Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Art of Apologizing – Is Saying Sorry Enough? Dudes To Dads Ep 125

Let’s admit it, most people aren’t very good at apologizing…especially kids. We teach them to talk like a robot reminding them “what do you say?” Apologizing is simply something you are supposed to do when you do something wrong. However, apologies are pointless unless people feel that the offender meant it. This can be tone of voice or even body language.

I had read about a formula for apologizing that I thought was good. I don’t know who the original creator of it is. It’s starts out with:

1) I’m sorry for – “I’m sorry for hitting you when you took my toy” It’s important to be specific and not just a broad “I’m sorry”. The child needs to understand what they are apologizing for.

2) This is wrong because – “I could have hurt you when I hit you”. They need to understand the reason why it’s not acceptable or why it is wrong.

3) In the future, I will – “Ask you nicely to have my toy back”. It is really important for the child to learn how to do it correctly. what are they learning from this?

4) Will you forgive me? – Be prepared they could say no, but at least ask. This helps restore the relationship.

I think for many situations, this formula can work…especially with young kids.
The most important thing is to lead by example. You need to apologize when you do something wrong and your kids need to see and hear it. This is the best way for them to learn.

While I like the formula, I would add some elements to it that i think are important. for example

1) You must have Empathy. I think empathy needs to be deployed all around. As the parent, the offender was feeling …

Sibling Rivalry – Reducing Conflict Between Kids – Dudes To Dads Ep 124

There is no doubt that kids yelling at each other and fighting can be a big cause of anxiety and stress for parents. What are we to do? As with any mis-behavior, there is a root of the problem that needs to be addressed. Does one child feel the other is favored? Is one child simply just being selfish? Is there different expectations put on different kids? Or are the same expectations put on two different aged kids? All of these are probably true.  Is this episode 124, we talk about reducing conflict between kids.

Alan, did you have a lot of sibling rivalry in your house growing up?

When we have more than one child, we think we are treating them the same but that’s nearly impossible. When it was only one, they simply got more attention than when the second one came along. Then if there is three, the attention gets even further reduced.

What about expectations with age? I know that we may start implementing something with our children?> Let’s say some responsibilities around the house? When my son was 2 years younger (the same age as my daughter), he may not have had to do things like that.

My purpose with all of this is showing that while multiple children grow up in the same environment, it may be very difficult to actually treat them equal, for their age. Also gender differences may come into play. While not fair or right, it can easily happen when you are not mindful of it. You may allow your son to do something that you don’t allow your daughter to do.

So what are some ways we can reduce conflict:

1) Have them make friends before birth – Let the older child be a part of the pregnancy and …

13 Things to Stop Doing For Your Kids Now – Dudes Ep 123

The last episode brought up some points about teaching our kids to be independent. That episode inspired us to create this episode.  Episode 123 covers 13 things to stop doing for your kids now:

1. Getting them dressed – By 3-4 they can dress themselves.

2. Getting undressed – Between 13-24 months. You should not be taking your 4 year old’s shirt off.

3. Carrying their backpack – If they are old enough to have a backpack, they should carry it.

4. Tying their shoes – Usually by kindergarten (about age 5) they should know how to do this. Stop tying their shoes because you are in a hurry. Give yourself extra time and let them become independent.

5. Throw their trash away – Old enough to walk, old enough to throw it in the trash.

6. Feeding themselves – Use utensils by 18 months. By age 4 they should be able to hold utensils like an adult.

7. Getting themselves breakfast – Most can do it by 4 1/2 but many do it much earlier. Make it child friendly. you may experience a few spilled milk episodes.

8. Brushing Teeth – 3 or 4 to do it themselves but can do it as early as 16 months with your help.

9. Cleaning up their toys – They use them, they clean them up. We still are learning the “put one away before you can grab another.

10. Cleaning up their dishes – If your child can walk, they can carry a dish over to the sink.

11. Cleaning their rooms – Just like anything else to clean, if they can walk, they can typically put things away.

12. Making separate meals – You or your wife is not a short otrder cook. Sure you may want to consider something …

Separation Anxiety – Helping Your Child Manage Their Fears and Nerves – Dudes To Dads Ep 122

Nearly every child goes through a period when they get really clingy and get upset if their parent is leaving. Babies can show signs of it around 6-7 months. It typically peaks around 10-18 months and reduces when they are about 2 years old. For episode 122, we discuss some things you can do help your baby and child:

– Get familiar with the caregiver. If you have a brand new person watching the baby, this may prove to be difficult. Give the baby some time to get to know the person who is taking care of them.

– Start small – When they are real young, try to start with a short amount of time. Maybe it’s half an hour or hour at first

– Say goodbye – Don’t sneak out the back. You disappearing isn’t very nice. Don’t cry or make it dramatic, just say a nice simple goodbye and give them a quick kiss or hug. Don’t make a big deal out of it.

– Make it Routine – You should practice leaving every once in a while. Having the child always with you at every moment will have them expect that. It’s ok to have some alone time, and it’s healthy for the child to develop that ability to be apart.

So what happens when your child continues to have separation anxiety as they get older?
According to webmd, if the child is over 6 years old and still having an extreme fear, they may have Separation Anxiety Disorder. This effects approx 4-5% of children in the US ages 7-11. It only effects 1.3% of teens. Both boys and girls are equal. It’s usually is treated with either psychotherapy or medications including some kind of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. If you do have a situation like …

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