When our Children Make Mistakes: Discussion from my moms group

When was the last time that you made a mistake? We probably do it on a daily basis, especially when it comes to our children. The good news is that whether you are a single mom or married mom, you are not alone as a parent. Isaiah 41:10 "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

Collins English dictionary defines mistake as:
1. a misconception or misunderstanding
2. an error or blunder in action, opinion, or judgment

Definition of disobedience from The Online Plain Text English Dictionary:
1.Neglect or refusal to obey;
2.violation of a command or prohibition.

When my child makes a mistake, my first instinct is usually to become angry.
The frustration comes from the inconvenience that thier mistake may cause me. But I have to remember how I feel when I've made an error in judgement. I am usually embarassed and disappointed in myself. Sometimes I feel bad for the people that are affected by my actions. Well, our kids may feel the same way when they mess up. So, lets have some more empathy on our kids when they falter by accident. When we show sympathy for the child, they can focus on learning from their poor choice and not just on our harsh reaction.

In the bible, many strong people made rather huge mistakes. Although God still loved them, he also imparted consequences. In Genesis, Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat from the fruit of knowledge and offered it to Adam. As a result, Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden. Adam now had to work to make a living and Eve was cursed with painful childbirth. However, God forgave them and used them to procreate and populate this great earth.

I feel that the best consequences are the natural ones. For example, my son forgot his lunch several times and I made him eat from the cafetaria one day. I would normally run back home and get his food. So far, he has not forgotten his lunch again. My two year old daughter had a temper tantrum because I did not give her the food that she wanted. She decided to throw her meal on the ground. I realize that toddlers don't have very good judgement but I made her pick it up. She also had dirty hands as a result and had to clean them.

I love it when my son admits his mistakes to me instead of hiding them. If I praise him for his honesty, he will most likely open up to me again, especially in his teenage years. In this way, he can build a character of integrity and more willingly accept his consequences. He also knows that I do not expect him to be perfect. What I expect is honesty. In return I offer forgivessness and love for him.

The nutured heart approach taught me to build my children's self esteem by acknowledging their positive behavior. I try not to focus on their past mistakes. Instead I praise the positive behavior that they are exemplifying at the moment. The bible supports this concept in Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."


Stanley Turecki, M.D. -- Do you have a difficult child?

My son is six now but the first five years were so tough. He was my first child and I did not have much experience with kids. Well, I really got a crash course in parenting. He was a lovely and angelic child in public. But at home he was a tyrant that tried to run the household and destroy his family. He was hyperactive and very strong willed(i.e.stubborn). My husband and I were hit and spit on. The walls were filled with his crayon sribbles and he refused to go to bed until almost midnight everyday. These were just a few examples. I needed help and my pediatrician recommended a book entitled "The Difficult Child: Expanded and Revised Edition".
It helped me to understand that each child has their own temperment. They all deserve to be treated as individuals and traditional parenting styles do not work for everyone. I felt as if Dr. Turecki had been voyuering my home because he described our family's situation so accurately.

You can fill out the questionnaire below to figure out your child's temperment. It is also listed on Dr. Turecki's

Answer “YES” or “NO”

1. Do you find your child hard to raise?

2. Do you find the child's behavior hard to understand?

3. Are you often battling the child?

4. Do you feel inadequate or guilty as a parent?

5. Is your marriage or family life being affected by the child?


The headings below identify possibly difficult areas of your child's temperament (his or her innate makeup). Rate your child, in an overall way, on each item, using this scale:

0 = No problem (never present or just a little)
1 = Moderate problem (sometimes present)
2 = Definite problem (often present)
3 = Extreme problem (nearly always or always)

Rate from 0 to 3

HIGH ACTIVITY LEVEL: Restless, squirmy, fidgety; always into things, "hyper," makes you tired; "ran before he walked"; easily overstimulated; trouble sitting still or playing quietly; "motormouth"; hates to be confined; easily gets wild or "revved up."

IMPULSIVITY: Acts without thinking; quick hot temper, easily frustrated; impatient, excitable; interrupts, calls out, doesn't await turn; grabs or pushes; can lose con­trol and become aggressive; can suddenly take off~

DISTRACTIBILITY: Has problems focusing and paying at­tention, especially if not really interested; trouble fol­lowing instructions; doesn't "listen," tunes you out, daydreams; disorganized, forgetful.

HIGH INTENSITY: Loud voice; forceful, overwhelming; strong emotions whether miserable, angry or happy.

IRREGULARITY: Unpredictable body rhythms; can't tell when he'll be hungry or tired, resulting in conflicts over meals and bedtime; wakes up at night; erratic toilet habits.

NEGATIVE PERSISTENCE: Very strong-willed, stubborn; goes on and on nagging, whining, or negotiating if wants something; relentless, won't give up, wears you down; gets "locked in"; may have long tantrums.

LOW SENSORY THRESHOLD: Physically, not emotionally sensitive; highly aware of color, light, appearance, texture, sound, smell, taste, or temperature (not neces­sarily all of these); "creative," but with strong and sometimes unusual preferences that can be embarrass­ing; bothered by bright lights and loud noises; particu­lar, picky; clothes have to feel or look right; doesn't like the way many foods look, smell, or taste; feels too cold (or too hot) when no one else does.

INITIAL WITHDRAWAL: Shy and reserved with new adults and/or children; doesn't like new situations and unfa­miliar settings; holds back or protests by crying, cling­ing, or tantruming if forced to go forward.

POOR ADAPTABILITY: Has trouble with transition and change of activity or routine; inflexible, notices minor details; gets used to things and won't give them up; can want the same clothes or foods over and over; "creature of habit"; even after initial response takes a long time to adapt.

NEGATIVE MOOD: Serious, doesn't show pleasure openly; not a sunny disposition.


0-1******************** +4-7 points************= Somewhat difficult
2-3******************** +8-14 points***********= Difficult child
4-5******************** +15 or more points*****= Very difficult child

If You're Hyper and You Know It: Clap Your Hands

My favorite movie as a child was Miracle on 34th St. I grew up in NYC and I use to dream of a home in the country. Well, now I have one with the swing in the back. In this scene below, Natalie Wood's character finally gets the dream house that she asked Santa Claus to bring her. Her mommy told her the same as my mommy told me:"If things don't turn out the way that you want them to the first time, you still have to continue to believe."

Natalie Wood was so hyper in the above scene. It reminded me of my son's actions at times. According to a relatively recent study cited in TIME magazine, there is a definite link between artificial ingredients and hyperactivity. The Feingold (ADHD) Diet of the 1970s also involved eliminating articial preservatives,colors,and sweeteners. Those brightly colored drink and candy can set some kids on edge..."silly common sense".

ADHD & Food

I am not quite sure if my son has ADHD because he is very attentive but some of his other symptoms were similiar to those of this illness. Doctors find it hard to diagnose ADD or ADHD prior to age six. I took him to be diagnosed at age five and it seems that he is hyperactive/impulsive but not attention deficient. The problem is that it only occurs in one setting, around close relatives. In other arenas, he is ok.

At any rate, I decided to change his diet because I know that natural remedies have always worked best for me. According to TLC Discovery:"For 64 Percent of Kids with ADHD, Food is the Cause." I noticed that food coloring caused him to become very violent and hyper. It seemed that his little legs were motorized. Due to his strong willed nature, food time was always a battle. Milk and carbs were the mainstay of his diet for several years. I had to physically force him to eat anything else. I cut out milk all together but gave him mozzarella cheese and plain yogurt. We tried to eliminate many preservatives and hormones in meat, as well. He eventually adjusted to the dietary lifestyle change and loves eating healthy now.

Hyperactivity & Supplements

People use to ask me why I was always so tired. Well, If you were awakened at the crack of dawn and went to sleep after midnight, how well rested would you be? I rarely get questions like that anymore. That's because I started to get my hyperactive sweetie under control. Through sheer persistence,research and exhaustion, I discovered Kids Calm Multivitamin - 30 oz - Liquid (Fruity Splash flavor). They sell it at most natural food stores and online at Amazon. The average supermarket would probably not carry it.
I also use Nature Made Melatonin Tablets, Value Size, 3 Mg, 240 Countmelatonin(a natural sleep aid)for my kid. My pediatrician was fine with the use of these products and they work. Melatonin is a naturally occuring compound found in our bodies. It is sold over the counter at most drug and food places.
The vitamin supplement keeps my son healthy and calm. I notice that he rarely gets sick when he takes this on a regular basis. The melatonin takes about 20 minutes or so to work. I was a naturally mellow and obedient child, so my son's tendencies boggle my mind. But I guess that he needed someone like me to train him in the ways of peace and tranquility.

I use to take cod liver oil tablets on a regular basis as a child. There has been some improvement in behavior when I give my son Omega 3 fatty acid on a weekly basis.

The 'Nurtured Heart Approach' - Transform Difficult Children, Ignite the Greatness in Each Child

This video is about a new way of dealing with our children at home or school with positive recognition, energy saving disciple and consistency. It transformed my little one but this method is challenging at first because I tend to look at the negatives much more than the positives. It actually changed my outlook on life.

I took a series of training workshops on the Nurtured Heart Approach(by Howard Glasser). We used "Transforming The Difficult Child Workbook: An Interactive Guide to the Nurtured Heart Approach". Traditional parenting methods do not work on all types of children. Sometimes they make the situation worse.

You will see results instantly with this approach. If your child is difficult, there will eventually be some testing of your commitment to this new method. However, keep following nurtured heart and your child will blossom. It works on adults too(especially husbands).

Child Management Techniques: Dr. Stanley Turecki

1. Highly Active
Definition: Very active; always into things; makes you tired; gets wild or "revved up", loses control, hates to be confined.

Inappropriate descriptions: Interrupts, wild, destructive, uncontrolled.

Say this:

Examples -- "You're overexcited." "I think you are getting too revved up." "You are beginning to lose control."

Do this:

Intervene early. Provide quiet distraction. Provide cooling off time/space. Provide space for blowing off steam.

2. Distractible

has trouble concentrating and paying attention, especially if not interested; doesn't "listen".

Inappropriate descriptions:

forgetful, irresponsible, absent-minded, lazy.

Say this:

Examples -- "I know it's hard for you to pay attention." "I need to see your eyes when I'm talking to you."

Do this:

Establish eye contact, by touch if necessary. Give short instructions. Reduce distractions.

3. Irregular, unpredictable


unpredictable needs; child is never hungry or tired at predictable times; moods change suddenly.

Inappropriate descriptions:

uncooperative, loner, moody.

Say this:

Examples --"I know you are not hungry now. I'll put your plate in the refrigerator and you can eat your meal when you are hungry." "I know you are not sleepy now, but it is time to be in your bedroom."

Do this:

Separate mealtime from eating time; bedtime from sleep time. Create routines, even if they are unusual. Be flexible.

4.Low sensory threshold

extreme sensitivity to sounds, lights, colors, textures, temperature, pain, tastes, smells; clothes have to feel right which makes dressing a problem; doesn't like the way many foods taste; seems to overreact to minor cuts and scrapes; feels too warm or too cold when others don't; may tantrum.

Inappropriate descriptions:

fussy, picky, particular, hard to please.

Say this:

Examples -- "I know that really bothers you." "I know this tastes funny to you." Acknowledge the child's perceptions as valid for the child.

Do this:

Recognize that the child is really bothered and not just being contrary. Do not challenge the child's perception. Treat related behavior as relevant. Make the child comfortable. Give the child permission to make himself comfortable.

5. Negative mood

Definition: Child's first reaction to a new stimulus or idea is always negative. May appear cranky or serious. Not happy about very many things. "Looks for problems." "Glass is always half-empty."

Inappropriate descriptions: Complaining, whining, pouting, sulks, gripes, never satisfied.

Don't Say Anything:

You cannot make things better for this child/person. Keep your reaction neutral and give the person time to adjust or get on with life. To yourself say, "This is the way he/or she is; they can't help it. It's not a personal attack on me or my ideas."

Do this:

There is nothing you can do to change this child. Recognize that the behavior is the child's temperament and there is nothing wrong with the child. Ignore as much of the negative content as possible. Do not try to make this child happy. It will only make things worse.


gives up easily; can not handle delayed gratification; never finishes anything; quits projects before completion; short attention span, especially when not interested.

Inappropriate descriptions:

lazy; irresponsible; quitter; doesn't try hard enough.


Only positive things. Encourage, encourage, encourage. Avoid negative feedback and criticism at all costs.

Do this:

Break projects down into small steps. Teach in small steps. Provide small successes along the way.

7. Tantrums and Fits

When a child is rubbed the wrong way, they may come apart. Their psychological survival is at stake. "A wheel comes off!" "They go nuts!"

How to tell the difference between tantrums for manipulation and tantrums for survival:
•Manipulative tantrums stop when attention is withdrawn.
•Tempermental tantrums are the result of a child's temperament being violated. They are intense and child gets "locked in". Parents role in locked in behavior episodes:
Be kind and sympathetic.
Be present with the child --"I know you are upset but it will be okay."
don't talk about it.
wait it out.

8. Locked-in behavior

"Personality like a pit bull. You have to kill him to make him let go."
1.take a stand early and bring it to an end. neutral -- Don't empty the Emotional Bank Account.* Kindness counts. firm -- Be an example of self-control, not POWER.
4.label the behavior for the child -- label behavior, not the child.

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