Parents, Consider This Before Year End

This post is about how you as a parent can be a better role model for your children, in turn, becoming a better parent. While we are all trying to make the holidays memorable for our kids, this tool becomes especially relevant.

Think about how many activities you are doing this holiday season that reflect what you did as a child. Baking a certain cookies, eating traditional foods, opening one gift on Christmas Eve, or going to church. When you engage in the activity, what are the feelings that you feel? Usually good ones, this is why you repeat the activity.

This repeated behavior is the product of Modeling. Here are some key points to think about, concerning Modeling as a parent.

  • The most productive time to model the values you want repeated is when your child is in early childhood (ages 2-5 years).
  • Values are Caught not Taught.
  • Attending church, being thankful for gifts or serving others are all based on values.
  • Telling your child to be thankful is never helpful. Modeling being thankful really works!
  • Be sure whatever value you want to teach is connected to joy and excitement. Your child will repeat the behavior.

One of the traditions that my children enjoy is opening one gift on Christmas Eve. This is something I did as a child and I really enjoyed it! Therefore, I wanted my kids to also do it. So it was always an exciting moment! Lo and behold, even though our kids are adults and we pick names instead of giving each person a gift, we had to work around the tradition of opening a gift on Christmas Eve. FYI, it meant I purchased more gifts, go figure!

The best thing about the tool of Modeling is that it is fun! There are no consequences, just a lot of excitement and smiles. Here is a handout from the Love and Logic Institute that outlines more about Modeling. My challenge to you is to think of those key traditions you want your children to repeat and have fun this week modeling them with great joy and excitement!

Please share what traditions you want to pass on to your children!

One last thing, modeling also works for chores, eating vegetables, and staying calm when you are angry. Not too shabby.

Holiday Gift Giveaway for Sharing Your Own Parenting Tip!


I have thoroughly enjoyed being more socially interactive with parents online. To celebrate Impact Parenting’s new and ever-increasing presence online, and this wonderful time of year for parenting memories – We currently have valuable Kimochi characters and books to Give Away, Courtesy of The Gottman Institute.

We will do two random drawings. Each Winner will receive a Kimochi character and a Book (see below). The Cut Off is 8:00pm on Friday, December 16th.

To enter into the drawing you will need to post your own Parenting Tip as a comment to this post, and provide your Name and Email. Your email will not be visible to other users.

Please Refrain from Posting more than once using a different email. But feel free to comment as a response to other parents’ comments.

There may be more giveaways to come, so keep in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Gottman Institute supports families through providing research backed tools – helping couples and parents in a variety of ways. The Gottman Institute is also available on Facebook!

kimochi cloudParenting Book - Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child - John Gottman

2 Tips for Parenting to Make Sick-Child Care Easier

This post is not about diagnosing your child’s symptoms, but rather, making those inevitable sick days work for you – not against you, as a parent. When your child is sick, there is an opportunity to really make an impact on developing the relationship. When my girls were young, I actually kind of liked it when they had a fever (not too high, of course) because it felt good to nurture them, and to have them stay still long enough to nurture.

Needs vs. Wants

Most of us have attachment with our children because when they were infants they had a major need for our help; they told us by crying. The fulfillment of those needs contribute to the forming of a great bond from both sides. The same is true when they are ill. Children go back to that vulnerable state where they NEED us.

Attachment  is  formed  when  we  meet  the  child’s  need.

As you are probably well aware, in child rearing there tends to be this balancing act between wants and needs. When the kiddo is sick, their needs will increase. Veer away from setting all of those normal limits, and offer more grace. In other words, instead of focusing on setting limits on their wants, during this time, it’s more important to meet their increasing needs.

Of course when they are back to health, you can easily go back to limit setting, and they will get back into those expectations. The key here is that you have established consistent and predictable consequences with follow through when they are not sick. It takes very little experience with an established limit to bring the child back to obedience. Be sure not to enable the illness, like responding to a whine by meeting a need well after the child has recovered. This is the hardest part, we seem to get programmed so easily.

Bottom Line for Sick Child Care

1) Fever and/or No Sleep: Give a lot of Grace.

2) No Fever and Sleeping: Loving Limits. Remember, your limits should always come with love.