Parenting with Kindness

Your Positive Change Mentor
for Parents, Families and Youth Athletes

Positive Parenting FAQs

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 can help you accomplish more and feel more in control of your life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes. I love those family calendars that have lines for each member of the family! Also, by having a strong morning routine, evening routine, and daily laundry routine, you'll surprisingly find that everything in between becomes more manageable.


Say no to nonessential tasks. Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work. Personally speaking for me, considering my GOALS has been a HUGE help for me to decide what to schedule and what I can let go of doing or not add on.


Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it. It's amazing what you can get done in only 10 - 15 minutes when you put your mind to it. And by applying the "Just Do It" principle, it takes all that "Guilt" away that builds up when we procrastinate!


To see more Tips to Reduce Stress and Improve Productivity, click here: 



All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.


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 normal. Which way is easier?


Yes, building the riverbanks up and keeping the water from overflowing is easier. And so it is with kids. Kids push their boundaries like the river does.


As parents, when we try to reestablish the boundaries - put the overflowing water back in the river, we then are met with more resistance which is part of the individuating / pushing away of "wanting to get my own way" and all the whining, protesting and procrastination that goes with it, for days on end. This uphill battle is unsettling for all involved and takes up a lot of everyone's energy. The battles will stop only when the boundaries have been consistently held for days and maybe weeks. Sound familiar?


When you see the water beginning to rise, start building those banks up. Start with reminding them what the family rules are. Give them choices and be consistent with your follow-through.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.


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 say "Let me think about it" or "Why do you want this?" Give them time to explain how they see things. You may ask questions or may suggest things that they haven't taken into consideration themselves. Then take all things into consideration and deliver a ruling. Sometimes it takes less than a minute, other times it takes much longer. Sometimes it's "Yes", and sometimes it's "No". Yes, they still like to test the boundaries sometimes, but that's just part of being a healthy kid!

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

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 - not demeaning,

- no touching anyone (or animal) in anger,

- and if you can't say something nice, take a break from each other

  and when emotions have cooled, then work on the issue.


Consistent role-modeling, dialog, choices and consequences will improve your household's level of respect and peace.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

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 in children. The UK is now banning artificial colors in their food supply.


Why do artificial colors do this? They are made from petroleum! In fact,

- Artificial colors,

- Artificial flavors,

   and certain preservatives:

- TBHQ (used esp. in frying oils - ex: french fries, and is often a hidden ingredient in oils listed on labels, ex: breads and processed foods),

- BHT and BHA (used esp. in nuts, gum, and bakery goods, and also can be an ingredient not found on labels although could be in nuts and as a preservative for packaging food.)


All are made from petroleum!


Yep! That's right - crude oil!


Petroleum is the number one food allergen kids can have.


We discovered this in 2004 - with 2 hyper kids, and we began using the Feingold Program. After eating a 100% clean diet for a week, a very noticeable new calm was in the house. What a miracle! It was as if they had grown up - but in reality, the food that I was giving them no longer contained petroleum. The food I gave them was no longer making them angry and they could now control their impulses. I cleared out my cabinets of everything that was not on the Feingold Food List, and continue 100% compliance to this day.


We also discovered that corn syrup (which there are 12 different names for!) makes them hyper for a good few hours or so. Kids (and adults) can react to other types of food additives (ours react to sodium nitrate), and to foods that have gluten (wheat) and casein (dairy) in them. The Feingold Association website is a wonderful resource for helping families with any kind of food allergy. Their researched Food Shopping List shows all these other potential food allergens as well.


Your answers and miracle may start by clicking on this link:


All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

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 copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

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 baggage. 


Parents have to be very careful if they have a gifted child. Understanding and adhering to children's emotional, physical and cognitive developmental stages and having a balance of life skills and activities are paramount.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

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 this, we are giving them a vital, safe and secure place of belonging in the family, which is paramount in self-esteem and self-worth - which fights the attractiveness of gangs, cults and negative people.


We help our children grow into those responsibilities by communicating our boundaries and rules, teaching them how to achieve success, and giving them the tools they need to succeed. Research has proven that a small child needs to be told, in context, over 1,000 times what the boundary or rule is, or how to master the desired task successfully. An elementary aged child up through adulthood needs to be told 100 - 500 times. So, be patient, loving and consistent. You are always your child's first and foremost teacher.


When a parent does not hold a child responsible for something that is in their ability to be responsible for, the parent undermines the child's sense of safety, well-being, and sense of place and of belonging in the family. A child needs to know where it's boundaries are and that those boundaries are there consistently. Otherwise the child may feel so swept up in the out of control-ness (kids call that freedom, but there is a difference) that happens while outside the boundaries , that a child can feel incredibly grandiose (nothing can hurt me or stop me), and/or terribly little (no one sees me or hears me, everyone hates me), and eventually can lose his or her sense of Self.


A child can become "addicted" to those high adrenaline moments, and/ or the negative hatred of all things. A child can become so off-center over time that they lose the feeling of belonging in their family and will find others that feel that same way. Gangs, cults, and negative cliques of all sorts and all colors, are filled with kids that have lost their way and feed off those adrenaline moments and that negative hatred.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

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 children, and by learning your lessons and moving forward, you are showing them how to overcome problems in a positive way. You are laying the best positive foundation as you can, especially as your children grow in their independence.


The experience of being coached will add to your bag of parenting tools and you will help mentor and coach your own children through their problems. You will achieve all this at a far faster rate and in a much easier way than just trying to do it all yourself. You will feel good about the experience and you will see the rewards of your hard work, gaining new tools and accountability along the way. And most of all, you will gain joy and peace.


All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

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 supported is a community that is going through the same changes right along with you.


And that is perhaps how you found your way to this website. Parent coaching and group teleclasses are the perfect way to begin this next step on your journey through parenthood.


Building new habits and new ways of thinking takes time and dedication. There will be times of responding to stressful moments in the old ways, but you will know there is a better way and you will know that you'll strive towards that the next time around. Hug and reconnect with your children when you have less than stellar moments with them.

It takes practice, patience and forgiving yourself.


It takes outside support to make these changes and make them stick.

Personal parent coaching, group teleclasses, and home study programs provide you with that support. This support enhances your natural strengths, skills, resources, and creativity that you already have. This support will not judge you, and will not guilt or shame you. It provides an objective perspective and a multitude of ways to reconnect with your True Self and your True Parent within. Your happiness and the happiness of your children starts now.


I wish for you to know the joy and peace that I have found being a parent. I look forward to helping you find that joy and peace that you so desire!


Please visit the Classes and the Coaching pages for more info!


All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.