Posts Tagged ‘ kids ’

2 Keys To Promoting Good Behavior Across the Ages

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Toddlers, kids, tweens, and teens may pose unique parenting challenges – but there are some principles that apply across all those developmental periods that help promote good, compliant, social behavior. There are 2 constructs that have been shown in research to be key parenting strategies. They are:

1) Limit Setting. Every toddler, tween, and teen needs limit setting. They need to know their boundaries and how to respect them. Some things are off-limits. Some behaviors are not acceptable. Think of providing clear, consistent rules that make sense. A toddler can’t run around and touch every thing they want in a store. A tween can’t talk back to a parent disrespectfully. A teen can’t stay out all night. You can come up with a whole bunch across the ages – but the limits should be clear, to the point, developmentally appropriate, and enforced with consistency. And of course as kids age the limits change – but the principle remains the same. There are limits, they are set, they are adhered to, and there are (appropriate) consequences to not abiding.

2) Monitoring. As toddlers begin to assert their independence, monitoring becomes really important – and remains important through the teen years. Parents of toddlers need to keep an eye on them. Using the example from above, it’s one thing to say a toddler can’t run around a store and touch everything that looks appealing. It’s another thing to actually monitor them to follow through on that. Same principle down the developmental line. It gets hard – we can’t know what our kids are doing every second of the day. But it’s our obligation to be as informed as possible and to be proactive about the need to monitor. As kids get older, an open line of communication is essential as kids spend more and more time outside the home. Mobile technology – which is becoming commonplace – is certainly a tool that can be used in a good way to stay in touch with our kids and  keep the lines of communication open to permit remote monitoring and aid limit setting.

Parenting can be tough. Consistency can be hard to achieve. But keeping in mind basic principles to guide our parenting strategies can help us keep the big picture in mind – and give us a framework that is applicable to nearly every developmental stage.

Find out what your parenting style is with our handy quiz. Then, browse through these no-fail tantrum tamers.

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Sequestration: Why It Will Impact Kids

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

ClockAs the clock ticks and the likelihood of sequestration increases, you may have heard lots of opinions expressed. One reality is that it will – directly and indirectly – impact kids. Here’s why.


Immediate cuts will be made to research budgets. I’ve seen funding already be pulled or killed for projects in anticipation of sequestration. When research funds are taken away, the knowledge base is reduced – which derails our efforts to use research to help kids. Keep in mind that there is typically no source to replace these funds – when they go away, research is compromised or ended.


There are a range of educational services that will take a hit. Cutting our support of education is not a good thing.


People will lose jobs – which means that some parents will lose jobs. This will directly impact their kids’ lives.


Keep a few things in mind. Sequestration was set up to force politicians to come to a compromise about budget issues. The idea is that they would never let a policy put in place that arbitrarily takes a hatchet to many fundamental services. Yes, we have a budget crisis. Yes, it needs to be solved. But in a thoughtful, bipartisan way. Not in a cavalier, non-conceptual manner that has no rhyme or reason. You can look at sequestration through a variety of lenses – but one bottom line is that it will affect kids. The clock is ticking, and something needs to be done.

Sticky Notes on Office Clock via Shutterstock

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Stimulating Political Talk With Your Kids

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Kids learn about recent events in school – and sometimes get exposed to, and talk about, political issues. But what about at home? Do you go out of your way to bring the political world into your conversations with your kids? Today Golnar Khosrowshahi of GoGoNews shares her own experiences in talking politics with her kids in this guest post.

Over the course of the past week, the conversation in my household has been focused on the election of François Hollande and the departure of Nicolas Sarkozy. While it would be nice to say that my highly intellectual children initiated these conversations on their own accord, the reality is that I enticed them into talking about the French elections with a description of the swearing in ceremony at the Elysée Palace and images of Hollande’s parade up the picturesque Champs Elysée! Regardless of how I engaged them, the result was a politically charged conversation about the elections, the process, and the topical issues the French people are grappling with today. Our conversation weaved into more general concepts such as the incumbent versus the challenger, campaigns and how scheduling voting day on a Sunday can impact voter turnout. 

My motivation to have these politically charged conversations with my children is just one of many tactics I use to avoid raising children who will end up as entitled adults. I find that one of the biggest challenges parents today face is that we are raising the “me” generation – the generation that is pandered to to such an extent that when adulthood rolls around, they can’t help but have a sense of entitlement.

Last year, I exposed my children to the events leading up to the uprisings in north Africa and the subsequent results. Examples such as these provided a great opening to develop an appreciation and gratitude for the democratic process. It also dispelled the idea that ‘not everyone lives like we do’ and was yet another strike against the foothold of the ‘me generation’!

While our conversation may have been about France last week, it is so easy to find political conversations that are closer to home. Local politics are convenient topics to discuss because it is an accessible way to have a conversation that is relevant to a child and the impact of governance on a local community.  Furthermore, this being a federal election year in the United States provides the perfect platform to have an ongoing discussion throughout the campaign and party nomination process.

My hope is that these political conversations will engage my children to their community moving them from ‘me’ to ‘we’ and forcing them to think about the governance of the world around them on their own terms. I am also hopeful that during their thought process, whether consciously or not, they develop an appreciation for the democratic process and for civic duty.  And who knows, then maybe all of this political talk will foster a sense of leadership?

Golnar Khosrowshahi is the founder of GoGoNews, a website that publishes up to the minute, age appropriate current events for children. She has also written for The Huffington Post and been featured in many technology and parenting related columns. You can read featured guest blog posts by her here at Red-Hot Parenting the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of every month.

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Would You Publicly Humiliate Your Child As A Punishment?

Friday, April 20th, 2012

No. I wouldn’t. But other parents are doing this with increasing frequency, as described in Lisa Belkin’s recent column in the Huffington Post. I urge you to read her column for the details – but the bottom line is that it’s becoming chic for parents to punish their kids by having them stand in a prominent public space wearing signs such as:

  • “I like to steal from others and lie about it!”
  • “I am a thief. I took money from a family member.”
  • “I was sent to school to get an education. Not to be a bully … I was not raised this way!”

Look, I get that out there in the world, you can find parents who do all kinds of things. What got my attention was her assertion (which I agree with) that this is becoming a trend – another form of extreme parenting that goes hand in hand with the tendency for promoting what I’ve described as Shock Parenting in books and articles. And this troubles me. Why? Because I’m seeing behavior that makes me feel that parents don’t really treat kids like they are dependents. Yes, dependents. They depend on us to treat them fairly, to respect them, and to shape their behavior in appropriate ways. Sure, this includes providing consequences to inappropriate behavior. But – and this is just my opinion – I doubt that having a kid wear a sign in public is any more effective than rubbing a dog’s nose in their poop to teach them to not mess in the house. Any reputable dog trainer will tell you that the dog only learns to fear you when they poop in the house – it teaches the dog nothing about going to the door as a signal that they have to go outside. And that’s because there is no training involved. Punishment only tells you what not to do – kids need to learn about the consequences of their behavior in a way that they learn what they should be doing, and why they should be doing it, so that they not only stop doing what’s wrong, but start doing what’s right.

I could go on and on about this, but I’d rather hear from you all. Would you use this form of punishment with your kids? Do you feel okay knowing other parents are doing this? Oh, and one other question. If you think it’s okay to do this … do kids get the option to ask parents to wear a sign in public when they mess up??

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How Video Game Usage Can Actually Be Good For Kids – IF It Doesn’t Take Over Their Lives

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

So my last post focused on a quiz that can help you determine if your kid’s video game habit is getting out of the control. The big problem these days is when the activity gets in the way of doing other important things that kids should be doing. But that said, there may be benefits to playing video games, as long as the usage doesn’t get out of hand. What might those benefits be? Click here to learn more

The bottom line? Video games aren’t inherently bad for kids as long as the content is appropriate and the usage is properly supervised – and if those conditions are met, there may in fact be good things to be gained from playing them. (Full disclosure – I have always LOVED video games! And there were times that may usage definitely was excessive. If you ever played Time Pilot, you may know what I’m talking about. But I’ve got it under control now).

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