How to Peacefully Parent Your Strong-willed Child

If you’re a parent of a strong-willed child, you know that things can often be a little bit harder than with other kids. These children can be more stubborn and determined, making it difficult to get them to do what they want. However, there are ways to effectively parent your strong-willed child and maintain peace in your home. Here are some tips.

Avoid Power Struggles

Power struggles are a common occurrence between parents and strong-willed children. These can be frustrating and exhausting for both parties involved. To avoid power struggles, try to use positive reinforcement instead of punishment. This means rewarding your child for good behavior instead of punishing them for bad behavior. 

You can also avoid arguing with your child and instead offer them choices. For example, you can say, “Would you like to wear a blue or green shirt?” This lets your child feel like they have some control while still getting them to do what you want.

Be Consistent

It’s important to be consistent when parenting a strong-willed child. This means having the same rules and expectations for your child. If you’re inconsistent, your child will likely try to take advantage of the situation. They may test boundaries and see what they can get away with. 

Be sure to follow through with your threats and promises to avoid this. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. This will help your child know that you mean what you say and that they can’t take advantage of the situation.

Pick Your Battles

With a strong-willed child, you may not be able to win every battle. It’s important to pick your battles and choose the most important ones to you. There will be times when it’s not worth arguing with your child over something small. Let them have their way on these occasions and save your energy for the bigger things. Some kids may try to take advantage of this, but as long as you’re consistent with the bigger things, they’ll eventually learn.

These are just a few tips for parenting a strong-willed child. Every child is different, so you may have to adapt these tips to fit your child’s specific needs. But if you use these tips, you’ll be able to parent your strong-willed child more peacefully.

Four Things Every Freelancer Should Have on Their Website

For freelancers, a website is a crucial gateway to more business. Clients use freelancers’ websites to scope out their work, decide if the freelancer is a good fit for their needs, and ultimately hire them. That is why every freelancer must include the following four things on their website.

Why a Client Should Hire You

Every aspect of your website should be designed so that clients know right away why you are the best choice. Your site should state the services that you provide upfront. If clients have to hunt through your website to find out if you are a copywriter or someone who can design their logo, they’re likely to move on to another freelancer.

Your website should also have information that explains how you stand out from other freelancers. Include more details about your niche or any special skills you have.

Your Portfolio

Explaining why you are the best freelancer for the job is not enough. Potential clients will want to see examples of previous work you have done for other clients. You should have a dedicated space on your website to showcase your portfolio. This can include sample designs, clips from writing projects, or other accomplishments from your career.

Easy Booking Tools

Once clients have expressed interest in your work, your website should make it easy for them to contact and hire you. Include a contact form or booking tool directly on your website to make the hiring process easy.

Make Your Website Work for You

Your website is not just a way for clients to find you. It should be a way for you to grow your profile and increase your network without doing much active work. A website can work for you by collecting email addresses for marketing materials and pitches. Include a sign-up sheet or subscription box on your website to collect contact information.

Building an effective website may seem like a daunting task for many freelancers, but including these four things can help you generate business and grow your profile.

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Originally published on JenniferPowersNYC.Medium.com

How to Support Your Depressed Child

It is essential to prepare for the various challenges your child may experience as a parent. Depression is not as rare as we think it is. According to a 2016 study, 12.8% of US teenagers had a major depressive episode. During adolescence, many phases can affect a teenager’s behavior. Identifying the warning signs of depression can help prevent a teenager from experiencing it untreated for too long. 

Support Your Child

Family support is a vital aspect of maintaining a healthy social relationship. Establishing this type of support can help build a strong foundation for their future social relationships. Having the support of other family members can also help develop a child’s trust, allowing them to talk about their problems.

Encourage Healthy Choices

A healthy lifestyle can also help manage the symptoms of depression. It can also encourage a child to adopt a healthy lifestyle as they become more independent. Being subtle in your suggestions can help motivate teenagers to adopt a healthy lifestyle without pushing back.

Getting kids to exercise regularly reduces their stress levels and improves their mental health. Encourage them to participate in various forms of physical activity, like sports or even going for regular walks.

Food is also known to improve our brains’ ability to cope with stress. Having a variety of healthy meals can help minimize stress and improve their mental health.

Getting enough sleep is also essential for our bodies to function correctly. Having a consistent bedtime can help keep a child focused on getting enough sleep. Our bodies follow rhythms, so going to sleep and waking up at similar times can help your child get better quality sleep and improve their mental health.

Encourage Social Interaction

Depression can also lead to isolation. It can make it hard for a child to connect with new people or feel unmotivated to hang out with friends. This can also worsen their symptoms, as social support and connection are vital for maintaining good mental health.

Being able to support and listen to your child is also significant to helping them cope with their depression. Follow the advice above to do so.

Developing Healthy Bedtime Habits

Children need to have healthy bedtime habits. Parents need to work on this when their children are young. With good habits, their children will get good sleep each night.

Get Into A Bedtime Routine

One of the healthiest bedtime habits is a routine. Kids need structure, and when they know what time they have to go to bed each night, it will be easier for them. Consistency makes bedtime less stressful for parents, too, as there is less to think about.

Parents Need To Stick To The Same Rules Each Night

When parents want their kids to listen, they need to have consistent rules. If they don’t want their child using a device in bed, then they need that rule. They need to make sure their child knows what is expected of them to make bedtime easier.

Make Going To Bed Fun

Parents shouldn’t just think about the rules when considering bedtime, but they can also make it fun. They can read stories before bed each night. They can also play a game as a pre-bed routine so that their child will have some fun then.

Give The Child Time To Settle Down

If their child is often wound up in bed, then they need to give them time to calm down. They can sit with their child and let them talk for a while before bed. They can get them to their room a while before they want them to sleep so that they will have plenty of time to calm down.

Reward Them For Good Behavior At Bedtime

One of the ways to get children willing to cooperate when it comes to bedtime is to give them rewards for good behavior. Create a chart with stickers for each time their child willingly goes to bed. Give prizes once they reach a certain number of stickers, and they will be excited to go to bed.

When they get into the right habits, children will wake in the morning feeling more refreshed and alert. It is good for kids to go down at the right time each night and for the time to be consistent. When parents figure out the right bedtime habits, their kids will be healthy and happy.

This article was originally published on JenniferPowers.me

The Importance of Kindness for Kids

Teaching children to be kind is an essential value. It’s far more than a social development skill to teach them how to get along with others. In fact, it should be considered more of a developmental milestone.

Many studies have been done on the physiological, psychological, and sociological benefits of teaching children to be kind.

Here are just some of the many benefits of teaching children to be kinder.

  1. Children learn to be happier. Kids who both give and receive during social interactions, who learn to get along with others, feel happier. Acts of kindness activate areas of the brain associated with pleasure.
  2. Children understand the value of empathy. Kids who learn how to be kind develop empathy. They understand how other people feel and act accordingly.
  3. Children experience enhanced health and well-being. Since kids feel happier after performing an act of kindness, such as letting another child play with their toys, they feel less stress in social situations. This, in turn, enhances their health.
  4. Children feel a sense of belonging. Kids who are kind feel a sense of belonging, whether it is with their family, playing with their peers, or in a classroom. This sense of belonging also creates a tremendous effect on their feelings of self-worth.
  5. Children are less likely to feel isolated and depressed. Acts of kindness increase serotonin levels, a natural mood-enhancing chemical. Serotonin is released not only by someone performing an act of kindness but also by a person receiving it. Additionally, it even increases in someone who is simply witnessing an act of kindness.
  6. Children become more resilient. Kids who noticed that their feelings of anger and frustration upset others around them feel more concerned about other people than themselves. The fall or disappointment initially felt becomes less of an issue for them.
  7. Children appreciate what they have. Kids who notice others, particularly other kids who are less fortunate begin to feel a sense of gratitude.

Conclusion

Parents and teachers who teach their children to be kind and considerate, mindful of how their behavior affects others, are doing far more than simply educating children on how to get along in society. They are also nurturing children in many ways to be happier.

This article was originally published at JenniferPowers.me

Avoiding “Maybe” as an Answer to Your Kids

Kids are always full of curiosity and wonder; that is why they constantly ask too many questions or make requests. In moments like this, it is a parent’s responsibility to guide them through the right path by answering their questions in the best way possible.

Some of the questions that children ask are easily answered, whereas some may be a little tricky to have a direct answer to. In such instances, many parents tend to reach for “maybe” as a response simply because they are buying some time, attempting to avoid disappointments, avoiding immediate consequences, or avoiding feeling guilty.

Delaying a decision by giving a non-committal response can cause more problems than good to the child. Parents give up their right to be definitive by giving too many “maybe.” As a result, kids tend to believe the answer is up for debate. Also, giving too many “maybe” prompts children to make their own decision because the boundaries are not clearly laid out. A child that is told maybe they can play outside will likely go out to play.

Kids who get “maybe” as a response are left with uncertainty and have to think about it all day until their question is answered. Due to this uncertain situation, children build mental simulations of the possible outcomes. A kid’s parent who always gives a “no” response will spend the better part of the day anticipating bad news, whereas an optimistic child will daydream of a positive outcome.

Parents can’t be certain of all the decisions they make; therefore, it is wise for them to make the child understand they don’t have an answer but will make an effort to find one. Such honesty improves a child-parent relationship.

Parents should avoid using maybe as a response and replace it with a more proactive and decisive response. Here are some alternatives to use:

• Straight affirmation: “yes.” It is an agreed request which parents should ensure is met within a reasonable time.

• Straight negation: “no.” Right after giving this response, provide reasons.

• Delay due to circumstances: “I will answer after….” Explain to the child how the decision is linked to a particular circumstance and let them know when to expect an answer by offering a deadline.

This article was originally published on Jennifer Powers‘ Medium.

Validating Your Children’s Negative Feelings

A child should not be scolded or ignored when dealing with negative feelings. A child needs to feel heard and understood. It is important for parents to learn how to validate their children’s negative feelings so that they can better connect with those children and always be there for them.

Avoid Trying to Make a Child Quickly be Quiet and Good:

There are times when a parent will get frustrated with an upset child and they will be tempted to tell that child to calm down and be good. Trying to shut off a child’s feelings is not going to work, and it may make the situation worse. It is important for parents to be patient with their children and to know that it might take them time to work through their negative feelings.

Let a Child Know that Frustrations are a Part of Adult Life, Too:

If a parent can empathize with their child, they can help that child. When a parent sees their child dealing with canceled plans or some other negative situation, they can let their child know that they understand what they are feeling because they deal with frustrations like that in their adult life.

Calmly Get a Child Out of a Public Space When They are Upset:

It can be scary for a parent to be out in public when their child falls apart. The parent who is trying to help a child deal with negative feelings while in a public space should stay calm and try to get their child away from strangers who might stare at them or try to step in. Parents should quietly and calmly work their way out of the public space so that they can talk with their child.

Help a Child Express Their Feelings:

Some children will express their negative feelings vocally and others would rather do that by drawing a picture. A parent needs to know their child to know how to help that child express their feelings.

Validating a Child’s Negative Feelings is Important and Doable:

A parent should look their child in the eye and let them know that they are heard. Those who validate their children’s feelings will build connections with those children.

Prioritizing Child Psychology as Schools Reopen

Although doctors and nurses are warning the public of a new surge in COVID-19 cases spurred on by the delta variant, child psychologists are warning that the new school year will bring about a surge of kids facing mental health crises as well. In pre-pandemic years, the months of September and October were especially active for child mental health specialists. Dr. Richard Martini, a child psychiatrist at Salt Lake City’s Primary Children’s Hospital and the University of Utah, says that in typical years, the end of September and early October saw the biggest rise in kids visiting mental health professionals. Dr. Martini explains that by this time, teachers and school administrators developed enough of a rapport with their new students to know when something was wrong.

Despite this expected rise in kids seeking psychological counseling, experts warn that the pandemic has exacerbated an already critical situation. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the months between March 2020 and May 2020 saw a 24 percent rise in kids ages 5 to 11 visiting hospitals due to a mental health emergency. The increase was even steeper for kids ages 12 to 17, who had a rise of 31 percent in the same months. The situation has yet to abate, as revealed in findings from the Children’s Hospital Association, which found a 15 percent rise from 2019 in children coming to hospitals for mental health problems.

According to Dr. Ujjwal Ramtekkar of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, most cases involving kids and mental health are rooted in anxiety. For younger kids, Dr. Ramtekkar explains that this type of anxiety concerns separation from their parents or fears that their parents might get sick with COVID-19. Meanwhile, Boston-based psychiatrist Dr. Nicole Christian-Brathwaite argues that anxiety in older kids is based more on social issues and academic performance. These kids might have further problems when it comes to transitioning back into in-person learning after more than a year of remote or hybrid schooling. Experts further say that kids with pre-existing mental health conditions are especially vulnerable to experiencing a mental health crisis as they return to school this year.

Despite all these challenges, Dr. Christian-Brathwaite says that schools are well-prepared to help kids who might be experiencing a mental health emergency. Many school administrators have reached out to mental health professionals to train teachers on how to spot and help children who are struggling with their psychological health. Hospitals are also preparing for an influx of kids with mental health concerns by recruiting more child psychologists and thereby expanding their services for new patients.

This article was originally published on JenniferPowers.me

Fostering Independence: Back-to-School Tips for Parents and Kids

Getting the kids back to school is an annual tradition. Summer vacations are over, and kids are in classes all day long again. While many families love having the kids around so much during the summer, it can be a relief to parents to have kids back in school during the day. Having said that, it can also come at the expense of school buses clogging up the roads again.

The transition is a big seasonal change, however, and making it can be complicated. Fortunately, there are a number of back-to-school hacks your family can use.

For starters, consider using a visual chart. Kids do best when they have routine and structure. If they’re under the age of 6, then they’re primarily visual and concrete learners. A routine chart can help them get used to a routine and handle a few responsibilities on their own.

Secondly, your entryway needs to be convenient for everyone. That includes your kids. They need to know when and how to hang up jackets or coats or even put them on. They can learn how to dress and about managing layers based on weather.

Your back-to-school work needs to start with about a month left in the summer if possible. Have your kids start learning how to dress on their own. Have them practice putting on various pieces of school clothing so they build up muscle memory.

If you want your kids to eat their lunch while at school, or even dinner at home for that matter, then include them in the family food process whenever you can. Small tasks in meal preparation and taking them with you to the grocery store makes it more likely that they’ll eat the food you serve them.

Finally, develop a ‘happy goodbye’ routine. Whether you wind up dropping them off at school or put them on a bus, you have to let them go at some point. A goodbye that’s full of happiness helps relieve their anxiety about going to school for the day. You can encourage them to be brave enough to face the day and all that might come with it before you see them again in the afternoon or evening later on in the day.

This article was originally published on JenniferPowers.me

The Value of Praise for Children

Raising children can be stressful. A lot of the time, they may do things that you don’t like, but that’s to be expected since they don’t know what they’re doing yet.

When they do behave the way you like, you need to praise your kids, because it’s actually quite a valuable parenting tactic.

Praise and encouragement for kids tells them that you like how they are behaving at the time. It works best if you describe the specific behaviors that you prefer. Encouragement is a form of praise because it might mean you’re letting your kids know you see them trying really hard. Encouragement and praise can work for kids of all ages. You can use rewards to reinforce desired behaviors, but don’t overdo it.

All you have to do is say things like:

  • Good job!
  • Nicely done!
  • That’s awesome!

It’s very useful to add their name to the end of whatever you say because they automatically know that you’re paying attention to them and the praise is specifically meant for them.

Using praise helps your child know how they can think positively about themselves, and talking positively comes from that. Your kids should know how to recognize the times they do things well so they can feel rightfully proud about it.

Kids of different ages can be praised for a variety of things. Younger kids might be praised for sharing something or just leaving a park at the time you ask. Teenagers might be praised for getting home on time or starting their homework without reminders.

To further reinforce things, your praise should be descriptive. Instead of saying your teenager is a ‘good daughter’, tell her you’re happy ‘she came home in time for dinner so we could all be together.

You can use praise and encouragement to support positive behaviors that you see, but you can also add in rewards that get them to change undesired behaviors you don’t want. All kids will have them at some point. It’s just a part of the process of learning and growing up. Treats, extra privileges, and even surprises might all work to your benefit when applied properly. Just remember they are a tool and not a form of love, so don’t go overboard and spoil them.