You. Fully Alive.

It takes healthy adults to create connected families.

Meet Parentologist, Kerry Stutzman

My therapy, parenting and speaking practice is born out of my passion for making the most of this thing called Life. I see the world through the lens of relationships. Everywhere I look, I can’t help but see them. My work is all about how we relate – to our internal parts, to people in our lives, to the stories we tell ourselves, to the Divine. I especially love helping parents be their best selves… because that is good for their kids.

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I’m a Denver, Colorado native who has never stopped marveling at the gorgeous mountains where I love cycling, sailing, picnics, and family dinners.

After many years as a stay-at-home mom with a master’s degree collecting dust, I wanted a career that gave me the flexibility to put my kids first and have work that feeds my soul.

Earning my certificate in marriage and family therapy provided exactly that. All three elements of my work – therapy, parenting instruction, and public speaking – are rooted in extensive academic training, life experience, and heart.

My deepest longing is to live a life that makes a difference in people being able to experience close, connected, healthy families. To this end, I support parents in working on themselves, their relationships, and their parenting skills. And I never stop working on myself.

Other parts of my story include divorce, re-marriage, blending families of 3+3 kids, tough teenagers, and enough pain to motivate me to grow. And there are parts of my story that involve exuberant joy, big love, spiritual awakening and ridiculous amounts of laughter.

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Education and Other Credentials

  • Master of Social Work from the University of Denver (MSW)
  • Certificate in Marriage & Family Therapy from Denver Family Institute
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Colorado (LMFT)
  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapist (AAMFT) Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor
  • Clinical Supervisor, Denver Family Institute Faculty
  • National Speakers Association (NSA) Professional Member

 

    • Co-Founder of Building Bridges, a grassroots non-profit
    • Trauma Therapy: EMDR Trained
    • Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) Externship
    • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Level One Training
    • Love and Logic Independent Facilitator
    • Journey Dance Facilitator Apprentice
    • LGBTQ Affirming Therapist
    • Pronouns are she/her/hers

    I strive to practice cultural humility and never stop learning about diversity, power, and oppression.

    Always appreciate the little things, because in the end you realize they were the big things.

    ROBERT BRAULT

    Calm Parenting

    Before I had kids, I always pictured myself as a calm, loving, happy, and nurturing mother. I was sometimes. I still am sometimes. I didn’t realize how hard I would have to work sometimes just to avoid coming completely unglued and falling apart right there on the floor. So, I refuse to put that pressure on myself or any parent. You probably put enough pressure on yourself that you don’t need...

    That was then…This is now

    As I watch, walk, read and listen, I am horrified and heartbroken about the systemic pervasiveness of disrespect and destruction of Black people’s lives that is rooted in racism.

    One Way to Start Mother’s Day 2020

    I think the sweetest gift I could receive would be WORDS. Words that in spite of my imperfections, my humanity, my annoying idiosyncrasies, and my mistakes along the way … that they’ll take me the way I am. That I am enough.

    Raising Boys Made Me Braver

    I have had to call up the intrepid, courageous, and active parts of me that, up until motherhood, had laid somewhat dormant.

    The Car Sanctuary

    So often while driving, my kids would fall asleep and I found that to be a quiet peaceful time. So, I decided to make my car my sanctuary.

    Instead of M&M’s, Kids Need More N&Ns – AKA: My Kid Hates When I Say “No”

    One day when I took my young son to Burger King, he wanted something he couldn’t have and I said no. It didn’t work out well for either of us.  What he wanted was “white pop” (known to older kids as Sprite). I was OK with that. I held the cup to the Sprite label on the soda dispenser. Guess what color the Sprite label is?  Hint: it is not white. It is green. He got VERY upset because he didn’t...

    Popsicle vs. Poopsicle: your ticket to better dinner conversation

    It's possible that dinner conversation is not quite what you had dreamed of. I had fantasies of a happy family gathered around, politely eating a meal that they appreciated and each person happily chatting about their day, one at a time. If you have that, congratulations. You have my respect. If that is still just an aspiration, you are not alone. There are so many family dynamics that go into...

    How Do We Parent in Ways We Weren’t Parented?

    Make lasting changes in behavior that last a lifetime and span multiple generations. In some ways, it's easy to parent our children in ways we weren't parented, right?  I was a latch-key kid with a working mom who was gone a lot. When it came time for me to be a mom, I was fiercely committed to giving my kids what I didn't have: a stay-at-home, available, attentive mom. I felt noble and...

    What Is Head and Heart Parents About?

    Hi! I’m Kerry Stutzman. At Head and Heart Parents, we care about all things related to parenting.  I, and the other therapists I work with, think about the entire system of a family, from the well-being of the kids to the sanity and sense of humor of the parents. You’ve gotta have a sense of humor while raising young people if you want to keep your sanity! 🙂  You can take parenting classes and...

    An Important Life Lesson My Bike Taught Me

    My bike crash happened in slow motion. As I went down, I had an extensive internal chat: “Argh, those people I wanted to pass were so slow!” "Why can’t I get my feet out of these clips?” “I hate having my feet clipped in!” “Dang it, I’m going to crash. I could get hurt. I hate getting hurt.” “This is insulting to be falling just because my stupid feet are clipped in.” “How did that stupid post...

    Finding “Yes” Time To Play With Your Kids

    When my five-year old goddaughter wants to build a fort and play dollhouse, I say yes! To heck with making dinner for the teenagers; they had to fend for themselves last night. But back when it was my five-year old sons wanting to build forts and play “smashing dinosaurs,” it was so much harder to find enough “yes-time” to match their requests. It’s a tough spot our generation of parents is in....

    3 Strategies For Saving The Artwork Your Children Bring Home From School

    Artwork, oh my! It's adorable, right? All that cute artwork that our kids produce starting as soon as they can hold a pen.  We save it, of course, capturing the wonder of their artistic abilities. Then they go to school and do even cooler projects and bring those home for us to admire. And to save. They do crafts. We save them. Then we have more children who also bring home their treasured works...

    The Back to School Blues

    I'm having back to school blues. Sure, I like the guilt-free time sans kids during the weekdays. But now I have to shift from "summertime mom" to "school days mom." I like summertime mom better. She's more fun. More relaxed. She does fun stuff with her kids. She lets them sleep later and she doesn't harp on them as often. (But trust me, I can always find things to harp about, regardless of the...

    Come Together as a Family And Eat

    So many parents worry about their children and if they are getting enough to eat, or getting enough variety. So many parents worry that their children may not be growing or gaining weight, and so many parents worry that their child may be having signs of disordered eating. What I know for sure from working for four years on the Eating Disorders Unit at Children’s Hospital Colorado is that the...

    Dear Kerry: “I Feel Like a Bad Mom”

    Dear Kerry,   I feel like such a bad mom! I wanted these kids. I love these kids. And still, I end up yelling at them and I feel so bad. I hate how mean I can be when I get frustrated. How do I stop?   From Bad Mom     Dear Bad Mom,   Oh honey, I’m sorry you feel so bad.  I’ll share an honest and personal story:   When my boys were 10 weeks, 4- and 7-years-old, I was at a family camp with Barry...

    How To Do Denver’s First Friday Art Walk With Kids

    When the weather is nice all the Denver cool kids go to the Santa Fe First Friday Art Walk. This scene can be a bit overwhelming for anyone, especially parents with kids, but these tips offer a way to enjoy the art walk - with the least amount of fuss and frustration. 1. GO EARLY. Arrive to the art walk at around 5:30pm. The bulk of people won’t arrive until 6:30, so this leaves plenty to time...

    25 MORE Things to Do in Colorado with Kids (You Might Have Forgotten About)

    In this second installment of “Things to Do With Kids in Colorado (that you might have forgotten about)” we’ve made another great list - and have included ALL NEW “ day bundles” - ideas of how to make one adventure into a day of fun. Just look for the words “Make it a Day!” under each listing to see suggested, tested, and approved places nearby, that wouldn’t necessarily warrant their own trip,...

    Bathing Suit Season Is Here, Embrace It!

    Summertime: it's my favorite time of year!  This is the time of year that evokes the best memories of going to the pool, the lake, and on rainy days, the library.  My mom would take my sister and me to swimming lessons in the morning, and then to the pool in the afternoon.  The weekends were spent at the lake with my dad driving the boat as we tubed behind it, holding on for dear life while we...

    A Mom’s Survival Guide: May Madness

    Dear Kerry, It’s May Day. I think I’m supposed to be happy but instead, I feel a sense of dread. My calendar is full of kid-related activities and I hate to admit it, but I feel a sense of dread about trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done for my elementary-schoolers. Any suggestions? Sincerely, April Showers May Bring May Flowers but May Flowers Stress Me Out Dear Showers,...

    What’s the Most Important Meal of the Day? All of Them!

    Recently a mom posted on a mom-based support group I am a part of, “How do you find time to eat during the day with your baby?” She was struggling to balance the new-ness of being a mom, taking care of her baby, and taking care of herself.  I read this and thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, been there.” In the early days of mothering I struggled to find time to take care of myself. With no family...

    Eating Disorders Come in All Shapes and Sizes

    Have you ever heard someone say, “well, he/she doesn’t LOOK like he/she has an Eating Disorder.”  My question to you is, who decided that an Eating Disorder has to look a particular way? Statistics are showing that only 1/3 of all eating disordered people are underweight.  That’s it! There are so many people who are struggling with various forms of Eating Disorders and there are no “one size...

    Airplane Travel with Toddlers: Nine Out-of-the-Box Strategies

    Before I had kids, vacation started the moment I sat down on the airplane. That all changed when I started traveling with toddlers.  And how! When traveling with toddlers, boarding a flight signals the beginning of the biggest challenge of the trip: trying to confine little people with the need for speed into one small space for hours on end. And keep them quiet.  T’ain’t natural. Talk about a...

    Getting Kids Out the Door On Time!

    1. Have Compassion Remember, kids would often rather stay home with mom and dad. It’s a lot of work to get out the door. It’s no fun to say goodbye to their favorite people. So if we can just name their experience, such as “I can tell you wish you could just stay home and watch this show. Sometimes I wish I could stay home, too.” This can help get us out of “drill sergeant” mode and instead,...

    Dear Kerry: “Unwinding After School”

    Dear Kerry, My first grader really needs some “down time” when he gets home from school or else he falls apart if we do any other activities. I’ve started letting him have half an hour to curl up and watch a show. It seems to be helping. Any reason that I shouldn’t be letting him do this? Regards, Karen   Dear Karen, I’m glad that you can recognize that your son does best when he has some...

    Dear Kerry: “Sick of Sweets”

    Dear Kerry: One of my 4 year old twins is sugar-obsessed. He goes throughout the day waiting for and thinking about his next chance to eat something sweet. He ends up begging and negotiating for it all day long which I can’t stand. Any tips? Thanks, Sick of Sweets   Dear Sick of Sweets: I have a client who had the same problem. She implemented “Sunday Fun Day” which is when the kids can...

    3 Tips for Parenting in December Without Losing Your Ho! Ho! Ho!

    It happens every year.  The sweet mother of two young children sat in my office, slouched over, and shared how she dreads December.  "I take on too much," she sighed.  Then she gets overloaded, becomes irritable with her kids and ends up hating the stress of December.  All that effort for the sake of her family having good holiday memories and she ends up depleted and grumpy.  The impossibly...

    “Mr. Fisty”: Part 2

    This is Part 2; to read Part 1 of "Mr. Fisty,” please click here. After an exasperated parent coaching client of mine found some relief with his brilliant five-step “Mr. Fisty” process, new developments emerged (as they always do with kids) that caused him to use his creativity to come up with even more strategies for dealing with his 4-year old son who hit. Recap: Putting Mr. Fisty into Time...

    “Mr.Fisty”: A Proven New Way to Stop the Pre-Schooler Who Hits

    An exasperated parent coaching client plopped onto the couch in my office recently and sighed, “How do I get my 4-year-old son to stop hitting?” At the slightest provocation, his son was hauling off and punching other kids at preschool. Needless to say, this did not go over well with teachers or classmates. The dad racked his brain to come up with a good “consequence,” a.k.a. “punishment” to get...

    Dear Kerry: “Bed Rest with a Toddler”

    Dear Kerry, I am on very strict bed rest with my second pregnancy and only allowed to be up 5-10 minutes total per day.  I have a house under construction, a working husband, and an active 19 month old.  What do I do?  Help! Bed Rest with a Toddler?! Dear Bed Rest with a Toddler, When I was due to give birth to my third son and had two very active boys (ages 4 and 6), I didn’t have time for the...

    Dear Kerry: Dealing with Other Parents’ Parenting

    Dear Kerry, I sometimes take my 2 year old daughter to a local park to play. When we're there, we often encounter kids whose behavior is questionable. Grabbing, pushing, saying “Mine!" etc. The parents often smile at me as if to say “Oh, you know how kids can be!" rather than addressing and correcting the situation. What can I do? Dealing with Other Parents' Parenting Dear Dealing, Consider...

    25 Things to Do with KIDS in Colorado (that you may have forgotten about!)

    DOWNTOWN DENVER Children’s Museum NEW Joy Outdoor Adventure Park Opened on June 13, 2015, the new 60,000 square foot outdoor play space includes water features, climbing, and tunnel systems to channel all that kid energy! www.mychildsmuseum.org Downtown Petting Zoo & Train Ride (at the Denver Aquarium) During the summers the small area directly in front of the Denver Aquarium features a...

    Dear Kerry: “My 13-year old Can’t Stand Me”

    Dear Kerry, I am in a really hard corner of parenting - my 13 year old daughter, who I have loved and adored since the day she was born - cannot stand me. Everything I say is met with eye rolls, every request I make is countered with a snarky "Why don't you do it?" All she seems to care about is her phone/iPad and her friends. How can I get her to connect with me - we used to have such a great...

    Dear Kerry: “Sick of all the Whining”

    Dear Kerry, My 12 year old son whines constantly and it drives me absolutely crazy. It's almost like it's his default way of speaking. I don't want to constantly berate him - but I am not sure how to curb the whining? Sick of All the Whining Dear Sick, For better or worse, this seems to be rather common for kids this age. I know that doesn’t make it any less aggravating for you to live with, but...

    Dear Kerry: “Toddler Full of Pasta”

    Dear Kerry, My daughter is 2.5 years old and refuses to eat anything but the following: cheese, pasta, cheerios, milk, and bread. I have tried everything - being encouraging, being stern, offering "dessert", talking, early bedtimes - nothing works! When I put something other than pasta in front of her, she screams "I no like it!!" - what else can I do? Mom of A Toddler Full of Pasta Dear Mom of...

    Dear Kerry: “Pregnant and Full of Tears”

    Dear Kerry, I am on my second pregnancy, and I am finding myself so much more emotional this time around. Perhaps it is the sleeplessness or raging hormones - but I can (and do!) cry at the drop of a hat! It’s not because I a moment is especially sad or happy - it just pours out either way! Do you have any advice for what I could do to help me through this emotional roller coaster? Full of Tears...

    No More Hassles Over Picking Up Dirty Socks

    Dirty Sock Dilemma After a long and tedious day I finally started to wind down, hours after I had hoped to.  I started to head to bed only to find a heaping pile of filthy clothes, shoes and socks, right in the middle of the family room. I wanted to scream. I wanted to pull my sleeping barbarians from their beds and give them the scolding of a lifetime. I wanted to know why my children hadn't...

    Standing Up to Teen Defiance

    Siblings and rivalry go hand-in-hand so it’s no surprise that 14 year-old Preston taunts and pesters his younger brother, Kyle. Recently, Preston refused to stop pestering his brother and was provoking him by throwing things, hassling him and doing anything he could to elicit a response from his brother just for entertainment. This was much more interesting to him than sitting down and doing...

    Discipline that Makes Cents

    Tax Unwanted Behavior At a parent coaching session recently,  a single dad talked about a real world solution to his parenting dilemma. He charged a tax to his children when they displayed unwanted behavior and paid them a bonus when they displayed positive behavior. What appeared to be a simple solution proved to be a valuable lesson to his children and this reward system worked wonders on bad...

    Improve Your Kiddo’s Bad Sportsmanship in 5 Easy Steps

    Seven year-old Elliott is becoming a bad sport at baseball. After his games, he complains about how unfair the ref was, how that throw WAS in, how he really did get that kid out. The ride home from games becomes an open arena for airing every grievance he has with his teammates and with himself. This is driving his parents nuts because they want him to be a good sport but aren't sure what to do....

    What to Do if Your Kid Leaves Dirty Dishes Laying Around

    There are times when a parent has no clue what to do. This especially happens when our innocent babies and precious toddlers become willful and defiant 'tweens and teens. Kids capable of making choices out of laziness and disregard for their parents. Poised, charming 23-year old Annie sat on the couch in my counseling office today and told me a brilliant parenting strategy that her dad pulled on...

    Five Ways to Stop Preschool Drop Off Separation Anxiety (Yes, They Really Work!)

    The hardest part of my day used to be prying my preschooler and kindergartners arms off my legs when I had to drop them off at school. My sons' howls of protest hurt my heart at the same time it made me wonder what I was doing wrong or what was wrong with them. All three of my boys did it at some stage or another. I can reassure you that this does pass.... my oldest son did absolutely no...

    Ask Your Misbehaving Son: “What Kind of Man Do You Want to Grow Up to Be?”

    While on vacation recently at the beach, a family of five found themselves having a less than ideal time together. Lying on the beach and doing absolutely NOTHING sounded perfect for the over-worked parents, but the two older boys, James and Liam, wanted ACTION and their little sister Mattie wanted to join in the fun. The water-fight that started out as fun quickly turned into James and Liam...

    A Teenage Storm Today Makes Way for a Sunny Tomorrow

    There are many versions of a “Teenage Storm” – surly, annoyed, resentful, hurtful – perhaps it includes silence or is filled with an angry outburst claiming that you don’t understand. It could be your teen manipulating your emotions in the storm – looking for an opportunity to take advantage of your weakness. Whatever your particular teen brings to the table, I hope you let this parenting story...

    5 Easy Steps to Discourage Lying in Little Kids

    A dad who was in for parent coaching recently asked me how to deal with his 6 year old son's chronic lying. Here are five strategies he's going to experiment with and see how they work. Please let me know if you've had experience with this and what has helped.  Other parents will be grateful! Celebrate the Truth Watch…. when you anticipate a lie and get the truth, celebrate! Acknowledge that you...

    Compassion is the Key to 5-year Old Bed Wetting

    We all have expectations as parents. One thing we don’t usually expect is for our school age child to still be wetting the bed on a regular basis. So when it happens over and over again, we can forget that they are little people trying hard to learn and we can end up being negative and shaming - which can prolong the bed wetting episodes. I recently worked with a dad who was frustrated with his...

    Newborn Feeding Tips for Sleeping Longer at Night

    Establish Daytime Patterns During the day, you want your baby to eat and eat and eat so that at night time, she will sleep and sleep and sleep. This means frequent feeding times, ranging from every 2 – 3 hours. If breastfeeding: feed every two hours during the day. If formula feeding: feed every 3 hours during the day. If your baby isn’t acting hungry after the allotted time, still offer the...

    5 Tips to Help Your Newborn Sleep Longer

    Being a brand new parent of a brand new baby who had trouble sleeping longer than an hour at a time I utilized every resource I could find to help me. I met with professional sleep consultants, read popular books about parenting newborns, called the fussy baby network, and of course – scoured online forums for anyone suffering from the same lack of sleep with a trick or idea I hadn’t tried yet....

    MinimaLIST: 10 Newborn Items I Couldn’t Survive Without

    I am a devoted minimalist. While pregnant I refused a lot of different items because they seemed like gimmicks that would clutter my tiny apartment. However, after having a baby and actually dealing with the daily habits of taking care of her, I found there are 10 things I absolutely couldn’t live without: 1. Pacifier As I sat in the hospital with a fussy, fed baby that still could suck the...

    Ten Must Have Baby Shower Presents Under $20

    There are those people who follow registries and those that don't. If you're feeling like a maverick and want to get your expectant friend something unique that she doesn't yet realize she can't live without, follow our guide below. (And each item has detailed explanations so upon giving the gift, you can tell her exactly why she must have it!) 1. Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator Sounds super weird,...

    The Amazing Rock ‘n Play*

      Acid Reflux Reducer Dealing with a baby that suffers from serious acid reflux, I found I couldn’t just lay her on her back or I would be faced with a giant projectile spit-up. Yet the bed with a pillow, or Boppy-propping alternatives, all had their own downfalls as well. I found when I propped up my baby girl on a pillow on the bed she would sometimes “roll down” the pillow – leaving her...

    10 Lesser-Known, Must-Have, Perfect Board Books Make Ultimate Baby Shower Gifts

    Beyond Goodnight Moon and Pat the Bunny … past Sandra Boynton and Eric Carle - there are so many absolutely wonderful, lesser known board books that we wanted to share them with you. These are baby shower gift ideas the expectant mom will love receiving – and that will stay on the bookshelf for years to come! 1. Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond A perfect fun, rhyming book full of playful animals,...

    5 Peculiar Things My 1-Year Old Does

    So, as a first time mom I’m not sure what is normal baby behavior and what is unusual – so here is a list of things I find my one-year old doing that I’m not sure what to make of – Anyone out there have similar experiences? 1. Moans Incredibly Loudly While Eating Did anyone ever see the episode of Friends where Phoebe gives Monica the back rub and she moans so loudly it makes the whole situation...

    Empty Threats Make Weak Parents

    A father had no less than a gaggle of children in the grocery store... Granted it was a Saturday, granted they were in the toy isle, and granted he was alone. I watched him try to corral all of his kids for about five solid minutes – he would get two listening and then another one was waving a small plastic sword around as if she was fighting some sort of eight-armed dragon. It was funny – but...

    “I Overreacted and Gave My Child Too Harsh a Consequence…. Now What..?”

    Dad: Kerry, I’m a single dad and wondering how I can gracefully back out from having overreacted and given my son a harsher consequence than I should have? He’s 4 and was throwing water out of the bathtub. I got mad and told him he had to go straight to bed with no stories. I cooled down a few minutes later and realized I had overreacted. I told him I was sorry that I’d gotten so irritated and I...

    One, Two, Boom! Connecting with Your Shared-Custody Child

    Do you share custody of your children with their other parent and feel excluded from the other half of their lives? A single dad told me how he didn’t like that he doesn’t know about a full half of his kids’ lives because they are at their mom’s house 50% of the time.  This innovative dad came up with a game to encourage more sharing.  He plays “rock, paper, scissors,” (renamed “one, two, boom”...

    Rowdy at Dinner

    I frequently receive letters and emails from my readers sharing their successes and failures as parents. While I prefer reading the success stories, I also find value in parenting failures because it gives me an opportunity to reach out and offer advice on a topic that I’m passionate about, Love and Logic® parenting. I look for opportunities to encourage parents to reward good behavior instead...

    Happy Starts to Preschool

    Dear Kerry, I’m a stay at home mom of twin boys and I knew that starting preschool would be difficult for them to deal with. New places, new faces, a new routine and the absence of mom would be a lot for them to digest so; I decided that instead of dreading this wonderful event in the lives of my boys, I would embrace it with Love and Logic® parenting. Following are some of the ideas that were a...

    Enforceable Statements Turn Your Words from Garbage to Gold

    TWIN TERRORS CAN CAUSE DOUBLE TROUBLE Every parent knows how exhausting it can be to raise a child, especially toddlers. For parents of twins, that exhaustion is enough to make you see double, literally. What do you do when faced with temper tantrum throwing twin terrors at dinnertime and how do you elicit a positive response from one or both when they seem to feed off each other? It’s not easy...

    What To Do If Your Teen is Taking 45 Minute Showers

    My teenage daughter was taking 45 minute showers.  I'd yell and scream at her that she was wasting water.  I'd lecture that her showers were too long but nothing deterred her. Finally, I decided to replace action with threats and said "Sweetie, you get 15 minutes to shower and then I'm turning off the hot water." It worked!  She started taking 15 minute showers.  All those months of lectures and...

    Uh-Oh Song Works for a Toddler

    My one year old would always get into the dog food.  He wasn’t responding to my “No’s.”  So I decided to take action using the Love and Logic "Uh Oh Song." He would crawl to the dog food and I’d say “Uh oh, looks like a little quiet time"  and place him in his high-chair.    I repeated this process several times over the next 2 weeks. Now when my little guy crawls to the food, he looks at me,...

    Getting Kids to School On Time

    DAD’S DILEMMA After a busy morning of diapering, feeding, bathing and dressing his 7 and 3-year olds and tending to the needs of the baby (with a few temper tantrums thrown in here and there), dad was hoping for a little help from his toddler and oldest son. Little did he know that they had other plans. After posing the request to “get in the car”, dad returned to find the 7 and 3 year old...

    “I Want What’s On TV!”

      My 4 year old son wants everything he sees on TV so the other day when he said “Mom, I want that!”  I used my “brain dead skills” and replied, “I know.”   He finally stopped asking after 4-5 times of me saying “I know.” Then Daddy came home from work and my son looked at his daddy and said “Daddy, I want that on TV!” My husband replied “I know, buddy.” My son looked at him with wide eyes...

    My 1.5 Year Old Hates the Car Seat

    My 1.5 year old son didn’t want to get in his car seat.  He wasn’t responding to the choices I was giving him and instead was fighting me.  I finally got him buckled in and wondered what  Love and Logic skills I could use for a consequence for his sad decision.  He is too young for a delayed consequence, so I used an enforceable statement. I had a bag of M&M’s that I opened up and shared with...

    And Then My Daughter Said.. “You’re Not a Rock Star!”

    I started using my new Love and Logic® skills of empathy and going brain dead.  My 4 year old daughter wasn’t too happy when I set a limit about eating snacks before dinner.  She started arguing back and I calmly said “I know.”  I could tell she was trying to figure out a way to get me to engage with her. You had told me in class that kids would escalate their comebacks to new levels, but when...

    This Little Song Stops My Toddler in Her Tracks!

    Dear Kerry, We used to have 5 tantrums a day with my 2 1/2 year old little girl.  After switching from time-outs to  the Love and Logic’s “Uh Oh Song” we maybe have one a day. The best part is that now that I can redirect her behavior with just the words “Uh Oh.”  It was really a life saver when we were at a wedding and she was starting to misbehave I just said “Uh Oh," and she stopped and said...

    I’m Running Away!

    The other night my 7 year old son kept trying to argue about something.  I used my new Love and Logic skill of not engaging and calmly replied “I know.” He ended with “What is wrong with you!!” I replied again, “I know.” He yelled “Ugh!” and ran off. The next morning he comes down to breakfast with a fully loaded backpack, suitcase, and pillow in hand. “Mom, last night I was going to run away.”...

    Success Story: I Didn’t Say “Good Work”

    My 3 year old son was struggling with a Buzz Lightyear puzzle.  It was one that didn’t stay together well and putting in one piece would dislodge another.  He’d get frustrated, but I had just read a Love and Logic article about the gift of giving our kids a chance to struggle. I said “Keep at it.” He worked for several more minutes and succeeded. “Mom,” he proudly said, “I did it! Instead of...

    Top Ten Parent Education Programs in Denver!

    A big THANK YOU to the Red Tricycle Awards voters who chose Head & Heart Parents as one of the top 10 Parent Education Programs in Denver! We are honored to be listed among amazing places such as The Mama'hood and Naturally Loved Baby. The Red Tricycle awards are sponsored by Zulily.

    How Enforceable Statements Work for Picking Up Toys!

    I needed my 2.5 yr old daughter to pick up her toys.  She ignored me so I said “I only read stories to girls who pick up their toys.” She still didn’t do it and got distracted putting on dress up gloves. I thought I’d give her another opportunity and said "I have pumpkin bread for kids who pick up their toys,” and she still didn’t pick up toys.  So I was really really sad for her when the rest...

    Success Story: I Want It!

    After leaving our first Love and Logic class we picked up our kids from childcare.  We got some animal crackers from the vending machine and were on our way to the car.  Our 5 year old ran ahead of us and we asked her to come back several times.  She ignored us. When I was buckling her into the car seat I said, "Poor thing, you didn't listen to daddy, so you don't get to eat your animal crackers...

    Setting Limits for Bathtime

    After our son threw water out of the bathtub I said, "What a bummer.  It's going to take a while to clean up the water so we won't have time for books tonight." He was devastated, but helped me clean up.  He kept crying to read books and I used my brain dead statement and said "I know,"  a whole bunch of times. We stuck with it and it felt really good to stay calm! Shelly Moorman ©2010 Shelly...

    Success Story: “I’m Not Going to Kiss You Anymore”

    We always discuss in class about kids who will escalate to test the new skills mom and dad are using.  It's the old "short term pain for long term gain" adage. This mom thought it would be something only older kids would do, but preschoolers know how to escalate with hurtful words too. Luckily, this mom knew to stay her course and not react.  Read what happens... Using “I know” really started...

    Success Story! Love and Logic® Works with 3 Year Olds

    This mom shares her success story using the  brain dead statement "I know" over and over again..... My 3 year old didn’t want any of the two choices I gave him for breakfast, so I picked one for him.  He was not happy and kept throwing a fit.   I empathetically used “I know” about six or seven times before he finally took a deep breath, slumped his shoulders, and started eating quietly. Going...

    Waking Up Too Early? Teach Your Child to Stay in Their Room

    Here's a great idea shared by one of the parents in my Love and Logic Early Childhood Made Fun! parenting class: How do you teach your child to stay in her room when she wakes up too early? This alarm clock will glow green when it's time to go or orange when it's time to stay. Set the limit by saying: "Sweetie, you're welcome to leave your room when the light is green. If it's orange, feel free...

    When is it Okay to Rescue?

    Those who know Love and Logic™ know the damage done by C.H.P.S. "Chronic Helicopter Parent Syndrome." Parents who chronically rescue their kids from the consequences of their poor decisions create kids who are chronically irresponsible and chronically unhappy. "You are so weak that you can't survive without me" is the unintentional yet very real message sent by this parenting style. While this...

    It’s true: they actually do grow up

    After I sent Keaton's pictures in an email to my family, my sister-in-law wrote back to me: "Wow. Handsome young man! Our first senior. I think I'll always remember him sitting in my kitchen sink for a bath, mad that he couldn't get a hold of the stream of water. I keep thinking wow. This IS really happening. Can't really imagine the college that looms ahead. I think they really do grow up and...

    Three Different Parenting Styles

    Drill Sergeant | Helicopter | Consultant Were you raised by a “Drill Sergeant” always telling you to “Jump,” and you asking, “How high?” or were you raised by a “Helicopter” always hovering, ready to swoop in and rescue?  Did you ever think about what kind of a message these parenting styles send to your kids? Drill sergeants are communicating these messages:  “You can’t think for yourself.  You...

    Smiling and Crying at the Same Time

    All I could do was simultaneously smile and cry when I saw my oldest son's senior pictures. So grown up. A young man about ready to launch into adulthood. I think about how since the day I found out I was pregnant with him, I have loved and adored and protected and cared for and worried about the well-being of this kid. He and I were sitting together when the tears rolled down my face as we...

    Teaching Our Kids to Be Happy

    All of us want our kids to grow up to be happy adults. So, what’s the secret to raising kids who see the glass as half full rather than half empty? Teaching our children that happiness comes from within is probably the most important piece of the puzzle. In other words, happiness has more to do with how we think about our circumstances than with our actual circumstances. Much of this optimism is...

    It takes so much courage not to be a liar to our kids!

    I set a curfew tonight. One son came back on time; the other son didn't. He was late... and not just a little late. I wasn't mad; I was sad. I was sad because in order to help him learn that rules do apply, I HAD to do something about it. That "something" was going to make him unhappy. I'm a people person... I like people to be happy. I especially dislike being the cause of someone else's...

    Does That Mean “NO”?

    Here is a story of a mom in my class who learned a new skill to not engage in a battle with kids when they're protesting a limit. That skill is called going "brain dead." This works with kids of all ages. See what happens when she uses it to neutralize the "buy it for me" battle. "My 9 year old daughter and I were at Walmart In the middle of the afternoon rush when she asked for a bouncy ball...

    Which is Better: Drinking & Driving OR Drinking & Texting?

    According to statistics, we are better off drinking and driving in front of our kids than we are texting or otherwise looking at our phones while driving. In this day and age, there are more crashes caused by phone distractions than by drinking and driving. And society is full of messages about not drinking and driving, so they learn that's a bad idea. But texting? Talking? Looking at your...

    No phone = no food

    Giving up my phone while I'm driving feels a lot like starting a fast or cleansing diet where I've had to give up foods like dairy, wheat, sugar, yeast. At first, I feel antsy and irritated and wonder what in the world I'm going to eat. Same when I get in my car, I feel a bit lost, restless. I'm hoping that like a fast, this business of giving up my worst driving habit will leave me feeling...

    I’ve been peer pressured!

    Last night when I was out with girlfriends, my friend pressured me into a pact that I knew I couldn't/shouldn't say "no" to. We agreed that if we can both go TEN days without looking at our phones while our cars are in motion, we get to go dress shopping together. Dang, what was I thinking?? Oh ya.... that I want to live. And I don't want to destroy anyone else's life, either. This is gonna be...

    TGIF or TGIM?

    Today my sister-in-law said, "TGIF!" I know some parents who may not say it out loud, but on Monday mornings, they're thinking, "TGIM!" That means it's Monday morning and they can go back to work where they feel competent, valued and can tell whether or not they're doing a good job. Parenthood, wonderful as it is, doesn't tend to offer much by way of validation and affirmation of a job well...

    Missed the bus

    This morning, I raced down the hill with my 5th grader only to watch the bus pull away. Late. Dang it. I smiled and waved as I passed all the good, competent moms who had been on time and were chatting and smiling while they calmly waved goodbye to their good kids who had made it to the bus on time. What I wanted to do was throw Harry Potter's invisibility cloak over my car so the competent,...

    Desperate Situations Require Desperate Measures

    A dad I work with had to take his three young sons to a long, boring meeting in an attorney's office. He was sweating it because his boys were likely to act up. To inspire them to great behavior, he offered the reward of "Candy for dinner and movies till you fall asleep!" Now THAT was motivation to these three! (Not to mention a desperate parent.) On the way there, he upped the odds of their...

    Close the Refrigerator Door!

    After tucking in his three young boys, a single dad walked into the kitchen to find the fridge and freezer doors both wide open with a chair in front of the shelves. It had been his 3 year old in search of an apple an hour earlier. In our parent coaching session the next day, the dad asked me whether or not it was too late to address the issue a day later. I said that kids can remember...

    Sometimes Parenting With Love Hurts

    Kerry, I just had to share a story about my little Tate having the opportunity to learn from his mistakes. I had found some recipes to help the boys use their creative juices and love for cooking to actually contribute to our table this week. Today was our third recipe. Apple turnovers. They sat complete and delicious-looking on the stove. Around dinner time, as I was finishing up my baby...

    Things I Swore I’d Never Do: #1

    Even before I was pregnant – as someone who has seen her fair share of children born and raised in a myriad of different scenarios– there are things I swore I’d never do if I became a parent. Things only “bad parents” did.. Never would I give my child synthetic man-made formula instead of breast milk. And then I became a parent. And I had an incredibly fussy baby. And then I had to try and work...

    The Perfect Girl

    I think my fifteen year old has fallen in love. He can't get enough of this new girl. He's constantly asking if she can come over and he just sits on the couch and stares at her. He takes her on walks and lets her just lie next to him and hang out while he watches tv. This girl brings out the sweetest, most adorable view of my son who is also capable of being surly and all-teen-boy who is...

    Getting Kids to Pick Up – With No Nagging!

    A dad I work with just announced to his 3 little boys that he has a new plan for a "Sunday Shelf." Here's how it works: • When the kids don't pick up their stuff as asked, dad picks up for them and puts everything on the "Sunday Shelf." • On Sunday, he pulls it all out and charges them x cents for each thing he picked up. • If the kids protest, he says with empathy, "This is how it is in the...

    How do I know if I should stay with him?

    I often work with twenty-somethings who are sorting out relationships and wanting to choose wisely because they know that their happiness for the rest of their lives depends on it. One young woman said to me, "Being true to anyone else should not mean NOT being true to yourself." What a gift for such a young woman to recognize that if she had to choose between either her needs OR his needs even...

    Just Say NO

    We don’t have to convince our kids that we have valid reasons for saying NO. It’s ok to "Just say no." Recent text stream between mom and 14 year old son: Kid: Can I go to chad’s after school Mom: No Kid: Y Mom: Insufficient grades, make up work to do. Application to complete. Oh, and sick and supposed to be resting! No. Kid: Ok, I have some of the better grades and u sent me to school because I...

    Boys Will Be Boys… And Sometimes Girls Have to Play

    Growing up, I always thought it was boring when my big brother made me play football with him. I preferred to play Barbies. He teased me about "throwing like a girl." It was boring... not to mention scary, trying to catch that big bullet hurtling straight towards me, but I indulged him because it was a good way to get his attention without being picked on for sport. Since I was going to have...

    Boys: Some Things Never Change

    Boys: Some Things Never Change Some things DO change as boys grow up: they learn to tie their own shoes, use the potty and cut their own meat. But some things never change. Today, walking in Boston after looking at colleges, my 17 year old was a bit grumpy and in a hurry to get back to the hotel for a nap. Suddenly we heard a high performance engine and saw a candy apple red Ferrari 458 Italia...

    “I hate being a mom”

    "Kerry, I'm calling for support. Can you hear Weston crying? That's because I got too mad. The kids have been fighting. I can't stand this. I can't wait 'til they go to bed. I hate being a mom." What painful words to utter. It doesn't fit with the fantasy of how this mom thought it would look and feel to have kids. These words were spoken by a sweet, good mom who is devoted to parenting and...

    General Colin Powell Talks About Parenting and What Kids Need

    Kerry Stutzman, MSW ©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents +++++Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage...

    Talking About Tragedy With Kids

    A GUIDE FOR PARENTS, CAREGIVERS, AND TEACHERS  Children and youth can face emotional strains after a traumatic event such as a car crash or violence.1 Disasters also may leave them with long-lasting harmful effects.2 When children experience a trauma, watch it on TV, or overhear others discussing it, they can feel scared, confused, or anxious. Young people react to trauma differently than...

    How Do I Get My Kid To Do The Dishes?

    First, it is important that children contribute to the household. Not only does it send an important message to our children - “You are a valuable member of this family and we count on you to make our family function”- but it gives them a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.  Studies also show that kids who contribute at home do better at school and are more responsible with their homework....

    How Many Ways I Can Be Naughty at Bedtime?

    Three year old Wes used to play his favorite game at bedtime. It was called, “See how many ways I can be naughty.” He was the only one enjoying the game. His single, working dad certainly did not. Wes was very creative in how he played the game: he ran away when it was time to put on his pj’s. He clenched his jaw when it was time to brush his teeth. He screamed and threatened to wake up his baby...

    Little Kids Want to Be Big Kids

    Little kids want to be big kids, and parents can leverage that desire to get cooperation when behavior problems arise. In one example, 4-year-old Emma's mom asked her to blow her nose. "No!" Emma shouted. Remembering how important it was for Emma to feel like a big kid, Mom said, "Oh, that's right, I know that only big kids can blow their noses by themselves." Emma grabbed the Kleenex from her...

    How Do I Get My Kids to Stop Whining and Arguing?

    Do our kids need limits? Yes!  Do they thank us when we set them? No! What do they do instead? They whine and argue. They negotiate and beg.  They apologize and promise they won’t do it again. Parents who give in, engage, or try to reason with the child will lose the battle. Let’s instead, take a step back and learn a new approach to setting and enforcing loving limits. How do parents set...

    Energy Drain: Consequences for Children

    Would you like your life as a parent to be complicated? Would you like to live in a constant state of confusion and anxiety? Would you like to feel unsure about how to deal with the problems your children create? Would you like to frequently think to yourself something like, "Oh, no. Now what do I do about this?" Here is a tried and true recipe: Adopt the belief that every child's misbehavior...

    Part 3: Happy Family Evenings End With Happy Hour

    Wouldn’t it be nice to start each evening with some time to sit, relax and chat with your husband, wife or significant other?

    Part Two: Happy Family Evenings Continue With An Intention

    Most of us SAY that family comes first, right? Wouldn’t it be nice if living that motto was as easy as saying it? Whether we like it or not, work often drains the best from many of us and our family gets stuck the leftovers. Dale used to come home stressed, tired, and irritated by the people he had to deal with at his job. While he drove home, he’d be on the phone, finishing up his work day and...

    Part One: Happy Family Evenings Start with a Check In

    Evening family time can sound so lovely … family dinner, playtime, baths, stories and cuddles. In many households, however, people don’t quite feel like they’re “livin’ the dream.” Quite the contrary, in fact. Many couples I work with tend to “read” each other and make guesses about how their mate is feeling. Fact: they often guess wrong. They mistake stress for grumpiness and tiredness for...

    Life in a Pinball Machine

    I am standing in the kitchen getting breakfast ready for my family... Palmer (6) is banging on the counter with an action figure while he asks for a drink. Landon (2) is playing on the floor at my feet with his new and very noisy digger, saying "Play, mommy!" Keaton (9) is downstairs hollering at me to come down and build his new Lego set with him. Our houseguest, Mike, is wondering aloud if I...

    Didn’t I Tell You What I Don’t Want?

    Imagine this: you're sitting in a restaurant and when the waitress asks for your friend's order, your friend goes through the whole menu of what she DOESN'T want... "I don't want the burrito and I don't want the tacos and I don't want the chimichanga." How likely is she to end up getting what she was hoping to have for dinner? Not very. But don't we do that to our kids on a regular basis when...

    Want to Stop Yelling at Your Kids?

    Bless my kids and their cranky days. If my 3 boys were perfect and delightful all the time, I'd have no credibility as a parenting instructor. Lucky for me, I don't have that problem! Just the other morning, I was tempted to yell. I came right to the brink when two of them were participating in their well-loved sport that I call "Combat Brothering." I was so annoyed. It started with little snide...

    Don’t You Know You’re Supposed to Behave Today?

    For many years now, my children have unwittingly been actors in a drama... the play could be titled "Kerry's Fantasies." These fantasies consist of dreams and stories created by a much younger me in which my children are happy and well adjusted, squeaky clean and smiling. In this dream, there is an act by the name of "Easter morning" in which the happy children wake up excitedly on Easter...

    This is Not a Dress Rehearsal

    On my kids’ first day of school this year, I first dropped off my high schooler. Gasp. How can I have a kid that old? I always thought being the parent of a high schooler was for grownups! Heck, I remember when I thought that having a child in elementary school was for grownups. As I sent off my son to fend for himself in the big new world of public high school, I thought about how it seemed...

    Summertime Can Mean Bright Days but Parenting Blues!

    Here are some ideas to manage the sibling bickering that can wear us down during long summer days. Bicker Jar When my kids bicker, they each have to draw a slip of paper from the “Bicker Jar.” The slips have various forms of distraction written on them, from chores (you should see how clean my baseboards are!) to time spent together (“push your little brother on the swing 100 times”) to...

    Quick Tips for Dads

    1.  Speak Your Family's Love Language Read The Five Love Languages of Children, a quick, interesting book to improve how you express love to your family. Want to know the secret to making sure your child feels loved? Kids desperately need to know how much you love them. But if you don't know their special "love languages" you might as well be speaking gibberish. Every child (like every adult)...

    Blessings Box

    Ten years ago, when my children were young, we began a ritual that the whole family still enjoys today. It all started because I wanted to teach Joshua, then age five, and Joel, then age two, about thankfulness in a way that was more fun and tangible than simply lecturing, "Be thankful." The idea took shape one day when Joshua charged into the room, held up a dime, and said "Mommy, will you take...

    Things I Wish I Would Have Known

    I recently received an email from a dad who has taken one of my early childhood parenting classes. He asked if I had a list of things that parents of younger children should know "not to get hung up on." I surveyed a number of my friends with older kids and got so much great advice! Here is part one of what they had to say: Ann, mother of 3 kids, ages 14, 12 and 9 wrote: Don't get hung up on...

    Disarming Defiance

    For parents who deal with children being obstinate, defiant and challenging, here are a few thoughts on power struggles: If we deal with resistance by struggling back, not only will we damage our relationship with our kids and set them up to be rebellious, but we will be very frustrated.  It is a child's JOB to eventually claim control over his life and become independent.  "A child who feels he...

    Dealing with Potty Mouth

    My darling little Landon, the youngest of my 3 boys, somehow learned some foul vocabulary at a much younger age than his brothers ever did... When he was 3 years old, he'd say some obscenity and boy, did he ever get a reaction from his brothers' friends!  They were shocked and would tattle, and little Landon just stood there and beamed from all the attention.  I remember a funny conversation...

    What If You Have A Strong-Willed Child?

    One couple had a hard time with their 3-year old daughter in the beginning of the 5-week class.  It seemed that nothing worked with their strong-willed little girl.  Read below to see how things worked out.....   Hi Kerry, Thank you again for all your help and advice about parenting. Below is a testimonial from our parenting experience. After attending 2 classes of Love & Logic we had...

    The Cost of a Child

    +++++Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary and teenage children. As author of the easy-to-read "Save Your Sanity" series, Kerry...

    Everybody Does Better with Family Meals

    You know that family meals are important, and the research backs up what you know. Adults who have regular meals eat better, are healthier and are slimmer. Children and adolescents who have regular family meals do better nutritionally, socially, emotionally, academically and with respect to resistance to excess weight gain, drug abuse and early sexual behavior. In fact, family meals have more to...

    “I’m Bored”

    How often do you hear this? And how often are your kids happy with the suggestions you make? Typical parents say, “I hear it often, and the kids are never excited with my suggestions.” I know a man who says that he once made the mistake of telling his parents that he was bored. For the rest of his childhood he lived in fear that these words might slip out of his mouth again. His dad responded,...

    When Kids Complain About Their Teachers

    How does a wise parent respond when his/her youngster says, “My teacher is mean!”? Because we care deeply for our kids, there are two traps that are far too easy to slip into: Trap #1: Mary’s well-meaning mom says, “Don’t worry, honey, I’ll give her a call and get this straightened out.” Is Mary learning how to solve her own problems?  No! Trap #2: Freddy’s well-meaning dad says, “Well, if you...

    When Punishment Leads To: “I Don’t Care”

    Lisa was just about at the end of her patience with little Freddie. He was at that age where he was testing her constantly, and now he was at it again. He had been told many times not to tease the cat. In fact, she had threatened all sorts of dire consequences if he did. But alas, here he was teasing the cat in spite of her warnings and threats. It was at this point that she finally realized...

    Avoid “If-Thens” With Strong-Willed Kids

    It seems that just about every family has at least one child who spends most of his time trying to figure out what others want.. so that he can do exactly the opposite. Frustrated by their testy behavior, it’s pretty darn easy to fall into less than effective parenting practices. I hear some of these at the grocery store: "If you’re really good, then I’ll buy you a candy bar." "If you don’t stop...

    Bed Time Trouble

    When kids go full blast until bedtime they have trouble. Parents who complain that their children have a sleep problem often discover the problem is that they are expecting their kids to make an abrupt switch from a high activity level to sleep. It is better for a child to slow down and then switch from “bedroom time” to sleep time. Reduce the level of stimulation as bedroom time approaches....

    How Do I Get My Preschooler to Stay in Bed?

    Question from a Mom: "My husband and I are disagreeing about the best way to get our three 3 year old to  stay in bed. I wonder if you can point me in the right direction to find information from Love and Logic on bedtime struggles with young children."  Answer: Use the Love and Logic skill of choices to handle the bedtime issue. In the parenting classes that I teach, there are a few rules. ...

    Can ADHD Kids Learn, Remember, and Behave?

    Q: Can kids with ADHD really learn, remember, and behave? A: ABSOLUTELY! Q: What's the secret? A: Use the very same techniques proven effective with kids who don't have ADHD. Q: Are you kidding? A: No! Here's why. Children with ADHD have the very same behaviors as children who don't have ADHD. They just display them far more frequently and intensely. For example, all kids fail to pay attention...

    What Comes Around Goes Around

    Do you ever worry that your kids might grow up and spend most of their time making excuses about why they are too busy to visit or to help you when you're the most in need? Fortunately, there's a powerful strategy that kills two birds with one stone. It creates kids who're more likely to help you when you are old…and it also creates kids who're more likely to do their chores before you get old....

    The Meanest Mother in the World

    My son, Robert, and his girlfriend, Jenna, were here last night. Jenna asked me what I was reading, so I did a quick explanation of the updated version of Parenting with Love and Logic. After hearing this explanation, my son said, "So that's who is to blame!" I laughed and asked innocently what he meant. "Oh, you know. When I was growing up, it was more work to get in trouble than what it was...

    Dad and Shopping

    Marge's kids had a history of keeping her upset during shopping trips. They ran all over the store and were frequently lost. They had trained her to keep her eye on them to the expense of her doing her shopping. Contrast that to my own dad, who trained his kids to keep their eyes on him instead. We'd enter the store and as he went through the front door of Republic Drug he'd be saying, "Well...

    Be Careful About Taking Away What Your Kids Need the Most

    When we've got a seriously underachieving youngster, it's awfully tempting to resort to taking away all sorts of things in a desperate attempt to motivate them to do their schoolwork. Sadly, this often backfires, leading the child to become even more resistant about learning. Most of us wouldn't feel that motivated if our spouse said, "Ok, that's it! No more golf [or whatever else we might love...

    “Loan Me the Money!”

    Kendra and Mom were walking through the mall when Kendra spied the most "spectacular" pair of dark glasses. "Oh, Mom, they are perfect. They’re just what I need to complete my collection of eyeware. I’ve got to have them, but I don’t have the money. Will you loan me some? Pleeese! I’ll pay you back." Mom knew that a loan to Kendra was never a loan. In the past, asking for re-payment drew fits...

    How Do I Get My Kids To Cooperate?

    How can you use the Love and Logic skill of enforceable statements to get kids to cooperate? When kids hear “No,” they hear fighting words. Their defenses come up and the battle starts. So instead of saying “No,” say “Yes” to something else. Say what you’ll do, what you’ll allow, or what you have control over. Think of what you do for your kids and what they want from you. That’s what you have...

    “Mom, I Lost My Jacket”

    "Mom, I lost my jacket," my almost 12 year old son told me. "What? Grandma just gave that to you last week," I accusingly replied.  "Where did you last wear it?  Have you looked in your room?" "How could you have lost it?"  I ranted on. Then I caught myself.  Whose problem is this?  What happened to my empathy?  I tried to recover my Love and Logic senses and said,  "So that's pretty sad -...

    All the Other Kids Get to Do It!

    If your kids are old enough to talk, you’ve probably heard things like: "Jackie’s parents let her watch anything on TV she wants to." "Mandy gets to have her computer in her room. Like…this is the 21st century." Some of us have even heard horrifying things like: "Robert’s parents buy him beer for his parties. What’s the big deal?" or… "Michelle’s mom doesn’t care if her boyfriend spends the...

    How to Get Kids to Lie

    Rex had been terrorizing the other 5th graders at school. The other kids were beginning to refuse to play anywhere near him during recess. Rex's teacher was often convinced that he was behind most problems that happened when her back was turned. She explained it to his mother one day with, "I never see him cause a problem, but when there is one, he's the kid who knows all the details and looks...

    Thinking for Himself

    After reading Parenting with Love and Logic™, Tim's mom instituted a new bedtime policy. She told Tim that picking a sleep time was his decision. He was expected to be in his room at 8:00 each evening, but he could decide when to go to sleep. In addition to this, everyone in the family was to have "feet on the floor" at 6:00 a.m. No exceptions. Tim slept through his alarm the next morning, only...

    Some Thoughts on Video, Games, Computer Games, and TV

      Over the past two decades, video and computer games have become dramatically more fast-paced, realistic, and stimulating. Not long after their introduction, I began to suspect that these games had the same addictive potential as drugs, alcohol, and gambling. Today, family therapists and researchers have confirmed my fears. Listed below are some tips for helping your child avoid getting...

    Don’t Sit on the Potty

    Okay, I guess the title of this week's tip is a bit perplexing. So is the whole subject of potty training little tykes who've developed "throne aversion syndrome." Once this sad condition takes hold, the resulting power-struggles can be enough to bring even the strongest adult to their knees. If you're beginning to fight with your little one over using the potty, stop right away. That's right!...

    Kids, Money, Loans

    April has been declared National Financial Literacy Month. What a great time to teach your kids about loans! Many parents wonder if it is a good idea to loan money to your children. The authors of Love and Logic® say yes. If your kids will need to know about loans as adults, they need some practice with small loans. Jan proudly told her friend that she had just repossessed a $189 camera from her...

    Why Won’t You Let Me?

    It might be comforting to know that you don’t have to be able to provide a good reason for saying no to your kids. Our kids are not our supervisors. If something doesn’t feel right to you, that’s a good enough reason to say no. The best parents have the courage to say no when their intuition warns them about a situation even if they cannot put the reason into words. Fifteen-year-old Will used to...

    Connor Forgets His Snack

    We had been struggling to keep second grade Connor focused on his "morning school routine" list as he is a major dawdler, as most are. So one morning I realized both my husband and I were reminding him of checking his list, "Do you have your snack? Have you made your lunch?  Where's your water bottle, etc". Annoying for us and him I'm sure. I told my husband that we needed to let him fail and so...

    Mom said, “Come and eat lunch or we’ll have to go home.”

    One mom was at the park with her 2.5 year-old son named Foster.  He was heading down to the lake to play and Mom said, “Come and eat lunch or we’ll have to go home.” He ignored Mom and walked towards the water. So Mom said, “So sad, looks like we have to go home now,” and picked him up and carried him home kicking and screaming.  On the way home, Mom started to get frustrated but remembered to...

    Discipline: Is it Okay to Delay The Consequences?

    Many of us have the idea that we need to deliver immediate consequences when our children misbehave. That misconception can lead to many problems for the parent and the child. As a parent, when we react with anger to our child's misbehavior and shoot off the first thing that comes into our head, e.g., "That's it! You’re not going to the zoo tomorrow,"  we end up regretting it because we realize...

    Higher Test Scores

    In a study mentioned by Daniel Goleman in his classic book Emotional Intelligence, researchers studied two sets of kids. One group was able to delay gratification, the other satisfied their wants right away. All of the kids had a choice about a tasty marshmallow set before them. When the experimenter left the room, they could eat the treat if they wanted, but if they waited until the researcher...

    “Is It Really OK To Say ‘No’ To My Child?”

    In the mid 1960's a few parenting "experts" began to question whether we ought to say this word to our children. Some worried that it would damage kids' self-concepts. Others seemed concerned that it would stifle creativity. Kids need to hear "No" from time to time. Listed below are some practical guidelines: •  Say "No" only when you can back it up with meaningful actions. •  When we say "no"...

    Giving Choices Can Be Fun!

    I almost always do a lousy job of giving choices when I'm tired, frustrated, and trying to think of them on the spot. Are you like me? I've seen how much smoother life becomes when I give appropriate choices...but for some reason I get out of the habit. Someone gave me a gift! She walked up to me at one of my seminars and shared this little nugget of wisdom: I make giving choices into a game for...

    Some Thoughts on Parenting With Words

    Those familiar with Love and Logic know that we're big on kids learning life's critical lessons by making lots of affordable mistakes and experiencing the affordable consequences of such mistakes. We're not so big on trying to teach important lessons through lectures...or lots of words. The more words we use when our kids are upset or misbehaving, the less effective we become. With this said,...

    Protecting Your Daughter on the Internet

    After several discussions about the dangers of giving out any personal information on the Internet, Mom designed her own secret email address pretending to be an older boy. To her amazement she was able to contact her own daughter, who not only gave out her personal information, but sent a picture. All of this was in violation of the house rules for use of the Internet. Mom told her daughter...

    “Did You Do Drugs?”

    “Hey, Mom. Did you and Dad do drugs when you were young?” Look out, parents! This is not a simple question. This is a kid looking for some leverage and a way to get some tacit approval for drug use. This is a kid looking for the opportunity to say, “Well you did it too.” If you didn’t use drugs it is a great chance to explain why you didn’t. If you did, you might want to consider this reply....

    The Teenage Trust Card

    Teenagers often pull out the trust card defense. It sounds like, "Don’t you trust me?" or "You don’t trust me." Believe me. When they say this they have something to hide. So the best parental response is, "You’re right. That’s my job. You can trust that I will do everything I can to help you see when you are putting yourself in harm’s way." Wise parents know that teens often fail to see the...

    Limit Screen Time and Encourage the Act of “Doing” with Your Child

    What does your child ask when bored? Is it, “I’m bored. What can I do?” or is it, “I’m bored. What can I watch?” If it is the latter, you are raising a future watcher, not a future doer. And if this is the case, my heart goes out to your child. Becoming a watcher is not a recipe for future happiness and productivity. Brain research shows that the brains of doers and the brains of watchers are...

    Basic Love and Logic for Very Young Children

    How early in a child’s life can we start using Love and Logic? As soon as they can spit their pureed food, crawl away from you when you are changing their diaper, etc. Fortunately, the basic process is very simple: Step One: Hope For Misbehavior Mistakes made early in life have far more affordable consequences than those made later. Step Two: Sing an Empathetic “Uh Oh" The fewer words we use...

    “I Want More Milk!”

    I poured my daughter a bowl of cereal with PLENTY of milk. When she asked for more milk, I said, "No, you have more than enough." Of course she started whining.  I went brain dead! She started screaming "I want more milk!!!" and I said in the sweetest, singsongy voice I could muster, "I know."  This went on for about a minute, back and forth until I took her by the hand and led her to her room,...

    Temper Tantrums Aren’t Just for 2 Year Olds

    This year has brought a new experience for John and I …temper tantrums. That moment when Hailey clenches her fists, shakes uncontrollably, and squeals like a pig…randomly throughout our day.  Tantrums could be triggered over a number of different things in her “high-stress” day.  As adults, we talk about temper tantrums like they are a phase and disregard any logical explanation for why they...

    I Listen to Little Boys & Girls

    Interrupting can be a common problem with children. This is a story from a mom talking on the phone in the car whose children kept interrupting.  She said, "I listen to little boys & girls who don't interrupt their mommies on the phone." Of course, they kept interrupting.  She pulled over, got out of the car and kept a watchful eye on them while she finished her conversation.  She got back...

    “I’ll Stay Close by Next Time”

    It's scary when toddlers run away. Dad decided to take baby, new puppy and a 4 year old boy for a walk. The boy ran away from the Dad.  Once the boy returned, dad said with empathy, "This is so sad, we have to go home now since I can't be sure you'll stay with me." This little boy started crying and Dad responded with his brain dead one liner, "I know."  He kept repeating it over and over as his...

    How Nana Nixed the Naughty Word

    Little kids can be clever. It's fun to make them put their brains to work. One mom told me her son had gotten into the habit of using an unacceptable phrase. All her lecturing and punishing didn`t work. Then he made the mistake of using it while Nana was babysitting. Now Nana, being your typical grandma, was always telling him how smart and wonderful he was. Because of this he tended to be extra...

    Parenting teens is challenging

    No matter who you are It was a typical drive to school with my 15 year old today. We started off pleasantly. Then I started running through my checklist of things he needs to get done. Trust me, this is NOT his favorite mom-activity. He calls it “nagging." He got irritated. I got frustrated that he was pushing back about tracking down some clothes we had ordered for his tennis team. Now tennis...

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