• Learn a simple process that gets impulsive, destructive children to think about the consequences of their actions. Take your authority back by using “Fail-Proof Consequences” that can’t be ignored by your defiant child. For parents of children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder, or extreme defiance. Learn More »

Featured Parenting Tips:

Adolescent & Teen Behavior
Punishments vs. Consequences: Which Are You Using?By Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC

Do these situations sound familiar? Your 10-year-old won’t listen to you when you tell her to come inside for dinner. You rack your brain for a way to change this behavior so that in the future she will do as you ask. Your teenager breaks curfew – again. You thought you had addressed this with... Read more »

Consequences & Rewards
"You're Grounded for Life!" Why Harsh Punishments for Children and Teenagers Don't WorkBy Carole Banks

Have you ever punished your child in the heat of the moment, when you’re angry and upset? If you’re like most parents, the answer is probably “yes.” In fact, this is one of the biggest, most common parenting traps that you can fall into. But often when you do this, you’re focused on winning the... Read more »

Consequences & Rewards
“Which Consequence Should I Give My Child?” How to Create a List of Consequences for ChildrenBy Rebecca Wolfenden, 1-on-1 Coach

Many of the questions we receive on the Parental Support Line involve consequences and incentives. Parents wonder how to set them up effectively, and how long to give them. Another frequent question we receive is simply, “What am I supposed to use as a consequence—or a motivator?” A great way to start is to sit down during... Read more »

Conditions / Diagnoses
Understanding Oppositional Defiant DisorderBy Kim Abraham, LMSW & Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW

Parents are often left wondering if their child’s argumentative, limit-testing, back-talking, rule-breaking behavior is “typical” teen or pre-teen defiance—or if it’s something else. What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)? Clinically speaking, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is “a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior or vindictiveness lasting at least six months.” But what does that mean, exactly? If an image... Read more »

Conditions / Diagnoses
Why the Word "No" Sets off an Oppositional, Defiant ChildBy James Lehman, MSW

Many parents of children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder feel hopeless and alone. They live in homes that become like little prisons as they deal with kids who are absolutely out of control and unmanageable. They don’t like their child any more, even though they still love him or her. And they’re confused about why nothing... Read more »

Conditions / Diagnoses
Intimidating Teen Behavior: Is It ODD or Conduct Disorder?By Kim Abraham, LMSW & Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW

What do you do when your teen is intimidating you? Not just throwing a tantrum to get something he wants, but outright trying to scare you? How do you respond to an adolescent who gets up and blocks your way when you’re trying to leave the room, towering over you and looking at you in... Read more »

Child Behavior Problems
Why You Should Let Your Child Fail: The Benefits of Natural ConsequencesBy James Lehman, MSW

Watching your child fail makes you feel helpless, angry and sad. You worry about everything from your child’s self-esteem and social development to their future success. James Lehman explains that while it’s natural for parents to worry about failure, there are times when it can be productive for kids—and a chance for them to change. "Failure... Read more »

Coaching Blog
4 Ways to Make Natural Consequences WorkBy Denise Rowden, 1-on-1 Coach

At Empowering Parents, we’re often asked about appropriate consequences. But in many cases, the most effective consequences require you to do nothing at all. Most of us learn nicely from our mistakes or missteps. If we drive too fast, we might get a ticket – an expensive lesson. Our children are no different. They learn well... Read more »

Consequences & Rewards
5 Areas to Let Your Child Face Natural ConsequencesBy Sara Bean, M.Ed.

Everyone says you should let your child face natural consequences, but what exactly does this mean? Many parents struggle with this concept because they don’t fully understand what constitutes a "natural" consequence. And sometimes parents have difficulty relinquishing control of consequences because they feel they always have to get their child to obey, even if... Read more »

Is Your Child Being Bullied? 9 Steps You Can Take as a ParentBy Janet Lehman, MSW

As we all know too well, name–calling, cruel taunts, cyberbullying and physical bullying happen every day to kids across the country. When your child is being bullied, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else—all you want to do is make it stop immediately. Janet Lehman, MSW explains what you can do to help your child—and... Read more »

Child and Teen Bullying: How to Help When Your Kid is BulliedBy Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC

The documentary “Bully” follows the lives of five children who are the victims of verbal and physical cruelty at the hands of their fellow students—and it’s getting people to sit up and take notice of a problem that just seems to get more pervasive and toxic as the years go by. In spite of all... Read more »

The Secret Life of Bullies: Why They Do It—and How to Stop ThemBy James Lehman, MSW

Why do some kids turn to bullying? The answer is simple: it solves their social problems. After all, it's easier to bully somebody than to work things out, manage your emotions, and learn to solve problems. Bullying is the proverbial “easy way out,” and sadly, some kids take it. Look at men who beat or intimidate... Read more »

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