Better Parents, Better Families

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Posted 1/1/12 at 11:06 PM | Rick I. Johnson

Fathers' Love Lifegiving for Daughters

Fathers have been given a tremendous ability to influence the lives of their daughters – either positively or negatively. How a father treats his daughter will shape how she views herself and how she expects to be treated by other men for the rest of her life. This is a massive responsibility for fathers to show their daughters love, respect and appreciation.

A new book, That's My Girl: How a Father's Love Protects and Empowers His Daughter, will help fathers understand their daughters on a deeper level. Bestselling author Rick Johnson shares his own experiences raising a less-than-cooperative daughter to help other men realize the important role they play in shaping their daughters. That's My Girl is an honest look at what girls need from their fathers and provides applicable advice for men with daughters of any age to transform their relationship.

"A daughter is a gift from God," says Johnson. "She needs to be treasured, nurtured and even protected by her father. God has placed within a daughter's heart the inherent desire, even need, to love and respect her father," He tells fathers, "The most important thing is for you to make sure your daughter knows you love her. She derives self-esteem and value from what you speak into her heart." FULL POST

Posted 12/19/11 at 3:00 PM | Empowering Parents

Should You Negotiate Your Child’s Curfew?

There are times when your thirteen year old may seem like a seasoned litigator, and your kitchen feels like a courtroom. Kids are surprisingly adept at negotiating, and sometimes it's hard to "beat them at their own game." It's important to teach kids how to negotiate because it's a necessary life skill, and it helps create kids who can function independently. They need to learn healthy ways to interact with people to get what they need.

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Posted 12/12/11 at 6:48 PM | Rick I. Johnson

Boundaries Teach Boys Self-Discipline

This past season, several high-profile college head football and basketball coaches have been vilified and lost their jobs due to the perception that they harshly enforced disciplinary methods upon a player or players in their program. I'm not defending these coaches' methods as I do not know the situation, but here's what I do know. Many young men today, especially talented athletes, have been raised without a father or any other form of accountability or boundaries in their life. They have gotten whatever they want their entire lives. They do not understand the value of true leadership or the concept of respect. These young men rebel against any kind of discipline and despise authority figures. Even though they may in truth crave discipline, they have steered their own ship for too long. They have learned to do what they want, when they want, and so any kind of restrictions—whether it is healthy for them or not—are very uncomfortable. They instinctively resist accountability and become self-focused and self-absorbed. Without willingly acceding to the mentorship and authority of other men, young males with this attitude will struggle their entire lives, creating problems in the lives of those who love and depend upon them. FULL POST

Posted 12/12/11 at 3:29 PM | Empowering Parents

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: The War at Home

When Hunter was a baby, Pat never imagined parenting him would mean becoming trapped in an argument that would last 15 years. From the time he was old enough to express himself, it seemed that he was looking for a fight with her.

"He's a very strong-willed person," says Pat, her polite demeanor belying an obvious understatement. "He's manipulative, and he learned at a very young age how to make that work for him to get what he wanted."

"The simplest things always seem to turn into huge problems because Hunter simply refuses to do what he is asked to do, whether it was brushing his teeth at age five, or raking the yard at age 15. The word 'no' lights his fuse, especially when in response to something he wants to do. He's always doing these irritating things," Pat explains, "as if he enjoys bothering you."

Getting out of bed in the morning is the issue around which Hunter and his parents argue the most. "We've had the worst time in the world getting him up in the morning and into the shower. I know this is unbelievable, but he gets in the shower, stretches out in the bottom of the tub with the water beating on him, and goes back to sleep. From that moment on, we have to micromanage his morning to get him to the bus stop."

Recently, Hunter was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Pat finally has a name for the behavior that's been exhausting her all these years. Now, she needs a solution. How does a parent stop the arguments with a child whose primary way of communicating is arguing?

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Posted 12/5/11 at 3:09 PM | Empowering Parents

Stop the Blame Game: How to Teach Your Child to Stop Making Excuses and Start Taking Responsibility

When parents realize that their children might have either a behavioral or learning problem, the first thing many do is blame themselves. Parents are usually very frightened and worried about their children's behavior. This fear often manifests itself in negative ways. One of those ways is blame.

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Posted 11/28/11 at 4:37 PM | Empowering Parents

"Am I a Bad Parent?" How to Let Go of Parenting Guilt

Countless readers write in to Empowering Parents and say, "I'm supposed to know how to make my child behave, but I don't. He's out of control and people blame me for his behavior. I feel guilty and ashamed most of the time, and very alone. It's the worst feeling in the world." The truth is, you're not supposed to know everything about being a parent—it's a skill you have to learn, just like anything else. While there's no one "right way" to parent, there are more effective ways to handle your child's behavior.

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Posted 11/21/11 at 4:42 PM | Empowering Parents

Making Child Behavior Changes That Last

Ever wonder why your child continues to misbehave, no matter what you do? You may be skipping some critical steps in parenting. Don't miss part two of our series on why consequences alone aren't enough to change your child's behavior.

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Posted 11/14/11 at 4:51 PM | Empowering Parents

How to Manage Aggressive Child Behavior

I've talked with a lot of parents who feel out of control in the face of their child's anger and aggression. In fact, I can't tell you how many moms and dads have said, "I feel like I'm failing at parenting." In my opinion, it's not so important why you as a parent aren't effective at times—what's more important is what you do about it. The very first step is to be aware of the patterns that have been created over the years with your child. Ask yourself, "What's the behavior I'm seeing, and what am I doing in reaction to it?"

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Posted 11/7/11 at 4:39 PM | Empowering Parents

How to Coach Your Child to Better Behavior

Do you feel stuck in a cycle with your child where his behavior isn't changing—and might actually be getting worse? Many parents think that simply giving consequences should be enough to fix misbehavior. These same parents often end up feeling defeated and are left wondering why the consequences didn't work. In this two-part series, Sara Bean explains the key to changing kids' behavior (and it's not consequences). Read on to learn how to parent your child more effectively, starting today.

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Posted 10/31/11 at 3:53 PM | Empowering Parents

Problems at School? How to Handle the Top 4 Issues

At some point as a parent, you will likely be faced with the dreaded email from your child's teacher telling you that your kid has crossed the line and that you need to come in for another conference—or the principal will call to tell you that your teen has missed the last week of school altogether, unbeknownst to you. Maybe you've discovered that your child's grades have plunged from acceptable to barely passing. What's a parent to do? Carole Banks, MSW addresses the top four school emergencies parents struggle with the most.

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