As often happens, over the weekend I ran into a client at the grocery store. Mid aisle we stopped for a brief greeting. As soon as the mom began to speak to me, her son piped up with, “Mom, Mom, can we get some Gatorade?” tugging at her jacket. “Please don’t interrupt me,” she calmly reminded her son and rewound the tape to complete her thought with me. “Excuse me. Excuse me, Mom? Mom? Excuse me.” he demanded. “Wait a minute, Steven. I am talking to Betsy,” Mom … [Read more...] about Excuse Me…and Dont’ Interrupt!
An Interview with Betsy by Heidi Stevens of the Chicago Tribune Q: Your kindergartener is extremely shy around strangers. How do you get her to warm up to relatives she only sees at the holidays? Few topics are more complicated than family at the holidays, which is why Betsy Brown BraunÖ, author of “You're Not the Boss of Me: Brat-proofing Your Four- to Twelve-Year-Old Child” (Harper Paperbacks)Ö, suggests a four-pronged approach. No. 1. Change your language. “I never use the ‘s’ word,” … [Read more...] about Your Child is “Shy” Around Strangers
“You will not believe this story,” began the email from a client who had just returned from family services for the Jewish New Year. She described the mother and three children sitting next to her own family. “She was knitting!” (Yes, you read it correctly, knitting.) “And when she was done knitting, she pulled out her Blackberry and began texting.” I queried as to her guess of the ages of the children. Elementary and middle school, was her reply. There really isn’t more I need to write … [Read more...] about Be the Person You Want Your Child to Be
For months I’ve waited for the chance to see Race to Nowhere, an incredible documentary film. The trailer was circulated around the web ages ago and caught my eye. I tell you now, run, don’t walk, to see it. (www.racetonowhere.com). That’s how important it is. When the lights came on in the theater after the Saturday matinee, I stood up and said to the other 20 people in the pathetically empty theater, “Am I the only one who is crying?” Maybe it was the ending piece about teen suicide, or … [Read more...] about Call Off the Race
I guess my book, You’re Not the Boss of Me, came out too late for the mom who wrote in the Two Cents Worth column of my local newspaper: I think the [delete name] Pony Baseball Association should consider eliminating playoffs for the younger players (Pintos). My Pinto player’s team has already lost and it was devastating for him and me. Age 7, 8, and 9 is too early for that kind of serious competition. There are so many parts to this letter on which I could and should comment. However, … [Read more...] about Whose Dreams Are They, Anyway?
While I cannot take credit for inventing the expression lousy local conditions, I use it all the time. It’s just so right-on-the-button. Lousy local conditions refers to those times when a child’s less than perfect behaviors are magnified or even created by the conditions of his environment. The child who has missed a nap or a meal, who went to sleep late or woke up too early, who has been dragged on too many errands, who has attended one birthday party too many, who had a bad day at school, … [Read more...] about Lousy Local Conditions