Misbehavior: Discipline Yes, Punish No

 Misbehavior: Discipline Yes, Punish No

Why does your child misbehave? What is the difference between discipline and punishment? What is the missing part of getting them to do what you tell them to do? Here is an answer from Ask Auntie Artichoke, family relationship coach and author of over 20 books. 

There are three levels of intervention that can help any family; 

1. Articles, classes and books
2. A transforming program used with the family in weekly meetings
3. Therapy for situations where personal safety or an outside authority is called for

The worst thing you can do is nothing. Problems do not go away by themselves. Action is called for. Please try level one and level two. You may find the answer you are searching for.

You do an important work. For more information please go to

How to Listen: Skills to Enhance Your Relationships

How to Listen: Skills to Enhance Your Relationships

Did you hear what I said? Did you hear with your ears or your heart? Were you so eager to say your piece that you did not understand what I was telling you?

Is there a part of the puzzle that we are missing? Verbal language is the communication of information. Non-verbal language is the communication of relationships.

The Greedy Child: Helping Kids Learn to Share

The Greedy Child: Helping Kids Learn to Share

“I want this really bad.” Many children (and adults) have problems learning the difference between wants and needs. By keeping the idea of character and values as well as budgets and house rules in mind, we can help shift from a sense of entitlement to a sense of gratitude.

Instead of punishing your child for acting impatient and greedy, teach him to prioritize his needs. For more information on transforming your family, please see

 You may also get a free eBook on words to say that will motivate positive action at

Family Meetings: Teach Leadership Skills

Family Meetings: Teach Leadership Skills

The family is the basic organization of civilization. Just as you would never run a business without a plan, team meetings, communication and goal setting, neither should families go without regular meetings.

If you want to change negative behavior and raise responsible young adults, please go to  There are answers there for you.

Nurturing Relationships and Setting Boundaries

Nurturing Relationships and Setting Boundaries

Being aware of our boundaries and limits in crucial in having healthy relationships, both as children and adults.

A boundary or limit lets me know how far I can go with comfort in a relationship, either personal or professional. It lets me know where my psychological and physical space ends and yours begins. This knowledge of how far we can go with comfort is necessary for love, intimacy and trust.

It is necessary for all members of a relationship acknowledge the edges and recognize when they have stepped over the line

Our Boundaries are Invisible, but Always There

A good way to think of how healthy boundaries work is to relate them to cells in our bodies. The outer wall of a cell is semi permeable, which means it lets in those things which are beneficial and keeps out those that are not.

Healthy cells and people know who and what they are. A brain cell never gets confused and thinks it is a stomach cell. . It knows intuitively when to duplicate, when to expel waste and when it is hungry for supplements. It demonstrates intelligence by discriminating between nutrition and poison.

Healthy Boundaries Define Who We Are

Our boundaries mark who we are, what we stand for: our beliefs, standards, values, thoughts, feelings, choices, decisions and experiences. The key to establishing boundaries with other people is to know our inner self.

If we allow others to set, invade or consistently cross our boundaries, we are in essence saying we are not sure who and what we stand for. We are giving permission for others to set the standards of a relationship, without any regard for what we want or deserve.

A Healthy Core of Self-Knowledge

Speaking up for who we are and what we need in relationships keeps us from being co-dependent, abused or misunderstood. By letting others know in a firm but kind voice what our boundaries are and how we like to be treated will produce respect.

If the other person chooses not to honor your limits, then you have choices to make. You deserve to be treated in a respectful and non combative manner.

I urge you to be consistent in setting boundaries and honoring those of others in your circle of friends and family. When you know who you are and how you want to be treated, it will assist you in treating others in a respectful way.

Did you like this video? Is there a specific topic or question you would like me to make a video about? I would LOVE your suggestions!

Making Friends: How to Make Friends and Build Relationships

Making Friends: How to Make Friends
and Build Relationships

“How do I teach my child social skills, when I don’t know how to make friends?”

“How do you have time to maintain a friendship when life is so busy with work and kids?”

These are just some of the questions that were asked by adult participants about their own lack of intimate friends at my parenting workshop on The Left Out Child-The Importance of Friendship. The evidence is overwhelming on why good peer relationships enhance the quality of life and learning for children as well as adults.

How adults manage social situations affects the way those children around them view human interaction. If you have meaningful relationships that add pleasure and joy to the quality of your life, they will see and want to have the same thing. When the extended circle of caring nurtures the individual, they will look for the similar qualities in their friends.

Friendship has been describes as the springboard to every other love. Communication and interaction skills learned with friends spill over into every other relationship in life. Those who have no friends also tend to have a diminished capacity for sustaining marriages, work and neighborhood relationships.

If your children are involved in extra-curricular activities, step up and invite the other families to share a pot luck meal before or after the game. Our son’s soccer team had a pasta meal before every game, rotating between houses of players and coaches. It allowed the families to form a bond of support and friendship that moved beyond the soccer field.

The best way I know to tackle social anxiety and make a friend is to be approachable and open to others. Non-verbal language is the communication of relationships and 55% of the emotional meaning of a message is expressed through body language. Another 38% is transmitted through the tone of our voice. Only 7% is actually expressed by words. Verbal language is the language of information, and may or may not be remembered. When you smile and look people in the eye, extend your hand and ask to be included, you will be. If you posture, facial tone and confidence, says “I like myself” others will like you too.

Making friends is a skill and skills can be learned. Like many life skills, they may not be easy, but they are simple and just need to be practiced until they become second nature. Yes, it can take time and effort on your part to build a network of people you can trust and care for and who will in turn be loyal and kind to you. It is well worth the effort for you and your children to find a support system to be with in the good times and the not so good times that accompany all of us in life..

Building and maintaining relationships will be one of the most rewarding projects of your life.


Setting Boundaries in Relationships

Setting Boundaries in Relationships

Setting personal boundaries are like identifying the gates in our invisible fence lines which protects the precious heart and soul inside our bodies. Many people look at boundaries as walls, but rather when we establish healthy boundaries it provides a way to distinguish what we choose to let in and let out. They form flexible gates, not stationary walls It is important to learn about setting healthy boundaries so we can make decisions about what is and what isn’t permissible in all relationships.

Boundaries are Valuable

All relationships work more harmoniously when the participants know what to expect and what is expected of them. Being kind, but firm when stating what you need from a relationship allows the other person to reciprocate. How other people act and think often has nothing to do with you, but rather with their own perceptions. You can only take care of yourself.

It doesn’t matter how elaborate the fencing and eloquent our statements are, if we don’t honor ourselves enough to draw the line and stick to it consistently. It is just as valuable to the other person that they learn how to be with you and what the guidelines are for the relationship.

Body Language and Tone of Voice

Verbal communication is the language of information and only 20 % is absorbed. Body language and tone of voice is the language of relationships and 80% is remembered. Make sure you appear confident and you speak with a neutral, calm and non-accusing tone when establishing your boundaries. Use “I” statements which reflect on how things affect you, rather than “you” statements which put people on the defensive.

4-Step Model for Setting Boundaries

1. Calmly inform the other person by stating, “I feel uncomfortable and want to shut down when you yell at me.”

2. Request that they honor your boundary. “I ask that you talk to me without yelling.” Or ..For me to listen and hear what you are saying to me, I need to you speak to me in a calm voice without yelling.

3. Insist that they honor your boundary, again with a firm but kind voice, “I insist that when we are talking we talk in calm voices.”

4. Leave the situation. Now is not the time or place to continue communicating with someone who refuses to respect your boundaries. Leave the door open to talk later in a more respectful manner. Continue to maintain a calm but firm voice and say, “I will not continue this conversation in this way. I welcome an opportunity to talk with you without yelling or screaming at another time. Let me know if you decide to visit without raised voices.”

Don’t Take it Personally

You can not assume responsibility for other people’s feelings, agendas or methods of communication. You can only state how you desire to be treated in life. If there are old patterns, it may take some time to convince others that you are serious about sticking to your boundaries. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and courtesy.

People you know may be surprised at first when you tell them they have crossed the line, but will respect you more in the end. Hopefully, they will model this communication style and it will make for more honest and open relationships for all.

Giving Feedback to Increase Self-Esteem: Use Respect, Not Ridicule

Giving Feedback to Increase Self-Esteem:
Use Respect, Not Ridicule

Your intention is to motivate a child or employee to do better. You are clear in your mind what you want to achieve and the behavior that you want changed. You expect to be listened to and obeyed! You are right and they are wrong. Someday, they will be grateful that you cared enough to show them what they were doing incorrectly.

Sound familiar? When a situation calls for feedback, we tend to justify our position and come at the situation from a power standpoint. This tends to put the other person in a defensive status and what may have started out as a visit turns into a confrontation, with words and emotions expressed that are not helpful. The ridicule will actually not accomplish what you had hoped and will harm the relationship.

Ridicule or Contempt

Ridiculing someone is to mock by reducing or dismissing them in a contemptuous way. Sometimes the ridicule may be verbal as in a criticism; “You just can’t get this through your thick head, can you?” The disrespect may be done in a completely non-verbal but powerful way; rolling your eyes, crossing your arms and leaning back, smirking or looking away when the other person is talking.

Non-Verbal Language

Verbal or spoken language is the communication of information. Most people only remember about 20% of what is said. Non verbal or body language is the communication of relationships. People look at your facial expressions to see how you really feel about what you are saying and the person you are saying it to. They listen to your tone of voice to gauge how sincere you are.

Respect and Acknowledge Unique Styles

Your child and you are going to make mistakes. You are human. That is just how life goes as we learn from experiences on what works for us and when we need to find another solution. We can make mistakes but still be competent, worthwhile and intelligent people.

No one is going to be perfect, and to only settle for perfection is to set yourself and your child up for failure. If your children have never seen you acknowledge that you screwed up or made a mistake, they will be hesitant to take risks.

Feedback or Criticism

You may be embarrassed to talk about your own mistakes and errors in judgment. That is natural to be hesitant to appear vulnerable but it is unfair to your child to feel that he or she is not reaching your expectations and is a disappointment to you.

Perhaps you can say something like; “I know that you feel badly about the grade. I have felt that way when I worked hard on a project and it didn’t go as well as I had planned. However, I found that the next time it went better for me when I wrote an agenda. What do you think might help you do better next time?

Respect and Tolerance Build Confidence and Self-Image

Thank you for doing this important work to build communication in relationships. Others value your input and suggestions and will want to do the best they can. But when mistakes happen, remember; mistakes are never final and we all make them. It is how we learn.

(c) Judy H. Wright You have permission to reprint this article in your blog, ezine or offline magazine as long as you keep the content and contact information intact. Thank You.

Artichoke Press is the home site of Judy H. Wright, family relationship coach and author. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you. If your organization would like to schedule Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer, for a workshop please call 406.549.9813.

You are also invited to visit for answers and suggestions if you are experiencing family problems that are deeper than a book or article can solve. This program will transform your family.

Thanks for joining our community of caring parents, family members, coaches, teachers and mentors who want to help raise a generation of responsible adults.