4 Perfectionist Parenting Pitfalls

4 Perfectionist Parenting Pitfalls #parentingToday we’re going to talk about perfectionist parenting pitfalls. If you have any perfectionistic tendencies or if you expect perfection from your kiddos, this episode is for you.

Recently, I was watching an episode of Shark Tank. One young woman pitched the sharks for an investment in their company, but the potential investors noticed one big problem with this particular entrepreneur…she was a perfectionist. Mark Cuban said something really profound.

He said, “Perfection is the enemy of profitability.” And in business that’s so true. But it got me thinking… perfection is also the enemy of peaceful parenting.

Think about it. When we hold ourselves to impossibly high standards…when we hold our children to impossibly high standards…when we try to control every little detail…it just doesn’t work. We feel frustrated and overwhelmed, and that’s when we snap. That’s when we start yelling or nagging … we lose control because we were never in control to start with!

So let’s talk about 4 pitfalls of perfectionist parenting and how we can avoid them

Perfectionist parenting discourages kids from being kids

I think one common frustration a lot of parents have is that they expect their children to behave perfectly 100% of the time. Many parents expect a level of maturity from their children that’s well beyond what they are capable of.

Many concerns we moms have about our kids are just normal developmental phases for our children. For example, it’s normal for kids to have a lot of energy.

It’s normal for kids to struggle to sit still for long periods of time. Kids spill their juice. They get mud on their shoes. They argue with their siblings. It just happens.

The key is to not shame them for their mistakes. We’re all human, and no one is perfect but God.

When kids feel safe to make mistakes, they feel more willing to take risks, more willing to come to you when they have a problem, and more willing to try new things.

Perfectionist parenting notices the negative

When we’re focused on being the perfect parent or having our children behave perfectly, we tend to notice every imperfection…every little negative detail that isn’t perfect.

This is a slippery slope because it can make your child feel like they can’t do anything right…that nothing is good enough to please you.

When a child feels like they aren’t good enough, their self-esteem starts to suffer. They also tend to withdraw and put up walls between the two of you. They may appear more distant…or they may act out even further.

Instead of noticing the negative, let’s be intentional about noticing the positive. What is it about your child’s character that you admire? How can you affirm or encourage them?

It may be something simple, like leaving a sticky note beside their bed. Or, you may want to plan something a little bigger, like a mother-daughter getaway or dinner date out.

Let’s be sure to remind our kids that they are loved unconditionally — the love that we have for them is a no-matter-what type of love. A love so big, so wide, and so deep, that it mimics in a small way, the love the Father has for us.

Perfectionist parenting doesn’t leave room for fun

When we’re busy trying to control or manipulate every situation…or when we’re living in a fantasy of what we’d hoped things would be like, we tend to be caught up in that.

When our kids have to be perfect … make perfect grades, perform perfectly in sports or music, behave perfectly all the time, that’s a heavy burden for them to carry.

Perfection doesn’t leave room for silly jokes, relaxed evenings, heart-to-heart discussions, playing pretend or getting into mischief.

Sometimes it’s just nice to kick off our shoes and have an impromptu dance party in the kitchen. Or make up silly jokes and laugh until you cry.

It’s okay to have fun and be silly!

Perfectionist parenting sets yourself up for failure

When we, as moms, hold ourselves to perfection in our parenting, we’re doomed to fail. As I’ve said many times, there’s no such thing as the perfect parent.

As someone who liked to make straight A’s in school, this is a bit of a tough pill to swallow. But, I decided to give it a try in my own life. Maybe not striving for B-, but maybe A- to start with. And let me tell you, it was so freeing. Every time I tried to be a perfectionist, I told myself, “Strive for B-. Everything doesn’t have to be A+.” And it worked!

It totally goes against the grain of who I am, but striving for B- instead of perfection is definitely something I’m learning how to do.

I think it’s similar to parenting. If we strive for A+ parenting 100% of the time, it can leave us feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, and defeated.

The next time you blow it at your kids, remind yourself that you don’t have to be an A+ mom all of the time. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s apart of life!

Give yourself permission to take it slow and be patient with yourself as you learn to let go of some of these perfectionistic tendencies we talked about. Today is a new day to choose grace, encouragement, and freedom.


Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

Peaceful Parenting FAIL: 4 Reasons We Struggle to Parent Peacefully

The real reasons moms struggle to parent peacefullyToday we’re going to talk about peaceful parenting fails – when you want to parent peacefully, but you just seem to blow it time and time again.

If I’m being completely honest, I have to tell you that sometimes I feel like the biggest hypocrite getting on here and trying to help other moms parent more peacefully.

The reason is, I’m not a peaceful parent 100% of the time. I want to be.
But I’m not.

And I’ve talked to so many of you, too. So many listeners deeply desire to build a close connection with their kids. They want to stop yelling. So many moms want to be a positive, peaceful parent.

And we try! But we fail over and over again.

4 Reasons why Moms Struggle with Peaceful Parenting

1. We don’t have realistic expectations.

The fact of the matter is, toddlers whine and cry. Kids whine and cry. They’re literally not able to sit still for a long period of time. They are full of energy and life. Kids are curious, chatty, and they ask “why” a million times a day.

That’s just developmentally normal.

Sometimes I forget that my two-year-old is only two. It seems silly to say that out loud. But I sometimes forget that it’s developmentally appropriate for her to tantrum and push limits.

Many times we feel frustrated with our children because we expect them to behave a certain way that is outside of the realm of realistic possibility.

When we lower our expectations and remind ourselves of what’s developmentally normal for their age, this can help us to feel more compassionate and be more patient with them.

2. We struggle with our own emotions.

Recently I took a survey in my Christian peaceful parenting Facebook group, and I asked moms if they felt that anxiety and/or depression negatively impacted their ability to parent peacefully.

So many brave mamas said that anxiety, depression, stress, and feelings of overwhelm absolutely prevented them from being the peaceful parent that they want to be.

If you’ve never experienced depression or anxiety, I don’t know that you can fully comprehend how difficult it is.

I feel like some people minimize how difficult these struggles can be or how profound the suffering really is. You might think that your loved ones are just being dramatic or exaggerating how bad their symptoms are.

But for some people, anxiety and depression (or any other emotional health struggle) can be really debilitating.

I know for me personally, when I’m feeling really anxious or panicky, it can make me feel really irritable.

When I’m stressed or overwhelmed, I know that my tone of voice isn’t as gentle or nurturing as it would be if I were feeling peaceful and calm.

So if you’re listening to this podcast today and you feel that depression or anxiety causes you to struggle with parenting peacefully, just know that you are not alone.

And you can take steps today to help yourself finally feel better. For some, it may mean continuing on with the treatment regimen you’re already doing. Putting one foot in front of the other.

For others, today might be the day that you finally reach out for help. You might make that phone call to your doctor or to a counselor you trust.

Whatever you decide, you don’t have to suffer alone.

3. We’re not taking care of ourselves physically

As moms, we often put everyone else ahead of ourselves. (Which is oftentimes very necessary!)

But there are certain things that are non-negotiable.

The biggest one being sleep.

I know sleep is a loaded subject for moms. If our kids don’t sleep well, we don’t sleep well. And even if our kids are sleeping well, we tend to stay awake worrying about them or running around preparing for the next day.

But the bottom line is, we have to prioritize sleep in our lives. Again, if you have a newborn or a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night, I know it may not be possible to wake up in the morning feeling totally rested.

Along with getting more sleep also comes diet and exercise. I know that personally, I feel so much better in general when I’m getting tons of veggies and doing a bit of exercise.

My family and I love to take evening walks together. There’s just something about being in the sunshine and fresh air that makes me feel so much better.

4. We’re relying on our own strength

If we’re able to succeed at parenting peacefully the majority of the time, it won’t be because of our own determination or willpower.

It will be because God is faithful and He is our strength.

Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Friends, I want to encourage you today. If you feel like a failure at this peaceful parenting thing, you’re not.

No mom is perfect.

So, remember that even in the most stressful difficult times in your parenting journey with your children that God will be one that really is our strength and he will help us in the difficult times.

Each day is a new day for us to love, nurture and support our children in all that God desires them to be. Lastly, remember that God loves you very much, you are his child and he delights in you, and he is always there for you.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Change is in the Air Movie

This story embraces the imperfections that make us human, offers a way to set ourselves free and asks us all to take a good, long look at the wild birds in the sky.

Watch the trailer here!



Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

Becoming a Peaceful Parent: The 5 Stages of Change

If you want to parent more peacefully, changing your parenting isn't easy. How can we be more self-controlled as moms? How can we become more patient? How do we stop yelling at our kids? In this podcast, we'll discuss the stages of change as it relates to becoming a more peaceful parent. #Christianparenting #PeacefulmomtalkBecoming a Peaceful Parent: The 5 Stages of Change

I have the amazing privilege of talking with many moms. Nearly all of them have different parenting styles, convictions, and goals…but one of the things that most of them have in common is that they desire to parent more peacefully.

The moms I speak with want to stop yelling at their kids. They desperately desire to keep calm under stress, but desire doesn’t actually bring about real change. It’s just one step in the process.

Today, we are going to discuss the five stages of change as it relates to parenting. By the end of this podcast, you’ll be able to see where you fall on this change continuum and you’ll also know what you need to do moving forward to get the results you want.

First, I’d like to give you a little background on the stages of change. The five stages of change were first developed by two researchers named Carlo C. DiClimente and J.O. Prochaska.

They first introduced the five stages of change in order to help professionals working with patients who struggled with addiction. (Stay with me, though! These stages aren’t just for people with addiction struggles, but for people who wish to make any type of behavior modification.)

Precontemplation

The first stage of change is precontemplation, which is basically a fancy word for, “I ain’t doin’ it.”

If you’re in the precontemplation stage, you don’t think there’s a problem with your parenting style.

If you come across an article on “how to stop yelling at your kids,” it might ruffle your feathers. You aren’t thinking about changing your behavior at all.

Contemplation

The second stage of change is contemplation. I believe that many, many moms are in this stage of change. If you’re in the contemplation stage, you may be thinking to yourself, “Hmm, I really need to stop yelling at my kids.” Or, “I really want to be more self-controlled and not lose my temper so much.”

You might also be weighing the pros and cons of shifting your parenting style.

Now in this stage of change, it’s so easy to get stuck here. I personally know several moms who have pitched a tent and camped in the contemplation stage for YEARS. They feel hopeless to make a change, or they may lack the motivation or energy to try it.

If this is you, I want to encourage you that change comes not by our own might, willpower, or patience, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.

If you feel stuck, be sure to spend some time with God in worship and in prayer. Ask Him to give you the ability to change.

Preparation

In the preparation stage, you now believe that you MUST make changes to your parenting style. The realization that you’re losing your child has hit you like a ton of bricks.

You start taking baby steps…perhaps reading articles on peaceful parenting. You might even buy a book on how to parent more peacefully.

But ultimately, you’re at a crossroads. You’ve decided that you’re ready to prepare for a change…but now you’re faced with a decision.

Some people reach this point and they decide, “Nope, I can’t do it. Peaceful parenting isn’t for me after all.” Others make the choice to move on to the next stage, which is:

Action

This is the stage where you make a conscious decision to do whatever it takes to parent peacefully. You decide that you’re going to stop nagging and start nurturing. You’re going to start to build an unbreakable bond with your child and work to repair any damage that has already been done.

You decide that you’re going to connect with your child emotionally and spiritually, treating him or her with respect. You pour your heart and soul into taking action, and you do it.

What exactly are the action steps you’re going to take? This varies from person to person. For some, an action step may be recommitting your life to Christ and recommit your life to Him. It might mean getting back into church regularly. getting yourself into counseling so that you can get your hands dirty and work on the things from the past that are buried deep inside you, holding you back from being the person you want to be.

If you are currently in the action stage of change, I’d like for you to take some time to pray about what specific action God would have you take.

Now, we all have bad days, and no one is perfect at peaceful parenting…but for the most part, you’re able to stick with your commitment and real change begins to happen within the walls of your home…and your heart.

Maintenance

The last stage of change is called maintenance. That’s when you really hit your stride and you’re doing well, parenting peacefully, and you’ve made some really difficult changes (and are sticking with them). At this stage, you’re able to successfully cope with anger and stress, without blowing up on your family.

Of course, everyone has bad days. Let’s be honest, we’re all human. There’s no such thing as the perfect parent. I don’t know of a mom who parents peacefully 100% of the time.

When we do make a mistake, we don’t allow ourselves to be held back.  It’s important not to beat ourselves up to the point where we’re falling back into old habits. Sometimes when we do slip up and make a mistake, it’s easy to just abandon our convictions with thoughts like, “I’m done! I’ve failed at this, there’s no use in trying anymore.”

When those negative thoughts creep in, let’s remind ourselves of Romans 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” We can ask for forgiveness and move forward.

Which stage of change are you in?

Before we recap those five stages of change, I want you to be thinking about what stage of change you’re in. For lasting change, we must first identify where we are on the continuum.

Precontemplation – “I ain’t doin’ it.”

Contemplation – “I might try it.”

Preparation – Taking baby steps

Action – Doing whatever it takes

Maintenance – Consistently reaching your goals and not giving up

Now that you’ve identified where you are, the next step is to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider what you need in order to move to the next stage.

If you’re in the contemplation phase thinking, “Do I really want to do this or not?” and you’re weighing the pros and cons of changing your parenting style…. begin praying about what God would have you do in order to move to the next stage.

For example, if you are in the contemplation phase (where a lot of moms get stuck), think about what’s holding you back. Do you feel like you have a fear of failure? Or do you feel stuck in your ways where you feel hopeless to make any kind of lasting change? Or maybe in the past you’ve tried this before and you don’t feel up to trying again.

If you’re in the preparation stage and you’re taking baby steps…weighing the pros and cons…now you’re at a crossroads and you have to decide if you’re really going to go all in. You must ask yourself if you’re willing to do some really hard things..to say no to some things…or to invest financially to see a counselor if that’s what you feel is needed. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to parent peacefully? And if so, what is that thing that you need to propel you from preparation to action?

What we know is that change isn’t easy. No matter what it is. But I think making parenting changes is particularly difficult because parenting itself is difficult. Sometimes it feels impossible!

But I’ve got good news for you today. Our God works miracles. Even if you feel that parenting peacefully is hopeless for you, it’s not hopeless for God.

Wherever you are on this parenting journey, on these stages of change, I want to encourage you to grab a pencil and a piece of paper and prayerfully jot down two things that you believe God is laying on your heart that you need in order to move forward.

Maybe you literally need to make a list of pros and cons. Or maybe you need to get on your knees before God and ask Him what it is that we need to do and pray about our parenting and our relationship with our kids. God will reveal to you what He wants you to do.

Or perhaps you need to finally make that phone call to schedule a counseling session to start working through some really difficult things that you’ve been going through. Again, I don’t know what your action step will be. But God is faithful and He will guide you.

Recommended listening: Peaceful Parenting 101


Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Time 4 Learning

Time4Learning provides the tools and resources students need to build skills and confidence in the core subjects like math, language arts, science, and social studies. No matter how long you’ve been homeschooling or whatever your current situation, Time4Learning is a flexible, online curriculum that can be tailored to your child’s individual needs.

The comprehensive, award-winning curriculum allow students to study confidently and excel at their own pace, making it ideal for all kinds of learners, whether they are mainstream, gifted or special needs.

Click Here to Visit Time 4 Learning!


5 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Child

Do you desire a closer relationship with your child? In this podcast, we'll discuss five ways to stay connected even when life gets busy and stressful. #ChristianparentingStaying connected to your child

In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to let distractions and everyday stress creep in and build a wall between ourselves and our kids.
Today, we’re going to be talking about how to stay connected to your child even in the midst of day-to-day life.

If you’ve been listening to my podcast or reading my blog, you know that I am all about building a close bond with your kids.

I believe that God calls us to be compassionate and gracious to our children and nurture them to the best of our ability. So I’m excited to dive in and talk about five of my favorite ways to connect with my kids.

1. Laugh and be silly

Laughter is a wonderful gift from God. And it’s also a great way to bond with our kids!

A child’s laughter is something that we should always be thankful for. Psalm 126:2 says, “Our mouths were filled with laughter.”

Laughing, goofing off, and just being silly can help improve our mood and help establish a close connection. I mean, don’t you just love being around people who make you laugh?

For my son, he is the comedian in our family. He loves to laugh and tell jokes. When we’re doing our homeschool lessons together, I always try to incorporate humor because it helps him to have fun and really helps our bond. He loves one-liners and cheesy knock-knock jokes, so I’m always on the hunt for a new joke to tell him.

2. Tell them about your childhood

Let’s face it — we know our kids inside and out. But how well do our kids know us? After all, most of us have lived a big chunk of our lives before they were born!

My kids love hearing me tell stories about when I was a kid. Even telling them something that I would consider mundane or boring, they are a captive audience. They love hearing me talk about family vacations, my embarrassing moments, and even the times when I disobeyed and got into trouble.

And, they also love hearing about when their dad and I first met. The places we visited together, the dates we went on, where we lived – they soak it up.

One of the reasons I wrote the mother-child devotional, Jesus, Mommy, and Me was because of this very thing. Each night at bedtime my daughter would ask me to tell her about something from my childhood.

I loved how talking about my past could let her get to know me – and learn from my mistakes. (There are so many valuable “teaching moments” from our childhoods!)

I searched for a devotional that focused on helping a mother and child get to know one another better and build a close bond, but I couldn’t find one!

So I wrote my own. And I made sure to include talking points every day to allow moms to teach their kids about when they were young, as well as speaking words of affirmation over them.

Which brings us to our next idea…

3. Affirm them

We tell our kids we love them every single day. But is that enough? I kind of feel like I say those three little words so much that they lose some of their meaning.

Sometimes it may mean more to say, “You know what? I think you’re a really great kid.”

Kids love to hear that we’re proud of them – not just for what they do or things they accomplish – but for who they are as a person/their character.

My oldest daughter is incredibly kind and nurturing – and she also happens to thrive on words of affirmation. So I constantly remind her of how much I admire her kindness.

I also love to tell my kids that I’m so thankful that God made me their mom. I’ll say, “Out of all the kids in the world, I’m so glad God picked you out for me.”

Not only does this help them feel special and wanted, but it’s also a good reminder to me. Because let’s face it, there are hard days. There are days when there’s lots of whining and my nerves are fried. Days when I don’t feel like being affirming or nurturing.

But affirming my kids always brings me to a place of gratitude. I’m so grateful that I have the privilege of being their mom.

Related listening: The Fruit of the Spirit for Moms

4. Remind them you think of them

When you’re apart, let them know you were thinking of them. As moms, our kids are never far from our thoughts. We constantly think about them, worry about them, and wonder what they’re up to.

When I go into the office, I miss my kids like crazy. If I have time, I’ll grab a scrap piece of paper and draw each child a little picture. It’s nothing fancy. I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination.

But I’ll sketch out a little picture of their favorite cartoon character, animal, or whatever they’re interested in. For my oldest daughter who can read, sometimes I’ll write her a quick letter. She has a whole photo album filled with those little scrap pieces of paper – little notes and drawings I’ve brought home over the years.

Those kids love it when I bring them a simple, amateur drawing. It helps to remind them I was thinking of them. It reminds them that I know what they’re interested in. And it means a lot that I took the time to make them something.

5. Give them your undivided attention

Okay, I have a confession to make. If you see me, you’ll generally also see one other thing. My phone.

I always have it with me. I’m also a chronic multi-tasker, so it seems I’m always doing at least three things at one time.

The problem is, my attention is divided. When one of my kids wants to spend thirty minutes telling me a story they made up, they don’t feel like I care.

I’m really working on this area of my life and I want to encourage you, too. It’s really amazing what leaving the phone in the other room will do for your relationships. It helps your child feel valued. When we pause what we’re doing, get eye level with them and make eye contact, offering a smile, they feel valued.

They feel wanted. And they feel important.

And they are important!

Way more important than how many likes we have on Facebook or how many followers we have on Instagram.

My son is kind of obsessed with animals. Especially endangered animals or ones that have gone extinct. He loves telling me about rare species and one of the ways we bond is by learning about rare animals together.

Now honestly, I’m not very passionate about Tasmanian Tigers. But because it’s important to him, it’s important to me. I love his enthusiasm and I love that he shares it with me.

And if I listen eagerly to the things that matter to them when they’re young, my hope is that they’ll talk to me about the things that matter to them when they’re older. You see, there’s a bigger purpose behind putting intentional effort into cultivating closeness with our kids. Yes, we love them and we want a close-knit relationship with them. But bigger than that is a God-given responsibility to be a role model to them. We are to be a reflection of God’s love for them.

Romans 5:5 says that “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” It’s only through God’s love living in us that we can truly show love to our kids.

If you’ve been struggling lately with feeling annoyed with your kids…or if harshness has driven a wedge between you and your child, I want to offer you some encouragement.

Today is a new day. Today you can start building a bridge and reconnect with your child. One of my personal mottos is “progress, not perfection.”

There’s no such thing as the perfect mother. But each day is a new day to try again.


Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

3 Peaceful Parenting Phrases (For Better Communication!)

Do you struggle with a child who won't listen or who pushes back on anything you say? Here are 3 powerful, peaceful parenting phrases you can use to improve communication and help your child feel more understood and more valued. #Peacefulparenting #ChristianparentingIf you struggle with your child pushing back, or if you ever feel like your child just doesn’t listen, this episode is for you!

Today we’re going to talk about three powerful phrases to help us communicate better and more peacefully with our children.

These three phrases are tools that you’ll be able to put into practice right away to help your child feel more understood and more valued.

Not only that, but you’ll also be able to diffuse power struggles before they even begin! These three phrases are ones that counselors like myself use every single day in their practice. So once you learn them, you can use them not only in your parenting…but also with your spouse, your friends, your boss…anyone!

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 1

The first phrase we are going to talk about  goes like this, “So what I hear you saying is…”

This phrase is a type of reflective listening, or restating what your child has just told you. When we paraphrase something that’s just been told to us, we’re doing two things.

1- We are showing the child that we actually hear their primary concern.

2- We are giving them the chance to clarify if we misunderstood them.

Let me give you an example of how this technique is used. Imagine you and your family have just come home from church one Sunday.

You ask your son, “How was Sunday school?” He responds, “First we had circle time and our teacher had on a new blue dress. Then we had Bible story time but during the story Sam kept trying to talk to me and I told him to shush but the teacher only saw me talking and she moved me to the other side of the class so I couldn’t hear the story anymore and it’s not fair! Then we had a snack and music time.”

Whew! That’s a lot of information! How do you process all that?

Using reflective listening, you might say back to your child, “What I hear you saying is, Sam kept talking to you and you got the blame for interrupting story time.”

See, you just summarized alllll those words with just a few. Now your child feels heard. He feels like you truly care about what he’s saying. (It also gives him the chance to clarify if you misunderstood!)

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 2

The second phrase I want to teach you is, “It sounds like…”

By using this phrase, you are offering empathy and validating your child’s feelings.

In the case of the Sunday school example we just talked about, you might say to your child, “It sounds like you felt frustrated.”

Again, now your child has the opportunity to say, “Yeah! I did!” Or, “No I didn’t feel frustrated, I felt mad!”

Now that your child has identified his feelings, he’ll be able to regulate them better.

Peaceful Parenting Phrase 3

The third phrase I want to teach you is, “So where do we go from here?”

As parents, we very much want to solve our children’s problems. We’re busy and we need to fix this situation so we can keep moving to the next item on our to-do list.

However, when we jump in and intervene on their behalf, we are missing out on an opportunity to teach our kids how to be problem-solvers.

Not only that, but we could also be setting ourselves up for another power struggle.

In the Sunday School example we talked about earlier, we might be tempted to tell our child what to do. Instead, you might say, “So where do we go from here?” This will allow your child to come up with his own solution.

You are empowering your child to feel more in control. (And you’re also teaching him a valuable skill!) If a child has had all of his problems solved for him his whole childhood, once he enters adulthood, he’s not going to have the skills he needs to solve his own day-to-day struggles.

Now you may be thinking, “But I’m not a counselor and that kind of language doesn’t come naturally to me!” That’s okay! It didn’t come naturally to me at first either. Like anything, this takes practice.

The more you do it, the more you practice, the more natural it will feel and the easier it will come.

To summarize, here are three key phrases to use with your kids to improve your communication:

  • So what I hear you saying is…. (This is reflective listening.)
  • It sounds like…. (This is validating your child’s feelings.)
  • So where do we go from here? (This is empowering your child to problem-solve.)

Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

5 Secrets for Happier, More Obedient Kids

Do you feel frustrated when your kids won't listen or whine when you ask them to complete a task? In this podcast, we'll talk about 5 secrets for happier, more obedient kids - from a peaceful parenting perspective. #peacefulparenting #ChristianparentingOne of the most common concerns many moms have is that their children are constantly whining and not listening.

I’ve spoken to dozens of moms who feel frustrated and at the end of their rope. They desperately want to parent peacefully, but their kids really push their buttons!

I’ve been there! Over the years I’ve developed five strategies that I use with my own kids to help them thrive — and listen!

Secret 1 for happier kids

The first secret I want to share with you is, “catch them doing well.” 

Just like anyone, kids love to be appreciated. Sometimes I tend to take my kids for granted when they’re doing well. But I try to make it a priority to let them know that I see how hard they’re working. I notice when they help a sibling.

After my youngest was born, my oldest daughter really stepped up and helped. And at the same time, I feel like she felt a little jealous of the new baby who was getting all the attention.

I wanted to show her my appreciation, so I sat down and wrote her a letter of thanks. She cried when she read it! Those simple words really meant a lot to her and she still has the letter to this day.

It’s so important to remind our kids what we admire and appreciate about them!

Secret 2 for happier kids

The second secret is, “set clear expectations and give warnings.”

Kids of all ages really do well when they know what to expect. Mentally preparing your child what is going to happen and why is key to avoid protests!

With giving warnings, I think it’s important to think about being respectful of their time and what they are doing. Sometimes we tend to demand that our kids do something *right now*!  However, if we can give a 5-10 minute warning (and setting a timer!) can help your finish what they’re doing so that they aren’t expected to stop playing abruptly to do what we ask.

Secret 3 for happier kids

Secret number three is, “be consistent.” This is probably the most important tip! In peaceful parenting, we try to avoid empty threats or punitive consequences.

So many times we hear moms rapid-fire threatening their kids. “Stop it! I mean it! You’re going to time out! I’m not going to tell you again!” And on and on it goes. No wonder the kids don’t listen! So many threats and no follow-through.

Personally, I’m more in favor of connecting with the child rather than punishing or yelling. But I do set clear limits and related consequences when needed.

When I set a limit with one of my kids, they get one warning. I calmly and plainly say, “If you don’t stop arguing over that toy, I’m going to take it away for the rest of the day. This is your only warning. Please work it out together.” And if there’s more arguing? The toy goes away until the next day.

(What has happened is that my kids have become expert problem-solvers and turn-takers!)

Secret 4 for happier kids

Secret number four is, “use a rewards system.” Using rewards is somewhat controversial in the peaceful parenting community, but I find that it works well in our family.

This year I started homeschooling my son for the first time. At first, he was unmotivated and protested each day. I created a chart for him to earn stickers for each day he happily completed his school work. (He is much happier, and so am I!)

Secret 5 for happier kids

Secret number five is, “pour on the attention.” Kids crave attention! (And if you don’t give it to them? They act out to get it in any way they can!)

Whenever you can, spend one on one time with your child. Think about your child’s love language and invest your time and energy filling their little love banks. Be sure to make eye contact with them. Be interested in what they have to say. If you take the time to listen now, they’ll be more willing to talk to you when they’re older!

Bonus secret for happier kids

Here’s a bonus secret for you. Keep the end in mind. When your child is an adult and they reflect back on their childhood, how do you want them to remember you?

What type of relationship do you want with your children 10-20 years from now?

On the really hard days, remember your why!

 

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Well Planned Gal

Rebecca from the Well Planned Gal understands the challenges of working within a budget, managing multiple children, and trying to keep up with a variety of information. That is why she created popular planner bundles!

Combine organizational tools with year long encouragement by bundling Well Planned Day planners with the popular Family Magazine. For a limited time, Save 30% with one of her  popular planner bundles. Each bundle contains 2 planner products with a one-year subscription to Family Magazine.  

Click Here to Go to Well Planned Gal


Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

 

The Fruit of the Spirit for Moms

The fruit of the Spirit is familiar to most of us, but how can we apply this to motherhood? The Fruit of the Spirit for Moms is the topic of this podcast, as we examine how we can exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control towards our children. #ChristianparentingThe Fruit of the Spirit for Moms

Our pastor recently did a sermon on the Fruit of the Spirit, and it inspired me to start a Bible study inside my private Christian parenting Facebook group.  (By the way, anyone listening who’d like to join that group, I’d love to have you! You can click here to join.)

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been studying the Fruit of the Spirit, as it applies to motherhood.

Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Wow! Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all things that I desire to be to my children as their mother.

So how can we attain this fruit of the Spirit?

The way we attain the fruit of the Spirit that we desire is by faith through the Holy Spirit. But when we put God on the back burner, we experience what I have officially named “the fruit of the mom flesh.”

And here’s the Marianna version… “But the fruit of the mom flesh is nagging, yelling, annoyance, harshness, manipulation, shaming,  and lack of self-control.”

Ouch. I have no problem admitting that some of these qualities describe my parenting some days. But, I believe that there is hope in Christ.

Maybe you’re a mom who has blown it time and time again and you think there’s no hope for you to change. Perhaps you come from a long line of emotional abuse and you feel powerless to break the cycle. Maybe you feel like you’ve been mommin’ the same way for so long that there’s not even any point to try to change.

But here’s the good news for you today.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control….it’s not up to you to produce this fruit. In fact, it’s not even about you! It’s about Christ in you and the Holy Spirit working in your heart.

When we experience the gospel and the love that God has so lavished upon us, we cannot help but overflow with that love!

Be careful not to get stuck in this place of mom guilt. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Man, I just don’t embody these fruit of the spirit,” let me remind you.  Pastor J.D. Greear says, “For every one look you take at yourself bemoaning your fruitlessness, take ten looks at Christ, boasting in his faithfulness.”

Scripture references

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13 NIV

“…’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” – Zechariah 4:6 NIV

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33 NIV

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23 NIV


Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.

 

6 Powerful Ways of Overcoming Anger

A few weeks ago I shared anger lies that keep us in bondage. If you haven’t read that post, I encourage you to get caught up. I believe that’s where victory with anger begins: meditating on God’s truth about our anger. This week I’m going to share 6 powerful ways to overcome anger. If you’re like most people, you will still experience anger that isn’t perfectly controlled. But you can have a huge improvement in this area like my husband and I have.

6 Powerful Ways of Overcoming Anger podcast

Read this article on the blog or watch it on YouTube

LINKS

Email me at Psychowith6 [at] gmail [dot] com.

FREE ANGER PRINTABLES

Ultimate Guide to Language Arts Board Games

I’ll be talking about my favorite board games and doing a giveaway this week on Facebook. Join me at Facebook.com/Psychowith6 on Tuesdays at 4E/3C/2M/1P or watch the replays.

Titus2.com

“Freedom from the Spirit of Anger” by Dr. S. M. Davis of SolveFamilyProblems.com

[READ SHORT WORKOUTS YOU CAN DO AT HOME]

 

[LISTEN TO THE POWER OF ROUTINES]                 [LISTEN TO HOMESCHOOL FLYING]

[READ: TRUTH JOURNALING, POWERFUL TOOL FOR LIFE CHANGE]

 

Which of these tips do you think will be most helpful to you? Let’s chat about it on Facebook.

Parenting: Principles Over Formula – HIRL Episode 142

Free homeschool podcast about Christian parenting with principles and not formulasParenting formulas tend to make us feel safe: Do it this way, and your children will grow up to be godly/good citizens/intelligent/productive, etc. But is this what God has in mind when he gives us children in our homes?

Join us and author Heather Haupt as we talk homeschooling (she’s a homeschool grad), parenting promises, principles, formulas, and the gospel.


SHOW NOTES:

Recommended Resources:

Get Social With Us:

Follow Fletch/Kendra:
Fletch Twitter
Kendra Twitter

Follow the Studio Dogs:
Betty the Surf Dog – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website
Rasta The Chocolate Lab – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Website

Previous Episodes Mentioned:

None

Music clips used on this episode:
None


SUBSCRIBE AND LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW:

Allow the magic of the internet to deliver Homeschooling In Real Life to your tablet or smart phone. Let us show you how easy it is:

  1. Follow this link to our iTunes page.
  2. IMPORTANT STEP: Under our big red HomeschoolingIRL logo, just click on View in iTunes
  3. The iTunes program will automatically launch and take you to our podcast page.
  4. FIRST – Click SUBSCRIBE. Voila! All or our podcasts will come directly to your computer and smart phone.
  5. NEXT – Click RATINGS AND REVIEW. Remember the best reviews are 5-stars (hint hint!).
  6. Thanks for being one of our listeners! HIRLers rock!

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO LISTEN TO HomeschoolingIRL?

  1. You can listen right on this page. There is an audio player below.
  2. You can listen on your iPod, Smartphone or tablet. Open the PODCAST app on your device, search podcasts for “HomeschoolingIRL” and click subscribe. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
  3. Subscribe to the HomeschoolingIRL website and you will be notified when every new episode is released. Follow this link and begin your FREE SUBSCRIPTION.

ADVERTISERS/SPONSORS:

Please visit our coffee sponsor: Caroline’s Coffee for 10% off any order. Use code HIRL


C_Logo_2012


Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from KendraFletcher.com) for the HomeschoolingIRL podcast every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades.


LISTEN HERE

Are you ready to listen to Fletch and Kendra get real about homeschooling? Press the PLAY button below.

How to Help Your Child with Low Frustration Tolerance

If your child is easily frustrated and you’re frustrated in knowing how to handle it, this episode of The Homeschool Sanity Show will be of help. I’ll share six tips for teaching frustration management.

Low Frustration Tolerance podcast

Want to read this article in a blog post? READ HERE or SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES or ON STITCHER

LINKS

Get your 30-Day Organizing Challenge

Canva.com

OrganizedHS.com

What provokes frustration in your child? Let’s talk about it on Facebook.

Low Frustration Tolerance