Are You Doing Better Than You Think?

Posted January 13, 2016 by

Are You Doing Better Than You Think?

It’s easy for parents to skip over some accomplishments and jump right to the next thing – the undone dishes, the afternoon homework battle – but learning to identify and celebrate your family’s success, even if it’s small, can really help to create positive momentum and lead to lasting change.

Maybe this is the first morning you made it out of the house without an argument in months. But YOU DID IT. And it’s worth a little celebrating!

Change does happen, slowly but surely. The following strategy for celebrating success can help your family recognize and build on your accomplishments.

A Plan for Celebrating Family Successes

  1. Be aware of success, no matter the size. Change comes in small moments! It’s easy to overlook small accomplishments. Recognizing success when it happens is an important first step.
  2. Acknowledge the success with your family. This is your moment to be a cheerleader. Parenting is such hard work, it may feel difficult to celebrate something small when larger things still need work. But this is a chance to bring positive energy into your family.
  3. Focus on the success and celebrate it. We’re not suggesting you go overboard, but stay with your success for a little while. Talk about it, why it happened, and how happy and proud you are.
  4. Keep the momentum going. What if you make it to school and work on time every day this week? Pizza party! Or perhaps extra video game time for your kids. Set a goal and get excited.

Can you find a small success to recognize today? Let us know how it goes for you.


Denise R., Empowering Parents Coach

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Denise Rowden is a parent of two teens: an 18-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son. She has worked in Special Education, Alternative Education and adolescent group homes. She has a BS in Psychology from the University of Southern Maine and is currently working on her Life Coach certification from the International Coach Federation.

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  1. rwolfenden Report

    Steph Cambria I’m so sorry to hear about the situation you are currently in with your ex and your younger son.  No parent envisions ongoing involvement with Child Protective Services and legal battles in the courts over visitation and custody, and I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you right now.  At this point, I encourage you to work with your lawyer and caseworker to meet the requirements outlined for you in the report.  Due to your work with Child Protective Services and your upcoming court date, I wouldn’t want to inadvertently advise you to take action that might run counter to their recommendations.  They might also be able to inform you of parenting classes you can take which would meet their requirements.  I recognize how challenging this situation must be, and I wish you and your family all the best moving forward.  Take care.

  2. anxiousgran Report

    Thank you so much for your inspiring newsletters. They have been a great source of help & inspiration. We have had a very difficult time with our 11yr grandson, who now lives with us after being turned out by his mother & her partner. He & his dad moved in 2years ago. He, has some anger issues, is often disrespectful and hates following rules. He behaves like the class clown at school & has been branded a bit of a nuissance. He has no really close friends. We have tried various tactics, mostly recommended by some of your information and we are, ever so slowly, making some progress. He still has issues with obedience & lacks the necesssry social skills to act appropriately around other children which is a concern as he moves to higher school this autumn. Any helpful advise in this area would be greatly appreciated.

  3. GrandmaC Report

    So thankful for your practical/applicable information.  Even us grandparents can pass on your insightful recommendations available to us now – you make dealing with hormonal/emotional teens a lot easier than back in the day, and we thank you for that! Grandma C.

  4. overwhelmed sam Report

    My 15 year old is so defiant anything I ask Is a fight she does nothing around the house cusses at me and refuses to cooperate with house rules I am powerless she embarrasses me in front of people and in public she has no filter and plain mean. I love her so much but I just can’t take it anymore My 8 year old little girl is so shattered her sister is so mean to her and I she doesn’t even bother to ask to play or be around her anymore its always go away shut my door leave get out if she asks to go somewhere or people to come over I tell her not until she cleans her room she roars at me and maggie until im sooo exhausted i give in just to have some peace help me

    • Frances Mo Report

      @overwhelmed sam I feel I have to reply to you as this sounds just like my situation, except I have 3 sons.  My eldest and youngest both relate to me well ( although I’ve definitely had a run for my money with the usual teenage stuff with my eldest- but he will still work with me on issues!)  My middle son really concerns me- I’ve been to the doctor to talk about him, broken down in tears to both my parents and my parents in law- but no one knows what to say or do. My doctor was no help “put him out of the house- that’s what would have happened to me!” He offered me a number of a support group, but when I called them they said unfortunately as we don’t live in the same council they couldn’t offer support.  My own council- I called them but they have nothing suitable for his age group- I have been in tears to so many strangers about this- but I can’t tell my friends – I don’t want them to judge him or me.  It has caused so much stress between my husband and I we can no longer talk to each other without blame.  I blame him for not supporting me enough and he blames me for not just ignoring him and letting him away with it all.  He has pushed and grabbed me to get me out of his way.  He swears at me continually, sneers at me, mimics me and laughs at me if I cry- which I really wish I didn’t but I feel so low now.  He tells me it’s only me that makes him angry.  He takes all his frustration out on me and I don’t know how to cope anymore.  I have to say I have read, re read and saved many of these articles and have found that they help me. When I am strong I follow the advice, but wanted to reply to you as I have once before written a comment here about my son bullying me, and I felt some comfort from someone replying.  I hope you manage to find a way through this time, and say to you that your daughter won’t always be like this (that’s what family tell me), but I know it is a long and lonely road.  Take care of yourself Sam

    • Empowering Parents Coach drowden Report

      @overwhelmed sam
      It sounds like you have been dealing with some challenging
      behaviors from your teen daughter. It can be tough to know how to address
      behavior when there are so many instances of it. For the most part, it is
      usually more productive to find one behavior to focus on at a time. A couple of
      articles you may find helpful are
      & Be sure to check back and let us
      know how things are going. Take care.

      • Karen Report

        I went threw the same thing with my eldest. It started at the age of 15. He is now soon to be nineteen. He is finally coming around. They do out grow it eventually.



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