids in bed at the same time every night especially when they’re younger, but a few late nights are still okay.

How do you manage bedtime in your house?

This Child is Bad! How I Learned To Deal With Other People’s Ill-Mannered Kids

October 2nd, 2013 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
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bad kids

Babysitters, nannies, wet Nurses, teachers, educators and au pairs have made a career out of dealing with other people’s children. They understand the nuances of a child’s speech and expressions. They know when treats, verbal rewards and stickers should be given, as well as harsh tones, time-outs and verbal warnings. They know how to manage children, regulating a child’s time so that they achieve the optimum amount of fun, education and discipline. But for the rest of us who aren’t in that field, or even some of us who are, dealing with other people’s children is not a well-timed production– it’s a damn nightmare. Some of us struggle with wanting to curse a child out or lay hands on him/her, especially when that child is mouthy or even a little too touchy-feely themselves.

Some people have BAD kids, and they know this before they leave their children with you. They give you a brief, false perception about how their child will behave, perhaps saying that said child “gets a little energetic around lunchtime” and then hurry to leave. And as soon as the door shuts, the child comes alive like a Chucky incarnate, hell-bent on destroying the house and wrecking your nerves.

In my life I’ve had to deal with hundreds of children: nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, and children I’ve worked with at camps, after-school programs and during tutoring. With all that said, I can still honestly say that I don’t completely know how to deal with some kids. Not even mentioning the countless children I’ve met with undiagnosed ADHD, Asperger’s, Dyslexia, OCD and other challenges, I’ve dealt with children who are so unbelievably difficult that it took me a great deal of time to understand what their issue was, let alone how to solve it.  I once dealt with a child who would scream for an hour straight before I realized that he was an easily frustrated child who sometimes needed time away from others so he could write and process his feelings. I have also dealt with a child who would suddenly go limp and act helpless, for no apparent reason, doing this because he was seeking the attention that he wasn’t receiving at home.

Most children simply want people to listen to them, because they often feel that most adults only demand things and set rules in place. One good trick when dealing with some children is to give them options. If a child does not want to participate in an activity, simply give them a choice between doing said activity or sitting by themselves –or doing something less favorable. Also, try to have real conversations with them. Children respond well to being asked questions about their interests and opinions. And, it never hurts to find out things about what they are interested in so that you can talk those things over with them. You don’t know how many cool points I’ve received for knowing the names of all of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also, if you’re punishing or reprimanding a child, explain to them why, restating their name throughout, so that you know that they are listening. Remind them of any rules set in place, why it’s important that they follow rules and listen, and ask them why they broke the rules.

Often, I speak to children about respect and responsibility. I explain that respect is about listening, and that if I respect them, then they need to respect me. That means that I expect them to listen to me, and if they don’t, then I won’t listen to them when they’re in need; for some children, that’s enough. Responsibility is explained by telling children that they have control over things that they say and do, and they can be responsible by practicing self-control. Also, I tell them that they show responsibility by keeping up with their things, and making sure never to bother other people’s things that don’t belong to them. The spiel about respect and responsibility is repeated so much that some of the students I work with know it by heart, and others groan in anticipation of it.

Essentially, knowing how to deal with some children is as simple as treating them like an employee (who can’t be fired). Give them instructions, assignments and tasks, but try not to be too upset when they make mistakes. If they behave well then they should be rewarded, and if they behave poorly then they should be reprimanded. Allow the child an opportunity to be creative whenever possible, and praise them when they’ve done something well. I find that when it comes to dealing with other people’s kids, treating them like more than just a child, or a bad child at that, goes a long way.

4 Reasons Nice Girls Ruin Their Relationships

August 22nd, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Nice girls

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From YourTango

It is no secret that giving is a very important part of being in a relationship. But what happens when you give too much? Is there such a thing as being too accommodating, or too nice?

I like to think positively about every situation. I try to be accommodating and understanding when something comes up in a relationship that is an inconvenience to me, or that requires making some sacrifice. And while I think this is an important personal trait, I realize that it can have some negative consequences when presented in excess. Here are four ways being too nice can ruin your relationship.

1. You’re not seeing the situation as it really is. When you’re always looking through rose-colored glasses, you’re missing the reality of your situation. Yes, it is important to focus on the positive. But it is also important to recognize the negative, and weigh it fairly. If you have your head in the happy clouds, you may miss signs that the person you are datingisn’t interested in you or isn’t being respectful towards you.

2. You’re not showing your entire self. After a few dates with someone recently, I realized that I had only shown the nice, accommodating, giving side of myself. The tough Brooklyn girl didn’t show up at all, and that’s just as much a part of who I am. Perhaps it was the type of dates we had, or the deep conversation we entered into. Whatever the reason, things have certainly fizzled between us and I wonder if my good behavior was to blame.

Read more at YourTango.com 

Serious Question: What Is Mental Illness?

May 24th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: CBS

Source: CBS

Like many others, we watched Amanda Bynes appear in court this morning, tugging on her Halloweenish wig before she was whisked off to a psych ward. Immediately, the office, my co workers and I, started playing psychologist, talking about what could be going on with her, the child star we’d grown up watching on television. A couple of us were certain that what Amanda is going through right now is probably something mental. After all, Amanda Bynes had a very successful career back in the ‘90’s and was able to keep her composure for over a decade afterward.  Something had to have happened. My coworker and I speculated that Amanda was suffering from some type of mental illness.

But one of my coworkers couldn’t be certain. She questioned us, how do we know it’s mental illness? Aside from her family saying that she was bipolar and had stopped taking her medication, what evidence was there that she had suffered from some type of mental dysfunction.

I argued that the type of behavior she’s been exhibiting is consistent with someone whose thinking is off.

Then my co worker brought up a good point asking, if behavior like Amanda’s is due to a mental illness, how are we supposed to hold people accountable for their actions?

I argued that just because someone has a mental illness, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s carte blanche to behave any type of way. Somehow Chris Brown’s name came up in the situation and I said that based on the evidence in the way he attacked her, biting, punching, all while maintaining control of the car, blacked out in a rage, shows that he was out of his mind. Another co worker argued that because Chris had grown up seeing his mother being abused, his conditioning led him to believe that type of behavior was acceptable. I still say believing that behavior is appropriate is a form of mental illness. Not being able to control your anger is a mild form of mental illness.

And I don’t mean that because his mental state was altered, that he deserved to get off scott free.

Essentially, I was trying to argue that mental illness is not as uncommon or “other” like the media would make it seem. Any one of us could snap at any moment. Our brains our constantly receiving signals, reacting to hormones and processing information that will ultimately affect our behavior. An altered mental state doesn’t mean that we’re going to live in that state permanently. There are varying degrees of mental instability. And while someone who is depressed or schizophrenic or suffering from some form of dementia shouldn’t necessarily be held accountable for their actions, there are altered states of mind that we can control and should subsequently be willing to suffer the consequences.

But that’s just my opinion. The truth is the mind is still such a mystery that it’s all just theory at this point.

What does mental illness mean to you? When is it appropriate to hold someone responsible for their actions despite mental instability?