What to Do When You Wish Your Kids Were a Little More Independent

Are your kids pushing your buttons because they ask you to do so much for them? If so, you aren’t alone. In fact, at one point or another, most parents think: This isn’t fun. I don’t enjoy this. I’m irritated a lot.

We love our kids so much that it hurts. But sometimes, we’d rather not spend so much time doing things for them. And this is even more compounded now, when families are staying home, in close quarters, and spending all of their time together.

Here is a strategy for establishing some boundaries in your household and reducing some of the tension by encouraging your children to be more independent. The strategy is called “Rights, Responsibilities, and Privileges,” and it’s based on the belief that households function better when children understand that their privileges are directly tied to their responsibilities. Beyond that, you can raise more resilient children by teaching them self-efficacy.

Have a conversation with your...

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What to Say When Your Kids Are Unkind to Their Siblings

Oftentimes, when children are failing in some area, they do not see the long-term repercussions. They are unkind to their siblings because they do not see that the years of taunting will turn into a long-term failed relationship.They fail at school because they cannot connect the dots between homework, getting into college, and getting a dream job.

As parents, we often want to lecture them: "You have to do your homework! Be nice to your little brother!"

But if we can take a step back and genuinely, curiously, ask them to explain their plans, we transfer responsibility to them, and we begin the process of empowering them to make choices and live with the outcomes of these choices.

So we might ask: "What's your plan with respect to your relationship with your little brother? I don't think he's going to like you very much if you keep this up, so tell me what you see happening. When you are adults, and we plan a family vacation, what does that look like? Is it fun? Or is your brother...

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