Daughter Playing With Cell Phone While Mother Is Shouting

Talking with Children? One Quick, Must-Have Technique Every Parent and Teacher Needs to Know

Daughter Playing With Cell Phone While Mother Is ShoutingMany parents and teachers comment to me that when they are speaking to children or teens, they don’t listen! Does this sound like you? After repeated attempts to get them to put away toys or books, shut off the Ipad, get their jacket or eat breakfast, adults admit that they get so frustrated that they begin to yell, bark orders and take offending items out of the children’s hands to get them to focus.

Yup. I get it. I’ve done it too! It can be so irritating and infuriating to be ignored. You deserve respect after all you do! But what if our children weren’t consciously ignoring us but actually were just not really hearing us?

When we yell from the top of the stairs or call out across a room, I call this “back-of-the-head parenting” or “back-of-the-head teaching.” Some kids can respond to it but many don’t tune in when only one sense is being used to get their attention—especially when it’s not a primary one.

Many children, particularly ones that have trouble in the area of focus or have ADHD, have many radio stations playing at once in their brains. And guess what? You’re often NOT the loudest one. In fact, when they are watching TV, digging in the dirt outside, or even sitting in class, they may have multiple stations going on in their heads that has gripped their attention over yours. That spider they are watching? Rock and Roll. You? Easy Listening. Or worse. Muzak. (No Offense.) Read more


The Courage to Try: 7 Vital Tips to Help Your Kids Try New Things Even if They Are Scared

It was my 7-year-old daughter’s very first camp overnight. She was nervous, scared, excited and anxious.

Each night, before bed, she would start a looping monologue.

“I’m really scared about the sleepover…I’m going to miss you…what if I want to go home…what if I have to go to the bathroom…what if I’m scared?”

“Do you want to go on this sleepover?”

“Yes. But I’m really scared about the sleepover…”

This was getting us nowhere. Have you ever felt like that?

The truth was, we hadn’t had a great track record. Her first sleepover at Grammie’s last year ended abruptly with an ear infection and a fever. The second one took two takes—she came home before sleeping and after a pep talk about fear, she went back but I was there to tuck her in and sing her goodnight. And last weekend, her sweet friend from camp came over to our house to do a practice sleepover and wound up going home at 12:45am because she missed her mom and had a tummy ache. Sleepovers had not been the picture of success.

It’s hard when we want our child to try new things but fear has taken hold and won’t let go. So how can we help our children help themselves when trying constructive, new things that excite but scare them? Read more

Dr. Robyn Silverman introduces the Powerful Word Accountability


The powerful word of the month is accountability! Accountability is all about keeping our promises and commitments while also taking care of our mistakes.  It’s important to allow our children and teens to be accountable for themselves (while still being age appropriate) so that they learn (1) Making mistakes is not the end of the world; (2) When you make a “mess,” clean it up; (3) Ask for help when you need it; (4) healthy promises and commitments are something that should be kept; (5) Accountability is a crucial part of goal setting and goal getting as well as a vital part of being a good friend, student, employee, and family member.

While it may be tempting to jump in and “do it for them” when we see a child/teen challenged by a mistake s/he made (i.e. forgot his homework, lost a book) or a promise he no longer wants to keep (i.e. wants to quit a sport, doesn’t want to go to the birthday party she said she would attend), learning accountability at a young age is a great life lesson.

Children may need support or assistance at times but at others, we need to step back and allow them to take the lead.  Encourage them to tell the librarian that they lost a book and want to pay for it with their allowance.  Teach your children that once they make a commitment to a friend, it’s important that they keep that promise.  Show them that when they make a mistake, they need to admit it, apologize for it and help make it right. If they can learn this when stakes are low during childhood, they will be able to apply these life lessons to their life when stakes are higher during adulthood.

Enjoy this month’s Powerful Word! How are YOU teaching accountability in your home?

Ask Dr. Robyn: How Can I Help My Child Show More Courage?

Courage is the Powerful Word of the Month! How do we encourage our children to try new things? Meet new people? Stand up for what they believe in?  Dr. Robyn Silverman, child and teen development specialist, answers one reader’s question about developing courage in her child. Several tips are provided– which ones resonate with you?


What will you try with your children this month? How have you helped your children to show more courage?  Please share here or on our Facebook page— We’d love to hear from you!

Ask Dr. Robyn: How can I teach my child integrity?

Dr. Robyn Silverman answers one reader’s question about teaching her child integrity:

I caught my 6 year old son Danny in his first lie the other day.  He told me he had his jacket on as he called to me before going outside to play with the boy next door.  When I looked outside, there he was with no jacket in sight.  How do I get him to do what is right and honest instead of what is easiest and fastest? — Amy H, Youngstown. OH


Integrity Quotes:

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” –W. Clement Stone

“Character is much easier kept than recovered.” –Thomas Paine

John C. MacDonald once said; “Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself.”

“Character and integrity are inextricably intertwined.  Character reflects a personal set of values. Integrity is the grit to uphold them.” — Dr. Robyn Silverman

“If you have integrity, nothing else matters.  If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.”  –Alan Simpson

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.” — Unknown

Dr. Robyn Silverman Announces…The Powerful Word of the Month is Responsibility!


The Powerful Word of the Month is…responsibility! I love this word– and what a great time of year to discuss it.  Homework is in full thrust and summer, at least in this area of the world, is most definitely behind us.  It’s nose to the grindstone time.

Or it should be.  There are enough distractions these days to drive our children and teens (oh yes, and us too) right off course.  This month we need to reiterate our goals, set our plans, take responsibility for the things we committed to– and be accountable when things go wrong.

I’m on board too. Read more

Are Extreme Sports Too Extreme for Teens?


Jordan Romero, age 13, became the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.

Jessica Watson, age 16, became the youngest person to sail around world by herself, without stopping and without assistance.

Peter Lenz, age 13, became the youngest person to die at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he fell off his motorcycle and was run over by a 12 year old, Xavier Zaya. (see above video)

So…are extreme sports too extreme for teens?

I was interviewed on this topic late yesterday for the Associated Press and this morning on Fox News (you’ll see it’s a touchy topic based on well over 350 comments on yahoo news/AP coverage) I believe are the most important points to consider: Read more

Ask Dr. Robyn: Teaching Dependability to Children


The Powerful Word of the Month is Dependability! Today, I’m answering a question from Nancy, a parent in Morristown, NJ, about how to teach children to become dependable.

Dear Dr. Robyn,

My child is still pretty young but I would like him to learn to be dependable now instead of waiting until he is older.  My sister’s son is 12 and seems to have never learned his lesson.  She always has to bail him out of some mess he’s gotten into and he resents it when she even proposes that he takes responsibility for his actions. She bribes him constantly and the stakes just seem to be getting higher. What needs to be done in order to help my child learn these skills?

–Nancy, Morristown, NJ

Warm regards,

Dr. Robyn Signature

Congratulations, Powerful Kids! How These Kids are Showing Discipline!

balloonsThe Powerful Words Projects this month asked for the students to submit how they are showing discipline in their lives.  I’m proud to say congratulations to these top 3 Powerful Kids! We applaud you!

  1. Bryce Logan—who submitted his answer first! He writes from Mr. Prieto’s school, Chun Kuk Do Karate of the Woodlands, and says “I show discipline when I pick up my toys when my Mommy asks me to.” Excellent job, Bryce! The rest of the students at Mr. Prieto’s class must be very proud to have such a disciplined student in their class!
  2. Stacy Fizser of Shongum School tells us just how it is when it comes to discipline. She wrote to me and said; “I think the most powerful reason to use discipline is: if you don’t use discipline you won’t be successful in life. You won’t be able to live up to your potential.” Yes, I think you are quite right, Stacy.  Discipline helps us to do what needs to get done in order to achieve the goals we set out to achieve!
  3. Kaycie Cutler, age 4 ½ , is a Tiny Tiger Isshinryu karate student at New Jersey Martial Arts Academy in Roxbury, NJ.  Her favorite part of karate is obstacle courses!  She shows discipline by “doing my karate homework!” Great job, Kaycie.  I am sure that your instructors appreciate your discipline!

Terrific job! Keep on being the Powerful students and people that you are! Looking forward to hearing from you next month, when we talk about dependability!

Dr. Robyn Signature

PARENTS! FREE Back to School Fears Teleseminar Wednesday Night 8/26

Dr. Robyn Silverman

Only a few spots left!

FREE “How to Help Your Children Deal with Their Back to School Fears” Teleseminar!

Dr. Robyn Silverman

Good morning powerful parents!

After I was interviewed as the parenting expert for on How to Deal with Back to School Fears in Children and related articles, I was contacted my several parents who wanted to know more.  They were having many issues and concerns with how their children handled “newness,” especially the transition to school.

So I’m offering a special FREE Parenting Tele-Seminar TOMORROW for all Powerful Parents on Back to School Fears and Dealing with New Situations.

The Teleseminar will take place on THIS COMING WEDNESDAY, August 26th at8pm EASTERN, 7pm CENTRAL, 6pm MOUNTAIN, and 5pm PACIFIC.

There are a limited number of lines—and only a few left now that we are closer to the date.  Please sign up now to be part of this FREE event!

We will be going over several concerns and questions including:

  • What are some typical fears that children will be dealing with when going back to school?
  • How would parents know if their children are really having a problem?
  • What specific action steps can parents to take to help their children cope?
  • What would cause a child to exclaim “I’m never going back!”
  • What big mistakes can parents make in these situations?

And other questions too!

Looking forward to hearing you on the teleseminar! Sign up here!

Dr. Robyn Silverman signs