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  1. #11


    I will add more that I gleaned from the talks later, as I have work to do and am still in the process of understanding and collating all the information from the 28 talks.

    However, here are some links from one of the talks if you are interested.

    Ross Greene talked about how kids do not get up in the morning aiming to be problematic or to create trouble or have a bad day. They want to have a good day just as much as you want them to have a good day. Their challenging behavior arises when they have what he called "lagging skills" and "unsolved problems". And our job as a parent is to help them identify those lagging skills and work on them so that they can solve their problems.

    He has a worksheet for going through and identifying these and a guide on how to do this,

    Then, once you have identified the problems, you need to prioritize them and pick a couple to work on. You can prioritize them by thinking about their frequency (how often they happen), duration (how long have they been happening for), and their impact. So those that happen more often, have been going on for a long time, and have a high negative impact, they are the ones you would work on first.

    To work on this, you problem solve collaboratively with the child. You do not do this in the moment (i.e., when your DD is refusing to do something). He talks about how if this problem has been going on for a while, then it is highly predictable, and you know what times will be safe/quiet times to approach your child about it so you can be proactive and work on it before it arises. Talk to your child and let them know you want to discuss something. Tell them that they are not in trouble, you are not mad at them, but you just want to problem solve. If they do not want to discuss it when you approach them, then make an appointment to do it with them at a later time so it is not sprung on them unexpectedly; give them time to think about the fact you want to problem solve this with them.

    The steps for problem solving are:
    1) Listen with empathy – gather information from child on their concern or perspective. What is making it hard for them? Use the drilling cheat sheet
    2) Define adult concerns – Describes how the unsolved problem affects the child and other people (e.g., if not brushing teeth it could be that you are concerned about the social impact of bad breath or the financial and health impact of poor dental health). Parents often skip this step and head straight to adult solutions, which does not help the child.
    3) Invitation – adult and child collaborate on a solution. The solution has to be realistic (both parties can keep to it) and mutually satisfactory (addresses concerns of both parties). If does not meet these, the problem will still be unsolved.

    Here's a link to the problem solving plan,
    And some more tips on how to do it,

    In the heat of the moment, you just need to just diffuse, deescalate, keep everyone safe, step back and ask “what did I miss?”, “what unsolved problem caused this?”, and “is it on my list?” (if it is not, add it, and if you don't have a list, start one).

    These links also talk more about his point of view,

    Sorry if that is a bit of a brain dump. I found it the most eye opening one for me in terms of reframing thinking about my DD's behavior as purposeful to something she just lacked the skills to control.

    I will think about what other talks might help you, and post more later if you are interested.
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

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  3. #12


    It can be really hard when not only does your child rely on screens for entertainment but you also rely on it to get something done. In our house, screens aren't inherently bad. We do a lot of things with screens, educational things and just for entertainment. But it has always been a positive thing (after the initial back lash) when we limit or eliminate the screens for a while when we feel we have become too reliant on them.

    I'm not an unschooler completely but I do like a lot of the ideas of unschooling for creating a learning rich environment in my home. You don't have to stick with unschooling for everything and you don't have to give in that unschooling is the only way your daughter will continue homeschooling but a couple of semesters of unschool-y learning may be just what she needs to find her love of learning again and allow you to ease into more traditional studies. Or you may find unschooling is a perfect fit for you and your daughter. Either way, it sounds like both of you need a change for awhile to find your way into a lifestyle of learning.

  4. #13


    So this stuff is from a talk by Laura Kastner. Her resources are the books:
    1) Getting to Calm, The Early Years: Cool-headed Strategies for Raising Caring, Happy, and Independent 3-7 Year Olds
    2) Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens + Teens
    3) Wise Minded Parenting: 7 Essentials for Raising Successful Tweens + Teens

    And website:
    Laura S. Kastner Ph.D.
    Laura S Kastner, PhD - Home | Facebook

    She talked about how we need to make sure that our interactions with our children are overall (>50%) positive and without an adult agenda. That is, we are just hanging out with them, enjoying them, appreciating them, and not talking to them at all about our agenda as a parent for behavior change. Pretty much it was about reducing the noise (both the noise level and the amount of "background noise" from you talking at them) so that when you do have something important to say, it is both more effective and they are in a healthy place to receive it.

    If we talk at them all the time either to express our disappointment, or give our interpretations on situations, or what we think needs fixed and how, or just the general everyday prodding of reminders and requests, then they begin to shut us out, not accept themselves, and get stressed. A challenge she gave to reset the household, was to reduce what you said to your kids by 80% for a week. This would force you to really think about the effectiveness of what you say, and it would make the household quieter so that your kids would start paying attention more.

    She also talked about how you may be right, but are you effective? That is, don't waste your negative word count on pointing out things that they shouldn't have done. It is better to calmly set a boundary or give a consequence, and pretty much say “take it or leave it”/"your call what you do now" and walk away than it is to talk on and on about what they did wrong.

    She had the CALM acronym for dealing with problems. First you need to Calm down (e.g., deep breathing), then Assess the situation, Listen with empathy (e.g., "sorry for yelling. I failed to think about how you were feeling. Can we talk about that now? I need to appreciate what is going on with you"), and Make a plan (can do consequences at this stage).

    Finally, she talked about doing a chain analysis with your child to figure out what happened in sequence to cause the problem, and what tools/skills you could insert during that sequence to avoid the undesired outcome. She said to do this like a scientist and in a very impartial way so that your kids feel safe to talk. It is also good during this to talk about your own feelings and model what to do (e.g., when X happened I think my stress level was at about an 8, what do you think yours was at?").
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

  5. #14


    Patty Whipfler talked a lot about self care and how to calm both yourself and your child. Her resources are Books:
    Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges
    Parenting by Connection: The Complete Set
    Website & Social Media:

    Her main thing was that you need to find a listening partner, which I imagine is particularly important since you are a single parent. This is someone either in real life or online that you can just lay it all out to. They are not going to try make you feel better or solve your issues; they are just going to listen. This is the person you can say all the things you are disappointed in and frustrated about and they won't judge you if you say for example that you really wish you did not have to parent your daughter some days. Because its ok to feel that and say it; just not to your daughter. So you need a listening partner to say those things to.

    Many of the other speakers also talked about self care and making sure that you find time for yourself each day, even if it is 10 min listening to a podcast while you do the laundry. One of them had the acronym CARE. C = compassion for yourself (i.e., it is hard, don't beat yourself up if it is a bad day). A = activities, take part in some that are meaningful and identify you as a person (we often lose these when we become a parent or start a full time job). R = rest. E = enough (i.e., knowing when good enough is ok as the goal).

    Be a good role model. If you are tired, say that you are and that you need to sit and recharge before you can interact with them.

    There is a lot more about anxiety, perfectionism, how to make friends, sensory issues and all sorts of other things. Let me know if any of that would interest you.

    Overall the messages were:
    *Focus on their strengths not their weaknesses.
    *Make sure they know that you accept and love them for exactly who they are. Stop fighting who your child is and lean in/stop arguing with reality. Release the vision of what you thought you would be like as a parent and what you thought your child would be like.
    *At the same time, let them know that you do expect them to work on these challenges/problems they have.
    *Look for the origins of the behavior/lagging skills rather than thinking that they are purposefully misbehaving.
    *Give them a safe space to be their authentic selves.
    *Help them learn how to speak openly about their emotions and teach them tools for working through problems.
    *Find opportunities to connect them to others that have similar interests.
    *Reframe success for them from the typical "school/exam model" to healthy, happy, well adjusted, giving back to society, having friends and loving relationships, fulfilling a purpose, and wanting to get up each day and do something that excites you.
    *Make time for self care for yourself.
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

  6. #15


    The summit has run 2 years in a row now. I missed it last year. Hopefully they will run it again next year. Another one I heard of but did not have time to participate in was The Motivated Child Summit,

    It ran similarly from what I know (i.e., free access to each day's talks for 24 h, but if you want lifetime access you have to pay for a pass).
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

  7. #16


    For transitions, I still have not figured anything out that works in all situations, but hoping to after processing the Bright and Quirky resources.

    Some things from both the talks and what we do:
    *If they do better knowing what will happen during the week, then have a daily routine and a planner.
    *Have a sticker or a symbol that you can put on the planner to show days that will be different to the regular daily routine.
    *Go through the planner each Sunday and discuss the week ahead and what is going to happen. Add in and change what you need to.
    *Don't allow "no" or not doing anything to be an option but give them choices. For example, we are going on a hike on Tue, you can choose if we go on X or X trail. Or, you need to brush your teeth before bed, you can choose to do it now, or after you have read for 15 min (and put a timer on). I still have not figured out what to do after they still say no at that point. Consequences? I have read all these things that say they should be natural consequences but what are the immediate natural consequences to not brushing your teeth or refusing to go out for a hike? Then I always resort to taking something away, and it never works.

    My DD does ballet and jazz and dances three times a week. She used to have huge meltdowns with the transition to getting ready for dance each time. Dance is something she lives for and absolutely loves and would like to dance more days per week, and it is her only weekday activity. So the meltdowns were not because of some issue with dance class or that she was over-scheduled and tired. Then I wrote on her planner "Tue ballet 4.30 to 5.30 pm, get ready 3.30 pm, leave 4 pm" etc. Now she is fine with it. So at least for my DD, knowing what is happening does help.
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 02-05-2019 at 10:41 PM.
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

  8. #17
    Senior Member Evolved Deli76's Avatar
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    I had read above about how preteens revert back to toddlerhood! Yes to this! When dd was 10, that was rough. That was the year we found a co-op and we started our 1 1/2 year trek through 5th grade math. Yup! I sought advice, tried different things. And I eventually learned that I just kinda needed to go with the flow. I was kinda my own worst enemy at that point. Expecting things to go smoothly during a lot of changes. I also work part time as well. I would giver her a little more room to grow and seek out things.

    One of the things I did that I never thought I would do, I sought out the help of minecraft. There was a lot of math and creativity in it. I relunctantly did it. I signed her up for GamED Academy.

    GamED Academy | Where Learning and Gaming Collide!

    By the time she finished the course work, she had grown out of minecraft. Thankfully! LOL!

    But as for the upcoming hormones and preteen and tween years, it takes patience. Day by day, moment by moment.
    Bobo 13 yrs old - marches to the beat of her own drum, driven, out going and loud, yet she loves nature
    Booger Boy 21 yrs old - quiet, self assured, confident and laying his own path

    umbers cucumbers!!!!

  9. #18


    Obviously you need to look at what you know about your daughter to figure out whether it is something that you will just go with it and see if it passes or if you need to help her with it. It depends if its primary (i.e., she has lagging skills/a behavior problem) or secondary (i.e., a symptom of puberty). And the frequency, duration, and impact on the mental or physical well being of herself and people around her.

    For my daughter, the frequency is more than three times a day, the duration is her entire life, and the impact is that it negatively affects the mental health of both herself and everyone who lives in the same house as her because she gets very intense and explosive. So for her it is not just a puberty thing that will pass.
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

  10. #19


    Thanks, RTB. Yes... I think a screen-free week (few weeks) would be good for us. But after that, I will likely put in some very stringent guidelines. Fortunately one of her good HS friends has very strict usage limits so she understands that it's possible (and livable.) It's good advice.

  11. #20


    @MapleHillAcademy: I also like a lot of the unschooling ideas, just don't know that I have the time or patience to really go for it. Your perspective seems right on to me.

    @NZ_Mama: Awesome information. Thank you. I'm going to reread this and look into one or two more. I appreciate all the time you took on this and your thoughtful ideas! I am suspecting puberty (or maybe some other phase) because for a long stretch of time (4-8) she was pretty easy (or maybe I just understood how her headstrong/willfulness manifested better. That's possible.) I love that she is willful and stubborn. I wouldn't change that. Just learn to manage. And still keeping an open mind about whether HS is right for us...

    @ Deli76: I totally think I am my own worst enemy at times so I hear you. And even when I tell myself my expectations are low, they are still there so I need to learn to manage that and relinquish some control. Thanks for the link to GamED. I don't hate Minecraft at all-- I like very much that she builds, uses imagination, etc. It's just that she's a kid who falls easily under the spell of screens so a little Minecraft or TV or whatever is never enough and it's just torment when time is up. So finding some kind of balance. Maybe someday. Thank you!

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