Posts Categorized: Julie Cole

How To Tell Kids They’re Not Getting What They Want With Positive Discipline

How do you say no to these faces?

I have a busy house full of my kids, their friends, neighbourhood kids, and an assorted number of random drop-ins. I’d rather not sound like the meanest mommy on the block, so I have a few key phrases that allow me to say “NO WAY” to my kids, without using those exact words. Here are a few of my favourites:

“Asked and Answered”

You know that annoying habit kids have of asking you the same thing over and over again in hopes of wearing you down so they get their own way?  Rather than saying, “NO” a hundred times, I simply answer the question once. If the nagging child continues asking, I respond with, “asked and answered.” It shows them that I’m unwavering and saves me from saying, “NO” repeatedly.

For example:

Kid: “Mom, can Addie sleep over?”

Me:  “No, not tonight.”

Kid: “Mom, PLEASE can Addie sleep over?”

Me:  “Asked and answered.”

(End conversation)

“One per Customer”

One of the downsides of giving a kid a treat is that they don’t just appreciate that one treat, they always beg for more. When I have a houseful of kids and I have them all screaming for more of this or another of that, I feel like going all “Soup Nazi” on them and screaming, “NO WAY, you greedy brats!” Instead, I use positive discipline to smile and say, “Sorry, it’s one per customer.”  In other words, take whatever is being served up and move right along.

“Try Again With Your Cool Voice”

You know that whiney voice kids use whenever they possibly can? Rather than disciplining children by telling them what NOT to do (i.e. “Stop your whining, it’s driving me CRAZY!”) I try to be proactive and tell them what TO DO (i.e. “Can you try asking again with your cool voice?) That way I’m not whining, about their whining.

“No Opinion Shopping”

Opinion shopping is when kids go to one parent for permission to do something and when they don’t like the answer they get, they go to the other parent hoping for a different outcome. When my kids or their friends try this, rather than screaming, “No, you manipulative little freaks!” I smile and remind them that there is no opinion shopping allowed.

All these phrases tell my kids they’re not getting their way, and allow me to appear calm, cool and collected while delivering the message. Do you have any parenting tips or “go to” key phrases in your family?

 

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six.

What you CAN say to a parent of a child with Autism.

There are often discussions about what NOT to say to parents about their children with autism. I wrote about it myself – how some innocent questions and comments can actually be painful for a mama raising a child with autism. Although well meaning, some comments have the opposite of the intended effect.

But please say something. Saying nothing can almost be worse. Someone recently asked me: what CAN someone say that is considered kind and helpful? That simple question stopped me in my tracks. Just asking it was a huge first step. I had a few simple suggestions that would go a long way with sensitive mamas. I’ve listed them below.

1) Ask the mother if there are any resources or books you can read to learn more about autism. That tells her you are interested in, and care about her child.

2) Ask the mother if a play date would be helpful and that you would be happy to host. Our guys need social interaction and an opportunity to practice their social skills. Sadly, they are often the last ones to get invited on a play date. Offering to host tells a mom that you’re not afraid of her child and that you are open to fostering a friendship between the child with autism and her own child. Feel free to step it up and make sure to invite the child to your kiddo’s birthday party. Those invitations can be rare occurrences as well.

3) Compliment her child. Mamas with kids on spectrum seem to only hear the negative stuff. Many dread what they’re going to read in the school agenda and worry that every time the phone rings it will be the school reporting yet another “incident”. Like every mother, we want to hear that our kids are awesome and it’s nice for someone to notice. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Here’s some examples:

“I noticed your son’s language is really coming along.”
“Your daughter was really kind to my child today.”
“I was volunteering in the class today and noticed your son sat really well in circle!”
These are just a few simple suggestions that will make a tremendous difference in the life of moms of children with autism. Don’t be afraid to talk to us. We’re moms just like you, and like all moms, we love to talk about our kids – even the ones with autism.

 

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six.

How to Light up your Backyard Party

Every year, we host a big Victoria Day fireworks party. For my American friends – this means that yes, we celebrate the birthday of a long dead English Queen, but we’ll take our holidays where we can get them. This past Victoria Day we hosted one hundred of our closest friends and neighbours (an annual event at our place) and even managed to relax and enjoy it ourselves!
With July just around the corner and firework celebrations preparing to light up the sky once again, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to host an easy (and epic) stress-free, fireworks party at your home.

Fireworks Party, Fireworks party ideas, How to put on a fireworks show, Firework celebrations

things that go BOOM in the night

Here are some tips on how to plan and enjoy the day:

1) Put a sign on your front door that says “go around to the back”. That way, you don’t have to clean. No one is going to walk through your house to get to the backyard. A party you don’t have to clean for is the best kind of party.

2) Have a few glasses of wine, because the first point is a bit of a lie. The time will come in the evening where there will be people in every single room of your house. But if you’ve had a couple of glasses of wine, you won’t care that they see that you actually have a very messy house.

3) Tell people to bring ONE firework with them, but theirs is the one to finish the show. That way everyone brings the most amazing firework they can find and the entire show is fantastic. No little junky disappointing fireworks at my party!

4) Tell people to bring a bag of chips. Then, make chips the only food you serve. The party is at night. Everyone has had dinner. Keep it simple.

5) Delegate to a dad. We’ve got a dad in the neighbourhood who is a bit of an amateur DJ. He puts together a playlist, brings his fancy speakers, and suddenly our backyard show becomes a “symphony of fire”.

6) Don’t clean up. I let the local raccoons take care of any food that is left out. I’m a bit like Cinderella that way. The next morning put your kids and any neighbourhood kids still hanging around on the job. They can clear up drink cans and perform a general yard tidy up. The kids had loads of friends over, and part of hosting a party is cleaning up after your guests.

Do you plan on blowing things up with firework celebrations in your backyard in July? Be sure to do it safely, and if you follow these simple tips, you’ll enjoy hosting a fun and stress-free event.

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