On Comes Family Violence

It started with a temper tantrum. It didn’t amount to much. He was only 3 and the truth of the matter is that it was kind of cute. Then he was 15 and it was actually out of hand, but still not worth the hassle and expense of getting some outside, professional help. Then he was 20 and there was no hope for it. He was just going to be difficult. And then along came family violence. I don’t understand. He certainly didn’t grow up that way.

Sure, substitute she for he and the sad story is unchanged. In this episode of Audio Tidbits Podcast, I revisit temper tantrums and the importance of managing them gently and thoughtfully when your child is very young. Please listen and think about it along with me.


Starving Children … On Purpose

First, dieting is never a good idea for your child under twelve or thirteen, unless directly supervised by a physician. Even a day or so of eating little to nothing is dangerous for pre- adolescent children. While your child’s food is severely restricted, he does not grow. Even worse, he may never make up for the time he was not growing. This is very serious. A young child should never diet unless medically supervised. It is as simple as that.

For a teenager, watching his weight is usually not a problem, although checking with a physician is a good idea. Your adolescent’s eating little to nothing for a day or two once in a while usually does not hurt anything; but be sure the dieting is not extreme. Further, be sure it does not go on for more than a couple days at a time and does not happen more than once in a while. If your child has a weight problem, arranging for him to talk with his physician is the place to start.

This sign is part of an eating disorder called anorexia and has little to do with dieting or normal weight control. Your child exhibiting this sign is starving himself. The first thing you notice is his losing weight. Next, you notice his getting thin and eating little to nothing. He might tell you he is watching his weight, is not hungry, or does not feel well. Whatever his reason is, he is not eating enough.

Even though your child is already thin, he thinks he is fat or at least thinks he is overweight. How he looks to you does not fit with his perception of himself. His self-perception is distorted or does not fit with how he really is. He has lost his ability to judge himself and feels fat no matter what the truth is.

If you see this sign in your child, his need for specialized help is urgent. You nor your child can handle the problem without help. Your child can die from the behavior. It does have to do with depression and low self-esteem; but it is much more complicated. Specialized care is always necessary.


Does Your Child Have Trouble Making Or Keeping Friends?

Some children are more likely to exhibit this sign of relationship problems than others. For example, if a child has changed neighborhoods and schools, difficulty making and keeping friends is more likely; or if his life-experiences have not taught him good interpersonal and relationship skills, having the problem is nearly inevitable. A child who has low self-esteem and deals less well with the give-and-take of friends and the social scene likely have this problem to some degree.

Most children move out from a solid base at home into other relationships, enabling them to try many relationships while always having those at home. Children who do not have this solid base will certainly have this problem. Because of this, relationships they do find are more important to them. For example, they can easily become too possessive and smother the other person; or they may try too hard to please and to be part of the group, making them very vulnerable to mistreatment and exploitation.

Your child needs to be taught about friends and relationships. Approach your teaching task like this. “Getting a friend starts by hanging around with people who are like you want to be. Pick people who seem to value what you value. Next, talk and join in without being pushy. After a while, you’ll notice you talk more with some of them than others. There’ll be two or three you talk with the most. You and they are becoming friends. There’re also some ways to keep friends and ways that turn them off. We can talk about that as time goes on.” By talking to him like this, you are modeling an example of friendly behavior and are teaching him relationship skills. It is a slow but rewarding process. …

Be sure you also make a point to include him in family activities, at church, in the neighborhood, or in community organizations. This gives him a chance to see other healthy families and to make friends. Although child-only activities may be too stressful for him at first, family activities are safe and provide good opportunities to observe, coach, and support him.


Children’s Low Self-esteem

Your child persistently feels very unhappy about his or her physical and sexual development:

Low self-esteem starts with worrying and fretting about failing. It grows into giving up quickly. This leads to shutting down and not trying. If parental or other adult reactions are too harsh, your child goes through the motions for fear of even harsher consequences. He or she simply plays the game. This is a very sad way for him/her to think and feel about success, achievement, and interpersonal participation. Nonetheless, low self-esteem can get still worse for your child. …


Who Wants To Play?

How do you help your children develop a growing sense of independence and autonomy by the age of seven? How do you deal with the increasing independence of your adolescent? The process begins as your toddler learns about play and social activities. However, your child is not able to play unless he knows how to play. He learns the idea of taking turns from people who allow him his turn and insist on their turn. He learns to be appropriately assertive without being excessively self-centered and aggressive from you and other adults who deal with his temper tantrums. He learns not to be too passive or compliant when you and other adults encourage him to stick up for himself, to speak up when it is his turn or when his rights are infringed upon.

Social development begins when you relate to your children as friends and playmates. Yes, you are a parent first; but part of the time (especially with your small children) you are friends and playmates. Within this playmate relationship, your child learns how to ask someone to play with her. She develops a feel for situations in which people do not want to play with her. She learns to accept an invitation to play. Occasionally, you may ask your toddler or preschooler if she wants to play a video game, accepting your child’s judgment about whether or not to play. Similarly, your child learns to ask you to play, accepting your judgment whether or not to play. Peek-a-boo played with your infant becomes hide-and-seek when she is a toddler or grade schooler. Working puzzles with your preschooler becomes assembling models or playing X-Box with your grade schooler or adolescent. Helping your preschooler fix her bicycle becomes helping your adolescent fix her car. Playing Fish with your preschooler becomes playing Scrabble with your adolescent. Making mud pies with a preschooler becomes helping prepare supper with your teenager. Friend and playmate relationships begin quite young and continue throughout your lives. Establish the playmate relationship with your child while remaining a good parent, and the fun and good times can go on for a long time. …


I Forgot or perhaps The Dog Ate My Homework – Audio TidBits Podcast

Real memory problems are uncommon. But forgetting or not remembering to remember is very common. If it only happens once in a while and seldom involves important things, it is no big deal. It is a problem if forgetting is a regular reason for not doing things. It does get to a point when “I forgot,” is not just one of those things.

It is tempting to accuse your child of lying or not paying attention. Either may be true. If so, they are themselves problems needing your attention. More likely are several other explanations.

First, your child did not see the assignment or expectation as important enough to remember. He thought it did not matter that much. Dealing with this is not complicated. It also is a good place to start when you first notice the sign. Talk with your child about how important you think the assignment or expectation is. Stress with him how important you think it is for him to treat it as important. This often helps a lot all by itself. …


Children Get Bored Too – Audio TidBits Podcast

Boredom is a condition seen in infants, children, and adults of all ages. Much of the time, your infant entertains herself. She really seems to enjoy just being alive and involved in the world. At other times though, she becomes fussy, irritable, unhappy, and generally discontent. What is wrong with her? She is bored.

For your infant and toddler, boredom is a frequent state of affairs. This fact is partly why your toddler is always getting into everything and always under foot. Nothing holds his attention very long. He is always looking for new things to get into and novel ways to deal with boredom. Further, he spends a lot of time trying to get you to relieve his boredom.

Your preschooler experiences boredom less often, since his attention span is longer. Nonetheless, he becomes bored fairly easily, especially on rainy days or when he is sick and has to stay in his room, or when he is full of energy and has no good outlets for it. You understand what boredom is (an uncomfortable low level of stimulation) and understand it is a problem for children when they do not have enough to occupy their active minds and bodies.

When children are bored, then, what should you do about it? You have three options for dealing with children who are bored.


Toilet Training – Audio TidBits Podcast

When should toilet training begin? First, it should not begin until your child seems to know what the potty is for and can relate the idea to “making messes” in her clothing. For most children, this relationship does not become clear until they are about twenty-four months old. By that age children have enough bowel and bladder control to participate in the toilet training process. If you wait until your child is about thirty months old, she will probably start training herself.

Some parents have children sit on the potty immediately after meals, as if they will eliminate the food just consumed. But since it takes several hours for foods and liquids to pass through their systems, it makes more sense to encourage your child to use the potty when you use the bathroom. She likely will be willing to try to “go” while you are in the bathroom modeling appropriate toilet behavior. Even if she does not use the potty, she will enjoy the attention and verbal interaction.

Since people typically use the toilet immediately before going to bed and immediately after getting up in the morning, encourage your children to try to potty at those times. It also helps to encourage them to sit on the potty a few minutes every four or five hours. Once in a while, they urinate or have a bowel movement when sitting on the potty. At such times your enthusiastic approval reinforces the behavior. If your child wants you to look at what he has done, it is only fair to visually inspect the product of his efforts.

In addition, consistently help your child change clothing after each accident. Tell him calmly he has made a mess and has to put on clean clothes. If you disapprove of the mess, so will your child. Infrequently, children discover messing or wetting their pants is a very good way to upset you. If this happens, simply ignore the behavior for a few days. Even so, you have gotten into quite a bind with your child. …



All infants have a strong and very real need for physical contact. Without it, the deprivation is very real and may be permanent. Your baby’s need for touching and cuddling is like food for physical and emotional growth. Your infant’s need for physical contact strongly suggests this physical/emotional/social being also needs to be “fed.” Without such contact, your child “starves” physically, emotionally, and socially.

What to do? That is fairly simple. Pick up your baby, cuddle him, talk to him and make noises at him. Try to spend a lot of time talking with him and physically interacting with him. When giving him a bottle, hold your baby instead of feeding him in the crib or playpen. Several times a day, pick him up and walk around, sit in a chair and rock, and be sure his playpen or walker is not in a room by itself. It’s better for him to be around other people than to be by himself. Talk with him and encourage other people to do the same. If someone says, “What a nice baby,” ask them if they want to hold your child. Your baby needs maximum physical contact and interaction with a variety of people. …

Audio Tidbit How To Matter Leadership Parenting

Become a Better Talker – Audio TidBits Podcast

You probably think becoming a better listener is a worthy goal for all of us, but maybe not. Listen and come to your own conclusion.


Extra: Pass It Along (remix) – Audio TidBits Podcast

This is a remix of Pass It Along, thoughts about passing along character to children. Please enjoy.


Your Growing Child

Your baby starts her journey into adulthood with very little going for her other than an inborn potential to grow and become. Within the first few weeks of life, she begins the lifelong process of experiencing, exploring, and expressing herself. This is a very physical/doing time of life for baby. She spends most of her waking hours looking, making noises, learning to hold up her head and turn over, squirming and moving around, trying and then learning to pick things up, usually putting them in her mouth, and gradually organizing her life around the major goals of getting to things and getting into them. As your baby becomes a toddler (around the age of eighteen months), the circle of her world starts to expand. There are myriad things to get into and to learn to stay out of, to climb on and around, to explore and experiment with, to take apart and throw around. There is a long list of things to do, such as learning to talk, to use the bathroom, and to feed herself, figuring out new ways to get others to pay attention, finding out about rules and restrictions, getting better at moving around without falling down – generally discovering the physical world.

As your toddler becomes a preschooler, her world continues to expand geometrically with things to do or to avoid, experiences to have or to refrain from, with more complicated toys, more elaborate opportunities, and with those ever-present but changing rules and restrictions. The world of puzzles and coloring books, bicycles and roller skates, games and good manners also begins to come into focus.

As your preschooler becomes a grade schooler, the circle of her world expands yet further and rules and restrictions begin to decrease, even if only slightly. Not only is she able to do more things, but she is allowed to, even encouraged to do more. Somewhat suddenly, it may seem to your grade schooler, you and other adults expect her to learn how to do things that are sometimes difficult or tedious. Fun and work are becoming interacting and interrelated parts of life.

As your grade schooler moves into adolescence, the circle of her life continues to expand, and the rules and restrictions change and lessen. Your child by then has developed a fairly well-established pattern of discovery, experimentation, and mastery; she has developed an amazingly complex array of skills, abilities, and behaviors to be consciously used or not, depending on the circumstances. And still more skills and behaviors are yet to be learned – how to participate in team sports and group activities, what is the proper behavior in a multitude of situations, how to do geometry, how to drive a car, how to behave on dates and in other social situations. Gradually, the developing individual comes to do and act less like your child and more like an adult.


Assessing Your Child’s Adjustment – Audio TidBits Podcast

How is your child getting along? Does he or she seem to be getting along well or do you see behavior or other

problems that concern you? Trust your good judgement and experience. Think about your child and answer “Yes,” or

“No,” to these questions. The questions that you answer “No,” focus your attention on the problems and issues

needing your attention. (If your child is too young for the question to apply, simply skip that question.)

Is your child;

In good health and not often ill?

Usually energetic and interested in what is going on in his world?

Normally relaxed and comfortable with himself?

Self-confident in most situations? …


Assessing Your Relationship – Audio TidBits Podcast

How are you and your child getting along with each other? For the following questions, is the answer almost always yes, usually yes, sometimes yes, seldom yes, or almost never yes?

As a guide, rate the question as “5” if your answer is almost always yes. Put 4 for usually, 3 for sometimes, 2 for seldom, and 1 for almost never. (If your child is too young for the question to apply to your relationship, just skip that question.)

Are you responsible and fair when disciplining your child?

Do you know what your child needs and what is important to him?

Can you get your child to cooperate with you without your getting frustrated or upset?

Do you spend time every day talking or playing with your child? …

Audio Tidbit How To Matter Leadership Parenting

Positive Interpersonal Programming (PIP) – Audio TidBits Podcast

Welcome to Audio Tidbits Podcast. In this episode, James will be narrating Positive Interpersonal Programming.

Positive Interpersonal Programming (PIP) helps you look at yourself and at your marriage and family relationships. It is not a test. Rather, PIP enables you to see your stronger and less strong areas, those things that you do better and those things that you do less well, those things within which you should find pride and satisfaction and those things deserving a little more time and attention from you.

Each section focuses on an important area of marriage and family life. Within each section are several statements about the most important interpersonal elements for that area. Going through all of the sections and statements will help you look at your strengths area by area and specifically at your strengths and less strong points within each area.

PIP helps you understand yourself and others in your home in many areas such as self management at home, managing conflict, managing the children, being sensitive to what others want for themselves, understanding the special ways you and others want people in your family to show love and caring, visiting back and forth with relatives and friends of others in the family, avoiding unnecessary financial difficulties or obligations, dealing effectively with the financial difficulties that arise from time to time, making sure that there are enough sexual opportunities, and much more.

Positive Interpersonal Programming also includes PIP for teachers and managers. PIP for Teachers is intended specifically for classroom teachers, but may be useful to anyone who is in a student/teacher relationship with someone else. The traits, qualities, and principles reflect “good teaching” regardless of the setting or situation.

PIP For Managers is a continuation of the PIP approach. The manager’s inventory is divided into sections, with statements included in each section. As is true for other sections, you may use it for yourself or to evaluate the behavior, approaches, and effectiveness of others with whom you are associated.

Listening to the podcast will give you a lot to think about and specific ideas about how to improve your relationships at home and in other settings. You may find that having a print copy of the guide will work better for you as you get serious about doing the best you can to do the best you can.

If so, the guide is available as a Kindle eBook and as a Kindle paperback on in the Kindle store. If you click on the book’s cover in the sidebar of, you will be taken directly to the book’s page on

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you find Positive Interpersonal Programming (PIP) is a useful tool as you live and love with your family and work with others who have a direct influence on you and yours.

Please stop back soon.