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Calm Kids ™ Parenting Tools Creating Stress-Free Homes for Challenging Children. Presented by Kirk Martin Executive Director, Celebrate!Calm February 4, 2009. About Celebrate!Calm. Leading educational organization based in Washington, D.C. Serve clients in 27 countries.

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calm kids parenting tools creating stress free homes for challenging children
Calm Kids™ Parenting ToolsCreating Stress-Free Homes for Challenging Children

Presented by Kirk Martin

Executive Director, Celebrate!Calm

February 4, 2009

about celebrate calm
About Celebrate!Calm
  • Leading educational organization based in Washington, D.C.
  • Serve clients in 27 countries.
  • Brain Boosters™ curriculum used in over 1,300 schools.
  • Calm Kids™ curriculum used in over 12,000 homes.
  • 2,500 children listening to empowering CD’s.
  • Calm Couples™ curriculum used in 125 churches.
about celebrate calm kirk martin
About Celebrate!Calm / Kirk Martin
  • Founder and Director of Education
  • Partnerships with PH.D’s in special education, leading research scientists, psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists.
  • Published author of four books, numerous articles and a newsletter read weekly by 9,000 parents and teachers.
  • Worked directly with over 1,500 intense children and families through innovative Camps in the Martins’ home.
  • Equipped 45,000 teachers, parents and students with unrivaled insight and interventions through workshops across North America.
  • Featured in The Washington Post, USA TODAY and dozens of newspapers; appeared on WGN-TV, Good Morning, New York and National Public Radio.
session creating stress free homes for challenging children
Session: Creating Stress-Free Homes for Challenging Children

DESCRIPTION:

  • The proliferation of disorders is symptomatic of inordinate stress faced by our children. Fortunately, parents can create the consistency and security children crave by parenting with integrity. By modeling self-control and learning practical calming tools, parents will foster greater responsibility in their children, especially those affected by ADD, ADHD, ODD, OCD and Anxiety Disorders.

THREE LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • To understand how calm parental authority fosters greater responsibility in more intense, challenging children.
  • To learn a transformative approach beyond traditional behavior management.
  • To strengthen calming tools for a calm home.
shame i didn t like my son
Shame: I didn’t like my son.
  • 3 Questions
    • What if there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with your son?
    • What if he is wired this way on purpose and you are frustrating those purposes?
    • What if instead of trying to change Casey, you need to change? Ouch.
  • The message: it’s time for us to grow up as parents!
how we are destroying a generation
How we are destroying a generation
  • Cheating nature: cannot rush life.
  • Handicapping kids by taking responsibility for their behavior.
  • Doing what is expedient rather than problem-solving.
  • Engaging in constant battles, non-existent family life.
core principles
Core Principles
  • Be proactive, not reactive.
  • Do not react out of fear and anxiety.
    • Fight over jacket in a.m.; bedroom a mess; lectures; defiance; homework.
  • 2 fatal flaws of traditional behavior management model”
    • Focus is on controlling behavior of another human being--puts child in control.
    • Focus is on changing outward behavior.
  • Calm philosophy: Meet root needs; do not treat behavior.
  • Control myself, not others--restores power to me.
  • Shift responsibility to children.
root need 1 order and ownership
Behavioral Manifestations

Disorganized and forgetful

Executive function inhibited

Slow processing

Asynchronous development

Bossy, control others

OCD, eliminate unknowns

Enforce justice and fairness

Behavioral Manifestations

Anxiety

Easily overwhelmed

Difficulty with transitions

Meltdowns over little things

Shut down from negativity

Defiance

Defensive, lie, blame

Root need # 1: Order and ownership
root need 2 purposeful stimulation
Behavioral Manifestations

Fidget, tap pencil, doodle

Hum, sing, chew

Zone out

Procrastinate

Work in spurts

Behavioral Manifestations

Argue like attorneys

Last word, strong-willed

Oppositional

Bored easily

Do tasks the hard way

Root need # 2: purposeful stimulation
what we can learn from video games
What we can learn from video games
  • Rules are the same every time they play.
  • Rules designed to help kids win.
  • Consequences are consistent.
  • Video games do not yell, scream, threaten, lecture or nag.
  • Video games are a safe place.
    • Provide consistency.
    • Something kids can count on.
choices promises
Choices & Promises
  • Discipline is something you do FOR your child, not to your child.
  • My son can make any choice he wants; he just can’t make any choice he wants without a consequence.

Example: 2 siblings playing video games.

why we embrace tantrums
Why we embrace tantrums
  • Opportunity to prove personal integrity.
  • I provide choices and “keep my promises” (e.g. enforce consequences)--speaks of personal integrity.
  • You cannot move me.
  • You can count on me to keep my word.
  • When I control myself, returns responsibility on kids.
3 ways we become responsible for our kids
3 ways we become responsible for our kids

Example # 1: Grocery story--bribery.

Example # 2: Mom at home--begging, pleasing, resentful.

Example # 3: Dad to child: “If you don’t control yourself, I’m not sure I can control myself.”

When we become responsible for our kids, we become needy and dependent. Children assume inordinate power they cannot handle.

whatever
“Whatever!”
  • Why does your daughter roll her eyes at you?
  • “Whatever!”
  • “My son is driving me crazy!” “My daughter is pushing me over the edge!”

Who has power over your emotions?

Unwittingly changing structure of child’s brain to seek

negative stimulation.

take back power over your emotions
Take back power over your emotions
  • Stop cheating nature/ throw away the microwave.
    • Simplify life. Slow down.
    • Don’t give power to the Jones’.
    • Be the adult. Say NO.
  • Teach to problem solve instead of solving their problems.
  • Provide down time at school and at home.
  • Create traditions your kids can count on.
  • Ask kids what they want the family priorities to be.
be the calm
Be the Calm.
  • Take care of yourself so you are not needy.
  • Control the one person you can control--you.
  • Deal with own anxiety before addressing child’s behavior.
  • Practice a calm posture.
  • Color yourself calm.
  • Sit on the floor. Whisper. Play together. Take 5.
  • Practice a calm routine for parents.
  • Practice a calm routine for kids.
the infamous marine s question
The infamous Marine’s Question

“How can we expect to achieve calm in our home if my seven-year-old son cannot execute simple commands?”

the greatest gift you can give your child
The greatest gift you can give your child?

The example of an adult who is in complete control of his emotions, who cannot be moved by circumstances, who does not give power over his decisions or attitudes to anyone or anything.

Now that is power.

10 steps to turn defiance and disrespect into an opportunity to problem solve
10 steps to turn defiance and disrespect into an opportunity to problem solve

Goal is a conversation, not a confrontation.

  • Control your own anxiety
    • Feel guilty, own upbringing, live at home until 30
  • Calm yourself. Don’t take it personally.
    • Sit down, put feet up, soft voice, draw child in rather than push away.
  • Do not demand respect (like demanding love--needy)
    • Show self-respect. Walk away if need to.
10 steps to turn defiance and disrespect into an opportunity to problem solve20
10 steps to turn defiance and disrespect into an opportunity to problem solve

4) Ignore initial bluster.

  • Don’t choose battles that don’t need to be fought.

5) Put the choice back in their court. Remove yourself and show trust.

  • “It’s your choice, not mine. No chores, no screens. Your choice.”
  • “I know you can do it.”
10 steps to turn defiance and disrespect into an opportunity to problem solve21
10 steps to turn defiance and disrespect into an opportunity to problem solve

Give child tools.

6) Look past the outward behavior and go straight to the heart.

  • “That doesn’t sound like you. What’s going on?”
  • That sounds like frustration and anxiety speaking.

7) Motion changes emotion.

  • “I don’t feel like fighting here. Why don’t you grab the chips and I’ll get some salsa?”
  • “Want to go swing/ build with Legos/ play catch?”

8) Practice your calm routine.

  • “What are you going to do with that frustration/anxiety now?”
  • “Don’t take your frustration out on people. Attack the anxiety.”
10 steps to turn defiance and disrespect into an opportunity to problem solve22
10 steps to turn defiance and disrespect into an opportunity to problem solve

Be proactive: don’t react to behavior. Meet root need.

Defiance--don’t feel in control of self or situation.

Disrespect--don’t have tools to deal with frustration.

9) Give child ownership.

  • “Here’s the goal. How do YOU want to accomplish it?”
  • “I may have some thoughts on that. Come back later if you want to hear.”
  • “Take 24 hours and tell me what YOU would do.”
  • Sometimes want to be heard. Aquarium example.

10) Build gifts, talents and passions.

  • Find opportunities for child to express gifts, talents and passions.
  • Builds confidence, vision, ownership.
how kids apply the power principle
How kids apply the power principle.

If someone can “make” you react, they have power over you.

  • Sibling issues.
    • Each sibling is responsible for own behavior and reactions.
    • If you react to your sibling, you are your brother’s puppet.
  • Peer issues.
    • If compromise values to make someone happy or get them to like you, the other person has power over your emotions.
    • If you won’t reach out to an outcast because your friends will reject you, then you are their puppet. Your friends make decisions for you.
benefits of calm
Benefits of Calm.
  • Controlling my own behavior models calm and puts responsibility back into hands of children.
  • Each person in the family is responsible for his own behavior, attitudes and responses.
  • Family does not react or seek negative stimulation. Each person retains power over emotions.
  • The only philosophy that truly works because the only person I can control is me.
let s give our kids the greatest gift possible
Let’s give our kids the greatest gift possible
  • Let’s give our kids the greatest gift possible: the example of a mature adult who has grown up and taken responsibility for his own actions, attitudes and responses.
thank you for the important work you do
Thank you for the important work you do.

Contact us if you have questions.

Kirk Martin

Kirk@celebratecalm.com