Tag: preschoolers

“I Overreacted and Gave My Child Too Harsh a Consequence…. Now What..?”

Dad: Kerry, I’m a single dad and wondering how I can gracefully back out from having overreacted and given my son a harsher consequence than I should have?

Clever kidHe’s 4 and was throwing water out of the bathtub. I got mad and told him he had to go straight to bed with no stories. I cooled down a few minutes later and realized I had overreacted. I told him I was sorry that I’d gotten so irritated and I had reconsidered and that he didn’t have to go to bed yet. But now I’m worried that I’ve lost credibility with him. Was there a better way to handle that?

Kerry: Chris, I think the way you handled it was completely appropriate. It’s ok to teach your kids that sometimes we adults re-think things and change our minds. It’s also ok to model that a normal part of being a grown-up is making mistakes and then fixing them.

If you want to bring a little more playfulness into your parenting, you can try a “re-do.” That’s where you tell your son that you didn’t like the way you handled the bathtub scene and that you would like to re-do it. You playfully back out of the bathroom and pretend you are talking backwards. Then you stick your head back in and ask if he’s ready for you to do that scene over. You can say, “Bathtub Scene, Take Two.” You might even ask him to splash the water again! (That’s optional.) Then you go in and handle the situation the way you wished you had done it in the first place.
Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2014 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and
Family Therapist
and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps
parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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“I Want What’s On TV!”

 
IWantThatonTVMy 4 year old son wants everything he sees on TV so the other day when he said “Mom, I want that!”  I used my “brain dead skills” and replied, “I know.”   He finally stopped asking after 4-5 times of me saying “I know.”

Then Daddy came home from work and my son looked at his daddy and said “Daddy, I want that on TV!”

My husband replied “I know, buddy.”

My son looked at him with wide eyes and said “Daddy, you can’t use the same words Mommy uses!!”

I guess he’s figuring out that limits are getting firm around our house with both Mom and Dad!  It felt good to set the limit in a loving way and I didn’t have to hear him whine about it!

Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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How Enforceable Statements Work for Picking Up Toys!

Getting Kids to Pick Up Their ToysI needed my 2.5 yr old daughter to pick up her toys. 

She ignored me so I said “I only read stories to girls who pick up their toys.”

She still didn’t do it and got distracted putting on dress up gloves.

I thought I’d give her another opportunity and said “I have pumpkin bread for kids who pick up their toys,” and she still didn’t pick up toys. 

So I was really really sad for her when the rest of the family sat down for our pumpkin bread without her.   She was crying and I held her empathetically.  When it came time to get her ready for bed, we kept our regular routine, I gave her a back rub and cuddled, but no stories. 

The next morning she woke up and said “I’ll pick up my toys, mommy.”

Following through with a consequence and letting our beloved children be uncomfortable is painful for us parents, but it is worth it in the long run as we raise kids who are responsible.



Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents


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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Success Story: I Want It!

After leaving our first Love and Logic class we picked up our kids from childcare.  We got some animal crackers from the vending machine and were on our way to the car.  Our 5 year old ran ahead of us and we asked her to come back several times.  She ignored us.

When I was buckling her into the car seat I said, “Poor thing, you didn’t listen to daddy, so you don’t get to eat your animal crackers now.”

She was very upset and started screaming “Daddy, I want animal crackers!”  

I responded, “I know.”

As she screamed it louder and louder each time and I calmly responded, “I know.”

Her mother had to hide her face in her scarf because she started to giggle.  After about 10 minutes, my daughter stopped yelling and started giggling too! 

We were thrilled that we stayed calm through the tantrum and happy that we were strong enough to hold the limit firm.

Shelly Moorman
©2010 Shelly Moorman, Head & Heart Parents



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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Setting Limits for Bathtime

Toddler bathtime limitsAfter our son threw water out of the bathtub I said, “What a bummer.  It’s going to take a while to clean up the water so we won’t have time for books tonight.”

He was devastated, but helped me clean up.  He kept crying to read books and I used my brain dead statement and said “I know,”  a whole bunch of times. We stuck with it and it felt really good to stay calm!

Shelly Moorman
©2010 Shelly Moorman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Success Story: “I’m Not Going to Kiss You Anymore”

We always discuss in class about kids who will escalate to test the new skills mom and dad are using.  It’s the old “short term pain for long term gain” adage.

This mom thought it would be something only older kids would do, but preschoolers know how to escalate with hurtful words too.

Luckily, this mom knew to stay her course and not react.  Read what happens…

Using “I know” really started working for me with our 3 year old daughter.  I was surprised when she escalated her response to “I’m not going to kiss you anymore!”  I was shocked and heartbroken, but I stayed brain dead and said, “I know.”

Just 20 minutes later, after things calmed down, she came to me and said “Mommy, I want a hug.”

Shelly Moorman
©2010 Shelly Moorman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Success Story! Love and Logic® Works with 3 Year Olds

This mom shares her success story using the  brain dead statement “I know” over and over again…..

My 3 year old didn’t want any of the two choices I gave him for breakfast, so I picked one for him.  He was not happy and kept throwing a fit.   I empathetically used “I know” about six or seven times before he finally took a deep breath, slumped his shoulders, and started eating quietly.

Going “brain dead” began to work faster and faster the rest of the week.  It only took saying it 2 or 3 time for him to chill out and do what I said!

Shelly Moorman
©2010 Shelly Moorman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Three Different Parenting Styles

Drill Sergeant | Helicopter | Consultant

Different Parenting StylesWere you raised by a “Drill Sergeant” always telling you to “Jump,” and you asking, “How high?” or were you raised by a “Helicopter” always hovering, ready to swoop in and rescue?  Did you ever think about what kind of a message these parenting styles send to your kids? Drill sergeants are communicating these messages:  “You can’t think for yourself.  You can’t make it without me.”  Helicopters send these messages: “You are fragile. You need me to protect you.”

Are these the kinds of messages you want to send to your precious children?  If not, what can you do instead?

Consider adopting the “Consultant” approach to parenting.  Consultants send this message to their kids:  “You do your own best thinking.”  How do consultant parents do this?  One way is to offer choices and alternatives instead of giving orders or commands.  Commands give something for the kids to fight against.  Choices keep kids in thinking mode.  Here are some guidelines for giving choices effectively:

Give only 2 choices, either of which you are happy with.

“Do you want to do your homework before or after your snack?”
“Do you want me to change your diaper over here or over there?”

If the child doesn’t decide in 10 seconds, you decide for them.

Only give choices when things are going well and before any resistance.

Build up your choice savings account so you can make a withdrawal.

“Sweetie, don’t I usually give you choices?  It’s my turn now. Thanks for understanding.”

Kids Cooperate Better When They Have Choices

Many of the parents in my classes have been happy when they report how they’ve gained their child’s cooperation by giving choices.  Parents report their toddlers successfully choose which bib to wear or which shoe to put on first or what song to sing when getting into the car seat.  Parents share that their school age kids choose between washing the plates or the glasses first, going to bed now or in 10 minutes, or brushing their teeth before or after putting on their pajamas.   Adding the tool of choices to your parenting toolbox can be just what you’re looking for to adjust your parenting style to the more consultative approach.

Shelly Moorman
©2010 Shelly Moorman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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