Building Connection

Building loving relationships with your child is an important part of raising children. Fostering interpersonal relationships help children become healthy young adults. It teaches them how to develop and maintain their own personal relationships. Each child has their own interests and needs, and by spending time with them one on one you will become aware of their passions and talents. Make it a point to share their interests with them. Perhaps one child loves sports. Find various sporting events that you can attend together. Maybe your child enjoys reading mysteries. Spending time together at a book store would be a great way to share this interest together.

As a parent you will learn more about what they are thinking and how they feel. Your child will be more likely to open up to you if they have a chance to have your undivided attention. There is a sense of comfort knowing they get to have you all to themselves, even for a short period of time without having to vie for your attention with other siblings around. This says to your child “You are important to me and I’m interested in what you have to say.”

Amy & SonHow will you build family strength today?


The sibling relationships are the longest interpersonal dynamic in your life. Research shows that those with positive sibling relationships report higher life satisfaction and lower rates of depression later in life. Siblings who support each other are more likely to adjust to any disruptions that happen in the family in a positive, healthy, balanced way.


Sibling relationships are authentic; growing up in the same environment, sharing the same parents, and sharing common memories and experiences. While older siblings are learning strategies to negotiate parental boundaries, younger siblings are constantly learning and developing problem-solving skills. Older siblings have a profound influence on the development of language and overall cognitive growth in the younger sibling.


Are you asking yourself how you can get your kids to get along so they can benefit from a positive sibling relationship? There are many ways parents can encourage and promote a healthy sibling relationship. Don’t tolerate negative and harmful behaviors in a sibling relationship, and avoid showing any type of favoritism. Be wary of sibling rivalry and make sure to set aside one-on-one time with each child, showcasing and praising their accomplishments and interests, while also listening to their challenges and concerns. Encourage a healthy relationship between siblings, and encourage them to maintain a relationship in their older years and do things together. Surprisingly enough, sibling conflict is instrumental in developing effective communication skills and developing trust. Teach them how to negotiate and compromise and always look for win-win solutions. At www.familystrengthcoaching we specialize in families and teaching yours how to communicate effectively with each other. Contact us for more information. Jacob1


How does your family show their love to each other? We all have different ways of expressing our emotions to one another, but did you know that how you express love to your children will set the stage for how they will give their own love and accept love from others? When we express love, our children will learn what love looks like. Below are just a few tips on ways you can express love to your children on a daily basis.

  • Be there physically. Wrap your arms around your child and let them feel your love. Remember to give hugs daily, not just one but many hugs throughout the day!
  • Be present at the things that matter to your child. When you’re at their sporting events, watch them. Be sure to cheer them on instead of getting lost in conversation on the sidelines with other parents as we often do. Tell them you loved watching them play. When your child is telling you a story about their day, listen and ask questions. This is what matters to them.
  • Value your family time. Show your children that you put family first by carving out time to make memories together. Create family traditions!
  • Always encourage your children. Encouraging their own dreams or trying something new is what will instill confidence in children.
  • Always look for the good in your children. It tells them how great your love for them is. Children’s self esteem rises when you say “I love you”.


Don’t wait for next February to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Try showing your LOVE everyday to your family members. I wish you and your family all the LOVE your heart can hold. If you have a question about how you can express more love to your partner or child, please head over to my website at .

Hearts & Love



time outSomething that all parents struggle with, at one point or another, is setting boundaries for their children. This is especially difficult during the Holiday season, especially when schedules have changed, bedtimes are later, and relatives come to stay. Kids still undoubtedly need boundaries and limits to feel safe and help keep their own behaviors in check even during the holiday cheer.

Setting and enforcing these limits can get tricky at this time of year. We want to avoid force, threats and bribes, because this can make the tension rise in your home. Telling your child, “If you are a good boy then you can stay up late”, is a lose – lose situation between you and your child. Or when you say, “If you don’t clean up your toys right now, I will take away your lovie” is another lose – lose situation. You are already at your limits with your patience, your emotions have run high and before you know it, you have emotionally lost control.

Here are some tips that can help make setting consistent boundaries a bit easier:

THINK AHEAD -make a strategic plan with your family. We know where our kids fall apart. Trust me, I have been standing in the aisle at a toy store watching my child cry, stomp her feet, and demand another Barbie. Be one step ahead of yourself. Set limits BEFORE you walk into the story or maybe think ahead to running this errand at the beginning of the day, not when your child has been schlepping around town all day.

Don’t be wishy-washy and avoid using weak language when giving directions. State your expectation before you enter the store. Remember that nonverbal cues carry a huge importance. Always down and eye-to-eye with your child. Mean what you say while crouched down, in close proximity and wearing a neutral facial expression. Use a warm, but firm tone. Standing high using a sharp tone can be scary to your child and initiates a “fight or flight” alarm. You need to stay connected to them and stay emotionally regulated.

Don’t expect a child to comply without getting upset. Set the limit- then make space for their feelings. It is helpful to label their feelings. “I see you are angry”, “it’s really difficult for you right now”. Labeling and acknowledging their feelings helps your child feel understood. It’s good to be understood even if you are getting a “no” response from your mommy or daddy. Being calm and reassuring at these times is also key. Handling disappointment is not something people learn by being shut down emotionally. Have developmentally-appropriate expectations for your child.

Remember how much they are growing on each level, emotionally, physically and psychologically. Stay decisive even when you change your mind. Have confidence in your decision. Staying consistent in your decisiveness is way more important than a rule being unwavering. Don’t explain your reason for a limit more than once. Once a child is in the process of having a tantrum, gaining control of them emotionally should be your first priority.

Lastly, use humor! Animate, and saturate with wit. Use objects, a silly tone, or invent a wild character. But this tactic takes just as much energy as bargaining or yelling. When you feel like you are losing control and need some coaching during the process, be sure to contact us at www.familystrengthcoaching for some reassuring ways to help keep your little ones cooperating during difficult times.

“If people are only good because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we indeed are a sorry lot” – Albert Einstein.

HOME Alone For The Holidays?

Are you thinking about how you will spend your time when your children are at your exes house for the holidays? Dealing with alone time can be difficult for you when the children leave to spend holiday time with the other parent.  When it comes to switching homes we usually focus on the children and keeping a smooth calm transition. As the parent being left behind, dealing with the emotions and sadness can make the holidays not as enjoyable. Feelings of jealousy and resentfulness as well as being lonely can sometimes take over and ruin the time you have alone as opposed to enjoying the time to yourself. Below are some things you can do to try and make your holidays more enjoyable without the children being there.

Make plans for when the kids will be away, especially on weekends and holidays. Evenings can get lonely so try and keep yourself busy. Schedule a relaxing dinner out with friends, maybe someone that you have not seen in a while. Reconnecting with an old friend can be uplifting to your spirit. Plan things you love to do, perhaps a movie, start that book you have been meaning to read, get a massage. Treat yourself extra special. Take care of you.

Family and friends can really help during this time. Reach out for loved ones when you need to. Having a better understanding of what you are feeling can help make this difficult time a little easier. Have something planned that you are really looking forward to! That will help keep things fun. Always keep in mind that seeing your children have a healthy relationship with both parents can only make them more caring and compassionate adults, and after all, as parents this should be something we all want for our children.

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season from FAMILY STRENGTH COACHING!.



Teaching A Child Gratitude

GratitudeNow that the season of giving is here, we all want our children to understand the meaning of gratitude. Saying Thank You is something we can teach our young children and as they grow into adults they will be able to grasp the meaning and understand the spirit and generosity that goes into this special time of the year.

Families can create a circle of gratitude during family meals.  Going around the table and asking our children to say something they are grateful for that day. Making sure we put more emphasis on the giving rather than receiving will also make our children understand the meaning of the holiday season.

Giving to others from a place of love and kindness can only strengthen our children as they come to understand the true meaning of the holidays. The lessons children are taught about behavior and manners become increasingly important when we send them out into the world. Modeling gratitude for our children should be our first step in teaching them. As parents we are their first source of information and education between right and wrong.  While cultivating gratitude is a year round task, it can become very challenging during this holiday gift giving season.

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How Do You Stay Organized


It’s her. That mom who has her nails and hair perfectly done. Her perfectly dressed children, who are clean as a whistle, following behind her. Her bills are paid, her house is clean and she even had time to wash her car! She can be the envy of all the other moms, the moms with their hair tied up on the top of their heads and whose kids have their previous meal still lingering on their shirts. You might be wondering what pixie fairy dust she has sprinkled all around her??

Staying organized with children can be a challenge for many moms, seasoned or new to the game. It is important to remember your P’s and D’s in order to maintain order in your household. There are just two P’s and three D’s and even with your little ones are trying to tear it down you will stay organized.


MOMPlanning. Although our plans may not always come to life like we hope, it is important to have a goal in mind regardless. Creating a plan allows moms to make the best use of their time and accomplish their goals.

Persistence. Like the old saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed  try… try again. Day’s will not always go as imagined and kids will not always behave like asked. The best moms are the ones that leave a bad day where it belongs, in the past.

Now that you have the two P’s down try the three D’s. (I promise I won’t give you anymore letters to remember!!)

You have made a plan and committed to being persistent in getting that plan done or at least trying. Here is a very helpful mantra that use with my mom clients.

Do it. Choose to take on that task. Something you know you can get done. Something that you need to know gets accomplished.

 Delegate it. Assign or Delegate this chore to someone in your family.

 Dump it. Just forget about it. It is not going to matter in the long run.

What tips and tricks do you have to manage your time while still being the best parent around? Share below and don’t forget to look out for more hot topics!


Explaining Separation Or Divorce To Children

Explaining Separation or Divorce To Children

Did you know that one-quarter to one-third of all families are headed by a single parent. Now more than ever this seems to be normal for a lot of families. During the last three decades of the twentieth century, single parent families were on the rise in the United States.

If you are about to become a single parent family or have just embarked in this new territory there are many questions your child may have for you as they start to understand the new reality of their family life.

A few helpful tips for navigating separation or divorce with your children:

  1. Minimize negative disruptions in your children’s life. Keep the routines the same. I know its difficult and being a single parent requires help. Even two family households need help but try to keep routines simple with as little interruption as possible.
  2. Address the change. Explain to your children that some things will change but other things will stay the same. For example if you are thinking about moving, try considering staying in the same home and having the parents switch in and out. This will keep the children in the same routines, school, neighborhoods which will also help minimize the negative disruptions.
  3. Refrain from the blame game. There is no need for your children to hear you speak badly about their other parent. We want to strengthen relationships, not begin to have the children feel badly. Present a united front between both parents and have difficult conversations away from your children.
  4. Listen, I mean really listen to what your children are saying and not saying. Children start to act out when they feel like they are loosing control in their lives. Sit down with your child daily for check-ins. Talk about their feelings. Help them find the words to what they’re feeling and acknowledge how they are feeling.
  5. Say I love you. And then say it again while you are hugging your children. Children need to hear and feel the love during this unsettling time.
  6. Tell the truth but keep it age appropriate. Children don’t need to know all the details. With younger children keep it simple.
  7. Make plans with your children. Don’t do any major changes before you prep your children. Try involving them in the decision. If you need to relocate, get them involved. This will help your child feel a little in control of a hard time.
  8. Having these conversations with your children takes thinking, planning, and preparation. Speaking with a family coach such as can help ease the transition for both you and your child.
  9. Clear up misunderstandings. Often children feel that they are the reason their parents are separating or even divorcing. The little minds of children can make up reason for their love ones behavior. They can think that it was their fault because they didn’t  make their bed and caused their parents to fight. Reexplain and be straight forward with your reason for separation.

10. Kids will be okay one day. Your children will fluctuate with their feelings. They will be scared at one moment to feeling okay or even excited the next. Reassure them these feeling are normal and you understand them.

Remember that this is an extremely stressful time for children. Children learn by watching, so think about what they are taking in and turn a difficult circumstance into something they can grow from.  Reminding them that they will always have the love of both parents.

If you are having a difficult time there is always support.








Making Exercise Fun For The Whole Family

shutterstock_165826019According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, figuring how to make time for this can be very Stressful on a family with lots of things happening on a daily basis around your busy household. School, homework, music lessons, after school appointments, the list goes on and on.

Working out as a family not only sets a good example for your children to live a healthy and fit lifestyle, but it also provides an opportunity to spend quality time as a family working together to accomplish a common goal. Instead of turning on the TV after dinner, plan an activity together that incorporates fitness with family time.

Turn up the music and dance with your children. Children love music and what better way to get in shape than to start dancing together.

Register for the 5K walks in your area with family members. Not only are you getting your workouts in but also letting children know how important it is to help fellow members of the community for a good cause.

Use a backpack carrier to transport young children. Carrying the extra weight can help burn more calories.

Pack up your bikes and head to the nearest park. Fall is a great time to enjoy the beautiful colors of the upcoming fall season.

Spend an afternoon at the local park with the neighborhood children and their parents, it’s a great way to interact and meet new people while getting some family exercise in.





Creating A Study Area In The Home For Children


Now that the school year has arrived, it’s time to think about creating a cozy and quiet place for your child to do his/her homework.  A great way to start is to create a study room within the home where your child will be motivated to complete assignments efficiently and in a quiet spot. When a child is without a designated study area the chances of them getting distracted are much greater. Things such as music, television and cell phones are among the greatest distractions when a child is trying to do their homework.studying blog

Study rooms allow parents to determine certain times and for how long a child should spend on homework and assignments outside of school. It can be a place where you can come together and discuss how the child is progressing and how they are actually doing with understanding certain subjects. There should be no distractions in the study area, nothing that can disturb the concentration of your child. This area should also be organized making it easier for a child to focus their full attention on their projects. When a child has a specific routine during the school year it will help them to develop a strong sense of study habits that will stay with them through the years of education ahead. Keeping your child motivated is an important factor in helping them succeed in their future.