Monthly Archives: September 2016

Stop Sibling Rivalry – How To Promote Harmony – Dudes To Dads Ep 82

Dr. Bill and Martha Sears wrote an article on 20 ways to deal with sibling rivalry.   We touch on these tips and discuss their meaning and how we can incorporate them into our lives.

1. Make friends before birth
2. Make the older sibling feel important
3. Time share
4. Stay Positive
5. Begin the day in harmony
6. Raise sensitive siblings: in charge, comforter, minister, teacher, co-workers, co-sleepers, entertainer
7. Set Limits – no disturbing the peace
8. Hold family meetings
9. Humor is the best medicine
10. Foster a team spirit
11. Promote empathy
12. Promote gender sensitivity
13. Ignore smallies; address biggies – let them handle it themselves
14. Children do not have to be treated equally – they are individuals
15. Every child is a favorite
16. Minimize comparions
17. Referee quarrels
18. When in doubt, intervene
19. Listen to both sides – be careful of creating a victim
20. Siblings are forever…

How to Make Bedtime Easier Using Brain Science – Dudes To Dads Ep 81

When you have a baby, your primary focus is getting the baby to sleep through the night.  When you have a toddlers, they love to keep coming out of their room, they need 400 stuffed animals, their bed needs to be perfect, etc. For young children, they just seem to delay the process as long as possible.   I need to figure out what I can do to improve the process.  I found some tips based on brain science by Katherine Eskovitz

Too little of sleep causes serious problems for children.
Studies suggest that every 15 minutes less sleep for high schoolers means a drop of one letter grade. Lack of sleep contributes to bad moods, sickness, depression, and even obesity.

Here are some tips:

1) Create a night time Routine together – eat, bath/shower, pajamas, brush teeth, read, sleep.  Let them help plan it
2) Start a good night journal – great way to clear the brain, can reduce nightmares.  Make sense of our experiences, help with control
3) Dim the lights and stay away from electronics
– light lowers melatonin levels, eliminate TV, computers, etc.  at least 60 minutes before bedtime
4) Play a short bedtime game – Two truths one fake – talk about the day
5) Listen to a good-night talk or make your own
– guided talk that focuses on relaxation – or make your own 
6) Change scary thoughts into silly thoughts
– Change the scary creature into something funny –  like a monster but it has stripes
7) Remember to hug a favorite stuffed animal – stuffed animals can really help reduce nighttime fears
8) Follow the SAME PLAN with the SAME BEDTIME each night –
children thrive on consistency.  It’s not just number of hours, but also consistent time is critical for developing …

Teaching Our Children Gratitude – 14 Tips To Help Children Be Grateful – Dudes To Dads Ep 80

In a recent Huffington Post article, Paula Spencer Scott of wrote about Psychologist Jeffrey Froh, a professor and leading gratitude researcher who wrote a book called “Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character.  He wrote about this thing called “culture of appreciation”.  In order to do this we have to recognize 3 things:

1) The intent: that somebody put me first
2) The cost: what someone gave up for me
3) The benefit: what I got out of it

An  example you would say to your child:  “Hey Rosemary, that was pretty nice of Sara to help you with your math when she knew you were struggling [intent]  I can’t beleive she gave up for soccer time to help you [cost] – but how great that you now know your four times-tables [benefit]

Here are 14 Tips to Help Children Be Grateful:

1. Teach them to say Thank You – We do this when they are very little

2. Have them write a thank you note – birthdays, holidays

3. Read books or poems about gratitude – Go to Amazon and type in gratitude books for kids

4. Share stories about their past

5. Share stories about their family history

6. At a meal, everyone shares something they are thankful for.  We do this at Thanksgiving, but I can see it needs to be done more often.

7. Write or say what they are thankful about someone within their own family

8. Notice little things, like in nature

9. Have them make something for someone else – draw a picture, build something

10. Have them do something nice for a neighbor – rake leaves, wash their car, take out their trash

11. Give them experiences versus stuff

12. Help them figure out what matters to them – …

How To Stop Your Child From Whining – Dudes To Dads Ep 79

Episode 79 is inspired by this article written by Patty Wipfler.

Whining children are communicating important information – usually they feel powerless, or they feel alone.

It often happens shortly after being disconnected to the parent or caregiver. Things like cooking dinner, talking to a friend, or anything where they are not paid attention to can bring it on.

Once they feel disconnected, small things can feel big: getting dressed, brushing teeth, having to say goodbye. They would rather continue what they are currently doing.

Whining Children have real needs – They must feel connected to you. When they don’t, their behavior goes wacky.

Whining children have feeling that won’t be rational – The feelings can come up even at the end of playing…and they can be from the day before or another time.

Whining children aren’t trying to manipulate you – He’s just telling you he needs help. Picture him saying “I want a cookie” but meaning “please say no. I need a good cry with your arms around me.

Help your child connect again – They need the emotional outlet before they get a sense you are on their side. After the tantrum, laughter, scream, they can take charge again.

Try filling your child’s request once – You can’t be sure it will solve the issue if it’s about connecting, but worth a shot. help them once. Get their toy, help them get dressed, whatever it is.

If he’s not satisfied, offer closeness and a clear limit. Say no with a big smile and even a kiss on the cheek. If they persist, do it again with more affection. At some point the affection your offering will move them toward laughter or tanturm and either are good for them. Sometimes they just need to cry or have the …

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