Guiding Your Strong Willed Child, Week 6

March 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

Congratulation Parents!  You are officially Workshop Graduates!  Your great questions, hard work and sense of humor made every evening a pleasure.  I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend the past two months getting to know each of you – I truly can’t imagine a better job!  Please keep the updates coming.  Wishing you 1 degree shifts and happy HAT meetings…

Guiding the Strong Willed Child, Week 5

March 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

Well, amazing workshop families, you are starting to weave together the different concepts you have been practicing over the past five weeks – congratulations!  This is hard work but you can do hard things!  Over time you will have woven a beautiful & strong cloth that reflects your unique values and enhances your ability to parent as you wish.  We cover a lot of content in six weeks.  The goal is not “total transformation” in that amount of time but rather a series of 1 degree shifts that help take you closer to your vision for your family.  As always, your questions and reflections are welcome and may I recommend that you subscribe to receiving on-going content from our blog by clicking the “Join Biehus” button on your right.

ps Don’t miss the swapportunity video below!  The acting is a big improvement over mine :)


March 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

What is a swapportunity you ask?  It is when you help a child use a NEW appropriate behavior instead of an OLD challenging behavior.  It takes some planning ahead because you want to teach the child to use the new behavior BEFORE challenging behavior occurs – sometimes this means that you write yourself a note in the middle of a meltdown to practice the NEW appropriate behavior the next day during a HAPPY time!  We want to teach by teaching, not by correcting in the moment.  And remember, when you decide to swap, make sure that the NEW behavior works better than the OLD one!  Good luck swapping and let me know if you have questions!

A swapportunity sounds like… 
Child: [Preparing to go downstairs for breakfast.  Yesterday he wanted almond milk but cried instead of asking so you couldn’t give him any.  This morning he has just woken up and hasn’t even thought about almond milk yet!]
Parent: “Do you think you will want almond milk today at breakfast?”
Child: “Yes!”
Parent: “Super!  Do you remember what way of asking works in our house?”
Child: “I want almond milk!”
Parent:  “Almost let’s think…  Maybe it starts with “May…”
Child:  “Oh yeah!  May I have almond milk, please?”
Parent:  “Perfect!  You sound like you are ready to try to ask when we get downstairs for breakfast!  I’ll bet the NEW way will work!”

March’s Table

March 17, 2015 § 2 Comments

March's Table

The month of March always ushers in hope after a long winter.  Winter will end, snow will melt, spring will come again (even if we only gets hints of it this month!)  Our poem this month is Clouds by Christina Rossetti.  Our work of art is Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.  Our habit of character is Joy – “I will rejoice and be glad.  And, breathe and hug when I feel mad.”  This month we also have two new additions to our table!  The first is a tiny little March keepsake (part of my on-going shrinky dink obsession) and the second is a 30-sec timer.  More about the timer below if you are interested…

We have begun to teach the distinction between “time out” (which is given by us the parents for line crossing and consists of sitting in a chair for 2 minutes – timer out of her reach) and quiet time (which is time that she can request and we can suggest when she is starting to have trouble but has not crossed the line for a duration of her choosing in the place of her choosing – timer in her control).  She likes the timer we use for time out and we didn’t want to make “time out” more special than “quiet time” so it has its own timer!  We do not use time out with the expectation that it will change future behavior but we do use to prevent a downward spiral in the moment.  Quiet time often prevents line crossing all together which is pretty terrific!

Guiding the Strong Willed Child, Week 4

March 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

Well we are right in the heart of it all now!  We are creating space for our children to live with freedom within our clear boundaries.  We are investing in our children.  We are softening and connecting before big demands.  We are offering choices before challenging behavior occurs, staying consistent in the tough moments and making changes later.  We are remembering that corrections are expensive – so we spend them wisely.  We are reflecting on our values and how our rules reflect them.  Most of all, we are remembering that no child has ever been parented perfectly & ours will not be the first (nor do they need to be!)  We are a perfect work in progress & we extend that same grace to our children.  Happy Micro Choicing!

Guiding Your Strong Willed Child, Week Three

March 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

What a night!  Our evening workshop was rich with conversation around the engine behind behavior change, great questions and caramel apples (thank you!)  Rather than hurry to the end of the prepared slides, we lingered in order to cover the content well.  The Case of the Missing Socks, Part Two and Blame the Man will be waiting for us next week!  Remember that the homework this week is to send me a question or reflection.  Practice Happy!

Second Week of the Guiding Your Strong Willed Child Workshop

February 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

In addition to the presentation above, our time together this week was full of great questions and reflections which I am sorry I am not able to include here – you’ll just have to trust me!  One take-away was that carving five minutes out of each day for uninterrupted play with our children is often harder than it sounds but it is an investment worth the effort.

This week during the Daily Five, in addition to Naming the Good, families will try out using Sure Y!  First X, Then Y!  Although this technique can eventually be used during real life situations, we want to introduce it in the context of play.  I love to practice new skills – for both kids and parents – in the context of play.  Parents, keep using it in the context of play until the technique feels comfortable and natural to you AND your child has developed a positive history of responding to it.  When you are ready to put it to work, make sure you still keep the X (the demand) short & specific!

p.s. Workshop families (…others are welcome too) I would invite you to subscribe to the blog so that you can be automatically notified when the content is up here each week!  Just click the “join biehus” button on the upper right hand side of this page.


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