Cooperation Begins with Trust

Category Archives: Parenting

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Child Misbehavior: Here’s How to Make Lasting Changes and Teach your Child How to Behave Better.

Child Misbehavior: Here’s How to Make Lasting Changes and Teach your Child How to Behave Better.

Inside: What can you do to Change Your Child’s Behavior Without Punishment, Yelling or Getting Mad

Everything I know about disciplining kids is apparently completely wrong.

Dave, father of two

That’s what a dad shared with me in a parent group chat.

“I’m supposed to be nice when my son is misbehaving and being a brat ? I am sorry but I just don’t get it!”

What can I actually do to change my child’s misbehavior into cooperation?

My dad used to scream his head off at me and my brother. We were absolutely terrible, broke things, jumped each other, but if he walked in the room we straightened up immediately.

Jenna, mother of three boys
How can Positive Parenting change a child’s behavior?

“Tell a child often enough how bad he is and he will most certainly become bad”  – Dr.Thomas Gordon, Parent Effectiveness Training.

Frustration and Yelling Can Fuel Your Child’s Misbehavior

It is so very frustrating when children do not behave the way you want them to.

It is tough for most parents to  to deal with misbehavior, defiance, hitting and endless whining in a calm way.

So many parents find themselves yelling or nagging in hopes of seeing misbehavior changed into cooperation

When your child’s misbehavior persists, eventually you get tired or overwhelmed.

It doesn’t help that most children have phases where it seems they are misbehaving constantly or on purpose.

Two year olds love to say no.

Four year olds and defiance are like peanut butter and Jelly.

Five year olds will buy into a power stuggle so quickly.

That can make your days feel so long, and drain your patience faster than a toddler can sneak a cookie 😉

Here’s the thing… Your child isn’t misbehaving to give you a hard time!

Kids don’t act out just to bother parents. When children have reached their limit, their cup is empty and they can’t cope anymore they act out.

Instead of saying “Hey I am having a hard time here, I’m feeling anxious and scared so I started tugging at you.” No. Nope. Children don’t do that. They just tug at you!

So let’s look at what you can do about that:

Better Behavior Made Easier

Here’s the good news:

You Can Change Your Child’s Behavior Without Punishment.

It is possible to change your child’s misbehavior without yelling, and without letting them get away with “bad behavior.”

To tell the truth, “bad behavior” isn’t even a good way to talk about what is going on.

When children are struggling, they really don’t need us to be focusing on what is bad, but rather on what is actually happening below the surface.

We all struggle from time to time to behave in the best way. If you every yelled at your kid, flipped your lid, got really angry and then regretted it, then you know exactly what I mean.

Being on our “best” behavior takes a lot of effort. It’s no different for your child.

Well, actually, kids are often under even more pressure to behave perfectly…no matter what.

Here’s the thing: There is so much pressure on kids to behave in certain ways. There is also so much pressure on parents to make sure their kids are behaving ever so well, and sleeping, and eating healthy foods, and being nice helpers, being quiet, kind, sharing, always happy and, and, and…..!!! It’s too much!

We need to normalize a good deal of behaviors to make sure that children are given space to grow up well and healthy.

Young children cry when they are overwhelmed.

Children say no. They don’t always share and they sometimes get overwhelmed.

Children don’t always feel well, so they can’t always behave well.

“Children learn what they live” – Dorothy Law Nolte

What you focus on will grow, and if you expect your child to misbehave, they will.

You will catch your child being “bad” if that is what you are focusing on.

Let me share a secret with you (that shouldn’t be one at all)

Children thrive when they experience kindness, compassion and understanding. Yes even when they are misbehaving. It’s not the same as accepting any or all behaviors. It’s about showing up with the intent to stop unsafe behaviors and offer your child an opportunity to do better.

Believe that your child is good. Believe that your child is doing the best they can in the situation that they are in.

Believe your child CAN and will do better if you offer proper guidance.

Specifically, you can try any or all of these ideas to welcome more cooperation:

  1. Choose to teach instead of punish.
  2. Confidently set limits and start over instead of using an arbitrary consequence.
  3. Communicate in a firm but fair way (avoid name calling / shaming and stick to facts)
  4. Make decisions and stick with them. It’s perfectly ok, and necessary to stop behaviors that are unsafe.
  5. Notice more of the good behaviors and criticize less.
  6. Create rituals that show your child how much you care.
  7. Find solutions together, children are very clever and willing to help.

The more positive things you think and say about your child, the more connected you will feel.

More connection leads to more cooperation.

Dealing with extreme frustration related to misbehavior or unsure how to set limits, teach new skills or stop behaviors that are unsafe?

how to discipline strong willed children

Venting out frustrations to someone you trust, can be helpful in getting unstuck.

When you notice that similar behaviors keep showing up over and over again, you don’t need better punishments, or clever consequences, you need to find real, actionable solutions.

Talking about bad moments and your frustrations can help you understand your situation and what is actually needed to help you and your child get unstuck.

If you want to feel calmer and more confident about changing your child’s behaviors you can set up a coaching appointment with me. It’s like talking to a true friend, there’s no judgement, no pressure and a whole lot of support. You can:

  • Vent out your frustrations with bad behavior
  • Let go of anger and pent up worries
  • Share your wishes and goals so you can create real change
  • Understand your child’s behaviors and why they are doing what they are doing
  • Learn effective strategies that are kind, respectful and actually effective.
  • Go back to enjoying parenting and family life.

Let’s Chat – check out my calendar 🙂

Peace & Be Well,


When To Worry About Tantrums & Meltdowns in the Toddler Years

When To Worry About Tantrums & Meltdowns in the Toddler Years

Tantrums are typically the way your child releases big feelings. This can be frustration, sadness, tiredness or hunger. While sometimes avoidable, often tantrums just really happen in a blink of the eye. Your toddler can’t keep it together, whines, cries and screams for a bit. This can be a completely normal part of child development.
You can expect that most children will have a tantrum at some point, if not many, as tantrums are just expressions of overwhelm, frustration and other big emotions. Continue Reading

Raising Happy Kids: How Your Parenting Decisions Impact your Child

Raising Happy Kids: How Your Parenting Decisions Impact your Child

Mental health affects the way your child thinks, feels and behaves. Taking your child’s mental health into consideration, when making parenting decisions is a really smart idea.  Your child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health.  As a parent, you can play a very positive role in your child’s mental health and… Continue Reading

The Discipline Approach That Helps Babies and Toddlers Thrive

The Discipline Approach That Helps Babies and Toddlers Thrive

Taking a positive approach to discipline for toddlers from the very start. There is a lot of information out there on how to best discipline toddlers but did you know, the best discipline strategy already starts in the baby years?  Parents often spend a great deal of time in the early days invested in attending… Continue Reading

How to Discipline Children Effectively without Quick Hacks and Punishments

How to Discipline Children Effectively without Quick Hacks and Punishments

Quick and clever discipline hacks tend to fail or make unwanted behaviors even worse. Discover here better, more effective and developmentally appropriate ways to discipline your child. Counting methods, sticker charts, automatic timers, fuzzy pom-poms and rubber bands…good discipline? These are some of the popular recommendations for dealing with misbehavior. If you tried all the… Continue Reading

How To Discipline A Strong Willed Child In a Positive Way

How To Discipline A Strong Willed Child In a Positive Way

Inside: Parenting and disciplining a strong willed child can be challenging. Learn positive parenting approaches to reduce emotional outbursts and power struggles when your child is very determined and stubborn. At the dinner table, my two year old, easily described as a strong willed child, asked for water. I kindly poured some into the glass… Continue Reading

Get Your Toddler To Listen and Cooperate (Positive Parenting Examples)

Get Your Toddler To Listen and Cooperate (Positive Parenting Examples)

Inside: How do you discipline a child that won’t listen? Understand toddler behavior and learn positive ways to encourage cooperation. Examples of how to use positive parenting strategies to get your toddler to listen included. One very challenging task in the early years of parenting is finding ways to encourage cooperation and listening. You might find… Continue Reading