Friday, April 10, 2015

The Sibling Rivalry Solution

The Sibling Rivalry Solution

Wherever two or more of them are gathered....there is love...and there is also sibling rivalry. Arguments, squabbles, emotional standoffs. They happen among siblings. They are to be expected. 

Or are they? Good question.  

My siblings and me.

I know my siblings and I had our fair share of "disagreements".  But we always came back together in the end. We learned to compromise, to consider other perspectives (it wasn't always easy), to resolve conflict.  We learned to get along better. 

The Next Gen of Sibling Rivalry 

And then we grew up...moved out, got married and had kids of our own. Along with the birth of our children came the next generation of sibling rivalry. 

My crew...the siblings three.
Next Gen Sibling Rivalry.

It's Tough

Sharing parental time, attention and resources isn't easy.  But, because we don't live in a vacuum and need to learn to learn how to get along with others, there's no better place to do that than on our own home turf.  Life lessons are learned that will traverse the lifespan!

What's the Sibling Rivalry Solution?

Solving sibling rivalry is simple and hard at the same time.  It's not an oxymoron, really, and all of us can help the siblings under our roofs get along better. Here's how:

1.  Remove your own emotions/don't personalize.  When your kids are squabbling, you don't need to own the problem.  Let your kids start figuring things out together.  Provide guidance and input, as necessary, but there is no need to rescue.  Ask questions like "What's happening here?" and "What do you think might be a good solution to this problem?" and "What do you think this could look like when it's all worked out?" and "How will you feel when this is no longer a problem?"  If you have trouble with your own responses to the sibling rivalry in your domain, aren't sure where to even start to help your kids calm things down, and need new words and insights, be sure to check out BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids, the book I recently co-authored with Dr. Lynne Kenney.

2.  Teach solid social skills.  There's no way around this. We need to teach life skills so kids can have a good life. We teach our children how to walk across a street safely, how to use eating utensils, how to say please and thank you.  We need to teach social skills intentionally. This is too important to just leave to chance.  One of the big tasks of parents. You don't have to go it alone.  You can get assistance in the form of parent coaching or counseling if needed, or check out our entire selection of resources that help with social skills.  Our sales items will always be found here.

3. Recognize it for what it's worth.  When you see sibling rivalry as a naturally occurring phenomenon, it becomes less wearing for you as a parent.  You'll start to look at it as an opportunity to teach more skills, rather than as a dreadful, horrible situation.  I know firsthand that sibling rivalry is not enjoyable, but when we keep it in perspective, it has less of a hold on us. That allows us to manage it (and teach our kids to do the same) much better!


Find it HERE

Everyone can teach the social skill of kindness with this resource.
It's everything you need to teach and encourage caring behaviors
on a daily basis in your home or classroom or in family therapy.

And right now, in honor of #NationalSiblingsDay,it's 

Go HERE to get your copy before
Monday, April 13th at 10pm EDT.

This resource has helped thousands of kids around the globe!
It can help your kids, too!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How To Minimize the Impact of Divorce on Children

Divorce is Sad

Divorce is sad. No matter the reason for the divorce, it is an end to something that was once filled with love and hope and amazing possibilities.  For some, divorce will come as a relief, but even so, for most there will be twinges of sadness for what could have been or what should have been.

When Kids are Part of the Equation

When kids are involved, both parents often turn their attention to supporting and loving their child through this huge transition.  Many parents worry, "Will my child be okay?"  "Will my child thrive despite the divorce?" "Will my child be forever damaged by this break-up?" "Will my child still know how much both parents love him, even though our feelings for each other have changed?" 

These concerns only add the stressors already inherent in a divorce situation.

Children are Resilient

Yet, people (including children) are resilient.  Kids can survive and thrive, but there are a few things parents should know to help buffer the impact of a divorce. 

Below you'll find an excerpt from an infographic about divorce. We think you'll find that it contains some good news. It also shares how to minimize divorce's impact on kids.  This is something that's within the reach of all families! The information speaks for itself:



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More Resources

Fink Cards on Divorce by Sue Atkins

Child Centered Divorce by Rosalind Sedacca

Books to Help with DivorceBooks to Help with Divorce by Kidlutions

Thursday, April 2, 2015

HALF-OFF Discount on Everything for 50 hours

Go HERE to see more.

It's a BIG birthday here at Kidlutions! When Mr. Kidlutions turned 50, we offered 50% off select products.  Now it's my turn! 

Today is a GREAT day to turn 50 and to celebrate, we're offering you 50% off our entire store.  It will last for 50 hours! If you missed anything in our last sale, here's your chance!

Go HERE to check it out and enter code KID50 to get your discount applied!

Thanks for trusting Kidlutions' products to help the kids in your life!

Monday, March 30, 2015

What's the Best Way to Praise a Child?


Help your child find ways to feel confident about her own abilities and strengths. When a child doesn’t need to rely on others to notice and praise her abilities or strengths, she develops a strong self-concept that leads to success. Teach your child to focus on comparing her current behavior or performance to her own past performance, with an eye towards steadily improving herself.  This is quite different from bragging, which usually makes a comparison between people, putting someone in the one-up position. 

Few of us want to raise a self-aggrandizing child (from the Free Dictionary Online):

self-ag·gran·dize·ment (sĕlf′ə-grăn′dĭz-mənt) 

n. The act or practice of enhancing or exaggerating one's 

own importance, power, or reputation.

What most of us are aiming for are self-assured, yet humble children.  It's a balance.  When a child has a positive view of herself, she's more likely to be able to see the good in others, as well, and will be better able to notice and respond positively to their accomplishments. A child with a good self-concept can more readily extend praise to others.  They can come from a place of abundance, which is a place we all strive to be.  Everybody is good at something. Help your child see this and recognize it in herself, as well as in others.

Following are some specific ways to praise your child:


Praise positive behavior or accomplishments with specific feedback about what you like about your child’s actions or behavior (“You worked really hard at cleaning your room.  Look how organized it is.  You must be really proud of yourself. You can feel good about your hard work.”). By modeling how to praise and give compliments, you teach your child how to do the same.
  • 1. Compliment your children. What you pay attention to here is what's important.  Avoid focusing on their appearance. Try to focus on traits like, "I'm so impressed with how kind you are," or "Thanks for helping!" Children who are complimented understand how good compliments feel and will begin to compliment others.  As with everything, it's "monkey see, monkey do".  When you do and say positive things (and pay attention to positive things), you make it easier for your kids to do the same.
  • 2. Compliment others in front of your child. Children who are complimented are more apt to compliment other people, but may be unsure of how to do so. Role model this behavior. Show your child how it's done. Be sure to compliment a wide range of different people on a variety of talents, skills and abilities! 
  • 3. Teach compliment giving. Help your kids learn about giving compliments by intentionally teaching them how.  Try our Compliment Games to accomplish this task!
  • Find it all HERE
  • However you teach your child the important social skill of compliment giving, have fun!

  • Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    Can Happiness Be Learned?

    Can Happiness Be Learned?

    Here at Kidlutions, our answer is a resounding YES!

    We've known that in our bones for a long, long time, but don't believe it just because we think it's true.  Know it's true because it is fleshed out in research. Our thoughts are strongly connected to our feeling states, so it goes to follow that if we can change our thoughts, we can change how we feel.

    5 Things to Know about "Finding Happiness":

    1. It's Magical

    It's magical, really, when you think about it.  Yet, I see it happen before my very eyes in my office. When children and adolescents (or adults) can learn a few ways to tweak their thinking, prune out negative thoughts and replace those thoughts with a much more balanced perspective, sunnier days are in store.  We can teach these skills to very young children, to adolescents and to adults.  It's never too late to learn to change our thinking.

    Recently, Dr. Christine Carter, author or The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work, shared that happiness is really a skill-set, and one that can be learned, much like a new language.  That's good news for our kids and good news for all of us.

    2. Temperament Matters

    We are all born with different temperaments, and Dr. Carter points out that just as some people pick up a new language quicker, some people can pick up the happiness factor more easily.  Everyone can learn it, though, it just takes more time for some than for others.

    3. Keep at It

    Keep at it and happiness can be yours (or your child's). It takes weeks (about 21 days) to learn a new habit, but once learned, it continues to be refined and reinforced over time.  The more you do it, the better you get at it.  Practice positive thinking, looking for clues that things are looking up and focus on the upside of things and it will soon become second nature!

    4. It's Not Always a Piece of Cake

    Life isn't always easy and we don't always feel up, up, up! However, when we do follow the basic guidelines set forth in step 3 (above), upsetting times become much easier to handle and we can return to baseline much quicker.  Not bad, is it?

    5. We Can Teach it to Our Kids

    Once we master this ourselves, we can teach it to our kids.  It might not be as easy as it sounds, especially if we struggle with negative thoughts, anxiety, depression and life issues that stand in our own way of happiness.  Life happens...then we have to get fast at work "thinking" ourselves to a better place. I can vouch for that.  It works not only in my own life, but in the lives of countless people with whom I've worked in therapy. Here's our collection of articles that help you calm your entire family down, so you can get back to happiness.

    Need More Help?

    If you need a little assistance in getting started to help your kids on the path to positive thinking, we've created therapeutic-strength resources that have been used successfully across the globe! Check them out HERE! You'll find our biggest sales HERE 50% off our entire store! Ends 4/4/15 @ 12am EDT.

    See our ON SALE items!
    Up to 50% Off NOW

    Friday, March 20, 2015

    The Feelings Shop at Kidlutions

    See what's on SALE now!
    The Feelings Shop at Kidlutions
    We've recently revamped our entire store to make your shopping experience easier and more seamless.  You'll find our products organized by subject, and you'll also find one page that features all of our SALE products.  Shopping with us has never been easier!
    Grand Opening Sale During Social Work Month
    We're hosting our Grand Opening right now, which couldn't have come at a better time. It's Social Work Month, and we want to provide as many families, counselors and therapists with our resources as possible.  Whether you are helping kids deal with anger, sadness, divorce or MORE, we've got resources that can help!  Our online, instant download products have helped countless kids across the globe since we opened our online store about 8 years ago!
    Pictured are just some of the items you'll find on sale:
    Up to 50% Off
    Some of our best selling resources are on deep discount! You'll find 13 items currently on sale, seven of which are 50% off!  Don't miss it! The sale is huge and you'll use the resources over and over again!

    Ends Soon!

    These prices won't last forever, but the help they offer kids will! If you want to take advantage of our special pricing, be sure to do so NOW...these prices are good until March 31st at 10pm EDT.


    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    Raising Kids Who Really Listen

    Raising Kids Who REALLY Listen

    When it comes to your kids, is it in one ear and out the other? Want to raise kids who really listen? Chances are you do and we’ve got a few tips that can help with this goal in mind. While this list is geared towards encouraging younger children, you can change the phrasing a bit and adapt it for older children and teens

    Without further ado, here we go:

    1.     Listen up! One of the strongest ways that children learn is through modeling behaviors of their parents. You knew this was coming, right?

    ·       When you demonstrate good listening skills in your everyday life in the presence of your kids, they will learn those skills, too. They can see how it's done by watching you.

    2.     Look away from that cell phone. When you want to communicate with your child, look away from your cell phone or stop your current activity to focus completely on them. Whether they initiate the conversation or you do, stop what you're doing so you can concentrate on your interaction. You have no idea how many kids comment on the fact that their parents don’t even look at them when they talk to them. Don’t be one of those parents.

    3.     Look into their eyes. In any type of communication, look in the eyes of the person you're talking to and teach your children to do the same.

    ·       A subtle and special connection is made when people make eye contact. You better believe it! This behavior can be taught and picked up by children as young as two years of age.

    4.     Name game. When you talk to your children, saying their name will help get their attention and set them up to be ready to listen, just like when someone calls your name, you stop what you're doing and look at them.

    ·       Getting your child's attention by stating his name is an effective way to prepare him to hear what you're going to say. That focus is necessary to begin to develop listening skills.

    5.     Take a seat. This suggestion sends the message, "Get ready to listen because I'm going to talk."

    ·       When your child is very young, try leading him to a chair. Then say something like, "I'd like to talk to you for a minute," which serves as an attention-getter.

    ·       Once you complete what you wanted to express, be ready to listen to your child's response.

    6.     Check for understanding. From time to time, ask your child what you just said. You're trying to determine what your child heard by asking him to paraphrase what you said. When he repeats it properly, praise his efforts.

    ·       If he doesn't get it quite right, you have an opportunity to repeat what you said for clarification and to enhance his listening skills.

    7.     Praise attempts at listening. When your child shows the smallest attempt to listen or to even approach listening, it's smart to reinforce those efforts right away. This is the principle of “successive approximation”.

    ·       Even with a 2-year-old, you can encourage their listening skills by saying, "Thank you for sitting so quietly while Mommy was talking," or, "You were really listening to Daddy, thank you."

    ·       After a conversation, simple responses, such as smiling while you say, "Great job on listening," also let your kids know they exhibited the important behavior you were seeking.

    Promoting your child's listening abilities is best done in small ways every single day. As a parent, you're the best role model for teaching your children communication skills. Reward their efforts with smiles and positive comments, and you're on your way to building their listening skills for a successful future.

    For more ways to build strong communication and social skills with your children, check out this MP3 download from Child Psych Central with Dr. Beth Onufrak and me, and try BLOOM parenting techniques. It could just change everything!

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