Happy parents raise happy kids

Posts Tagged ‘acceptance / judgment / tolerance’

Parenting: The Adler Method


Alfred Adler (1870-1937), was a philosopher and psychiatrist who believed that humans have two basic needs: to belong and to feel significant. In the early 1900’s he started addressing the issue of quality parenting and the importance of parent education. If you are reading this blog and realize that we focus on empowering parents, we want you to know that Adler did this over 100 years ago.

Adler developed a theory that was very holistic at its core. He believed that when we are encouraged, we feel capable and appreciated. This contributes to a feeling of connectedness and we are more likely to be cooperative. When we are discouraged, we withdraw, give up and feel depressed.

Adler’s theory was very much relevant to parenting because he believed that our lifelong coping strategies depend on how connected we were to our parents and how significant we felt in our family. Based on Adler’s theory, every person is an individual who was created in early childhood, by his or her early life experiences, which are made up of his or her relationships within the family. Adler thought that a misbehaving child is a discouraged child. Instead of trying to put pressure on the child to change their undesired behavior, you should help them feel valued, competent and special.

Judgment and Forgiveness


Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. Judgment robs us of our happiness. Forgiveness restores it.

I love Byron Katie. I think reading her book “Love What Is” helped me a lot as a person, as a mother, a partner and as a life coach. In my coaching, I cover many aspects of Byron Katie’s techniques and I have been asked by my clients to share it here on my blog, so they can teach it to their families.

Think of your mind as a house, prime real estate. The different qualities of your house include tenants knocking at your door, asking to rent some space there. As a property manager, you want to rent the space to very good tenants and avoid the trouble makers. Judgment is like a very important tenant. As much as you think you do not want it residing in your mind, it is very important and no house can survive without it. We all have to have some definition of the world so that we can navigate through life efficiently. Still, it is important not to give judgment the biggest room when we talk about judging others. Forgiveness on the other hand is a very important tenant. If you have a few trouble tenants, it can help you manage them and bring peace in your mind.

Self Esteem Mini Course (19): Damaging Kids’ Self Esteem

Mom with child by the pool

Self esteem is a very important ingredient for success. I have written a lot about what parents can do to support their kids’ self esteem. Unfortunately, many parents do the exact opposite and do not recognize how damaging their words can be.

Generally, there are four main attitudes that destroy self esteem:

1. Telling kids they are wrong.
2. Expressing disappointment.
3. Expressing shame.
4. Expressing doubt in the kids’ attempts.

Kids can handle a lot of pain from their parents without carrying it into adulthood. However, the four attitudes mentioned above will be carved into their hearts and determine their self esteem and attitude towards themselves.

Below is a list of 60 phrases parents say that can harm their kid’s self esteem. If you use any of these sentences, try to replace them with positive sentences instead

This post is part 19 of 19 in the series Self Esteem Mini-Course

The Art of Listening: Things to Watch Out For

Listening to hear not listening to speak

To conclude The Art of Listening series, here are some tips on things to watch out for in deciding which listening style to adopt.

In previous posts, I covered situations when it is hard to listen, types of listening and how to become good listeners. However, putting all this into practice means you need to know when it is appropriate to adopt one style over another. There are some things to watch out for in making that decision.

Be a kind listener when:
1. The speaker is angry or in a bad mood.
2. The speaker feels judged or stressed.
3. When you want to please the listener or need something from him/her.

The Art of Listening: How to Listen

Listen more talk less

To wrap up our the “The Art of Listening” series , here are some great tips on how to become a better listener.

To start off, we discussed 10 situations that turn off the listening switch and make it harder to keep engaged. In the previous post, I shared four listening types: the kind listener, the empathic listener, the critical listener and the solution focused listener.

In this post, I will share ideas of how to become a kind listener, an empathic listener, a critical listener and a solution focused listener and how to use each of these listening styles when appropriate.

This post is part 3 of 3 in the series The Art of Listening

Ronit’s Tips for Developing Empathy


As the state director of the Together for Humanity Foundation, I meet teachers and students to promote diversity and good relations and I believe empathy is the key. If we all had more empathy, the world would be a much better place. With more empathy, families would be happier – there would be fewer divorces and fewer problems with children.

In my work with parents and teachers, I am often asked about empathy and how others develop it. I have decided to combine all the suggestions here. If you are working with children, if you in relationship and would like to develop your own empathy, or if you want to encourage empathy in your students or children, I hope you can make good use of this list.

What Does Children’s Behavior Mean?

Little girl in a pink hoodie

This week, a client of mine asked about her son’s behavior. Thomas, her 3-year-old son, does not know what to do when kids take things from him. Sharon, his mum, says he starts crying immediately. She is worried that this will be his behavior in the future. She wrote in her email to me, “If a child cries when kids take toys from him, does it mean he will grow up to use crying whenever things do not go his way?”

The simple answer is:

No. Just because kids do certain things do when they are young, does not mean they will do them as adults.

Kids are inexperienced in searching for ways to get what they want. They have had limited exposure to “life” so they use more primitive and intuitive ways of getting things. When they were born, all they knew how to do was cry. And they found it to be an effective way to get what they needed. We all used crying as a method when we were babies, but that does not mean we do it now that we are grown up, at least, not in the same way.

Choice Theory: Happy Parenting

You have a choice

In the previous chapter of the choice theory, I explained the controlling and connecting habits—the caring or deadly habits based on William Glasser. In his theory, Glasser explained many of our behaviors as a choice. There are basic beliefs in his theory that all therapies are based on.

Based on Glasser, when we behave, it is a mix of action, thinking, feeling, and physiology. He called it “total behavior,” as they appear in different degrees and in combination.

He very much focused on taking responsibility in order to gain control and it is quite relevant to parenting.

This post is part 3 of 6 in the series Choice Theory

I’m OK, You’re OK Parenting: “I’m OK” Beliefs

Mother and her two daughters before a pagoda

This is the last installment in the “I’m OK, You’re OK Parenting” series. To wrap up, I want to share some beliefs that have helped me as a parent, and also many of my clients, to adopt an I’m OK, You’re OK parenting mentality.

The best way to overcome guilt and shame is to adopt beliefs that strengthen our view of ourselves as OK (I’m OK) and of others as OK (You’re OK) – The I’m OK, You’re OK mindset. There are many ways to identify whether you are in another frame of mind. For example, If you are upset, or disappointed, if you lecture your kids, or want them to do something they do not want to do, if you are threatening them, punishing them, shouting at them or if you want to teach them a lesson, if you shame them, use name calling, or ridicule them, and if you think life needs to go your way “or else”, this generally means you are not in the I’m OK, You’re OK mode. This means your child is also learning this mindset and will most likely not be in the I’m OK, You’re OK mode either.

This post is part 7 of 7 in the series I'm OK - You're OK Parenting

Choice Theory: Happy Relationships

Need for love and belonging

The choice theory, founded by William Glasser, suggests that all our actions are chosen and driven by the five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.

In relationships, our needNeed for love and belonging for love and belonging is the most important one. Based on Glasser, satisfying this specific need will guarantee our ability to fulfill all other needs. The source of all problems in the world, according to the choice theory, is disconnection. Behavior problems, mental illnesses, violence, abuse, crime, school problems, marriage breakdown, relationship challenges, and depression are all a result of our inability to connect or feel love and have a sense of belonging.

Our relationship with those we care about and care for us depends on our caring ability. Glasser suggested that there are 7 deadly habits that needed to be replaced with 7 caring habits.

This post is part 2 of 6 in the series Choice Theory

Ronit Baras

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