Parenting Advice From America's Supernanny
Season one of "America's Supernanny" is coming to an end but the parenting solutions Deborah Tillman introduced to the families in each epsiode can live on. We asked Ms. Deborah for some advice based on her visit with the Edwards family who had their share of struggles raising an out-of-control 8-year-old diagnosed with ADHD and a tween with very low self-esteem. Watch the full episode now.
How can you identify a child with low self-esteem? Specifically a tween or teen.
Some signs of low self-esteem in teenagers is that they fail to be comfortable with themselves and their self image, they tend to be very evasive and often times do not have good eye contact. They are overly sensitive and critical.
What are some ways parents can help to boost kids' confidence in themselves?
Praise and Encourage for good behavior.
If you need to change the behavior; focus on the behavior not the child.
Pick your battles.
Find the positive in every experience.
Why is nutrition so important when it comes to behavior and emotional health?
What you think and what you eat are so important to living a happy, healthy life. Our bodies need the right fuel (food) and regular maintenance (exercise) to achieve its true health potential. Proper nutrition gives you vitality and energy for life, helps to alleviate fatigue, protects the teeth and keeps the gums healthy and enhances your ability to concentrate.
What are some ways parents can teach self-reliance.
Show the child step by step how the task is done.
Allow them to do the job in parts so they succeed each time they work on it.
Let them learn from their mistakes.
(If it is incorrect) Encourage them to do the job using a different approach.
PRAISE, PRAISE and PRAISE for EFFORT!
What are parents really teaching their children when they essentially treat them like infants?
What parents are teaching their children when they do too much for them is that “I do not think you are capable of doing it for yourself”. It does not increase independence and self confidence.
What tips do you have for kids who have a hard time sitting still in the calm down corner or taking it seriously?
I do not have tips for children who have a hard time “calming” themselves in the CDC corner. I teach parents to respond without acting on impulse or getting angry.
Teaching self control skills is one of the most important things that parents can do for their children to ensure a chance at success later in life. By learning to control oneself, a child can make appropriate decisions and respond to stressful situations in ways that yield positive outcomes. Depending on the temperament, maturity and will of the child eventually determines how long it takes for them to respond in an appropriate manner.
When the deputy showed up at the door Austin was very nervous. You described the visit as an age appropriate “wake up call” – should parents at home consider this and how do they ensure it doesn’t scare the child too much?
Do I advocate calling the authorities on all children who misbehave? Certainly not. There are so many factors that go into authorizing this kind of “wake up” call. However, in Austin’s case his pulling out a knife, and constant taunting (knowing all the time the difference between right and wrong), ability to make “good” choices, intellectual capacity and social emotional development, I knew the scare tactic would work for him.
How did it feel to see the Edwards' in a healthier place? What do you think helped the mom ultimately stick to the techniques and stop feeding into Austin’s demands and breakdowns.
Whenever I see a family in a healthier place than when I arrived, I feel blessed because I know without a doubt that I am making a difference in their lives and in most cases we are changing the destiny of these children. What helped Mary stick to the techniques was that she now understood what Austin could and could not control. Thus, for every behavior that he could control she made the choice to correct and discipline. It was a step in the right direction for Austin to have a fighting chance at reaching his full potential.
Any tips for parents who start to feel angered, flustered and out-of-control when their child starts assuming all of the power?
See what the child “can” become rather than what they are at that moment.
Take the necessary steps to get them there.
Know that the best is yet to come.
As Always, Never Ever Give up!!!