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Parenting Decoded
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Parenting Decoded

Author: Mary Eschen

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This podcast will help all parents with kids of all ages to learn how to decode the mysteries and challenges of being a parent in today's challenging times. We will concentrate on practical parenting approaches that you as a parent can use right away! There are tips and tricks as well as plenty of real life stories to help you see that you can make a difference in your family's life in simple yet noticeable ways. In order for your kids to change, you need to change first! The ripple effect is real and lasting. Enjoy the ride!
31 Episodes
Do you have kids who are always running to the car and saying: “I’m first!”?  Or maybe they argue over who mom or dad reads to first at night?  How about who gets to sit where at the dinner table?  Or who does dad pour the catsup on French fries first?  I know my boys would have a battle each time we got into an elevator over who gets to push the buttons.  It’s exhausting, isn’t it?  You might even say it “drains your energy” if you’re a Love and Logic parent.    In this podcast I want to help you turn that constant bickering into an opportunity for modeling cooperation and fairness.  You'll learn to use a problem solving method with your kids that allows everyone to have a say in how things that were once competitions can become fair and equitable situations.  You'll learn: Step 1 - how to set up a Family MeetingStep 2 - how to start the Family MeetingStep 3 - How to brainstorm ideas of what possible solutions there could beStep 4 - How to select which idea you'll experiment with firstStep 5 - Run the experimentStep 6 - Review the results and revise ideas for another round of experimentsStep 7 - Celebrate a win!By modeling these problem solving steps together as a family your children will learn that it's possible to come up with solutions and that the best solutions take time and effort to come to.  SEE FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE
Parents are often baffled by their kids not listening and totally ignoring them.  In this seminar which was taped during a Zoom presentation, parents learn that how we talk to our kids and when we talk to them has a huge impact on their ability to listen to us. In this talk you'll learn not only WHEN to communicate but about these techniques to be more impactful when you do:How to go "brain dead" when our kids are emotionalHow to use loving limits to state what you're willing to doHow giving choices can activate your kid's brain while sharing control about things you don't really mind sharingHow letting our kids solve their own problems instead of hovering and telling them what to do can allow our kids to feel supported and listened toIf you'd like to watch the YouTube video,  here's a link for that:  YouTube LinkIf you have questions, email me at
This is special podcast recording of a seminar at Prospect High School meant for all of you who are having a tough time communicating with your teens.  I also have a YouTube version from Evergreen High School that includes all my PowerPoint slides that you can find on my Parenting Decoded YouTube Channel.  Whether you prefer podcasts or YouTube I want get you as much help as I can in supporting your teen.  In this seminar I go over how we currently talk to our teens, what that might be communicating to them and finally ideas on how we can break through to our teens using good choices, setting loving limits, and allowing them to solve their own problems. I’ll show you how to come alongside your teen in a loving and empathetic way that allows them to own their lives and lets us be a helpful consultant instead of an interfering helicopter or drill sergeant.  YOUTUBE Communicating with TeensIf you have an organization who’d benefit from hearing this presentation either on Zoom or in person, please contact me.  I’d love to reach more folks and it’s seminars like these that seem to reach the most parents.  If you have questions, please contact me at 
In this episode I interview Bianca D'Agostino.  She's a family and child therapist in Ottawa Canada who has lots of experience help families with issues around anxiety.Here's the link to Bianca's helpful graphic on the different levels of anxiety, A through F:ANXIETY GRAPHICBianca's contact info and professional information:BIANCA D'GOSTINO
This is the audio version of my online seminar which is also available on my YouTube Channel, Parenting Decoded.  There is also a  YouTube link to this seminar if you'd like to see all the slides that go along with this presentation.  YouTube LINK In this expanded conversation we go over tips to handle our anger that is triggered by our children and family situations.   The most important of these is setting up a RELATIONSHIP SAFETY TEAM. #1 - YOU#2 - Your Spouse or Partner#3 - Your ChildrenIn each area we talk about how to use the Team Members to optimize communication in our homes.  It is good COMMUNICATION that will make all the difference in your homes.  Each Team Member can help make this happen.#1 - YOUStart to recognize when your anger is coming on and how to stay out of Fight or Flight mode.Use Brain Dead so you DON'T engage when kids are annoyingSeparate if you have toLearn a few mindfulness techniques or get mindfulness apps on your phoneIf you really can't get your anger under control, consider seeking professional help#2 - Your Spouse or PartnerDevelop verbal signals to help signal that you are needing help with angerDevelop non-verbal signals as well by using physical queues or touchHelp set up Calm Down options Make sure each partner has "Me Time" to recharge#3 - Your ChildrenSet up verbal and non-verbal signals for your kids to use with youHold regular FAMILY MEETINGS to discuss sensitive topicsModel problem solving skills to show how communication about things that bother us helps to keep anger and resentment under controlUse other techniques to prevent anger triggers from happening:Setting Loving Limits - set up what YOU will do for your kids in a loving and positive mannerChoices - use them A LOT!!!  Give our kids as much control over things you don't care aboutProblem Solving - let kids make mistakes with love and empathyBOTTOMLINE: Communication is going to make a HUGE difference in your parenting journey. Email me if you have questions!
26: Lying, Cheating, and StealingMany parents get very upset when they catch their children lying, stealing, or cheating. We all hate the feeling of betrayal, being lied to, or cheated. But we all lie for lots of reasons. Sometimes to cover up bad behaviours. Other times, we do it out of fear because we want to spare ourselves of punishment or avoid sanctions.The same goes with our young ones. But one thing is certain, it’s often not as intentional as we adults think and do.Have you ever felt like no matter what you do, your child keeps on lying? Why do they do it? How can you encourage your children to tell the truth?Join me in this episode as I go into detail about why our children lie as well as the strategies you can use to address lying! What you will learn in this episode:Why lying bugs us so much?Why do kids lie and why does it come so easily to them?The different categories of lying and where your child might fit intoThe 3 main goals for parents when dealing with lyingTeaching your kids how to apologize from the heartHow to teach and help your kids learn from their mistakesAge-based ideas on dealing with lyingEarning back your child’s trustHow to encourage honestyCommunication will always be key in a loving relationshipResources Mentioned:How to Handle Your Child’s Dishonesty by Child-Psych.orgWhy Kids Lie from by ChildMind.orgCheese Pizza Idea from Natasha at ReadingIsBetterThanChocolate.comLying Guide By Age from Parents.comHonor Code Ideas by ReadBrightly.comFavorite Picture Books on Honesty from ChildrensLitLove.comHow To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Faber and MazlishShare this episode with a friend! Please email your questions to or join my Facebook Group for more chatter on parenting topics.Join the FREE Lecture on Anger Management for Parents this Thursday, February 25, 2021 8-9pm SIGN UP HERETRANSCRIPT OF ENTIRE PODCAST
Tantrums continue to be a huge problem for parents.  Take a listen to this one hour Zoom seminar Mary did with a live audience with lots of practical advice on how to get a handle on tantrums in your home.  Learn about:Why tantrums happenWhat to do while the tantrum is happeningWhat to do AFTER the tantrum is overHow to avoid tantrums in the futureIf you'd like to see the full video with slides go to the Parenting Decoded YouTube channel:WATCH VIDEO HEREMood Chart:LINK TO MOOD CHART
It’s very difficult as a parent to see our kids struggle either academically or socially.  For some of us we feel that our kid is the only one struggling and we have no idea where to turn to.  In this podcast I interview Lexie Burnes of NeuroPlay Academics for information about how and when you might look to get your child tested if you suspect something is not quite right.  I don't have a transcript yet but here's a link to Lexie's website:
Holidays and gift giving can bring about so much stress to families who are sucked into the commercialism of our current situation.  In this podcast I want to give you all some hints about making gift giving a more heartfelt experience not only from you as the giver but also how to create an attitude of gratitude in our kids who are receiving those gifts.  I’ll also go over some ideas about how to handle sibling-to-sibling giving as well as extended family situations which can easily get messy.  I’m recording this in the holiday season, but it really applies to gifting at birthdays, graduations or any other type of event.  The article from Happy You, Happy Family that I talk about in this podcast can be found here:GIFT IDEAS from Happy You, Happy FamilyTRANSCRIPT OF ENTIRE EPISODE
Kids are self-centered from the get-go, no doubt about it. We have to teach them to be grateful for all that they have, all that we give them.  But, how on earth do we do that when there's so much taking and so little giving going on around us?   First, I want to talk about entitlement – what it is and how it can grow out of control.  Then I’ll go over ideas on how to nurture an attitude of gratitude in your home.Beware of these entitlement issues in your home:1.    Giving instant gratification2.    Rewards are expected­3.    Boundaries are not respected4.    Life is supposed to be “Fair”5.    Providing constant entertainmentTry some of these ideas on how to grow an attitude of gratitude instead: Stop complainingReframe things in the positive Teach delayed gratificationTeach the value of hard workSet healthy boundaries and say NOTeach kids about moneyDo a charity projectExpand your family's cultural experiencesPractice acts of kindnessUse gratitude in your daily conversationsDon't give rewards all the timeLimit giftsDonateWrite Thank You NotesVIEW FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE
Are you having trouble deciding whether to give in to your child's request to quit an activity?  Feeling like you might be raising a kid to be a quitter if you do ?  Take a listen to help you navigate this touchy subject!It seems that many parents have to cross the threshold of their child wanting to quit an activity.  It could be piano, basketball, soccer, violin, clarinet, tutoring, gymnastics, karate, whatever.  Sometimes it's just private lessons that only impact your child.  Other times, quitting impacts a whole a team which adds a dimension of guilt either by your child or maybe you especially if you’re the coach and your child no longer wants to play. In this podcast we’re going to talk about things to consider when running up against this issue in your own home then we will go over some real-life situations to make all a little more real. I just want to start out saying that the reason this is so tough is because there IS NO RIGHT ANSWER.  Yep, you really have to take lots of things into consideration, it's not a one-stop-shop.  TRANSCRIPT OF EPISODE
Our kids are smart.  They really know how to manipulate us into getting what they want – crying, whining, having tantrums, giving us the silent treatment.  It can be overwhelming.  In my last podcast we were learning how to use choices early to avoid power struggles from the get-go.  In this podcast we’re going to follow along that positive path by using another technique that is a companion to choices – setting boundaries and limits.  Kids to better knowing the rules.  Here are the guidelines to follow that I cover in this podcast: 1 - Define the boundaries2 -  Keep them positive3 - Have consequences4 - Be consistent 5 - Be reasonable 6 - Be calm and lovingFULL TRANSCRIPT HERE
Do you feel like you’re always battling your child?   You tell them to do something and you immediately get a “no” followed by whining and complaining or outright defiance?  A simple request that turns into a war is enough to send us over the edge sometimes.  In this podcast I talk about how to avoid power struggles by using a secret weapon -- Choices!  When used BEFORE battles start choices can be super effective.  If you kids are young, using playful choices when you know things might be difficult for them like transitioning from one location or activity to another.  When your kids get older using choices can help increase independence and give them control that they really crave.To join the Parenting Decode Facebook group use this web the whole TRANSCRIPT on my website. 
I'm in California where parents are going through setting up and managing distanced learning in their homes since almost no schools are doing in-person learning.  This podcast will cover these areas:1 - Physical LEARNING AREA - how to organize it, get rid of distractions, provide a quiet area to focus, how and when to charge and test devices, and how to keep online safety in your home in mind2 - Establish clear routines - have daily and weekly schedules, post them, have morning and afternoon "check-in" sessions, figure out how to deal with time using timers and alarmsPinterest Schedules Link 3 - Encourage independence - let your kids know their work is their work! Let the teacher teach while letting your child own their own work and learn how to ask the teacher for help with they get stuck or bored4 - Support family learning - have fun using learning for tasks like cooking, gardening, laundry and vacuuming!  Be creative to see that learning can be fun and go on when kids aren't online.  Most importantly,  have some ideas for activities if there are problems getting online or doing school work.  Here are some links to my Pinterest pages with ideas: - Lead your team with Family Meetings to talk about issues like - when quiet times are, how to interrupt mom or dad while they're working, how do have time with friends and special time with parents.  The point with all of this is to provide some structure and be flexible to solve problems as they come up.  Email me if you'd like to brainstorm ideas for your situation:  mary@parentingdecoded.comTRANSCRIPT HERE
Many of us struggle with kids who whine, disobey and maybe even lie just to get their way.  We get so exasperated we want to explode and some of us certainly do explode.  In this podcast we’ll explore what happens in our families if we’re always operating in “crisis mode” then talk about ways to avoid ever getting into that mode by using Family Meetings to set boundaries and limits while communicating as a family what behaviors are acceptable and expected.  Using this step-by-step method you can set a clear path to success for your family as a team and learn to solve problems together and celebrate living and learning in an ever changing world.  Here's a transcript of the podcast:  TRANSCRIPT
In this podcast I’m going to cover issues relating to money with middle and high schoolers.  I will go over how to give money and how much, when to give money, and how to set up responsible money habits including how to use an ATM card, checking account, credit cards.  Money is a huge challenge for us all and at this stage your high schooler or middle schooler is at a huge crossroads with learning life skills.  Dealing with money is a much-neglected skill during these years yet they are the most crucial years to allow as many affordable mistakes as possible. This makes money a prime target for small mistakes now to avoid big mistakes later. If you know someone who can’t manage money as an adult, I’m going to guess their parents didn’t teach them much about it, might have given in to every whim just to keep them happy when they were young.  Hey, that adult might even be you!  If you listened to my podcast about money for younger kids, you’ll have already heard how to start a small budget for vacations and special events that I call a trinket budget.  We’re going to expand on that concept greatly by including more of the day-to-day expenses our kids encounter, not just vacations and special events.  With older kids I want to help you introduce money concepts so that by the time they graduate from high school they know about budgeting, credit cards and debt.  I’m even going to show you a way to tie in getting chores done which is such a bonus.  You want to launch a financially responsible child into the world so that you won’t be paying their bills for the rest of your life.  Here's a transcript of the podcast:  TRANSCRIPT
There are things to do at different ages and stages to help introduce money concepts to your kids so that by the time they graduate from high school they know about budgeting, credit cards and debt.   In this podcast, I’ll concentrate on what to do with younger kids, from toddler years up through elementary school using a simple spend-save-share method. Here's a transcript of the podcast:  TRANSCRIPTIf you'd like to look at the Pinterest board on Kids and Money here's a link for that:  PINTEREST
I’ve had quite a few people asking me about chores – how to set them up, do you pay for them, how much do you pay, is allowance tied to chores, do I need chore charts with rewards, what do I do if my kid won’t do their chores.  In this podcast I want to address all those issues and more.  Chores let your kids develop life skills that, if taught well, will launch them into a good place in life.  I’ll start with the research behind why chores are important and then I’ll get into the nitty-gritty of how to implement chores with kids of various ages.  Go to my website for a full transcript of this podcast:TRANSCRIPTPinterest Board on Kids Chores:PINTEREST
In this episode I talk about the anger in our homes that gets directed at our children and some ideas for how we can get it under control.  First, I’ll talk about the impact anger has on our families then three ways to help mitigate anger in your home.  Lastly,  I’ll give you some fun and creative ideas about how to repair relationships with your kids. Here's a link to's article on the "Five Hair Ties" solution for getting positive interactions into your home. read a transcript of this entire podcast go to my website here:
In Part 2, I cover my final 5 rules dealing with older kids when individual cell-phones, laptops and other electronics come in to play by about middle school.  Rule 9: Use ContractsRule 10: Use Monitoring SoftwareRule 11: Talk About Online SafetyRule 12: Talk About Social Media and GamingRule 13: Talk about PornHere are links to resources mentioned in the podcast: Helpful Websites for Keeping Up To Digital Contract Sample Book for Talking to Younger Kids about Porn Website Resources for Talking to Teens about Porn 
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