How a Pipe Cleaner Can Stop Your Child’s Meltdowns!

A Practical Idea for Teaching The Skill of Flexibility

Does your child sometimes unexpectedly meltdown at the drop of a hat? Does unexpected change or inflexibility lead to frequent tantrums? If so, you’re not alone! Helping kids sort out their frustrations can be a challenge, especially when they have a tantrum that ramps up quickly.  Practical tools that help a child understand how their behavior impacts others can be simple, like the following example from Jen and her son Jonah.

Despite Jen’s best efforts, her goal of trying to stop her son’s meltdowns just seemed to make them worse. After realizing that she needed to be more proactive instead of waiting for those inevitable outbursts, Jen worked with one of our parent coaches during a parent coaching session on a new plan. Here is her story:

When Kids Act Up, Don’t Try to Be More Patient…


There are certain time when kids seem especially prone to “pushing our buttons”: after Christmas, after birthdays, summertime, and the list goes on.   Kids have trouble figuring out “sharing patterns” for their stuff, everyone’s jazzed on sugar and tired from disrupted sleep patterns… It’s easy to lose patience.

Many parents bemoan their lack of patience for their kids’ sometimes exasperating behavior. But simply trying to be more patient can sometimes just feed an underlying attitude of “poor me, I endure so much because of this child.” Have you ever “patiently” stifled resentment until you lose it over a small infraction later in the day? The problem is that patience alone doesn’t inherently build understanding or give any insight toward solving the problem.

Adapting Christmas for Adopted Kids

Today’s post is from our friends, Colleen & Dave Little. They are the parents of three grown men and two vivacious young-adult daughters who joined their family through adoption. Together, Dave & Colleen meet with and minister to parents whose adopted children struggle with the effects of significant pre-adoption trauma.

For many adopted children with a history of chronic neglect, pre-natal brain injury, or childhood abuse, the holidays can be extremely challenging times – for everyone! The following is a short list to help parents maintain some peace and sanity during this season.

The Gift of Not Giving:

What Kids REALLY Want for Christmas

Have you noticed that Christmas aisles seem to be stocked earlier and earlier these days? Commercials for Black Friday “doorbusters” are rampant, and there is even controversy about some stores beginning their sales on Thanksgiving Day.

The holiday materialism debate is not new: on one side, many families have incorporated Black Friday into their family gatherings. On the other side, many families join with Charlie Brown, who in 1965 first groaned about “Christmas going commercial”.

Don’t get us wrong — Christmas gifts can be a fun way to show love and appreciation for family and friends; in fact, one of the five “love languages” is gift-giving! But we need to be careful: if we feed into the messages of the marketers and give our kids everything they want for Christmas, gifts can become a detriment.

Video: Sensory Input Techniques to Calm and Focus your Child

Got a child with sensory sensitivity? Check out Lynne’s helpful therapy techniques to help calm and focus your child!


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What You Really Need for Mother’s Day

Hint: It’s not flowers, or chocolates, or a day at the spa!

Mother’s Day. The one day a year when we moms are officially recognized for working our fannies off to be “all things to all people.” The other 364 days a year we wear dozens of hats, from cook to maid to referee to vivacious romantic partner. But on Mother’s Day, we wear crowns, glowing at the cute homemade cards and graciously accepting the affection and gifts that are showered on us.

The problem is that by the end of the week the cute cards are crushed under an avalanche of junk mail and the flowers have wilted, but the stress of parenting is alive and well. One mom described her daily stress: “I feel like I’m a sponge, soaking up everyone’s tension.” How can we keep a peaceful heart and sense of worth on the days when we’re tempted to feel less like a queen and more like a kitchen maid?

Your Family and Youth Sports: Maximize the Learning – Minimize the Stress

I’m a coach for my son’s 5th grade football team. I’ve learned the basics of coaching, how to break things down to teach skills that will help the team succeed. I love the game, the kids, the coaches. It’s been a tremendous joy to be part of the team as I try to encourage and bless others – coaches, players, and parents.

But, sports can take over a family, essentially becoming the “god” of our life, as our desire to have our kids succeed surpasses everything else in importance. The first question in one of our recent parenting seminars was, “What do I do about the craziness of our sports schedule?” “I feel so guilty about missing church a lot.” Sports can bring out the best and the worst in our families. It can teach important skills and values, or run us ragged and distract us from what’s really important. So take a couple of minutes to be thoughtful about your involvement in your children’s sports.