Coach’s Response to the Question: “How do I stop criticizing and snapping at my kids?”

I don’t know anyone who never snaps or criticizes their kids, but I know everyone wishes they did it less. I asked 11 coaches to tell us their point of view on this topic. The challenge for you is to pick the one that resonates MOST with you and practice it for a few...

Some Not Too Lame Family Rules for Smartphone Usage

At some point, most teens will have a smartphone and will prefer that it’s attached to them at all times. My 12-year-old son literally went from his phone never being charged to him wanting it attached to his body at all times. The good news is that I now know that...

Why I’m Glad I Shattered my iPhone Screen

  “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ―Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism I finally made the decision to get the iPhone 6 plus. The truth is, I vacillated on it because I feared it would be too big and awkward. Once I got it, I was pretty excited and fell...

Follow Your Joy, Teens Wreaking Havoc & What Great Parents Do

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ~Joseph Campbell “People who follow their joy experience the fullness of their being,” says Robert Holden. How do we follow our joy? There is...

Raising Kids Who Are Good, Kind People Still Matters

Responsibility and kindness are important to many parents In a survey done by Pew Research in the Fall of 2014, it came out that the quality that most parents want to teach their children is responsibility. In groups that identify as consistently liberal, coming in...

Smartphones: the Good, the Bad, & the Sexty

Social media has given us this idea that we should all have a posse of friends when in reality, if we have one or two really good friends, we are lucky.” ~ Brene Brown My oldest son is 12 and I am noticing him keeping his phone right by his side, trying to look at it...

What Great Parents Do Well

Donald Miller, author of the new book Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy, reports that healthy and high-functioning people often have parents who do not hide their flaws, especially from their own children. “Healthy people tend to come from...

15 Parents Share their Thoughts about Technology and Our Kids

This week, at our local public middle school, we hosted a Principal’s Coffee chat where technology was the topic. In small groups, we brainstormed about the upsides to technology and the things we wonder (and worry) about…the questions that are swirling in our brains....

It’s Too Late, You Snapped at Your Kid. Now What?

So you snapped. Maybe you overreacted or said something you wished you didn’t say. Yes, it’s true, it’s the human condition – we are imperfect. (I like to say that we are perfectly imperfect) It doesn’t mean we just resign ourselves to reactive behaviors. We should do...

Use Common Sense with Digital Media

Last night I went to an event where the founder of Common Sense Media, Jim Steyer, spoke. It was interesting on many levels so I wanted to share what I learned 🙂 About Common Sense Media Do you use their website for your family? Quite honestly it’s been our go-to...

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Responsibility and kindness are important to many parents

In a survey done by Pew Research in the Fall of 2014, it came out that the quality that most parents want to teach their children is responsibility. In groups that identify as consistently liberal, coming in second was empathy for others and third was helping others. In simpler terms, we could call that kindness. The Harvard psychologist, Richard Weissbourd, outlines 5 key ways to raise kind, moral kids. According to Making Caring Common (run by Weissbourd), these are the 5 key ways:

  1. Make caring for others a priority
  2. Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude
  3. Expand your child’s circle of concern
  4. Be a strong moral role model and mentor
  5. Guide children in managing destructive feelings

Weissbourd tells us not to overfocus on our kids’ feelings

In this other article, the author refers to Weissbourd’s research that suggests that perhaps we are over-focusing on our kids’ feelings which will “cause children to dramatize their feelings, and to make their own feelings too precious.” “As an unintended result”, Weissbourd argues, “children think about their own feelings constantly, and don’t wonder if the new kid in their class is lonely, ask why their mom looks so frazzled or notice when they hurt their little sister’s feelings.”

Can we be too kind?

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I want to just call out the risks in over-focusing on kindness —> people-pleasing, need for validation, becoming a martyr, and the unwillingness to speak the truth are just a few. I guess what I am saying is that as with anything, we need to stay balanced. If we don’t take care of ourselves and love ourselves and hyper-focus on doing for others and being kind to others, we might end up doing it at the expense of ourselves. Likewise, if we over-focus on loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves, we can end up doing that at the expense of our community and the world. As with everything, we need to find the balance that is right for us.

We say kindness matters, but is achievement trumping caring for others?

Today reports on a recent study in this Are Parents Sending the Wrong Message? video. This study reveals 80 percent of kids said their parents value happiness and personal success more than being caring. They believe their parents want them to prioritize good grades over being a good person. Say what? Are they mutually exclusive? When it comes down to it, we have to make sure we are walking the walk.

Time to take intentional action that demonstrates that kindness matters

So, I ask, are you actually doing what it takes to raise kind and moral kids? When I did the Tiny Action I recommend below, for myself, I realized that I have not been paying enough attention to chores and responsibilities for my kids around the house, encouraging my kids to pay attention to and say hello to MY friends, and appreciating the “invisible” people who are in the community helping (the mailman for example). After you do the quiz I linked to in the Tiny Action below, post in the comments to tell us what you will focus on this week! Thanks 🙂

I’m advocating for a balanced approach – can our kids get good grades AND be good people? Absolutely!

TINY ACTION: Take this quiz to self-identify areas where you can pay attention in order to show that kindness is a priority for you to your kids. Pick one area and take action this week!

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