Parenting with Kindness

Your Positive Change Mentor
for Parents, Families and Youth Athletes

Positive Parenting FAQs

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All FAQs Answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan.

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Q. My teenage daughter has so much moodiness, anger and poor impulsive decisions, that it's upsetting the whole family. Where do we start to get our loving daughter back??

Posted on March 7, 2010 at 5:38 PM Comments comments (0)

A.  Teenagers and their push for independence can be a tough crowd to begin with, then add hormones and PMS.  Ugh!  



One of the things I would suggest is working with her to take specif...

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Q. I'm always running late, have too much to do, and my house is always messy. What do I do??

Posted on August 1, 2009 at 6:33 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  Here are my three favorite Time Management Tips:


Plan each day. Planning your day ca...

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Q. How do I establish boundaries with my kids?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A. I love the analogy that one of my mentors, Beth Sutton, has told me. Think of you and your family in a boat driving down a river. The river starts to rise and the water overflows the banks. Now your job is getting all the water back into the river. Uhg! Now think of the water rising again and instead of letting the water go over the banks, you build the riverbanks higher and higher, no water goes over the banks, and finally the river is no longer rising and returns to n...

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Q. We're having a baby/had a baby and are interested in positive parenting, what resources do you recommend?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 2:02 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  We utilized the Bradley Method for natural childbirth. Healthy Babies. Healthy Mothers. Healthy Families. Without the side effects of drugs given during labor and birth. Bradley classes teach families how to have natural births. The techniques are simple and effective. They are based on information about how the human body works during labor. Couples are taught how they can work with their bodies to reduce pain and make their labors more efficient.

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Q. How do we make potty training easier for everyone?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:38 AM Comments comments (0)

A. With potty training, being consistent is 100% the key to faster success. When a baby is strongly resistant to wearing diapers (around 18 - 24 months typically), switch to training pants during the day (not night time, that comes later) and DO NOT go back to diapers during the day - no matter what your plans for the day are.  If you go back and forth between diapers and training pants, you'll delay the success by perhaps a year or even more.  Be obser...

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Q. How do I make nap time easier?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:22 AM Comments comments (0)

A. A little one who's nap time has arrived can be seen in their non-verbal ques: they are rubbing their eyes; twiddling/stroking your or their clothes, hair or skin; playing quietly; etc., before they make the verbal cues: whining and crying.   Busy little ones may resist heading to the bedroom. Ask them if they would like to be carried to bed or walk on their own to bed. Give them to the slow and even count of 3 to decide. If they can't decide, then tell them you wil...

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Q. I noticed you homeschool. What curriculum do you use?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  We use Enki Education. It's an education with a unique blend of Waldorf, Montessori and United Nations Schools, grounded in Child Development and the Arts.

Q. How do I make my kids listen to me?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:17 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  Start by being consistent. By being inconsistent, you will be teaching them something that you do not want to teach.  It is better to break this cycle before your "No" means nothing at all. You can break this habit by biting your tongue and not saying "No" right off the bat.


Do this by first taking a breath. Then...

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Q. What would you suggest are positive family rules?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:16 AM Comments comments (0)

A. Help them understand why you have chosen the family rules - there is no I in Team! Teach them to respect the family rules and teach them to respect others, including you and themselves, by teaching them good listening skills and dialog skills. This includes having family rules that are enforced:

- no sassing back,

- no talking while someone else is talking,

- use words that are respectful ...

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Q. My child never seems to sit still and is always in trouble. Is it ADHD?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:01 AM Comments comments (0)

A. Does it seem that no discipline seems to help?? Sleep problems? Teeth grinding? School problems? Hyper? Non-stop talking?


The latest research shows that artificial colors create inattentiveness and hyperactivity i...

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Q. How do I get my kids to do their chores?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:58 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  Natural, real life consequences. The choice is to do/ finish the task or if the child does not do it and the parent has to do it, then not only does the child not get paid their allowance, but the child pays the parent for doing it. Other choices for consequences may be no TV, games, friends, or something of the sort. Grounding time varies based on age and gravity of situation.

All FAQs answers are copyri...

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Q. How do I have a better relationship with my teenager?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

A. For teens, give them appropriate and earned freedoms based on their maturity levels. Boundaries need to stay in check around study habits, sports practice, helping the family with household tasks, maintaining good family dialog and listening skills, anger management skills, and being a good role model for younger siblings, among many other areas.


Mutual love and respect goes a...

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Q. How do I help my gifted child?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:27 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  When a parent holds a child responsible for something that is not in their ability to be responsible for, the parent undermines the child's confidence and self-esteem. As an example, pushing over-achieving sport performance, academic performance or artistic performance, beyond their age development is sometimes downright traumatic. A child can make decisions about competition and perfectionism that are very unhealthy and have a whole adulthood carrying around that bagg...

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Q. How do I help my child avoid gangs, cults and negative people?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  A child needs to know where it's boundaries are and that those boundaries are there consistently. We also must give our kids appropriate, developmentally correct, responsibilities for their age, beginning as young as preschool. As kids grow, they become more responsible for their time management and for more adult duties and decisions, and yes, sometimes a child does need to fail and face natural consequences (but not unsafe consequences) in order to learn. By doing th...

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Q. My kids listen more to their friends and TV characters than me, what do I do?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:19 AM Comments comments (0)

A. I can help you and your children break out of old thoughts, old habits, old beliefs, old behaviors, and old ways. As a parent mentor and coach, I help you start right where you at, one baby step at a time.

Problems can grow into bigger problems quickly as children grow and are more influenced by their peers and media.


As a role model for your childr...

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Q. How do I become a more effective parent?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:11 AM Comments comments (0)

A. There are over 105,000 parenting books at Americans love parenting books, but books can only bring us so far in our understanding, and they take time to read, digest and implement. Hands-on experiential, interactive learning opportunities are how humans learn best. But where and how? Suddenly we find ourselves feeling like we are the lone ones, not sure if we'll find acceptance of our fledgling attempts to make changes. What you could really use to feel ...

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Not now, Mommy's not feeling good . . .

(part 1)


Feel worn out? Tired? Got the cold or flu the kids brought home from their friends?


The day-in and day-out demands of a parent's life can leave a person feeling not their best, and then it's even harder to be a patient and loving role model and parent. Add onto that, lack of sleep, consuming extra caffeine and sugar for energy, hitting the fast food places and processed frozen dinners too many times a week, all leave our immune systems susceptible to whatever is going around at the time.


I have created this multi-part series on some natural helpers from Mother Nature, to help today's parents be the best they can be.


Read more here . . .


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

-Melodie Beattie

“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,

For babies grow up, I’ve learned, to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.

I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.”

 - Author Unknown


(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).


I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.


I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.


I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.


I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner..'

There would have been more 'I love you's' More 'I'm sorry's.'

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.  Look at it and really see it . Live it and never give it back.  STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!