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Archive for Gentle Discipline

Helping Kids Cope with “Failure”

children failure

Every child faces the disappointment of not doing as well as they hoped on a test or not placing in a competition. Some kids bounce back from these “failures” and even seem to learn something from them, while other kids become so down on themselves that they want to give up. How can help our own kids build resilience in the face of life’s little setbacks?

Coping with Failure and Stress by Ray Williams. This article looks at the research on which coping strategies are the most effective for dealing with failure. What’s NOT effective: venting, self-distraction, self-blame, and denial. (I found this interesting as I tend to vent! I’ll remember that next time I experience a failure.) What is MOST effective:

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The Anxious Child

the anxious child

An increasing number of children and teens are being diagnosed with anxiety issues. What is the reason for this trend and what can do we do to protect our kids from it?

How Big a Problem Is Anxiety by Robert Leahy over at Psychology Today.  “The average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s. We are getting more anxious every decade.” Note the possible reasons he offers for this increase in anxiety: a decrease in “social connectedness — we tend to move more, change jobs, participate less in civic organizations, and we are less likely to participate in religious communities. People are far less likely to get married, more likely to delay getting married, and more likely to live alone. All of these factors can contribute to worry, uncertainty, anxiety and depression.”

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Intentional Links: How Do Kids Develop Self-Esteem?

self-esteem

What is self-esteem?  This article is a good introduction to the concept of self-esteem. Self-esteem is “a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value.” I like the definition in this article for high self-esteem: It’s a positive but realistic view of the self. Ideally when our child reaches adulthood, he will be aware of his limitations but also feel good about himself.

Too much self-esteem . . . ? Narcissism is real psychological disorder. I love how Dr. Laura Markham explains it clearly here, but cautions parents against an adolescent diagnosis of true narcissism. Basically all teens are a little narcissistic!

What contributes to low self-esteem: A good overview of common contribution factors to low self-esteem. In a nutshell: overly critical caregivers, uninvolved/preoccupied caregivers, parents fighting, bullying when parents aren’t helpful, parents not helping with academic challenges, when parents don’t help, belief systems that make you feel guilty or like you’re sinning all the time, unrealistic images in the media.

12 Ways to Raise a Confident Child by Dr. Sears. A GREAT list of reminders! I also love Dr. Sears’ book The Successful Child.  The book redefines success.

Image credit: tcj2020 (freedigitalphotos.com)

WEDNESDAY LINKS: Dealing with Disobedience

obedience

[Note from Kim: I apologize to my subscribers who are only today getting this post which was published on Wednesday, Aug. 19! I transitioned to a new RSS delivery service this week and we’ve been ironing out some wrinkles.  New posts should arrive in your email in-box with no problems in the future.]

The topic of obedience has come up recently in so many conversations I’ve had with friends that I decided to a Wednesday Links about it!  Most gentle parenting advocates focus on the quality of the connection between parent and child when addressing issues of obedience.  Yes, it’s very frustrating and not okay when your child is defiant.  Just remember: when your child says NO to you now when he’s little, he may have the power to say NO when he is a teen when somebody pressures him to do something immoral or illegal. Here are a few links to get you thinking about solutions:

Obedience as an Act of Love by Laurel at MuffinBlog.  LOVE THIS. It’s by a gentle Catholic mom who appreciates Dr. Greg and the Theology of the Body.  “The goal isn’t to instill obedience out of fear – of what might happen if they don’t obey, but rather instill obedience out of love – and what might happen if they DO. . . As parents (and in any other capacity where we expect obedience from others), we must first give example through loving service. We must give of ourselves in order to inspire others to do so in return. ”  YES!!

Obedience isn’t the goal; cooperation is from the Aha Parenting blog.  “Most parents feel embarrassed when their child doesn’t obey them. When we say jump, they’re supposed to jump, right? If they don’t, isn’t that evidence that we’re lousy parents? Actually, no. It would certainly be more convenient if our children would respond to our raised eyebrow by jumping to it. But it may even be dangerous to raise a child who obeys without question, who swallows his objections and does what he’s told.  Here’s why. Obedient children grow into obedient adults. They’re less likely to stand up for themselves, more likely to be taken advantage of. They’re also capable of simply following orders without question, without taking responsibility for their actions.” (Emphasis added.)

Are You Damaging Your Child by Demanding Obedience? by Ariadne Brill  “In our current culture, parents are praised when their children are obedient – it’s a mark of good parenting. The quieter and the more obedient the child, the better.  In truth, parents are doing a disservice to their children and to society when they demand that their children do exactly as they are told, no questions asked.  In other words, expecting children to dutifully comply with their parents commands, right away, is not such a great idea in the long run.”  The blogger gives 6 reasons demanding obedience is damaging.

But then she offers practical advice in another article: If Not Obedience, Then What? Ariadne suggests 5 ways we can use cooperation and mutual respect to ensure our children follow through on their responsibilities and other expectations.