Economic Multipliers (158)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

Helping parents ‘parent’ challenging kids is an economic multiplier for any nation.


When you’ve never had children of your own (or ended up with the best of the best children), giving advice to any parent with a challenging child is almost ‘forbidden’ in today’s society.

If the challenging child creates family, school or social havoc, everyone affected feels they need to weigh in anyway.

Fortunately, parents only need to be teachers, coaches, nurses, emergency response personnel, chauffeurs, food service workers, support networks, friends, psychologists, disciplinarians, cheerleaders, home maintenance personnel, logistics specialists and, of course, ‘parents.’ And fortunately, everyone recognizes that in the process, every parent knows everything and has no needs of their own.

If you have a challenging child or could help ‘support’ one in positive ways, these are a few tips:

  • The 101 Positive Principles of Discipline by Katharine Kersey (see No. 122). If ALL the individuals surrounding a child can come up with a positive and consistent game plan, joy is more likely to follow.

  • Old Supernanny episodes: Get ideas about how to spend constructive and joyous time with your children while ‘being the adults.’ If you interact with other’s kids, ask their parents how you can positively help. (Old Supernanny episodes on DVD’s can many times be borrowed from local libraries or accessed through interlibrary loan programs.)

  • If sitting and/or attention spans seem to be a problem:

    • Try a balance cushion on a chair.

    • Try a standing desk.

    • If you know an option is unaffordable for a parent (and not for you), ask if they’d like to try something (and you’d give it to them as a gift).

  • Turn off all media in the evenings: Read, play games, walk, prepare healthy ingredients for meals, learn something, create something, check out local library and kids programs, ask kids librarians for book suggestions and listen, listen, talk, listen, listen, talk.

  • Actively learn (with your child) Tai Chi or yoga or some other enjoyable exercise routine that involves ‘slow motion’ (at least 2 times a week for at least one year … repetition and time are critical).

  • Set a timer for tasks (which is too short for a task). When the timer goes off, see if it’s possible to get just a bit more done. Then do something else. Then come back to the task (if unfinished). Expand ‘time’ bit by bit.

  • Read ‘page by page’ … not ‘book by book.’ Every time you return to a book, see if the last page was remembered.

  • Do different kinds of homework at different ‘stations.’ Set a timer for each ‘station’ and keep the child ‘on the move.’ Expand ‘time’ at each station bit by bit.

  • Pretend your child is allergic to:

    • sweets

    • any kind of soda or sugary drinks or juices (substitute whole fruit for juices)

    • snack foods

  • Pretend your child cannot do well unless they eat well balanced meals with lots of different kinds of vegetables.

  • Make sure the child gets enough sleep.

  • Look at the child and think … ‘How do I help create joy in this relationship?’ … whether they are your own child or someone else’s.

  • Do not use ‘food’ and ‘things’ as rewards (OR punishments). Create rewards that help improve the quality of their relationships and punishments which foster the same. Recognize that denying children food or things they need is not ‘punishment’ for misbehavior … it’s a form of abuse.

  • Help create and reinforce consistent and positive behaviors.

  • If you’re dealing with more than one child, recognize that each child is different. If a child is ‘challenging’ for you, they are even more ‘challenging’ for other kids. Help everyone understand and become part of a comprehensive supportive network that supports everyone.

If you are a parent with a ‘challenging child’ …

ask the child for help, ask their teachers for help, ask their peers for help, ask their health care workers for help, ask your family and friends for help and ask anyone who looks like they might be willing to help for help. If you have specific suggestions, give others suggestions for how they can help.

If anyone ever tries to help (for you … in an uninvited way), keep these words ready:

‘I appreciate you mean well: I’m trying my best to figure this all out. Thanks for any suggestions and I’ll let you know if I ever want more.’

I have been lucky in that a parent once very kindly noted that they were aware of something (which involved some parental stress) and shortly thereafter, I was no longer concerned. They had an excellent support network, didn’t need any help and ‘outsider thoughts’ likely created greater stress.

A double ‘yeah’ to that parent! … for recognizing their child’s needs … and having kind words for ‘uninvited thoughts.’


Note: These are short thoughts. Every child has their own unique needs. Raising well grounded children takes a lifetime of consistent positive actions and is much, much easier when the parents themselves are well grounded and all or most of their own support networks have always included ‘positive action’ people.

Life is a choice:

Be a positive action person.