Dealing With Power Struggles

Power struggles are inevitable. They spring from what looks like competing interests of loving people at very different ages and stages. The fact that you and your child get into power struggles means that you and your child are each doing the most appropriate thing you can think of. Your job is to be the parent, keeping life safe and somewhat ordered. Your child’s job is to keep from feeling helpless in the face of so many decisions that are out of her hands. 

Take a moment to consider your relationship with your kids. Remember that you can influence your child positively, but mostly only when they feel the connection with you. Here are some tips when dealing with power struggles:  

  • Don’t take it personally. Remember that your child’s efforts to try and control situations stems from a healthy impulse to want to meet his/her needs.  
  • Identify areas where you can appropriately empower your child. 
  • Give them age-appropriate responsibilities, this conveys your confidence in their capabilities, which will empower your child. 
  • Respect their opinions. Listen. Often the very experience of being heard can calm a child and make them feel supported. Even if what your child is suggesting isn’t appropriate at the time, having the freedom to share is validating. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Importance of Praise and Encouragement

Praise and encouragement help parents to be more positive, it reduces conflict, promotes cooperation and reduces the likelihood that young people will engage in risky behavior. A compliment, a gesture, a facial expression, a simple hug, or a high-five can generate self-worth and pride in children.  

As children grow older, gaining approval from a parent or guardian becomes very important in their lives. Here are the benefits for children if they receive praise and encouragement: 

• Children learn who they are and the things that they do are pleasing to their parents and caregivers. 

• Children develop a personal sense of self-worth and self-esteem. 

• Children who believe they have self-worth go on to treat themselves and others positively. 

• Children with positive self-worth tend to get better grades in school, do not get discouraged easily, and have more productive lives overall.  

• Giving compliments strengthen your bond with them and enhance your relationship. 

Make your own positive phrases by saying what you feel in your heart each time your child makes you proud. You can adapt your praises depending upon the age of your child and their own level of understanding. 

Even if your child does something badly, always try to look for the positives in any situation. There is nearly always a bright side to focus on, and children and parents alike will all benefit from taking the positives, rather than the negatives, from any situation. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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How to Deal with Temper Tantrums

Young children don’t plan to frustrate or embarrass their parents. For most toddlers, tantrums are a way to express frustration. For older children, tantrums might be a learned behavior. 

Typically, the best way to respond to a tantrum is to stay calm. If you respond with loud, angry outbursts, your child might imitate your behavior. Shouting at a child to calm down is also likely to make things worse. Instead, try to prevent tantrums from happening in the first place, whenever possible. Here are some ideas that may help: 

✅ Give plenty of positive attention. 

Get in the habit of catching your child being good. Reward your little one with praise and attention for positive behavior. 

✅ Provide direction 

Try redirecting the tantrum behavior by suggesting that he or she ask nicely, or in a different way. When your child calms down and asks in a more appropriate way, praise him or her and supply the item. This gives children a strong incentive to stop throwing tantrums. 

✅ Seek distraction 

Children have tantrums out of frustration and because they do not have good impulse control. Thus, distracting a child before he or she escalates into a full-fledged tantrum is one of the best things you can do to save your sanity. Point to an interesting picture, share an interesting item you have with you, or practice singing a song together. 

✅ Be calm 

Control your own behavior. Try whispering. This often causes children to be quiet just so they can hear. Moreover, calming yourself can help your child to calm down as well. 

✅ Don’t give in 

If you give in to a tantrum control, even once, you teach your child that tantrums work, and that makes him or her more likely to throw an even bigger tantrum next time. Establish a daily routine so that your child knows what to expect. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Help Your Child Manage Their Moods

Kids’ moods can change in a flash – she’s happy, then bored, cranky, then sweet. No matter what your child is feeling, your first job as a parent is to empathize. Let your child know that you care what they are feeling, and you have a sense of what they are feeling. 

Managing moods is not something that people are born knowing how to do. If they don’t have good ways to deal with bad feelings, they may not have the motivation to decide to do the healthiest things. Rather than arguing about their attitude, you can: 

  • Acknowledge that they are upset, but don’t try to discuss it right now. 
  • Give them time to collect themselves. Physical activity helps kids burn off frustration.  
  •  After they are calm, then you can talk.  
  • Eat dinner together to creates a natural space for your family to talk about what’s on their minds. 
  • Talk while you’re doing other things. Keep the conversation casual by doing other things at the same time, like driving, shopping, or cooking. 
  •  Don’t dismiss what your kids are feeling. Understand where they are coming from and resist the temptation to downplay their concerns. 
  • Make sure your kids get regular physical activity. Exercise can also make kids more self-confident and feel better about themselves. 
  •  Help your kids find ways to relax. It’s important for them to find ways to chill out. Tell them to try finding a quiet spot in your home to read, draw, or listen to music. Or trying deep breathing exercises or yoga videos on YouTube. 

 Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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How to Calm an Angry Child

Managing your own anger when things get heated will make it easier to teach kids to do the same. To help tame a temper, try to be your child’s ally. 

While your own patience may be frayed by your child’s negative emotions, it’s during these episodes that you need your patience most. Reacting to kids’ meltdowns with yelling and outbursts of your own will only teach them to do the same. But keeping your cool and calmly working through a frustrating situation lets you show and teach appropriate ways to handle anger and frustration. 

Teaching by example is your most powerful tool. Speak calmly, clearly, and firmly — not with anger, blame, harsh criticisms, threats, or putdowns. Of course, that’s easier said than done.  

Remember that you’re trying to teach your kids how to handle anger. If you yell or threaten, you’ll model and ingrain the exact kinds of behavior you want to discourage. Your kids will see that you’re so angry and unable to control your own temper that you can’t help but scream — and that won’t help them learn not to scream. 

Be clear about what is and what is not acceptable without using threats, accusations, or putdowns. Your kids will get the message if you make clear, simple statements about what’s off limits and explain what you do want them to do. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Acknowledging Childs Feelings

Kids experience complex feelings. Just like adults they get frustrated, excited, nervous, sad, jealous, frightened, worried, angry and embarrassed. 

Our kids don’t have the vocabulary to talk about how they are feeling. Instead, they express their feelings through facial expressions, through their body, their behavior and play. Sometimes they may act out their feelings in physical, inappropriate or problematic ways. They need guidance on how to manage their feelings in positive and constructive ways. 

Verbalizing acceptance of your child’s emotions is a key to helping him feel loved and understood. Acknowledging out loud his disappointment makes him feel heard and respected, which calms him down and reduces his need to protest physically. 

Acknowledging their feelings will assist him toward a better self-understanding. Children often experience a swirl of emotions inside and do not know what is happening. When you can label his emotions and attach it to a situation the child will feel calmer. 

As the child grows, he will internalize this way of working with emotions and handle life situations in a more effective way. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Losing Your Temper with your Kids

Losing our temper with our kids sometimes doesn’t make us bad parents; it’s just part of life with little ones. But when our explosions become habitual, when we’re losing it on a regular basis, then it’s a problem. It’s a problem because it increases the stress levels in our home, weakens our relationships with our children, and to top it all off, it rarely solves any issues. 

We don’t have to be perfect parents. We just have to seize those opportunities to realize when we’re off-course and find ways to start moving in the right direction. They need a parent who models how to take responsibility and make repairs. A parent who apologizes and reconnects when things go wrong — as they inevitably do sometimes in human relationships. 

Remember: If you manage to stay levelheaded instead of losing your temper, your child will eventually learn that she can keep calm too. Here are some “stay cool” strategies to try the next time your kid’s behavior gets your temperature rising:  

1. Commit to NOT TAKING ACTION while angry. 

When you notice that you’re getting upset, that’s your red flag reminder to Stop, Drop (your agenda, just temporarily), and Breathe. 

2. Remind yourself to see the situation from your child’s point of view. 

3. Restore calm and safety. 

Take a few deep breaths. Switch gears emotionally by finding a more positive thought. Then, if you’re calm enough, reconnect with your child and try a “Do Over.” If you can acknowledge your child’s feelings, it opens the door to reconnecting. Empathize with why they’re upset. Set whatever limit you need to. Modulate your tone and keep breathing. Remember, anger doesn’t dissipate until it feels heard. So, listen and try to understand. 

4. Always apologize after you lose it

Remember that you are role-modeling, both when you yell and when you apologize. Resist the natural impulse to blame it on your child by saying that if they would just act right, you wouldn’t yell. It’s always your responsibility if you yell, and no child (or adult) ever deserves to get yelled at.  

5. Avoid a Repeat. 

Ask yourself, “What’s one thing I can do so I don’t lose it next time?” 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Set Limit With As Little Emotion As Possible

While totally exasperating, tantrums and pushing the limits signal a leap in your child’s development. ⁠ 
💡 Set your limit with as little emotion (and as few words) as possible. The more matter of fact you can be, the better. Talk in a low, steady voice and be aware of the nonverbal messages you’re sending with your facial expression and body language. Using a kind and compassionate tone can be calming to your child. (And, it’s also a way to soothe yourself during a stressful time.)⁠ 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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6 Ways to Show Faith in Your Child

Kids Who Seem Defiant Are Often Anxious

A child who appears to be defiant or aggressive may be reacting to anxiety—anxiety he may, depending on his age, not be able to articulate effectively, or not even fully recognize that he’s feeling. Especially in younger kids with anxiety you might see freezing and clinging kind of behavior. 

Anxiety manifests in a surprising variety of ways in part because it is based on a physiological response to a threat in the environment, a response that maximizes the body’s ability to either face danger or escape danger. So, while some children exhibit anxiety by shrinking from situations or objects that trigger fears, some react with overwhelming need to break out of an uncomfortable situation. That behavior, which can be unmanageable, is often misread as anger or opposition. 

Anxiety is one of those diagnoses that is a great masquerader. It can look like a lot of things. Particularly with kids who may not have words to express their feelings, or because no one is listening to them, they might manifest their anxiety with behavioral dysregulation.

The more commonly recognized symptoms of anxiety in a child are things like trouble sleeping in his own room or separating from his parents, avoidance of certain activities, a behaviorally inhibited temperament.  

Anxiety can look like defiance. If your child refuses to do something, it can be because of their fear about a situation rather than their defiance. When a parent or a teacher understands the anxiety underlying the defiance, rather than assuming that the child is actively trying to make them miserable, it changes their approach.  

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Is Your Child Highly Sensitive?

Highly sensitive children respond more sensitively to their environment. 
They think about and process things deeply. These children don’t warm up to new situations or people quickly and may appear shy or withdrawn. 
They are highly empathic and very intuitive, which means they read others quickly. 
They tend to be easily overstimulated and overwhelmed. They become overloaded quickly. They are often impacted by the opinions of others. 
The focus should not be to “toughen” them up, but to build them up. 
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be accepted for the way we show up in this world? 
To not be driven by a need to please others? To not have to meet someone else’s standard? 
Our children desire the same. 
Our highly sensitive children often feel alone in this world. 
It’s okay to be a gentle and a strong force. 
Wind, water, flowers all have these characteristics, and we marvel at them all. 
Our children are no different. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Misbehaviors Are the Clues, Not the Cause


When your child is misbehaving and they throw a huge tantrum, not listen, yell, or hit (the list could go on) of course, your instinct is to stop the misbehavior with force, to punish or to yell. I know it’s hard to keep cool in the heat of the moment, I really do. 
But misbehaviors are perfectly normal…. However, there is ALWAYS something beneath a child’s behavior that is motivating the child’s negative behavior. 
Think of it this way: Your role is not to get your child’s misbehavior to stop, your role is to guide them and teach your children with empathy and connection. 
The idea here is to not stop the negative behavior and make their feelings go away but to help your child work through it, manage it, and understand it- with you being there to support them with love and patience. 
So, when your child is misbehaving empathize, put their feelings into words, validate, talk through it with them to help them understand it better, and practice expressing big emotions in healthy ways. 
But don’t just stop there! During calm moments during the day talk or even play (act out) different situations and how to manage and cope with them in healthy ways. 
Your conversation may look something like this: 
✅ “It seems like you are feeling frustrated which made you want to hit…I understand that you are mad because your sister took your toy without asking.” 
✅ “It’s okay to feel mad and frustrated.” 
✅ “I am not willing to allow you to hit your sister. Why don’t you and I go sit over here together and take some deep breaths?’’ Encourage your child to talk about the situation and what they could do next time instead of hitting. 
✅ “How do you think your sister feels when you hit her? Yeah…sad, what do you think we could do?’’  You are providing an opportunity for your child to empathize with the other person, and you are encouraging them to apologize without making an apology a demand. 
Do you think you could give this a try? 


Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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6 Ways to Show Faith in Your Child

Set Limits with Love Not Fear

Criticism by loved ones is sadly one of the most common problems faced by gentle and positive parents. 
Are you ever told to follow authoritarian parenting practices that invoke fear in children? Spankings. Threats of punishment. Solitary time-outs. 
Many well-meaning parents resort to and insist on authoritarian parenting because sometimes fear of punishment CAN stop a behavior in the *short-term*. 
But in the long run, it can result in kids feeling resentful, seeking revenge, or just feeling discouraged and down on themselves. These outcomes can ultimately lead to some negative behaviors in the long haul. Then, the cycle continues! 
Positive discipline is *not* the easy way out. It’s HARD work. 💪🏽 
By opting out of bribes, threats, and punishments, we can empower our children to understand the rationale behind positive decision-making. 💞 
This takes TIME. ⏰ It takes growing through mistakes. But it also results in fostering an internal motivation to do the right and kind thing.  

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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