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Articles of Interest
Behavior Management
Using Behavior Charts
Reward Ideas
Consequences For Young Kids & Toddlers
When To Negotiate With Kids
Summer Vacation Problems
Kids Stealing From Parents
Attention Seeking Behavior
Why You Shouldn't Argue With Your Child
Bedtime Arguments And Homework
Regain Parental Control
Dealing With Defiant Young Kids and Toddlers
Using Natural Consequences
Summer Break Strategies
Create Accountability During Summer Break
Gaining Respect From Kids
Parenting Angry Teens
When Good Kids Misbehave
When Kids Only Act Out At Home
When No Means No
Start Parenting More Effectively
When Kids Ignore Consequences
When Your Kids Ignore You
Giving Effective Time-Outs
Dealing With Power Struggles Part 1
Avoiding Power Struggles Part 2
Setting Limits With Difficult Kids
How To Stop A Fight
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Manipulative Behavior
Keep Your Summer Break Peaceful
Summer Survival For Parents
Disciplining Your Two Year Old
How To Stop Kids From Cursing
Inappropriate Soiling
Consequences For Teens
The Truth About Bullies
Stopping A Temper Tantrum

Potty Training


Classroom Management

Classroom Management Strategies

First Year Survival

Stop Bullying In Your Classroom

Controlling The Uncontrollable Class

Child Development

Birth to Age Five

Six to Eleven

Preteens & Teens

Importance Of Play In Child Development




Tips For Parenting ADHD and  Spirited Kids

Unlocking The Secrets To Good Behavior

Summer Planning For A Child With ADHD

Stress Management

Stress Management Tips

Stress-Guarding Your Family

Managing Holiday Stress

Preventing Parental Burnout

How To Be A Calm Parent

Alternative Families

General Parenting/Family 

Top 5 Parenting Mistakes
Parenting The Child You Have
Gaining Respect From Kids
Spending Money On Kids
Fix Your Morning Routine
Perfect Parents Dont Exist
How To Interview A Nanny
When Good Parents Have Difficult Children
Parenting Gifted Children
New Year's Resolutions For Parents
Deciding Appropriate Parenting Rules
Is Your Child A Know-it-all?
Successful Goal Setting
Walking Away From A Fight With Your Child
Creating Accountability In Your Home
Good Cop Bad Cop Parenting
Help Transition Your Kids Through Divorce
Parenting Picky Eaters
When Toddlers Are Picky Eaters
Help Kids Cope With Pet Loss
Great Book Series For Kids
What You Shouldn't Say To Your Kids

Keep Cool When Kids Push Your Buttons

Parenting Your Teen
Helping Kids Adjust To The New Baby
Summer Structure For Kids
Teaching Kids How To Save Money
Selecting The Right Pet
75 Ways To Say Good Job
Getting Kids To Love Reading

Why Boredom Is Good For Kids
Getting Along With Your Preteen
Bedwetting Solutions
Summer Job Ideas For Teens
Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween Party Snack Ideas
Autism/Sensory Disorders/Anxiety
Tips To Tackle Tricky Behaviors





Sibling Fighting, Backtalk, and Yelling-It Must Be Summer!




The call came early; the voice on the other end of the line was frantic.

"My kids are making me crazy," my sister said. "How am I supposed to get any work done with their constant fighting, yelling and arguing?"

I listened and shared stories of my own kids: backtalk, whining, complaining, and in-fighting.

Ahhhh, summer.


It's usually around this time that I get a surge of phone calls from friends and neighbors, all of whom are wonderful parents, but who begin to doubt their sanity as the lazy days of summer pass. If you have kids, you know the drill: boredom, complaining, sibling arguments, sassiness, yelling. What's a parent to do? Below are some tips to help make your summer and your family a little more manageable.

  • Have a family meeting. You can also meet one-on-one with each of your children if necessary. Make it clear that bossiness, yelling, and fighting will have a consequence, which in our house means picking out an extra chore from the jar. Extra chores also go to those who whine, complain, talk back and hit. There's nothing like dog-poop pick up duty to make a 12 year old reconsider talking back! Here's a twist we use in our house: extra points go up on the white board for those caught being good. Good behavior includes using manners, not arguing about chores, talking nicely to siblings, and doing something without being asked. After 25 points we all go out for ice cream.

  • Don't overbook. If your family is anything like ours, the entire school year is a constant flurry of activities: sports, piano, homework, chores. For us, summer is about taking it easy, as much for the kids as for me. Of course you want your kids to do some fun activities, but if you are constantly driving and feeling anxious, you are doing too much. Remember that allowing your kids down time to read, ride bikes, use their imaginations, or just be lazy is a very important part of their development.

  • If you work, plan one fun activity a week you can do with your kids. If you work full time and pick your kids up in the evening, usually everyone is hot, tired, and probably a little crabby. To work around this issue, try to plan one activity each week the whole family can enjoy. Examples can be take-out dinner and a picnic at a park, an evening trip to the pool, a movie night or game night, or going out for ice cream after dinner. This way everyone has something fun to look forward to, and you can use this as leverage if your kids start acting up.

  • Plan time away from your kids. Even if you work full time, you still need to re-energize your battery. All parents need a night out with each other, even if it is for one hour to take a walk. If you are a stay-at-home parent try hard to schedule a few hours one day a week with a baby sitter to just get out of your house and away from your kids. There are usually a whole gaggle of middle school girls who would love to earn a few dollars to play with your kids!

  • One-on-one time. Lastly, our family has a long standing tradition where each child has a special day or evening to spend alone with us. My kids call it ?mommy and me day? (or daddy when it's his turn). Whether you have one child or five, it is very important for your kids to spend some one-on-one time alone with you. It doesn't have to be a big ordeal-go out for lunch, see a movie together, take a hike, or go swimming. Kids feel energized by the time that they have your full attention.

By following these rules, we've been able to tone down the summer squabbling in our house to bearable levels ? and believe it or not, lately I've been catching my kids having fun together and even (gasp!) playing nicely!

Since the invention of summer vacation, kids have been making their parents crazy. But even though it can be trying at times, summer is a great opportunity for your children's brains and bodies to relax. It's a time to try new activities, declare some independence from parents, learn a new skill, play and just be a kid.

(And if all else fails, remember: school is only a few months away!)

(Sibling Fighting, Backtalk, and Yelling-It Must Be Summer reprinted with permission from Empowering Parents)


by Joan Simeo Munson, Ph.D.

Joan Simeo Munson has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and is the co-author of the forthcoming 50 Plus One Great Life Lessons to Teach Your Children. Over the years, Dr. Munson has worked with incarcerated individuals, families, adolescents, and college students in a variety of settings, including county and city jails, community mental health centers, university counseling centers, and hospitals. She also has a background in individual, group, and couples counseling. Dr. Munson received her Ph.D. from The University of Denver, her Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling from George Washington University, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Illinois. Dr. Munson lives in the Boulder area with her husband and three energetic children, ages 12, 10, and 7.

































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