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Articles of Interest
Behavior Management
Using Behavior Charts
Reward Ideas
Consequences For Young Kids & Toddlers
When To Negotiate With Kids
Summer Vacation Problems
Kids Stealing From Parents
Attention Seeking Behavior
Why You Shouldn't Argue With Your Child
Bedtime Arguments And Homework
Regain Parental Control
Dealing With Defiant Young Kids and Toddlers
Using Natural Consequences
Summer Break Strategies
Create Accountability During Summer Break
Gaining Respect From Kids
Parenting Angry Teens
When Good Kids Misbehave
When Kids Only Act Out At Home
When No Means No
Start Parenting More Effectively
When Kids Ignore Consequences
When Your Kids Ignore You
Giving Effective Time-Outs
Dealing With Power Struggles Part 1
Avoiding Power Struggles Part 2
Setting Limits With Difficult Kids
How To Stop A Fight
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Manipulative Behavior
Keep Your Summer Break Peaceful
Summer Survival For Parents
Disciplining Your Two Year Old
How To Stop Kids From Cursing
Inappropriate Soiling
Consequences For Teens
The Truth About Bullies
Stopping A Temper Tantrum

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Stop Bullying In Your Classroom

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Summer Planning For A Child With ADHD

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Top 5 Parenting Mistakes
Parenting The Child You Have
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Fix Your Morning Routine
Perfect Parents Dont Exist
How To Interview A Nanny
When Good Parents Have Difficult Children
Parenting Gifted Children
New Year's Resolutions For Parents
Deciding Appropriate Parenting Rules
Is Your Child A Know-it-all?
Successful Goal Setting
Walking Away From A Fight With Your Child
Creating Accountability In Your Home
Good Cop Bad Cop Parenting
Help Transition Your Kids Through Divorce
Parenting Picky Eaters
When Toddlers Are Picky Eaters
Help Kids Cope With Pet Loss
Great Book Series For Kids
What You Shouldn't Say To Your Kids

Keep Cool When Kids Push Your Buttons

Parenting Your Teen
Helping Kids Adjust To The New Baby
Summer Structure For Kids
Teaching Kids How To Save Money
Selecting The Right Pet
75 Ways To Say Good Job
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Why Boredom Is Good For Kids
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Autism/Sensory Disorders/Anxiety
Tips To Tackle Tricky Behaviors
 

 

 

 

  

Top 5 Summer Vacation Problems with Troubled Children - and How to Handle Them
 

  

 

 

Summer vacation. This favorite time of the year for kids is often the most stressful time of the year for parents. Whether your child is off for three full months or attends school year-round, if he is oppositional or defiant, you've probably learned to dread school breaks. Here are the top concerns we hear from parents and some tips on how to prevent the summer break from turning into a summer breakdown.
 

 

My teenager won't get a summer job. Why do any of us work? Because we're motivated. We either feel good about the work itself, or we want money or some other kind of emotional payoff. If your teen isn't motivated to get a job, try not to reinforce that by giving her all the "extras" she wants over the summer. Movies, eating out or anything that your teen may come to you with an outstretched hand for are opportunities to teach the value of earning money. Some kids can't work; they live in a rural area and don't have transportation to get to a job, or there truly is nothing available, not even fast food. That's very different than the attitude of, "Why should I have to get a job?" Your teen may become motivated to find work if he misses the rewards that go along with a job.

During the summer, there are more opportunities for my child to get into trouble: more parties, more friends wanting to "hang out" who are a bad influence. What should I do? Although kids often want to "run free" during summer, limits such as curfew still apply. Decide ahead of time how many nights per week your child can go out, how many times friends can come over, what is okay and what is "too much" hanging out. Make the limits and expectations clear from the start of summer and stick to them.

The issues of toxic friends and poor choices are tougher for parents. But here's something to think about. When your child was two years old, you monitored him very closely-probably 24/7. But as our kids grow, the time they are "unsupervised" gradually increases. That's the natural way of things. Each milestone he achieves-staying home alone, walking to the store, driving, dating-is preparation for adulthood. Think of these years as "practice" for the Big Game of Life. Will your child make mistakes? Certainly, as we all did. Mistakes and poor choices are the pathway to learning.

Once your child reaches a certain age, it's impossible to choose their friends. They see bad influences at school, in the community and all over. Instead of trying to keep your child from associating with someone you perceive as "toxic," focus instead on teaching values and how to make positive choices. This is a skill your child can use in relationships throughout life. Whenever she encounters a risky situation-as we all do-she will use those skills to decide how she will conduct herself. Most of us have had at least one friend who wasn't good for us. The one we always got into trouble with. The first one to suggest we drink or use substances. How did you learn to stay away from that person-or at least make good choices for yourself? Lectures from a parent probably weren't nearly as effective as learning from experience. So if your child makes a poor choice, try to think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow, preparing for the day you won't be there to watch over her.

My child has to attend summer school, but he refuses to get up in the morning. What do I do? If your child has failed a grade, think of summer school as an opportunity rather than a punishment. It's an opportunity for him to make up credits and to move forward to the next grade. If he's failed the grade due to not turning in homework, not studying or skipping class, it's certainly possible he will continue to make similar poor choices when it comes to summer school. But remember: this is your child's issue to correct, not yours. If you take responsibility for his performance, you are making it your problem to solve-and robbing him of the chance to learn from his mistakes. When you feel like summer school is your responsibility, that's when you'll get emotional, desperate to get him up in the morning. As hard as it is, let him take responsibility for his own actions. Call the school just as you would during the normal school year and let them know you've provided every opportunity for him to attend, but he is choosing not to do so. If he makes the choice not to get up, he will fail summer school and the natural consequence is he won't be promoted to the next grade. If this makes him uncomfortable or unhappy enough, he will change his behavior. Repeating a grade won't be the end of the world-his or yours. Many people have had to do things twice before learning what they need to.


My child is supposed to attend summer school but we have a vacation planned. What do we do? Many parents find out at the last minute that their child is missing assignments and failing. This can trigger a "fight or flight" type of reaction in parents: Oh no! What are we going to do?! He has summer school and we were going on a family trip for a week in July! Adrenaline and maybe anger surges. You know your child better than anyone, and you know what the failing grades are about. Was he truly struggling to turn in assignments or pass tests because he had trouble staying organized or he didn't understand the assignments? Was he putting effort into the work but just couldn't pass? If so, you may choose to suspend your vacation plans to support him in the opportunity to pass the grade or allow him to stay home with family or a friend you trust.

But if you know he was messing around, watching TV or playing video games instead of putting effort into his work, you may make a different decision. If he refused to do the class assignments out of defiance or failed due to suspensions for poor behavior, this is his consequence. This is not your consequence-or any other members of the family. You still may decide to go on vacation and leave him home with a friend or family member, someone of whom you approve. A natural consequence of having to attend summer school may be that he misses some fun activities. Or he can go with you and the natural consequence is he may fail summer school. There's a quote often used in the business world: Poor planning on your part does not make an emergency on mine. This is how the real world operates: daily decisions affect us in the long run and other people (bosses, coworkers, spouses) don't always jump in to save us.


My kid is up all night and sleeps all day. I can't get him to do anything! Many of us fondly remember the days we stayed up watching reruns on television or the Late, Late Show. Kids tend to feel energetic at night and tired in the morning. If your child has a summer job but stays up all night and shows up late to work or misses work, remember; the consequence will be his, not yours. Most parents worry that this pattern of staying up late will make it hard for their child to readjust to a school schedule. It's definitely appropriate to let your child know a few weeks before school starts, "Okay, we're going to get back to our routine now." But if your child is oppositional or defiant, you must choose your battles carefully. Staying up late and sleeping in is not a legal or safety issue. Is it something you can live with? Choose peace as much as possible.

If your child is oppositional or defiant, choose your battles carefully over the summer. Three months is a long time and if you try to change every behavior that's annoying, it's going to be even loooonnnger! Whenever an argument starts, ask yourself: Is this my problem or my child's? Is it a legal or safety issue? Is it worth getting upset over? In a year or two, when I look back at this, will it be a big deal?

Asking yourself these questions can help you to determine if you're micro-managing your child and stressing yourself out in the process or simply leading and guiding your child, which is a much more effective role to play.

(On Top Of The Water Slide reprinted with permission from Empowering Parents)

 

by Kim Abraham, LMSW & Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW

Kim and Marney are co-authors of Life Over The Influence? and The ODD Lifeline?. Kimberly Abraham, LMSW, has worked with struggling children and their families for more than 25 years, and has clinical and personal experience in coping with addiction issues. Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW, has been a behavioral and cognitive therapist for over 15 years. Both write articles for Legacy Publishing, creators of the The Total Transformation parenting program.

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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