Posts Tagged: Alyson Schafer

The Good Thing About Lice

Having kids in daycare or school can mean many of you are discovering the joys of lice. I know, I know. How can there be anything good about lice? Here is how I turned it into a good thing for me.

1) My own children had it so many times in kindergarten and grade one that I decided to join the Lice Committee at their school.  It was the first way I got involved in my kids’ school and I liked meeting the other ladies that volunteered and the sense of community it gave me with the other moms.

2) Unlike other parent volunteer jobs in the school, volunteering as a lice nurse really let me get to visit with kids. And a lot of them!  One by one, checking their heads (which is really rather personal and you feel a bit like a baboon going through another person’s heads with chop sticks), I got to have a little visit with the other kids in my children’s school. I knew kids by name and learned a little something about them so I could say “hello” on the school yard to so many of them.

3) I got very skilled at finding those little critters and their nits and differentiating them from hair casts and dandruff, so my own kids benefitted from my keen eye as I got better at “early detection.”  I got a reputation as being the “lice lady” and could offer my services to moms who wondered, “Is this a nit?” “Go ask Alyson to check your kids head!” Ah, nice to share my talents and help others. I was developing my “social interest,” as Adler calls it.

4) When my kids had to be treated and have their nits removed, it was a nice quiet time together, usually involving hot chocolate and watching a movie together and often missing a day of school. Any “exception to the normal day” was a bit of a treat for us both.  We made it an occasion.

5) When I was in the hallways doing the head checks, I could overhear the teachers in the classroom. This gave me a “peek” into various teaching styles that I never would have seen if I was “officially” visiting the class.  Who doesn’t act differently when there is a visitor in the class? So it was a good way to get to know the teachers of the school too. The good, the bad and ugly of that.

6) I learned a LOT about lice and could calm people’s fears. Lice like clean hair, not dirty hair, for example.  Yes, they are a hassle to deal with, but are they are not dangerous.  And yes indeed, the incident of infestation does drastically drop after about grade two.  I needed to see that for myself when it seemed a bit “perpetual” that first year.

So – if you get the note home saying, “Nits have been found in your child’s classroom,” don’t have a hissy fit.  Check their hair and don’t pass judgment on others. This is a part of the stuff of life and if you get a good attitude going, you can find the upside to anything.

Now shall we talk about pin worms? No – maybe not.

 

About the Author:

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine.  Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com

Move YOU, Not Them

Lots of parents rely on “time-outs” as a discipline technique.   I don’t mind time-outs, if they are applied the Adlerian way.  However, I want to offer up an alternate solution. You can add this one to your parenting toolbox for times when time-outs are not working:  MOVE YOU INSTEAD.

I don’t mean “Mommy is going to put herself in a time out to calm down before she acts badly.”  I am referring to impacting the dynamics by excusing yourself from being the audience of your child’s disturbances.  If you have a child who is a powerhouse, you’ll only make matters worse if you try to remove them from the dinner table for a time out when they start acting up.

Try this instead:  “I’d love to stay and have dinner with you, can you calm yourself or do I need to find another place to eat?”  If they continue on, simply say. “When things are calm I will join you again.”  Take your plate and calmly move yourself to eat in another room.

The idea is that you can’t MAKE them use table manners and be calm, but the benefit of using our society rules for meal-sharing is that people enjoy eating with you.  Because children are social creatures, they do want your company and will be intrinsically motivated to adopt our table customs because they benefit from your company.

Remember, when things are calm and you return to the table, it’s bygones! Don’t discuss their behavior; just get on with engaging positively.

Cooperative table behaviors – everyone stays together.  Disturbing table behaviors – mommy goes.   They’ll figure it out quickly, sans fights and lectures.

 

About the Author:

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine.  Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com

Can’t Ignore the Sibling Fighting? Put Them in the Same Boat.


I recently posted a parenting tip for handling sibling fighting that recommended you walk away and refuse to get involved in the conflict. I know for some of you, the worry is that your children are either too physical or too young, and still need your involvement.

That’s completely fine. If ignoring is not going to be a viable tool for you, then let me offer up another method called: “Putting Them in the Same Boot.”

This tool ensures that both children involved in the conflict perceive that you are not siding with one over the other. This method makes sure there is no accidental favoritism that can erode the sibling relationship.  It honors the fact that in any conflict, both parties are able to influence the outcome.  Since fighting requires both children to keep the situation hostile and unresolved, both should experience the same discipline for their disruptive antics, regardless of who started it, who had it first, or who owns it.  None of that matters!  If fighting erupts and doesn’t resolve itself, and you feel you must step in, try one of these lines:

“Looks like you two are having trouble being together at the moment. You can both go to your rooms and cool down for 5 minutes.”

“I guess I will have to put away the riding truck until you two can figure out how to share it without fighting.  When you have a plan worked out, come get me and I’ll give it back.”

“If you can’t agree on how to take turns on the family computer without fighting, the computer will be turned off for this evening. You can both try again tomorrow.”

“I am having a hard time enjoying my dinner when you’re at each other like this.  I’m going to take my plate to the kitchen.  Call me when table is peaceful again and I’ll come back.”

With both children being put in the same boat, they are now interested in getting their brother or sister to be cooperative with them rather than sustaining the conflict. With this new method, they are invested in not upsetting the other.

Give it a try and let me know it goes for you.  If you’ve already had success with this method, share your stories! Nothing is more motivating than someone else’s success story.

 

About the Author:

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine.  Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com

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