Happy parents raise happy kids

Posts Tagged ‘success’

Parenting: The Adler Method

Adler

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.

Ask Ronit: My Son is Very Clingy

Clingy child holding mother

Clingy kids can be very exhausting. We love them very much but we want to be able to do things without them from time to time. I have met many parents who are fighting this clinginess and they express a lot of frustration. I think the exhausting thing not necessary the clinginess itself. It is more from the fight, the feeling of failure and the expectation that it should be different.

This week, I received a question on my blog from a mother of a 9 year old boy. Mel wanted to know what I would suggest for dealing with a clingy child.

Here is what I wrote Mel. I hope you will find it encouraging. Most importantly, it is not as bad as it looks.

Feel Good Tips: Smiling

Two women hugging and smiling

The tip for today is a very simple way to feel good, instantly – smiling.

The good thing about smiling is that it a two way street – smiling creates a happy feeling, and feeling happy makes you smile. It does not matter where you start – the feeling or the smile. When we experience joy, the muscles in our brain contract and start a positive loop of feeling even more joy. This is not a new science. As early as the 1870s, Charles Darwin first suggested that facial expressions did not just express emotions, but could actually induce them.

Smiling has been studied for years. In 1989, psychologist Robert Zajonc compared the mood of participants asked to make the long “eee” sound (which involves the same muscles as smiling) and those who were asked to make a long “ooo” sound (which involves the same muscles as frowning). Zajonc found that the people who made the “eee” sound felt much better.

This post is part 2 of 2 in the series Feel Good Tips

Start Your Journey to Happiness

Happiness

My dad always said that the process of anything in life depends highly on how your start it. A good start will set us up for a nice and easy process, while challenging starts will set the tone for struggle. I think happiness is a lifelong quest. I chose to adopt my dad’s philosophy and tried to instill this belief in my children.

Here are my A to Z rules for having good starts and continuing the happiness journey. I hope you will find them successful and encouraging.

Act on your goals rather than waiting for things to happen to you. If you want to start feeling happy, make it happen. Act on it. Waiting for that “one day” when your life will be they way you want it to be will only reinforce the fact that you are far away from it. Moving slowly, by taking action, towards your goal, will make you feel like you are just that tiny bit closer.

This post is part 6 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

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

How to Have a Happy Life

The Family Matters Team

I have dedicated my life to promoting happy living. I have watched many people living the life they want and, unfortunately, too many people who have no clue about bringing happiness into their lives.

I suggest to all my clients that they come up with an A to Z list of living a happy life. Below is just one version of what they have come up with. I hope it will encourage you to come up with your own.

Appreciate yourself and others. Accept everything as it is. Appreciation is the ability to see good in yourself and others. It does not change who you are but how you perceive things.

Be yourself! This is the main goal in life. Do not try to be someone else. It is draining. You are unique, special and perfect, just the way you are. Cherish it!

This post is part 4 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

Sore Losers

Little kid on a winners podium who came third

Winning is easy and losing is not. Let’s face it, regardless their age, no one likes to lose. Even the word “losing” sounds devastating. It is no wonder most of us are such sore losers. Most of the time, parents who are sore losers raise sore loser kids. What can we do to make sure losing is not so devastating?

When I had my early childhood center, we stopped using the word “losing”. We replaced it with words like learning, opportunities, testing, growing and evolving. It does not sound like much but it worked well for the kids. It takes away a lot of the heartache and pain.

When we lose, we feel so terrible because we face feelings that we do not have tools to manage. Some feelings are: disappointment, inability, failure, missing out, inferiority, lack, disempowerment, helplessness, and fear.

How to Be a Great Teacher (U to Z)

An apple and a bookworm

I love teaching. I think teaching is my calling and I know that many teachers feel the same. Over the years, I have collected effective philosophy and teaching tips and am happy to share some with you. In this last post in How to Be a Great Teacher, here are the tips from U to Z.

Use your space creatively rather than in the old fashioned way. A classroom needs to feel cozy and fun so that kids do not wait impatiently for the bell to ring so they can run away. Even if your classroom is small, be creative. You can make palaces out of any sized class. The students can feel like they are kings, queens, knights and princesses. You can tell whether you classroom decoration is good by the reaction of the kids from other rooms, by the fact that your students make sure their parents come to see it and by noticing that you need to encourage your students to go outside and play with their friends.

This post is part 5 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

The Language of Empathy

A girl hugging a crying friend

Empathy is an important social skill. Some people are more empathic than others and the language a person uses reveals a lot about their level of empathy.

In “The Science of Empathy”, I gave an introduction to the topic of empathy. In this post, I would like to share some common emphatic and non emphatic statements that kids and grown up may use.

If you want to find out if you are more empathic than non empathic, use this post to measure yourself. If you use the statement often, give it 2 points. If you use it sometimes, give it 1 point. If you do not use it at all, give it 0. At the end, add up all the emphatic statements and all the non emphatic statements. Whichever has a higher number of points will show you what kind of sentences you are using most often.

This post is part 2 of 2 in the series Empathy

How to Be a Great Teacher (L to T)

Apple on a stack of books

Establishing a good teaching philosophy and adopting useful tips from experienced teachers are essential tools for effective teaching. In this post, we continued with the letters L through T of How to Be a Great Teacher.

Love of learning is the ultimate teachers’ goals. Use any (positive) way you can think of to promote, advertise and support your students’ love of learning. If they love learning, regardless of what mark they get, you get an A in teaching. To evaluate yourself, ask the kids at the end of every year how much they enjoyed and loved learning with you.

This post is part 3 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

Ronit Baras

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