Table of Contents-
Toni Featured in National Magazine!
I'm pleased to announce that I was featured in the Sept. 20 issue of Woman's World, a publication that reaches 1.7 million readers. The article was entitled "Best Bonding Activities to Do With Your Teens."
Let me share a few of the pointers that I offered in Woman's World. Listen to your teen's music, not to be critical, but to show that you're interested in what they like. Go out for dessert. Just with your teen! Take them for a drive. Many teens will let down more when eye contact isn't required. Escape for an overnight. Being outside of the home environment can create more opportunities for adventure. Be sure to schedule family time on the calendar that includes your teen. They still need to know that family time is the most valuable time.
Free Sample Parent Coaching Session
If you'd like to know more
about me and give parent coaching a try, just e-mail me at:
Toni is proud to be an Alliance Coach with:
Check out the website at www.unlimitedgrowthpotential.com
Had a Good Night's Sleep Lately?
It's a wonder that we parents get any sleep at all!
As parents with newborn babies, we rarely get more than three hours sleep in a row. Then we're off to toddlerhood when kids may fight sleep because they see it as a separation from us that creates anxiety. From ages 4 to 6 kids have difficulty separating fantasy from reality and children will commonly have fears of the dark, monsters and bedtime noises.
Then when children reach ages 7-10 the "architecture" of their sleep changes, according to Dr. Alan Williams, an associate professor of pediatrics at Mercer University Medical School. By the time a child is 8, less than a quarter of their sleep is spent in the rapid eye movement (REM) phase which means that they will be lighter sleepers and may wake more frequently, according to Williams. School and peer anxieties also become more pronounced and can cause sleep disturbances.
What's a parent to do? Here are some general guidelines:
1) We must understand that most children from preschool age and up need 10-12 hours a night of sleep to function well. Take the time each morning that your child must wake up and do the math. Is your child getting enough sleep?
2) Determine the tasks that need to be done each night at bedtime. Brushing teeth, putting on PJs, going to the bathroom and reading books are common duties. Other families include a snack, bath, cleaning up time, snuggling time or getting clothes out for the next day. Once you've figured out what is necessary to do at bedtime, determine a reasonable amount of time to perform the tasks. Set a time each night to start the routine. Thirty minutes for the bedtime routine would be a reasonable goal. Consider moving one or more tasks, like clean-up, earlier in the evening if the bedtime routine is taking too long.
3) "Ritualize" the routine that you pick with your child. Once the tasks have been selected, have the child pick the order to do the tasks and set reasonable time limits to accomplish them. Set a timer to stay on task, if you'd like. Stick to the routine each night. Each parent should participate in the ritual, if at all possible.
4) Create opportunities for bonding. Snuggle close while you read books together. Ask your child about the happy, sad and scary parts of their day. Play soft music. Make this part of the bedtime ritual.
5) Create a positive sleep environmment. Make sure the bed is comfortable, the lovey is snuggled in with them, the lights are dim, soft music is playing.
6) Be clear about your expectations after they are in bed. "It's bedtime now. You need to stay in your bed." can be a mantra that you repeat if your child gets out of bed after you leave. Do not engage in other communication or walk them back to their room which would give them positive attention therby reinforcing the behavior to continue.
7) If you continue to allow your children to manipulate you with requests for more water, more hugs, longer stories, etc. take a step back and try to figure out why it's hard for you to set a firm boundary about sleep? Are you feeling guilty because you work long hours? Do you need more snuggle time during other parts of the day? Are you avoiding meeting your own needs?
Imagine that your child was hungry at mealtime. Would you keep denying them the opportunity to eat? Why are you denying them the opportunity to sleep? Sleep, like hunger, provides the energy that allows our kids to be successful. Try not to give in to the whining or crying by keeping your eye on the big prize! More time to yourself. A happier child. Better sleep habits.
8) Do not allow kids to watch TV, play computer and video games or surf the net before bedtime. These activities stimulate a child's brain and it will be tougher for them to wind down. And by all means, avoid scary movies that are sure to trigger a young child's nightmares.
Please know that it may take 6-8 weeks for a new bedtime routine to stick. Your child will resist. There will be bumps along the way. Hold firm! It will be well worth the effort!
Q. What if my child is afraid when I leave the room?
A. I would recommend adressing their fears directly. For children, the fear of the dark, for instance, is very real. Get specific information from them about what their fears are. Then you could include taking a flashlight and looking for "monsters" under his bed, in the closet, or in drawers before you leave the bedroom. You can announce that "All is safe. No monsters found." and leave the flashlight for your child to use, if they need it. You can also have the child recall a pleasant activity and focus on that. You may also want to teach your child some basic relaxation exercises.
Q. What if my child is stressed about school and those issues are coming out at bedtime?
A. Bedtime is actually one of the times of day that children are most likely to open up. Ask your child for more details about the source of their stress. Have them write down their thoughts and feelings in a journal you keep next to their bed. Create a "stress catcher" much like a dream weaver that you can have them deposit their stressors in each night. Promise to problem-solve with them the next day about their problems and then work out a plan together.
Q. What if my child keeps coming out of the room after I leave?
A. First of all, be clear about your expectations. Give them examples of when it is acceptable for them to leave. ie. going to the bathroom, they feel sick, etc. Then keep a bowl with 3 treats on the kitchen table. The treats could be coins or M&Ms, or whatever might be a good motivator for your child. If the child doesn't leave the bedroom after you leave at night, they can have all three treats in the morning. Each time they do leave, though, one of the treats goes away and they will get fewer rewards in the morning.
If I can be of assistance to you in resolving bedtime hassles, please call me for a sample parent coaching session at 612-810-8687. Developing a bedtime ritual, calming a child's fears and examining your role in the process can help you to get a better night's sleep, too!
If you'd like to read a book on the topic, a resource I recommend is "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.
Positive Discipline Options
Each month a positive discipline option is offered. Collect them all and expand your repertoire!
Definition: The word "discipline" is from the root word "disciple" which means "one who teaches." The essence of discipline, therefore, is to provide a learning experience for the child to grow. (Provided by Dave Hudson)
How many times a day do you ask your child to do something? 30? 40?
I don't have the exact figure, but we make numerous commands each day as parents. "Get dressed." "Brush your teeth." "Clear your plate." and on and on.
I would like you to do an experiment. For one week, keep track of the number of times that you make a command to your child while you're in a different room than they are. See what your rate of compliance is. The next week, make your command to them while you're in the same room. Better yet, look them in the eye, speak to them at their level and ask them to repeat back what their job is right now.
See what the results of your study show! I bet you'll be pleased with the results from Week 2!
Take these classes from the comfort of home! You'll join other parents, via telephone, for parenting tips and a lively discussion all while sitting in your favorite armchair! There's no need to waste time driving to classes when you can participate from home in a "teleclass."
"Managing Your Child’s Anger: Triggers and Solutions for Coping" Has your child had a tantrum lately, thrown toys across the room or hit a sibling? Odds are that s/he has! Children’s anger can be exacerbating for parents. Come to this class to learn common triggers for a child’s anger, solutions for coping, and skills to teach your child so you’ll both be less frazzled!
Sun., Oct. 16, 7 p.m.-8:15 p.m. CT (8 p.m. -9:15 p.m. ET) ($25) To register: Send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 612-810-8687 with any questions.“Overscheduled? Take Action to Improve Your Work/Family Balance”
Feeling torn in many different directions? Ever riddled by guilt? Rarely have time for yourself? This two-part session will help you examine your life and how happy you are with your current choices. Tools for assessing balance will be provided along with steps you can take to live the life you want! JUST $49 for both sessions, a $49 savings! This "class" will be done privately, so you can register at your convenience. To register: Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-810-8687 with any questions.
“Relief for Homework Headaches” is a parenting class designed to help parents solve the most common homework problems. Parents will learn how the homework brain works, methods for identifying their child’s learning style and ways to make learning fun. Parents will leave the class with strategies for motivating their child, plans for creating rituals that provide consistency and a “checklist for change.” Come to “school” for 60 minutes and find relief that will last throughout the year! Thurs., Oct. 6, Noon- 1p.m., Working Family Resource Center, St. Paul, MN. Call Michael to register at 651-293-5330.
“Relief for Homework Headaches” is a parenting class designed to help parents solve the most common homework problems. Parents will learn how the homework brain works, methods for identifying their child’s learning style and ways to make learning fun. Parents will leave the class with strategies for motivating their child, plans for creating rituals that provide consistency and a “checklist for change.” Come to “school” for 90 minutes and find relief that will last throughout the year! Sat., Oct. 15, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., Central Pediatrics, Woodbury, $20. To register:Call Toni at 612-810-8687 or e:mail her at: email@example.com.
“Are You Listening?:
“Relief for Homework Headaches” is a parenting class designed to help parents solve the most common homework problems. Parents will learn how the homework brain works, methods for identifying their child’s learning style and ways to make learning fun. Parents will leave the class with strategies for motivating their child, plans for creating rituals that provide consistency and a “checklist for change.” Come to “school” for 75 minutes and find relief that will last throughout the year! Wed., Oct. 26, 1-2:30 p.m., Four Winds School, St. Paul, MN.
This is a place for parents to exchange ideas. Would you like to get ideas from other parents about a parenting concern? Do you have good ideas that might help another parent? Feel free to contribute!!
For Nov.: My child is
developing friendships with some kids that I don't necessarily approve of.
Any ideas how to handle that? J.M.
Readers, give us
your ideas!! How have you successfully handled this problem?
"My neighbor taught me this great strategy (I just need to
implement it): If the child wants to speak with a parent while the
parent is already talking, the child places his/her hand into the parent's
hand and squeezes gently. If the parent squeezes back, it's a silent
way of saying, "I'm aware that you want my attention, and I will give it
to you as soon as I'm done." The parent must be diligent about
giving the promised attention." K.J.
"I think it's just plain rude the way parents allow their kids to constantly interrupt. I just tell my kids "You're interrupting. I'll be with you when I'm done." They don't like it, but it's such a valuable lesson for them to learn that they can wait, mommy has a right to speak and they are not the center of the universe!" B.D.
A Good Read
What's the name of a parenting book, website or article that you've enjoyed? Please share your thoughts with other parents! Please include the name of the book, the author, and the year it was published. Also, include what you liked about the book.
"Moments in Our Lives, a Woman’s Eye View" is an insightful
book of a woman’s passage. The author, Kathy Brodsky, wrote a series
of 65 "insights" that highlight various stages of a woman's
life. The writings keep you laughing, touched while reflecting
on moments in your own life and inspired by the pictures within. I own
several copies of this book; it is at home, in my office and in my waiting
room. I’ve given them as gifts and was pleased to find my sister reading
her copy on her porch one late summer afternoon. Kathy is truly an
inspiration to women and her book truly captures our essence. It is a must
read for all women. Thank you Kathy."
McLaughlin, Work Life Balance Coach,
What does your family do for fun that doesn't cost a lot of money?? Let's share some ideas!!
Munch Away at the Apple Orchard
"One of our favorite things to do in the fall is to go to an apple orchard. We found an orchard where the kids can pick their own apples, snack on pastry items, take a hay ride, pet farm animals and picnic. Their favorite part is picking the apples! Of course, we make yummy apple desserts for the next few weeks." T.S.
Publisher, Families First Coaching Newsletter
Toni Schutta is a Parent Coach with a Master's Degree in Psychology and 11 years experience working with children and families. She's also the mother of two wonderful children, a Licensed Psychologist, a certified graduate of the Mentor Coach Foundations Program and a member of the International Coach Federation.
Families First Coaching is an organization devoted to building strong families by empowering parents with practical information, easy-to-use tools and helpful resources that will help you be the best parent possible. Individual parent coaching sessions are available along with parent-to-parent support groups and parent education classes. Check out the website at http://www.familiesfirstcoaching.com for a complete list of services.
enjoy this newsletter and know of someone else who might, please forward
it to your friend.
If you would like to unsubscribe to this newsletter, please e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org and type "unsubscribe" in the subject line.
Families First Coaching Newsletter is copyrighted, but you may retransmit or
distribute it to others as long as you acknowledge familiesfirstcoaching.com as the source of the information. However, you may not copy it to a web site.
Republication, and distribution, of Families First Coaching Newsletter in print is encouraged and permitted as long as the issue is printed in its entirety and includes the contact information.
Copyright 2004 Families First Coaching.