Friends – Virtual or Real?

What defines ‘friends’? It is good to make sure you know your friends in the real world before you add them in your my space or facebook. You are opening up your world — friends, thoughts, feelings, family, and personal life to these ‘friends’. Be safe, be smart! Only choose people that are real friends.

Pro-Active Parenting


  1. Plan Ahead; give time to think about all the considerations
  2. Set clear expectations, rules, rewards, and consequences
  3. Clearly state your responsibility and your child’s responsibility
  4. Allow discussion time between parents and children
  5. Have a back-up plan; what to do if something goes wrong


  1. Honesty policy; create environment which promotes open communication
  2. Family forums to discuss the family rules and proposed changes
  3. Set clear limits when consequences will occur (i.e. fighting, illegal activity, danger to self or others)
  4. Be flexible in times of need
  5. Be consistent, be consistent!


  1. Model appropriate behavior, expression of feelings, and sharing of thoughts
  2. If you want to be heard, you must learn to listen
  3. It’s okay to be less than perfect- acknowledge your mistakes
  4. Be supportive and open- foster trust and communication
  5. Remember to laugh!


  1. Differentiate needs from wants
  2. Encourage your child to identify their needs
  3. Model and verbalize your needs
  4. Take responsibility as a way to encourage responsibility
  5. Explanation: Use your words, model expressing thoughts and feelings

Behavioral/Allowance Charting


Goal: Develop a consistent* structure to reinforce positive behavior, extinguish negative behavior, empower children to learn, earn, and achieve success, and maintain a positive parent–child relationship.

Identify 1-3 behaviors (no more than 3) that you want to change (i.e. using words to express feelings, cleaning up room, improve hygiene).

Develop rewards that encourage positive behavior and family interaction (i.e. special play date/outing, books, education computer games, special meal)

The reward has to be meaningful for the child to be motivated

Time frame: Define how many times the behavior needs to be completed to earn reward (i.e. younger children (age 2-6) may earn something daily or hourly, older children (age 7-up) work on a weekly schedule)

Display the chart in a common area (i.e. on the refrigerator in the kitchen).

Use stickers or initials to mark off each time positive behavior is completed.

If positive behavior is not completed, leave blank. Do not reinforce (i.e. put a sad face on the chart) negative behavior.

Design behavioral chart so that children will succeed.


Goal: Teach children responsibility and positive consequences. Children will feel good about themselves, while receiving benefit from their good efforts and deeds.

  1. Parents and children work together to identify 1-3 household chores/responsibilities (i.e. cleaning room, making bed, taking trash out).
  2. Establish a value for completion of daily or weekly chores (i.e. $2.00 per day).
  3. Display the chart, and initial/happy face sticker for completion of daily chores.
    1. No punishments for not doing chores, only not receiving allowance.
  4. Allowance is given on Saturdays- based on completion of chores from the previous week.
    1. Allowance is ‘their’ money to spend how they wish
  5. Develop age appropriate chores, monetary values, and a plan to save money.
  6. Encourage saving a small amount of weekly allowance to open a checking account.

*Warning: CONSISTENCY- The only way behavioral/allowance charting will work is if parents are consistent and follow through with charting and rewards.

Parenting with Your Partner; Agreeing to Disagree

  1. I. Family Values: What are they?
    1. Experiential: What are the values that you’d like to pass on to your children?
      1. Foundation/Framework for parenting
        1. Priorities
        2. Making Choices
    2. Where do values come from?
      1. Family History
      2. Culture
      3. Religion
      4. Life experience
        1. Separate and unique to each partner
        2. Unconsciously shape our parenting style
        3. Be aware of your past and how you want to parent in the present
        4. Identify your ‘trigger points’- where you are most invested
          1. Ex: Family first, Mr. Mrs. = respect, Gratitude- please & thank you
    3. How children learn values?
      1. Modeling; the way we act, choices we make, and emotional response
        1. Parents as humans acknowledge their strengths and weakness
        2. Walk the Talk
        3. Discussing areas of growth
      2. Teachable moments; look for opportunities to provide tools vs. critique behavior
      3. Community- an extension of the family that reinforces values

a. Find like-minded families

b. Activities that support your values

c. Religious or Cultural events

4. External Contributors

a. TV, books, toys, computers, magazines

5. Reinforcers and Limits: How to set the frame?


II. Agreeing to Disagree

A. Honoring the ‘Us’- must nurture/cherish ‘the team

1. Language of ‘us and we’ vs. ‘you and I’

B. Have an open mind

1. Be an active listener

2. Intent to learn about your partner, not teach

C. Fight respectfully

1. Must respect partner’s thoughts, feelings and ideas

2. Own your piece, and contain your judgment

3. Work toward agreement, not contention- solution focused

4. Be responsive not reactive (avoid blame, shame, or maim)

5. Be able to self regulate, or pull back and regroup

D. Find private time, not with the kids present

1. Model cooling down

2. Allow time to think

E. ‘Ring the Bell”- either partner can call for a cool off

1. It is essential to know when things are spiraling down

2. Take a breather and revisit when calm

F. Communication and Language (Refer to Handout)

G. When we disagree in-front of the kids

1. Acknowledge parents discussing ideas, different ideas

2. Model Conflict resolution

3. Empathize with their feelings

a. Acknowledge their experience and opportunities to learn from them what it feels like Teachable moment

Posted by Dr. Jason Stein at 8:56 AM

Family Communication


  1. To Have Positive, Supportive Relationships with Family Members
  2. Understanding Each Other’s Thoughts and Feelings
  3. Getting Needs Met

Techniques for Improving Family Communication

  1.  Reflective Listening
    1. Be an active listener (i.e. focus energy on listening, not talking)
    2. Restate what is said to you (i.e. “You are saying that …”)
    3. Empathize feelings (i.e. if you were in their shoes)
    4. Work toward compromise
  2. I-Statements
    1. Own your feelings (“I feel sad and nervous when you yell at me.”)
    2. Talk in the first person (“I do not like when we fight.”)
    3. Do not blame, shame or maim (“You are mean when you say no.”)
  3. Tone of Voice
    1. Talk soft and slow
    2. Short sentences
    3. Calm and thoughtful – be empathic
  4. Body Language
    1. Meet the other person at eye level
    2. Do not cross your arms or put them on your hips – be open
    3. Mirror the other person’s posture (i.e. sit down with them)
  5. Timing
    1. Avoid distractions (i.e. make a time to talk)
    2. Plan ahead (i.e. give parents time so they can make plans)
    3. Be responsible (i.e. be home on time)
    4. Think about parents’ needs (i.e. safety; whose driving, address, phone numbers, other parents involved)